Chapter 1: Marked
“Deku, look out!” Uraraka screeched, trying to make her way across the rubble.
Izuku jumped just in time to dodge the villain's attack. The woman in his arms squealed, grabbing onto Izuku’s bicep and squeezing. Izuku barely registered the burning sensation where the woman’s hand rested on his bare skin, the left arm of his costume having been ripped off at some point during the fight. He had more important things to worry about at the moment.
Trapped in an alley on the far end of the debris field were Bakugou and Kirishima. One of the buildings had collapsed, and honestly, it was a wonder either of them had survived. It was pure luck that the building adjacent to the demolished one was reinforced. The pair were trapped in a cavern barely large enough for the two of them to move around.
“Bakugou, calm down, man!” Kirishima pleaded. His words fell on deaf ears, however, as Bakugou blasted mercilessly at the surrounding debris, desperate to escape and get back out to where the action was. “You’re going to bring the rest of the building down on us if you keep this up!”
As if to prove his point, the slab of concrete above their heads began to shake. The force of Bakugou’s last attack broke up one of the supporting beams. The concrete splintered from one end to the other, showering the two boys in dust and bits of concrete.
Bakugou paused as their tiny haven rumbled around them, threatening to collapse and kill the two of them at any moment. He turned on Kirishima, eyes blazing.
“What do you suggest we do then? Sit here and suffocate to death!” His booming voice echoed around the small space. Kirishima winced.
“Of course not,” he started, “but I’d rather not get crushed to death, either.” Though, if Kirishima were being honest, with his quirk, he might actually survive the cave in. He doubted he’d make it out of the rubble, however. And Bakugou definitely wouldn’t survive. He’d be crushed in an instant.
“I’m not hearing an alternative, Spiky-hair.” Kirishima was trying to formulate some sort of plan when the ceiling shook again. More debris rained down. This is it, Kirishima thought, we’re gonna die.
Another quake, a deafening cracking sound, then… light?
“I AM HERE!” All at once the concrete slab threatening their lives was tossed away. Light flooded the space, temporarily blinding the two amateur heroes.
Bakugou swatted away one of the searchlights being pointed at him and jumped out into the night air, ignoring All Might's outstretched hand. To his immediate dismay, the fighting was over. The villains were being shoved into police cars and the cleanup crew was already hard at work. He groaned loudly, shoulders dropping. Kirishima chuckled as All Might helped him out of the collapsed alley, watching the ever-dramatic spectacle that was Bakugou Katsuki.
The medical team checked them over and sent them on their way. A few scrapes and bruises, but otherwise the pair hadn’t seen enough action to be seriously injured. Bakugou seethed as they made their way to the rest of the group heading back to UA. Suddenly he stopped. Kirishima turned as Bakugou fell to his knees, gripping his left arm, clearly in pain. His teeth were clenched, and his eyes were shut tight. Was he even breathing?
As quickly as it had happened, Bakugou relaxed. He was back on his feet quickly, but he was distracted, trying to get a good look at his left bicep.
“Shark week, come tell me what’s up with my arm,” he shouted, contorting himself into awkward positions to try and get a better look, “I can’t see shit.”
Kirishima made his way over to Bakugou’s left side. He squinted, the dim lighting around them making it hard to see.
“What the hell?” Kirishima drew his brows together, puzzled.
“What? What is it?!”
“It looks like…” Kirishima trailed off, thoughtful, “It looks like a brand.”
On the back side of Bakugou’s left bicep was a raised burn mark in the shape of a star.
“I’m so sorry,” the woman – Kanako – who Deku had saved pleaded.
“Don’t worry about it,” Izuku began, “It’s just a few bumps and bruises, nothing for you to worry about.” He shot her his signature wide, goofy, utterly infectious grin. This did nothing to improve the woman’s mood, however.
“I don’t mean your injuries, though I do regret that you got yourself hurt saving me.”
Now Izuku was just confused. “What are you apologizing for, then?”
“That,” she said, pointing to his left arm.
Izuku tried to see what she was pointing at but couldn’t get a good enough angle. Uraraka grabbed a small mirror from inside the ambulance they were perched in. “Here,” she said, holding it up so Izuku could see the back of his arm.
“It’s my quirk,” Kanako admitted hastily.
“You give people weird shaped burns?” Izuku questioned, examining the mark with intrigue.
“No - I mean yes, but there’s more to it,” she spoke quickly, sounding more nervous the more she talked.
Izuku motioned for her to go on, Uraraka at his side, just as curious.
“My quirk reveals people’s soulmates,” she began. “That mark on your arm,” she gestured at the star, “whoever the universe has decided you’re meant to be with will have the exact same mark on their body.”
Izuku was stunned. For a while, he just stared, which only made Kanako that much more nervous. Her whole body seemed to be vibrating and she looked like she was about to cry. She opened her mouth to speak again but Izuku beat her to it.
“That’s so cool!” He bellowed, jumping out from the back of the ambulance. “So, whoever has this same mark on their arm is my soulmate?” Kanako nodded.
Izuku’s brows furrowed. “Wait, but what happens when the burn heals? Does it only work for a certain amount of time?”
“I’m very sorry,” she apologized again, “but that mark isn’t going anywhere. Once it heals it will scar. And nothing can remove a soulmark.”
