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Chapter 1: Kitten

 

"Deku-kun, look out!" 

Izuku whirled around at Uraraka's cry, only to see her pointing to something on his right. 

"Uaah!" He jumped out of the way of the charging villain, only to feel fingers dig into his arms. He fought, yelping as nails broke the skin. The villain chuckled and bit down on his neck. Izuku yelled in pain and the whole world went black.

"I got him, I got him!" Kirishima assured the others for the ninth time, securely holding the villain in his rock-hard arms. The wiry man squirmed, but got nowhere. A few feet away, the other villain roared from the chair he was tied to. 

"Let us GO, ASSHOLES!"

Aizawa drummed his fingers on his arm, seeming bored as ever. "Tell us how to reverse that quirk and we will," he said dryly. 

Uraraka sniffed in the background. "This is all my fault," she muttered. Iida patted her arm reassuringly. 

"It's alright," he said. "Next time, we work on calling the direction of the attack. It's only practice." She gave him a watery smile. 

Mic handed everyone earphones, placing them on Kirishima himself, and the ground shook as he yelled "HOW DO WE REVERSE YOUR QUIRK, VILLAAAAAAIIIN!?" The villain wailed, thrashing helplessly in Kirishima's arms. 

"N-No!" He begged. Aizawa smirked, an expression that made everyone but Present Mic move back. 

"This," he said calmly, "is Hizashi. He's also known as Present Mic. That was him whispering. Now, how do we reverse it?" 

"IT WEARS OFF ON ITS OWN, LET ME GO!" Cried the burly one from the chair. 

"Finally," huffed Aizawa. "Go on, Kirishima, take him to All Might." The villains' cries faded into the distance.

"Everyone go home," Present Mic said. "We have to figure out who's gonna look after Midoriya-san until this wears off."

 

"Uraraka?"

"Too teary and high-strung."

"Iida?"

"Didn't we just establish that high-strung is a problem?"

Uhh... All Might?" 

"I'd love to, but I would have to take leave." 

"His mother?"

"Inko is currently out of town."

"WHY do you know that?"

"We are good friends."

"Well, who, then?"

Bakugo heard the sounds as he stormed angrily down the hallway on a quest to demand the knowledge of why exactly no one had fucking come to get him from the goddamn gym when the villains attacked.

Now everyone was fucking whispering about Deku and honestly, Bakugo was beginning to worry that the shitty nerd was dead. 

"Mew!" A small, completely out of place sound echoed through the hall. Bakugo stopped. There, outside the principal's office, sat a tiny little kitten with giant emerald eyes. Its fur seemed black at first, but when it stretched, it revealed itself to be a dark green colour.

"The fuck?" Bakugo wondered aloud. "They don't allow pets. Who are you?" He held out a hand to the kitten, who sniffed it and climbed into the palm. It was unbelievably tiny. Bakugo double-checked the hallway to make sure they were alone, then cradled the kitten to his chest. 

"Shit, kitty, you're cold as ice." He stroked the little cat, who purred against his hand. "Where'd you come from, hm?" 

Never in a billion years would Bakugo Katsuki admit to his fondness for cats. They were just so sweet and fluffy and cute and somehow evil and terrifying at once. He fuckin loved 'em.

 

Inside the office, Aizawa nearly fell off his chair in shock. That much reaction instantly garnered the attention of the whole room. 

"Look at the cameras," he hissed. "Right outside the door." 

Hizashi leaned over him, one hand on his shoulder, and gasped. All Might hummed. 

Bakugo Katsuki sat on the floor facing the door with the kitten that was their quirk-affected problem child curled up asleep against his chest. And the look he was giving it... he was smiling. His eyes were soft and open, his features relaxed in bliss as he stroked the little creature.

"Huh," said All Might. "Never thought I'd see a smile on that boy's face."

"Wasn't sure he could," agreed the principal. "Somewhat like Aizawa-san, here."

"I can smile," Aizawa deadpanned, and promptly offered up the most terrifying, wide-eyed, ear-to-ear psychopathic grin the others had ever seen.

"For the sake of their ability to sleep at night, honey, stop that," begged Hizashi. His husband snorted and the smile dropped away. "Fine. Nezu, verdict?"

"He should stay with Bakugo-san until the quirk wears off," declared the white-haired man, "but no one is to tell him that it is Midoriya Izuku, or that cat will be dead in seconds."

The others nodded their approval and it was settled. Bakugo had, at some point, disappeared with the cat anyways, so there was nothing to do but wait.

 

"Here, kitten," Bakugo said. Izuku stretched on his shoulder, curling further into the warm neck. A rumbling chuckle vibrated through his seat and Izuku purred. "I made you a little nest. Also, you need a name."

"Mrrw?"

"Yeah, stupid. I gotta call you somethin. You have the same eyes as that nerd... how do you feel about Izuku?" 

Izuku froze. Kacchan never called him that. "Mew?"

"I call him Deku, so... you could be Izuku." The piercing red eyes narrowed slightly, concern and something else dancing there for a fleeting second. "Everyone's talking about him. Apparently, he's... missing? Or... or maybe dead." He curled up around his new friend. "Fuck, you tell anybody and I'll kill you, but I really hope he's not dead." 

He didn't offer a reason, so Izuku just curled into the crook of his neck and fell asleep, purring softly as his Kacchan melted into dreams.

 

Five days passed uneventfully. Bakugo let Izuku roam freely, even putting him in a fenced-in garden every morning while he did his workout. Izuku found he only had to use the bathroom once a day, and so he never had to touch the litter Bakugo had gotten. Food? Oh, Kacchan fed him dutifully, making sure water was always available.

At night, Kacchan would wake up two or three times and clutch at the blankets, heart pounding with fear and panting. Izuku curled up on his chest and purred softly until he fell asleep again. He came to enjoy the constant love from his idol.

"Bakubro?" A knock sounded at the door. Bakugo shoved his books back and pushed the litter under the bed. "Hey, you in there?" There was another knock. Where was the damn cat? Ah, well. As long as he was out of sight.

"The fuck you want, Shitty Hair," he growled, yanking open the door.

Kirishima stared at Bakugo's shoulder for a minute, open-mouthed. Bakugo's heart sank as he felt his new pet shift in its sleep. How in All Might's name had he NOT noticed that!?

"Oh, YOU have him!?" Kirishima's voice was laced with relieved surprise.

"Eh!?" The fuck?

"Well, it's been almost a whole week since Midoriya disappeared," he explained. "After he got turned into a little cat cause Uraraka gave him some... vague... directions, we all started thinking he'd run off. But you're taking care of him! That's great!"

Wait. This... was... "This kitty is shitty Deku!?"

"Wow. Never thought I'd hear you say 'kitty'. Yeah, it's him. Did you... not... know...?" 

"NO," Bakugo barked, "I didn't fucking know! What the fuck!? I've been feeding you for days! No wonder you fucking listen when I talk! What the fuck!?" 

Frightened by the noise, Izuku tried to jump down. Kirishima's hand reached for him, but he dodged it and bolted under the bed. 

"Fuck," Bakugo muttered. "Fuck, okay, that's okay. I... I'm looking after him until you find a cure, then. Fuck. Oh, this... this is not how I thought this would go, Izu-- Deku." 

Kirishima raised an eyebrow. "You just... you... OH MY GOD, YOU TOTALLY NAMED HIM AFTER MIDORIYA DUDE THAT'S SO FUCKIN CUTE OH MY G--!!" Kirishima quickly found himself with a faceful of fire and door. He pressed the side of his face to it.

"What we doing?" Asked Uraraka, surrounded by confused friends. Mineta licked his lips. Mina cocked her head. Jirou and Kaminari grinned suggestively. 

"Shhhh," Kirishima hissed. "Listen!" They pressed their ears to the door.

"C'mon, Deku, it's okay. Look, baby, I like cats. Even if it's you, I won't hurt you. I can't. I dunno why. I just can't hurt cats. They're my weakness. C'mon, get out from there. That's right. Come on. Good, good kitty, good job, Izuku!" 

"Oh my god," whispered Mina, "He's got Deku!"

"And they're getting along real well," noted Jirou.

 

In the dorm, Bakugo held the kitten close. It trembled in his palm, green eyes wide, but he gave it his kindest look and continued murmuring those little reassurances to it. Eventually, it started licking its lovely fur into place and Bakugo set it beside him on the bed.

"Goodnight, kitten," he whispered to it. 

"Miaow," it replied softly, and yawned, tucking itself against his side.

Bakugo fell asleep. He only woke up once.

 

Two days later, it happened. 

"Mmh..." Bakugo woke to a soft moaning from beside him. There was a shapely back, slender and defined, leading into built hips and the top of a really nice ass. The skin was smooth, mostly pale, dotted with clusters of freckles.

"Ow..." There were scarred hands in the wild nest of green hair, rubbing at his temples. "Wh-wh...?"

"Morning," said Bakugo, voice rough with sleep. He curled an arm around the beautiful waist in front of him, pulling it flush with his own body and ignoring the flash of ice cold skin touching his own. "How'd you sleep, kitten?" He wasn't a pervert. This, however, was too good an opportunity to pass up.

"Mm... Kacchan...... Kacchan. Kacchan!?" The voice quickly became panicked as Deku wriggled in his arms, turning to look at him. Oh, Bakugo was glad he only slept in boxers. Already a pale pink stained the freckled cheeks. "Wh-wh-what h-ha-happened!?" He squeaked.

Bakugo raised an eyebrow, ducking in to bump their noses together. "You don't remember, kitten?" He asked.

"Why do you keep calling me that?" He was shaking like a leaf. Bakugo snickered. 

"Alright, nerd, you got hit by a rogue quirk. You've been a little baby cat for a good week now. I've been taking care of you." He pushed himself up. "What do you want for breakfast?" 

A hand came to rest delicately on his shoulder. "Wait. You... I remember. It's weird, but I remember. You took care of me?"

"Yeah, nerd. What do you want to eat?"

"I... I dunno," he said quietly. "I don't usually eat breakfast. Or lunch." 

"No wonder you're so fuckin weak," Bakugo said, but his voice held no malice. He ruffled the green hair as he stood, cracking his back and heading for the kitchenette in his dorm. 

"Umm... Kacchan...?"

"What?"

"I-I don't have any..." Bakugo turned to look. Deku had the blanket pulled up to his chest, cheeks pink and eyes downcast. 

He looked like a fucking vision. 

"Oh. Grab something from the drawer behind you, then." He turned back to making omlettes. A minute later, he turned to check and oh god, that ass was the only thing in his brain. He looked away for another minute and when he finally returned his gaze to the nerd, it was to the green-haired boy standing there in his shirt, which hung down to mid-thigh. 

Deku yawned, coming warily into the kitchen. He thumped his head against Bakugo's shoulder and Bakugo put an arm around his waist, pulling him in closer and laying a kiss on the top of his head.

"Wha?" Deku pulled back. "Are... are we, like, dating... or something? What... why...?"

Bakugo chuckled and turned the hot plate off, handing Deku his omlette. "If you want me," he said, "this whole thing made me realize I get scared to lose you. I thought you were gone for days and I woke up with nightmares every night. I also figured out that maybe, maybe, I have a thing for you. I wanna try, if you do."

Deku nodded enthusiastically. "I like you too, Kacchan!" He chirped. "I wanna try it, too!" 

Bakugo pulled the smaller student closer to him. With a happy hum, Deku leaned on his shoulder and tossed his legs over Bakugo's lap. 

"Bakubro--GAH! WARNING!?" Kirishima bust in, then covered his eyes for a split second before racing over to hug Deku. "Midoriya! You're back!" 

Bakugo growled. Kirishima pulled back, joy replaced by puzzlement. "Bro...?" His eyes widened. "Ohh. Am I not allowed to touch your stuff, then?" He snickered. "Okay, Imma go. Just came to check on Midoriya. Morning, buddy!" 

Bakugo put the empty plates aside and flopped back onto the bed.

"Thank fuck," he sighed. "It's Saturday. C'mere, baby." As he spoke, he pulled Izuku up the bed to lay on his chest. Izuku did not mind and they ended up staying there half the day. 

The other half? Homework and consoling a blubbery Uraraka. Izuku had missed a lot. Like... a LOT. 

Ah, well. He'd gained a boyfriend.

And, he thought as he screamed Kacchan's name into the pillow while the blond panted above him, that was the best thing the universe had ever given him.

Chapter Text

The day Izuku turned fifteen, he saw his familiar for the first time. She was lying across the end of his bed, eyes half closed as if nearly asleep: a small, lean wolf, white as snow. Her fur was tinged blue at the edges and some of it curled away like smoke. Her eyes, what Izuku could see, were pale blue and sharp.
"It's about time," she grumbled.

"Hello," Izuku said, cocking his head. "Are you my familiar?"
The wolf nodded her lovely head.

"I am," she sighed. "My name is Lyre. Good morning."

"Good morning," Izuku chirped. She was beautiful!

"Your mom's making breakfast," she noted, lifting her nose into the air. "Smells like bacon. I like bacon. C'mon, get up!" She leapt gracefully off the bed and waited impatiently for him to dress. Laughing, Izuku obeyed. They were going to get along fine.

"So," Uraraka asked, "what's your familiar?" They'd agreed to ask each other on the same day, the day after Izuku's birthday, even though she was a few months older.

"Lyre," he answered, stroking through her fur absentmindedly. "She's a white wolf. Smaller, but still up to my waist. What's yours?"
"Pretty!" She gasped. "Mine's Filo; he's a red squirrel. Super cute, he sits on my shoulder all day! I love him." She reached up to scritch something invisible on her right shoulder. 

Izuku gasped. "I wonder if we're soulmates," he squealed. "I wanna see Filo! I bet he's super cute!"

Uraraka giggled. "Yeah, that would be so cool! I wanna see Lyre, she sounds so pretty." The bell rang and they hurried off to class.

"I like Filo," mused Lyre.

"Shhhh," Izuku hissed. "Not now!"

"Problem-child," droned Aizawa, "Is there another problem?"

"N-No sir!" He yelped, shooting a little glare at Lyre.

"Ah," noted the teacher, a spark of something like interest in his eyes. "You've recently seen your familiar, then?"

Izuku hesitated, but ultimately nodded. "Y-Yesterday. We're... still working out that she can't talk in class anymore. S-Sorry, sir."

Aizawa sighed. "Fine, fine. We're doing a lesson on familiars today, anyhow." The rest of the class, Lyre was silent.


Three years later...


"Hey! Nerd!" The shout rang angrily through the hallway. Nervously, Izuku twined his fingers into Lyre's soft fur. She offered him a small sound of support.

"DON'T YOU FUCKING IGNORE ME! WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, SHITTY DEKU!?" Bakugo grabbed his collar and shoved him up against the lockers, holding him a good foot off the ground. Uraraka screamed. They were eye level for once, Izuku supposed, searching desperately for a bright side.
"What the FUCK is that with you, hah!?" Raged the blond. 

Izuku froze. Lyre stopped snarling and sat up, cocking her head, ears flopping quizzically to the side.

"Uhm, Bakubro," interjected Kirishima, "There's nothing there. Maybe you should just put him down and walk away...?"

"WHO BRINGS THEIR FUCKIN DOG TO SCHOOL!?" Roared Bakugo. And just like that, the pieces clicked in Izuku's mind.

"Happy eighteenth birthday, Kacchan," he said quietly, eyes begging the older teen to get the message. 

Bakugo's eyes widened in horror. He dropped Izuku to the ground and proceeded to lay a rib-cracking punch to his sternum. Uraraka dropped down next to him, shrieking at Bakugo to leave, and Lyre yelped beside her master.

"Shut the fuck up, Round Face, or do you want the same treatment, hah!?" Finally, Kirishima latched onto his arm, a glare darkening his usually bright features.

"Enough!" He said. "Hitting a girl isn't manly, bro! You've done enough damage, let's GO!"

He managed to haul the other boy away and shove him towards the doors, leaning down to quickly check on Izuku. "Is he gonna be okay?" He whispered.

Uraraka looked up. "I'll take care of him," she assured him. "Thank you." He nodded and raced off to catch up with his explosive friend. Izuku coughed and coughed until all the blood was out of his system.

"C'mon," Uraraka said softly. "Let's get you home.

All of a sudden, Iida Tenya wandered up to them. "Could I be of assistance?" He asked. Uraraka nodded, letting him take some of Izuku's weight. Together, they managed to haul the green-haired boy to his house.

Kacchan had broken three ribs.

That was the one thing running through Izuku's mind, over and over. Lyre lay curled by his side, her head on his lap while he wrote in his journal, his only day off spoiled somewhat by the pain in his chest.

"You know," she said quietly, "I'm as old as you are. When we were little, I used to play with Katsuki's familiar, like you played with him. He was rough, yeah, but he always pulled me back up if he knocked me down. Like Katsuki did for you." She raised her head to lick his nose. "Do you remember what he said to you, every time you fell down?"

Izuku cocked his head curiously at her. "No," he said quietly. "What did he say?"
She huffed softly, laying her head back on his lap. He scritched her ear in the way she loved.

"He said, 'get up. Good heroes always get up. If you're not at the top with me, I can't marry you.' And it worked. You got up every time." She sighed. "That was when his familiar and I thought we would be friends forever. We thought you were soulmates. But then everything turned so bad, and now... now we just have no idea what's going on." A little whine tore itself from her throat.

"Aww, Lyre, it's okay," said Izuku. "I bet I'll find my soulmate soon. My birthday's in three weeks, remember?"

Lyre perked up. "Right!" She yipped excitedly. Honestly, she was more puppy than wolf most of the time. "Don't patronize me."

"Did I say that out loud?"

"Every time."

"Sorry, Lyre."

"Mhm."


The weeks passed quickly. Izuku healed and on the night before his birthday, he had a hard time falling asleep.

"You know," he said, staying up late AGAIN to gossip with Lyre, "I thought it'd be Uraraka, but then she saw Iida's rabbit and--"

"Oooh," snickered Lyre, "so THAT'S why Filo's all smitten over Erudite, huh? Eh, she's cute, I guess. Not my type."

"You have a type? Do tell." He propped his chin on his hand.

"Mm, big and tough, fiery, sexy and badass, bit of a badboy and hotheaded as fuck."

"Hey, that sounds like my type!"

"Duh. We share the same interests and standards. Also, sounds a lot like somebody we know, hm?"

"Eh? Who? Todoroki-kun?" Izuku hummed thoughtfully. "Okay, he's sexy and all, but kind of emotionless. Also, he made an offhanded comment about Yaoyorozu-san's cat, and she doesn't have a cat."

"That's her familiar," said Lyre, "Hemlock. She sleeps a lot. Todoroki's the half red, half white one, right?"

"Yeah. What's his familiar?"

"Also a cat," muttered Lyre, putting her ears flat back. "A MEAN one. Scorpio. No, I was gonna say our type sounds a lot like Katsuki. Don't you think?"

Izuku blanched. "Y-You think so?" He said nervously.

"Dude, you've been crushing on him for TEN YEARS," she groaned. "Don't think I don't know!"

"Fair enough," he sighed. "If... if he's my soulmate, I'll be happy. But he'll hate me, I know it."

"Nope!" Lyre chirped cheerfully. "Right now, he's confused and nervous. Sometimes, your soulmate just... isn't the person bound to you. Remember when he saw me at school? You ARE his soulmate. That's a fact. It just remains to be seen whether he is yours." She scratched her ear. "And if you are, between you and me, I think that boy will surprise you."

Izuku sighed, flopping back in bed. "You really think so?"

"I do. Now go to sleep, idiot, it's almost midnight." She stretched and flopped down on top of him.

"Lyre?" Izuku whispered.

"Mm?"

"What's my mom's familiar?"

"Eh? Oh. A chipmunk. Ebi."

"Cool," he murmured. "Goodnight."

"Night."

A final question occured to him. "Lyre?"

"Mm?"

"What's Kacchan's?"

Lyre hummed. "See for yourself tomorrow."

"Okay. NOW goodnight."

"Night, Izuku." And with that, both drifted into dreams. 

 

Izuku's birthday was not supposed to go the way that it did.

He was supposed to wake up and head for school with his mom's homemade bento in his bag and a light heart.


He wasn't supposed to detour to the park on his way there, but Lyre begged with her best puppy eyes. 

"It's my birthday, too!" She pleaded. "And I don't get presents." Finally, Izuku relented and took her to the park. She barked and howled, chasing the ball he threw around for her. Izuku laughed watching her, a little sad that nobody else could see her. It ended up being a wonderful way to start the morning, and they took their shortcut through the alley to save time.

That was where things deviated from the plan.

In the alley stood a massive creature, easily twice the size of Lyre: a lion, flaming gold with blazing amber eyes. Where Lyre's fur trailed into blue smoke, his became red fire. He was the most muscular lion Izuku had ever seen, and very clearly a familiar. But if he could see it... that meant... 

"Lyre," he said quietly, "is... is that my soulmate's... familiar?"

She howled, long and light. "Hallelujah praise the LORD, it's SIRIUS he can see! Woohoo!" The lion seemed to roll its eyes with a chuckle.

"Lyre," it rumbled, voice deep and rich. The wolf bounded up to it-- to him, Izuku corrected himself mentally-- and touched her nose to his, tail wagging furiously. 

"You can see him."

Izuku whirled around, nearly falling over, but a hand shot out to catch his wrist.

"Careful." It was Bakugo, eyebrows knitted in an unreadable expression. "So I'm yours, too. Happy fucking birthday, Deku. I'm sorry."

Izuku glared at him, pulling his arm away. "My Kacchan," he said warily, "doesn't apologize for anything. Especially not good things." He frowned, looking at where the two familiars were wrestling in the alleyway. "Look at them," he said. "Do you want to tell them they can't be friends because we're stubborn? I don't know about yours, but Lyre would rip my throat out and use it as a chew toy."


A low chuckle interrupted him. Whsn he looked back, Kacchan had a small half-smile on his face. "And here I thought your familiar would be something like a dwarf rabbit."

"Actually, the bunny is Iida's. Her name is Erudite, apparently."

"How--"

"Uraraka."

"Ah."

They stood there in silence for a moment, watching the animals play, before Bakugo cleared his throat. "Deku?" Izuku turned to find him holding out a cupcake. It was devil's food cake, the kind they used to get when they were little. Izuku's favorite. He smiled, accepting it.

"Hey, Lyre and I stayed up late talking last night, and we figured something out. Guess what?"

"...What?"
"My type is hotheaded, crazy, tough, fiery, sexy badboys. Blond hair and red eyes are a plus. What's yours?"

Bakugo stood there blinking for a minute, then seized Izuku's wrist. "You," he growled, and sealed their lips in a blazing kiss. Izuku gasped against his soulmate's lips.

It was passionate, fiery, hot, erotic, and yet somehow gentle and sweet at the same time. Bakugo licked into Izuku's mouth, drawing a soft sigh from the younger boy. Whatever Bakugo was doing with his tongue, it felt good. Really good. The blond tasted like heaven. Izuku moaned into the touch, wondering when his hands had found their way to Bakugo's shirt. Probably, he reasoned, around the time Bakugo had slipped one around his waist and the other into his hair, pressing him impossibly closer.

Finally, panting, they broke apart. Bakugo rested his forehead against his soulmate's.

"Okay," he whispered, breath mingling between them, "if I can do that for the rest of my life, I'll die a happy man."

Izuku snickered. "Maybe we get through high school first? "He suggested. Bakugo sighed, placing a soft kiss on Izuku's forehead.

"Okay, baby," he said. A comfortable silence filled the air for a moment as Bakugo leaned against one of the buildings, Izuku happily pressed against him. 

"Fuck," he said, snickering. "I have, like, a full foot of height on you."

"You do not!"

"How tall are you?:
"....5'3"."
"I'm 6'2." Do the math, dipshit."

Izuku sulked for a second. Bakugo chuckled. "Don't worry, Deku," he said. "My type happens to include tiny and cute."

"Oh," said Izuku. "That's good." He nuzzled into Bakugo's chest, relishing the way strong arms wrapped around him. 

"I'm... I'm so sorry I hit you," murmured the blond. "Not just a few weeks ago, but always. I... I didn't realize just how much you meant to me until I saw your wolf. Oh, and... Lyre?"

The wolf looked up from her perch on top of Sirius.

"Sorry I called you a dog," he said.

She scoffed. "I am, in fact, part of the canine family. Lots of people think of wolves as dogs." She cocked her head, ears flopping over. "But the apology is appreciated. Thank you, it's alright."

"No hard feelings here, either," murmured Izuku, pressing close to his soulmate. "I loved you anyways, my whole life."

"I don't fucking deserve you," sighed Bakugo.

"But you have me anyways," Izuku reminded him.

"Izuku," said the blond teen, "Will you try with me? Would you be willing to give me a chance to prove that I can be good to you?"

Izuku hummed. "Yes," he said, "of course. But... only if you promise to never stop being bad, too." He leaned up, grabbing Bakugo's shirt to yank him down so he could whisper in his ear. "It's the hottest thing ever, watching you take control anywhere you want it." He released the boy and sauntered over to his wolf.

"We heard that," she teased. 

"No you didn't," he replied instantly.

"We did not," she admitted easily. They fell silent at the same moment, listening to the conversation of the pair behind them.

"He said yes," sighed Bakugo in relief.

"No, really?"

"What... yes, really, dumbass, did you not fucking see...?"

"Sarcasm, numbnuts. Making out against a wall is not something a person does after refusing an advance."

"You absolute bag of dicks."

"That's a lot more dick than you'll ever have."

Lyre looked up at Izuku and they kept their cool for all of two seconds before spluttering with laughter.

"Hey," yelled the lion indignantly. "You makin fun of me, woman!?"

"Hell yeah," replied Lyre. "Catch me if you can!" They raced to the school, but Lyre was small and quick where Sirius was weighed down by muscle. She won.


"Problem children," Aizawa said from the front of the classroom, "why are you twenty-five minutes late?"

"It's my eighteenth birthday," Izuku announced happily. He was met by a blank stare until Uraraka, bless her heart, gasped. 

"Who is it, who is it!? Do you know!?"

Izuku cracked a grin, opening his mouth to answer when a hot, claiming pair of lips captured his. He leaned into the kiss, drinking in his soulmate's taste and scent, before pulling away.

"Mine," growled Bakugo, pointing at the green-haired teen. "Paws off."

Wolf whistles and catcalls filled the room, along with Uraraka giggling uncontrollably behind her hands.

Aizawa, looking like he simultaneously craved both a bathtub full of coffee and the sweet release of death, turned back to the board, muttering something about soulmates being problems.

"Mr. Aizawa," piped up Jirou, "don't YOU have a soulmate?"

Aizawa groaned, exchanging a look of long-suffering with the invisible black fox on its bed in the corner.

"Unfortunately," he said, "I do."

"Who is it?"

"Over my dead body."

Just then, Present Mic poked his head in. "Hey, honey, have you seen-- oh, THERE you are! Come on, Phoenix, leave the poor bundle of misery alone." He was glaring at the bed in the corner. Once whatever his familiar was had slunk to his side, he turned to Izuku.

"Isn't it your birthday today, kid? Want me to sing?"

"NO!" Shrieked every kid in the room. Aizawa discreetly placed a pair of headphones on his head.

"What a wonderful idea, love," he said evilly. 

"Anything for you, babe!" The blond opened his mouth and everyone in the room prepared to lose their hearing. 

They did.

For the entire day.

It was a good thing Class 1A had thought to teach themselves sign language.

But watching Bakugo Katsuki discreetly sign I love you behind his back and reach back under the desk to take his hand? 

Worth the hearing loss a thousand times over.

Watching Lyre writhe in pain with her oversensitive ears?

Poor baby.

At least he had something.

Best. Birthday present. Ever. He thought to himself as Bakugo squeezed his hand under the desk.

No one even called them out on it.

When he was fifteen, Izuku met his familiar.

When he was eighteen, he found his soulmate.

But when he fell in love?

Why, he had been in love since he was eight!

Chapter Text

Katsuki and Izuku had always danced together.

It started when they were little; Izuku had been training from the day he could walk, learning the art of sash-dancing, and one day when he was six, the most beautiful blond lady walked in with her seven year old son.

"Dancing is for girls," the boy insisted. 

"That's not true!" Cried Izuku, leaping to defend his passion.

"Oh yeah?" The blond challenged. "Prove it!"

Izuku ran up to his instructor, quickly explaining the situation and asking if he could do his routine. His instructor smiled and found the music.

Izuku had put on a performance that left the blond, Katsuki, stunned speechless. He'd turned to his mother and whispered,

"I wanna do that."

And from that moment on, Izuku and Katsuki worked only with each other.

 

Now, years later, they couldn't find it in themselves to get along. Every move was a fight, every word an argument, and they clashed again and again like the waves to the ever-present shore.

When it rained, however, and the class stayed inside, and Izuku grabbed Katsuki's sleeve and ducked out the door, Katsuki followed.

And they danced.

There was a small gym set up with ropes from the ceiling for training, which could be used instead of sashes.

Izuku moved in the ropes like he was born to fly. And-- even if they were in the middle of a fight-- if he dropped from the very top of those ropes, Katsuki would catch him.

But why tell this story now, so long after it began?

Because it wasn't until now that everything changed...

 

 

"It's raining," whined Mineta. "Again." The rest of Class 1A sighed dramatically. Izuku, on the other hand, perked up and looked out the window. He and Katsuki had a performance coming up, so every rainy day proved opportunity to practice. 

It was a fundraiser, an event for some school. Their support team was going: Izuku and Katsuki's mothers, Katsuki's father, and All Might, to support Izuku in place of a father.

All Might would be there.

So this had to be the best performance EVER.

As soon as the lunch bell rang, Izuku tugged Katsuki's sleeve and the two ducked out the door. They raced through the halls together to the small gym, where their music system and ropes were still set up. Sharing a glance, they snickered like children about escaping the others so easily.

Izuku shut the door behind him, then walked over to the music.

"Ready?" He called, and upon receiving a thumbs-up from Katsuki, hit play. 

He had five seconds to get into position, so he jumped up to face the boy on the stage. Under their school uniforms, which they had shucked off at the door, they wore their stage outfits: Katsuki's, a tight black tank top and black leggings. Izuku's, skintight green shorts with white nylons to prevent rope burn and a black tank top like Katsuki's, though his was significantly smaller.

Katsuki took his hand as the song began to play. He raised himself up to full height, gracefully pulling Izuku close enough to grab his hip and guide him in a ten second salsa start. In perfect time, Izuku bent over and put his hands back between his legs. Katsuki leaned over his back to catch them, lifting him off the ground into a front flip that brought him up to stand on Katsuki's hips. The beat gave its intro to the drop.

One... Katsuki tossed him in the air.

Two... He caught his feet and launched him high up.

Drop. The beat hit its high point and Izuku caught the rope, coming alive in the sounds and the beat as below, Katsuki did a few flips and careened out of the way.

Katsuki could watch Izuku dance all day long. His hips swung around and around as his legs expertly twirled the ropes into manageable positions in split seconds. His arms worked to pull him into position after position and there, he wrapped the rope effortlessly around his hips and dropped, spinning all the way down to the end of the rope where he caught himself and swung around to latch onto Katsuki's shoulders with his arms, letting the blond toss and catch him in different positions.

There it was again. One, up. Two, launch. Drop, catch and off he went again. But now... now the best part was coming up.

Katsuki himself caught a rope and spun a few complicated, close to the ground manoeuvers solely to distract. He hit the ground perfectly and turned his gaze-- and so the audience's-- to where Izuku was standing in the ropes.

As the bridge reached its crescendo, he dropped into mid-air splits, suspended only by two ropes expertly wrapped around his ankles.

In the half second of quiet before the chorus began again, he tilted sideways and dropped, freefalling nearly twenty-five feet straight into Katsuki's flawlessly executed catch and twirl. They proceeded to do the final belted notes of the chorus on the ground, twisting and leaping and twirling and dipping, and on the last note, Katsuki tossed him high enough into the air that he could catch the rope.

In the quiet lead off, Izuku wrapped his waist in the rope and used his legs to lower himself to a point where, hanging upside down, he could arch his back and press his hands to Katsuki's in a lasting juxtaposition, where they froze as the song trailed off into silence.

Katsuki automatically caught Izuku as he untangled himself, setting him gently on the floor. They both collapsed, faces flushed and panting.

"It... never... gets... any... easier," gasped Izuku, groping for his water bottle.

"Damn," huffed Katsuki, only a little better off, "that's for fuckin sure. Gimme that." They shared the bottle, downing the whole thing.

"It's good, though," Izuku said. "We'll do so well. It's almost flawless now. Maybe work on the standing still. You forgot to mouth the lyrics that time. And I need to be a little quicker with the rope movements."

"Okay," said Katsuki, "but you watch how fast you go. Don't rush it and mess it up. If you fall where you aren't supposed to, I might not be able to catch you."

"C'mon, Kacchan," Izuku said, giving his partner a stupid grin, "we can do it. Plus, I'm not exactly an amateur." He giggled as Katsuki poked him in the ribs and sides. "Alright, alright, I'm sorry!" He shrieked.

The door burst open. "Young students," came the unmistakeable bellow of All Might, "WHAT in God's name is going ON in here?"

Izuku shushed him quickly and dragged him in, shutting the door and tossing Katsuki his uniform.

"We come in here to practice for dance classes," he explained. "When it's rainy outside. It's great for our purposes." He pulled his own uniform on. "Uhh... this... goes... here...?"

"Jesus fuck, you stupid nerd, come here."

"Good heavens, young Bakugo, language, PLEASE."

"Tch," replied Katsuki, tying Izuku's tie correctly. 

"We should switch clothes one of these days," Izuku snickered. "It'd really mess with them."

Katsuki rolled his eyes and flicked his partner on the forehead. "I like the way you think," he said, "but I really don't want anybody thinking I fucked you."

"What about the other way around?"

"Pfft, like THAT would ever happen. Christ, Deku, come on. Do I LOOK like a bottom to you?"

"For the sake of my life," Izuku deadpanned, "I'm not going to answer that."

"AHEM," All Might said, prompting one blush and one eye roll. "You boys had best get back to your class." Izuku nodded. Katsuki groaned, but followed when the green-haired teenager pulled him out by the sleeve.

What a strange pair, thought All Might. I really can't wait for this function.

 

One week later...

 

"Gaaah, Kacchan, it's in TWO HOURS!" Izuku flopped onto his bed across Katsuki's lap.

"Get the fuck off me, nerd."

"You already gave me a black eye earlier this week. There's still a darker spot. I had to use some makeup. Remember, beat me up all you want AFTER the function, but you gotta try and keep your hands off me until then." He got up and blew the boy a kiss.

Katsuki scoffed. "Gay."

Izuku snorted from the closet and imitated a girl's high-pitched, breathy voice. "God, I just keep hoping I'll find the perfect sash dancer, but they all turn out to be gay! Honestly, Kacchan." He came out and struck a pose, showing off his gorgeous musculature. 

Katsuki walked over and grabbed his hips, bending him over backwards until his back cracked.

"Oof, thanks."

"Mm. Can't have you stiff and sore beforehand. Stretch while I change."

"Yessir!" Izuku mock-saluted, going into his stretches. Katsuki changed in silence.

 

The function, as it turned out, was for THEIR school. Every student in their class was there. 

"Fuck," muttered Katsuki from back behind the curtain. "Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. Deku."

"Kacchan?" The green-haired boy came hurrying over to his partner. "Hey, hey, hey, it's okay. We just gotta get through ONE dance. Just one. That's all. Okay? You with me?"

Katsuki looked into his partner's eyes and slowly nodded his head. "I'm good," he said. "Let's show this shitty school what real fucking talent is."

"There's my Kacchan."

"And now," came the announcer's voice, "we were shocked to learn that we have two lifelong dancers at our school... and they are the most unlikely of partners. Please give it up for... Bakugo Katsuki and Midoriya Izuku!" 

There was a moment of stunned silence and then the track began. Katsuki walked out onto the stage, heart hammering. He turned to face the way he'd come, waiting, and Izuku came tumbling out with the first notes of the song.

It was flawless.

Every dip and twirl and graceful launch and landing was magic. They had the audience screaming in fear at the freefall, cheering at the save and twirl, and by the end, on their feet, roaring with applause. Panting, the boys laced their hands and raised them up, took a bow, and headed offstage.

 

"Izuku, Izuku that was beautiful!" Inko cried, pulling her son into a hug. Izuku laughed, and when Inko pulled Katsuki in as well, their arms wrapped around each other as easily as if they'd always been that way.

"C'mon, nerd," muttered Katsuki, pulling away. "We gotta get home."

"Deku-kun?" Another voice interrupted.

"Uraraka!?" Squeaked Izuku.

"Deku-kun!" She ran up to him, eyes shining, and threw her arms around him. "That was AMAZING! You guys did so well, I'm so proud of you!!" She sniffed, on the verge of tears, but Izuku hugged her back and laughed.

"Thank you, Ochako!" He chirped. "It's all thanks to Kacchan, really. He's my only safety net." He turned to his partner and wrapped his arms tight around the blond's shoulders. 

He earned a "tch!" and a casual arm around his waist for his efforts. Uraraka gaped open-mouthed at them.

"I don't think I've ever seen you two get along," she noted.

"We don't," Izuku said, "out of costume. But while we're dressed, we're partners and we work like a machine." He smiled up at Katsuki. "Riiight, Kacchan?"

"Sure, shitnerd."

"See? He agrees."

"Huh." Someone called Uraraka's name and she looked back. "I gotta go," she said. "Oh, and I'm pretty sure Kirishima took a video and sent it to the whole class." She waved over her shoulder.

"Shitty Hair did what!?" He exclaimed in horror. Izuku grabbed his hand and hauled him towards the back.

"C'mon, Kacchan," he said. "Let's go home."

"Just a moment, Young Midoriya!"

Izuku whipped around. There was All Might, Aizawa, Present Mic, Ms. Joke, and Principal Nezu all waiting to speak with them.

Katsuki groaned. It was gonna be a long night.

 

Two weeks later...

 

"AAAHH!!!" The shriek split through the air as Katsuki stood frozen, watching the door. He realized a second too late that he wasn't in position and watched almost in slow-motion as Izuku hit the floor. It was a twenty foot drop and he hit legs first. A sickening crack split the air.

"SHIT!" Katsuki rushed to his partner's side. "Oh fuck, shit, Deku, I'm so sorry, are you okay?"

"Ow ow ow ow my leg oh my god Kacchan ow jeez oh my god OW!" Replied Izuku. He leaned against Katsuki's shoulder, panting heavily. Katsuki lifted him up bridal style effortlessly, touching the leg as little as possible.

"Ngh-!" Not little enough, apparently, as Deku's eyes filled with tears and he buried his face in Katsuki's neck. 

"Hey, ASSHOLES!" Barked the blond. In the doorway, Mineta, Kaminari, and Mina sprang to attention guiltily. "See what fucking happened!? Why the fuck did you interrupt us!?" 

"We wanted to see you dance," Kaminari said.

"I thought you were fucking," sighed Mineta, earning Mina's slap to the back of the head.

"We're so sorry, Bakugo," she said.

"Don't fucking apologize to me!" He growled. "I'm fucking fine, it's Deku that fell!"

"I'm so sorry, Deku, we all are!" Mina said, voice trembling a little. He raised his head with a sniff and gave her a watery smile.

"It's okay, Mina," he said. "I got distracted and didn't wind the rope tight enough, and Kacchan wasn't able to catch me in time. It's not really your fault. I'll be okay, Kacchan's taking me to Recovery Girl now."

"Damn fucking straight," growled the blond in question.

 

"Well," said the old woman in the nurse's office, "I've certainly seen worse from the two of you. Bt this is fall damage, not blast damage. What happened?"

"Did you go to the function a couple weeks ago?" Asked Katsuki.

"I did. You children were wonderful."

"We were doing that in gym C."

"Wh-- what, with the ropes?"

"Yeah. He got distracted and fell about twenty feet straight down. I couldn't catch him in time."

"Alright," she sighed, rubbing her temples. "Get out, I'll tend to him."

 

Two days later, Izuku was released from the recovery wing. 

Katsuki was nowhere to be found. Izuku looked in the gyms, in classrooms, hallways, everywhere. Finally, standing on the rain-soaked roof, he spotted a familiar head of blond on a bench. 

It was dark, and the streetlight beside the bench cast a warm, beautiful orange glow over everything.

Izuku hurried down and out the door.

"Kacchan!" He called. "Look, I'm all better! It's-- hey, what's wrong?"

"The fuck are you doing here, nerd?" They were dressed for school, and Izuku didn't have his costume underneath. 

"You looked so sad."

A vulnerable, hesitant look flashed through those pretty red eyes. Katsuki sighed, dropping his gaze. "I don't think we should dance together anymore," he said quietly. "I don't wanna hurt you so bad you have to give up on being a hero, and I really might." 

"What!?" Izuku gasped in horror. "You listen to me, Bakugo Katsuki. You're the only person I trust to catch me nine hundred-ninety-nine times out of a thousand. That's the first time you've ever dropped me and we BOTH had to lose focus for it to happen. I trust you with my life when we dance. And I'm not going to give it up, so you have two choices: watch somebody else touch me the way you're supposed to, watch some other person throw me around and count on them to do better, or man up and get back out there to make sure you never drop me again. You hear me?"

Katsuki looked up, meeting his partner's gaze with a small smile. Then, without a word, he stood and offered up his hand. Izuku blinked.

"Here? But... there are no sashes!"

"I know," said Katsuki. "That's not all we can do, is it?"

"And there's no music."

"We'll make our own. Come on." 

So, Izuku took the offered hand.

Katsuki was right. After a few clumsy steps, they fell into the same rhythm and Izuku realized he could feel the music in the rain and in the way their hearts pounded in time.

They twirled and Katsuki dipped him down, where he froze, eyes searching Izuku's face almost desperately.

"Yes," Izuku whispered, unsure why that was the right answer but sure that it was. 

Katsuki smiled-- a real, beautiful smile, lighting up his features and making him look younger, carefree. Then he leaned in. Slowly. Too slowly.

Impatiently, Izuku grabbed the boy's jacket and tugged. Katsuki's lips crashed into his almost painfully, but then the kiss softened into something sweet, gentle, fragile, beautiful. 

When they pulled apart, Izuku felt drunk on Katsuki's smell and taste, like cinnamon and cloves and smoke and something else that was entirely Katsuki. He smiled, brushing a hand over his partner's cheekbone.

"See?" He breathed. "I only want you."

Katsuki just stared at him for a moment before pulling them out of the dip and kissing him again. Izuku jumped, wrapping his legs around Katsuki's waist to put them at eye level, and deepened the kiss.

"Guys, I found them, it's okay-- OH MY GOD!" The boys shared a silent groan with their eyes as Kirishima skidded to a halt in front of them. "Dude," he said to Katsuki, "everybody's looking for you two. Class starts in two minutes. Come on!" He dashed off.

Katsuki and Izuku shared another look. Izuku broke first, dissolving into giggles, which prompted Katsuki's snickers. They just stood there like that for a minute, laughing. Then, still giggling, Izuku pressed their lips together in one more messy kiss before extricating himself from the embrace.

"Where you going?"

"Class. Come on, the bell's about to go."

"Skip with me."

"Have you MET me?"

"It was worth a shot," the blond sighed. 

"Fair enough," replied Izuku. He took Katsuki's hand and twined their fingers together, dragging the other into the classroom. They laughed quietly about the soaked state of their clothes, but if they held hands under the desk the whole period, well.

Whose business was that but their own?

Chapter Text

"Katsuki, for the love of God, stop being difficult!"

