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Five Fingers

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Izuku blinked confusedly as he watched Uraraka dash off, wondering what had happened that she’d felt the need to run away. Looking around, he sighed. They'd all come together, and here he was alone. Well, at least it was something he was used to.

“Oh, cool, someone from UA,” a smooth voice broke into his thoughts. “Let me have your autograph.”

Izuku yelped as a strong arm was tossed over his shoulder, the man in all black pulling him close against his side.

“You were the one who got all beat up at the sports festival, right?”

“Y-yeah,” Izuku stuttered, a blush flaring on his cheeks. 

Why did people have to keep remembering that of all things?

“And weren't you also one of the guys who ran into the hero killer in the Hosu incident?” the guy pressed. “That's so cool!”

“You sure know a lot,” Izuku laughed nervously, trying to shift the man’s arm off surreptitiously.

“Man,” the guy chuckled, “I seriously can't believe it. I can't believe I'd see you again in a place like this.” His voice dipped lower, mouth brushing against Izuku’s ear. “It makes me feel like there's something to it.”

Izuku’s breath hitched in his throat as he slanted his eyes up and back, catching just a glimpse of pastel blue hair. Every muscle in his body tensed when the arm around his shoulders started to move, hand lifting to wrap deliberately around his throat, middle finger raised off his skin. 

“Like, fate, or destiny maybe.”

Izuku couldn't so much as swallow as fear coursed through him.

“But, well, from your perspective,” the guy continued lazily, “I guess we haven't met since the attack on UA, huh?”

Izuku couldn't stop himself from tilting his head back, green eyes meeting bloodshot red, the guy’s chapped lips pulled into a smile that looked so out of practice Izuku idly wondered if he'd ever worn it before.

“Why don't we have a talk, Midoriya Izuku?” he singsonged down at Izuku, eyes alight with a vicious amusement.

“Shigaraki T-Tomura,” Izuku squeaked out, his heart slamming into his ribs so hard he was sure it would burst straight out of his chest.

“Don't try anything,” Shigaraki warned playfully, just barely teasing the pad of his middle finger over Izuku’s adam's apple. “Act like I'm an old friend, yeah? If you don't, well…” He trailed off, chuckling into Izuku’s ear, and his eyes broke from Izuku’s to sweep over the crowded throng of people. “All I have to do is let my finger lay on your neck. The second all five of my fingers touch your skin, you'll start to crumble into dust.”

“Yo-you can't,” Izuku gasped, grasping at straws and desperately trying to think of a way out of this. “You're in a crowded mall, you'd be - you'd be caught in minutes.”

Shigaraki laughed again, nipping at his ear hard enough that Izuku had to stifle a shriek of pain.

“Your little friends are nowhere in sight, and there's no Pro Heroes here. I could easily kill twenty, hm, no, more like thirty people before any of your beloved heroes could get here.” Izuku could feel Shigaraki’s lips curve into a mad grin against his ear. “Are you fine with being the cause of all of their deaths, little Izuku?”

Izuku almost shook his head before remembering his position, instead slanting his eyes back to meet Shigaraki’s frantically, pleadingly. 

“O-ok,” Izuku choked out. “Ok, let's talk. You wanted to - to talk right? We - we’ll talk, that's fine. We can find somewhere to talk, there's some benches by - by the food court, or -”

“Shut your pretty mouth,” Shigaraki cut him off, actually giggling when Izuku’s mouth snapped shut with an audible click. “I've got a place picked out for our little chat, no need to worry your pretty head.”

What the hell was with all the ‘pretty’ crap? And why was Shigaraki’s other hand trailing two fingers over his hip? Was it meant as a threat?

“I - I cant be long, people will notice I'm gone,” Izuku tried desperately.

He couldn't let Shigaraki get him somewhere private, not where it wouldn't be seen if Izuku was killed, or if he had the man with the teleportation Quirk take them somewhere else. His friends wouldn't notice for hours.

“Izuku,” Shigaraki chided, nails from the three fingers at his throat scraping over his skin harshly. “You shouldn't lie to me, you know. They won't be back until three, and your little girlfriend will just assume you went on without her.”

“She's not my -” Izuku started instinctively, before cutting himself off as the realization hit him.

Shigaraki had overheard, which meant he knew exactly how much time he had, and knew he had more than enough opportunity to do a multitude of horrible things in that period. Hell, they could probably take him, torture him, and return him with time to spare, and no one would have any idea.

He shivered, a whimper clawing up his throat.

“Oh, I know she's not,” Shigaraki chuckled, turning Izuku with the hand on his throat and starting to move towards the east wall.

The fingers on his skin were pressing in uncomfortably tight, starting to make his breath come in scratchy and strained, bringing tears to his eyes.

“I know all about your little obsession with the firecracker - what's his name? Kacchan?” he teased, voice rising several octaves in a mockery of Izuku’s. “Oh, but don't you have a thing for the Todoroki brat, too?”

“How do you -” Izuku cut himself off, voice high and strained from fear, painfully grinding its way out of his constricted throat.

“I know everything, little Izuku,” Shigaraki crooned. “Maybe you should look a little closer at the people around you.”

Izuku doubted he would have been able to say anything even if Shigaraki hadn't pulled them to a stop, his heart pounding so hard it made him lightheaded. Or maybe that was from the wheezing half breaths he was desperately pulling into his lungs. He couldn't register where they even were as Shigaraki opened a door and herded him inside.

He vaguely heard the door close and the lock click behind them, and then Shigaraki’s fingers lightened back up until they were just resting on the column of Izuku’s soon-to-bruise throat. Izuku pulled in hacking breaths, trying to keep himself as still as he could as he coughed, allowing Shigaraki to guide him further into the room.

By the time he'd gotten his breath back and his head felt less like he was submerged in water, he realized that they were in a single person restroom, one of the wheelchair accessible ones the mall had by every bank of elevators. Why the hell had Shigaraki brought him there?

“Izuku,” the man in question called playfully, grin nearly splitting his face. “I'm going to tell you what to do, and you're going to listen, alright?” It wasn't phrased like a question at all. “If not…”

He dangled his phone between two fingers, showing Izuku a picture of Uraraka, clearly taken from behind, a tiny flame lighting the corner of the photo and hinting at the Quirk the taker had. 

“I've got a handy little firefly myself,” Shigaraki laughed. “So you'll behave, right, Izuku? I wouldn't want to have to cause a scene in front of all these smiling, happy civilians, now would I?”

“I- I’ll do whatever you say, just don't hurt her,” he pleaded. “Or anyone else. We’ll have the talk you wanted to have and then it-it’ll all be fine.”

“Sure,” Shigaraki agreed easily, his voice almost patronizing, like he was talking to a particularly cute child. 

“What did you want to talk about?” Izuku pressed, proud of himself for keeping his voice steady. Time was his enemy right now; he needed this to go fast.

If he could just get Shigaraki to let him go, he could do something. Maybe. Being locked in here would definitely be a detriment, especially since the man only had to land one hand on him for it all to be over. He'd have to knock him out, tie him up and separate his fingers somehow, take his phone so he couldn't contact whoever was following Uraraka, call UA and the cops and report -

“Don't move a single muscle, little Izuku,” Shigaraki instructed him. 

He pressed Izuku back against the sink, bodily caging him in as he showed Izuku his phone, opened to someone named Dabi’s contact, ready to call in an instant.

“He's who’s tailing the little gravity bitch,” he informed Izuku, who flinched at either his words or his hot breath rushing out over those freckles. “I have an emergency button, too, so don't think you can get away by destroying the phone. You move a centimeter and I'll let him burn her to a crisp.”

Izuku swallowed harshly, desperately trying to beat down the urge to fight back, to come up with some kind of plan. Shigaraki had made it clear that if he cooperated, they'd all be safe. There was no reason to put anyone in danger. All the man wanted to do was talk, anyway, right?

Although he didn't know why they had to be pressed hip to hip in order to do so.

“I won't,” he forced out.

“Good boy,” Shigaraki purred at him. “I'm going to take my hand off your throat and put a glove on so I can handle you easier. My other hand will still be free, and I have no problem turning you to  a pile of ash, so what are you going to do?”

Fight. Struggle. Plan. Find a way out. He closed his eyes, firmly pushing all those off to the side. Always pick the safest route for the civilians.

“I'm going to stay still and not try to fight back,” Izuku forced out, his throat tightening like it didn't want to let him say the words.

Shigaraki just grinned at him, pushing his hood back and pulling a scrap of leather from his hoodie pocket as he slowly, tauntingly removed his fingers from Izuku’s skin. The second his throat was free, Izuku's entire body stiffened, trying to convince him to do something about the villain in front of him.

No. Keep Uraraka safe. Keep the rest of class 1-A safe. Keep the civilians safe. 

Stay still.

He watched as Shigaraki pulled the glove over his hand, buttery soft, well worn leather covering only his index and middle finger and wrapping around his wrist. Izuku recognized it as an archery glove, designed to stop blisters from forming on their fingers from the bowstring.

“Bought this so I could deal with people more easily, since the League is growing oh so nicely,” Shigaraki said, raising his gloved hand. “Never thought I'd use it to jerk some pretty little fifteen year old virgin off in a public bathroom.”

Izuku was silent as Shigaraki brushed the leather over his cheek, just as soft and smooth as it looked. He finally looked Shigaraki in the face, the nausea that had settled in his stomach growing worse.

His face was dry and cracked all over, bags to rival Aizawa’s sagging under bloodshot, burning red eyes. Izuku thought of Katsuki’s red eyes, almost vomiting at the comparison between the two. Katsuki’s eyes were warm, even when he was nothing but blazing fury, curses, and fists. 

But Shigaraki's were like hellfire. Cold and vicious, the intent - the desire - to rip everything in his path apart burning in them seething just breathe the surface.

Izuku wanted to cry. 

He shook his head, fighting back the tears welling in his eyes, almost gagging when he felt Shigaraki grip his chin gently in a mockery of intimacy.

“N-no,” he whispered, eyes clenched shut tightly. “No, don't, yo-you can't, please, I -”

“Hush now,” Shigaraki crooned, “or I’ll stuff your pretty mouth before I even make you cum, little Izuku. Open those eyes for me.”

Izuku shook his head again, tears burning his eyelids. He couldn't, couldn't open his eyes and actually see this man in front of him. It was safe in the dark, he could pretend it was a dream, even a hallucination. It didn't have to be real if he couldn't see it. 

“You can't? That's ok,” Shigaraki simpered, his voice kind and soft, making fun of how he knew Izuku would want a partner to talk to him. “It's fine, little Izuku, I'll just call Dabi, you don't have to open your eyes.”

“No!” Izuku screeched, his eyes flying open immediately, even if his vision was blurry with tears. “Th-they’re open, they’re open!”

Shigaraki giggled at him, thumb brushing away a tear dripping from Izuku’s chin. 

“Good boy, see? Not so hard,” Shigaraki chided in a voice that would have been reassuring coming from anyone else. “Well, opening your eyes wasn't very hard, but you can feel that I am, can't you?”

He ground his hips forward with a broken groan, pushing his erection against Izuku’s flaccid dick so hard it hurt. More tears sprung to Izuku’s eyes, and he actually did gag this time when Shigaraki leaned forward and licked them off his cheek. 

“You're so pretty when you cry for me,” Shigaraki whispered into his ear. “I should take you home just so I can watch you cry.”

Izuku shook his head pitifully, fighting to keep his eyes open past the onslaught of tears, nausea roiling in his stomach. He had to get out, he couldn't just let this happen, he had to fight. An image of Uraraka, writhing in agony as flames crawled over her body, filled his mind and he sobbed openly, fingers clutching at the edge of the counter he was pressed against.

“Please,” he whimpered.

Shigaraki laughed, low and cruel, leaning in to blanket Izuku with his body, hips rolling lazily as he nipped at Izuku’s neck.

“Begging already?” he teased, the smugness in his voice making Izuku want to scream. “You don't have to beg, little Izuku.”

He pulled back, keeping Izuku pinned with his hips, but otherwise giving him space to breathe. The tiniest spark of hope raced through him, slowing his tears for a moment at the thought that maybe Shigaraki just wanted to intimidate him, that he wouldn't actually -

“I'll make you cum before I do, so you don't have to worry your pretty head about it,” Shigaraki crooned, rubbing the thumb of his gloved hand over Izuku’s bottom lip. “You’re gonna drop your pants for me, and I'm gonna make you cum, ok baby? You don't have to beg for it.”

His voice was soft and gentle, damn near a perfect imitation of affectionate. Izuku gagged, shaking his head vehemently, tears spilling over his cheeks again as he babbled nonsense, pleading, bargaining, anything he could think of. He couldn't let this happen.

Shigaraki sighed, clearly annoyed, and reached out with his ungloved hand, grabbing a fistful of Izuku’s jeans. Izuku shrieked and tried to scrabble back as they crumbled in Shigaraki’s hand.

“Hush, little Izuku, it won't hurt you,” Shigaraki chuckled over Izuku’s rapid, panicked breathing. He placed two fingers on Izuku’s thigh, grinning viciously at the fresh tears that began to roll down freckles cheeks at the threat. “I'm getting tired of threatening you. Either you take those little boxers off and let me have my fun, or Dabi starts torching people, beginning with the gravity bitch.” He placed a third finger on Izuku’s thigh, just to see him cry harder. “I'm done playing.”

