|◁ II ▷|
Would you mind if I hurt you?
Understand that I need to
Wish that I had other choices
Than to harm the one I love
What have you done now?
I know I'd better stop trying
You know that there's no denying
I won't show mercy on you now
1:35 ───ㅇ───── 3:47
Day 69 - 9:42 AM
Music - Track 9 - What Have You Done - Within Temptation
You awaken tangled up in familiar limbs. You’ve laid half of your upper body onto Kirishima’s large chest as the gentle giant snoozes on his back, his hand on top of yours that lays on his chest. Bakugou lays on his side, pressed into your back with his arms wrapped around your waist and his nose nuzzled into the crook of your neck. Kirishima’s long red hair tickles your cheeks, and you squeeze your eyes closed before begrudgingly opening them.
Last night, Kirishima ended up taking you back to the locker room and helping you clean up (again) . When you returned back to your shared room, Bakugou had water and a granola bar set out for you and had pulled the covers back on the bed so you could climb in immediately and receive the rest of your aftercare. You are definitely sore after last night’s escapades, but you don’t mind it. It means that you are alive in a world that has danger awaiting around every corner. It’s also a reminder that you are loved by the two men who you are comfortably squeezed in between right now.
As much as you would like to bask in this small moment of contentment, Monoma’s request is heavy on your mind. You’ve already decided you are not allowing him to copy your quirk, even if the effects are only temporary as Bakugou and Kirishima explained to you last night while getting ready for bed. Something about Monoma set off little alarm bells in your head. You weren’t sure if it was general distrust or just the fact that he was hiding his intentions for using your quirk against whoever was being brought here to his base.
However, you are willing to hear Monoma out on what he wants to know and pull the information from the person’s mind as gently as possible. It isn’t what Monoma had wanted, but you don’t really give a shit about what he wants. This quirk is yours, and you don’t plan on sharing it.
When the boys had asked you what your thoughts were last night, you said you wanted to help, but didn’t want to let Monoma copy your quirk. Kirishima and Bakugou both agreed to uphold whatever decision you made, and that they would make sure Monoma respected it. Laying in the bed between them right now, knowing that they always have your back no matter what filled your heart with warmth despite the feeling of unease that had settled into your bones.
As if sensing your restlessness, Kirishima and Bakugou begin to stir, both stretching and yawning before snuggling deeper into you. Bakugou pulls you closer against him, huffing softly into your ear. You slowly turn in his arms to face him only for him to pull your soft body flush against him, your arms forced to wrap around his shoulders with nowhere else to go. You smile and run your fingers through his fluffy hair. “G’morning.” You say softly.
Bakugou mumbles something unintelligible in response, and you feel Kirishima roll over onto his side, slinging an arm over your waist and Bakugou’s before replying with his own sleepy voice. “Morning, sweetheart.” It reminds you so much of mornings at the cabin after the confessions: wrapped up in each other, sleepy kisses, comfortably warmed by two human furnaces. You hope you can go back to that soon.
“You ready?” Kirishima asks, nuzzling into your neck and breathing in your scent.
“Hmm?” You know what he’s asking, but you didn’t want to break the spell over the three of you together in the bed yet.
“To give Monoma your decision.” Bakugou answers for him, his voice rough with sleep. So much for that…
“Yeah…” You reply, trailing off. But this feels so good. It’s hard to want to leave when they’re so close to you. It’s warm and safe. “Can we stay like this? Just a little longer? We’ll be back outside once I’m done here, and I just want to be with you both right now.” You try not to whine but it’s difficult when all you want is to stay wrapped up in their arms forever.
“Might be sooner if he throws us out on our asses.” Bakugou scoffs, laying his head against your breasts, his arms tightening around you. Despite his warning, he doesn’t want to leave this bed either. You roll your eyes at him and run your fingers through his hair. He is probably right though. You aren’t sure what Monoma will do when he hears your answer.
With life being as tumultuous as it is, who knows when would be the next you’d get to do something like this. Afterall, you are on your way to find Midoriya, who has a plan to fix things. ‘Fix’ might not be the best word to use considering the state of it all. The dead still walk the streets of the city. The people that are still alive are left to scavenge for themselves or must become a part of a group like Monoma’s. Though it seems like Monoma’s group is one of the ones better off than others.
You shake that memory from surfacing and sigh. “Alright. Let's get this over with.”
․° ☣ °․
“I already told you, the information I want is personal.” Monoma looks as frustrated as you feel. You had been going round and round in circles with him since revealing that you would not be allowing him to copy your quirk. Extending the favor of letting you use it to find the information he needed isn’t going as well as you had hoped.
“And I’m telling you that it’s my quirk. I know how to get the information the quickest and least painful way. My quirk isn’t easy to use. I can’t just read minds and magically get the exact information I need.” You explain exasperatedly. Your hands are thrown in the air as you try to explain. “It’s like… It’s like looking for a book in a library. I have to find the right section and then the book. It’s not instantaneous.”
Monoma actually pauses as he considers your words. With his finger on his chin, he contemplates for a moment before responding. “I guess I didn’t think about it like that. Still, I don’t know how I am supposed to trust the three of you with this.” He gestures to you, Kirishima, and Bakugou.
You exhale sharply through your nose. You had had enough. There is only one way you can see around this and that is if Monoma shares his secret with you and only you. “What if you just tell me?”
Bakugou jumps up from his chair, looking at you like you had grown a second head. “What?! Y/N–”
“No.” You said firmly. You can see his jaw clench as he studies you, trying to figure out what you were doing. And you already know what he is thinking. This is dangerous. What if it’s something that can get you killed? But you had to do this. Monoma was doing this for a reason, and if it has something to do with the Hero Commission, you need to know, too. No more secrets. You took Bakugou’s hand and said softly, “I can do this. Please, let me handle it.”
Bakugou looks deep into your eyes before giving a barely discernible nod. Kirishima puts a hand on your knee reassuringly. They both are going to support you in doing this it seems so you look back to Monoma who meanwhile had been considering your offer.
With a heavy sigh, he slapped his hands on the table. “Okay. Fine! I’ll tell you. And only you.” He points at Bakugou and Kirishima as he says, “I don’t care what kind of threeway relationship you have with Thing 1 and Thing 2. This stays between us.”
“You have my word Monoma.” You give the boys a small jerk of your chin to let them know you can handle it alone. Bakguou clenches his fists but does as you ask. Kirishima gives you a look, one that you know well, before he turns to follow Bakugou out of the room. Stay safe , he had said.
“We’re alone… now tell me: what has you kidnapping someone and wanting a mind reader to drag information out of them.” You sit back in your chair and cross your arms, watching Monoma closely. You are finally going to get the truth out of the blonde and that little nagging feeling about not trusting him would be put to rest. Hopefully.
“I’m… looking for someone.” For the first time since you met him, Monoma looks deflated. His bravado is gone and replaced with uncertainty.
“Who?” You press when he doesn’t continue.
He rakes a hand through his blonde hair, his eyes zeroing in on you as he says a name. “Kendo. Kendo Itsuka. You may know her as–”
“Battle Fist. Yes. She is– was friends with Shiozaki.” Just saying Shiozaki’s name makes your heart ache. “I don’t know her well, but I know they used to spend time together.”
“Ah, yeah. That softball team or whatever.” He waves his hand flippantly in the air as if it was the stupidest thing he’d heard of. “Anyway, Kendo went missing right after the Commission fell. I finally have someone here who can tell me where she is. They just aren't very forthcoming with that information, if you catch my drift.”
And you do “catch his drift.” They are unwilling. Hence the reason for you. You still have more questions though before you feel comfortable enough to go rooting around in someone’s head.
“Why do you think they know?”
Monoma rolls his eyes, but it’s not meant for you. He sounds frustrated as he begins to explain. “Because she was higher up at the Commission… And I think she took Kendo. I don’t think Kendo has been killed yet, but if I don’t do something soon, I might lose her.” His jaw tightens as he stares at the table. So much emotion in just the tick of his jaw and you already know why that is.
“You love her.” You didn’t phrase it as a question because it’s obvious by the way he speaks about Kendo.
But he answers you anyway. “Yes. And I never got to tell her. I should have been at the Commission when they called for us, but I had other people to protect.”