"Mom, for the last time, I am NOT taking over when you and Dad are gone. Forget it!"

Mitsuki growls in frustration, pacing back and forth and raking her hands through her rapidly greying hair. "You are the heir to this kingdom whether you like it or not, and you will find a bride, and you will succeed us when we die."

"This kingdom? Really? It's ALWAYS hated me. No one has ever accepted me. There's no one here I want to protect. They hate me. I'll be dead or exiled within a week. I'm NOT taking over. I don't give a FUCK about tradition."

"Then get out!" Cries his mother, at the end of her rope and in very real danger of losing all of her hair. 

"What?"

"Mitsuki, no!" His father hisses. "We ended that tradition for a reason!"

"No, I've had enough!" Mitsuki snaps and turns on her son. "You can take some food and a water skin, but that's it. No blankets, no weapons. You're going into the woods, and you aren't coming out until you find whatever part of you is still missing." For a moment, her eyes soften, and she places her hand on Katsuki's shoulder.

"I know this place is oppressive for you. Maybe what you're looking for is out there." 

Katsuki is silent for a long moment, staring out over the buildings into the dark line of trees that marked the start of the forest. 

"Katsuki," his father pleads, "you have no obligation to do this--"

"I'll go tonight," he says, and his father knows better than to fight when he has that look in his eyes. There is something in the forest, something that calls him, and whether his father speaks up against it or not, he will answer. 

 

That night, Katsuki meets up with his friends one last time.

"Hey, bro," says Kirishima, "if you're going to find a girl, bring somebody back for me, eh?"

"He won't," says Yaoyorozu, "and you know he won't."

Iida frowns, but says nothing beyond, "make sure to keep an eye on your surroundings. You're better to try to coexist with the forest than to fight it. It will win every time."

"I will," he promises. "Thanks, Glasses."

"Hey, bring me a girlfriend, too!" Kaminari shouts after him.

"I don't like girls!" Katsuki replies. "They scare me!" His friends laugh as he walks towards the edge of the forest.

Katsuki embraces his mother and father and turns away, striding into the woods without hesitation.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The woods, Katsuki thinks, have a beauty that no other place can match. Everything is green and blue, or purple, and the only sounds are those of birds and small animals scuttling through the undergrowth.

Katsuki's not sure how long he walked before he finds the stream, but he refills his water skin and stretches out under a tree.

 

"Watch out!"

Katsuki snaps awake in a heartbeat, rolling automatically to one side. There's a crash and a growl and when he looks up, there's a lion standing over him. Its fangs jut out from its bottom lip and an all too familiar tail raises over its head. A manticore.

Katsuki throws his arms up, preparing to be stabbed, but the weight is gone as quickly as it had appeared. There's a short squeal as something vaguely green and white flashes by, then the manticore snarls and stands, somehow almost ten feet away.

Katsuki drops into a defensive crouch as something flutters overhead. What he sees makes him freeze, mouth half-open, gaping. 

It's a boy. Tiny, slender and fragile-looking, but glaring at the manticore with a heat in those green eyes that makes Katsuki unable to look away. His hair is green, too, woven through with pretty, brightly colored flowers, and he wears only a half-shirt and shorts of dark brown leather, apparently obtained from humans. The most prominent feature, though, is without a doubt the large gossamer wings stretching from his shoulder blades. 

The boy hovers close to him, totally weaponless.

"What's wrong, Akio?" He calls. His voice is musical, light, sending chills up the warrior prince's spine. The manticore snarls, slitted amber eyes flicking to Katsuki. He eases out of his defensive stance, something telling him not to look threatening. The boy nods slightly, a gesture of approval.

"Look," he says, floating forwards and putting a hand on the manticore's muzzle. "He doesn't have any weapons. He won't hurt you." 

The manticore growls, arching its back like a cat. A very put out cat.

"Oh hush, you big bully," snaps the boy, crossing his arms. The manticore gives a little whine and backs down. "Get on with you!" It turns tail and shoots Katsuki one last menacing look before slinking off into the trees.

The boy lands on the balls of his feet, perching on a branch a little way above Katsuki's head. Katsuki studies him.

He's so pale he's almost see-through, blue veins poking through, and from here he can see the dusky gold and rose flecks in those emerald eyes. His ears are elfin, delicately pointed, and oh, his wings! They're transluscent, built like a dragonfly's and a beautiful, shimmery blue-green. He uses them to flutter down, landing in front of Katsuki, though a little way back. 

"Who are you?" Asks Katsuki, whispering, afraid to scare the boy away. He seems like a wild animal: a dream, something fragile and delicate, as easy to startle as a baby deer.

"My human name is Midoriya Izuku," he replies warily, cocking his head. "I'm a faerie. Who are you?"

"Bakugo," replies Katsuki. "I'm Bakugo Katsuki. I'm... well, a human prince. I came from the human kingdom over there, to the west." He suddenly remembers that he owes the faerie his life. "Thanks for the rescue."

The boy with the lovely eyes cocks his head. "Sure," he says softly. Katsuki could listen to that voice all day long. "You'd better follow me," says Midoriya, turning away and looking over his shoulder. "And don't let Todoroki or Mineta lure you off. Keep close."

With little choice, Katsuki follows.

The faerie leads him over roots and trails and rocks and even a small river at one point. He follows dutifully, always keeping an eye out for those gorgeous wings, and hardly ever falters.

"This way, Kacchan!" Comes the pretty voice. He looks up. The faerie's not there. "Goodness, over here, silly!" Katsuki hesitantly takes a few steps forward. In front of him is a hedge, with a purple shape just sticking out of it. It looks like a goat. 

Upon peering through the hedge, Katsuki sees a meadow filled with... with girls. 

There's a ginger with round pink cheeks sitting on a branch, playing with what seems to be a gust of wind. She's got pretty white butterfly wings, shot through with silver and gold. Giggling, she looks down and twitters something to a frog-like girl on the ground; she's got big black eyes, long, silky black hair, and pale skin, and she's covered with a sort of green bodysuit that accents the first girl's yellow dress nicely. The frog-like girl croaks.

A third shape leaps out of the trees on the opposite side; pink-skinned and black-eyed with a slim ring of gold. She has two horns twisting up out of her head and fur on certain parts of her body. She has no clothing. Finally, there's another girl storming after the pink one; this girl has lupine ears on her head, flattened with apparent annoyance. They're purple, vibrant like her hair, and her pale skin is marked by two red triangles, one under each expressive dark eye. She's frowning at the hedge.

Katsuki doesn't want them to think he's perverted, but he is lost, so he pushes through. The four freeze and the butterfly girl screams.

"No, please don't be afraid!" He yelps. "Have... do any of you know Midoriya Izuku? He was leading me somewhere and I lost him!" 

The pink girl bounds up to him. "You're sooo handsome!" She giggles. The frog-girl snickers.

"Kero, it sounds like Midoriya's staked his claim already," she says.

"Leave the poor boy be," says the girl with the round face. She leaps off her branch, her large wings carrying her gracefully down. "You lost him?" Katsuki nods, afraid to speak. The girl frowns prettily, then drifts up to a branch above the hedge. "DEKU-KUN!" She calls, hands cupped around her mouth. "WE HAVE YOUR HUMAN, YOU LOST HIM!" 

She floats back to the ground. "Hey... is there someone on the other side of that hedge?" She whispers. Katsuki frowns.

"Well... there's some goat-like thing stuck in it, but nothing on the other side, I don't think. Why?"

"I KNEW I HEARD SOMETHING!" Cries the girl with the violet wolf ears.

"Kero, MINETA, GET OUT OF HERE!!" Yells the frog-girl. 

Looking over, Katsuki is just in time to see a purple satyr with buck-teeth tumble out of the hedge, grumbling. The girls 'humph' and disappear. 

"Come ON, man!" The satyr looks annoyed. "They were so close!" 

"Were you spying on them again?" Comes a familiar voice. Katsuki looks up to see Midoriya with his arms crossed, frowning. "I told you to quit doing that!" He turns to Katsuki with a small half-smile. "I called you," he says quietly.

"I couldn't tell where your voice was coming from," Katsuki explains. Midoriya lands next to him. 

"You never let people see the sweet innocence," says the purple creature. "You have a thing for him, don't you? Thst's why you're all gentle and doe-eyed!"

"Mineta," says Midoriya sharply, "get lost. Now."

"Fine, fine!" Yelps the satyr. He storms off, giving Katsuki a dirty glare. 

Midoriya stretches out with a soft sigh, dipping his toes into the water of the pool. "It's a good thing you ran into Uraraka," he comments. "Were it Mineta, you'd be on a quest for naked women disguised as information gathering."

"Okay," says Katsuki. "Who's Uraraka?"

"Oh!" Midoriya sits up. "OCHAKO! COME OUT!" The butterfly girl from before appears out of thin air and drops lightly onto the grass. 

"This is Uraraka Ochako," Midoriya says. "She's my best friend. Ochako, this is Bakugo Katsuki. I found him about to be maimed by Akio."

"Oh!" Says the girl. "That must have been terribly frightening! I'm sorry, he has such a bad temper. Mina's working on it with him. Hello, Bakugo-san!" She smiles at him, but doesn't extend her hand. 

Katsuki bows his head. 

"Tsuyu! Mina! Jiro! You can come out now!" The other three appear, the frog girl leaping from the pond, the pink one from a bush, and the wolf girl dropping from the tree.

"This is Asui Tsuyu," says Midoriya, gesturing to the frog girl. "She's our resident naiad. And this is Ashido Mina. She's a nymph and a beast tamer." The pink-furred girl bows. 

"I'm Kyouka Jiro," says the girl with the purple hair. "I'm wolf-kin. Like a constant but controlled werewolf. I have really good hearing, but I didn't notice you, for some reason." She narrows her eyes suspiciously.

"We should keep going," says Midoriya, those huge eyes turning towards the sky. "It'll be daytime soon." Uraraka sighs and pops out of existence.

Katsuki blinks. "What-- where--?"

"Oh," says Midoriya with a tiny smile, "she's a wind spirit. She does that a lot, you'll get used to it."

Katsuki follows close behind this time, never looking away. 

"Why are you following Midoriya?" The voice is low, rich, and accusatory. The faerie freezes.

"Todoroki, I swear to all that is holy, if you don't get out here RIGHT now--!"

A male figure appears from behind a tree. He has wings; blazing blue wings, like ice-fire. Katsuki has to shield his eyes from the sight.

"Why are you following Midoriya?" Asks the boy again. He's wall-eyed, and his hair is half red, half white. He also has a rather large scar, like a burn mark, over the left side of his face. 

"I caught him!" Says the green-eyed faerie happily. "I'm taking him to camp. Go back to the other Elementals before it gets dark!"

The half-n-half boy turns to Midoriya. "Are you taking him as your mate?" He hisses spitefully. 

"I might," Midoriya shoots back, crossing his arms.

"Okay," says Katsuki, trying to defuse the tension despite his notoriously short fuse, "let's calm down. We should keep going." 

Midoriya, to his relief, softens and nods. "If you follow us any farther," he warns the half-n-half boy, "I'll blast you into the sun." The boy rolls his eyes, nodding, and walks away. Midoriya huffs.

"Thanks, Kacchan," he says lightly. 

"Why do you call me that?"

"Eh?"

"Kacchan. Why do you call me that? My name's Katsuki."

"Names have power here. Kacchan is a nickname. C'mon!"

The rest of the journey is without hindrance and soon, the two of them are standing in front of a copse of trees; oak trees, the biggest Katsuki has ever seen. There are houses built into the trunks, and all around faeries dance along the branches and the ground. It's beautiful, and somewhere there is music.

"Stay close to me and don't touch anybody," whispers Midoriya. Confused, Katsuki obeys. Climbing the tree is a hassle, but they manage. 

"Mom, I'm home!" Calls the faerie, entering a high up house. A lovely round lady with eyes and hair like Midoriya's bustles out into the room.

"Izuku!" She cries, wrapping him in a hug. "You've been gone all night, where were y-- UAAAH!" She screams, catching sight of Katsuki in the doorway. Quickly, Midoriya hushes her.

"It's okay," he says quickly. "He's not a hunter. He's a prince, from the West Kingdom. Here to find his heart!"

His mother is pale. "N-No," she says softly. "Th-They stopped that tradition ten years ago, after Akio ate their prince. This... this is the boy you... when you were little." She gives Katsuki the warmest smile he's ever recieved and stands.

"Hello, Katsuki," she whispers. "How is Mitsuki?"

Katsuki stumbles back against the wall. "How do you know my name?" He demands.

"Haaaah!?" Midoriya looks just as confused. "THIS is the boy I used to play with?"

"What is going on!?" Katsuki cries. 

"Sit down and I'll explain," says Midoriya's mother, and so the boys comply. 

"When Izuku was young, only about 2, I used to bring him to play in the creek at the edge of the woods; the boundary. Katsuki, your mother, the queen, brought you there as well. Queen Mitsuki and I became good friends, and you two did as well. You played together for almost three years before your mother just... stopped bringing you. And Izuku stopped wanting to go. So we did. I suppose the two of you forgot each other over the years. Katsuki, you've filled out quite nicely."

There's a long pause, and then Izuku's soft voice breaks the silence. "If... if he's... you know, then... can I... is it okay to...?" He looks helplessly at his mother, who smiles. 

"I'll give you two some privacy," she says, touching her son's hand and rising to leave the room.

"What?" Katsuki asks as soon as she's gone. "What just happened?"

Izuku swallows. "You're my mate," he says. "My other half. And I'm your missing piece. I'm what you came here to find."

"How do I know that?" Katsuki challenges. "You don't seem any different."

"The first time you touch a faerie," Izuku says quietly, "you can see our hearts, our souls, our memories and deepest truths. It's why Uraraka didn't shake your hand. It's why I never came too close. It's why I told you not to touch anyone." He extends a hand with a deep breath. "And I can see yours. Go on; we're fated, so... we have to touch at some point."

Katsuki just blinks for a second. Then, hesitantly, he places his hand in Izuku's.

The world goes black.

 

The water's cold... it feels wrong on his wings. The grass doesn't brush his ankles, but the river tickles his legs. Across, on the other side... a boy. Blond. Beautiful.

It all melts into stars, a deep sky where they meet, too close, nearly touching, whispering secrets.

It melts again, and a feeling of overwhelming love and sorrow washes over him. They will not meet again, not by this river.

Fear; there's a boy, asleep. He'll get hurt.

The boy is beautiful. His hair is blond, explosive, feathery. The furs, the colorful tattoos and the colored strings of beads and ornaments around his neck give him a warrior's appearance.

"Watch out!"

The boy rolls to the side, eyelids instantly flicking up and oh, oh, his eyes are unimaginably haunting and wonderful. They are angry, wary, beautiful and passionate, like the inside of a simmering volcano, waiting to explode in a fiery storm like the sun. 

The boy is talking to Uraraka. A feeling floods his heart; sadness, perhaps, or anger. He doesn't want her to talk to him.

Todoroki nearly touches him to garner his attention. But no! No! He's stopped it, and the blond-- his catch, his prize-- is still his.

Shock-- his mother knows this boy.

Joy-- it's his long lost river-prince.

Fear--their hands are so close, so close now.

Relief-- the blond; his Katsuki, his Kacchan; is reaching out as well.

The world goes black.

 

Katsuki snaps awake, tearing himself away so violently that he falls off the chair. Across from him, Izuku doesn't fare much better, sprawled across the floor, cheeks flushed pink and panting.

"It's you," Katsuki pants. "It really is you." He stands and offers up his hand, somehow knowing it's safe now. Izuku takes it and he hauls the faerie up, pressing him close and burying his face in the soft emerald curls. Izuku makes a churring sound, sinking his teeth deep into Katsuki's neck. Katsuki yelps.

"You have fangs!?"

"Mmhm!" Izuku licks at the bite mark. "There," he says. "That's a mate mark. You've gotta do the same to me. Then we're a mated pair."

"It's really gonna hurt if you want human teeth to break the skin," Katsuki warns.

"If you're my mate, it'll feel good," he says, blushing prettily.

Katsuki stares at him for a moment, drinking in the sight of the unnaturally pale skin delicately tinged with a light pink that sets off the rose gold in his eyes, making them glow.

"What?" Asks Izuku breathlessly. 

"You're so beautiful," Katsuki murmurs, brushing the boy's cheek with the back of his hand. Gently, he leans in close to Izuku's neck, nuzzling against the skin there, and licks the spot he wants to bite. Izuku shivers with anticipation.

Katsuki didn't think his teeth would break the skin as easily as they do, but Izuku gasps, panting and whining against him, and when he pulls away, there is a mate mark on the faerie's neck.

"So... you're mine now?"

"Yes," breathes Izuku, and their lips come together in a way that feels so natural, Katsuki wonders how they'd gone without this for so long.

 

"Goodbye!" Izuku and his small entourage wave goodbye to those still in the forest, gathered along the edge. Katsuki's hand is twined with his mate's, a certainty and fire in his eyes that hadn't been there when he first entered the forest. At the edge, his friends are waiting for him. 

"Try to make friends with them, guys," Katsuki encourages. "Izuku, this is Kirishima Eijirou, Kaminari Denki, Iida Tenya, and Yaoyorozu Momo. Guys, this is my mate, Midoriya Izuku."

Tsuyu lays a quick kiss on Mineta's cheek before darting out of the forest. Mina takes a quick liking to Kirishima, and Kaminari starts to become a blushing, stammering mess as Jiro scents his neck. Iida quietly offers to show Uraraka around the city, and the pretty spirit gratefully accepts. 

The most amusing by far is watching Todoroki stare at Yaoyorozu from behind a tree until she gets fed up and yells at him to come out. Once he does, they hit it off wonderfully. 

Finally, finally, Katsuki is pulling his mate to where his mother and father are waiting.

Mitsuki gasps and races down the steps into the courtyard, where she sweeps Izuku into an embrace. It's a good thing he's taken, thinks Katsuki, or that might have been more than she could handle. 

"Izuku!" She cries happily. "Of COURSE it's you! How's Inko? Doing well?" 

Izuku smiles softly, a little nervous, and presses close to Katsuki. Sensing his mate's distress, Katsuki puts an arm around his waist to shelter him. 

"Mom," he says, "lay off the poor guy." 

"My mother's doing well," says Izuku shyly. "She misses you." 

"Well," says Mitsuki, "she's welcome to visit the palace anytime she wants. Come on, let's get you settled in before the human wedding."

 

"Did you know?" Katsuki asks as his father helps to adjust his furs before the ceremony.

"Did we know what?" He replies.

"Did you send me out there to find my mate?" 

Masaru pauses. "No," he says after a moment. "The other half of your heart could be your purpose. Your soulmate. A friend, perhaps. A journey. Your history. It could have been any number of things. In this case, it was Midoriya Izuku, the faerie king's heir to the Golden Woods."

"Oh. I see." Katsuki is silent for a minute as his father finishes his adjustments. Then, something clicks in his mind.

"HEIR!?" 

His father laughs.

Katsuki has a feeling he might be getting into more than he can handle, but as long as Izuku is by his side, what could go wrong?

 

Famous last words, of course, but that, dear reader, is another tale entirely...

Chapter Text

Katsuki flopped onto his bed with a groan.

"If you tell anybody what I'm about to say--"

"You'll kill me," interrupted Kirishima. "I know. Now spit it out, what's bugging you?" 

Katsuki hugged his pillow in a rare display of weakness, turning to look at his only friend.

"I'm tired," he said. "I'm so tired. Of being the best, of keeping up a facade of strength, of fighting Deku, of everything. I'm exhausted." 

Kirishima reached over to ruffle his hair, knowing that when Katsuki was like this, little touches made him feel a bit better. "I know you might not want to hear this," he sighed, "but honestly, I think you do a lot of this to yourself. If you tell Midoriya how you really feel, I think he'll surprise you. He loves you, you know that."

The blond raised his head, eyes wide and vulnerable. "He loves me like he loves All Might," he said quietly. "He looks up to me, so I try to live up to it. But he... if I told him... he'll lose everything he loves about me now. I can't... I couldn't face him after that." He buried his face in the pillow with another groan.

"I sound like a fucking teenaged girl."

Kirishima snickered. "Close enough," he said. "But that's okay. It's not like anyone but me is gonna see ya."

Katsuki chucked his pillow at his friend.

 

 

"I just don't know, guys." Izuku dropped his head into Ochako's lap, closing his eyes at the feeling of her gentle hands running through his hair. Across the room, Shoto hummed on his chair.

"What's the matter, Deku-kun?" Crooned Ochako, scratching his scalp in a delightfully satisfying way. Izuku relaxed into the touch.

"I don't think I'll ever make it to top hero," he said, so softly his friends had to strain to hear him.

"That's not true, Midoriya," insisted Shoto. "You're stronger than any of us, and ten times as determined. If anyone will make it, it's you."

"But all I've ever wanted to do is be like Kacchan," cried the poor boy, "and he can't stand to even look at me!" 

"Oh, Izuku!" Ochako looked ready to cry, hugging him awkwardly. "I don't think Bakugo-kun hates you as much as you think he does."

"You... you don't?" 

"No," said Shoto, frowning. "I've watched him, and when you aren't looking..."

"He looks at you like he's in pain," finished Ochako, stroking his hair again. "Like... almost... like he desperately wants you."

"It's longing," Shoto sighed. "The word she's looking for is longing. He gets it in his eyes when he looks at you, when you can't see him."

Izuku rolled onto his side, pressing his face into his best friend's stomach. "I think you're seeing things where there's nothing to see," he said mournfully. "He's hated me since he got his quirk."

"Oh, come here, you depressing little kid." She pulled Izuku into a warm bear hug, the awesome kind that only she could give, tugging Shoto in with them. He leaned close, supporting even if he didn't hug back.

"If you tell Bakugo-kun how you feel," she said into his hair, "I think he'll surprise you."

"Thanks, Ochako," Izuku muttered against her shoulder. "And thanks, Shoto."

"Mm."

"Anytime, Izuku!"

 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

New Year's Eve dawned bright-- far brighter than initially expected.

"Waaaah!!" Uraraka barreled into her friend's room, shaking him almost violently, nearly vibrating with excitement. "Deku-kun, look! Look outside!" She dragged the pajama-clad boy down the hall and pointed out the window, hopping in place. Izuku rubbed his eyes sleepily, yawning.

"What is it, Ochak-- oh!" His eyes lit up instantly upon seeing the reflective blanket of white across the campus. "It snowed!"

"Yes!" Squealed his friend. "Let's go make snowmen!"

"What? But... we have school?"

"It's Saturday, silly. Come on!"

Izuku yawned again. "Ask Shoto to make you an ice rink," he suggested. "Oh, and ask Tsuyu to build snowmen with you while I get dressed. You know she loves the snow."

"Okay!" Uraraka, entirely unfazed, bounded away. 

"...snow." 

The voice came from behind him, soft enough that Izuku didn't have a heart attack, but sudden enough to make him jump.

"Ah! Kacchan!?" He whipped around to see the blond staring out the window, head cocked. There was a distant look in his eyes, something almost like longing. Did Kacchan stare at him like this when he wasn't looking?

"It snowed," remarked the perpetually angry teenager.

"Y-yeah," said Izuku softly.

The look in those ruby eyes turned almost fond, and his gaze shifted to Izuku's. "Do you remember how we used to go out in the snow when we were little?" He asked.

"I... yes...?" Confused and more than a little frightened, Izuku backed up against the window. Bakugo's eyes turned sad.

"I'm not gonna hurt you, Deku," he sighed. "I... that's over. I'm never going to hurt you again." He returned his gaze to the snow and smiled a little, leaning on the windowsill beside his very confused childhood friend. 

Izuku took a deep breath. "Remember how we'd always play tag until our hands were about to fall off from the cold?" He asked.

"And when we went inside, our moms would have hot chocolate ready for us," recalled Katsuki with a little laugh. "I remember." 

Down below, Uraraka turned her gaze to the window and froze. 

"Uh-oh," muttered Izuku. "I'd better go." As he turned away, he paused just long enough to say one last thing. 

"If you feel the way I think you do, meet me tonight in the garden." 

By the time Katsuki turned around, he was gone.

 

Katsuki waited nervously, hands in his pockets. He'd been standing at the entrance to the school's gardens since the streetlights turned on at six. Now it was nearing ten and the warm orange glow of those lights was the only break from the deep blue of night. 

Just as Katsuki turned to walk back to his dorms, the crunch of snow alerted him to someone's prescence. He turned back, and what he saw took his breath away.

It was Deku. He was dressed in jeans and a sweater, woolen and black with little orange X's woven around the collar. It was Katsuki's colors. It was snowing again and the white flakes landed in the boy's long eyelashes and wild hair. He was a fucking vision.

"Wow," said Katsuki, raising an eyebrow. "Where'd you get the sweater?"

Deku blushed, stupidly cute and alluringly beautiful. "Ochako made it for me," he said quietly. "I had to beg her to do it and it still cost me a month's desserts." He cracked a small smile. 

Katsuki offered his hand. The green-haired boy took it and together they started off through the gardens, snow crunching under their feet.

They must have been walking around for an hour before Deku started pulling him in an actual direction, towards the city square off of campus. "Come on," he said. "We need to talk."

Katsuki followed without protest. 

A few blocks from the square, Deku dragged the blond to a park bench. Katsuki brushed off the snow and they sat there and watched the lamps light up the few people still out walking at eleven-forty-five at night, headed for the square and the countdown.

"Sometimes," Deku began, "I feel like a snowflake. Like... like somebody will notice me for a split second before they can't see me anymore, and ultimately, I'll just melt away." He looked over at Katsuki, who stared at the snow. "You make feel seen, even if it's just by fighting me. I've always looked up to you. I've always loved you, wanted to be like you. Until a few days ago, I thought you hated me. Then Ochako said... she said you look at me. When I'm not watching. She said you look at me like you want me, almost as badly as I want you." He stopped, turning his gaze to the boy beside him.

Katsuki was silent for a moment before he opened his mouth. 

"I do," he said. "I do look at you like that. I do want you. You're all I want, all I've ever wanted. You're perfect. I'm so sorry I've treated you the way I have." He looked up suddenly, blazing red eyes catching Izuku's own. "Will you give me a chance?" He asked. Begged. "To prove myself to you?"

"Yes," murmured Izuku without hesitation. "Yes, of course."

Katsuki gently cupped the green-eyed boy's cheek, studying him intently. 

"Ten," breathed Izuku.

"Nine," Katsuki whispered.

"Eight."

"Seven."

"Six."

"Five."

"Four."

"Three." Katsuki leaned close.

"Two." Izuku tilted his head.

"One." As the voices rose down the block, a hundred of them crying 'Happy New Year!', Katsuki closed the distance between them and sealed their lips in a kiss, one that meant more than a new year. It meant a new beginning, a new hope, a new promise that maybe things could be better.

He tastes like cinnamon, thought Izuku, and cloves.

Katsuki, on the other hand, found himself unable to think much of anything besides well, of course the damn nerd tastes like fucking strawberries. 

And that was the last coherent thought in either of their heads for quite some time.

 

One week later...

 

"Ahh, Deku-kun!" Ochako raced up to her friend, who seemed to be floating on a cloud ever since he'd disappeared for New Year's Eve. 

"Mm? Oh, Ochako. Hi..." He was dazed, hazy and distracted and still blushing!

"Hey, what is up with you?" Asked the ginger, eyebrow raised suspiciously.

"Ahh? Nothing!" He quickly snapped to attention, waving his hands, but discreetly beckoned her to follow him.

It wasn't until they reached his room and shut the soundproofed door that he hugged her, tight, grinning madly.

"THANK you," he squealed. "You were right!" He released her as she leaned against the door, other eyebrow joining the first.

"Whaaaaat happened?" She asked, confused. Her best friend flopped bonelessly onto his bed, cheeks flushed, a massive, silly grin on his face, eyes wide and glassy and shining happily up at the ceiling.

"He took me to the gardens, and we walked around and he held my hand and we went downtown and sat on a bench and he said the SWEETEST things, like that I was all he'd ever wanted and he was so sorry for bullying me and, like, I told him I wanted him too and we counted down together and it was MAGIC and then he KISSED ME and ohh my god, I have never been so happy in my LIFE Ochako I LOVE you!" Finally, he paused for breath. 

Ochako blinked, rapidly processing information.

"OH MY GOD I KNEW IT!" She shrieked as soon as she figured it out. "You absolute DEVIL, I am so PROUD of you! Oh my god come here, right now! Get in here!" She held her arms out for a hug and he gladly obliged, laughing. 

"When are you going out again?" She asked.

"Tonight!" Deku squealed excitedly. "In half an hour! He asked me out to some little restaurant, even got us off-campus passes for the evening and-- oh my god. Oh my god, what do I wear!?"

Ochako put a hand over her mouth to stifle her giggles.

"Okay," she said. "Tight pants. The tightest you have."

"Skinny jeans?"

"Sure!" 

Deku rummaged through his drawers to find his skinny jeans. It took him a few minutes to wriggle into them, but once he did, Ochako clapped.

"He is not gonna be able to resist your ass in that," she said confidently. "Now... let me see your shirts," she demanded.

Blushing, he obeyed.

"Dear God," she said, "PLEASE upgrade your wardrobe. There is nothing in here but All Might and-- and... ooh, that'll work." She pulled her trophy out of the drawer of red, gold, and blue.

It was a tank top, black and form fitting, just like one of Katsuki's. Deku pulled it on and spun around. 

"How do I look?"

Ochako whistled appreciatively at her handiwork. "Mama Mia," she teased, "you'll have him on his knees for you in seconds." 

Izuku blushed. "Ochako!" He hissed. She giggled.

"It's true!" She insisted, and pushed him to the door. "Go get him, tiger." He grinned happily at her and rushed out the door.

 

Katsuki was not expecting Izuku to look that hot in tight clothes. It was entirely unfair.

"Here," he said. "Wear this." He handed the smaller boy his hoodie.

"Huh?" Izuku took it, hurt dancing momentarily in his eyes. Katsuki squeezed his hand.

"If you don't cover all that up," he said, gesturing blindly at the outfit and the body beneath it, "I definitely won't be able to keep my hands to myself."

Izuku leaned in, sinfully beautiful, lithe and lean, to whisper against the shell of his ear. "Maybe I don't want you to," he said breathlessly.

Katsuki looked away, clenching his jaw, attempting to keep the nosebleed at bay. "Fuck," he said after a moment. "Do that again and we're not making it off of campus. You are... unfairly sexy." 

Izuku grinned and let his boyfriend guide him to the restaurant, sending a discreet wink over his shoulder. He didn't notice Katsuki doing the same next to him.

Behind the wall, Ochako and Kirishima slapped a high five.

 

They were great wingmen.

Chapter Text

Class 1A was on a trip. Since their recent battle with the League of Villains, they had been left too tired to do much of anything but recover.

So, to help them relax, Aizawa organized a weekend at the lake.

They were going by bus, and it was a five hour ride.

 

"Alright, listen up," Aizawa said boredly, and was promptly interrupted by Kaminari Denki.

"Hey," said the overhyped blonde, "isn't he from a different class? What's he doing here?"

Aizawa rolled his eyes heavenward. "This is Shinso," he said. "He lives with me and Hizashi, but my husband is out on duty all this week, so I brought him along to help out. Be nice to him."

The class nodded. All except Bakugo Katsuki, that is, who just stared down the road. He looked about ready to blast someone's head clean off their shoulders. Aizawa vaguely wondered how the hell he was supposed to survive five hours.

"Your seating arrangements have been handled," he called. "Kaminari, Jiro. Shinso, with me. Kirishima, Ashido. Asui, Uraraka. Todoroki, Yaoyorozu. Fumikage, Hagakure. Iida, Minoru. Bakugo, Midoriya."

Ashido and Kirishima slapped a quick high five. Jiro and Kaminari mirrored the movement. Jiro was gay, but the two were the absolute best of friends. Bakugo ground his teeth, but said nothing. The battle had left him drained more than anyone.

The pairs crowded onto the bus, and eventually, Deku and Bakugo were the only two left outside.

"You gonna fucking go?" Asked the blond.

"Ahh, I thought Kacchan would want to get on first.  Although--"

"You know window seats make me sick," he grunted in response. Trembling a bit, Deku climbed up into the white and red bus and headed to the very back, plopping into a seat beside the window. Bakugo slumped down next to him.

"No dumb songs," Aizawa warned, "or I will turn this bus around." Heads bobbed around the vehicle. "Alright," said the raven. "Let's get going."

 

Aizawa fell asleep within minutes, and Shinso was left leaning on the back of the seat, watching Jiro and Kaminari play little games. When they got to word games, Kaminari asked if he wanted to join, quickly explaining the rules. Shinso agreed and eagerly proved his intelligence.

Tsuyu and Uraraka began some sort of hand game, softly chanting along. 

Mina leaned over to her boyfriend, nudging his shoulder.

"Let's start a game of Truth or Date," she giggled, "and make Bakugo and Deku as uncomfortable as possible!"

"I like your thinking, woman," he praised playfully. "HEY, GUYS! WANNA PLAY TRUTH OR DARE?"

In the end, everyone except the two in the back agreed.

"Bakugo!" Said Mina. "Truth or Dare?"

"I'm not fucking playing," he growled.

"Please, Kacchan?" All eyes turned to the small, green-eyed boy... who currently had a set of puppy eyes on his face that every student on the bus would have burned the world for. 

"Fucking-- fine, I'll play, put those damn things away!" The blond turned angrily away, teeth gritted, but a slight flush adorned his cheeks. "Truth, I guess."

"Okay," Mina giggled. "So. How long have you and Deku actually known each other?"

The glance the two exchanged was enough to answer that, but she waited patiently.

"Uhh... all our lives," answered the blond after a moment. "I can't remember how old we were when we met, but it was... a really long time ago."

"Okay!" Chirped the pink creature, and the game moved away from them for the moment.

Asui and Uraraka were dared to engage in a tickle fight, which Asui won without question. Iida played rock paper scissors with half the bus. Finally, Uraraka issued a dare, which Mina whispered in her ear.

"Deku-kun! Truth or Dare?"

"Uhm... D-Dare?" Deku answered nervously.

"Sit on... what?"

Mina groaned and leapt over to whisper it again.

"Oh, okay!" The girl turned back to her friend. "I dare you to sit on Bakugo-kun's lap for the next three turns!"

Deku paled. Bakugo's face dissolved into a glare that almost seemed to melt the bus with its heat. "I-I don't think that's a good--"

"Dude, just do it!" Cried Kirishima. "He's not gonna blow you up or anything! We'll make sure of it!"

"Oh.... O-Okay," he said faintly, and slowly climbed into the explosive blond's lap. "Th-There," he said.

"Oi, nerd."

"Ah! Y-Yes, K-Kacchan?"

"Stop fucking shaking," muttered Bakugo. "I'm not gonna fucking bite you." He wrapped his arms securely around Deku's waist, pulling him back against a strong chest and plopping his head on the boy's shoulder. 

"Ah!" Deku relaxed a bit with a small smile. "Okay."

Mina and Kirishima made out for two minutes. Jiro and Invisible Girl played pattycake; she had to put gloves on to make it easier. Kaminari admitted to finding Shinso hot, which led to a bout of impromptu kissing and cheers. Finally, Kirishima issued the challenge to end them all.

"Bakubro," he said, snickering, "Truth or Dare?"

"Dare," sighed Bakugo. Everybody else was picking it anyway.

"Make out with Deku," he said, grinning wickedly. "Two minutes, same as I did with Mina."

Bakugo's palm sparked dangerously. "WHAT THE FUCK, SHITTY HAIR!? YOU WANNA FUCKING DIE!?" Back in his seat beside the blond, Deku yelped.

"You picked Dare!" Crowed the redhead. "It's the rules!"

Bakugo glared at Kirishima. He glared back. After a full minute, Bakugo broke the standoff, looking away. "Fine," he growled.

Reaching over, he dragged Deku back into his lap. The boy's face was flaming, eyes wide as Bakugo cupped his cheek. He'd never even had his first kiss! Wasn't this kind of jumping the queue a bit!?"

"This is your first kiss." Bakugo said it matter-of-factly, because he just knew. Deku nodded anyway. "Anybody here you wanna kiss before me?" Asked the blond. Deku shook his head. 

"N-No. Go ahead, Kacchan."

Bakugo frowned and slid a hand into Deku's curls, leaning up to press a soft, gentle kiss to those full lips. It was quick, chaste, and when he pulled away the whole class groaned.

"Dude, you know what 'make out' means, right?"

Bakugo glared at his friend. "It was his first kiss, shut the fuck up. I wasn't gonna immediately shove my tongue down his throat."

"Okay, okay," Mina interjected. "Just do it!" 

Deku moved to protest, but his childhood friend grabbed him by the shirt and crashed their lips together fiercely. Deku's legs slipped down on either side of Bakugo, so he ended up straddling the other boy's lap. A tongue swiped at the green-haired boy's lip. Hesitantly, he opened his mouth, and made a little squeak of surprise as Bakugo's tongue flicked expertly into his mouth.

Bakugo bit lightly at the other's lip, eliciting a soft whimper, and took his damn time exploring his mouth. Their tongues slid together, hot and wet and so perfect. One hand slid up the back of Deku's shirt. The other stayed locked in his hair. Deku grabbed at the front of his own shirt with both hands, trembling in his lap. Eventually, both hands made their way to his face. Bakugo emphasized breathing through his nose and the boy relaxed, catching on. Hesitantly, he pressed back, hands moving to cup the blond's jaw, tilting his head to get a better angle. 

The kiss deepened, intensified, and Deku felt his body responding to the hot pressure on his lips and the warm weight of Bakugo's hand against his back. He shifted on the other's lap and felt... something... poke at his thigh. He gasped, and Bakugo took the opportunity to bite gently at him again. 

He was so perfect, so good, so beautiful in Bakugo's lap and the blond wanted to tell him that, wanted to kiss him breathless until he forgot everything in his vocabulary but Kacchan and more. 

"Um. Bro..." Kirishima tapped him on the shoulder, narrowly avoiding a blast to the face. "It's been, like, five full minutes. You did the dare..."

Deku pulled back like he'd been stung. He absentmindedly touched his lips, eyes wide and glassy. Then, suddenly, his whole face turned bright red and he tumbled back off of Bakugo's lap, falling awkwardly on his butt between the seats.

"Wh-wh-wha- AAAHH!?" He stumbled to his feet with all the grace of an overweight elephant and collapsed into his seat.

"Dude," Kirishima snickered, "busted."

"Shut the fuck up, he's a fucking natural," hissed the blond, a faint red staining his own cheeks. 

"Still busted," teased the redhead. He earned himself a punch to the face, and a two hour ride unconscious in Mina's lap.

 

"We have arrived," announced Aizawa, taking a second to make sure everyone was alive. "Someone wake up Kirishima. Or leave him on the bus." Bakugo set off a blast next to his head to wake him up.

"We have HALF the number of tents that we need, so room arrangements are the same as bus seating. Shinso, you can room with who you please. Come on." 

He led the class to the campsite and demonstrated how to set up a tent. They followed suit and before long, eight tents stood strong beside the water. It was growing dark, so they set up a campfire and sat around it in a circle. Bakugo sat as far from his childhood friend as possible.

"Hey, Shinso," said Mina. "Who are you rooming with tonight?" 

"I'm staying with Jiro and Denki," replied the purple-haired boy. 

"Speaking of," said Aizawa, "it's about time to head off to bed. Goodnight, problem children." He retired to his tent.

"See y'all tomorrow!" Kaminari all but dragged Shinso to the tent. Jiro groaned, heading after him. One by one, all the others bid each other goodnight and left until only Deku and Bakugo were left sitting across from each other at the campsite.

"Deku."

The green-haired boy looked up, warily meeting Bakugo's gaze. "Kacchan?"

"Come here." The blond held out his hand and, still wary, Deku rose to his feet and accepted it. Bakugo pulled him in and Deku, overbalancing, fell onto his lap. 

"Ahh... K-Kacchan?"

"Shut up, damn it." Bakugo leaned down until their noses almost touched, waiting for the okay. Deku bumped their noses together and wrapped his arms tight around the blond's neck, sliding up to straddle his legs again.

"Fuck," hissed the red-eyed boy. "I hope you're not gonna tell me I can't absolutely wreck you now, because having you in my lap is about the single hottest thing I can fucking imagine."

Deku cracked a small smile. "Of course you can kiss me, Kacchan," he muttered shyly, cheeks pink. "I really like you." He closed his eyes, trying to catch his breath. Bakugo instantly stole it away.

"M-Mm..." Deku sighed breathily against his childhood friend's lips. He had no idea Bakugo was capable of this much affection, of being this gentle. One hand ran lightly up and down his spine, tracing the bones and muscles of his back, while the other tangled gently in the emerald curls on his head.

But Deku wasn't in the mood for gentle.

His hand worked its way up from Bakugo's shoulder to his hair and wrenched his head to the side, pressing hot, desperate kisses down the blond's neck. Bakugo groaned, setting a fire in Deku's chest. He nuzzled into the green-haired boy's throat and promptly bit down on his collarbone. Deku yelped, only to choke it off into a whine as a hot tongue soothed the skin.

Strong, sure hands found their way underneath the smaller boy and lifted him effortlessly as Bakugo stood. Deku wrapped his legs around his Kacchan's waist and kissed him almost desperately, whimpering softly when he heard the sound of the tent's zipper. 

Bakugo laid him on his back, hovering over him, staring wide-eyed.

"What?" Asked Deku in a hushed tone, feeling his face heat up from the attention.

"You're so beautiful," whispered Bakugo almost reverently. Deku reached up and yanked the taller boy down. Bakugo followed willingly and neither of them made it far from that spot for the rest of the night.

 

Two days later, Mina came over in order to get them up to pack up their tent.

She immediately called over the whole class, shushing them and taking pictures on her portable camera.

Bakugo was lying on his back, curled entirely around the body of Deku, who lay sprawled over Bakugo's chest with his face buried in the blond's neck.

Aizawa's phone rang.

"Did it work?" Came the familiar voice of Present Mic, still rough with sleep.

"So it would seem," murmured the teacher, a small smile gracing his lips. "You have the best ideas sometimes, Hizashi."

His husband chuckled. "Only when my targets are as obvious as the two of them. They might as well have had signs, I don't think even Aoyama could out-gay them."

Aizawa winced. "Don't let him hear you say that," he warned. "He'll take it as a challenge."

Hizashi's laughter was almost loud enough to block out the sound of Bakugo's explosion, which was pretty impressive, given that said explosion obliterated the tent and knocked anyone within twenty feet of it back, reeling.

Aizawa rolled his eyes, hung up the phone, and went to act as damage control. God, disaster gays could be exhausting.

Chapter Text

"THE BUILDING'S COMING DOWN! I WANT EVERYBODY OUT OF THERE YESTERDAY! COME ON, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!" The voice rang through Deku's earpiece. He dashed for the window of the forty-sixth floor, only to skid down an adjoining hallway at a trembling sound that made his blood run cold.

"Somebody, please help me!" The voice was small, belonging to a child. No more than eight, thought Deku, a little girl. "Is anybody out there? I'm scared!" 

He located her in moments, trapped behind a wall of rubble.

"Hey, can you hear me?"

On the other side, Deku heard a gasp. "Yes!" Cried the girl. "Yes, I can hear you! Can you help me? Please? I'm scared!"

"I'm gonna get you out of there!" He promised. "Can you move away from the door?"

Silence. Then, "Yes!"

