"GODFUCKING DAMMIT, WHAT IS THIS PIECE OF SHIT FUCKING FUCK!? WHY WOULD YOU BE SUCH A SHITHEAD AND CREATE THE MOST IDIOTIC GAME IN THE HISTORY OF FUCKING PROGRAMMING?! THIS IS SHIT, THIS IS SUCH A BIG PILE OF BULLSHIT I CAN’T EVEN SEE THE OTHER SIDE. I HATE EVERYONE OF YOU FUCKING SUCKERS WHO PAID ME TO PLAY THIS STUPID GAME!”
How did his life become this? At nineteen years old, Bakugou Katsuki’s daily routine consists of screaming profanities at a camera while thousands of assholes watch and laugh. The streamer KingExplosionMurder really thought that at this point in his career he wouldn’t have to play these idiotic games for views.
Don’t get him wrong, Katsuki loves being a gamer. Since he was a little twerp whose height barely reached his mother’s knee, he has loved games. He pestered his parents to get his first console at the tender age of six and he hasn’t looked back ever since. When he was twelve, he got his first computer. At fourteen, he put together a better one. At sixteen, he was already a rising star on Twitch.
Thing is: Katsuki is a fucking great player. Technically, strategically and mechanically, he’s a top contender in many of the current most popular games. He’s versatile and can change game styles at the drop of a hat, and already demonstrated his expertise in FPS, Battle Royales, MOBAs, MMOs - you name it and KingExplosionMurder has destroyed it.
He was even scouted by a professional team during the time he was streaming LoL frequently. However, the team pulled out their offer shortly afterward for ‘believing they had irreconcilable differences’. That’s bullshit talk to say they are afraid of Katsuki fucking up their brand deals.
The shit is Bakugou Katsuki has anger management issues. Like, for real and not just as an excuse to get away with being an asshole like some shitheads do. In the beginning, playing video games helped him out with it — beating up virtual bad guys was better than beating up annoying neighborhood kids. But as time went by and multiplayer games became the norm, video games quit being the solution and became part of the problem.
KingExplosionMurder is internationally famous for his rage breakdowns on stream. There are hundreds of videos on YouTube with his ‘best moments’. After the team dropped him, it got so bad that he was permabanned from LoL. It was a really low point of his life that he hates thinking about, he considered quitting video games and never playing a damn thing ever again.
But Katsuki is stubborn as a fucking mule and decided to keep playing. He reinvented himself as a streamer playing all manners of games. He is handsome, smart, witty, knows a shitton about games and can work in front of the camera, so he got himself a nice fanbase with enough subscribers to be able to get by.
Not that he’s rich, far from it. He shares a house with three other fuckers who call themselves his friends — RedRiot, Cellophane and Chargebolt. He met the dipshits through the gaming communities so many years ago that Bakugou is embarrassed to admit for how long he has been enduring their idiocy.
RedRiot plays fighting games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat; he isn’t half bad at them, he has been winning a couple of tournaments and his YouTube channel is doing well. His bigger competition right now is Testutestu (yeah, that is the asshat’s name. No, it doesn’t make any fucking sense) who is part of a really big team and can focus only on the competitions, while Shitty Hair needs to keep his YouTube updated to bring in the cash.
Cellophane streams Minecraft and got his name after a video of his playing that shitty game completely mummified in cellophane with just his thumbs and index finger out touching the keyboard for five hours. He is a dumb fuck who does stupid shit to entertain his army of eleven-year-old supporters and Bakugou is terribly ashamed of being connected with him.
Chargebolt is a complete idiot with no discernible skill whatsoever (if you don’t count ‘getting on Katsuki’s nerves’ as a skill). He has a useless YouTube channel where he uploads the ‘best moments of the week’ of several highly popular games and somehow draws hundreds of thousands of views. It’s the biggest proof that most of the gamer community is completely braindead and can’t identify quality content even if it grabbed them by the fucking balls.