The small confession pulls on your heartstrings. It took an apocalypse for Kirishima and Bakugou to admit their feelings for you, and you, them. Looks like you aren’t the only ones who found the end of the world to be a good time for love.
However, you caught the tail end of that sentence. He had other people to protect. “Wait. Do you mean the people here?”
He nodded solemnly. “Yes. I know we look like a ragtag group, but I have been working alongside them as well as with them since I graduated UA. We build homeless shelters, take care of kids who were abandoned by their parents because of their quirk, all kinds of things to help the community. I couldn’t leave them here alone when it started happening. They only knew of their home with me and my colleagues. There was nowhere for them to run to. I knew I had to stay with them and fight. Survive.” His head hangs low. He softly confesses what you had felt coming all along. “When Kendo didn’t come back, I knew something was wrong. I just didn’t realize then how many we lost… We lost countless friends and more.”
You nod your head in agreement. You didn’t like to think of the few days you spent with the Commission, trying to put a stop to the nomu, only to find out their lies and deception when it was too late. You mentally shake the memory from your thoughts.
Monoma slams his fist down on the table suddenly as he shouts. “And it’s all the Commission’s fault! But I know she knows where Kendo is. I need you to get it out of her.” His voice is wild and pleading. With glossy eyes, he reaches across the table and takes your hands in his. As quickly as his outburst had come, it was gone. With a soft voice, he begs you. “Please… I have to save her.”
You aren’t going to deny him help, especially not after his confession. You give his hands a reassuring squeeze before pulling them back. “I’m going to help you, but I can’t promise that I’ll find Kendo’s location. I will do my best though.” You don’t want him to get his hopes up. He may not even be correct that this person has the information he is looking for.
Monoma nods and pulls his hand back to his side of the table, looking a little embarrassed at his show of emotions. With a shake of his head, he puts his mask back on. It’s like the previous conversation hadn’t happened at all. With his usual snark that you are accustomed to, he points a finger behind you to the door that Bakugou and Kirishima walked out of. “ And you’ll keep this from Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum out there.”
You roll your eyes. So ridiculous. All three of them. “Yes, yes. I promise. Although… I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want them to know.”
Monoma’s face turns serious. “You know as well as I do that they will drop everything to help me with Kendo. I heard Deku’s transmissions. I know he has a way to save us. That’s what you three need to focus on. Not Kendo. I can save Kendo. You need to get them to Deku and save the city.”
And before you can blink, his mask is back in place, a cocky smirk on his lips. “Now, shall we get the boys, and I will show you the guest of honor?”
Monoma shows you out the door and you rejoin Bakugou and Kirishima. Monoma leads the three of you down another hallway and into another room. The small room is empty save for a lone wooden chair and a woman with colorful hair seated in it.
Sitting tied up in a wooden chair is Lady Nagant, a former enforcer for the Commission before it fell. Your eyes widen in surprise. “How in the hell did you manage to capture her?” You ask with disbelief. She scowls at you and says something but it comes out muffled through the cloth in her mouth.
“It’s not important.” Monoma says simply, dodging the question.
You quirk an eyebrow at him. “Still. She’s not exactly known to be an easy catch.”
“If anything, this just makes me more suspicious of that fucking idiot.” Bakugou says, referring to Monoma as he crosses his arms, his eyes on Lady Nagant. It looked as if sizing her up should she escape her bonds.
Monoma’s nose rises in the air. “Your girlfriend here knows what’s going on. If you trust her, you have to trust me right now.”
Girlfriend? The word makes you blush, but you quickly put your cool hands on your cheeks to help the heat go down. Now is not the time to be thinking about that. You have a job to do.
“I don’t have to do shit, dumbass.” Bakugou snaps, not even bothering to deny it. Monoma smirks as if he won the argument anyway.
Before Monoma can egg Bakugou on any further, Kirishima cuts in, sounding exasperated at their antics. “Guys, can we just let Y/N work? The sooner she gets whatever Monoma wants, the sooner we can go.” Bakugou huffs but says nothing more. He stands next to Kirishima, both of them watching the woman tied to the chair whose eyes haven’t left you since you walked through the door. She definitely knows who you are and what you are here to do.
It doesn’t make it any easier. Looking through someone’s mind is draining, especially when you’re looking for something specific. Just seeing the way she struggles against the ropes and shouts at you through the cloth in her mouth, you know this is going to be difficult.
With a nod from Monoma, you slowly approach Lady Nagant.
Her intimidating gaze pierces through you, but you let confidence guide your steps. She shakes her head at you in warning, more muffled shouts coming from her gagged mouth. You know she doesn’t want you to read her mind. It’s terrifying for those on the receiving end of your quirk to think about someone rooting through their most private thoughts.
You kneel in front of her and close your eyes. As you had expected from someone as strong as Lady Nagant, her mind is a stronghold. She’s doing everything she can to keep you out. You’ll have to pull out all the stops for this one.
You open your eyes and look into hers. She’s terrified, even if she’s hiding it well behind a mask of anger. You can already feel that much from her. “I’m sorry for this. I promise it won’t hurt.” She spits out an angry response around the gag, but you can’t waste anymore time to make her feel comfortable.
Closing your eyes again, you gently touch her temples with your fingers and place your forehead against hers. She stills completely, her body relaxing at your touch. Immediately you are flooded with memories from the Hero Commission before it fell. So many familiar faces, some that are no longer here. You push them out of the way, tears already threatening to spill when you catch sight of someone in particular. You can’t think about that right now.
You know you have to dive further in to find what Monoma is after so you take a deep breath… and squeeze your eyes shut, concentrating on Kendo. More memories surface and are pushed away as she fights against your quirk. Unfortunately for her, you’re mentally stronger and can bring back any memories she pushes away. One of which catches your interest: Kendo’s face, dirty and bloodied as she screams at Lady Nagant.
“Let me go! Please! People need me!” Kendo shouts. Her body and quirk are exhausted after the intense battle at the Commission that ultimately ended in failure. The heroes had been scattered. Kendo ended up alone on a rooftop only for someone she thought she could trust to betray her.
“I’m afraid there’s someone else who needs you more. Stop struggling or I’ll deliver your corpse to him instead.” Lady Nagant says harshly before slapping quirk-canceling cuffs onto the red haired woman.
The scene changes and you see Kendo tossed harshly onto a concrete floor. She looks bloodied but otherwise unharmed which gives you some relief. You have to concentrate harder to hear the conversation in the concrete room as the voices echo off the walls. This memory isn’t as clear as the others as Lady Nagant continues to mentally fight against your intrusion.
“Nice job. Now I have a list of others that I need you to retrieve.” Their voice is raspy. It’s familiar to you but you can’t immediately place it. Lady Nagant isn’t even looking at them, just checking her nails, as the conversation continues.
“Look, I’m not going to keep doing your dirty work. In case you missed what is happening out there, everything has gone to shit. I don’t plan on sticking around–”
“You’ll do whatever I say.” The voice interrupts, and Lady Nagant’s head snaps towards him. Your blood runs cold. You know exactly who she’s speaking to. Anyone would know that face.
“Or what? You’re not All For One. You can’t do shit to me.” She chuckles darkly before spinning on a heel and walking back towards a steel door.
“I may not be able to do anything to you directly, but I can hurt you in other ways.” The man threatens.
She stops and slowly turns back towards the voice. “You have her?”
“Of course I do.”
Lady Nagant stomps back towards him, the sound of her boots harsh against the concrete. She slaps her hands on the desk between them. “Give her to me.” Her voice is venomous and threatening. You aren’t sure who he has, but it’s someone Lady Nagant holds dear. The feeling of love and a deep anger rocks through your body. You grit your teeth as you try to stay inside the memory.
“Not until you get every quirk user on this list.” He slides a piece of paper towards her.
She doesn’t even look down as she spits harshly in his face. “Fuck you. You aren’t All For One, and you never will be.” She snarls.
With a sick smirk, he wipes the wetness from his face and flings the spittle to the floor. “Oh really?” He raises his hand and immediately a scream pierces through the entire building.
You feel your heart – no, it’s Lady Nagant’s heart – begin to pound wildly. She knows who that scream belongs to. “Goddamnit! Stop! Stop it! STOP IT!” She screams at him, gripping the desk so hard that you can feel her muscles preparing to flip it over on top of him.