"Okay. Move out of the way." He put a finger to his earpiece, broadcasting instructions. "I'm still inside!" He reported, ignoring the cries. "Shut up and listen! There's a civilian, a little girl, trapped in here. I can get her out, but as soon as I smash this pile of rocks the building is going down. I'm coming out a window, forty-sixth floor, west side. I want Uravity there with whoever else is on hand, stat. Copy?"

There was a moment of silence on the other end. Finally, Uraraka's sweet voice reached his ears. "I'm in position!" She called. "I've got Red Riot and Ingenium out here with me. We're ready when you are, Deku!" 

Deku turned back to the rubble. "Are you out of the way?" He asked. 

"Yes!" She cried. Channeling One for All, Deku smashed through the wall. The building groaned and shuddered. A little girl, a blue-eyed brunette, raced from the room to hug him. She wore a blue shirt and jeans, and one white glove. Quickly, Deku picked her up. The building dropped a few inches and she screamed.

"I need you to be really brave for me," Deku said. "Can you do that?"

The girl nodded.

"Good," Deku said. "Okay, guys, we're coming out now. Ready to catch us?"

"Roger that!" Called Kirishima. "We're ready and waiting." 

Deku clutched the girl to his chest. "You have to keep your eyes open," he said, "because once we're in the air, I'm gonna throw you. Uravity is waiting outside to catch you, okay?" He slid under a fallen beam, up and running again in an instant.

The girl opened her eyes. "I'm scared," she whispered.

"That's strange," said Deku. "I didn't think a lioness could get scared." They were almost there now, just a few more turns. 

"A lioness?"

"Didn't you know?" He smiled at her. "You're not a little girl anymore. As soon as you got stuck there, you started to change into a lioness. You are the bravest creature on this Earth."

The girl took a deep breath. "Okay," she said. "I'm brave." 

And Deku hurtled out the window, launching the girl into the air. She screamed, bare hand just barely brushing his wrist on her way by, but she kept her eyes open. Uraraka caught her in the air, keeping her suspended and floating her down as Iida dashed under Deku to snag him and break the momentum of the fall. 

Kirishima caught the girl, curling his hardened body around her as they were showered with rocks and rubble. She clung to him, shaking like a leaf. Finally, the dust began to settle. Kirishima exchanged a glance with Uraraka and handed the little girl over, giving her a big smile.

"You're the bravest little girl I've ever met!" He praised, ruffling her hair.

"I'm not a little girl," she said shakily. Uraraka, recognizing Deku's handiwork, smiled, pretending to inspect her face.

"She's right," said the ginger, looking up at her friend. Look at this! She's a little lioness." 

The girl gasped, eyes wide. Slowly, the trembling began to abate and she laid her head on Uraraka's shoulder. Uraraka hugged her. The girl, fists clenched, hugged back.

"Hello?" Iida's voice rang through the earpiece. Kirishima answered. 

"Copy, Ingenium, what's up?"

"Deku's alive, but... you'd better take a look." 

The two heroes exchanged a glance and hurried over to where they were beside the group of evacuated civilians. Kirishima raced to the body of Deku, lying sprawled on the ground, eyes shut, shaking. Uraraka scanned the crowd. Her eyes landed on a woman with brown hair, sobbing on the ground. Beside her, a blue-eyed, raven-haired man stroked her hair, brokenly whispering to her.

"Excuse me," said Uraraka, approaching them, "are you this girl's family?"

The woman's head shot up so fast her neck cracked. She sobbed, letting out a cry of relief, and all but tore the girl from the hero's arms.

"Yuri," she cried, burying her face in the girl's hair. "Oh, god, I thought I had you, but then... but then... oh, thank god. Thank god." She turned to Uraraka, tears streaming down her face as her husband took their daughter. 

"I can't thank you enough," she gasped, throwing her arms around the cinnamon-haired girl. "Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing my baby girl back to me. I... I grabbed her hand but the glove... the glove came off and I lost her and the crowd carried me out and they wouldn't let me back in! My husband was at work when the building started to come down and-- and-- oh, thank you so much. We owe you everything."

Uraraka squeezed the woman tightly. "It's our job," she said, smiling. "We're happy to do it. Though, you ought to thank Deku. He stayed after we were all told to evacuate to get her out. I caught her once she was outside, but he's the one who got her there."

"About that," came a voice from behind her, "get him to the hospital as fast as you can." It was Kirishima, who turned to the happy family. "Do you have a quirk?" He asked. The little girl gasped. She looked down at her hands, one still bare.

"Oh, no," murmured her mother. "Baby, did you touch him?" The girl looked up at Kirishima, eyes tearing up. 

"Mr. Red Riot sir," she said faintly, "can I see him maybe?"

"Absolutely, little lioness," he said, smiling at her. Reaching out, he took her gloved hand and led her to the unconscious hero.

"Ngh.... KACCHAN!" Cried the green-haired man.

"Who's he calling for?" Whispered the girl.

"That's his nickname for Ground Zero," replied Kirishima. 

"Are they married or something?"

Kirishima snorted, caught off guard. "No," he said. "They live together, but they're just roommates. Not even friends, really."

"Oh."

"Sweetheart," said Uraraka, putting a hand on her shoulder, "what happened?"

The girl bit her lip. "When I touch people, they get trapped in... in nightmares. Whoever they last thought of is the only thing they can think about, and the only thing that can wake them up. I can't undo it! If he's thinking about Ground Zero, only Ground Zero can wake him up!" She sniffed. "I-I'm sorry. I didn't mean to." 

Kirishima patted her head and Uraraka knelt down to hug her. "It's alright!" She said. "You... your name is Yuri, right?"

"Mmhm." The little girl wiped her eyes, nodding.

"Well, Yuri, you'd better go home. We'll take care of him. Oh! Are you hurt at all?" She checked carefully over the girl, declared her officially unharmed, and sent her back with her parents to the safe house.

 

I was relaxing on the couch when the door almost exploded from the banging.

"BAKUGO, YOU IN THERE!?" I swore. It was my one day off this entire month. 

"THE FUCK YOU WANT, SHITTY HAIR!?" I wrenched open the door, ready to berate him, but stopped. He was panting like he'd just run a marathon, and the look on his face was nothing short of terror.

"Kirishima, what the fuck?" 

He stood up straight. "It's... it's Midoriya," he said, and my heart dropped.

"What about him?" I asked nonchalantly, fearing the answer.

"Quirk accident," replied my friend. "He's trapped in some kind of nightmare. Screaming for you, over and over. He's in the hospital."

I launched myself over the railing, releasing a series of controlled blasts to propel me towards the hospital. It took me less than ten minutes to get there, but it felt like a lifetime. Uraraka was waiting nervously outside.

"Kacc-- Ground Zero!" She cried. "Sorry, I've been with him for half an hour. I called a DOG Kacchan by accident. This way, hurry!" She led me through the halls to a room upstairs. A handful of heroes, former classmates, crowded around the bed.

A pitiful wail echoed from behind the wall of helpless spectators. "KACCHAN! KACCHAN! HELP, SOMEBODY, PLEASE, HELP ME! KACCHAN!" 

I set off a mini explosion, gathering the attention of everyone in the room, and jerked my thumb at the door, glaring. "Out," I growled. Pinky raced to the door where Shitty Hair was just coming in and led him right back out. Round Face led the rest of the worried heroes into the hallway and shut the door.

I went to Deku's bed and sat in the chair beside it. He writhed and flailed in the sheets, wrists cuffed to the bedframe. 

"K-K-KACCHAN, DON'T... D-Don't... don't leave me here... Kacchan, PLEASE!" He was growing hoarse. I double-checked to make sure we were alone and took his hand in mine.

It was small, pale, slender. It fit perfectly in my palm. I didn't think too hard about it and just started talking.

"I'm here, Izuku," I murmured. "I'm not going anywhere. I'm here. Calm down. It's okay, it's okay, you're alright. I've got you. You're okay. I'm right next to you." It had been many years since I'd last used that name, but right then he needed it. Today, just today, I was a friend.

His chest rose shakily, mouth open as he panted. Whatever his dream was, he must have been running. Or fighting. I squeezed his hand tight.

"Wake up, stupid," I said. "Shitty nerd. Wake up, unless you wanna die." I heard the door open behind me and was about to let go when...

"Kacchan?" It was Deku's voice, but not like a minute before. It was different. I ignored Round Face's gasp and leaned closer, clutching his hand. 

"Yeah, you piece of shit, it's me," I deadpanned. "Now come on, wake up. I'm not going anywhere. This isn't real. Wake up." 

His face turned towards me and though his eyes were closed, I could feel that he wasn't fighting. "Kacchan, where... where... I can't find you! Kacchan!?" 

"I'm right beside you," I said calmly, and leaned down to whisper in his ear. "We share a flat, it's my day off, I'm holding your hand and your fucking half of the rent is due next week so wake. Up. You hear me?"

For a moment, he just laid there trembling. Then, "Kacchan, I hear you! I... I feel you." He squeezed my hand faintly and I leaned back on my chair.

"Oh, thank fuck," I sighed. Round Face let out a little sob of relief. I ignored it and leaned back down to him. 

I reached across the bed and took his other hand, ignoring the telltale sniff of an overemotional Red Riot entering the room. I was focused.

"That's right, that's it," I encouraged. "Open your eyes. Come on now... come on, Deku, it's time to wake up. Open your eyes. Focus on me. Follow my voice. That's it." 

With a gasp, his eyes flew open, pupils shrinking momentarily to a pinprick. That emerald green stare bored into mine. 

"Kacchan," he whispered. "KACCHAN!" He lunged up for me, or tried to. The cuffs held him down. I could see him panicking, fighting, struggling to break free.

"Hey, hey, hey," I said. "Calm down, lie down, you stupid shit, I can't get 'em off you if you don't lie still."

He obeyed, though I could see him trembling, and I set off a controlled explosion, breaking the cuffs but leaving Deku untouched. The agency could pay for that. I shouldn't even have had to be there. 

The next thing I knew, he was hugging me, arms almost constrictingly tight around my neck, face buried in my shoulder. He was still in his hero clothes. His filthy, filthy hero clothes. Awkwardly, I patted his back. 

"Kacchan," he said quietly, voice breaking halfway through. 

'To hell with my reputation,' I thought, and hugged him far too tightly, rocking back and forth slightly until he calmed himself down. 

Finally, he pulled back, wiping tears from those huge-ass eyes. "Kacchan came for me," he rasped, voice wrecked from screaming for an hour.

"Duh," I muttered. "Pay your fuckin rent." He laughed, and the others, alerted by the sound, crowded in around us. He was swept up by his friends and Shitty Hair and Round Face dragged me into the hallway.

"Okay," said Shitty Hair, "everybody saw that. What's really going on with you two? That was, like, the opposite of plat-- of pla--"

"Platonic," Round Face finished for him. He nodded. "That was almost romantically intense," she continued.

I shrugged. "I don't know what the hell you wanna hear," I growled. "We fuckin live together. That's it."

Shitty Hair and Round Face exchanged a glance I didn't like.

"Bro," said Kirishima, "is it true you guys share a bed? Midoriya said--"

I blasted him through the wall behind him. The agency could pay for that, too. "ONLY WHEN THE FUCKING HEAT'S BROKEN!" I roar. Deku was cleared to leave not ten minutes later, probably to get me out of the hospital. 

I all but threw him into our apartment, slamming the door behind us. He flopped down in the carpeted living room with a sigh, curling up on his side. 

I snorted. "If I come home to that," I noted, "I'm gonna think you're fucking dead." He just hummed in reply. "Hey, nerd, how the fuck did you get caught in that thing?" I asked. He looked up at me, opening one eye like a cat.

"Ahh, it was an accident," he explained. "We were told to get out of the collapsing building, but then I heard a little girl screaming. She had one glove on; if I hadn't been in such a hurry, I would've paid more attention to that at the time. I threw her to Uraraka and jumped, and her hand brushed mine. I don't even remember hitting the ground, I just remember thinking 'I wish Kacchan were here' and blacking out." He looked away sheepishly. "It was... you left me to die, over and over again," he sighed quietly.

I crouched down next to him. "Fuckin' nerd," I groaned. "Come on." I lifted him up bridal style and carried him to my room. He didn't even protest, just curled close to me and buried his face in my neck until I put him down, helping him pull off his disgusting clothes.

"When we get up," I declared, "you're taking a shower." 

I had his pants halfway around his knees when the door burst open. 

"Hey, Midoriya, you forgot your OH MY GOD I'M SORRY PLEASE DON'T KILL ME AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!"

Deku and I exchanged a look. I groaned and jumped up to bolt after him. "PIKACHU GET YOUR ASS BACK HERE, IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THINK!" 

My efforts were wasted. He was already out of the building. Giving up, I returned to my exhausted flatmate's side and collapsed. He rolled onto his side and stroked my hair.

"You catch him?"

I grunted a vague dissent and tossed an arm over his hips, dragging him close.

"We're going to have to tell them at some point," he said, a faint trace of amusement coloring his voice.

"Mm-mm," I grunted, nuzzling into his abdomen. "They can figure it out." He curled over, pressing a kiss to my hair, and I hugged him closer, making patterns in the dust on his back. He giggled.

I lifted my head, looking up at him, snd propelled myself up the bed to seal our lips together. "You scared me," I said quietly when we parted. It was the kind of thing I could only say to him here, when it was quiet and we were alone.

"I know," he whispered, kissing my forehead. I buried my face in his hair, inhaling his scent, and sighed.

"Stay with me," I begged, so softly I almost didn't think he heard it, but then he wrapped his arms around my neck and pushed until I rolled over so he could lie on my chest, a comforting weight that grounded me to the moment.

"Always," he promised, and kissed me again.

Chapter Text

"Just come downstairs, Midoriya," called Iida from outside the locked door.

"Y-ah-Yeah," Izuku responded shakily. "I-I'll be do-AH!-down soon. Haaah..." 

"Are you alright, Midoriya?" Iida's brow wrinkled. 

"I'm fine, Tenya, I'm just stretching. Training yesterday made me really sore. I'll be down soon." Iida walked away, concerns put to rest. 

"Oh, God, Kacchan, please!" 

"Shhh, baby. They'll hear."

"D-Don't care-- ahh, fuck, Kacchan, please, oh god!"

"I'm going to stop if you can't keep it down."

"N-No, no, please I'll be good please n-no Kacchan please ahhh..." 

"Fuck fuck fuck I'm close fuck, so good, so good for me, fuck, Izuku, so good." A thud echoed from inside the room, followed by a low groan and a high-pitched cry. 

"Listen," said the deeper voice in the silence that followed, "I'm willing to come out with you. I want people to know you're mine. But you're going to have to be the one to say it. Okay?"

"Yes, Kacchan," breathed the higher voice.

 

Ten minutes later, Bakugo Katsuki exited the room flushed and sweaty. He slipped unnoticed into his room and changed, waiting until the sound of Deku's footsteps on the stairs had been dead for five minutes. Then, calm and collected as ever, he followed after the green-eyed boy. 

The entirety of the UA dorms were gathered down below in the common room, chattering while Todoroki picked a movie. 

"Hey Jiro," called Kaminari from his perch on Shinso's lap, "how's the seduction of Class 1B going?"

"Awesome," she replied from her sprawl over three guys' laps. 

"You two are weird," teased Mina from her spot beside Kirishima. 

"No such thing as weird!" Defended Mirio, pulling Tamaki back against his chest. 

"Didja pick something, Todoroki-kun?" Chirped Hadou Nejire, hanging off her classmates' shoulders. 

"I did," he said. "Just waiting for-- ah, Bakugo-san." Todoroki gestured to the room, but it was so crowded there was nowhere for the blond to sit.

"Forget it," he said. "I'll sit this one ou--"

"Over here, Kacchan!" Cried Deku, standing up.

"Eh? Shitty nerd, there's no space left!"

"So? We can sit together! That's okay now, isn't it?"

"Fine." Bakugo stalked over to the green-eyed boy and plopped down cross-legged on the floor, tugging Deku into his lap. "Happy?"

"Mmmhm!"

Before anyone could ask questions, the movie began.

Insidious: The Last Key was not something Bakugo would personally have picked, but he didn't mind it. Especially when a certain someone jumped at a door being opened, along with every jumpscare. Finally, perhaps halfway through the movie, he snaked his arms around Deku's waist and held him tight against his own body, murmuring softly in his ear.

"So, horror movies aren't your thing, I'm guessing?"

Deku shakily hummed his ascent. 

"Calm down, I've got you." It was the kindest thing Bakugo had ever said in public, and Deku leaned back and discreetly kissed his jaw in thanks. 

Somewhere around the fourteenth jumpscare, the green-haired student turned and buried himself in his not-boyfriend's chest, hiding against his neck. Bakugo squeezed him, tilting his head to rest on the emerald curls. 

"Okay," said Uraraka the second their movie ended, "what the hell is going on with the two of you?" She pointed, and every head turned to where Bakugo glared at her, Deku curled up asleep in his lap. 

"Wake up, nerd." He jostled the boy just enough to wake him. Deku nuzzled sleepily against his jaw. 

"Wha...?" He mumbled.

"We said you get to explain, remember?" Bakugo said through gritted teeth.

"Oh." He muttered something through a yawn and, without opening his eyes, raised his voice. "Kacchan asked me for a release a few months ago and we've been not-dating and occasionally having slightly more than casual sex so I dunno what's going on with us but earlier he said he wants you guys to know I'm his and now we're cuddling I think so I guess we must be dating? We've gone out a few times but it was mostly casual."

"Those were dates, you idiot!" Yelped Bakugo indignantly. "Jeez, you make it sound like I use you as a cum bucket." He lifted the boy up easily, carrying him up the stairs, ignoring the shocked silence of the room behind him.

"Oh my god," Bakugo hissed as soon as they were hidden in his room, "what the hell was that!?"

Deku walked to the bed and sat down. "You don't wanna take any responsibility," he said, glaring fiercely at the blond. 

Bakugo glared right back, then took three steps and cupped the plump cheeks. There was a hurt look in his eyes, and Deku felt a twinge of guilt before Bakugo gave him the gentlest kiss he ever had and tucked a curl of green hair behind his ear.

"I love you," he said softly, letting a thumb trace the pretty cheekbone. "I love you so much. You're everything to me. Can you really not see that?"

Deku's whole face turned red. "You-- you what!?"

"I love you," Bakugo repeated, sitting down next to him and taking the boy's hands, holding them to his chest. "I love your stupid smile and your stupidly cute freckles and how stupidly pretty you get when you blush. I love how passionate you are about being a hero, and the wild look you get in your eyes, and the way you light up when you see All Might. I love the way you scream my name when I wreck you, and the way you curl up against me after, like you never want to be anywhere but in my arms, and how we fit together like pieces of a puzzle. I love you. All of you. So much."

Deku's eyes filled with tears and he launched himself at Bakugo, wrapping him in a hug that nearly suffocated him. 

"I love you too!" He cried, burying his face in his not-boyfriend's neck. "I love you, too." A hand came up to stroke through Deku's hair and he sniffed, clinging to his Kacchan like he might fade away if released.

"Come on, nerd," the red-eyed boy whispered. "I wanna show you something." He got up, tossing Deku a hoodie and pulling one on himself, and cautiously led the boy out the window onto the fire escape. He put a finger to his lips and they climbed the ladder to the roof.

Bakugo took the smaller hand in his and drew him over to a little corner. In the dark quiet of the night, they watched their breaths billow out into the air.

Deku watched Bakugo's upturned face. The moonlight cast an intricate shadow over the delicate planes, drawing a beautifully ethereal tattoo over the pale skin. Hundreds of stars reflected in the depths of those fiery red eyes, and his breath billowed out in a thousand dream-like waves, images dancing briefly through the clouds.

"You're beautiful." The words were out of his mouth before he even realized he was saying them. Bakugo's mouth twitched into an easy half-smile, the kind that could drive Deku mad with want, making butterflies dance in his stomach. 

"Thanks," said the blond. Those otherworldly eyes rolled over towards Deku and the smaller student's mind blanked. "So are you," Bakugo said. He pulled Deku in close, hands twining together and casting more beautiful shadows. 

Deku turned his gaze to the sky, taking in the starlight and the moon even as the clouds began to cover them. He sighed contentedly, squeezing the hand in his. A few white flakes drifted down from the new clouds, landing softly on eyelashes and in hair.

"Kacchan, look," Deku breathed. "It's snowing."

"Yeah," came the voice, low and soft beside him. Deku leaned against Bakugo's chest and the blond wrapped his arms tight around him, hugging him.

For a while, they just stood there, watching the flakes begin to stick. Bakugo turned to Deku and smiled, brushing a finger against his eyelashes. Deku blinked. 

"Snow," explained the taller boy. "You're pretty in the snow."

"Have you seen yourself?" Replied Deku. "I've never seen you so... content. It's so beautiful. You're beautiful."

"You already said that, idiot." There was no bite in the words.

Deku sighed. "We'd better get back inside before the ladder gets too slippery to hold onto," he pointed out.

"Just a second," murmured Bakugo. He turned Deku around so they stood facing each other, placing his hands on the trim waist. "I know I never properly asked you, so... Deku, because I love you and I want to be able to tell the whole world... would you be my boyfriend? Officially?" 

Deku just stood there for a moment, blinking at Bakugo with the biggest eyes. Bakugo shifted his weight from one foot to the other, nervously awaiting the answer.

"Yes," Deku said. "Yes, of course, absolutely, yes, Kacchan." He stepped closer and threw his arms around his boyfriend's neck. "I love you too," he whispered. Bakugo hugged him tight for a moment, then ducked down to press a chaste, perfect kiss to the heart-shaped pink lips. 

The moment stretched forever, perfect and so unreal, something fragile that both boys were afraid to break.

Finally, Bakugo pulled back. "Come on," he said. "You can stay in my room tonight." 

"Okay," agreed Deku, following loyally after his boyfriend.

 

 

Well, that was the plan. It turned out Bakugo had left his window open, so it had filled up with snow. 

They stayed in Deku's room that night.

Chapter Text

"GET OUT OF THERE, ALL OF YOU! NOW!" The order nearly busted Ground Zero's eardrums. With a grunt, he launched himself backwards, landing crouched a few feet from the edge of the damage zone. Looking around, he located Uravity, Ingenium, Red Riot and Chargebolt on his street, momentarily joined by Pinky and Froppy. He frowned. 

"Where's Deku!?" he roared.

Uravity shrugged. Pinky gasped. "LOOK THERE!" she cried. Ground Zero followed her hand to where the building was coming swiftly down... with a familiar flash of green struggling to get out from under a rock.

"DEKU!" Ground Zero leapt, running as he never had before to get to the green-clad hero. 

He was too late.

The last thing he saw of Deku was wide, fearful eyes disappearing with a last scream into the mound of rubble.

"FUCK!" He tried to dive in after his team member. It took Red Riot's full strength to hold him back. "DEKU!" 

He launched himself at the fallen building the second he got the okay, searching desperately.

"Deku!" he cried. "Deku, can you hear me!?"

Finally, he found him. The boy was unconscious, maybe dead, buried under what had to be a tonne of rubble. Ground Zero wasted no time in digging in, throwing everything out of the way, blasting what he could and shoving off what he couldn't, until his already bleeding hands were so covered with red he wondered if they had always been that color. Finally, Red Riot came up and put a hand on his friend's shoulder.

"Buddy..." he tried to speak, looking back at the others, but one look at the wild, cornered animal look on Ground Zero's face and he sighed, hardening his limbs and shoving the larger bits of material off the broken body. One by one, the others joined until they had shifted every piece off of the hero. The media gathered around them, chattering, and everyone but Ground Zero went to hold them off.

"Deku?" Ground Zero's voice was gruff, broken, afraid. "Wake up. Wake up, wake up, wake up, you stupid nerd. Please. I can't lose you." He pulled the hero's head into his lap, stroking the hair that was matted from dust and blood. 

"Nnnngg..." the sound was barely there, a sighing moan that made red eyes fly wide open.

"HE'S ALIVE!" roared the blond. "HAIR-FOR-BRAINS, COME HERE! ROUND FACE, GLASSES, WE NEED AN AMBULANCE, PRONTO! PIKACHU, RACCOON EYES, FROG FACE AND WHOEVER THE HELL ELSE I FORGOT ABOUT, KEEP EVERYONE AWAY!"

The heroes rushed to obey his frantic orders. Ingenium was back within minutes, Uravity directing the ambulance driver behind him. Red Riot helped pump Deku's heart while Ground Zero breathed for him. 

"Come on, baby, breathe," he urged. Finally, the paramedics got him onto an ambulance and rushed him to the hospital. 

"Come on," said the redhead with a sigh. "We'd better follow them before you blow up."

Ground Zero took off without another word.

 

Deku had been in surgery for sixteen hours. Ground Zero paced in the waiting room, occasionally setting off an explosion. Restlessly, he dropped into the chair beside Deku's weepy mother.

Inko sniffed and leaned against his shoulder.

"Thank you," she whispered.

"What the hell for?" replied Ground Zero.

"For being everything he ever wanted," she said, her voice breaking. "For-- For not giving up and digging him out. For saving him. For being what you were... what you are to him." She broke down, hiding her face in her hands, and Ground Zero awkwardly rubbed her back, fighting his own tears back.

What seemed like a lifetime later, the doctor finally came out. She looked so tired, and Ground Zero couldn't blame her.

"He's stable," she said wearily. "But he's in a coma and... I won't lie to you. It's possible that if he even wakes up, which is... not likely at best... he may not remember anything. The trauma to his head was some of the worst I've ever seen." She absentmindedly tucked her hair behind her ear. "I'm so sorry."

"FUCK!" Ground Zero leapt from his chair, angrily walking from one end of the room to the other. The doctor excused herself politely as Inko broke down sobbing. 

When at last they were allowed into the room, Ground Zero let Inko go first, extending the waiting game another half hour before finally, finally slipping in to see him.

He looked awful.

His skin was pale and sallow, his hair was dank and dirty, his eyes were both black and his lip was split, he had numerous small cuts and bruises on his face and neck, and one of his arms sported a massive black bruise from elbow to wrist.

Ground Zero collapsed into the chair beside the bed and softly stroked a lock of that hair from the broken face.

"I'm so sorry, baby," he whispered. "If... if I'd just been faster... or if I'd paid more attention... I could have... oh, Izuku, my baby, my angel, please wake up. I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm sorry. Please... please come back to me. I can't lose you. I can't do it. I need you."

He leaned forward and kissed the hero's forehead, letting himself linger.

They'd only been dating a few months. It wasn't enough, not nearly, and Ground Zero would sell his soul to have his boyfriend back and alive and happy, not this barely-alive corpse that rattled with each breath.

"Sir," came a timid voice, "visiting hours have been over for a while now. I let you stay as long as I could, but..."

Ground Zero stood, offering the shaking nurse a small nod and stern instructions to ensure that the man in this room got the best care. He left the building, turning towards his house, but stopped.

His apartment... the thought seemed so cold and lonely. Kirishima's place? No, Red Riot was too overbearing.

Coming to a decision, Ground Zero headed to a familiar house on the outskirts of the city, dumping his gear and hero persona at the door and fishing the spare key from the rafters.

Inside was warmly lit, the smell of katsudon drifting from the kitchen. Izuku's favorite food. Bakugo's heart twisted.

"What-- what's this?" came a familiar voice. "Honey, look! Our son decided to visit us for once! What do you want, brat?"

Katsuki stared across the room at his mother. He knew he looked awful, caked with dirt and dust and streaked with blood, but he didn't go to wash up. His vision blurred as ruby eyes filled with tears. 

"Katsuki?" In moments, his mother was there, arms wrapped around him tight, and he dropped his head to her shoulder and clung to her as if she, too, might disappear. He sobbed brokenly into her sweater, finally letting himself be weak and relying on her strength to keep him alive.

He didn't know when they made it to the floor, but when he raised his head at last, they were kneeling on the ground and his father was plating food for the three of them. When it was on the table and the stove was safely off, he came over and sank down next to his wife and son.

"What happened, Katsuki?" asked Mitsuki, running a gentle hand through her baby's hair.

"I-Izuku," he sobbed, breath hitching. "I-I couldn't s-see him a-and he was t-trapped on the... on the b-building and it came down and, and he w-went d-down wi-ith i-i-it and n-now he-e's in a c-c-coma and I don't kn-now what to, to do, Mom. I-I'm scared.

Mitsuki nearly broke down crying herself, but she stayed strong, because Katsuki needed her to be. She stroked his hair and hummed a lullaby to him, holding him tight until he calmed down and wiped his eyes, finally getting his breathing under control.

"I'm sorry, Mama," he whispered, and Mitsuki felt her heart break at the exhausted agony on her son's face.

"It's okay, Katsuki," she murmured. "It's all gonna be okay."

Masaru helped his son stand and led him to the table, embracing him tightly and talking to him in low tones while Mitsuki changed.

Dinner felt good to Katsuki. He barely tasted the food, but the sounds around him helped him relax and, for a little while, he didn't feel quite so lonely.

 

The next day, he woke up on his parents' couch and left a note, heading straight for the hospital. 

When he arrived, there were four people around the bed: Shinso, holding tight to a softly whimpering Kaminari. And Tsuyu, arm wrapped gently around Uraraka. On the bed, a glint of green shocked Bakugo into silence. 

Deku was awake.

"Izuku?" he breathed. All gazes snapped to him.

"Bakugo, wait, it's--"

"Izuku? Baby? Is that... you're awake!"

The hero blinked dazedly at him, cocking his head as Bakugo clumsily made his way to his bedside.

"I'm sorry," he said. Bakugo opened his mouth to refute the apology, to take the blame, but the green-eyed man's next words froze his heart.

"Do I know you?"

Chapter Text

"Do I know you?"

The blond beside him froze, eyes wide with shock. Izuku frowned. He was awfully familiar.

"I... I'm... we're... I'm Bakugo Katsuki," said the man quietly. "I'm your boyfriend, Izuku."

"Bakugo... Katsuki?"

"That's right."

"My... I'm gay?"

"Well... yeah," said the blond.

"You seem familiar," muttered Izuku. Coming to a decision, he looked up, smiling widely. "Well, I don't remember you at all," he said, ignoring the flash of hurt in those alluring ruby eyes, "so I guess I'll have to get to know you again!" 

Bakugo stared at Izuku, who smiled back, brain going a mile a minute. Did I say something wrong? Does he not want to? This must be so weird for him.

"You're muttering again, Deku," said the handsome blond. Distractedly, Izuku noted that the others had vanished from the room.

"Do I do it a lot?" He asked shyly. He had no idea what the hell was going on, but if he really was dating a guy this hot he supposed he'd better sort out his brain, and fast. "Also, Deku?"

"It's your hero name," explained the blond. "I called you that when we were growing up."

Izuku perked up. "Ahh, so we've known each other a while, then?"

The red-eyed man paused, a sad expression momentarily darkening his lovely features. "All our lives," he said softly. "Since before we could walk or talk, before I got my quirk."

"Quirk?" questioned Izuku, now thoroughly confused.

"Ahhh, this," said the blond, and proceeded to SET OFF AN EXPLOSION OUT OF THIN AIR. IN HIS HAND!!!!

"ARE YOU OKAY!?" yelped Izuku. The odd blond laughed, unharmed.

"I'm fine," he said. "That's my quirk. I have nitro-glycerin sweat, so when I set it off it blows up. I don't get hurt because I have good control over it."

"Wow," murmured Izuku.

"Damn right," said the hot blond, flashing a cocky half-smile that made Izuku's heart speed up. "You have a whole book on quirks."

"Where is it?" asked Izuku, perking up.

"Uhh..." the blond scratched the back of his neck. "I don't really know."

"Oh," said Izuku. A pause. Then, "I'm so sorry, what's your name again?"

"Katsuki," said the blond patiently.

"Katsuki..." Izuku liked the way the name sounded on his tongue. Katsuki sat on the edge of his bed, sighing, and flopped onto his side.

"You do this a lot?" asked Izuku, raising an eyebrow. To his surprise, Katsuki blushed a little. 

"I'm sorry," he said, moving to sit up. "I-- we sleep together and I didn't think-- this must be so weird for you."

"Katsuki," interrupted the green-haired boy, "It's okay. I might not remember you, but something about you... I don't know. Maybe... maybe you shouldn't do that yet. I just don't know."

Katsuki was already standing, fists clenched and blazing eyes downcast. Frustrated, he released a chain of miniature explosions, summoning a red-head with disturbingly sharp teeth into the room.

"Bro, you okay?"

"He doesn't remember me at all," Katsuki said, turning around and crossing his arms at the red-head.

"Oh, no." The red-head pulled Katsuki into a tight hug that Izuku couldn't help feeling a little jealous of. He extended a hand to Izuku once they parted.

"I'm Kirishima Eijirou," he said, grinning so goofily that Izuku couldn't help but return the smile as he shook the offered hand. "I can't wait to help you fall in love with Bakubro all over again."

 

Three weeks later, Izuku was discharged from the hospital. Katsuki helped him get to their apartment, a little flat on the tenth floor.

"Nice and close to the ground," he explained.

Izuku turned to look at him so fast he gave himself whiplash. "Close to the ground!?" he repeated. "We're ten stories up! You could die from this height!"

Katsuki blinked at him for a moment before huffing a snort. "I keep forgetting you don't remember shit," he said amusedly. "WE can't die from here. You're a hero, Deku, and I'm one too: Ground Zero. We're the two top heroes right now. The fall that... that wiped your memory? It was from the top floor of a sixty-five fucking story building. And half the fucking building STILL ended up on top of you." He scratched the back of his neck. "We're tough fuckers to kill," he said.

"Do you always swear this much!?" gasped Izuku in horror.

"You bet your sweet ass, dipshit."

"Vulgar! Bad! Stop that-- ah! Hey! N-N-Nooooo!"

The scolding turned into a tickle-fight, which Katsuki won with ease. Izuku laughed, lying on the floor beneath the other man, and sadly wondered for a moment what this might have been like had he never lost his memory.

They would probably kiss.

Katsuki looked like he wanted to kiss Izuku. Quite badly, in fact. But Izuku pushed himself up and dropped his stuff off in the guest room. 

 

They went on dates. Katsuki took him out for dinner, for coffee, for walks through the park. He cooked and omce they even danced together in the living room. It was... nice. Then, one day, everything changed.

 

Izuku was rummaging through his closet when he found it. "Hey, Katsuki!"

"Hm?" called the blond from the kitchen.

"Is this that book you were talking about? With the quirk stuff?"

Katsuki poked his head into the room. "Huh," he said. "Yeah, that's the bastard. Take a look inside!" 

Izuku rolled his eyes at Katsuki's bluntness and flipped aimlessly through the pages.

'Permeation'

'One for All: All Might'

'One for All: Me'

He paused at that. "I have a quirk?"

Katsuki shrugged. "Sort of," he said. "You... you inherited One for All from All Might."

"Oh. Cool!" He turned back to the book. 

'Electricity: Kaminari'

'Hardening: Kirishima' Izuku snorted. "Kirishima gets hard and calls it a quirk?"

A harsh bark of laughter rang from the hallway. "He can... well, he basically turns his skin rock-hard, all over his body. It's actually pretty handy in battle sometimes."

"Mm." 

'Anti-gravity: Uraraka'

'Temporary quirk removal: Aizawa'

'Amplification: Present Mic'

'Cryo/Pyrokinesis: Todoroki'

'Sweat ignition/Explosion: Kacchan'

Startled, Izuku double-checked the page. "Who's this?" he asked.

"Who's who?" replied Katsuki dryly.

"Well, it looks like your quirk, but who's... Ka...cha...n?"

Katsuki went rigid. "It's me," he said softly. "Your nickname for me. Since we were kids. You've always called me Kacchan."

Kacchan

The name spun around in his brain and he dropped the book, clutching his temples.

"Deku?"

Kacchan

Kacchan

KACCHAN

KACCHAN

KACCHAN

KACCHAAAAAAAAN!!!

 

The world went black.

 

 

When Deku woke up, it was dark. He was lying on the big double bed, sore and tired, listening to a familiar voice across the room. 

"No, he was reading and found my nickname and then I said 'Kacchan' and he just collapsed and started groaning like he was in pain!... Uh-huh... yeah, no shit! ....Yeah. He's still... oh! Oh, he's awake! Yeah yeah, call you back. Bye, glasses." He hung up the phone.

Deku reached out for the pale hand, which clasped his in a warm grip. 

"Hey, what happened?" asked Katsuki.

"I dunno," croaked Izuku. "Why were you on the phone with Iida? You never talk to him."

Katsuki blinked. "'Cause he's fucking smart, dipshit," he muttered. "I didn't know what the fuck was going on." 

"Hey, Kacchan... I'm sorry."

"What?" Katsuki froze.

"I'm sorry I tripped on the roof," said Izuku quietly. "I... the boulder pinned me and I just couldn't get out and past that everything's hazy. What happened?"

Katsuki lunged at his boyfriend, pinning them together in a messy tangle of arms and legs that was so awkward and so perfect at the same time, sobbing into his shoulder.

"Kacchan!?" Izuku trembled a bit, reaching up to rub circles into Katsuki's back. "Are you... are you okay? What...?"

Katsuki kissed him, desperate and warm and wonderful, and he kissed back.

"Izuku, baby, you... you remember me?"

"How the fuck could I forget?"

Katsuki grinned. "I'm not used to hearing you swear," he whispered.

"I'm freaking out!" replied his boyfriend, eyes wide.

"Okay, okay, listen..." 

Katsuki got Izuku up to date on the events of the past month while Izuku listened in captivated horror.

 

"Oh, god, Kacchan, I'm so sorry... I'm so, so sorry. You must have been so upset!" He pulled Katsuki close, showering him with kisses and hugs and eventually, proceeding past the butterfly kisses to heavy making out and finally to some very passionate love-making; though, as it had been a whole month, neither lasted very long.

As they lay cuddling in the afterglow, Katsuki stroked his boyfriend's hair, humming contentedly into the wild mass of green.

"My baby," he murmured softly. "My angel." 

Izuku squeezed him, arms looped loosely around his shoulders. "Yours," he agreed happily. "I'm so glad that's over."

"Me too," sighed Katsuki. "I missed you."

"I know," said his boyfriend. "I know. I'm so sorry." 

"Ain't your fuckin fault, Izuku."

"Yes, I know, sweetheart, but that doesn't mean I can't regret that it happened."

Katsuki pushed himself up on his elbow. "I don't," he said in a hushed tone, running a thumb over Izuku's cheekbone. "It made me realize just how much you mean to me. I love you, Izuku."

"I love you too, Kacchan. Come on, come sleep with me. I'm so tired..."

The heroes laid down, finally at peace within each other's arms, and fell asleep within minutes. It was the deepest sleep either had had in a month.

 

 

Five months later, Katsuki proposed. Izuku agreed enthusiastically, and maybe he slipped a few words into his vows about wanting to 'fall in love with you over and over, as many times as it takes, every day until we die and after when I find you in the next life.' 

 

But who cares, really?

Chapter Text

Izuku is coming home tomorrow.

Bakugo has everything ready: the sign they made to make fun of him, a giant, neon pink and green monstrosity that reads "Welcome Home From Jail, Deku!"

He has all the hero's friends on board and he's ready to drive them to the airport tonight at four a.m. to meet him there at six.

He's organized extra room in the shotgun seat so Izuku can sleep on the way back.

He's even made Izuku's bed and put candles in his room today so it smells nice when he comes home to their double apartment.

Bakugo is tired of getting rent-checks. He wants to see the green-haired boy, and this time, he is going to tell Izuku about his feelings.

 

The group of seven pulls into the parking lot at quarter after five in the morning. They've been remarkably quiet, and Bakugo's glad he rented a van. His car would definitively NOT have fit everyone, never mind Izuku.

They tumble out sleepily one at a time; Kirishima, Uraraka, Iida, Todoroki, Kaminari, and Tsuyu. Bakugo rolls his eyes, fighting back a yawn, and grabs the poster.

"Come on, dipshits," he teases. "We gotta find his fuckin gate BEFORE he fuckin lands at it." He leads the group through the airport to gate 6-C, where they plop down to wait. 

All but Bakugo, that is, who stands, too nervous to relax.

Finally, they call out that Izuku's flight has arrived, and the group leaps to their feet to hold up the sign.

It's Uraraka who first spots him.

"DEKU-KUN!" she shrieks, launching herself at him. When he spies her, his face lights up. He catches her up, swinging her in a circle, and sets her back on the floor. Everyone else recieves a hug and a laugh about the poster, but when he gets to Bakugo, the blond freezes, staring open-mouthed.

Because Izuku is taller than him.

"Holy shit," he breathes. "You.... you look good. Really good. Wow." He can hear his former classmates snickering, but he pays it no mind because Izuku is beaming, and hugging him, and whispering,

"I don't want the others to know, but I missed you the most, Kacchan," and Bakugo's heart is going a mile a minute.

"Missed you too, shitnerd," he mutters, and pulls back. "Come on," he says, louder, "we should get going if we wanna be home before ten. Rush hour is starting."

Izuku slides into the shotgun seat without protest. He's asleep not twenty minutes in, and the others are quiet enough to allow it. Bakugo keeps snatching glances at him. Like this, asleep, he still looks so baby-faced and small. It's hard to believe he could be over six feet now. Bakugo himself is six feet even, but Izuku must be pushing six three, maybe four. 

By the time he's dropped everyone off at or close to their stops and parked the rented van, it's almost nine-thirty. Izuku wakes up, blearily rubbing at his eyes for a minute before yawning. 

"Mmm, we home, Kacchan?" 

"Yeah, dipshit. C'mon, get out." Bakugo helps the other man carry his luggage up the stairs, mind racing as soon as the evidence is before him again.

He's so much taller now! How could this have happened!? I thought I loved him tiny, but this... God, I wanna jump him right now. Imagine how much stronger he is now... oh, I want to kiss every inch of him. Think of the muscles on the guy! Fuck, he'd be amazing in bed and oh my god what am I THINKING!? He probably won't want me, I bet he even has a girlfriend in America-- or maybe he likes Round Face! GAH, I can't do this right now! What if--

"--chan?"

"Hm?" Bakugo looks up and realizes Izuku's big, beautiful emerald eyes are staring worriedly into his own. He jerks back, catching himself before he can fall. "Fucking-- what?"

"I..." Izuku shifts his gaze away, blushing. Slowly, he reaches out and takes his bags from Bakugo's arms. "I asked how you've been," he says. "While I've been gone."

Bakugo snorts. "Fine, dipshit," he says, then pauses, debating whether or not to ask. Finally, he bites his lip and swallows his pride. "How did you get so tall?" He asks, voice thick in his throat.

"I dunno," says Izuku, smiling. "It's kinda nice, though; I picked Uraraka up. I couldn't do that before. And..." he stands, coming far too close for Bakugo's comfort. "I wasn't brave enough to do this before, either." He leans in close, so close, and softly brushes their lips together.

Bakugo growls when he pulls away.

"AH! No no I'm sorry Kacchan I just thought-- the way you look at me sometimes-- and you've been eyeing me all morning-- and--"

"Shut the fuck up," orders Bakugo, "and do that again.

Izuku blinks once. Twice. Then, "Okay. Okay, yeah." He leans in again and this time, Bakugo grabs the collar of his shirt and yanks him into the kiss, which is messy and desperate and somehow kind of perfect. Bakugo moans, needy to the point of embarrassing, and pulls Izuku in the direction of his room.

The taller man follows and they fall onto the bed together, teeth clashing and hands roaming, desperately searching for contact.

Bakugo swiftly learns that it isn't just Izuku's height that has grown.

