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"Today, you will practice close quarters combat without making use of your quirks." Aizawa-sensei explained to the class, all teens dressed in their training clothes. They were all sitting on the ground of a small arena as their teacher gave the explanation.


"As pro heroes, you will sometimes find yourself in delicate situations in which you will have to rely on your physical ability alone to prevent casualties and neutralize threats, such as a hostage situation." The teacher carried on. "And as you already know, some of your quirks are just too powerful and destructive to be set loose in critical situations." Aizawa-sensei glanced at Bakugou, and the rest of the class chuckled.

"Stop laughing you shit-stains!" The teen raged.

"Ah, Bakugou, how nice of you to volunteer." Aizawa-sensei said. "Please stand up."

Bakugou grumbled but complied, and made his way to the center of the arena next to his teacher.

"I'll need another volunteer." Aizawa-sensei said. The rest of the class remained motionless. "Do I have to pick someone at random?"

Uraraka Ochako, who was sitting between Deku and Iida, raised her hand with a serious expression on her face.

"U-Uraraka." Deku muttered, as the rest of the class turned to them.

"What! Uraraka-san, you can't be serious!" Iida exclaimed.

"Noooo Uraraka, you're too pretty to die!" Mineta sobbed, trying to get a hold of her as Tsuyu held him back to his seat.

Ochako stood up, despite her classmates protests. She looked back for a brief moment to find Deku smiling at her. That was all the reassurance she needed.

"Uraraka, perfect." The teacher said. "This way you can have a rematch."

Bakugou frowned at her as Ochako made her way to the arena, but he made no comments like the ones he had made during their match at the sports festival.

"Now, class, pay attention." Aizawa-sensei said. "You'll be divided in pairs, and you will attack and defend for two rounds. Please try not to hurt each other too badly."

There was a murmur of agreement from the rest of the class.

"Uraraka, you will defend the first round." The teacher explained as the girl adopted a defensive stance. "Bakugou, you will attack. Remember you only have to take her down, avoid hitting sensitive areas and causing critical damage. Are you ready?"

Bakugou brought his fists up. He hadn't underestimated Uraraka the first time, and he wasn't about to do it now.

"Go!" Aizawa-sensei yelled, and Bakugou leapt into action.

"DIE!" Bakugou screamed, fist pumped up in the air. He charged in, aiming for her waist. He made contact, but instead of tackling his opponent to the ground as he had planned, he found himself face down on the floor, arm twisted behind his back.

It all happened too quickly. "Wha-"

Cheers erupted from the rest of his classmates. Bakugou looked back, and he found Uraraka was the one holding his arm down. She was smiling.

"Perfect demonstration, Uraraka." Aizawa-sensei clapped a few times. "Now stand up for the second round. Bakugou will defend this time."

Uraraka let him go, and Bakugou was really fucking glad she didn't offer him his hand to stand up or some shit. The bitch had learned a few moves, so what? He was still stronger than her, he wouldn't be taken down so easily the next time.

He stood up, took his stance and looked ahead. Uraraka was chancing glances from the corner of her eye at Deku’s general direction. Oh . So she just wanted to look good in front of the fucking nerd. Fuck them both , Bakugo thought, with renewed strength. He would show them just how much better he was.

"Ready? And.... Go!" Aizawa-sensei exclaimed.

Uraraka leapt forward with a look of determination in her eyes. Now she only had eyes for him, the boy thought sarcastically. Bakugou spread his legs, crouching slightly as he blocked his middle with his forearms crossed. If she tried to take him down with her sheer momentum she would bounce back to the ground. He was a goddamn wall.

Just when he thought she would crash against him, Uraraka stopped, and leaned her upper body slightly backwards. She placed her foot between his legs, but he didn't see it in time to react. She kicked his ankle with just enough force to destabilize his stance, and just when he realized what was happening she bumped into him with her elbows and they both toppled into the ground.

Bakugou was breathless, the air knocked right out of him. Uraraka was panting from exertion, looking at him with the same fierce determination she'd shown at the sports festival. She was lying on top of him, holding his arms down with her own weight. He was neutralized, Bakugou thought, as he attempted to catch his breath. He had been taken down once again, so ridiculously easy, in front of his teacher and the entire class. He should feel furious, embarrassed and downright murderous, but he didn't. He just felt warm .

“I win.” Uraraka breathed. They were so close Bakugou could feel her soft exhalations brushing his face. He blinked.

“YES!”

“That was awesome!”

“Woohoo! Ochako-chan!”

“Shut-up, brats,” came Aizawa-sensei’s voice on top of the bellowing students. “Uraraka, Bakugou, please stand up.”

As they went back to their feet, Bakugou realized the rest of his classmates were standing up and rapidly surrounding the girl.

“What’s up with those moves !”

“Teach me, Uraraka!”

Bakugou felt a hand brush past his shoulder.

“I told you, it was all her.” Deku said, smiling awkwardly. “Better luck next time, Kacchan,” he said as he quickly made his way towards Uraraka, probably trying to avoid Bakugou’s temper.

Bakugou looked as Deku congratulated Uraraka with a few awkward pats on her back and she blushed profusely. The sight made his stomach twist.

“Man, she got you good.” Kirishima said next to him, with an amused look on his face. “Don’t try to kill her in her sleep or something.”

“I’ll kill you in your sleep, shit-brain.” Bakugou snorted.

“All right, all right!” Aizawa-sensei hollered. “Now you get the gist of the exercise. You will pick a partner and switch defense and offense for two rounds, then switch partners with the rest of your classmates until the hour is up. Any questions?”

The girl that could pull stuff out of her body raised her hand, but Bakugou tuned out and switched to autopilot as he pounded Kirishima to the ground with ease. He barely paid attention to his partners as he switched, but he kept following Uraraka with the corner of his eye. When the class was finished she was still standing. Nobody had been able to take her down.

---

Ochako finished her shower in relative peace as the rest of the girls chattered away in the changing rooms. She wrapped a towel around her body as she emerged, brushing the wet tresses out of her face.

“There she is! Today’s champion!” Mina shouted, putting an arm around Ochako’s shoulders.

Ochako smiled. Since the combat class she’d been showered with praise and admiration, and it was nice to be the center of attention for a change, but it was starting to get a bit old. “It’s not that big of a deal.”

“No big deal?” Momo interjected. “You took Bakugou down a notch. Besides,” she continued as she put on her shirt. “Midoriya-kun was really impressed with you today.”

“Ochako’s so lucky!” Tooru exclaimed. The invisible girl was the only one fully dressed.

Ochako opened her locker to hide her blush from her companions. All the girls were aware of her little crush on Deku. It seemed everyone was aware of her crush on Deku, except Deku, which was both a relief and a source of frustration.

“Midoriya’s seems too shy to act on it.” Kyouka said as she pulled her socks up.

“Well, I don’t think it matters. It’s unlikely Ochako-chan will fall for someone else. They will end up together eventually.” Tsuyu stated, with her characteristic calm demeanor.

The conversation turned to more trivial matters as the girls started to leave in pairs back to their dorms. Tsuyu waited for Ochako, since they had been paired as roommates when the school had requested they relocated to the campus.

“I’m so hungry!” Ochako exclaimed with a pout on their walk back to the dorms.

“There’s still a couple of hours until dinner, but I think I have a few snacks left in our room.” Tsuyu offered.

“Really!?” Ochako hugged her friend happily. “You’re the best, Tsu!”

“Oi.”

Both girls stopped on their tracks. Bakugou was leaning against a column, arms crossed across his chest. He had the usual frown on his face as he approached the girls.