Izuku sobbed, tears soaking his face and running down his throat in streams, spit flying from his lips with every terrified sob, every hacking cough as he tried to bring air into his lungs. His hands shook like an earthquake was centered in his palms as he reached for the band of his boxers, nausea and fear and disgust bubbling in his stomach, making him swallow back the bile that threatened to claw its way up his throat. He pushed them down trembling legs, letting them fall to the floor. He choked when he heard the soft sound they made on the tile.

“Good,” Shigaraki purred. “See? Being good is easy, isn't it?” 

No. No, it's wasn't. Because Izuku’s head was pounding, his chest too tight to pull in even half as much air as he needed, his stomach rioting. His entire body felt like it was going to implode and combust at the same time, chills working their way out from his chest to run down his arms, just as cold as Shigaraki’s fingertips still on his thigh.

Izuku yelped, jumping back and slamming his spine into the countertop painfully, as he felt one finger, covered in buttery soft leather, trace a line over the top of his dick. He clenched his thighs together, tried to hunch in on himself, but all he got for his efforts was Shigaraki’s fingers moving from his thigh to his throat.

“Aw, baby,” Shigaraki laughed, pressing a rough, scratchy kiss to Izuku’s cheek, tongue coming out to lap at the tears. “Don't worry, I won't hurt you.” He sounded like he was talking to a little kid, or a baby animal, trying to soothe it so he could get close enough to strike. “I bet no one’s ever touched you here, have they?”

Izuku cried out in fear as Shigaraki’s gloved hand closed over his limp dick, the leather covering two fingers nowhere near enough to make him less wary of the danger that hand held. Shigaraki squeezed lightly, pulling at his dick and brushing his thumb over the head, and Izuku’s tears fell faster. 

“It'll feel real good once I get you hard, little Izuku,” Shigaraki promised him.

Izuku wanted to vomit as he felt himself responding, body too hormonal and young to ignore someone else’s hands on him, even if he was so scared he felt like he'd faint. Bile rose up in his throat and he turned his head to the side, coughing into the sink as his eyes watered, sour fluid rushing over his tongue vilely.

“Gross,” Shigaraki laughed, still moving his hand languidly.

Izuku couldn't stay standing anymore, his legs failing him and forcing him to collapse to the ground, Shigaraki letting go for a moment in surprise. He didn't waste much time, though, shoving Izuku’s thighs apart with his feet and kneeling between them, hand wrapping around his half hard dick again.

“I know you wanna suck me off, baby, but you can't just drop to your knees like that,” Shigaraki cackled, fingers brushing over Izuku’s balls with every pump of his hand. “You gotta ask first, ‘s only polite.”

Izuku just sobbed, staring blankly at a crack in one of the floor tiles by his hand, body shaky and jittery and weak, both from the fear and the sickness. He was still nauseous, body trying to scrounge up something else to force up his throat. The fear, however, was turning to numbness. He couldn't feel the adrenaline coursing through his veins anymore, couldn't feel his heart beating a mile a minute, could only feel this oppressive weight settling over his chest as he sobbed, his tears comforting even if they were meaningless.

“Damn, maybe I should bring you back,” Shigaraki mused, eyes roving over Izuku’s twitching body with interest. “You look fucking good like this, all sick and scared, fucking crying like a baby even though you're so hard you're throbbing.”

Izuku felt another wave of nausea hit him as he realized that he was, that his dick was rock hard in Shigaraki’s hand, body betraying him in the worst of ways, forcing him to feel the pleasure of another person’s touch for the first time at the hands of this monster.

“Knew you'd like it,” Shigaraki said triumphantly, twisting his wrist at the top of every stroke, laughing when Izuku’s hips twitched toward his hand involuntarily. “For a virgin, you're a fucking slut, baby.”

Izuku clenched his eyes shut, tears burning against his eyelids, down his cheeks, praying that it would be over soon. The back of Shigaraki’s hand slapped down over his face, slamming it to the side and making him bash his temple into the sharp edge of the cabinet handle. 

“We talked about your eyes, little Izuku,” Shigaraki chirped at him, leaning down to nuzzle their noses together. 

Izuku gagged at the action, stomach feeling like it was going to flip itself inside out. But he kept his eyes open, fixing them back on that cracked tile even as his head spun from the pain, blood trickling down his temple.

“There we go,” Shigaraki crooned, his hand working faster over Izuku’s dick as the boy sobbed beneath him.

Emerald eyes were glossy and vacant, glittering in the shitty bathroom lighting. Tears and snot and spit made a disgusting mixture over the bottom half of his face. But that blush smeared his cheeks red like a fucking crime scene, all the way down his throat and disappearing under his shirt. Shigaraki loved it.

But he loved the disgusted crinkle of Izuku’s nose as his hips started to work up into his hand, following Shigaraki’s movements, even more. Izuku had no control over his body, limbs trembling from adrenaline and fear, nausea trying to push its way from his stomach up his throat, hips betraying him as he didn't have enough strength to even hold himself still. 

“Yeah, cum for me, baby, cum for me,” Shigaraki cackled, pulling at Izuku’s dick fast, hard enough that it hurt.

But he was fifteen and it was another person’s hand on his dick and his body didn't care who’s it was even if his mind was shattering.

Izuku vomited at the same time as he came, choking on the bile that forced its way up his throat as his hips buckled into Shigaraki’s fist and he splattered his shirt with cum. He continued to dry heave, eyes watering, throat burning, as Shigaraki laughed at him, voice soft and innocent and crooning words that were sweet like cyanide.

He was near catatonic when Shigaraki pulled his own dick free from his pants, hand wrapping around it and yanking furiously, using Izuku’s cum still on his fingers to slick his way. Shigaraki muttered curses under his breath, his gloved hand reaching out to fist in Izuku’s hair, yanking him up just in time for the first hot stripe of cum to land on his cheek. He gagged again, tears trying valiantly to flood his eyes, but he had none left. 

“Yeah, fuck yeah, baby,” Shigaraki groaned, fucking into his fist as he rode out the high. “Look at you.”

Izuku sobbed silently, no tears nor noises falling from him, just shuddering gasps and huffed exhales as his body trembled. Shigaraki grinned at him for a long moment before standing and zipping his jeans back up, pulling the hood of his jacket over his head again.

“You look pretty like this,” Shigaraki murmured, nudging Izuku’s shaking frame with his toe. “I'm sure you want more, but I have to go for today.”

For today. 

Izuku shook his head limply, sliding down further to curl in on himself, uncaring of the way his hair dragged through the bile on the floor. 

“See you soon, baby,” Shigaraki promised, waving lazily over his shoulder. “I'll leave the door unlocked so your friends can find you in a bit.”

And with that, he was gone. The door didn't swing shut all the way, a thin draft coming in across Izuku’s shin. The tile was cold against his legs, against his face, his palms. The air was cold, stale, so disgusting he didn't want to breathe it. The cold had nothing to do with the way he was shaking. 

See you soon.

He laid on the floor, entire body trembling, stomach still forcing him to dry heave every few minutes. Shigaraki’s cum dried on his face, flaky and itchy and he scratched at his cheek until his fingers were wet, another wave of bile spewing from his mouth when he pulled his hand away to see blood dripping from his fingers. 

He cried.

He cried for a long time, until his eyes ran dry again and his sobs turned into hacking, heaving coughs that burned his sore throat. 

Izuku didn't know how long he laid there, crying and choking and vomiting and shaking, trying to make his brain work. He knew it had been a long time by how stiff his limbs felt, how hard he was shivering, and by the time he heard a grumbling voice round the corner, he was ready to accept that he was hallucinating.

“... fucking come out here just cause the damn nerd didn't meet them when he was supposed to,” the voice was griping, seemingly just to fill the air, as no response was given. “Useless loser probably got himself fucking lost trying to help some old lady.”

Izuku yelped quietly at the loud bang that resounded against the door, vibrating through the floor. Were you supposed to be able to feel hallucinations? He didn't think so, but still, there was no other explanation.

“Oi!” Katsuki called, hand resting on the handle of the bathroom door, still cracked slightly open. “Anybody fuckin’ in there?”

Izuku felt his breath catch in his chest, heart constricting as tears welled up in his eyes again. It wasn't real, he knew it wasn't real, but he couldn't stop himself from gasping out that stupid nickname. 

“Ka-Kacchan,” he forced out, weak and hardly loud enough to be heard at the door. His voice was gravelly and rough, throat ruined from crying and puking. “Kacchan.”

The door flew open when his voice reached Katsuki’s ears, light streaming in and highlighting Izuku, broken and bloody, half naked in a pool of his own vomit, whispering Katsuki’s name over and over as he trembled on the dirty bathroom floor. Katsuki’s stomach twisted, heart hammering as panic set in, throat closing up as he dashed in, hands lifting Izuku off the floor and shaking him, trying to get a real response. 

“Deku.”

Chapter Text

Now, if you asked Katsuki - if you were brave or suicidal enough to ask Katsuki - he would unquestionably deny the fact that he'd been sitting by Izuku’s bed in the med bay, snarling at Recovery Girl, and demanding she fix him already for the last three hours that Izuku had been there. Never mind the fact that he was currently there, gripping Izuku’s hand and very firmly pretending like he wasn't.

He'd been the one to find his childhood friend, cheek scratched to shreds, blood trailing down his temple, cum on his face and shirt, surrounded by pools of his own vomit. He'd been the one to scream Izuku’s name, to crumple to the floor beside him, to pick him up and shake him until he realized Izuku wasn't going to respond. He'd been the one to strip off his own pants to cover Izuku - because like hell was he going to carry Izuku out of there in his boxers, and Katsuki didn't give a shit if someone saw his own briefs. Izuku was more important than propriety. He'd been the one to scream at Uraraka for leaving him alone, to threaten to blast her face off if she touched him. He'd been the one to carry Izuku all the way back, keeping the boy in his lap in the backseat of Aizawa’s car as they sped back to UA. He'd been the one to bring Izuku to Recovery Girl, and he’d been the only one she'd given up on trying to remove as she did her initial assessment. 

And he'd goddamn well be the one that Izuku fucking woke up to.

It was only so he could yell at him for being stupid, for not fighting back, for being weak. That was the only reason. It had nothing to do with the panic that had sealed off his lungs when Izuku’s eyes fluttered shut, body going limp in his arms, and it sure as hell wasn't because he wanted to make sure the nerd woke up and was ok.

He didn't care.

He didn't.

He was just mad because he'd had to get out of bed to go save his once best friend, because Izuku had sounded like he was praying when he'd gasped out that stupid nickname, because Izuku would thank him a million times and be annoying about it.

And he wasn't staring at Izuku while he lay unconscious on the crisp white sheets. He had just happened to glance over when Izuku’s lashes fluttered. 

“Deku?” he whispered.

Why was he whispering? He was mad, he was angry, he should be shouting and blowing things up. So why was he reaching out with a gentle hand - and why was it trembling - to brush a strand of hair from Izuku’s face?

He jumped back when Izuku screamed, yanking his hand away from his face as Izuku’s eyes shot wide, blindly darting around the room, panicked, helpless. 

Izuku’s breath was coming fast, harsh gasps tearing through his lungs as his head swam, the lights too bright for him to see, but he couldn't close his eyes, wasn't allowed to close his eyes, had to keep them -

“Deku!”

Izuku froze, breath stalling in his lungs, heart kicking in his chest as his eyes caught on the blurry outline of spiky blond hair, broad shoulders. The lights were still too bright, but he was starting to adjust, could see panic on Katsuki’s face instead of the angry scowl he'd expected, could see the way his hands shook as they clutched the arms of his chair.

“You will not yell at my patients, Bakugou Katsuki!” 

Recovery Girl toddled around the corner, Izuku flinching momentarily at the sight of another person before his mind fully caught up. He blindly, mindlessly reached out for Katsuki’s hand, shocked when it was given to him with no bluster. 

“Midoriya, how are you feeling?” she asked, coming closer to look him over, pity etched into the lines of her face.

“I - ok?” he questioned, not sure of his answer.

His voice was raw, throat aching as he spoke, and the memory of bile burning up his esophagus flashed through his mind. It was soon replaced by the throbbing in his temple, eyes watering as he tried not to shut them in pain.

Recovery Girl sighed heartily at him, scribbling down a few notes before settling herself to lean on her cane.

“Do you remember what happened?” she asked him softly.

Izuku’s brow furrowed, his hand clenching down on Katsuki’s as he tried to think. There were hands, and a glove, and a flash of blue hair. Cold red eyes, not Katsuki’s, not Katsuki’s - he knew they weren't Katsuki’s - and cracked lips stretched into a grin. He had to keep his eyes open, and he couldn't fight back. Had to keep Uraraka and his class and the civilians safe. Had to keep his eyes open or else. Vomit and tears, a repetitive cycle of both. Pain against his cheek, pain against his temple. Disgust and fear and horror and more vomit.

He fought back another wave of it as everything came crashing back to his mind, unconsciously curling towards Katsuki for support.

“Shigaraki Tomura,” he managed to choke out, the name tasting like acid on his tongue as he fought to stay still and not shake and shiver.

Both Katsuki and Recovery Girl sucked in a breath, but Katsuki was the first to speak, voice shaking with rage, one hand balling into a tight fist so that he didn't crush Izuku’s fingers.

“He's the one who did this to you?” he growled, voice low and strained. 

Izuku nodded, shameful tears pricking at his eyes as he tried to fight off the nausea, allowing his tears to flow freely and obscure his vision. He jumped when he felt the bed dip next to him, yelping as a strong arm wrapped around his shoulder, but when the scent of sweet smoke filled his lungs, he relaxed into the hold. God, he didn't want Katsuki to see him like this, didn't want Katsuki to have proof of how weak he was. Why did it always have to end up like this, with Izuku crying and Katsuki being strong?

