Katsuki had a rescue mission.
A search and rescue mission.
The king of explosion murders, mayhem, and death had a search and rescue mission.
A rescue mission.
He felt the need to repeat this over and over in his head to remind him of the sheer ridiculousness of the situation as he kicked in the door to the warehouse that his moronic best friend was last seen. Red Riot had been the latest idiot in a stream of Pro Heroes who had gone missing looking for…missing Pro Heroes.
Katsuki knew all his coworkers were random extras that barely deserved to share the same air as him, but this had gotten sad. So many Heroes had gone missing that the powers at be were running out of options to to save their asses and Katsuki got the mission briefing handed to him as a last resort. He half suspected his boss was crossing his fingers for luck and hoping that Katsuki would go missing, too, but Katsuki didn’t hold it against him.
The devastated look on both his boss and the insurance agent’s faces when Katsuki came back with all the missing Heroes would be worth it.
But his gleeful satisfaction of ruining their plans would have to wait until he found the Heroes first.
He glared at the shelves inside the warehouse, stomping inside with a huff. The previous Heroes had gone missing in different places with nothing in common to connect the locations. Each area had local police and whatever else counted as a rescue team raking crime scenes for any clues to find the Villain who’d done this. A few places, however, were left to single Pro Heroes to investigate due to the lack of manpower and he had chosen the warehouse was where that moron Phantom Thief had last been seen.
Katsuki hated that guy.
Which is why he had fought for this location when they were divvying up the search teams. Katsuki couldn’t wait to rub it in Phantom’s face that he got rescued by Ground Zero—the guy Phantom Thief hated more than anyone.
Katsuki cracked his knuckles before he let off a small explosion with both arms spread out and palms raised. “I’m having a bad day, so let’s get this over with! Show yourself, loser!”
“Kacchan!” A familiar shrill voice yelled. Katsuki felt his shoulders and body drop with the weight of the world crashing down on him. He dropped his arms at his side and threw his head back with a groan. Katsuki knew that voice. “About damn time! Do you have any idea how long I’ve been waiting for your ass—I mean!”
A small body dropped in front of him between the shelves. Oversized combat gear covered his frame and he was wearing that stupid mask he stole from Katsuki last year when their families got together for a visit. There was no mistaking that stupid, “Deku.”
“Ground Zero! You have arrived!” Deku said, ignoring him. “I see you’ve come to save the Heroes but you shan’t best me!”
“What are you doing, Deku?” Katsuki asked, flipping on the lights to the warehouse. The entire storehouse came into existence with pale concrete floors and boxes upon boxes of—his own merchandise? Katsuki sighed on the inside and kept walking to the center of the building. “Don’t tell me you’re renting yourself out as some Villain lackey now.”
“What? No.” Deku kept his fists up. “I’m the Villain! I have all your friends—” Katsuki stared hard at Deku over his shoulder and the nerd cleared his throat and corrected himself. “Coworkers! I have them all captive and there’s nothing you can do to stop me, but I dare you to try!”
“Yeah, we’re not doing this.” Katsuki yelled into the empty warehouse, praying the Villain would show up so he could punch the guy. “Sending Deku to fight your battles is pretty lame, whoever you are!”
“Kacchan!” Deku shouted again. His red sneakers tapped on the concrete as he followed him through the shelves of Ground Zero goods. Deku nearly tripped over a box of plush toys as he scrambled to keep up with Katsuki’s power walk. “No! Really! I’m the Villain! You have to take me down to save the other Heroes!”
“The working world has not been good to you, I see,” Katsuki said. He put his hands on his hips and came to the conclusion the warehouse was empty. The bad guy was probably out. Or ran away when he saw it was Ground Zero who’d come to kick his ass. “Where’d your boss go, loser?”
“I’m the boss!” Deku yelled holding his hands up. He reached behind his back and pulled out a gun and pointed at it. “I’m the Villain! I kidnapped everyone! Me!”
“Okay, you keep playing pretend,” Katsuki said. He saw a set of double doors in the back and made a path for them. That was the only other place to go and he kicked those open with the same enthusiasm he’d granted his grand entrance. “I’ve got work to do!”
Katsuki stared at the row of cells filled with his coworkers and whistled. Straight ahead in the cell nearest to him, Phantom Thief looked like he’d been put through the wringer and strung on a hook. Maybe Katsuki wasn't the only person who hated that guy.
At least everyone else looked to be in good shape, despite the restraints—and Katsuki meant everyone. He stared, starting to count as he looked down the rows. “Are all of them here?”
“Yes! Because I kidnapped them!” Deku yelled, stomping his foot. He shoved Katsuki in the arm and pouted. “Now fight me.”
“There are like eighty Heroes here,” Katsuki said. “What the heck?”