Also worth mentioning is Pinky, RedRiot’s girlfriend who streams League of Legends and apparently lives in their place more than in her own (as if their shitty house wasn’t crowded enough already). She’s actually decent at the game but isn't taken seriously by the pro teams because she needs to stream showing her cleavage. And she can’t make enough money to support herself with her stream if she doesn’t show off her boobs. As a gay man, Bakugou says that’s fucking bullshit and would actually feel bad for the bitch if she didn’t drive him fucking insane trying to make him agree to get makeup done on him on camera.
Basically, everybody is struggling and working hard every single day to bring in the coin and make their fucking dream of living off of video games happen. Bakugou's situation isn’t any different, and what really gets his PayPal running is when viewers pay him to play some game they know it’s gonna drive KingExplosionMurder crazy with anger.
First time this shit happened was completely by chance. The viewers wanted to watch him play Dark Souls but Katsuki didn’t have the money to buy the game on the release week, so a handful of subscribers footed in the cash so Katsuki could play it. Turned out the fucking game was so difficult that Katsuki had rage episodes during the whole time he played it. It lasted two hellish weeks and, in the middle of it, one subscriber said that he would have paid more if he knew how entertaining it would have been to watch Bakugou rage against that particular game.
Things escalated after that. Because one thing was playing a game he wanted to play because subscribers bought him the damn thing; however, now the fuckers were buying him games they knew he would hate just to see him rage. He tried putting his foot down on that, he would not play games he hated for the heck of it — but turns out he would, at least for the right amount of money.
He didn’t ask for the money, but the donations kept coming. ‘20$ to play Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy’, ‘15$ to play Getting Over With, go for the rage!’, ‘50$ to play G O with Benner Foddy, don’t let us down KEM’, ‘40$ to play Bennett Foddy, do it for the lulz man’. When he was getting over four hundred dollars, he caved in and opened the biggest and worst precedent of his life.
Now, that is his thing. Every few weeks his viewers dig out a really annoying and terrible game to make him play. He tries luring them into better games, being funny enough while playing well-made, good quality games to be entertaining to his fanbase. But those fuckers are sadistic assholes who want to make Katsuki suffer. So now he’s playing The Impossible Game and praying he can keep his temper in check long enough to not break his headset. Again.
This game is so shitty it shouldn’t even be called a game. There’s no lore, no storytelling, no graphics, no strategy, no anything! It’s just a screwed up mechanic that demands you to click the fucking button on the exact fucking millisecond you should or else you fucking lose! This is bullshit! This isn’t a game to test his abilities, it’s a game to test his fucking patience - he wins if he plays this shit long enough without throwing his computer out through the window!
“MOTHERFUCKER, I FUCKING CLICKED! THIS SHITTY KEY IS FUCKING STUCK AND-”
One small little pop-up notification on the bottom of his screen brought Katsuki to a complete halt.
Deku is streaming StarCraft II
Deku is the best StarCraft player in the world. He plays for UA, one of the best pro teams in the whole industry, and has been taking the WCS title home for the last five years undefeated. And he’s Katsuki's crush since he first saw the boy in his computer.
Deku almost never streams, his fame was built solely through winning tournaments. The boy is a gamer, not an entertainer; so every time he streams Katsuki drops everything he’s doing and focus his attention exclusively on Deku. With a quick “this is it for today, fuckers. See you assholes tomorrow” to his viewers, Katsuki finishes his stream and goes to watch Deku’s.
Goddammit, he’s cute. The boy showing up in the small box on the corner of his stream is everything Katsuki ever wanted in a boyfriend. Scratch that, Deku is everything he ever wanted in a husband; the little nerd could knock on his door right now and ask Bakugou to marry him and he would gladly say yes. Deku looks adorable with his big green eyes, freckled face and horrible vintage game-merch t-shirts. Every time he bites on his lip while thinking of a strategy Katsuki feels the burning need to ravage him.
