They left him to die. Shigaraki and the others. Sounds of brawl come from afar as Izuku heaves on the ground with a hand pressed onto his stomach, a desperate attempt to stop more blood from gushing out. He is still in the narrow street where the police found their group. The first bullets hit him before the others ran away with a group of heroes and the police after them.
The heroes must have deemed Izuku's fallen form not worthy of any more attention, that he would die anyway. Izuku wants to think 'Well, they're wrong." But he can't. His vision is already darkening. From blood loss, maybe? Izuku hasn't had a lot of near-death experiences so he can't tell. And he won't live to call this an experience either.
When he hears new voices, Izuku looks up at the end of the street. His vision is blurry but he would make out the sickening rainbow coloured hero costumes anywhere. They have to be the back-up heroes, called to the location where a group of villains were seen.
The sunlight illuminates the heroes but doesn't reach Izuku as his blood paints his shaky hands and torn clothes.
He hears their chatter as they glance at the street and he crawls into a dark corner with his teeth gritted at the exertion. The heroes luckily don't see him and the patter of their footsteps accompany their distancing forms.
Izuku first sighs then grunts. Pain comes back full force as the task of hiding from heroes is done and no longer takes his mind off the injuries. He doesn't notice the one silhouette that linger at the end of the street, neither does he hear the footsteps coming toward him.
Izuku's heart leaps and he coughs, his blood painting the grey stones as he heaves. He tries to draw back from the voice. The nickname is familiar and so is the voice that said it. Izuku had dreamed of hearing it again and dreaded the day he would hear it again, if such a day existed.
It did, apparently.
"Is that you, Deku?"
The voice comes from closer now and Izuku flinches as his numb body refuses to move and draw him away from it's source. It is the same voice that had told him he could never be good enough, the nickname slapping the words onto Izuku's face just the same as years ago. The voice that had told him he could never become a hero, told him to throw herself off a bridge. Truth was that the words never hurt Izuku when he had heard them from Katsuki.
They only started to hurt when they echoed in his head again and again until the voice saying them first turned into Izuku's own voice and then into reality. Izuku hadn't become a hero. He had become something else.
"Raise your head."
The voice holds authority now, the voice of a hero. Izuku can't dare to lift his head, doesn't want to. He listens to the other's heavy breathes and hopes the man would just leave.
But of course he doesn't.
There is a pull on Izuku's collar and he feels the burn of the stretching material on his neck. He tries to crawl backwards but the iron grip keeps his flailing body in place. Then a pull on his hair and Izuku's head is yanked back until he is looking into a pair of crimson red eyes.
The colour of the eyes, the tiny crimson dots in them and their shape is familiar yet the look in them is so strange.
Bakugou Katsuki's face has changed since the last time Izuku had seen it in middle school. It is more angular; with a stronger jaw and higher cheekbones. A more serious look is settled into the red eyes that always reminded Izuku of blood and destruction when he was pushed into dirt or surrounded by laughter after a crude remark from Bakugou Katsuki.
In the way Katsuki's face scrunches and his brows draw together, Izuku sees everything he has become. He was right, Izuku could never become a hero.
"Shıt... Deku, you..."
Izuku takes in Katsuki and feels the other do the same to him. His gaze flits from the untainted hero clothes to the muscular arms that show from a black tank top. The blond boy was everything Izuku wanted years ago and it seemed that wasn't enough because now he is everything Izuku wants to become too. A hero.
Wait, not anymore.
Izuku no longer wants to become a hero.
Not in the slightest bit. He would rather die. And frankly, that is exactly what he is doing right now in a dark corner of some street. Dying. It is funny that fate decided to show Katsuki what he had become before he could die.
"I thought you had...you were dead..."
The blond's grip on Izuku's collar tightens and he shakes the boy as the confusion on his face leaves its place to a look Izuku is way more accustomed to. Rage. Anger. Frustration. Thousand ways to say it and Katsuki always seemed to hold onto that one emotion ninty percent of the time. Even after years.
"Say something, shitty Deku! Are you with the villains? How are you not dead?"
Izuku figured Katsuki would be angry that he hadn't died after jumping off a bridge years ago, the one near the school they used to go together. Katsuki finished people off with his punches and explosions but he hadn't needed either to finish off Izuku. Just a sentence and the boy would finish himself off.
Izuku is still alive, even after taking a leap from a bridge years ago, but it is not for long. He feels it in the way blood clings onto his clothes and puddles around him. His vision of the crimson eyes darkens- luring him to sleep, promising a world where the face in front of him would smile and not scowl, a world where his stomach no longer hurt and dried blood no longer sticked to his skin.
"Oi, Deku! Shıt, open your eyes!"
Izuku feels something envelop his body before he's swept off the ground and Katsuki's voice rings in his ears as he drifts to a place where nothing hurts anymore.
If he was any braver, Izuku would say that the voice almost sounded worried. And muffled, as if it's owner was on the verge of tears.
But he is not brave.