"If he wants to call me, he'll call." Izuku grunts out as he lets One For All flow through him, trying his best to stop the train from going any further off the track.
"You could call him." Ochako suggests as she knees a villain sharply in the stomach.
"He's the one who... He's engaged. He should call." Izuku responds, hoping the earpiece picks up his voice over the sound of metal scraping.
"Deku, just because he should call, doesn't mean you shouldn't." Ochako says, her voice a bit strained from holding up the crumbling thrift store, kicking away the same villain she attacked earlier as she tries not to let her nausea overtake her.
"I'm busy." He replies on a dime.
"Oh. You're busy." Ochako replies just as quickly, a hint of sarcasm evident in her voice.
"What?" Izuku sighs gently in relief as the train finally stops. "I am busy."
"Right. And I'm sure he's sitting at home right now. Twiddling his thumbs."
"I don't see why the hell I have to call him!" Katsuki spits out as he tries to pinpoint where the camouflaged villain went.
"Isn't he, like, you're closest friend?" Camie asks as she carries a young girl out of the decimated clothing store, wincing slightly as Katsuki's raised volume fills her earpiece. He still needs to work on the shouting.
"I don't...Denki's my closest friend." Katsuki says. His eyes catch on to a slight ripple in the brick wall of the alleyway building.
"What? No. You barely hang out with him anymore." Camie shoots back, pressing a bandage against the child's head, careful not to apply too much force.
"Fine." Katsuki fires an explosion in the general vicinity of the wall. A cry of pain is heard as the villain's camouflage wears out, his unconscious body falling to the ground.
"Ejirou's my closest friend."
"Katsuki, Ejirou's everyone's closest friend. That doesn't count." Camie rolls her eyes, and her disapproval is evident in her voice. "Honey, just call him."
"I'm busy." Katsuki hoists up the villain and makes his way to the police, who have Quirk-dampening handcuffs at the ready.
"Yeah, I'm aware." Camie says.
"I'd like to meet her." Ochako says as soon as the couple enters their apartment.
"What? You've already met her." Izuku says, confused.
Ochako sighs. "Sweetie, it doesn't count if it's at a rescue site. I haven't seen her since, what, basically high school?"
"Alright, fine. I'll call him, okay?"
"So, is he happy?" Ochako asks, her voice crackly over the earpiece. Izuku frowns; he swore their support agency had fixed that by now.
"When do we meet them?" Ochako continues.
Izuku gulps. Or at least, is about to, before he's tackled through a building by a Nomu.
"Izuku?" Ochako asks, to confirm that's he's still there.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm here." Izuku says as he kicks the Nomu as hard as he can, sending it miles into the air.
"I, uh, didn't call him."
"Izuku." Ochako starts.
Izuku winces at her tone. "I know, I know. I'll call him, I swear."
"He...his dad died when he was so young. He was raised alone, with no one but his mother to care for him. He...he didn't develop his Quirk until high school. Spent his life Quirkless, being terrorized. By me." Katsuki says, just loud enough for Camie to hear from the shower.
"He should be a killer. A villain. He should want to tear the world apart. He has the power to. We should be a buncha ants to him. But...he took that pain. And he turned it into hope."
Katsuki takes a breath to steady his voice. He notices that Camie's turned off the shower to better hear him.
"I'm just a privileged, spoiled kid. I had two parents, a loving extended family, a powerful Quirk. Everyone loved me. I had a childhood of laughing and learning. He had a childhood of suffering. He was an outcast. Imagine that. The pain of always being on the outside. He had every choice to turn into a monster. But he took that pain and he chose to become who he is. Every kid is inspired by him."
"He's...he's just a better man than I am."
"He had a powerful Quirk. Most powerful one at our middle school. Everyone feared him. He had freaking henchmen. Everyone had a suspicion that he would turn out to be a bad apple. Even Shigiraki thought so.”
Izuku feels himself smile.
“But he didn’t. He stayed true to what he was. A hero. He did the right thing. When Yagi gave me this power, I realized that I didn’t have a choice. I needed to become the next Symbol of Peace. For the sake of the world. The greater good and all that.”