But it’s not just a physical attraction, Katsuki is drawn to Deku as a whole. Actually, Bakugou would even go ahead and say that Deku’s brain is the sexiest part about him. The boy is a fucking genius. He created strategies no one had ever thought of, leaving even the developers with their mouths hanging; and the speed in which he thinks and reacts in the game is something out of fucking sci-fi. Katsuki wouldn’t be impressed if it leaked that Deku is actually an alien from a super developed planet or some shit like that.
And the cherry on top: Deku’s personality is the cutest and most adorable fucking shit in the entire freaking world. He’s painfully shy and self-conscious, he gets freaked out with the crowds screaming his name, he mumbles his analysis on the post-game interviews. Everything about him makes Bakugou’s instincts scream to pick him up and protect him to death. Katsuki wants to hide Deku under his blankets and never let go.
And the damn nerd doesn’t even know Bakugou exists. Most of the top gamers have heard of KingExplosionMurder one way or another (Katsuki knows the amount of shit that is said about him on the industry’s events), but not Deku. Deku isn’t really big in social media, the kid already confessed he doesn’t have Twitter on his phone and that his account is updated by his team’s marketing specialist. The nerd doesn’t even watch streams, he once said in an interview that he enjoys playing the games, not watching them — so, any spare time that he has (and it’s not much with his gruesome training hours), he uses to play other games casually.
Deku doesn’t even interact with his chat and subscribers. Katsuki would know, he has been Deku’s subscriber since day fucking one. At the lowest points of his life in the last few years, Katsuki barely had money to feed himself and lived off instant ramen for almost a month but he never canceled his subscription because watching Deku fed his heart and soul like nothing else. During his stream, viewers are lucky to hear the nerd say an awkward “Hi guys, I’m gonna be doing 2-2 timings today to try something new” and an even more awkward “That is it for today, hope you liked it. Hmm, see you guys next time”, peppered with his indecipherable mumbling of numbers, percentages and strategies.
But that’s enough for Katsuki, more than enough because Deku isn’t acting. He isn’t pretending to be something he’s not to please the viewers. He shows the world exactly who he is; every time he turns on the stream he allows the viewers to watch a little bit of what is his everyday life. Sometimes, late at night in his bed, Katsuki dreams about how it would be to watch Deku play sitting by his side. The anxious mumbling, the genius ability to think on his feet, the biting of his lower lip, the rapid clicks with the mouse; call him a sap but Bakugou thinks that would be simultaneously the most adorable and sexiest sight ever.
“Stalking again, Explodey?” Mina asks him from across the room by Kirishima’s station.
Their living room is Gaming Central, each one of them has a corner of the room where their gaming station is set up. In the middle of the room, they have a ratty old couch in front of a huge TV where they play console games. The place is always buzzing with cooler sounds and Katsuki’s angry screams, so everyone has their headsets on most of the time.
Mina streams from RedRiot’s PC while Shitty Hair is playing Mortal Kombat on the couch. Dunce Face is editing some video and Sero is being a clown to the mob of online kids that followers him. They usually spend their days like that, doing their own things and trading passing comments with each other. But every time they realize it has been a hot minute since they heard KEM scream, they check on him to see if the feisty blond didn’t have an aneurysm — today is no different.
“If you pay close attention, you can actually see emotion on Baku’s face while he gawks at Deku”, Kaminari teases.
“Guys, give him a break. Deku never streams, let him enjoy it”, Kirishima tries helping him out. Hair for Brains is the closest thing Katsuki has to a best friend, but that is only because the idiot doesn’t take no for an answer.
“Sure, but maybe he wants to take this to his room? I don’t want to see Bakugou enjoying himself. ” Sero says wiggling his eyebrows in a suggestive manner and taking laughs from the other dipshits.
