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Remind Me Again

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There were whispering voices all around him, some excited and other shushing for silence, and Katsuki’s mind started to wake up. He opened his eyes slowly, blinking and wincing at the direct sunlight hitting his face, trying his best to push away from what felt like an eternal sleep. He’s never felt this disoriented before, only confused at his surroundings, but he at least recognized that he was in an infirmary or hospital setting. Katsuki didn’t have much time to think it over because all his attention was captured by a bunch of strangers in the room.

 

“You’re awake!” a girl next to him cheered, and when he got a good look at her, he was almost startled; she was all pink with horns and black eyes. “We were so worried.”

 

“Dude, you really scared us with that one,” some Pikachu-hair looking extra said beside her. 

 

“Way to cause a scene,” a punk girl with aux-cord earlobes said flatly, but Katsuki sensed that she was teasing him.

 

“Someone’s going to say that no one saw it to make you feel better,” a half-red-half-white looking bastard said, “but I saw it.”

 

“Be nice!” a round-face girl with rosy cheeks scolded lightly.

 

The tired emo guy with purple hair and heavy eye bags sighed, “The devil has awoken. Hooray.”

 

“He still looks confused, ribbit,” weird frog girl with large eyes and a flat expression said. “Take it easy.”

 

“Where’s Kirishima?” a taller skinny guy with freaky tape dispenser elbows and a plain face asked. “Bad he missed this; he’s gonna be upset.”

 

“Bakugou?” the pink girl asked, approaching and leaning into his space a bit too much. “Are you okay? You look lost.

 

He looked at each of them again and, after a few moments of silence, his face morphed into a deep scowl and he growled, “Who the fuck are you people and why the fuck are you crowding me?”

 

The expressions of relief, happiness, and light-heartedness dropped immediately. They all started speaking hurriedly at the same time.

 

“Wait, hold on--”

 

“Dude, no way--”

 

“We’re your friends, Bakugou!”

 

“C’mon, you’re joking, right? You’ve gotta be joking.”

 

“You don’t remember? What do you rememb--”

 

“Shut the fuck up!” Katsuki shouted, quickly becoming more and more unsettled. “Who the fuck are you? What the hell is going on? Answer, or you die,” he threatened. To show he wasn’t fucking around, he let out a few sparks from his hands. Katsuki made a loaded threat, but the reality was that he was in no condition to fight or even challenge anyone. He wasn’t in any physical pain, but he certainly felt heavy exhaustion, like he slept for days and still didn’t get sufficient rest at all, as if he could pass out right now and sleep for another week. Not only that…

 

He was also a bit scared. 

 

He had no idea where the hell he was, nor did he recognize any of these people. They didn’t look like any middle schoolers; they were older, most likely sixteen or seventeen years old, give or take. Katsuki could tell that they were definitely older than him, at least. They acted extremely familiar with him, too familiar, claiming to be his friend, but that was fucking absurd. He didn’t have any stupid ass friends that acted this way; they didn’t really seem to be all that special whatsoever. 

 

It was irritating being this confused. 

 

When Katsuki looked down at his hands, his eyes widened slightly. There were more scars on his skin than he remembered and the calluses of his palms felt thicker and stronger. His eyes traced up his arm and-- whoa, he did not remember gaining that muscle. Katsuki’s mind was racing and he looked at the window next to him, seeing his own reflection; his mind officially snapped. Despite being totally drained, he forced himself out of the bed, ignoring the protests of the others in the room telling him to rest and take it easy, and stared at his reflection. It wasn’t perfectly clear and he wouldn’t get a detailed look without a mirror, but he saw enough.

 

He looked older.

 

Not so much older, maybe only a couple of years, but older nonetheless. It was disturbingly jarring. 

 

He had a few ear piercings, a couple of scars on his face that he didn’t recognize, slightly broader shoulders, and an obvious improvement in muscle definition. Katsuki saw himself, but he also didn’t know what the fuck he was looking at. Who the hell was this? He had no idea. He had no fucking idea

 

Katsuki refused to let the rising panic show on his face.

 

The others started to ask different questions of concern, wondering if he was okay, and that maybe he should sit down. He was about to lash out and snap at them, tell them to fuck off, but somebody came through the door and it broke his train of thought.

 

“Sorry we took so long, guys,” a boy with spiky red hair and a wide shark tooth grin said, holding different drinks and snacks. Honestly, what the hell was going on with his hair? “The vending machine at the end of the hall is broken, so we had to go to the other one by the--” He froze immediately upon seeing Katsuki, and he felt more on the spot now than he did before this guy showed up. His eyes glimmered in the crimson, smiling so big that Katsuki was sure it must hurt. “Katsuki! You’re awake!” he rejoiced, handing the refreshments to Pikachu-boy and excitedly walked over to Katsuki, pulling him into a tight hug. “Man, I’m so glad you’re alright!”

 

The stress boiled higher, his nerves stinging with irritation. On instinct, Katsuki’s hand sparked, setting off an explosion against his shoulder, sending Shitty Hair stumbling back a few steps, and he looked at Katsuki confusedly. It surprised Katsuki that he was totally unharmed; the only damage was the burn on his shirt. How? “Who the fuck do you think you are touching me like that? I’ll kill you, fucking extra!”

 

Shitty Hair opened his mouth, but the Half-and-Half weirdo monotonously said, “Kirishima, he doesn’t remember anything.”

 

Shitty Hair was clearly taken aback. “Wh-what?”

 

“Maybe he has amnesia,” the Raccoon Eyes suggested.

 

“Stop fucking talking about me like I’m not here!” Katsuki yelled. 

 

Shitty Hair approached him again, but more carefully this time, like he was some sort of feral animal. He calmly said, “Katsuki, listen--”

 

Katsuki shoved him back again, setting them apart by at least half a meter. “Don’t say my given name so fucking casually like you know me, you shitty haired bitch,” Katsuki growled, growing more and more defensive.

 

“But we do know you,” aux-cord Ears insisted. “You just don’t remember.”

 

Pikachu asked, “Do you know your full name?”

 

Katsuki rolled his eyes. “I’m Bakugou Katsuki,” he spat, “and I don’t fucking talk to extras.”

 

“How old are you?” Tape Arms asked.

 

“Fifteen,” Katsuki replied, and everyone’s faces morphed into shock, looking at each other in a silent urgent discussion. 

 

“That’s...not good,” Shitty Hair mumbled, frowning. 

 

“I’m going to find Aizawa-sensei and Recovery Girl,” Frog Girl said. “I’ll tell them what’s going on, ribbit.” The others nodded as she left the room, going to find whoever the fuck Aizawa and Recovery Girl were.

 

Emo Purple Hair said, “Listen, Bakugou. You were on a mission for your internship and got knocked out; this might be the effect of an amnesia quirk--”

 

“Don’t fucking talk to me,” Katsuki hissed. He didn’t know if he could trust any of these people; Katsuki felt unsafe. He was trying to think of a way to get out, but if he tried to leave, then these losers would try to stop him. Katsuki was in no condition to take on these many people with unknown quirks, especially older than him, and he hated to admit that to himself, but it was true.

 

Katsuki let his hands light up threateningly a few times, but just before Katsuki could shout more swears--

 

“I got the rest of the drinks,” Deku announced, walking through the door. “I was careful with the sodas; I hope they don’t explode.”

 

Deku. 

 

Katsuki’s rage was overflowing. His clenched fists were shaking, knuckles white, and he glared daggers at Deku, who wasn’t looking at him yet, blocked from the view by taller Tape Boy and Round Face. 

 

“Ochako, here,” he said, handing Round Face a bottle of water, smiling sweetly.

 

That’s when Katsuki’s mind snapped.

 

Deku ,” he seethed lowly, his face darkening, his mood dropping into the depths of hell, the fury giving him enough energy to lace each of his words with hate, “what the fuck are you doing here?”

 

Deku noticed him and brightened immediately, making Katsuki want to knock his damn teeth out and send him to the depths of an abyss. “Kacchan, you’re awake! What a relief. How’re you f--”

 

“Shut the fuck and explain what the fuck is happening, you stupid nerd!”

 

Deku looked confused, which only angered Katsuki more. He didn’t look scared of Katsuki; he was so casual around him, not showing the slightest hint of weakness, enraging Katsuki to unbelievable levels. Was he enjoying this shit, seeing Katsuki in an infirmary? Deku must’ve been so damned pleased to see Katsuki fall lower than him.

 

“Kacchan--”

 

“He doesn’t remember,” Half-and-Half said.

 

“Huh?”

 

“He thinks he’s fifteen,” Purple Insomniac added.

 

After a few seconds, Deku blanched, eyes going wide and he whispered, “Are you kidding me?”

 

Katsuki had enough. “I’m fucking sick of you not giving me any fucking answers!” He lunged forward at Deku, aiming to punch him in the face, and--

 

He missed. 

 

Not only that, he dodged fast and managed to get behind him, take his arms, pull them behind his back, and pin him to the ground. Katsuki struggled, but he was frustratingly weak and Deku was stupidly strong. “You need to calm down!”

 

Upon hearing that, Katsuki’s madness increased, feeling like steam could be coming out of his ears. “Don’t you fucking talk to me like that, you useless shithead!”

 

Quickly, Deku got off Katsuki’s back right before he let off a blast, and before he could get up, his hands were caught by someone else, someone with hardened skin.

 

“Katsuki, just breathe, please,” Shitty Hair said urgently, but in an oddly gentle tone. “Every single person in this room is your friend and we think that you have amnesia right now because of a villain. I know you’re confused, but you really gotta breathe, man.”

 

Katsuki continued to struggle, but Shitty Hair was like a goddamn boulder to move. “Get off me!”

 

“Look!” Raccoon Eyes came forward and kneeled down, shoving her cell phone in his face. “Look at this video. It’s you, me, Eijirou, Denki, and Hanta at the arcade two months ago; you and Eijirou were trying to beat the DDR high scores.”

 

The video was one of the weirdest and most unsettling things he’s ever looked at. It was them, yes, and that most definitely him. He and Shitty Hair were playing DDR side by side on expert mode, in perfect synchronization, both looking excited and pumped. 

 

“This is insane,” Pikachu said in awe.

 

“They’re gonna do it,” Tape Elbows said in disbelief. “They’re really gonna do it.”

 

“Wooo!” Raccoon Eyes cheered behind the camera. “Go, go, go, go! Get that high score!”

 

“Obviously!” Katsuki shouted, pride and excitement clear in his tone. 

 

The dance only got harder and harder until the finale; they both nailed it perfectly. They got every single combo, even jumping back and forth between each others platforms, like it was a shared dance they both knew all too well. When the result popped up on the screen, they all cheered, but Katsuki and Shitty Hair’s triumphant yelling was louder. They gave each other hard high fives and Shitty Hair threw his arm around Katsuki, resting a hand on his shoulder. 

 

They got the high score. 

 

“That was awesome!” Shitty Hair cheered.

 

“Yeah, it fucking was,” Katsuki agreed with a wide proud smile, and seeing that on his own face was almost disconcerting. There was something about the was he was acting that was so foreign and yet incredibly familiar; all of it Bakugou Katsuki.

 

“You guys, that was amazing!”

 

“Shit, now I owe you guys dinner.”

 

“I’m so glad I got that all on camera.”

 

Shitty Hair laughed and Katsuki’s smirk grew. “How about some food?” Shitty Hair suggested.

 

“Ramen,” Katsuki said. “Soy Sauce is paying.”

 

Soy Sauce, who was the Tape Elbows (why the hell was he called Soy Sauce?) let out a long groan of defeat. “This sucks.”

 

“That’s what you fuckin’ get for betting against us, idiot,” Katsuki said, grinning smugly.

 

“Bro, when have we ever lost a challenge together?” Shitty Hair laughed.

 

“Ugh, whatever!”

 

The rest of them laughed, lighthearted and joyful.

 

Then, the video ended.

 

Katsuki had been so focused on the video that he didn’t even realize Shitty Hair was no longer on his back. He stopped struggling, but now he was really panicking. They were right: something was wrong with him.

 

He looked at all the faces around him; it was pity written all over them, Katsuki could tell, he was sure of it. He was embarrassed and ashamed. If this was all true and he had amnesia because of a mission he was on, then that must mean he was weak. 

 

When he looked at Deku, he knew that this was all real and he wasn’t hallucinating. Deku was slightly taller and was ripped. His hair was a bit shorter, the back of his head sporting an undercut. He looked more mature and there was experience in his eyes, and his shorts and t-shirt showing off the scars littering his arms and legs.