“I’m really good. And evil.”
“Whoever did this is kind of a monster, but I’m sure I could take him.”
“You really could. Just throw a punch at me. I’m no match for you, Kacchan.”
“Deku, shut up.”
He got a frustrated whine before Deku shouted, “I killed Battle Fist for this! Fight me!”
“Battle Fist is fine, idiot,” Katsuki said, looking over his shoulder. “They found her in a ditch two weeks ago with a head wound and she’s been like in a coma or something.”
Katsuki conceded that being in a coma might not be considered as ‘fine’ to some people, but she wasn’t dead and there was an eighty percent chance she’d wake up, so who cared?
“What.” Deku stared at his gun and frowned. “That’s not right.”
Katsuki ignored Deku as he mumbled to himself about it being “impossible to miss at that angle” and rambling off the odds of surviving a bullet wound to the head. He strolled down the row looking for the only Hero he actually cared about in this little prison.
He found Riot about two cells down from the back wall and upon a closer inspection, he looked to be in worse shape than the others for some reason. A black eye and a torn uniform were the worst of it, and at least he wasn’t strung up like Phantom Thief. Katsuki blew the lock off the cell door with his Quirk and went inside to kneel in front of his buddy.
Katsuki smacked him lightly on the cheek. “Wake up, idiot.”
“Bakugou?” Riot asked, looking up. He blinked a few times, shifting in his handcuffs before his eyes widened and he jerked back in terror. Riot yelled, “Zero! Run! That guy’s a monster!”
Katsuki stared at Riot before slowly looking over his shoulder. He saw Deku, but there was no one else aside from the other unconscious Heroes. Could only Riot see the Villain? “What? Does this guy have like an invisibility Quirk or something?”
“He’s right there!” Riot hissed, nodding his head toward Deku like an idiot. “The Quirkless guy! He’s insane! He took everyone out!”
Katsuki threw a thumb over his shoulder. “Deku took you down.”
“Yes!” Riot yelled.
“That’s what I’ve been telling you!” Deku yelled. He put a hand to his chest and nodded with a disgusting sense of pride. “I’m the Villain!”
“Bullshit,” Katsuki said.
“No, no, for real, dude!” Riot shouted, scooting back in his cell toward the other corner. “Take him out!”
“Listen to your inferior friend, Kacchan!”
Katsuki opened the next cell and woke up its occupant.
He received the same reaction: Immediate fear upon seeing Deku followed by screaming at Katsuki to “Save them from the Quirkless guy” and ending the pattern with embarrassing cowering in the corner.
He went for the next cell.
“He got me with a dart! I never saw it coming.”
“I avoided the dart but then he told me he knew about that time I skinny dipped in a pool last year and I was too shocked to avoid the punch.”
“Don’t let him get me!”
Rinse and Repeat.
For eighty kidnapped Heroes.
“Do you believe me now?” Deku asked, crossing his arms. He stood there in the middle of the hallway with frustrated grin. Not a single Hero had left their cell, all of them still terrified of Deku. Deku. Katsuki’s brain felt like it was frying and stupid Deku had gone back to yelling, “I’m the Villain! Now fight me!”
“Yeah, I only found Riot,” Katsuki said out loud to himself. “No idea where the actual Villain is, so we’re just going to leave.”
Deku squawked in indignation as Katsuki grabbed Riot by the back of his costume and dragged him out of his cell, restraints and all. Deku didn’t even bother locking the cells as he chased after them. “Kacchan! What are you doing? You need to take me down and save all of them! And call for back up so there’s cameras and stuff to see you do it!”
“Deku, go home.”
“You are not doing this.”
Katsuki was so doing this.
He kept hold of Riot’s arm as they entered the main section of the warehouse and ignored the way his loser friend kept looking over his shoulder at Deku like he expected the guy to actually do something dangerous.
Like he would.
“Kacchan, I did not spend years setting this up for you to throw it all away,” Deku hissed, tapping up next to Katsuki’s side. Riot immediately tried to scramble away from him, but Katsuki kept his grip tight. Deku shoved Katsuki in the shoulder. “Are you listening to me?”
“Nope,” Katsuki said.
“Oh, for the love of!”
Katsuki whipped around and caught Deku’s arm at the wrist, glaring at the syringe in his hand he’d just attempted to stab Katsuki with. “Really?”
Deku’s eyes softened and he looked downright enamored as he said, “Oh, Kacchan. I knew you’d never fall for the surprise dart. You’re really the best.”
Katsuki snorted and snatched the dart. He exploded in his hand before he continued toward the exit. Once outside, he’d call the police and tell them the rest of the Heroes were here and Deku would be someone else’s problem.
“Which is why I’m not letting you ruin this.”