Kirishima had broken off to go check on Kaminari and Jirou who hadn’t gotten out of the fight as unscathed as some of the others. Bakugou waved him off, muttering something about not giving a shit about sound girl or Pikachu. He found himself wandering around the debris field, in no particular hurry to get back to UA or his classmates.
He stopped in the shadow of one of the unoccupied ambulances when he heard Deku shouting about something. As he listened his eyes grew wide, his hand subconsciously coming up to trace the star on the back of his arm. His world spun, his body unsure of what to do. He wanted to run or hide, or maybe hit something – like Deku or that stupid woman who had just doomed him.
No. Fucking. Way.
Chapter 2: A Veiled Apology
Bakugou isn't taking this situation well, and poor Izuku is downright miserable. Kirishima's doing his best to help, but Bakugou is one tough nut to crack.
Rumors spread fast in UA. It didn't take long for Kirishima to hear about Midoriya’s fancy new mark and what it meant. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He had to talk to Bakugou.
“Yeah, I heard,” Bakugou grumbled, “what of it?”
“Dude, you can’t be serious,” Kirishima said, dumbfounded. He watched as Bakugou shoved his gym clothes into the locker and slammed it shut. He hadn’t looked Kirishima in the eye once.
“Fuck off, Shitty hair, I’m not in the mood,” Bakugou barked.
“Ohh ho no you don’t.” Normally Kirishima would let him be when he was in a mood like this, but he needed answers.
“You have the same mark, Bakugou! I was there when you got it,” Kirishima shouted, trailing after Bakugou as he tried to leave the otherwise empty locker room.
Bakugou turned on a dime, cornering Kirishima up against a wall of lockers. “And? It doesn’t mean shit, alright?” Even Bakugou himself didn’t believe that. But he was hard-pressed to admit to even the smallest possibility of this situation being for real.
He didn’t wait for Kirishima to answer. Bakugou was out the locker room door in an instant, lost among the sea of students trudging about the halls of UA. Kirishima let out a sigh, sliding down the lockers. Bakugou might be his friend, but he still scared him sometimes. That guy was a loose cannon no matter how you looked at it. He had more layers than people gave him credit for, but that psychotic, egotistical exterior was no joke.
Izuku was ecstatic. He had a soulmate. Somewhere out there was someone meant just for him. The thought made him feel light and giddy. He hadn’t put much thought into relationships yet. His entire focus was on becoming the best hero in the world, a task that in and of itself didn’t leave much time or room for romance. But knowing there was someone out there that he was destined to be with put a smile on his face and a warmth in his chest.
“Deku, wait up!” Uraraka shouted, clamoring after Izuku as he made his way to the cafeteria. He’d been so wrapped up in his own thoughts that he hadn’t heard her calling him.
“Sorry, Uraraka. Just lost in my own head, I guess.”
“Can’t imagine why,” she said pointedly, waggling her eyebrows at him.
Izuku blushed, looking anywhere but at that knowing look on Uraraka’s face.
In truth, Ochako had been a little disappointed when she’d realized that she and Deku weren’t meant to be. Kanako had told them that it could take minutes, hours, even days for the mark to show up on Deku’s soulmate. It had been over a week since then and nothing had appeared. She accepted this with dignity, though, determined to help Deku find his perfect match. That didn't mean she wasn't going to tease him about it relentlessly, however.
The pair walked down the hall at a leisurely pace, lost in conversation.
“Oh sorry, my bad,” Izuku stammered, having bumped into someone going the opposite direction. “Oh, Kacchan, hi.”
Bakugou froze, expression stuck somewhere between fear and anger. With Bakugou, anger always won out. “Watch where you’re going, shitty nerd.” His words were harsher than usual, a venom behind them bred from the mixed emotions he had over these so-called ‘soulmarks’.
Izuku muttered apologies as Bakugou stormed off. He turned back towards Uraraka, smile not quite reaching his eyes. He looked miserable, but Izuku was always one to put on a brave face when things weren't going his way.
“Don’t let him get to you, Deku, you know what he’s like better than any of us,” Uraraka consoled the green-eyed boy. She patted him reassuringly on the back as they started back towards the cafeteria.
“That’s the thing, though,” Izuku started, “he’s always been mean, but this is a whole new level of hatred. Ever since we got back from that big fight downtown he’s been acting weird. He won’t look at me or talk to me. He doesn’t even make fun of me anymore.” Izuku’s expression fell. It was clear this was upsetting him more than we was saying.
Despite their current relationship - or lack thereof - Izuku and Katsuki had been good friends when they were little. Katsuki had always been kind of a jerk, but when they were kids it was more in a teasing, friendly kind of way; the attitude of someone who just didn't know how to properly express his emotions.
They knew each other better than anyone, even if Katsuki acted like they were nothing but enemies. Izuku never stopped thinking of Katsuki as a friend, someone he desperately wanted to mend his relationship with. But ever since Katsuki had developed his quirk, the rift between them just got bigger and bigger. It was to the point that Izuku was afraid they would never work it out. Katsuki just wouldn't listen.
