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Gotta Be So Cold To Make It In This World

Chapter Text

Izuku swallowed, the autumn breeze suddenly turning to lead around him, pressing down on his shoulders until he fell to his knees, the ground giving slightly at the force. It felt like the dirt was pooling around his legs, trying to pull him in.

Abruptly he took in a sharp breath, forcing the overwhelming sense of dread down. He breathed out, glancing up at the house. For a moment, he thought he saw a figure in the attic window before he blinked and it was gone.

Right, he needed to take his antidepressants. His phone buzzed and he jumped, scrambling away from where it was lying on his jacket, briefly lighting up the dark.

Closing his eyes he breathed in and out again, trying to remember what Kacchan had yelled at him that morning.

Slow breaths and count to ten shitstain! echoed in the still driveway and Izuku smiled weakly at the words. He reached towards his phone, his hand still trembling.

im gonna be late pisshead fucking trains delayed cause of some shitty accident

order me some pizza so i dont fucking die of starvation

Izuku grinned at the messages, feeling a familiar rush of warmth behind his eyes. Blinking the tears away he typed out a brief “ok” to Kacchan’s request before getting up and making his way back to the house, not bothering to brush off the dirt clinging to his jeans and arms.

When he opened the door he swore he heard another one close further into the house but he ignored it, heading towards the silver foil nestled between the toaster and the assorted cookbooks Kacchan would bring home every so often, cook one recipe from and then ignore for the rest of his life.

Popping one pill out of the packaging, he grabbed a drink of water, freezing for a moment as the feeling of being watched swept over him before fading. He glanced out the window, trying to make out the shadows of the trees but all he could see was the faint silhouette of what looked like an unnaturally tall man with a head that seemed to shift from side to side without moving, like a glitch in one of the arcade games he used to watch Kacchan play.

He pulled the curtains shut and swallowed the pill dry, pouring the water down the sink.

After placing the pills back and ordering the spiciest pizza he could find he retreated to the old sofa, taking comfort in the way the springs creaked under his weight. He felt himself start to doze off, eventually closing his eyes to the faint outline of someone crouched in the corner of the room, one glowing blue eye trained on him.

 

“Hey, nerd!”

Slowly Izuku came to, Kacchan shaking him with one hand while his other deftly unveiled the pizza. “W-Welcome back,” he eventually managed, his mouth dry, the words scratching against his throat.

Kacchan gave him a once over and sighed, muttering for him to stay there which Izuku dutifully did, waiting for Kacchan to return.

A minute later the blonde reappeared flicking Izuku’s forehead and handing him a tall glass of water. “Oi Deku, did you actually fucking take your pill today or what?”

Izuku wrinkled his nose but nodded, half-heartedly gesturing to the empty space in the foil innocently laying on the counter about a foot away from where he’d left it. Kacchan sighed and dumped his bag on the table, pulling out his laptop and collapsing next to Izuku, leaning against the other boy.

“Tell me that when I open the bin I won’t see the fucking pill,” Kacchan murmured, his gaze trained on his keyboard.

Izuku looked down, wishing he could be offended at Kacchan’s insinuation but he knew they were both remembering what had happened last week, the punched hole in the wall above the bin glaring at him.

“You won’t,” he promised quietly and Kacchan grunted in response but he didn’t make a move to go and check.

“Do you want to watch a film?” Kacchan asked, his voice tinged with reluctant affection in the way only Kacchan could make work.

Izuku smiled at him but shook his head, the memory of seeing figures in the reflection of the laptop screen still fresh. Kacchan shrugged and logged into Twitter, scrolling through the endless feed of words. Izuku shivered, the blur of letters grating on his skin.

Kacchan yawned and Izuku saw his eyes flutter closed, waiting a few minutes before getting up to go back outside, the pale light of the crescent moon illuminating the broken fence behind their house, a thin but well-trodden path leading to the forest on the outskirts of the city.

He swallowed, feeling the familiar pull towards the trees he always got at this time of year, beckoning him in closer. A howl cut through his thoughts and he jumped back, suddenly becoming aware he was past the fence and mere metres away from the treeline.

Shivering, he pulled his jacket closer around himself, the feeling of something watching him increasing under the thin branches and leaves. Slowly he sat down against the base of an old oak tree and glanced up at the house, the empty windows gazing down at him. The flicker of a shadow to his left made him tense before it disappeared into the trees, the steady crunching of leaves under the figure’s weight fading into nothing.

A light clicked on in the kitchen and he saw Kacchan make himself a cup of coffee, rubbing against his eyes with one hand and flicking on the coffee machine with his other. Izuku smiled at the familiar sight, letting his head fall against the tree with a thunk, watching the leaves shift in the cool wind until his vision faded out.

 

A whisper curled through the trees, moving with the breeze until it brushed against his ear, murmuring words in a tongue that filled him with the comforting sense of nostalgia. Small purple lights followed the wind, leaving a trail of sparks behind them. He stumbled upwards, moving to follow the shimmers before a too cold hand grasped his wrist and he fell, collapsing into the undergrowth, feeling twigs and seeds give way around him.

He landed in a field full of blueish smoke, the scent of burnt flesh nearly overwhelming him until the cold hand from before appeared again, this time tugging him forward. He kept his eyes on the ground watching bones crack under his feet.

The hand tightened around his wrist, anchoring him to his surroundings. He blinked and felt the world spin, a pair of golden gates rising out of the skulls, gleaming under the sunlight that had cut through the smog around them. He reached out a hand to touch it but as soon as his skin brushed it started to collapse back into the ground and he jumped back. The cold hand settled around his open palm and he relaxed into the touch until the hand crept up his arm to his heart where it lay, a comforting weight.

He looked up and saw a glowing blue eye trained on him before it disappeared and the hand pushed him backwards. He fell through the bones into a clearing, the full moon hanging over him like a target, he took a shaky step forward only to hear a growl from behind him. He turned, seeing a hulking black wolf baring its fangs, its fur soaked through with blood. Slowly, more wolves emerged from the trees around them, each one stained with red.

The hand was nowhere to be seen.

He ran, pushing back plants and branches, feeling thorns scrape at his arms and legs but he continued, trickles of blood running down his skin.

A large hand settled on his shoulder and he froze, looking up at a muscular blonde man.

“Midoriya my boy…” he smiled sadly. “I’ve waited a long time to do this.”

He leaned in and Izuku flinched back but the blonde continued until he was embracing the smaller boy. Izuku stayed still as the blonde’s hands tightened around him.

He pulled back, a skeletal figure where the intimidating man had once been. He reached out his hand to brush Izuku’s cheek but his fingers crumbled into the wind before they made contact. Izuku shook as he watched the blonde slowly disintegrate, his hands twitching at his sides but he knew there was nothing he could do.

The blonde smiled sadly at him. “I’m sorry I must leave you with this burden.”

The skin around his throat began to crack away and Izuku watched as his organs were exposed to the night air.

“But there’s nothing left I can do…” his voice disappeared into the trees as Izuku was left staring at a pile of ash, his shoulders shaking in the now freezing wind.

Arms wrapped around his stomach from behind and he stilled, feeling a warm breath against his ear as the figure leant against his shoulder. He tried to turn to look at them but found his feet stuck to the ground, encased in a thick block of ice. He moved his head to the side and they followed the motion, lips brushing against his neck.

Izuku opened his mouth to speak but felt a warm hand cover his eyes before he was pulled into a kiss, the cold hand from before back on his wrist, dragging it upwards. The figure pulled away from the kiss but kept his hand over Izuku’s eyes, his lips moving to Izuku’s wrist and trailing his tongue over the purple veins there, sucking into the skin.

 

Izuku bolted upwards, his fingers thrumming with a strange kind of current, the feeling spreading to the rest of his body until it felt like there was something stirring under his skin.

He glanced at his wrist and noticed a small purple mark that looked suspiciously like a hickey.

He shivered.

Mindlessly he realised he was in his bedroom, not the forest.

Chapter Text

Bakugou frowned at his phone. There had been another attack by the woods around their house. The deaths were getting more frequent and there had been seven people killed in the past month alone. He hoped Deku wouldn’t be stupid and go into the woods again, he had enough to worry about without adding possible murderers to the list.

Someone jostled him and he nearly tripped into the pole he was holding onto as the train curved around a corner. Turning around to glare at the annoyance he felt someone’s fingers lace around his wrist. He spun around to swear at the new intruder only for his breath to catch as his eyes met a pair of uncannily familiar purple eyes.

“Are you ok?” Purple Eyes asked, his voice quiet in the buzz of the carriage but Bakugou could make out every word.

“Mind your own fucking business,” he bit back, expecting Purple Eyes to be offended and leave him alone like most people would but his eyes only softened as if expecting that response.

He yanked his hand back and turned around. He left a stop early, walking the rest of the way to get away from the other man’s gaze but he swore he could feel it burning into his back even when he’d reached the campus.

The feeling made him shudder.

 

Izuku’s eyes widened as he caught sight of himself in the mirror. There were light gold lines running down his arms and they looked like they reached around to his back. He traced the lines with a finger, feeling a faint buzz pulsing under his skin. Swallowing, he met his own gaze in the mirror only to spot the faint silhouette of a boy watching him from the corner of the bathroom.

He shivered. Slowly, he turned around to try and meet the figure’s eyes but the form melted back into the shadows, disappearing from view and leaving Izuku with the unnerving feeling of the form still watching him even when he couldn’t see it.

He left the bathroom without glancing back at the mirror, missing the small black circle etched into the back of his neck.

Making his way down to the kitchen, he felt more aware of the shadows than before and every small shift of the floor under his weight seemed amplified by a thousand. A chill whipped through the house and Izuku was reminded of the whispers from his dream the night before.

He pushed open the door, his instincts pulling at him, yelling at him to go back upstairs but he continued, hearing a pair of footsteps echo after his own on the tiles. He trembled. Pushing open the door, he spotted a note and made his way over to the counter to pick up the small bit of paper.

Are you him?

Izuku’s eyes darted to the side, hoping the figure from before would reveal themselves again but he was only met with an almost deafening silence, the air in the kitchen wrought with an unnatural chill.

Izuku’s hands shook around the paper and he tore it in half, hearing an almost imperceptible gasp from behind him. Whirling around, he was met with a frost covered doorway, the air misting over in the cold. Izuku took a step forward and the temperature in the room dropped nearly 20 degrees. He continued until his hand as resting over the frost and Izuku could feel the glacial temperatures radiating from the patches of ice.

There was a sharp intake of breath behind him and Izuku turned, seeing a figure with one glowing blue eye doubled over as if in pain, leaning over the counter.

“Um…” Izuku managed and the figure jolted at the sound of his voice and melted into the floor.

Izuku blinked, his hand still hovering above the ice. Abruptly the room’s temperature rose and when Izuku whirled around to the doorframe all he could see was a thin cloud of steam rising from where the ice had been. Izuku could only just make out the faint imprint of someone’s handprint against the wood like they’d been leaning against it. Something in his mind whispered that nothing human would have been able to make it out.

He scratched at the small mark on his wrist subconsciously.

Shoving the thoughts aside he poured himself a glass of water and reached for a pill. The feeling of eyes on his back made him turn but he couldn’t make anything out, the shadows of the table and chairs suddenly feeling larger than before.

Izuku glanced at the small white pill in his palm and then at the door frame, the handprint standing out like a beacon against the wood. Izuku glanced at the pill again before shoving it into the sink and watching it disappear down the drain. He breathed out, feeling like a weight had been lifted.

 

A few hours later, Izuku made his way to the back door, toeing on his shoes. He grabbed his keys but when he opened the door there was a rush of warm and cold air at the same time. He turned to the side to see a boy breathing heavily, his eyes alight with fear.

He looked younger than Izuku, his face lean and youthful but his eyes held more pain than should have been possible for one lifetime. The boy leant his head forward, his two-toned hair covering his eyes from view. His presence felt like an iron wall closing in on him and Izuku was struck by an overbearing feeling of helplessness.

He looked up, mismatched eyes full of panic. “Don’t,” he pleaded and his voice broke halfway through the word like he hadn’t used his throat in a long time. His eyes danced to the forest where fireflies had started to gather. “Please.”

Izuku blinked and the boy nearly growled stabbing out his right hand and a gust of cold wind slammed the door shut, the sound echoing in the silence of the house.

“What?” Izuku finally managed, his hand still poised in midair to turn the handle.

The boy’s eyes widened and he glanced between Izuku’s hand and the treeline, wordlessly shaking his head, his eyes swimming with trepidation.

Izuku groaned in annoyance and pushed past the boy. “You aren’t even real!”

The boy froze and even his erratic breaths seemed to stop. His cracked lips moved as if trying to form a word but he gave up, biting his lip with a too sharp canine in frustration.

Izuku waited for a reply but it never came, the boy hanging his head in shame. Izuku scoffed, throwing open the door, revelling in the way the boy flinched when it banged against the wall. He stormed off towards the forest and tried to forget the terrified look on the boy’s face when the door had closed behind him.

 

The crickets had been buzzing for hours when Izuku collapsed, his senses finally overwhelming him. It was like he’d been fine-tuned to every blade of grass and every time even one of them fluttered in the still air it felt like an earthquake.

He rested his forehead against the floor, feeling small pieces of wood scrape against his skin, the dirt clinging to him. He shivered in the cool air and glanced around him trying to figure out where he was, the familiar lights of his kitchen too far away to see.

He glanced around him and when a twig snapped he jumped up, clenching his fists in preparation for whatever could happen. Another twig snapped, this time in the opposite direction and Izuku shivered, backing up as silently as possible, trying to locate where each foot fell so he wouldn’t alert the things to his presence, even if a small voice that sounded like Kacchan was swearing at him that they already knew, they were just waiting for him to fucking slip up.

Izuku closed his eyes and took a slow breath in and out before opening them again to see a small purple light flicker then burn out to the left of him. A few seconds later another one appeared, this time lasting longer before fizzling out like the first.

Izuku nodded to the night, something familiar about the lights, and he stealthily made his way to where they had appeared, waiting where the first one had been before another lit up the small patch of trees in front of him. Izuku looked down at the ferns and bracken underneath his feet, acutely aware of how far from the path he was. A purple light lit up directly in front of him as if to question why he’d stopped moving and he fought the urge to stumble back.

He watched the light in front of him disappear before continuing, following the trail of light further into the forest like a magnetic pull, beckoning him closer and closer. He stumbled into a clearing and his gaze danced around himself, the field an almost perfect circle, free of trees and hedges. He swallowed and a purple spark lit up behind him, blocking the path he’d taken to get here. Izuku started towards it before hesitating, the wind shifting into something different. The air started to turn colder and he drew up his hood, suddenly wanting to hide his face from the purple flickers.

Slowly, more appeared and Izuku watched, spinning around as they closed the clearing in, leaving him in a circle of purple light, small gaps between each spark but they wouldn’t be big enough for him to slip through. He froze as the lights got longer until they reached the ground and continued upwards, the tallest scraping the top of the trees and Izuku belatedly wondered if Kacchan was back yet and if he could see this.

There was a growl from the treeline behind the purple shield and Izuku heard an animal sniff at the ground before leaping off, crushing leaves under its feet.

A breeze filtered through the purple lights and Izuku thought he could make out someone breathing beyond the trees but couldn’t make them out through the wall of purple.

Izuku felt something grab his arm and he spun around to defend himself, raising his fist only to find nothing there. Abruptly, Izuku wondered if this was because he’d refused to take his pill that morning. Something shifted in the corner of his eye and he whirled around to meet it with his fist only for it to disappear before he could properly make it out.

Small flickers from the wall around him made their way along the ground, creating shimmering purple lines across the dirt, lit up under the half moon.

At the back of his mind something pointed out that that was wrong, it shouldn’t be that full yet.

The lines underneath him pulsed again and he looked down to see a basic pattern of circles and lines trailing their way around the circle and nostalgia clicked in Izuku’s thoughts, recalling the memory of staring at stained maps of circles and lines in a dark room lit by purple flames.

Izuku glanced at the lines again and was hit by a startling sense of familiarity when the purple sparks started to map out shapes onto the base circles, the new shapes hovering above the ground and previous lines by about a foot.

There was a strangled shout from his left but it didn’t click in Izuku’s mind, his attention captured by the purple lights.

The lights circled him again but this time they didn’t leave trails behind and the feeling left Izuku uneasy.

He looked down and he felt like he’d been slapped.

An astronomy map.

The purple lines had joined together, interconnecting to form constellations and planets, each one lit up with a slightly brighter spark. Izuku couldn’t place why but it felt like he was being mocked and rage started to build in his guts before the sound of roots cracking made his rage simmer to a stop in favour of evaluating the new sound.

Something about it made him relax but no matter how hard he strained to hear the figure it was like they’d disappeared into the shadows.

A rush of fire from where he’d heard the sound made him gasp and his eyes widened as a controlled column of flame wrapped around the clearing, containing the purple lights within it and as Izuku watched he swore he could see a purple haired boy briefly appear in the clearing with him before he retreated and the purple lights rose slightly before diving into the ground, lighting up the floor with sparks that flared up throughout the forest before disappearing completely.

Izuku let out a breath and fell back only to be caught by a familiar pair of arms, a hand closing over his eyes, the comforting rhythm of warm breaths brushing against his ear lulling him into sleep.

Even as he gave in to the need to rest he couldn’t help but feel like he’d failed something.

 

Bakugou shoved his phone back into his pocket, his face illuminated by the pink neon signs that covered this part of the city, the bars of chemicals creating shadows over his skin.

Someone pushed past him and red eyes met two chocolate brown ones. The girl’s eyes widened in recognition before hurrying off, her hair bouncing around her shoulders. Bakugou frowned, his fingers twitching by his sides and he was struck with the overwhelming feeling that he had missed something important. He shook off the thought and continued down the crowded street, pink lights slowly fading to blue the closer he got to the main streets.

Bakugou yelped in surprise as someone tugged him into a dark alley, pulling harshly at his jacket. Drawing back he saw a boy with hair the colour of mustard glaring at him.

“What the fuck?” he demanded, rubbing a hand over where the other blonde had grabbed him. Suddenly, a fist smashed into his head from behind sending him reeling, stumbling closer to the blonde who leaned in and sniffed.

“What the fu-” Bakugou exploded before his legs were kicked out from underneath him. He fell to his knees but caught himself before he collapsed completely, using his hands to push himself off the ground until he was crouched in a fighting stance, his fists raised. He turned to glare at the figure behind him and a tall boy with shaggy black hair grinned down at him, the smile stretching his face too wide to be human.

Taking advantage of his distraction, Mustard Hair grabbed his hood and tugged it to the side, sending him to the ground again before Black Hair kicked him in the stomach, making him choke and double up, clutching his stomach.

“Shit,” he choked out, feeling blood start to pool in his mouth.

There were footsteps at the mouth of the alley and Bakugou faintly made out a pair of trainers coming closer before the new person fisted his hand into his hair and pulled him to his knees. He looked up, his gaze locking with a pair of red eyes.

He swallowed, his mouth suddenly dry.

He felt a fist collide with his head again and his vision started to fade out.

The last thing he saw was a flash of unnaturally sharp teeth before everything went dark.

Chapter Text

Bakugou blinked, his head screaming at him as he slowly came to. “What the fuck?” he muttered and the room fell silent.

He tensed, quickly taking stock of his surroundings. He was unrestrained and lying on a carpeted floor in the middle of a brightly lit room, facing the light grey wall. There was a brief shuffling behind him and he heard a burst of chatter before it went quiet again. He could probably take one of them but he didn’t like his chances if he was outnumbered like he had been in the alley. There were a few slow footsteps towards him before it went silent again.

Bakugou turned his head and he joined gazes with the red-eyed man from before.

“Hey,” the man whispered. He smiled but it didn’t quite reach his eyes. He reached down a hand to help Bakugou up. “Is your head ok?”

“Fuck off!” Bakugou snarled at him and the man drew back in surprise, clearly not expecting Bakugou to be able to put up a fight.

“Um.” The man looked behind him to a pink haired girl who shrugged at him.

“Where the fuck am I?” Bakugou demanded, glaring at the man. He had a shock of red hair and when he spoke it revealed sharpened teeth that made the blonde shiver.

“I’m Kirishima Eijirou,” the man offered, still looking a bit unsure of himself.

“I don’t give a shit. Where the fuck am I?”

The pink haired girl stood up and laid a hand on Kirishima’s shoulder. “Can I handle this?”