His eyes start glimmering with that familiar sense of awe that Ochako’s seen so many times.
“But him...he had every choice to become the next All For One. And he didn’t. He proved everyone wrong. He reformed himself, recovered. He went from one of the worst people I knew to someone I’d trust my life with in a heartbeat. Everyone wants to be him.”
“He’s just...a better man than I am.”
“And yeah,” He continues. “He got engaged. And he didn’t call me. Okay. That’s his way. His way of telling me…”
His face fell.
“That we’re not friends. Not really. He is who he is. He doesn’t need a friend. He doesn’t need...He isn’t like me. He’s Ground Zero.”
“You can’t be friends with him. Not when you’re...He doesn’t need to congratulate me. Look at me.” Katsuki points to his bare chest.
“Who am I compared to him? He’s Deku.”
The villain is way more powerful than Katsuki expected. He has a B-grade Quirk; Strength Enhancement. But with a seriously unhealthy amount of the already unhealthy drug, Trigger? Well, let’s just say his Quirk’s not exactly B-grade anymore.
Katsuki curses as he’s smashed against the wall.
Alright. Fuck this.
He charged up an explosion in his open palm. He curls his hand up. He’s only tried this Explosive Punch ultimate move a few times. By creating an explosion at just the right moment, he’s able to compress it into a small space, creating an impact almost as strong as the raw power emitted from his Howitzer Impact.
He snarls, then charges forward, readying himself to activate his ultimate move. Just one solid hit will do it. Maybe. Hopefully.
He dodges under the wild left hook the villain swings, then throws his own fist into the large man’s ribs.
At the exact moment he detonates his fist, he feels a familiar gust of wind and sees flashes of green lighting fly across his field of view. He glances up to see Izuku’s foot smashed against the villain's cheek, iron soles dug so deep that Katsuki wouldn’t be surprised if his face had turned to jelly.
Their combined attacks are obviously too much for the villain, who howls in pain as he flies away, straight into and through a wall. He collapses from exhaustion as soon as he tries to get back up.
Izuku wipes some dust off his shoulder, then looks straight at Katsuki.
“Hey...so, uh, you want to get a bite to eat?”
“S-Sorry, it’s Superhero Night. Y-You got to b-be dressed as a h-hero to g-get in.” The carnival employee explains, trying not to break down entirely in front of four pro heroes, one of which is the number one hero of the nation.
Katsuki would be impressed by how seriously the kid took his job, if he wasn’t so goddamn infuriated.
“Yeah.” Katsuki growls.
The others have to practically carry him away.
“We’ll go someplace else.” Katsuki says after calming down a bit. A bit being the operative words here.
“Babe, it took us an hour to agree to this. I’m starving.” Camie objects.
Izuku is still crimson from embarrassment. “I-I’m sorry.” He stammers out. “T-They didn’t have a rule like that last time…”
“Well, there is a solution, right? It’s not as if we don’t have costumes.” Ochako proposes, eliciting a surprised expression from the other three.
“No.” Katsuki says bluntly.
“Hey, that’s, um, that’s an idea. We could...yeah. But, isn’t that kind of a cop-out?” Izuku asks, unperturbed by Katsuki’s response.
“Well, we could just switch it around. You’re him and I’m her and all that. That’d be nice, right?” Ochako feels a bit giddy at the thought of a goofy idea like this actually working out.
“No.” Katsuki repeats.
“What my kind, patient fiancé means…” Camie leans against Katsuki. “Is that he sees that his kind, patient fiancé is tired and hungry. And he’ll do what he needs to do to remedy that situation. Isn’t that what you mean, darling?”
“The arm braces are a little tricky to get on.” Izuku explains as the lobs them over the wall of the changing room stall.
“Got it.” Katsuki replies gruffly.
“Hey, whatever happened to your old grenade gauntlets?” Izuku asks innocently.
“What happened is people started Photoshoping fucking flower vases over them!” Katsuki snaps.
“Oh.” Izuku says meekly.
Ochako eyes up the small, form-fitting spandex jumpsuit in worry.