 

The next day, Izuku is sitting on the couch, laughing with his friends while Bakugo finishes dinner. They've been talking a good long while, and Bakugo finally puts the food in the oven and goes to join them. 

He flops on the couch beside his flatmate, not resisting the arms that immediately wrap around his waist, pulling him closer. He turns to press a quick kiss to the full lips and then joins the conversation, ignoring the surprised remarks.

After dinner, Kirishima corners him by the entryway.

"You told him?" he asks excitedly.

"He told me," replies Bakugo, grinning with a fierceness that most people would run from. Kirishima knows how to find the joy in that smile, though. With a sigh, the redhead prepares to sign his death warrant and write a foreword for the obituary.

"You're a bottom?"

Bakugo promptly blows up next to his head, knocking him out cold. "I AM NOT!" he roars. "HIS BRAIN DIDN'T CHANGE! SO WHAT IF HE GOT TALLER!? I'M NOT A MOTHER FUCKING BOTTOM!" Kirishima would laugh, if he were awake. But he isn't.

Uraraka drags him out of the apartment, putting a sign on him.

'I'm fine,' it reads. 'I was being an idiot and passed out, then was put out here to clear the entryway. Sorry for the inconvenience.' She leaves him in the hallway like that and continues her conversation with Izuku.

It's a long evening.

Bakugo thinks it's all worth it, however, when Izuku hugs him from behind when they're washing dishes afterwards.

"Thanks for putting up with them," he murmurs sweetly. 

Bakugo turns around to kiss him on the nose. "Never fucking tell them I bottomed," he warns.

"Wouldn't dream of it," says Izuku. "Besides, it's my turn tonight. Pancake ain't done till it's been flipped on both sides." With that, he kisses Bakugo's cheek, leaving the man frozen at the sink, and wanders away to clean up in the living room. Whistling.

Oh, thinks Bakugo, he is going to get it tonight.

And he does.

But he loves it.

And holy shit, is Bakugo ever glad Izuku got taller! It turns out he's a wonderful weighted blanket. Yep, this is absolutely fine with a certain explosive red-eyed blond.

Chapter Text

He's running. He doesn't know why. There's something behind him and he can't stop or slow to look back. Up ahead, someone hangs in chains, writhing, screaming in agony. He knows the brilliant green of those tortured eyes, of that hair.

He turns, veering away into a field of red, slowly being overcome by a red liquid seeping through the grass. There's a horse, fighting, screaming as if for help as it sinks down into the bloody grass. He follows without a sound.

He is in a cage. It's glass, four walls all around him and a seamless ceiling on top. There are people outside; red hair, blond black streak, blonde red eyes like his, green eyes green hair, red hair white hair, glasses, ginger pink face, NO! NO! 

There are creatures in the back, in the corners, feeding off the people in front of him. The redhead slumps to the ground, dead. The creatures are monstrous; twisted, ugly, deformed, eyes dead and cold, filled with the only joy they can find down here: sadism. 

He feels something. Looks down. Water, bubbling up from the bottom, rising past his ankles. He screams, beats on the glass. They do not hear. He beats it harder, screaming shrieking begging see me see me see me SAVE ME. They see him, slowly, eyes focusing. They point.

They laugh.

NO! He cries, banging the glass so hard his bones break, blood gushing from his hands though there is no cut, and the blood mixes with the water in ruby-red swirls of ink...

It is above his head and he fights, thrashes, struggles to reach the top but he can't move and then through the water he sees it

At the back

A man, beautiful, hair all colors and none, eyes glinting with every known color and some that do not exist, smiling peacefully at him.

The man approaches, past the laughing, dying people he knows, presses a hand to the glass, leans in.

He reels back from the glass, still trapped underwater. The man's eyes are wrong somehow, cold and dead, filled with a sanity, a clarity so pure and sharp that it alone has driven him to madness.

The man is the devil. There is no other way.

The man smiles, but he is no longer beautiful. He taps the glass once and the people outside begin to scream. Twice and blood seeps through their clothing. Three times and their insides start to spill out onto the floor. Four times and they fall, begging him to save them, begging him to rescue them, to free them. Five times and they lie still, light fading fast from their eyes.

NO! He screams, trying to pound the glass but failing. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!! The water rushes into his mouth, chokes him, fills him with a cold, metal taste that is not water. He sees now the tubes connecting the dead people to his container. It is their blood. How could he not see the red before? 

The devil laughs.

He screams.

 

Katsuki sat up in bed with a wail of terror and pain. He was covered in sweat and panting, heart going a mile a minute. His whole body shook as he pulled himself back against the wall, burying his face in his hands, shoulders heaving with sobs.

He was dimly aware of the door bursting open, of quiet murmurs as his friends and classmates warily approached him. Something landed on his hair, stroking it gently. He slapped Kirishima's hand away.

"I've got him, guys," came a soft, familiar voice and there, that was his lifeline.

"You sure, Midoriya?" Kirishima asked, hesitant to leave.

"He got them all the time when we were kids. He'll be fine. I'll take care of him. Go back to bed, it's okay." The reassurance was enough to send them out, to make the room quiet again.

Arms wrapped around him, tight tight tight like he needed them, and he leaned against the other boy. The familiar scent of his childhood friend grounded him, and the tears subsided into sniffles and finally silence as he sat there, trembling, allowing himself to be weak, unable to be strong.

That was okay.

Izuku could be strong for him, for now.

"Kacchan?" The voice was soft, questioning, and Katsuki buried his face against the other's neck, finding the clean scent that meant home.

"Sorry I woke you up," he whispered hoarsely. Times like these... they were the only times he'd apologize. The only times he would admit he was wrong.

"No, it's okay, Kacchan," soothed Izuku. "I get it. Do you wanna talk about it?"

Katsuki shuddered, thinking about all those faces pleading with him, begging him, the man--

"I went to hell," he said. "I saw... I saw things that could never exist here. I saw the devil. I went to Hell." His voice broke on the last syllable and he burrowed farther into his friend's embrace. "Izuku..." he whispered, and Izuku understood.

"Come on," he said briskly, standing up. "Get changed, you're sleeping with me. C'mon, Kacchan, you and your bed are disgusting. All sweaty. Let's go."

The boy with the pretty eyes helped him change, led him down the hallway and into a brighter room, one with nightlights and posters, one that felt lived in.

"Deku," he sighed, flopping bonelessly onto the bed. It smelled like him.

"Move over." Izuku laid down beside him, laying his head on the still heaving collarbone, feeling the still-fast heartbeat against his cheek. He wrapped his arms around Katsuki's waist and squeezed him close.

Katsuki let himself play with the emerald curls, running his hands through them and sighing as they slipped through his fingers. Izuku's hair smelled like green tea, like his shampoo, and a little bit like clean laundry. 

Izuku smelled good.

"You smell good," he said. "Familiar. Like home."

Izuku raised his head, eyes swirling like galaxies and cosmos. Katsuki could get lost in them for years. Maybe his whole life. Izuku pinned those star-filled eyes on his friend and smiled.

"You do, too," he said, and wrinkled his nose. "I mean, you also kind of reek of sweat right now, but... you smell like spices, like in the kitchen when you'd always go help make dinner. I love it." He reached up to lay a hand on Katsuki's cheek and Katsuki trapped it there, leaning into it.

Izuku chuckled. "Starting to come back to me?" he asked.

"Never left," Katsuki countered. "Shut up and be a good stuffed animal."

"I'm not a stuffed animal!" insisted his friend, smiling. "I'm a person!"

"A loud one," grumbled Katsuki, his heartbeat finally calming with the familiar banter. He hugged the boy tight. "Thank you, Izuku," he whispered.

"You don't have to thank me, Kacchan," he said. "You're always there when I need you." He hugged the boy harder, nuzzling his neck, and just that was enough to convince Katsuki that it was okay.

"You're pretty." The words were out before he realized what he was saying and he took a second to mentally kick himself. Izuku, to his credit, took it in stride and hummed.

"Look who's talking," he said.

"What?" Izuku thought he was... pretty?

"Well, come on," he said, lifting his head and raising an eyebrow. "You have to be the hottest guy at UA, and you damn well know it, too."

"Huh." Katsuki took a minute to process that. "You think I'm hot?"

"Absolutely."

"That's gay, Deku."

"I'm a raging homosexual, Kacchan."

"WAIT." Katsuki was having to take a lot of time to process things. "You're gay and you think I'm hot?"

"Yeah." Izuku looked at him with those massive, adorable eyes, the ones he could never resist. "I've had a massive crush on you since we were little." He gave his friend a little squeeze. "But tonight's about you."

"Well, then, fuck it," Katsuki said. "Go out with me."

"........HAAAAH!?" Izuku yelped, sitting up.

"Go out with me," Katsuki repeated. "On a date. On lots of dates."

"You... are you asking me to be your boyfriend?" The green-haired boy's voice was soft and shaking.  Katsuki hoped he hadn't gone too far.

"Yeah," he said. "You said you like me. I like you too. Will you?"

Izuku chewed on his bottom lip in that irresistible way he did when he was thinking. Then, with a bright smile, he offered his reply.

"Yes."

Katsuki breathed a sigh of relief and pulled the boy closer. They squirmed around until they were comfortable, Katsuki spooning his new boyfriend. 

And hey, nobody was paying attention, so he let himself press gentle kisses to the back of the neck and shoulder in front of him, and when Izuku turned around and kissed him, he forgot all about fear.

 

As long as he had Izuku, everything would be okay.

Chapter Text

Deku had been working under Chemist for quite some time. She made regular adjustments to his suit for him, she trained him well, she even let him have a few hours off every week to go visit All Might's grave. He loved her.

Bakugo had been working under Endeavour for FAR too long now. The man was overbearing, abrasive, unhelpful, and rude, and more often than not the blond found himself daydreaming about chucking him into the fucking SUN. It was a NIGHTMARE. 

"Ahh!" Hero agencies from all over the city had been called to deal with a villain that was, apparently, capable of conjuring armies of monsters to help him. Bakugo supposed he really should have expected this.

"Nerd!?"

"Kacchan!" The two froze on the rooftops, one gaping and one smiling. Izuku looked like a kid in that god damn baggy suit, and he was beaming like the fucking sun Bakugo was beginning to dream about. 

"How've you been?"

"Fuck, shitty nerd, not now! Get back in there and fight!"

"Yes, Kacchan!" The green-eyed boy-- man, Bakugo corrected himself-- launched himself gracefully off the rooftop and dove into the bloody fray like fucking Pocahontas or some shit. Cursing under his breath, Bakugo followed.

 

It happened three more times, and always, they stopped for no more than ten seconds.

"Nerd?"

"Kacchan! How are you?"

"Fucking-- not right now! Focus, god damn it!"

"Yes, Kacchan!"

It was almost like clockwork. Once a year. Bakugo began to think it would be like that forever, passing glances at the treasure he could have had a thousand times. Peaceful. Gazing from a distance on patrols, dreaming a second pair of hands helping to hurl Endeavour skyward, late-night fantasies to fuel his desire. It was good this way.

Oh, but shit never goes down the easy way, does it?

 

"Your mission is to find this villain," barked Endeavour, holding out a file. Bakugo snatched it with a sneer.

"What D-rank dipshit you got me hunting down n-- shit." He paused, wide-eyed. "Is this for fuckin real?"

"Yes, imbecile," growled the flaming redhead. "Death count of over two hundred and rising. Quirk: mind control upon skin-to-skin contact. So don't let him touch you, got it?" He smirked. "I know the urge to bend over and let him fuck your dumb ass may be strong, but you've gotta control yourself."

"Fuck off, asshole," snapped Bakugo. "I'm not a fucking bottom."

"SO YOU ADMIT YOU'RE GAY."

"WHAT THE FUCK!? I FUCKING TOLD YOU THAT ALREADY!" 

"Really?" Endeavour seemed legitimately surprised. "I didn't hear that."

"I yelled it at the top of my fuckin lungs after you criticized homosexuality."

"Ohhh." Endeavour scratched his beard. "Get lost, bitch," he said after a beat of silence.

"Fuck you."

"In your dreams."

"My fuckin nightmares, maybe." With a last middle finger, Bakugo left the office and prepared to go on the trip.

"Something I forgot to tell him..." mused Endeavour. "Ah, well, if he dies, at least it gets quieter around here." He shrugged.

 

"Your mission is to subdue and capture this villain," said Chemist, holding out the file with a grin.

"Thanks! Who... oh my gosh." Deku's face paled as he read the contents. "Death count... two hundred."

"And rising. Ruled suicides, until a pattern established itself," said Chemist. Deku kept reading.

"Quirk... mind control upon skin-to-skin contact?"

"It means once he touches you," said Chemist grimly, "he has control over your mind."

"Like Shinsou," muttered Deku.

"Who?"

"Shinsou; he was the class above me, his quirk was that he could ask you a question and if you answered it, he could take over your mind and body. It was... surprisingly useful. Nasty, though."

"Quite," agreed his boss. "Your room arrangements are included in the package, so I'll let you go take a look at it. You were chosen for this mission because you are quick, brave, and agile, so you are being paired with someone from Endeavour's agency. Someone very strong and very smart, so you're well-rounded. Go on now, get ready. You leave at dawn tomorrow."

"Yes, ma'am!" chirped Deku. Bowing, he left the room.

 

The boys left their respective agencies and headed to the hotel on the outskirts of Okinawa, eager to start their mission.

Bakugo arrived first and checked into his room, dropping his stuff off and hopping into the shower. It wouldn't do to start a mission smelling like a dirt road.

Deku arrived next, eagerly handing the clerk his clearance and asking for the key. The clerk frowned.

"Uhm... sir, there's someone in that room already," she said.

"Oh!" gasped Deku. "That must be my partner! I didn't think they'd be staying in the same room as me..."

With a smile, the clerk handed over the extra key. Deku beamed at her and bounded up the ornate oak stairs to the door. When he got in, he heard the sounds of the shower running and smiled, looking around. There was only one bed, but it was a queen, big enough for two if his partner was small like him. The one window faced the sea and hosted a wonderful view. There were two small nightstands with drawers, one of which Deku quickly unpacked his clothes into. Taking off his shoes, the hero laid down on the bed.

He was dressed simply in civilian clothes: a loose, cropped green t-shirt and tight black jean shorts with sneakers. He certainly hadn't chosen them; Uraraka had picked them out for him, nearly giving her poor, rule-loving boyfriend a heart attack. Still, Deku had to admit he felt good in them. It was a good thing boys in this reality often couldn't grow body hair. (Someone get the flex tape, the fourth wall needs fixing again.)

The shower shut off and a minute later, a man walked into the room shirtless, pants undone, casually towelling off his hair.

A very muscular, sexy man.

A very familiar man. 

Bakugo froze, chucking the towel away, staring at the figure lying on the bed. 

The very pretty, female-clothing-clad figure.

The very familiar figure.

"DEKU!?"

"Kacchan! You're my partner?"

"PARTNER!? What the fuck is going on!?" Bakugo demanded.

Deku winced at the volume. "Did... you're Endeavour's man, right?" he asked hesitantly. "Here to capture the mind-control guy?"

"Yeah!" snarled Bakugo. "What the fuck are you doing here!?"

"I'm your partner," said Deku, beaming. "We'll be working together on this case!"

"So why the fuck are you in my room!?"

Deku paused, scratching the back of his neck. "I think they must have double-booked us," he said. "I'll call Chemist and see if we can sort it out. Hang on."

He dialed her up and went to stand by the window, leaving Bakugo openly gaping at the frankly incredible ass.

Ten minutes later, they had two exasperated heroes, a somewhat annoyed boss, an apologetic manager, and a hotel fully booked.

"It's okay," Deku assured him for the millionth time. "We'll be fine together. Right, Kacchan?"

"Whatever," said the blond from the bed. "Just get out so I can fucking sleep." 

"I'm sorry, Deku," sighed Chemist. "I know you two don't get along so well."

"Oh, no!" Deku assured her, closing the door softly behind the hotel manager. "Not at all! Kacchan and I might not be friends, but I've known him as long as I've known my own mother! There's no one I'd work better with, I promise!"

"Oh," she said, blinking. "Well, that's good to hea-- what are you wearing?"

"Eh?" Deku looked down at himself. "Oh. Ochako picked it out. She packed all my clothes, actually, so I'm sure I'll be stuck like this until we catch the guy." He chuckled. "I don't mind."

"Deku," groaned Bakugo from the bed.

"Fine, fine." Deku turned to his phone, smiling at his boss. "I've gotta go. Bye, Chemist!" With that, he hung up.

"So," said Bakugo, stretched out with a kind of quietly powerful grace that made him look like a lion, "you a transvestite?" (Didja catch that?)

"Eh!?" Deku flopped onto the bed beside his old friend. "No! Ochako packed all my clothes! She specifically dressed me up in this."

"Oh. So you're dating Round Face now?"

"No!" Deku stretched his arms above his head and left them there, allowing his shirt to ride up and reveal a slender but well-muscled abdomen. "She's dating Tenya! Or... Iida-kun, to you, I guess." He sighed, looking away. "I'm still single."

"And too gay for girls, I bet," commented Bakugo.

"Hah? What?"

Smirking, the blond reached out and traced a finger down Deku's exposed skin. The other gasped, face flaring up, and jerked away, pulling his arms down. Bakugo rolled onto his stomach, propping himself up on his elbows.

"What, you dress like that and walk around with your ass lookin that good and you don't expect every gay guy within a hundred kilometers to drop to his knees for you?"

Deku's mouth opened and closed like a fish, eyes wide and cheeks flushed. He was beautiful. Quickly, he stood.

"Are... are you... did you just... do you..."

"Oh my god," Bakugo groaned, ever impatient. He stood up and walked over to Deku, grabbed the sinfully defined hips, and hauled him in close. "I'm gay," he explained, bending his head to whisper next to the green-eyed hero's ear, "and you, dressed like that, is really fucking tempting." He released his poor partner, walking over to flop down on the bed.

"No," Deku said suddenly. He jumped to the bed and rolled Bakugo onto his back, staring at him in shock. "Did you just say you'd drop to your knees for me!?"

Bakugo mentally kicked himself. Of course that's what the idiot would focus on. With a small inward smile, he decided to see how far he could take this.

"Fuck yeah," he said, running his gaze appreciatively over the body in front of him. "Bet you taste like fuckin candy." Deku blushed again, freckles popping from the canvas of pink.

"Woah," he said. "Are you gonna jump me in my sleep?" His voice, Bakugo thought in irritation, was far too nervous.

"What? Hell no, I'm just fucking with you, shitnerd," he said, rolling his eyes. "It's been a while since I saw you and you got clammy about dating, so I figured I'd freak you out. I'm not gonna fuckin jump you, calm down."

Deku blinked uncertainly at his partner, owlish and silent.

"Oh my god, come here." Bakugo hooked an arm around Deku's slim waist, hauling him onto the bed. Deku gave a muffled shriek as they ended up spooning, but Bakugo didn't move to touch him any more than that, so he let it go. "Sleep," Bakugo said gruffly. "We can go out for dinner later, then set up to catch this bastard."

"Oh... o-okay." Deku closed his eyes. 

It didn't take long to fall asleep.

 

It was getting dark when the heroes woke, nearing eight-thirty. Bakugo stretched and pulled on a shirt and sweater, yawning. He eyed Deku, who was pawing through the contents of his suitcase, muttering.

"What's wrong with you?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Ochako didn't pack a single sweater!" answered his partner. "She begged to pack my clothes, and there's no sweater or jacket or even long sleeved shirt!"

"Calm down, dipshit," groaned Bakugo. "Wear one of mine, I brought too fucking many." He tossed over a zip-up, black with a large orange X over the front. Deku gratefully pulled it on, sighing.

He'd found some skinny jeans and wriggled into them. Somewhat happy with the covering, he followed his partner out of the hotel and down the street to some little restaurant with a charming atmosphere.

"How did you know this was here?" asked Deku, looking up at the blond. Bakugo grunted.

"Been to Okinawa before," he said.

"Oh." 

They ordered their food and Bakugo went to go take a piss, as he so eloquently put it.

Deku didn't mind waiting by himself until a hand landed on his shoulder, firm and demanding.

"Hey, baby, come sit with us." The voice was deep and rough, and Deku turned around to see three guys, all maybe six feet tall and intimidating, leering down at him. He gulped. 

"I-I'm sorry," he said demurely, hoping to avoid making a scene. "I'm already here with someone."

"I don't see them," pushed one of the men. "Be a shame to let a pretty thing like you sit here alone, don't you think?"

Just as Deku reached for his phone to send an S.O.S. to his partner, a hand clamped down on his arm to forcibly drag him from the table. 

Deku was no weakling, and under any other circumstances all three would be out cold in an alley by now, but right now he was trying very hard to avoid being recognized and jeopardizing the mission. He struggled a little, hoping to scare them, but then a hand latched onto his hip and he gasped.

"Hey, don't you assholes have better things to do than harass people who are trying to have dinner?" The voice, rough and warm and familiar, washed over Deku like honey. He sighed with relief. 

Bakugo could look very, very intimidating when he wanted to. He was six foot two, taller than the men holding Deku, and visibly strong, with a glare so vicious it could burn stone. The men wasted no time in releasing Deku, who brushed himself off and sat down as if nothing had happened. 

Bakugo, however, looked ready for a fight, and that was worrying. Deku reached over and took his hand, tapping the back of it in a pattern they had used when they were children.

Sit down, he said. Blow cover. Bakugo sent a last glare at the hastily retreating men and sank down opposite his partner. 

Sorry, he wrote on Deku's palm. Instinct.

I know, said Deku, and then the food arrived and their hands separated.

It was delicious, though a bit spicy, and Deku ended up gulping a few glasses of water to finish it. Bakugo watched, bemused, and ordered a dessert Deku had never heard of before. It was also delicious, and super sweet. Bakugo had a couple bites before surrendering it to Deku.

"It's better at home," he explained. "I don't really like sweet things."

"Okay," said Deku, not complaining.

They walked back together.

"Is that Ground Zero?" someone whispered.

"I think it is!" came another voice, "And Deku, too!"

"Uh-oh," muttered Bakugo. "Now what?"

"Follow my lead," sighed Deku. The media was well-aware of their rivalry; it wouldn't be hard to get out of this. He reached over and took Bakugo's hand, inching a few steps closer until their sides brushed as they walked.

Bakugo pulled his hand away. Before Deku could ask what he was doing, an arm wrapped loosely around his waist. Deku smiled, leaning into the embrace, though inside he was screaming.

Kacchan! Was touching! Him! Willingly! It was a dream! Come true!

"I dunno... are you sure, Mari?" the voices were definitely following them. "I thought Deku and Ground Zero hated each other."

"I'm sure, Aya," came the reply. "Watch, they're just trying to lose us. They'll split up soon, you'll see."

Bakugo leaned his head down next to Deku's. "How much do you trust me?" he asked.

"Do it," Deku whispered back, catching on instantly. Bakugo dragged him down a side street and waited half a second before pinning him bodily to the wall.

"I'm sorry in advance," he whispered. "I haven't kissed a lot of people."

Deku tilted his head back. "Hurry up!" he hissed. The girls were getting close now, he could hear their heels clicking. 

Bakugo's lips pressed onto his, warm and soft and wonderful. His hand came to cup Deku's jaw and he tilted his head, slipping his tongue into the other's mouth. Deku moaned sweetly against his lips and Bakugo forced a knee between the sculpted thighs. Deku was quicker than he'd thought; lither and lighter, too. He wrapped his arms around the taller boy's neck and jumped, crossing his ankles behind Bakugo's back.

Bakugo pressed him into the wall, grinding against him and trying to ignore the whimpers of "more, Kacchan, please, more!" He flicked the roof of Deku's mouth with his tongue and bit down gently on his lip, then moved down to suck bruises into the pale skin of his partner's neck.

Deku's head fell back with a cry. His fingers fisted the material of Bakugo's sweater and he moaned, "Kacchan, Kacchan, more, please!" 

"Ugh," said a voice from the entrance to the alley, "what a dirty place to do it. Come on, Mari, it's CLEARLY not them." The heels continued down the sidewalk... but Bakugo didn't stop. He bit down hard on Deku's collarbone, then licked the spot to soothe it.

"Kacchan!" panted Deku. "Th-They're g-g-uh! Gone!" Bakugo licked a trail up his neck to his mouth before capturing it in another heated kiss.

"K-Mmm, Kacchan!" Deku pulled away and slapped the other across the face. Bakugo snapped to attention. "Let go of me, they're gone!" demanded his partner.

Slowly, Bakugo dropped the other hero.

"Shit," he said. "I'm sorry. You... you really do taste so good. I... couldn't get enough." He blushed faintly, following sheepishly after his partner until they reached the hotel.

 

They spent that night setting up their equipment, practicing cover stories, and working out capture strategies. Uraraka, bless her heart, had packed his hero suit, and he managed to find several pairs of jeans and t-shirts. Bakugo lent him a couple of sweaters; it was crucial they expose as little skin as possible. 

He wasn't hard to find; he had bright pink hair and glowing blue eyes, with a menacing stare that drew attention to him like crows to metal.

He fought, oh, he definitely fought, but he couldn't get a grip on Bakugo, who kept blowing up his hands when he tried. Quickly, the villain lunged for Deku. He almost got his hands around the green-eyed hero's neck, but he made a mistake: the same one everyone seemed to make.

He underestimated Deku's power.

And, thanks to that, he found himself unconscious against a wall about ten seconds later, bleeding from the mouth and nose, sternum and several ribs cracked. 

The bloody, victorious heroes took the guy into custody and left him to their bosses.

"You caught him FAR quicker than we expected," said Chemist happily. "We rented that room for three nights; you have one left, so just take a day off, okay?"

"Okay!" agreed Deku. "But call me as soon as you need me!"

"Of course," said his boss with a smile. "Oh, while you're gone, maybe you should make a move on that lovely blond boy you seem so taken with?"

"HAAAH!?" Deku paled, gaping at her.

"Well," she said, laughing, "it isn't like you haven't spent hours talking about your Kacchan. These walls aren't soundproof, I hear your conversations with dear Uravity."

"Oh my god," muttered Deku, burying his face in his hands. "This is embarrassing."

"Just go for it! That boy was all over you; I heard he told you that you taste good?"

"OH MY GOD," cried Deku. "I'M LEAVING NOW."

"Have fun!" his boss called after him. He groaned in reply.

 

"Get out of here, kid," groaned Endeavour. "We've rented that room for three nights and you did the job in two. You take a night off and not only do I get my money's worth, I get some god damn peace and quiet."

"What, you want me to take a vacation or some shit?"

"Exactly. Chika, give the kid a gold star." Endeavour's assistant, Cherry Bomb, giggled behind her hand. 

"I'm not fucking taking time off," exclaimed Bakugo, teeth gritted.

"Look, kid," sighed the older hero, "just go. If I have to watch you stare at the kid from Chemist's agency ONE MORE TIME, I'm gonna transfer you over there, you hear me?"

"What!? Who!?"

"My son's old friend!" cried the exasperated man. "That... Deku kid!"

"DEKU!?"

"Yes! Go fuck him or something!"

"NO!"

"GET. OUT."

"FUCKING FINE, JESUS, JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT DEKU!"

Swearing, Bakugo turned on his heel and stormed towards the hotel.

 

 

"...."

"...."

"This is awkward," sighed Deku.

"I know," replied his partner.

Deku chewed his lip for another minute, debating whether to ask his question.

"Spit it out, nerd," sighed Bakugo.

"Do..." Deku swallowed. "Do you really think I... t-taste good?"

Bakugo slanted one eye open, catlike, to eye him, before closing it. "Oh yeah," he said, voice dropping half an octave into something gravelly that sent shivers down Deku's spine.

"Wh-what..." he took a deep breath. "What was it like? For you?"

Bakugo smirked, vaulting gracefully to his feet. He grabbed his partner's hips and dragged him to the bed, pinning him down. 

"You," he said, bending down until he was an inch away, "taste like candy." He leaned down and ran his nose up the hollow of the hero's neck. Deku's chest heaved with arousal. 

"Like a drug..." the blond murmured, licking at the still-bruised skin on Deku's neck. "I can't get enough of you." He bit down on the sculpted collarbone. Deku let out a strangled gasp, clutching at his partner's shoulders. 

Bakugo pulled back to look at the hero: pupils blown wide, hair mussed, flushed and panting.

"God," he whispered, almost reverently, "you're beautiful." He reached out and twirled one of those lovely curls around his finger.

"Kacchan," whined Deku, voice shaking.

"Hm?"

"Fuck me," he growled. "Now."

Bakugo felt his heart stop. "Yeah," he said. "Yeah, okay, okay."

 

The hotel manager got no sleep; a certain green-eyed patron was, apparently, a screamer.

He began to regret living in the basement.

Chapter Text

"What are you doing?"

"Hm?" I looked up. Kacchan was leaning on the doorframe, brushing his teeth. 

"I said, what are you doing?" he repeated.

"Ahh, come here!"

"One sec." He padded into the bathroom to spit and rinse his mouth before plopping onto the couch next to me. "What's this?" he asked.

"I'm inviting all our old classmates over for a reunion!" I chirped, leaning back to look up at my boyfriend. He dropped a teasing kiss to my forehead before surveying the list.

"Ugh," he said after a moment. "Take Grapehead off."

"Kacchan," I chided, "he was in our class, too; it's only fair."

"Fuck," muttered Kacchan.

"Nickel," I responded automatically. Grumbling, Kacchan dug a nickel from his pocket and dropped it in the swear jar. 

"Why did I agree to that?" he asked no one in particular. "It's basically our fucking pension by now."

"Nickel."

"God damn it."

"Another one."

"Shit, FUCK, SORRY!" Kacchan clapped a hand over his mouth. 

I doubled over laughing. Through my tears, I managed to wheeze out, "you're right, it IS gonna be more than our pensions! Combined!" And then I lost the ability to speak coherently for a few minutes.

When I recovered, I watched Kacchan drop an extra nickel in the jar.

"What was that for?" I asked.

"Fuck you," he replied dryly. I chuckled.

"Cheeky," I teased. He glared at me until I got up and went over, wrapping my arms around his waist and propping my chin on his chest. "I loooove you," I said, a trace of amusement still coloring my voice. 

He snorted, but returned the embrace and kissed me. I left it at that.

 

"OCHAKO, OCHAKO!" I cried, waving frantically to get her attention. Squealing, she grabbed Tsuyu's hand and dragged her over to where Kacchan and I were standing. I hugged them both, congratulating them on their new relationship. Kacchan even gave a halfhearted wave.

"He's driving," I explained when Ochako gave me a questioning glance. Partial truth, but we had planned a few ways to show off our relationship.

Kirishima, Kaminari, Todoroki, Mina, and Jiro arrived next, followed quickly by Iida, Mineta, Tokoyami, Yaoyorozu and Hagakure. With everyone gathered, we exchanged hugs (except the bad tempered bird and equally bad tempered blond), and squeezed into the van. 

It took almost an hour to get home from the airport, but then there was food (thanks to Kacchan) and music, and we communed on the couches. Uraraka sat down across from me.

"Kacchan," I called, "come sit with us!"

"There's no space, dipshit," he answered from the kitchen.

"What?" I pretended to look confused. "We can make space for you!"

He stalked in as people started shuffling around to find a space. I stood up and he took my spot. Without a word, I dropped onto his lap. He wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled my body flush with his, resting his mouth on my neck and looking over my shoulder.

I wasn't expecting the shocked silence.

"What?" I asked, tilting my head.

"Um... are you two... like..." Ochako trailed off, blushing.

Are you having sex?" asked Mineta.

"Vulgar!" I scolded, and Kacchan chuckled, pressing feather-light kisses to the back of my neck.

"Dude," said Kirishima, gaping, "I am so proud. This is a great day. LET THE RECORD SHOW THAT BAKUBRO IS THE MANLIEST MAN IN ALL OF--"

"Kirishima-kun, we have neighbours," I hissed. Kacchan snickered.

"Do NOT get him started on the neighbours," he warned. I glared back over my shoulder at him. He just leaned in and kissed me until it disappeared.

"You guys are so... cute!" squealed Ochako. "It's strange seeing Bakugo-kun so... sweet. Though I have to say, it's great that you two have grown so close!"

"Thanks, Ochako!" I chirped, and hopped off my boyfriend's lap. He 'humphed' and I kissed the top of his head before walking into the kitchen. "I'm gonna finish dinner. Keep them entertained!"

"Never thought I'd see the day Midoriya gave orders," muttered Todoroki. I snickered. "Watch this," I said. "Kacchan, c'mon!" He stood up and walked over to me.

"Honestly," he said, "fuck you."

"Nickel."

"Oh, shit!"

"Really?"

"Fucking-- oh, god damn it-- no, wait, fuck, that's not-- SHIT, JUST SHUT ME THE HELL UP, NERD!" 

Laughing, I pressed a hand over his mouth. He sighed and licked sensually at my palm. I wrinkled my nose. "Eeeewwww," I said, wiping my hand on my pants. He chuckled, emptying the dwindling stash of nickels from his pockets.

"Go on," I sighed. "Go sit. Entertain. I'll call if I need you."

"Screw off."

"Hey," I said indignantly, "that's cheating!" 

"On you?" he asked, faking hurt. "Never." With mock annoyance, he stalked back to the couch and flopped down. Shaking my head, I got out a cutting board and started the vegetables for the katsudon.

"How can you tell this isn't toxic?" hissed Jiro to her friend. Kirishima pointed at my boyfriend.

"Look," he whispered, "his face is neutral, not angry, and he's totally relaxed. Plus, he's being openly affectionate. This is the happiest I've ever seen him in public." Jiro hummed and Kirishima flicked her ear. "It's the little things," he explained. "You'll see."

"Deku-kun," called Ochako, "d'you need help?"

"No, it's okay, Ocha--"

"What the hell are you doing, nerd!?" Kacchan stood up and stormed over to me. I raised an eyebrow. He stood behind me and adjusted my hands on the knife and food. "Hold it like this," he murmured next to my ear. "See? Like a claw. That way you can't cut yourself. Put the edge against your knuckles. That's right."

Once he was satisfied, he rejoined the others on the couch.

"Thanks, Kacchan!"

"Screw you."

"Kacchan!" I gasped in exaggerated horror. "Not while we have company!"

The whole room went silent. I heard the couch creak as Kacchan sat down, unfazed.

It was Kirishima who restarted the conversation. "See what I mean?"

 

I brought Kacchan a piece of tofu. He ate it.

"You need to cook it more."

I nodded and returned to the stove, then brought him another piece a minute later. He nodded wordlessly, but that alone told me he was proud of me. I smiled and set the table, putting the food out on a trivet.

"Supper's ready!" I called. "Sweetheart, can you-- yeah." He came over and reached up above my head to put away the ingredients from the higher shelves. I tazed him, unable to resist, and he jumped, spinning around and pinning me to the counter in less than a second. I giggled.

"You sack of shit," he growled. I let it go; he had to be going broke by now. "If you weren't so tiny and cute, I'd punch you."

"But I am, in fact, tiny and cute," I countered, "so you'll kiss me instead?"

He scoffed. "You're gonna be the death of me, you needy creature," he muttered sullenly, but kissed me anyway, strong and deep and perfect. I sighed against his lips and when he pulled away I pushed him towards the dining room. 

"You guys are so. Freaking. Cute!" exclaimed Mina, clasping her hands in front of her chest. 

"Like that!" said Kirishima, gesturing. "Bakubro is actually really gentle with Midoriya!"

"Not always," I muttered, glaring at my boyfriend. He met my gaze curiously, then connected the dots and lowered his fork, giving me an exasperated look.

"For the LAST time," he said, "I'm SORRY. I didn't REALIZE I had it that CLOSE to you!"

"You gave me a paper cut!" I yelped indignantly. 

"What happened?" asked Kaminari.

"We were in the middle of fucking and I'd tied him up and then there was a file still on the bed so--"

"So he went to pick it up, and when he flipped it open to see what it was, it gave me a paper cut!"

"Right on the dick vein," recalled my boyfriend. "I felt so bad." I glared at him as snickers burst out from almost everyone; notable exceptions being Momo, Shouto, and Fumikage, of course. 

"Two nickels for the swear jar," I reminded him. He groaned.

"At this point," he said, "have a fifty and call it a week." 

"You're probably losing that much a DAY, babe," I said, grinning. He sent me a narrow-eyed look that I knew meant 'I'll fuck an apology out of you later, but for now I'll let it lie.' I sent him a wink.

 

"I'm so glad I got to see you all again," sniffed Ochako, hugging me for the fourth time. I was about to reply when my boyfriend struggled past me, yelling at the redhead attached to his leg.

"GET OFF! GET IT OFF! GO AWAY!" 

Ochako and Tsuyu and I exchanged glances, then burst into giggles.

"Honestly," said the frog girl, "it's a bit weird to see Bakugo so mature and content... and you seem so much more confident in yourself than you were before!"

"That's Kacchan's doing," I confessed. "Sometimes, he takes my hand and drags me to the mirror in our bedroom and asks me if I like what I see. If I say no, not today, he takes his time explaining exactly why he loves every part of me, why he thinks I'm beautiful. It's so sweet."

Ochako sniffed, hugging me AGAIN. I didn't mind. "That's amazing!" she cried. "Oh my god, I love you so much! I miss you guys at my agency all the time! We have to visit again soon, okay?"

I promised to meet up with her and she finally left, blowing me a last kiss, which I returned.

The second I shut the door, he pounced, slamming me into it.

"Fucking hell," he said, giving me his best bedroom eyes, the ones that never fail, "you're so damn pretty... giving me those fucking eyes all night, sitting there pretending you weren't fucking tempting me the whole. Time. Jesus Christ, Izuku, I'm afraid I'm gonna have to punish you for teasing."

"What did you have in mind?" I asked, grinning cheekily.

He leaned in and bit down gently on the shell of my ear, then picked me up bridal style and carried me into our room.

 

We didn't clean up dinner for SEVERAL hours.

Chapter Text

It was the summer of their lives when next they met. No longer the beginning, but not yet close to the end... and yet each felt the winter's biting chill on their routes home at the end of the day, when the sky had long fallen dark.

Yagi strode over the bridge, silently watching the snowflakes fall to the stone. For a single moment, less than a second, he thought they spelled her name. Inko, he wondered, where are you now?

He didn't know why he chose to wait. Fifteen minutes later, however, there he stood. His body was chilled and the snow had begun to collect on the shoulders of his warmest winter jacket. Just as he was turning to continue his walk home, a figure caught his eye. With a sad smile, he leaned against the bridge's low stone wall. There you are.

Inko walked to the bridge, silent as the snow itself, watching as it touched the ground at her feet. She was bitterly cold, exhausted, worn down... yet somehow, she felt a sort of peace in the snow, one that made her wish she could stay there forever. It had been so long since she felt peace. When he held her in his arms... then she was at peace. Then, her spirit had quieted.

After so many suns, though, she couldn't help but think she may never see him again. After all, the last time she had seen him, they were no more than distant acquaintances.

She recalled with a sort of bitter amusement just how hurt she had been. A thousand memories, a thousand secrets, a thousand heartbreaking truths whispered in the darkness after coming together, somehow more intimate than the act itself, all lost somewhere in the maze of broken mirrors that had become their existence. For a split second, she thought she heard his voice, whispering her name in the wintry wind.
"Oh, Toshinori," she breathed, troubled once more as snowflakes kissed her eyelashes. "Where have you been?"

Then a dark silhouette on the bridge caught her attention, and though she couldn't see the face or even really the figure, she knew. And as her heart lifted and shattered anew at once, she realized she was tired of missing him, tired of regretting. With that acceptance in her heart, she didn't hesitate when she walked up to him on the bridge.

"Toshinori," she greeted, and something in her voice told him instantly that she felt the same way he did: tired.

"Inko," he replied, and both smiled just a little.

"It's been a long time."

"Yes, it has," Yagi said, and then the wall gave, just a little. "Have you been alright?"

"I've been so many things that I could not honestly tell you how I've been," she replied. "It's the same for you, isn't it?"

It wasn't a question, but he answered anyway. "Yes. Do you see much of Izuku?"

Inko made a face, and Yagi laughed. He couldn't even remember the last time he laughed.

"Wild thing that he is, I don't think all the top heroes combined could stop him from coming home every weekend. He is such a fine hero, though. So dedicated. The agency is all I hear about."


"It seems so long ago that he was under my direction," Yagi said, remembering the terrifyingly determined boy.

"It does, doesn't it?" Inko replied. "So long ago that you gave him the power that changed his life. My Izuku. My baby. I was so scared, so angry."

"You didn't think he was ready," said Yagi softly.

"No," replied Inko with a sigh, "but I suppose you knew better than me." It was a concession without bitterness or resentment; only a mild regret that perhaps, years ago, she would have striven to hide. 

Now, though, they were both tired of hiding; tired of keeping quiet, and the sound of voices saying what they had never said before came with an odd sort of comfort.

"Thank you," she said, voice barely there. "Thank you, for what you did for him."

Yagi chuckled. "Everything he accomplished, he did because you told him he could," he pointed out.

"You were the one who proved it to him," Inko countered. "Without you, he never would have realized the truth about his abilities."

"Maybe so," Yagi sighed, looking out over the vast expanse of white below the bridge, "but without you, he never would have known how to listen to me. So thank you for that."

They were quiet for a moment, watching the snow fall. Then, suddenly, Yagi sighed and shattered the last wall, reaching across to lift a strand of her hair.

"You're still so beautiful like this," he told her. "In the snow. Like an angel."

She smiled; the soft, warm smile he used to wait so eagerly for. Too eagerly. He had been too young, then, they both had. Now, though...

"I miss you," she said, so softly he barely heard the words.

"I know," he sighed, and his tone conveyed everything he didn't know how to say. Slowly, he reached for her, and just as slowly, she leaned into him.

The embrace was fragile, delicate, nearly a decade of heartache and lost trust between them, but it was real.

It felt right.

For the first time since the rift between them was torn, Inko saw the path to the bridge that could mend it, that could join them again. It couldn't happen all at once, nothing was that simple, but it was there.

"Toshinori," she sighed, and he held her just a little tighter, unwilling to let go but knowing he had to.

"Inko." 

At last, they parted, and didn't exchange goodbyes before parting ways. They didn't need to.

There was a bridge, Yagi could see it now, and he would build it up a little bit at a time, day by day until he could cross it and find her again.

He would do it for her, a thousand times over. 

And across the bridge, as Izuku raced to meet his mother, Inko smiled.

She would be waiting when he did.

Chapter Text

I'm walking down the hallway to my locker when he runs up to me, curls bouncing with every step.

"The fuck you want, shitnerd?" he asks.

"I..." he blushes and I lose all sense of focus. His face is glowing slightly pink and his freckles pop. The color accents the way his curls fall to frame his face and when he tucks one behind his ear, I can't take my eyes off of his wrist. He has slender, pale, delicate wrists, even while his hands are scarred up as fuck. It's such a massive contrast, and so beautiful.

"Kacchan?" I snap back to his face. "You... didn't hear a word of that, did you?" he asks.

"Fuck off and die, shitty nerd," I growl, turning back to my locker and slamming the door.

"I... okay." He leaves, head hung low. I sigh, looking after him.

"Bro, you got it bad for Midoriya, don't you?" A sympathetic voice comes from behind me and I turn, automatically punching in that direction. "Dude!" whines Kirishima as he ducks. I roll my eyes.

"You fucking high or some shit?"

"No, it's Tuesday, I'm wasted," he replies, shamelessly quoting TikTok. I groan, burying my face in one hand. 

"You fucking walnut," I mutter.

"You mispronounced wingman," he says with a shit-eating grin. I punch him for real this time.