 

This wasn’t right. None of this was right. Things weren’t supposed to be this way. Deku wasn’t supposed to have those skills and muscles. He wasn’t supposed to be going out to some fucking arcade with a bunch of losers. He wasn’t supposed to let anyone touch him so casually. 

 

“Who…” Katsuki started to say, but it came out sounding a bit pathetic; he mentally scolded himself for sounding like such a child. He sat up, not wanting to be on the ground looking like some weird idiot. “Who are you people?”

 

“I’m Kirishima Eijirou,” Shitty Hair said with a soft smile. For some reason, that smile made Katsuki...feel something. 

 

“I’m Ashido Mina,” Raccoon Eyes lilted. “We do makeup together.”

 

“Kaminari Denki,” Pikachu said with a small bow that was obviously not a serious one. “I annoy you, but you love me.”

 

“Sero Hanta,” Soy Sauce said with a smirk, “your dealer.”

 

Raccoon Eyes--Ashido-- slapped him upside the head. “Oh my God, shut up.”

 

“It’s funny!” he defended.

 

“No, it’s not! It’s also a lie.”

 

Katsuki frowned, finally pushing himself up off the floor. “Dealer of what?”

 

“Weed,” Purple Emo droned.

 

The world stopped around Katsuki and his eyes widened, feeling the shock sink in. “CANNABIS?” he shouted in disbelief. “What?!”

 

“He’s not your dealer,” Purple Emo said. “I am. Shinsou Hitoshi.” He saluted lazily. 

 

“HUH?”

 

“Hitoshi, don’t do that!” Deku scolded. “Kacchan, I promise you they’re lying. You don’t do drugs.”

 

“How the fuck would you know?”

 

“Because you’re scared of drugs,” Deku said simply. “You were offered weed on your birthday and you were so angry that it looked like you were going to cry.”

 

That sounded just about right, but he was mad that Deku called him out like that.

 

“I’m Uraraka Ochako,” Round Face said as the introductions continued. “Sometimes I make fun of you.”

 

“Todoroki Shouto,” Half-and-Half said. “You like to yell at me a lot for no reason other than pettiness.”

 

Ears gave him a single wave. “Jirou Kyouka. We play music together sometimes.”

 

“And the girl who stepped out to find our teacher and nurse was Asui Tsuyu,” Deku concluded. 

 

Slowly, Katsuki nodded, trying to process and starting to get the idea. “We’re in U.A.?”

 

“Yeah,” Kirishima said, “second years; class 2-A. Our teacher’s name is Aizawa Shouta and he’s the hero Eraserhead.”

 

“And All Might?”

 

“Another teacher,” Deku replied. “Practical courses.”

 

Katsuki wanted to ask more, but the door opened and three adults walked in: a short old woman, a tired looking dark haired man, and a tall sickly man with blond hair.

 

“Bakugou,” the man with dark hair said, “my name is Aizawa Shouta and I’m your teacher.”

 

“I’m Recovery Girl, your nurse,” the old woman introduces herself. “You’ve suffered a villain attack two days ago that has wiped two years worth of memories, if what Asui told us is true. I’ll be running more tests to see if this is temporary or not.”

 

“And you?” Katsuki asked the blond man. “Who are you?”

 

There was a silence in the room, a worried hesitation that was palpable. The man answered anyway. “I am All Might, young Bakugou,” he said. “I am very relieved to see that you are unharmed and awake.”

 

That was not possible. Katsuki leaned into the side of the bed to steady himself, or he’d fall over. “What…”

 

“A lot has happened in these past two years, drastic differences that are going to be very shocking for you, but we’re all going to help you,” Aizawa said. “Recovery Girl is going to do her best to get your memories back. Miruko, the hero you work under, has been gathering info.”

 

Deep down, Katsuki’s instincts told him to scream, run, attack, lash out in some way, but he couldn’t. He was too shocked and weak. 

 

“Katsuki, are you okay?” Kirishima asked gently.

 

He didn’t know why, but he trusted Kirishima’s voice. Katsuki nodded, but then shook his head, finding no real point in lying. “No.”

 

Kirishima came forward and placed a hand on his shoulder. Why did Katsuki allow it? Why did it feel okay? Why did he feel like he missed the touch when it wasn’t there? “It’s gonna be alright, okay? We’re here to support you, man.”

 

“I don’t need your fucking pity,” Katsuki hissed.

 

“This isn’t pity,” Ashido said with a kind smile.

 

“Believe it or not, your friends care about you.” Jirou shrugged, shoving her hands into her leather jacket pockets. “You’ve always got our backs, and we got yours. That’s how this works.”

 

Katsuki didn’t believe it, but he didn’t argue. How could he? He was completely lost. “What’s the date?”

 

“Saturday,” Aizawa replied, “November first of the year 2064.”

 

Nodding, Katsuki slowly sat down on the bed, looking down at his lap and trying to breathe steady. The last thing he remembered was leaving school, but that was October of the year 2062. This wasn’t right.

 

Katsuki’s head was spinning.

 

He couldn’t breathe.

 

Katsuki felt a gentle hand rubbing his back and several voices telling him to breathe slowly, to calm down, and that it was all okay. Maybe they were right, maybe it was okay, but what if he could never get his memories back? What then?

 

When Katsuki managed to get the room to stop spinning and his heart slowed a bit, he heard Aizawa say, “Everyone, head back to the dorms; Bakugou needs to get examined by Recovery Girl. You can all see him later when he’s released.

 

Most of them made noises of disappointment. Katsuki didn’t exactly know how to process the fact that these people seemed to...genuinely care about him. It made him uncomfortable. 

 

As his peers walked out of the infirmary, Kirishima sent a, “We’ll see you in the dorms, man. Don’t worry! You’re gonna be fine,” over his shoulder. He waved once more before closing the door behind him. 

 

Now, Katsuki was left in the room with Recovery Girl, Aizawa, and… All Might. It was odd to feel both safe and unsafe at the same time, but here he was, feeling both intensely.

 

During the whole checkup, Katsuki stayed silent unless asked a question. He had so many questions, but he couldn’t phrase them correctly and he was too tired for it all; perhaps if he slept again, he would wake up and see it was all a dream. He didn’t think that was very likely, though.

 

He was supposed to be seventeen, but he felt fifteen. He felt so small , so exposed , and now he had no idea what to do. Katsuki was someone who always had a plan and could get out of tough situations, but there was no escape in this case. However, it turned out that he did get accepted into U.A. (of fucking course), that maybe he was strong, and he had lots of friends.

 

The last one was the most surprising, actually. By the way they acted, they didn’t look at him like they were his followers, they weren’t scared of him, and they most likely all had some strong skill if they were in the same class as him. 

 

Maybe.

 

The hardest part was All Might. Katsuki couldn’t even look at him, even when he asked Katsuki questions. He wanted to know if he was feeling better, if there was anything he could do to help, but Katsuki shook his head and said six words, at most. 

 

There was a deep guilt inside him. He didn’t know why.

 

Katsuki had been so wrapped up in his thoughts that when Recovery Girl finished the examination, it felt like it had been so long, but also like the shortest doctor appointment he’s ever had. Luckily, the quirk was temporary, a week and a half to two weeks, but definitely temporary. “Your memories may come back slowly each day, or it may happen all at once, but you will be okay, Bakugou.”

 

Katsuki was relieved, he really was, but he had to figure out what the hell he was going to do during this time. Since he didn’t remember anything, he didn’t know the material they were studying in class. He also didn’t know the full extent of his capabilities, which he was very curious about.

 

When everything was all said and done, Aizawa told Katsuki to follow him to the dormitories. Without arguing, Katsuki followed. He was frowning the whole time, not out of anger, but out of uncertainty and confusion; he was sure everyone else would think it was anger, though. 

 

As they walked off campus, Katsuki finally asked, “Why are there dorms? U.A. isn’t a boarding school.”

 

“The dorms were built last year; everyone moved in around September,” Aizawa replied.

 

“Nearly six months into the school year?” That sounded absolutely ridiculous. “Why?”

 

“Safety reasons.”

 

And ? What was it? What happened?” Katsuki was growing damn tired of these vague answers and explanations.

 

“Villains attacked.” After taking in a deep breath and releasing it slowly, Aizawa looked at Katsuki; a different, more gentle, look in his eyes. “You were kidnapped and some of your other peers were injured greatly. To assure the safety of all the students, making sure they’re under the protection of professional heroes all times, the dormitories were made.”

 

Katsuki froze at the word “kidnapped” and a chill went down his spine. Kidnapped. He was kidnapped? How weak was his older self exactly? He sounded so...disappointing. “What the fuck?”

 

“Your friends broke the school rules and the law to rescue you, nearly getting expelled,” Aizawa said. “A lot has happened and that’s why we’re here to help.”

 

Katsuki shook his head and looked down at the ground. “I hate this. I fucking hate this so much,” came tumbling out of his mouth. “I’m so fucking confused and I don’t know what the hell is going on and I don’t know you people and I want to go home--”

 

“Unfortunately, your parents are in America right now,” Aizawa interrupted.

 

“What?”

 

“They said they would do their best to come back from their business trip earlier than planned, but there’s no guarantee. They’ll be here by the end of next week, latest,” Aizawa said. “In the meantime, they want us to monitor you and stay under our care.”

 

“How do I know I can trust you?” Katsuki almost winced at his own tone, so vulnerable and young. He balled his hands into tight fists. He suddenly felt like a small child next to his teacher. He was painfully independent, so all of this needing to rely on authority figures to help him was causing him pain.

 

“We take care of all our students and protect them, even if it costs us our lives, so the same goes to you,” Aizawa promised. “You’re one of the two students on the top of my list I need to keep an eye on the most.”

 

“Who’s the other?”

 

“Midoriya,” Aizawa answered, “the problem child.”

 

A loud bitter laugh escaped Katsuki. “What the fuck could that twerp be doing that’s so damn severe? Little shit doesn’t do anything.”

 

Aizawa hummed thoughtfully. “Well, you both decided it’d be a great idea to fight in the middle of the night using your quirks, subsequently breaking curfew and being put under house arrest.”

 

“What?” Katsuki scoffed. “Deku doesn’t have a quirk.”

 

“Yes, he does, and it’s incredibly strong,” Aizawa refuted. “I’d give him a little more credit, if I were you.”

 

“No.”

 

Aizawa sighed. “So be it.”

 

Katsuki let out a huff and shoved his hands in his pockets, not saying another word, and silently walked beside Aizawa to their dorms.

 

The entrance to the dormitory “neighborhood” had a sign above it labeled Heights Alliance; the whole long stretch of dorm buildings, accommodating to every class, and every major. They reached the building labeled 2-A and they walked inside. Katsuki noted that it admittedly wasn’t ugly at all, and it also looked like of comfortable, too. There were sofas, a television, an eating area, kitchen, and more that he couldn’t really see from where he stood. He wanted to explore more, but the common room was filled with at least fifteen other people and Katsuki’s panic spiked again, but only for a moment. 

 

They all came forward to him, greeting him enthusiastically, welcoming him back, smiling, and obviously happy to see him. He screamed at them to go away, but they laughed and stayed, finding his attitude to be “funny” . “Get the fuck away from me or I’ll kill every single one of you!” he yelled.

 

Oh,” Kaminari lilted, “vintage Bakugou!”

 

“Fucking excuse you?”

 

“Guess we’re starting from square one, lads.” That one got a few of their classmates laughing.

 

Katsuki didn’t like this. He hated this. It felt like they were discussing some project, some thing that was tamed or changed to be nicer, better, more approachable, and weak. It was downright insulting. All he wanted to do was leave, just run away, but where the hell would he go? There was nothing he could do; he was stuck. “Shut up,” he growled.

 

“Alright, guys, alright,” Kirishima chuckled, pushing through a few people. “We’re crowding him a bit too much. I’m gonna go show him around and take him to his room, then we can all have dinner and watch a movie!”

 

They all agreed, very interested in the idea and excited to spend the rest of the night together with friends to relax. Everyone was so happy, but--

 

“Fuck that.” Katsuki scowled, but no one seemed to take him seriously.

 

Eventually, they all dispersed and allowing him to be left alone with Kirishima. The rest of his classmates promised to hang out, promising to help if he needed anything, and he could pick the movie to watch if he joined them later. He told them (loudly) that he wasn’t going to watch a movie with these stupid extras, all these losers, but they ignored him, continuing on with the plan that he would indeed show up.

