|◁ II ▷|
For the lives that I take, I’m going to hell
For the laws that I break, I’m going to hell
For the love that I hate, I’m going to hell
For the lies that I make, I’m going to hell
For the way I condescend and never lend a hand
My arrogance is making this head buried in the sand
For the souls I forsake, I’m going to hell
1:35 ───ㅇ───── 3:47
Day 66 - 8:19 PM
Music - Track 1 - Going to Hell - The Pretty Reckless
You can hear them. Shuffling, moaning, gasping. You quickly pull your hair back away from your face. You hate your hair sometimes; it always seems to get in the damn way. You make sure your phone is tucked safely into your jean pocket and that your headphones are snug in your ears. You don’t want them to fall out when it gets rough. You need this music if you’re going to make it there in time. You ready your bat and tap your right earbud to hit play...
Then you step out in the streets, and here they come. You make them faceless, nobodies, nothing. The first one makes its way to you, grabbing at your face and neck. You swing the bat hard and crack its skull open. You run down the street, trying to stay in the open so Bakugou can sharpshoot any that are in your blind spots. You hear a gunshot, but you don't stop running to look. One of the rules is to never look back. You learned that one the hard way.
You have to bash another head in as you get closer to your destination: a gas station. Inside are two things waiting for you: food and Kirishima. You just want to strangle him for going out alone. That's another rule. Maybe you should write a book for all these damn rules. As pissed as you are at him, you need Kirishima though; he's your ears.
You kick one of them away from the door and smash the bat against its head so hard that brain matter splatters the exterior wall of the gas station. You think you’re taking your anger out on them now. You see Kirishima inside.
He runs to the door and ushers you in, but you can't go in yet. There's too many out here. You may never come back out if they gather around you both, so you start swinging at as many as you can. You take out two that are getting too close to the building, and one more that has started scratching at the large window.
A few of them start getting closer, hearing the commotion that’s now around you. You kick one of the closest to you away, stunning it momentarily. The second is more aggressive and goes right for you. You waste no time in sweeping its feet out from under it and breaking its head open with your bat as soon as it hits the pavement. The first has regained its composure and has joined the third in pursuit of you. You kick the third and last one out of the way, using it as a way to step away from the first to get in a good swing at its head.
Your swing follows through and sends its head flying down the street. You feel a hand around your ankle. You tell your body not to twist away; you don't want its nails to break your skin through your jeans. You take a breath and bring your bat down on its face. Once. Twice. Three times. You’re not taking any chances.
You see Kirishima opening the door of the gas station again so you make yourself run inside. You refuse to look at him and start filling your pack with anything your brain registers as food. Chips, jerky, anything canned, packaged candies, snacks, as many drinks that you can fit into your backpack. You can't hear much because of your music, but you know the air is tense. Kirishima is stuffing more into his already full bag next to you. His large body brushes against yours, and you lean away. You know it isn't the time or place to be mad, but you can't help that you’re pissed.
Your bag is full now, and the song is almost over. You gotta get out of here fast. You go for the door, Kirishima right behind you with his food bag slung over his shoulder and an axe in hand. You have to get back down the street to Bakugou and your impromptu home base.
You look back at Kirishima's face for the first time since you entered the gas station. He nods in understanding. He's going to act as your ears until you reach the base. You survey the street. More have gathered but have yet to surround the two of you.
You throw open the door, and you and Kirishima run as quickly as possible, dodging the ones who are slow and bashing in the heads of those who are in the way. Kirishima grabs your hand. One squeeze. That means there's a handful of them gaining on you from what he can tell of their footsteps.
"Slow?" you whisper. You don't want any more attention from them so you keep your voice low. One hard squeeze: yes. "Run like hell." He nods and you both sprint all the way to home base. You pass dozens of faces, only attracting the attention of a few. Neither of you say another word. All you can hear is the music in your ears. Your heart is beating hard, and your breath is getting heavy. Kirishima's hand is getting sweaty in yours so you hold it a little tighter. You'll make it there. You'll both make it to the base.
You hear a few gunshots taking out a few of the fast ones behind you and Kirishima. "Faster," you choke out. Bakugou hates wasting bullets so you know you're going to get a speech when you get there. You're so close now. You turn the corner where you had come from initially, and it's deserted, just like it was when you had put in your earbuds. The song is nearing its end so you push your body harder. You have to be inside once the music stops. You have to be. Have to be.
You and Kirishima let go of each other's hand and burst through the door of the abandoned apartment building. The song comes to an end and silence buzzes through your earbuds so you pull them out. You throw the food bags to the floor, close the door, and bolt it back up. Then you grab your things and head up a few flights of stairs, Kirishima following closely behind.
You’re still running. stepstepstepstep. You know your adrenaline must be pumping because before any of this happened, on a regular day, your body probably would have given out already. You've never been very athletic even while undergoing pro hero training with Red Riot and Dynamight. Fuck, that feels like years ago now, but it’s only been a couple of months.
But you’ve reached home base. It's a mostly empty, completely open room with just the four basic walls you need. You think it used to be a warehouse that was being renovated into some of those industrial lofted apartments. But there’s nothing resembling a finished apartment here: no kitchen, no working bathroom, just an open brick and metal loft.
There's one wall with windows facing the street. It's the best place for a base. Especially at night. You're four floors up from the ground, four doors are separating you from them, and you can see everything on the street and a few streets over from your position. You personally think four is a lucky number. It's too bad there's only three of us.
