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half alive until i met you

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Before I met you, before I held you at night
I don’t know how I survived
Before I found you, before you made everything right
I was half alive, I wasn’t really living till you came into my life
I got through baby
But I don’t know how I got by

*

NARITA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Izuku clings to Katsuki, fat tears welling up in his eyes, though he tries to hide it against Katsuki’s shoulder.

“It’s only twelve months. When I come back, it’ll be like I never left,” Katsuki says. He rubs Izuku’s back, reluctantly removing himself from the hug. Wiping away a tear that slips down his freckled cheek, Katsuki frames Izuku’s face with his hands and kisses his boyfriend.

A goodbye kiss, only this won’t be a true goodbye.

Katsuki is coming back. He has to, since he promised.

“Twelve months is a really long time. It’s a whole year,” Izuku protests like a sap.

Katsuki attempts a smile. He understands. This is really hard for him too. They’ve been best friends since childhood. Granted, they didn’t always get along in the best ways. Katsuki grew up with his ego inflated by the adults all around him. That eventually changed when his ego finally burst. Meanwhile, Izuku never gave up in believing that Katsuki would come around. He knew that Katsuki would eventually see that there’s more important things than individual strength—especially since it’s always been Katsuki’s dream to be a Pro Hero. 

Katsuki can’t count the number of times he’s apologized for all the shitty things he’s said and done to Izuku. But more importantly, and perhaps even more shockingly, was that it only took one time. One genuine apology from Katsuki for Izuku to forgive him.

Sometimes he can’t believe that only once was enough. To Katsuki, it never feels like it’s enough.

It’s crazy that Izuku would continually stand by someone like himself.

“I gotta go now or I’m gonna be late,” Katsuki says. He kisses Izuku again, uncaring of the people who glance their way. Plenty of couples kiss goodbye at airports. If some strangers have an issue with them both being males, then they’ll have to take it up with his fist. “I’ll text you as soon as I can to let you know I landed.”

“Okay,” Izuku mouths, but the sound never comes out.

Katsuki hitches the backpack higher up on his shoulder and walks away. The first two steps he takes backwards so he can really take in Izuku one last time. A year is a long time. Maybe that’s why he keeps saying twelve months. Quantifying things in years makes it seem like a long way off but months are nothing. Just a few months ago Katsuki was getting ready to graduate from U.A. and a few months before that he was applying to hero internships all over Japan and abroad.

Three steps away, Katsuki turns his back on his boyfriend. Izuku is crying and Katsuki hates when Izuku cries. He hates that he’s the one responsible. He promised Izuku that he’d never make him cry again. Not sad tears at least. Izuku is one hell of a crybaby too. Any chance he gets he cries.

Everytime Izuku’s eyes well up, his bright green eyes shine brighter and Katsuki can’t bring himself to look away.

This time he doesn’t. He can’t. He can’t get cold feet so he keeps on walking without glancing back over his shoulder.

“Wait!” Izuku calls after him.

Katsuki pauses. His natural instinct is to listen, but he doesn’t want his resolve to waver. He doesn’t want all that he worked hard for to go down the drain if he turns around. He’s weak to Izuku—he’s probably always been weak to Izuku—which is why he can’t turn around. He can’t let Izuku persuade him to stay. It’s selfish and Katsuki is willing to make it up to Izuku in the future, but this time Katsuki has to be selfish. He has to do this for himself. 

“I have a really bad feeling about this,” Izuku confesses, closer than ever. He forces Katsuki to turn around by tugging on his arm and his hand. Izuku’s hands are clammy and cold, and it has nothing to do with the recent cold front that’s come through.

“You think the plane’s gonna crash or something?” Katsuki jokes. He attempts a laugh, but it fails to work.

Izuku wipes his tears away with his sleeve. Technically Katsuki’s. Izuku is the biggest sweater thief Katsuki has ever met before. “Not the plane. This. You going to the United States.”

“We agreed—” Katsuki tries to say, only to get caught off.