 

Kirishima led Katsuki around the dorms, pointing and saying, “This is the common room, then that’s the kitchen, and down that hall are the baths, then back there are the stairs, but there’s also an elevator, too. You and I are on the fourth floor. We live next to each other!” There was his huge shark smile again. 

 

They decided to take the stairs and as they climbed up, Kirishima kept talking about, well, everything. “You don’t spend lots of time with everyone in the common room, but you like to cook and sometimes you’ll cook for others, but mostly it’s just me.”

 

Katsuki’s raised an eyebrow. “You? Why would I cook for an extra like you?”

 

Kirishima seemed to find this amusing, as he let out a loud laugh. “Ah man, it’s been a long time since you’ve called me ‘extra’ or ‘Shitty Hair’ in a serious way. We always do stuff together! It’s fun.”

 

Narrowing his eyes, Katsuki looked Kirishima up and down, trying to figure out what was so damn special about this guy and why he felt so comfortable around him compared to everyone. “So, I’m guessing we’re real fuckin’ buddy-buddy.”

 

Kirishima nodded, cheeks dusted a bit pink. He chuckled, “Yeah, man. We’re really close.”

 

Katsuki decided to just take his word for it...for now. He wasn’t in the mood to delve deeper into that kind of stuff. “Close” had many implications, both platonic and romantic. From what he’s seen so far, he could interpret this as either or, but it was hard to tell at the moment. He’d wait to see how this would play out. If anything, he’d learn more about Kirishima and see why this guy was so damn special in Katsuki’s book. When Katsuki looked at him, he didn’t really see anything that was all that amazing. 

 

Well, maybe that was a bit of a lie.

 

Kirishima was hard not to notice; his red hair made sure he caught people’s attention. He had a great big smile with sharp teeth, he was well built, strong, and could maybe even be a good sparring partner. Kirishima looked kind of badass, he wasn’t even going to try and lie about that. Their eyes were the same color, but Kirishima had a much softer look than Katsuki’s sharp gaze. Katsuki wasn’t sure what his quirk was exactly, but he guessed it had to do something with hardening his skin. In the infirmary, he tried to let off blasts, but Kirishima covered his hands and stopped them. Was he able to go against Katsuki’s explosions head on? If so, that was...kind of cool. Katsuki wanted to see that.

 

Otherwise, there was nothing really special at all about Kirishima Eijirou.

 

They opened the hallway door to the fourth floor. Kirishima led him down a few doors until they stopped in front of the one labeled “Bakugou Katsuki”. Huh...so this really was real, wasn’t it. 

 

“Here’s your room!” Kirishima presented with a smile.

 

“No shit,” Katsuki said flatly. “Never would’ve guessed with my name on the door.”

 

Kirishima chuckled and shook his head, pulling out a key from his pocket and opening the door-- wait, what the fuck? He had a key to Katsuki’s room? What the fucking hell?

 

Kirishima opened the door with a wide, “Ta-da! Your humble abode.”

 

Katsuki scoffed and rolled his eyes, but he stepped inside, anyway. 

 

Right away, he felt both completely out of place and comfortably safe at the same time. It was like a part of him knew what this was, which it most likely did, but everything at the front of his mind was clueless. It wasn’t like his room at home, but it was definitely his. It was mostly a simple layout, neat and well kept, and had plenty of Bakugou Katsuki written all over it. A small bookshelf at the head of Katsuki’s bed, holding manga and his alarm clock; black bed sheets with no patterns; neat desk with simple, but nice, stationary. There were a few posters on the wall, one of All Might, then two others from bands he likes, Above his desk was a cork board with several posters and flyers: “1-A BAND-- CULTURAL FESTIVAL”, Halloween pictures of him in a werewolf costume, Katsuki in a suit with white roses… but why? There were also photos of him with Ashido, Jirou, Sero, and Kaminari as well, hanging out or whatever, and Katsuki was scowling or frowning in most of them. What Katsuki noted immediately was how many photos of Kirishima there were of them together, alone

 

Photo-booth pictures, Halloween pictures of Katsuki as a werewolf and Kirishima matching as motherfucking Red Riding Hood, Kirishima in a matching suit both of them singing karaoke, both of them at the beach, both of them sparring--

 

Kirishima was everywhere in the smallest details.

 

“Here,” Kirishima said, handing Katsuki what he assumed was his phone. “Fully charged and ready for use.”

 

Katsuki looked at the phone for a second to see if it was him, and he figured it must be, regardless of the stupid looking BOOM phone charm that was hanging from the phone case. Katsuki swiped his phone out of Kirishima’s hand and immediately input his password: 2004.

 

Incorrect.

 

What the fuck? “What the hell is my password?”

 

“One-six-one-zero,” Kirishima replied with a small smile.

 

Frowning, Katsuki tried it. 

 

His phone unlocked. Huh. That was odd; Katsuki typically used his birthday as a password, but maybe Normal Katsuki changed his mind. 

 

He scrolled through his phone, trying to find out as much as he possibly could about himself, all the while making sure Kirishima wasn’t peeking. Katsuki went into his chats, seeing several individual conversations and one group chat named “Bitch Babies”, which caught his attention immediately. It was a chat with Kaminari, Ashido, Kirishima, Sero, Jirou, and Katsuki. It was…

 

Full of stupidity. 

 

There were endless jokes, memes, screaming, sass, idiotic puns, and Katsuki actually did participate in the chat regularly, though not as much as the others. He didn’t go all out, but he was there . It was so weird reading his casual replies, his fast sharp joking quips that were disguised as angry comments, but his “friends” enjoyed his presence. This was so weird

 

“You didn’t go through my phone, did you? ‘Cause I fuckin’ swear--”

 

“No way, man! I’d never invade your privacy like that,” Kirishima assured him. “That’s a betrayal of trust; totally unmanly.”

 

Unmanly. Katsuki rolled his eyes and continued to look through the texts.

 

The individual chats were mostly Ashido, Jirou, Kaminari, Sero, and...what the fuck? Was that Deku? He had to open the chat, and he couldn’t believe is eyes. 

 

shitty deku: we’re meeting in beta, right?

 

me: that’s what i fucking said yesterday. pay more attention.

 

shitty deku: i think i should practice the black whip today

 

me: doesn’t matter what you use-- still gonna kick your ass 

 

shitty deku: we’ll see about that

 

me: i’m gonna fucking drag your face on the damn pavement if you say that shit to me again

 

shitty deku: We’ll See About That

 

me: i’m killing you right now i’m going downstairs right now i’m gonna kill you

 

shitty deku: ok! I’m waiting right here

 

They went on to insulting each other, but it was clear that they were empty threats and only seeking a challenge. They continued to talk about sparring and other shit; the further Katsuki went back into the chat, the more--

 

Hold on. What was that?

 

me: youre a little pussy ass bitch

 

shitty deku: gee thanks i was already feeling totally amazing

 

me: you had the perfect opportunity and you blew it. you missed. Infuckingcredible.

 

shitty deku: I GET NERVOUS AROUND HER OKAY?

 

me: JUST FUCKING CONFESS IM SO TIRED OF YOU. HOLY SHIT.

 

The next day, another short series of texts.

 

shitty deku: did it. she reciprocates. i’m losing my mind i have a girlfriend holy crap

 

me: absolutely fucking disgusting

 

Outside of that, there was nothing really interesting. 

 

Except for one chat that really stuck out from the rest.

 

A chat with the name: Red.

 

Red: you ready?

 

me: five minutes

 

Red: kaaaaaaaaattsssuuuukkkkkiiiiiiii

 

me: CAN YOU FUCKING WAIT????

 

Red: but i’m so bored T_T who else is gonna yell at me?

 

me: i’m almost fucking done, you goddamn baby

 

Red: YAY!!!! i’ll meet you outside!

 

Then, another day…

 

me: [link to cat video]

 

Red: LOL I’M SCREAMING I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU SENT ME THIS

 

me: you were upset all day and it was fucking annoying

 

Red: awwww you were concerned

 

me: shut up and enjoy the goddamn cat

 

Okay, so most of the stuff was regular normal average stupid shit that Katsuki didn’t really care about.

 

But the most recent…

 

Red: we need to talk about what happened

 

me: not now

 

Red: okay, not now, but i don’t wanna wait so long. i’m serious about this.

 

me: it can wait until after my mission tomorrow

 

Red: fine

 

Red: i meant what i said

 

me: i know. me too.

 

Staring down at the messages, Katsuki tried to understand what the context was, but to no avail. There was no doubt about it; Kirishima was apparently very special to Katsuki. He wanted to ask Kirishima about it, but it didn’t seem like the right time, and he didn’t know enough yet. So, he decided to wait.

 

Pocketing his phone, he said, “Well? What else?”

 

Kirishima tapped his chin in thought. “Well, we have school from Monday through Saturday, and we have tutoring on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Most of the time, most of us are busy with our internships outside of school time, but we try and find the time to spar and workout together. Sometimes you spar with Midoriya if I’m not available that day.”

 

Katsuki clenched his hands into fists and he fumed. “Why the fuck would I ever want to spar with Deku?”

 

“Because you guys are friends,” Kirishima said simply. “Uh, well, kinda? I don’t know; you guys are weird.”

 

“There’s no fucking way in hell that he and I are...friends,” he ended lowly and bitterly.

 

Kirishima chuckled. “Man, I think that’s gonna end up being the toughest adjustment for you, huh? You’re tight rivals, I think is the more accurate word, instead of friends, but I’m also pretty sure you’re friends even if you don’t wanna admit it.”

 

Never mind.

 

Katsuki didn’t want to wait for answers to their relationship.

 

He just wanted to toss Kirishima out of the window.

 

“Deku and I are not friends and we will never be friends,” Katsuki growled. “That’s fucking final.”

 

Instead of stepping down, Kirishima shrugged. “Whatever, man. I’m not the one with missing memories, but okay.” Before Katsuki could snap at him, Kirishima said, “I’m gonna get changed to go downstairs and chill. Get comfortable! Join us later.” He left Katsuki’s room without another word, leaving Katsuki in the middle of the room stupidly staring at the door. 

 

What the fuck?

 

Katsuki didn’t want to be in the common room with all of those strangers; he felt awkward and strange, out of space, but instinctively tried so hard not to push himself away because...he knew these people somehow. 

 

Damn, this was so confusing and difficult.

 

While he had some quiet time to himself, he continued looking through his texts, trying to find more context of their relationship, but a lot of the texts often seemed to be out of context and vague, making it obvious that most of their communication was done in person. That made sense, of course; they lived right next door to each other, they were in the same class, they spar together, and presumably did a shit ton of other things together, so why would they need to text? Well, that didn’t really help Katsuki right now. 

 

Red: you looked really good today btw

 

me: i always look good

 

Red: true! but even more today. i’ve never seen those pants on you. they look great

 

me: is this your roundabout way of saying you were looking at my ass?

 

Red: your legs but Okay

 

me: stop staring at my lower half

 

Red: then stop staring at my upper half

 

me: i literally ever look at you wtf are you talking about

 

Red: YOURE SO FULL OF SHIT LOL

 

me: i’ve never seen another man in my entire life. Disgusting

 

Red: lmao youre so annoying

 

For a moment, Katsuki needed to drop his phone face down on the bed out of embarrassment. Why was he texting like that? Why was he talking like that? Why was he acting like that? He was flirting. That was definitely flirting. Why was he flirting? Katsuki was so disturbed, but...he needed to know more.

 

There was another day…

 

Red: hey! want me to come over and help you with your hands?

 

me: no, i’m fine.

 

Red: you sure? i saw they were shaking a bit after training. you did two howitzers. plus we sparred so that’s a lot

 

me: i said i’m fine

 

Red: i’m coming over anyway

 

me: why are you so annoying

 

Red: that’s not what you said last week!

 

me: I TOLD YOU TO NEVER MENTION IT!!!!!!!

 

Red: well! i did!

 

me: SHUT UP

 

Red: call me handsome again!

 

me: shut the fuck up and DIE

 

Red: katsuki ur gonna make me cry i’m already crying

 

me: oh my fucking god STOP being such a fucking baby. just come to my room already 

 

Red: OMW!!!!!

 

Katsuki slammed his phone on the bed and refused to pick it up again, cursing it silently and trying to ignore the warmth in his cheeks and the tips of his ears. He hated all of that. All he wanted to do now was just sit on the bed and contemplate whatever the fuck he just read and all the shit people have been telling him about himself and his “friends”. It was all such bullshit. He wanted to be left alone.