Your eye catches a lone discarded mirror in a corner that was probably meant for what would have been the bathroom. You see a woman with her hair pulled away from her round face and her t-shirt drenched in sweat. Her jeans are a little dirty, and there's blood around the ankle. Probably from the one that grabbed her at the gas station. She's breathing hard, her face red, but her eyes are shining. Still alive.
“Shitty Hair, what the fuck?” Bakugou looks as angry as you feel. He closes the open window and leans his sniper rifle against the wall then stalks over to the two of you. His fists clench and unclench as he waits for Kirishima to offer an explanation.
“I thought I had it handled. I didn’t know they were going to be crawling all over that gas station.” He explains, rubbing the back of his neck.
“We never. Go. Alone. Y/N and I were worried sick. Fucking dumbass. Not to mention how I had to waste bullets making sure you two idiots made it back here in one piece.” He reprimands Kirishima.
“Yeah, you fucking better be. You wake me up to tell me you’re going to grab something from the first floor, and I look out of the window to see you running down the street? I woke her up as soon as I noticed the fuckers outside start following your dumb ass.”
Kirishima winces and looks over you. He can probably feel the same anger coming off of you in waves as you avoid his stare. You plop your bag down on a card table in the center of the apartment and sit down to take a breath. Your heart was still pounding after all of that.
“We already went through this once.” Bakugou’s eyes shoot over to you briefly, but you ignore him. Been there, done that. However, he’s right. Kirishima should have known better. “We don’t need a repeat. Or worse.” He finishes.
Bakugou looks through your bag as he changes the subject. "Whadya get anyway? Better be something good after all of that." He's been having a craving for a certain bag of spicy chips. You see a huge smile appear on his face as he pulls out a red and yellow flamed bag. You happened to see it in your rush to stuff your bag in the gas station and grabbed it for him. "Oh fuck yes, thank you. Thank you!" He tears it open and practically inhales it. So much for giving a lecture on wasting bullets.
"Chill, Bakugou. We gotta make this stuff last as long as we can." Kirishima says firmly. He doesn't want to be the bad guy. You know the feeling. But sometimes you have to be, so you snatch your bag up and dump out its contents on the card table. You set your earbuds down and begin rationing out the food. There’s enough to keep all of you going for a few days, but you’d have to scavenge again soon.
Bakugou doesn't even seem to notice or care that you and Kirishima are trying to be responsible with the food as he savors each chip that he pops into his mouth. You hear your stomach rumble so you grab a stick of jerky from your pack. Once the food is properly organized, you take a seat against the wall on top of your sleeping bag and peel open the beef jerky wrapper before taking a bite and chewing slowly.
"Hey." Kirishima says softly, taking a seat next to you. His hair is more disheveled than usual even though he’s tied it back in a ponytail. His black roots are peeking out from the vibrant red. He looks so exhausted. Your heart wants to pull him close and let him sleep on your shoulder. Your brain wants to push him away and scream. So you opt for a neutral ground.
"Hi." It comes out softer than you wanted. You want to sound indifferent, but your body is betraying your emotions. Fuck.
Bakugou sits against the window, eating the bag of chips and pretending not to listen to the conversation that is about to go down between Kirishima and yourself. He turns his head to stare out the window, one ear pointed in your direction. You know that he’s just as interested in hearing what he has to say as you are.
“So how did you know where to find me anyway?” He asks. He’s dancing around the sore spot now, and he knows it.
You scoff and hold up your phone. “Well if the trail of dead wouldn’t have led me to you, I’m sure I could have just used your tracker.” Each of you had off-grid trackers in case of the worst case scenario. It’s actually all your fault that the trackers had to happen in the first place, but you mentally shook that thought from your head.
“Ah.” He replies, not meeting your eyes. You hum in response. An uneasy silence settles around the two of you. All you can hear is the crinkle of Bakugou’s chip bag and the wind blowing around the building. After a few moments that seemed like forever, Kirishima finally broke the silence.
"I wanna to apologize to you. I shouldn't have gone out by myself like that..." He trails off and looks at your hand. He better not try to hold it, you think, but your heart beats faster. "I just didn't want to put you in danger. I thought I could do it by myself." He looks back across the room, to Bakugou who is still feigning ignorance. Behind him are the windows lining one side of the room. The sun has already dipped down below the horizon, and the stars are just starting to shine in the red-tinted sky.
You really want to hit Kirishima. His hardening quirk be damned. You want to scream and cry and really let him know how you feel. You can't do that though. The loud sounds would draw those things to you. So you take a deep breath and exhale through your nose in an effort to center yourself before you respond.
"It's fine. I just think you're stupid. You need me, like I need you. We're in this together. Splitting up is not an option. This isn't some Hollywood horror film." You look at him, and his red eyes are staring into your own, looking for something. You have to swallow the lump forming in your throat before finishing, keeping your tears shoved down as far as you possibly can. "We drew the short end of the stick, and we’re stuck living in this undead hell, Kirishima."
“I know I’m stupid. I’m really sorry.” And he does genuinely look sorry. He continues to look into your eyes, pleading with you to accept his apology. However, you’re still angry. Angry that he left alone, angry that he didn’t think you were good enough to take with him, angry that these feelings you couldn’t have right now for him were building up inside of you.
“You know I’m not fragile. Even with my quirk holding me back, I still get shit done. You and Bakugou spent all that time training me before. Now we have a system in place to help me stay sane out there. I don’t understand why you even bothered if you don’t believe in me. And besides… I don’t know what I would have done if we had lost you.”