“I know we agreed that it would be good for your career, but I—I just have a really bad feeling about it. You can get another internship here in Tokyo. You don’t have to go to another country.” Izuku shakes his head. He sniffles, still tugging on Katsuki’s hand, trying to get the both of them to walk further away from the gate.

“I have to go to the United States. It’s where my internship is. Trust me, I was just as surprised as you were. But Endeavor is the top hero in Japan and if he’s going to America for a year, then that’s what I’m going to do, too.” Katsuki tries to slip his hand free, but in compensation, he takes Izuku’s back so he can hold Izuku’s hand on his own terms.

In the end, he has to let go.

“I know. I know Endeavor is a great hero. I just get this feeling that if you go, you’re not going to come back,” Izuku says.

“I gotta come back. My Visa’s only good for twelve months anyway,” Katsuki replies.

“I’m not talking just about the Visa. I’m talking about us . I just have this feeling that if you get on that plane… if you get on this plane, I’m afraid you’re not going to come back. To me,” Izuku begs harder for Katsuki to change his mind. He reaches up to glide his fingers along the fringe of Katsuki’s hairline. “So stay. Please. You said it yourself that Eraserhead’s agency would take you and you—you wouldn’t have to go anywhere or move. All your stuff is already at my place. It’s only an hour commute every day. That’s not bad at all. That’s nothing compared to going to another country where you don’t even speak the freakin’ language.”

“Hey, you know I love you, right?” Katsuki says, catching Izuku’s wrist. He smooths his thumb over the pulse and smiles, small and private. 

Izuku, through watery eyes, beams and nods. He throws his arms around Katsuki’s neck and hugs him bone crushingly tight. With how sure and strong he holds onto Katsuki, one might think that’s Izuku’s quirk: giving life changing hugs.

“I love you, too, Kacchan.” Izuku pulls back for a moment, his bottom lip wobbling.

“Good,” Katsuki replies. He puts an arms’ length of distance between them. “Then you know a year’s not gonna change a thing between us. I’m gonna do this internship and you’re gonna get your research published. A year is gonna go by in a flash. It’s even gonna be even faster than Four Eyes, alright?”

“Kacchan,” Izuku repeats, his voice as low as a whisper. Hope swells up in his chest like a bubble ready to pop.

Katsuki lets go, backing away again. This time he’ll make it. “I already told Shitty Hair to make sure you’re eating. I’ll do my best to let you know when I touch down, alright?”

“Katsuki!” Izuku protests. He takes a step forward.

And Katsuki turns his back on him. He can’t look at Izuku cry anymore. 

*

13 YEARS LATER

*

Satisfied, Katsuki comes out of the shower with a towel around his waist. Much to his surprise, Sakura is still on his bed, lounging around as she leisurely flips through the TV channels. She sees him and throws the remote down onto the other side of the king sized bed.

“I wanted to say goodbye before I left,” she says, though it doesn’t seem like she made any effort to get ready in the time that Katsuki went to clean up.

Katsuki almost comments on that fact until he sees his face on TV. Earlier this week he stopped a huge disaster from occurring at Takashimaya Times Square. People thought the entire building was coming down and multiple top Pro Heroes from all over Japan were called in to respond to the emergency.

They were lucky Katsuki was so close. He had been in Shibuya that day on business and just so happened to be within response range. Otherwise, the small time shrimps that got to the scene first would’ve had a hard time without him.

Katsuki, emboldened by his face on the screen, crawls back onto the bed on top of Sakura. He puts on his best seductive face and asks her, “Wanna go again tonight?”

Sakura teases him, arching up like she’ll kiss him, then pulls away with a smirk. She shakes her head at him and slips out of bed. “It’s Christmas Eve, Katsuki,” she reminds him. Once on her feet, she bends over to gather her dress.

Katsuki lays down on his side, keeping his head propped up with his hand. “So? We can kick off the holly jolly holiday by ourselves.”

“I’d love to,” she says, sounding somewhat sarcastic. Sakura steps into her scarlet dress, one foot then the other, then pulls the straps up over her shoulders. “But I can’t. I have to drive to Nikko tonight.”