“What’s this… and ambush?” Ochako whispered. She held tightly to Tsuyu’s frame, wary of the boy’s intentions.

“Fucking hell, I just want to talk .” Bakugou said, looking at Ochako. Then he looked at Tsuyu. “Alone.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea...” Tsuyu began.

Ochako hesitated, but eventually she let go of the other girl. “It’s alright Tsu, I’ll meet you at dinner.” She smiled reassuringly.

“Well, if you aren’t there I’ll know who to blame.” The black haired girl deadpanned.

“Jesus fuck, I’m not really a murderer y’know?” Bakugou exclaimed, but Tsuyu was already walking away.

There was an awkward moment of silence during which neither of them spoke, but Ochako broke first. “So...”

“Fight me.” the boy said.

What?

“You were good today. You got better.” Bakugou exclaimed harshly, as if he was having a hard time finding words that weren’t insults or profanities.

“Uh, thanks?”

“Fight me again,” the boy said with a serious expression. “Until I can stop you.”

Ochako could feel her palms getting sweaty. Bakugou seemed so intense, she almost prefered he switched back to the belligerent, foul-mouthed idiot he seemed to be most of the time. She had to take a big breath before answering:

“No.”

There was a visible twitch on Bakugou’s face as his frown deepened. Boy, he was scary.

“Why not? ” he said, instead of the litany of curses Ochako expected from him. It seemed he was really trying to restrain himself.

“Because…” Ochako began, unable to hold his gaze. “You’re always trying to one-up anyone that’s better than you at something, just so you feel good about yourself… and… you’re so mean, you’re mean towards everyone, especially towards Deku even though he only thinks the best of you and...”

“This is not about fucking Deku!” Bakugo exploded.

Ochako stepped back. Bakugo took a long, deep breath as he held the bridge of his nose. “Listen. This is not about my ego , or my attitude or any of that shit .” He looked up at her. “And it’s especially not about fucking Deku."

“When those bastards captured me,” the boy said, disgust showing in his face. “I couldn’t do jack shit . I was just a burden to everyone, to All Might .”

“I had to be rescued , for fuck’s sake.” he continued. He brushed a hand through his hair. “The one thing I hate more than asking for help is being goddamn helpless.”

Ochako was speechless. Bakugou snorted. “I don’t even fucking know why I’m telling you this, you already said no.” He turned to leave.

“...Wait.”

Bakugou stopped, looked back over his shoulder.

“I-I’ll… I’ll teach you some of my moves.” Ochako said, hoping her voice came out loud and clear. “For defense purposes. On two conditions!”

Bakugou turned to face her, interested.

“First, you will treat me with respect,” she stated firmly. Bakugou hesitated, but nodded. “And second, you won’t be mean to Deku anymore.”

“No fucking way .”

“Then you’re on your own.” Ochako said quickly as she started to walk away.

“God dammit , Uraraka.” She turned back. “FINE!” Bakugou screamed. “I’ll treat you and your precious Deku like fucking newborn puppies if that makes you happy!”

She smiled, it was a good bargain.

“Can’t believe I’m doing this.” Bakugou muttered. “When do we start?”

As if on cue, her stomach decided to imitate the mating calls of a humpback whale. “Uh… after dinner?” she mumbled with embarrassment.

Bakugou slapped his forehead. “ Fine . I’ll meet you after curfew in front of our classroom.”

“Wait, after curfew?” Ochako exclaimed.

“Well, yeah . You don’t really think the teachers are gonna let us fuck around the school with all these attacks? We’ll have to sneak out at night, and find an empty classroom or some shit.”

“Uh… ” Sneak out? At night? In empty classrooms? With a boy? With Bakugou!? “I guess you’re right...”

“You better fucking be there.” Bakugou said, and left.

What the heck had she gotten herself into.

---

At dinner, Ochako sat at her usual table with Deku and the rest of her friends. She kept shooting glances at Bakugou’s direction, but the boy seemed content to be ignoring her like their previous arrangement had never happened.

“He took it better than I expected,” Deku said, pulling her from her reverie.

“Huh? Oh, yes.” Ochako nodded.

“I think his attitude’s getting better… ” Deku continued. “Especially after we got him back from the villains. I think being surrounded by all of our strong classmates and everyone trying their best has... humbled him.”

“Ah, yes.” Iida agreed. “Bakugou-san was especially graceful at being bested by your hand today, Uraraka-san.”

Ochako groaned as she felt her face go warm. “Enough of that, guys! Let’s eat before it gets cold!”

“I think...” Deku said with a small voice  as he turned to his meal. “It’s really nice that everyone could see how strong you are, Uraraka.”

Ochako shoved a ball of rice into her mouth to stop the squeal that threatened to escape. Damn Aoyama for suggesting she was in love with Deku. It was just a little crush, dammit. He was, after all, the nicest boy she’d ever met. They’d saved each other’s lives on multiple occasions, she admired his strength and determination and fine , he was cute. She also considered him to be her best friend, which complicated things considerably. She knew how messy friendships could get if romance was involved. She was afraid it would tear them apart, and besides, she had a goal to achieve. She couldn’t be distracted by boy troubles of all things. Not to mention they were practically at war with the League of Villains at the moment. She had more important things to focus on.

“Thanks, Deku,” she smiled after she had swallowed her rice. “You were great today, too! You beat Todoroki-san!”

“Ah, yeah… it took some time, though.” Now it was Deku’s turn to flush.

A few tables away, Bakugou was frowning at them and their developing token romance.

“Stop staring, man. It’s weird,” Kirishima said as he patted his shoulder.

Bakugou scowled, then continued stabbing his meal. “I’m going out tonight, don’t tell anyone or I’ll kill you,” he informed his roommate.

“Eh!? You’re not planning to murder Uraraka in her sleep, are you!?” the redhead exclaimed.

“I FUCKING TOLD YOU I’M NOT A GODDAMN MURDERER YOU DIPSHIT!” the boy exploded. Everyone in the cafeteria turned to look at him. “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU STARING AT, MOTHERFUCKERS!?” he bellowed at the room at large.

Bakugou’s eyes landed on Deku, and he was about to lash out at him as he usually did with very unique and colorful language, until he noticed a pair of brown eyes looking at him skeptically.

“Fuck this,” he said, and stood up to leave his dinner and a startled Kirishima behind on the table.

“Oh, perhaps we were mistaken...” Iida wondered calmly after Bakugou had already left the room.

After a while, the rest of the students started to leave the cafeteria one by one. Curfew was approaching, and nobody wanted to deal with the extra assignments and public ridicule that followed being found wandering around the school at night. Nobody except Urarako Ochako and Bakugo Katsuki, apparently, who currently found themselves hidden inside the 1A classroom two hours past curfew.

“This was a bad idea...” Ochako whispered.

“Shhh! Someone’s coming!” Bakugou said under his breath, as the beam of a flashlight filtered under the classroom’s door. “ Shit .”

Ochako touched the back of the boy’s neck with her right hand. “Don’t make a sound,” she said, and suddenly they were both floating towards the ceiling. Both teens held their breaths as a guard opened the classroom door and checked under the tables. When he left, they dropped back to the ground as softly as Ochako could manage.

“That was too close,” the girl said, taking a deep breath. “We should go back.”

“No!” Bakugo exclaimed. Ochako swiftly covered his mouth with her hand. “Shhh! Not so loud!”

The boy removed her hand and carried on. “You can’t fucking turn back on me now. You’ll only have to do this once and I’ll leave your precious Deku alone forever, remember?”