He lowers his hand, and the screaming comes to a stop. “The list, Lady Nagant.” He pushes it towards her again.
She looks between the man and the list before grabbing it from the desk with a growl. “When I come back, she’s mine. You hear me?”
“Of course. See you soon.” He smiles and Lady Nagant turns to walk out, the steel door slamming shut behind her.
You push harder; you have to see where Kendo is. You push past other memories, trying to triangulate him. And that’s when you see Lady Nagant toss another familiar Pro Hero to the floor of the concrete room.
Yaoyorozu hits the floor, her hands also bound in quirk canceling handcuffs just like Kendo had been. Another hero that had gone missing after the fall of the Commission. You didn’t have time to trace this memory backwards to find out how Yaoyorozu wound up in Lady Nagrant’s clutches though. You needed to know where they were being kept.
Lady Nagant huffs and wipes her hands on her pants as if wiping dirt from them. “There. That one was particularly annoying. And I’m almost done with your stupid fucking list.” She glances at the man behind the desk who is staring at Yaoyorozu, his red eyes sparkling deviously.
“Yes, thank you. You may go.” He flicks his hand in a shooing motion and goes to get up and walk around his desk. He crouches down in front of Yaoyorozu, a finger reaching out to tuck a loose hair from her ponytail behind her ear. She doesn’t stir. Probably under a paralytic, you think.
Lady Nagrant keeps rooted to her spot. “No, I need proof of life before I go back out there to those fucking monsters you unleashed.” You know she’s referring to the undead in the city streets.
“Now to be fair, the Hero Commission did that. We just created the nomu.” He corrects her, still studying Yaoyorozu.
“Whatever. Proof of life. Now.” Lady Nagrant demands. His eyes flick up to hers, something dangerous dancing in them. You feel her heart seize with panic.
“Careful what you wish for.” With a twisted grin, he raises his hand, and the same earth shattering scream from before pierces your/Lady Nagrant’s ears.
“STOP! You motherFUCKER! You know that’s not what I meant!” She puts her hands on her ears as she shouts at him.
He grins as he drops his hand. The screaming stops. “Next time, maybe you should specify.” She grits her teeth, dropping her hands down and clenching them into fists. Oh, how she wants to kill him. To ring his scrawny neck and slam his body against the concrete walls until there’s nothing left of him but blood splatter.
With all the self control she can muster, Lady Nagrant grinds out between gritted teeth, “I’ll be back. And you better be ready to release her to me.”
“I’ll be ready. Bye for now.” His full attention is back on the hero at his feet, a finger brushing against her cheek.
Without another word, Lady Nagrant turns and walks out of the same steel door she had before. This time you hang onto the memory, pushing it further.
Another familiar face meets her outside of the door, one that sends a shiver down your spine.
“Let’s go,” says the black-haired man. Lady Nagrant briefly thinks about tearing the piercings from his face, her anger still boiling from dealing with the man in the concrete office, before deciding better of it. She follows him to the exit of the facility. After going through several security gates and doors, she finally arrives back at the entrance of the building. Stepping out into the open, she turns to give the building a look of disdain.
Your eyes spring open, your breathing labored as you stare at Lady Nagant. Her eyes well with angry unshed tears. Kirishima and Bakugou rush to your side, as your body gives out. Kirishima picks you up and carries you towards a chair, setting you down gently into it. Bakugou presses your water bottle against your lips, and you guzzle the water down.
Your limbs feel heavy, your quirk taking its toll. You haven’t done an interrogation like that in awhile and it shows. As you take deep breaths and try to focus on all the information you got from Lady Nagrant, the boys shield you from Monoma who is already talking at you animatedly, a hopeful but worried smile on his face.
It takes a few moments before the voices around you stop sounding like you’re underwater. When they become more clear, the first thing you hear is Monoma pleading with you.
“Please tell me you got it!” His words ring in your ears.
You pull the water bottle from your lips and nod slowly. Your eyes feel a bit unfocused as you try to look at him between Bakugou and Kirishima, but you know you’ll get your bearings in a moment. “I did… But you’re not going to like it.” You confess. Kirishima and Bakugou share a look between each other that you don’t catch.
Monoma punches a fist in the air. “Yes! Oh, thank god!” He looks elated and relieved which only fills you with dread.
“I think you mean ‘thank you, Seeker.’” Kirishima counters with a grin. He places a hand on your head and whispers “good girl, so proud of you” just loud enough for you to hear.
Monoma quickly corrects himself. “Yes, yes, of course. Thank you, Seeker.” He bows to you and you bite your lip.
“I wouldn’t thank me yet… All I have is the location.” And some a lot of bad news.
But he shakes his head at you. “That’s all I need. Now, let’s get back to the meeting area shall we? And you can tell me everything.”
Your eyes linger on Lady Nagant who gives you a subtle shake of her head. You swallow hard, looking away quickly. “Alright.”
With only slightly unsteady feet, you let Monoma lead you, Kirishima, and Bakugou back to the wide open area you had seen when first stepping foot into Monoma’s giant compound. With daylight streaming in, you can make out more of the area. Not only are there tables and chairs, but there are also backpacks and makeshift weapons lining one of the long industrial shelves close to the entrance, ready for someone to take in a hurry. There are also other matching shelves with food and other items that look to be from scavenging scattered throughout. All in all, it’s quite a nice and organized setup.
The four of you all sit down at the same table you had the night before, but Monoma eyes Bakugou and Kirishima anxiously. “Will you please send your body guards away and tell me what you found out?” He directs the question to you, and you feel Bakugou brustle beside you.
“We’re not leaving her here alone.” Bakugou quips harshly.
“Of course. But why don’t the two of you help yourselves to some of our provisions? Take it as a thank you for letting me borrow Seeker today.” He looks up from the table and calls over one of the few people milling about. He asks them to show Dynamight and Red Riot the storage room and to allow them to fill a couple of backpacks with whatever they need.
Bakugou looks at you as he says, “If she’s okay with us leaving, then we’ll leave.”
You put a hand on his shoulder. “It’s okay. We’re almost done here.” He puts a hand over yours and gives it a soft squeeze before relenting.
“Tch. Fine. Come on, shitty hair. We could use some more first aid stuff anyway.” He stands up, giving you another look before following the helper. Kirishima trails behind him after giving you an encouraging thumbs up. You hold back a chuckle and turn back to Monoma.
Once the three of them are out of sight, Monoma leans forward across the table, his eyes shining with hope. “So… Did you see Kendo?”
You sigh and rub your temples. This is going to be a hard conversation to have. “Yes, I did.” You say finally, locking eyes with Monoma. “She looked pretty banged up, but otherwise okay. It was right after the Commission fell. Lady Nagrant put her in quirk-canceling handcuffs and… took her to TARTARUS.”
Monoma stands up so quickly, his chair almost flips over. “TARTARUS?!” He yells, the word echoing off the walls and ceiling of the open area.
You shush him, looking over in the direction that Bakugou and Kirishima disappeared to. “Please sit down. There’s more.” You whisper loudly. Monoma rubs a hand down his face before sitting back down. He takes a deep breath and then gestures for you to continue.
“I also saw– I also saw Shigaraki.” You croak out. Seeing him alive in Lady Nagrant’s mind had sent you reeling. You hadn’t expected to see him at all.
“He’s dead.” Monoma’s tone is flat, but you can tell he’s hoping you’ll agree that this is some kind of sick joke.
But it’s not. This is real. And the way the villain’s red eyes had stared into yours while inside Lady Nagrant’s head, as if he could see you there too, left you shaken. Obviously, he couldn’t actually see you; it was a memory, but that’s how much seeing him had startled you. All for One is dead and Shakgaraki is supposed to have gone away with him. Looks like that isn’t the case anymore.
“That’s what we were told. He looked alive and very well in Lady Nagrant’s memories.” You shiver, but continue. He needs to know everything. “And I saw Dabi. If I were to take an educated guess, I would say Shigaraki came out of hiding, busted out the remaining members of the League, and then made a base inside TARTARUS.”
Monoms nods, the sparkle of hope in his eyes dulling the longer the conversation continues. “It makes sense I guess. They were already all there together. The prison is a damn fortress. The undead would have a hell of a time getting in.” He taps a finger against his chin thoughtfully. “But if he’s alive and has released members of the League and who knows who or what else in TARTARUS, then what the hell does he need Kendo for?”