Katsuki completely ignores their tirades, nothing will make him shift his focus from Deku right now. The nerd is showing the same strategy he used to win the last Blizzcon, it’s super sexy. Besides, Katsuki needs his whole attention sharp on the screen or else he can’t keep track of what Deku is doing. He plays the game on a whole different level, calculating the resources by the millisecond to make sure he is optimizing everything; if Bakugou even blinks too long he will miss Deku’s move.
When the three stooges realize they won’t get a rise out of Katsuki and Kirishima decides he doesn’t need to intervene anymore, they all leave Bakugou to his own devices. Deku plays for two heavenly hours and he just enjoys being in the virtual company of his crush. One day when Katsuki manages to make a name for himself that is not connected with being angry and aggressive, he will try talking to Deku; but right now he can’t. Deku is so shy and skittish, the boy would probably run away in fear just from Katsuki introducing himself as KingExplosionMurder.
“Hey, guys. That is it for this stream, but before I go I just wanna tell you all that I’ll be competing in the StarCraft charity tournament in PAX. And… that is it. Bye.”
Deku is going to be at PAX. The same fucking PAX that is happening in his fucking town this weekend. Deku is going to be playing live. Sure, Bakugou can’t introduce himself to the nerd yet but nothing stops him from admiring Deku from the public.
“SHITTY HAIR! DO YOU STILL HAVE THE EXTRA TICKETS FOR PAX?” Katsuki yells, making Kirishima jump on the couch startled and spill popcorn all over the floor.
“...that is it. Bye.” Izuku finally takes a deep breath, relieved when the camera is off.
He wasn’t made for streaming. Izuku is sure his lifespan diminishes about six months every time he has to stream. His anxiety goes through the roof, his heart rate raises exponentially, he sweats bullets. It’s awful and, after he finally turns the stream off, he just feels like hiding away underneath his blankets and playing Stardew Valley on his Switch.
“Alright, it’s over now. Here, I made you tea.” Ochako shows up by his side with a kind smile and a steaming mug of calming tea. They’re in Izuku’s gaming room that is a very small space crowded with his gaming station, a couple of armchairs (for the rare days he has company), some of his trophies, fan gifts, and gaming merch. He loves his little room, it’s where he spends most of his time practicing and coming up with strategies.
The girl pets his hair in a caring manner while Izuku inhales the fragrant steam and tries to get his heart rate back to normal. One would think that after so many years this would get easier, but it doesn’t. When he was little, he would hide from the world and play video games; unfortunately, now the world wants to watch him play and Izuku isn’t very comfortable with that.
“Feeling better?” Ochako asks softly, Izuku nods but still doesn’t say a word. “You did very well, you even told them about being at PAX! I’m sure Monoma will-”
“You are sure I’ll say this was barely the least he could do, right, Miss Manager?” Monoma shows up by her side in his usual black suit and a fake smile. Izuku shivers and holds his teacup tight for his hands to not shake. “A two-hour stream is almost the same as nothing and, as always, you didn’t interact with the chat even once! And what is worse, you didn’t list your sponsors and didn’t show up the gears they sent you! You aren’t even wearing the team shirt where the sponsor’s logos show up!”
At each critique, Izuku gets smaller and smaller in his chair. He screwed up again, he can never get this right. Why is it so hard to talk to his fans? Izuku knows that it’s his job, but he never does it properly. His fans must be so disappointed with him.
“But he gave the news about PAX! He even said it’s for charity!” Ochako pleads for him. “And the sponsors’ logos are on the stream’s overlay, I’m sure everybody saw them. Also, it’s impossible to not see what gear he is wearing with all these LEDs blinking! There’s no need for him to rub it on the viewers’ faces!”
“I’m the Marketing specialist here, and you are? Oh yes, a glorified babysitter for gamers who can’t remember to go to sleep without you telling them to. Now that we are clear on that, let me be the one who instructs our players about how they should stream, talk about the sponsors and what to say in interviews. While you can check if they washed behind their ears in the shower.” Monoma says to Ochako with a voice dripping in venom, then turns to Izuku to keep spitting his poison.