When she got closer, Bakugou saw she had black eyes and small golden horns protruding from her head. “What the fuck?” he asked quietly, more to himself than anyone else. The girl grinned at him and he half-expected her to have fangs. He must have hit his head harder than he thought.

“I’m Ashido Mina. You must be Bakugou Katsuki.”

Bakugou raised an eyebrow. “Unless you have any other fucking hostages.”

She laughed delightedly, clearly surprised. “Can we keep him?” she asked Kirishima and he glanced at the blonde, watching him pale at the question.

“I think you’d better leave Mina,” Kirishima replied, looking to Bakugou for confirmation. The blonde snapped his head to the side, stubbornly avoiding eye contact, his head pounding in objection.

The girl pouted but waved her hand at him. “Fine, fine. I’ll go,” she spun around to leave before hesitating.

“Mina?” Kirishima asked in question as the girl turned back around, her eyes alight with sudden curiosity. She reached towards the blonde, trailing a hand around Bakugou’s head and he watched her warily, slightly paranoid that she would punch him. He was keenly aware of the fact that there was no way he’d be able to put up a fight in this state but instead she glanced at Kirishima and bit her lip.

“He’s not what we want.”

Kirishima froze. “What?”

“For fuck’s sake!” Bakugou yelled, impatient with their quiet exchange, the words making the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. “Let me go, you cunts! I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about!”

Kirishima turned back to him. “Just give us a minute and I’ll…” he turned to Ashido and she nodded. “I’ll explain everything.”

Bakugou fumed but didn’t interrupt as Ashido muttered to Kirishima for a few more minutes before leaving, not bothering to close the door. Kirishima exhaled and then smiled softly at him.

“Sorry. Let’s start again. I’d like for us to be friends!” he glanced at the open door. “There are four of us here right now, not including you. You’re outnumbered. I don’t want to fight you, it’ll just cause more trouble if you get more injured than you are now.”

“And whose fucking fault is that?” Bakugou snarled, still crouched on the floor. “Why the fuck am I here?” Bakugou asked. “Where the fuck even am I?”

“Look, this is gonna sound kinda weird-”

“Then don’t fucking say it.” Bakugou cut him off and Kirishima rubbed his temples, looking like he’d rather be anywhere else.

“Do you ever stop swearing?”

Bakugou flipped him off.

The redhead sighed, summoning his patience. “Look, do you spend a lot of time with someone? Like a boyfriend or something?”

Bakugou’s jaw dropped. “Ha? What the fuck kinda question is that? Piss off! It's none of your fucking business!”

“If you just answer, we can let you go. We’ve made a mistake and we can make it right if you answer me. Do you spend lots of time with someone?”

Bakugou hesitated, Deku immediately coming to mind. “Why?”

Kirishima sighed before sitting down next to him. “We’re looking for someone and we really want to find them.”

“Why did you take me then Shitty Hair?”

Kirishima frowned to himself. “Shitty Hair? Right, whatever. You…”

He looked at Bakugou and when their gazes met again the blonde felt vulnerable in a way that terrified him. It felt like fire was licking at his feet but he felt like if he took the chance and walked across the hearth he would come out stronger.

“There’s no easy way to say this, so don’t freak out.” Bakugou frowned, shifting himself away from the other man slightly. “You smell like them.”

Bakugou paled. “What?” his voice cracked halfway through the word but he was so shocked he couldn’t even find it in him to be embarrassed.

Kirishima winced. “That’s it. You smell like them.”

Now that he’d mentioned the smell it was like the room had gotten a ten times smaller and Bakugou’s scent had gotten a hundred times more potent, the blend of spice and smoke nearly overwhelming him. Under the layers of herbs and sparks was something else though, a small smell lying dormant but when Kirishima focused on it he could make out the faint scent of what could only be described as magic, a mix of forests and night. He reached out a hand to touch Bakugou’s arm, the limb moving on its own before Kirishima could realise what he was doing.

The blonde violently flinched away from it, nearly falling back before he caught himself.

Kirishima closed his eyes, shaking his head to try and rid himself of the feeling but Bakugou still looked ready to attack him if he tried to touch him again. “That’s why I’m wondering if you spend a lot of time with someone. Their scent could have rubbed off on you,” he explained, scratching the back of his neck.

“Why do you want them?” he asked, trying to evaluate the situation.

Kirishima raised his head, gaze trained on a spot on the ceiling. “Bounty.” he looked at Bakugou and the blonde repressed the urge to run and hide, his fight or flight instincts screaming at him. “We’re looking for him for the bounty.”

“Why the fuck does he have a bounty?” he whispered, his eyes narrowed in anticipation of the answer. Kirishima smirked at him, his pointed teeth glinting. He tapped a finger to Bakugou’s lips and the blonde started, raising his fists but when the redhead took one of his hands in his the blonde froze again.

“That’s a secret,” he murmured, keeping a finger on the blonde’s lip before curling it downwards and Bakugou almost opened his mouth. Almost.

He jolted back, crashing into the wall and Kirishima’s eyes widened. “Sorry,” he looked at his hand like he didn’t recognise it. “I shouldn’t have done that.”

“You think?” Bakugou spat and he looked like he wanted to murder the redhead but he didn’t make a move to follow through on what his eyes threatened.

As if emerging from a dream, Kirishima stood up, wavering slightly before he started towards the door. “I’m gonna send in Mina to talk to you. Don’t let her goad you into accepting a challenge.”

The door shut quietly behind him and Bakugou finally shivered, staring down at his hands and watching them shake slightly.

He let out a growl and pulled his fist back before slamming it into the wall, watching flakes of plaster fall down from the impact. He drew back, getting ready to do it again before someone cleared their throat.

He turned around to see Black Hair from the night before standing awkwardly in the doorway.

“Mina told me to get you. She says you’re going out.”

Bakugou’s eyes widened at the mention of leaving and he stumbled to his feet, fighting the urge to smile. “When?”

Black Hair frowned at his enthusiasm, glancing down the corridor at someone Bakugou couldn’t make out. “Now.”

 

The streets were too crowded for 3AM but it didn’t seem like they would slow down anytime soon. Bakugou fisted his hands deeper into his hoodie’s pockets, wishing he’d remembered his coat. Belatedly, he wondered if Deku was outside and if he had a warm jacket with him. The thought grounded him, reminding him of who he was doing this for.

Kirishima glanced at him, the redhead having tagged along. He’d mentioned having errands to run but he hadn’t made a move to leave since they’d arrived, instead content to watch people walk past them, not paying any attention to the three people leaning against the mouth of an alley. They were still in the same city but Bakugou couldn't remember ever seeing this part of it before, even the fast food chain signs seemed foreign somehow, warped too far to the left, the shades of blue slightly off but he couldn’t decide if his new company had simply made everything else look less than normal.

Ashido was smoking against the stones like she had all the time in the world, her bright pink lipstick staining the cigarette and Kirishima was flicking through his phone, the light illuminating his mouth, slightly glinting off one of his canines.   

Bakugou shivered, a cold breeze cutting through the streets like a whip and he winced at the sudden chill. Kirishima glanced at him and shrugged off his leather jacket.

“Here,” he muttered. “I don’t need it.” Bakugou gaped at him, about to protest, but Kirishima kept his eyes trained on his phone, avoiding his gaze as he held out the jacket.

“Whatever,” he scoffed, grabbing the jacket and pulling it on. “If you want to fucking freeze that’s not my problem.”

Ashido took another drag of her cigarette, side-eyeing him but she didn’t say anything which he counted as a small victory.

A taxi sped past them and Ashido sighed at the warm rush of air following it. Bakugou felt his hair rustling in the breeze but he ignored it.

“Right,” Ashido broke the silence, stretching her arms above her and dropping the cigarette, grinding it into the ground. Bakugou could have sworn he saw a pink plume of smoke come out from under it but he decided not to mention it. “Kirishima, go away.”

The redhead started, whipping his head to her. “Why?”

She raised an eyebrow at him and Bakugou felt the gears in his head begin to turn. There was no doubt Kirishima was physically stronger than him, his muscled arms, now open to the breeze, more than enough proof of that but he could be able to overpower Ashido. “Because I said so.”

Kirishima rolled his eyes but obediently pushed himself off the wall, rolling his shoulders making the muscles in his back strain. Bakugou looked away. “I’ll do my rounds, meet me at Jirou’s.”

Mina waved a hand at him and Kirishima wrinkled his nose at the obvious dismissal. As soon as he had entered the crowds and Bakugou couldn’t see his red hair, Ashido started.

“Describe him.” she pointed out a muscular man eating a cupcake with a few other people.

“Why the fuck would I do that?” he demanded, glaring at her but she just smiled at him.

“So you can go home and I can go steal Sero’s crisps. I mean you do want to go home right?”

Bakugou clenched his fists but consoled himself by shoving his hands into the leather jacket’s pockets, hoping he tore the material just to spite the redhead, he’d planned to use this time to escape but the girl had positioned herself so she was situated on the corner, her left leg blocking the exit without it being too obvious.

“He’s a man with black hair. He’s wearing a yellow shirt and a cap. He’s smiling?”

Ashido grinned at him, pulling out another cigarette. “Wrong!”

“Well, what the fuck am I supposed to say?” Bakugou huffed, crossing his arms and slumping against the stone wall, feeling torn posters crumple under his weight.

Ashido clicked a glittery lighter and the cigarette lit up. When he looked closer he realised the flames really were pink. “He’s human but there are three scars on his neck that look like claws. He was attacked two, three years ago by a wolf but the precision suggests it wasn’t just an animal.”

Bakugou frowned, glancing back at the man. “What the fuck are you saying Racoon Eyes?”

She looked like she was going to comment on the nickname before she pushed it aside. Bakugou took a step forward, clenching his fist in the jacket pocket, getting ready to swing at her and make a run for it. Ashido took another drag and in the moments she was briefly distracted he launched himself at her. Their eyes locked but she didn’t make a move to get out of the way. “It was a werewolf attack.”

Bakugou lost concentration and his punch landed too to the left, barely grazing her cheek but she used the length of his arm to pull him forwards, making him lose his balance and he stumbled until he was falling past her. Calmly, she elbowed the back of his neck and Bakugou choked on his own spit, nearly dropping to the ground at the force. Ashido waited for him to recover, dropping his arm and watching him bend over trying to catch his breath. “The fuck?”

“It was a werewolf attack. Next question, did he know it was a werewolf?”

Bakugou looked up at her, his eyes close to watering. “Are you fucking crazy or something?”

She tilted her chin up and Bakugou felt like he was being pushed into the ground, her gaze pressing into him. “I’m not crazy. Did he know?”

There was a shout down the street but neither of them moved, Bakugou still trying to breathe clearly. “I don’t-”

She sighed and placed a hand on his head, ruffling the blonde spikes. She pulled out another cigarette and clicked the lighter, this time just letting the pink flame illuminate her face. “I was expecting more you know. I thought you might have some potential.”

Bakugou gawked at her. “What?”

The hand in his hair tightened unexpectedly and he reached up a hand to pull at it before she leaned down to his eye-level. She leaned in until her too bright lips were brushing his ear. “Did he know it was a werewolf attack?”

A light erupted between them and Ashido dropped him in shock like she’d been burned. Bakugou crashed to his knees, clutching at his throat to try and stop asphyxiating. Ashido stared down at her hand like it had betrayed her and she fixed Bakugou with a glare.

“You didn’t tell us you were a witch,” she spat, shaking out her hand and Bakugou could make out golden burn marks.

He shook his head, mouth forming around words he couldn’t push out. “I’m not ,” he finally managed and Ashido looked between him and her hand scathingly.

“Where’s your friend blondie?”

“I don’t know what you’re fucking talking about. Let me go the fuck home!”

Ashido’s eyes suddenly flared an acidic yellow and unbeknown to Bakugou, somewhere Sero doubled over in pain.

Bakugou felt something like a blanket cover him as yellow and pink sparks fell off Ashido, her fists clenched so tightly he could see drops of black run down her fingers. Blankly, he realised the drops were her blood.

She stepped closer and he backed out into the street, not noticing how the crowds shifted around them, not acknowledging their presence. “Who the fuck are you friends with?” she muttered, more to herself than anything. She stabbed out a hand and Bakugou felt his eyes start to roll back into his head, cotton wool settling around his thoughts. His eyes fluttered closed, relaxing into the steady pressure.

A shock jolted through him like a current and he doubled over, gasping for air, the cotton suddenly gone, everything hitting him in sharp detail. He felt someone push past him and when he raised his eyes to meet theirs he was met with a middle finger as more people barged past him, a few mutters that he was in the way. Bakugou tried to find Ashido but she was gone.

He tripped over a loose brick and shakily got to his feet. Someone tapped his shoulder and he whirled around to find Kirishima staring at him questioningly. “Where’s Mina?” he asked.

Bakugou frowned, fighting the urge to collapse against the other man, appreciating his jacket more in the sudden chill that had dropped over the street. “Who?”

“Ashido? Where is she?” Kirishima repeated, lifting his hand to the other's forehead, a light sheen of sweat reflecting in the neon signs above them.

“Oh, Racoon Eyes,” Bakugou frowned, pulling the jacket closer again and leaning into the others hand, taking comfort in the others body heat. “She just… went. It was like cotton…”

Kirishima froze. “What?”

Absentmindedly, Bakugou realised he was close enough to smell the thin material of the other's shirt, now properly facing him and Kirishima hands snapped up to the blonde’s shoulders to steady him as he saw Bakugou tip slightly to the right. “Felt like cotton,” he murmured. “Felt nice.” he frowned. “But then it hurt.”

Kirishima's breath seemed to catch in his throat and Bakugou leant his head against his shoulder.

“I don’t think that was her fault though.” His voice was muffled into the fabric and Kirishima’s hands remained on the blonde’s shoulders unsure of what to do with himself even as the blonde’s arms wound around his back and pulled him into a hug.

Two dark yellow eyes watched them from the other side of the street, a figure perched on top of a dumpster, twirling something in their hands, the metal reflecting in the lights around them.

 

Trash bags fluttered in the wind and Jirou breathed out from where she was sitting cross-legged in the middle of a small backyard to a low scale nightclub, the neon turquoise sign lifting slightly in the small breeze. As she watched, it powered out for a moment, the single eye blinking in the night. When she looked up she could pretend she could see the entire night sky stretching out above her, the air pollution lifting up from the buildings around her and shrouding the stars from view. It wasn’t too much of a setback, she knew which ones were supposed to be there anyway.

Jirou’s head snapped to the back door, relaxing when it creaked open to reveal Kirishima carrying an unconscious blonde. She watched the door clang shut behind him before making her move, hurrying over to them.

He placed the blonde on the ground, briefly cradling his head before he laid it in the shell of his hood to make sure his head didn’t directly touch the stained and graffitied stones.

Smart , Jirou thought, noticing a small white sigil spray painted onto the nearest trash bag. It wouldn’t be worth him bringing the blonde all the way back here and having him accidentally fall into a contract.

“Is Mina here?” Kirishima asks, his voice exhausted.

“Not that I know of but-” she hesitated, a thought suddenly tugging at her. “Did she do this?” she gestured to the blonde warily.

Kirishima looked down and Jirou’s eyes widened, not expecting him to agree with her. “I don’t know,” he admitted quietly. “I wanted to see how he was doing but when I got there Mina had gone and he was passing out.”

Jirou reached out a hand to touch the sleeping blonde but Kirishima grabbed her wrist before it could make contact and growled at her. She suppressed a shiver and glared at him. “I don’t want to hurt him.”

Kirishima dropped her wrist like it had turned to rock and backed away. “Oh my god J, I’m so sorry, I just-” he cut himself off and sighed. “I don’t know.”

Jirou nodded slowly, keeping an eye on him out of the corner of her eye as she laid a hand on the blonde’s forehead, straining to feel his aura. “He should be fine but he’ll be out for a few hours. Whatever hit him must have been pretty powerful.” she saw Kirishima clench his fists and she blanched. Right. No talking about him being in any danger whatsoever. She liked her new workspace and she really didn’t want to have to find a new one because Kirishima lost control and tore down one of the walls. “Do you want me to wake him up?”

Kirishima’s head snapped up and Jirou marvelled at how quickly he could go from Alpha Wolf to a puppy. “Can you?” his voice sounded so hopeful and Jirou felt something deep in her whispering to her to deny him just to hear that voice break.

She nodded instead, an easy smile stretching across her face. “Of course. Give me a minute and I’ll be right back.” she retreated back into the club, slipping past the back rooms to where the food was stored. The owner smiled at her as she passed and she looked down, avoiding his gaze. Grabbing a few herbs and a teabag she poured some tap water into a mug, muttering a quick charm to heat the water quickly, satisfaction shooting through her when steam started to rise.

When she got back to the small yard Kirishima was in the opposite corner to the blonde, sniffing the air like to had offended him, his hands grasped onto the loose stones of the wall and his face contorted around an emotion Jirou didn’t really want to know the name of. He turned to her when the door shut though, breathing out in relief when he saw the mug in her hands.

“Help me give it to him,” she offered and she could see the emotions warring in him before he gave in, following her as she made her way to the blonde.

“Just prop him up,” she murmured and Kirishima did what she told him to without talking, instead staring at the blonde with his fingers twitching like he wanted to touch him more but he held himself back. Slowly she watched the mixture disappear down his throat and she pulled back, leaving him in Kirishima’s arms. The redhead stared down at him reverently and Jirou looked away, feeling like she was seeing something she wasn’t supposed to.

“Who is he?” she asked, her quiet voice suddenly deafening in the yard.

Kirishima’s eyes widened at her question before darting back to the blonde. “I… He’s…” his voice halted in his throat like he wasn’t sure of his answer.

“Is he a wolf?” Kirishima flinched and the blonde in his arms stirred slightly before shifting so his face was pressed into Kirishima’s bicep.

“No,” the redhead whispered almost guiltily and Jirou frowned, her interest piqued.

“Then who is he?”

“Bakugou Katsuki,” Kirishima confessed and a sudden warmth blanketed the yard before disappearing. Jirou’s eyes cut to the side as she observed her surroundings, her slightly heightened senses straining to find the intruder. “He’s…” the wolf continued, and with a jolt, Jirou released he hadn’t felt the presence. She relaxed. “He’s this human who we took with us because I thought he was someone else and I know I don’t have the right but god, he smells like fire and the stupid spices you buy but never use and there’s something that feels right but he already has someone. I know because I can fucking smell it.”

Jirou raised her eyebrows at the words, Kirishima barely ever swore.

“He has someone J!” The fist smashed into the wall made her jump but when she made eye contact with the redhead she felt her complaint die in her throat. His eyes were alight with pained anger and his fingers had turned to claws. The warm air from before brushed her arm as if in warning and she realised that if they continued this conversation the rest of him wouldn't be far behind.

“Ei…” she started, trying to keep her voice as calm as she could. “Let’s just breathe for a bit.” Kirishima scoffed but obediently dropped the claws. Jirou breathed out when tanned skin appeared under the fur. The warm air drew back from her, the threat neutralised, but she still felt it at the edge of her awareness.

The blonde in his arms stirred before his eyes slowly blinked open. “Fuck…” he ground out, reaching up a hand to rub at his forehead. He sat up, aided by Kirishima who had dropped the entire alpha posture as soon as he’d started to come to. “Where the fuck are we?” he glared up at the redhead who grinned at him in relief.

“You scared me you know!” the redhead laughed in relief as the blonde glared at him.

“No one asked you to give a shit fuckface. It was none of your business.” Jirou looked at Kirishima, sure he was about to reveal that the blonde was under some sort of spell but he only smiled fondly at him.

“You kind of made it my business when you literally swooned in my arms.”

The blonde flushed angrily, looking affronted. “Fuck you.”

Kirishima rolled his eyes, helping the other to his feet, wishing he didn't feel so cold when the blonde pulled away from him to stand on his own.

Chapter Text

Izuku huddled further into the duvet, pulling the covers as close to him as he could, his breaths coming out in short hiccuped pants. It had been forty-six hours since he’d last seen Kacchan and it felt like the house had warped around his absence, the chairs too to the left, the mirror tilted slightly, the walls slightly closer than they were before. He hiccuped another sob into the wet covers, his throat spasming around the strangled cries that kept slipping through.

He’d lost count of the number of calls he’d sent him and whenever his fingers began to twitch he found himself reaching for his phone to type out another message. The golden glow that always seemed to be present when he woke up had faded into nothing and he was left with just the harsh glow of his phone screen lighting up his bedroom, a small breeze filtering through the room from the slightly open window.