 

Then, someone knocked on his door.

 

Katsuki groaned loudly, but stood anyway to answer the door. He stood and angrily stomped over to his door. “What the fuck do you wa--” When he opened, Deku was standing on the other side.

 

He opened his mouth and Katsuki slammed the door on his face.

 

There was a sigh on the other side. “Kacchan, please open the door.”

 

“Fuck you.”

 

Deku sighed again, fucking again, had the audacity to sigh twice at Katsuki. “We really need to talk.”

 

“No, we don’t,” Katsuki ground out. “Just leave me the fuck alone!”

 

“It has to do with All Might.”

 

Oh...what?

 

Katsuki pinched the bridge of his nose. “Just, ugh, fucking tell me through the door, or whatever.”

 

“No,” Deku said, “it’s a huge secret and we need to be somewhere private, not inside this building. We can go outside to the back; All Might is already waiting there--”

 

“I don’t want to fucking follow you--”

 

“You need to, Kacchan.”

 

Katsuki was grinding his teeth so hard it almost hurt. 

 

“I know you’re confused and scared--”

 

Fuck you!

 

“--and I know that you hate me right now--”

 

I do!

 

“--but you have to believe me when I say we’re friends now and you hold a very important secret of mind. It’s a secret to take to the grave. I need you to know it.”

 

Katsuki scoffed. “Why? I’m gonna get my memories back, anyway. I don’t give a fuck.”

 

“Because if I don’t tell you about my quirk, then you’ll be resting in rage for the rest of the time this amnesia is affecting you, so...please.” He sounded so patient and like he just knew Katsuki. He remembered what Kirishima and Aizawa told him; his relationship with Deku had changed and they were on better terms, going as far as to say they’re friends. Katsuki saw the proof in the text messages, too, and he couldn’t deny that evidence. In reality, it didn’t really matter, because Katsuki didn’t feel like that right now .

 

Even so, it would be stupid and childish to reject him right now, wouldn’t it? He hated to admit it, but being this clueless really had him willing to listen to people’s answered; that didn’t mean he didn’t hate it. It’s not like he had many options in the first place.

 

So, Katsuki opened the door.

 

Deku was dressed in black basketball shorts and a white shrit with the text T-SHIRT on the front (God, Katsuki wanted to knock him the fuck out for wearing something so damn stupid). He wore a kind smile and asked, “Are you ready?”

 

“Shut the fuck up.”

 

Deku turned and started walking, ignoring Katsuki’s harshness and expecting him to follow, which only angered Katsuki even more. “We’re going outside. All Might is waiting for us behind the dorm building; there’s a small area there with some benches and space where the class hangs out to play games and have picnics.”

 

“I don’t fucking care.”

 

“You should.”

 

Katsuki couldn’t help the explosions that escaped his palms. “Don’t you dare tell me what to do, useless shithead. I’ll fucking kill you, I swear to Satan.”

 

“Sure, Kacchan.”

 

Katsuki’s eye twitched. “Stop fucking mocking me!”

 

“I’m not,” Deku said lightly. “I only want to help you.”

 

“I didn’t ask. I didn’t fucking ask.”

 

Deku hummed under his breath, but didn’t say anything else. Katsuki wasn’t sure if he should be insulted or grateful for the silence.

 

Neither of them spoke again throughout the rest of the journey outside, and Katsuki just studied his surroundings, trying to get adjusted to everything as best as he could. 

 

When they passed the common room, several classmates waved and said hi.

 

“Where’re you guys going?” Ashido asked.

 

“Sparring,” Deku lied easily. “Kacchan challenged me.” The lie was so smooth that it even surprised Katsuki how Deku managed to not even waver on it.

 

Katsuki scowled. He didn’t call Deku out on the lie even though he kind of wanted to, but decided against it because he realized whatever the hell this secret was, it must be huge . Deku was a shit liar, but he somehow managed to get by with this. Katsuki had to go along with it. “I’m dying to kick his ass,” Katsuki said. 

 

Deku looked slightly relieved and continued to lead the way out. After they both finished putting on their shoes, Ashido waved goodbye. “Have fun, guys!” Deku waved back, but Katsuki didn’t bother with it. 

 

Then, Katsuki and Deku walked out of the building and closed the door behind them.

 

They rounded the corner to walk behind the building, sufficiently secluded, and All Might stood there under the light of a lamp post. He smiled when he saw them and something inside Katsuki twisted, a strange feeling of pain hitting his heart. 

 

“Young Bakugou,” All Might said, “thank you for coming.”

 

Katsuki huffed out a breath and crossed his arms. “Whatever,” he mumbled. “Just tell me what’s going on.”

 

Deku stepped forward into the light to stand next to All Might. There was something in his eyes that changed, serious and firm, but not unkind. “I’ll be straightforward with you because I know you’ll hate anything else,” Deku started. “I have a quirk.”

 

Katsuki’s fingers dug into his arms and his eyebrows furrowed. “No, you don’t. That’s fu--freaking impossible.” As childish as it seemed to Katsuki, he also didn’t want to swear in front of All Might; it felt wrong and disrespectful. 

 

“Yes, I do,” Deku refuted. “It was given to me,” he gestured to All Might, “by All Might; I’m his successor.”

 

“Shut up,” Katsuki growled. “That’s not possible.”

 

All Might took a small step towards Katsuki. “It is, young Bakugou,” he said. “Please, let us explain.”

 

Katsuki wanted to leave so badly. He just wanted to turn around and walk away, ignore all this shit and pretend he never even left his dorm in the first place, but he stayed. 

 

But he stayed.

 

And he listened.

 

Despite how much it hurt.

 

One For All, All For One, successor to successor, a legacy, a legend, a kidnapped boy, a fallen hero, and a shared secret. Katsuki was silent throughout the entirety of the story All Might and Deku shared with him. He knew all of this already, and he couldn’t remember, but he knew. Then, there was something heavy and upsetting in the pit of Katsuki’s stomach. There was a guilt settling in, but also acknowledgement and an attempt to move on and come to terms with all of it happening at the same time. He assumed that he had come to terms with it. 

 

Katsuki was mad, sad, disappointed, guilty, and resigned all at once. Since he woke up, he’s felt all sorts of shitty emotions he barely felt before, and now he was having a hard time dealing with them at the same time. 

 

How did seventeen year old Katsuki handle himself? How the hell did he cope with all this goddamn madness?

 

“Therapy and friends, mostly,” Deku answered, and Katsuki belatedly realized he said that last part aloud. “You got really serious about dealing with your mental health issues and then you said, and I quote, ‘Fuck this PTSD shit-- I’m kicking its ass to the curb, just watch me!’ So, yeah. Here you are.” Hearing Deku swear was weird enough, but knowing that that was something Katsuki actually said was even weirder. It’s his phrasing, the attitude, everything that made it clear that Deku wasn’t making that up. Normal Katsuki must really be doing all of those things. 

 

“So, I’m good now, or what? Am I still weak as hell? Am I still failing?” Katsuki asked roughly.

 

All Might shook his head. “Asking for help is not being weak. In fact, it shows how incredibly strong you are. It was a hard decision for you to make, but you had the courage and bravery to reach out; you’ve pushed through.”

 

“Plus, your friends are always there for you,” Deku said, smiling. “If you’re having trouble, just stick with them and they’ll help you. When you’re down, usually they drag you somewhere off campus to hang out, especially Kirishima.”

 

Kirishima.

 

He should ask Deku about Kirishima. He could know something. 

 

Katsuki didn’t want to be here anymore; he wanted to be in the safety of his room and not surrounded by shit he didn’t understand. Before heading back inside the building, Katsuki grumbled a small, “Thanks,” to All Might. Ugh, that was hard to do. 

 

After Deku bid All Might goodnight, they both made their way back to the other side of the building. When they were far enough from All Might, Katsuki turned and said, “Deku.”

 

Deku stopped in his tracks. “Yeah?”

 

Best just to get the question out right away. “Are Kirishima and I dating?”

 

Deku looked slightly surprised and he rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m...not sure.”

 

Katsuki frowned. “Huh? The fuck kind of answer is that?”

 

“The best one I can give you, sadly.” Deku gave him an apologetic smile. “You’re both really close; you’ve only gotten closer since last year and you’re typically happy with him.”

 

“What, normal me doesn’t talk about it?”

 

“No, it’s just that, well…” Deku sighed. “If you were dating and didn’t tell anyone, no one would be able to tell the difference, I think. You and I have spoken about it before, but you never confirmed it.”

 

“He’s clingy,” he said.

 

“He’s always like that with you.”

 

“There’s a photo above my desk of Kirishima and I in matching suits and I have goddamn... white roses on the vest,” Katsuki said.

 

“Yeah, that’s from last summer,” Deku replied. “Kirishima got matching suits for the both of you.”

 

That...was not platonic.

 

Katsuki ran a hand through his hair. “There’s just..there’s shit of him everywhere in my goddamn space and the texts don’t give me any clear answers, and he’s acting like he’s just a friend, so what the fuck--”

 

“Did you talk to him about it?”

 

Huh?” Katsuki let out a dry laugh. “Are you fucking insane? I don’t know him.”

 

Deku shrugged. “Sure, but he knows you.” He started walking again. “Maybe if you’re not comfortable talking to him about it directly, then you should ask your other friends to make sure. They probably know more than me.”

 

That wasn’t a satisfying answer at all, but it was the start of a start.

 

When Katsuki got back inside the building and saw the clowns everyone called his “friends” sitting on one of the couches, he headed towards their direction. Upon seeing him, Kaminari said, “Hey, man! How did the ass kicking go?”

 

Katsuki pointed at Jirou, Ashido, Kaminari, and Sero. “My room,” he ordered. “Now.”

 

They all looked at each other with raised eyebrows and silent questions, but they followed him regardless. Katsuki had a feeling that was maybe not the first time he’s demanded something vague from them. 

 

Of course, they chattered on the way to Katsuki’s room, annoying the shit out of him, but he gritted his teeth and kept in the rage. For now.

 

The moment they walked into his dorm, they made themselves awfully comfortable in his space, completely disregarding whatever the hell he wanted. “Hey, get the fuck off my bed!”

 

“Awww,” Ashido whined,” but we always get to sit on your bed.” Katsuki couldn’t tell if that was a lie or not.

 

“We’ve had sleepovers in here,” Jirou said. 

 

Katsuki opened his mouth to argue, but he stopped the words from escaping him because he knew it would go on forever. He just wanted to know one thing. “I only called you idiots in here because I need to know if Kirishima and I are dating.” There. That was good.

 

The answers, however, were beyond less than helpful.

 

“Uh…”

 

“Yes!”

 

“No.”

 

“I think so. Probably.”

 

Katsuki wanted to explode his own head. “What kind of fucking answers are that? This is a yes or no question!”

 

“Listen, you gotta understand,” Kaminari said, “you’re both really complicated and kinda dumb.”

 

Katsuki bristled. “Did you just fucking call me dumb?”

 

“Yeah,” Sero said, “because you are.”

 

“Fuck you--”

 

“I mean,” Jirou cut in, “I personally think you two might be dating because it kinda looks that way a lot of the time. I didn’t say a definite yes because some of the stuff could be interpreted as platonic, though I doubt it is.”

 

“But you’re both so obviously in love!” Ashido whined. “It has to be official.”

 

Katsuki dropped down on his bed with a huff, now more frustrated than before. “I don’t--” His eyes went wide and breathing stilled, realizing the larger context.

 

They know he’s gay.

 

Katsuki’s known he was gay since he was...well, since forever, really. Since kids in class started talking about crushes, kid movies with cute kiss scenes, romance everywhere in society’s media--

 

Yeah, he always knew.

 

But no one else did.

 

Katsuki wasn’t scared of judgement, not at all, and it wasn’t as if he was going to receive much, anyway. He just knew that things like sexuality and romance made things complicated and it was also ridiculous. He didn’t think it was that important, and no one ever asked for his opinions on those matters. Girls had confessed to him in the past, but he always unkindly rejected them. He didn’t think he’d ever do things like dating or other gross romantic stuff, especially obnoxious flirting, but the proof was in the text and the words of his supposed... friends.

 

“Bro, you good?” Sero tapped his knee and Katsuki swatted his hand away.

 

“I’m fucking fine ,” he grumbled, still half-stuck in thought. “You just...know way too fucking much about me.”

 

“We’re your friends, dummy,” Ashido giggled.