“Nikko? What the hell is there?” he asks her.

“My parents,” Sakura replies, “and I don’t think they’d appreciate it if I missed Christmas morning with them.” She saunters back over to him as she zips up her dress.

“That’s a two hour drive on a good day. That traffic is going to be fucking insane tonight,” Katsuki says in disbelief.

“Well, whether I go by train or drive myself, it’s going to be a long night. I would’ve booked a flight ticket but those prices are jacked up through the roof around this time of year.” Sakura smooths out the bumps in her dress. No panty lines show since she decided to forgo them—a fact that may have persuaded Katsuki to leave the party they had been attending to take her home with him. “I’m gonna take my chances.”

“And there’s no way I can convince you to ditch your folks?” Katsuki checks one last time.

There’s nothing special he plans on doing tomorrow. He fully intends on seeing through with his usual patrol route in the morning and filling out all the paperwork he’s fallen behind on in the afternoon through the night. However, if Sakura’s availability opens up, he could make plans. Katsuki has no issue admitting he’s a workaholic, but he’s not made out of stone. He can squeeze her in, otherwise, tomorrow will be another normal day at work.

His parents understand he has a busy schedule. Their son is the Number Two Hero. Very soon, hopefully, he’ll show Lemillion what a true Number One Hero looks like.

Katsuki not coming home is nothing personal. This isn’t the first holiday he’s missed.

He just has more important things to take care of in the city.

Sakura draws Katsuki out of his thoughts, putting the attention back on herself by dragging her nail lightly down the middle of his chest. “Sorry, tiger,” she replies. “I’ll let you know when I’m back in town though.”

She gives him one more ghost of a kiss—her lips just barely touching his—then she leaves.

Katsuki rolls onto his back, watching as the news moves on from the hero segment to the weather report. He glances outside. He doesn’t need to watch the weather. He already knows it’s going to be cold a fuck outside with a high chance of snow. How does he know? It’s been snowing all week and Katsuki has eyes. Plus, there hasn’t been a day this month that he’s been able to give his heater a break.

His bed is a lot colder without Sakura in it, too.

A shiver runs through his body.

In a matter of minutes Katsuki gets dressed. Black workout pants that are tight and show off his strong thighs and a v-neck shirt which he unfortunately has to cover up with a heavy coat. He runs a bit hot even in the winter, so he doesn’t dress as warmly as some other people do. The most important thing to his wardrobe is his gloves. As long as he has his leather gloves, the rest of his body is just fine.

On the way out of his penthouse suite, Katsuki bypasses his motorcycle helmet and grabs his car keys instead.

Katsuki rides the elevator down to the lobby, thoughtlessly humming along to the elevator’s Christmas music. He stops when the doors reopen to play it cool for the building’s security guard sitting at the front desk.

“Merry Christmas, Ground Zero-san,” the guard says, standing.

Katsuki gives the man a nod. “Merry Christmas.”

As he passes by, Katsuki can’t help but chuckle that a building full of famous Pro Heroes needs a security guard to watch over them all.

He wears his good mood all the way to his car, parked in the adjacent parking garage. There are two spots with his name on it. One for his baby—his beloved motorcycle—and one for his car, a ruby red Lexus LC 500.

He unlocks the car, throws his duffle with his hero costume into the passenger side, and gets in himself.

The ride to work is beautiful, though the traffic is insane. The streets are packed as people rush to work to hand in last minute projects and clean up last minute things before the holiday festivities begin. Stopped at a red light, Katsuki turns his heat up in his car, feeling cold just looking at people scurrying along on the sidewalk.

Katsuki gets to his agency’s building twenty minutes early.

Exiting his car, he hands his key to the new kid—a doorman of sorts—to park his car in the lot behind the building.

“G-Good morning, Ground Zero-san!” Hinata, Katsuki’s personal assistant, says. Hurriedly, Hinata holds his hand out just in time for Katsuki to drop his duffle into the young man’s waiting hand. The other is trying to keep up with Katsuki so he can hand off Katuski’s usual coffee order.