"But really," he says, clutching his nose as he follows me down the hallway. I'm about to tell him to fuck right off when I realize we share a room. Fuck.

"I can help you court Midoriya!"

I freeze. Behind me, I hear him counting under his breath.

"One... no reaction. Two... brace self... Three... still nothing. Four... getting progressively scarier. Five... RUN!" He bolts just as I turn around, but the look on my face must stop him. I'm not angry, for once.

"Why would you think I like Deku?" I ask, bewildered.

"Dude," snickers Kirishima, "you were, like, DROOLING over him when he said he liked you back there."

"He said WHAT!?" I gape at the redhead, who does a double-take.

"WERE YOU NOT FUCKING LISTENING TO ANYTHING HE WAS SAYING!?" he yelps. I cringed. If Kirishima's swearing, I've fucked up big time.

"WHEN DO I EVER LISTEN TO THE FUCKING NERD!?" I reply frantically.

"BROOOOO. Follow me." Kirishima grabs my arm and drags me toward our room. "We're gonna fix your listening skills."

 

Two hours later, he's decided I don't actually have an attention problem. Which I already knew, for fuck's sake! 

"Okay," he sighs. "Now next time he talks to you, look him in the eye and tell him you're listening."

"Alright, alright!" I groan, hoping desperately that he'll shut up. 

"Cool," he says, flashing me a grin that makes me want to tear my own eyes out. "Oh, and one more thing."

"No. No no no no no. NO!" I yell, but he isn't listening.

"HIT OR MISS, I GUESS HE DOESN'T MISS, HUH!"

I leap at him, ready to strangle, but as he tears out the door and down the hallway I hear Pikachu's voice from a few rooms down.

"YOU GOT A BOYFRIEND I BET HE DOESN'T KISS YA, MWAH!" 

From downstairs, I hear Mina shout "HE GON' FIND ANOTHER GIRL AND HE WON'T MISS YA!" No one continues after that.

And that is the story of how not one, but three of the students of UA ended up unconscious and tied to chairs, duct tape over their mouths.

 

"Kacchan!" Deku bounds up to me after school again. Kirishima watches discreetly from behind his own locker door, disguising it as making out with Pikachu. I look away.

"The fuck you want, Deku?"

"I wanna talk to you about something!" he says, smiling, and then he spots Kirishima and Kaminari and his face lights up with red.

I lose my mental processes.

"Kacchan, u-um, I... u-uh..." he bites at his lip and I stare incomprehensibly. The skin stretches a little and where he's bitten it, it gleams red and full, just the slightest bit wet. I have to fight back the urge to kiss him breathless.

"Kacchan, you aren't listening to me!"

"Eh?" I flinch, standing back to attention.

"God, stop giving me those eyes," he breathes. "You're making it hard to get this point across!"

All I can think of is how cute he is with his red nose and cheeks. 

"Aaaaahh, nevermind!" Throwing up his hands, he storms away. I lean back against the locker with a small smile.

"See?" comes an all too familiar voice.  

"Whipped," agrees Pikachu. There's a little too much smugness in their voices, so I blow up their books, singing their hair. They groan in unison and I smirk before returning to my dorm to punch something.

 

"So," says Kirishima. "It isn't attention. It's Midoriya himself that makes you all goo-goo-eyes." He hums to himself, tapping his cheek thoughtfully. "What if we blindfolded you?"

"I'd blow him up before he got close," I point out, and he nods.

"True, true. Well... don't look at him?"

"I'm gonna have to at some point!"

Kirishima furrows his brow. Then, suddenly, his eyes light up. "Tell him he makes you go crazy!" he says, sounding FAR too proud of himself. I sigh and flop back on my bed.

"Won't work," I groan, and prepare to lose any respect he might have had for me up until this point. "As soon as he blushes, I forget how words are supposed to work." 

Kirishima's silent for a second. Then, "Oh my god," he says, "this is SO cute. You have a huge crush on him and NO ONE will believe me-- oh, this is adorable." I growl at him, sending a pillow at him.

He dodges. "Well, sorry, bro," he says, grinning. "You might be on your own for this one." I groan, covering my face with my hands.

 

"Kacchan?" Deku stalks up to me at my locker, glaring.

He's the type that gets really pretty when he gets angry. His face flushes and his eyes glow, almost appearing to be on fire. He gets pouty and his mouth looks cherry red. No... no, he's wearing lip gloss. I wonder if it's flavoured. Imagine how it would taste... how he would taste on my tongue.

"Okay, that is IT!"

Vaguely, I realize I've probably just provoked him into a fight. I'm about to raise my hand to blow him up when he pokes at my chest, driving me back a step at a time as he speaks, voice sharp.

"I come up time and time again, and you just. Can't. Listen! I know you have attention problems, but-- OH MY GOD, YOU'RE STILL NOT LISTENING! I GIVE UP!" 

And with that, he leans in. My back hits the locker but then he's clutching my shirt, dragging me down, and his lips are on mine. They're warm, soft, gentle and he tastes like heaven. If anything, the cherry gloss takes away from his addictive, warm, slightly spicy taste.

I press back. He pulls away, panting, and I chase his lips. He doesn't let me. 

"Have I got your attention now, Kacchan?" he asks, still glaring slightly.

"You've always had it," I retort, and grab his waist to spin him around and slam him into the lockers, devouring his mouth in a hungry, claiming kiss. He gasps, whining against my lips as I ravage his mouth with my tongue.

"DUDE!" yelps Kirishima from a few feet down the hall, "WAY TO GO!"

I flip him off without looking up.

We pull apart, a thin string of saliva still connecting us, and I brush a thumb over the pale pink cheekbone. His eyes are dark, half-lidded, filled with want as he stares at me.

"Fuck," I say, kissing him chastely, "your," I kiss him again. "Pretty," and again. "Face." 

He gasps, throwing his arms tight around my neck.

 

Ah, well. I guess it all worked out in the end.

Chapter Text

Katsuki snarled at the russet wolf, hackles raised. He dropped the piece of meat in his jaws and gave it a look, pushing it to the side.

What? he asked crossly, digging his claws into the soil.

Can we please hurry up? begged the russet-furred creature, shuffling his paws forward and lifting his haunches until he was stretching, using his best puppy eyes. Mina just had our pups yesterday and I feel sooo bad leaving them! He whined, pawing the dirt. 

Fine, sighed Katsuki, rolling his sharp eyes at the wolf that was more domestic than a pet dog. But I swear to Lupa, Eijirou, if we don't have enough, you're the one going hungry tonight. One more rabbit, then we go home. 

Eijirou barked happily, leaping to his paws, tail curving up behind him. Katsuki shook his head. Behind him, a golden wolf with a black streak across his ear and down his cheek leapt, tackling the russet.

Denki, Eijirou, I will turn this pack around! Katsuki threatened. Hanta snickered beside him and he shot the black-furred hunter a sharp look. He shut up. The two troublesome wolves separated with a whine. Rolling his eyes again, the pack leader picked up the meat on the ground and trotted down the trail they'd been steadily tracking all day.

As they approached the rabbits' warren, Katsuki slowed to a silent stalk, flicking his tail in an unspoken command. Denki and Eijirou fanned out behind him, covering his sides for any stray rabbits. Hanta brought up the rear, watching for dangers and escapees.

They ran. They always ran, but there was a reason Katsuki was the pack leader. They caught six more rabbits from the warren before the rest got back inside; added to the haul of thirteen, it was more than enough to feed the hungry she-wolves and pups at the den.

 

Eiji! A light, dusky red-brown wolf leapt at her mate, fur gleaming pink in the light of the setting sun. Behind her, three red and brown pups gathered in the den entrance, waiting to greet their father with tongues lolling and tails wagging. Four other pups joined them; one a deep violet-black, one bright gold, and two ash gray.

Hanta barked and the ash colored pups raced to meet him, followed by their white mother. She was all but invisible ;) in the snow. 

Kyoka? called Denki. Their pups tumbled over to him and he pounced, engaging happily in a game of play war. They 'defeated' him easily, cheering as he fell dramatically onto his side with a drawn-out howl. His mate, a deep black that looked purple in the sunlight, padded over to meet him, tail wagging as he scented her pregnancy-swollen stomach. She huffed, amused by his excited puppy demeanour, and ushered her little family back inside.

Katsuki sighed, silently lamenting his own lonely little alcove in the den, where no mate or pups waited for him. He followed the others in, head low as always, giving off an air so frightening the pups wouldn't go anywhere near him, and joined them in ripping apart their kill.

 

Katsuki took the second watch, following the well-worn path to the alcove on top of the den to look for trouble in the quiet, snowy woods. Atop the stones, a light silver wolf presided majestically over everything, silent as always. He was almost lavender in the light of the moon... that would be full tomorrow, and Katsuki would have to leave his pack for a whole two weeks, until the new moon restored his form. 

Soundlessly, he took his place next to the silver wolf as the moon hit its peak, waiting until he leapt down from his perch to speak.

Goodnight, Hitoshi, he sighed. The wolf dipped his head, disconcerting violet eyes as uninterested as if he were already dead and waiting for his body to catch up. 

Nothing out of the ordinary, Alpha, he reported, and Katsuki nodded, taking his place on the outcropping. Hitoshi disappeared into the den with a swish of his tail, and Katsuki settled on his rock, preparing himself for the cold hours ahead of him.

 

"Grrr..." The snarl shook Katsuki from his half-slumber and he snapped to attention, leaping to his paws. It was nearly dawn, and in the pale grey light, he saw it. Something stood at the edge of the clearing. It was large, dark, and angry; one of the rival wolf pack. Katsuki howled a battle cry, throwing a bark at the end to warn his pack. 

The wolf, black as night with cold blue eyes and patches on his throat and face where he'd been burned by a hunter, growled, assuming a fighting stance.

Dabi.

Alpha. It was mocking, a fake respect for a title he had no love of.

Where are the others, traitor? growled Katsuki, circling the other wolf, keeping the den at his back. He heard the tell-tale growls of his warriors stalking to his side. Hitoshi, Eijirou, Hanta, Fumikage, Tooru, and Shoto stood ready at his side. Kyoka would have stood there, too, had she not been with child.

The wall-eyed wolf snarled viciously, baring his teeth at his half-brother (do NOT hit up my comments with your conspiracy theories. I don't care that much). Shoto had led the scout party that day; he, Fumikage, Tooru and Hitoshi had gone all around their territory. It should have been impossible for the bi-colored wolf to miss anything this massive, yet here he stood.

Hello, Shoto, purred the ink-dark wolf.

You're outnumbered and outmatched, snarled Shoto, bristling. Run home.

I don't think so, little brother, sighed Dabi, sitting on his haunches to draw a paw over his face like a cat. I have backup, you see. We've come to wipe you out for good.

Behind him, two more wolves appeared; one, pale silver, seemingly light blue against the moonlit snow. The other, a she-wolf, pale tawny like Katsuki himself, but her deep golden eyes boasted a madness Katsuki could safely say he didn't have.

Tomura, he snarled. And Himiko. Cute. Run along home, you cat-faced excuses for wolves.

Don't get cocky, warned Tomura, the leader of the pack. We'll kill you. Of course. And your mates... and your pups... and then we'll take your home. He tilted his head, amused.

Katsuki howled, deep and resonating, an order. His pack leapt to attack. 

You had to be careful with the wolves who'd abandoned the pack. If Tomura got his paws on you, there was no getting out. You were dead. If Himiko ducked underneath you, you would never be able to move fast enough to avoid her sharp fangs and claws. If Dabi locked eyes with you... Katsuki had seen enough wolves freeze up to know to avoid doing that.

Behind the three superpowers emerged the entirety of the rival pack; twelve well-trained, vicious warriors with no boundaries or morals to speak of. Katsuki braced himself for the pain inevitably coming his way.

 

The battle was long, bloody, and hard.

We're not going to beat them! warned Eijirou in a break from the fighting. There are too many; we need a better plan!

Katsuki thought for a moment, snarling in frustration. An idea occured to him and he took a deep breath. If I draw Himiko and Dabi away, he asked, tensing, can you finish Tomura and the rest on your own?

Eijirou barked angrily, lashing his tail. You're too weak! he pointed out desperately. The full moon is only a day away! They'll kill you! 

I can do it, Katsuki breathed. I have a plan. Can you finish them?

Yes, Eijirou replied reluctantly. Be careful, brother.

See you in two weeks, Katsuki said grimly. Then, with a challenging howl, he leapt in and slashed Himiko's side, dancing away before she could hit back. Her whine of pain drew her mate's attention and before long, both were chasing blindly after him, following him away from the fight. Katsuki kicked up just enough snow to keep them angry as he ran, farther and farther from his pack and den. 

Eventually, they caught up with him. Of course they did; he couldn't run forever. But now, at least, he was close to his goal. There was a human village right on the other side of the wall of trees. Unfortunately, Dabi and Himiko were standing between him and it. 

Where will you run now? taunted Dabi.

Katsuki didn't respond, too intent on avoiding Himiko's sporadic attacks. He managed to get a good bite on her flank, but then Dabi lunged, sinking his teeth into the meat of Katsuki's haunch. Katsuki reared back with a yelp and Himiko slashed at his exposed stomach with a sadistic glee, if a wolf could even feel that.

Katsuki turned in Dabi's grip, just enough to save his intestines as her razor-sharp claws scored his side instead of his belly. He buried his claws in black fur, through to the thick skin beneath, and tore a nasty gash down the wolf's spine.

Himiko howled in rage as her mate fell back, releasing Katsuki's leg, and launched her whole body at him. Katsuki reared up to meet her and they clashed, clawing and biting and rolling over and over. Finally, the pack leader was able to throw her off of him, into a tree, and she fell to the ground with a yelp.

Dabi leapt the second he had an opening, slashing, tearing fur and rending flesh.

Himiko lay unconscious under the tree where Katsuki had thrown her. He and Dabi circled each other, eyes locked, but Katsuki felt no compulsion to freeze. They snarled at each other, bloody and more-than-half dead, neither willing to back down.

Just as Katsuki thought the growing tension would snap and send them back into a violent frenzy of claws and teeth, a long, low, broken howl echoed through the trees around them. 

A call for retreat.

Katsuki's pack had won.

Dabi growled at him one last time.

Go, ordered Katsuki. I won't attack you. 

The blue-eyed wolf backed down reluctantly, grabbing his mate's scruff and hauling her away through the woods to his own den, and his defeated Alpha.

 

Katsuki collapsed. He didn't know how long he laid there, panting, slowly staining the trampled snow red with his own blood. As the sun began to set, however, he heard his pack calling out for him.

I have to go, he thought, forcing every ounce of strength to his paws and pulling himself up to stand. This is no place to die. I will not let them see me like this.

Wolves die alone.

Slowly, deliberately, he took a step. Then another. Bit by bit, he pushed his exhausted body towards the edge of the woods. 

There was a light, a warm golden orange glow ahead of him, and he set out to reach it. The path led straight to the human village, but it was still too far away; he would have to settle for whatever little farmhouse this apparently was.

He hit the ground long before he reached the door, unable to move as spasms wracked his body and his claws retracted, fur sliding beneath his skin and leaving him naked, bare to the icy burn of the snow. His teeth pulled back, his mouth and nose shrinking, and he whined as his senses dulled. 

At last, as the moon rose high enough to enter his vision, the change was complete.

Katsuki was human once again.

 

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Izuku opened the back door, calling back over his shoulder, "what did you need, again?"

"Rosemary, sage, yarrow, dragonsbane, and tansy," his mother answered. "I want to make the potion tonight and I'll send it with you to Ochako-chan's mother tomorrow. Is the moon up yet?"

Izuku turned his wide eyes to the snow-covered path on the other side of the fence, watching the pale orb rise higher into the sky.

"Yes!" he called. Then, slowly, his eyes travelled down towards the forest, where the thin white light cast an eerie shadow over the trees. He imagined he could see the eyes of the wolves in the shadows, watching, waiting for him. He swept his gaze back along the path towards the garden he stood in, but a strange shape made him stop.

In the snow, maybe twenty feet from where Izuku stood, a lump rose from the path. He dropped his basket, eyes going wide, and ran, hopping the fence with no trouble whatsoever. 

"Mom!" he cried. "Unlock the front door!"

"What?" She poked her head out the back door after him, eyebrows drawn quizzically together. The second she spotted him and followed his path towards the body on the ground, she gasped and hurried to do as her son had bid her.

Izuku stopped dead when he reached the body in the snow. It was... a man. A young man, maybe twenty or twenty-one, and indescribably beautiful. The moonlight turned his ash-blond hair to spun silver, his pale skin to alabaster. Lances of red marred the skin of his torso and legs rather violently. 

With a start, Izuku realized that the man had ashy blond ears, the same color as his hair, and a tail lying limply across his hip. 

He was a werewolf.

And, Izuku reminded himself, taking in the light blue of those delicate lips and fingertips, he was injured and freezing to death rather quickly. Stooping down, the healer's son threw one bare arm around his own shoulders, tugging hard to lift him. He managed it, supporting the werewolf in a fireman's carry until they reached the open door, where Inko helped him manhandle the mostly-dead creature onto her freshly cleared table.

"Izuku," she said, rolling up her sleeves with a frown, "go into the garden and get me tarrow and yew, and maybe some dragonsbane as well. Oh, and an Oriental Lily. They're good for pain this time of the month. Hurry!" 

Izuku rushed out the door, not even looking as he reached for plants he'd known his entire life. Quickly, he rushed back inside to prepare them.

The basket lay outside, forgotten in the snow.

 

Four hours later, Midoriya Inko sat back, wiping away the sweat that had beaded on her brow with a soft sigh.

"Is he gonna live?" asked Izuku anxiously, tucking a piece of spiky hair away from the slanted eye.

"He'll be fine," Inko said, exhaustion creeping into her tone. "More than a little thanks to you. If you'd found him even half an hour later, he'd have lost too much blood and died right here on this table. Good work, baby." She rose, stretched, and kissed her son on the forehead.

"Go to bed, Mom," Izuku said, hugging her. "I'll take care of him."

"Stay back," she warned. "He's a full-lunar werewolf. He might lash out if he finds himself here when he wakes up."

"I promise," he said, "if he starts to wake up, I'll move back. Okay?"

"Okay. Goodnight, Izuku."

 

Izuku worked tirelessly through the night, finding blankets and pillows and arranging them into a sort of nest around the sleeping blond. He sat beside him, stroking the bristly hair, scratching the ears and humming softly.

It was the early hours of the morning when the werewolf stirred. Izuku stood up, taking a few steps back, and leaned against the wall. The slanted eyes half-opened once, slid shut again, then blinked back open more forcefully. The man lifted his head carefully, ears pricking curiously at the bandages on his wounds. 

Izuku coughed softly, and the werewolf tured his head so fast Izuku was surprised his neck didn't snap.

He bared his teeth in a snarl, ears flattening, but it was choked off by a hacking cough that shook his damaged frame. When the coughing fit subsided, the werewolf gave a pitiful whine, fur standing on end as he moved back, burying himself in the blanket nest.

"It's okay," Izuku murmured, making his voice a low hum so as to reassure the blond, even if he couldn't understand human speech. "You're safe."

The werewolf sat up slowly. "What happened?" he demanded. Izuku jumped, startled and frankly, frozen in place. Those beautiful eyes bored into his, pinning him to the wall like a butterfly. How could he... oh, right. He was probably only lupine for one night. But then how... it was the full moon now, wasn't it? Then...

"Oi. You're muttering. You a nerd or something?"

"I... n-no." Izuku swallowed. "What are you, wolf-san?"

"I asked first, nerd. What. Happened?"

"We... I-I found you in the... in the snow. You were almost dead. My mom and I healed you. How did you get hurt so bad? Why were you out here? Who are you?"

"Slow the hell down, idiot!" barked the werewolf. He frowned at the window. "Okay. My name is Katsuki. I'm what's called a full-lunar werewolf. So... on the night of the full moon, I change into a human. On the night of the new moon, I change back into a wolf. Really, I'm neither, but I prefer wolves to humans." He sighed, curling his tail over his hip and settling deeper into the blankets.

"My pack was attacked. To save them, I drew two of the three most powerful wolves from the rival pack away and fought them on my own until the rival Alpha called a retreat. Then I left the woods because one, wolves die alone, where their packmates don't have to see them, and two, I was about to change anyway. Following?"

"Mmhm." Izuku nodded and took a hesitant step forward. Katsuki drew back, eyeing him warily. "Please," said Izuku softly. "You moved a lot; I just want to make sure the bandages will hold if you do that."

Katsuki growled softly, but relented, stretching out to allow Izuku access to his wounds.

"You're kinder than the village humans," he said, watching Izuku's hands make their gentle rounds across his rather beat-up torso.

"I'm a healer," replied the soft-spoken boy. "I help people."

"And I'm a person because...?"

Izuku looked up and something flashed in those earnest jade orbs that made Katsuki's heart pound a little harder. "Because you need me," he said quietly. "Because I can help you."

Katsuki was silent while the boy finished changing his bandages. When he stepped back, the werewolf dared another question. 

"You never told me your name." Okay, not quite a question, but close enough.

"Oh! Sorry," said the green-eyed human. "I'm Midoriya Izuku, and my mother is Midoriya Inko." He bowed quickly, then started to leave the room.

A whine tore itself unexpectedly from Katsuki's throat. Both the werewolf and the human paused.

"Do you need me to stay?" asked the healer's son.

Need. Not want. Izuku was, apparently, smart enough to know that Katsuki wouldn't want anything. But need? Did he really need the doe-eyed, sweet-mannered boy with the dark emerald hair to stay? While he was busy imagining the warmth of another body curled up beside his in this nest of blankets, Katsuki's mouth made the decision for him.

"Yes." 

Izuku didn't say a word. He pulled off his shirt and breeches, leaving him in thin leggings, and crawled into the nest beside the injured werewolf.

"Goodnight, Kacchan," he slurred, and Katsuki didn't have the heart to correct him. He nosed into the soft curls, scenting the healer, cuddling up close to him. 

Izuku shivered at the touch of the icy skin, but then he pressed himself against the blond's chest and ran his hands up and down the chilled biceps. The warmth of the touch made Katsuki moan, and he wrapped his arms tight around the small body before him. 

There was something strange about that smell. 

 

"AAAAAAIIIIIIIIEEEEEEE!!!" 

Katsuki snapped awake, automatically leaping into a defensive position over Izuku, teeth bared in a snarl. A round woman stood in the doorway, hands over her mouth and eyes wide and teary. They were green, like her hair. They looked a lot like Izuku's, actually. This must have been his mother.

Katsuki forced himself to relax, smoothing his bristling fur and quieting the snarl, and sat himself down cross-legged, stroking one hand through Izuku's wild hair.

"Mmm... Kacchan... s'early...." came the sleepy mumble. Katsuki yipped like a puppy and leaned down to nibble on the skin behind the boy's ear.

"Wh-wh-wha-!?" Inko looked about ready to have a heart attack. 

Finally, Katsuki succeeded in waking his rescuer, and Izuku spent the better part of an hour explaining the previous night's events to his mother while Katsuki rummaged through the small kitchen for something to eat.

"Ah? Oh!" Izuku looked up in surprise as Katsuki handed him a plate of eggs and toast. "Thanks, Kacchan!" he chirped. "Where'd you learn to cook?"

"Human stomachs are weak," he grunted through a bite of egg. "Can't handle raw meat. Taught myself to cook, watching other people." He shrugged. "S'kinda fun."

 

Izuku went out into the garden after breakfast, and Katsuki found himself instantly lamenting the loss of that wonderful, warm, cinnamon-y, summery smell that seemed to cling to him.

"Do you have pups yourself, Katsuki-kun?" asked Inko, drying dishes and putting them away while he watched.

"No," replied the werewolf regretfully. "No mate, no pups. I'm the Alpha, though, so in a way they're all my pups." He frowned. "Except maybe Hitoshi and Shoto. They're... more like the distant cousins everyone keeps forgetting exist."

Inko chuckled, surprise lacing her delicately rounded features.

"Well," she said, "you seemed to take to Izuku right away. He could show you around later." Her own brow crinkled in thought. "He could use a guard dog," she added, almost as an afterthought. 

Katsuki was all too happy to comply.

 

The village was coated in white, and people shivered as they trekked to their businesses to open for the day. The sun was a little ways overhead, but there were hours and hours yet till it even hit the midway point. 

Katsuki followed curiously after Izuku, keeping just a little bit of distance between them. He smelled freshly baked bread, the stench of fish and bloody meat, the sharp scent of iron. He saw children running, playing in the snow, and pulled the cloak Inko had found him tighter around himself.

He'd been lucky that she still had some of her late husband's clothing stored away in a wooden chest. And that it fit him. Izuku had even called him handsome, which had made his chest puff a lot more than it should have.

"Hey, Deku!" came a voice from somewhere on the right. Katsuki's ears swivelled under his hood, pinpointing the perpetrator's exact location within seconds. "Where you off to, witch?"

"I'm not a witch," sighed Izuku, and Katsuki quietly readied himself for a fight.

"Oh, no?" the boy snickered. "Off to work then, little whore?"

Izuku turned on the kid, frowning disapprovingly but not making a move towards violence, and said sharply, "Go on, Mineta! Find something better to do than harass me today, okay?"

He turned and Katsuki followed him, keeping one ear turned back towards the cruel boy. He heard the scrape of a stone being picked up. Heard the grunt as the boy threw and the swish as the rock took flight. 

Without turning around, Katsuki grabbed Izuku's collar and tugged just enough to move him out of the stone's path. Izuku gasped as it flew past his head.

"Thanks, Kacchan!" he breathed, but Katsuki wasn't listening.

Dropping his hood, the blond turned his best warrior Alpha stare on the bully in the alleyway. A dangerous, warning menace danced in his eyes. The kid stared back, fear etched on his face, before turning and running away down the path. Katsuki flipped the hood back up with a smirk.

"Nee, Kacchan?" asked Izuku, tugging his sleeve.

"Mm?"

"Why are your eyes red?"

"Why are yours green? I dunno, just born that way."

"Huh." Izuku tilted his head, staring up at the wolf. "I've never seen red eyes before," he said. "It's really pretty, actually."

Katsuki blinked, unsure how to respond. It didn't matter, in the end, because the green-eyed boy had already started walking. Katsuki followed faithfully behind him.

 

The house they arrived at was built from stone, with a stereotypical waterwheel turning on the side. A plume of smoke rose from the chimney and somehow, there was no snow on the ground inside the gate.

Izuku had barely stepped inside when an excited squeal made Katsuki flatten his ears to his skull and cringe. A girl ran up the path; younger than Izuku, maybe seventeen or eighteen, and threw herself into his arms, giggling madly.

She was cute, Katsuki supposed; ginger-cinnamon hair, wide brown eyes and round, pink cheeks, pale skin accented by the black dress and cloak she wore.

"Deku-kun!" she cried.

"Hi, Ochako!" he replied, hugging her delightedly before grabbing Katsuki's hand and dragging him up the path behind her.

"How in the world has nobody noticed you yet?" he muttered.

"Eh? I can make myself pretty inconspicuous in anything," grumped Katsuki.

"Really?" replied Izuku, frowning. "You're, like, the only thing I can see when I turn around."

 

They ran their errands quickly. First, dropping off the pain-relieving potion with Uraraka senior, the town mage. Then, a few charms and cold cures and muscle soothing odds and ends to various customers around the village. 

It was the sixth and final errand that gave them trouble.

"Oh, look," said Mineta, leaning against the door of the farmhouse. "It's Deku. My dad's not home right now, witch, but I can take it, for a price."

"Yep," said Izuku, sighing. "It's two hundred yen."

"Oh, no," said Mineta, chuckling. "I was thinking of bending you over and fucking all the non-chale-ance out of you. You'd enjoy that, wouldn't you, you little whore?"

"It's nonchalance," Katsuki corrected, stepping out from behind the wall he'd been leaning against. "and no. Two hundred yen, like he said, and we'll be on our way."

"Who ARE you?" challenged Mineta. Katsuki bowed mockingly, dropping his hood again. 

"Alpha wolf of the Northern pack," he said. "Clawed my way there and I'm not even a real wolf." This, he added with a savage grin, eyes flashing madly. "Two hundred yen. Now."

Mineta paled upon meeting those eyes, and rushed to grab the money. Katsuki draped himself over Izuku's smaller form. Izuku leaned comfortably back into his guard dog, reaching up to scratch the pale ears.

"Thanks, Kacchan," he said. Katsuki hummed happily, leaning into the touch.

"You're just a big fuckin dog!" Mineta accused from the doorway. 

Katsuki had him pinned to the wall in two seconds flat, arm bent up behind him as he took the money, snarling, and let Izuku place the potion in his hand.

"If you ever so much as look the wrong way at MY human again," he snarled softly, "I will not hesitate to end your bloodline." With that, he abruptly released the purple-haired asshole, stepping back to grab hold of Izuku's hand. Silently, they walked back through town. 

Rather than turning down the path that led to Izuku's house, however, they strode out of the village and towards the west.

 

Never in a million years would Katsuki have guessed there'd be a hotspring this close to his woods. He stripped without a thought and was about to dive in when a gentle hand on his chest stopped him, reminding him of his injuries. With a sigh, he climbed in slowly, carefully, and relaxed into the warm water.

Izuku slid in next to him, completely naked. Katsuki's eyes widened. He smelled unbelievably delicious, like every spice the wolf had ever tasted and pine and wildflowers and sunshine. He found himself leaning closer before he caught himself and scooted back.

"So," said Izuku, knees drawn up to his chest and eyes trained on the water in front of him, "your human, huh?"

Katsuki almost kicked himself. How stupid of him!

"Yeah," he found himself saying.

WHAT AM I DOING, WHAT AM I DOING, WHAT AM I DOING!?

"I think you're my mate."

"Huh?" Izuku looked up, confusion dancing in those pretty emerald irises. Like the forest, in his favorite seasons; spring and summer.

"I've never met anyone who smells the way you do," he said.

Izuku frowned in mock offense. "Rude!"

"You smell so. Damn. Good." breathed Katsuki, leaning in to run his nose from Izuku's collarbone to his jawline. Izuku swallowed, Adam's apple bobbing.

"S-So?" he challenged. "L-Lots of people smell good."

"Not like you," replied Katsuki. "No one has ever made me feel the things you do. No one's ever driven me crazy like you. I've been around humans half my life." He bit down gently on Izuku's throat, drawing a gasp and a whine from him.

"I can smell you," Katsuki said, voice low and husky. "Your arousal. How much you want me. And no one has ever made me this desperate to touch them. No one has ever done this to me." He took Izuku's hand and guided it below the water to his erection.

Izuku was totally silent for all of five seconds before he turned, a determined fire in his eyes that made Katsuki's mouth go dry. He climbed into Katsuki's lap, straddling his hips, and ground down against his lap. 

"If you want me," he breathed, leaning so, so temptingly close, "come and take me."

Katsuki surged forward, claiming those sinful, beautiful lips in a searing kiss that wiped all thought from his mind, leaving him to act entirely on instinct.

 

Well, instinct dictated they not move from the warm water for a very long time.

 

 

Two weeks went by in a flash of kisses, cuddles, errands, games, and even a couple of fights. Not to mention the sex. Katsuki's wounds healed in record time, and before they knew it, the new moon was upon them.

 

"When I change, tomorrow night," Katsuki said, pressing his forehead to his mate's, "come with me. Just to meet my pack, not to stay. You'll be safe, I promise."

"I will," Izuku said eagerly. "Happily!" 

Katsuki nuzzled the boy's jaw, pressing a few possessive kisses to the skin there.

 

His limbs were shrinking. He was warm, so warm, pressed against this human, and he felt his fur again brushing over his skin. His mouth elongated, his teeth grew and sharpened, and his sense of smell came flooding back, a hundred times stronger. Oh, but that boy beside him smelled good. He nosed at the sleeping human.

Izuku sat up, rubbing his eyes blearily. Had he fallen asleep?

"Ah... Kacchan." There was an ash-blond wolf in front of him, beautiful red eyes focused calmly on his face. Izuku scrambled for his bag and pulled out the potion his and Ochako's mothers had made for him. It would only last one night, but it would turn him into a wolf long enough to meet Katsuki's pack.

 

It was strange, being a wolf, thought Izuku. It felt oddly right, which was probably the strangest thing about it. Still, he was going to make the most of this night one way or another.

Katsuki led his mate through the woods, down tracks he'd walked his whole life, and howled before he reached the entrance to his den.

Another howl answered him, followed by several more. Katsuki looked back at Izuku and bounded excitedly forward.

ALPHA! At least a dozen voices cried as his pack raced to welcome him back home. Izuku stood warily on the edge of the clearing, watching.

Eijirou, Denki, Hanta, Mina, Tooru, Kyoka, Shoto, Fumikage, Momo, Hitoshi, pups! Once he'd finished with the greetings, he barked sharply for their attention. There's someone I want you to meet, he said.

Izuku stepped slowly out into the clearing, standing timidly next to his mate.

This is Izuku, announced Katsuki proudly. He's my mate. Yes, Eijirou, he's human. No, Denki, he's not staying forever. Kyoka, it's a potion. No, Hanta, I'm not explaining what that is. Any questions?

You just answered them all! Eijirou pointed out. He nudged Izuku's side, tail wagging. We don't care if you're human, he said happily. If you're the one responsible for making our Alpha act all happy and cuddly, you can stay forever, or whenever the hell you want!

Izuku actually barked a gravelly laugh. I'm glad you like me, he said. 'Cause I don't think I'm letting him get away any time soon. 

He laid his head contentedly on his mate's shoulder. Katsuki wrapped his tail around his paws, not even bothering to try and hide the ridiculous expression on his face...or the happy thumping of that same traitorous tail.

Yep. He could handle being a werewolf half the time.

Pack in the lupine world.

And a beautiful mate in the human one.

 

Katsuki had it pretty damn good.

Chapter Text

"I'm, sorry, YOU WANNA RUN THAT BY ME AGAIN!?"

"Calm down, Deku-kun." Ochako rolls her golden-brown eyes. "We're setting up a dating profile. It's not a hook-up site, and if you don't like somebody, they're easy to block. Okay? Describe yourself!"

"I-I don't know..."

"A'ight, that's it. Green hair... curly... green eyes... freckled white male... bi? I'll put bi... about... hey, how much do you weigh?"

"WHAT? Why would you need to know!?"

"Height and weight, Deku-kun. I swear to God. I have a scale and a tape measure."

"Okay! Okay!" yelps Deku, putting his hands up in surrender. "I-I'm five foot two and a hundred and fifty pounds. Happy?"

"Very," says Ochako, typing in the information. "Thanks, Deku-kun." She types in a few more things, asking him about his type.

"I dunno," he says quietly. "I like... badboys? And... and blonds, I think. I-I really don't know, Ochako." Burying his face in his hands, Izuku groans.

"And... done!" Ochako holds out his phone. Shyly, Izuku takes it and scrolls through his profile.

"Interests... art, animals, All Might, heroes... Dislikes... horror movies." He looks up at his cousin, eyes wide. "Okay. This... isn't half bad," he says, voice shaking a little. 

His phone buzzes and he drops it, staring in disbelief as a message pops up on the screen.

"Wow," comments Ochako, looking over his shoulder, "that was fast."

Hey, reads the message. You sound cute. Wanna talk?

"Ochako, what do I SAY!?" hisses Izuku, slowly picking up his phone.

"Yes! Say yes!" she squeals, exasperated.

Um... hi, Izuku types. Who... who are you?

The reply is almost immediate. Someone who really wants to get to know you better. Asl?

"Uh, Ochako?"

"WHAAAT?"

Izuku flinches. "I'm guessing this isn't American Sign Language." He shows her his screen.

"Oh," she says, blinking. "It means 'age, sex, location.' So... yeah, just answer truthfully."

"Oh. Okay."

18, male, Musutafu. You?

19, male, Musutafu. Wanna meet up for coffee or something?

Uhh... let's talk a little bit more first, okay?

You sound a lot like someone I know. Kay, let's talk. What do you want to know?

Izuku spends the next hour and a half talking to the online stranger. He learns the boy is blond, quietly open about being gay, a definite badboy, smart, and a hero-in-training, just like him.

 

"Ochako," he announces two days later, "his favorite animal is a cat."

"Oh?" she asks, raising an eyebrow.

"I'm in love," he declares, blushing.

"Been on a date with him yet?" asks Ochako, propping her chin on her fist.

"Not yet," says Izuku, shaking his head happily. "We scheduled one for a week from tomorrow. Neither of us have school, our finals are all over. How's your profile coming?"

Ochako snorts. "Oh, I'm on a different website. Already hooked up with like four people this year." 

Izuku's phone dings.

"That's bad, Ochako," he says as he checks it. His cousin leans over to read the message.

Hey, I'm free. What are you doing rn?

Hanging out with my cousin, how come?

Oh nvm. Where r u?

Uhh... I'm at school, it's a boarder. You?

Same, answers the boy. What school do u go to?

"Should I tell him?" hisses Izuku to Ochako. "Is that even safe?"

"Uh, YEAH!" she answers, snatching his phone to answer for him.

"HEY!" 

"I'll let you read everything I send," she assures him. "Trust me on this, I am REALLY good at talking." Izuku relents, because she is, in fact, really ridiculously good at talking to people.

I go to UA, she says. What about you? 

....Also UA, types the boy. Class 1A.

ME TOO! Ochako says, and flips the phone to let Izuku read it.

This isn't Round Face, is it? I thought u were a boy but she's the only one who gets this excited.

Nope! Ochako types. But now I know who YOU are, so I have the advantage. Go on a date with me and find out!

Fucking-- okay. Only cause so far, I really like talking to you, and I do wanna take you out. NOT because I'm curious. Same date and time?

Mmhm!😊

"Oh boy, Deku-kun," says Ochako, scrolling back through the messages. "You are not going to BELIEVE the catch you just got."

"What!? You know who it is!? Lemme see!"

Ochako drops the phone, listing things off on her fingers. "He also goes to UA and is in our class. He's blond. He's a badboy. Openly gay but angry and not flamboyant about it. And he called me Round Face, which ONLY ONE PERSON ever does. Starting to see where I'm coming from?"

Izuku stares silently at his phone, eyes wide and mouth hanging open. "I've been talking to Kacchan," he gasps.

"Awww! And he really likes you!" Ochako rubs her cousin's back. "It's your dream come true! How long have you been pining after him now?"

"Fifteen years," Izuku says faintly. "But... but Kacchan hates me! What if he decides to attack me on our date next week!?"

"He won't," says Ochako confidently, "but I can set Kirishima-kun or Jiro-san on a tail, if you want."

"NO!" Izuku yelps, just a little too quickly. "No, if I'm going on a date with him, I want it to be special. You know? One moment before everything goes to hell."

"You are SUCH a romantic," says Ochako amusedly. "Alright!"

 

One week has never dragged on so slowly. Every class, Izuku can feel Kacchan's eyes wandering around the room, not focusing on any one person. He keeps his head down, pretending to be enraptured by the lessons.

Some days, it feels like those eyes linger on him a little longer than on the others.

 

Finally, finally, Friday night comes and Izuku is standing in front of the floor-length mirror Ochako has hung on her side of their shared dorm room.

It's a good thing they're cousins, or this particular arrangement wouldn't have been allowed. After the third night of Izuku waking up screaming bloody murder from a nightmare, All Might and Aizawa pulled some strings and got the two cousins set up in a dorm room together.

It's like a sleepover every night.

"How about this?" asks Ochako, holding up her choice. Black dress pants, a green button down, a black vest and leather gloves.

"Oh my-- I'm going on a coffee date, Ochako, not a murder spree!"

"Fair enough," she concedes, and goes back to the closet.

At last, they decide to keep the idea of casual. It's only coffee, after all. Ochako picks out soft black jeans that, somehow, make his legs look slimmer, and a green t-shirt with a black lining.

"Ah! Almost forgot!" She scrambles over to the closet and yanks it open, humming as she surveys the shelf. "Here it is. Come here!"

She lines his eyes carefully, giving them a mysterious, beautiful look, and fastens something around his neck.

"God," she says, stepping back, "you look gorgeous."

Izuku takes a look at himself in the mirror and blanches.

"Is that a COLLAR!?" he asks, tugging on the black leather choker with the pretty orange ribbon.

"Hey!" Ochako protests. "Don't tug on it! It's a choker, not a collar, but it'll definitely get him interested. You ready to go?"

"Uhh... I need shoes," he says.

She snaps her fingers. "Stay," she says, rushing out of the room. 

"Woof!" Izuku calls after her, but obeys.

"Thanks, Kaminari-kun!" she calls from down the hallway. 

"No problem! Go get 'em!" answers the overexcited blond. Ochako bounds into the room, slamming the door behind her. She hands him a pair of black ankle-boots with a very slight heel. He puts them on without protest. 

"You look like a model," his cousin admits, wiping away an imaginary tear. "Now go have fun on your--"

There's a knock at the door before she can finish. Slowly, she walks over to open it.

"Eh? Bakugo-kun, what are you doing here?" she asks, cocking her head. Izuku quietly enters gay panic mode behind her, clenching his hands in his lap.

"Picking up my date," he says, his voice low and quieter than usual. Was he... shy?

"Wh-- it's not me!" she exclaims, feigning ignorance.

"No," he says impatiently. "I'm here for Deku."

"Wh-- HOW DID YOU KNOW!?" yelps Ochako, opening the door wider.

"You're the only one as bright and excited as whoever was texting me. But the person I'd been texting was shy and sweet, so obviously you had to have taken over, and I figured you'd only do that for someone close to you. Someone shy and cute. ERGO, your cousin, Deku. Can I see my date now, please?"

Izuku jumps up and tugs Ochako back into the room, hugging her tight. "Wish me luck," he whispers.

"Best of all," she replies, and lets him go stand at the door.

Bakugo is looking down the hallway, probably making sure no one is spying.

"Hi, Kacchan," says Izuku softly, pulling the blond's attention to him. Bakugo opens his mouth to reply, but no sound comes out. Instead, his eyes go wide and he stares with a disbelief etched onto his features that makes Izuku's whole face flush.

"Holy motherfucking hell," breathes Bakugo. "Who are you and what have you done with my Deku?"

My Deku.

My Deku.

Izuku forgets how words are supposed to work for a minute. 

Finally, Bakugo extends a hand. "Should... should we go?" His cheeks are just the faintest shade of red and he isn't making eye contact. Izuku smiles as he realizes his date is really, really nervous.

"Kay," he says happily, lacing his fingers with the blond's. Bakugo tugs him down the hallway and out the doors, flashing the off-campus passes he managed to score at the gate guard.

Outside, the silence of their walk becomes unbearably awkward. Izuku decides to break it.

"What made you decide to start online dating?" he asks, squeezing Bakugo's hand.

"Oh," says Bakugo, grimacing. "Hair-for-Brains made me check out the website a month ago and bet me I couldn't get a date before Spring Break. He probably knows me too well, 'cause that was the only thing that could possibly have made me do it. What about you?" He looks down at Izuku, eyes soft, cautious and curious.

"I couldn't get over you," Izuku replies easily. "Ochako finally got tired of my pining loneliness after fifteen years and set me up with an account. You texted me about twenty seconds after she put it up."

"Good timing," Bakugo agrees, then frowns. "You had a crush on me for how long?"

"Fifteen years," Izuku answers nonchalantly. "Since we were three. I've only ever wanted you, Kacchan."

"Holy fuck," sighs Bakugo, and without warning he tugs Izuku across the street. The coffee shop is small, warm and home-y, smelling like chai and all the wonderful spices that go with it. Bakugo leads Izuku to a table nestled in the back corner and pulls out his chair.