The last part comes out just barely a whisper. It hurt that he didn’t believe in you, but what hurt more was the fact that there could be a day where he doesn’t come back to you. Kirishima’s eyes soften, and he looks like he's about to say something. His mouth opens a little, then closes, and he keeps rubbing his sweaty hands on his jeans. He looks hella nervous. "Y/N, I-"
"Shhh." Bakugou quickly flicks the light from a flashlight at you both, a finger on his lips, and all three of you fall silent. The flashlight was a universal sign for everyone to shut the fuck up, especially in moments like this where you can’t warn someone verbally.
The noise has drawn them to you. The ones from the gas station must have finally caught up. They're slow, but somewhat intelligent. They know sound equals food. Anything that is alive and has flesh is food for them. You wonder, if they got desperate enough, would they actually eat each other?
You feel the familiar feeling of invisible ants marching up your arms, and then you hear one of them groaning close by. Suddenly its thoughts are echoing painfully inside your head.
Hungry. So hungry. Pain. Need to eat. Must eat.
You clamp your hands over your ears, trying to block it out, tears coming to your eyes as its thoughts try to overwhelm your senses. You can't stand this, this helpless and hopeless feeling that comes over you every time they get near. It renders you almost powerless as the phantom pain racks your brain and body.
Just as you think you are about to pass out from the overwhelming pain coming from the monster outside, you feel someone kneel down in front of you. Their large, calloused hands pull your own away from your ears to replace them with your earbuds.
You look up, your eyes clouded with unshed tears to see Kirishima. He presses play on your phone then sits next to you. He doesn’t try to hold you or touch you, but he’s close enough to brush against you and let you know he’s there.
The song playing takes you back to the very beginning of what would be the end….
|◁ II ▷|
I can see inside you, the sickness is rising
Don't try to deny what you feel
(Will you give in to me?)
It seems that all that was good has died
And is decaying in me
(Will you give in to me?)
1:35 ───ㅇ───── 3:47
Day 0 - 6:33 PM
Music - Track 2 - Down with the Sickness - Disturbed
You sat in your bedroom, earphones blasting to keep out the outside world while you typed away at your laptop. Your Pro Hero roommate and friend, Vine AKA Ibara Shiozaki, wasn't back from her patrol shift yet. You found it a little odd that she wasn't. She usually rushed right back to your home after patrolling to eat. Man, that girl can eat, you thought to yourself. Must be all of the walking and running while fighting crime. Or the weekend softball she played with some of her old classmates from UA High if you had to guess.
You weren’t a Pro Hero yourself. At least not yet. You were interning under Red Riot and Dynamight. Usually interns were much younger than 28, but you had a late start to figuring out how to use your quirk in a helpful way. Mind reading would be the simplest terms you could think of to describe your quirk to someone, but it was more complicated than that. You could read thoughts of course, but every person you came in contact with was different. Some you had to touch to read their minds. Others’ thoughts were so loud you could hear them from several feet away. And sometimes, you don't get words from someone’s thoughts at all… You would get feelings, emotions, and, on rare occasions, even pain.
When your quirk began to manifest, you didn’t get to choose what you heard and felt. You would easily be overwhelmed, which happened so much when you were younger that you ended up being homeschooled during your younger years. Once you reached high school, you were able to return to a normal school setting thanks to gaining some control over your quirk. Earbuds and music were extremely helpful in keeping your quirk in check.
It took several years for you to control your “mind reading” to keep it from overwhelming you, and it took even more years to figure out how to make your quirk useful. You were eventually able to pull thoughts and feelings at will to find what you were looking for. At first, you decided to go into detective work after you graduated college, thinking that would be the best career path for your quirk. And it was for about 3 years. However, when one of your cases became high profile, the Hero Commission introduced you to Red Riot and his partner Dynamight. After a successful take down of a rising group of villains with the two Pro Heroes, Red Riot convinced you that you could be a hero, too, and offered you an internship at his shared agency.
You ended up taking him up on his offer, but after two years, you still weren’t sure yet if you made the right decision.
You didn’t ever feel that you looked the part of a hero… You didn’t fit the physical mold that had become the norm. You had always had wide hips and a belly. You were strong though, which Dynamight had figured out once he started training you for hand to hand combat. You had a feeling that he underestimated you even though you told him you had been lifting heavy for a couple of years on your own.
To their credit, Red and Dynamight never called attention to your size or made you feel insecure about your body. The tabloids did that anyway, but you wouldn’t let the media tear down years of self confidence that you had built from the ground up. Maybe it was time for a plus sized Pro Hero. Molds be damned.
Even if you never made it as a Pro Hero though, you had forged friendships with both Red Riot (who begged you to call him Kirishima in casual settings, but sometimes you still called him Red) and Dynamight (who allowed you to call him Bakugou when you were in private only; Bakugou really loved his hero name and made it that obvious). The three of you were inseparable. Shiozaki often teased you about having a crush on one or both of them. There might have been some truth to her teasing, but they were your best friends, even if Bakugou wouldn’t admit it.
You checked your cell phone for the third time. You were really starting to worry about Shiozaki. Just as you set your phone back down and sighed, your phone vibrated with a call. It was her. You smiled, tucked your headphones in your pocket, and answered.
"Hey Shio-" A scream suddenly came over the receiver. And then more screams came, over and over again. You held the phone a little away from your ear, not exactly sure what was happening.