Izuku’s mood improved a bit as he and his friends chatted during lunch, but thoughts of his childhood friend still lingered heavy in the back of his mind. He kept wracking his brain, trying to figure out what exactly he’d done to make Katsuki so angry with him but kept coming up empty. It was like Izuku just existing pissed him off. If this kept up, high school was going to get a whole lot harder for him.
“You can’t just ignore the guy forever, Bakugou,” Kirishima said, absentmindedly poking at his notebook with his pencil.
Bakugou just grumbled in response, which, compared to how he reacted a month ago whenever Kirishima brought up Midoriya, was progress. A whole month and barely anything had changed. Midoriya's constant stream of consciousness about his soulmate had died down somewhat, but he was more than happy to gush about it to anyone who asked.
Bakugou had calmed down some. Rather than exploding whenever he so much as looked in Midoriya's general direction, he opted to just ignore the other boy and hope the problem would go away on its own. Still not a very healthy coping mechanism, but Kirishima would take what he could get.
“Come on, man,” the redhead pleaded, “I can’t stand seeing that lost puppy dog look on his face anymore.”
As if on cue, Izuku wandered into the classroom, enveloped in a conversation with Iida until he saw Bakugou, who promptly avoided eye contact with him. The waves of despair coming off of that boy were practically tangible in the air as he shuffled to his seat. 17 pairs of eyes stared daggers into the back of Bakugou’s head. The entire class was fed up with the drama between those two, and they weren’t afraid to show it.
It wasn't that Bakugou hadn't noticed how miserable Deku was acting, or how everyone in class glared at him openly whenever he treated the other boy harshly. He just... didn't know how else to handle the situation. He wasn't good at this, dammit. He was confused and angry and a whole bunch of other things he couldn't put a name to.
What was up with this situation? How in the hell did the universe think that he and Deku of all people would be a good match? It was just stupid. Still... every time his childhood friend cringed away when he snapped at him, it hurt him a little inside. A squeezing feeling in his chest that made it hard to breathe. Some people would call that guilt. Bakugou preferred to call it heartburn and move on.
Bakugou groaned, slamming a hand down onto his desk as he got to his feet. Kirishima stumbled back from Bakugou’s desk, confused. Shoulders slumped, eyes narrowed, footsteps like a herd of rhinos, Bakugou made his way over to Izuku’s desk.
Izuku jumped as Bakugou’s hand slammed down onto the desk in front of him. Wide-eyed and terrified, he slowly looked up at Bakugou towering over him. He looked like a deer in the headlights and the whole class held their breath as the two just stared at each other. One minute, two, three. Bakugou said nothing as he hovered over Izuku, a silent statue radiating irritation like a miasma. Izuku was starting to feel nauseous.
“You didn’t do anything, alright?” Izuku blinked, lips parting, eyebrows scrunching in the middle wrinkling his nose in a way that was too cute to be legal. A look of pure, unadulterated confusion.
“Did you hear me, nerd?!” Bakugou was shouting now. He was never known for his patience.
“Yes!” Izuku squeaked in response, jumping in his seat.
“Good,” Bakugou said, leaning back a little so as not to seem quite so intimidating, “now stop moping like a little kid and get your shit together.”
He said nothing else as he made his way back to his seat. He plopped down with a thud and bent over his desk dramatically, refusing to look at anyone. They were all looking at him, though, eyes wide and jaws on the floor.
“D-did he,” Izuku stuttered, whispering to Uraraka - who Bakugou had forcibly traded seats with two weeks ago - in front of him, “did Kacchan just apologize?”
Chapter 3: A Minor Slip-up
Bakugou finally breaks.
Two weeks went by and Izuku grew more and more confused with every passing day. It started with little things; asking to borrow notes, then sitting with their group at lunch – dragging Kirishima and Kaminari along with him – and even so far as cracking a smile at a stupid joke Izuku had made.
The more time passed the less hostile Bakugou acted towards Izuku – unless you made the mistake of calling him on it, that is. One comment about how well those two were getting along and Bakugou went right back to acting like a complete asshole. Class 1-A learned pretty quickly that if they wanted to keep the peace they needed to keep their mouths shut.
The only person this didn’t seem to apply to was Kirishima. As long as he brought it up when no one else was around, anyway.
“Just admit it.”
“You can’t hide behind that scowl forever, big guy.”
“Oh, fuck off, Shitty-hair!”
Kirishima bounced away laughing as Bakugou swung at him. It was late, somewhere around midnight if Kirishima had to guess. They were hanging out in the common area of the dorms. The original attempt was to get some extra studying in, needed more on Kirishima’s part than Bakugou’s, but he was up anyway so what the hell, right?
The studying thing only lasted for about 20 minutes before Kirishima started poking around where Bakugou didn’t want him. What could he really do, though? Kirishima was the only other one who knew about Bakugou’s soulmark, and while he was loath to admit it, he needed to talk about it with someone.
The placement of the star-shaped scar was inconvenient as hell, considering Bakugou’s hero costume didn’t cover that part of his upper arm. His solution to this problem? Wrap his entire shoulder in bandages. If anyone asked what had happened - the obvious assumption being that he had been injured - his response was generally along the lines of 'fuck off' or 'It's none of your god damn business'.
Bakugou knew this solution wouldn't work forever. People were already beginning to get suspicious. But for the time being, it was all he could think of. Even Kirishima couldn't come up with a better plan. So the bandages stayed.