Dammit , Ochako thought. It was a good bargain. “Fine,” she found herself saying. “But we need to get out of here.”

“We’ll go to the gym. I’m sure the main door’s locked but we can get in through the locker rooms.”

Once they were inside, Ochako couldn’t help but notice that they were inside the boys ’ locker rooms. “Uh...”

What? Afraid you’re gonna find Deku’s goddamn underwear lying around? Fuck’s sake...”

“Oh my god… how do you...” Ochako pulled at her hair. “Does everybody know!?”

“You ain’t exactly subtle, angelface.”

“Oh, shut-up . Let’s see what you got.”

“You’re on.”

From there on, Ochako drilled the boy through the self-defense moves she had learned working with Gunhead. She noticed Bakugou relied too much on offensive power, but that wasn’t new. That’s why he was especially vulnerable when faced with a stronger opponent, or when he had been outnumbered that time back at the camp. He had been baited easily and prompted to fight, which had depleted his energy for defense and evasion. In such situations, he should focus on disarming his opponents and evade capture. The theory was sound, but she doubted someone like Bakugo would ever turn tail. Still, it was a relief he was paying attention to her explanations and mimicking her movements without much commentary, acting as if this was a class given by a superior and not his classmate. Ochako was glad once again that he took her seriously.

“Alright, I’m ready.” Bakugou said, after practicing some of his new moves. “Come get me.”

Ochako glanced at her watch. It was fifteen minutes past midnight. “It’s really late. I think we should head back.”

“You’re shitting me. How the hell am I gonna know if I got all this if I don’t try it at least once?” the blond said.

The girl sighed. “Fine. But just once, and then we go back.”

“Yeah, yeah, c’mon already.”

Ochako took the offensive while Bakugou remained in the defensive. He did a pretty good job on avoiding her punches and well-aimed kicks, and he was alarmingly fast. Ochako wasn’t surprised, though. From what she’d gathered from Deku, Bakugou was one of those exceptional and naturally talented people that learned everything with ease. She felt slightly jealous. It had taken her weeks to master the techniques that Gunhead had presented to her, and here was Bakugou getting most of it in just a couple of hours. Perhaps it had been a mistake to teach him, but then she thought of Deku and what she was getting out of this, and decided it was worth letting Bakugo have the upper hand again.

“You’re distracted” she heard a voice say next to her ear.

“Huh?”

In a swift motion, Bakugou went from defensive to offensive and had Uraraka pinned to the ground.

“Was that… really necessary?” Ochako exhaled, trying to catch her breath.

“You tell me. You’re the one teaching me about combat, but if this was a real fight against a real villain you’d be dead.” The boy said with a smirk.

“Yeah, well… it’s been a long day.” She tried to get up, but Bakugou was pushing her shoulders back.

“You were thinking about Deku, weren’t you.” he deadpanned.

Ochako tried to fight her blush. “What! No!” she lied. “What are you, a mind reader?”

She stood up as quickly as he let her go, dusting off her clothes in the process.

“Fucking concentrate, woman. You can’t let that distract you during a fight.” Bakugou said behind her back.

“Oh, like you’re the picture of composure ,” she shot back. “What’s your obsession with Deku, anyway? If I didn’t know better, I’d think you’re in love with him or something."

“WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT!?” Bakugou exploded suddenly. Ochako had to throw herself at him and cover his mouth to stop him from alerting the entire school of their presence.

“Jesus Christ , Bakugo!” she whispered. “Are you trying to get us expelled?!

“Why the fuck would you say that shit! Me and the fucking nerd!?” the boy whispered back, trying to reign in his temper.

“It was just a joke! You don’t have to take it seriously!” Ochako explained. There was a pause. “Unless… ”

“For fuck’s sake, woman!”

“OH MY GOD.” This time it was Bakugo who had to bodily throw himself at the girl to shut her up. “Are you really in love with him? Does this mean we’re rivals? ” Ochako said, her voice muffled by Bakugou’s hand.

No , goddammit! Where the hell are you getting this!?” he exclaimed under his breath. Ochako bit his hand. “Shit!”

“But it all makes sense! That’s why you’re so mean to him, because you like him!”

“Shut the fuck up!” Bakugou threatened, visibly flustered.  

“You like him! You like De-- mmmph! ” this time, the boy used his lips to cover Ochako’s mouth. They were surprisingly soft, and warm .

Bakugou drew back, slowly. “...I don’t... fucking… like... Deku.”

Ochako brought her hand to her lips. She took in Bakugou’s shiny eyes, his reddening cheeks, his parted lips and thought: this is exactly what girls and boys who sneak around at night do.

Neither of them spoke during the walk back, and they parted ways without a word when the dorms were finally in sight. It was already past 1AM when Ochako finally found herself on her bed.

“Did you have fun with Bakugou-san?” came a voice from the other bed.

Ochako froze. “What? Tsu…?”

“When he requested to talk with you this evening I figured he’d want you to teach him self-defense, after today’s class,” her roommate said from the other bed.

“I’m sorry, were you awake this whole time?” Ochako suddenly felt guilty for not telling Tsuyu where she was going when she left. She assumed she had been asleep, but Ochako should have known better.

“Nah, you just woke me up. I was awake when you left, though.” Tsuyu replied. “I wasn’t worried. I know Bakugou-san wouldn’t harm you.”

There was a pregnant pause. “...Why do you think that?”

Tsuyu yawned. “Ah, he respects you. You made an impression on him during the sports festival.”

“Oh...”

“I’m sleepy, Ochako-chan. Good night.”

“Sweet dreams, Tsu.” Ochako said, but sleep eluded her. She couldn’t stop thinking about Bakugou, and Deku, and that kiss . Had Bakugou kissed her because she was right about him liking Deku and he wanted to throw her off track? Had he kissed her because he liked her , instead of Deku? Or had he kissed her because he was an impulsive idiot and just wanted her to shut up? When he mentioned she was distracted by thinking of Deku, he had seemed clearly annoyed. Was he jealous of her , because he wanted Deku for himself? Or was he jealous of Deku because she liked Deku and not Bakugou… or did she?

She couldn’t deny that there was more to Bakugou than meets the eye. Under that explosive exterior, there was an intensity and determination on par with Deku’s. When they fought during the sports festival he hadn’t undermined her strength, even though her quirk was technically less powerful than his, and the audience kept yelling she was a fragile girl. He had pushed her to the limit, and that meant something. And today, she would even go as far as to say that she’d had fun being with him, once he’d stopped being a jerk.

She also couldn’t deny that the kiss had felt nice, even though admitting that made her feel guilty and perplexed. She already liked Deku, so she couldn’t like anyone else, right? She kept thinking to herself as she fell into a restless sleep, still feeling the phantom sensation of Bakugou’s warm lips on hers.

--

“Good morning, Uraraka!” Deku greeted her with a smile the next day, as she entered the classroom. She felt the usual fluttering in her stomach whenever she had Deku’s full attention, and she was inexplicably glad. He’s still the one.

“Good morning, Deku!” she exclaimed as her face grew warm. She took her seat, and the butterflies in her stomach slowly dissipated. She suddenly became aware of a strange feeling at the nape her neck, like she was being stared at from behind. Ochako looked back over her shoulder to find Bakugou staring intently at her. The butterflies came back at full force.

To make matters worse, Deku’s seat was right next to Bakugou’s, so he’d probably thought she had turned to say something to him. Deku waved at her and Ochako had to place a hand on top of her chest because she was positive she was having a heart attack. A confused Deku looked around to find Bakugou staring at Ochako, which prompted Bakugou to stare at Deku instead, which made Ochako remember their late night conversation about Bakugou’s possible love interest and Ochako couldn’t stop the sudden flood of images in her head of Bakugou and Deku in several compromising positions and oh god what is happening .