01:26 A.M. read the numbers on his home screen and the picture of him and Kacchan graduating high school made more tears collapse down his face.

There was a weight at the end of his bed but when he looked up he couldn’t make out anything. He sobbed again, clenching his eyes shut as warm droplets rolled down his cheeks. He sighed and pushed himself up, his bedroom feeling so much bigger with the lights off like the floor stretched on for miles.

He reached for his lamp and flicked the switch, lighting up the room with a small yellow glow. There was nothing on his bed other than him but the weight was still there. Izuku tried not to start crying again.

The blonde man from his dreams had shown up again last night, murmuring something about duty and protection but Izuku had been so shaken up by Kacchan’s sudden disappearance he hadn’t been able to take any of his words in. The most he could summon from the back of his mind was the repeated mentions of imprints and the somewhat underwhelming feeling of deja vu.

He turned the light off and sagged back into the mattress, feeling the material pool around his body.

“You need to be careful my boy. There are many people in this world who would like nothing more than to see you fall. Look out for a boy with -----”

The rest of the memory dissolved into static, the words swallowed up by white noise. Izuku turned onto his side, the bed creaking as he stared out of the window, the moon swathing him in white light. Again, something in him muttered that it was too full but he shoved it aside, dismissing the thought. Ever since the incident in the forest, the phantoms of purple lights had followed him throughout the house but as soon as he turned to look them head-on they'd disappeared. He didn't know if they were real or just remnants of the event and the fact he had to concern himself over that terrified him, now he knew there was a possibility the things he saw were real, he wanted to scream.

He tried not to close his eyes, waves of worry collapsing over him and he swallowed in the dark, still too afraid of what could happen without Kacchan. His fingers pulsed golden in answer and he smiled sadly, lifting them up to light up his room. After a few minutes of debate, he got up, trailing downstairs, the glow of his fingers showing him the way, even if he could find his way down blindfolded.

The kitchen was lighter with the larger windows letting more light in and he sighed, the golden glow waning among the silverish hues. He dropped into a chair, resting his head on his arms, feeling goosebumps travel up his neck.

Izuku clenched his fists but ignored it, listening to the familiar sound of his own heartbeat, letting it calm him.

For fuck's sake, shitty nerd, you don’t ever need to worry about me not being there alright? Like I’d ever fucking trust you to be able to take care of yourself.

“But now you’re not here Kacchan,” Izuku murmured into the empty kitchen, the tear trails down his face burning. “Now what do I do?”

He pulled his legs up and sat there for a few minutes, arms tightly clasped around himself, staring at Kacchan’s empty seat across the kitchen table.

“I’m scared Kacchan. When are you gonna come back?”

Something rapped on the window and Izuku dropped his head onto his knees.

“God Kacchan, I’m so scared.”

“Kacchan! I’m scared!”

The blonde wrinkled his nose. “Stop fucking crying on my shirt, dickwad. It’ll be fine, dumbass, I’m here.”

The smaller boy hugged him closer. “Kacchan!”

The blonde yelped. “What the fuck shitty Deku? I told you not to cry on my fucking shirt!”

Izuku felt wetness seep into his tracksuit bottoms and he sobbed.

“Fuck!” Kacchan yelled and Izuku’s head snapped up.

“Are you alright Kacchan?”

“Urgh! Piss off nerd, I don’t need your help, worry about yourself for once, not me!”

Izuku cried harder. “Why didn’t you ever let me help you?”

The voice in the back of his mind that always sounded suspiciously like Kacchan answered.

Cause I was always too busy fucking helping you.

Izuku slid further down the chair until his back was bent in an awkward arch, his arms still tightly cinched around his legs. “What do I do now Kacchan?”

 

Bakugou turned away from the grinning redhead, ignoring his questions and taking in his surroundings, the rundown yard surrounding him looked eerily familiar and no matter how hard he tried to find the string of memory that could show him why, it evaded him.

A girl with dark purple hair watched him from the other side of the yard, her eyes darting between him and Kirishima as if in question. He looked away from her gaze and his eyes locked onto a small alleyway leading off from the yard. The girl followed his eye line and her head whipped back to him, her face twisted in confusion.

A poster fluttered off the ground briefly, beckoning him closer. Subconsciously, he followed the pull, drifting closer to the alley.

“Where are you going?” the girl called and Bakugou froze, his gaze still focused on the small entrance.

Kirishima’s hand closed down around his shoulder.

“Don’t,” the redhead murmured, his eyes full of concern.

“Why the fuck not?” Bakugou bit and Kirishima’s eyes fell to the ground.

“I don’t think you’ll like what you find,” he confessed and the seriousness in his tone made Bakugou shiver.

He brushed Kirishima’s hand off and the redhead took a few steps back but Bakugou could still feel his gaze boring into him, nearly identical red eyes reflecting the blonde’s own indecisions.

“What the fuck do I do now Deku?” the blonde muttered to himself, rubbing a hand across his forehead, the beginning of a headache already pulling at his thoughts.

 

“Congratulations, son.”

Shouto jolted away from the sudden words, whirling around to see a tall man with flickering features that shifted in place like fire, his deep red hair doing nothing to dispel the effect. Two blue eyes bored into him like smoking coals.

“You’ve done me proud,” his voice crackled around Shouto like a whip, everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

“Why are you here…” Shouto finally managed, his voice pitching into nothing towards the end, not quite managing to make it a question.

A large hand clamped down over his shoulder and Shouto immediately froze, his scar burning in phantom pain. “I’m so pleased to call you mine.”

Shouto clenched his eyes shut as he flinched, the words branding him. “I’m not yours,” he muttered and the hand tightened, his shoulder going numb at the force. He heard a small crack.

“You are.” there was another crack. “Everything you are belongs to me. You are my sword and you’ve done your duty and found the successor. Relinquish your hold over the mortal and return home.”

Shouto felt a tear force its way through his left eye before evaporating into steam upon contact with his skin. “No.”

There was a series of crunches as Shouto felt the bones in his shoulder being ground together. “Repeat yourself.”

Shouto’s knees gave out under him but the grip on his shoulder kept him up, his feet dragging uselessly on the ground as his vision started to disappear into white fireworks, small pops of pain erupting behind his eyelids. Someone screamed, long and high and Shouto released it was him.

“Shouto.”

The name grounded him and he gasped in a breath, his hand snapping to his shoulder to assess the damage. Enji dropped him and he fell to his knees, the hard tiles scraping at his skin.

“Repeat yourself,” he commanded again and Shouto kept his gaze down even as his father fisted his hand into his hair and tugged it insistently upwards.

“I won’t,” his voice sounded strained and every breath felt like sandpaper against his throat.

Enji scoffed. “You’re being stupid getting attached to this one. You of all people know what happened to the last.”

He sobbed and tears fell freely, freezing lines down the right side of his face, the ones from his left eye disappearing as soon as they’d appeared. “Please,” he pleaded and Enji’s face erupted into flames, his features twisted in anger.

“You will not beg,” he spat before slapping Shouto, making his head snap to the side with so much force Shouto wondered if if he angered him enough he would accidentally kill him. That thought was quickly overwritten with logic, no matter how hard his father beat him he would never have the divine power to end his life, regardless of how much he might want him to.

“I’m sorry father,” the words came easily, his mouth having moulded to the shape of them over the decades.

Enji scoffed. “You’re a coward. I want his head by the solstice.” he turned to leave before pausing at the door. “Don’t disappoint me Shouto. You’ve been doing so well and I’d hate to have to replace you like I did your brother.”

Shouto shivered as warm air settled over them.

Enji looked up, his face carving into a smirk. “It appears he’s seen fit to give you a visit. I do hope he doesn’t kill you.”

The slithers of heat began to warp into a figure and Shouto’s breath caught in his throat as his brain finally realised what was about to happen. Enji scoffed before stamping his foot, flames erupting from the ground, creating a dark staircase into the ground. He turned back to Shouto, his eyes clouded with disgust.

“This is your chance to see your mother again, you came so close last time. Don’t fuck it up, regardless of your connection to this boy.”

As soon as he disappeared down the staircase the earth sealed closed over his head.

Shouto’s head whipped to the figure who’d finally emerged from the smoke, glowing blue eyes and patchwork skin making him stand out against the shadowy background of the trees.

“How sad.” the figure lazily remarked, his posture reminiscent of a cat, slowly stalking towards its prey.

Shouto sobbed and watched Dabi approach, every time he took a step closer Shouto fought the urge to run to him like he used to. The sense of danger around the taller man had increased as he’d grown but something in Shouto told him that it was just that he’d become more in tune with his surroundings and had realised how dangerous his brother was.

“Help,” he managed, his voice sounded foreign to his ears like it had been warped around the others arrival. “Please.”

Dabi looked him up and down, his face distorted in something akin to pity. “What has he done to you Shouto?” his tone was mocking but Shouto could see the worry hidden behind mirth in the two glowing eyes.

“I’m sorry,” Shouto gasped out. “I wasn’t strong enough again. I don’t want to kill anyone else.”

Dabi raised an eyebrow. “No one ever does.” he took a step closer and Shouto sat up on his haunches, silently wishing the older demon would indulge him with affection, the previously thumping pain in his shoulder dissipating slightly due to the heat that seemed to follow his brother wherever he went. At this point, the warm air was a familiar feeling and one that filled him with relief, regardless of the rumours that clung to the older demon like mould.

“I’m proud of you too Shouto. I didn’t think you could do it.”

Shouto looked down in shame, his multicoloured hair spilling over his eyes. “I don’t want to hurt him.”

Dabi signed. “You have to.”

Shouto nodded in resignation, his face masked with blankness, feeling dry as if his tears had drained him of all emotion. “I know. Why couldn’t you have been strong enough?”

Dabi froze and when their eyes met Shouto felt the air tighten around him like it was about to drag him into the ground, closing around his body like a coffin. “Excuse me?”

“Why couldn’t you have done it?”

Dabi breathed out, gathering his thoughts. “You defeated the previous incarnation. It should be child’s play to get rid of this one. Why can’t you do it?”

Shouto screwed up his eyes in frustration. “I care about him.”

Dabi’s lip quirked up. “Whose fault is that?”

“Mine,” Shouto clasped his hands together. “I’m sorry.”

Dabi laughed and ruffled his hair, mixing the red and white strands together. “Don’t apologize to me.” his eyes softened. “What are you going to do?”

“If I kill him…”

Dabi waited for his answer, watching Shouto’s emotions war with each other.

“That will be it. The Soul will finally be dead.” he looked up at Dabi. “Then what? Will he kill me?”

Dabi frowned. “What?”

“I’m stronger than him…” Shouto whispered like it was a sin. “Once I kill Izuku, there won’t be a purpose for me and he won’t be the strongest. Will he kill me?”

“Ok, A: He can’t kill you, B: If you can’t do it, run.”

“Like you did?” Shouto murmured.

“Yes.”

“But I don’t want to be replaced,” he admitted, hanging his head in shame.

Dabi looked down.

“I don't want to be replaced, please father!” he yelled. “I’ll get stronger, I’ll kill him this time, I can, I know it!”

Enji turned to him, the room in flames, the blue sparks bouncing off of skin. “Don’t call me your father, bastard.” he spat and Dabi felt tears start to cloud his vision.

“Neither did I.”

Shouto’s mouth fell open, finally realising what he’d just said. “I didn’t mean-”

“I know. Don’t.”

Shouto nodded hesitantly. “What should I do?”

Dabi shrugged, his hands shoved into his pockets so he didn’t act without thinking and burn the other's skin off. “It depends how much you actually give a shit about this guy. He will die, it just depends if you make it painless or if fa- Enji makes it hurt.”

“Father isn’t strong enough,” Shouto muttered leaning his head on his knee. “He couldn't if he tried.”

“I wonder… He hasn’t learnt how to use his powers yet though, if Enji does try to get rid of him quickly, there is a chance.”

Shouto smiled. “He’s stronger than he looks. I bet Izuku could kill him before he could even summon a spark.”

“Izuku, huh?” Dabi smirked. “Nice name.”

Shouto pouted, turning his face away from the older demon. “Shut up.”

Dabi laughed. “Alright, alright. You know where to find me.”

Shouto nodded, watching him retreat back into the fog that had settled around them, masking them from view.

“Hello?” a sleepy voice cut through the fog and within moments it was gone, leaving him standing in the middle of Izuku’s yard. Shouto turned to see the aforementioned boy standing by the back door, rubbing a hand across his eyes. “What are you doing?”

Shouto forced his face back into blankness. “Nothing. I’ll come back inside now.”

 

Izuku hazarded another glance at the boy, the steam rising from his coffee making his figure flicker and when Izuku tried to focus all of his attention on him it felt like he faded even further into the small spirals of air. The kitchen table seemed to lengthen slightly, the distance between them increasing.

“So,” Izuku started and the other boy’s head snapped up to him. “Are you going to tell me your name?” the boy’s head twitched from side to side imperceptibly and Izuku knew he could only make it out because of the golden rivers that snaked through his skin.

“Names hold power,” he muttered and Izuku frowned.

“Midoriya Izuku.”

The boy’s eyes widened, the blue of his left iris brightening in confusion. “What?” The shorter boy shrugged.

“My name is Midoriya Izuku. I guess now you have power over me?”

The boy looked down, his hands fidgeting on top of the table as he shifted in his seat, the wooden base of the chair digging into his skin through the loose material of his pants.

“I don’t really care,” Izuku shrugged again, his gaze dropping to his coffee as he subconsciously mimicking the other boy’s movements, shifting around in turn.

Suddenly, his head darted up.

“Do you know Kacchan’s name?”

The boy opposite him opened his mouth before hesitating. “Does it matter?”

“Yes!” Izuku yelled, slamming his coffee cup into the table, leaving a dent in the wood. He started at the mark before shaking his head, as if to clear his thoughts. “Sorry.”

The boy eyed the imprint. “Not my table.” Izuku scoffed. “I don’t know Kacchan’s name, no.”

The shorter boy relaxed slightly. “Ok. That’s good. Look, you’re clearly not human.”

“I thought I wasn’t real,” the boy remarked dryly. “When did that change?” Izuku flushed in realisation.

“Um, about yesterday? But I think I’ve always, or at least semi-consciously known you were real it's just I didn’t really want to accept it? I mean, you’ve got to understand it can be really scary to have things that like dissolve into shadows when you look at them being real is kind of creepy? Like at least a little bit right? I’m sure you’re surrounded by scary people all the time and oh my God,” he brought a hand to his mouth. “I’m so sorry, that sounded so rude.”

The boy blinked. “What?”

Izuku closed his eyes briefly, trying to gather his thoughts. “Right. I tend to ramble sometimes, Kacchan always told me it got really frustrating for other people who had to try and keep up with me so I tried to stop, I have stopped but I guess with him not here, I just-” he paused and let everything wash over him. “Sorry.”

The other boy looked at him, eyes questioning. “I don’t think it's because other people can’t understand you. I think it's because half the time you don’t seem to understand yourself. Your sentences aren’t properly structured.” he frowned and Izuku let out a shocked laugh.

“Sorry, I didn’t realise my sentence structure would make such a big difference,” he took another sip of his coffee. “I’ll try and make my sentences more… structured?” the taller boy nodded slowly.

“I would appreciate that.”

Izuku felt words evade him. “Um… What?”

“You said you would attempt to structure your sentences accurately and I told you that if you did it would make me happy as I would find it easier to understand you.”

“Riiiiiight.” Izuku finally managed, changing the subject. “I said you weren’t human earlier.”

The boy’s eyes shone with assent.

“You didn’t deny it. If you aren’t human, what are you?”

The boy scrunched his eyebrows together in concentration for a minute before saying a word that sounded like it was comprised only of consonants, the sound of it foreign yet also strangely familiar to Izuku’s ears. “Although I guess in English the best translation would be ‘demon’.”

Izuku tried not to spit out his coffee, instead settling for slowly placing his cup down next to the large dent. “Oh.” he murmured, his brain still trying to process the others words. Demon. Great.

“Does that scare you?”

Izuku hesitates, he knows what he should be thinking, how he should feel. Yet even as common sense seems to be glaring at him he found himself slowly shaking his head. “No.”

The boy turns his head to the side but Izuku saw his neck flush red for a minute. “Shouto,” he muttered.

“Your name?” Izuku confirmed and the boy nodded, head still stubbornly turned away from him. The shorter boy grinned and the other was reminded of the vibrancy of fireworks. “It suits you.”

Shouto nodded again and bit his lip. “It's not my family name,” he explained lamely. “It's my first.”

“Does that make it more powerful?” Izuku asked and Shouto flinched. “Not that I would use it, uh, the name against you!” he protested. “I was just wondering!”

“It is,” Shouto whispered, glancing at him and when their gazes met Izuku felt like his heart was about to collapse from how hard it began to thump. “Some people think it's the most powerful thing you can use against someone.” Izuku nodded to himself, his mind racing with possibilities and thoughts.

“Are you magic? Are you actually alive? Can you even die?”

Shouto looked away again and Izuku felt his heart ache. “Um, I’m not ‘magic’ exactly. I am alive and I can be killed. It's… hard to explain.”

“Do you know where Kacchan is?” Shouto let their eyes meet and Izuku’s face, wrought with determination caught him off guard.

“I can find out,” he answered, even as his mind screamed at him, trying to remind him what he was going to have to do. He ignored it.

Izuku’s eyes lit up. “Could you? Can you? Oh, please, do I need to form a contract with you?”

Shouto started. “Don’t ever form a contract with someone,” Izuku leaned forward, resting his head on his hand, the steadily cooling cup of coffee lying forgotten next to him. “No matter what they offer you.”

Izuku looked like he was trying to memorise everything so Shouto decided to slow down.

“Demons aren’t all evil but most tend to do what they want, instead of following a set of rules or orders like angels do.” Izuku’s eyebrows pinched together. “Yes, heaven and God are technically real but humans don’t go there after they die, they all go to purgatory.” Izuku nodded, leaning back. “There are ‘families’ per se, of demons that create offspring but angels are born on their own, without parents as their only parental figure is God, who kind of looks after them but angels usually just do their own thing and as long as they follow God’s rules and orders, they’re fine. You can probably find an angel or demon on every other street, most of them have blended into society.”

Izuku chewed on the inside of his mouth. “Ok… So how long do you live for then if you can be killed? Also what about Hell, is that real? And what do you mean you aren’t ‘exactly’ magic?”

“Well, theoretically angels and demons can live forever, unless someone from the opposite species kills them or if they’re killed by…” he hesitated before moving on. “Hell is real but it's more of a home to supernatural entities that don’t want to remain on Earth than a place of demons. Some creatures are magic but while angels all have the same powers on varying degrees of skill, demon powers can be different, for example, some demons, like succubi, can make someone fall asleep.”

“So there are more than just angels and demons?”

Shouto tilted his head from side to side. “Way more. But mostly they stay to themselves and you won’t have to deal with them. Especially since-” he cut himself off, fear flashing across his face.

“Since what?” Izuku pressed, his forehead creasing in confusion.

Shouto looked down at his hands, clasped together so tightly he could see the outlines of the bones. His shoulder started to burn again and he quickly unlaced his fingers, bringing a hand up to massage the muscles. “It doesn’t matter.”

Izuku rolled his eyes sadly. “I mean it clearly does, but ok. What about Kacchan?”

“I can help you find him. I know some people who’ll help y- us.” Izuku breathed out in relief and Shouto felt the unfamiliar feeling of guilt worm its way into him.

“Thank you.”

Chapter Text

Bakugou leaned heavily onto the wall, his eyes exploding into white sparks whenever he kept them open for too long. Kirishima was still talking to the girl, the redhead had told him her name but he couldn’t recall it at all.

“Bakugou? You with me?”

The blonde jolted, his hand darting out to push the other boy away but Kirishima captured it in his own.

“Bakugou?” he clicked his fingers in front of the blonde’s face and Bakugou frowned, opening his mouth to protest but his throat didn’t let him and the dry feeling of his mouth made him nearly retch. A cup of water was pushed into his vision by the girl and Bakugou reached for it, his hand veering off course and knocking the cup out of her hands. Kirishima glanced at the girl worriedly but she waved her hand and retreated back into the building, probably to get another one, Bakugou thought.