"Oh god! Help me! Someone help me!" You heard a girl scream.
"Ibara! That's not funny." But those screams didn't sound like her, you thought.
Then you heard groaning and more screaming. "Please!" You heard the girl say again. "Leave me alone!" An ear piercing screech followed her pleas... and then you could hear slurping sounds like a wild animal tearing into a dead carcass.
Your hands began to shake. "Ibara! Stop it!" But all you heard were the sounds of teeth gnashing and groaning coming from the receiver. You bit your lip and ended the call. It was all too much; it had to be a joke, you thought.
You looked out of the little window and across the street. You expected to see people walking back and forth and cars passing by, but you saw no one. The wind blew through the trees eerily, and the sun was starting to dip down below the horizon. Chills ran up and down your arms.
Your phone vibrated again in your hand, and you almost jumped out of your skin. It was a text this time.
Stay inside, OMW
Like I could do anything else
Pack some basics & food
Be there in 5
Sir yes sir
You trusted Bakugou with your life, but even if you didn’t, staying here was your only option for the moment without knowing what the fuck was happening outside. You grabbed a backpack and filled it with the basics of clothing, a bit of food you had in the pantry, and put on your sneakers and a light-weight jacket. You tucked your earbuds and a charging cable into your bag as well. Then you sat on the couch and waited.
Suddenly, you heard a sound at the door. You stood but hesitated to open it. You clenched your shaking hands into fists. Then there was another ‘thunk,’ but louder that time.
Come on, Y/N. Get it together. It’s probably just Bakugou. He said he’d be here soon right? You shook yourself, unlocked the door, and opened it. What you saw made your blood run cold.
Standing in the doorway was Shiozaki, still in her hero costume. She was bleeding from her side, and her eyes were vacant. She could barely hold her head up. That’s when you noticed her mouth. It was stained around her lips and down her chin with what looked like fresh blood. She tried to reach for you, her mouth slowly gnawing at the air.
“Shiozaki… Are you okay? What happened?”
You were so engrossed with looking at her, that you didn’t feel the creeping of ants crawling up your arms. But unfortunately for you, the warning sign of intruding thoughts came too late. You gasped and held your hands over your ears as shrieks and feelings of pain from her thoughts quickly overwhelmed you. You hadn’t been this caught off guard with your quirk in many years.
You scrambled back and hit the back wall, close to the window. Your brain felt fried. You couldn't form a coherent thought thanks to the never-ending shrieks of pain echoing only in your mind. She slowly shambled toward you, arms out to snatch you up.
“Wait! Stop! Don’t come any closer!” You yelled as you held your hands over your ears still, but she didn’t stop walking towards you. You had to do something and do it fast. You weren’t sure what was wrong with her, but Shiozaki wasn’t herself. And from the blood around her mouth, you weren’t going to fuck around and find out.
You felt the coolness of the glass of the window behind your left arm. You finally started to think again and got ready to break the glass with an elbow strike, just like you had been taught when you had started training with Dynamight. You had started to form a plan to escape out of the window, but she was too close now. You started to panic again and felt around on the wall for anything you could use to escape her grasp.
Shiozaki's softball bat was on your right side, left over from yesterday’s game. You silently thanked Shiozaki for being a bit messy then picked it up and got ready to swing. “I’m so sorry… Please forgive me,” you whispered to her. Your words didn’t seem to process at all to her. So you made up your mind right then.
You quickly swung at her bloodied side, too afraid to process the thought of actually killing one of your friends. She went down after a couple of swings, and finally, the shrieking in your head stopped. Either she was knocked out or she was… Your hands were shaking so hard at the thought that you dropped the bat with a loud clatter.
"Y/N! What the hell?" You looked up, and Bakugou was in the doorway. His large, muscled body took up most of the door frame. You noticed that his Dynamight costume was missing in action. He had on plain clothes with a bloodied bat in his hand as well. His ruby eyes were wide with what you assumed was fear. Fear for you or because of you, you weren’t too sure.
"She... s-she..." You couldn't even speak as your voice began to shake.
Shiozaki laid on the floor, looking up at you. Her mouth was open, and her eyes were blank. What had happened to her? Why did she look like that? Why did she try to attack you? So many thoughts were swirling in your head now that the shrieking was gone, but then one thought in particular felt like a cold knife plunging into your heart…. Did Bakugou think that you killed her?
Before you had a chance to even think about using your quirk to find out, Bakugou stepped over Shiozaki, grabbed your backpack from the chair you had left it on and slung it over his shoulder. "Take the bat with you, and let's get out of here." His voice was gruff and demanding. He wasted no time in leaving your apartment without sparing the girl on the floor another glance.
You solemnly nodded and picked up the bat. You gave Shiozaki one last look, apologizing over and over in your head, and then followed him out. You closed the door of your apartment behind you, but left it unlocked just in case someone could help your friend. “I’m so sorry…” You said one last time as you walked away.
Bakugou had already made his way across the street, put your things in the backseat of his Jeep and was getting into the driver’s side seat. You looked both ways before sprinting across towards the vehicle. Bakugou reached out and opened the passenger side door. You quickly slid in and sat with the bat between your legs. Shiozaki's blood was on the sides of it. You thought you were going to vomit looking at it.
Bakugou started up the Jeep and looked over at you. The fear in his eyes had seemed to dissipate a little at least. You wondered briefly why he hadn’t pestered you for details on why you hit Shiozaki with a bat. And also, why did he have a bat?