“Uraraka-san! Your nose is bleeding!” came Iida’s voice from somewhere far away.

“I… don’t feel very well.” Ochako said as she tried to wipe the blood away. She actually felt dizzy.

“What’s going on here?” asked Aizawa-sensei as he came into the classroom.

“Uraraka-san doesn’t feel very well, Aizawa-sensei!” Iida reported in his class representative voice.

“Well, we can’t have that. Uraraka do you need someone walk you to the infirmary?” the teacher asked.

Ochako turned back briefly at the pair of boys causing her ailments, and they both looked back at her. Deku and Bakugou then turned at each other competitively, and both opened their mouths to say something, but were suddenly interrupted by Iida’s voice.

“Allow me to escort you to the infirmary, Uraraka-san. It is my duty as the class representative to see that my companions are all well,” her friend said kindly.

Ah, Iida. God bless your heart, Ochako thought. The pair behind her promptly shut their mouths.

The walk to the infirmary went by in amenable silence. “Join us when you feel better, Uraraka-san” Iida said as he left, once Ochako was in the good care of Recovery Girl. The old woman gave her a tissue for her nose and told her to drop her head back.

“I’ll make some tea” said the nurse as she put a kettle on a electric stove. “Now, tell me dear. What’s troubling you?”

Boys , Ochako was tempted to say. “Well, I didn’t sleep well last night and my nose just started bleeding out of nowhere and I feel dizzy and there’s a fluttering in my stomach and my palms are sweaty and can I please go back to my room and skip this day?”

“Ah” the old lady exclaimed knowingly. “Boys.”

Ochako could almost feel her spirit leaving her body.

“Or girls?” Recovery Girl added inquisitively. “You know all’s fair in love, honey. Let me get you some pamphlets.”

Ochako sighed. “It’s boys...”

“Tea’s ready! Drink up, dear. You’ll feel better after this.” They both sipped their tea in silence.

“Recovery Girl...” Ochako started. “Is it normal… to like two people at once?”

The old lady chuckled. “What is normal, deary?”

Ochako sighed.

“Everyone’s different, honey. You only have to realize what feels right for you, and for the people closest to you.”

“But… what if I hurt their feelings? What if they hate me? What if everyone thinks I’m weird?” Ochako rambled on, clutching the cup of tea in her hand.

“I’m sorry, but there’s no easy answer,” the old woman said, as if from experience. “You can stay here and clear your head for the rest of the period, but afterwards you should go back to your friends and have some lunch.”

“Okay...” Ochako mumbled. “Thanks for the tea.”

“Now, where did I put those pamphlets?”

When the lunch bell rang, Deku and Iida were already waiting for her outside of the infirmary.

“Uraraka! Are you feeling better?” Deku asked.

“Ah, yes! I’m famished, though. Let’s go eat!” she answered.

“It’s good to see you are back to your lively self, Uraraka-san.” Iida commented.

Uraraka scratched the back of her neck and chuckled, but a well-known silhouette caught her eye in the distance.

“Oh, Kacchan also wanted to know if you were alright.” Deku explained.

Bakugou was leaning against a far away wall with his arms crossed. When he realized he was being watched he just walked away.

“I think he might be warming up to you... who would’ve thought, huh?” Deku said, an awkward smile on his face.

“Yeah, who would’ve thought.” Ochako repeated absent-mindedly.

After lunch, Iida left them for some of his class-rep duties, which meant Ochako was all alone with Deku for the next half-hour until the next period started. Deku said he needed to go back to his and Iida’s room to get his textbooks, so Ochako decided to tag along.

“Sorry about the mess” Deku said, slightly flustered. His side of the room was slightly out of order while Iida’s was impeccably organized and was that air freshener ?

“Don’t worry, you should see mine! It’s three times worse than this ahaha...” Ochako revealed, partly to alleviate the tension. In retrospect, she should have been more nervous. She was sitting on Deku’s bed , for crying out loud. But there were too many questions swimming around her head to mind to her queasy stomach.

“Hey Deku…”

“Yeah…?” he replied from under his bed, attempting to extend his arm to reach his books.

“You’ve known Bakugou since you were kids, right?”

“Uh, yeah. Why?”

“Well, is he… ” Ochako took a deep breath. “Is he gay?”

The bed bounced slightly as Deku bumped his head under it. “Ugh!”

“Deku! Are you okay!?” Ochako threw herself at the floor to try and pull her friend out of the bed.

“Ahhh… yeah!” Deku breathed as his head finally came out. “You just startled me, is all! Haha… Why… why d’you ask?”

“Uh… no reason?” She wasn’t sure if she should tell him her motives, in case everything backfired spectacularly.

“Well… I really don’t think so.” Deku said, rubbing the growing lump on his head. “I only ever saw him with girls, but he didn’t seem very interested in them, either.”

“Uh, why is that?” Ochako inquired.

“Well, he seemed happier to just bully me around and make everyone else feel inferior. Maybe he felt those girls weren’t up to his standards, or something...” Deku continued.

“I… see.”

“Well, I got my things, so...”

“Deku.” Ochako interrupted.

“Um, yes?”

“Are you gay?” she asked with as much delicacy as she could muster, which wasn’t a lot.

“Ah… no, I like girls.” Deku stated. “... and boys.”

“Oh, you’re bisexual then.” Ochako said with a smile.

Deku sighed. “Yeah, I think so…” There was a pregnant pause. “Does it… bother you?”

“What? No!” Ochako exclaimed with sincerity. “Why would it?”

“Some people think it’s weird...” the boy said sadly.

“Well, I think it’s really neat,” she answered. “You have, like, double the chances of finding someone you like that likes you back.”

Deku chuckled. The once heavy mood had dissolved into thin air. “It’s funny you say that.”

“Why?”

“Well,” the boy began. “Let’s just say I still haven’t found anyone that likes me back.”

Oh, Deku , Ochako thought, and kissed him.

---

They walked back to their classroom side by side, not looking at each other, not muttering a word. Ochako wanted so badly to hold Deku's hand, but she knew neither of them could handle the uproar that such a sight would cause upon their classmates.

"Okay brats," Aizawa-sensei said, addressing the whole class once the lesson was finished. "That's it for the week.”

"YES!"

"Freedom!

"Thank god it's friday!"

"As you know," the teacher carried on, ignoring the rowdy students. "You are free to spend your weekends as you see fit, as long as you come back to school before curfew."

"Those of you who will be going out must exert extreme caution. Never go anywhere without a classmate, avoid interacting with strangers and keep everyone updated of your status through your group chats. Take care of yourselves and each other, and don't forget we have a couple of exams coming up next week." The man finished with an evil glint in his eye. "Now get out of here and let me sleep."

"YEAH!"

Some of the students shot up from their seats and left the classroom in record time, but Ochako noticed a few of her friends hanging back.

"Ochako-chan," Tsuyu said as she came closer. "Some of us are planning to go to the movies tomorrow, would you like to come?"

"Sure! Sounds like fun! " Ochako said smiling.

"Maybe you could ask Midoriya-kun if he'd like to tag along." Momo added suggestively.

"I'm fucking going," said a grouchy voice out of nowhere. Everyone turned back to find Bakugou surrounded by a deadly aura and glaring at each and every one of them.


"What!? Why!?" Kirishima asked from behind.

"O-of course!" Momo stammered. "It is a public place, after all."