“You shouldn't be touching him right now,” Recovery Girl snapped at Katsuki. “It will be traumatic for him. I know you don't care about him at all, but he is my patient, and you will not abuse him in my office.”

“What?” Katsuki growled, threat heavy in his tone. “You don't know a goddamned thing about me or what I feel, old hag, so back off.”

Why was he arguing? She was right, wasn't she? He didn't care, this was just more proof of Izuku being weak, of him needing to stand up for the nerd. 

No, damnit. He wasn't supposed to stand up for him, he was supposed to be the one using the loser as a stepping stone. But when he tried to pull his arm back, Izuku shuddered, moving closer and wrapping his arms tentatively around Katsuki’s waist, and he couldn't let go now. 

“K-Kacchan, please stay,” Izuku whispered, voice wrecked and absolutely terrified, muffled into Katsuki’s shoulder. “I'm - I'm sorry I'm so weak, I k-know you hate - hate me, but please?”

Katsuki didn't even think to hesitate, pulling Izuku into his lap carefully and rocking him gently, petting his back soothingly as he cooed into Izuku’s ear, trying to comfort him. A blush flared on his cheeks and he glared murderously at Recovery Girl, but she only raised a brow and sighed.

She supposed it made sense, if Katsuki was the one to find him. Izuku would attach a sense of safety to the boy, no matter their past encounters. But that didn't explain why Katsuki was allowing it, shushing Izuku and cradling him gently.

“Deku, ‘m not fucking going anywhere,” he murmured into Izuku’s hair, letting the boy cling to him, tears soaking his shirt collar. “I'm right here, ok? Look, you have to let Recovery Girl take care of you, you can answer her questions, right? Ain't that fucking hard, yeah?”

Izuku nodded weakly against his collarbone, hands still fisted in Katsuki’s shirt.

“Midoriya,” she started gently, waiting until he looked over hesitantly. “Can you tell me what happened? I need to know what he did.”

Izuku immediately shook his head, burying it back into Katsuki’s shoulder with a small cry.

“Bakugou-san, I think it might be best for you to go, I need to talk to him,” she huffed. 

There was no way a bully like him could possibly be of help in this situation, especially since his response to needing to be patient was to either scream or blow something up. She couldn't have him doing either with Izuku in such a fragile state.

To her surprise, he didn't even growl at her suggestion, simply pulling his hands from Izuku’s waist and holding them out, demonstrating clearly that Izuku was the one keeping himself there, and there was no way Katsuki was getting him off without forcing it.

She raised an annoyed brow when he held up a finger, clearly telling her to wait, before turning his attention to Izuku. This was going to be bad, she needed to stop him before he blew up at -

“Deku,” he said softly, dipping his head down to press his cheek against Izuku’s uninjured one. He waited until he got a small, quiet mewl in response, Izuku’s arms tightening around him. “Hey, Deku, can you do something for me?”

Izuku twisted his head to lock eyes with Katsuki, utter terror still swimming in them and making his guts twist unpleasantly. This felt weird, in more ways than one, but it was the only plan he had, the only way he'd been able to goad Izuku into things in the past.

“You're brave, right Deku? And you're strong?” he prompted, waiting for Izuku to nod hesitantly, uncertainly. “And you wanna be as brave and strong as I am, right?” Another nearly unnoticeable nod. “So can you show me how strong you are and tell her what happened?”

Izuku wavered, fifteen years of trailing after Katsuki, of working to catch up to him, to be by his side, clashing against the need to ignore what happened, the idea that if he didn't say it out loud, it wouldn't be real.

“Please?” 

The word was almost silent, not loud enough for Recovery Girl to hear, barely loud enough to even reach Izuku’s ears, but he never could say no to Katsuki, and not when he was asking like this, acting like this, like he didn't hate Izuku, like he didn't think he was weak.

He nodded one more time, burying his head in Katsuki’s shoulder, clenching his eyes shut. He could close them now, Katsuki was here, he didn't have to keep them open.

“He - his Quirk makes whatever he touches turn to dust if he touches it with all - all five fingers,” he started shakily, voice unsteady and muffled by Katsuki’s shirt, but still understandable. That part was easy, they'd already known that from the attack, it was written in one of his notebooks. “I was - was alone, and he came up and put his h-hand on - on my neck, but only four fingers.”

Katsuki smoothed his hand down Izuku’s back, shifting his legs so they weren't crumpled awkwardly and instead were propped over Katsuki’s thigh, smoothing out the hospital gown over them.

“You're doing good,” he said quietly.

“He said he - said he wanted to talk, and - and he made me walk with him to the bathroom,” Izuku forced out in one breath. It was easier if he said it fast, didn't listen to himself as he spoke. “He said I couldn't fight, because h-he had someone who could hurt Uraraka and he showed me a picture of someone - someone following her. He had a - a glove, an archery glove - they only cover two fingers so that the string doesn't -”

“Deku, don't talk about the glove,” Katsuki stopped him. “We need to know what happened, ok? You can tell me about archery gloves later.”

Fucking hell, what was he, Izuku’s fucking boyfriend? 

Shit.

God damnit why did he have to think about thi right now? He didn't have time to evaluate his feelings now, he had to take care of Izuku. 

What the fuck.

“Ri-right,” Izuku laughed weakly, almost scared. 

Katsuki rubbed his back again, holding him close.

“He said - said he was going to -” He cut himself off on a hitched sob, shaking his head again. He relaxed a bit when he felt Katsuki pull him closer, brush fingers through his curls. He could be strong, show Katsuki he was brave. He could do this. “He said he was going to jerk me off, told me I had to keep my eyes open,” so he clenched them shut tighter now, “told me to take off my pants, but I didn't. He - he used his Quirk and destroyed them and told me he'd let Dabi start hurting - hurting people if I didn't listen.”

“Who's Dabi?” Katsuki cut in softly.

Izuku shook his head, taking deep breaths to calm himself down, allowing himself to take comfort in Katsuki’s scent, in his warmth.

“I don't - don't know, he was following Uraraka, but I don't know who he is,” Izuku murmured. “I took off my boxers when he said to, because I - I didn't want anyone to get hurt, and I didn't want to - to let him, but I had to, I had to let him, I’m sorry.”

Tears poured from his eyes again, body shaking with his sobs. What he was apologizing for, or even who he was apologizing to, he didn't know. All he knew was that he felt guilty, felt disgusting, felt sick.

“Deku, hey, hey, I got you,” Katsuki soothed him, waiting for him to calm so he could catch Izuku’s eye. “You didn't let him do shit, okay? He fucking forced you, Deku. He threatened you and fucking made you listen. You're brave for keeping everyone safe, you're strong, yeah? It's not your fault.”

Recovery Girl watched in awe and no small amount of confusion as Katsuki worked Izuku through his panic, got him to calm down and breathe again. Where was the volatile bully who’d sent Izuku to her to patch up more times than she could count?

“Kacchan?” Izuku mumbled quietly. 

“Yeah, Deku?” Katsuki returned, just as softly.

“Do you re-really think I'm strong?” 

Katsuki’s breath caught in his throat as he looked into those teary eyes, hope and trust and admiration mingling with the fear that had been clouding them.

“Yeah, Deku,” he breathed. “You're the strongest guy I know, and you're brave, and you're smart. I mean it.”

He did.

Izuku felt the tiniest smile possible tug at the corners of his lips, heart kicking and then settling again in his chest. If Katsuki thought he was brave, than maybe he didn't have to be disgusting for what happened. If Katsuki thought he was strong, maybe it could be ok.

He took a deep breath and kept going, because he was strong, and he could do this.

“He - he touched me,” he gagged out, tasting the vomit threatening to force its way over his tongue once again. “And I puked and fell down, but he just - he k-kept going, and I felt gross because I was - I was getting…”

He trailed off, swallowing back the nausea and trying valiantly to force the words out. 

“You don't have to say it, Midoriya, I know what you mean,” Recovery Girl told him softly. “And it's natural, there's nothing wrong with you for it.”

He sobbed at the words, trying to breathe again as he burrowed into Katsuki’s chest. If both of them thought it was ok, if both of them didn't think he was disgusting, maybe he didn't do anything wrong, maybe he could be ok. Maybe it really wasn't his fault.

“I closed my - closed my eyes, and he hit me, a-and my head hit the handle on the cabinet, I think. And he made me - made me… you know,” he said quietly, looking up to see Katsuki nodding understandingly, no trace of disgust or anger in his eyes. 

Warm, red eyes. Not cold, not mean, not bloodshot. Warm and comforting. He'd be ok.

“A-and then he… on my face,” he ground out, swallowing back bile again.

Katsuki noticed the glass of water on the bedside table, snagging it and holding it gently to Izuku’s lips, letting him sip at it. At the very least, it would soothe his throat, and hopefully it could calm his stomach as well. He placed it back within easy reach when Izuku pulled away from it.

“He left,” Izuku said raggedly. “He said he'd leave the door open so my f-friends could find me, and he said he'd -” His breath hitched in panic, fingers scrabbling at Katsuki’s shirt and forcing himself further into his embrace. 

“Deku,” Katsuki whispered.

That was all he needed to calm himself down enough to force the words out, even if he did have to gasp in air immediately after.

“He said he'd see me soon.”

Katsuki’s arms stiffened around him, wild, angry eyes finding Recovery Girl, panic on his features as she shook her head firmly. 

“Not gonna happen,” he told Izuku firmly. “I won't let him lay eyes on you ever again, Deku, got that?”

Izuku sniffled, nodded limply against Katsuki's shirt. He was so exhausted, he wanted to sleep for about a month, but he didn't want to move from Katsuki’s arms, didn't want to give up this comfort. It wasn't even about his stupid crush, it was just the comfort of having his childhood best friend there again, not hating him, not bullying him, even taking care of him. It just felt so good to have Katsuki be nice to him that he never wanted it to stop.

“Midoriya,” Recovery Girl called softly. “I'm going to need you to lay down so I can finish your treatment.”

“B-but, Kacchan, I -”

“Hey, I never fucking said I was going anywhere, did I?” Katsuki grumbled, lifting Izuku off his lap and moving to pull his sneakers off. “Lay down and let her heal you.”

Izuku did as he was told, hesitant though he may have been, keeping one hand tangled in the back of Katsuki’s shirt to remind himself that Katsuki was still there. He flinched at the first touch, but stayed still as Recovery Girl healed him, feeling the throbbing in his head subside.

“I want you to stay for tonight, you can go back to the dorms tomorrow, but all of the staff agree that you need to have someone with you at all times,” she told him, stepping back and nodding. “I'm sure your friends will let you take turns sleeping in their rooms and walking with -”

“Won't be a problem,” Katsuki cut her off, glaring as he pulled the blankets up and slid in next to Izuku, daring her to say something as he let the boy curl into him. “He's staying with me, and I'll walk him anywhere he needs to go. And he's not gonna try to go off on his own.”

He aimed the glare down at Izuku that time, making sure he knew that Katsuki wasn't going to put up with his ‘be the strongest, save the world’ bullshit. Izuku shrunk back a little, so he softened his gaze, wrapping his arms around Izuku’s waist and pulling him close, tucking his curly head of hair beneath a sharp chin.

“Bakugou-san, it would be -”

“Best if I take care of him,” Katsuki cut her off again, snarling challengingly. “I know Deku best, and I'm strong, so I'm gonna take care of him until I can blow that fucker’s head off.”

Or maybe just forever. Fucking hell. Why did the nerd have to cling to him like this, make him feel like he was still a good person even after everything he'd done to Izuku? 

Recovery Girl sighed, shaking her head and making her way back into her office. There was no point arguing about it right now, not when Izuku needed to rest. Besides, by morning she was sure Katsuki would have had enough of his heroic act and go back to his bullying.

“Deku, you ok?” Katsuki asked quietly, lips brushing Izuku’s hair as he spoke. “You need anything, or do you just wanna sleep?”

“C’you stay?” Izuku slurred, exhaustion already pulling at him. “Don't wanna wake up alone. Please?”

Katsuki just pulled him in tighter, molding Izuku to his side and letting him drape a leg over his thighs, hospital gown crinkling as he tossed his mostly bare leg over the sweats Katsuki had changed into after cleaning Izuku off as best he could with a washcloth. He'd take him to shower later. 

“I'm staying, nerd, don't worry,” he said gruffly, turning to tuck Izuku’s head under his chin once again. “I'll stay and take care of you for as long as you want, alright? I'll protect you.”

Izuku hummed, clearly most of the way asleep, probably not awake enough to remember Katsuki’s promise when he woke up.

“Ok, Kacchan,” he murmured. “You're amazing. I love you.”

Katsuki jolted at the words he hadn't heard since they were kids, fingers flexing on Izuku’s waist - when he'd put them there he didn't know. Truthfully, he missed Izuku just as much as Izuku missed him, but he didn't deserve to have him in his life anymore, not after all the shit he put his supposed best friend through just to seem strong. Izuku had always been the strong one between the two of them.

But maybe he could make it just a little bit better, make up for what he'd done just the tiniest bit. 

“Yeah, Deku,” he rasped. “Love you too.”

Chapter Text

“Kacchan?”

Katsuki hated hearing Izuku right then, sounding like that. He hated his voice, hated how broken it was, how quiet, the underlying plea of don't hurt me. It hurt more than anything he could remember.