Bakugou’s voice pulled you from your spiraling thoughts. "We have to get to Kirishima. Then we're outta here. Alright?" He looked at you, waiting for you to meet his eyes.
You did so hesitantly, afraid that he thought he was looking at a killer. But all you saw when you looked into his eyes was Bakugou, your best friend. You nodded and squeezed your shaking hands between your legs so he wouldn’t see how fucking scared you were.
Bakugou pulled out onto the street quickly and headed towards his and Kirishima’s agency. You looked back down at your thighs, away from the blood-splattered bat and the windows. Then a thought hit you.
"Why didn't Kirishima come with you? You could have left the agency together." You hoped that to all the gods that Kirishima was okay.
"I didn't come from the agency. I went to get those." He tilted his head towards the back seat. You turned around to look and saw bags of different sizes. It looked like mostly camping equipment until you saw the barrel of a gun sticking out of one of the larger bags. You instinctively shrunk back.
As you got closer to the agency, you felt pain begin to creep up your limbs like ants. You hadn’t heard any more shrieks since you left Shiozaki, but you braced yourself just in case. You felt like you were starting to go crazy.
"Bakugou, what the fuck is happening?" You finally asked. Shiozaki, the bat, the camping gear, the gun… nothing was making any sense right now. And where the fuck was everyone? The streets were practically empty.
"I'll tell you when we have time." He said as he pulled into the parking lot in front of a large building that housed his shared agency with Kirishima. You heard him swear under his breath. You followed his line of sight and saw Kirishima still in his hero costume, using his hardening quirk to try to hit people off of him. Kirishima towered over them, but even with his height and built body, there were so many people trying to get their hands on him. They were in a similar state as Shiozaki: bloody, mouths open, and hands reaching out for something to grab onto.
"Stay here. I'm grabbing him then we're gone." And with that, Bakugou jumped out of the Jeep, bat in hand. You couldn’t bring yourself to look. No wonder he hadn’t asked you about Shiozaki. You felt your eyes tearing up. Something was happening. Something terrible.
After what seemed like forever, Bakugou had finally cleared a bloody path to Kirishima, and they ran back to the Jeep together. You opened the back door from your seat, and Kirishima ducked as he jumped inside. He was covered in blood and sweating from overusing his quirk. You wondered how long he had been outside fighting those people off.
"Ouch! What the hell? I think I sat on a ... gun?" Kirishima looked as terrified as you did as he held up the gun that had been previously stuck in his backside.
Bakugou got back in and was already backing out of the parking lot while Kirishima gently put the gun away in a different bag. "Later. I promise." Bakugou huffed out, his mind was obviously focused on getting everyone out of there.
You looked back at Kirishima, and his eyes were on the bloody bat that was between your legs. Your stomach felt like it turned itself inside out. Your thoughts raced to a worse case scenario, but Kirishima must have felt your anxiety. You felt his hand on your shoulder, and you couldn't stop yourself from looking at him.
"It'll be okay, Y/N." He looked sincere and you wanted to believe him, but this was getting out of control. Much like Bakugou's driving right then. He was taking curves too fast and driving down unfamiliar roads. You had yet to see any people. You also hadn’t heard any shrieks or felt any pain from your quirk.
That made you start to worry and your thoughts were racing once again. Why were those people attacking Kirishima? Why did Shiozaki look like that? Was this some kind of sick joke? Then you remembered Shiozaki's eyes and the blood around her mouth.
No. It's not a joke, you decided.
Right then, Bakugou took a particularly sharp turn, barely slowing down. "Maybe you should slow down some. You don't want a ticket," you said, trying not to sound nervous. He just laughed dryly, and didn’t bother adjusting his speed.
Kirishima sat quietly in the back, taking the bumps on the road with grace. He caught you looking at him in the rearview mirror and tried to give you a reassuring, toothy smile. You just couldn't bring yourself to smile back though. Instead you asked Bakugou, "Where are we headed?"
“To my cabin.” He replied simply, his eyes trained intensely on the road.
Kirishima shuffled in the back seat a bit, and you felt his hand on your shoulder. “I’ve been there with Bakugou before. It’s really nice and remote…” He turned his head towards Bakugou. “Which is the only reason I can think of that you would be driving us out here instead of going to the Hero Commission to help with whatever this is.”
Bakugou clicked his tongue against his teeth. “Tch. Fuck the Hero Commission.”
“What about all of those people in the city that are in danger?” Kirishima asked incredulously. You felt the same way, but you were definitely terrified of whatever was happening. Your shock had overrode any sense of heroism in your body the moment you had to take a bat to your friend to save yourself.
“They won’t be people for much longer.” He replied softly. A shiver creeped up your spine at the sinister implications of his words.
“What the hell aren’t you telling us?”
“Just shut up and let me drive!” Bakugou shouted, his eyes leaving the road briefly to glare at Kirishima in the rearview mirror. Kirishima gently squeezed your shoulder before settling back down in his seat, folding his arms and looking out the window.
The remainder of the drive to the cabin was spent in silence. The knot in your stomach continued to tighten the further you got from the city.
A couple of hours later, you arrived at a small cabin, deep into the woods. It was a good thing Bakugou had a Jeep because he had spent a majority of the last hour off-road on makeshift trails. Bakugou knew exactly where he was going though. Kirishima seemed comfortable enough as well that driving through the dark forest with only a pair of headlights to guide the way wasn’t as scary as it could have been.