Kirishima placed his hand on the blonde’s forehead, sighing out when he realised the blonde was a regular temperature. Bakugou looked up at the hand resting against his skin, disgruntled. Kirishima smiled guiltily and removed his hand.

They sat in silence, the breeze flicking across them. Kirishima didn’t shiver at the cold, Bakugou registered. Slowly, the memories of his conversation with Racoon Eyes began to filter through his mind to the forefront of his thoughts. He eyed Kirishima’s arms, remembering the threatening glint of his canines.

Werewolves huh?

“Bakugou?” the blonde started.

“What?” his voice scratched out and Bakugou winced at the exhausted tone.

“You were zoned out again…” Kirishima laughed awkwardly, rubbing a hand through his hair, revealing hints of black at the roots. Bakugou looked away, his mind already overrun with thoughts.

“Are you gonna fucking let me go or what?” Kirishima’s head snapped to him but Bakugou kept his head turned stubbornly turned away from him.

“Um…” the redhead looked down and Bakugou groaned.

“Fucking fantastic.”

“Look, I don’t know what we’re gonna do, we need to find Soul but you’re-” Kirishima closed his eyes briefly, looking disgusted with himself. “We will let you go.” Bakugou raised an eyebrow but slowly nodded, deciding not to mention the redhead’s behaviour.

“How long’s it gonna take you to find this ‘Soul’ thing?”

Kirishima growled. “Look, can you just drop it?” he snarled. Bakugou blinked and even Kirishima looked shocked. “Sorry…” he started, his eyes wide. “When you’re around I can’t really control-” he cut himself off again. “Shit,” he murmured.

“I’ll fucking drop it then,” Bakugou muttered, ignoring the way his instincts had told him to run when Kirishima had raised his voice. He was unconscious when Kirishima brought him here and even the buildings around him looked unfamiliar resulting in him having no idea where the fuck he was. Fucking fantastic.

The girl returned and Bakugou took the water she offered him, gulping it down eagerly, relaxing when the pain at the back of his throat started to lessen. He quickly nodded at her in gratitude, half-hoping she wouldn’t notice it but the smile curling up her face destroyed those hopes.

“I’m Jirou,” she held out her hand, clearly catching on to the fact that Bakugou had no idea who she was, and Bakugou’s frown lessened slightly. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the redhead clench his fists. He grimaced.

“Bakugou,” he replied gruffly, ignoring her outstretched hand in favour of keeping an eye on Kirishima who looked like he was two steps away from running away. “Where the fuck am I?”

Jirou yawned and with a start, Bakugou realised Kirishima or Mina hadn’t shown any signs of being tired. “You’re in the in the Blue Light District of Musutafu,” she glanced at Kirishima. “Do you know where that is?”

Bakugou yawned with her, his tiredness catching up with him. “At least I’m in the right fucking city.” he reached up his arms to stretch, revealing a small strip of skin and Kirishima flinched. If Jirou noticed she didn’t mention it.

He turned to the redhead. “What’s the fucking plan?”

Kirishima’s mouth fell open. “What?”

Bakugou rolled his eyes. “What’s the fucking plan, Shitty Hair?”

Kirishima’s face broke into a grin and Jirou wondered if she should include him in her prayers. “We’ll head back to the others, Mina, Denki and Hanta,” he clarified at Bakugou’s displeased expression. “Then we’ll, um,” he bit his lip. “We’ll work it out.”

Bakugou nodded, his mind racing, the idea of guilt not even registering as he hid his grin. Fucking fantastic. He could work with this and finally fucking escape.

Jirou eyed him suspiciously and for a moment Bakugou was worried she’d realised his plan but that idea was quickly dashed.

“Isn’t that Ei’s jacket?”

Kirishima flushed. Bakugou looked down at the slightly too big jacket and tilted his head. “Yeah. Do you want it back?” he turned to the redhead who quickly shook his head, keeping his mouth tightly closed for whatever reason Bakugou didn’t really care about, and turned to Jirou. “Ok then.”

“I’ll leave you two to it?” she questioned and Bakugou looked at Kirishima for confirmation. The redhead’s stature seemed to straighten under the blonde’s eyes making Bakugou’s lip curl up into the shadow of a sneer. He cleared it from his face before either of them noticed.

Kirishima grinned at the blonde who smiled back, his eyes full of hidden loathing. “If you’re staying with us,” he gave Bakugou a moment to contradict him. He didn’t. “Then we’ll probably grab food on the way back, you can borrow some of our clothes, Denki’s around your height.”

Bakugou tried to force the bashful persona and bit his lip, looking to the side. “Couldn’t I wear more of your clothes?” By the way the redhead shivered, it worked.

“O-Of course,” the redhead stumbled through his words and Bakugou laughed good-naturedly, smiling at him.

“Bye then,” Jirou interrupted, trying to shoo them out of the yard. Finally looking around him, Bakugou noticed hundreds of small chalk symbols inscribed into the bricks and stones. Kirishima dragged his eyes from Bakugou as if in a daze.

“Y-Yeah…” he reached out a hand to Bakugou. The blonde stared at it before summoning his survival instincts and clasping it, the hitch in the redhead’s breathing and the promise of freedom making the blow to his pride worth it. The redhead rolled his shoulders back. “Let’s go.”

The blonde followed him through the buildings, thin corridors stretching around a loud pulsing that echoed from the inside of the club. The hallways were dimly lit, flickering bulbs that blinked out every so often. All he needed to do was get outside, find a way to distract Kirishima and run. They’d taken his phone but he could work with it, he just needed to get outside.

He shivered despite the warm air circulating through the corridors. A bang from behind him made him jump and he whirled around to see a short girl with dark green hair hurrying through the halls with her arms full of shot glasses.

“That’s Asui,” Kirishima murmured, his voice too close to Bakugou’s ear for it to be comfortable. He pushed the next shiver down but Kirishima’s small grin told him he had picked up on it. “She’s a waitress here but if you hang around you’ll see her more often.”

Bakugou nodded, his gaze still fixed on the open door the girl had emerged from, feeling slightly put off that he hadn't even realised it was there when he’d walked past.  

‘You don’t belong here.’

The whisper made him jump and he turned to meet Kirishima’s gaze, the red eyes full of concern. He glanced behind himself again, the door wavering slightly in a small breeze.

The redhead tugged on his hand and the blonde obediently walked after him, the strange feeling of being watched staying with him, making him want to itch at his skin.

 

An uncontrollable grin spread across his face again and Kirishima bent his head to hide it. Bakugou was walking beside him, gazing up at the city his face overrun with wonder. If what he said was true, which his gut instincts told him was, then he’d never seen this part of the city before. The idea seemed almost unthinkable to the redhead who’d lived in this city for the best part of a decade and knew every last alleyway like he had been born there.

From what he could gather from the blonde’s behaviour, he wanted to leave but was willing to go with what Kirishima wanted if that was what it took. Kirishima wasn’t particularly sure what to do with him, Bakugou wouldn’t give up Soul that easily and Kirishima knew that if he let him go, the blonde would take him straight to their goal. But he didn’t want him to go which was precisely his problem.

Mina had tried to use her powers on the blonde, for whatever reasons he didn’t know but Mina wouldn’t have if she didn't think he was a threat. However, even after being affected, the blonde had collapsed from exhaustion, not the magic.

Kirishima knew Mina wasn’t the most powerful but a human should have given in easily. The most he could come up with was the idea that Bakugou had protection from a powerful being and the fact Kirishima couldn’t detect it in his scent made the answer all the more obvious.

Whoever this Soul was, he cared deeply about Bakugou, enough to give him protection even without knowing he was doing it as, if the rumours were true, he hadn’t realised the true extent of his powers yet, meaning this was the perfect time for bounty hunters like himself to reap the benefits.

But if he gave Soul over to be killed, Bakugou would be crushed and he’d lose any chance. The scent of the other person on Bakugou was still strong and it made him want to tear the unfamiliar man’s throat out for daring to mar Bakugou’s presence. He quickly shoved that part of him down and focused on the blonde's quiet breaths.

He glanced at the man next to him, watching the glittering lights dance in his eyes, the dark orange bleeding to the red and blue lights surrounding them. His gaze softened.

“Hey Bakugou,” he said softly. The blonde blinked up at him and Kirishima felt his breath catch even as a scowl twisted the blonde’s features. “How long are you going to keep this up?”

The blonde froze and Kirishima sighed. “What?”

“You want to run. So run,” he huffed out a laugh. “I won’t follow, pinky promise.”

He held out his little finger but Bakugou was staring at it like Kirishima was going to use it to kill him. Which he could if wanted to but he could never forgive himself if he turned to violence without even giving the blonde a chance.

“Look.”

He leaned in and the blonde’s gaze fell to his lips.

“Yeah, Denki and the others’ll be pissed but… I can deal with them.” he leaned closer and Bakugou could feel the faint tickle of his breath. “Run.”

The blonde glanced around him, checking to see if Mina or one of the others were hiding, ready to catch him. His ribs ached in phantom pain, remembering what had happened last time he’d gotten into a fight with them. “Why?”

“Because I don't know what I’ll do if you don’t,” he admitted. “Please.”

The blonde looked around him again, unsure what to do. “How long have you known?”

Kirishima scoffed before looking down. “About your plan? Since you asked to wear my clothes,” he chuckled but the defeated expression on his face made Bakugou’s heart clench. “You had me till then. I know you have a boyfriend, don’t worry about it.”

Bakugou frowned. “Wait, what? I don’t have-”

“Don’t worry. You don’t have to pretend.” his eyes were still downcast, the slowly brightening sky casting an inappropriate pink glow on them as the neon lights started to dim around them. “Just run.”

Bakugou took a step backwards, glancing behind him still suspicious. “Whatever.”

He looked at Kirishima again and Kirishima smiled sadly at him. “Bye.”

He nodded hesitantly before turning and running across the street, blending into the slow movements of cars and early morning joggers. Kirishima waited until he couldn’t make out his scent anymore before carrying on down the sidewalk, every step taking him further and further away from the blonde.

Chapter Text

Bakugou grimaced, his heart tattooing a rhythm onto his chest, thumping in time to his footfalls as he ran across the city. He hadn’t been lying when he’d told Kirishima he had no idea where they were, the buildings and street signs all looked unfamiliar and the blue tint of the fading neon lights only made it look more alien.

He’d been hoping to find a sign with an arrow leading to the train station but he hadn’t had any luck yet and as he moved he was struck with the feeling that he was only drifting further and further into the foreign district.

He paused in the middle of a sidewalk, breathing heavily with a thin sheen of sweat glistening over his forehead. A taxi flickered in his peripheral vision before blinking out like it had never been there.

A large billboard was flashing above him, the model on the screen winking at the camera before taking a long drink from the glass bottle she’d displayed to the invisible audience.

Someone walked past, their long black hair tangling in the wind. Bakugou reached out a hand to ask them for help but a small voice behind his ear whispered:

Don’t

Bakugou whirled around to see nothing but a curling magazine rustling in the autumn chill. He pulled the leather jacket closer and pushed the silent threat in the voice down, running after the figure.

“Hey!” his voice sounded distorted like he was underwater and his vision was blurring at the edges. The figure turned, their face smudged out like someone had dragged their fingers over wet paint. “Where am…” his throat closed up and the rest of his question dissolved into static.

The figure’s blurred face shifted slightly like they were talking and Bakugou tried to lean closer but something held him back.

He tried to speak but his voice was gone, like someone had cut his vocal chords. The feeling left him open and vulnerable.

The figure walked closer but when Bakugou looked down at their legs he couldn’t see them moving, like they were gliding across the stone slabs. Their face blurred again but the blonde still couldn’t make anything out, focus just out of his reach. The taxi appeared again in his peripheral but he kept his eyes trained on the figure even as the car got closer and closer.

The figure unfurled out a hand with fingers too long to be human and Bakugou felt his hand reach out to take it before something like a gust of wind slapped his hand back and made him nearly lose balance, stumbling back.

A horn blared through the haze and Bakugou started, his eyes coming into focus sharply, the blur disappearing and revealing him collapsed on the sidewalk alone, the figure gone. He slowly sat up and saw a taxi in front of him, a vaguely familiar driver frowning down at him.

“You alright?” he said out of the window, two golden eyes narrowed in worry.

Bakugou closed his eyes before replying, his voice unnaturally smooth for what had just happened. “Where am I?”

“Blue Light, Might Square. Sound familiar?” Bakugou shook his head and stood up, the driver watching him with concern but there was something else swimming in the back of his eyes that Bakugou couldn’t quite place. “Do you want a lift?”

Bakugou looked down, reaching a hand into the leather jacket pockets and pulling out a crumpled 500 yen note. Thanks, Kirishima, he thought bitterly.

“Free of charge,” the driver added, following Bakugou's gaze to the money. The blonde glared up at him suspiciously but the driver just shrugged. “I have a son your age. Don’t worry about it.”

Bakugou glanced around him, the streets strangely empty from the odd person or car that had been filtering through before. “I can make my own way back, thanks.”

The driver’s eyes narrowed and Bakugou took a step back, wishing he’d thought to get more information from the driver. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

There was a rush of air by his ear before a searing pain burst through his body. “Shit!” the blonde yelled as poison ripped through his veins. Bakugou glanced behind him to see a knife coated in a shimmering substance embedded into the stones from where it had flown past his ear.

The driver licked his lips, his eyes lit up in lust. He leaned further out of the window, resting his chin on his hand. The actions seemed off, like the limbs were too long to properly execute them. “That was just a nick,” he sighed. “God, if that’s enough to make you yell, I bet I could make you scream with just one stab!” a grin spread across his cheeks and a glob of something that looked like mud rolled down the side of his face. “Oh, I want to make you sob!” he cooed.

Bakugou tried to move away from the taxi but the burn from his ear made his legs feel like lead as his heartbeat started to careen off course, pounding out an irregular rush of blood that made him feel like he was on a ledge staring down at a mess of small cars and streets, one step from falling.

The driver swung his door open and it hit Bakugou’s leg making him stumble back, trying to find his balance. The man looked down on him, eyes almost glowing and he licked his lips.

“Ah, you look so delicious,” he leaned down until they were eye-level, Bakugou’s vision threatening to give up, the agony prickling in his limbs fading to a dull buzz. “If you don’t make him notice me I’ll do more than just scratch your ear.” Bakugou vision started to disappear into small black dots but it looked like the man was shrinking.

“Let’s help each other m’kay?” the blonde flinched back as what sounded like a girl whispered into his ear, darting out a tongue and licking at the blood pooling from his wound.

Bakugou blacked out.

 

Izuku shuddered as another person brushed past him, the contact sending shivers down his spine. Shouto glanced over at him in concern but Izuku waved off his worry.

“I’m fine, just not very used to going… outside,” he laughed but Shouto’s eyebrows twisted in apprehension.

“That’s not a good thing.”

Izuku laughed again at the genuine disapproval in Shouto’s voice. “I’m fine, honest. I just forgot-” he hesitated against the excuse he usually gave Kacchan and with a start he realised he didn’t need to defend himself to Shouto. “I just didn’t take my pills this morning which kinda throws everything into focus and I’m always aware of anything that’s happening even if I really don’t want to be, like say I’ll notice everything and whatever the hell’s happened lately hasn't helped as everything's so clear and it's like I can tell who’s breathing at any given time and it all just weighs down on you and I can-”

“Midoriya.”

The shorter boy stopped, slowing down his walking as he realised that he’d subconsciously sped up during his rant. Absent-mindedly, he noticed that Shouto had matched his pace without question, the thought filling him with warmth. “Sorry.”

Shouto hummed, his eyes darting over the streets. Izuku hadn’t asked where they were going as, while Shouto radiated an air of power, there was no sense of danger and Izuku had decided to trust his new instincts, regardless of his rational thoughts telling him he should be extremely aware of Shouto, especially in the wake of their last conversation, given that the boy had literally told him he was a demon.

They were making their way through the city and Izuku couldn’t remember the last time he’d been outside for this long without Kacchan, all of his memories of the city and its streets punctuated by a familiar head of spiky blonde hair. His heart clenched as he was assaulted with thoughts of the other boy.

He just needed to find him again and then everything would be fine again. It had to be. He looked at Shouto, the taller boy staring down at the sidewalk like it had punched him.

“Shouto?” Izuku asked and the boy hummed again, the frown still not lifting. “You alright?”

“Ley lines.”

“... What?” Izuku finally settled on, the other’s words throwing him off more than he’d like to admit.

“I’m looking for the ley lines. There are more than I remember.”

Izuku looked down as well and was met with the sight of a cracked and slightly mossy sidewalk. Shouto snorted and Izuku’s head snapped up to him.. “Humans can’t see them, even humans with gifts.”

Izuku groaned. “Are you making fun of me again?”

“No,” Shouto deadpanned. Izuku sighed.

“So where are we going then?” Shouto hummed thoughtfully and Izuku blanched. “You do know right?”

Shouto turned to him, affronted and Izuku tried not to smile. “Of course I do. I’m powerful but I can’t locate people so we’re going to someone who can.”

“And that someone is?” Izuku raised an eyebrow.

Shouto tilted his head from side to side. “They’re trustworthy as long as you pay them.” he finally settled on, unsure how to describe his acquaintance as, even after centuries of knowing each other, he wasn’t sure if he could call them friends, their past too dotted with hatred. “It’ll be fine.” he glanced to the side like there was something he was avoiding.

“Great,” Izuku muttered.

They continued down the street, the early morning glow covering them in muted tones of pink and orange. A ripple of contentment ran through the smaller boy and he relaxed, a peaceful haze settling over him. The feeling of someone walking with him wasn’t unfamiliar and it filled him with a comforting sense of nostalgia, snapshots of the past flashing behind his eyelids, two familiar dark orange eyes crinkling in laughter as the blonde laughed at him.

Izuku’s eyes widened before he spun around to face the taller boy. “Wait, you said you were going to pay them! How much do you need to pay them? How much would it usually cost for magic? That is why we’re going right, so they can like say a spell and they’ll suddenly know where Kacchan is? Wait, crap, do they need to know Kacchan’s name? Cause you said that would be bad and-”

“I’m pretty certain that they’ll already know Kacchan’s name,” Shouto replied, his voice even despite the small crease in between his eyebrows. “Fate’s a strange thing.”

Izuku chewed his lip. “Are they gonna do something bad to him?”

Shouto smiled softly at his selflessness. “No, they would never.”

“Dammit Katsuki!” someone yelled behind the heavy doors. Shouto frowned and leaned in, resting his ear against the wood, ignoring the way the iron tugged at his skin, making it tingle slightly. There was a loud slap and the sound of someone falling to the floor.

“I’m sorry.”

“You should be.” the man spat, stamping to the door. Shouto quickly moved out of the way as the door was flung open, crashing into the wall. When the man made eye contact with him he didn’t flinch at the two different colours, his lip curling in disgust instead. “He’s yours right?” the man mocked, storming off and leaving Shouto staring at the fallen blonde.

Izuku sighed in relief. “Oh thank God.” he froze. “Um, is that sacrilegious or something?”

Shouto snorted. “No. I doubt He cares at this point.”

The smaller boy beamed at him. “Thanks.” He knocked the taller boy with his shoulder and Shouto looked down at him in confusion. “For all of this, I mean. I doubt helping me is very high on your priority list but you still decided to do it. So thank you.”

Guilt raced through his veins, making him want to throw up. “It's fine.” His voice was still even.

Izuku shrugged. “Even so. Soooo, what’s your favourite thing to do?”

Shouto looked to the side. “I don’t know.”

“Ok,” Izuku smiled at him. “I like watching movies but Kacchan says I should be more focused on making real memories, not just ones in front of a laptop screen. He’s got a lot to deal with in college and his part-time job but he still helps me.” Izuku stopped, his heart burning. “I miss him.”

Shouto placed a hand awkwardly on his shoulder and moved it up and down mechanically. At Izuku’s blank face he explained: “Isn’t this comforting?”

Izuku grinned, his eyes shining with tears. The sight made Shouto want to scream. “Yeah, thanks.”

Shouto removed his hand at Izuku’s agreement and the boy laughed, eyeing his straight posture.

“You should try and relax a bit more.”

Shouto pulled a face. “You sound like Ka-” he blinked. “An old friend.”

Izuku sighed in acknowledgement. “I don’t have many friends apart from Kacchan,” he didn’t notice Shouto jumping at the name. “I guess ever since my mum died it’s always just been us two. I really don’t deserve his help.”

