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Don't Hold Back

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Something wasn't right.

Well, that was vague. Bakugou scoffed, glaring over at the table of girls as they giggled among themselves at lunch. Annoying. They didn't usually all sit together like that, but recently they had been, once in a while. Weird... Or maybe he had just started noticing. Not like he cared, it was just...

They had been acting weird. To him, specifically.

It was like that ever since the sports festival. He had noticed that much. It probably had something to do with how he didn't hold back in his fight against Pink Cheeks. That would make sense, after all. She was the only girl he fought, and the girls were the only ones acting fucking weird to him.

Would make sense, if they were pissed. Like, "You beat up my friend, you piece of shit." But it wasn't any of that. They had been almost nice, recently. Ponytail would say hello in the halls, waving a little bit, sometimes. Like they were friends, which they weren't. He was quick to correct her, but she still kept it up.

Invisible Bitch asked to spar with him after class, since she was doing so poorly in her hand to hand combat. "So poorly" was an understatement - she was fucking awful. He wasn't sure if she learned much, but he had to admit, fighting an invisible opponent was fun. It was annoying as hell, but having to rely on other senses made it a real challenge... Or would have, if she was any good.

He was just glad he had his hearing aids in. That would have made it crazy.

Earlobes asked the name of the band that he was always listening to. Of course she could hear his music, the creepy bitch, but he told her anyway. Turns out her taste in music isn't utter crap, for being such an extra.

Pinky was always friendly to him, and now even more so, practically hanging off his arm, getting all up in his personal space until he exploded at her to back off. Even then, she'd just laugh. It was weird. And annoying. And sometimes acidic, which was even more annoying.

Even Frog Face had said "Good job" after a training match, a total shift from her complete avoidance of him.

So what was going on? That was all of the girls acting weirdly friendly to him, except...

Well, except Pink Cheeks. The one girl he actually fought.

Is it because he didn't go easy on her? Is she still mad she lost? Mad that the sneaky move she put together didn't work? Bakugou didn't know, and quite honestly, he didn't care. He didn't want all the girls to be friends with him; he wanted this all to go back to normal.

So he'd just ignore all of it. That'd be just fine, right? All of it would just go back to normal eventually.

...hopefully.

***

Except, he couldn't avoid it if Pink Cheeks kept trying to corner him to talk.

The first time it happened was after hero training. He usually stuck around longer than everyone else in the training rooms, just so that they would leave him the fuck alone. Get some extra time in, and have no one question why he wasn't changing in the locker room with all of the other guys.

He really did not need any of them questioning if he was insecure, or some shit. Dunce Face and Elbows never shut up, after all, and if the gross Grape Bastard got in on it? He would have to beat the crap out of all of them and still never live it down. They would be questioning him, bothering him, touching him, probably-

Yeah, no. Hero training and hiding the fact that you're trans don't exactly mix.

But it was fine. He just trained longer, harder than everyone else, and left later. Just made him look intense, and dedicated, and made him that much tougher than everyone else.

Except this time, Pink Cheeks was sticking around, pretending that it was normal for her, too. Like she wasn't obviously tired. Like he didn't see the glances she kept sending in his direction. Like he didn't notice how she kept fucking looking at him.

Ew, she didn't like him or anything, did she? Just that thought made his nose wrinkle. Yeah, no. He was confronting this now.

"The fuck do you want, Round Face?"

"Round Face?" She blinked, hand immediately coming up to her chin. "And what do you mean, Bakugou?"

"You're staring." He scoffed, rolling his eyes. "It's annoying me. Do what the fuck do you want?"

"I just wanted to ask if, well... What you meant by..."

"If this is feelings shit, save it." Bakugou clicked his tongue. "Only reason I asked is because there was a chance you were looking to spar."

"...no." Uraraka's shoulders drooped, frowning at the training mat beneath her feet. "Never mind. See you around, Bakugou."

"Whatever. If that's all, fuck off."

Still with that sad look on her face, brows furrowed like she still had something to say, she turned and walked to the girls locker room. She didn't say another word.

Bakugou rolled his eyes, continuing his assault on the punching bag he had been working on.

"I just wanted to ask if, well... What you meant by..."

What did he mean by what? What was the question going to be, before he cut her off? What was she going to ask?

Sure, it could have been feelings shit, but now he wasn't so sure.

Oh well. It didn't matter. Bakugou kept slamming his fists into the punching bag, ignoring the thoughts racing through his head.

***

The next time she tried to corner him it was in homeroom, the next day, and he just pushed past her, ignoring the insistent squeak of her voice insisting that:

"We need to talk."

He didn't want to talk. He still hasn't processed everything he needed to to talk to her. No, he didn't want to talk to her at all.

Still, the curiosity...

***

But off course, she didn't give up. It was relentless over the course of the next week. Training rooms, classrooms, hallways - anywhere she could think to corner him, she did.

And quite frankly, he was getting pretty fucking tired of it. If he had to see her dumb little squishy face with too much blush and wide doe eyes one more time-

But the only way to stop it was to talk. And he didn't want to do that.

Or... He could try to ignore her until she finally decided to leave him alone, Bakugou figured, firing off a blast at the practice dummy. He could ignore someone for a long, long time.