Ochako waved at Deku, who was still in his seat speaking with Iida and Todoroki. "Deku! Iida! Todoroki-san!"

The boys came closer to Momo's desk, who happened to be the mastermind behind tomorrow's plans.

"What's going on?" Todoroki asked.

"We're planning to go to the movies tomorrow! Would you like to come?" Ochako replied enthusiastically.

"Ah, I'm afraid I can't." Iida said. "I'm visiting my brother at the hospital."

"Do you want me to go with you?" Deku offered. He took the school's new policy of never leaving his classmates alone very seriously.

"I offered to go with him a few days ago," Todorki explained. "Maybe we can meet you all at the mall after we are done."

"Yes, sounds good." Iida agreed.

"Okay, that means I can go." Deku said with a smile, and Ochako beamed. Bakugou just kept glaring at all of them like it was his job.

Everyone buzzed excitedly along the halls thinking about their upcoming plans for the weekend. After dinner, Ochako sat down with Tsuyu to work on their homework so they wouldn’t have to worry about it over the weekend. Having such a responsible roommate was starting to rub off on her, and her grades were definitely improving. Plus Tsuyu was really nice to be around.

They went to bed early, but Ochako stayed awake reading a new manga that had been a gift from her parents, until sleep claimed her around midnight.

The following day, everyone was refreshed and ready for action. Ochako was just happy to have a lazy morning, waking up late and taking a long shower before having breakfast and getting ready to go.

She went back to her dorm with Tsuyu and picked a patterned dress and a denim jacket as her outfit for the evening. When everybody was ready, they met at the school gates so they could walk together to the bus station.

"Ah, the boys clean up nice, don't they?" Ochako heard Tooru whisper next to her. She had to agree, although she couldn't find her voice to say it aloud. Deku was wearing a pair of denim shorts and a green plaid shirt that looked soft to the touch, while Bakugo was shamelessly pulling off the tightest jeans Ochako had ever seen and a black vest. Were they trying to torture her on purpose?

"You look really nice, Uraraka." Deku said, without looking at her face.

"THANKS DEKU!" She yelled, horrified with how loud her voice came out due to her embarrassment. "Uh, you look great too!"

"You two are fucking ridiculous," came a deep voice behind them. Ochako thought Bakugou's outfit really complimented his attitude.

"You look good too, Bakugou!" Ochako blurted out, unable to control herself. Bakugou was visibly taken aback by her comment, and his frown was broken momentarily. "Don't you think so, Deku?"

"WHAT? Uh... " Deku's face was red up to his ears, and he was definitely sweating. He dared an up and down look at Bakugou’s general direction and swallowed audibly. "I... guess? I mean, yeah. Um, sure."

Bakugou's face darkened, and he looked as if he was about to chew Deku's head off, but was able to restrain himself at the last minute.

Deku was looking at him incredulously, as if he couldn't believe he hadn't been punched. Ochako let go of a breath she didn't know she was holding.

"I think we're all set," Tsuyu said when Kirishima and Mineta finally arrived.

"About time!" Momo said, taking in the newcomers.

"I fell asleep!" Mineta exhaled, out of breath from running.

"Me too!" Kirishima exclaimed. "Dude, what the hell!" he said as he turned towards his roommate. "You were supposed to wake me!"

"Like hell I was!" Bakugou shouted.

"Alright, alright, let's go everyone!" Momo hollered as she clapped her hands before a fight broke out. They all fell into step after she set the pace.

Mineta quickly ran to be besides Momo and Tsuyu at the front, which left Kirishima and Tooru in the middle while Deku, Ochako and Bakugou stayed in the rear. They reached the bus station soon enough, and while everyone else seemed to be chatting loudly and having a good time, a heavy mood set itself upon the three teens seated at the back.

"Um..." Ochako began. She had strategically chosen a seat between the two boys to minimize conflict. "Did you guys finish your homework?"

"Yeah..." Deku said as Bakugou replied "No." They both looked towards opposite directions.

"Ah... I finished it last night, too! I didn't want to worry about it tomorrow. Aren't you worried about it, Bakugou?"

There was a pause.

"It's easy enough," the blond replied.

"For you, maybe! I had to ask Tsu for help since I'm not very good with that kind of stuff," she finished with a short laugh.  

"I can help you too whenever you want, Uraraka." Deku said earnestly.

"Yeah, Uraraka, I bet he's got a lot of shit he wants to teach you," Bakugou said, scowling.

"Kacchan..." Deku groaned.

"Oh my god, you're gonna be the death of me!" Ochako said as her head fell on her lap.

"What the fuck, woman?”

"Uraraka, what's wrong?" Deku said as he placed a hand on her back.

Who was she kidding? Ochako was no strategist. She was spontaneous, painfully honest and incredibly stubborn. She'd thought she had a clear picture of what had happened between the two boys thanks to her latest interactions with each of them, and she'd hoped that by throwing them together and mixing herself in it would all sort itself out. But life didn't work that way.

"Listen, you two. I'm...." Just as she was about to give them a piece of her mind, the bus came to a sudden stop. A loud bang came from above as the ceiling of the bus was peeled open like a tin can.

"What the fuck! "

"It's a Nomu!" Ochako heard Deku shout, as the monster peeked down at them with vacant eyes.

Why...

"NOT AGAIN!” Mineta screamed in terror.

"Tee hehe, everybody stay calm~!" said a girly voice. Ochako recognized that voice all too well.

" You! "

"My lovely Ochako! And Tsuyu! Fancy meeting you here, my dear friends!" Himiko, the blonde psychopath that had attacked her at the camp, climbed on the bus. In the blink of an eye she grabbed one of the front passengers, an elderly woman, and pressed her knife to her throat. "Nobody has to get hurt if you play nice and give us the boy!"

Ochako and Deku looked at Bakugou. He looked back at them and at the rest of their classmates. After a moment of deliberation, he took a step forward.

"Ah ah ah, not you , handsome. We've had enough of you! I want the other one." She chuckled maliciously and pointed at Deku. "It's not fair, Ochako-chan! How come you get two and I get none? You have to share!”

This is a nightmare , Ochako thought. With Bakugou as the hostage they had a small chance of turning the tables since he could have disarmed Himiko as the rest of them attempted to protect the passengers of the bus from the Nomu. But Deku was vulnerable, he couldn't even use his quirk since he still hadn't managed to avoid hurting himself.

"NOBODY MOVE GODDAMIT!" Himiko suddenly screamed, with a terrifying smile on her face. "YOU!" She pointed at Momo, who had been trying to discreetly use her quirk by pulling something out of her back. "I SEE YOU MOVE A MUSCLE AGAIN AND GRANNY HERE DIES!"

“It’s all right… ” Deku said as he brought his palms up and took a step forward. “We can play nice, as you said.”

Shit. ” Ochako heard Bakugou mumble under his breath. She was positive she could make the entire bus float with her powers, but the weight of the passengers and the Nomu above would only keep it grounded. They needed to neutralize Himiko, fast, and drive the Nomu away to avoid any casualties.

Deku took another step towards the villainess.

“That’s it, cutie. Come to me!” Himiko squealed.

Dammit! Ochako thought. If only she was faster, or stronger, or smarter…

She felt a warm hand clasp her own. Bakugou was looking straight ahead, but he was holding her hand firmly. With Deku walking forwards, he partly obscured both of them from Himiko’s view. She grabbed her seat with her right hand and hoped to god that her power held on. She activated her quirk, and lot of things happened in rapid succession.