Believe it or not, Katsuki likes his coffee sweet. But not too sweet. Katsuki expects his coffee to have a very particular balance of flavors.

It’s entirely possible that his pickiness has led him to let go of a few PA’s before. Hinata is good though. The young man, who, honestly, Katsuki thought was a girl upon their first meeting, is an exemplary PA. Meaning, Hinata does what he’s told and stays out of Katsuki’s way. Katsuki’s agent already bothers the shit out of him sometimes, but between Hinata and his agent, Hinata is the one that Katsuki probably needs more.

Agents are a dime a dozen, each and every one of them wanting a piece of him. A good PA, who can also deal with Katsuki, like Hinata, is hard to find.

“Merry Christmas!”

Katsuki presses the button for the elevator. His office is on the third floor. He’s been offered a bigger, nicer space on the fifth floor, but frankly he doesn’t like the idea of moving his things when he already has his office in the way he likes it.

“Yeah, Merry Christmas,” Katsuki replies. He steps aside to allow two people to get off the elevator without touching him, then steps onto the elevator without waiting to see if Hinata is paying attention.

A short ride later, Hinata is rattling off things for Katsuki to get done today. A patrol here, a charity appearance here, this person and that person called and left a message and they need to be called back soon.

As per usual, Katsuki goes into his office, only half-hearing the things he has to take care of. His schedule when he pulls out his phone, is already properly synched to his calendar. He starts to close the door to his office so he can make those calls, but hits Hinata’s foot. Katsuki suppresses a glare to instead raise his eyebrows at his PA as if to say Can I help you? I thought we were done here.

“There’s one last thing,” Hinata says. He quickly retraces his steps to his desk in front of Katsuki’s office and brings back a bright neon green sticky note. “You got a call from a Midoriya Izuku. He asked to call back by tonight. It seemed urgent.” Hinata tries to hand over the sticky note, but Katsuki just stares down at the full digit number in amazement.

“You sure you heard right?” Katsuki asks.

Hinata flips the sticky note back his way to reexamine the note. “Y-Yes, I do believe so.” Carefully, Hinata considers Katsuki’s shell shocked appearance and begins to apologize. “I’m sorry, sir! I didn’t realize this must have been a fan. I promise I didn’t give out your contact information. I—”

“He’s not a fan,” Katsuki snaps. He snatches the sticky note from his PA’s hand and rereads the name on the paper, feeling like he’s dreaming. Katsuki wouldn’t dream that Izuku is his fan. Not after what happened between them. “He’s just… someone I used to know.”

“Oh,” Hinata says, his voice trailing off. “May I ask how you know him?”

Katsuki straightens his shoulders and clears his throat a little. “The nerd was my boyfriend. We… we dated for a long time. Even thought we were gonna get married.” Katsuki chuckles bitterly.

“Wow. I can’t imagine you getting married, sir,” Hinata replies. The PA looks up slightly as if imagining someone on Katsuki’s arm. Katsuki clears his throat again, this time with force. “Not that I’m saying you can’t get married! I’m sure you’re very popular!”

Katsuki crumples the sticky note in his fist. “Whatever,” he says, dismissively. “That was over a decade ago. He’s moved on, I’m sure.”

“You think he moved on, but he still called you on Christmas Eve?” Hinata asks, smiling. The boy is a romantic, Katsuki thinks. He doesn’t hide that he rolls his eyes. Hinata glances at Katsuki’s closed fist. “Are you really not going to call him back?”

“I have more important things to do than call back my ex,” Katsuki replies cooly.

For some reason, Hinata can’t drop it. “Did you love him?” He seems more invested in Katsuki’s love life than Katsuki. Nostalgic, probably, since it’s the holiday season. Mistletoe and all that.

Since it’s almost Christmas, Katsuki grits his teeth and allows the personal questions. He and Hinata aren’t friends, but he supposes that today is fine. Only today. “I did.”