Goosebumps rise on your arms. You could think of a few deadly things that he’d use Kendo for, but you didn’t want to think about it. “Well, it wasn’t only Kendo. I’m not entirely sure who all was on the ‘kidnap’ list that he gave Lady Nagrant, but I also saw her bring in Creati.”
“Yaoyorozu? This… This can’t be good.” Monoma put his elbows on the table and his head in his hands. He must be thinking about what you are now. Things are clicking into place. The League and Shigaraki had been aware of All for One’s nomu experiments. Lady Nagrant is being held against her will to kidnap powerful Pro Heroes.
Are they continuing what All for One had left behind?
Nothing is for certain, but it sure is looking that way. “Look,” You say, interrupting the intrusive thoughts being passed between the two of you. “I’m not sure what his plan is, but I don’t think you should do this alone.”
Monoma lifts his head, giving you a small smirk. “Oh, I won’t be alone. I’ll gather everyone from 1B that’s still here, and we will rescue them. Together. I just need you to focus on getting Dynamight to Deku. Please. I can handle everything else.”
“I… I hear you. I just can’t stand to think–”
He cuts you off before you can finish that thought. “I know. It’s the hero in you.” Monoma reaches over the table and rests his hand over yours. “But don’t worry. I got this. I just need you to do your part so I can focus on mine.”
You give a single nod, your heart squeezing. God, you hope that he finds her and Creati, as well as anyone else that landed in Shigaraki’s clutches thanks to Lady Nagrant. Speaking of which: the person Shigaraki was using to control her was also in danger. “Okay. I can do that, but Monoma, there’s one more thing.”
Monoma removes his hand from yours and clears his throat. “Of course. Go ahead.”
“There is someone Shigaraki is holding hostage from Lady Nagrant. He is using them to control her. I have no idea who this person is to her, but she cares about them a lot. I just thought that was important for you to know.”
“That puts things a little more into perspective. I had no idea what her motivation was so this must be it. Maybe that will help me when I talk to her later.”
“Are you going to release her?”
“Not yet. I have some planning to do.” He stands up just as your boys come walking back to you, two backpacks over their shoulders as well as the rest of your belongings that had been in your room.
Monoma turns to you and whispers his gratitude as he sticks his hand out. “You have no idea how thankful I am that you were able to find her. So, thank you, again.”
You shake his hand firmly and smile. “Of course. I’m glad I could help.”
“We all done here?” Kirishima asks, a grin on his face as he looks between the two of you.
Monoma returns his smile and answers, “Yes, all done Red Riot.” He tips his head at Bakugou. “Dynamight. Be safe out there.”
Bakugou huffs under his breath and walks towards the entrance without sparing Monoma another glance. Kirishima gives the blond a wave and jogs off to catch back up with Bakugou. You roll your eyes and start to follow them out. “See ya around.” You say over your shoulder.
“Oh, and Seeker?” He calls out to you, making you pause.
“Remember what I said.”
“I will.” And you will remember, because it’s even more important now that you get Bakugou to Midoriya. Monoma is going to save the captured heroes. You just need to do your part.
Bakugou holds the door open for you as you meet up with them, back outside in the eerie city streets again. He grabs you and kisses your forehead before you can make it more than two steps away from him. “You’re so strong, you know that?”
You smile, a blush dusting your cheeks. “I know. Thank you for letting me handle it. I know that was hard for you.”
The three of you begin to walk away from the building, back on the route towards the nearest radio tower. The streets are still relatively peaceful thanks to Monoma’s group keeping the streets clear on a daily basis. As you walk side-by-side, Kirishima takes your hand in his, rubbing his thumb across your knuckles. “Well, we made it out of there without Bakugou punching Monoma. That in itself is a success.” You can’t help but giggle as Bakugou wrinkles his nose at Kirishima. “And I’m guessing you aren’t planning on telling us what that was about?”
You knew he’d ask, and you shake your head. He hums disappointedly. Before you can respond, the familiar feeling of marching ants up your arms causes you to still. “Hmm? You okay, sweetheart?” His eyes narrow in concern, taking in your stiff posture.
An overwhelming emotion takes root in your chest and sends you to your knees. Heartbreak, fear; it’s all too much and takes your breath away. You can vaguely hear someone calling your name, but you’re putting all your focus on who is affecting your quirk like this. Could it be the undead?
You inhale unsteadily and fumble in your pocket for your earbuds, hands shaking. They aren’t supposed to be this close to Monoma’s compound. What the fuck is happening? Bakugou and Kirishima pull out their weapons, looking for who is causing your quirk to go on high alert. They cage you in between them as their heads swivel, looking for danger.
You manage to get the earbuds out of your pocket finally. But before you can put them in, Lady Nagrant’s voice echoes in your mind as she lets her mental walls down. She purposely broadcasts her mind to you, her emotions hitting you again like a tidal wave. Tears spring into your eyes. Her message is loud and clear as you kneel on the ground, clutching at your chest:
“You don’t know what you’ve done.”
|◁ II ▷|
Running through the parking lot
He chased me and he wouldn't stop
Tag, you're it, tag, tag, you're it
Grabbed my hand, pushed me down
Took the words right out my mouth
Tag, you're it, tag, tag, you're it
Can anybody hear me I'm hidden underground
Can anybody hear me am I talking to myself
Saying, "tag, you're it, tag, tag, you're it"
He's saying, "tag, you're it, tag, tag, you're it"
1:35 ───ㅇ───── 3:47
Day 6 cont. - 9:30 AM
Music - Track 10 - Tag, You’re It - Melanie Martinez
“See what you did?!” Bakugou slung a muscled arm out at the back door as it slammed closed behind your retreating figure.
“What I did?!” Kirishima stared at him incredulously. “I don’t even know what you’re trying to get at here, Bakugou.” He glanced at the back door but the door remained closed behind you. Part of him wanted to run after you, but Bakugou needed him more right now, even if he couldn’t figure out what it was they were actually fighting about. He had a funny feeling it wasn’t just about the kiss the two of you shared downstairs.
Bakugou groaned, his eyes rolling to the ceiling as his arm fell to his side. He exhaled slowly before his dark ruby eyes trained on Kirishima. “Let me spell it out for you then, dumbass.” He seethed. The calming breath had done nothing to quell his anger, but if he didn’t say this now, he might just explode. “I love her too! Get it now?! Fucking idiot!” He shouted at his best friend. Bakugou watched as the realization set in for Kirishima.
The red head stared at him, mouth hanging open. “You love… You love Y/N, too? Since when?” It was a genuine question.
“Since the day I laid eyes on her.” Bakugou’s booming voice was slowly becoming quieter as he recalled meeting you. “Back when we worked that high profile case together. Then you offered her an internship with us, and I just… Couldn’t get her face outta my head.” Bakugou looked over at Kirishima who was chewing on his bottom lip, avoiding his stare.
It was true. The day the Hero Commission had sent them over to your department for help on their case, Bakugou had been pissed. He kept telling Kirishima on the way there that there was no way some detective was going to help them crack this case. He didn't know what your quirk was at the time, but even if he had, Bakugou would have still believed they didn’t need any help.
Kirishima had disagreed, spouting off about some of your cases the Commission had shared with him to prove your worth. Afterall, they were stuck and had been for awhile. They needed an outside perspective. When he met you for the first time, you stuck your hand out towards him, your round face unphased by his demeanor and reputation. He had almost let his mask slip, and no one had ever had that effect on him before. Not only were you drop dead gorgeous, but your attitude was one that could handle his, which you continued to prove as the three of you gathered in a conference room to go over the case files.
You had taken everything about the case just seriously as he had, but your personality had easily shone through that detective facade you covered yourself with. Bakugou found himself feeling more and more comfortable around you as the weeks went on. While everything about you stirred something inside of him, something he hadn’t been ready to face yet, he still didn’t think he needed you to solve the case. Bakugou’s tune didn’t change until the two of you were stuck in an unmarked SUV outside of where you believed one of the villains of the group they were tracking was hiding.
“Fuck…” You said under your breath.