“Go lay down, Deku.”

The hate was easy to focus on - hating Shigaraki, hating the situation, hating how easily Izuku just did anything he said. 

Hating whoever the fuck thought it was going to well for them when they started pounding on his door like that.

Izuku jumped at the loud noise, freezing up as his eyes glazed over in fear, hands gripping Katsuki’s blankets where he'd started to pull them up so he could lay down like Katsuki said. His breath came fast, shallow pants filling the air around him as images of Villains slamming against the door bounced around in his head.

He was a second away from passing out when Katsuki’s strong arms wrapped around him, warm hands on his spine as he was pulled in close, pressed against Katsuki’s chest. Izuku couldn't do anything but cling to him, shaking and trying not to hyperventilate, fingers tangling in the fabric of his tank top as he clenched his eyes shut tight.

“Deku, I'm gonna cover your ears so I can yell, don't be scared, ok?” Katsuki murmured softly, bringing his hands up to Izuku’s ears to block out the continuous pounding at his door as well as his own voice. “You’re fucking scaring him! Be fucking quiet!”

The pounding stopped abruptly, and Katsuki could hear several muffled voices talking amongst themselves outside.

“Give me a minute and stay quiet or you ain't getting in,” he called again.

Turning back to Izuku, he slowly pulled his hands away from the boy’s ears, sliding them up and down his spine again as he let Izuku calm down, breaths evening out.

“You ok?” he asked quietly.

Izuku shook his head, stopped himself, then nodded.

“Don't like loud noises,” he mumbled against Katsuki’s shoulder. 

“Yeah, I know,” Katsuki sighed, letting Izuku stay plastered to his chest.

Izuku hadn't liked loud noises even before all this, having been a jumpy, scared fucking nerd all his life, so Katsuki wasn't surprised in the least that it had just gotten worse.

“Hey, why don't you take my blanket and go sit in the bathroom for a few minutes, alright?” he suggested, pulling back from Izuku and tugging the blanket off his bed, draping it over bony shoulders. “You can take a bath or a shower if you want, maybe let the hot water calm you down.”

But Izuku’s fingers just clenched at the blanket he'd pressed into them, emerald eyes blowing wide with worry.

“B-but, I - I - can't I just stay with you?” he asked pitifully, and dear god did Katsuki just want to wrap him up and keep him close for the next forever.

“Do you want to see everybody? Or anybody?” Katsuki asked. “I figure it's Round Face and Glasses out there at least, probably Half-n-Half, too.”

Izuku shook his head immediately. He didn't want his friends seeing him like this, so broken and weak that he panicked at some knocking on the door. They all thought he was strong, he didn't want to prove to them that he wasn't. 

“Then go to the bathroom and lock the door,” Katsuki instructed, pulling Izuku by the waist, draped in his blanket, over to the bathroom door. “You don't have to see or talk to anyone unless you want, and I'll have them out in five minutes. Deal?”

Izuku swallowed harshly, glancing back and forth between the door and Katsuki. He hated being like this, hated Katsuki having to pretend and act nice just because he could only feel safe if he could smell smoke and feel a too hot hand in his own.

“Deal,” he said weakly, hand trembling as he pulled the door open.

“Five minutes,” Katsuki reminded him, and then, against his better judgement - against any judgement he'd ever had, actually - he leaned down and pressed a firm kiss to Izuku’s messy mop of curls.

His face flamed as he pulled the door shut between them, cutting off his view of Izuku’s mouth dropped open, eyes wide with shock. Well, maybe the surprise of it would stop him from freaking out since he'd be alone for the next little bit. Katsuki didn't move until he heard the lock click.

Making his way over to his door, he took a deep, annoyed breath, set his scowl back in place, and pulled it open.

“You've got five minutes,” he snarled at them as they pushed past him rudely.

Just as he'd thought, Uraraka, Iida, and Todoroki piled into his room, heads swinging around as they tried to find their friend. Idiots.

“Where is he?” Uraraka demanded, advancing on Katsuki in a way she probably thought was intimidating.

“Hiding from you,” he sneered coldly, relishing in the way she flinched, guilt clouding her eyes. “He's in the bathroom.”

She didn't let her guilt stop her, marching over to the door and yanking on the handle, spinning around angrily when it didn't budge.

“Why is it locked?” she shrieked, hair flying as she waved her hands agitatedly. “Why did you lock him in there, he's scared and -”

“Oh, I know he's scared,” Katsuki growled, cutting her off and stalking forward, ignoring the uneasy glances he got from the other two. “I'm the one who's been holding him while he cries and calming him down, because you left him alone!” His voice rose to a shout before he quickly quieted himself, not wanting to upset Izuku further, taking a calming breath. “The lock’s on the inside, genius. He doesn't want anyone to see him like this.”

Uraraka had tears in her eyes, but she balled her hands into fists bravely. 

“Oh, but you can see him?” she asked scathingly. “And don't act all high and mighty, you'd have ditched him the second you could if you'd been there. You weren't there!”

“I've been there since we were five fucking years old,” he snarled. And yeah, maybe not in the ways he should have been, the ways he had wanted to be, but he had been there. “And he's fine with me seeing him because I'm the one who found him. I'm like a safety blanket or some shit.”

“You don't even -”

“Please stop.”

Izuku’s shaky voice came from the other side of the door, just barely loud enough to catch their attention. Katsuki was at the door a second later, wishing they were all gone and he could soothe Izuku, take care of him, maybe manage to get a smile out of him, see those damn dimples and -

Fuck, he needed to stop.

“Hey, you ok?” he asked softly through the door. “Sorry I got loud, I won't do it again, ok?”

He could nearly see Izuku nodding his head tiredly, the image bringing a sad smile to his lips.

“Y-yeah, ‘m ok,” Izuku forced out. “Just please don't yell, guys, or - or argue. I know that it's - it's weird, and you guys are p-probably worried, but I'm really ok. Kacchan is taking care of me, but - but I just need time. Please?”

Izuku’s voice cracked pitifully on the last word, Katsuki’s heart breaking all over again, and he shot a glare at the three, daring them to even think about arguing.

“We understand, Midoriya,” Iida answered quietly. “We apologize for the loudness, we were just worried.”

“I-it's ok, Iida-kun,” Izuku mumbled, but Katsuki could hear the relief in his voice. 

“Izuku, do you have your phone so you can let us know if anything happens?”

Katsuki didn't miss the way Todoroki glanced at him distrustfully, but he kept his mouth shut.

“Oh, uh, I - I don't know,” Izuku said. “Kacchan, do you…”

“Yeah. I grabbed a bunch of stuff and put it in an overnight bag for you yesterday before you woke up. Got your phone and toothbrush and some clothes and stuff,” he answered, refusing to look at any of the others, now staring at him in surprise.

He didn't need to fucking explain himself.

“You'll text us if you need anything, right, Deku-kun?” Uraraka asked uncertainly, glancing between Katsuki and the door now.

“Of course.”

She huffed out a sigh of relief, and Katsuki decided that was enough for today. If they had any pressing questions they could text him, and he could answer in his own time.

“Alright, out,” he grunted. “I promised Deku no more than five minutes, and he needs to eat and rest and take a real shower.”

They looked like they were about to protest, but Todoroki nodded firmly, stepping towards the door, herding the other two out.

“Let us know if he needs anything,” he told Katsuki.

“Deku will let you know if he needs something, not me,” Katsuki corrected him. “I don't make his fucking decisions for him. And don't go fucking blowing up his phone, either, it'll stress him out if he thinks he has to answer everybody.”

The two boys nodded, stepping out and starting down the hall. Uraraka hovered at his door, biting her lip.

“What?” he grunted.

“Bakugou-san,” she started hesitantly, eyes flicking back to the bathroom door. “Do you know what happened to him? All the teachers will tell us is that Shigaraki Tomura found him, but we don't know anything else. Is… is he really ok?”

Katsuki wanted to snap back that she wouldn't even have to be asking that if she hadn't run off on him, but the relief that no one knew, that Izuku would have control over whether or not anyone but himself, the teachers, and the cops knew, distracted him from his ire.

“I can't tell you that,” he huffed, rubbing at his temple. “If Deku wants you to know, he’ll tell you. But it was bad. He’s not really ok right now, but he will be.” He stared firmly into her eyes, trying to convey his faith in Izuku with just a stare. “You know how strong he is.”

A small, sad smile stretched on her face, and she nodded.

“Yeah,” she agreed softly. “Just be nice to him, please. He - he loves you, a lot. And if you could manage to be nice to him after this is over, he'd be really happy.”

Katsuki sighed heavily, leaning out and glancing up and down the hallway before lowering his voice.

“I'll blast you to fucking Mars if you ever breathe a word of this, got it?” he threatened. “I still consider Deku my best friend. I did a lot of shitty things because I was a confused kid and didn't know how to deal with my feelings, and because I wanted to look strong. But I love him too, just as much as I did back then.”

Uraraka stared up at him in shock for a long few moments, mouth working open and closed like a fish out of water as her eyes blinked rapidly.

“I don't want to leave him alone any longer, so fuck off,” Katsuki growled, and with that, he closed the door in her face.

Trudging back over to the bathroom door, he very deliberately shoved all of his rioting emotions down and quieted them. Now wasn't the time to be dealing with any of that. He needed to keep Izuku safe, to make sure he was ok. Not sit and brood over his own mixed up feelings.

Even if they were getting a hell of a lot clearer nowadays.

“Deku,” Katsuki called softly, drumming his fingers over the door. “They're gone, you wanna come out? Or you can take a shower now if you want; you're gonna have to sometime today.”

The lock clicked, the door swinging open, and Katsuki could in no way fight back the fond smile that lit his face at the sight. Izuku was sitting on the floor, hair messy like usual, bundled into Katsuki’s comforter up to his nose and looking up at him with earnest emerald eyes.

“Kacchan?” Izuku asked softly, voice muffled into the blanket. “D’you really still think of me as your best friend?”

How the fuck had he heard that? Katsuki has been trying to be quiet, damnit. Maybe he secretly had a second Quirk for being a nosy little shit. 

But still, Katsuki was done with denying the truth, with pretending like he hated Izuku. He'd realized that Izuku’s near hero worship of him was entirely genuine, that he wasn't patronizing or mocking him, and he'd also realized that being a fucking dick to his childhood friend just because he didn't know how to handle emotions wasn't going to get him far.

Didn't mean he had to lay everything out now, though. Like he'd said, taking care of Izuku was his priority. Sorting out everything else could come later.

“Yeah, you shitty nerd,” he sighed, squatting down and running his fingers through soft hair. “Always did, I just had a lot of stuff going on, and you were an easy target, and it was all shitty.” He glanced away, setting his jaw and forcing himself to keep going. Had to make sure he couldn't back out later. “We're gonna have a talk about everything when you're feeling better, alright? So don't worry about it now. Right now all you gotta know is that I'm sorry, and I don't hate you, and I promised I’d take care of you and protect you, so I'm gonna.”

When he looked back at Izuku, his heart lurched at the tears glistening on his cheeks, hastily reaching out to wipe them away.

“Tha-thank you, Kacchan,” Izuku blubbered, leaning into the too warm palm still on his cheek. “I missed you.”

Katsuki rubbed his thumb along Izuku’s cheekbone, reaching forward and pulling him up to stand.

“Don't have to anymore, ok?” Katsuki mumbled.

“Ok,” Izuku agreed, resting his head on Katsuki's chest for a moment. “I really want to shower.”

“Go ahead,” Katsuki chuckled, pushing a hand under his blanket to rub down Izuku’s back. “Do you need me to sit in here with you so you're not alone? I won't look.”

And he refused to acknowledge the part of himself that wondered what he would see if he looked. It wasn't like he wanted to look.

It was just… natural curiosity. 

Sure.

Izuku flushed brightly, shaking his head, bundling the blanket and pressing it back against Katsuki’s chest, staring resolutely at the ground as he tried to beat down his blush.

“Could you - could you  just sit outside with the door open so I can talk to you if I need to?” he asked shyly.

“Sure,” Katsuki replied easily, chuckling as he tucked the blanket under his arm. “Hey, look at me a second?” 

Izuku slowly made eye contact with him, hands fidgeting with the hem of his shirt. 

“Just promise me you won't rub your skin raw or anything, ok?” he urged, eyes hovering on Izuku’s left cheek.

There was nothing there anymore, thanks to Recovery Girl, but Katsuki could remember all too vividly the bloody scratches that had been gouged into the smooth skin, red adorning Izuku’s fingernails, dripping from his chin. 

“I - I'll call for you if I start, but I'll try not to,” Izuku said quietly.

Katsuki nodded, moving back towards the door with his blanket. Best he could ask for, really. 

“I'll be right here, ok?” he asked, pointing at a spot right outside the door. “Towels are under the sink, and you can use my shampoo and stuff, I forgot to grab yours.”

Izuku nodded shyly, waiting for Katsuki to toss his blanket on the bed and lower himself to the floor outside, back to the wall right next to the door.

“K-Kacchan?” 

Katsuki’s head peeked around the corner, blond hair and pale skin and warm red eyes, and it was arguably the most comforting sight Izuku had ever seen.

“Thank you.”

“Yeah, ‘course Deku.”

Chapter Text

“You sure you wanna do this, Deku?” Katsuki asked, making sure to keep the edge of worry out of his tone. “It's gonna be loud, and all those fucking extras are gonna wanna talk to you and know what happened.”