“It stretches.” Camie calls out over the wall of her stall.
“It better.” Ochako gingerly attempts to slip it on.
Camie grumbles as she fiddles with Ochako's visor.
“How do you loosen this damn thing?”
“White button, on the left.” Ochako answers.
“Shall we?” Ochako hooks her arm through Izuku’s, adjusting the Shiketsu cap so it’s tilted to the right.
“This...This could be fun.” Izuku smiles.
“Correction. This will be fun.” Camie interjects.
“No.” Katsuki says.
Katsuki sighs as he eyes up the corndog. “I’m gonna have to kick a lot of trees to work this thing off.”
“Why would you kick a tree?” Ochako cocks her head.
“I once kicked a tree.” Izuku says. “I felt so bad, I spent the rest of the day planting saplings.”
“Of course you did.”
“Just eat the dog, Katsuki!” Camie orders.
“Deku, I don’t need the plushie.” Ochako lays her hand on Izuku’s shoulder to stop him from attempting the High Striker.
“But Ochako, it would be so-”
“I’m fine .” Ochako interrupts.
Izuku is unfazed, still trying to reason with her. “I mean, I could just-”
“Izuku. Honey. Stop.”
“It kind of itches.” Izuku states as the group wait in line for the Tunnel of Love.
“That’s because of the nitroglycerin absorbing fibers on the inside. You get used to it.” Katsuki absentmindedly responds as he continues to look at his phone.
“Or, maybe it’s because you don’t wash it every day. You know, like a normal person.” Camie snarkily says, content to see Katsuki flush pink, just barely.
“Wait, he does that too? Why are all boys so gross?” Ochako adds on, now causing Izuku to blush.
“That was nice.” Ochako’s pressing her cheek to Izuku’s as they hold hands, the robotic swan they’re on stopping for them to exit the tunnel.
“Yeah.” Izuku hugs her and smiles charmingly. “It was nice.”
Camie hums as she tilts her head more, cupping the back of Katsuki’s head as she violently kisses him. She can feel Katsuki's hands drifting down to her rear.
Izuku groans in embarrassment as Ochako snorts.
“Looks like they thought it was nice too.” Ochako quips.
“They need a faster setting. This is way too fucking easy.” Katsuki whips his bat, a satisfying crack echoing throughout the cage as the ball rockets away.
“I could try souping the machine up some more...make some adjustments.” Izuku suggests as he hits a few more balls in rapid succession.
“Or, I could try pitching to you. You can’t use your Quirk, of course.”
“But yeah, I can try pitching. Unless you’re, y’know, scared.” Katsuki says as the last ball of his machine has been hit away.
“Of embarrassing you?” Izuku teases. “Nah.”
“I mean, him?” Ochako asks as the duo leans against the wall behind the batting cage. “Of all the people on the planet, he’s the most…”
“Yes, he certainly is.” Camie replies.
“Why, why would anyone…” Ochako treads carefully, meticulously picking her words so that she doesn’t accidentally offend Camie. “Why? Why him?”
“It’s...It’s just, when I fall, he catches me. I know, it’s stupid. Does that make any sense at all?”
Ochako chuckles warmly. “Yeah, it sure does.”
Camie sighs, then slides down the wall until she’s sitting on the sidewalk. “I’m getting married.” She says like it’s some scandalous thing.
“You’re too young.”
“You’re too young.”
“I am, thank you.”
“You ever get tired of ginger ale, Deku?” Katsuki asks.
“Every damn day.” Izuku replies darkly.
“He honestly has no idea. Even Turtle could barely hit off of me. Remember? During the agency ball game? He used his Quirk to fucking slow down time and he still got three strikes.” Katsuki explains as he and Camie sit on one of the Ferris Wheel carts, Izuku and Ochako below them in a different cart.
“Look at the stars, Katsuki. Can you believe the stars?” Camie says in an attempt to get him to stop talking.
“It wouldn’t even take a strong explosion, probably. I’d throw it right past him. Seriously. He wouldn’t even see it. Strike.”