 

“When did I come out?” Katsuki asked unintentionally. He internally cursed himself.

 

“Last year,” Kaminari replied with a smirk. “Probably still one of my favorite things ever, actually.”

 

“Oh my God, yeah,” Jirou laughed, “it was amazing.”

 

Were they...laughing at him? “What the hell do you mean?”

 

“We’re not making fun of you,” Sero assured him.

 

“You came out towards the end of our first year,” Ashido explained. “One night, most of the class decided to have a movie night. You showed up, which was really surprising, but great. After the movie, we were all just talking and whatever and it got to the topic of crushes and those super cliché questions like ‘who’s pretty’ and ‘who would you date’. You were mostly reading a book on your phone, but then the boys wanted you to participate because you’re such a sourpuss. They asked you some stuff and, well…” Her smile grew wider, small laughs starting to escape.

 

Well?

 

“Okay, dude, jeez!” Kaminari laughed. “Mineta, who was expelled--”

 

“Good riddance,” Jirou mumbled. 

 

“--asked you about what girl in the class you found attractive, some stuff about your type, and when you said you didn’t give a shit, he said, ‘So, you think the 1-A girls are ugly?’ so you kicked him back and yelled, ‘Fuck you! I’m gay!’ and left.” He sighed dramatically. “The most incredible thing I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes.”

 

They all laughed at the memory, a fun shared experience between friends, and even though he couldn’t remember, the corner of Katsuki’s mouth twitched up.

 

“We were all dying, it was so awesome,” Ashido said with a wide smile.

 

“Oof, Eijirou’s face, though,” Jirou said with a smirk, shaking her head. 

 

“What? What the hell was his face?” Katsuki demanded.

 

“Happiness and relief,” Sero said.

 

“Boy was like, ‘Yes, he’s gay! Thank the lord!’,” Kaminari laughed.

 

Taking his phone out of his pocket, Sero said, “Guys, what are we doing?” He shook his head. “Why are we talking when,” he waved his phone around, “we have a ton of videos and pictures of the squad?”

 

Ashido gasped. “Yes! I love that!” She quickly took out her phone and was scarily fast at finding what she wanted. “Look at this one!” She practically shoved her phone mere centimeters away from his face and he just grabbed it out of annoyance. She seemed way too happy about showing him whatever this was.

 

Katsuki pressed play and--

 

What The Fuck?

 

He paused it without hesitation and demanded, “Context!

 

Ashido explained, “We lost a bet to the Dekusquad--”

 

“The fucking what?”

 

“--so we had to do a dance cover with only a week to learn it perfectly. It was crazy; we had to include wardrobe, makeup, lip sync, and make it into an entire performance.”

 

“What the fuck?”

 

“We totally killed it!” Ashido cheered. “It was so much fun! Also, do you know that it’s hard to modify a nine person dance into six people? Because it’s hard,” Ashido said, “but so worth it.”

 

Katsuki looked back at the screen and almost died of embarrassment. Katsuki, Kirishima, Sero, Jirou, Ashido, and Kaminari were all dressed like night life city girls, but the boys had slightly more “masculine” styles, though still a bit revealing. Somehow, it seemed as though they were all dressed according to their own specific styles, but the overall theme was clear. Their makeup was...really good. Katsuki noticed the perfect eyeliner he was wearing and... huh. Looks kind of cool.

 

It matched them all perfectly. 

 

Katsuki was almost scared now. What the fuck was going to happen? He was embarrassed, yes, but he was also extremely curious. So, he pressed play.

 

The music started, upbeat and catchy, then the sharp choreography began, and suddenly Katsuki understood the full theme. It was really feminine and obviously outdated by a few decades, but still appealing, and the dance was so in sync it was almost scary. Katsuki couldn’t stop watching. His face was burning and palms sweating, but it was like a train-wreck he couldn’t tear his eyes from.

 

But Katsuki knew it wasn’t a train-wreck, not really; he saw it clearly on his own face. Of course their performance was flawless; with Katsuki on their team, he’d force them all to be perfect, but he began to see they all really wanted it to be the best performance they could offer. It was written all over their faces. It was the refusal to be embarrassed by the loss of the bet, the passion in their eyes, and the genuine fun they were having that made his heart ache.

 

“What the hell-- what is this song?”

 

“Ancient k-pop,” Jirou replied. “It’s ‘Fancy’ by TWICE.”

 

As the performance continued, Katsuki couldn’t help but focus on himself, examining his own appearance. It had him thinking a lot, ever since he saw himself in the window of the infirmary, the fact that he has changed so much. Katsuki notices the first two piercings in his ears in this video and it makes him wonder when he got them. When the nurse had given him a mirror to look at himself and saw seven piercings, two of those being small gauges, he was so shocked he almost dropped the mirror. He kind of felt a bit ridiculous being slightly scandalized at that, but it really caught him off guard. Katsuki kind of thought that piercings were cool, but he didn’t think he’d get this many. It was almost uncomfortable how much more Katsuki showed of himself on the outside for others to see. 

 

They went on to other videos and photos.

 

Videos of them hanging out and stupid closeups of Katsuki studying or cooking with captions like, “CAUTION: WILL EXPLODE” and “he looks so calm when he’s cooking...not ugly...gentlemen, come and get ur man”. Then, there was the karaoke, mall, themepark, camping, training, beach, tutoring-- so much of all of them together and it made Katsuki’s heart full. The way he behaved was different, too. It was clear Katsuki matured, but seeing it on himself was off-putting.

 

Katsuki’s stress dissipated a bit, finding himself to be more comfortable with these people. They were together so often and they had proof of it all that Katsuki didn’t really have a choice of whether or not to accept their help; it was clear they’d do it, anyway.

 

Katsuki grabbed his own phone and unlocked it, immediately going through his photos to see if he could find Kirishima anywhere. The rest of his nosy... friends leaned over to look with him. He hesitated when he found what he was looking for.

 

Pictures of them at the gym, at the arcade, in his bedroom watching a movie or studying, in Katsuki’s house baking, mountain climbing and hiking, at the pool, at the beach, and a...video of Katsuki?

 

There was a moment of silence and they all waited in heavy anticipation. Katsuki played the video.

 

It began with sights of a beautiful forest, then a mountain in the distance, but whoever was filming was already high up, by a cliff, maybe. They stopped walking, admiring all the peaks and valleys, enjoying the wonderful tranquility of nature. Suddenly, Katsuki wanted to go hiking again-- he felt the need to escape.

 

“Here we are!” Kirishima announced behind the camera, doing a panoramic view. “Paradise.”

 

There was a scoff off screen, and the camera turned to point at Katsuki, who was wearing cold weather hiking gear, bundled up comfortably. “That was so stupid.”

 

“C’mon, it was great,” Kirishima chuckled. 

 

Katsuki shook his head, dropped his backpack on the ground, and began unpacking their materials and equipment to set up camp. “Stop fucking filming and help me set this shit up; we have to put up the tent and make food, hopefully before the sun sets. Also, we need to make a fire, so stop messing around, Eijirou.”

 

“Aw,” Kirishima whined, getting really close to Katsuki’s face, “but this is a precious memory! How else can we enjoy this amazing evening in heavenly nature?”

 

“By actually being present in it and setting up a damn tent instead of making a dumb video.”

 

Kirishima sighed dramatically. “All I wanted was to capture some nice memories to look back on. I suppose it was a failure.”

 

Katsuki snorted in amusement and pushed the phone away. “You’re so annoying,” he said, no bite to it.

 

“You’re the one who wanted me to come, y’know,” Katsuki was sure Kirishima was smirking because his voice was smug. 

 

“Shut up.” Katsuki continued to unpack. There was no irritation or anger anywhere, just calm playfulness on both sides.

 

Katsuki began to take out the equipment and ingredients they needed to cook and Kirishima said, “Oh, look at that.” He zoomed in close. “So prepared.”

 

“Oh my fucking God.”

 

“Let’s see what our five star internationally acclaimed chef has on the menu for this trip.” Kirishima extended his hand formed into a fist, keeping it under Katsuki’s face, as if he was holding a microphone. “What fantastic meals will you be preparing?”

 

At that, Katsuki laughed, “Really, shut the fuck up.”

 

“I’ve never had that before,” Kirishima said in amazement. “It must be delicious.”

 

This time, Katsuki laughed louder, genuine and full of mirth. “I’m feeding you worms and animal shit.”

 

“I’m sure you’d be able to make it taste real good,” Kirishima said, a smile in his voice.

 

Katsuki shook his head, amused. “You’re so gross.”

 

“Hold on,” Kirishima laughed, “you’re the one who said you’d feed me literal shit!”

 

“And you’d fucking eat it? Gross.”

 

“Well, I’d never say no to your cooking.”

 

Katsuki paused in his movements, a small blush dusting his cheeks, but then he continued like nothing. “I’ll poison you one day.”

 

“And take my fortune?” Kirishima asked teasingly. “You can be one of those ladies who murdered her husband to inherit his money and she lives a lavish life, but this time it’s gay.”

 

“For starters, I’d never marry someone I’m planning on murdering,” Katsuki said. “That’s just a waste of time.”

 

“Well, that’s a real comfort.” Kirishima asked, “So, what kind of guy would you marry?” in a tone that implied he already knew.

 

Katsuki took in a breath. “Strong,” he replied, “and brave. A guy who doesn’t take shit from anyone, especially not from me. Someone who knows me, all of me, not just the aggressive side that everyone hates. A guy that’s kinda stupid, but also kinda smart in his own dumb ways, especially emotionally because I’m complete garbage at that shit.” He gave Kirishima a quick glance. “He has to be hot, too.” He paused, setting down the last items for the tent setup. “A guy that’s real fuckin’ manly.”

 

“I wonder who that could be,” Kirishima airily sighed, dramatics seeping through plainly in each word. “My ideal guy is kinda different.”

 

Katsuki raised an eyebrow. “Tell me.” There was that look of curiosity and I-Already-Know in his eyes, soft and patient, real happiness. This was just a game they were playing with each other, and Katsuki was definitely in it.

 

Kirishima hummed in thought, but it was all for show. “My type of guy is really smart, hot, tough, and good at everything,” he replied, making Katsuki’s blush spread to the tips of his ears. “People think he’s scary and mean, but I don’t. I love guys with passion, dedication, and power. The type of guy I like knows how to be a nice person, but he kinda sucks at it; that doesn’t really matter, though, because I know he tries. The guy I wanna marry knows how to cook and clean, too, and I’ll help him. Most importantly, he’s super manly.”

 

Katsuki’s blush both in the video and in real time were so strong it reminded him of Kirishima’s hair, which was so cheesy.

 

In the video, Katsuki hummed under his breath. “If I find my ideal type, I could probably fall in love.”

 

There was a small silence, from them both, but the sound of the wind that pushed Katsuki’s hair back a little bit came through the speaker. 

 

A small smile made its way to Katsuki’s lips. He shook his head. “Alright, now help me with this shit; I’m hungry and I wanna sleep.”

 

Kirishima chuckled, “Yes, sir!”

 

The video ended.

 

Now, in the present, the five of them in Katsuki’s room, they all realized how deep this was. Katsuki was frozen until he heard sniffling next to him; Ashido and Kaminari were teary eyed and close to crying. “What the fuck?”

 

“I’m sorry,” Ashido said in a shaky voice, rubbing her eyes. “It was just… People talk about true love all the time and sometimes it seems so dumb and impossible,” she points at the phone, “but there it is.”

 

Jirou made a small noise of discomfort and sat back, away from the crowd they formed around Katsuki. “We…” Jirou started, “I don’t think we were meant to see that.”

 

Sero shook his head. “Agreed,” he said. “That was super private.”

 

Katsuki was hit with a rush of embarrassment and all he wanted to do was explode his phone into a million pieces and hide. He knew he’d lose his mind over this even more when his memories came back. All he wanted was more answers. He wanted more proof. He wanted more experiences. He wanted his memories back, but first he needed to learn about his life.

 

But one thing was clear.

 

There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Katsuki and Kirishima were in love.

 

“What’re you gonna do?” Kaminari asked.

 

“Eijirou isn’t gonna pursue you like this,” Ashido said. “He’s gonna be careful and not say anything about it.”

 

“We know you, Bakugou,” Sero said, putting a hand on his shoulder. He didn’t push away this time. “You’re thinking of doing something already.”

 

Yes, he was.