“Then why don't you call him back?”

Katsuki snorts. “I don’t love him anymore.”

*

Going on patrol helps keep Katsuki’s mind off of wandering back to Izuku.

Izuku and his big green eyes, and his freckles, and the way he used to laugh and say Kacchan with such wonder and adoration it was like he couldn’t believe Katsuki was standing in front of him. The damn nerd was a sap. Katsuki liked that about Izuku, but damn did it make things hard when Katsuki left. The image of Izuku crying is something he’ll never be able to forget.

When they broke up Katsuki was the one that seemed like the bad guy. Their friends all acted like Katsuki was this big jerk, like he wasn’t hurting too.

Izuku was Katsuki’s first love as much as Katsuki was Izuku’s.

With it being the day before Christmas, Katsuki helps settle plenty of last minute shoplifting attempts and purse thieves from getting away with their haul. It gets his blood pumping and gives an extra burst of excitement in his step. Hearing that Izuku called shook him up a little. Putting some idiots in handcuffs is the perfect way of keeping himself loose.

His patrol ends when the sun sets.

A soft knock comes at his door.

“Come in,” Katsuki replies.

Hinata pokes his head in. By the look of his shoulders, he’s already wearing his winter coat and his earmuffs are held in the hand he puts around the door to keep it open. “I’m going home, sir, is that alright?”

Katsuki rolls back in his chair and stretches. The only problem with taking care of so many idiots is the paperwork afterwards. He can’t just copy and paste the same reports over and over again. He’s thought about it before, but he’s not the type of half-ass things. Plus, he’d hate to hear the guys from the police station bitching about it when they find out. 

The clock on Katsuki’s desk reads eight o’clock on the dot.

“Sure,” Katsuki permits. “But I need you to come in tomorrow. At least in the morning.”

Hinata blinks at him owlishly. “You’re coming in tomorrow?” he asks, showcasing how new he is around this agency. Katsuki has a reputation for working most, if not all, holidays.

Katsuki gives his patented answer, “Crime doesn’t stop for the holiday.”

“I’m supposed to be taking the train home to see my parents tonight. I can’t make it in tomorrow morning,” Hinata replies nervously.

“Where are you traveling to?”

“Shibuya, sir.”

“Your phone works in Shibuya, doesn’t it?”

“Yes, I believe so.”

Katsuki reminds himself that it’s the holiday. “Travel safe,” he says graciously. “But keep your phone on you tomorrow. And before you leave, redirect your line to your cell phone in case I get any calls.”

“Ah,” Hinata replies with a mix of relief and disappointment. “Understood. Thank you, sir.” Hinata begins to retreat, then pops the door open one last time. “Merry Christmas.”

Katsuki looks up over his laptop, his eyes tired. He smiles, but he’s afraid with how tired he’s become that it must not look very friendly. In fact, it probably resembles something closer to a scowl.

“Merry Christmas.”

Eventually, when his clock reads nearly ten o’clock and his laptop finishes charging back to full power, Katsuki calls it a night. There’s no one downstairs but the doorman—a different one from this morning—and a member of the cleaning crew to pass by.

Despite the snow on the ground, Katsuki forgoes getting his car so that he can walk. With a couple of hand warmers in his pockets and his coat buttoned close to his chest, the cold doesn’t bother him very much. The walk from the agency to his apartment is a doable distance and the main reason why Katsuki pays so much to live there in the first place.

A convenience store with its lights still on catches Katsuki’s eye. If he’s going home alone, he may as well enjoy himself. Katsuki makes a beeline for the beer in the back, rubbing his hands together as he feels the stark difference between the outside and inside the store. He doesn’t browse for very long. He grabs the most expensive beer hoping it’ll be the best tasting of the selection, and heads back to the counter to pay.

Cutting him off, a man with messy purple hair in a thick coat and a wool scarf wound loosely around his neck asks the cashier, “You do the lotto here?”

Katsuki checks his watch. He should have plenty of time to get home and watch some sports highlights.