“At a certain speed and power, the ball would fall apart, which wouldn’t count as a strike…” Izuku murmurs.
“WAAHOOO!!!” Ochako screams in glee.
“So there's an upper limit of the velocity he would be throwing it at. I would just need to…”
“I can’t believe it. You’re engaged. You.” Izuku says in disbelief as he tilts his hand so the large scoop of mint chocolate doesn’t slide off the cone.
“When I fall, she catches me.” Katsuki says simply, as if the answer’s obvious.
“It’s just...You know, Kacchan. It can be...It’s really hard to do normal things.”
“Is that why then? Because it’s lonely?”
Katsuki bits his lip. “I...I don’t really know my parents. I know them like a kid does. Beyond them being 'Mom and Dad', I don’t truly know them.”
“Yeah...Yeah, I get that.”
Katsuki feels a pang of dread in his gut as he realizes how horribly insensitive it is to bring this up after what happened to Izuku’s father. He pushes past it. It’ll just make things worse to apologize at this point.
“I don’t know how this marriage stuff is supposed to work. I got no model. For trying any of this. I’m in the dark.”
“So, you’re in the dark. I was in the dark, too, with Ochako. I remember. But what I also remember, Kacchan…”
Izuku places his hand on Katsuki’s shoulder.
“We do all right in the dark, buddy.”
“How are you married to that guy? He’s so…Izuku and you’re so... Uravity .” Camie asks before taking a large lick of her strawberry ice cream, which is almost enough for the entire scoop to topple over.
“Well, you seem perfectly nice. And he’s so Katsuki .” Ochako challenges.
“To be fair, once you get to know the guy, he’s still so...he’s still so Katsuki.”
“I will say that once you get to know Deku really, really well, he’s still so Izuku."
“So you two are the opposite, and we two are the same. And one of us has to be wrong.” Camie concludes.
“Or, maybe we’re all wrong. Look at us. Our world is insane. We’re probably both wrong.”
“Alright, you’re right. They’re so, and we’re so. And it’s all wrong.”
“Well, my parents always told me that letting them take care of things and taking things easy was right. And, well, I guess the problem is I’ve never had too much of a problem with wrong.” Ochako says.
Camie lets out a breathy chuckle.
“That was nice.” Izuku says happily as the group says their goodbye’s.
“Deku, you think everything is nice.” Ochako mockingly scolds.
“So does Katsuki, he just doesn’t tell anyone.” Camie whisper-shouts.
“Hmph.” Katsuki grunts, but the corners of his mouth are just barely twitching upwards.
“Whatever wedding thing you two are doing, I’m coming.” Ochako says as she hugs Camie.
Camie groans. “Do I really have to do a wedding thing?”
“Yes, so I can come.”
Izuku laughs as he watches the exchange. He looks to Katsuki, who’s also smiling.
“Congratulations, Kacchan. She’s a catch.”
Katsuki smirks cockily. “I know.” His smile grows more sincere. “You, ah...You did alright yourself, Deku.”
“Thanks. It’s too bad we didn’t get a chance to pitch and hit.”
Katsuki nods. “Yeah.”
“I know a place.”
“We’re switching clothes.”
“You know what you’re trying is impossible, right, nerd?” Katsuki asks as he charges up an explosion in his right hand.
“I know.” Izuku says simply as he scans Katsuki’s arm, his muscles tensed to predict the throw in time.
Camie and Ochako sigh in tandem as they watch their partners.
“These boys. They have so many problems.” Ochako says wistfully, as if she’s an old woman imparting wisdom to her grandchildren.
“Yeah, that’s true.” Camie agrees. “But they also have so many abs.”
“Seriously.” Katsuki continues to Izuku. “Without your Quirk, you’re nowhere near fast enough. You literally have no chance. Im. Pos. Ib. Le.” Katsuki spaces out the word “impossible” with dramatic pauses.
“I know.” Izuku replies, a grin beginning to form as he tightens his grip on the bat.
Katsuki smirks. He winds up, his palm glowing brighter and brighter…
And he throws, a loud and flashy explosion propelling the ball straight at Izuku.
“Here’s to the impossible!”