What the hell was he supposed to do? Just waltz up to Deku and admit he had the same mark as him, that he was his soulmate? Not a chance. While Bakugou was slowly beginning to admit that maybe he didn't totally hate Deku, that didn't mean he was planning on saying anything anytime soon, if ever.
“He’s not so bad, you know,” Kirishima interjected, derailing the mental trainwreck that was Bakugou's thought process. He glanced over at the redhead, jaw working as he ground his teeth in frustration.
“Whatever,” he grumbled, turning away again. Kirishima sighed.
“Is it-” Kirishima stopped, considering his words, “Is it because he’s a guy?”
Bakugou’s head snapped up, his eyes wide, brows knit together. To be honest, the thought had never actually crossed his mind. Of all the reasons he’d come up with as to why he and Deku just didn't fit, their genders had never been one of them.
Maybe it had to do with the fact that his mother was with another woman before marrying his dad. Whenever his parents tried to talk to him about relationships, gender was never a barrier. Love was love, and that was that. Nothing else to discuss.
He’d never thought much about his own sexuality, too focused on his hero training to care about romance. He’d been confessed to plenty in middle school, his sour attitude apparently not enough to scare off the more determined suitors. He’d even been confessed to by a few guys. He turned them all down, just the same. Not interested.
Now, though, as a teenager, things weren’t so cut and dry. Bakugou had urges just like everybody else. It was perfectly normal for someone his age. Thus far, he’d dealt with it himself and moved on. Now, though, he couldn’t help but wonder -
“’Course not,” he said, finally. “That’s got nothing to do with it. I’m gonna be the number one hero and he’s just a shitty nerd. No way I'd ever stoop so low as to fall in love with someone like him.” There was no real bite to his words though, and he knew it.
Bakugou mumbled something about being tired and having to get up early, then he was gone. Kirishima was left alone on a couch, grinning like an idiot as the explosive blond retreated into the elevator, the tips of his ears bright red.
Progress, he thought.
Stupid Shark week, with his stupid hair and stupid ideas. Who does he think he is poking around in other people’s business? I’m gonna kill him...
Ever since that night, Bakugou couldn’t stop thinking about what Kirishima had said. And, as a result, Deku. That stupid little broccoli-head occupied his thoughts almost non-stop these days and it was seriously irritating. Not because he hated Deku – not that you could get him to admit that under threat of death – but because he couldn’t figure out what was going on in his own head.
Sometimes he’d look at the shitty nerd and he’d feel that familiar contempt and irritation settle in; the jealousy, the rage. But other times, he’d look at Deku and he’d smile that ridiculously childish smile, laugh in that ‘not a care in the world’ way and Bakugou just...
He wasn’t angry, or upset, or irritated. He didn’t feel the urge to crush him under his boot or throw him up against a wall... well, actually -
That was happening far too often lately, and Bakugou was not happy about it. It was like he wasn’t in control of his own brain anymore. And the fact that Deku wouldn’t stop going on and on about the damn soulmark and fantasizing about what his soulmate might be like was not helping matters. Especially since, like himself, Deku didn’t seem to care what gender his soulmate turned out to be.
“I’ll love them no matter what,” he said defensively, puffing out his chest a little. Mineta had had the balls to insinuate that Midoriya's soulmate would never be a guy because that was gross and unnatural. Deku had quickly put the little bastard in his place. Deku almost never resorted to violence outside of battle, but he wacked that little pervert on the head hard enough to give him a headache that would last for days. A lesson that diaper-boy wouldn't soon forget. The swell of pride Bakugou felt at that made him want to hurl.
What the hell was wrong with him?
“You’re in loooove,” Kirishima sing-songed in the showers after their last class. He got a bar of soap in the face for that one. Didn’t matter that Bakugou couldn’t see him through the curtain hanging between the shower stalls. Bakugou never missed.
Despite the stinging in his eye, Kirishima laughed. Bakugou’s face was bright red when he came out of the shower. He insisted it was because of the water temperature, but Kirishima wasn’t buying it.
“Dude, come on. You’ve been sweet on the guy for weeks now, you’re just too damn stubborn to admit it.” Another bar of soap. This one Kirishima was ready for. He ducked to the side and the bar of soap went right over his shoulder – straight into Midoriya's face.
“Oh, shit! Sorry, Midoriya,” Kirishima apologized, running over to where Midoriya now lay splayed out on the floor. He’d been coming in for a shower himself. He always seemed to have the worst timing.
Kirishima helped Midoriya to his feet, making sure he was alright. Bakugou wouldn't look in their direction, and Kirishima was getting fed up with all the tension built up between the two of them. Something needed to be done, or this would never end.
“Welp... I’m out!” Kirishima shouted before bolting from the locker room at top speed, leaving Bakugou and Midoriya completely alone.
They stood there in silence for a while, neither of them quite sure what to say to the other. The silence stretched on, becoming awkward very quickly.
“So,” Izuku started, wanting to break the ice in some way, “I, uh, I overheard some of what you guys were talking about. I didn’t mean to, Kirishima just doesn’t seem to have a solid grasp on volume control.”