"Look at you," Izuku teases gently. "All gentlemanly and everything!" He leans his chin on his hands, propping his elbows lightly on the edge of the table as Bakugo sits down across from him.

"I... may or may not have done some research on 'how to be a good date' via Shitty Hair's laptop," he confesses, ducking his head slightly.

"It's cute that you're so shy," Izuku assures him.

"It's weird how relaxed you are," counters Bakugo.

"Well, you being nervous and unsure of yourself is a lot like seeing the soft side of a vicious dog," he explains, reaching across the table to take Bakugo's hand. "It makes me happy."

Bakugo smiles, and Izuku thinks there's nothing more beautiful.

"So," says his date, raising an eyebrow, "I have to ask: are those clothes yours?"

"Uhh..." Izuku looks down at himself. "Well, the shirt and jeans, yeah. The shoes are Kaminari-kun's and the makeup and colla-- er, choker-- are Ochako's. Why?"

Bakugo leans in, mischief dancing playfully in those ruby eyes. "Because," he says, "I have always hated collars and ownership and shit. Then you opened that door and said my name all soft and submissive, lookin' like that, and just like that, I was like 'Mine.' You have no idea how hot you are, do you?"

Izuku shrugs, looking down at himself. "Not half-bad," he says, "but I've got nothing on you." He turns his gaze appreciatively onto his date. "Everyone in this café is probably jealous of me right now. You're so hot when you aren't beating the living daylights out of me." He runs a finger down from the inside of Bakugo's elbow to his wrist, smiling up at him.

"I like you," confesses Bakugo. "A lot. I always have."

"Really?" Izuku gapes at him, eyes wide, and Bakugo sends him a fond smile, reaching out to brush his cheek. God, Izuku thinks, he's beautiful when he smiles.

"Thanks," says Bakugo, and Izuku blushes. He hadn't realized he'd spoken aloud. "And yes, really." The blond rubs the back of his neck sheepishly and reaches out to take Izuku's scarred hands. "I know I've been... way beyond any form of a dick to you for years, but... there is more to me than that. Is there any... is there any chance at all that you... that you'd want to..."

"Yes, Kacchan," Izuku interrupts, taking pity on the stumbling blond. "I would love to take a chance on you."

Bakugo grins wide, the happiest he's ever looked, and leans down to press a kiss to Izuku's hands, clasped in his. "Thank you," he whispers, and Izuku laughs happily as their drinks arrive.

 

It's March tomorrow, but the tail end of February brings a few blasts of chilling wind.

"What possessed you not to wear a fucking coat?" Bakugo wonders aloud as Izuku shivers in the latest gust.

"Too nervous to remember," mutters his date sullenly. The pout on his face is just too cute to resist, and Bakugo slips his jacket off his shoulders and swings it around behind the green-eyed boy, using it to tug him closer. He leans down, watching the little puffs of their breath mingle, and dives in as Izuku's face begins to turn pink from the proximity. 

The kiss is slow and soft, and Bakugo holds Izuku like fragile glass, afraid to break this moment. Izuku's mouth is warm, his breath still tasting of his chai tea, and he sighs contently against the taller boy's mouth.

"You're so pretty," Bakugo whispers as they pull apart.

"Mm, look who's talkin'," replies Izuku. He leans in again, reaching up to cup Bakugo's jaw and pull him down, and the blond follows without protest. This time, a tongue flicks seductively at Izuku's lip. He opens his mouth with a submissive whine, begging wordlessly to be claimed, marked, taken.

Bakugo growls against his lips. He dips his tongue into the wonderful heat and nips possessively at the smaller boy's bottom lip. They're standing in the middle of the sidewalk, so Izuku pulls away, panting. He pulls the jacket close around himself and, blushing madly, looks down at the ground, rocking back on his heels.

"Where'd you learn to kiss like that?" Bakugo asks, breathless.

"U-Uh..." Izuku blushes harder. "You're gonna think I'm weird, but... online. I... practiced on my hand. O-Ochako found me the video, if that's... better, somehow." He bites his lip shyly.

Bakugo raises his chin. "Is that all you learned from the internet?" he asks, a growl in his tone that can't be mistaken for anything other than lust. Izuku takes a deep breath and looks up, meeting the heated ruby gaze.

"If I told you I wanted to go all the way," he murmurs, "what would you say?"

"Wh-- now?"

"Right now. Right this minute. I want you so bad it hurts."

Bakugo groans, pulling Izuku into another hungry kiss. "I'd say 'I really wanna fuck you, right now.' Should we go?"

They're starting to attract attention, so Izuku ducks into a storefront nearby. 

"I just have to use the bathroom!" he calls. Bakugo nods, leaning against the doorframe.

Quickly, Izuku pulls out his phone and hits speed dial. Ochako picks up on the second ring.

"Phone got jammed in my pocket," she says by way of explanation. "Need a rescue? Candles? How we doing?"

"Ochako," hisses Izuku, covering the phone so it's harder to hear what he's saying, "I need the candle option, please. I'll leave the room preparations up to you, but we're gonna get back in about twenty minutes and I need you to not be there when we do."

"Huh?"

"I'm getting laid tonight!"

"OH!" She gasps, excitement filling her tone. "Okay, stall, make it twenty-five and I'll work some magic in here. Deal?"

"You're the BEST, I owe you big-time!" Izuku exclaims in relief.

"No prob, babe," she chirps. "Gotta go!" Izuku hangs up and goes back to Bakugo.

"Okay," he says, "let's go." It's about a fifteen minute walk, but inside the gates he manages to pin Bakugo to a tree and kiss him silly for another five, leaving five more to get up to the dorm. Izuku pulls Bakugo towards his room.

"What about Round Face?" asks his date, brows furrowed.

"Let me tell you something about cousins, Kacchan," teases Izuku, pushing the door open. "They just know." 

The room is darkened, a blue curtain pulled over the window, with scented candles placed strategically to give the room the perfect mood-lighting. There are condoms and lube on the nightstand and Izuku doesn't even want to know where she got those, but he's grateful, because the thought had totally slipped his mind. 

She's got music playing softly, apparently a playlist of romantic instrumental songs on loop. The bed is made nicely, one corner pulled back, and she's cleaned every inch of the usually only barely-presentable room. Ochako herself is nowhere to be seen.

Honestly, even Izuku is shocked. His cousin has to be the best wingman ever.

"Holy shit," chuckles Bakugo. "I need a cousin."

"Shut up and kiss me," Izuku orders breathlessly, pulling Bakugo in and shutting the door.

"Well, all of this kind of says romance," Bakugo notes, and goes to brush a strand of hair from Izuku's forehead.

"Fuck all of this, then," hisses Izuku, gripping the blond's shirt. "I want you to wreck me. I don't want to be able to walk tomorrow, you hear me?"

Bakugo freezes, staring incredulously down at his fantasy come to life.

"Fucking done," he growls, and lifts Izuku up without any visible effort, slamming him against the wall. Izuku moans against his lips, tossing his head back against the wall and wrapping his legs around Bakugo's hips as the blond grinds aggressively into him.

He all but screams as teeth sink viciously into his collarbone, grabbing desperately at shoulders, shirt, hair, anything, begging "more, more, more, Kacchan, more," and gasping, searching for friction even as Bakugo's hips pin his own to the wall.

 

Three doors down, Ochako hums quietly as she inspects the masterpiece that is Kaminari's newly painted nails, thanking every god ever worshipped that the walls of the UA dorms are soundproof.

She is the best. Cousin. Ever.

Chapter Text

"I love you, Izuku."

The words rang clear in his mind, his mother's voice so close he could almost reach out and touch her.

"Mama? Mama, don't leave!"

"I have to, baby. Don't worry; you're old enough now. You'll be fine. One day, you'll come back to the Heart, too. I'll see you again then."

"Why can't I come with you now!?"

"The journey is too long," his mother said. Her eyes were so kind, so tender as she gazed on him. "This isn't goodbye forever, my baby. I promise we'll meet again."

And just like that, she was gone.

Izuku opened his eye, noting with some surprise how far he had swum during his half-sleep period. With a sigh, he angled his body back the other way and shut his other eye, putting the right half of his brain to sleep while he swam for home.

Sunlight glimmered through the water. A powerful downstroke of the muscular blue-green tail brought Midoriya close enough to the surface that he could see through it to the wonderful, colorful seashore.

Creatures bustled along the shoreline, like him down till the middle and then balancing on two... sticks, he supposed. With a mental sigh, he looked down at himself.

Emerald curls bobbed around his head. Sometimes, they made his neck itch where they got under the few teal and violet scales lining the skin.

He was slender, his stomach and chest strong but lean, thin, good for quick maneuvers. All of that was pointless, though. Midoriya's single prized possession was his tail.

It was pure muscle, powerful and dangerous, and so, so very beautiful. At his hips, scales began sporadically from his belly button down and lined up in a perfect pattern all the way to the gossamer, mint-green flukes on the end. At the very top, those scales were deep blue, but they faded into a brilliant emerald closer to the middle. In the broken sunlight shining through the waves, some of them took on a violet shimmer.

Sometimes, the merboy thought guiltily that he might have been the prettiest creature in the water. Though certainly, the sleek silver dolphins were quite beautiful in their own right.

Midoriya stretched his hand up, letting just the very tips of his long fingers break the surface, relishing the coolness of the air. It was so, so dreadfully lonely down here. He often wondered if he might ever see another face like his.

Since his mother had gone back to the Heart of the Sea some twenty-four moons ago, not a single creature had ever tried to speak to him in the human tongue. He spoke to the fish well enough, of course, but the words were never said aloud, and he often missed the way the sounds rolled from his lips like the waves against the beach.

Opening his mouth, Midoriya let the first keening notes of a song he had made pierce the watery depths. Only merfolk could sing in a way that carried through the ocean; it was an innate gift passed down through generations from the time when merfolk hunted men, luring them down into the depths with their enchanting voices.

The waves roll by, another day

Without a single word to say

Green and violet, and deep, deep blue

Somehow, all bring me back to you.

 

I miss you like I miss the shore

Like I ne'er knew I would before

I loved you like I love the stars

So distant, and yet not so far.

 

The sea, it called you, cried your name

So you went back from whence you came.

But you forgot me, left me here, alone,

And now it's silent, like ancient stones.

 

I've forgotten the songs you sang.

I've forgotten from where we came.

But I remember your gentle voice,

And though I know you had no choice,

I'll always wonder why you went.

 

So the waves roll by, another day,

Without a single word to say.

And when I look up, in the sky,

I dream that I can see your eyes.

And never will I stop, until I hear your songs again. 

 

The song died away, the words lost to the endless silence of the blue, blue sea. And, again, for what seemed like the millionth time since his mother had left him here alone, Midoriya wept.

 

 

It was night when he uncurled from his ball of shameful sorrows, when the film over his eyes finally cleared enough to show the blackness of the water.

Midoriya mentally sighed again, swishing his tail to propel himself to the surface with effortless grace. 

He lifted his head cautiously above the water, hoping against hope that maybe, just maybe, he could catch a glimpse of that one beautiful stranger that seemed to take his mind off the loneliness for a bit.

Just his luck; the land-creature was standing on the edge of the humans' wooden contraption. His mother had called the thing a dock. The creature had spiky hair, like a sea urchin, pale white under the moon.

He appeared strong, muscles far larger and more defined than Midoriya's own, and something in those deep, strange-colored eyes set the merboy's blood on fire. This land-creature was beautiful. And he was sad. And, most of all, the thing that drew Midoriya to him like crabs to cracks, he was lonely. 

It was there in his eyes, in his frown, in the exhaustion of his sigh, in the hunch of his shoulders as he collapsed to dip the ends of those sticks in the water. The merboy quickly ducked beneath the surface.

This one was like Midoriya.

 

 

Bakugou Katsuki was, in a word, temperamental. He worked at a flower shop to make ends meet. He hardly talked to his coworkers and eventually, they stopped trying to talk to him. His mother lived in Italy, miles and miles from Katsuki's home in Okinawa.

But for all the sad details about his life, no one could deny that he was a bit of an ass. He'd snap at his coworkers when they approached him. He'd get so angry customers would leave the shop before he even spoke, frightened off by his rather menacing aura.

It had gotten to the point where they only put him on shifts with Kirishima or Kaminari, who were both so overwhelmingly positive that they also scared customers away. It worked well, as the two tended to cancel out fine. 

"Dude," said Kirishima, rubbing his eyes with a yawn, "i's like, midnight. C'n we go home?"

Katsuki looked over his shoulder from where he was watering the African violets. "Go on," he said after a moment. "I'll lock up."

"You sure, bro?"

Katsuki whirled around, pointing a finger accusingly at his coworker. "You think I can't fucking handle ONE fucking job? One I've been fucking doing for like seven goddamn years? Hah!?"

"Chill, dude," said Kirishima, not the least bit bothered by the volume or the rage. "If you're sure."

"Of course I'm fucking sure, Shitty Hair," muttered Katsuki sullenly. "Fuck off and go home."

"Kay." Kirishima grabbed his bag and punched out on the till. "Night, Bakugou!"

"Go fucking die!" Katsuki called after him. Kirishima just laughed and waved a hand, walking down the street to the nice little place he shared with Shinso, Mina, Kaminari and Jiro. 

Katsuki painstakingly finished watering and pruning every plant in the shop before locking up.

His feet did not carry him towards his run-down, hole-in-the-wall apartment. Rather, they soundlessly traced the well-worn path to the docks.

The sound of the waves washing over the shore lulled him into a state of quiet contemplation as he walked slowly down to meet them. He kicked off his shoes at the end of the trail, like always, and let his toes sink into the cool sand.

Following his trail from the many nights before, he stepped lightly to the end of the dock and collapsed on his ass at the end, dangling his feet into the still-warm water. 

With a low moan, he closed his eyes, letting the waves lap gently at his ankles. 

The softest of sounds reached his ears and he looked up, straining his eyes in the darkness.

There, in the moonlight, was the distinct shape of a human head and shoulders, floating just above the surface. He blinked, leaning closer, and it was gone.

"I must be more tired than I'd thought," he muttered to himself, reluctantly dragging his sore body into a cheap imitation of a standing position.

"Goodnight, Mom," he sighed, looking out at the glimmer of starlight on the inky dark ocean waters. "Thank you, ocean."

Katsuki had no idea why he thanked the ocean every night. It probably had something to do with the peace that filled his heart when he gazed out over the black water, watching the stars fill it like another universe. Sometimes he found himself wondering if, should he dive in, he could catch those stars for himself. They might have brightened up his life a bit.

As the blond reluctantly turned out the light in his two-room apartment, he found himself thinking about what he'd seen in the water. 

It was probably nothing, he reasoned. But another, quieter part of him whispered a sentence that made it difficult to close his eyes and sleep.

What if it wasn't?

 

 

Midoriya swam towards the dolphin pod, chittering a greeting. The dolphins recognized him and angled lazily in his direction, most of them touching flippers with one another. It was a symbol of friendship, the only one they never extended to him. It made him a little lonely, but he understood.

The dolphins happily accepted him into their feeding frenzy.

The cries and chitters of echolocation filled the water with a familiar, haunting song as the pod swam, searching for their prey.

Finally, they struck gold; a school of mackerel, heading straight for them. Midoriya dove and twisted with the best of them, herding the strays back into the center and keeping the school together as, one by one, the dolphins dove into the center to devour their prey. 

Because he was not a dolphin, Midoriya had last go at the fish, but dolphins were friendly creatures and they willingly held the school together as he snatched a few fish to eat. They chittered at him as he finished, licking his fingers, teasing harmlessly about how few teeth he had. 

Midoriya grinned, baring the razor-sharp ones he could boast, and the dolphins pretended to scatter, shrieking in delighted mock fear. 

They spent hours leaping and frolicking around the surface of the water, and Midoriya found himself laughing, scales catching the setting sunlight beautifully as he leapt high above the water, arcing his body gracefully to dive back down without so much as a splash. 

The dolphins chattered their congratulations, for the height of that particular leap was impressive even among the strongest males. Midoriya grinned, replying with a thank-you.

The dolphins dove back down a ways and Midoriya moved towards the surface, waiting for the signal to chase. He loved this game, he always had. 

Something just under the waterline caught his attention, and he swam up to invesigate. 

Fins.

Bull sharks, at least four, headed directly this way and NOT wishing to join the game. Looking around uneasily, Midoriya realized that their playing had brought them round the island, close to the shallows on the west side of the docks. This was bull shark territory, and they had virtually no patience for trespassers.

Midoriya gasped, remembering suddenly that two of the dolphins had just had their calves and the new babies would be too slow to outswim the predators.

He raised his flukes and slapped the water twice, warning the dolphins of the danger. He did it again, this time directing the blow at the sharks, challenging them.

The biggest shark, a female that had to be close to three hundred pounds, charged straight for him. Midoriya took half a second to thank the Heart of the Sea for his quick reflexes as he dove back and straight down, leading the angry sharks in increasingly complicated loops until any sign of the dolphins was long gone.

Midoriya turned, intending to flee to his little piece of ocean near the shore on the east side of the docks, only to find his path blocked by two bull sharks. A menacing prickle on the back of his neck made him turn back to where that cow and her smaller (but still massive!) male counterpart were approaching his tail. They'd even staggered themselves to block an escape out the bottom. He only had one option.

Hoping to anyone who would listen that there were no humans still out on the beach this close to nightfall, he clenched his fists, slammed his tail through the water, and jumped.

 

 

Katsuki had managed to get off work early today, just as the sun was beginning to set. He walked the familiar path to the beach, watching as the last family packed up and left, laughing.

With a sigh that boasted a very slight exhaustion, Katsuki sat down on the dock to watch the stars come out. He took a deep breath in, feeling the peace of the quiet, salty, fresh ocean air filling his--

And something broke the water right in front of him.

Katsuki fell back, watching in awe as the most beautiful creature he had ever seen arched smoothly through the air nearly ten feet above the water, twirling in midair to throw its hands in front of it and dive seamlessly back into the water, a tiny disturbance of waves the only indication it had been there at all.

But he'd seen it.

This time, there was no doubt about it.

There was a mermaid in the waters here.

 

Katsuki scrambled to his feet, running down the dock to the very east edge, where he peered down into the depths. Nothing. There was nothing there, not even a tiny glimmer of light on a passing scale... but he had seen it! It had been beautiful, with seemingly seaweed green hair, shorter than he would have expected and curly, its body lean and wiry, its tail a wondrous masterpiece of shimmering muscle, and it had been right there in front of him!

Without thinking, without daring to let himself think, Katsuki stripped off his t-shirt and jeans and dove into the sea in his underwear.

 

 

Oh, no. Oh, no no no no. There had been a land-creature. His land-creature, and the look on his face left Midoriya no doubt that it had seen him! He dove down into his little cove, hoping desperately that it hadn't gotten a very good look at him. Maybe... maybe it had thought he was a dolphin?

Then he felt the tremours of the wooden planks and slipped immediately underneath the dock, heart sinking as he realized what was inevitably going to happen.

The land-creature hit the water with a violent splash. 

 

 

Salt stung Katsuki's eyes, but he forced himself to keep them open, scanning the murky water for the mermaid.

He came face to face with something much, much worse. A fully grown female bull shark, angrily staring him down and apparently more than happy to rip him to shreds right there.

Katsuki froze, sinking a bit as she made up her mind and swam straight for him, opening her jaws to--

Something wrapped tightly around his wrist and yanked him out of the way at the last possible second. The shark slammed into the dock, shaking herself as blood clouded from her mouth.

"Oh, great," came a slightly panicked but perfectly clear voice. "You made her even angrier. I didn't even know that was possible."

The shark charged again as Katsuki turned his head to his rescuer. The mermaid! Or... mer...man? Merboy? 

"Time to go!" declared the merboy, and then Katsuki found himself moving faster than he'd ever thought he could through the water, dragged by the merboy. Who was, as luck would have it, quite strong.

The merboy dove, dragging Katsuki so far down his ears popped. All of a sudden, Katsuki came to an uncomfortable realization. He needed air. Like, right that second.

Tapping the merboy's arm, he made a muffled "MMPH!" sound that, somehow, worked.

"Ahh! Right, sorry!" Then suddenly, the boy was pinching his nose shut and a pair of oddly soft lips were pushing his own apart, forcing air into his lungs. Katsuki forced himself to relax, taking in a lungful, then pulled away when he was ready. He quickly tugged the merboy's hand, motioning to the surface.

"Okay, okay!" He kicked his legs, swimming up abruptly enough that he even dragged the merboy a few feet before he took over, propelling them easily to the surface. 

They broke through the water, Katsuki coughing and gasping, the merboy panting. 

"Oh, God," rasped Katsuki when he was done hacking up water, "that was not fun."

"Agreed," huffed the merboy, flopping down in the shallows.

"What's your name?" Katsuki asked, cocking his head.

"Eh? I'm Midori--AAAHHH!" He shrieked midway through his answer, and Katsuki watched as a cloud of red bloomed behind him. The shark had her jaws clamped in his flukes and was dragging him steadily off the drop-off, into the open ocean where, helplessly ensnared, he would be ripped to shreds.

Katsuki was not having it.

Storming fearlessly into the water, he straight up punched the shark in the nose. She let go, probably more in shock than actual pain, and Katsuki motioned to the merboy.

"Get onto the beach," he said, cracking his knuckles. "I got this bitch." The shark tried to lunge at him, but he was in the shallows and she was off the drop-off. Quickly, Katsuki used her own momentum to help her up onto the rocks, where he stomped on her head.

"DON'T!" gasped the merboy. 

"Huh?"

"She's a mother!" he explained hurriedly, and Katsuki blinked. 

"Fine," he said, and shoved her back off the edge of the drop-off. She circled twice in agitation, then swam away, a trail of blood following her out of the cove.

Katsuki walked up the beach and collapsed next to the merboy, who propped himself up on his elbows, tail waving casually in the air behind him.

"You never got to tell me your name," noted the blond, raising an eyebrow.

"I'm Midoriya," said the merboy, smiling almost shyly at him. Katsuki watched as a delicate, bone-white hand tucked a lock of curly hair behind a shell-pink ear. "What about you?"

"Bakugou Katsuki," he introduced, putting a hand out. The merboy cocked his head, brow furrowed.

"Oh," said Katsuki, feeling a little dumb, "right." He gently took hold of one of Midoriya's hands and shook it. Midoriya giggled, flushing that same pretty pink as he got the hang of it.

"So how come I never saw you before?" asked the blond, tilting his head.

"I made sure you didn't," replied Midoriya, "but then I was trapped between four sharks and the only way out was up and you just had to be there, so here we are." He frowned. "Actually, my tail really hurts."

Katsuki tried to take a look, but the waves kept washing over it. 

"Can we move to the dock?" he asked. "Like... can you leave the water for a little bit?"

"Yeah," Midoriya said, biting his lip. "I breathe air, same as you, so it should be fine." He held up his arms. Katsuki grinned, wrapping an arm around the merboy's back and one under the center of his tail. He was lighter than Katsuki expected, maybe not even a hundred pounds, and the blond had no trouble carrying him to the abandoned clothes on the dock. 

The second he set him down on the wooden planks, the shit hit the fan.

"Look out!" cried Midoriya, and Katsuki looked up just in time to see a MASSIVE wave crashing down over their heads. He threw up an arm futilely as the cold wave enveloped them both, and then he was moving and his head hit something hard and the world faded into blackness.

 

 

 

Katsuki awoke to a pale grey light in the east. It was nearly dawn. His head hurt like hell and he groaned, touching the back in search of blood as he sat up. His hand came away clean, which he supposed was something to be grateful for.

A few feet away from him, a high-pitched chitter broke the quiet. Katsuki looked up and promptly forgot how to function.

Because Midoriya was lying on the sand, holding his head in his hands, LEGS CURLED UP TO HIS CHEST and tail nowhere to be found.

"Oh, boy," muttered Katsuki, and Midoriya's dismayed whine was enough to convince Katsuki he was feeling about the same way.

 

Katsuki located his clothes and helped Midoriya pull on the shirt, keeping the jeans for himself. Even standing up took more than an hour to accomplish, and once they were there, Katsuki just lifted the boy up. Midoriya squeaked, wrapping his arms around Katsuki's shoulders and clinging tightly to him, legs dangling uselessly on either side. 

It took close to another hour to get back to Katsuki's apartment, during which they received some weird looks. 

"Pretend to be asleep," whispered Katsuki. When Midoriya closed one eye, he snorted. "You're bad at this," he said. 

"That's... how I sleep," Midoriya said, confused.

"...Okay. Close both your eyes and rest your head on my shoulder."

Midoriya obeyed, successfully feigning sleep for the remainder of their walk.

When they reached Katsuki's apartment, he threw open the door and carefully placed his charge down on the bed.

"Hang on a sec," he said, picking up his phone.

"Kirishima," he said when the person on the other end picked up. "Not coming in today. Uh huh... uh huh... got caught in a tsunami yesterday. Hit my head. No... yeah... well, a really fucking big wave, then! Yes, that's fine... I don't give a fuck, she can suck my cock... whatever... hey, got a favor to ask. What-- yes, fucking Hair-For-Brains, it's really fucking me! Oh, fuck you. Yeah. Can you pick up some bandages and Polysporin or something and bring 'em over? Yeah yeah, no, not Band-aids. Uhh... you'll see. Thanks, man. Kay. Yeah. Bye."

He hung up and sat down on the edge of the bed, carefully probing at Midoriya's leg. From knee to ankle ran a really bad gash, probably torn when he was thrown onto the beach, and it was beginning to bleed again.

Midoriya's stomach growled and they looked at each other, surprised.

"Wh-what was that!?"

"You're hungry, dumbass. What do you normally eat?"

"Uhh... f-fish."

Katsuki paused, placing a hand on Midoriya's jaw. "Open your mouth for me." Midoriya did as he was told and felt a thumb running gently over his aching teeth. Why did everything have to hurt? 

"That's about what I thought," Katsuki sighed. "Your teeth are human now, Deku. Flat. I'll make some human food, kay?"

"O-Oh... okay." Midoriya curled up onto his uninjured side, wondering despondently what the dolphins were doing. He doubted they really missed him, but he hoped they would. Tears filled his eyes and he bit down on his knuckles to muffle the frightened sob that tore from his chest. Before long, he was a mess, shaking and crying uncontrollably, trying desperately to keep quiet.

Katsuki noticed, of course, and turned the stove off, slinking over to lie down next to the terrified merboy, just barely touching him. Midoriya scooted back almost instinctively, pressing his back lightly against his land-creature's chest. Katsuki wrapped his arms around Midoriya, shifting him over his chest to lie facing him, uninjured side still down. 

"Shhh," he soothed, letting the boy burrow into his chest. "I'm here. S'gonna be okay. It's all gonna be okay. We'll get you back to your ocean. I know. I know, baby, I know. It's okay. You're safe for now. It's alright. It's alright."

"Am I interrupting something?" came an all too familiar voice. Katsuki groaned. 

"Absolutely," he said, discreetly stroking the pretty, forest-green curls as he sat up, "but it might be a good thing. Got the shit I asked for?"

Kirishima handed over a plastic bag. Katsuki grinned, dumping the contents on the bed. "So who's this?" asked the redhead, offering Midoriya a brilliant smile.

Katsuki glanced over. "This is Midoriya," he said, gently squeezing some medical ointment or other onto the awful cut. "He got hurt and lost his home in that wave."

"Daaaaamn," Kirishima said appreciatively, looking over the gash. "That's some hardcore shit! You okay, Midoriya?"

The estranged mermaid nodded silently, all trace of tears gone from his face. Katsuki finished the bandage. "There," he said, sitting back. "See? You're safe. We'll work on getting you home after Shitty Hair here checks out my head to see if I'm gonna fall over if I try to stand up."

Kirishima complied willingly, thrilled to be of use to his distant coworker for once. He declared Katsuki good to go, but did warn him to be careful about standing up too fast.

"Thanks," said Katsuki at the door. "I owe you one."

"No prob, bro," said Kirishima, waving it off. "Anytime. Gimme a call if you need anything; if the answer starts with 'What's up, my dude' it's probably Kaminari, not me. Okay, I gotta get to work. See ya! Nice to meet you, Midoriya!" And with that, the eccentric redhead skipped merrily out the door.

"I like him," said Midoriya quietly. 

"Wait till you get to know him," groaned Katsuki.

"Well, maybe we have different tastes," the merboy pointed out. "I like you. I've watched you for many, many moons. And you always seem so lonely, I think maybe a lot of people up here are afraid of you?"

Katsuki looked over, surprise etched on his stoic features. "Well, aren't we perceptive," he said, eyebrow raised in amusement. "Yeah, they're scared of me. All except Kirishima. And also Kaminari's girlfriend, Jiro. She's... she scares me." He chuckled, wiping his ands on a towel and handing Midoriya a plate.

The next half hour was spent teaching Midoriya to use chopsticks; an amusing, if fruitless, endeavour.

"Alright," announced Katsuki, stretching. "Time for a bath. You might really like this, Deku. C'mere." He helped the boy stand shakily and, step by step, they made it to the door and Katsuki helped him sit on the closed toilet lid.

Midoriya did, in fact, love the bath. Katsuki made the water a bit cooler than he liked it, but Midoriya moaned in pleasure as he sank into the warm water. He giggled and churred with pleasure as Katsuki scrubbed the salt from his hair and the dirt from his body, leaving him clean and his hair soft.

Katsuki led him patiently to bed. "C'mon," he coaxed. "That's it. Good job, Midoriya. Lay down, now." 

They fell asleep on opposite sides of the bed.

They woke up tangled together.

 

 

"Hi, baby."

"Mom!" Izuku reached for her, but she swam back away from him.

"Not yet, baby," she chided. "Be patient. Listen to your heart; sometimes, it isn't the sea that calls you to follow it."

"What? Mom, I don't understand!"

"I know, Izuku." She smiled. "You will, in time. Be quick, though. You only have until the moon is full again to win his heart, or you can never come back to the sea."

"WHAT!? MOM!"

"Listen to me," she said, urgency in her beautiful green eyes. "You must save this boy. You must win his love. If you can do this before the full moon in a week's time, you can return to the sea. If you fail, you'll be here forever. Mortal. You will die." She blew him a kiss, a sad smile settling on her pretty features. 

"I love you, Izuku."

"MOM, WAIT! MOM! MOM!"

Midoriya sat up in bed, heart pounding, and look over at the sleeping figure beside him.

Oh, no, he thought. This is bad.

Two weeks.

Two weeks to make a boy who made a habit of shutting people out fall in love with him.

Two weeks to win back the sea.

Chapter Text

Two weeks.

How do you make someone fall in love with you in two weeks!?

 

Over the next couple of days, Katsuki and Midoriya settled into a routine of sorts. They'd get up together and Katsuki would help Midoriya with things until he picked them up on his own. Then he would leave strict instructions not to overextend, and off he went to work.

Midoriya took to calling Katsuki "Kacchan." At first, it annoyed him to no end, but then the feisty blond seemed to warm up to the nickname. In revenge, however, Midoriya became known as Deku to his human.

Merfolk were playful creatures by nature, and Midoriya found himself going crazy just lying in bed. So, bit by bit, he began to teach himself things. His legs were still weak, but he'd managed to get the hang of walking and Katsuki had given him some excersizes to build up his musculature.

His first time using the toilet?

Some things were better left unsaid.

Within three days, it had turned out that there was only one thing Midoriya couldn't get the hang of.

 

Katsuki closed the door, hanging up his coat.

"I'm home," he called.

"Uh-oh," came the mutter from behind the bed. "Uh... welcome home!"

"Uh-oh what?" Katsuki asked grimly, not buying the cheerful greeting.

"Nothing, it's fine," came the voice. "I, uh... I fell... and caught my leg. I'm okay, really! It's just... there's a lot of blood."

"Eh!?" Katsuki stalked around to the other side of the bed and blanched. Midoriya lay there on the floor, naked but for Katsuki's now soaked shirt, in a puddle of blood so big that any human should have long since passed out.

"Shit," hissed the blond, scooping the small boy up and carrying him to the bathroom. "Are you okay? How bad does it hurt?"

"Oh, not ba--ah!" Midoriya jumped when Katsuki probed at it. "Okay, pretty bad," he admitted reluctantly. 

"Stay here," Katsuki ordered, and promptly left to go call Kirishima.

 

He wasn't home, so it ended up being his girlfriend to drop the stuff off. She handed it to him at the door and he paid her back quickly, begging her to leave.

But, Ashido Mina was nothing if not nosy.

She pushed her way past him, heading for the bathroom. Frowning at the pool of blood on the ground, she shoved open the door and gasped.

"Baaaabe, why didn't you tell me you got a roommate!?" she shrieked.

"I fucking didn't," the blond answered grumpily. "Get out."

"Look, Blasty, I'm a nurse. I literally help fix people for a living. If he's gonna not bleed out, you need some expertise."

Reluctantly, Katsuki allowed the girl to take a look. She crouched down by Midoriya's side and smiled.

"Hey, honey," she cooed. "What's your name?"

Frightened, Midoriya looked up at Katsuki, begging with his eyes. The blond sat down next to him with a soft sigh and reached out to take his hand.

"You can tell her," he assured the boy. "She's here to help you."

"M-My name's Midoriya," said the merboy quietly. 

"Hey, Midoriya!" said the pink-haired girl. "I'm Mina! I'm just gonna fix up your leg a bit, okay?"

"Okay," said Midoriya, smiling shyly at her.

"So," she said as she smeared Polysporin over the injury, "how's living with Blasty?"

"With... huh...?"

"With the giant grump over here," she said, grinning.

"Oh," said Midoriya softly. "He's been super sweet. And nice. And he's warm."

"Warm?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Mmhm. When we're sleeping, he hugs me and he's warm."

"So, Blasty, you finally got a boyfriend, huh?"

"Fuck off and finish your fuckin job, raccoon eyes," muttered the blond, but the flush on his cheeks was enough to make Mina smile.

"Fine, fine." She finished bandaging the leg and left without protest, instructing the merboy to take it easy.

 

"What were you doing?" asked Katsuki, carrying the boy to the bed and laying him down carefully.

"Hm?"

"How did you get hurt?"

"Oh." Midoriya blushed, averting his gaze shyly. Katsuki noted with some interest the way it turned the bone-white skin a soft and pretty pink. "I... I was trying to dance."

Katsuki blinked twice before the message made it to his brain and was processed. "...Dance?" he repeated.

Midoriya ducked his head, hiding his face in his arms. "You... you said you liked... I saw your videos online. You're good at dancing."

"Eh?" Katsuki had to think for a minute before it clicked. "Oh," he said, a smile spreading over his face, "you mean the tutorial videos I made years ago?"

Midoriya nodded silently, still buried in his arms.

"Come here," Katsuki said.

"Wh-why?" Midoriya asked warily.

"I'm gonna teach you how to dance," answered the blond, holding out a hand. "I won't let you fall."

Slowly, hesitantly, Midoriya reached out and took the offered hand, sliding off the bed with a slight wince. Katsuki typed something into his laptop and brought up a lovely, slow song.

"What's this called?" Midoriya wondered aloud.

"It's 'A Thousand Years' by Christina Perri," answered his impromptu partner. "Here, stand on my feet. That's right. Good. Put your arms around my neck." He smiled, lacing his own arms tightly around Midoriya's waist. Their bodies fit together perfectly, like pieces of a very oddly-shaped puzzle, and Midoriya laid his head lightly on the chest in front of him.

Katsuki bent his head to murmur, "you're doing really well, Midoriya."

Midoriya didn't look up right away. "Izuku," he whispered. "Midoriya is my last name. My given name is... Izuku." He raised his head, but whatever words he'd meant to say died on his lips as he realized just how close they were. Katsuki's fiery eyes were warm, like the embers of a fire inside the stove in the winter.

"Izuku," he whispered softly, and Midoriya leaned up just a little, unsure what he was doing but wanting, needing Katsuki closer. 

Katsuki closed the gap between them, resting his forehead against Midoriya's and gently pressing their lips together. The kiss was barely a second, a tiny piece of heaven itself, but the touch was enough to ground the merboy in the moment.

He was kissing Katsuki!

"Uaah! S-Sorry!" he yelped, stumbling back to sit on the bed, tearing himself from the blond's arms.

Something that looked an awful lot like hurt flashed in Katsuki's eyes, but he turned away to shut off the music and prepare dinner. "It's fine," he said, but his voice was strained.

Midoriya took a moment to wonder what the fresh hell had just happened. He'd wanted his Kacchan so badly... and Katsuki had wanted him just as bad. 

Perhaps it wouldn't be so hard to make him fall in love.

 

Katsuki began taking his merboy outside as he got better at walking. Izuku got to explore the city, admiring all the massive buildings and the parks and streets. The little cafés quickly became his favorite places, especially The Penny, which was run by a lovely girl with ginger hair and the sweetest temperament. Still, no one dared to cross her; she had manhandled her fair share of rowdy customers out the door.

The girl, Uraraka Ochako, struck up a quick friendship with Izuku, and when Katsuki had to interrupt because goddamn it, Deku, he was gonna be late to work, she made them promise to come back soon.

Izuku followed him to the flower shop and spent literal hours wandering around, touching petals and gasping at the pretty colors, asking all sorts of questions Katsuki was all too happy to answer.

From behind the counter, Jiro Kyouka raised an eyebrow and took some pictures to send to her roommates' groupchat. It wasn't even a minute before she got a reply.

Manliest Redhead: IS HE SMILING!? 

Electric Lover: Dude, I think he is

Shinsou: How frightening.

Pinky: Oh my gosh, you guys, he was soo cute when I fixed up Midoriya's leg the other day! Deets later, but he was, like, holding hands with him and blushing and soooo sweet ugh!!!

Manliest Redhead: Ya I walked in on them cuddling. Midoriya was like crying or something & Bakubro was being like supportive & gentle. It was kinda weird but cute @ the same time, u know?

Kyoukatastrophe: Ay y'all I'm working with happy lovey-dovey Bakugou and that's all well and good but who the fuck is this goddamn angel that appeared out of nowhere 2 fix his whole attitude and has apparently never seen flowers in his life???

Electric Lover: Ya I'm curious too, ngl.

Manliest Redhead: Bakubro said he got caught in the wave that pulled him out of commission like a week back. Said he lost his home or something. He's lookin after him.

Kyoukatastrophe: And his name's Midoriya?

Pinky: Ya. Gtg, ttyl?

Kyoukatastrophe: Me too. Def. I want those deets asap.

Shinsou: I second. Good blackmail material for later.

Electric Lover: Oooh, good thinkin, babe! I wanna know, too!

Kyoukatastrophe: to all of you thinking about a three-way relationship with a depressed, sleep-deprived husk and an ADD positive idiot, DON'T.

Manliest Redhead: LOOL TTYL guys

 

Jiro put her phone away as Bakugou returned to lean on the counter, staring fondly at the boy with the bright green eyes with a half-smile on his face.

"So," she said, raising an eyebrow, "he's got you all doe-eyed because...?"

"He does not," Bakugou said, but there was no heat to the words and his gaze was soft.

Jiro snorted and called, "Hey, kid! Who are you?"

She caught the way the green-haired boy shot a glance at Bakugou, and the way the blond nodded just slightly.

"I'm Midoriya," he said, smiling and extending a hand. Jiro shook it, raising an eyebrow. "I have a massive amount of patience for Kacchan's emotional insecurities and superiority complex."

Jiro froze. No one who said that did it with a carefree smile and survived.

Sure enough, a hand fisted in the light pink material of Midoriya's hoodie and pulled him around to face a mildly ticked off blond.

"The fuck'd you just say?" growled Katsuki, tugging Midoriya closer by the collar.

"I said I have a massive amount of patience for--"

"Shut up."

"--your emotional--"

"I said shut up, Deku!"

"--insecurities and superiori--MMPH!"

Jiro wasted NO time in snapping her camera as many times as she could. Katsuki had pulled the smaller boy into a kiss that was heated, yet far more gentle than she'd have expected.

Kyoukatastrophe: nvm, figured it out...

Every one of her roommates began blowing up the chat as she sent them the pictures. Finally, the rather annoyed violet put her phone on silent and tucked it away. Her ever present earbuds dangled silently from her ears, no longer connected to the device in her pocket.

 

 

"Kacchan," called Izuku from the bed. Katsuki looked up from the bathroom sink where he was brushing his teeth.

"Yeah?"

"I... we need to talk."

Katsuki was silent for a moment.  Then, Izuku heard the water running as he rinsed his toothbrush, and a moment later the bed dipped beside him. Rough, warm hands took one of his own between them. "What's the matter?" asked Katsuki.

Izuku turned to him, guilt flashing painfully in those pretty round eyes. "I... I haven't been totally honest with you," he whispered fearfully.

Katsuki's brows knitted. "You can tell me," he said. "What's wrong?"

Izuku looked down at their hands, unable to look into those beautiful eyes. "Do you promise to hear everything I have to say before you get mad?"

"I promise," said Katsuki. His tone was understandably nervous.

Izuku took a deep breath and began. 

"About... a little more than two years ago, my mother left," he said. "There comes a day when some merfolk are called to the Heart of the Sea. It's... it's the center of the world, the place where all merfolk were first born. My mother and I were the only ones around Okinawa, at least that I know of. When she left to answer the call, I... I swore I'd follow her one day. Then I saw you."

He looked up, locking eyes with Katsuki, drowning in an ocean of red far more deadly than water would ever be to him. "I watched you every night. You looked so lonely... just like me. I wished I could meet you, with all my heart. I think... I think the sea answered me. Then you brought me here and when I fell asleep, all the way asleep, that first night, I saw my mom."

Katsuki gripped his hands, silently urging him to keep going. 

"She told me that to come back to the sea, I had to... I had to make you fall in love with me before the next full moon. A week away, now. I panicked. And--"

"So none of this is real?" Katsuki asked, voice thick, trembling with either tears or rage. Probably both. "I don't really mean anything to you?"

"No, Kacchan, listen to me--!"

"Jesus, Deku, I thought--" Katsuki looked away, gritting his teeth to stop the break in his voice. Hot tears blurred his vision, making it difficult for him to focus. "I thought you felt something for me, when we were... when we..."

"Kacchan, please," begged Izuku. Katsuki moved to stand and in a last-ditch attempt, Izuku threw his whole body overtop of the blond's, heedless of his injury. He straddled Katsuki's lap, squeezing with his thighs, and wrapped his arms so tight around his human's arms and torso that Katsuki couldn't have moved if he'd wanted to.

With a broken sob, the blond spikes dropped to thump against Izuku's shoulder.

"Hush, Kacchan," whispered Izuku, sadness threatening to break through his voice. "You promised. You promised."

With a deep, shaky breath, he continued. "The... the goal was never to get you to fall in love with me," he whispered, rubbing tiny circles into Katsuki's back. "At first, I was too scared and confused to do anything about it and then... then you danced with me. And... and we kissed. And you held me, at night, when I was scared. Kacchan..." he sobbed, tears spilling doen his cheeks as he buried his face in the bristly, pale hair. 

"It was me that fell in love with you."

Slowly, Katsuki raised his head, tears already drying on his face. One more drop rolled down and Izuku cupped his face, biting his lip to stop his own tears as he brushed it away, so gently it made Katsuki's heart ache.

"How--" he swallowed. "How do I know you're telling the truth? How do I know you're not just using me?"

Izuku moved his arms up, throwing them around his human's neck, and buried his face in the crook of Katsuki's neck.

"Because," he cried, "I don't want to go back to the ocean anymore!"