First, a weightless Bakugou exploded the back of the bus, which made him shoot up against the Nomu on the ceiling and push it out of the way with a blast on the face. The impact made the weightless bus topple forward like a sinking ship, which made Himiko loose her footing and Deku leapt forward to grab her knife before she could stab the old lady. Tsuyu held the falling passengers in place with her tongue, until Ochako released her quirk and the bus fell back down. Kirishima ripped open the left side of the bus so they could use it as an emergency exit, while Tooru and Mineta quickly helped the passengers to evacuate. Momo materialized a brick and swung it towards Himiko’s head before grabbing Deku and the old lady as Ochako jumped up into the air. Bakugou and the Nomu were falling fast, and she almost didn’t make it in time to touch the boy’s leg and break his fall. The Nomu crashed loudly on top the empty bus, raising a cloud of dust that made it impossible for Ochako to see what was happening around them.

Bakugou and Ochako fell back to the ground softly. When the dust cleared, she realized they were way more screwed than she had originally thought.

“Did you really think it would be that easy?” Himiko said, standing up on wobbly legs. More members of her squad had somehow warped to their location, and the Nomu was already standing up and roaring, looking for its next victim.

Thankfully, the cavalry had come as well. Someone must have sent a mass text about their situation, because Iida and Todoroki had arrived, accompanied by none other than the pro hero Endeavor. The civilians all but fled from the scene, which at least gave them the freedom to fight without restraint. From then on it was hell.

The students paired up to be able to hold their ground against the villains, while Endeavor battled with the Nomu. They needed to contain them for as long as possible so Deku could be taken to safety.

Speaking of Deku… Ochako had lost sight of her companions somewhere in the middle of the battle. She could see the bright explosions lighting up the smoke around her, but she needed a better view. She jumped up, suddenly feeling the strain of using her quirk so much. She had to hold on a little longer!

Down on the ground there were multiple battles going on, and it was hard to focus with all the fire and ice shooting up in all directions. She caught a glimpse of what appeared to be tattered, motionless dress, and belatedly realized that it was Tooru lying on the ground. The invisible girl had previously volunteered with Mineta to stay with Deku, so if Tooru was down and Mineta was nowhere to be seen…

“Goddamnit!” she heard as Bakugou suddenly appeared from a cloud of smoke. He and Kirishima had been fighting the zombie-like villain, but the redhead was nowhere to be found. When Ochako couldn’t help losing power and elevation, a glimpse of bright blond hair and green plaid caught her eye. Far away from the battlefield, Himiko was carrying an unconscious Deku in her arms. They were approaching what appeared to be a warp gate inside a crumbling building.

“Bakugou!” she screamed, falling towards the ground next to him. He looked at her with wide eyes, but there was no time to explain. She jumped on top of him and put her hand behind his neck. “Blast us up, NOW!”

The teen obeyed without a word, and soon they were both soaring up the sky, using Bakugou’s explosions to propel them forward. Ochako pointed at Deku, and the gate, and Bakugou used both his hands to accelerate their trajectory. Ochako’s vision was getting blurry from their speed and the strain of using her quirk so much, but she extended her arm nonetheless. They passed right above Himiko and, for a second, everything seemed to slow down. In that moment, Ochako was miraculously able to grab Deku’s hand and make him weightless so that she and Bakugou could pull him out of the psychopath's grip. Ochako was able to see the surprise dawning on Himiko’s face as they passed right above her, but then everything went back to normal speed and they crashed down as Ochako’s power gave out. Everything went black.

---

When Ochako came to, the first thing she realized was that both Bakugou and Deku were within arms reach.

"Morning, angel." Bakugou slurred from her side. He was covered with cuts and dust, and parts of his clothes were shredded. She looked down at her lap and realized she wasn't faring much better. She would have to say goodbye to her favorite dress.

They were somewhere beneath the rubble, lights and sounds filtering through the cracks in the cement.

Bakugo was sitting next to her, leaning his back against the cinder blocks. Deku was sprawled between them, with his head pillowed on Ochako's lap. He wasn't awake.

"He's alive," Bakugou said. "But looks like he lost a lot of blood. That bitch must have drained him."  

Ochako felt her eyes watering. They were alive . They had made it. But she why did she feel so helpless? She sobbed, and let one of her hands sink into Deku's hair like she'd always wanted to do. It was softer than she’d imagined.

"Are..." her voice came out hoarse. "Are you okay?"

Bakugou blinked. "I'll make it."

She enveloped Bakugo's hand with her free hand and, in that moment, nestled between the boys she loved, she felt she was right where she was supposed to be.

Bakugou remained quiet, but he didn't let go of her hand.

"Seems like we're gonna be here a while," Ochako said after clearing her throat.

"What were you gonna say at the bus, before..." Bakugou asked, out of the blue.

After everything that had happened, it all seemed so trivial. "Ah, well… I think I'm in love with Deku, but I really like you too, and I don’t want you to fight anymore so I can be with both of you." Ochako confessed, as if commenting on the weather.

Bakugou actually chuckled.

"Recovery Girl gave me pamphlets and everything. Ever heard of polyamory?"

"Yeah... I don't think that's gonna work out, angel." The boy said calmly. He seemed so at peace, drained from the battle.


"Why did you kiss me the other night?" Ochako asked, genuinely curious.

Bakugou seemed to think it over. "Because I think I like you and shit, and I didn't want you to say those things about me and Deku." He paused and squeezed her hand. "I also wanted you to shut the fuck up"

Ochako couldn't help but laugh.

They both remained quiet for a while, listening to Deku's laboured breaths.

"Deku confessed to you when you were little, didn't he." Ochako stated instead of asking.

"...Shit. Did he tell you?"

"Nope," she replied. "It wasn't that hard to figure it out"

Bakugou sighed. "You should really fucking hate me."

"You're not as bad as you like to pretend you are," she answered. "Deku would probably say the same thing."

There was another pause. "...Do you think he still...?"

"Loves you?" Ochako finished for him. "Without a doubt".

The boy seemed to let that sink in. "I fucking panicked, okay?" Bakugou muttered after a while. "When he… confessed. We were goddamn kids .... and then we weren't."

"I was scared shitless of the idea of… of liking him back , that I never allowed myself to consider that I could ."

Ochako nodded slowly. "...How does he make you feel?"

"Afraid," Bakugou replied. "Fucking confused, angry, excited... vulnerable ."

"He does have that effect on people" Ochako agreed, and turned to kiss Bakugou on the cheek.

The boy then turned kiss her lips. The angle was awkward, and they were dirty, bloodied and bruised, but it was the only comfort they could find.

"I'm scared too," Ochako breathed against the boy's lips, soft and warm. She leaned back from Bakugou and turned her attention to Deku's sleeping form. "I'm scared for him, and for you, and everything that could go wrong."

She lowered her head to plant a chaste kiss on Deku's lips. When she looked up, Bakugou wasn't frowning or looking at them with disgust. Instead, he looked curious.

"I know you both have your issues, and I don't pretend you're gonna sort it all out overnight just because I asked nicely." Ochako finally said. "But you already promised me you wouldn't be mean to him, so maybe having a conversation wouldn't be that hard anymore."

"Not as easy as it sounds, angel." Bakugou said, dropping his head back and closing his eyes.

The girl squeezed his hand reassuringly. "You don't have to do it alone, Kacchan."

Bakugou opened his eyes, startled by the nickname. He looked back and forth from Ochako's smiling face to Deku's sleeping frame. After a moment of deliberation, he let his free hand join Ochako's on top of Deku head, and brushed the brunet’s hair experimentally.