It had only been four days since Izuku had gotten back - four days of him jumping at every noise and clinging to Katsuki, four days of falling asleep with Izuku on the other side of the bed and waking up to him half draped across Katsuki’s chest, four days of Katsuki wondering just what the hell he was doing and firmly ignoring the way his stomach fluttered every time Izuku scooted a little closer or grabbed his hand.

When Izuku had said he wanted to go down to the common room that night while Katsuki was doing his homework, he'd very nearly immediately refused.

“I'm sure, Kacchan,” Izuku said quietly, fingers tugging at the hem of his shirt nervously. “I want to see them, and - and I want to know if I can handle going back to classes soon.”

“No way in hell you're going back to class until at least next week,” Katsuki said firmly, not leaving any room for discussion.

He'd been having Aizawa bring the two of them all the lessons and homework they were missing, because he knew Izuku would flip his shit if he thought he'd missed so much as a single class. But he absolutely wasn't going to let Izuku stress himself out by going back to class so early. 

“Kacchan, I want -”

“All Might’s orders, Deku.” Alright, so it was a lie, but Izuku sure as hell wasn't gonna listen to him, so the All Might card had to be played. “He said he wants you to rest and take it easy until next week. You're one of the top students in the class, you're not gonna fall behind.”

Izuku pouted at him, but, just as expected, didn't argue. Thank fuck he had such an easy way to get the nerd to listen. God knew Izuku was more stubborn than a damn mule, so Katsuki heartily appreciated not having to fight about it for the next three days.

“I'll take you down, but if it gets too much I want you to grab me immediately, alright?” Katsuki huffed, ruffling his hand through messy green curls. “No more than two hours, even if you're doing fine, I don't want you fucking overloading yourself right off the bat.”

Izuku nodded immediately, giving Katsuki one of those city-lighting smiles that made him want to shield his eyes and never look away at the same time.

“I promise, Kacchan,” he said eagerly. “I - I really think I'll be ok.”

“Yeah,” Katsuki mumbled, nodding firmly. “You need me to look out for anything?”

Izuku bit at his bottom lip for half a second, brows scrunching together as he thought.

“Can - I know this sounds dumb, I'm sorry, but can you just, um, make sure no one comes up behind me or - or hugs me unless I ask?” Izuku stumbled out, not meeting Katsuki’s eyes.

“You always sound dumb, Deku, don't start apologizing for it now,” Katsuki grumbled, the thumb he rubbed soothingly across Izuku’s cheek taking all the sting out of his words. “And I'll make sure no one touches you without permission, alright? Don't need those fucking idiots scaring you.”

He dropped his hand, turning to start towards the door, but stopped quickly when he didn't hear Izuku’s footsteps following him. Turning back, he saw the nerd still standing in the same spot, still staring at the ground. Bright eyes flicked up when Izuku saw him turn, innocent and shy and Katsuki’s heart definitely didn't skip a beat at the embarrassed smile curving his lips.

It was good to see him smile, even like that.

“What is it, nerd?” 

“Um, could I - could you, uh,” Izuku went silent for a moment, clenching his eyes shut tightly. “I want a hug, please!”

And fuck off, Katsuki’s breath did not catch in his throat, and he wasn't fucking blushing, got it?

“It helps calm me down when it's from you, and it'll help me not be nervous when -”

He cut himself off when he felt Katsuki’s strong arms wrap around his shoulders, pulling him into a firm, muscled chest, the sweet, smokey scent that had always been Kacchan enveloping him as he relaxed into the hug.

“Don't gotta ask, you know,” Katsuki huffed, his voice deep, vibrating against Izuku’s head where it was laid on his chest. “You can just hug me, Deku.”

Izuku snuggled further into his hold, the first easy smile he'd felt in the past two days stretching his lips at the thought of being able to just hug Katsuki whenever he wanted.

“Promise?” he murmured happily.

Katsuki couldn't stop the half fond, half heartbroken smile that curled his lips. 

“Yeah, ‘s what best friends do, isn't it?”

Katsuki felt Izuku’s breath hitch, felt his arms squeeze so tight it felt like his ribs would crack, but he just let it happen, holding on to the idiot and pretending like he wasn't about to cry, too.

“Let's go down, Kacchan,” Izuku said, voice more bright and carefree that Katsuki had heard it since they'd gotten back.

“Alright,” Katsuki agreed easily. “I'll keep an eye on you, but if you need to go, just grab me ok? I'll be right behind you the whole time.”

Izuku took a deep breath, nodded, offered a wavering, but still bright, smile.

“Ok, Kacchan,” he said, obviously nervous. “Let's go.”








 

Izuku held his hand until they got to the entryway of the common room, standing just outside and trying to calm himself down with deep breaths.

“Hey,” Katsuki whispered, guiding Izuku into the corner and rubbing his hands up and down trembling biceps. “You don't have to do this. We can go right back up, ok?”

Izuku shook his head, taking a deep breath and letting his head fall onto Katsuki’s chest. 

“I'm ok,” he whispered back hoarsely. “Just nervous. You'll - you'll make sure no one - ”

“I promised I'd keep you safe, didn't I?” Katsuki cut him off. “You just do what you need to, and I'm gonna be right behind you the whole time, ok? If you need to go in there and see everybody, I'll be right there. If you need to go back to the room and watch a movie, I'll be right there. Whatever you need, Deku.”

God, when had he turned into such a damned saint? Izuku made him feel the weirdest ways.

“Just stay with me, ok?” Izuku asked quietly.

“Always.”

Katsuki blinked at hearing the word come out of his own mouth, then again at realizing just how much he really did mean it.

Izuku shivered, huffing out a breath and squaring his shoulders. Katsuki stepped off to the side, running a comforting hand down his spine as Izuku walked through the entryway.

Conversation stopped the second they all noticed him, the entire room stilling into complete motionless silence for nearly thirty seconds. And then they were all moving, hopping off the couches and rushing forward, all of them babbling out questions and reaching for Izuku at once.

Katsuki was moving even before he saw Izuku stiffen, a hand wrapping around his bicep and pulling him around behind Katsuki’s back. He snarled viciously at the crowd that had formed, pleased that they ground to a halt, eyeing him warily.

“No one touches him unless he asks for it, got it?” Katsuki growled out, blindly twining his fingers with Izuku’s when he felt a scarred hand clutch at his own. “And be fucking quiet. He doesn't need you all shouting at him, you can ask him shit one by one or you can fuck off.”

A gentle tug came at the back of his shirt, his scowl immediately melting as he looked back at Izuku’s grateful face. 

“It's ok, Kacchan,” he murmured softly, offering a shy, hesitant smile.

Katsuki glanced back at the rest of them, but nodded, letting Izuku’s hand go and stepping behind him, feeling like some kind of awkward bodyguard as he crossed his arms and glared warningly at them.

Tsuyu was the first to speak.

“Midoriya-kun, how are you?” 

Izuku seemed relieved to have something to focus on rather than having his attention wavering back and forth between everybody nervously. 

“Ah, I - I'm doing ok!” Izuku squeaked, cheeks flaring as he tried to level his voice. “I'm a lot better now, thanks, Tsu-chan.”

“Is Bakubro abusing you too bad, Midoriya?” Kirishima chuckled, sticking his tongue out at Katsuki when he got a fiery glare.

“N-no! No, of course he isn't,” Izuku said immediately, waving his hands wildly as if to fend off the very idea. “Kacchan has been - he's been helping me a lot.”

Katsuki smirked smugly at Kirishima at that.

“Hey, Midoriya,” Mineta called, voice squeaky and nasally and already making Katsuki want to throttle him in only five syllables. “I heard you got pulled out half naked; you had some girl in the bathroom and lied about what happened, didn't you? C’mon, tell us the truth, we won't be mad if you give us the details.”

Mineta may have had hearts in his eyes, but Katsuki saw red. 

Izuku looked like he had turned into a statue, jaw clenched tight, eyes wide and frantic as Katsuki grabbed him and tried to pull him back. His legs were locked up, images flashing through his eyes as he struggled not to scream. Katsuki felt a spike of terror drive through his heart, reaching forward and lifting Izuku into his arms and getting him out of there as quickly as possible.

“Deku,” he murmured, shifting Izuku so he could settle him down into the corner he'd calmed him in earlier, squatting as Izuku slid down the wall to huddle against himself. “Hey, I need you to look at me, ok?”

He cupped Izuku’s face in his hands, breathing a sigh of relief when those eyes focused on him, losing the dull, lifeless quality, even if they were still wide with terror.

“Kacchan,” he whimpered, hands balling into fists at his sides, body starting to shake.

“Hey, hey, hush, it's ok I'm right here, nothing can hurt you,” Katsuki soothed, brushing his thumbs soothingly across Izuku’s cheekbones, heart aching when the first tears started to fall.

“Bakugou.”

Katsuki whipped his head around with a snarl, glaring at Iida viciously.

“Fuck off, I'm busy,” he snarled furiously, turning back to Izuku and petting over his hair.

“I wanted to ask if you'd make him regret that,” Iida said stiffly. “I can't, and Todoroki isn't as intimidating as you, even if that bastard is already pissing his pants.”

Katsuki’s brows raised at hearing goody-two-shoes Iida Tenya cursing not once, but twice. In the same sentence, even. And yeah, hell yeah he wanted to burn the midget cunt to a fucking crisp, but he had a panicking Izuku in front of him, and that took priority.

“I said I'm busy,” he repeated. “I'll deal with that fucker later.”

“I can stay with Midoriya-kun for the few moments you'd be away.”

God, it was so tempting. He was still shaking with rage, hands warmer than usual, itching to blow a hole through his stupid fucking head. 

“Deku,” he whispered, leaning forward and pressing his forehead against Izuku’s. “Would you be ok if I was gone for a minute or two? Glasses would stay here and keep you safe for me, and we can go back to the room and I'll hold you til you fall asleep or pull up a bath for you or anything you want.” He brushed his hand through green hair again. “And if you need me to stay, you know I will.”

Izuku took a sobbing breath, leaning into Katsuki’s touch.

“A-are you gonna go - go talk to Mineta?” he asked.

“A bit more than talk, but yeah,” Katsuki agreed.

Izuku clenched his fists, and Katsuki knew he was battling against the fear whirling inside him and the anger at it being drawn back and the desire not to let anyone get hurt.

“Don't - don’t hurt him,” he conceded, very quietly, like he didn't want to hear it. “A-and - and come right back.”

“You got it,” Katsuki agreed immediately. 

He cupped the back of Izuku’s head firmly, stroking over his cheek and very firmly ignoring the little voice in the back of his head that wondered what it would feel like to kiss him right now. Standing, he turned to look at Iida, glaring warningly.

“Don't fucking touch him unless he asks,” he grunted, and then he was stepping back into the common room.

It felt like the air was boiling around him with how hot his rage was burning under his skin, Mineta squeaking like a terrified rat as he stalked forward, struggling against the grip Kirishima had on his collar. 

He reached out slowly, deliberately, making sure the little bitch felt every single one of his fingers as he wrapped them around his throat, scalding hot. His other hand came forward to rest barely two inches in front of his face as Katsuki slammed him down onto the ground, uncaring of the way his head cracked against the floor.

“I pulled Deku out of that bathroom bloody and unconscious, laying in puddles of his own fucking vomit,” Katsuki snarled, sounding more like a rabid beast than a high school boy. “You can fantasize about what the fuck you want, even if no girl will ever look twice at you, but if you so much as fucking think about Deku ever again, I swear to god I'll blast a fucking Stun Grenade against your worthless fucking head.”

The hand in front of Mineta’s face crackled, burning sparks scattering across his skin and leaving ugly smouldering pinpricks. He'd told Izuku he wouldn't hurt the fucker, but that couldn't hurt that much. And it wouldn't really count if… 

“Shitty Hair,” he barked, shoving Mineta across the floor by his throat to slam against Kirishima’s feet. “Put him in the fucking dumpster.”

Kirishima probably wouldn't actually do it, but it was an entertaining visual, and it was enough to quell Katsuki’s rage for now.

He stalked back out, shoving Iida to the side and hooking his arms under Izuku’s, hoisting him up. A little part in the back of his mind purred at the way Izuku immediately wrapped his arms around Katsuki’s waist, clinging to him unquestioningly. 

“C’mon, Deku, let's get you back,” he murmured, sending a glare and a stiff nod in Iida’s direction as he hoisted Izuku back into his arms.

“Tha-thanks, Kacchan,” Izuku mumbled exhaustedly into his shoulder, voice thick with tears. “You're my h-hero, Kacchan.”

Katsuki flushed, hurrying back towards his room as he held Izuku close.

“Quiet, Deku,” he grumbled. “You need to go to sleep.” 

“With you, though, right?” Izuku slurred.

“Yeah, with me.”








 

 

Izuku was already asleep by the time Katsuki got to his dorm, fumbling awkwardly with the door and kicking it shut behind him. 

He laid the boy down on his bed, kneeling to pull off his shoes and carrying them over to the mat, where he slipped his own off. Making his way back over, he debated with himself, standing over Izuku’s sleeping form for several minutes before finally biting the bullet.

Reaching down, cheeks warm with the raging blush on his face, Katsuki unbuttoned Izuku’s jeans, pulling the zip down. Izuku shifted in his sleep, Katsuki freezing in horror. If he woke up now, he'd probably think Katsuki was some kind of pervert trying to take advantage of him.

“He sleeps in his boxers, this is normal,” Katsuki muttered into the empty air, just to clarify it to himself out loud.