 

Mentally, he was two years less mature that the Bakugou Katsuki they all know, but he could search and learn more about himself and maybe that would help him bring some memories back. He’d survive just fine, yeah, but now there was Kirishima. Katsuki saw what he looked like when he was in love and he couldn’t forget it; the softness in his eyes, the roughness in his voice gone, genuine happy laughs coming out of him, the red on his cheeks, and how natural it all was. Not just that, but he still couldn’t get over how much his physical appearance had changed as well. Katsuki was still himself, 100% Bakugou Katsuki, but it was...a better version of himself. 

 

So much had changed and Katsuki could barely keep up with it all.

 

But he wasn’t a fucking quitter, so he’d do his damn best and try.

 

There must’ve been something special about the people he surrounds himself with, something that makes Katsuki want to be friends with them. There must’ve been something about Kirishima that made Katsuki fall in love with him.

 

He needed to find out what that was.

 

“So, what’re you gonna do?” Jirou asked.

 

For Katsuki, the answer was easy.

 

“Simple,” Katsuki replied. “I’m gonna fall in love with him again.

 

Chapter Text

Katsuki threw open his closet door and pulled out his drawers, almost dramatically, just to find workout clothing. He was so damn tired, but he forced himself to stay awake and start his day like the Normal Katsuki would at 5am on a fucking Sunday morning. 

 

As it turned out, Katsuki was even more meticulous about his schedule and daily routines at seventeen years old than he was when he was fifteen, and figuring out his day-to-day wasn’t too difficult considering he had almost everything written down in his planner and calendar. He was half-irritated half-impressed that seventeen year old Katsuki had his entire week, his entire month , planned out down to a T. It obviously took a lot of work and dedication to get to this  point; he saw it clearly all over his body, his muscles and scars showing off that his efforts didn’t go to waste, but that didn’t mean he still wasn’t fucking tired

 

This body had much more stamina and strength, he could say that much, and he saw some of his training videos the night before; he couldn’t help but be fascinated. Katsuki discovered that his Normal Katsuki recorded his progress and took small notes on his improvements and weak points, all of it incredibly detailed and technical. Notes on anatomy, how long he could use his quirk and how he could use it, the negative effects of overuse, how to push himself past his limits without causing permanent damage-- it was all very educational.

 

Reading over his notes, looking through his planner and calendar, scrolling through videos, chats, and photos taught him a couple of things. 

 

First off, he could use Howitzer four times in a row now ( holy shit ), but only during a training session when he wasn’t doing any other moves, solely focusing on improving his Howitzer and building more muscle resistance. However, in a full blown battle, he could only use Howitzer twice to its full power, having to dedicate the rest of his energy into other moves and hand-to-hand combat. If he was already strained, using Howitzer more than twice would essentially render his arms useless. There were notes on how he ended up in the infirmary once, unable to use his arms properly for a few days, having difficulties with eating, writing, showering, and other mundane things. Normal Katsuki knew his limits. 

 

Secondly, he trained in the morning, evening, and in class when they had hero training and physical education. Katsuki typically did cardio in the morning and weight training in the evening; both times, however, could also be replaced with sparring. Interestingly enough, there were, in fact, videos of Katsuki sparring with several different people. Mostly, it was with Kirishima, but then there was Deku (which made Katsuki gag), hand-to-hand with Uraraka, and intense quirk-showdowns with Todoroki (and Katsuki seemed to throw a lot of tantrums when those matches came around, for some reason). 

 

Thirdly, his diet was stricter, but not so much. He generally wasn’t an unhealthy person, genuinely enjoying nutritious and filling foods; Katsuki had always paid attention to his body’s needs. Katsuki knew how to cook well and he liked being in the kitchen, so newer, healthier recipes Normal Katsuki had listed for his meal plans piqued Katsuki’s interest. Normal Katsuki allowed himself to diverge from his diet on occasion, though. It was clear he also enjoyed baking sweet things, noting other recipes that didn’t seem to be from online sources, but rather from another person directly. Katsuki wondered if there was someone in the class who appreciated baking. Maybe that’s where Normal Katsuki got it from. 

 

Finally, he noticed very quickly that he wore makeup on a regular basis.

 

That shocked Katsuki a bit because he didn’t ever think that he would indulge in something he found to be completely pointless, but in reality it wasn’t much makeup at all. From the bag of cosmetics he found, the eyeliner was the most used item, and from the photos and videos he saw, he knew he looked...really good with it, so he let it slide. There was also mascara, some natural neutral shade eyeshadow palettes, and some very subtle lipsticks. Again, he let it all slide. Who was he to throw all the shit away? He’d probably regret it later.  

 

When Katsuki finally found his workout clothing after a solid ten goddamn minutes of looking through the drawers and his closet, he changed out of his pajamas and got ready to head to the track...wherever that was.

 

He definitely needed a campus map.

 

Before getting fully dressed, however, Katsuki took the time to look at himself in the mirror, wearing only his boxers, and inspected his body. He saw it last night, yeah, but his mind was too busy running on overdrive to really take it all in. Now, he saw the scars, muscles, broader shoulders, hairstyle, piercings-- all of it in full detail. He looked good. He looked really good. He knew he was handsome, yes, but he never gave a shit about any of that shit regardless. He looked really good because he looked strong and powerful ; he oozed determination and confidence from every pore. Looking attractive in terms of being handsome , pretty , or hot didn’t matter to him, but he knew he fell into the category of being attractive by society’s standards. Why the fuck does it matter, anyway? It didn’t matter to him what others thought of his looks.

 

Except he cared about the opinion of one person, apparently, and he wasn’t subtle about it, either. 

 

Katsuki only saw himself wearing eyeliner in photos where he was hanging out with his... friends . He never wore it when he was in school or training, which made sense, but he did wear thick smudged black eyeliner around his eyes to blend in with the mask of his hero costume (Katsuki didn’t really think that counted, in this case).

 

Katsuki knew what Good Style was because of the fact that he’d been surrounded by fashion his entire life due to his parents being so heavily involved in the industry; he just personally didn’t care about putting the effort into it for himself. He would still wear his regular black shirts, baggy pants, the same three pairs of shoes (black loafers, black boots, and white sneakers), the same two hoodies-- it was all the same. That had been his style for years and he found comfort in the fact that aspect of himself hadn’t really changed much.

 

However, he seemed to put his stylish knowledge to work when he was trying to get people’s attention. It was just one person, though. One very specific person. It was too obvious. It was the extra ten kilometers of effort. He still wore his signature black, but his pants weren’t baggy, his shirts were slightly more fitted, the eyeliner was perfect, nice eyeshadow blends, lightly tinted lips--

 

Katsuki almost died when he made the realization that he was really trying to get some attention, and he knew exactly who he was trying to attract. Normal Katsuki trying to woo Kirishima was like a fucking male bird fluffing himself up and dancing to find a goddamn mate; Katsuki wanted to bash his head through the wall. 

 

He just couldn’t believe he would do all of this. He was so different.

 

But then again, he wasn’t, not really. He was still the same he’d always been; loud, brash, vulgar, and challenging-- all essential parts of who Bakugou Katsuki was. There was a shift in him, though. Something deep in him changed and Katsuki wanted to know what that was.

 

Deku mentioned Friends and Therapy helped him move forward, but both of those concepts left a sour taste in his mouth. He could feel the trauma deep deep inside of him, but aside from the sludge villain, he couldn’t remember any of it. There were small moments when he would hear a certain sound that made him flinch, how looking at a bathtub filled with water spiked his anxiety, and how he got up three times last night just to lock, unlock, and then lock his bedroom door again before he could manage to sleep. He only knew about the shit he went through from news reports and word of mouth. Being with Friends was already weird enough, but going to Therapy? That was a whole new playing field, and it wasn’t one that Katsuki ever thought he’d have to be on.

 

Katsuki dressed himself, moved to his desk to rummage through it, and tried to see if he had a campus map laying somewhere. He even logged on to his student account on the U.A. website, but found nothing. With a deep frown, he put all his papers back in order and closed his laptop, considering maybe just going back to sleep, but he couldn’t allow himself to slack off. He had worked really hard for all this strength, so he had to maintain it even if he didn’t remember how he got there. 

 

Katsuki decided maybe it was just best to just leave, head to campus, act like he knows what he’s doing, and then he’d find the track eventually.

 

Luckily, he didn’t have to do that.

 

When he had all of his things in order, he opened his door, and was greeted by Kirishima on the other side. He had his fist up, ready to knock, but two seconds after opening the door, he pulled it away and his hand quickly went behind his neck; he rubbed nervously. “Hey, Katsuki! Good morning. I hope you slept well.”

 

Katsuki looked him up and down, then mumbled out, “Yeah.” Sneakers and water bottle in hand, Katsuki side-stepped Kirishima and closed the door behind him. He started to walk away and head to the stairs; he didn’t have to turn back to know Kirishima was following him. “What do you want?”

 

From behind him, getting closer, Kirishima said, “We usually work out together, so I wanted to see if you were up for it even if you don’t, y’know--”

 

“Remember?”

 

“Yeah.” Katsuki could hear the smile in his voice. “Guess you were two steps ahead of me, huh.” He ended in a light chuckle. 

 

Katsuki rolled his eyes. “Obviously,” he said, reaching the end of the hall and pushing the stairwell door open. “I’m always ahead.” He still didn’t look behind him, but he could feel the presence of Kirishima less than a meter away.

 

“Got anything planned for today?” Kirishima asked. 

 

Katsuki scoffed. “What the hell would I have planned? I don’t remember jack shit; the fuck do I know what’s around here?”

 

“You could hang out with us,” Kirishima suggested.

 

“Us?”

 

“Yeah! Denki, Kyouka, Hanta, and Mina wanted to hang out, and Hitoshi, too, I think,” Kirishima said, “but I think that’s mostly because of Denki, probably. Then, of course, I’ll be there if you need anything.”

 

Katsuki gritted his teeth. Almost at the ground floor, Katsuki paused on the stairs and turned around. Kirishima nearly knocked into him from the sudden stop. “Why would I need you?”

 

For a moment, Kirishima looked away, almost nervously, but then smiled. “‘Cause we’re best friends, man; don’t want you to get lost.”

 

Katsuki glared at Kirishima inspectiously a bit longer, searching for tells, but there was nothing inside Katsuki that sparked familiarity; he didn’t know how to read Kirishima. “Whatever.” He turned back to the front and continued walking down the steps, finally reaching the ground floor.

 

Katsuki headed to the kitchen to fill his metal water bottle that he was positive he didn’t purchase himself, but it was in his gym bag, so it was obviously his. In fact, it had no brand name on it, only bombs, explosions, and capitalized GZ detailed on the orange and black background color. In his room, he had noticed several things with GZ and GROUND ZERO on it, but didn’t know what it meant. Sure, “ BAKUSHINCHI” was a cool title, a play on his name, but he didn’t get it.

 

Actually…

 

Kirishima followed him to the kitchen to fill up his own water bottle and snag an apple from the fruit bowl. Katsuki looked at him and saw he was wearing a tank top with wide exposed sides that were obviously cut or ripped off, showing off his abs and biceps--

 

‘Focus, Katsuki,’ he scolded himself internally.

 

The tank top he wore was black with GROUND ZERO on the front, then A VICTORY ONLY FIT FOR THE STRONGEST on the back, the text all in orange. It didn’t look like actual official merchandise, but it was kind of cool, anyway. 

 

“Hey,” Katsuki called his attention. Kirishima looked over and tilted his head, apple in his mouth, listening. “What the hell is ‘Ground Zero’?”

 

Kirishima looked down at his shirt, then back up at Katsuki. He let out a small laugh, took a bite of the apple, and as he chewed, his smile was wide and almost teasing. “It’s you!”

 

“Huh?”

 

Kirishima swallowed. “It’s your hero name, dude,” Kirishima said with a small chuckle. “Took you a while to come up with, but I think it’s pretty awesome; it fits you perfectly.”

 

“Why? Because I make explosions? That’s not awesome.”

 

“Nah.” Kirishima shook his head. “It’s deeper than that.”

 

Katsuki’s eyebrows furrowed. “How?”

 

“I mean,” Kirishima started, “you already know about the kidnapping, right?” When Katsuki nodded, Kirishima continued, “Well, it has to do with that. They’re calling Kamino Ward ‘Ground Zero’ now; y’know, the ‘impact point’. Sure, you didn't exactly openly share how you felt about the whole situation when we rescued you--” Katsuki frowned deeply at “rescue”, and Kirishima seemed to notice, “--I mean, gave you a way out, but you kinda acted like the whole thing wasn’t a big deal even though everyone knew it was. It obviously was. You talked to me about it, though.”