Bakugou pulled up next to the cabin and turned off the engine, leaving the Jeep’s headlights on as the only light source. You went to open the door, but Bakugou put a hand on your arm to stop you. You looked up at him.
“Look, I’m sorry for snapping. You too, Shitty Hair. I’ll explain things once we unload the Jeep and get inside. Okay?” His eyes seemed to be searching yours, but you were positive it wasn’t for forgiveness. Maybe he was checking to see if you were still in shock? You slowly nodded your head.
Kirishima piped up in the back, breaking up the weird tension between you and Bakugou. “Apology accepted. Let’s get this stuff inside.”
It didn’t take long for the three of you to get all of the bags into the cabin. Once inside, Bakugou went down into the basement and turned on a generator. The cabin was still pretty dark inside but Bakugou turned on a couple of the lights in the main living area. You could finally get a good look at your surroundings.
While the cabin looked small on the outside, it was actually pretty roomy on the inside. The main living space had a couch and oversized chair in front of a large wood-burning fireplace. The kitchen didn’t have much counter space but it did have a bar that could sit two people. There was also a small breakfast nook with a window seat and table. Off the living room was a full bathroom as well as a bedroom. One bedroom… Fuck.
“Okay, you promised an explanation, but can I have a shower and get out of my hero costume first?” Kirishima asked a bit sheepishly.
“Yeah, towels are in the closet over there.” Bakugou jerked his thumb towards a small closet door that was next to the bathroom.
“Thanks, I’ll make it quick.” Kirishima pulled off his headgear and set it on one of the end tables by the couch before he grabbed himself a towel and locked himself in the bathroom. Bakugou sighed loudly and slumped down onto the couch, closing his eyes. You gingerly sat next to him, leaving space between the two of you. Waiting for Kirishima was going to be hard, but you had already waited this long to hear what Bakugou had to say.
You looked over at the blonde only to find he was looking at you too. You quickly looked away, acting like you were still checking out the cabin. He didn’t miss anything though. “Hey, Y/N.”
“H-hey.” Your voice cracked, still avoiding his gaze.
“You good?” He asked.
You cleared your throat, trying to sound more like yourself. “Do you want the truth?”
You felt him shift closer to you. He gently grabbed your chin and made you look at him. “I would prefer it, yeah.” His eyes were unreadable.
Normally, an interaction like this with someone as attractive as Bakugou would give you butterflies. But this day had been anything but normal. You were still reeling from earlier. “No. I’m not”
He slowly let go of you, but didn’t move away. “I know shit is crazy. And what happened with Shiozaki…” He looked away from you briefly before grabbing your hand. You could tell the small gesture was for your benefit as he shifted uncomfortably. His words, however, carried conviction. “It was terrible, but you had to protect yourself.”
You shook your head, your bottom lip trembling. “I probably killed her. I killed my friend!” You pulled your hand from his firm grasp and stood up. You couldn’t sit any longer. You clenched your fists and began to pace in front of him. Your thoughts were swirling with the images of Shiozaki. Bloody. Lying on the floor.
“She wasn’t your friend anymore.” Bakugou objected, but you continued to pace. He sighed, rubbing his eyes with the palms of his hands. “She wasn’t even Shiozaki anymore.”
That made you stop in your tracks and turn to look at him. “That makes no sense.”
He sighed again, sounding more like his annoyed self. “Once Shitty Hair gets back out here, I’ll explain more, but trust me. You did the right thing.” And with that, he stood up and went to the fireplace, placing a few wooden logs to start a fire. You crossed your arms, watching him. This seemed to be the end of the conversation for now.
After getting the fire going, Bakugou went to the kitchen and began opening the cabinets. You decided to sit down at the bar, feeling a bit useless in an unfamiliar place. Bakugou seemed to ignore you as he continued opening and closing cabinets and drawers. “Looking for something?”
He rummaged through a cabinet and answered without looking up. “Nah, just taking inventory of what we have stocked up here.”
You leaned across the counter to peer into the cabinet he was going through. “Doesn’t look like much from what I can see.”
“There’s more in the basement. I’m just seeing what I need to bring up from there.”
“Oh, so how long are we good for?”
Before Bakugou could answer you, Kirishima walked into the kitchen. “Hey guys! I’m out now. Can we talk?”
You and Bakugou both looked up to see him clad in only a towel which was wrapped around his waist. His long red hair was still wet but it looked like he had at least dried himself off. You felt a small blush creep across your cheeks and you quickly looked away.
Bakugou was having none of it though and exclaimed “Jesus Christ, Kirishima! Put some damn clothes on!”
“Well, all I have is my hero costume.” He replied as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“Go borrow some of mine, dumbass; there’s clothes in the bedroom.”
“Okay! Okay! My bad. I’ll be right back.”
Bakugou rolled his eyes and cut his eyes to you. Unfortunately, he noticed your blush. “Hey now, we’re all adults here. I’m sure it’s not the first time you’ve seen a half naked man.”
“Shut the fuck up.” You shot back. Things were starting to feel a little more normal now. The banter between you and Bakugou easily broke the tension left in the room.
Kirishima came back to the kitchen, this time with a pair of Bakugou’s sweatpants on. Bakugou eyed his bare chest and huffed. “There’s shirts in the dresser, idiot.”
“I never wear a shirt to bed.” Kirishima replied, as if Bakugou should have already known this bit of information.
“Whatever. Just… go sit down.”
Unfortunately, that little sense of normalcy that you barely got a taste of didn’t last long.