He wasn't doing anything weird, damnit. He didn't let his fingers even brush Izuku’s muscled thighs as he dragged his jeans off, didn't look at his boxers past an involuntary glance, didn't let his fingers linger or press in posessively when he moved Izuku so he could tuck him under the covers. 

And he wasn't half hard. Fuck you.

Katsuki stripped his own pants off, grabbing a pair of sweats and pulling them on before tugging his shirt over his head and tossing it, along with both his and Izuku’s pants, into his hamper. 

Climbing into bed, he wasn't surprised when Izuku immediately rolled over, hands clumsily fumbling for him. Katsuki hooked an arm around his waist, dragging Izuku closer and tucking him against his side. 

Izuku didn't have nightmares when he was cuddled up to Katsuki like that, that's the only reason why Katsuki allowed it. After the panic Mineta had drawn on earlier, he was bound to have a nightmare if Katsuki wasn't next to him. Hell, he'd probably still have one, but at least Katsuki would wake up immediately and be able to hold him close and calm him down. 

Because he'd want to go back to sleep, of course. Not for any other reason.

Alright, you know what? Fuck it. Fuck you. Katsuki fucking wanted to hold Izuku against him because Izuku was warm and comfortable, and Katsuki could put his chin on top of Izuku’s head and hold Izuku close while they slept. Yeah, he had a fucking crush, alright? Fuck you. Fuck Izuku, too. Fuck all of this.

Katsuki was going to fucking sleep.

With Izuku at his side.

Fuck, dude.

Chapter Text

So Katsuki had gone to sleep with Izuku at his side. 

He'd woken up with Izuku mostly on top of him.

He'd also woken up with his cock throbbing between his legs, hips twitching down against where Izuku’s thigh just barely brushed his balls. 

The second he was fully awake, he was mortified. Yes, he damn well had a crush on Izuku. He'd accepted that, sucked it up and finally been honest with himself, and he wasn't the type to go back on something like that. But there was no way in hell that he should be thinking of Izuku like that. 

Not now, at least, not when he'd just gotten out of such a traumatic experience. The last thing he needed was waking up next to his fucking bully with a hard-on in a place he was supposed to be safe. The image of Izuku crying and passing out in his arms was enough to kill his boner, but he still felt disgusting for considering something like that enough to get hard, even if it was in his sleep. 

He needed to take care of Izuku, not fucking traumatize him further. If he ever wanted to do something like that with Izuku, he needed to help him get better, and putting a hard dick near him sure as shit wasn't going to do that.

“Kacchan?” Izuku murmured, shifting impossibly closer and nuzzling into Katsuki's chest. “Wha’ time’s it?” 

He sounded far too cute for Katsuski’s sanity, half asleep and slurring words together as he snuggled up against him. Katsuki just wanted him to do this of his own volition, to hold him and cuddle up to him and be so comfortable and casual without the blanket of sleep fogging his mind.

“Six,” he answered, probably too curt and short, but he didn't know how else to talk to Izuku, not with everything whirling in his mind like this.

“Don't wake up yet,” Izuku whined. “If you wake up then I don't get to cuddle, so g’back to sleep.”

Katsuki couldn't help the sappy smile that spread over his face, sinking back down into the mattress and wrapping his arms around Izuku's strong waist.

“You can cuddle even if I'm awake, you know,” Katsuki grumbled into his hair, pressing lazy kisses atop his head, since he knew Izuku wouldn't register it in his half asleep state. “Just climb in my lap and fucking say you want to cuddle, shitty nerd.”

Izuku hummed in sleepy agreement, tilting his head to press an unthinking kiss to Katsuki’s chest.

“Mmkay, Kacchan,” he slurred. “Love you.”

Katsuki sighed, running a hand up and down his spine.

“Love you too, Deku.”

He had planned to, for once, actually go back to sleep, or at least laze in bed for several hours until Izuku fully woke up and decided they should get up and do something or other. Most of the time, he wanted to train, clinging to Katsuki’s hand as they made their way towards the gym, refusing to meet anyone’s eyes if they passed another person. 

Thankfully, their excursions were usually during midday, so most people were in class, and the gym tended to have only five or six people in it. It was good that it wasn't empty, letting Izuku get used to being around people again without overwhelming him. He was slowly getting less jumpy when someone would move around behind them, although he insisted on being in front of a mirror at all times, and Katsuki could never leave his side - not that he'd have wanted to anyway. 

Back to the point, though, Katsuki had intended to indulge in an incredibly rare lazy day.

Katsuki had not intended to slit his eyes open in a furious glare as two weak knocks sounded at his door. He grumbled under his breath, pulling Izuku’s arm off him and stalking towards the door.

“He's fucking asleep and you need to fuck off, I'm not dealing with this shit today,” he growled as he stomped over to the door, yanking it open with a snarl.

It immediately dropped when he saw who was on the other side, shaking fingers clutching her purse as she swallowed harshly.

“Auntie,” he breathed. “Shit, uh, sorry. Um, hold on, let me wake him up.”

Inko nodded weakly, stepping into Katsuki’s room and letting him guide her to his desk chair.

“Are you ok?” he asked hesitantly. 

“I - no, but yes,” she laughed wetly, brushing tears from her eyes. “They wouldn't let me see him, and I'm so scared that he's not ok, but I know he's at least alive, and I'm so grateful that you're taking care of him, and it's all just overwhelming.”

Katsuki sighed softly, reaching forward and pulling her into a hug, patting her back and letting her cry softly until she pulled back, tugging a tissue from the box on his desk and blowing her nose.

“Just give me a sec to wake him up, ok Auntie? He gets scared sometimes, so just let me get him up first.”

He felt weird telling Izuku’s mom to wait while he took care of the boy, but he also knew that Izuku would lose it if he woke up to anyone other than him. The one time Aizawa had made that mistake had resulted in Izuku latching onto his side in bed, shaking and jumping at every noise for the rest of the day.

Brushing a hand through soft curls, Katsuki leaned over Izuku, blocking his mother from sight. 

“Deku, hey, can you wake up for me?” he asked softly, continuing to run his fingers through Izuku’s hair like he knew the boy liked. “I gotta talk to you for a little bit.”

“Kacchan,” Izuku whined, voice breathy and petulant, clearly not wanting to be pulled from sleep. “Said to go back to sleep, Kacchan, not to get up.”

Katsuki couldn't help but laugh softly, loving this softness that he never thought he'd be privy to, this trust that he still didn't deserve.

“I know, bab- uh, Deku.” Fuck, fuck, fuck. He so did not need to be slipping up and calling Izuku any kind of fucking pet names right now. His fucking mother was in the room, and Katsuki hadn't even told Izuku how he felt, and Izuku would never be stupid enough to reciprocate. “I just need you to get up for a bit, ok? You can go back to sleep after if you want. And I'll make you breakfast if you get up.”

Katsuki didn't think he was all that great, but Izuku had a massive weakness for his cooking, so that should be as good a bribe as any.

Green eyes slowly slitted open, a soft smile that had Katsuki’s breath catching in his chest slowly spreading over Izuku’s face.

“Kacchan,” he hummed, sounding for all the world like the sight of Katsuki was the best thing he could ever wake up to. 

“Hey, Deku,” Katsuki murmured, the hand in his hair dropping to brush over Izuku’s jaw.

It would be so easy to just lean down another foot and press a kiss to those smiling lips, to cup his jaw and pour everything he had into that simple gesture. His eyes lingered just a second too long on Izuku’s lips as the thought crossed his mind, but he pushed it firmly down.

“Your mom’s here, Deku,” he said, continuing to move his thumb soothingly over Izuku’s face.

“Mom?” Izuku asked quietly, voice choked, half fearful and half excited.

“Izuku,” Inko sobbed, pushing out of the chair and making her way over on wobbly legs.

Izuku clambered out of bed, hopping around Katsuki to pull his mother into his arms. Katsuki’s chest swelled with pride at seeing him so easily hugging someone other than him, even if it was his own mother. It was a good sign that he wasn't so traumatized that Katsuki was the only one he could trust.

“I'm gonna make breakfast, I'll be right down the hall,” Katsuki cut in quickly, not wanting to intrude on the moment. “Keep the door open so I can hear if anything goes wrong, ok? And I'll have my phone, so text me if I don't hear you.”

Izuku had latched onto his hand the second he'd mentioned leaving, fingers digging in insistently, wary of being left alone. Katsuki took one step back towards Izuku, pulling him into a short, tight hug, a smile tugging at his lips when Izuku melted against him immediately.

“I'll be right down the hall, ok?” he reminded Izuku. “Auntie’s right here, and I'm not far away at all. I won't let anything hurt you.”

Izuku bit his lip, but nodded and released Katsuki, stepping back and taking his mother’s hand for support. 

“Don't take too long, ok?” Izuku asked hesitantly. “Just come back in when it's done and -”

“Hey,” Katsuki cut him off, running a hand through his hair, tousling it playfully. “I promised I'd keep you safe, yeah? Have I ever broken a promise?”

Izuku shook his head, smiling meekly at Katsuki, and he finally let Katsuki walk out without protesting.

Katsuki smiled as he heard their voices start up again when he reached the end of the hall, stepping into the kitchen and pulling pans and utensils off the walls, ingredients out of the fridge. Izuku would do well to have some time with his mom, some time away from Katsuki, to get used to not being by his side at all times. It would be good for him, even if Katsuki absolutely didn't mind having an Izuku shaped shadow and a warm body to curl up with at night.

Who could blame him, really? Izuku was too easy to love.

Chapter Text

Breakfast was a good way to get his mind off things. It was easy and mindless, and he could work through his stupid whirling thoughts and emotions while he let Izuku have a while alone with his mom. It would be good for him to be able to connect with someone other than Katsuki, to talk and touch and be alone with someone who wasn't his ex-best friend slash past bully slash current awkward protector who happened to have a massive crush on him.

Damnit, he burned the eggs.

“Hey, just a little bit longer on breakfast,” Katsuki called out, hurriedly scraping the singed eggs into the garbage before the smell could permeate the air.

It felt so stupid and domestic, calling back to Izuku about breakfast, sappy smile on his face. All he was missing was a damn apron at this point.

His smile faded when he didn't get any response, worry worming into his gut even as he tried to convince himself it was just because they were emotional, or hadn't heard him, or something else completely reasonable. Turning the stove off so as not to burn anything else due to unnecessary worry, he padded down the hall back towards his room.

Chills worked their way out from his shoulders the closer he got, spreading down his spine when no voices, no muted sniffles or shifting fabric or creaking wood could be heard. His feet involuntarily picked up the pace for the next few meters until he got to his door, forcing him to come skidding to a halt in front of his own open doorway.

His own open doorway that showed an unmade, rumpled bed, a knocked over desk chair, and Izuku’s stupid bright red shoes on the mat by the door. His own open doorway that did not show Izuku, or Inko, or any other sign of a living being existing there. 

Katsuki's heart seized in fear as he choked on his own breath, frozen to the spot in horror, in shock, having no idea what to do.

He was saved from having to make that decision when two pairs of footsteps came pounding around the corner, Aizawa and All Might shoving past him into the room, frantically looking around.

Aizawa whirled, gripping Katsuki’s shoulders harshly, bloodshot eyes wide and horrified.

“Where is he? Who was here?” Aizawa demanded, the hands on his shoulders shaking him furiously.

“I - I…”

Katsuki couldn't breathe, he couldn't think, all he knew was that Izuku had been there, and that he'd left, he'd left, just like Uraraka had, just like he'd sworn never to do, and Izuku had been there and now he wasn't.

“Young Bakugou,” All Might cut in, kneeling in front of him and trying very clearly to be a calming presence, even if the panic thrumming just under the surface was entirely visible. “Who came in here?”

“It - Auntie,” he stammered, eyes still wide as they flitted between All Might and his unmade bed that Izuku had been curled up in. “His - his mom, I mean. Inko.”

Aizawa’s brows furrowed, his head shaking worriedly.

“Midoriya Inko is under protective custody,” he said. “She couldn't have come here without all of us knowing. And Present Mic just got off the phone with her. She's been in her safe house the whole time. Are you sure that's who you saw?”

Katsuki nodded, then shook his head, then crumpled to the floor with his head in his hands, breath coming too fast, matching the racing of his heart.

“We were in bed, we’d just woken up, and there was a knock on the door,” he recounted, trying to find some clue that he'd missed, some indicator that it hadn't been Inko at all. “I went to see, ‘cause I thought it was one of his friends, but I opened the door and Auntie was there, so I let her in.” Anything, any mannerism or off movement that should've clued him in. “Deku was happy to see her, and he hugged her and all, so I went to make breakfast to give them some time.” But if Izuku hadn't noticed, how could Katsuki? “I burned the eggs, and I called back to tell them breakfast would be ready in a little, and they didn't respond, so I came to check, and he wasn't here.” She was a perfect copy of Inko, right down to the way one side of her wobbly smile lifted higher than the other. “I left him alone and he's gone and I don't know who that was and I don't know where he is and I -”

“Bakugou,” Aizawa cut him off, breaking him out of his panicked rambling. “How long were you away from them for before you came to check on them?”

“I - ten minutes?” he guessed, trying to remember looking at a clock or anything that could tell him how long it had been. “I could hear them for the first few minutes, and then I got wrapped up in thinking and wasn't paying attention.”

Wasn't paying attention, and now Izuku was gone, back in the clutches of the monster he'd sworn he'd keep the boy away from. That was the only logical assumption, at least. No one else would have motive to sneak in and kidnap Izuku specifically. Wreak havoc and kill a bunch of kids? Maybe. But peacefully and stealthily kidnap one child right from under everyone's nose? It had to be Shigaraki.