“I’m sure you do,” Shouto scratched his neck, ignoring the long scar stretching across his skin, etched into his throat. “You don’t seem too terrible.”

“Do you have parents?” Shouto froze. “Like you mentioned demon families, so how are your-”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

Izuku nodded at the threat in his voice. “I’ll drop it.” he looked back at the demon, noting his unnaturally blue left eye. “How long till we get there?”

Shouto shrugged. “I haven’t been there in a while,” around half a century, “and I haven’t seen him for longer,” roughly one century.

“Huh. Is he a demon?”

Shouto quietly laughed at the thought. “He couldn’t handle this type of power.” Izuku smiled at the ground.

“Show off,” he muttered and Shouto opened his mouth to protest.

“I haven’t been showing off, if I wanted to show off I would do something like this,” the air around them got colder and Shouto turned his right hand so its palm was facing upwards and Izuku watched as a flurry of snowflakes emerged from his skin, twirling in the air before falling to the ground and settling, small specks of white on the grey stones.

“Wow,” Izuku breathed, his eyes still on Shouto hand, the pale skin twinkling with a light dusting of frost. Shouto’s ears flushed red at the gaze and he abruptly turned away. “What’s the science behind that?”

“I don’t know,” Shouto answered, his gaze stubbornly turned away from the smaller boy.

“When I went to college, my research paper was on real-life superpowers and if the human body would actually be able to support them but all ice powers would undoubtedly kill their host. It's amazing that you can sustain and control that, though I suppose that that’s just your demonic powers helping you.”

Shouto ran his tongue over his teeth behind his lip, hiding the action from Izuku. “I know a few humans who’ve been able to handle it.”

 

Toga let moans spill past her lips as she mouthed at the knife, poison sizzling through the red drops. She smiled down at the unconscious blonde at her feet, relishing in the small breaths that were being torn from his throat.

“We are going to have so much fun,” she crouched down and carded her hand through the blonde spikes. A warm breath ghosted over her skin and she shivered, a small drop of saliva snaking down her chin and landing on the other blonde’s cheek.

There was a hiss as his skin began to burn and a hiss of steam escaped from the red blotch. Toga sighed and wiped off the poison, the blonde under her starting to twitch. She swung her thigh over him and straddled his waist, biting her lip so hard she started to draw blood as fantasies overwrote her previous plans. Leaning down she licked at his cheek, leaving a trail of poison in her wake.

The blonde woke up violently, choking out a garbled “not again” before collapsing heavily onto the hard concrete, looking up and making eye contact with her. Toga felt wetness start to pool between her legs and from the blonde’s shocked expression he could too.

“Who the fuck are -”

She rolled down her hips roughly and the boy groaned, snarling up at her in defiance.

“What the fuck are you doing?” he growled and she laughed delightedly, licking another trail, this time down his neck and savoured the bitten off shout he let through as the poison started to pulse across his skin.

“No wonder a wolf chose you,” she cooed, rubbing a hand down his cheek, smearing specks of poison further into his skin and making him nearly scream. He kept his eyes fixed on her hand as it trailed closer and closer to his right eye before he wrenched away, dislodging her.

“I’m not doing this a-fucking-gain.” he sneered, jumping to his feet and raising his fists, ignoring the steady thrum of poison in his veins.

Toga blinked up at him, sprawled across the floor from where he’d thrown her off. Her eyes lit up with lust in the realisation he still had some fight left in him. “Ah, I thought the wolf would have fucked all the defiance out of you!” she moaned, long and loud, the sound stretching across the space between them as she leaned back, watching him with half-lidded eyes as her hand inched closer to her skirt.

“What the fuck are you talking about?” he asked but Toga knew that he was completely aware of what she was implying. She darted out a tongue to lick her lower lip but his eyes stayed focused on her golden ones, refusing to drop down to her mouth.

She pulled herself up, leaning to the side briefly before she caught herself. Stepping closer she swayed her hips but the blonde’s eyes still didn’t shift. “I can’t give you a knot but I can promise that I’ll make you scream!” she shrieked before lunging towards him, her hand brushing his chest before he darted to the side his reflexes quicker than she anticipated.

She clicked her tongue as his leg curled around to kick her but she jumped to the side and grabbed it in her fist, leaning down to lick poison onto the skin. The blonde cursed under his breath, closing his eyes as his ankle started to go numb. Without warning, Toga bit into the skin, filling her mouth with blood and making the other blonde scream as poison began to rip its way freely through his blood.

He fell backwards, his head smashing into the concrete. The girl kept her hold on his ankle as she sat on his torso again, her golden eyes alight with lust. Bakugou moved to shove her off again but she pressed down onto him, halting his movements as small blobs of greyish mud began to roll down her hands and cheeks.

He watched in shock as she transformed, pale skin melting away to muscled forearms and long red hair. “Shit,” Bakugou swore, straining even harder against the iron grip she had on his ankle. “What the fuck even are you?”

Kirishima leaned down and bit his ear, ignoring Bakugou’s strangled yelp as poison coursed through the skin. “That’s a rude thing to say to a lady.”

The words sounded like they were being twisted into something else, the letters contorted coming out of Kirishima's mouth, the feeling leaving Bakugou shuddering. “Get the fuck off me. If you were really Kirishima you wouldn’t do this.”

The fake redhead laughed cruelly and the sound made Bakugou’s stomach twist. “If you’re really considering the fact this is real you’re way stupider than I thought!” it laughed again, high and tinny before tapping a finger along its lips. “Izuku-sama’s way too good for you, ne? Just give him to me!”

“The fuck do you want with Deku?” Bakugou moved to punch the fake off him but it grabbed his wrist, shifting back to sit on his legs and leaning forward to clasp both of his wrists together, using Kirishima’s strength to its advantage. The sight of the redhead’s face so close to his own made Bakugou’s breath hitch and golden eyes widened happily.

“Oh,” it realised, the sound like tar, smooth but heavy. “This will be fun.” it moved so both of Bakugou’s wrists were wrapped in one of the other’s large hands, grabbing the blonde’s chin with its free hand, tugging him in to face it.

Bakugou panicked as their lips got closer and spat in the fake’s face, making them freeze and let go of his chin to wipe the spit off their face. He risked a glance at the golden eyes and the look of pure anger filled him with a sense of earth-shattering terror.

It spat down at him in retaliation and Bakugou screamed, the sound ripped from his throat, the pool of poison burning into his skin slowly, dripping down over his cheekbones. It reached a hand down and covered his eyes making Bakugou thrash under his hold but the fake chuckled.

“Hey, Bakugou.”

The blonde froze, refusing to believe this was happening as the thing on top of him trailed a hand down to his pants.

“Bakugou, you alright?” the voice was too close to his ear and he flinched away, his head colliding with the concrete again. “I’m here, you know that right?” a warm breath tickled his skin and it ghosted down his neck before resting on his collarbone. “Do you trust me Bakugou?”

The blonde trembled as his senses were assaulted with the feeling of Kirishima, his voice murmuring across his skin, his fingers tracing circles into his hips and his hand covering his eyes.

“Come on Bakugou… say something!” the voice was soft and encouraging and Bakugou felt himself lean into the hand that had come up to cup his cheek.

The thing sighed happily, resting its forehead against Bakugou’s and the feeling of Kirishima’s breath ghosting over his lips made him shiver.

“Fuck off,” the blonde finally managed, biting at the thumb that had shifted towards his lips.

It growled and bit down on the blonde’s collarbone, Kirishima’s sharp teeth splitting the skin easily and the pain of the bite and the thing’s corrosive saliva slipping into his bloodstream made him sob, tears spilling past his eyes and wetting the thing’s hand.

“Bakugou?” a girl asked, her voice drifting through the air, and the thing lying across his stomach turned to the side sharply, leaning heavily onto him to keep him from moving. “Eiji- Shit!”

Suddenly there was a spray of water and a burst of blue light before the weight on his legs was gone and Bakugou turned to the side coughing, the person wavering at the edge of his awareness.

“Shit, shit, I’ll call Ei, why the fuck did he leave you?” the girl frowned down at him, her face swimming into focus, a headphone hanging down from her ear, the heavy bassline audibly pounding through the small speakers.

“Jirou?” he asked and she nodded, pulling out her phone and muttering to herself.

“Shit, you’re lucky Momo spoke to you or you’d be fucking dead.”

“Momo?”

The girl glanced at him. “I’ll explain later. Right now we need to get you back to Kirishima and to a doctor.”

“No,” Bakugou murmured and Jirou hesitated, turning to him. “Don’t call Kirishima. If you do, he…”

“He’ll what?” Jirou prompted, her eyebrows twisted in confusion.

“I don’t know,” Bakugou admitted, his voice cracking. “I have no fucking idea.” he brought up a hand to rub at his eyes and Jirou let out a shocked laugh in disbelief but she didn’t reach for her phone again.

“I cannot believe you. God, if you had the chance you’d probably try and kill Soul yourself!”

Bakugou frowned at the statement, something about it clicked in the back of his mind as wrong but he couldn’t identify it properly. A large hand closed over his neck and Jirou’s eyes widened as they trailed to a figure looming over them both, two golden eyes narrowed down at them in anger.

 

There had been an awkward silence after Shouto’s confession and Izuku’s head was full of questions he was either too scared to ask or ones where he was too scared to hear the answers. Why would a human have to handle the demon’s power? Izuku shivered at the thought of just how much of a weight that human would have had to bear.

Someone on the other side of the street sneezed and it sounded like a gunshot.

“- more time.”

Izuku snapped to attention, turning to the taller boy, his eyebrows scrunched together. “What?”

Shouto gave him a sideways glance but didn’t say anything about Izuku’s lack of attention. “I said this is taking more time than it usually does.”

Izuku wetted his too dry lips before answering. “You said you hadn’t been here in a while, that’s natural.”

Shouto frowned but murmured something Izuku couldn’t make out in agreement. “It's been too long,” he confessed, his right hand fisting into his trousers. “What if he still hates me?”

“Hey, there’s something I was wondering,” Izuku asked, interrupting the other boy’s thoughts. “Do you know why this has happened?”

Shouto froze, all of his instincts whispering at him to change the subject or drop the conversation, this topic hitting too close to his intentions. “What do you mean?” he settled on but even that seemed to tug at the lingering threads of his panic.

“Like,” Izuku shrugged. “You know, this.” he gestured to himself and for a moment Shouto could have sworn he saw gold flash at him from under the other’s clothes.

“I don’t understand.”

Izuku frowned at him. “Yes you do, it's the entire reason you’re here, right?”

Shouto’s vision almost whited out as he was hit with the feeling of failure, the sensation that Izuku knew, he knew and he was just waiting for Shouto to mess up and Shouto would fail and-

“Cause like it can be really weird.”

The taller boy blinked.

“I mean, it's so overwhelming. I mean I’ve already told you that, but still. Do you know how to make it stop?”

Shouto quickened his pace and Izuku hurried to keep up, his shorter legs working harder than they’d like. “Practise.” the demon remarked clinically, his eyes fixed ahead. “You weren’t prepared properly so it will be harder.”

Izuku nodded. “Mm.”

Shouto risked a glance at him and to his relief the other boy was looking at the ground, his fingers tangling together in thought. Curiously, he relinquished his control over the other boy and the protective shield he’d laid over him melted away into the wind, leaving Izuku vulnerable to his powers and the heightened senses that came with them.

Izuku shivered as he became acutely aware of an arguing couple roughly ten feet away from them, the girl’s face hidden by her hair as the taller blonde man tried to calm her down unsuccessfully, his face red from the attention. He looked away, focusing on the sound of his feet hitting the sidewalk steadily, each thump letting him breathe easier.

A bus sped by and the sudden onslaught of noise made him jolt, unspoken words catching in his throat as his ears started to scream at him.

“Shou-” his voice cut off, his mouth shaping around silent letters. The taller boy turned to him, his eyes widening when he saw the state Izuku was in.

The shorter boy was almost bent over, gasping for breath as ugly sounds started to spill out of his throat, each one disappearing into nothing before long, invisible hands clutching at his neck. Shouto reached out a hand to touch his shoulder but Izuku flinched away, the touch only serving to distress him further. Sweat prickled at the back of his neck and Izuku trembled as the world curved around him, Shouto’s face distorting to the left and enlarging his scar until it almost overwrote the rest of his skin.

There was a garbled noise to the left and Izuku tried to turn towards it but his head thumped in protest.

“Is he ok?” a stranger asked and Shouto nodded unthinkingly, his hand still hovering inches away from Izuku’s shoulder.

Izuku’s legs were swept off the ground and a brief sense of weightlessness hit him before his brain caught up and he realised Shouto had picked him up.

Vaguely, Izuku was aware of Shouto’s heartbeat against his chest, thumping furiously as he made his way through the streets, weaving through the alleys until they were standing in front of a large metal fence. Shouto walked the length of it, slipping his fingers through one of the holes and tugging, revealing a small stone house with unlit neon signs in the windows. When Izuku tried to focus on one of them the rest floated out of his grip so he closed his eyes, the image of blurred outlines of hands and cards imprinted onto his eyelids.

Shouto rapped on the dark wooden door, ignoring the ornate knocker in favour of simply pounding his fist into it. There was shuffle behind it like someone was getting up and soon it creaked open, revealing an indistinct figure.

“Shop’s closed,” a male voice muttered. He looked down at the boy in Shouto’s arms, then flicked his eyes up to the demon and purple eyes widened before contorting in rage. “You,” he spat.

Chapter Text

Izuku took another sip of the tea the purple-haired boy had practically thrown at him, silently wishing for the tension between the other two boys to disappear.

“So,” he started and the purple-haired boy’s head snapped to him, his eyebrows furrowed into a deep frown. Izuku winced.

“What?” the boy ground out and Izuku shook his head quickly, mumbling an excuse and the boy scoffed.

“Are you alright?” Shouto asked Izuku, his concern evident in his tone and the purple-haired boy growled at the noise.

“Oh so now you want to talk.”

Shouto sighed. “Can we not do this now?”

“It was you in the forest, wasn’t it? You protected him ,” the last word was practically spat out in disdain and Izuku tracked the hostile body language that both boys echoed. “I haven't seen you use your flames since the incident ,” he smirked at the taller boy, watching him stiffen.

“Please don't talk about it.”

The boy’s smirk widened. “Oh, the great Todoroki Shouto begging? God if only your little dynamite was here to see it.”

“Don’t talk about him!” Shouto smashed his fist into the wall, leaving a considerable dent.

“You killed him Todoroki,” the boy taunted.

“Shut up Shinsou. You know as well as I do that he’s not dead.”

“Not anymore,” Shinsou shrugged. “But fate’s a strange thing.” he slanted a gaze at Shouto. “You know that as well as I do.”

“I’m here for a reason,” Shouto cut him off, clearly moving to change the subject as his fists clenched and unclenched.

“Oh?”

“I-I’m-we’re looking for someone.” Izuku finally spoke up and Shinsou’s gaze immediately flicked to him.

“Who?” he turned back to Shouto, blanking the shorter boy.

Shouto sighed, looking down. “Don’t freak out.”

Shinsou raised an eyebrow. “I won’t.”

“Bakugou Katsuki.”

The window exploded.

Shouto made a sound that Izuku would have called a laugh had it come out of anyone else’s mouth.

Shinsou looked like he was tilting slightly before he caught himself, snapping up and storming over to Shouto, fisting his hands in the other’s shirt. “What the fuck did you just say?”

“Fate’s a strange thing,” Shouto parroted back and Shinsou’s eyes narrowed even further.

“Are you serious?”

Shouto laughed properly this time, his blue eye burning and Izuku could have sworn he saw a flicker of fire race across his cheek for a minute before it disappeared. Shinsou’s hands dropped from Shouto’s shirt and he fell to his knees.

“Are you al-alright?” Izuku tried but Shinsou ignored him again though Shouto nodded a little, flicking his eyes up to him before focusing back on Shinsou.

“Will you help?” Shouto asked and Shinsou growled, the sound making Shouto step back a little.

“Are you telling me,” the boy ground out and Izuku saw several small purple lights emerge from the ground, hovering around the room. “That you found him…” he looked up, purple eyes meeting green for a second and Izuku felt rather than saw the violence his gaze promised. “And you lost him!” he yelled, the lights flaring brightly making Izuku wince, turning away from the lights until the room went dark. He risked glancing over his shoulder and saw the purple-haired boy collapsed on the floor, his expression hollow.

“I’m sorry,” Shouto replied and Izuku’s brow furrowed.

“Why do you know Kacchan?” he asked and Shinsou groaned.

“Who’s the lackey?” he asked, his voice thick with contempt. “And why the hell does he know Katsuki?”

Shouto sighed. “They live together. And you can’t call him that anymore.”

“I’ll call him whatever the fuck I want, murderer!” Shinsou bit back and Shouto’s eye lit up again.

“I didn’t kill him!”

“Yes, you did !” Shinsou exploded, a burst of energy escaping him and causing the walls to creak ominously, cracks spiderwebbing along them.

“Holy shit,” Izuku murmured, taking in the slivers of destruction around him.

Shinsou whipped to him, jumping up from the ground and stalking over. “What the hell is your relationship with Katsuki?” Izuku felt the temperature in the room drop several degrees and when he looked up at Shouto the taller boy shook his head at him slightly, mouthing the words:

“Don’t tell him anything.”

“We just live together,” Izuku started, fisting his hands together. “I don’t know him that-all that well.”

Shinsou scoffed but stepped away, turning back to Shouto. “Why do you want him?” Shouto shrugged before clapping his fingers together in a complicated series of movements and flames started to dance out of his hands, forming a picture.

Izuku watched, enraptured, as a tall figure was shaped out of the fire, startling when the ice from Shouto’s right hand cracked out and extinguished it, a strange sense of foreboding racing through his veins.

“You know my duty. I must continue to uphold it, no matter the cost.” Shinsou frowned, his eyes darting from corner to corner before lighting up in realisation.

“Ah.” he looked at Izuku. “ Ah .” Shouto nodded, looking to the side guiltily. “I won’t help.”

Shouto clenched his fist. “What the fuck -”

“Shouto if I see him, I won’t be able to let him go,” Shinsou admitted, his face angled downwards. “Not after what happened before. Don’t make me do that.”

Shouto walked past him until he was on the outskirts of the room, his hand resting on the door handle. “If you loved him, you’d-”

“Let him go?” Shinsou practically screeched, his voice strangled. “Last time I let him go , you-” he cut himself off, looking at Izuku. “Does he know?”

Shouto rolled his eyes. “Of course not.”

“So…” Shinsou's eyes clenched shut. “He doesn’t remember anything?”

Shouto’s gaze softened. “You knew it was a long shot.”

Shinsou snorted. “Damn. I guess I thought Ka-” Shouto cleared his throat. “ Bakugou ,” he glared at him. “Would be strong enough.”

“It’s not a matter of strength, you know that.”

Shinsou waved him off. “Let me dream demon.”

Shouto smiled sadly at him, pushing the door open. “Come on Midoriya. He won’t help us.”

Izuku finally found his voice, pushing it past the overwhelming lumps in his throat that were trying to convince him to keep his head down and not get involved. “What the hell was that? Why does he know Kacchan? Why were you talking about death?”

Shouto glared at him. “Drop it Midoriya. It doesn't matter.”

Something primal in him reared up and gold glittered over his fingertips, reacting to the threat without thought. Noticing the gold flecks, Shouto tilted his head at him, ice crystallizing over his fist. There was something in his eyes that Midoriya couldn't place but it reminded him of the time Kacchan had found him crying in an alleyway when they were 6.

Pity,  he realised.

“As much as I’d love to see you get the shit beaten out of you Shouto, I actually need this shop so if you two could take this outside and approximately seventy-nine miles away it would be appreciated.” Shinsou interrupted and Izuku exhaled, silently grateful at the distraction.

“I was made for a reason,” Shouto muttered. “I wouldn’t lose.”

Shinsou grinned at him. “You don’t think it's evolved?”

Shouto’s head snapped up, his eyes alight with panic and Shinsou’s smile widened.

“Survival of the fittest.”

Chapter Text

“Katsuki,” Shinsou purred, brushing his lips against the other’s cheek. “Are you still awake?”

The blonde grumbled in protest and pressed his face further into the covers but Shinsou saw his ears flush red. “Piss off asshole. I’m trying to sleep.” Shinsou laughed and threw an arm over the blonde’s waist.