Bakugou turned towards you, his legs knocking against his gauntlets that lay in the floorboard below his feet. “Hah? W–”
You held up a finger, your eyes closed in concentration. Bakugou huffed but didn’t finish his question. The two of you sat in silence while your eyes moved rapidly behind your lids, your fingers rubbing soft circles on your temples like you were having a headache. Babyhairs had escaped your updo with as long as the two of you had been trapped inside the SUV. Bakugou almost reached out to tuck them behind your ear, but managed to stop himself in time.
When your eyes snapped open, bright and giddy, he felt his stomach flip. You turned to him, a smile filling your face. “Got ‘em.” You picked up the radio receiver from the middle console. “Suspects are in Block 6. There’s an abandoned warehouse by the river. All personnel are to remain cloaked. Red Riot and Dynamight to engage with suspects. Over.”
The radio crackled back in response. “Copy that.”
“You got ‘em?” He asked in surprise, watching you put the SUV in gear and peeling away from the curb as you raced towards the warehouse. His heart was pounding, and he was starting to think it wasn’t just because you had found the villains’ hideout.
“ We got ‘em Dynamight. Together as a team. We’re about 5 minutes away. The rest of us are going to hang back while you and Red do your thing.”
Bakugou did a double take at the nickname. “Red?”
“Err… Red Riot. Sorry.” You said bashfully, a cute blush dusting your cheeks.
Bakugou felt his heart squeeze. “He’s letting you call him that?”
“Y-yeah. He said I could.” The nickname may have been harmless at the time, but Bakugou was not one to be outdone. Afterall, he knew he wanted you for himself after this case was over. So he had to one-up Kirishima.
“Call me Bakugou then. But only when we’re off the clock. And if you tell anyone I told you to call me that I’ll blow your ass up.”
“Alright… Bakugou.” You smirked, your eyes cutting to him briefly before they were back on the road. Bakugou could feel his cheeks burning underneath his mask at the way his name sounded rolling off of your tongue like that.
“Oi! I said off the clock !”
Ever since then, he couldn’t get you out of his head. But once the case was closed, and Kirishima had offered you the internship, he could plainly see how much Kirishima was crushing on you. He thought it was better at the time to just see you as a friend and nothing more if Kirishima was going to shoot his shot, but the idiot never did. Until the world went to shit, of course.
“Then I saw how much you liked her.” Bakugou continued. “I tried to push my feelings down, but… fuck. You wouldn’t make a move, shitty hair! Now we’re in this cabin and that fucking quirk is turning the city into a special kind of hell… and you decide that now is the best time to confess?”
Kirishima was lost in thought as he tried over and over again to replay his memories and look for the signs… And they had all been there, he finally realized. He’d just refused to acknowledge them all this time. He had been too wrapped up in his feelings for you to see Bakugou had felt the same. “What are we gonna do…?” He finally asked.
It wasn’t a question meant to be answered but Bakugou answered anyway. “We let her choose, I guess. She already told me you told her how you felt the other day after you were attacked by that thing in the woods.”
“She did?” Kirishima asked unbelievably. He had asked you not to say anything… But this wasn’t your fault by any means. He had just hoped to talk with Bakugou about it if you ended up accepting and returning his feelings. He knew the dynamics of the friendship between the three of you would change, but he never imagined that he and Bakugou would be standing across from each other, declaring their love for the same person.
“Yeah…” Bakugou nodded, folding his arms over his chest. He took a deep breath as he continued. “And apparently, she has feelings for both of us.”
Kirishima’s eyes were on Bakugou’s in a second. You hadn’t told him that. His heart began to ache. He was both elated to know you had feelings for him and distraught to find out you also had feelings for Bakugou. “Goddamnit.” He said softly in frustration.
“Yeah, I know.” Bakugou agreed, a humorless laugh escaping him. “So where does that leave me and you?”
“I’ll respect whatever she chooses, and we’ll all still be friends, of course, but,” Kirishima paused. “I’ll need some time. I know I won’t want to see the two of you all over each other. I don’t even know how I’ll get over it honestly. I’ll have to though. I don’t want to lose either of you.” He said it all with quiet resignation, because the more Kirishima thought about it, the more he began to believe that you would choose Bakugou over him. Everything he did, he believed Bakugou could do better. Now Bakugou would get his girl, too? Fuck.
“Glad we’re on the same page.” It wasn’t lost on Bakugou how fucked up this whole situation was. You having to choose between the two of them… Or neither of them? When there was nowhere to escape to. Speaking of… “Where the hell did she go anyway?”
Kirishima absent-mindedly jerked his thumb towards the back door, and Bakugou rolled his eyes as if to say “obviously.” He strode towards the back door and slung it open. But you weren’t sitting on the porch waiting for them to make up as he had expected. “Okay, for real, where the hell did she go?”
“Far away from us…” Kirishima sighed forlornly, looking out into the woods like a lost puppy.
Bakugou pinched the bridge of his nose, growing more annoyed with Kirishima by the second. “Yeah, well, it’s not safe. We need to go find her.” Bakugou was already yanking on a pair of sneakers, ready to run out into the woods and find you.
Kirishima shook his long red hair from his face and pulled it back into a ponytail. Bakugou was right. He could wallow in his misery once you were back home and safe. “Let’s go.”
․° ☣ °․
With your earbuds in, you continued your trek through the woods. It was still early afternoon so there was plenty of light to guide your way along the makeshift path Bakugou and Kirishima had inadvertently started to forge during their daily runs. You weren’t sure about the time but if you had to guess, it had been about ten minutes since you left the boys alone in the cabin. Your heart stung at the thought of them yelling at each other, your name being spat at the other as they drew lines that they dared the other to cross.
Part of you hoped that with all those years of friendship between them that it would be solved civilly and quickly, but who knows what’s going to happen when you finally get the courage to turn back to the cabin and face Bakugou and Kirishima. Would Bakugou tell Kirishima that you had told him of the redhead’s confession? You had told him you wouldn’t say anything, but you felt like you had to at the time.
“Maybe it’s better that this is all out in the open now?” You said to yourself.
How is it better? Replied the voice in your head.
“Hopefully now we can come to some kind of solution.”
The solution is kicking you out. They can’t fight over you if you’re out of the picture.
“We’re still friends though, right? Despite their feelings and my inability to choose, we’re still friends underneath all of that.”
Friends don’t want to date each other.
The conversation you were having with yourself had completely distracted you from watching your step. As your left foot came down, there was suddenly no solid ground to meet it. “Oh shit.” Was all you could say before you went down.
As if it were happening in slow motion, you felt your ankle roll beneath you and your front slam into the ground. You tried to catch yourself with your hands, but the ground wasn’t level anymore. Your fumbling did no good as your body propelled itself down the steep incline. Luckily, your backpack took most of the damage as you rolled down the hill. You tried to cover your face with your arms as leaves, brush, and limbs scratched at the skin left uncovered by your clothing, you knew the moment that you finally came to a stop at the bottom of the hill that you were bleeding from your face and arms.
You blinked away the tears that sprang to your eyes as the pain started to catch up to your senses. You pulled out the earbuds which were still tucked into your ears miraculously and put them in your front jean pocket. You tried to assess your arms and legs for damage, finally reaching for the ankle that rolled beneath you only to gasp in pain as your fingers touched the tender flesh there. If you hadn’t broken it, it was surely sprained. “Fuck!”
You gritted your teeth and looked around you, trying to find something that you could use to pull yourself up on. The nearest tree was several feet away, and you’d have to crawl if you wanted to get to it. There was no way you could stand up on your own without putting pressure on the joint.
“What a fucking mess. I shouldn’t have left the goddamn cabin. I should have just let them fucking brawl in front of me. Then I wouldn’t be out here with a sprained ankle.” You braced your hands on the ground, attempting to stand up by putting all of your weight on your uninjured foot, but you couldn’t maintain any balance, finally dropping back down onto the forest floor on your knees. “Great. Just fucking great!” You cried out.
As you searched around you for a fallen limb to act as a crutch, your quirk began to activate. That familiar feeling of marching ants was intensifying. Thinking quickly, you shoved your earbuds back in, tapping one to restart the music you had been listening to before your fall. There was no way of knowing if these monsters would affect your quirk like the others but you weren’t taking any chances.
You looked around for the source, knowing damn well it had to be what you thought it was. Ants began to march up your arms, signaling the undead were drawing nearer. Movement in front of you caught your eye. Branches being moved, leaves being kicked up… And then you saw their eyes. Their cold lifeless eyes.