“They can't have gone far,” All Might mused.

“They have someone with a teleportation Quirk, they could've gone anywhere,” Aizawa argued.

“There was only one foreign entity on the screenings, and we know that person can't disguise himself as anything other than a shadow monster,” All Might shot back.

“Why are you just standing there talking?” Katsuki shouted, springing up and throwing his arm out towards the door, limbs trembling as tears pricked at his eyes. “Go fucking find him! Shut up about what might have happened and fucking find him! He can tell us all that shit later.”

The two stared at Katsuki for a long moment, not moving to do anything, so he just huffed angrily and started towards the door himself.

“Young Bakugou,” All Might called, reaching out to stop him.

Katsuki halted, turning to glare as his hands sparked dangerously. 

“You wanna try to stop me, old man?” he challenged.

He didn't have fucking time for this. Not waiting for a response, Katsuki dashed out the door, running down the stairs and into the street in record time. 

Sure, he didn't exactly have a plan, and he had no idea what he would be up against, but they did know a vague location of where Shigaraki’s base was supposed to be. He could just kick down doors until he found Izuku, and then kill anyone who'd put a fucking finger on him.

Katsuki didn't bother with stealth as he made his way towards that part of town, using his explosions to push him forward, leaping across rooftops until he was standing on a grimy awning, looking out over one of the worst spots in town.

When he hopped down to the street, intending to wander and make a ruckus until he found something, he didn't have time to so much as stiffen upon hearing a bright giggle in his ear before something hard smashed into his skull and he was crumpling on the pavement.

“Boring,” Toga sang above him.

Chapter Text

Katsuki woke up to a viciously throbbing headache and the smell of shitty beer.

He ignored the ache at the base of his skull as best he could, prying his eyes open and blinking at the sudden light, dim and yellow as it was. He was… in a bar, assumably, considering what he could see of what looked like shelves of liquor. Either a bar or an alcoholic’s house - although it didn't make much difference right now.

The first thing he noticed was Izuku, slumped on the floor several feet away from him, arms tied tightly behind his back, ankles bound to his thighs with thick rope, leaving him utterly immobile. That wouldn't have been a problem, considering he could shred them like tissue paper with his Quirk, but the next thing he noticed was Shigaraki Tomura himself, leaning back in a chair with his legs bracketing Izuku’s unconscious body, two fingers placed lazily on his shoulder.

The next thing Katsuki noticed was the chain holding himself in place, thick and heavy, cold metal wrapped firmly around his arms and legs like Izuku’s. Smart not to use rope, since he'd have torched his way through it in seconds. Chain was going to be… a lot trickier.

Regardless of his current lack of mobility, Katsuki lurched forward towards Izuku, intent on at least being there whenever he woke back up, offering some semblance of safety and stability in what was sure to be the most horrifying moment of the boy's life. 

The second the chains scraped across the floor, Shigaraki smirked at him, very deliberately pressing a third finger into Izuku’s shoulder.

“Be good, Bakugou-kun, we just wanted to have a little chat.”

Katsuki’s head whirled to the side, eyes wide with fear, disbelief, disgust as they landed on Inko’s petite frame, perched primly on one of the bar stools.

“A-auntie?” he asked incredulously, voice tight with uncontrollable horror.

There was no way, no way in hell that that could be real, it had to be someone with a mimicking Quirk, Inko would never. But that wobbly smile, the tiny twitches of her fingers, even the exact angle her head tilted at, it was all too real. It made him want to puke.

“Oh, Bakugou-kun,” whatever was wearing Inko’s skin crooned, “I was gonna tease ya for a bit, but ya look so sad.”

The voice shifted from Inko’s careful, cheerful tone to a playful twang, a wide grin settling on her face as the skin bubbled and shifted disgustingly, looking like it was about to slide off her skull. When it was done, blonde pigtails had replaced smooth green hair, an all too excited, entirely sadistic grin on her face.

“Himiko Toga, at your service, Bakugou-kun,” she said cheerfully, raising her hand in a mocking salute. 

Himiko Toga, one of the newer to join the League of Villains. Her Quirk was Transformation, allowing her to physically copy anyone who's blood she could ingest. But Inko had been under protective custody this whole time, and there was no way Toga could have gotten access to her blood, so he'd ruled her out.

“Where's Auntie?” he gritted out, horrified at the prospect of Izuku waking up back in Shigaraki’s hands only to find out his mother had been slaughtered.

“Oh, she's fine,” Toga waved him off with a carefree laugh. “I transformed into one of the doctors who was doing her physical when they first put her into protective custody and took a few tubes of blood for safekeeping. Doesn't taste anywhere near as good after that long in the fridge, though, I can tell ya that.”

Katsuki was torn between immense relief and utter terror. Inko was safe - at least right now, according to Toga - but that also meant that if Toga was telling the truth - and her explanation made perfect sense - then they could probably get to Inko anytime they needed to.

Katsuki was saved from his horrified musings by the sound of Izuku’s jeans scraping against the floor as he shifted blearily, starting to wake up. Katsuki wanted him to go right back to sleep; he didn't want to let Izuku go through this again, the fear and sickness and pain. 

But he was powerless as Izuku shifted again, pushing off Shigaraki’s thigh, still half asleep.

“Kacchan?” he slurred. 

They'd probably drugged him, considering he didn't seem to be in any pain as he slowly blinked his eyes open.

“Hey, Deku, I'm right here, I want you to focus on me, ok, just look at me,” Katsuki babbled, watching as Izuku’s eyes opened and immediately focused on him, as instructed. Izuku’s brows were already starting to furrow in confusion, eyes darting around to take in Toga and Kurogiri. “I'm gonna keep you safe, I promised, so I need you to stay calm, alright? Deku, hey, look at me, don't look around, Deku -”

He broke off on a vicious curse as Izuku’s head swung back with a horrified sob, staring up into Shigaraki’s smiling face, his own skin paling rapidly.

“N-no, no, it's not, no,” Izuku mumbled, already feeling the bile rising in his throat, fear making him lightheaded as he clenched his eyes shut.

Shigaraki clicked his tongue in reprimand, a gloved hand coming to cup Izuku’s chin and tilt it back so his head was cradled perfectly in the man's lap.

“Izuku,” he called teasingly, “we talked about keeping your eyes open, didn't we?”

Katsuki flinched at the way Izuku’s eyes shot open immediately, entirely unseeing and shining with the tears starting to pour down his face.

“Deku, look at me,” Katsuki said urgently. “I need you to look at me baby, c’mon.”

Shigaraki’s head whipped up at the sound of his voice, eyes burning with hellfire and hate, lips curling up into a vicious snarl. His gloved hand shifted to Izuku’s throat, squeezing viciously when the boy made to look at Katsuki.

“Baby?” Shigaraki asked scornfully. “Izu-chan, have you been cheating on me? A little birdie told me you've been spending an awful lot of time in dear Kacchan’s bedroom these days.” He hunched over Izuku, cracked lips and rancid breath not even half an inch from Izuku’s face. “Did I get you so addicted to sex that you had to find someone to fill in for me while I was gone, baby?”

Katsuki gritted his teeth against the anger boiling inside of him, both at himself for his slip, which would surely put Izuku in more danger, and at Shigaraki for merely existing, for daring to so much as think about Izuku, much less touch him, hurt him.

“No, no, no, Kacchan please, no,” Izuku repeated the words under his breath like a prayer, coming out scratchy and strained due to Shigaraki’s fingers digging into his throat.

“Did you miss me that badly, little Izuku?” Shigaraki chuckled, voice softening into a mockery of intimacy. “Do you think I should take care of you right now, right in front of precious Kacchan, show him all the lewd faces you can make for me?”

Katsuki growled, body lunging forward instinctively even if he couldn't do anything, chains rattling against the floor loudly.

“Don't fucking touch him!” he shrieked, struggling valiantly against the chains, furious and scared. 

All he could think about was getting Izuku away from Shigaraki, into his own arms, making him forget every fucking second of this. If he was drugged up enough, maybe they could convince him it was all just a nightmare. 

“But I already have, Kacchan,” Shigaraki sneered cruelly, laughing at the boy’s struggles. “I've already felt his pretty little dick in my hand, gave him his first handjob before he even got his first kiss.” He glanced down at Izuku, slackening his grip as he noticed the boy’s lips turning pale. “I didn't want to last time, cause he kept puking, but maybe I should now. What do you think, Kacchan?”

“Stop calling me that,” Katsuki snarled, never stopping his futile struggle. The chains felt too fucking cold against his arms, it was starting to hurt, and he needed to get to Izuku. “And I think if you fucking touch him, I'll rip you to shreds, you disgusting fucking cunt.”

Shigaraki looked down at Izuku with a laugh, leaning over him to stage whisper in his ear.

“I think Kacchan’s feisty today, baby.”

Katsuki flinched as the chains seemed to get incredibly cold all of the sudden, the chill rubbing his wrists raw. He forced himself not to react when he saw the absolutely minuscule line of frost inching its way towards Shigaraki’s foot, tearing his eyes away from it immediately and tamping down any hope or triumph in his gaze.

Instead, he continued spewing vitriol at Shigaraki, pulling steadily harder against his chains, feeling minuscule cracks start to form. The burns the subzero temperatures from the ice would leave on his skin were more than worth getting Izuku out safely. 

He was never leaving Izuku alone again, not for a goddamned thing.

The second he felt the first ring on his chains snap, a wall of ice was slamming up between the three Villains and Izuku. He jerked against the chains, feeling them crack and shatter violently, stumbling to his feet and dashing towards Izuku.

The window shattered behind him half a second after he got Izuku wrapped up in his arms, Iida at his side not a second later.

“Let me get him out of here,” Iida said urgently, reaching out for Izuku as Todoroki and Kirishima burst through the hole in the wall where the window had once been. 

Katsuki growled at him, torching the ropes off Izuku's body and gathering Izuku up on his back, holding him tight.

“I'm not leaving him for a fucking second, you can take us both or I'm taking him myself,” he snarled, leaving absolutely no room to argue.

“We can handle this, get them out,” Todoroki called back, adding layer upon layer to his wall of ice. 

It wouldn't help if Kurogiri decided to teleport, but he could vaguely hear the man trying to grab the other two, the odd warping sound of a portal humming in the background.

Iida nodded, grabbing Katsuki unceremoniously and ignoring his griping as he sped back towards UA at the fastest speed his engines could handle.

“Kacchan,” Izuku choked, still pale and shaky and looking like he was half a second from either throwing up, fainting, or crying. 

Maybe all three.

“Hey, Deku,” Katsuki said, awkwardly shifting on Iida’s back to look back at Izuku. “I've got you, it's ok now, I promise.”

“Kacchan,” Izuku repeated, voice fainter as he slumped against Katsuki’s back.

Katsuki scrambled to make sure he had a proper hold on Izuku, terror thrumming in his chest.

“Get us to Recovery Girl fucking now, Glasses,” he shouted into Iida’s ear, hardly noticing the dramatic increase in speed as he looked back to Izuku’s ashen face. “Deku, it's gonna be ok. It's gonna be ok.”

He knew damn well he was only trying to convince himself of that.

Chapter Text

Katsuki hadn't slept for a single second.

He'd sat still and silent and allowed Recovery Girl to rid him of the freeze burns coating his arms from the chains, allowed her to look him over and tut at bruises and scrapes. He'd climbed off the bed and clutched at Izuku’s hand as she looked him over, breathing a sigh of intense relief when she found no injuries past a few bruises on his knees, saying he just needed to rest.

She had also said that Katsuki needed to rest, but that could wait until he had Izuku awake and holding onto him and telling Katsuki that he was ok himself.

It only took a few hours for him to wake up, having passed out from panic instead of wounds or exhaustion this time. Izuku began rousing in his sleep just before noon, shifting where Katsuki had him propped up in his arms, sprawled between his legs with his back to Katsuki’s chest.

He woke slowly, little noises huffing from his lips as he shifted and stirred and snuggled further into Katsuki’s hold before he finally pried his eyes open.

His head had been tilted back, so the first thing his eyes caught on was Katsuki’s face, staring down at him with a relieved little smile. Not fully awake - not having processed and remembered everything quite yet - Izuku smiled back, nuzzling into Katsuki’s chest in a heartbreakingly adorable fashion. Katsuki hadn't really ever been one for kittens, but he was starting to see the appeal.

“Kacchan,” he murmured happily.

Katsuki sighed, stroking a hand through green curls and wrapping his arm tighter around Izuku’s waist.

“Hey Deku,” he mumbled back, pressing a kiss to the top of his head. He was done pretending to be anything other than head over heels for Izuku, especially when he'd nearly lost him twice now. He wasn't risking it. “How ya feeling?”

Izuku was still for a few moments, thinking, and then Katsuki felt the stiffness start to creep into his limbs, felt the way his fingers curled from resting at his side to clenched in his shirt, the way his head shook minutely as he tried to deny it all.

“That… that wasn't a dream,” Izuku said hoarsely, voice almost silent as he fought back both the fear and nausea roiling in his stomach.

It hadn't been a question, but Katsuki answered him anyway.

“No.” There wasn't anything else to say, really. “I'm sorry, Deku. I was supposed to protect you and I let them get you. I'm sorry.”

Izuku shook his head, burying his face into Katsuki’s chest and holding on tightly. 