But she was persistent. And as much as he didn't want to admit it.... "I just wanted to ask if, well... What you meant by..." Those words kept repeating in his head.

What did he mean by what?

And well, she was in the training ground, probably about to try to corner him again anyway...

He wasn't actually going to talk to her, right?

Bakugou wrinkled his nose. Of course not; he was just seeing what she meant, and why all the girls were acting so weird, if it had to do with the same thing.

"Oi, Pink Cheeks."

Uraraka stiffened, eyes wide for a moment before settling down. "Yeah? What is it, Bakugou?"

"The hell have you been pestering me about? I'm getting real tired of this crap, so you better explain quickly if you don't want to get blown to bits." He stretched his wrists as he talked, barely glancing up at her. "So? Talk."

"Right." She swallowed. "I guess... It has to do with our fight, in the Sports Festival."

Bakugou only gave her a bored look.

Thank fuck it wasn't feelings. He didn't know what he would've done. Probably just killed her right there and said it was justified.

She sucked in a deep breath, squeezing her eyes shut before blurting out: "Would you have gone easy on any of the other girls?"

Silence filled the air of the training room.

"The hell is that supposed to mean, Pink Cheeks?"

"I mean-" Uraraka groaned in frustration, hands clenched into fists. "Stop pretending that the whole class doesn't know I'm trans! If I was like all of the other girls, would you have gone easy on me?"

The tension between them could have been cut with a knife, neither one saying a word, making a sound. She swallowed. He blinked.

"Wait, what?"

Pink Cheeks... Was trans. She was a trans girl. The information felt like it was moving slowly, like it had to move through syrup, not quite reaching Bakugou's head properly. He wasn't the only one?

Not only that, but-

"You think I give a shit what's between your legs, Round Face?" He spat, but there wasn't any venom there.

Slowly, her shoulders relaxed. "So when you said that I wasn't frail...?"

"I just mean that you're a fucking good opponent. Not some kind of transmisogynistic bullcrap." Bakugou rolled his eyes. "People who hold back in fights for shitty reasons make me sick."

"O-okay." Uraraka nodded. "All the girls were excited, because they were respected as equals, kind of, but when I thought about more, I couldn't help but wonder if it was just-"

"No, I get it."

She raised an eyebrow.

"Fuck, what the hell?" Bakugou pinched the bridge of his nose, stalked over to where she was standing and stood over her. "If you tell a single person about this shit-"

Uraraka shook her head, the longer locks of her brown hair flying from side to side.

"Fine. I'm serious though, if this gets out-"

"I won't tell anyone." She promised with a quick nod. "...What is it?"

He swallowed. The words were thick in his throat, never really admitted before. Bakugou's preferred method of coming out was being unapologetically male, and never explaining himself. He never really came out to his parents, just told them to call him Katsuki, that he was a boy now. Same with Deku. Same with everyone at school, all of those fuckers that he fought to be respected by. Literally, with bloody knuckles and broken noses.

But now he was looking at someone who saw him as entirely male, and he was admitting it? He knew it wasn't a weakness, knew that it wasn't any worse to be... Like this, but damn if it didn't feel that way.

But he wasn't afraid. What would Pink Cheeks do? He didn't give a shit what she thought.

"Whatever, I'm trans too."

"You're what!?" Her eyes went impossibly wide, jaw slack.

"Shut up and stop drooling!" Bakugou yelled, feeling the defensiveness rising in his chest.

Any second now she could be laughing, and-

"No, it's just..." Uraraka sucked in a deep breath, scratching the back of her neck. "That's so neat! There's two of us!"

A little twinge of something ran through his chest. A warmth, a spark, something. Friendship, maybe?

Bakugou rolled his eyes. "Don't get all weird about it. Like I said, this shit gets out, I'll splatter your shitty, floating guts all over these damn walls."

She nodded. "Yeah, of course. I wouldn't out someone, even if they're as annoying as you."

"Hey! You're one to talk, Pink Cheeks! You're the one who's been trying to trap me in a conversation fora whole fucking week! That's annoying as hell!"

"Yeah, probably... Sorry about that."

"Whatever." He rolled his eyes. "So, do you want to spar, or what?"

"Now that I know you weren't being a dick... Yeah. Let's do this!" Uraraka grinned, putting her fists up. "I'm all ready!"

***

When they finished sparring, both were in better spirits than they would have imagined to begin with. And Bakugou, well...

He was just glad that, even subconsciously, she didn't hold back one bit. He hated that, having to fight to be recognized as a worthy opponent, as good enough for people to really attack with all their power.

Which, Todoroki didn't. But that was a problem for another day, because right now...

"That was actually a lot of fun, Bakugou." Uraraka smiled, wiping some blood from her nose. "We should do it again sometime!"

"If you think you can handle it."

"Hey!" She huffed. "I just did, didn't I?"

"If you can call that handling it." Bakugou smirked. "You've gotten better since being at Gunhead's, at least."

"You can tell?" Her eyes shone. "I never really thought I'd enjoy combat like that, but... The more I do things like that, the more I kind of like it? I'm a bite sized battle hero!"

He laughed. "Yeah right, Pink Cheeks. I'll kick your ass any day of the week."

"Then we'll just have to keep training until I win!"

And as much as Bakugou argued that she would never beat him... He had to admit there was something nice about that.