You bit your lip to keep from crying out as several pairs of dead eyes stared back at you from the thick forest. Slowly, they moved forward, closer and closer. If you had to guess, there were about five of them, making their way to you. All the noise you had made tumbling down the hill and yelling obscenities must have alerted them.
You quickly turned and began to crawl away, brushing your hands along the forest floor for anything that you could use as a weapon. They were only getting closer and you hoped to god that if this was the end, that someone would put you out of your misery before you became one of them.
Just as you were ready to give up and try to crawl up the steep incline to get away, your hand wrapped around a thick jagged branch. It wasn't the most indestructible thing to swing at them, but it was better than nothing. Using it like a crutch to support your weight, you stood up fully. You ignored the screaming pain in your ankle as you held up the branch like a baseball bat and turned to face them.
They had finally made their way out into the open, giving you a full view of five grossly decomposing bodies. They looked to be two adults and three older children. The five of them had probably been a family of campers if their clothing was anything to go by.
Much like the hunter from a few days ago, they looked to have been bitten into and partially eaten. Their skin hung off their body unnaturally, their eyeballs sunken. One adult was missing an arm from the shoulder down. The other was missing a foot right at the ankle. It hobbled clumsily towards you. One of the children’s stomachs had been ripped open, its intestines spilling haphazardly from its stomach and trailing behind it. All of them were covered in blood, especially around their mouths.
They looked to have been dead longer than the hunter… And that’s when you realized that it was possible that they were the ones who had ripped the hunter’s chest open and turned him into a member of the undead army. Five to one? There was no way a human was going to walk out of that unscathed.
And yet there you are. Ready to take them on five to one by yourself. But unlike the hunter, you’ve had a couple of years of Pro Hero training under your belt. Even with a bum ankle and a tree limb as a weapon, you might still stand a chance at getting out of here in one piece, at least that’s what you told yourself as they continued to amble clumsily towards you.
Thinking quickly, you decided the best approach would be to try to pick them off one at a time. The kids would be the easiest to incapacitate first. You slowly circled towards your right to get closer to one of them that had slightly pulled away from the others. It took a moment before it clocked that you had moved, and you took the opportunity its slowness afforded you to bring the branch down on top of its head as hard as you could. It seemed to stun it momentarily which was long enough for you to kick it’s knees out from under it with your good foot. With a sickening crunch, it fell to the ground and you plunged the jagged edge of the branch deep into one of its eye sockets.
It didn’t scream or cry out. It didn’t even seem to breathe other than a guttural groan as it passed from this world to the next. It just ceased to move. You swallowed the bile that rose in your throat, determined to make it out of this alive. You yanked the branch from its head just in time as another one reached for you. You grunted as you swung the branch again, hitting it in the side and probably breaking a rib or two. If they were alive… well they wouldn’t have been for long after a strike like that. But it wasn’t alive, so it kept advancing, trying to grab you with grubby, bloodied hands.
The third was catching up to you, so you knew you needed to do something quick. You struck it against its side again, harder than before to knock it off its feet. It landed forward on its knees. Before it could move to get up, you swung the branch horizontal across its face. It fell backwards, sprawled out on the ground from the force of the blow. You stepped over it and just like with the first one, jabbed the branch deep into its eye socket, puncturing its brain.
Adrenaline was surging through you, making you forget all about your fucked up ankle. As you yanked the branch back out, the third was already on top of you. If you hadn’t jumped backwards over the body of the second, it would have gotten its hands on you. You felt a sharp pain in your foot, but ignored it as you wound up a swing with the branch. With as much force as you could muster, you swung hard at the third one’s head. It’s neck turned with the blow, a loud crack ringing throughout the forest and your earbuds.
You didn’t have any time to think of your next move because the two larger ones were moving in on you fast. They were side by side, not allowing you to pick them off separately. You would have to fight them both together.
“Fuck.” You muttered. You did a quick sweep of the area before limping over to a more open spot. You were only slightly faster than them because one was missing its foot. It wasn’t enough to put distance between you and them, but that was okay, you just didn’t want to end up cornered. This would give you a little more space to defend yourself.
Instead of waiting for them to meet you at your new spot, you stepped in towards them, brandishing the branch into another horizontal swing, right at the one-armed one’s knees. The strike definitely broke something because as it went down to the ground, the left leg that took most of the damage collapsed beneath it unnaturally. The other didn’t stop, already on top of you again. You had just enough time to plant a nicely timed front kick into its stomach, sending it backwards several feet, but it didn’t go down.
You winced from putting your weight on your injured foot once again. You had to end this fast or you weren’t going to make it, not with your ankle screaming at you. With the little time you were afforded, you pushed the one on its knees all the way to the ground. With only one working arm and leg, it barely struggled as you placed your foot on its chest and jabbed the branch through its head as you had the others.
You tried to yank the branch back out, but your foot was getting harder and harder to stand on. You struggled, pulling on the branch as the last one came closer and closer. You were running out of time. With all of your strength, you yanked the bloody branch free. You stumbled backwards from the force of the pull until your ankle finally gave out and you landed on your ass.
You cried out as you landed hard, holding onto the branch for dear life as the monster seemed to move at twice its normal speed. It threw itself on top of you right as you raised the branch to meet its gnashing teeth. It snarled around the branch, drool sliding down the wood. Its nails scraped up against your jeans, looking for flesh to rip. If it got to your arms… it would be game over.
Your strength was waning. The adrenaline keeping you going through the pain in your foot was gone. Even now, your arms began to shake as you tried to keep the branch in between the two of you. Tears pricked the edges of your vision.
What would happen if you died out here like this? Would Bakugou and Kirishima come looking for you only to find you turned into a man-eating monster? And what if you tried to hurt them? Would they be able to kill you and save themselves? …If anything happened to Bakugou or Kirishima, you’d never forgive yourself.
With that thought echoing in your mind, you brought both of your feet up and kicked it in the chest as hard as you could. The kick didn’t send it flying like you had hoped, but you weren’t at your full strength. Still, it made space. Enough space for you to crawl over its limp and smelly body and plunge the branch deep into its brain through its eye socket, just as you had done to the other four.
Your stomach felt like it was boiling, and you couldn’t help the vomit that came up from your throat and out of your mouth at the smell. You turned your head just in time as you threw up next to the body. You puked up everything until there was nothing left inside of you. The tears that had been barely kept at bay were flooding down your cheeks, but you couldn’t feel them. You felt numb.
Shiozaki’s face flashed in your mind as you looked at the massacre around you. You squeezed your eyes closed so you couldn’t look anymore and crawled off the body. You crawled until you were back at the end of the steep incline where you had fallen. You collapsed onto your back as exhaustion started to take over.
Sobs racked your body and you put a hand over your mouth to keep from making too much noise. All you could do now was hope Bakugou and Kirishima would come look for you. Your entire body ached. Between your ankle, the scratches and bruises from falling, and fighting for your life against five of the undead, you could barely move.
Please find me…
It was like your prayers had been answered.
You gingerly sat up and looked up and around, trying to find the source of the voice, but you saw no one. “Kirishima?” You called out tentatively.
․° ☣ °․
Meanwhile, higher up on the hill was Kirishima and Bakugou who had quickly ran along the familiar trail, looking for you. Kirishima looked down past the treeline and saw your familiar head of hair. After calling out your name and hearing you respond in kind, he cupped his hands around his mouth and called out to Bakugou. “I found her!” Without wasting any more time, Kirishima began to slowly descend the steep hill, activating his quirk to keep from getting hurt on the jagged rocks and limbs.
Bakugou saw Kirishima dip behind a treeline after he shouted at him and followed his lead. He saw you down at the bottom, covered in leaves and dirt. His anxiety spiked but his hero training took over as he began to assess natural footholds in the incline and make his way down to you, taking each step with slow and careful calculation.
Kirishima and Bakugou made it to the bottom of the hill without issue to find you holding back more tears and trying to pick the leaves and sticks from your hair. You tried mumbling an apology which both men immediately dismissed. Bakugou crouched in front of you, visually checking you over for injuries first. You had several scratches and were bleeding from your arms. He couldn’t be sure, but there was also some blood above your eyebrow which could also need tending to.