It took a full minute to process the statement, by which time he had also registered that he had a lapful of sobbing mermaid.

"What?" was the only thing that came out of his mouth.

Izuku sniffed. "I-It's so cold and l-lonely there," he wailed. "Here, I have Ochako. Mina. Kirishima. And you, Kacchan. I want you, only you, not the ocean. Please believe me, I never used you! Not once!"

Katsuki brushed his thumb absentmindedly along the tear-soaked cheek, interrupting the flow and squishing up the skin.

"I love you," he whispered, and Izuku choked on a sob of relief as he surged forward to kiss his human desperately.

Katsuki returned the kiss with as much fervor. Eventually, the heated stealing of breath and sounds faded into chaste kisses and occasional sniffles.

"You have to go, don't you?" Katsuki whispered, lying on his back with his merboy cuddled up on his chest, pressing soft kisses against his neck.

"I'm not going without you," Izuku whispered back.

"Then we'll go together," declared the blond. 

 

 

The moonlight turned the sand the color of starlight as the human and the mermaid strode hand in hand through the dunes to the dock.

"Mom?" called Izuku, standing on the edge. "Mom!?"

No one answered. With a soft, sad sigh, he turned around... and froze.

There she stood, a small smile on her face, arms held out to him. 

"Mom!" Izuku ran to her, straight past his human. She wrapped him in a hug, clutching him tight and he felt so unbelievably safe. He pulled back to look at her and came to a sudden realization. "You're human!"

She smiled proudly at him. "So are you," she whispered. "You gave him your heart. There's nothing I can do now to bring you back to the sea." She held out a hand to Katsuki, who hurried forward to take it. Gently, the green-haired woman clasped him in a hug.

"Take care of him," she begged. "He's the most loyal lover you will ever have."

"I swear it," Katsuki said solemnly. Inko smiled and turned back to her son for one last hug. 

"He has my blessing," she said. "And the ocean will always be here when you need it. Know this, though; the Heart of the Sea will never call you. You will never find it. And, after this, we will never meet again. Will you stay?"

Izuku looked out over the starry waters, the waves lapping gently at the shore, the distant arc of a dolphin leaping above the surface. Then he turned his gaze to Katsuki, whose eyes held every star and a hundred billion more, whose hair floated around his head like a halo in the night, softening his features and making him appear like an angel.

He turned, at last, to his mother, and smiled.

"Yes," he said.

And just like that, she was gone.

 

But as Izuku took Katsuki's hand, as they started silently up the moonlit beach, he heard her voice singing a song he had once forgotten how to hear.

And he smiled, squeezing Katsuki's hand, because he knew he would carry the song of the sea in his heart until the day he died... but now, he felt another beat pounding alongside it, one that made him throw his head back and laugh.

He was alive.

And he was not alone.

Chapter Text

Katsuki was just walking around town when it showed up.

A cocker spaniel, dirty and skinny, fur matted and head hung low. Katsuki, a secret animal lover, didn't hesitate to take out his lunch and slowly coax the dog to his arms. It didn't resist as he picked it up, and his hard-earned day off was quickly thrown out the window in favor of taking the poor creature back to his dorm.

His roommate was there, but that was okay. He loved fluffy things.

"Oi, nerd," he grunted, opening the door a crack. "You got allergies to anything?"

"Only strawberries," replied the green-eyed boy, not questioning why the information was relevant.

"Can you keep a secret?"

Okay, that was interesting. Izuku looked up. "Yeah," he said. "Why?"

Katsuki stepped inside and shut the door. Izuku gasped, his whole face lighting up. "Oh my gosh," he breathed, and got up to bounce over to them. "You're pretty, aren't you?" he cooed, letting it sniff his hand before petting it, scratching the long red ears.

Katsuki pulled away. "Tch! Run a bath," he said. "Not--"

"Halfway full, not too hot. Got it!" Izuku ran off to obey. Katsuki followed, shaking his head with a sigh. He set the dog on the floor, where it flopped onto the tile with a heavy huff.

"Can you do it by yourself?" he asked. Izuku looked up, tilting his head.

"Why?" he replied. "Where are you going?"

Katsuki sighed again and held up his wallet. "I'm gonna go get a couple dishes and some food and a leash and shit. We have scissors, right?"

"Yeah," said Izuku. "I'll clip its fur and claws after its bath, okay?"

Katsuki waved in farewell, trusting Izuku. The boy cut both of their hair when it got too long, and also half the dorms'. He could handle wet puppy fur.


The spaniel was so calm in the bath, settling into the warm water without a sound besides a small whine. Izuku was beyond gentle, slowly working first shampoo and then conditioner into her fur until the dirt was gone and most of the tangles were dealt with.

Those matts, though...

As soon as Izuku had drained the water, the puppy flopped down. He lifted her out of the tub onto a towel, where she laid perfectly still as he blow-dried her fur and clipped her nails. Finally, he grabbed his scissors and comb and got to work.


Katsuki stretched, returning to the dorm. Kaminari was sitting on the couch, legs thrown over the arm, mindlessly skipping through channels on the tv. He sat up when Katsuki entered.

"Hey, dude, what's that?" he asked, tilting his head curiously.

"Dog stuff," Katsuki answered. Koda had a rabbit. Why the hell couldn't he and his roommate have a dog?

"Ew," Kaminari said, wrinkling his nose. "I don't even WANT to know."

Katsuki scoffed, storming past the blond and up to his room. When he opened the door, he couldn't help but grin.

A beautiful, freshly groomed and bathed cocker spaniel sat primly on Izuku's bed, head on his lap as he read his book.

"Wow," Katsuki said, letting her sniff him before scratching the base of her skull. "Pup cleans up pretty. You're pretty good."

He pulled the dishes out of the bag and put them on the hard floor in their little kitchenette. The dorm wasn't big, but it had everything. There was communal laundry, but every room had a larger space for two beds, desks, and dressers, a kitchenette and a small bathroom.

He took out the bag of food. "Oi, Deku," he called, "how much should we give her?"

"What brand did you get?"

"NOW, for young puppies."

"Never heard of it."

"It's, like, all natural and stuff. So no gmo's or things that could make her sick. It's a good brand."

Izuku hummed, looking down fondly at the puppy whose fur his hand was still buried in. She looked up at him with those beautiful brown eyes and he smiled.

"Try starting with a cup," he suggested. "That way she'll eat it all and shouldn't get sick. We'll have to start her off slow, she looks like she hasn't eaten in a while."

"Kay." Katsuki found a one cup measure in the cabinet and scooped the food into the dish. The puppy raised her head. "Hey, how do you know it's a girl?"

"Kacchan, I just spent an hour and a half bathing and grooming her," 

Izuku giggled. "She's a girl."

"Okay." Katsuki shrugged and called her over. "C'mere, puppy!" he said. "Come on! I got food for you!" She didn't respond, eyes closed as she melted against Izuku. The green-eyed boy churred, something like a soft laugh, and carefully stood up.

The puppy whined, raising her head to give him a sad stare of betrayal.

"Awww!" he said, and patted his leg. "Come on, pup. Come and eat." He wandered over towards the kitchen and, hesitantly, she jumped down from the bed and followed him.

The second she smelled the food, she yipped excitedly and dove in, devouring it like she hadn't seen food in weeks. Which, thought Katsuki, she might not have.

Arms around Katsuki's middle made him look down to where Izuku was hugging him, head on his chest. He leaned back away from the touch, arms raised awkwardly.

"The fuck you think you're doing!?" he yelped. Izuku just hugged him tighter.

"I know you like domesticity," he said. "I've known you since we were BORN. Just be quiet and let me have this."

"I got you a fuckin dog," grumped Katsuki, but his hands settled on the smaller boy's hips.

Izuku pulled back, fire dancing in those pretty emerald eyes. "What should we name her?" he asked.

Katsuki shrugged. "Up to you," he said, "but make it quick. We gotta get her a collar. And you're paying, I barely have enough left for my half of the grocery bill."

"Wait... you're letting ME name her!? Really!?" The grin on his face could have lit up the entire Earth right then. He crouched down next to the dog, rubbing her ears and grinning. "Then how about... how about Kikkyo?"

"Seriously? Okay, nerd." Katsuki shook his head. "Kikkyo it is." He cocked his head at the doe-eyed, friendly pup. "Doesn't really suit her." The puppy yipped and Izuku laughed, and Katsuki smiled privately to himself when no one was looking.


A tap on Katsuki's arm made him turn around. Izuku had his phone on and was displaying the camera they'd installed last week. Kikkyo was scratching at the door, whining.

"We need to figure something out while we're in class," he pointed out. "She's gotta go."

"We can try taking her out right before we leave, then checking in at lunch and again after classes," hissed Katsuki. "Looks like once first thing in the morning doesn't cut it."

"Well, we have to let her out now," muttered Izuku.

"I'll go," Katsuki said. "You need the notes." He stood up, and when asked what the hell he was doing, answered, "letting the dog out to pee. I'll be back."

Most of the class groaned in disgust.

"Who the hell calls it the dog?" whispered Jiro. Mina shrugged.

Izuku shook his head and turned back to the lesson.


After class, he grabbed Katsuki's hand and dragged him off, ignoring the whining protests. They burst through the door suddenly enough to startle poor Kikkyo under the bed.

"Sorry, baby," called Izuku as he unhooked her leash from the coatrack. "Come here!" It would be her first time walking on a leash, and Izuku made sure to be patient with letting her sniff it and clipping it onto her collar. She loved that collar, a simple black band with a little dog tag bearing her name and Katsuki's phone number.

Katsuki walked next to him, hands in his pockets as they strolled around campus, enjoying the uncharacteristically warm October sunshine. Izuku stopped to let Kikkyo sniff at a flower bed, leaning casually against his roommate.

"I'm glad you found her," he said. "She's awesome."

Katsuki grinned savagely, reaching out to throw an arm haphazardly around the smaller boy's shoulders. "I figured you'd like her," he said. Izuku snorted.

"You'd have picked her up even if I was deathly allergic and hated dogs," he pointed out. "You'd just get a new roommate."

"But I like my roommate," replied the blond teasingly, ruffling Izuku's hair as they continued down the path.

"We fight literally every day," Izuku sighed.

"Not like we used to," Katsuki pointed out. "I mean, we used to send each other to Recovery Girl so often I'm honestly surprised we aren't on a first name basis by now."

"You do have a point," Izuku conceded. He pulled out his phone and snapped a picture of Kikkyo as she stretched out to touch a cricket. It leapt away and she barked, jumping back. Izuku laughed, taking another picture.

Katsuki took his roommate's hand and dragged him down a different path, to a park with a security fence. Izuku grinned and let Kikkyo off her leash, allowing her free reign of the green space. He probably took more pictures than was strictly necessary, but Katsuki was relaxed and smiling at him and it was warm and he felt good.

Katsuki took his own phone out as Izuku went to play tag with the little dog. He discreetly took a few pictures of the two of them. He was ridiculously happy, a fuzzy feeling filling up his chest and making him grin like an idiot, but he couldn't find it in himself to care.

He snuck up behind his roommate and pounced, tackling him to the grass. Izuku squealed, rolling onto his back and slapping ineffectively at Katsuki's chest. Katsuki braced himself on his elbows, caging the smaller boy between his arms, grinning.

"Kacchaaan," whined Izuku. "Come on, let me up!"

"Nah," hummed Katsuki. "I'll just keep you here a little-- OOF!" Just then, Kikkyo leapt onto his back with a sharp bark. The sudden weight knocked him down a few inches and suddenly, he wasn't smiling anymore. Suddenly, he and Izuku were centimeters apart, nose-to-nose, and Izuku was blushing and his eyes were half-lidded and he was fucking beautiful, like a debauched angel.

Katsuki had never wanted to kiss someone so bad in his entire life.

He blinked and pulled back, offering a hand without looking at the other. Izuku pouted, eyes shining widely up at him. "You're so skittish," he huffed, but accepted the hand.

Kikkyo growled at Katsuki, who bared his teeth right back. "Maybe that dumbass name does fit her," he muttered, shoving his hands in his pockets.

Izuku laughed, already back to smiling as he grabbed Kikkyo's leash and clipped it to her collar. They left the park, heading for the dorms as the sun began to set.


"Look, Ochako!" Izuku bounced up to his friend, holding up the pictures on his phone.

"Aww, cute!" she squealed. "What's his name, d'you know?"

"Her name's Kikkyo," replied Izuku happily, beaming. "Kacchan and I just got her."

"Hey, whose account is that?" asked Ochako, pulling up Instagram on her phone.

"What-- no, Ochako, these are from my camera..."

"Oh! You met her at the park? She's adorable!"

Tsuyu called her and she walked away, waving goodbye. Izuku shook his head in amused exasperation.


"No one believes me when I say we have a dog," sighed Izuku.

Katsuki snorted. "Hey," he said, "at least people haven't started thinking you refer to your dick as 'the dog' yet."

"You would think they'd figure it out at some point," Izuku mused dryly. "But nope, it's been a month and still nobody realizes we have an actual living, breathing dog."

Kikkyo yipped from the corner. "Yes, I'm talking about you! Good girl, so smart!" Izuku cooed at her. She jumped up onto his bed and curled up with her head on his lap.

Katsuki scoffed from his own bed. "What am I, chopped liver?" he called. "She definitely prefers you."

"Well, come over here then, you whiny thing," teased Izuku.

"The fuck? You want me to come cuddle with you?"

"Absolutely. And Kikkyo. Don't forget about Kikkyo." Izuku beamed and Katsuki rolled his eyes.

"Fine," he said. "Only because she's lookin at me like I've fucking betrayed her or some shit." He picked up his books and moved to squeeze onto the bed beside his roommate. Izuku shifted so Kikkyo was resting on the blond's lap, and Katsuki found himself scratching her fur, idly leaning towards Izuku.


Two hours later, Ochako came to get them for dinner. She gasped upon opening the door and Kirishima came running over, followed by Iida and Kaminari.

"Look!" she hissed.

There on the bed, Katsuki sat stretched out with his arms around his roommate, chin propped on his head. Izuku lay curled up against him, fast asleep, tucked warmly into his side. 

There was a fluffy cocker spaniel sprawled comfortably across their laps. She opened one eye warily to peer over at them, but Katsuki stroked her ears and she calmed down.

The uncharacteristically quiet blond raised a finger to his lips, warning them into silence.

Iida raised his hands; due to Present Mic's sporadic bursts of volume, Class 1A had taught themselves sign language long ago.

'What's going on here?' he signed.

Katsuki rolled his eyes. 'He's asleep. He doesn't sleep well. Don't wake him up.'

'Why do you have an animal in the dorms?' Iida clarified, frowning.

'Koda has a rabbit,' Katsuki pointed out. 'Why can't we have a dog?'

'Pets are technically not allowed,' said the class rep, and Uraraka pushed him aside.

'Why are you sleeping with him?' she signed, tilting her head.

'Dog wanted to cuddle with both of us,' replied the blond. 'He fell asleep on me and now I can't move or he'll wake up.'

'This is adorable.' Kirishima pulled out a phone and took a picture, sending it to the class group chat before Katsuki could react.

'I'll kill you,' signed the blond, but he made no move to do so. Against his shoulder, Izuku churred softly in his sleep, curling tighter into Katsuki's side. Katsuki hugged him gently, letting his head lean a bit more fully into the emerald curls. Slowly, luminous green eyes blinked open and Izuku yawned.

He sat up and those gathered at the doorway watched in silence, hoping he wouldn't notice them. He didn't. Instead, he leaned in and nuzzled Katsuki's neck, humming contentedly. Katsuki snorted in amusement.

"Morning, Deku," he said, but his voice held no heat. It was almost like a pet name, now.

"M'rn'n," slurred Izuku against the blond's throat. Katsuki, in a moment of weakness, kissed his forehead. Kirishima and Uraraka silently herded everyone away from the door, carefully closing it behind them.

Izuku sat up all the way, leaning down to kiss the dog. Seeing the smaller boy bent over his lap, mouth down by... well, a dog, but seemingly close to his dick, Katsuki felt himself start to react.

Izuku, of course, fucking noticed.

"Hey, Kacchan," he said, "can I help you with something?"

"Fuck you," replied the blond, blushing.

Izuku leaned in close until his mouth brushed the shell of Katsuki's ear. "Go ahead," he whispered. Katsuki's blush worsened to the point of furious.

He didn't know what was happening until Kikkyo whined in annoyance and jumped to the floor, and Izuku had straddled his lap.

"...Look," Katsuki said. "I have no idea what I'm doing."

"That's okay," Izuku whispered. He took Katsuki's hands and guided them to his hips, then ground down against the blond's erection.

"Fuck," gasped Katsuki, gripping the delicate hipbones tightly. Something about the tiny boy in his lap knowing exactly what to do turned him on to the point of painful. "W-We have to go eat d-haa-dinner," he panted.

"You want to go downstairs like this?" hummed his roommate.

"I won't fuck you," Katsuki groaned. "I'm not doing one night stands or friends with benefits."

"And you call me stupid," muttered Izuku. He cupped the chiseled jaw, leaning in so close their lips brushed as he spoke.

"I want you, Kacchan," he whispered. "I'm in love with you."

Katsuki groaned and closed the distance, nearly devouring Izuku's mouth, delving in with his tongue and plundering the wet cavern.

"You know," he said, pulling away, voice gravelly with lust, "this means you're mine. Nobody else can have you if we do this. Are you okay with that?"

"Nothing would make me happier, Kacchan," said Izuku, grinning. Kikkyo barked, hopping up onto the end of the bed.

"I have a better idea than all the way on night one," Izuku panted, sliding off Katsuki's hips. "Here, sit on the edge of the bed."

"What?" Katsuki did as instructed, confused. "Why?"

Izuku looked up at him with the cutest, most innocent expression, and sank down to his knees between Katsuki's legs. The blond's breath hitched.

" 'Cause I'm gonna suck your cock, Kacchan," he said sweetly.

Fuck if Katsuki didn't just about cum right there. "You little whore," he admired breathlessly. Izuku smirked devilishly.

"Keep talking like that and you won't even have to touch me," he said huskily.

Katsuki groaned.


They didn't make it to dinner and Jiro started crying, she was laughing so hard.

"Are they doing it?" asked Mineta eagerly.

Jiro nodded. "And I think there's a man in America in a COMA that can't QUITE hear them," she snickered.

Mineta had to be forcibly restrained.

Chapter Text

"Bro? Bakugou, stay with me, man!" 

 

The school field was bloody and blackened, marked with charred remnants of stone.

No one had expected the attack.

It had happened right at dawn, before the sun had fully risen. She had stormed onto the school field with no trouble at all, white eyes wild and insane, ruby horns twisted up from her head and massive red wings spreading from the center of her back.

"I NEED A STUDENT!" she'd cried. "ANY STRONG ONE WILL DO!"

The teacers had roused everyone, herded them down to the barracks and helped arm them quickly. But Bakugou, being who he was, had stormed straight out onto the field.

"WANT A FIGHT, BITCH!?" he roared. "HERE I FUCKING AM!"

The lady grinned. Bakugou had put up a good fight, a hundred times better than anyone had expected of him, and Midoriya was the first one to his side with a blow that shattered all the bones in his hand. Without stopping for a second, he leapt into the air to deliver a powerful kick that sent her flying back.

That, as it turned out, was the wrong move. He'd knocked her out of the way of the teachers' combined attack, and Bakugou followed her.

In the chaos, she managed to spear him through the chest.

 

Now, he lay bleeding, gasping on the dust and stone of the broken school bleachers, clutching at Kirishima's shirt as he retched up blood and fought for air.

"Stop, stop, stop it!" ordered Kirishima, and put a hand on Bakugou's, holding it away from his throat.

The blond's head fell back and his body went limp as Kirishima held him closer. The redhead sobbed, dropping his head to his best friend's chest.

"LOOK OUT! TWELVE O'CLOCK!" The voice was familiar; Midoriya, running towards him, eyes wide--

Then Bakugou's body was wrenched from his grasp. He leapt to his feet.

Midoriya braced himself and jumped, throwing himself so high he almost disappeared. His fingers just barely brushed the edge of her robes, not enough to grab her, and then he was falling, falling, and when he hit the ground he heard a sickening crunch. Half a second later, his world erupted into agony.

 

 

"Deku-kun?" Uraraka sat by his side as he blinked open his eyes, her own wide and shiny with tears. "Oh, thank god," she sobbed, sniffing as she leaned in to hug him gently.

"K-Kacchaaaan.... wh-where's... Kacchan?" Deku rasped. Uraraka handed him a glass of water and he gulped it down as she explained.

"The... the villain... took him," she whispered, and Deku spat out the water in his mouth.

"WHAT!?" 

"Please, Deku-kun, don't shout," wailed Uraraka. "W-We tried everything, but sh-she was too fast! And you were hurt, too! Recovery Girl healed you, but we didn't know when you'd wake up!"

She leaned down to hug him but, for the first time, Deku didn't hug back. He gritted his teeth.

"I'm going after her."

 

 

"Kirishima!" Deku raced up to the redhead, who was sitting on the roof with his knees drawn up to his chest, the skin around his eyes red and puffy.

"Midoriya?" Kirishima sniffed. "You're awake."

"Come on," Deku hissed, extending a hand. "You got him into this mess, you're gonna help me get him out."

"WHAT!?" Kirishima's head snapped up and he stood, towering over the tiny boy. "I stayed with him while YOU did fuck-knows-what! I held him till the moment he stopped breathing! I tried to save him!"

To his shock, Deku didn't back down. Staring at the ground, shoulders trembling, he spoke with a voice so calm it frightened Kirishima. 

"You didn't let him help himself," he hissed. "You pulled his hands away. You choked him and he fucking died! You said he'd be okay, said it would all be fine! You've always promised him the world, but it's a goddamn lie!"

"What do you WANT from me!?" cried Kirishima, tears flowing freely down his cheeks. Deku scoffed, voice scornful.

"Oh, focus on something other than yourself," he snarled viciously.

Kirishima didn't say anything for a minute. Then, with a sniff, he wiped his eyes and glared at the mop of green hair, whose face was still turned down.

"She's too strong," he said brokenly. "I won't help you take her down."

"Fine." Now, finally, Deku looked up, and Kirishima reeled back to one of the air ducts. There wasn't a trace of the sweet kid who would do anything to be a hero. No, there was a wildfire in his eyes, now, an insanity borne of desperation, and he looked... 

Like a villain.

"I'LL DO IT BY MYSELF!" Deku snarled, and launched himself off the roof without hesitation. Kirishima leapt to the edge in time to see the boy land and roll on the pavement, up and running again without even slowing down. He passed the gate guard and bolted out of view.

Kirishima ran for Mr. Aizawa.

 

 

"Good morning, pet," crooned a terrible, grating voice. 

"Nng...mmph...MM. MMPH!" Katsuki raised his head, panic flashing through him as he realized he was tied down with quirk-cancelling restraints, something in his mouth to stop him from talking.

"Oh, calm down, pet, everyone else is alive. I only took you. Now, listen to me. I'm going to hurt you. I won't kill you, oh no, but you'll wish I had." There was a wicked pleasure in her voice and Katsuki struggled against his restraints.

"MM-mMPPPHHH!" he growled.

"Ah-ah-ah," she teased. "Don't fight." An arc of white-hot lightning filled Katsuki and he screamed, throwing his head back as the electricity flowed through him.

The villain chuckled as she pulled away. "Voltage," she told him. "Level One."

"Hmm mmph-nnngg-MPH!?"

"There are ten levels to the voltage," sighed the woman, wrapping one of her bright pink curls around her finger. "But I have so many toys to choose from." She tapped his nose with a perfectly manicured red nail, clicking her tongue.

"The goal of this experiment is to find out how much pain the human body can take at one time while remaining conscious."

Katsuki's heart sank. A single tear slipped down his cheek as, again, the white currents of electricity wiped all thought from his brain.

 

 

Izuku stopped in a clothing store, a few miles north of Musutafu, and bought an outfit to make himself less recognizable.

He pulled on the black dress pants, oddly stretchy with deep pockets.

Then the long-sleeved green button-down shirt, and he tucked it in.

Next, the black vest overtop, and to complete the outfit, black leather gloves and a midnight tie.

Deku smiled at his reflection as he pulled on a black Japanese surgical mask, tucking a knife into his belt.

I'm coming, Kacchan.

 

 

"It is CRUCIAL that we find him," All Might bellowed, banging his fist on the table. Aizawa groaned.

"We have NO leads," he pointed out. "No one in Musutafu saw him, he made sure of that. Kirishima-san said he wasn't acting like himself."

Principal Nezu sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. This was a nightmare and a half. "What exactly did Kirishima say when describing Midoriya's demeanour?" he asked.

Aizawa looked up, genuine fear filling the normally emotionless eyes. 

"That he didn't even look human anymore," he said gravely.

 

 

"We have to go after Midoriya!" Todoroki was in a rage, freezing everything he could get his hands on and some he couldn't. Already the common room was encased in ice, and bursts of flame shot sporadically from his other hand. "He left us no choice, and I will not stand around idly, waiting for the teachers to tell us to 'hunker down' while they fix this!" 

Uraraka put a hand on his arm carefully, stopping him. "I'm scared for him, too," she whispered, teary-eyed. "But we absolutely won't help him by charging off without a plan. Has anybody got any idea where he might have gone?"

Kaminari raised a hand, beckoning her over to his laptop. "I've been tracking his most likely routes," he said, "and this one has a clothing store security camera, which I hacked-- thank me later-- and found Deku changing. I think he's headed for Oyama."

"But that's so far away!" gasped the ginger, hugging Todoroki with a squeak.

"It makes sense," mused Iida. "Based on the trajectory of her direction, I assumed she was trying to trick us... but if she actually headed that direction, Oyama has several ruins and abandoned buildings where a villain could do her more... unsavory... work."

Todoroki let off a small torpedo of flame. It zipped around the room, melting the walls and doors before returning to his hand.

"When do we leave?" he asked.

"Grab your shit," replied Kirishima. "We're leaving now."

 

But Oyama is a very, very long journey for those without wings to aid them.

 

 

A week. A month. A year. Katsuki had no sense of time. Half of the days, he spent unconscious; the other half, he lay motionless, in so much pain he often thought he was dying. She force-fed him, sometimes, so brutally he'd choke on the spoon. It only prompted her to shove it farther down his throat.

"Good morning, pet." The villain walked into the room, brandishing a new torture device. It looked like a whip, but it had many strips of leather instead of one, and was strung with bits of metaal and glass.

He figured out what it was half a second before she brought it down across his back, tearing out chunks of flesh as she ripped it away with a savage grin.

"Stop," he begged. Though she'd long since taken the gag off, his pleas and cries did nothing to sway her. If anything, they made her worse.

"No," she said. "Not until I've gathered all my data."

Katsuki lasted fifty lashes before passing out.

 

 

Eight days. It had taken Deku five days to reach Oyama, another three to locate the villain. He didn't have a plan, but Kacchan was in there, at her mercy, maybe dead or dying, and the only one who had come for him was Deku.

Okay, he sort of had a plan. 

Kill the bitch who'd stolen his Kacchan.

 

At nightfall, Deku slipped through the only unwatched window, lithe body moving like water through the cameras' blind spots. For two hours, he wandered the cold hallways, until a faint sound reached his ears from a door on his left.

Humming.

Quickly, Deku dropped into a low crouch and opened the door a crack, zipping neatly through and shutting it silently behind him. He looked around. The walls were lined with every kind of torture device imaginable; many were entirely unfamiliar. Deku wondered if she'd made them herself.

THERE! Suddenly, on the opposite wall, something caught Deku's eye. He stared in horror at his childhood friend, who hung in chains, high enough that his toes just barely brushed the floor.

He was so covered in blood that he was almost unrecognizable, knife wounds and iron burns and whip scores and marks from every one of the torture devices in the crazy villain's arsenal.

Deku gritted his teeth, nearly vibrating with fury. As he watched, his Kacchan lifted his head. Less than an inch, but enough. He was alive... and awake.

The humming stopped and Deku pressed himself back into the shadows as the crazy, pink-haired girl approached the blond. She carried a small, curved knife and a candle. 

 

Katsuki closed his eyes with a low, broken moan. He didn't want to watch her heat her small blade. 

She dug it into a whip lash from earlier and he yelped, whole body shaking in an attempt to bow back away from the agonizing burn. She began to hum again, smiling as she twisted the blade, forcing it deeper.

Finally, she pulled it free and rinsed it, then held up a flat metal pad. A few tears trailed over Katsuki's cheekbones as he recognized it. She would dip it in icy water and slam it against his torso, then heat a second, identical one, and press it in the same spot. Repeating the treatment several times led to the rawest, most sensitive nerve endings in his body. 

A slow clap startled Katsuki into jerking his head up. The villain dropped the metal paddle and spun around. Katsuki's jaw dropped as the clapping person entered the light of the room's center.

"Deku," he whispered brokenly, eyes filling with tears anew because this bitch had taken him from his Deku and LOOK WHAT IT HAD FUCKING DONE TO HIM! 

Somehow, it hurt worse than all the torture she'd inflicted on him over the past... however long it had been.

 

"You know, I almost admire you," Deku purred, his voice smooth and deceptively polished. "You wreaked havoc. Got past all the teachers. Injured me. Stole Kacchan. All successfully, for a little while!" He leaned in close, close enough that she could feel his breath. "But there is one tiny, microscopic little detail you forgot to account for."

"I remember you," she hissed. "You hit me pretty hard, didn't you?" Sneering, she poked the boy's chest... and screamed.

Deku twirled her newly severed finger between two of his. "Ah-ah-ah," he scolded, "Hands off."

Clutching her hand, the villain glared at him. "Who ARE you, anyway?" she hissed.

Deku looked up and Katsuki flinched. Those eyes... they were playful, teasing, fire-bright and quite mad. He was enjoying this.

"My name is Deku," he said. "But my friends call me... Deku." He burst into semi-hysterical laughter, twirling his knife now, tossing her finger carelessly behind him. "And as for that one detail you forgot? Me." He smiled, so pleasant and chilling at once that Katsuki had to look away.

"No one touches my Kacchan the way you did and lives. Actually, no one touches him at all against his will and lives." Deku smirked. "I'll be sure to make your death especially painful."

The villain let out an awful shriek, lunging at him with her own knife clutched in her good hand. Her wings battered at Deku and the walls around him and they collapsed, burying him in a mound of rubble.

It was silent for not even a full second before a vibrating hum filled the air and a flash of green light momentarily blinded Katsuki. A larger chunk of rock struck the blond in the temple and he slipped away from consciousness yet again. His last thought was, 'I don't know whether to pray this is a dream or thank the gods it's not.'

 

 

Deku brushed himself off, frowning delicately as he stood. "Oh," he said, clicking his tongue, "you'll pay for that. That was my best tie." He launched himself at her, twisting at the last second to avoid her knife and slashing violently across her side. She wailed in pain, turning to face him just as the door burst open, revealing the rest of Class 1A. 

They froze in the doorway, taking in Deku's maniacal grin and the way he flipped his knife casually around his body, tossing and catching and twirling it, goading the white-eyed villain on.

The second she moved, he attacked, plunging the knife through her thigh. She screamed, sobbing, and collapsed to the floor. Her wings came around in front of her, sealing her behind an impenetrable wall. Deku smiled sweetly, looking eerily like he had just a week and two days earlier, and flicked her with his middle finger. 

Her wings shattered.

The bones broke, the skin tore like paper and she let out her worst shriek yet, falling back onto the cold stone into a puddle of blood, wailing unashamedly.

Deku knelt down over her, knees pinning her arms to the ground with his full weight. He leaned down, and in a deadly calm voice, whispered,

"Goodnight." 

And with that, he held up his hand and flicked her again. 

The blast literally vaporised her underneath him and then Deku was tearing off the gloves and running to get his Kacchan down.

It was Uraraka who moved, helping to lie the blond carefully out on the ground. Deku pulled his head into his lap. Tears fell from his eyes as he murmured little things.

"Come on, wake up, come back, Kacchan, it's over, please, come back, it's okay now, please, Kacchan."

Katsuki moaned softly and Izuku breathed a sobbing sigh of relief. Those beautiful red eyes opened and looked up. "Wh'ap'n'd?" slurred Katsuki.

"I killed her," Deku whispered. "You're safe. It's over now."

"Sh's 'n c'stody?" Katsuki managed, panting.

"No," said Kirishima from a little ways behind Deku. "I never knew Midoriya could so easily go villain-mode. He... obliterated her. Completely. There isn't even a body."

"Eh? Deku, wha' were you think'n?" 

"I'm not sorry, Kacchan. The things she did to you..."

"You di'n't leave m' any?"

Deku giggled, leaning down to press a gentle kiss to the dusty, bloody forehead. "Next time," he promised, "I'll just let you kill the villain that kidnaps you."

"Fuck it," said Katsuki. Reaching up with a wince, he latched onto Deku's vest and pulled him down into a messy, awkward kiss.

And that was how the teachers found them a few hours later, after Todoroki sent word to them via Iida. 

Katsuki survived, but he came out of the ordeal with several new scars... 

And a boyfriend that, apparently, got really fucking hot and really fucking protective when something threatened his Kacchan.

Katsuki made a point to be extra loving to his guard dog baby boy.

Chapter Text

Katsuki groaned, rubbing his temples.

"I really, really don't want to go out tonight, asshole," he sighed, glaring at the redhead leaning against his doorway.

"Dude, we fuckin graduated today, we are SO partying all night! COME ON!" Grabbing Katsuki's arm, Kirishima dragged him to the bathroom to tame his hair. Or... try.

"Look, bro," he said. "For Kaminari's sake, PLEASE. His boyfriend won't go and he's already nervous. He never  does anything without Shinso. Please?"

"Eh? Where the fuck is Jiro?" asked Katsuki. "They're, like, best friends. She'll fuckin go with him."

"No, that's the thing," hissed Kirishima. "Jiro will go, but only if we have a DD. You're the only one who doesn't drink! Please, Bakubro?" He whimpered, throwing up his best puppy eyes.

Katsuki let out a pained groan. "I'll go so you guys don't die coming back. But I hate clubs, so I'm waiting outside. You better meet me there by one or I'm heading home without you. Deal?"

"DEAL!" Kirishima grabbed his friend in a hug, got punched in the face, and ran to tell the others the good news.


 

Five hours. Katsuki had been standing outside waiting for five. Hours. His phone had died forty minutes ago, and there was still half an hour left until 1am.

With a sigh of defeat, Katsuki resigned himself to wandering through the crowded club to start gathering the group. It would doubtless take half an hour, anyways; there were seven of them.

Kaminari was the easiest to find; drunk off his ass, he was dancing on a table with Jiro cheering below, only slightly less impaired. Katsuki steered them outside and ordered them to sit and stay.

Mina was dirty dancing with some guy Katsuki had never even SEEN before, so he just grabbed her arm, flipped the guy off when he protested, and dragged her outside with the other two.

Sero and Tokoyami were over by the bartender, laughing so hard they were crying. On the usually grave Tokoyami, this was an especially disturbing look. Katsuki had to do a lot of pushing to get them outside.

Okay; Him, Kaminari, Jiro, Mina, Sero, and Tokoyami. That was six...

Fuck.

Eijirou.

Katsuki huffed in annoyance; it was now ten after and the redhead was nowhere in sight. With a muttered curse, he pushed his way back inside the crowded club.

Strobe lights made his job unfathomably difficult, but by quarter to two a.m. he was reasonably certain his only friend was not in the club.

A familiar whoop made him look over to where the girls, along with Kaminari and Sero, were dancing clumsily. Tokoyami was nowhere to be seen. Katsuki gnashed his teeth, the vein in his temple popping. He was tired, cranky, and annoyed; not a good combination for one with an explosive temper and notorious anger issues.

Katsuki went outside to soothe his pounding headache a bit. What he saw when he ducked behind the club made him freeze, eyes wide and spine tingling.

Well, shit.

Found him.


Kirishima was lying on the ground, apparently passed out with a small, slight figure kneeling over him, face buried in the crook of his neck. Katsuki made a disgusted noise and the stranger looked up. The blond reeled back in shocked horror.

Blood trickled from the corner of the boy's mouth. His luminous green eyes were half-lidded, apparently drunk off Kirishima's blood-alcohol content, and he was panting, a light flush dusting over his freckles. The open mouth allowed Katsuki to see them: pearly white, small, perfect fangs where canines should be.

Katsuki took a second to wonder whether one of the others had slipped him a drink he didn't remember, because this guy-- apparently either a vampire fetishist or the actual fucking thing-- was sitting here eating his friend, and all Katsuki could think was, huh. He's pretty as fuck.

The stranger rocked gracefully to his feet, stalking towards the blond like a cat. He crossed his arms and Katsuki grinned. He had about a full foot of height on the boy.

Cute.

"I'm sorry," purred the boy, and frankly the tone went straight to Katsuki's dick. Which was, at the moment, the straightest thing about him. Huh. New development: guys could be quite hot. "Who are you?"

Katsuki raised an eyebrow, giving the green-eyed boy the most unimpressed stare he could muster, and rolled his eyes.

"Tch," he scoffed. "I'm this idiot's DD, and I wanna fucking go home and go to sleep, so whatever you're doing, knock it the fuck off. It's an hour later than when I wanted to leave."

The boy's nose scrunched up delicately in confusion. "'DD'?" he repeated.

"Seriously?" Katsuki bent to get a better look at the stranger, but he gasped and reeled back, ducking his head. "Uhh... it means designated driver," he said, shrugging off the odd behaviour. "It's the only reason I've been here for the past six and a half hours. I hate dancing, loud music, crowds, strobe lights, and alcohol, so I'm usually a good pick for the one who doesn't get drunk."

"Oh..." murmured the boy. "And... this is your friend?"

"Yeah," Katsuki said, rolling his eyes, "if you can call him that. I gotta take him home."

The boy's stomach rumbled even as he opened his mouth. His nose twitched and his eyes shut tight.

"I'm... I'm so hungry," he whimpered. "It's been so long since I drank anything. And... he just stumbled out here and passed out. I... please let me finish!" He bowed, bending at a right angle. "I'm starving! It's been five days since I last ate! I promise I won't kill him!"

Katsuki slipped a hand under the boy's chin, tilting it up and leaning down to study him before he could pull away.

"Are these real, then?" he asked, too tired and done with life to be properly impressed.

"Yes," said the boy softly. "I hate them. They make me hungry. And thirsty. All the time. They can make me kill, sometimes." His nose twitched. "Ahh," he breathed, nuzzling into Katsuki's palm, "you smell... so good."

"Uhh... thanks, I guess. Fucking weird, but okay." Katsuki didn't pull away, though; he just watched. The vampire moaned against his wrist, pupils blown with desire. Katsuki's dick twitched in his jeans.

"I'm... s-sorry..." rasped the vampire huskily, and the tone had Katsuki almost drooling with want. "It's been a long time s-since I've hunted anywhere but bars. I don't remember what untainted blood tastes like."

He moved away reluctantly, standing over Kirishima again. "I'll finish my meal, now, Senpai," he said quietly.

"Fuck no," Katsuki griped. "Shitty Hair is never gonna let me forget it if I let you do that." He reached out to take the vampire's hand.

What the ever-loving fuck am I doing!?he asked himself, but drew the pretty boy away from his friend and to the front. "Sit," he ordered, pointing at the curb. "Stay."

"Why on earth would I do that?" hissed the vampire warily.

"I'm gonna get you some food," Katsuki sighed. "But I have to get at least three of these idiots in the car first. Unless you want to help, wait here."

"I can't eat human food," sighed the boy miserably.

"I know," Katsuki said. "I'll make it happen, I owe you for letting me walk away with my friend. I promise, okay? Just wait here."

He manhandled Kirishima into the seat closest to the door and shut it with a grunt before traipsing back through the club again. Ignoring everyone but Jiro and Pikachu, he located them quickly and herded them out to the car.

"Hi, baaaby!" cooed Jiro, ruffling the vampire's hair.

"I could kill you," the boy replied pleasantly. "But you seem like a nice person who's had too much to drink, so I'll let it slide." He helped get Kaminari and Jiro into the car before climbing into the shotgun seat.

"Hey, what do I call you?" Katsuki asked.

The vampire looked up, startled. "Oh," he said. "Sorry. I'm Midoriya a-a-ACHOO! 'z'ku." He sniffed.

"You allergic to something, Deku?"

"Izuku," corrected the vampire. "That one was my fault. Yeah, I'm allergic to tequila. That girl drank a lot of it."

"Not surprised," snickered Katsuki. "She's pretty hardcore."

He pulled into an apartment block and sighed before getting out. "Be right back," he said, and managed to drag the still unconscious Kirishima out of the car.

"Wait!" cried Izuku, running to meet him. "Here."

He bent his head to the unconscious idiot's throat and licked at the wounds. As Katsuki watched, they healed, skin growing quickly over the small holes.

"I'm not even gonna question it," he groaned, and dragged Kirishima down a hallway, up an elevator, and over to a door marked 332. He knocked. A few moments later, it opened to reveal a lovely, tired woman with a tough-looking man behind her. She sighed when she saw him.

"He drank himself unconscious," Katsuki explained. "Don't worry, he's fine. It's grad night, go easy on him when he wakes up. He's gonna have one hell of a hangover." Eijirou lived alone, but Katsuki figured he probably shouldn't be left that way in this state.

"Thank you," said his mother, smiling. "I'd rather he be here, drunk and passed out at three in the morning, than alone while we sleep."

"I know," Katsuki said. Then, "he's really heavy." Kirishima's father picked his son up with ease.

"Goodnight, Katsuki," he said, waving as he shut the door.

 

Izuku was sitting on the hood of the car, watching the stars when Katsuki got back.

"Oi, get off my car," called the blond, indignant.

"Kay."

They dropped Kaminari and Jiro off next at a tired and very annoyed Shinso's house before finally, finally, the car was quiet. Katsuki moaned in relief.

"Fuck," he sighed. "They never shut up when they're drunk."

Izuku giggled and Katsuki looked over at him. "Oh, right," he said. "Food." Kicking the car into gear, he drove back to his little house in the backroads. Izuku leaned against the window, watching the trees flash by. He seemed remarkably taken with them.

Finally, they reached the house and the boys got out. Katsuki stretched and led Izuku inside, dropping his keys in a bowl by the door.

"Okay," he said. "Come on." Taking the small vampire's hand, Katsuki led him to his bedroom. He sat down on the edge of the bed.

"What the hell are you doing?" Izuku asked, amused. "I'm not an incubus. I'm not going to sleep with you."

"No," Katsuki said, "but you're going to drink from me until you're full and if I pass out, I want something soft under me."

Izuku's eyes narrowed. "I have a mild venom," he warned.

"Fine."

"It's an aphrodisiac."

"Bring it."

"Are you really sure about this?"

"Deku." Katsuki narrowed his brilliant, catlike red eyes. "I'm sure. Come on, come here." He brushed his hair to the side, tipping his head back to expose his throat. Something about the experience was incredibly erotic already, and he was still pent-up from earlier.

"Okay," sighed the vampire. "What's YOUR name?"

"Fuck, sorry," Katsuki said. "I'm Bakugou Katsuki."

"Ka... Kas... oh, it's too late... early... for this. Can I call you something else?"

"Sure, sweetheart. Come and bite me, I want to get some sleep tonight and it's edging on four here already."

"Okay, okay! How about Kacchan?"

"Cute," said Katsuki, smirking.

Izuku sauntered up to him, every step graceful and deliberate, and wrapped his arms around Katsuki's broad shoulders. He slid a leg up on either side of the blond so he was kneeling on the edge of the bed, over Katsuki's lap. Katsuki sighed. He opened his mouth, about to complain about the speed, but then a soft, warm tongue flicked out and slid over his jugular and he lost the thought.