He said it nonchalantly, like admitting to eavesdropping wasn't the most idiotic thing in the world he could have done just then. Sometimes his mouth just moved on its own before his brain could properly catch up. Izuku found himself in a lot of awkward situations that way. This was no exception.
Katsuki froze. He was in the middle of pulling on a clean shirt which now lay abandoned on the locker room floor as he stormed over to Deku, clearing the space between them in a flash. He grabbed the front of Deku's shirt and hoisted him up, moving in intimidatingly close, his eyes filled with rage. A front to hide the fear.
When did he get this heavy?
“What the hell did you hear?” Kacchan hadn’t sounded that angry in a while. There was a tinge of fear in the way his voice shook, if only a little. Izuku dismissed it, too busy dealing with an angry Katsuki whose face was far too close to his own. He wasn't blushing. Nope. Because having your childhood friend shove you up against a locker and invade your personal space on a monumental level was nothing to get worked up over...
“Just the last part!” Izuku squeaked. “About you liking a guy, nothing else, I promise!” He’d only caught the very end of their conversation before he was so unceremoniously pelted in the face with a bar of soap.
Bakugou growled deep in his chest, but backed off, desperate to hide the crimson blush he felt creeping up his neck.
“It’s not a bad thing, you know,” Izuku muttered from where he was still slumped against the lockers. “I know people say bad things about guys liking other guys, but there's nothing wrong with it.”
It was his tone of voice that got Bakugou’s attention. He sounded defensive, almost like he wasn’t so much saying this for Bakugou's benefit, but his own.
“Love is love, and damn whoever thinks otherwise because they’re wrong!” He was shouting now, a passion behind those words that spoke of personal experience. But as he realized what he was saying he shrunk into himself, turning away from where Bakugou stood speechless across the room. His cheeks couldn’t have been redder.
Love is love.
Brain off, legs moving. That is how bad decisions are born.
Bakugou didn’t realize what he was doing until it was too late. He crashed his lips into Izuku’s, hands cupping his face like a lifeline. It was sloppy and wet and toothy, but damn if it didn’t set a fire under them both. Izuku froze at the initial impact but was quickly swept up in the moment. Neither of them knew how to kiss. This was a first for them both. But damn if they didn’t give it their all.
Izuku seemed particularly fond of the planes of Bakugou's torso as the two started to explore. The curves and creases. The dense muscle hidden under unnaturally soft skin. Bakugou was less concerned with where his hands were going so much as his mouth. He left Izuku’s lips, kissing a trail from his cheek to his jaw. He traveled down, tasting every inch of skin in his path, marveling at the sounds his actions elicited from the boy before him.
An accidental grind of Bakugou’s hips and Izuku’s head fell back into the lockers with a bang. He didn’t feel it, though, or at least he was too hazy to care. Bakugou experimentally rolled his hips into Izuku’s again. The response was the same, and Bakugou would be lying if he said he wasn’t enjoying the hell out of this, too.
Damn the consequences, he didn’t care anymore. All that built up tension had finally been released and there was no going back. Bakugou could worry about repercussions later. Right then, the only thing he wanted was more.
Bakugou sank his teeth into the pulse point between Izuku’s neck and shoulder. Izuku trembled beneath him, the most delectable noises coming out of his mouth. A mouth Bakugou would very much like to get back to. He wasted little time in reattaching his lips to Izuku’s, groaning when Izuku sunk his teeth lightly into Bakugou's lower lip. This boy was going to be the death of him.
Izuku’s hands continued to explore. His hips, his abs, his broad shoulders. Izuku trailed his calloused hands around Bakugou's shoulders and down his arms. His fingers ran across a raised scar on Bakugou's left arm and he froze.
No way. That can't be what I think it is...
Bakugou, realizing what had just happened detached himself from the other boy. He didn’t get far. Izuku was a lot stronger than he used to be. Green eyes stared into red, neither one of them moving, barely even breathing.
“Hey, Bakugou! You still in here?” Kirishima’s voice rang out into the locker room as the door swung open.
Man, was this something he never needed to see.
Bakugou had Midoriya pinned between himself and the lockers. Midoriya’s hands were wrapped tightly around Bakugou’s wrists, holding him in place. Bakugou was shirtless and sweaty and there was a line of fresh hickeys forming along Midoriya’s neck.
“Holy crap, it worked.”
Bakugou used this opportunity to escape. He made it out the door and into the elevator before Izuku had time to process what was happening. But not before he caught sight of the star-shaped scar on the back of Backugou’s left bicep.
Bakugou had never been one to hide from anything in his life, but he’d taken to it like a fish to water. He avoided Deku like a pro. Situations he couldn’t outright avoid he muscled his way out of. The only words exchanged between the two former childhood friends were of Deku desperately trying to get a word in, and Bakugou shoving him aside, barking a harsh ‘leave me alone’ on the way out.
There was no point in hiding the mark anymore. None of them had told anyone, but their secret had gotten out anyway. Someone must have overheard and spilled the beans. Probably that stupid invisible girl, Bakugou thought. But he had no proof.
When did it get this bad? He wondered, sitting alone on the floor of his dorm room. When had Deku become something more to him than an obstacle, a stepping stone, a general annoyance constantly getting in his way? Bakugou couldn’t pinpoint the exact moment and that frustrated him to no end.