“What the hell are you doing out here by yourself?” He asked as he began to gently touch your legs, already figuring out that something more was going on than just the scratches on your arms and eyebrow.
“Giving you two some space. I didn’t mean– Fuck!” When he reached your ankle you hissed in pain. Bakugou touched it again, even more gently this time before coming to the conclusion that your ankle was indeed sprained. The swelling was only getting worse. He needed to get you back to the cabin where there was a first aid kit.
You looked down at the ground, bottom lip trembling as you tried to put on a brave face for him in spite of the pain. He sighed and rubbed a hand down his face. “Look here, princess. Your safety is never less important than anything else. Now, I’m going to carry you back to the cabin and get a better look at your ankle. Alright?” You nodded solemnly.
Bakugou looked over at Kirishima, who had been unusually quiet this whole time. But Kirishima wasn’t looking at him or you. He was staring down at the ground at the bodies that littered the forest floor, his eyes wide.
“What the fuck…” Bakugou slowly stood up, taking in the scene as Kirishima had. He walked up to the last one you had fought, the branch still sticking out from its head. After studying it for a few seconds, he turned back to you. “Did you… Did you do this?”
“I-I…” You stuttered out. More tears came and you began to mumble incoherently. You tried to explain but the words coming out barely formed a sentence. Your eyes fluttered and Bakugou quickly walked back to you, pulling you up into his arms as he gently shushed you.
Surrounded by Bakugou's warmth and spicy scent, you could no longer keep your eyes open. Darkness took over your vision and you passed out, safely in his arms. Bakugou pulled you tighter against him as he looked at Kirishima. Kirishima was still in shock as he finally pulled his gaze from the bodies on the ground.
“Let’s walk around. There’s no way I can carry her like this up that hill.” Bakugou didn’t bother to wait for an answer. He turned and began the longer walk back to the cabin with you tucked into his arms.
As Bakugou and Kirishima began to walk back around the steep hill towards more flat land, Kirishima finally spoke up. “Dude, she fought them off. All of them.” He said incredulously, taking a peek at your sleeping face as if to make sure you were still here with them.
Bakugou huffed out a chuckle. “And with a sprained ankle at that.” He said proudly.
“But… what if she hadn’t been able to? What if there had been more of ‘em? We could’ve lost her.”
“You think I don’t know that?” He snapped.
“I’m just saying… We need to be more careful. If she had been unconscious down there, it might have taken us longer to find her. Or, even worse, something could have gotten her while she was passed out and unable to defend herself.”
“I don’t want to talk about this right now. Let’s just get her home and clean her up. Okay?”
“Fine, but I think we need to have a buddy system or something…”
“Tch. I have a better idea.”
․° ☣ °․
About twenty minutes later, your eyes fluttered open right as Bakugou stepped onto the wooden porch of the cabin. You gripped his shirt, not trusting your voice, to let him know you were awake. He looked down and gave you a small, worried smile. “Nice to see you awake, babygirl.”
Kirishima stepped in front of you, the same worried smile on his face, as he opened the back door for Bakugou. Bakugou carefully carried you inside, being mindful of your head and feet, as he carried you straight to the bathroom. He sat you down gently on the counter beside the sink. You trembled as his warmth left you, and Kirishima noticed immediately. He grabbed a spare blanket from the living room and wrapped it around your shoulders while Bakugou pulled out a large first aid box from under the sink.
While Bakugou began pulling out the supplies he needed to fix you up, Kirishima stepped in between your legs and began to gently pull the leaves from your hair. If you hadn’t been in shock, you might have blushed at the close and intimate contact, but right now, all you could feel was the throbbing pain in your ankle and the sting of your dirt covered cuts.
“Move, Kirishima. I need to clean up those scratches before they get infected.” Kirishima did as he was told without complaint but stayed close to your side while Bakugou took his place between your legs. With a warm, wet washcloth, Bakugou began to carefully clean the dirt from your arms and face.
Once your wounds were cleaned and disinfected, he gently grabbed your chin, making you look up at him as he assessed a cut above your eyebrow. “I don’t think you’ll need stitches for this; it looks worse than it is. It might leave a scar though.”
“Hey! We’ll match!” Kirishima said light-heartedly, trying to lift your mood. You smiled at him, and you could tell he felt relieved at your reaction.
“Hers is on the other side, dipshit.” Bakugou barked as he expertly applied a butterfly stitch above your brow.
Kirishima crossed his arms and leaned against the counter next to you as he watched Bakugou work. “Eh, who cares. You’re just jealous that you don’t have an eyebrow scar, too.”
“Why would I be jealous of a scar? I have plenty of my own.” Bakugou argued, gesturing to the scar across his nose. Bakugou had several scars decorating his arms and legs, but he did sport a couple on his face like the one across his nose. If you had to guess, there were more scars covered up by his clothing, too.
“I’m just sayin’. You can’t be in the eyebrow scar club with us.” Kirishima continued. Of course, he also had more scars than the one on his brow. Years of fighting villains and using his quirk had left his arms, legs, and torso blemished with battle scars.
You, on the other hand, only had a couple of scars which were from your childhood. This would be your first one from a real fight… It’s too bad it wasn’t from a villain, you thought absentmindedly, wondering if that made it a less valid battle scar.
“I don’t wanna be in your dumb club.” Bakugou scoffed at Kirishima as he crouched down and pulled over the supplies he had set aside for your ankle. He tried as gently as he could to take off your sneakers, but when he reached your injured foot. You had to hold back from hissing in pain.
Kirishima’s face flashed with concern, but he continued to poke at Bakugou. “Why not? Are we not ‘cool’ enough for you?”
You knew that they were carrying on this banter for your sake to keep you distracted, but still. You were glad for it. You didn’t want to think about the five bodies laying in the woods or whatever decision Bakugou and Kirishima had made while you were gone.
Bakugou rolled his eyes and the room fell into a comfortable silence as he began gently wrapping your ankle up in an elastic bandage. Each shift of the scratchy fabric made you wince no matter how slowly Bakugou wrapped your foot. You gripped the edge of the counter tightly, trying to stay still and let Bakugou finish.
A warm hand enveloped yours, giving it a comforting squeeze. You looked up at Kirishima who gave you a reassuring smile, his ruby eyes shining in that familiar and heroic way that you had seen him give to injured civilians hundreds of times in the last two years. While it was a look he wore often, something about it being aimed right at you as if you were the most important thing in the world made your heart skip a beat. “You’re doing so good. Almost done, okay?”
You nodded and breathed out a soft “okay” in response, tearing your eyes away from his to look down at your ankle. Bakugou had finally finished wrapping and was pinning it in place. He exhaled loudly through his nose as he stared at your wrapped ankle, his jaw clenching and unclenching in thought. A darkness took over his features that spurred you to speak.
“Am I gonna live, doc?” You asked with a smirk, trying to jar him from whatever thoughts had him seemingly distracted.
Bakugou blinked as he came out of his reverie and looked up at you. “Mmm, for now. But if you do some shit like that again, I’ll blow your ass up myself.”
“Yes sir.” You replied sarcastically. It earned you a smoldering glare that let you know he was with you now and not still deep in the trenches of whatever dark thoughts had come over him earlier.
“Just because you’re hurt doesn’t mean you get to be brat.” You gave him a small pout. He stood back up, ignoring the look on your face as he gathered the other supplies to put back into the first aid box. “Now, you’ll have to keep this foot elevated. I think you’ll be good in a few days but you have to stay off of it, princess.”
You nodded solemnly. “Fine. I’ll do my best.”
Before you could ask for any help getting down from the counter, Kirishima was already putting your arms around his neck. “Come ‘ere, sweetheart. I’ll get you to the couch.”
You let Kirishima pick you up bridal style and get you situated on the couch in the living room. He put a couple of pillows beneath your foot, covered you up with the blanket that had been around your shoulders, and put a few things on the coffee table beside you for added comfort: a glass of water, your phone, and the book you had been reading earlier that day.
“Thank you, Kiri.” You murmured, pulling the blanket up to your nose.
Kirishima blushed at the mention of his name coming from your lips. But then the conversation with Bakugou earlier had him averting his eyes. “You’re welcome. I, uh, can get your hairbrush and try getting out the rest of those leaves, if ya want?” Kirishima asked hesitantly, jerking his thumb back towards the bedroom.