“No,” Izuku said, voice surprisingly firm. “It's not your fault, Kacchan. It's theirs. It's Sh-Shigaraki's fault and the Villains’ fault, and - and you didn't do anything wrong, so don't apologize, p-please? If you just stay and be - and be my friend, it'll be ok. You're my hero, Kacchan, so just stay, ok?”

Katsuki wanted to cry, wanted to argue, wanted to tell Izuku that he wanted to be a hell of a lot more than just his friend, but he settled for nodding and squeezing the boy against his chest tightly.

Recovery Girl rounded the corner, breaking them - only very slightly - apart and giving Izuku another look over. She answered his questions, soothed his momentary panic over his mother, assuring him that she'd been moved from the safe house into UA itself, and had a teacher guard at all times now.

She didn't stay long, just making sure he was fine and telling Katsuki that she wanted them both to rest until at least dinner time.

“You promise you'll stay, right?” Izuku mumbled near silently into Katsuki’s shirt after she'd left them alone.

“I won't go anywhere, ok?” he said, brushing a hand through soft curls. “I'll be here as long as you want me to.”

“Gotta stay forever, then,” Izuku mumbled, the tension and shivering slowly starting to leave his body. 

Thank god nothing had been done to him this time. Just seeing Shigaraki was sure to be enough to give him nightmares for weeks. Katsuki was sure that if the bastard had laid his hands on Izuku again, he'd have completely shattered. 

“Forever and a day, Deku,” he promised quietly.

God, this damn nerd was turning him into such a sap. Well, he seemed to be fairly stable anyway, and if this upset him, Katsuki would be there to calm him down. Might as well just outright tell the idiot now.

“Hey, Deku, listen, I wanted to -”

“Deku-kun!” 

The door rattled open harshly, slamming into the wall as Uraraka rushed in breathlessly, hands balled into fists. Katsuki instinctively wrapped Izuku up tighter, pulled him closer as he scowled suspiciously at her. He didn't like anyone coming anymore without him having prior knowledge of it. And he still blamed her for leaving Izuku alone that day, even if he'd done just the same. Trust me, he blamed himself a lot more.

“Ochako-chan?” Izuku said weakly, clinging close to Katsuki and laughing nervously. 

Aizawa peeked his head in behind her, the teachers all taking revolving guard shifts around their class schedules, giving the two boys a reassuring nod. All of the teachers, and even Katsuki himself, had been given a miniature, remodeled version of their school-wide foreign entity detection system - props to Hatume Mei for getting that done in about an hour. 

Since that was the only way they'd figured out how to accurately detect whether or not someone was truly who they were, and not a copy, it had been modified to alert each wearer of anything found on the school-wide system, as well as do searches of the hundred yards around them for anything that might have slipped through, repeating every five seconds.

Katsuki checked his own regardless of Aizawa’s approval, seeing a small dot next to him and Izuku, the kanji for Uraraka’s name hovering neatly over it. He had no excuse to hold him back from her, to refuse to let her in, but that sure as shit didn't mean he had to be happy about it.

“How are you? Is everything ok? Did you get hurt?” she babbled at him, reaching forward to pull at a hand still tangled in Katsuki’s shirt.

Katsuki knocked her hand away even before Izuku had time to whimper and clutch tighter to him.

“You don't fucking touch him unless he asks,” he growled rudely, sneering at her like he wanted nothing more than to spit on her, really.

Maybe that was the truth.

She needed to keep her hands off Izuku, and the fucking hearts out of her eyes when she looked at him. Izuku was going to be his very soon, and he was in no way going to put up with her pitiful crush, nor let her try to make anything of it. Early bird got the worm, right?

“You don't get to decide what he wants for him, stop acting like you know him better than everyone else just because you grew up together,” she hissed, eyes narrowing furiously. “You're not even his friend anymore, you're just a pathetic bully trying too hard to look like a nice guy.”

Well.

The idea of not even being considered Izuku’s friend hurt a hell of a lot more than it was supposed to, even if he knew damn well it wasn't true.

“I don't decide shit,” Katsuki spat back, forcing himself to calm down before sparks started flying as he felt Izuku tense in his arms. “I'm enforcing rules that he put in place because he asked me to, because he's still recovering and he needs help taking care of himself.”

Izuku tugged lightly at his shirt, his head snapping down immediately, features softening as he took in the boy’s face. 

“Thanks, Kacchan,” he said softly, offering him a smile that he'd realized recently was reserved only for him. “Please don't argue, though. You're both my friends, so please don't be mean to each other.”

Katsuki very pointedly ignored the words that Uraraka muttered under her breath about him before returning her attention to Izuku.

“So how are you?” she started again, forcing a bright smile.

She didn't try to touch him again, though, Katsuki noticed smugly. He was probably being an asshole by wrapping both arms around Izuku’s waist and nuzzling into his hair softly, especially with the way that Izuku noticeably leaned into the touches, but he couldn't care less.

Besides, the furious blush on Uraraka’s cheeks was absolutely hilarious.

“I'm ok,” Izuku answered shakily, taking a deep breath and holding tighter to Katsuki’s shirt. “It wasn't so bad this time. I mean, it - it was awful and horrifying and I'm still really scared, but he - nothing really happened, and - and mom’s ok, and Kacchan got me out, so - so, I'm alright.”

“I didn't get you out, nerd, Todoroki did,” Katsuki corrected him softly. “I got caught, too, remember? Icyhot and Glasses and Shitty Hair found us and got us out.”

Izuku tensed for a few seconds before relaxing back into Katsuki’s chest, firmly reminding himself that he was out and he was ok now.

“Yeah,” he answered quietly. “Can we have them come up to the room tonight so I can thank them?”

Katsuki felt his heart skip a beat, always in shock at how pure and innocent and sweet Izuku was.

“We can see how you feel tonight,” Katsuki acquiesced.

Uraraka cleared her throat loudly, drawing them away from each other again, Izuku with a sheepish smile and Katsuki with an annoyed snarl.

“Bakugou-kun, can I have a few minutes to talk to Deku-kun?” she asked stiffly. “I wanted to ask him something, privately.”

Oh, like fuck was he about to let her confess how much she was in love with Izuku and manage to guilt him into going out with her. Regardless of the fact that Katsuki wasn't going to leave Izuku’s side for anything or anyone, this specifically wasn't going to fucking happen.

“I'll close my ears,” he sneered, raking his gaze derisively over her, “but I ain't leaving him alone with anyone.”

“Bakugou-kun, whatever the security thing you and all the teachers are wearing didn't go off, so you have to know I'm no danger,” she argued, clearly trying to keep the annoyance from her tone.

She wasn't doing a great job.

“I'm sorry, Ochako-chan,” Izuku said shyly, cutting off whatever annoyed explosion surely would've come from Katsuki. “I don't like not having him here, and I - I asked him to stay, anyway, but he's not a bad guy.” Izuku smiled shyly at him, immediately cooling the annoyed fire simmering in his veins. “He just doesn't really like talking to people, but he's not as mean as he seems. And he won't listen, I promise.”

Katsuki watched in growing annoyance as Uraraka looked back and forth between the two, slowly squaring her shoulders and taking a deep breath. She wasn't actually going to confess to Izuku while he was in someone else’s arms, was she? While he was in Katsuki’s arms? Did she have a fucking death wish? 

“Deku-kun,” she started breathily, “you're one of my best friends, and you're the strongest, bravest person I know.”

Holy shit, she was actually going to pull this right fucking in front of him. He forced his hands not to light as he stared in mounting fury at the wall, acting for all intents and purposes like he was at least trying no to listen. He was sure the tension in his frame didn't go unnoticed by Izuku.

“I wasn't going to say anything until you came back to classes and all, but I don't want there to be any misunderstanding between us if anything like this happens again,” she continued quietly, not catching the way Izuku’s breath hitched at the last sentence, the way his hands clenched tighter into Katsuki’s shirt. “I like you, Deku-kun.”

And there it fucking was. Katsuki was proud of himself for only very lightly singeing the cloth of the blankets rather than blowing a hole through the entire bed.

“I've liked you for a long time, and since we’re such good friends, I know we'd be good together, too,” she said confidently, like she didn't think for even a second he'd turn her down. “I want to go out with you, Deku-kun, and be your girlfriend, and I don't want to wait for something else horrible to happen to get the courage to say something about it.”

Shut up, shut up, shut the fuck up. He wanted to scream at her, wanted to throw her through a fucking window for daring to say this at all, much less in front of him.

“Ochako-chan,” Izuku said breathlessly, and Katsuki had the sudden horrifying thought that Izuku might actually like her back, that he wouldn't want Katsuki at all, would toss him aside and spend his dark cuddled up to her instead. “I - I’ve known for a while, actually, you know, that you, uh, liked - liked me. Um, I didn't want to, you know, mention it because I - I didn't want to hurt you.”

Katsuki very nearly let out an audible sigh of relief. 

“It - it's not because of you!” Izuku immediately scrambled, surely trying to soothe whatever hurt expression she was wearing. “I - I, um, I don't…” He trailed off, and Katsuki felt Izuku glance up at him, but he obediently kept his face turned away. “I don't like girls. I like - I like boys.”

Katsuki's breath caught in his throat, arm tensing around Izuku’s waist, a disbelieving flutter of hope starting up in his stomach. Maybe he'd have a bit more to go on than just his own love for Izuku. At the least, he'd have a bit of a leg up.

Uraraka made a strange choking noise, and Katsuki could almost hear the way her eyes filled even as she forced a smile to her face.

“Oh,” she said shakily. “Right. Ok. Um. Well, sorry. I have to, uh. Lunch! I have to go to lunch. See you, Deku-kun!”

Katsuki winced in sympathy at the teary sound of her voice as she bolted from the room. He may not have liked her much, may have blamed her for things that were only somewhat her fault, but that didn't mean he couldn't understand exactly how she felt right then. Hell, even Katsuki would probably cry if Izuku rejected him.

“Kacchan?” Izuku asked quietly.

The air around them felt delicate, like talking too loud could shatter the entire atmosphere they existed in, like moving too fast would break everything. Katsuki turned his head back to Izuku slowly, firmly stomping down on the hope and adoration he was sure was swimming in his eyes.

“You ok, Deku?” he said, nodding to the door as his eyes met Izuku’s again.

“Yeah,” Izuku answered simply. 

Katsuki could see him steeling himself, watched the way he bit his lip and breathed in sharply, eyes meeting Katsuki’s firmly, even if nerves were tensing his body.

“I don't just like any boys,” he said enigmatically, a flush building on his cheeks as he dropped his gaze down to Katsuki’s shoulders.

“Oh?” Katsuki asked hoarsely, loosening his grip when Izuku pulled back, shifted, turned to face him, kneeling between his thighs with scarred hands on his chest.

“Yeah,” Izuku said shakily. “I only like one boy.”

“Oh,” Katsuki repeated, too hopeful and dumb to come up with anything else, hands tentatively reaching out to rest on Izuku's strong thighs, thumbs brushing over the soft fabric of his joggers when he wasn't pushed away.

“Yeah,” Izuku said with a laugh, fingers flexing on his chest. “Do you know what I want him to do?”

Oh god, Katsuki was going to explode. He was going to die from all his blood going to his face, and then immediately rushing down to his dick. Who the fuck decided that Izuku should be able to be this cute and this fucking tempting all at once?

“What do you want him to do?” Katsuki asked breathlessly, fingers flexing rhythmically against his thighs.

Izuku swallowed hard, took a deep breath before leaning closer. 

“I want him to kiss me.”

Katsuki didn't have great restraint when it came to Izuku anyway, but hearing those words fall from his lips would've broken any man. He couldn't have fought the way he shot up and yanked Izuku closer for anything in the world.

And he'd have killed someone if they tried to stop him from leaning forward and slowly, desperately pressing their lips together. The hitched moan Izuku let out as soon as their mouths touched wiped away any semblance of the remains of Katsuki’s self control.

Katsuki’s arms wrapped tightly around his waist, pulling him in closer and closer until they were completely plastered together, bodies pressed firmly up against one another as he teased his tongue out against Izuku’s lips. Izuku didn't hesitate for a second, mouth opening for Katsuki and tongue slipping out to slide against his own, both of them clumsy and inexperienced, grasping and pawing at each other impatiently.

Katsuki was the first one to pull back, resting his forehead against Izuku’s as they both took in panting breaths.

“I want to do that again,” Izuku murmured as his breathing evened. 

Fucking hell. This nerd really was going to be the death of him, and Katsuki didn't even think he was going to mind.

“Tell me to stop if you need to, baby,” Katsuki said, lifting Izuku up and settling the boy into his lap.

Izuku nodded in agreement, already leaning in for more. Katsuki had no plans of letting him go for so much as a second.

“Love you, Izuku,” he murmured, pressing their lips together again immediately after the words left his mouth.

He could taste Izuku’s answer on his tongue, no need for the words to be spoken aloud. He'd still make Izuku say them a million times later.

But right now, kissing him senseless was far more important.

He’s let Izuku tell him how much he loved him while Katsuki pressed kisses over every inch of his skin that night, would let Izuku tell him how much he loved him while Katsuki held him close against his chest, would let Izuku tell him how much he loved him while Katsuki held his hand and rubbed his back before they went into class again for the first time the next morning. 

He'd let Izuku tell him how much he loved him for as long as Izuku wanted to say the words. And for once, Katsuki didn't mind people seeing him be soft, not when sweet words and quiet kisses made Izuku look at him like that.

There was plenty left for them to sort out, plenty left to fix, but if Katsuki could love Izuku through it all, then it would work out fine.