Looking back on his life, Bakugou had plenty of proud moments. He had graduated near the top of his UA class, got accepted into such a prestigious school in the first place, got his hero license, met All Might, the list was endless honestly. Hell he had even joined the ranks of the Top Ten Proheroes within a year of graduation. But if you were to ask the hero what his proudest moment was, it would be the day his quirk manifested. None of those other moments would’ve been possible without it. His quirk had practically become his life and he cherished it dearly. Bakugou worked hard to get control of the explosive power, pushed his body to the limits to make it stronger, spent hours researching gear to improve the weaknesses in his quirk. And each time he saw improvement, he felt that pride swell in his chest all over again.
As his quirk grew stronger, so did he. He had become quite the hero even before graduation, and with his license and freedom in a hero agency, Bakugou had just soared. He was well liked by the public despite his brash personality that had definitely improved some during his UA years, but never really became friendly. He had a flashy quirk and knew how to put on a show. Sure there was more to being a hero then that, but it had helped Bakugou's career and he was too busy fighting villains to worry about fighting the system. In the end, he was proud of his work and strived every day to be better.
The day that everything changed started out like any others before it. Bakugou got up early for a run, it was a great way to both do a quick patrol and stay in shape. Just because he and Midoriya weren't necessary rivals anymore didn’t mean Bakugou still wasn't going to strive to be the best, and right now, the childhood rival turned friend was the best. After his normal run, he took a quick shower and made himself some breakfast before heading over to his hero agency.
The call had come in relatively early. It was a bank robbery and therefore shouldn't be that hard to deal with even if the culprit had a quirk. Eager to get out on the field and away from his desk, Bakugou had been quick to volunteer. He had never liked doing the paperwork much and preferred to be out there on the front lines actually making a difference. He wanted to be out in the action of it all, feeling like a real hero, something he had dreamt about since he was a kid.
Some of his former classmates were at the same agency as him so they got put on the same cases a lot. Soon he was headed out with Mina Ashido and Hanta Sero to go stop the robbery. The bank that had been the target wasn't too far from the agency, hence why theirs was the one called, so they managed to get there quickly and met up with the police on the scene. “We can't tell for sure what the villain's quirk is, but they are armed and have threatened the hostages inside if we enter.”
Bakugou frowned but supposed that that made sense for why none of the authorities had tried entering yet. The civilian’s lives were always what should be most important. “We can handle it from here. Cellophane check the roof for another entrance, Pinky go around back to check too, I got the front.” The blonde hero squared his shoulders as he approached the door. He knew it was risky but he also knew the others would have his back. Besides, someone had to get the villain’s attention so the other two could save the hostages.
The second Bakugou stepped into the bank, the villain whipped around and pointed their gun right at his chest. “I told those stupid cops that if anyone came in I’d shoot! I don't care if you're some big hero either, I’ll do it!” Her choppy brunette hair fell down to her chin. The bottom half of her face was covered by a bright blue mask but it didn't seem to muffle her words at all. What was most striking about the villain was her wide blue eyes that had no pupils. “I know who you are Ground Zero! Don't make me do something you'll regret!”
In his UA days, Bakugou probably would’ve snapped back, letting his temper get the best of him, but now he just smirked. “I don't have any regrets.” His voice was even as he started a slow approach towards her. “The only one about to regret something is you for robbing a bank.” A quick scan around confirmed that there was no more than 15 people in the bank including the tellers. He also noticed Sero through the windows above. With his tape, he should be able to save the hostages. Bakugou knew Mina had to be close too but was staying out of sight so her bright pink skin wouldn’t catch any unwanted attention.
The villain snarled, her gun staying trained on Bakugou. “Stop moving! Don't get any closer!” Even though it was hard to read any sort of emotion in her eyes, it was clear to Bakugou that she was nervous. “I said I'll shoot!” Expect there was a slight tremor in her grip on the weapon, the blonde had to wonder if she had ever used one before.