“Good, ‘cause I got a big winner right here. I’m talking ¥25500.” The purple haired man slams the ticket onto the counter harder than necessary. “I knew one of these days, had to be my day, you know?” He smirks and slips the ticket across the counter as proof.

The clerk, however, doesn’t even take the time to double check the lotto numbers. He just smiles the fake customer service smile, and slides the ticket back. “I don’t think so.”

“Why not? It’s a winning ticket.” The smirk slides off the man’s face.

“People like you try to fake winning tickets all the time. You gotta make yours more convincing if you want someone to fall for it,” the clerk says.

“This is a winning ticket,” the customer insists, punctuating each word by tapping his finger onto the ticket. “You didn’t even check the ticket. How can you say I faked a winning ticket when you won’t even check the ticket? Check the ticket. It’s a winning ticket!”

“And I’m telling you that it’s fake. Go take your fake ticket somewhere else!”

“Just check it!”

“You need to leave my store right now or else I’m calling the cops. I’m not going to check your damn—”

In an instant, the arguing stops. The purple haired man takes out a gun from inside his coat. He points it at the clerk. A mother standing by Katsuki with her child gasps. Katsuki weighs his options. He’s off duty, but he can easily fix this. Already there are a dozen scenarios running through his head. All Katsuki needs to do is figure out which way is the best way.

Katsuki scans the shop. There are four adults in the store, including himself and the purple haired man with the gun, and a child. He can’t allow the man to fire his weapon.

“Let me see the ticket.”

The purple haired man pauses, an eerie smile gracing his lips. He turns to Katsuki, eyeing Katsuki up and down with a scoff. Right about now anyone else would recognize Katsuki as Ground Zero and run away. This guy just stands his ground, as arrogant as ever.

“I wasn’t talking to you.”

“I’ll cut you a deal. If you say that ticket is really worth ¥25500, let me buy it off you,” Katsuki offers. He walks forward slowly, making sure he keeps his hands easily within sight of the potential shooter.

“Don’t try to play hero,” the man says, shaking his head. He approaches Katsuki with his gun still out. Luckily, he’s no longer shouting. “Do you wanna die right now? Is that what you want?”

Katsuki raises his hands above his shoulders, even still holding the beer he’s changed his mind about purchasing. He stops himself from saying something like No, but do you wanna fucking die? That’s the sort of thing that when it hits the media, Katsuki will have to avoid his publicist and agent for days while they clean his metaphorical mess up.

“No,” Katsuki says. He keeps his eyes on the man, even though naturally, his eyes wish to follow the barrel of the gun. “I only wanna buy a ¥25500 lotto ticket off you. I’ve got ¥25000, cash, on me right now. So after I buy your ticket off you, I’m gonna take it, cash it, and make ¥500 in the process.”

The purple haired man stares blankly at Katsuki’s listening intently to the proposal. Then, as soon as Katsuki is finished, that eerie grin is back. The gun lowers, the safety clicking back on, and the man plucks one of the beers out from Katsuki’s six pack.

“Alright,” he says, tapping Katsuki in the chest with the bottle cap. “You got yourself a deal.”

The man walks back to the counter and retrieves his ticket. “The ticket was real. You’re gonna find out that it was real, and feel real stupid ‘cause you didn’t listen to me.” He wags the beer in the clerk’s face. “C’mon, Kacchan, let’s go.”

Katsuki feels his heart settle back into his chest. The purple haired man exits the store, taking Katsuki’s beer and the ticket with him.

“Ground Zero—” the clerk tries to say, most likely trying to get a hold of what just happened as well.

“Merry Christmas,” Katsuki says. He throws money onto the counter, the first bill he sees in his wallet that he bets will cover the price of the beer, and books it out of the store. “Hey!” Katsuki calls after the man.

The man has since popped the beer open and is leaning against a car parked on the street. He takes a sip of beer. “I’m right here. No need to shout.”