You all congregated back into the living room to sit down. You and Kirishima sat down on the couch while Bakugou perched himself on the coffee table in front of you. For the first time since you met him, Bakugou looked anxious. He rested his chin on clasped hands. His gaze flicked between you and Kirishima before he took a deep breath and slowly exhaled.
Kirishima put a hand on his knee. “You okay, dude?”
Bakugou jerked his knee out from under Kirishima’s hand. “Just… gimme a minute. This shit is hard.”
“No problem. Y/N and I can wait.” Kirishima reassured him.
You, on the other hand, were feeling all of his anxiety as well as your own. You took a few calming breaths yourself, and by the time you were done, Bakugou looked ready to talk.
“Several years back, when Deku and I defeated All for One, the Hero Commission found the locations of several hideouts he and the League of Villains were using. There were a few… ‘facilities’... that were creating nomus.”
“Ah, yeah! I remember that. It was all over the news. There were so many facilities. So many people were hurt...” Kirishima recalled, sadness in his voice.
Bakugou nodded solemnly. “I’ll try to get to the point quickly, but you need to understand that I wasn’t a part of this. I feel guilty, and I do think it’s my fault, but the Hero Commission is the one to blame for what’s happening out there.”
You swallowed hard and sat up straighter. When he didn’t continue, you pushed a little. “What’s happening out there, Bakugou?”
He looked at you, took a breath, and continued on. “There was a nomu that they brought back. It had quirks we had never seen before. The most dangerous being what they decided to call ‘Necromancer.’ You can probably guess where I’m going with this.”
You threw your hands up in the air, a humorless laugh escaping you as you looked at him incredulously.“Fucking zombies?”
Bakugou exhaled slowly and ran a hand through his hair. “Yes and no.”
Kirishima sat up, his hands on his knees as he settled into a more serious posture. “So the quirk brings people back to life? And the nomu can control them? There’s no way…”
“So the quirk is a bit like mind control. The nomu uses a person’s blood in order to take control of their body. There’s a terrible side effect though.”
“Other than being controlled against your will?” You remarked snidely.
“I’m getting to that, dumbass. Anyway, the quirk only lasts about an hour. And after several tests, they couldn’t prove exactly what the limit could be for how many people it could control. But no matter how many people were affected by the nomu’s quirk, they all died when the hour was up.”
“So that’s where the necromancer part comes in.” Kirishima said as he followed along.
“Something like that. The bodies of those dead people are definitely re-animated, but they still retain some brain activity. Their only purpose seems to be… eating other people and spreading the quirk’s effects.”
You held up your hands. “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a second. ‘Spreading its effects?’”
“Yeah. So the re-animated bodies would bite healthy people and those people would become controlled by the nomu, but within the hour, they would die too.”
Kirishima shifted uncomfortably next to you as he asked a question that was also on your mind. “Can the nomu still control them after they die?”
“It didn’t seem like it, but I was denied access once I told them to end the experiments. Deku and I both put our foot down and told them it was time to put the nomu in TARTARUS. It was fucked up already that they were using people from the prison system to test the nomu’s quirk on. A lot of people died for their bullshit.” Bakugou hung his head, looking absolutely defeated.
You wanted to reach out to him and comfort him, but this was Bakugou you were thinking about. Instead, you pressed for more information. “So you think that’s what’s happening right now? This nomu escaped and now there’s an unorganized army of the undead taking over the city?”
He lifted his head and looked you in the eye. “I don’t think that is what’s happening. I know that’s what is happening.”
You felt another shiver run down your spine as his words. “...And us? What’s the plan?”
“We’re staying here for a little while. I’m sure the Hero Commission is scrambling right now and trying to figure out how to contain it. I’m not about to sacrifice myself and my best friends for their bullshit.”
“What about all the other people in the city? All the civilians?” Kirishima sounded concerned, but you also knew this was the hero in him talking. All three of you took an oath. It was your job to save people. And here you were, hiding out in a cabin, far from civilization. “What about... Our families? Our friends?
“They’re beyond our help right now. Look, I don’t like admitting this, but I don’t have a plan yet. We’re staying right here until it’s safe enough to get back into the city. And when we do, I’m putting my foot in the Commission’s ass.”
“But, Bakugou… All of those people. Our friends and family. We can’t just leave them there.” Kirishima argued.
“They’re not all going to die, Shitty Hair. Deku probably had a plan like I did. I’m sure he got some people out and is doing the same thing we are: holding out until we can figure out how to stop this without dying ourselves. I left my parents a note; they’re going to take your moms with them to their vacation house, far outside of the city. They’ll all be safe there. And Y/N’s parents are in America.”
“Well, that makes me feel a little better… Why don’t we just call Deku and meet up? Having all of us together sounds like the smarter thing to do.”
Bakugou looked up at him and you could see the exhaustion in his face. “There’s two problems with that.” He held up one finger. “One, more people means more noise. More noise draws them to us. Which is why we aren’t at my parents’ right now.”
“Just like a zombie movie?”
“Yes…Fuck.” He rolled his eyes and held up a second finger. “And two, we have no way of contacting him or anyone else right now.”
“Of course we do.” You interrupted. “We have cellphones.” You pulled yours out only to see you had no service. You swore and looked back up at Bakugou who had a ‘I told you so’ look on his face.
“Before you blame it on the cabin, I can guarantee the city shut down the cell towers to keep people from finding out about the nomu attack. The Commission doesn’t want this shit getting out.”