He heard Riot scream his name about two seconds before Deku smashed him over the head with a merchandise crate that should have been too heavy for the twerp to pick up.
Katsuki woke to a dim room, lit only by a short lamp on the corner of a desk. He was tied to a chair and Deku sat next to him, scribbling in a notebook. He looked around, seeing that they were in the back room with the captured Heroes. Riot had been shoved back in his cell along with everyone else, all of their restraints back in place.
“I might have shot myself in the foot with this one,” Deku muttered under his breath. “There’s got to be a way I can spin this to have Kacchan still come out on top despite his lack of cooperation. I still don’t know what went wrong, though. He likes punching me in the face. This should have been easy!”
“What should have been easy is the Heroes taking you out when all their doors were open,” Katsuki said, scrunching his nose. “There’s enough of them here.”
“I’ve traumatized them or something,” Deku said under his breath. “I don’t know, but that doesn’t matter because you were supposed to save them!”
“They’re Heroes. They should have saved themselves,” Katsuki said. He glanced behind him at the cuffs on his wrists. “Are these explosion proof?”
“Then we’ll go with Plan B,” Katsuki said. He looked at Deku and said, “I’ll fight you if you take them off.”
Deku pouted. “You’re lying.”
“Yeah, but you’re going to take them off now.” Katsuki knocked them against the chair. Deku flinched from the noise and Katsuki hit them harder against the seat. “Or when I do get them off myself, I am never speaking to you again. Ever. I will pretend you don’t exist even more than I did in middle school.”
“That is not playing fair!”
“What? Who said that?” Katsuki asked, looking to the side. He closed his eyes and smirked, tilting his head toward the ceiling. “It’s like I almost heard a voice, but I couldn’t have because there’s no one but me and cowardly Heroes here.”
“Do you at least promise to punch me?” Deku asked, fiddling with his hands.
“Sure,” Katsuki answered.
“Deal,” Deku said. He reached over and took off the cuffs. “Now hit me and take me in and save everyone! We’ve already wasted too much time and you’ve got some press to impress.”
“You know absolutely no one is going to believe you did this, right?” Katsuki asked, waving his finger at the cells. “Not a single one, no matter what these other losers say.”
“They will!” Deku said. He patted himself on the chest with the side of his fist. “Trust me. Only Ground Zero could take me out. No one else is good enough.”
That was true.
But it was still Deku.
And Katsuki knew exactly what to do.
“Suit yourself,” Katsuki said.
He punched Deku hard enough to knock him out and caught the twerp before he hit the ground. Katsuki threw Deku over his shoulder and finished what he came here to do.
Izuku came back into consciousness with a smile on his face. Everything he’d planned over the years had been worth it. Kacchan had taken his nice sweet time, but he’d show up and taken out the Villain and saved all the Heroes. Everything had gone—
“Later on the news, we’ll go over once again the miraculous story of how Red Riot awoke and escaped from his bondage to save all of the missing Pro Heroes.”
Izuku shot up from the couch (Wait, why was he on a couch instead of in a jail cell?) and stared at the news on the television. “No.”
On the screen, Riot laughed into the microphone and said, “Yeah, it still bites that the Villain got away scot free and that I have no idea what he looks like or his name, but thanks to my hardening Quirk I eventually broke free from my bonds and saved everyone!”
“What the hell!” Izuku shouted, shooting forward to lean on the coffee table. “No! No! Kacchan was supposed to save everyone!”
“Stop yelling,” Kacchan said. He smacked Izuku in the head with a water bottle and sat next to him on the couch. “Your mom called by the way. Does she really think you work in an office?”
“What is that!” Izuku yelled, pointing at the television.
“Giving the Villain what he wants is like the biggest ‘Not Going To Happen’ in the Hero Rulebook,” Kacchan said, throwing his arm over the back of the couch. “And I already kinda ruined that by punching you.”
Deku grabbed Kacchan’s shirt and shook him. “What did you do?”
“I explained to Riot and the others that the best way to get revenge and to make you suffer for this was to ruin your plan, which meant that I was technically never there and no one is admitting to who kidnapped them,” Kacchan said, smirking and licking his teeth. He reached into the bowl of popcorn he brought with him and took a bite of the puffs. “Congrats. You wasted your time.”
“This is not over,” Izuku said, slumping into the couch next to his best friend. “I’m going to make you the greatest Hero in the world if it kills me.”
“Good luck with that.”
“Next time, I’m just killing them,” Izuku said, grabbing a handful of popcorn and shoving it in his mouth. “Being number one of one doesn’t sound great on paper but it still counts.”
Izuku looked over and saw Kacchan had fallen asleep.
He resisted the urge to smother the idiot with a pillow.