"Fucking nerd...." he muttered under his breath, but his hand remained caressing the soft black locks of Deku's hair.

Ochako let her head rest on top of Bakugo's shoulder, and they remained in that position until the rescue team finally found them underneath the wreckage.

Once in the hospital, Ochako was ecstatic to find that everyone had made it out okay. Deku, Tooru and Mineta got the worst of it, needing immediate blood transfusions. But the rest of them got away with nicks and scratches that were rapidly treated by Recovery Girl.

On the other hand, the teachers were caught in the middle of another media nightmare, and the school was practically on lockdown until the faculty came up with new rules to ensure the students would be safe.

Once the students had been treated, it was mandatory that they remain on school grounds until further notice. Deku had been relocated to a private room inside the infirmary for evaluation, and there was where Ochako found herself a few days after the disaster. She was sitting next to Deku's bed, attempting to cut up a melon that had been a gift from their classmates when a strange, thin man walked in.

"All Might!" Deku shoot up from his bed. He had finally recovered consciousness the previous day, but the number of visitants he could have was still limited.

"Midoriya, my boy!" The man greeted. "And young Uraraka. I'm happy to see you made it out safely." All Might said, but he looked sad.

"I am so sorry I can't protect you anymore," he added, with a solemn expression on his face. "I should have foreseen that the villains would try to get to you next, young Midoriya."

"N-no, All Might! It's okay!" Deku replied. "If anything, it's my fault that I can't control my quirk... if I had fought, less people would've gotten hurt." He looked down at his hands, clutching the blanket.

"Deku..." Ochako muttered.

"Not at all, my boy." All Might replied. "If anything, I am glad you were able to restrain yourself. Your classmates did a great job of protecting you, and luckily Endeavour was able to lend a hand."

The man patted both teens on the head. "Pro heroes have a tendency to work individually and compete with each other for the spotlight. But you children have found a way to maximize your strengths by cooperating and working together."

"That is an admirable feat," All Might said with pride, making both teens smile.

The man smiled back, but then he had to excuse himself from the premises since he was expected for a meeting with the rest of the staff. The two teens found themselves alone once again.

“Uraraka... I haven’t thanked you, for saving me.” Deku said, eyes downcast.

Ochako left the melon she’d been trying to cut up on the night table, and extended her arm to clasp the boy's hand. Deku looked up.

“I’d never let anything happen to you if I could help it,” the girl said, squeezing his hand. “But it wasn’t all me! If it hadn’t been for Bak-- I mean, Kacchan , I never could have reached you in time.”

“Right... ” Deku stated, seemingly startled by the sudden use of Bakugou’s nickname. “Somehow I’m having a hard time believing he would be willing to rescue me, of all people.”

“Deku...” Ochako sighed. “He definitely cares about you… and,” she made a pause, gathering her thoughts. “I know you care for him, too.”

“Well, sure, I’m not indifferent . We’ve known each other a long time and...” Deku trailed off.

“You’re in love with him, aren’t you?” Ochako interrupted. Deku looked at her like a deer caught in the headlights. “You have been, for a while. But he rejected you, didn’t he? When you were kids… and that’s when he started being mean to you.”

“How… how did you…” Deku stammered. “Am I that obvious?” He let go of her hand to cover his face in shame.

“No,” Ochako said sadly. “I just pay attention.”

Deku’s head shot up at that. “Uraraka… This doesn’t mean... ” he struggled to find the words. “I know how this might seem, but… I care about you, too. I… I love you. I’m in love with you.”

The boy was looking at her with his usual intensity, and Ochako couldn’t help but flush under his gaze.

“Oh my god, this is probably the worst way to confess.” Deku said, slapping his forehead. “You deserve so much better, and I really didn’t plant for it to go like this and...”

“Deku, it’s fine!” the girl chirped up, leaning to hold both of Deku’s hands in her own. “I love you too!”

Deku squeezed her hands. “You do?” He had a small, shy smile on his face, and he leaned forward to touch her lips with his own.

“Wait!” It took all of Ochako’s willpower to move her head back. Deku opened his eyes to look at her, askance. “There’s something we have to talk about first.”

“Oh?”

“About Kacchan,” she stated.

“Oh.”

“I think...” Ochako began. “I think I’m in love with him, as well.”

Oh … Wait, what ?” Deku sputtered incredulously.

“Um... ” Ochako felt her face heat up. “It’s kind of a long story?” she said, as she proceeded to retell the events of the past few days and her interactions with the blond, kisses included.

Realization dawned on Deku’s face. “So that’s why he hasn’t punched me. And that’s why you were asking all those questions. And… that trip to the movies, you wanted to be with both of us? At the same time?”

Ochako blushed. “Not my smartest move, I guess.” She bit her lower lip. “Are you… upset?”

“What? No ! How could I?” Deku blurted out, squeezing her hands reassuringly. “I’m in the same boat as you.” he smiled. “I don’t know what is it about Kacchan, he can be a real jerk, but he’s also… it’s like he’s magnetic , or something.”

“I know , right?” Ochako giggled, suddenly feeling like she was having a sleepover with her best friend and talking about the cute boy in class. She belatedly realized that that was exactly what was happening.

“Well, at least he seems to like you a lot.” Deku said warmly.

“I know, but… he’s so dumb about feelings.” Ochako muttered. “I know he cares about you, too. He’s just scared.”

“Honestly? I gave up hope that he would like me back a long time ago. I mean, we’re not even friends , really.” Deku said. “But I’m happy for you two, and I’m even happier that you would let me be with you, ” he brought her hand up to his face to give it a small kiss, for emphasis. “As long as Kacchan doesn’t come to murder me in a fit of jealousy, I don’t mind that you want to be with both of us. Heck, I wish I could be with both of you.”

Ochako, who was caught in a daze listening to Deku’s sweet words, suddenly perked up. “Ah!”

She withdrew her hands to grab her backpack and pull something out of it. “Before I forget! Recovery Girl gave me these,” she said as she dropped the infamous pamphlets on Deku’s bed.

“Polyamory for teens?” Deku read as he scanned the titles from several pamphlets.

“Yeah...” Ochako scratched the back of her neck. “So you have something to read if you get bored, since it seems you’re gonna be here a while.”

Deku smiled and touched her cheek. “C’mere” he said before pulling Ochako into a kiss, pressing their smiles together.

Of course, it was exactly at that moment when the door opened to reveal none other than Bakugou Katsuki in the flesh. Deku pulled back abruptly, out of reflex. “K-Kacchan...”

Kacchan walked a few steps towards them, seeming perfectly uninterested. He looked at Ochako first, then at Deku, and finally caught a glimpse of the pamphlets scattered across the bed. “So she gave you the briefing, huh?”

In a swift movement, Kacchan pulled Ochako up to his chest and gave her a deep, shameless kiss. Ochako’s had to grab a fistful of Kacchan’s shirt to keep upright, head swimming in a sudden heady daze. The boy put his hands on her hips and pulled her even closer to him, pushing their bodies together to form a long line of heated contact. Ochako had to stand on her tiptoes just to reach him; he had literally swept her off her feet.

The girl was too entranced to notice Kacchan opening his eyes to look at Deku, hoping to get a rise out of him, but the boy was taken aback when he realized his actions were having the opposite effect on the brunet. Deku was looking at the pair with an intensity he usually reserved for battle, but instead of being upset, he seemed… expectant . Like an animal, waiting for the right moment to pounce on his prey.

Kacchan couldn’t take it. He pulled back from Ochako with a loud wet sound. “ Fuck .” He couldn’t deny that it was one of the hottest things he had ever experienced.