“Yes, please.” You replied, grateful that he offered. He gave you a curt nod and went to the bedroom to retrieve your brush.
Bakugou adjusted the pillow beneath your foot and made sure your blanket covered it. “Still don’t know how you breathe like that.”
“I can breathe just fine. It’s comforting…” You poked your head out just enough to stick your tongue out at him. He smirked at you and shook his head.
“Yeah, whatever. I know it’s kinda early but I’m going to make lunch. You need to eat something. Make sure you drink that water, too.” You hummed in acknowledgement which seemed to satisfy Bakugou. He turned and disappeared into the kitchen to begin making an early lunch for the three of you.
You glanced at the antique clock above the fireplace and sure enough, it was already close to 11AM. Just how long had you been out in the woods? It had both felt like minutes and hours, but in reality, it had only been about an hour and a half.
Kirishima came back with your hairbrush and sat down on the floor beside the couch. With a soft touch, he began working on pulling the leaves from your hair again and brushing out tangles. You silently wondered if you would be able to shower tonight. Bakugou might have been able to clean the blood and dirt from your face and arms, but you still felt gross and your hair needed to be washed desperately.
And you didn’t just feel gross physically. You tried hard to block out what had just happened, but were failing. Even with being wrapped up in a blanket with Kirishima’s comforting touch, you shuddered as the bloody face of Shiozaki came forward in your mind.
It wasn’t lost on you that you had brandished that branch like a bat and even used the same rib-crushing move you had used in your apartment on your roommate. It made you feel sick. Sick enough that you had puked your guts up after everything was over.
Kirishima clearing his throat interrupted the dark turn that your thoughts had took. “Can you tell me what happened out there, Y/N? If you’re up for talking about it, I mean.” He asked softly, continuing to work his fingers through your hair.
“I fell… Well, obviously. You found me. But I guess you aren’t asking about that.” You paused to gather your thoughts, and Kirishima waited patiently as he continued to add the leaves from your hair into a small pile on the floor.
“I made a shit ton of noise when I fell and hurt my ankle. And afterwards, too. When I yelled, I think I drew them to me.” You explained.
“Mmm, Bakugou did say that noise alerts them, but I don’t think we expected to see any of them this far out.” His fingers paused briefly before he continued. “First that hunter, and now…”
“I think they were campers.” You recalled their clothing. It looked like a summer, outdoorsy style with overalls and cargo shorts. They had to have been a family. And they had to have been dead since the beginning “They looked… like they had been dead for awhile. I think that maybe they turned the hunter.”
“You’re probably right. Like I said, this place is pretty remote. It would make the most sense.” He paused, and you nodded in agreement. When you didn’t continue, he gently pushed for more. “So… they found you, and then…?”
“I, uh… I fought.” You replied, wary of going into the details, because 1) you didn't want to freak him out and 2) you were trying to repress those memories already. “I found a branch on the ground, and I just fought them off as hard as I could. I didn’t want you guys to find me like… that. So I did what I had to do.”
He nodded in understanding, pulling the last bits of leaf from your hair. “You did the right thing.”
“I know, but it still feels so wrong. Even with them trying to eat me, I still find it hard not to see them as people.” Shiozaki… Your heart squeezed.
“That’s because you’re a good person.” Kirishima said with such conviction that you almost believed him.
“Heh… I don’t think that’s what it means.” You quipped.
He turned your face so you had to meet his eyes. “I think you’re a good person, Y/N.”
You swallowed thickly, those sparkling eyes staring into yours, desperately wanting you to see the way he saw you. After a few moments, you turned your head away, unable to keep the heat from rising to your cheeks.
But there was one thought that had been on your mind all this time that had been pushed aside until now. It was the whole reason you had left the cabin in the first place. You just didn’t know how to ask. Without thinking, you blurted out, “So… am I getting kicked out?”
“Do what?!” Kirishima blurted out right back. He sat back in surprise, looking at you confused.
Before you could explain, a cacophony of falling pans and utensils came from the kitchen followed by Bakugou yelling, “The hell did you just say?!” before stomping into the living room to confront you.
Kirishima raked a hand through his long hair, trying to figure out what you were asking. “Do you really think that we’re going to kick you out because you got hurt? Or that you defended yourself? We would never do something like that, sweetheart.”
Bakugou crouched down in front of you with a scowl and flicked you on the forehead.
“Ow!” You cried out in surprise. It hadn’t actually hurt, but you rubbed the small red spot like it had anyway.
“Idiot. I can’t believe you think we’d do that to you. What the hell goes on inside that head of yours to make you think that?”
“N-no, I don’t think that. I just - I didn’t know what was going to happen when I left the cabin. Between all of us.” You answered, looking between the two of them. They looked at each other, sharing some silent conversation that you weren’t a part of, and then back at you.
“Well,” Kirishima rubbed the back of his head, his face slowly turning red as you turned your eyes to him. “We decided it would be up to you. Bakugou told me that you have feelings for both of us. It only makes sense for you to be the one to decide what happens.”
So Bakugou had told him. You weren’t sure if you felt relieved or more anxious about everything, but the more important matter at hand was that they wanted you to choose between them. Right? “Wait a second, wait a second.” You waved your hands in front of you as you sat up all the way. “You want me to pick? One of you over the other? Or… what?”
“You don’t have to pick someone right now if you don’t want to. Or at all.” Kirishima reached for your hand, holding it gently. “We won’t pressure you.”
Bakugou cut his eyes briefly to Kirishima before taking your other hand, the tops of his ears turning pink as he looked at the floor. “Nothing has to change if you don’t want it to. We can stay as we are.” He said.
You chewed your bottom lip as you looked at your hands clasped in theirs. You didn’t want to choose. You couldn’t choose. It wasn’t like your feelings were stronger for one than the other to make this decision easier. The feelings for them were equal in every way. Would they ever consider…? No, there was no way. Would it be something you could handle? Would Bakugou and Kirishima be able handle something like that?
But it wouldn’t hurt to ask, would it?
You sucked in a breath of air, squeezing their hands as you plowed forward. “I have an idea.” Two pairs of carmine eyes looked at you with anxious curiosity. Nervous energy hung heavy between the three of you as Kirishima and Bakugou waited for you to continue. “Can I just… choose both of you?”
You watched their faces change from nervous to confused to… something else you couldn’t quite put your finger on. It was hard to tell if it was a good or bad thing. The silence stretched out for so long that you begin to try to fill in the uncomfortable silence with rambling.
“I understand if it’s not something you want to do, and I know it’s weird, and I don’t know how much y’all know about polyamory or relationships between multiple people, but if it’s dumb or makes you uncomfortable, we don’t have to do it, but I just thought–”
You blinked, startled at the interruption. “...What?” You looked between the two of them, unsure which one said it.
“Yes.” Kirishima said again, tugging your hand to get your attention. Your heart thudded in your chest at his warm smile and red cheeks. “I’m willing to try if it’s what’ll make you happy. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, but we can figure it out together. Right, Bakugou?” He looked to Bakugou, who seemed to be mulling it over in his head.
After a moment, the blond finally nodded in agreement. “Fine. I’m willing to give it a shot, too. But we need to set some ground rules.” You and Kirishima nodded excitedly.
Holy shit. Is this really happening? Am I really about to date Red Riot and Dynamight. Together. At the same time?!
“We’ll discuss it over lunch. I need to actually finish cooking now. And no more talk about leaving or getting kicked out, princess. I mean it.” You hummed in agreement as Bakugou leaned down to kiss you on the top of the head before giving your hand one last squeeze and returning to the kitchen. Kirishima mirrored Bakugou, giving you a chaste kiss on the top of the head and a hand-squeeze before excusing himself to throw away the leaves that had piled on the floor beside the couch and go shower.
Laying back on the couch and ignoring the throbbing in your ankle, you closed your eyes. Now alone, your head and heart reeled. Ba-bump, ba-bump, ba-bump . You placed a hand on your chest, trying to remind your heart to slow the fuck down. You were having a hard time believing what just happened, but you would be lying if you said you weren’t happy as hell at how things turned out. It was the best case scenario!
And now, you just had to navigate what this new relationship was going to look like.
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If we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through Hell with you.
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