“Ok,” he hummed, settling down behind him, revelling at the feeling of Katsuki pressing closer to him. His breath caught in his throat as unwanted thoughts started to circle through his head. How long would this last? What if Katsuki left him? What if he was killed? What if something hurt him?

“Stop thinking,” Katsuki groaned, turning to bury his face into the taller boy’s neck. Shinsou’s gaze softened and he obediently shifted to accommodate the blonde, their legs tangling together.

“Goodnight Katsuki,” he whispered, his voice drifting across the small space between them. “I love you.”

The blonde groaned again, a red flush flaring across his face. “I know.” there was a pause and Shinsou closed his eyes, trying to lose himself in the feelings of the blonde’s warm breath on his collarbone. “Love you too asshole,” Katsuki whispered, the sound filling Shinsou’s heart with warmth. In response, he pulled the blonde impossibly closer, their chests tight against each other. Katsuki sighed out happily and before long his breaths evened out into sleep.

Bending his neck slightly, Shinsou buried his face into the blonde’s hair. “Never leave me Katsuki,” he murmured, his voice disappearing into the blonde spikes. “I don’t know what I’ll do if you do.”

 

“Shouto!” the blonde yelled, running over to him. “You didn’t say you were coming today!”

Shouto grinned, shifting slightly to hide the growing bruise on the side of his neck. “I figured you’d miss me,” he teased, nudging the blonde’s shoulder. Katsuki spluttered, forming half-completed insults before giving up.

“I didn’t fucking miss you shitstain,” he pouted, crossing his arms and looking to the side. Shouto rolled his eyes at his antics, reminded of a stubborn dog. The blonde turned to him again, his eyes lit up with childlike hope. “Can we practise again? I tried what you told me yesterday and Hitoshi shivered!”

Shouto nodded absentmindedly, casting an eye around the large garden, the rolling hills that surrounded the estate shifting unnaturally in the spring air. A breeze whipped through the garden and Shinsou felt grass curl around his ankles. He stepped forwards and the plants retreated back into the ground, leaving peculiar brown patches. “I’m proud of you.”

Katsuki scoffed but Shouto could see the way his eyes sparkled with the praise. “I don’t need you to be proud of me, I know I’m fucking amazing. By the way, this morning,” Shouto stiffened. “Were you using your powers?” he nodded. “Cause I felt this kind of hurt in my chest.”

Shouto breathed in, the bruise on his neck, the size of his father’s fist, throbbing with the motion. “That was me, don’t worry about it.” Katsuki grinned at him.

“Great. Hitoshi got me a new book,” he mused, walking towards the ever-expanding grounds. He tilted his head when the other boy didn’t follow him. “You coming?” Shouto started and hurried after the shorter boy, easily falling into rhythm with him. “I read it all this morning and it was nice,” he wrinkled his nose. “He never buys the books I want him to buy though.”

A strange ripple of sadness floated through him and Shouto looked down. “Sorry.” I’m sorry for everything he’s done to you Katsuki. Everything he’s done for you. “You wanted to practise right?” he offered, trying to lighten the blonde’s mood.

The blonde perked up immediately, flexing his fists experimentally, lithe muscles tensing under his skin. “I think I’ve mastered the icicles you showed me yester-” he hesitated, furrowing his eyebrows. “When was the last time we met?”

Shouto’s breath caught in his throat and his eyes clouded with pity. “I don’t know,” he lied. Six days ago. “But I’m here now so you can show me what you’ve learnt.”

The blonde nodded at him but he still seemed distracted. He reached out his right hand and flipped it palm down, focusing his energy onto it until three small pillars of ice started to curve downwards from the skin. The blonde shivered but he kept going even as the air around them began to rapidly turn colder. Eventually, the three icicles came to a stop, roughly a foot down from his hand and they hovered for a moment before cracking off, landing on the ground with a thud. Katsuki flipped his hand and showed Shouto the small circles of ice the icicles had left behind. Shouto ignored the unnatural blue colour of his skin and decided to focus instead on the power the blonde had just shown him.

“It was good,” he acknowledged and the blonde’s shoulders sagged, clearly expecting something more. “Perfect,” he backtracked and the toothy grin the boy shot him was enough to calm him down.

“Of fucking course it was!” the blonde crowed. “I bet you weren't this good when you started!”

“You’re right,” Shouto shrugged. “I was better.” the blonde squawked indignantly and Shouto tuned out his various insults, wondering how long he had left with the blonde. The thought made him want to vomit. The blonde continued to pound against his back with his fists, the mortal hands barely making a dent against the demon’s skin. Abruptly they stopped. “Katsuki?”

He turned to see the blonde clutching his chest, a shocked expression on his face. “Is this yours?” he motioned to his heart. “The pain?”

Shouto’s eyes widened. “Is it that strong?” He asked in disbelief, eyes darting to where the blonde’s hand was fisted in his shirt, threatening to tear the material. The blonde looked up at him, his face twisted in agony, his eyes glittering with unshed tears. “I-” he faltered, looking the blonde up and down.

“What the fuck? Why does it fucking hurt?”

“I’m sorry,” Shouto finally managed, placing his hand over the blonde's. “I hadn’t realised we were that…” he faltered. “Close.”

“Well fix it asshole!” Katsuki yelled, his throat starting to close up. “Why can’t you just be fucking happy or something to make it stop hurting?”

Shouto let out a shocked laugh. “It's not that easy.”

“Shit, how do you fucking deal with all these shittyass emotions all the time with that fucking straight face?” Katsuki choked.

“With hard work,” Shouto answered, Katsuki shooting him a look that could only be described as ‘done’.

 

“Holy shit,” the blonde finally managed, the complicated symbols he’d etched into the floor lit up red. “Is this fucking real?”

The tall figure floated in the air for a second before settling on the ground inside the circle, one foot descending from the air after the other. “Why did you summon me?” he asked, his voice thick with what sounded like sleep. “What purpose am I here to serve?”

Katsuki continued to gape at him until the figure cleared its throat and the blonde was brought back to reality. “Um. I just kind of wanted to see if it would work.” he glanced down at the heavy purple book he’d stolen from Hitoshi’s private library. “Is this seriously fucking real?”

The demon frowned at him. “Do you have to swear so much?”

“Piss off,” Katsuki answered instinctively, glaring at him. “I can swear however much I fucking want.”

The demon groaned. “Just tell me what you want so I can leave.”

“I don’t really want anything though,” the blonde muttered. “I don’t really know what to do now.” he looked up at the demon. “Shit.”

“What is your name?”

“Uh, Bakugou, Katsuki. Bakugou Katsuki. Yours?”

“I don’t give my name out to strangers.”

“Wait, what? Hey!” Katsuki yelled, stomping up to the ornate circle. “I asked you to tell me your fucking name! Don’t you have to now?”

“Is that your request Bakugou Katsuki?” the taller boy quirked a brow.

“Yes,” Katsuki declared stubbornly, crossing his arms.

“Todoroki Shouto.” the blonde scoffed. “What?”

“That’s a fucking lame name, I was expecting something cool like Darkness or Death.”

“I don’t know anyone named Darkness or Death.” Shouto frowned. “Who would name their child Death?”

Katsuki’s mouth fell open. “I can’t fucking believe that you’re the supposedly terrifying demon.” Shouto hummed, lifting his finger slightly and the heavy book flew out of Katsuki’s hands and into his.

“What the fuck, asshole?” the blonde burst out but Shouto ignored him, glancing over the symbols in the diagram of the book, then looking down at the circle around him.

“You’ve done it wrong. You were trying to summon my brother but this circle,” he nodded at one to his left. “Is shaped like an oval in the book.”

“Sorry I’m too perfect for this book,” Katsuki scoffed. Shouto frowned.

“But you aren't perfect, you made a mistake.”

The blonde spluttered for words before giving up and sagging down into a heap in front of the demon. Shouto’s eyes twinkled at the opportunity.

“Are you asking to suck my cock?”

“WHAT THE FUCK ASSHOLE?” Katsuki screeched, jumping to his feet and slapping the demon, relishing in the loud sound of his hand hitting the others cheek.

“And that was skin on skin contact which means you just formed a contract with me.” the demon smirked. “I look forward to your company.”

Katsuki grabbed the book. “It didn’t say anything about this shit in the fucking ritual!”

“You didn’t perform the right ritual though.” the demon pointed out. “What did you expect rituals were the same for all demons?”

“Yes!” Katsuki let out a strangled shriek. “What the fuck?”

“You just formed a contract with me, Todoroki Shouto, a demon who is named neither Darkness or Death. Now we are somewhat connected and I can lend you my power.”

“Hah?”

“You asked ‘what the fuck’ so I answered. However, I wasn’t quite sure which ‘the fuck’ you were referring to so I tried to cover all of the bases of what you could be hinting at. Did I help?”

“What the shit?” Katsuki asked, falling to his knees. Shouto took a measured step out of the circle and Katsuki shrieked, scrambling back. “Don’t fucking come near me!”

“Ok,” Shouto complied and moved back to stay in the circle. The blonde relaxed, letting his head fall backwards.

“You’re gonna answer my questions and you’re not gonna fucking move, ok?”

Shouto shrugged. “Sure.”

“The hell did you mean ‘connected’?”

“To an extent, you can feel my emotions and I can sense yours. But that largely depends on the contract and the bond between the contractor and the demon, we may not be able to at all. I’m a bit unsure myself, to be honest,” he tilted his head to the side in consideration. “This is my first proper contract.”

“Fan-fucking-tastic.” Katsuki ground out. “You don’t even know what you’re doing! Great!”

“It's not great, instead it is quite the contrary.”

“I was being sarcastic, genius!” Katsuki yelled, his face twisted with anger but this wasn’t like Shouto’s father’s, instead it reminded him of the time one of his older sisters, he couldn’t remember which, they’d blurred together after a while, had tried to tame one of the Earthen puppies.

“I’m sorry for not understanding your sarcasm.”

“Don’t apologize!” Katsuki nearly screamed and Shouto felt the beginnings of a headache start to surface at the back of his mind. “Ok, ok.” he breathed out and it reminded Shouto of a horse. “How do I get rid of you?”

Shouto blinked. “You don’t? I’m not actually sure, as I mentioned before I’ve never been summoned. I wasn’t even sure I had a summoning circle. My father would never allow it if he knew. I do actually have something I'm meant to be doing-”

“So I can’t make you leave.”

Shouto opened his mouth to disagree with him but quickly closed it when he realised he was right. “Basically.”

Katsuki dropped his head onto his knees. “This is so shit,” he moaned. “Why me?”

Shouto opened his mouth to answer but the blonde glared at him and he decided not to speak. They sat in silence for a few moments before the blonde pushed himself up and walked over to the other boy, looking him up and down.

“Give me my book back,” he commanded and Shouto obeyed. “Now then…”

Shouto straightened under his appraising gaze, feeling like he was back in training with his father rather than doing his duty in the world like he was meant to.

“Show me what the fuck you can do.”

 

The door shut almost silently behind him and he relaxed, glad to finally be back after the seemingly neverending day he’d had, punctuated by thoughts of the blonde. The hints of a presence brushed against him and he felt the hairs on the back of neck stand on end. He quickly muttered a defensive spell and the presence disappeared, hopefully taking the hint.

“Katsuki, I’m home!” Hitoshi called and he heard several loud thumps and what sounded like a vase smashing against the floor from across the house before he saw Katsuki racing down the stairs.

“Welcome back!” the blonde yelled before collapsing against the other in a tight hug. He looked up at the taller boy, his eyes twinkling with mirth. “I’d thought you’d gotten lost dumbass.” Hitoshi dismissed his worries with a quick kiss, grinning at the way Katsuki melted into the brief touch.

“I’m fine,” he assured him, pulling him closer. “I missed you.” Katsuki let out a pleased hum.

“Of course you did, I’m fucking perfect.” Hitoshi frowned, noticing the small remnants of magic floating in the air, small lights clinging to the blonde. He let out a controlled burst of his own energy, watching the lights disappear under the force of his own power. He’d need to tighten up his charms to keep the blonde from getting into any danger, there was enough magic in the world without him having to deal with it following him home.

“How was your day?” he asked him, watching Katsuki’s nose scrunch up.

“Boring. I finished my book,” he glanced up the stairs and Hitoshi followed his gaze only to see nothing, though the feeling of something being off flickered across his mind briefly. He dismissed it. “Did you do anything fun?”

Hitoshi shrugged, focusing back on the blonde. “How could I have fun when I was too busy missing you?” he smiled, brushing their noses together. Katsuki leaned back but there was red trailed across his cheeks.

“You’re such a fucking sap,” Katsuki protested but he sighed out when Hitoshi’s arms wrapped around him to make sure he didn’t fall. Hitoshi smiled softly down at him, the sight of the blonde putting all of his stress to rest. Katsuki smiled back at him and Hitoshi’s heart felt like it was going to burst, red eyes meeting his without question, the feeling of being taken for exactly what he was still somewhat foreign to him despite the number of years he’d spent with the blonde. “What did you actually do today?”

“Nothing important,” he shrugged.

Katsuki pouted stubbornly. “You’ve got to do fucking something all day. Why can't you tell me about it?”

“I don’t want to make you worry,” Hitoshi whispered, pressing his lips against the other's hair, enjoying the way the blonde spikes brushed against his nose. “It doesn’t matter.”

“I don’t fucking need protecting,” Katsuki protested. “Just tell me!”

“No,” Hitoshi answered, uninterested in having the same argument again. “I don’t want to have to refuse you Katsuki but I care too much about you.” he nudged the other’s cheek with his hand, brushing against it with his knuckles. “You know that.”

“I’m not fucking made of glass,” Katsuki muttered, pushing his hand away. “I can take care of myself.”

Hitoshi frowned as the room seemed to get colder but he couldn’t sense anything else’s presence beside from him and the blonde. “I don’t want to have to leave that up to chance though. What if you aren’t as strong as you think you are? What’ll I do then?”

“Fucking man up and get over yourself hopefully.” Katsuki frowned, poking the other. “I don’t see what it is you think I need protecting from.”

Hitoshi sighed, resting his head against the other’s shoulder. “Give me some time ok? I’ll think about it.”

Katsuki groaned but lightened up quickly. “Can I read another of your books? They’re always more interesting than mine.”

Hitoshi smiled indulgently at him. “Of course.” Katsuki grinned, moving to run back up the stairs to Hitoshi’s study. The taller boy grabbed his arm and Katsuki groaned, turning to face him.

“What?”

“I love you,” Hitoshi reminded him.

“I love you too pisshead,” Katsuki sneered at him, sprinting up the steps.

 

“Are you the one Katsuki calls Hitoshi?” the voice made him jump and he whirled around to see a tall boy with a glowing blue eye staring at him from down the deserted hallway. He stepped forward into the light revealing two-toned hair and a scar that stretched across the left side of his face.

The power he radiated made Hitoshi immediately suspicious but the casual way he used the blonde’s name made him a potent threat. Demon, Hitoshi finally settled on, his mind reeling through the possibilities and the answer left him terrified. What was a demon doing with Katsuki?

“My name is Todoroki.”

“The hell’s a Todoroki doing here? I haven’t done anything wrong.”

“My father didn’t send me if that’s what you’re referring to.” Hitoshi visibly relaxed. “I came because I wanted to.”

“And the hell did you want to?” Hitoshi asked again, reaching out his magic and breathing out when he sensed Katsuki still asleep in their room.

“Katsuki summoned me approximately three months ago.”

Hitoshi froze.

“I was concerned about his high grasp of magic despite his level and came to the conclusion he had been exposed to magic in the past. My brother informed me of a psychic with a blonde partner and I came to the conclusion that the said psychic and source of Katsuki’s high understanding of magic was you. Am I wrong?”

“No.” Hitoshi groaned, the pieces coming together so easily he wondered how he’d missed it, Katsuki’s sudden interest in his private library, him disappearing off to the gardens more and more and the consistently cold temperatures. “I’m such an idiot.”

“You are not an idiot. I tend to find psychics are very smart.”

Hitoshi raised an eyebrow. “God, Katsuki must hate you.”

“I will admit that at the start we were not the best of friends, no. But I’d like to think we’ve gotten closer.”

Hitoshi sighed. “Follow me.”

They made their way to the shorter boy’s office and Hitoshi tried to ignore the distinct posture of Todoroki’s that seemed to scream that he knew exactly where they were going and that he’d been there many times before.

Hitoshi poured two glasses of wine and settled into a chair, the leather settling around his body comfortingly. Neither of them moved to touch the glasses. "Why are you here now?"

Todoroki sat down, the old armchair letting out plumes of dust, leaning forwards until his elbows were rested on his knees. "I believe I mentioned Katsuki's affinity for magic. I am worried about the effects it could have on his body." Hitoshi's eyes narrowed. "I am very strong and he has to harness a lot of power in one sitting. I am convinced that when I have to use my full power, the stress it will put his body under will kill him."

"Do you have to use your full power?" Hitoshi asked, his voice too calm for the situation and it put Todoroki on edge.

"I will soon. I have a… job, for lack of a better word. And I cannot put it off any longer, despite the part of me that is telling me too. I do not..." he faltered and Hitoshi leaned back in his chair, watching him struggle for words. "I do not want him to die." They locked gazes.

"How could you save him?"

"You can't. Demon contracts will always kill their host, no matter how long you put it off for. The extent of my power simply means that Katsuki will die sooner rather than later. I thought I should let you know.” The desk cracked in half ominously, papers falling to the floor. The purple eyes that were observing him from the other side of the room were still too calm.

“When do you have to fulfil your 'job'?” Hitoshi asked him, a discarded glass of wine lying on the floor, the stream of red steadily dripping onto the antique rug. Neither of them stopped to move it.

“Soon.”

The desk collapsed completely and Todoroki eyed the splintered pieces of wood. "That's not an answer.”

“I will have to live with what I’ve done to him. That will be my punishment. But I wasn’t the one who let him summon me.”

“Excuse me?” Hitoshi demanded. “Are you blaming me?”

“Yes.”

“You aren’t the immortal one here!” Hitoshi exploded and the window fell in, glass shattering against the floor. Todoroki sensed Katsuki waking up in the other wing and it was clear Hitoshi noticed it too as he ran a hand through his hair and tried to control his anger. “You will only have to live with what you’ve done until an angel stabs you in your rotten heart. You won’t live forever.”

The demon shrugged and even the simple action filled Hitoshi with rage. “Fate’s a strange thing. I could end up living longer than you do.”

 

Katsuki faltered at the top of the stairs, the smooth velvet floors cushioning his steps as he slowly made his way down, his gaze fixed on Hitoshi’s. The candles around them twisted towards the pair and Katsuki couldn’t make out the far corners of the large hall even as he squinted. Hitoshi offered him his hand when he reached the bottom and Katsuki took it, latching onto any sense of familiarity the other boy could offer him.

The air got thicker but Katsuki pushed the suffocating feeling down, losing himself in the warmth of the other’s embrace, despite the cold of his skin, like someone had spread an ice-covered knife over his bones, the iciness that had been familiar before now threatening to overwhelm him. Hitoshi pushed his head down and Katsuki obediently leant his head against the taller boy’s shoulder.

“Where were you Katsuki?” the taller boy murmured and the blonde clenched his eyes shut, wanting to prolong the pleasant feelings for just a moment longer. The purple haired boy swayed slightly and a piano began, the sounds emerging from the overwhelming darkness of one of the corners, playing a melody Katsuki had never heard before. “I’m worried about you.” his voice was full was of a quiet melancholy and Katsuki knew better than to brush off his concerns.

The blonde swallowed, joining him in the smooth motions, following his steps as he led him around the ballroom in a basic waltz. “I was reading.”

“That doesn’t answer my question.”

“I was in the garden.”

Hitoshi hummed, seemingly satisfied and Katsuki relaxed into his hold as the music picked up. The blonde looked at the corner where the notes were coming from but Hitoshi turned his chin back to him, the inches between them feeling like miles. “Look at me Katsuki.” The blonde obeyed and met violet eyes that looked at him like he was an old instrument that had just had the dust wiped off.

“What’s happening?” the blonde whispered without thinking and the purple eyes hardened, his hands digging into the blonde’s waist and hand. Hitoshi leaned closer and Katsuki drew back only to be caged in by the arms snaking around his body.

They continued to dance and Hitoshi whirled them around in circles, the lights of the candles seemingly moving with them, never letting them step into the dark. Katsuki closed his eyes, his thoughts relaxing for the first time in what felt like months. The cold that had started to follow him around the house finally retreated back into the shadows and the rare feeling of warmth settled through his body.