“I expect you to be on your best behavior this weekend. The charity tournament is a prime marketing opportunity and the sponsors will be expecting you to make appearances at their booths and talk about their products in the after-game interviews.” The blond businessman takes a step closer to Izuku, looks deeply inside his eyes and threatens him. “You do know what happens if you don’t deliver with your responsibilities, right?” Izuku nods, terrified. “Great, I’d hate to cut the funding on your friends’ dreams.”
And with that, Monoma turns around and goes away leaving Izuku and Ochako stunned in place. It’s always the same threats, ‘do this or else we won’t have money to keep the other players on the roster’. Izuku hates letting down his friends, they’re all amazing players and deserve their spot in the UA gaming house.
“You know he’s lying, every player here earns his own keep with tournaments and streams,” Ochako says softly. “He can’t fire them, Shouto would never allow.”
“But if I made them more money, they would be able to sign more players on the team and Shouto wouldn’t have so many issues with his father,” Izuku mumbles guilty.
“Shouto’s father is an asshole. He hates video games, I don’t think he will change his opinion about Shouto owning a professional gaming team just because you've increased the revenue.” Ochako crouches on the floor to look straight into Izuku’s eyes. “UA is doing great, we’re not hurting for money from sponsors. But that’s not to say I don’t think you shouldn’t interact with your public more. You have subscribers who have been following you before you have even won your first big tournament, I’m sure they really care about you and would love to hear your voice some more.”
Izuku gives a sad chuckle, “nobody cares about my voice, ‘Chako. They just wanna watch the game.” Izuku takes a sip from his tea, “I think I’m gonna go to my bedroom now.”
Ochako pets his cheek, “sure, sweety. I’ll call you later for dinner.”
Izuku gets up from his chair and takes his tea to his bedroom. His room is also small and just as crowded with gaming merch and gifts as his gaming room is. Izuku climbs on his bed and grabs his Swift from the dock on the nightstand. He knows he is acting like a child, hiding away on his room because Monoma made him do some work stuff he didn’t like; but there isn’t even anything he can do to make things right now.
He knows Monoma is an asshole and Ochako has a point when she says the team doesn’t have money issues; but, at the same time, Izuku knows he’s a mess and he should communicate better with his fans. Ochako is right, he has a very loyal fanbase filled with really nice people who love gaming just as much as he does. So why can’t he just talk to them?
A big part of Izuku wants to interact more with his public and with people in general; he’s friendly with almost all the people in the industry that he met in person. However, he can’t help but freak out when he knows there is a camera pointed at him and thousands of people are watching him play but no one is in the room with him. It’s seriously distressing to him to be seen by such a big public.
In live events, it isn’t any better. Even though he can see the public, it’s still terrifying having so many sets of eyes watching his every move. And the interviews! Don’t get him started on how awful those interviews are! How can those interviewers expect him to crunch down his strategy to just two or three sentences? He never knows what to say; he doesn’t know if they expect him to go into detail or just skim through what he did.
When he does go into detail, everybody looks at him like Deku grew another head and is spouting absolute nonsense. And when he just skims through, they look at him like he just told them the sky is blue. There’s no winning! So what always happens is that they ask a question and Izuku freaks out and mumbles his process of coming up with an answer, and the whole public thinks he’s crazy.
Sometimes Izuku thinks that people keep giving him awards and inviting him to tournaments just to make fun of how much he can screw up every social interaction during the event. He has read the Reddit posts of everyone making fun about him being unable to form a coherent sentence, Izuku knows there are a lot of assholes on the internet just waiting for a chance to laugh at him.
Whatever, Deku will deal with PAX when he has to this Saturday. Until then, he will enjoy the fact that the WCS is in the off-season and play Breath of the Wild under his blanket while drinking Ochako’s tea.