“Mmm…” Kirishima tapped his cheek in thought. “So why didn’t you tell us about the nomu before? Like back when the experiments were happening?”
“I wasn’t allowed to.” Bakugou replied simply. “Confidentiality and all of that bullshit. The Commission didn’t want to scare the public. Now I’m regretting not saying something sooner…”
Kirishima nodded in understanding and put his hand on Bakugou’s knee. This time he didn’t jerk away. “You know we’re with you. No matter what. Both of us.” Kirishima looked over at you.
“You know I’d follow the two of you anywhere.” You agreed solemnly.
The three of you looked at each other and a mutual feeling of exhaustion and anxiety swept over you. Whatever explanation you thought Bakugou had for today, that certainly wasn’t what you expected. You realized a headache that had been creeping on the surface was slowly beginning to pound in your temples. You just wanted to sleep. Maybe you’d wake up and this would all be a bad dream.
Bakugou sighed for what seemed like the twentieth time that night and slowly stood up from his spot on the coffee table. “Well, if you’re hungry, there’s stuff in the kitchen to eat. I’m not in the mood to cook anything tonight. I think I’m just going to go to bed.”
Kirishima stood up as well and scratched the back of his head as he sheepishly brought up the sleeping situation. “Uh, Bakugou, I noticed there’s only one bed.” Kirishima had had the same thought as you. Three people, one bed, and one couch.
“I’m sleeping in my bed. I don’t give a fuck where you extras sleep.” Bakugou rolled his eyes.
“Oh, come on bro. Don’t do us like that.” Kirishima whined. Ah, there was that sense of normalcy again. Thank the gods Kiri could break the ice after such a heavy talk. You would have to thank him later.
Bakugou crossed his arms and glared at the red-head. “So? What do you want me to do about it?”
While the two men were arguing, you took a moment to peek into the bedroom which was actually a decent sized room. And it had a really big bed. A bed big enough for at least three people. An idea slowly formed in your head. “Is that a king sized bed?”
“California King. Why?” Bakugou asked as he eyed you suspiciously.
“Can we all just sleep in the bed?” You feigned a bit of innocence as you asked, knowing damn well this scenario was straight out of a romance novel, one that Bakugou had probably also read.
“What? Together?” He asked, a tiny vein popping in his forehead. “Hell no.”
“Aw, come on! I don’t want to sleep on the couch! And you shouldn’t make Y/N sleep on it either. Pleaseeeeee!” Kirishima pleaded, collapsing his hands as if in prayer as he begged Bakugou.
The angry blonde huffed. “...Alright. But you stay on your side of the bed.” He said, pointing at Kirishima. “We’re not having a repeat of the last time we had to share a bed.”
You quirked your eyebrow at that, although it shouldn’t have surprised you. Kirishima and Bakugou had been friends since highschool. It would make sense they would have shared a bed at some point in their friendship whether it was due to training or hero work. And Kirishima being a bed hog checked out. The guy was practically giant.
“Yes! I’ll stay on my side. Promise.”
You grabbed your bag that you had packed from your apartment and headed into the bathroom. “I don’t know about y’all but my appetite is gone. I’m just gonna throw on my PJs and go to sleep.” The two men seemed to agree and made their way to the bedroom to pick their “sides” of the bed.
You looked through your bag, kicking yourself for not packing appropriate pajamas. You never slept in shorts or pants, and so you hadn’t packed any. Just shirts, jeans, leggings, socks, and underwear. You sighed but decided you’d wear what you always wore to bed. Mixed company be damned.
You changed into an oversized t-shirt and panties then flipped the bathroom light off. In the bedroom, Bakugou had claimed the left side of the bed, standing by the dresser as he plugged his phone up to a charger. Kirishima was on the right side, already sitting on the edge of the bed, his phone in hand as he willed it to suddenly have Wi-Fi so he could look at the news.
As you entered the bedroom, both Bakugou and Kirishima suddenly stopped what they were doing. Their eyes traveled up your legs from your thick thighs, curvy waist, to your braless chest. You cleared your throat and both of the men hurriedly looked away, matching blushes on their faces.
Something about the way they had looked at you wantonly made you feel powerful. You smirked as you sauntered up to the bed. “Hey now, we’re all adults here. I’m sure it’s not the first time you’ve seen a half naked woman.” You mocked Bakugou from earlier.
He clicked his tongue against his teeth. “Shut the fuck up.” He mocked back. “And get in bed.” He and Kirishima had claimed their own sides of the bed, leaving the middle open for you. You crawled up the bed, feeling their eyes on you, then slipped underneath the covers and pulled them up to your nose.
Bakugou sank into the mattress next to you, already in a pair of thin sweatpants and a tank top. He looked over at you, his brows furrowed. “How do you breathe like that?”
“Through my nose?” You looked at him as if he had said the dumbest thing ever. It earned you a little “tch” before he turned over and shut off the bedside lamp. Kirishima also snuggled down into the sheets, spreading his long legs towards the end of the mattress. Everyone seemed to have enough room.
Still though, it was hard to keep your thoughts from wondering. The way they had looked at you. The fact that you were all three in the same bed too. The silly romance trope was the only thing keeping you from losing your mind.
Every time your thoughts drifted to the city or to zombies or to Shiozaki, you played a made-up scene of the three of you sharing this bed. You imagined what would happen if it were one of Bakugou’s romance mangas in your head, and replayed it over and over again until you could fall asleep.
․° ☣ °․
If we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through Hell with you.
․° ☣ °․