Bakugou didn't stop the approach, if he could keep the villain’s, who he was calling Blue in his head, attention on him then his friends would have no problem swooping in and getting the hostages out. “Just put down the gun. Attempted robbery is one crime, but injuring an prohero is another. So just put it down and you can get out of her with out a life sentence.”
Blue narrowed her eyes, “I thought the great Ground Zero was supposed to be rash and think with his fists! You aren't actually trying to defuse this with talking are you? Maybe I should shoot you before you turn into even more of a snore fest.” Unfortunately it seemed like she got a better idea and switched her tactic so she was instead pointing at a small child trying to hide behind their mother and pulled the trigger before anyone could stop her.
“No!” Bakugou cried as he rushed forward to shield the family by taking the hit himself. Neither of his friends would have been able to get there in time and he wouldn't let an innocent life get hurt on his watch. What the blonde didn't know though, was that this wasn't any ordinary gun, the shot that left the gun wasn't a bullet but a burst of energy and it collided into the hero’s shoulder. Bakugou was pretty sure he would've preferred an actual bullet though as white hot pain ripped through his entire body. The hero cried out in agony as he crumpled to the ground. He had never felt anything like this before and Bakugou struggled to breath as it felt like his body was trying to rip itself apart.
Mina and Sero rushed over to him, ignoring Blue in favor of making sure their friend was alright. This gave the villain the perfect opportunity to escape, not even bothering to grab any cash after all and just taking the chance for a clean getaway. Mina gently moved Bakugou's head into her lap, brushing blonde locks away from his face. “Bakugou? Hey can you hear me? You're gonna be ok.. It's gonna be ok.”
The blonde didn't seem to register her words though, his entire body felt weak and heavy. It was like a chunk had been ripped out of his chest, but he didn't feel any blood. But maybe that's because there wasn't any. “Mina, there's no wound... what was that??” Sero was trying to keep his panic at bay, not wanting to worry Bakugou incase he was still conscious enough to hear them.
“We have to stay calm, go get the medics! I’ll stay with him.” Mina urged as Sero leaped up to sprint outside, quickly finding them and bringing them back inside. Bakugou let out another weak cry of pain as he was lifted up onto the stretcher. The medics removed his gauntlets, handing them over to Sero. “It’s gonna be ok Bakugou.” Mina reassured again, reaching out to squeeze his hand. She couldn't help but notice how cold his fingers were, normally the explosive hero was always so warm.
A quiet sob escaped Bakugou's throat as he struggled to squeeze Mina's hand back. She didn't need to be asked to know he wanted her to ride in the ambulance with him. Sero would have to go back to the agency alone and report what had happened. “M-Mina... “ His voice was feeble and broken as he tried to get her attention as they made their way to the hospital. “Mina i can't feel it…”
The pink heroine instantly furrowed her brow in concerned. “Can’t feel what Bakugou? Your arm??” He had been able to squeeze her hand so she assumed his arm wasn't dead or anything. She squeezed his hand again and when she felt a weak squeeze back she knew it couldn’t be his arm. Mina was suddenly a bit scared to know his answer.
“My quirk… I.. I can't feel my quirk. It's not there.” Bakugou could feel himself spiraling as he couldn't even produce a tiny spark from his palms. It wasn't supposed to happen like this. It was supposed to be just another mission, something he'd done plenty of times now. But it had turned into something far from it. Bakugou could feel his world crashing down around him. His quirk, his pride and joy, was gone just like that… and there was nothing he could do.
Mina bit her lip, not knowing the words to comfort the blonde anymore. “The doctors will fix you up ok? And the agency will send out an alert to everyone to keep an eye out for that villain. You'll be back to your blasty self in no time!” She just had to pray that that ended up being the truth.
Bakugou wanted to believe her so desperately. He couldn't imagine a life without it since his quirk had always been there since he was young. The blonde had no choice but to believe that Mina had to be right. The other pros would find that villain and they’d get her to make his quirk come back. It just had to come back. If it didn't…. Bakugou didn't want to think about it. Right now he just wanted to give in to the burning pain that was still coursing through his veins and take a long nap. When no one argued him falling asleep, Bakugou let himself fade to the blackness.