 

“And ‘the hell did I tell you?”

 

“That it hurt,” he replied, tone a bit softer. “Your first hero name choices were rejected and it took you a while to come up with Ground Zero. When you presented it to the class, we all really liked it a lot. I love the name; it’s super badass. It’s...really important to you. Like, really important.”

 

“What’s with this water bottle and shirt, huh? Shit looks dumb.”

 

Kirishima laughed, “It’s merch, dude! Not official, sure, but we made it for you. We all got merch made of each other and it was super fun. As much as I love your stuff, mine merch is way better.”

 

Katsuki huffed out a dry laugh. “No, it’s not.”

 

“Totally is!”

 

“The hell is your hero name, anyway?” Katsuki smirked, crossing his arms. “Shitty Hair?”

 

“Red Riot!” he said proudly. “Super cool and totally awesome name that you like, actually, so you can’t even try to say it sucks.”

 

That sounded kind of...familiar. “Hold up, like that old dude Crimson Riot?”

 

“Yup!” Kirishima said with a nod. “Exactly like Crimson Riot. He’s my idol.”

 

Katsuki raised an eyebrow. “You got what it’s worth to take up a name like that?”

 

Kirishima waved his challenging words away dismissively. “Already proved I’m more than good enough, man.” He smiled again, something deep hidden in the look. “You helped me with that, so thanks.”

 

There was something in the way in which Kirishima said that, the sincerity of the statement, that made a small warmth bloom in Katsuki’s chest. He couldn’t remember Kirishima, nor did he remember their experiences together, but he naturally felt comforted just by his very presence.

 

Yes , he thought, this one is special .

 

“C’mon, dude,” Kirishima said, leaving the kitchen and crossing through the dining area to reach the front door. “I’ll show you where everything is.”

 

Grumbling under his breath, Katsuki reluctantly followed. He didn’t want to follow him, but he had no choice and he hated it. He’d rather be led by someone who knows what they’re doing instead of wandering around aimlessly like some fucking idiot trying to find whatever the hell he needed. It wasn’t terrible , however, considering Kirishima had proven himself to be somewhat decent company.

 

On the way to the track, Katsuki began to realize something:

 

Kirishima’s really fucking annoying.

 

He talked a lot , talked Katsuki’s fucking ears off, but it wasn’t about nothing. It was about things that he knew Katsuki liked, and things he spent time reminding Katsuki of. He talked to Katsuki about his favorite bands, stores, movies, and all sorts of shit from the past two years. Katsuki found it kind of stupid and funny how he learned more about himself from others than from himself. 

 

“You train a lot with others,” Kirishima explained, “lots of hand-to-hand with Uraraka, but we spar together the most.

 

“Why?”

 

“I’m the only one who can take your hits and not get hurt.” He gave Katsuki a toothy grin. “You really met your match.”

 

That sentence tugged something in Katsuki’s heart; the phrasing had a bit too much of a double meaning to be completely innocent, and judging by the red creeping up on Kirishima’s cheeks, he realized it, too. He looked away, trying to conceal his embarrassment, and continued to lead the way to the track. Even with that, Kirishima made an attempt to make the atmosphere go back to normal, make it less awkward, but Katsuki couldn’t stop thinking about what he said and everything that happened between them. What did they do? What did they talk about? What secrets did they keep between each other?

 

Katsuki knew the amnesia would last for another week, or even two in the worst case scenario, but he wanted his brain back to normal yesterday . He felt ridiculous knowing he’s in an older body with a younger mind and a slightly less mature perspective on life. From the videos, pictures, texts, and journal entries he saw, he wasn’t that much more mature in terms of language and attitude, but there were small things, like the slightly calmer tones he used with his friends, the small smiles, the relieved tension when he was comfortable…that was all different. 

 

Katsuki needed to know more.

 

When they arrived at the track, Kirishima and Katsuki started stretching in a relatively comfortable silence. Katsuki was getting a feel for his body, adjusting and testing what he could. When the running started, that’s when he really felt it.

 

They raced each other, almost equally matched, but Katsuki was faster. His mind ran high on the joy of feeling the strength in his legs, the endurance he maintained without feeling fatigue, and just knowing that this is what he got with his hard work was all the more great. In this moment, he wished he could remember how he got here, but there was also a strange beauty reveling in this not-so-sudden change. It was like seeing his development through someone else’s eyes, and he could only be amazed. 

 

After their cardio workout, Kirishima suggested they go to the training rounds and spar with their quirks, “To help you get a feel of your abilities,” he said. “Don’t worry, I won’t go easy on you.” And he kept his promise.

 

Kirishima went all out, and so did Katsuki.

 

Sure, Katsuki couldn’t do all of the things that Normal Katsuki could do, but it was the most fun Katsuki’s had in a very long time. He was blown away by his own power; the explosions he could produce now were infinitely stronger than Katsuki remembered he saw the scars on his skin and calluses on his hands, showing how hard he’s pushed himself. He couldn’t even feel the heat from his hands anymore. 

 

Katsuki realized that the previous night, the fact that he wasn’t able to feel any heat. The skin on his hands was so thick and rough that the explosions that made him feel a bit of warmth no longer felt like anything except for sharp spars on his skin and the recoil of his force. 

 

He also had never sparred with anyone before outside of formal martial arts training, and he never challenged anyone in gymnastics or ballet, either, so sparring with Kirishima was like the biggest breath of fresh air going into Katsuki’s lungs that made him feel whole. Kirishima was right when he said he was the only one who could take Katsuki’s hits. Katsuki knew he wasn’t at the top of his game, but he still retained a lot of muscle memory. Regardless of his disadvantage, Kirishima never made it easy and never backed down.  

 

When the long sparring session was done, they sat on the floor together, taking a break from the exertion of their exercise. 

 

“I’m working on making a stronger armor,” Kirishima shared. “You’ve been helping me with it.”

 

Katsuki swallowed the mouthful of water he had and closed his water bottle. “What?”

 

“Yeah, man! You do really strong explosions on me to test how long I can stay up. So far, my Unbreakable record is almost ten minutes. If I can make a stronger armor, push even farther, I can make something like diamonds.” He looked so proud and just seeing that face made Katsuki’s heart...go fucking crazy for some goddamn reason. “A diamond armor,” he sighed. “That’d be so cool.”

 

Power.

 

Courage.

 

Determination.

 

Katsuki could see it now.

 

He was starting to understand. 

 

Before heading back to the dorms, they talked a bit more (mostly Kirishima). Overall, it was an extremely productive morning and Katsuki learned a lot about himself and his abilities. It was all very satisfying. 

 

Upon arriving to the dorms, the first thing he did was go to his room to get his shirt, sweatpants, boxers, and bathroom items to take a shower (which he conveniently had in a small black basket). Then, he went to the first floor to take a shower and it was so nice . He felt completely energized and ready for the day. Did he know what he was going to do today? No. Did he have the motivation to do something ? Yes. He could see the appeal of working out in the early morning. Not particularly enjoyable, but worth it. 

 

When he got back to his room, he saw his phone on his bed light up with a text notification.

 

Red: hey! rmr when i told u about going out today?

 

me: yea why

 

Red: still wanna come?

 

me: wtf i never even said yes in the first place. the fuck do you mean “still”

 

Red: cool! i’ll stop by in an hour and we’ll leave.

 

me: I DIDNT SAY YES

 

Red: but you’ll come anyway :)

 

me: NO I WONT

 

Red: yeah u will~~~ u always do~~

 

me: not this time, bitch

 

Red: see u in an hour!

 

me: I NEVER SAID YES

 

me: HEY

 

me: FUCKING ANSWER ME!!!!!!!!

 

me: FUCK YOU

 

Katsuki threw his phone down on the bed in frustration and growled, running his hands through his damp hair. He just wanted to tear his own head off in annoyance. This was so fucking stupid.

 

Of course he was going to go with them.

 

He hated that Kirishima knew he would go, and he hated that he caved so easily, but what the fuck else was he going to do all day? Stay indoors and study? Yeah, like that would help him. He tried looking over his current academics the night before to maybe get a bit of the gist of his classes, but it was just absolutely ridiculous. The shit was a lot . U.A. was an incredibly prestigious school with very high and demanding standards, not just in hero training but also academics. So, of course the workload was a lot and the material very challenging. Obviously , if he put in the effort, he could catch up, and that’s what he wanted to do, but he didn’t actually need to do all of that. He was going to know what was going on in a week or so; there was no need to push himself.

 

But he wanted to. There was always that desperate voice in the back of his mind demanding he be better than everyone else, and that meant needing to push farther and farther ahead, no matter how much it hurt him.

 

At least, that’s what he thought until he looked at his calendar.

 

He had noticed a “PD” on every Sunday. He asked Ashido what it meant, and her answer...surprised him, to say the least.

 

“‘Personal Days’,” she explained, “are the days you try and do as little work as possible and just relax. It’s really good! I’m super glad you started doing it, actually. Sometimes you just work too much, Bakugou; it’s not healthy.”

 

Kaminari mentioned, “Burnout. You went through it hard last year, bro. It was a nightmare; you were in the infirmary for, like, two days. Then, you didn’t leave your room for another three. Not a fun time. Deadass thought you were gonna die. You gotta be more careful.”

 

He often questioned if his best was enough, and apparently it was. Katsuki could see the results on his body and his grades. So, what had he been doing that resulted in a change where he gave himself a day off? What exactly made him crash and burn? Maybe it wasn’t all that important now, but it all sounded so damn stupid.

 

Normal Katsuki must’ve understood, though. He made Sundays free. So, it was time to take advantage of it. He figured the best thing he could do right now was just try and be Normal Katsuki as best as he could, despite not knowing what the fuck that meant.

 

me: where are we going

 

Red: the mall!

 

Okay.

 

Alright.

 

The mall.

 

He could do that.

 

Going to the mall meant picking out another outfit, so that’s what he did.

 

Or...at least that’s what he tried to do.

 

Once he opened up his closet and drawers again, he had no idea what to pick out. He hated it because he knew how to look good, he was fashion savvy, but he was trying to be Normal Katsuki and he didn’t know what he’d wear on a day like this. Not only that, but since he found his makeup, he kind of wanted to try it out. Then he realized he had no fucking idea how to put on makeup. He was good at doing hair, but not makeup. Normal Katsuki could do a perfect wing eyeliner look, but right now it was just a challenge he knew he’d fuck up a dozen times before getting a decent result because that’s just how makeup was. Fuck that shit .

 

He needed help.

 

Katsuki took out his phone and opened up a new group chat, adding Jirou and Ashido. Before sending the first text, he hesitated, but he was no chickenshit bitch, so he sent the message.

 

me: come to my room

 

Ears: good morning to you too

 

Pinky: hey! is there smth u need?????

 

me: just get over here

 

Ears: be nice

 

Pinky: omw!!

 

It wasn’t easy, picking out the outfit and getting a bit of makeup on. Katsuki was stubborn and he argued a lot, admittedly nervous to be outside of his comfort zone, but Jirou and Ashido were pushy, and trying this hard over something so nonsensical was driving Katsuki up the fucking wall. In the end, however, it worked out and it was casual; white shirt under a dark navy sweater, a white bag across his chest, black pants, and white sneakers. It was nice.

 

Ashido clapped excitedly. “You look so good!”

 

“Yeah,” Jirou agreed. “Ei loves this outfit.”

 

Katsuki frowned at their smug reflections in the mirror. “You were pushy about this damn outfit because of Kirishima ?”

 

Jirou shrugged. “Yeah.”

 

Katsuki looked at himself once more in the mirror. He looked good, he knew he looked good, but it was almost like seeing himself in a costume. It felt right, but he also felt... exposed , almost. Normal Katsuki was used to this; he was accustomed to these people, these clothes, this calmness that surrounded his life. It was difficult.

 

Not wanting to mull over it much longer, he pocketed his phone, wallet, and room key. “Let’s just fucking go already.”

 

The girls followed him out of the room and they headed to the common room to meet Sero, Kaminari, Shinrou, and Kirishima.

 

By the time they left campus and started walking to the train station, Kirishima had more or less stayed in pace with Katsuki at the front, the others purposefully behind them a little over a meter away; they weren’t subtle.

 

 

“You look really good,” Kirishima complimented. “You, uh, did the eyeliner.” Katsuki didn’t even have to look at Kirishima to know he was blushing.