“Oh my god...” Ochako was breathless. “What… what was that ?” She looked from the blond, who was panting in an attempt to catch his breath, to Deku, who was gripping the blanket in his fists, cheeks red. “ Oh my god , you two really are gonna be the death of me.”

The air was suddenly stifling in the small room.

“Um,” Ochako began. “I think I should leave you to...”

“No!” both boys protested in unison. They looked at each other and then averted their eyes to opposite directions.

“You two should really have a conversation.” Ochako said, as soon as she could think clearly again.

“You said I wouldn’t have to do it alone.” Kacchan said abruptly.

He was right, Ochako thought. She sighed and took her seat next to Deku’s bed, pulling the blond down on the seat next to her. “Okay, I’ll stay. But you have to promise you two are gonna talk about… whatever you feel like you need to talk about, later, when you’re alone .” As much as she wanted to support both of them, there were things between them that just didn’t concern her. She couldn’t act as a buffer for every interaction they had, plus they had a lot of shared history to get through.

“Also, no more kissing for a while, okay?” she pleaded.

Kacchan growled, but complied, sinking in his seat. Deku swallowed audibly.

As fate would have it, the boys didn’t come clean with their feelings on that day. Kacchan mostly remained quiet in his seat, looking at the ceiling with a bored expression while Ochako and Deku talked about this and that. Ochako held both of their hands throughout the evening, and when visiting hours were over she left the infirmary clinging to Kacchan’s arm. She couldn’t help it, she was a touchy person.

After a few more days, Deku was released from the infirmary and everything went back to normal, more or less. They went to class, studied for tests, participated in the school’s weird activities and for the most part, remained with their usual circle of friends. Deku and Ochako would sit with Iida for lunch while Kacchan sat with Kirishima and Kaminari. But whenever Ochako found herself next to either of them, she would find excuses to brush her fingers against Kacchan’s arms, or brush Deku’s hair when nobody was looking.

One evening, Ochako was studying with Tsuyu in her room when her phone buzzed. She fished it out of her pocket and found a couple of texts from Deku, including a picture of Deku smiling with one arm around Kacchan’s shoulder while the blond frowned at the camera. The previous text read so we had a talk . She couldn’t help the squeal that escaped her mouth.

“Is everything alright?” Tsuyu asked.

Ochako swiftly put her phone back in her pocket. “Yeah! Um, sorry… Let’s get back to those equations.”

“This test is about fractions, Ochako-chan.”

“Oh, right.”

---

“So how did you do on the test, angel?” Kacchan’s head was pillowed on Ochako’s lap. He had his arms folded on top of his chest, eyes closed.

“How come you get to call her angel? Can I call you something too, Uraraka?” Deku protested from Ochako’s right side. He was sitting next to her on the grass, his arm around her shoulders.

“No you can’t! I came up with it, fucking fight me about it, nerd.” Kacchan retaliated.

Ochako smiled as she brushed the blond locks on Kacchan’s head. “Ochako’s fine, Deku.”

“O-Ochako...” Deku stammered. He was blushing up to his ears.

Kacchan snorted. “Look at you, all smooth and shit.”

“I did better than last time, I guess.” Ochako let her head fall on Deku’s shoulder. “Why do we have to keep studying math? We’re gonna be heroes, for crying out loud!”

“How the hell are you planning to get paid if you don’t know two plus two equals four?” the blond deadpanned. Ochako pinched his cheek. “Goddamnit, woman!”

“Ochako is great at calculating sales and discount prices!” Deku defended her, managing not to stutter around her name this time. “So I don’t think she’s bad at math per se, maybe she doesn’t pay as much attention in class?”

The girl groaned. “It’s just so… boring . I’m trying, I really am. But I wish I had a better incentive to study.” She suddenly felt guilty, thinking about her parents. She needed good grades to get a good position after graduation so she could support them, but it was hard to focus on that when Aizawa-sensei’s voice droned on and on about fractions and multiples and integers.

“I could study with you” Kacchan said as he opened his eyes. He winked at her.

Ochako reddened profusely. “Um, I think... you’d be too much of a distraction.”

The blond smirked, turning on his stomach to rest his cheek on top of Ochako’s thighs. “Oh really?” he breathed in a deep, low voice that could only mean one thing.

“Jesus, Kacchan.” Deku admonished. He was adjusting his collar. “We’re in public .”

“And I haven’t done anything yet , don’t get your fucking panties in a twist. Both of you.” The blond said, standing up to sit next Ochako. He extended his legs, and seemed to envelop the two smaller teens with his larger frame.

Ochako stretched her skirt to cover knees, mouth dry. She was glad that Kacchan had finally found a less...   aggressive outlet to his explosive personality. But it could be a bit much, sometimes. Especially in the presence of other people. Their classmates had already stopped asking questions about their arrangement, thankfully. Although it was mostly because Kacchan kept glaring daggers at anyone who attempted to come near the three of them whenever they were together. It had been particularly painful to explain to Iida that no, he was not getting replaced by Deku’s so-called rival.

“I’m serious, though,” the blond carried on. “I could kiss you whenever you get something right. You’ll get the gist of it in no time.” He finished smugly.

The girl covered her face in mortification.

“I offered to help her first, you know? If anyone should help her, it should be me.” Deku stated, a little flustered.

“Yeah, but then she’d had to kiss your dirty mouth and we all know I’m a better kisser anyways.” Kacchan said matter-of-factly.

Ochako clapped her hands. “All right, new rule. If you’re gonna turn kissing me into a contest, then from now on any time any of you kisses me, you’ll have to kiss each other at least once.”

Deku let out a strangled sound.

“No fucking way,” Kacchan said, with little fire behind the words. His relationship with Deku was still a work in progress. Ochako hadn’t expected anything more, to be honest. She had been content to be with both of them separately, even though it made her feel bad for Deku. It had been a pleasant surprise when she found out that both boys had somehow worked their differences to at least be civil to one another. Eventually, she had been elated to find out that they even had figured out an alternative to verbal communication to sort out their issues, but the blond would rather die than admit he enjoyed Deku’s presence and affection.

“You just want a show, don’t you?” Kacchan had an annoying smirk on his face. “My perverted little angel.”

“Oh my god,” Deku breathed, clutching at his chest.

Ochako tried to remain nonchalant, but the small curve of her lips gave her away. “Maybe I do.”

“Deku, you heard the lady.” The blond said, pulling the other boy to him. Deku was all too eager to comply, and Ochako was more than happy to sit back and enjoy the show. Not just because it was two cute boys kissing, but but because they were her boys. They had to break apart soon enough to avoid getting caught by any of their classmates or a passing teacher, though.

“You know,” Kacchan panted. “I don’t care if you’re bad at math, I think you’re a fucking genius,” he said as he grabbed Ochako and pulled her down to sit on his lap.

“I’m not bad at math, per se... ” she struggled to say, but words failed her as Deku leaned in to kiss her, and that kept her mouth busy for a while. At least until Aizawa-sensei found their make-out spot and chased after them with a hose.

All in all, Ochako couldn’t believe her luck. She had her boys, passing grades, and the world wasn’t ending. Sure, there were some bad days. When they weren’t fighting villains and trying to become heroes, they had their regular relationship problems to deal with. They were still figuring themselves out, after all. Not to mention Kacchan’s explosive temper could really complicate things from time to time. But for the most part? Being together felt like completing a puzzle and sitting back to appreciate the pretty picture that came together.

And in a world filled to the brim with violence and danger, Ochako knew that feeling was something worth protecting.