After he’d fled the locker room he nearly blew up the elevator and half of the fourth floor. He promptly locked himself inside his room and didn’t come out until the next morning for classes. Plenty of people tried to coax him out, Deku included. But Bakugou wasn't having any of it. Deku had tried talking to him, but a warning shot at the door seemed to get the point across and he left him alone for the night.
Any attempts at communication since then had been expertly thwarted. Bakugou tried to convince Kirishima to run interference, but the stupid redhead was on Deku’s side – though he adamantly insisted it wasn’t about picking sides. Traitor.
At this point, the whole of class 1-A was absolutely done watching those two idiots dance around each other. If this went on for much longer, there would be a riot. Kirishima, however, had a better idea.
“Uraraka, where are we going?” Izuku questioned as he was dragged down a random hallway. It was the middle of the night and they both had class early the next morning, but Uraraka had insisted it was urgent. Though, now that he thought about it, she hadn’t given him much in the way of details.
“Just a little further, don’t worry.”
Izuku continued to worry, anyway. He knew they were on the first floor, but beyond that Izuku had no idea where they were headed. It was dark – darker than usual. The clouds outside blocked any light the moon or stars may have offered and there wasn’t a single light on anywhere. Izuku could make out the vague shapes of objects – enough to avoid running into anything – but the finer details were lost to him.
If I can’t see anything, Izuku wondered, then how is Uraraka getting around without a problem?
Izuku didn’t have much time to ponder that as Uraraka came to a stop. She’d stopped moving so suddenly that Izuku had nearly run into her. He was about to ask her what was wrong when she turned on him.
“Sorry about this, Deku,” Uraraka said quietly, “but it’s for your own good. And his.”
Before Izuku could fully register what was happening, three figures appeared behind him and shoved him forward with far more force than Izuku thought was strictly necessary. They weren’t taking any chances. He stumbled forward into total darkness, barely managing to regain his balance before he wound up face first on the floor. The sound of a door being closed and locked echoed out behind him.
Izuku righted himself and headed in the direction of the noise. Just find the door. There’s usually a light switch by the door.
He was blind for a moment as his eyes adjusted to the light. Wait, that couldn’t be right. He must be dreaming. This was absurd. Why... why had his friends just locked him in the laundry room?
“I’m gonna kill that Icy hot bastard!” Bakugou shouted as he stormed down the hallway towards the elevator. Kirishima and Kaminari exchanged equally devilish smiles as they followed the fiery blonde from a safe distance.
It had been a stroke of genius on Todoroki’s part. No one could figure out how to lure Bakugou to the laundry room. Deku was easy, considering how naïve he could be. But Bakugou? One wrong move and they’d end up charred. Luckily for them, Bakugou had trouble turning down a challenge. Especially if said challenge came from someone he viewed as genuine competition – someone he needed to surpass. Todoroki wouldn’t actually be there, of course. But his contribution was just the spark they needed to light a fire under Bakugou that would get him right where they wanted him.
Smug bastard, calling me out in the middle of the night. Who the hell does half-and-half think he is?! I’m gonna wipe the floor with that arrogant little -
Bakugou stopped. He’d made it to the laundry room door. A terrifying grin broke out across his face as he wrenched the door open and strode inside.
“Alright Icy hot, let’s -” Bakugou stopped short. The laundry room was empty. Where the hell was Todoroki? Bakugou turned to question Kirishima only to find the redhead standing in the doorway with a mischievous grin plastered across his face.
A swift ‘Good luck!’ and the door was thrown closed. Bakugou heard the door lock click and for a moment he just stared in shock. A vein popped in his forehead.
“What the hell?!” Bakugou boomed from behind the laundry room door. Kirishima and Kaminari high-fived, laughing at the muffled obscenities being thrown their way.
“Sorry, bro!” Kirishima answered. “You didn’t leave us another choice!” And then they were off. They’d be back in the morning to open the door, but there was no need to stick around. There had been very strict rules put in place regarding Bakugou blowing up school property, dorms included. Rules with punishments that made even someone like Bakugou think twice about breaking them. There was no escape for those two until morning.
Izuku wandered around the laundry room for a while, pacing nervously and muttering to himself. He’d tried banging on the door and shouting; he knew that at the very least the people above him on the second floor should be able to hear him. But it quickly became apparent that whatever was going on, no one was coming to save him. At least not until whatever they were planning was over with.
God, I’m an idiot...
He’d played right into their hands and had been none the wiser. In his defense, how was he supposed to know he was being tricked? He wondered what could possibly be gained from locking him in the laundry room, presumably overnight, but came up empty.
Izuku let out a sigh, hand coming up to trace the star on the back of his left arm. It was becoming a habit, something he did to comfort himself when he felt confused or upset. His mind immediately went to Katsuki as his fingers ran over the raised skin of his soulmark.
Confused, he thought, what an understatement.
Eventually, Izuku grew tired and plopped down on the floor in the far corner of the laundry room, nestled between two of the dryers. They still were still warm from the last time they were used and considering how abnormally cold this room got after dark, he was grateful for that. A good 45 minutes must have gone by and Izuku was starting to nod off. Then came the shouting.
“Alright Icy hot, let’s -”
Is that Kacchan?