“Please don’t ask me questions Katsuki. I don’t know how to answer them and-” his voice caught, cracking unnaturally and Katsuki froze as he watched the pools of violet disappear into a thin sheen of tears. “I love you Katsuki, alright?” the blonde nodded, unsure what to do, tightening his grip on the other’s shoulder in support. Hitoshi smiled at him but the tears that pricked his vision made the blonde dissolve into a mess of colours.

Katsuki brought up a hand to brush the tears away, cupping the taller boy’s cheek. “Talk to me Hitoshi.” Unwanted thoughts started to circle through the purple-haired boy’s mind and he froze briefly before carrying on the dance, not trusting his legs to hold him up any longer if he wasn’t moving.

“I love you,” Hitoshi promised, bringing his lips to the other’s. The blonde’s mouth was cold and it felt oddly like kissing marble, like one of the stone busts that littered the various studies had come to life. The perfectly placed white blonde hair and his pale skin did nothing to dispel the effect. Hitoshi’s eyes met fiery ones and he felt memories of Katsuki start to bombard him, everything he would lose glaring him in the face.

“What’s going on Hitoshi?” the blonde asked, fear racking his body. “Why are you crying? I don’t know what to do.”

The taller boy kissed his forehead and Katsuki’s eyes fluttered closed. “You don’t have to do anything. This is all my fault. I should have never left you alone.” Hitoshi’s eyes darted to the piano and a faint blue eye stared back at him, the figure absentmindedly waving his finger to make the various strings of the piano shiver and dip under the invisible force he was almost effortlessly exerting over them as he leaned against the wall.

“I don’t understand,” the blonde whispered. “Please.”

Cold started to filter through the room and Hitoshi shivered, more tears emerging from the violet. “It's not your fault,” he murmured, bringing their foreheads together. “I love you.”

“Hitoshi…”

“I love you,” the other boy pressed.

“I love you too,” the words tasted foreign on his tongue like he hadn’t said them in centuries.

 

“Yo pissface!”

Shouto turned, briefly wondering how his life had come to this point where he would actually respond to that name. “Hello, Katsuki.”

“I almost missed you shithead!” the blonde enthusiastically greeted him. “The fuck were you?”

“Busy,” the boy brushed off the other's concerns. “How’s the snow coming along?”

“It's pissing hard, that’s how it's going!” the blonde groaned theatrically, flopping down onto the bench next to him. “I can’t get it to settle.”

Shouto nodded pensively. “I see. To keep it at the temperature you want, you need to focus your energy on the way-”

Katsuki tuned out, leaning back against the wood, the cold that had settled in his veins thawing slightly in the sunlight. Belatedly he realised Shouto had stopped talking. “That sounds like a pain in the ass,” he responded and relaxed when Shouto rolled his eyes and continued.

“And that’s why the penguins are going extinct.”

“I guess,” the blonde shrugged, his eyes unfocused.

Shouto sighed. “Katsuki do you want to get married?”

“Ugh, fuck off.” his eyes were still cloudy. Shouto was almost impressed at how well was able to create neutral responses but it didn’t overwrite his concern for the blonde.

Eventually, he stopped talking, just sitting with the blonde instead, the future clear in both of their minds.

Shouto glanced at him and wondered what the blonde could have been if they’d never met. If it was this hard for him, he wondered how hard it was for Shinsou. One thought kept pressing at the back of his mind and he let it run around his head freely.

I’m sorry.

He didn’t voice it.

 

“Katsuki?”

The blonde yawned and sat up, lighting a candle and watching the flames cascade over the room. “Shouto?” the taller boy was standing by his shut door, staring down at his hands. They looked like they were covered in a shining gold substance and when Katsuki blinked it didn’t disappear into his sleep-clouded mind.

“I’ve done something bad,” the boy admitted, clutching his hands close to his chest. “I’ve done something really-”

“Shouto.” the blonde interrupted and the boy met his gaze, the terror he’d been radiating almost disappearing at the sight of the blonde. “What happened?”

“I killed him Katsuki. I killed him and I don’t-”

“Breathe,” the blonde commanded, getting up from the bed and rushing over to him. He smoothed his hands over the other boy’s until they stopped trembling. “It’s gonna be ok, alright? It’s going to be fine.”

He waited for the other’s breathing to even out.

“What happened?”

“I killed him Katsuki. But…” he met Katsuki’s gaze and the look in the heterochromatic eyes made the blonde shiver. “My power, you can’t-”

“Shut up.” Katsuki interrupted, already knowing where this was going. “How long do I have?”

“I don’t know,” the demon confessed and he pulled the blonde into a desperate hug. “I don’t know how long until you die.” he spat out the last word but once he’d said it he visibly relaxed.

Katsuki breathed out and fisted his hands into the others clothes. “I’m going to go to Hitoshi.” Shouto nodded quickly, letting go.

He moved to stand with the blonde but Katsuki stopped him with a gentle hand pressed to his shoulder.

“Don’t.” the blonde looked down, his hair falling forwards and hiding his face from view. “I don’t… want you there.”

Shouto looked down, wondering if it was possible for a demon to kill itself. “I understand.” No, I don’t, why don’t you want me there? Aren’t we friends? Is it because I killed you? Shouto froze and his head whipped to Katsuki’s retreating form.

Did I kill you?

 

“He will come back.”

Shouto nodded at the words, not expecting the other boy’s company, shifting to make room for him as they both sat on top of one the many hills that littered the estate, watching the sun start to paint the horizon with streaks of light pink and orange as it rose. “Yes.”

“Small benefit of demonic contracts I guess,” Shinsou mused. “He’ll be different though.” Shouto nodded again, not really sure how to respond. “What if I can't find him? What if he’s stillborn? What if he doesn't want anything to do with someone like me this time? Will he even still be gay?”

“Fate’s a strange thing.” Shouto shrugged, leaning back on his hands.

“I don’t want to be alone again,” Shinsou admitted and the unexpected confession bridged the space between them that Shouto didn’t even know was there.

“That’s what my brother said to me before my father burnt half of his face off,” Shouto muttered, mostly to himself and Shinsou whipped his head to him.

“What the fuck? We were having a moment!” he punched the taller boy on the shoulder and Shouto frowned to himself.

“Sorry,” he glanced at the other boy sheepishly. “I’m still not really used to the whole friendship thing.”

“Obviously,” Shinsou rolled his eyes. "Is that what this is?" Shouto shrugged. "Friendship, huh."

They fell into a comfortable silence as the sky bathed them in a faint orange glow and for a moment they both had the same thought, connecting them across the decades that had passed.

Maybe this would be enough to make up for all of the sins.

“I guess…” he glanced at the other boy. “When he comes back, I’ll see you again?”

Shinsou grinned. “You bet your ass you will. I’m not gonna let you get to him first, demon.”

Shouto cocked a brow at him. “Challenge accepted.”

“Creatures will be drawn to him won’t they?” Shouto nodded. “Because of us and the magic imprinted on him.” Shouto nodded again.

“Oops,” he murmured and the other boy chuckled. “Guess we’re just gonna have to protect him,” Shouto shrugged.

“Fate’s a strange fucking thing,” Shinsou laughed to himself, squinting at the red ball that had emerged from the horizon. Shouto snorted.

“You spent too much time with Katsuki. But…”

He lifted a hand to his eyes, shielding them from the light.

“Fate’s a strange fucking thing indeed.”

Chapter Text

A large hand closed over Bakugou’s neck and Jirou’s eyes widened as they trailed to a figure looming over them both, two golden eyes narrowed down at them in anger.

“Shiiiit,” Jirou whispered, her voice echoing unnaturally around the alley that seemed like it was getting narrower by the second. Bakugou tensed, slowly bring a hand to the one around his neck, wincing away when the rough skin felt like fire.

The hand tightened and the thing’s golden eyes crinkled in something like amusement. “You’re so cute Katsuki,” it cooed, the deep voice contrasting against the words. “I wish I didn't have to kill you…” it sighed. “I really am sorry you know,” it pouted, leaning closer to Bakugou until he could make out the hard line of a jaw. The hand twisted and Bakugou felt a burst of agony erupt from the motion, golden light starting to fill the air.

Jirou scrambled away, her hand clenching and unclenching around her phone as she shot off a quick text, watching the scene in front of her, unsure of what to do. Bakugou groaned in pain as more and more light emerged from his neck.

“Ooh, you’re so lucky Katsuki! I want to have Izuku-sama use his powers on me! Ah, I’m so jealous!”

Bakugou used its distraction to his advantage and pushed back against it, the golden light flaring in response, encasing his neck in a band of gold like a choker.

“What the fuck?” Jirou murmured, her eyes fixed on where the light had spilt from, the skin smoking slightly.

The thing pushed back harder against the blonde, knives clasped firmly in both hands, the metal coated in the same glistening substance from before. Bakugou held his ground, darting around the figure as it aimed for him and jumping back from the knives when they got too close, even as his limbs protested at the sudden use, his ankle still partly numb from where it had bitten him before.

He stumbled and it grabbed him, pulling back until he was pressed against its chest, struggling against the iron hold it had on his wrists. He smashed his head back and the golden light bound around his throat made contact with the creature briefly, making a guttural scream erupt from its throat, dropping Bakugou. The blonde limped away from it as the thing began to shrink again, back into the form of a girl.

“You will pay for that Katsuki,” she promised, her eyes full of anger, the playful lust from before completely gone. She lunged for him, knife outstretched and he dodged, veering away from her.

“Tea Girl,” Bakugou snapped. “Little help would be nice.”

Jirou jumped, not even thinking to protest the name. “Right!” she muttered an enchantment and blue light started to emerge from her hands, mixing into the air and leaving thin strands around them like strings. “ Arcesso flammas.

Blue fire flickered out of the strings and the golden-eyed girl frowned. “Since when did he lend his power to witches .” she spat out the final word like it was an insult and from the way the shorter girl winced, Bakugou guessed it was. The blonde girl smirked, brushing a hand against the flames, sighing blissfully when they warped around her skin, purposefully avoiding her.

“What?” Jirou asked, confused as the flames around the blonde’s hand flickered out.

“I’m on a no-kill list witch.” she cast an appraising look at the other girl before grinning at her. “Besides, are you really that desperate?”

“Shut up!” Jirou yelled, the flames rising, smoke pouring out of the strings and filling the space with a dense fog.

Bakugou tried to escape the smoke but the band around his neck wouldn't let him move away from it, keeping him locked in place and powerless to help. He began to cough as it grew, trying to cover his nose with Kirishima’s jacket but the smoke seemed to flicker through the leather like it wasn’t even there.

The blonde girl jumped over to him and Bakugou scrambled back, the band burning in protest. She raised an eyebrow as she saw the discomfort on his face, eyes flicking down to the golden light. “Well, that’s weird.”

A flame whipped past her and she danced to the side, cutting through it with one of her knives, the flame immediately sputtering out when it made contact with the shimmering substance.

“Oh piss off!” Jirou cursed, seeing the flame flicker out. The other girl laughed at her but there didn’t seem to be any actual ill will.

“Look, I don't actually want to fight you,” Jirou lunged at her and she side-stepped it, hitting her with the end of her knife, avoiding smearing the poison over her skin. “Any friend of his is a friend of mine.”

“What are you talking about?” Jirou pleaded, her eyes betraying her fear.

“And I don't make it a habit to associate with witches.” the blonde girl continued, looking her up and down. “Especially witches who form contracts. What did he even see in you?”

Bakugou watched the two of them, trying to understand what they were talking about. Something about their conversation beckoned to him, tugging at memories he didn’t know existed. He shivered, suddenly cold among the flames and smoke, imaginary ice racing through his veins.

Jirou fell to her knees and the blonde girl tilted her head at her. Jirou’s eyes met Bakugou's and the blonde was taken aback by the sheer fear in them. For a moment it felt like she was speaking to Bakugou as well. “Please don’t talk about it.”

The blonde girl sucked in a sympathetic breath. “I hope you got what you wanted,” she pulled a face. “Even if you are a witch.”

Jirou smiled sadly. “I hope so too.”

A large wolf barreled into the blonde girl and she choked, the breath shoved out of her lungs.

“Oh thank God,” Jirou sighed out, falling back onto the ground, her magic exhausted.

The wolf growled down at the blonde girl and Toga flicked her eyes from it to Bakugou, whose eyes were fixed on the beast. Slowly, the golden light disappeared, dispersing into the air and leaving behind the faint thrum of magic.

“I was wondering when you would show up,” Jirou murmured, pushing herself up onto her elbows to watch the wolf. It cast her an exasperated look and she grinned at it. “Sorry about the ominous text, I kinda panicked.”

It rolled its eyes and turned to Bakugou, one of his front paws clasped over the blonde’s girls throat as she watched the exchange gleefully.

“Kirishima?” Bakugou asked, the red eyes eerily familiar. The wolf nodded, never breaking eye contact. Bakugou groaned. “Oh for fuck’s sake.”

The wolf at least had the decency to look guilty.

“Why me?” the blonde asked, cradling his head in his hands. “What the fuck?”

“How are you going to get rid of the shifter?” Jirou asked and the wolf made a vague motion that could have been a shrug.

“Why don’t you just holy water her?” a voice from the mouth of the alleyway cut in lazily and Bakugou watched a lanky boy with limp black hair make his way over to them, carrying a handful of clothes. “Sorry I’m late, Ei fucking sprinted here.” the wolf shot him a betrayed look but the new boy only shrugged. “Just telling the truth man.”

Jirou lifted her fingers in a half-wave. “Hey Sero.” he nodded at her.

Belatedly, Bakugou recognized him as the black-haired guy that had kicked him in the stomach before.

“Bakugou,” Black Hair greeted. “You’re still alive. That’s nice.” he turned back to Kirishima, the wolf still semi-awkwardly crouched over the girl. “What’s the plan boss?”

Kirishima nodded at the clothes Black Hair was holding and the boy saluted him, bringing them over to the wolf and ruffling his fur.

“Look away,” Jirou murmured to Bakugou and he turned to her, confused.

“What-”

“Ah, shit that was scary!” Kirishima’s voice filtered across the space between them and Bakugou’s head whipped to him only to see him entirely naked, still perched on the blonde girl who was shamelessly eyeing his cock. “Don’t do that to me Jirou! I thought you were gonna die,” he pulled on a t-shirt and met Bakugou’s eyes, a happy grin plastered over his face. “I’m really glad you’re safe Bakugou. Sero help me out?”

Sero grabbed the blonde girl as Kirishima got dressed, Jirou pointedly looking at a brick on the other side of the alley. Abruptly, Bakugou realized he hadn't turned away the entire time the redhead was putting his clothes back on and from the look on his face, the fact hadn’t escape Kirishima’s notice either.

“What’s the plan with Goldilocks?” Sero asked and the blonde girl winked up at him. He raised an eyebrow. Her eyes widened in realisation and she leant closer to him, sniffing slightly at his wrist.

“Oh my God! Who isn’t in a contract here?” she asked, wrinkling her nose.

“What?” Kirishima frowned. “It's only-”

“She’s probably trying to get us to fight so she can leave,” Jirou interrupted him, her response a little too quick to be natural. The blonde girl’s grin grew.

“Congratulations alpha. You’re gonna die for good!”

Kirishima turned back to her. “Look, I don’t know what-”

“Dude, Jirou’s right. She’s just tryna get us to fight.” Sero tightened his grip on her hands. “Demons are all assholes.”

“That is rich coming from a guy in a contract with one!” Toga protested and Bakugou turned to Sero in surprise, trying to read the look on his face but the best he could come up with was a blend of annoyance and exasperation.

“For the last time, I know it was stupid but I was drunk and high at the same time and that is never a good combination and one thing led to another. How the hell was I supposed to know she’d end up fucking bound to me when I beat her?” he spoke like he’d had to relay this story many times and from the matching smiles on Kirishima and Jirou’s faces, he probably had.

“Beat her?” Toga asked, tilting her head in contemplation. “So a lower level demon. What did you beat her in? Murder? A fight?”

Sero flushed and Jirou looked down, her eyes clenched like she was trying not to laugh. “Rock paper scissors.”

Toga’s mouth fell open. “You’re shitting.”

“I was drunk and she said she could beat me and I said she couldn’t and it turned out I was right and she couldn't beat me and maybe I now have a contract with her! It's not that big of a deal.”

Kirishima snorted and the sound made Jirou’s laughs slip through until they were both chortling against each other.

“Shut up,” Sero muttered.

“Right, right.” Jirou looked up, her face flickering with concentration. “Should we exorcise her?” she asked, staring at the blonde girl and she gasped, a flicker of fear worming its way onto her face.

“No! I’ll leave, I’ll leave.” she pushed Sero off of her and he let her go, watching warily as she stalked over to Bakugou. She squatted down until she was eye-level with the other blonde, leaning in until her lips were brushing his ear and the small rush of poison made him shiver. “Don’t be an ass. Keep the witch’s contract a secret, yeah? You know what it was like.” Her voice was barely more than a whisper and Bakugou already knew that no one else had heard what she’d said.

He looked down at his hands, the invisible ice from before rearing up again and with a start he realised that he did vaguely know what it was like.

She pulled back and nodded at him sagely, speaking at a normal volume. “Now that was an alpha cock if I’ve ever seen one,” she clapped a hand onto Bakugou’s shoulder. Sero’s eyebrows were raised so much they were in danger of disappearing into his hairline. “Lube will be your friend.”

With that, she left, sauntering out of the alleyway, only pausing to blow a kiss at them. Bakugou watched her go, the strange grey mud starting to roll down her fading silhouette.

Sero finally broke the shocked silence that had descended over them. “What?”

Bakugou heard the club before he saw it, the loud music echoing around the streets. Kirishima’s hand was still around his wrist from where he’d clasped it after the incident when he was checking to make sure Bakugou was alright and had conveniently forgotten to remove it after the blonde had assured him he was fine. The blonde squinted up at the sky, making out the faint outline of the nearly full moon imprinted against the steadily darkening sky.

The strong grip on his wrist tightened slightly and Bakugou looked to the side, meeting Kirishima’s concerned gaze. He shrugged in answer to the unspoken question and Kirishima’s hold loosened but he didn't look fully convinced.

“I’m fucking fine Shitty Hair,” Bakugou muttered. “Stop being so fucking annoying.”

Kirishima looked down, removing his hand guiltily and Bakugou hated the part of him that told him to get the redhead to hold his hand again, properly this time.

Jirou and Sero had been chatting behind them the entire trip, something about cats and herbs but Bakugou had tuned out when they started talking about constellations, the constant stream of Latin words confusing him.

“Why are we going here instead back to your house?” Bakugou asked and he hated how soft his voice sounded but the fondness in Kirishima’s eyes as he looked at him made it a bit better.

“We need to meet back up with Denki and Mina, besides,” he shrugged. “This is usually the night we go to the club anyway.”

“What night is it?” Bakugou asked, suddenly unsure of the answer.

“It’s Saturday.” Kirishima looked to the side, his eyes clouded with responsibility. “I’m sorry, your internal clock must be pretty messed up.”

Bakugou hummed in agreement, a familiar song blaring over the street making him subconsciously relax. “I know this song.”

Kirishima pulled a face like he was trying to remember something. “I don’t. I don’t really come to these places for the music.”

Bakugou scoffed. “I’ll bet. Let me guess, you’re the type of guy all the chicks fucking dig.”

Kirishima chuckled, running a hand through his hair. “That just makes it more annoying when I have to turn them all down.”

Bakugou laughed in disbelief. “Oh, piss off. I was joking, who’d’ve known you would have actually had game.”

Kirishima grinned at him and the blonde was caught off guard by the sheer honesty in his expression. “Maybe when you get to know me you’ll get to find out more.” Their eyes met and Bakugou let his dart down to the redhead’s lips before dancing back up to the redhead’s gaze.

“How would someone get to know you?”

Kirishima leaned in slightly and the chatter behind them died out, Jirou and Sero falling silent. “Maybe get rescued by me once or twice?”

Bakugou rolled his eyes but they immediately found their way back to the redhead’s. “And then?”

“Maybe let me take them to a club. Dance a bit, have a drink. Take them home.”

Bakugou nodded, his throat dry. “What would you do then?”

Kirishima exhaled, his face close enough that the breath ghosted over Bakugou's lips. “Want to find out?”