 

“It’s kind of annoying,” he admitted. “The shit was hard as hell to get right. It’s just a tiny line; no fucking need for it to be that difficult.”

 

“You got really good with makeup, actually,” Kirishima told him. “You always did hair well because you learned from your mom. Then, you started being more openly interested in fashion. It’s really cool, actually; you’re just naturally good with all that stuff.”

 

Katsuki never thought his parents’ careers were embarrassing, not at all. They were successful in their fields and the Bakugou family lived a very comfortable life. He just didn’t ever consider delving into that life fully, or being more expressive through things like makeup and fashion. However, it was just on the days where Kirishima was present that he dressed to impress, calling for his attention. It was obvious whose gaze he was craving.

 

Katsuki huffed out, “Whatever. Not a big deal--” His mind skidded to a stop, tuning into static for a moment, making him stumble. He felt Kirishima holding him and keeping him upright and steady, saving Katsuki from falling face first onto the pavement. His friends were talking to him, but their words sounded muffled, almost like everyone was speaking through water; he just couldn’t hear them.

 

In front of him, images flashed.

 

Taking the same path to the train station, the same final destination in mind, they all chattered together about the most unimportant nonsensical things. Katsuki with his hands in his pockets, head back, yelling something at his friends. Teasing, Ashido poking his cheek, Jirou telling him about some concert tickets, Sero and Kaminari asking him purposefully stupid questions, Kirishima throwing an arm over his shoulder…

 

It was familiar.

 

A memory.

 

It took a little while, probably less time than Katsuki perceived it, but he finally came to. He was leaning against a wall, surrounded by his friends who all wore the same concerned expressions. Kirishima was still holding him.

 

“Are you okay?” Ashido asked.

 

“You were kind of lost,” Kirishima said.

 

After a few moments, Katsuki frowned and nodded once. “I’m fine. It was just...it was a memory. I think they’ll be coming back in flashes.”

 

Shinsou hummed. “That’s annoying.”

 

“Yeah, I’m fuckin’ feeling it.”

 

“Are you sure you’re okay? We can go back to the dorms if you’re not fine,” Jirou suggested.

 

Katsuki shook his head, trying not to be insulted by what she said. “I’m not gonna fucking stop because of something stupid like that. It’s not a big deal; let’s just keep going.”

 

They didn’t look so convinced, but no one argued. 

 

In the end, they arrived at the mall without incident. When in the mall, however, there were several times where they narrowly avoided bad incidents; not related to his fucked memory, but only in relation to the fact that his friends were a bunch of fucking idiots.They messed around in the stores and did stupid shit like Try One Of Each Candy In The Candy Store and Play Every Claw Machine and Fashion Shows In The Dressing Room and Hide-And-Seek Inside Uniqlo and Katsuki just wanted to strangle all of them.

 

Apparently, it was also a problem when Katsuki tried to stop them. Sure, he yelled and threatened to beat the shit out of them and murder them, but they were being dumb. Sure , he shouted at employees to not tell him what to do and that he was being perfectly civil. He was just trying to stop chaos from happening. 

 

In order to calm everyone down, Kirishima suggested they all get ice cream and just walk around the mall a bit to kill some time. Katsuki listened to their conversations and didn’t participate much; he was too busy looking at his surroundings. He’s been in this mall many times, but it was now brand new to him.

 

As they continued to walk, he noticed a fountain.

 

Then, he felt it. Another flash of a memory, blurry but realer than gravity..

 

He was kissed right by the fountain. He could feel it on his lips, like he was experiencing it all over again in that moment, like he was in a fog. It was hazy, but it definitely happened. Katsuki felt Kirishima’s arm over his shoulder, but he was stuck thinking about how close they had been that day. He only thought about the feeling of receiving kind and soft whispers from Kirishima and how it lit up his heart so brightly that he had no other choice but to pull him into a kiss.

 

Katsuki remembered he was the one who initiated it.

 

Katsuki heard his own raspy voice whisper, “You’re not half bad either, Red.” His mouth felt the words, the letters resting on the tip of his tongue. He remembered saying it. The warmth in his chest blossomed, opening up to consume him whole, but not all at once; slowly, a calm wave washed over him.

 

He knew it happened; small pieces coming back; Katsuki was desperate to know more.

 

“Hey, Bakugou,” Kaminari said, tapping his shoulder. “You there?”

 

Katsuki blinked a few times and tried to clear his head. He shrugged off Kaminari. “I’m fine.”

 

“Another memory?” Sero asked. 

 

He hesitated to answer, not wanting to go into detail. “Yeah.”

 

“That’s good,” Kirishima said with a smile.

 

“It’d be fine if they weren’t so fucking annoying and inconvenient,” Katsuki grumbled unhappily, rubbing his temple. “This shit is gonna give me a fucking migraine.”

 

“Let us know if you wanna leave,” Ashido said.

 

“I’m not a fucking baby.”

 

She shrugged. “Alright, then!”

 

Everything turned out to be fine after that. They stayed in the mall for a couple of hours more, continuing to act like clowns, which made Katsuki mad, which made him lose his cool, which made them almost get kicked out by security, but it was fine. Even with all the bullshit, Katsuki couldn’t say that it was horrible, at least. Kirishima had paid for his food and ice cream, so...free food.

 

The train ride back was short, but not quiet. Katsuki couldn’t believe his friends still had so much energy after such a full day. Maybe Normal Katsuki could handle these long hours of socializing, but Current Katsuki’s energy was fizzling out fast. All he wanted to do was go back to his dorm and read, then go to sleep. He was in the mood for a snack or something, too, so he’d do that as well. Being around people was officially too much for him at this point.

 

They managed to arrive back to the dorms safely (a damn miracle in Katsuki’s book). They all decided to change into their pajamas and play video games, except for Katsuki who said, “Fuck that, I’m tired as hell. Later, losers.”

 

A few of them aww ’d and the others said goodnight, but they didn’t force him to stay. They must’ve understood he really meant No this time.

 

Immediately after closing his bedroom door behind him, he began undressing and threw on a simple black sweatpants and one of his black skull tees. He was getting kind of cold, so he looked for a sweater in his closet. There were a couple of black sweaters, then one sweater in particular that starkly stood out from the rest. 

 

A red sweater two sizes too big.

 

He knew who it belonged to, it was too fucking obvious. Who the hell else had a red motif surrounding his whole entire fucking life? He was in Katsuki’s pictures, videos, notes, and his goddamn closet, too? Normal Katsuki must’ve been fucking obsessed with Kirishima because this was absurdedly out of hand. 

 

Katsuki took out the sweater and scowled at it, glaring daggers as if it was challenging him and insulted his entire family. Normal Katsuki understood these feelings. In fact, he embraced them, all of this soft shit, all this...this lo--

 

Katsuki growled, stomping out of his room, sweater in hand.

 

He went over to Kirishima’s room next door and banged on it, not caring about his neighbors. “Open up, Kirishima,” he demanded. 

 

A few moments later, Kirishima opened the door, tiny droplets of water falling from his hair, rolling down his bare chest , and he only had sweatpants on. Did he have no fucking decency ? “Hey, bro,” Kirishima greeted casually, squeezing his hair dry with his towel. “What’s up?”

 

Katsuki shoved the sweater in his face. “This is yours.”

 

Kirishima held it up to look at it, then he huffed out a small laugh. “Yeah, it kinda is, but also isn’t. What about it?”

 

“It was in my closet.”

 

“Yeah, I know.”

 

“What the fuck was it doing in my closet?”

 

“You were borrowing it,” Kirishima replied simply.

 

“Why?”

 

“Because you wanted to.”

 

Why ?”

 

“Because you were cold.”

 

“I have my own sweaters.”

 

“Yeah, but you wanted this one.” Kirishima handed the sweater back to Katsuki. “It’s fine-- you wear it often, even more than I do.”

 

Katsuki let out a frustrated groan. “I just-- this shit and the-- the-- ugh, fuck you .” 

 

He snatched the sweater out of Kirishima’s hand and ignored the grin he had on his face. He turned on his heel and went back to his room, ignoring Kirishima’s cheerful, “G’night, Katsuki!”

 

Katsuki slammed the door behind him and threw the sweater on his bed, but it slipped and landed on the floor.

 

He was beyond bothered, and also extremely... tempted . Katsuki was tired and wanted to do nothing more than to sleep. Forget the snack--he was fucking exhausted. Waking up at 5am was absolutely ridiculous and he had to do it again tomorrow. He just wanted to sleep, but his body had other plans.

 

Katsuki’s stomach bothered him for a bit of food, and he tried to convince himself to ignore it and just sleep, but it just wasn’t happening. Groaning, he went to his mini fridge and looked through its contents.

 

There wasn’t much other than some fruits, sodas, water, green tea, and protein shakes. He saw a container of strawberries and decided on that. Why not have something sweet? He took out the container and a small post-it note fell off.

 

“I know you’ll say it’s stupid, but we should go to a strawberry field together. Outdoors and food! Let’s plan it.” -- Eijirou

 

Katsuki almost threw the container of strawberries off the balcony. He was so close to doing it, too, but he was trying to be Normal Katsuki. How the fuck did he do all of this? He didn’t understand. Katsuki was able to get glimpses of memories by doing what Normal Katsuki would do, so…maybe he could continue using that formula and get his memories back faster.

 

Hesitantly, he closed the door of his mini fridge, walked over to his bed, and picked the sweater up off the floor, looking at it for a moment. He set the container of strawberries on the bed and put the sweater on, immediately feeling surrounded by comfort. It was soft and warm. It wasn’t a new sweater by any means, most likely a couple of years old, but also too big for Katsuki. Eijirou was broader and bulkier, definitely meant for him. It smelled like Kirishima, too; he wore that awfully strong body spray which nauseated Katsuki, but on the sweater, it was dulled to a softer scent, one that was familiar and didn’t bother Katsuki. He touched the inside of his sweater to feel its softness and then--

 

It happened. 

 

“It’s okay, Katsuki,” Eijirou said softly, holding him close. The embrace was warm and comforting, careful and gentle. He rubbed circles on his back as he said, “Just let it out.”

 

Katsuki was shaking, crying silently against Eijirou’s chest. “Fuck,” he whispered, voice wavering.

 

“Do you wanna talk about it?”

 

Katsuki shook his head and swallowed thickly. “No,” he said quietly. “Just…” He didn’t know the words. He pulled Eijirou closer, tightening his grasp on the fabric of Eijirou’s sweater. “Give this to me.”

 

“My sweater?”

 

Katsuki nodded.

 

Wordlessly, Eijirou pulled back just a bit, enough space to take off his sweater and allow Katsuki to put it on. Eijirou wiped Katsuki’s tears away with his thumb and held Katsuki’s face in his hands. Neither of them had soft hands, but Eijirou knew how to be gentle. Eijirou knew how to be loving with every touch he made. “Better?”

 

Katsuki nodded twice. “Yeah.” He bit his bottom lip before taking the risk, leaning in, closing the gap between them, leaving a chaste kiss on Eijirou’s lips. “Thanks,” he whispered.

 

“Always,” Eijirou replied. He pulled in Katsuki for another kiss.

 

Eijirou.

 

Not Kirishima.

 

Katsuki knew Eijirou .

 

Katsuki clutched at his head, groaning at the sting of a developing headache. He blinked enough times to clear his vision, surroundings becoming less and less blurry. The lingering emotions of the memory still swirled inside of him. All he was left to do was think.

 

His mind felt uncomfortable with Kirishima now. It was Eijirou . That sounded much better.

 

Katsuki felt more familiar in his own room and in these clothes. His mind was spotty, but there was a difference; he could sense it. 

 

The memories were coming back in bits and pieces, dragging in the lingering emotions and gained experience with it. So, doing his normal activities and hanging out with his friends was helping bring out the memories.

 

He had a direction to take.

 

Aizawa had told him he could skip classes, but he refused to do so. Katsuki was going to school tomorrow, whether anyone else liked it or not. If he didn’t understand the material, he didn’t care. He’d take the notes anyway because he’d need them later. Katsuki would go to class and resume his daily routine.

 

It could work. It could really work.

 

Now, Katsuki had a plan.

 

Katsuki opened the container of strawberries and picked one out, inspecting it. There was nothing wrong with it; they were all fresh and looked delicious. It’s not that he didn’t like strawberries, but rather he didn’t eat them all that often and had no real interest in doing so.

 

Slowly, Katsuki took a bite, the sweetness filling his mouth, and perhaps it may be because it was a gift, but Katsuki loved these strawberries.