“How’d—you called me Kacchan in there. What, are you some kind of hero stalker or something?” Katsuki asks. Some of his fans—the real hardcore ones—have heard of his old nickname. He and Izuku were dating while he was at U.A. after all and U.A. students aren’t exactly hidden from the world. Katsuki tried telling Izuku to keep his social media private and for the most part he did, but people who really want to be nosy have their ways of finding the information they’re looking for regardless.

“Sorry, do you prefer Katsuki?”

Katsuki opens his mouth to answer, but the man is making a gimmie gesture at him, distracting him yet again. He holds his tongue for a moment and reaches inside his pocket to get out his wallet. He gives the money promised and receives the lotto ticket for his troubles.

“Nice doing business with you.”

The man walks away, nearly leaving Katsuki standing there dumbfounded yet again.

Katsuki should probably know the answer anyway, but he can let someone with a short fuse walk around with a loaded gun in his pocket. “Hey, asshole! One more thing.” The man half-turns. “Do you have a license to carry?”

“I do,” the man confirms. “But it sure is hard to get good ammo in this country. It’s nothing like it is in the United States, right?”

Katsuki bristles at the mention of the U.S., and though he tries to hide it, it still shows. “Don’t do anything stupid. Guns aren’t toys. You shouldn’t go waving it around like a fuckin’ lunatic.”

With quirks evolving with every new generation born, guns have been changing and evolving too. Bullets are made differently these days. If guns and ammunition in Japan were hard to acquire before the luminescent child, the regulations these days are even more difficult to clear.

“Are you… are you trying to help me?” the man asks incredulously. He laughs, throwing his head back, fully entertained. “Why would you think I need your help?”

Katsuki has had this conversation before. He’s done talks and read speeches to troubled teens about these types of things. A hero’s job is never over. “Everybody needs something.”

“Yeah? And what do you need?”

“Me?” Katsuki replies, checking to see if he heard correctly.

“Yeah, you. You just said everybody needs something.”

“I’ve got everything I need.”

The man takes a step back, leaning away from Katsuki to look at him up and down. “Must be good being you,” he says, to which Katsuki has no reply. The man slips the beer he opened and drank back into the six pack carrier. “Just remember,” he chuckles, “you brought this upon yourself, Katsuki.”

“Brought what—?” Katsuki tries to ask.

The purple haired man ignores the question, not even waiting for it to be finished. He just walks away, hands in his pockets, chuckling to himself. “Merry Christmas,” he says, keeping his eyes forward, giving a wave over his shoulder.

Katsuki holds the beer carrier from underneath to look at the opened bottle. Between that and the weird man he just met, he feels in awe of what happened.

He walks the rest of the way home, feeling strange.

Undressing out of his clothes into his pajamas feels like an out of body experience. He tries to think back to the store. He tries imagining the purple haired man’s face, but can’t entirely remember it. It certainly wasn’t a familiar one. Katsuki thinks he would remember someone with such an eerie smile. 

Somehow that man had known him. Knowing he went by Kacchan at some point, albeit reluctantly, isn’t absurdly impossible information to get a hold of, yet it’s not common knowledge either. When he looked at Katsuki, he wasn’t responding the way most people would when they meet Ground Zero. He looked totally unaffected that Katsuki was approaching him.

Kacchan. 

Katsuki can’t get over hearing the name Kacchan again. It’s been so long and only one person ever used that name to address him. Not even his fans dared to use it. It was a thing that they had gathered amongst themselves and agreed to never use. Although his fans were polarized upon discovering upon hearing Katsuki was dating a boy, the ones in support—in solidarity with Katsuki—agreed that the special name would continue being used by Izuku only.

You brought this upon yourself. 

For a long while Katsuki stays awake, running through the encounter over and over in his head. Was the man trying to say it was Katsuki’s fault for getting a gun pointed at him? What did he bring upon himself? Katsuki has to know. The next time Katsuki comes across the asshole on patrol, they’re going to have a talk. The more he thinks things over, the more questions Katsuki creates in his head.

By the time he falls asleep, it’s midnight. But at the very least, in that time, he stops thinking about Izuku.