A loud bang and a click - the door being closed again. When had it even been unlocked?
“What the hell?!”
Yep, that's definitely Kacchan.
Enjoy the cliffhanger, my lovelies. This rollercoaster's not over yet!
Chapter 5: Soulmates
This situation couldn’t have been more awkward.
The tension in the air between the two amateur heroes was so thick you could cut through it with a knife. Izuku had propped himself up on one of the folding tables, feet swinging back and forth below him. Katsuki sat opposite him on one of the washing machines. Neither one of them had spoken since they’d been locked in together. The fact that Katsuki hadn’t immediately tried to kill Izuku was probably a good sign, but it didn’t really make Izuku feel any better.
Katsuki wouldn’t so much as look in Deku’s direction. How could he? The scene in the locker room kept playing over and over in his head on a damn loop. What the hell had he been thinking? Well, he hadn’t been thinking. That was the problem. His mind hadn't been able to figure out what to do so his body had taken the initiative. And quite the initiative it had been.
Izuku wanted to say something, anything. Katsuki was his soulmate after all but bringing that up right now would probably only make matters worse. It was clear Katsuki didn’t want to talk about it. The last week of constant avoidance had pretty much driven that point home.
But Izuku did want to talk about it. The last week away from Katsuki, while difficult and frustrating, had given him time to seriously think things over. When he’d first gotten the soulmark he’d been ecstatic. Someone out there destined to be with him, to love him and only him? It sounded like a fairy tale. But fairy tales weren’t real.
In reality, Izuku didn’t know anything about this potential soulmate, and deep down that scared him to death. He understood the idea, in theory, but how was he supposed to love someone he’d never met, someone he knew nothing about? Love was supposed to be a precious bond between two people who really understood each other. Even if you didn’t like everything about the other person, you loved them regardless, embracing their differences and flaws with open arms.
The more Izuku thought about it, the more he realized that there was only one person who fit that description for him. He’d been fretting over it for days, covering it up by gushing about his potential soulmate at every opportunity. Then Katsuki cornered him in the locker room and literally took his breath away. Feeling that scar on his arm had sent Izuku’s mind into a chaotic spiral of mixed emotions. Actually seeing it as Katsuki fled the locker room had only made it worse.
Now, though, as they sat in silence, both afraid to be the first one to speak, Izuku was sure. He knew what he wanted, and he knew if he didn’t handle this correctly he could lose this chance forever. Katsuki was like a cornered animal, terrified and unsure. One wrong move and it was all over.
Izuku couldn’t have been more surprised when Katsuki was the first to speak up.
Izuku’s world stopped.
Those two words muttered barely loud enough for Izuku to hear had just flipped his whole reality upside down.
Deku sat there, sputtering like an idiot, jaw practically on the floor. Katsuki would have laughed if he weren’t trying so hard to keep himself from literally exploding from the embarrassment. Yes, Bakugou Katsuki, renowned jackass, had just apologized. Really apologized. He couldn’t believe it himself, honestly. His mind was a jumbled mess and he felt hot all over. Katsuki wouldn’t be surprised if he was beet red from his ears to his toes right then.
“Wha- what on earth are you apologizing for?” Izuku stammered out, still reeling.
Stupid Deku. Gotta make me say it out loud, don’t you? I bet you’re getting a kick out of this, shitty nerd...
“For -” Katsuki took a deep breath. “For forcing myself on you. The other day,” he said through gritted teeth, practically chewing on the words.
“It was a shitty thing to do, and then to top if off I fucking ran away like a god damn coward!” Honestly, Katsuki was just angry at himself. He didn’t want to accept this. To admit what he was feeling. But denying it was becoming more and more difficult every day.
He couldn’t meet Deku’s eyes, gaze fixed to the side of the room like his life depended on it. His jaw was clenched tight and he knew he was flushed. There was no hiding it. There he was in a black tank top and a pair of sweats – hadn't even thought to grab his shoes before storming out of his room – bright red shoulders on full display. A big downside of his pale complexion was that when he blushed, it was everywhere.
Izuku couldn’t help himself. He was sure he was going to get an explosion to the face for it, but he couldn’t hold it in. Izuku burst out laughing, folding in on himself as he tried to cover his traitorous mouth with shaking hands. It didn’t work, and he heard it the second Katsuki snapped.
“What the hell is so funny?!” Katsuki jumped off from his place atop the washing machine and stormed across the narrow aisle to where Deku was desperately trying to contain himself. He slammed his hands down on either side of the obnoxious boy's hips, leaning in, face contorted in rage that couldn’t be taken quite as seriously with the crimson blush still prominently on display.
Izuku sat up, tears brimming in his green eyes. The smile on his face rivaled the sun itself. His cheeks were tinted a deep rosy color, making his freckles stand out that much more. His hair was a mess, even more so than usual as he hadn’t had time to try and tame it before he was dragged out of bed. Katsuki was speechless. He tried to hold onto that anger from before, but looking at Deku when he looked like that - it fizzled out in an instant.