Izuku was sucking on his neck, moaning appreciatively, and every soft, low, breathy sound went right to Katsuki's half-hard cock.

"Wh-- oh. Goodness, Kacchan," purred Izuku in Katsuki's ear. "I haven't even bitten you yet!"

"Fuck you," panted Katsuki. "You're exactly my type."

With a raspy chuckle, Izuku gave the spot one last lick before opening his mouth wide and sinking his fangs into Katsuki's throat.

Katsuki fell back, bracing himself on one arm, back arching as he cried out. Izuku moaned, sucking gently on his Kacchan's neck and Jesus, oh God, it felt so good, it felt so good oh God. Katsuki's hands roamed freely, running through hair and over skin and under clothes.

Izuku gasped, grinding down against him, blood spilling from the corner of his mouth as he drank and drank, until Katsuki's vision went blurry and he fell back to the bed. Izuku pulled away, wiping his mouth, eyes half-lidded and clouded with lust.

 Katsuki didn't look any better. He lay on the bed, head turned submissively to the side, eyes holding the same desperate lust as Izuku's. His mouth was slightly open, breath fanning the few strands of hair that had fallen in front of his face.

Panting softly, he moaned again as Izuku smirked and rolled his hips, grinding against him. He was bleeding, just a little from the neck, and Izuku shivered, trying to resist.

"Don't hold back, baby," rasped Katsuki. "Take all you want. I'm all yours tonight."

"Kacchan..." Izuku shuddered and dove back down, attaching his lips to Katsuki's neck and sucking hard and fast. Katsuki choked on a scream, head falling back to thump against the pillows. Izuku reached down under the jeans to palm him gently. Katsuki whined, bucking his hips up desperately. He was a mess, writhing and moaning under Izuku, and the vampire loved it.

He'd never felt so alive, so rejuvenated and excited while drinking. But this... this was making heat pool in his stomach, driving his perpetually untouched member to stand tall. It felt so good... so addictive. And already, he was full almost to bursting. He couldn't possibly stomach any more blood. But Kacchan...

Kacchan looked delectable, spread out and vulnerable like this, and Izuku wanted to savour it. So, he let a few drops of venom-infused saliva drip into the wounds on his blond's neck before sealing them, trapping the aphrodisiac inside. Leaning back, he worked Katsuki's pants open and laid down on top of him, moving and thrusting against him until, with a cry, they came together, less than three seconds apart.


Izuku curled against the blond, sighing softly. Katsuki hummed, exhaustedly wrapping his arms around Izuku's waist and plopping the blond head of spikes onto the firm chest.

"So good," whispered Izuku. "Way better than I ever thought it could be. I forgot what it was like, when it felt good. Thank you."

"Anytime," Katsuki panted, sounding only a little faint. "God, I don't think I've ever cum that hard, that fast before. You're amazing with that mouth."

"Mm, you should see what else it can do," Izuku teased, flicking his tongue across a fang absentmindedly. Katsuki blushed and buried his face in Izuku's chest. Izuku hugged the blond tight, burying his face happily in the mess of hair.

"Never imagined a vampire, of all things, could be a cuddle-after-sex kind of person," said Katsuki, amusement coloring his voice.

"I love cuddles," Izuku whined, pouting. Katsuki leaned up to kiss the frown away.

"You're so cute," he sighed, smiling warmly. "I wanna keep you."

"Can I stay? Izuku begged. "Winter's coming and it's the first year I'm alone since Ochako flew to the States for work!"

"Ochako?"

"Ah." Izuku combed his long fingers through Katsuki's hair. "My cousin. Her mom's the one who turned us and my mom begged to be turned as well, for me, but by then Aunt Uraraka was back to her senses and refused. She's, uh... dead... now. A hunter got her. Mom is, too, about ten years ago. But Ochako's alive and she just went to America for work."

Katsuki frowned. "Uraraka..." he mused, then snapped his fingers. "You two know the half-n-half bastard?" he asked.

"Eh? Half-and... OH! You mean Todoroki-kun?"

"That's the bitch!" Katsuki grinned in victory. "I knew I'd heard that name before. He was in our class, I got to meet her a few times. She was... actually not hard to handle."

"Why do I get the feeling that's high praise?" Izuku teased. Katsuki pushed himself up the bed and dropped his full weight onto the vampire, who yelped. "Hey!"

"I'll get off when you apologize," Katsuki said haughtily.

Izuku glared and flipped him easily, pinning him to the bed. "I am at least three times stronger than you," he purred. "And I don't need to breathe, anyways, so you couldn't crush me if you wanted to."

Katsuki's pupils blew wide and he lifted his hips just slightly. Izuku raised an eyebrow.

"Round two?" he asked.

"Fuck, yes."


 

The next morning was pleasant, bright and cheery and wonderful.

It was also, Katsuki quickly discovered, three in the afternoon when he woke up. Izuku was still asleep beside him and he leaned over, pressing a chaste kiss to the boy's forehead. He'd both taken and given it last night, and his whole body sported a pleasant ache. 

Izuku opened his eyes without trouble or hesitation, and Katsuki realized his vampire hadn't been asleep at all.

"Hi, Kacchan," he said softly.

"Hey, Izuku," Katsuki replied teasingly, brushing their noses together.

"So... about what I asked last night...?"

"Oh, right." Katsuki tugged Izuku onto his lap and hugged him, not making any implicit moves, but just cuddling. "Of course you can stay," he murmured. "Best fuck I ever had, on top OR underneath me. Also, I kinda happen to think you're really cute and sweet and I don't wanna leave you cold and lonely on the streets, even if you can't die."

Izuku churred happily, wrapping his arms around Katsuki and pecking him on the lips. The kisses turned into something deeper and Katsuki pulled away with a frown.

"I don't feel anything," he said, confused but admittedly relieved.

"Huh?"

"Your aphrodisiac. Isn't it in your saliva?"

"Ah!" Izuku grinned. "Nope. It's in the venom pouches above my fangs, but I release it when I feed so it mixes with my saliva and gives it the same effect."

"I see." Katsuki waited a moment. "Can you eat human food?"

"Well..." Izuku frowned. "Yeah, but it all tastes like shit. I can't live off of it."

Katsuki scoffed. "Three a.m. bar food and dumpster McDonald's ARE shit," he pointed out disdainfully. "C'mon, I'll cook you some pancakes."


Eijirou burst in around four, only to find Katsuki cooking in nothing but pajama pants, with a very, very pretty boy sitting at the island behind him in an overlarge t-shirt that was unmistakeably Katsuki's. Eijirou grinned.

"Yooo, bro, you scored?" he called. Katsuki rolled his eyes.

"Don't be a douchebag," he called. "C'mon, have some pancakes. Your hangover gone?"

Eijirou winced. "Yeah, finally lost it around two," he sighed. "So how'd you get the prettiest one in Musutafu?"

Katsuki whirled around and pointed at him, frowning. "Hands to yourself," he warned. Eijirou opened his mouth to say something, but then the boy wrapped his arms around Katsuki's waist and muttered something that made him go back to the pancakes.

"Sorry, Kirishima-kun," said the boy sweetly. "I'm all his." He grinned, flashing canines that were way too sharp, and Eijirou reeled back, touching his neck at the sudden broken memory of that green hair and those glowing eyes bent over him as--

"Holy shit," he muttered. "You slept with a vampire."

"Mmhm!" Izuku's smile was so angelic it hurt Eijirou's heart. Katsuki handed the boy a plate and dropped a kiss on his head, then tossed a few pancakes at Eijirou.

"Hey, come on!" whined the redhead.

"You know where the shit is," griped Katsuki. "Get it yourself."

Eijirou turned to obey, but found the vampire holding up a plate to him. "Sorry I bit you last night, Kirishima-kun," he said softly. "I was really hungry. I won't do it again, I promise."

"Nah, it's okay." Eijirou grinned. "Looks like Bakubro there didn't mind the biting bit. You marked him up pretty good. Hey, bro, you a top or a bottom?"

Izuku's mouth fell open in shock, but Katsuki didn't even look up as he turned the stove off and plated his own pancakes.

"Yes."

Eijirou laughed so loud the neighbours probably heard him, half a mile down the road.

Katsuki rolled his eyes.

Whatever.

Chapter Text

I walk out of the dorms, stretching as I shut the door behind me. Another day of boring, annoying classes for me and the extras.

And that damn nerd.

He doesn't even get to level extra.

Speak of the devil. Well, no. I'm the devil. What does that make Deku? An angel?

Fuck no.

"Morning, Kacchan!" he chirps, beaming at me with those annoying, massive eyes. I curl my lip in disgust.

"Fuck off, or I'll set you on fire."

"Mhm! You too!" He freezes as soon as he says it, and I do too, for a split second. I turn to face him and he pales.

"Say that again," I dare him, my voice dangerously calm.

"Y-You have a good day too, Kacchan," he stammers, looking up at me with that goddamn baby face that pisses me off so much.

"When the fuck," I hiss, "did I say to HAVE A GOOD MOTHERFUCKING DAY!?"

He squeaks in fear, flinching away. "I-I don't know," he says quietly. "I just... I translated...?"

I ignite my palms in his face.

BOOM


"BRO, we heard that from in HERE!" Shitty Hair yells the second I step into class. "Really!? First thing in the morning!?"

"Fuck off, Shitty Hair," I snap, flopping into my chair as Deku stumbles in behind me, clutching the side of his face. It'll leave a bruise for a while, but honestly, it's not like he'll look like fucking IcyHot.

"Deku-kun!" Round Face bounces up to him. How the fuck is EVERYTHING about her fucking bouncy, anyway? "Are you okay!?"

I grind my teeth. He's fucking FINE. She hangs off of him like some goddamn accessory, and it pisses me off to no end.

"I'm okay, Ochako," he replies, grinning sheepishly. I suddenly remember that they're cousins and, for some reason, I'm a little less pissed. "It was my fault, this time."

"Isn't it always," she grumps, glaring at me. I bare my teeth at her and she looks away quickly, shivering. I smirk. Just then, Aizawa-sensei slithers in, unzips his sleeping bag as per usual, and starts class, looking like he simultaneously craves both a bathtub of coffee and the sweet release of death.

Round Face and Deku hurry to their seats.


When the bell goes, I corner Deku in the hallway. Shitty Hair tugs my arm, but I throw him off easily. It's actually Motor Calves who comes to the fuckin nerd's rescue this time, spouting some bullshit about wasting the time we have to get to class.

While I'm distracted by his stupid four-eyed face, he yanks Deku out from under my arm where it had trapped him against the wall. Which I punch in frustration as they bolt.

"Dude," sighs Shitty Hair, "why do you bully him? What's he ever done but love you and believe in you?"

"Why does everybody seem to like to fucking cozy up to him?" I growl, sparks popping in my palms. "Who the fuck do these extras think they are?"

Shitty Hair's mouth falls open in disbelief. Fucking dumb son-of-a-bitch.

"BRO," he says, far too loudly and shocked, "I've heard of pulling pigtails, but this is too much."

I blow him up, too. A school day has never gone so slowly.


Finally, the day ends and I storm loudly into the dorms. I hear giggles and voices shushing each other in the common room. Curious, I poke my head in on my way by.

Deku is lying sprawled on the floor, legs thrown over Round Face and head propped on the half-n-half bastard's lap. I gnash my teeth.

"OI, DEKU!" I yell. He jumps, rolling instinctively off of them. I glare, though inside I'm grinning in victory, and snarl, "Don't fucking sleep on people. Nobody's ever gonna pick a goddamn weakling like you to be a hero! Especially not if you usually spend time with your head in people's laps!" I smirk. "Actually, get used to it. It might be the only way you ever move up!"

The half-n-half bastard opens his mouth to say something, but I flip him off and walk away before he gets the words out.

From behind me, I hear, "Guys, listen, you just have to translate it. He wants me to be a hero. I'm always there and he hates it, but he also doesn't know what he'll do if one day I'm gone. So... these little outbursts and things are his way of telling me how to get better. From that, I got: my reflexes need work. Also: I can't always rely on you guys or anybody else, 'cause they won't always be there. Also, don't sleep my way to the top, but that's... not really helpful."

"You got all that from those insults?" Round Face gasps. I roll my eyes. Little bitch, sucking up, all in awe of him. Pathetic.

"Well, yeah," Deku says softly. "Kacchan's not as bad as you all say he is."

"Name one thing he's done to deserve any kind of love," says half-n-half with all the emotion of a rock.

"There are so many!" Deku says, shocked, and I feel the tiniest little warmth in my chest. At least SOMEBODY fucking appreciates me. Even if it is fucking Deku. "Okay, here's a good one. You know when Kirishima asks to study and he's all, 'you idiot, don't wait until last minute,' right?"

"...Yes..." mutters IcyHot, not understanding.

I've already made the fucking connection, and I feel my blood run cold as he spills a secret I would never dare to tell.

"Well, he helps him anyway," says Deku. I can hear the fucking smile. "That's because Kacchan wants to build him up, 'cause he and Kirishima-kun are supposed to be heroes together. Kirishima-kun promised he would do it for his dad. Kacchan won't rest until they're both standing at the top. Even if he has to carry him all the way up. So he's a good person. He just..." Deku pauses. I frown.

"He just gets a little lost with me," he says, and he sounds so sad that I actually have the urge, just for a split second, to go and cuddle him until he smiles again.

Only for a second.

It's enough to send me into my room, slamming the door shut. The extras are quiet after that.

Why the fuck am I thinking this way about DEKU, of all people? It's... I hate him more than anyone, but... everybody hanging around him. It makes me so damn ANGRY! And there's no rhyme or reason to--!

Oh.

OH.

I'm jealous.

Yep, that's it. I'm jealous of all the attention he's getting. I want their eyes on me. They always have been before. Why is it different now? When did Deku, the shitty little kid who always trailed a few steps behind me, get strong enough to stand beside me, as if we're equals? It makes no damn sense.

I lay down, pull out my homework and get to it. I'm maybe halfway through the Math when it hits me.

I'm strong, but so is Deku.

I'm a genius, but he works hard.

He is who he is because of me... and it goes the other way around.

"Fuck," I mutter, slamming my book shut. "I need him."

"Need who?" comes an annoyingly familiar voice. Though... if I'm honest, it might be a good thing.

"You," I say, pointing at Kirishima, "have somehow managed to simultaneously have the worst and the best possible timing."

"It's a gift," he agrees, shutting the door and flopping onto his bed across the room. "Why, what's up?"

"Something's up with my brain," I tell him. He raises an eyebrow. I elaborate before he says something stupid like 'Go see Recovery Girl.' "Every time I look around, Deku's got somebody hanging off of him. Round Face, Glasses, IcyHot, Frog Girl, anybody! And it makes me angry like nothing else can. What the fuck is wrong with me?"

Kirishima's face splits into a grin. He rolls onto his stomach, clutching a pillow to his chest.

"Bro," he says patiently, giving me a kind but teasing look, "you're jealous."

"I FUCKING KNOW!" I shout, and he laughs. "It's... he got so strong. They all want to be around him!"

"NO, Bakubro," he says in exasperation, and I can hear the laughter in his tone. "You're not jealous of HIM. You're jealous of THEM, because they're hanging AROUND him." He snickers and I ready my palm to fire. "You're possessive as fuck, you know that, right?"

I pause.

"You... think I... like him!?"

"Yeah." Kirishima cocks his head to the side, giving me a look of sympathy and mild disbelief. "Did... did you not... OH MY GOD, YOU'VE KNOWN HIM FOR LIKE FIFTEEN YEARS."

"SO!?" I shoot back angrily. "IT'S NOT LIKE YOU CAN JUST WALK UP TO THE PERSON YOU'VE BULLIED ALL YOUR LIFE AND SAY CRAZY SHIT LIKE THAT ANYWAY! EVEN IF IT WERE TRUE! AND IT FUCKIN AIN'T!"

Kirishima's laughter stops abruptly. I see his eyes go sad.

"You really don't want to admit it, do you?" he says with a sigh. I shrug, flopping back defeatedly on my bed.

"Look, Shitty Hair," I mutter. "Even if I were ready and able to say 'I'm in love with Deku,' it's not like I could just walk up and tell him something like that."

Kirishima stands up, stretches, and comes over to fall on top of me like a cat. I push him to the floor. He keeps trying until I realize suddenly that I don't feel sad anymore. Maybe he's pretty damn helpful after all.


It happens three days later.

I've finally managed to admit it to myself. Between Kirishima's gentle prodding and the slow processing of my feelings, I manage to look in the mirror and say, "I'm in love with Midoriya Izuku." And I see the truth in my own eyes every time I do.

I'm walking towards class when there's whispering behind me, one voice growing steadily more panicked. I turn around as that person shrieks, annoyed and about to blow someone's head off, only to have a familiar bush of green fill my vision as the very person I've been dreaming about falls straight into my chest.

I don't even think about it, catching him reflexively. We both freeze, and slowly, his eyes come up to meet mine. They're wide, uncertain, fearful and... and hopeful. This is my chance. If I start fixing things with him, it's possible that he'll be more open to my feelings in the future.

"I'M SO SORRY, KACCHAN," he yelps, squeezing those pretty eyes tight shut. I don't let go of his upper arms, though he has to be uncomfortable, leaning against my chest and shaking a little. I tilt my head to the side, draining any trace of malice and letting him see that I'm just curious.

"Are you okay?" I ask gently. His eyes snap open and he stares at me, wonder filling his expression. It's so cute, the way his whole face lights up with awe, the way his eyes almost sparkle in the light, the way his freckles pop against those rose-blushed cheeks. So cute that I have to look away to avoid the nosebleed.

I'm in too fucking deep.

"I'm okay, Kacchan," he says, and then shaky, trembling arms come up to hesitantly wrap around my shoulders.

It's just a hug. When we were little kids, we'd do this all the time without reason. But we aren't little kids anymore. And the hard muscle lines, the soft, hot breaths on my collar, the feel of his skin as my hands slide to his waist, aren't letting me forget that.

He pulls away after a minute, eyes sparkling, and then cautiously leans in to peck me on the cheek. It's light, barely there, but it is there, and I can feel my pale skin start to burn with red. Hiding my face in one hand, I reel back, eyes wide with disbelief.

"Oh, Kami, I... I dunno why I... I'm sorry, Kacchan, I'm sorry!" He turns to run and I try to shout after him.

Wait. Don't go. I need to tell you something. Please. Hold on. Wait for me. I need you. Literally anything.

By the time I get my mouth to work with my brain, it doesn't matter.

He's already gone.


"What do I do now, Ochako?" The voice is miserable, unmistakeably Deku's, and I hear a quiet chuckle that can only belong to the half-n-half bastard.

"You could always go and find him again," encourages Deku's bubbly cousin, squeaky as always. "I'm sure he won't kill you, he was sooo nice after I pushed you into him earlier!~"

I grit my teeth. So she's the reason shitty Deku fell on me.

'Well,' I figure. 'Might as well give them a show.' And I head back to my room to plan.


"Okay, bro," says Kirishima, leaning on Pinky's shoulder with a grin. "Got it. Mina will go make sure he's there, distract Todoroki-san, and then I go down to pull Uraraka-san to the side so you can get to him. Yes?"

"Great," I grunt, meaning 'Perfectly recited' but not about to say it. Kirishima's grin widens.

"Then let's go get your man!" cheers Mina quietly.

 

Ten minutes later, I hear Mina's loud outburst of, "Deku, that shirt looks soooo good on you!" and send her friend down after her. Ashido's a bro; she's basically one of the guys, no fucking question.

I follow maybe five minutes later. It's Saturday; game night. Just board games, but we're a bunch of sixteen year olds with superpowers, so it sometimes gets rowdy.

Luckily, Iida Tenya is still awake, so they're trying to keep the order. I slouch downstairs with my hands in my pockets. There's Deku, sitting curled on the couch facing away from me, laughing as he tries to guess whatever the hell Frog-girl is drawing. I hate Pictionary. Though, if I could make him laugh like that, I might start liking it a little more than I have in years past.

Mina has IcyHot engaged in a conversation over to the left, by Monopoly with Momo, as it's unofficially been dubbed. Kirishima has Ochako helping him carry snacks and drinks, clearly a last-ditch attempt to keep her away from Deku. I can SEE him sweating from here.

Quickly, I enter the room without fanfare and prepare to hear all noise die as I approach Deku from behind.

I don't even hesitate, sliding a hand into his hair and pulling his head back. His eyes go wide and he chokes out a disbelieving "K-Kacchan!?"

He doesn't have time to say anything more. The room is already silent, Uraraka hovering ready with half-n-half to dive in and save him.

As if he wants to be saved.

I lean down and cover his mouth with mine. Somewhere, I hear a glass hit the floor and break, but it doesn't matter because his hands are on my neck, in my hair, and he's bent back at an awkward angle and it's too hot, too quiet, and I know we'll both have cricks in our necks, but I can't bring myself to care because it's soft and gentle and sweet and Deku somehow tastes like the sweetgrass from the meadows we played in as children and I can't get enough of him.

He's kissing me back.

I become fully aware of this only seconds before I pull away and glare around the room.

His head snaps up and I can feel the weight of two dozen shocked stares on me. I bare my teeth, and then the couch rustles. I hear him stand up and he points to Kirishima, Kaminari, and Mina.

"Mine!" he yelps, reaching back to grab my shirt and tug me closer. "S-See? So... so s-stop being so touchy-feely with him!"

I can't help the bark of laughter that escapes me as I pull his back to my chest and rest my chin on his head.

"Says you. Practically attached to Round Face and Half-n-Half and Motor Calves all the time," I point out. He gives me a tiny, almost mischievious smile, leaning back against my chest to nuzzle at my jaw.

"So it worked," he says, sounding way too pleased with himself. I jerk back, suddenly realizing what the fuck had happened.

"You were trying to make me make a move!" I accuse. He snickers and I lean in and steal his breath in another kiss.

"You little shit," I say without malice when I pull away.

"Yeah," he says, grinning cheekily, "but you love it."

I don't bother answering.

Someone has to do the Heimlich on Raccoon Eyes. She had choked on her drink when Deku confessed to purposefully making me jealous.

Again, I can't bring myself to care.


For the rest of the night, Deku is a warm, heavy weight against my side, smelling perfect and wonderful, perfectly happy to return my randomly placed kisses.

I couldn't possibly be happier than I am right now.

Chapter Text

My name is Midoriya Izuku. My friends call me Deku; it's an inside joke, not an insult.

My life kinda sucks, but it could be worse. I'm an 18-year-old camera boy; I broadcast a show where people can tip me money to do things like strip or hurt myself.

I make about ten grand a night, but it's hard and also dangerous. I have to be careful about it, because if any of my watchers figure out who I am, it can become a serious stalker problem.

So, yeah! University student at Yuuei Akademia, Musutafu campus, and a secret whore. Well, no. I'm a virgin, actually... but none of THEM need to know that. It makes me miserable, but it's the only way I can help my mom pay the debts my deadbeat dad left behind while also paying my tuition and rent. And food.

There is one perk to my days, though: coffee.

I like pretty much anything as long as it keeps me awake; sometimes in the mornings, I'm so sore I can barely limp to the counter, let alone focus on ordering.

There's a coffee shop on campus that I absolutely love. Yes, it's stereotypically warm and charming, and small, less crowded and sought after than the Starbucks, Grab-A-Java, or Tim Hortons also on campus. But that's not why I love it.

It's the morning barista.

His name is Bakugou, according to his nametag. He has spiky blond hair that looks like a literal explosion, and deep, pretty red eyes. His jawline is really chiseled and his body is absolutely unfair, cut and well defined without being overly muscular. He's sexy as hell. And he's a demon.

He swears and growls and bares his teeth so much that by now, nobody comes to this coffee shop in the mornings. He's off at one and after that, it does get crowded, so I only come at five or six in the morning, curling up in a corner with my coffee of the day to try and breathe through the pain or read a book before my class starts.

Another thing about Bakugou: he HATES me. Like, with a passion. Every morning, the second I go up to the counter, he tells me to F-off. I just smile and order, watching his glare darken and his lip curl as he punches in my ridiculous requests. This is honestly the highlight of my days.

Today is no different.

It's five a.m. and I'm crouched outside, leaning heavily against the wall with my head in my arms and trying desperately to ignore the pain in my core and ass from last night. My viewers had made me claw my own skin until I bled, then hit myself and shove a ten-inch inside with only one finger of prep. On my knees the whole time. At least I got lube.

Anyways, it's cold, rainy, and I'm sore and miserable. The jingle of keys makes me look up and I bite my lip, seeing the barista opening the door. He gives me a look from the corner of his eye and scoffs, curling his lip as he shoves the door open.

It takes me a full minute to stand, and it involves the wall and a few pained whimpers to make it. He holds the door patiently the entire time, looking increasingly alarmed by my apparent pain. Still, he has a reputation for being a jerk, so he grunts and says nothing beyond, "Nerd," before letting the door shut the second I reach for it. Rolling my eyes, I follow him in anyways and wait at the counter.

"For the love of God," he snaps, "tell me you're ordering something semi-fucking-regular for once."

I smile as angelically as possible, batting my wide eyes for effect, and calmly order a hot chocolate with two shots of espresso, nutmeg, french vanilla syrup, almond pieces and caramel drizzle. He visibly shudders as he punches the vile concoction in. I pay and he hands me my coffee a few minutes later, grimacing. I beam at him and thank him.

"Fucking disgusting," he snarls. I choose to take it as a 'you're welcome' and go to sit in my corner.

I'm not expecting the burning flash of agony that snakes up my spine. With a choked gasp, I jolt upright, dropping my coffee as I brace myself on the table to keep myself from falling over.

"What the fuck? Fucking hell, stupid, are you shitting me?"

I cringe, meeting the barista's lovely eyes as he brings a mop over and pushes me out of the way.

He's slightly more gentle than usual, holding my shoulders to make sure I don't fall over rather than shoving the middle of my back like he had done so many times before. That's when I realize he saw everything.

Bless his heart, if he has one, because he doesn't comment on it and instead makes me another drink free of charge, muttering and glaring the whole time but concern radiating off of him.

I smile weakly and accept it, apologizing again and ducking out of the shop. I can feel his eyes on me.


The next morning is back to normal; it wasn't too rough, though I am sore. I stand at the counter as he comes to take my order.

"Can I have a caramel macchiato with... pumpkin spice flavouring, peppermint extract, cinnamon, and chocolate drizzle?"

"Jesus fucking Christ, nerd," he snaps. "You're gonna die of diabetes and caffeine poisoning before you hit twenty. Plus, poor fucking taste, if you can even taste it at all." But he makes my order, and I happily take it to the corner to drink it.

It goes on like this for ages.

"Uhm... how about one of those unicorn thingys, but put chai in it, and maybe some nutmeg and peppermint, too."

"Blegh. You're a fucking hazard to society."


"Okay. Can I have a chai latte with four shots of espresso, chocolate sauce, and--"

"WHAT!? NO FUCKING WAY! YOU'RE GONNA HAVE A GODDAMN HEART ATTACK!"


"Morning. I'd like a blond Americano with chocolate and caramel drizzle."

"...That... is pretty fucking mild, for you."

"...And some pistachios."

"GOD DAMN IT."


It's a good routine, one that makes me want to get up in the mornings. A coworker darting in to grab her stuff yells 'Bye, Ka-something,' so I start calling him Kacchan. He picks up on my nickname from my cousin Ochako when she comes with me for one visit and vows never to return. He has no end of fun with it, but I don't mind much.


One day, though, everything changes.

It's raining again, five in the morning and the sky is just barely turning grey, but I'm crouching there waiting in pajama pants and a hoodie.

The night before, my viewers had made me use a twelve-inch with no prep or lube, forcing me to tear into myself until I bled and used the blood as lubrication. Then they'd made me hit myself until I was bruised and crying, even having me use a knife and lighter on some parts of my legs, buttocks, and torso. I would have just stayed home, but today I have a massive test in my class that I can't make up later.

Ochako, my cousin, is on holiday in Miami, Florida, America with her boyfriend Iida Tenya and their best friends, Todoroki Shoto and Asui Tsuyu. I'm all alone.


I don't even look up as the keys jingle in the doorlock, but then they pause and I see shoes step into my field of vision before the figure before me crouches down, pinching my hood and pulling it back.

"You look like shit," comments my barista. I try to glare at him. It's more of a half-hearted frown. "Have you been out here all night, Deku? Where's Round Face? Or... half-n-half?"

Those are his nicknames for Ochako and Shoto. I croak out, "Amer'ca," before dropping my head back to my arms.

There's a long-suffering sigh, and then I try to stand and feel arms gripping mine, helping me. Again, he says nothing.

"Kacchan--" I start, but he cuts me off.

"Shut the fuck up, sit the fuck down, and I'll bring you your fucking coffee, okay?" Nodding, I start towards my corner, grateful for the chance to sit down. Not halfway there, the floor drops out from under me. I don't even feel it as I fall.

"DEKU!" Suddenly, there's someone at my side, rolling me over, checking my pulse and leaning into my line of sight. A beautiful shade of red, not quite ruby but darker than jasper, burns holes in my skull. "Should I call 911?" he asks. There's worry in his eyes, worry and fear and it's all too much.

I close my eyes, ignoring the few tears squeezing out the corners of my eyes.

"N-No," I whimper. "P-Please, no."

"What do I do?" he murmurs, stroking my hair away from my sweaty forehead. "I'm here, Deku. Tell me what you need."

"...help," I whisper. He strokes my cheek, hushing me, and picks me up like it's nothing. The motion brings a whole new wave of pain and I moan brokenly, curling tighter into his chest. I'm only dimly aware of being dropped onto a couch that must be in the staff lounge, because there's nothing this soft outside.

"What happened?" he asks softly.

"W-W-Work," I gasp out. It's a horribly vague answer and I know it, but I never tell people what I do. It's disgusting. It's dirty and wrong and I hate it I hate it I hate it!

"What? What's dirty? What do you hate? Deku, fucking talk to me, what's going on?" I curse as I realize I've been talking aloud, babbling to minimize the pain. He swears, too, and pulls out a phone.

"Jirou? Wait, where's Pikachu? Nevermind. We have a really bad situation here. I need an ambulance, NOW... No, I'm fine... Because he doesn't want me to... no. I'm scared. He won't tell me what's wrong."

He crouches down by my side. "Yeah. He's breathing fast, shallow. Uh huh. Uh huh. Uh... his pulse was fast when I checked it. He's all sweaty and his eyes are glassed over and he's shaking and mumbling and shit. Okay... okay. Thank you. I owe you, man. Bye." He hangs up, chucks his phone onto the table, and tilts my head towards his.

"Help is on the way," he murmurs. "Hang in there."

The world fades away.


When I wake up, I'm lying in a white bed, tubes connected to me from a stand on the side. I shoot halfway up before a blinding pain knocks me right back down.

"Easy." The voice is familiar, though I don't know from where. Then a blond head leans into my sight and I recognize those beautiful eyes.

"K-Kacchan?" I rasp, blinking to try and focus.

"Yeah," he grunts, sitting back in his chair beside me. I turn my head to face him.

"Wh'appened?" I ask softly. He glares at the edge of the bed.

"You fucking collapsed in the middle of the coffee shop," he muttered darkly. "I had to get Jirou to call an ambulance. Paramedics brought me with you to answer some questions they had about what happened. Then they tracked down your mom. She's out of town and on her way back now, but she pretty much begged me to stay and look after you, because it'll take her a few days to get home." He looks up, meeting my gaze. "What the fuck happened, Deku? Be honest."

I tear my eyes away, picking at a loose thread on the covers of my bed.

"You'll hate me," I whisper. "They always do."

"You already think I hate you," he replies with a shrug. "What's there to lose?"

A small smile flickers across my lips. I take a deep breath.

"I'm a cam boy."

He blinks, confused. "A what?"

"A cam boy," I say softly. "I... I go online and stream and people can give me money. They ask for things. They... make me do things. To myself. Sometimes it really hurts for a few days. But I'm okay."

He grinds his teeth together, vein popping in his forehead.

"What did they make you do?" he growls.

I tell him everything. Hesitant, at first, but as he prods and encourages me, I open up and within an hour, he knows everything they've done to me.

A nurse comes in to check on my injuries. I smile and act bright and cheery, so she'll release me. She seems uneasy, but fetches the doctor.

"Alright," sighs the brown-haired man. "You can go, but I'd feel better if you weren't alone."

"My mom's on her way home now," I assure him. He seems a little reluctant, but there's nothing more the hospital can do, so I pay the massive bill and walk out with a bag of pain meds.

Only to quickly realize I don't have a car.

"Come on, shitty nerd," comes an annoyed voice, followed by a loud honk to my left. I look, and there's Kacchan. He pulls up next to me and leans over to swing open the passenger door.

"Thanks, Kacchan," I sigh, settling gingerly into the seat. He hums, not saying a word. Eventually, I realize we aren't headed for my apartment complex.

"Uhh... Kacchan...?" I ask hesitantly, mildly frightened. "Wh-where are we going?"

"My place," he says with a huff. "Easier to take care of you there. Plus," and here he gives me a teasing look, "I have a coffee machine." I giggle and settle back into the seat, drinking in the scent of Kacchan and leather as we drive.

I must have fallen asleep, because when the car stops, I barely register it until the door opens and arms slide underneath me to lift me up effortlessly, carrying me into a small house. How the--!?

"How does a university student have a house already?" I ask quietly as he sets me down.

"Family property," he explains, shrugging. "I only live here while I'm in school. Then I'm headed off to teach art."

I look up at him, cocking my head. "You're an artist?" I ask. He grins.

"Yeah," he says. "C'mere, this'll be your room." He leads me to a larger room with a queen-sized bed, a dresser, and a desk. It looks very clean, but decidedly lived-in.

"Is... is this your room?" I ask hesitantly.

He shrugs. "I'll sleep on the couch, don't worry."

"Kacchan," I say, "sleep on your bed or take me to my home. I'm not gonna displace you."

"We can share the bed," he compromises, frowning, "but you're not sleeping on the couch. You hear?"

"Yes, Kacchan," I sigh, and flop exhaustedly down on the mattress with a low moan of contentment. A minute later, the bed dips beside me. I turn my head...

And immediately roll to face the other way, eyes wide. He sleeps without a shirt, apparently, and he's beautiful. His body is cut, fit, lithe and strong, not grossly over-defined but perfectly proportioned and pale. His hair falls over his face, a few strands drifting to frame his cheekbones and give them a natural almost-softness. His eyes, usually so intense and hooded, are relaxed and content, deep and warm. And he's RADIATING body heat.

I unconsciously snuggle closer to him.

After about an hour of twisting, turning, and yelping in pain, he gives up and throws an arm around my waist, dragging me close and pressing up against my back. I churr softly. He snorts.

"Never heard a person make THAT noise," he murmurs amusedly into my ear. I giggle quietly. He rewards me by nuzzling the nape of my neck. The affection surprises me, but I know an opportunity when I see one.

I slide a hand along his arm, the one on top of me, and lace my fingers with his. He hums and nuzzles me again. Apparently, when he isn't in public, my barista is cuddly as hell. It's really cute.

I know, I know. Kacchan?

Cute? But he is.


I wake up the next morning to the most wonderful smell. Not five minutes later, I see a now-familiar head of spiky blond hair poking through the doorway. He's not smiling, but there's a kind of mischief in his eyes.

He comes fully into the room, balancing a plate of eggs, toast, fruit, and coffee. I gasp, beaming up at him as he places it on my lap, handing the coffee to me separately. It's a french vanilla with little bits of almond and the fresh smell of peppermint rises from it. I smile at him again and he gives me a lopsided grin that makes his whole face soften beautifully.

"What you staring at, stupid?" he asks, snarl back in place.

"Kacchan," I start, "you know how pretty you are when you smile, right?"

A blush paints those high cheekbones faintly red and he blinks in surprise. I hide my giggle in my coffee. He sinks down next to me on the bed, propping himself on his elbow to watch me eat.

"Quit your job," he says suddenly. I choke on my coffee. After a few minutes of coughing and trying not to spill the rest of the delicious beverage, I look up at him, wide-eyed.

"What!?"

"Quit being a call girl, or whatever."

"I... I'm a cam boy. How hard is that? And I can't quit!"

"Hard. Why the hell not?"

I look down at the plate, suddenly not hungry anymore. "Look," I say softly. "About six months ago, we got a whole bunch of bills and letters in the mail. My... my dad died, and he left us with a mountain of debts to pay. I had to go to university, but my mom had to pay those debts. Some of them were from powerful people. They threatened us, and even after we used my trust fund, there were still so many left. I found... I found this website. I made an account and started doing shows, and they liked me." Kacchan glares at the bedsheets, but says nothing. I take a deep breath and continue.

"S-So... So I got popular. I was getting a lot of tips... about ten grand a night, now. They make me do things like cut or burn myself. Hit myself. F-F-Uhm... u-use toys and stuff on myself, either the ones designed to hurt or regular ones in ways they shouldn't be used. Or... or whips. They... a lot of them like whips. And... and sometimes it really, really hurts the next morning, but I still do it, because it's paying for tuition. Rent. Food. And my dad's debts." I bite my lip, clutching the comforter in my fists.

A hand covers mine, and I look up only to lose myself in deep, intense, burning red eyes.

"I can help," says Kacchan. I blush, looking away.

"I definitely don't think so," I say quietly.

"No, think about it," he says, grinning. "We both go to Yuuei, right?"

"R-Right."

He smirks and something coils in my stomach. "Well, you could live here with me. Free of charge, we own the place, so it's not like I pay rent anyway. You could work at the coffee shop with me. Kirishima, the hiring manager, is a third year in Yuuei's business classes, and--"

"Kirishima-kun works there?" I ask, blinking in surpise. "He's in one of my classes!"

"Cool!" says Kacchan. "Yeah, he's the hiring manager and we're kind of friends, so I can pull some strings and train you here and you can start working there. It pays really well; it'd be enough for your tuition and monthly bills, anyway. I can do food. You... I guess you could do laundry or something." He trails off, giving me the cutest puppy eyes I've ever seen. I feel a smile spread across my face.

"Let's do it," I say shyly. "But... why?"

He shrugs. "Well, couple reasons," he says. "One, I hate the idea of you hurting yourself online for the sick freaks who pay to see you. Also, I kind of like being a personal barista." He leans in and hooks a finger under my chin, lifting my gaze to his. "Besides," he whispers, leaning in until our lips are almost touching and my heart is going a mile a minute, "Having something as cute as you in my bed will definitely improve my mood in the mornings."

I pull away before he can kiss me, pouting just a little. "But I like angry morning Kacchan," I half-whine. "You're the reason I get up at four thirty in the morning every day to come order something weird that makes you even angrier. You're like... like a... a pomeranian! A really, really angry pomeranian." I grin at him.

He silently leans over, removes the tray from my lap and puts it on the dresser with my coffee. I open my mouth to ask what he's doing, and find myself pinned to the bed, a hot mouth sucking at my jugular.

"Ah-- K-Kacchan!?"

He pulls back and I can feel the heat in his gaze. "I don't know," he growls, "why I like you." With that, he dives back down to bite and lick at the skin, driving me a little bit crazy.

"Y-You like m-m-me-- ah, Kacchan--?" I stammer. He nods, lifting his head to look at me.

"You don't want me to kiss you," he says, a little quieter. "And you're probably not into guys anyway. But, I have you here, so it'd be stupid to waste this opportunity."

"You're right," I whisper. "It would be stupid." And I lean up, meeting him halfway for a kiss that knocks the breath from my lungs, leaving me gasping for air, flushed.

"Beautiful," he murmurs, running a hand along the t-shirt that honestly is probably days old. It should really be washed. I pull away, standing up from the edge of the bed.

"I really need a shower," I say, sighing as I inspect myself and wrinkle my nose. He chuckles.

"Kay," he says amiably. "I'll show you how it works, come on."

"Kacchan," I say seriously, fixing him with a disapproving stare.

"What?"

"I'm saying shower with me," I sigh, giving him puppy eyes. He freezes, rigid and shocked, and I'm about to backtrack when I realize just how hard he is in his sleep shorts.

"Okay," he breathes. "Yeah. Let's go."

If I sway my hips a little more than usual, who cares?


Kirishima hires me a week later and I start learning at home with Kacchan. It's been eleven months since we started dating, and living with Kacchan has been wonderful. I ended the lease on my apartment two months early and had to pay the rent for them, but I got the damage deposit back, so I was actually able to do that. Now I'm totally free of rent and food budgeting, since Kacchan buys food while I'm paying the debts. By now, there's only ¥200,000 left to pay, and I'm making enough to finish it within six months!

And the sex. Oh, god, the sex.

We share a bed; I slept on the couch for two days before Kacchan said, rather eloquently, "Oi, nerd, get in here, I'm cold!" I came running 'cause I was cold too, and now we just sleep together.

First off, I wanna say this: I'm a bottom. I'm submissive, loud, and small, and I'm not ashamed of it! Kacchan is gentle and loving, and he always handles me like something precious. Not fragile, but precious.

There are nights, now, when I take control. He loves it when I ride him. Or tease him. He likes dirty talk and praise and bondage and a HOST of other things I'm not gonna get into. But he's always gentle. Even when we go rough, he's watching, tuned for any sign that I'm in pain, and if he thinks I am he slows right down and checks in.

And he makes me coffee. I got him to try some of my weird cocktails, and he has declared me a monster. I'm starting to like normal drinks, thanks to him, but every few days if it's been rough, he makes me something crazy and special, and hands it over with a kiss and a whispered "I love you."

To think it was coffee that got us here! Oh, almost forgot why I'm making this!

Yesterday, at 7pm in the coffee shop where we met, Kacchan vaulted over the counter when I came to pick him up. He kissed me in front of at least a dozen people, dropped down to one knee and asked me to marry him.

I said yes, of course! We're gonna get married in two months, in May. I can't wait until I can call him my husband!


I really love my personal barista boy.

Chapter Text

First things first, this is okay to skip. It's not a oneshot. It's not Bakudeku or any character except me.

 

This is me.

 

 

So, this is for JadeIcing. I've known my whole life that I am a writer. From the day I said my first word (I know you're going to ask. It was Kitty.), words fascinated me. They're beautiful; so complex and so simple at once. 

I told one of you this already, but this is why I love words: they are black and white, wrong or right, like keys on a gran piano. But the second you start to put those words together to form pictures, ideas, thoughts, stories, they dissolve into shades of grey like ink in water.

And, like ink clouding in clear water, they are beautiful. 

When I was three, I frightened my mother by pointing at the woods outside our house and saying, "Look, Mommy! The trees are standing guardian over the house!"

I've done a lot. I can dance. I can do martial arts. I can draw and sing and read and play and problem-solve like other kids my age, but underneath it all, I am a writer. I always have been and I always will be.

When I speak, I've been told by my classmates that my vocabulary is strange. I use words other people don't bother with, like fascinating or odd or perhaps. I feel what I write, more than I feel anything else. 

Every story gets a little better because I practice. I edit. I revise. Every chapter you see, no matter how long, has been read four or five times by me, and I could probably tell you every story if you asked. 

Every piece I've ever written is part of me. Every character and tale and history and journey is mine, like a monster in a dream that you can't bring yourself to fear.

 

So I've always known I was born to write. It's my gift and my passion, and sometimes my curse, because a writer's life is never easy, but it's all I have ever wanted.

Thank you so much for being here and reading what I put up. Maybe now, you know why it means so much to me that you take the time to do that. 😘