It was a risk, Izuku knew, but at this point, it was go big or go home. Izuku took Katsuki’s face in his hands, brought him close, and crashed their lips together perhaps a little rougher than necessary in his haste. Katsuki went stiff as a board in Izuku’s arms, body like a statue. After a few moments Izuku went to pull away, sure he’d made the wrong decision and was about to get blown sky high for his mistake. Then Katsuki snapped out of it, hands going around Izuku’s waist and pulling him to the edge of the table, molding his lips against the other boy’s.
Izuku sighed into the kiss, relaxing into Katsuki’s warm embrace. It wasn’t like the kiss in the locker room. There was no less passion behind it, but it was a different kind - softer, more affectionate. They weren’t fighting it anymore.
The two broke for air, foreheads resting against each other. They still hadn’t opened their eyes yet.
“I thought you hated me,” Izuku whispered, still a little afraid that this was all going to go sideways somehow. His worries were unnecessary.
“’Course not, idiot.” The response was quiet, reluctant, but sincere none the less.
Izuku grinned and leaned in to steal another quick kiss. When he leaned back he finally opened his eyes. Katsuki was staring right back at him, crimson eyes glistening. Izuku saw no trace of regret, no sign that this was all some elaborate prank. This was real, and that realization filled him with a kind of joy that made him warm all over.
“I’m so happy it’s you,” Izuku admitted, that big goofy grin spread wide across his face. Katsuki flushed, averting his gaze.
“Yeah, whatever,” he muttered, but Izuku knew what he meant. Katsuki was never very good with words. He never had been, it just wasn’t how he expressed himself. Actions were what Katsuki understood, and Izuku was more than happy to accommodate. He dove back in for another kiss, which Katsuki met without hesitation. Izuku kissed him for all he was worth, nibbling at Katsuki's lower lip and chuckling deep in his chest at the gasp it drew out of him. Katsuki wouldn't be outdone of course, and as with everything between those two it quickly became a competition - hands groping, tongues sliding, love bites everywhere so that everyone knew who they belonged to. Katsuki would be lying if he said he wasn't making them in obvious places so that no one else would touch his Deku. Izuku didn't mind in the least.
Izuku said a lot with that kiss, to which Katsuki responded in kind. A whole conversation without ever having to say a word. It was a language all their own, and they were still learning. They were both more than happy to kiss entire speeches into the other's skin until they got it just right, though.
“I bet the whole place is gonna be absolutely destroyed,” Kaminari said as they approached the laundry room. Kirishima and Uraraka followed closely behind, anxious to see what had become of the two amateur heroes they’d locked in the night before.
“Nah, Bakugou knows better than that,” replied Kirishima. “He wouldn’t risk getting expelled for something stupid like blowing up the laundry room.”
“What about Deku, though?” Uraraka questioned nervously.
“Oh yeah,” Kirishima replied grimly, “he might be a little worse for wear if things didn’t go well.”
That collective realization had the trio picking up their pace a bit. No one had heard anything from the laundry room after Bakugou had been locked in. No more caterwauling from Midoriya and no shouting on Bakugou’s part, which was unexpected. That didn’t mean nothing had happened, it just meant that whatever did happen had happened at normal volume.
As the trio approached the laundry room door they slowed, approaching with caution. They all had different ideas of what could have gone down during the night, but speculation only got you so far. They were all itching to see inside, but quietly, in case Bakugou decided they all needed an explosion to the face for their trickery.
Kaminari unlocked the door as quietly as he could manage, then inched it open bit by bit. They were all lucky that the dorms were too new for squeaky doors or loose floorboards. The light inside was off and they decided to leave it that way until they knew it was safe. Uraraka switched on the flashlight she’d brought and the three of them tiptoed into the room.
At first, they saw nothing. A quick swing of the flashlight beam around the room revealed no trace of the two boys. Uraraka crept forward, leading the group forward as she tiptoed on slippers made lighter by her quirk. The room was set up with washers and dryers lining the walls with a few folding tables in between, and two rows of the same thing back to back down the center like an island. It wasn’t a huge room since there weren’t that many people living in the building, so there weren’t many places to hide.
Uraraka stopped dead as she turned the corner. Kirishima and Kaminari nearly ran into her because of it.
“What gives?” Kirishima whispered, leaning around Uraraka to get a better look. Kaminari did the same on Uraraka’s other side.
The trio stood frozen, jaws to the floor and eyes wide as they stared down the middle of the aisle. There, in the middle of the floor, curled up on one of the spare blankets kept in the laundry room’s storage closet, were Bakugou and Midoriya. They were facing one another, legs a messy tangle of limbs. They were laying as close together as they could get in that position, foreheads pressed lightly together. Bakugou had one arm thrown over Midoriya’s side, the other on the floor supporting the smaller boy’s head. Midoriya held one arm tightly to his chest while the other hand rested just above Bakugou’s chin, fingers spread lightly across his cheek.
They were so cute Uraraka had to hold back a squeal, afraid to wake them and ruin the moment. Kirishima and Kaminari already had their phones out snapping silent pictures of the two of them curled up together. Their necks littered with little bruises leading from their ears all the way to their collarbones. The two boys grinned wickedly as they continued taking pictures. This was blackmail gold.
Despite the playful bruises, the pair of them were the picture of serenity, sleeping peacefully in each other’s arms. But what stood out the most – and what would probably embarrass Bakugou far more than the love bites – were the stupidly sweet smiles plastered across both of their faces.