There was a crash from behind them and a muffled ‘shit’ that sounded like it came from Sero, then a slap that sounded like Jirou had whacked the taller boy. “Oh, nice one Sero,” she muttered.

The sounds were quickly hushed but it was enough for the two boys to realise just how close they were. Kirishima darted back and Bakugou looked down, kicking at the pavement.

Jirou sighed as she realised the moment had been lost. “Right, we’re nearly there, let’s just hurry up.” she walked past them, dragging Sero with her. The taller boy mouthed a quick ‘sorry’ to Kirishima and Bakugou pretended he didn’t notice it.

The rest of the walk was spent in an awkward silence that neither of them wanted to acknowledge.

They had quickly met up with the rest of Kirishima’s group, Mina pointedly avoiding Bakugou’s gaze and he wasn’t interested in her excuses. Mustard Hair had jumped up to the bar, bringing back a round of shots that they’d all, bar Bakugou, helped themselves too, knocking them back as one.

“You gonna drink anything?” Jirou asked him, knocking their shoulders together. Bakugou gave her a pointed look.

“Obviously not.”

She shrugged and took another sip of her Scotch nonchalantly. Bakugou tried to pretend he wasn’t intimidated. “Mina panicked, you know that right?”

Bakugou clenched his fist under the table. “Didn’t seem like panic to me.”

He turned to Kirishima who immediately broke off his conversation with Sero to look at the blonde.

“Oi, I thought werewolves could only transform during a full moon,” Bakugou asked.

“I’m an alpha, so I can transform whenever,” Kirishima answered, rubbing the back of neck slightly.

“What the fuck does ‘alpha’ mean? That blonde girl mentioned it earlier.”

“Biology lesson!” Mustard Hair burst in and Kirishima slapped the back of his head, cheeks flushing red.

“No!”

Bakugou blinked.

Jirou sighed and tugged him over to the dance floor, Bakugou reluctantly following her, still wary of the pink-haired girl who was dancing a few steps away, taking a step back every time she stepped forward. Thankfully, she either didn’t seem notice or just didn’t care. The bass picked up and Jirou began to stamp her feet to the music.

“What even is she?” Bakugou asked, tilting his head to indicate the pink-haired girl and Jirou grinned at him.

“I knew you’d give in.” she twirled to the beat, her feet moving in a complicated pattern that looked she was mapping out letters onto the dance floor. “She’s a demon, the one Sero has a contract with.”

“The one who lost at rock paper scissors?”

Jirou laughed, throwing her head back and the sound relaxed him. “Bet that made her a lot less intimidating.”

Bakugou scoffed and Jirou was willing to bet he was about to say something along the lines of ‘I wasn’t intimidated’ before Mina whirled past them, heading back to their table to drag Sero out to join her and the two quickly found their own rhythm, dancing around each other.

Bakugou watched them for a moment, noticing the way Sero easily leaned into her personal space and she welcomed him, rolling her shoulders back and forth in time to the song.

“They aren’t dating,” a voice by his ear stated and Bakugou jumped, whirling to see Mustard Hair drinking from a glass full of a suspicious pink liquid sagely. The mini umbrella floating in the cocktail hit the other blonde’s chin but he ignored it, eyes still fixed on the duo. He glanced sideways to meet Bakugou’s gaze. “It's Britney bitch.”

“Uh…”

‘Britney’ snorted. “Jk, jk. I’m-” he paused, his eyes full of thought before he recovered. “Ok, I don’t need to piss. Kaminari Denki.”

Bakugou slowly nodded, unsure of how to react, belatedly realising Jirou had disappeared back to the bar.

“Jaws sent me over here to speak to you and relay my wis- oh fuck-” he started to fall but caught himself. He whipped his head to Bakugou. “Wisdom.”

“The hell’s Jaws?”

“Who, what, how, when, where?” Kaminari frowned at himself. “Wait no, when doesn't really make sense. Who, what, how, where?”

Bakugou blinked. “Um, all of them?”

Kaminari violently jerked up a finger and Bakugou stumbled back. “Who!” he announced. “Kirishima Eijirou, also known by his alias, Prince Charming!” Bakugou frowned but Kaminari continued, holding up a second finger. “What! A classic film released in 1975 by Steven Spielberg about sharks!” he paused to cough before turning back to the other blonde. “How!” he clapped a hand onto Bakugou’s shoulder making the blonde jolt forward. “You know, I’m really not sure, he’s been all huffy since we got you-”

“I’m not a pet!”

Kaminari hummed. “Debatable. But he’s just been so different!” he sighed dramatically, leaning on Bakugou. “You know I really don’t know what to do with him.” For a surreal moment, Bakugou was reminded of a mother trying to come to terms with the fact her son had started wanting his sandwich cut in triangles rather than squares. “Because I know he likes you, hell we all know he likes you but he’s being all stupid about it.”

Bakugou looked down, pointedly ignoring the one neon pink heel Kaminari was wearing (on his other foot he was just wearing what looked like an ugg boot). “Oh.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Kaminari nudged his shoulder. “He likes the chase.” he winked at the taller boy and Bakugou groaned at him.

“Why should I even trust you? Last time we met I’m pretty sure you kicked me.”

“Haha, yeah,” the blonde laughed. “Good times.”

Excuse me-

“But no, don’t worry about it, dude! He totally digs you, like stays-up-at-night-staring-at-the-moon digs you he wiggled his eyebrows. “And damn can I see why. You’ve got the whole bad boy thing going for you! And Ei loves making the bad boys realise he’s so much worse,” he leaned in and Bakugou leaned back. “Besides, wolves have good intuition when it comes to mates. Trust me.”

“But-”

“Where!” the blonde clapped his shoulder, calling Bakugou’s attention back to him. “Literally a metre away,” he pointed to their table where said redhead was gaping at them. Bakugou froze, slowly turning red.

“Kaminari,” Kirishima ground out.

“Yeah, bro?”

“I’m going to kill you.”

Kaminari sucked in a breath through his teeth, slowly stepping back. “On that note, I think it's time for me to go!” Kirishima started to stand up and Kaminari walked a bit quicker. “Enjoy my wisdom dude.” Kirishima lunged for him and Kaminari jumped back into the crowded dance floor, pausing to flash Kirishima a thumbs up. For a second Bakugou could see him through the crowd as he downed the rest of his drink and disappeared.

“Sorry, I didn’t think he would-”

“Was he telling the truth?” Kirishima froze, glancing at Bakugou.

“What would you do if I said yes?”

Bakugou tilted his head from side to side. “Probably try to find out what happens after you take someone home.” Kirishima flushed violently and Bakugou snorted. “Attractive,” he muttered.

“Hey!” Kirishima murmured, punching his shoulder lightly.

“I was being serious but I guess you can still hit me.” their gazes met and Kirishima felt the music fade into nothing, all of his senses focused on the smaller boy in front of him. “What?” Bakugou asked, suddenly self-conscious under the redhead’s gaze.

“You’re gorgeous.” the redhead admitted.

Bakugou looked down, a smile tugging at the edges of his lips. “What the fuck ever,” he muttered before pulling the other boy into a kiss.

Kirishima froze, motionless under the steady feeling of the blonde’s lips against his. Bakugou hesitated at the lack of reciprocation and moved back, his shoulders sagging.

“Sorry, I shouldn’t have-”

Kirishima caught the rest of his words in a kiss, ducking his head to capture the blonde’s lips, again and again, the rest of the club disappearing into the corner of his vision.

“I should have done that the day we found you,” Kirishima whispered and Bakugou stared up at him, face flushed.

“Now what?” he asked, his question almost lost in his own thoughts.

Kirishima shrugged. “You find out what happens when I take people home?”

Bakugou’s mouth fell open, suddenly dry. “Ok.”

Kirishima smirked at him, the air around them shifting to something Bakugou couldn’t put his finger on. “Just ok?” he fisted a hand in the front of Bakugou’s shirt and tugged upwards. “I don’t know if it's worth it if all I’m getting is an ok.”

Bakugou’s head fell into his shoulder. “You’re such an asshole,” he muttered, muffled into the thin material. “The hell do you want me to say?”

“Hmm,” Kirishima teased and Bakugou was reminded of Kaminari’s words from earlier.

“Ei loves making the bad boys realise he’s so much worse.”

“What about ‘please take me home’? That’s not too hard for you is it?” he raised an eyebrow in challenge, smirk widening slightly as Bakugou tilted his head up stubbornly.

“Please take me home then,” he responded and Kirishima’s smirk turned downright predatory.

Bakugou fell back, bouncing slightly on the thick mattress. Kirishima licked his lower lip as the blonde gazed at him with half-lidded eyes already hazy with lust.

“What do you want?” Kirishima asked him, red eyes nearly glowing in excitement. “Tell me what you want me to do.”

Bakugou bit his lip before meeting his gaze. “Make me lose control, I just-”

Kirishima placed a hand over his mouth, not really wanting to hear him admit his relationship. “You want to forget everything. I can do that.”

Bakugou nodded against him, surprised at how well Kirishima was able to read him, I want to forget all about Deku and this shitty situation and all the magic bullshit that keeps cropping up.

Kirishima clenched his jaw. He could definitely make damn sure he forgot about his boyfriend. He slowly removed his hand and Bakugou darted out his tongue to lick at the redhead’s fingers before they pulled away completely.

“Do you know what you’re doing?” Kirishima nearly growled and Bakugou groaned at the sound.

He tugged the redhead onto the bed, wrapping his arms around his neck lazily. “You pussying out Shitty Hair?” Kirishima snarled at him, his teeth sharpening slightly.

“Fuck no.” He licked a stripe up the blonde’s neck before settling on a spot behind his ear, sucking into the pale skin. Bakugou sighed at the sensation, his arms tightening around the other boy.

Kirishima trailed a hand down Bakugou’s chest, hesitating when he reached his waistline. He glanced up at the blonde in question and Bakugou groaned. “Just do it Shitty Hair. I thought you said you’d make me lose control, ” he stressed.

Kirishima grinned, his teeth glinting in the moonlight that filtered through the open window. “Don’t worry pretty boy. I’ll fuck you better than your boyfriend.”

“He’s not my-” Kirishima bit into his neck, sharp teeth easily piercing the skin. Bakugou let his head fall back, complaint forgotten, as he moaned quietly. Kirishima licked over the cut, smearing the droplets of blood that had welled up. He tugged the blonde’s shirt off and Bakugou hissed as the cold air washed over him but it was quickly overwritten by Kirishima nuzzling against his jaw, warm breath ghosting over his skin.

Hands ran over his chest, pointedly ignoring the bite mark the shifter had left and Bakugou shivered, leaning into the firm touches. Kirishima looked him over, enjoying the sight of the half-naked blonde spread out over his bed.

“I’m going to regret this aren’t I?” he whispered and Bakugou stilled, his gaze shifting to the far corner of the dark room. The redhead leant his head against the other boy’s collarbone, smiling wryly at the way his breath hitched. “You’re going to leave again.”

Bakugou scoffed, moving a hand to the redhead’s hair, awkwardly patting the spikes. “Do you really think you should be thinking shit like that pisshead?” he knocked his knuckles against the taller boy’s scalp half-heartedly, finally meeting the red gaze. “I asked you to fuck me Kirishima and I’m expecting you to deliver.” he pulled the wolf into a kiss, licking at his lower lip and grinning when the redhead opened his mouth obediently.

Their tongues met and Bakugou continued, mapping out the redhead’s mouth and smirking at the small moans he got in response. He pulled back, taking pride in the dazed look in Kirishima’s eyes.

“Ok,” the wolf started. “Ok. I’ll fuck you.” He dove back in, licking into the blonde’s mouth and swallowing the sounds he unwillingly released. He bit the blonde’s lip playfully and Bakugou winced as the sharp teeth punctured his skin.

“Shit,” the blonde cursed, his voice already breaking. “Fuck me.”

Kirishima hummed and nudged his cheek with his nose before slowly pushing the blonde’s jeans down, revealing toned thighs that made his mouth water. Without thinking, he ducked down and licked over the outline of Bakugou’s length, glancing up at the blonde. A feeling like pride flickered through him at the red expression on Bakugou’s face, his instincts rewarding him for making the other boy happy.

Carefully he pushed the blonde’s legs open, settling himself between them. “Don’t freak out,” Kirishima murmured against his boxers, bringing his hands to the blonde’s hips as he began to push them up until he could see the clear curve of the blonde’s ass.

Bakugou raised an eyebrow at him but didn’t question it, instead content to stare at the attractive redhead seated between his thighs. Said redhead abruptly removed the blonde’s boxers, shoving them down his legs until he was completely naked in front of the wolf. Kirishima’s gaze swept over him, glimmering slightly in appreciation and Bakugou swallowed, staring down at the boy in apprehension, tugging his lower lip between his teeth. Kirishima met his gaze, red eyes clashing with dark orange. Bakugou felt the strange urge to whimper, suddenly feeling too exposed in front of the fully clothed boy in front of him.

“You look perfect,” the redhead whispered, the words floating through the space between them.

“Whatever,” Bakugou muttered, his voice already breathy with arousal. “Stop talking.”

Kirishima opened his mouth to protest but thought better of it, instead leaning back into the swell of the blonde’s ass, tracing the cleft with his tongue. Bakugou moaned as his head fell back, losing himself in the feeling of the redhead’s tongue licking into his flesh. Bakugou started as Kirishima’s tongue dipped into his hole, pressing against the ring of muscle teasingly.

“Can I?” he asked and Bakugou shivered at the sheer want in his tone.

“Do whatever the fuck you want,” he panted, keening when the tongue slipped into his warmth, licking against his walls firmly. The blonde looked down, his breath catching at the sight of Kirishima’s head pressed against his ass. Slowly he reached a hand down and pushed Kirishima away, fighting back another moan as the redhead licked his lips.

“Problem?” the redhead asked, his eyes full of mirth.

“Fuck me already asshole!” Bakugou commanded and Kirishima frowned until he saw the blonde’s cock, straining against his chest with the tip already dripping with precum.

“You gonna come just from me eating your ass?”

Bakugou spluttered at him, his face flaring a vicious red. “Piss off!”

Kirishima smiled up at him, moving to capture him in a kiss and the movement of the redhead’s lips on his was comforting in a way Bakugou hadn’t experienced in what felt like way too long. He pulled away slightly and when Bakugou met his gaze, the adoration in Kirishima’s gaze caught him off guard.

Kirishima moved back down, never breaking eye contact and Bakugou watched him nuzzle against the blonde’s cock. “You smell amazing,” he praised and Bakugou flushed, stubbornly looking away to avoid eye contact.

“You really are like a fucking dog.”

“Wolf,” Kirishima corrected as he brought his fingers to Bakugou’s mouth. The blonde glared at him, the unspoken question hanging between them and the redhead chuckled. “I don’t have any lube.” Bakugou nearly choked but the other boy’s hand rubbed against his jaw encouragingly. “I can’t fuck you unless you do it,” he reminded him and the blonde groaned.

“Fucking fine.” he wrapped his hand around Kirishima’s, the redhead beaming at the small amount of contact, just because Bakugou was the one who initiated it. Bakugou licked a short trail around the base of his wrist before tugging one of Kirishima’s fingers into his mouth. The wolf sighed at the warmth, settling back to watch the blonde suck on his finger, licking up and down the skin. Wordlessly the redhead pushed another finger into Bakugou’s mouth and the blonde groaned at the intrusion, his throat vibrating slightly around them.

“Shit, that feels good Bakugou,” Kirishima whispered and Bakugou’s cheeks flushed pink at the praise. He pushed his finger further in and the blonde growled in warning but Kirishima continued until his fingers hit the back of the blonde’s throat. He pushed harder and Bakugou pulled back, coughing. He wiped a hand across his mouth.

“What the fuck, asshat?”

“Sorry,” Kirishima laughed. “I just wanted to see what would happen.” he kissed the blonde again, quieting his discomfort. Their lips brushed together and when Kirishima broke the contact the blonde whimpered slightly.

“Now can you fuck me?” he asked, exasperated and Kirishima laughed again, nudging their noses together. Bakugou scrunched his eyebrows at the contact but didn’t actively protest so Kirishima continued, slowly pushing against the blonde’s skin.

The first brush of a spit-slicked finger against his hole made Bakugou jump but he relaxed quickly, leaning into the digit as it rubbed around the tight ring before pushing in, mapping out the blonde’s insides. A second finger quickly joined the first and the blonde shifted slightly in discomfort as Kirishima kissed up his neck, distracting him from the small burn. Soon a third finger pressed against his hole and Bakugou winced as the dry digit started to push in to join the other two. Kirishima hushed his pain by kissing him again, their tongues meeting and the simple action suddenly felt more intimate than anything they’d done before.

Kirishima pulled away from the blond, hushing his protests as he stripped, throwing the clothes over his shoulder, not hearing the thud as they hit the floor, all of his attention focused on Bakugou.

The blonde leant his head back cockily, regarding the other with a lust-filled stare. “Fuck me.”

The redhead growled, long and deep, and like a switch had been suddenly flipped, dove onto the blonde, biting harshly into his shoulder as he tugged his hips up, seating himself between the blonde’s thighs. He rubbed his cock along the blonde’s ass, relishing in the moans he pulled from the other boy.

He pushed into the warmth and Bakugou started, the overwhelming stretch making his eyes water. Kirishima kissed the tears away, his warm breath fanning over Bakugou’s face as he slowly thrust into the heat again and again, every movement making Bakugou keen.

“Fuck,” the blonde cursed, pushing back into the other boy’s movements. Finally, Kirishima brushed against a bundle of nerves and the blonde collapsed against the bed, boneless in the redhead’s hold. His eyes were clenched shut and when Kirishima kissed his forehead it caught him off guard but the pleasant feeling that accompanied it wasn’t entirely unwelcome.

The wolf pressed their foreheads together and Bakugou scoffed at the simple motion but he leant into the comforting weight. “I don’t want you to go,” Kirishima whispered. “I don’t want this to be-”

The blonde kissed him, startling the redhead into silence. “Shut the fuck up. I’m still feeling pretty in control.”

Red eyes sharpened and even when Bakugou turned to the side he could still see them glowing in the dark room. He snapped hips up sharply and Bakugou’s next comment died in his throat as the wolf started up a punishing pace of his hips colliding with the blonde’s own.

Bakugou’s mouth fell open as he let half-finished words and moans spill out, each one rewarding him with another thrust right into the spot that made his vision dissolve into white sparks. A garbled string of curses escaped him and the redhead huffed out a laugh.

“Still in control gorgeous?”

Bakugou clicked his tongue and looked away, the small chuckle the redhead gave him playing on repeat in his mind.

“Can I bite you?” the redhead asked and Bakugou glared at him in exasperation.

“You already have Shitty Hair,” he gestured to his neck where a mess of red and purple had started to form, the imprint of Kirishima’s teeth clear against his pale skin.

Kirishima laughed self-consciously, brushing a hand against the marks with a reverent look on his face, tracing over them. “I meant as I came.”

Bakugou flushed. “Do whatever the fuck you want shithead!”

“Ok then,” Kirishima laughed, pulling his cock out of the blonde completely.

“The fuck? I haven’t come yet fucker-”

Kirishima kissed his complaint away, wrapping a hand around the blonde’s length. “I know babe, I just don’t want to make you bleed.” Bakugou furrowed his eyebrows.

“The hell would you make me bleed?” Kirishima pulled one of his hand down to his own length and Bakugou started when it brushed against a large swell at the base of the redhead’s cock. “What the actual fuck is that?”

Kirishima flushed. “Um, it's for reproduction? Like, uh, you know, babies.”

The blonde blinked.

What.

“I’m gonna bite you now.”

“Wait-”

“Sorry,” the redhead interrupted, sinking his teeth into the junction between Bakugou’s neck and shoulder, blood immediately gathering at the indentations.

The blonde groaned as he came over his chest, still tightly wrapped in Kirishima’s fist. The redhead bit his lip, staring down at the streaks of white before coming himself. Bakugou watched the swell at the base of his cock start to travel upwards before going back into the flesh.

“What the fuck kinda alien shit is that?” Bakugou asked, gaping at it.

“Thanks,” Kirishima rolled his eyes, finding it hard to be offended when the blonde looked so genuinely confused. “It's a knot. Don’t worry, this won’t happen again. I’ve made a mistake and I can’t do that to your boyfriend-”

“I don’t have a boyfriend Shitty Hair. I don’t know what you were talking about before but-”

“Stop lying Bakugou! I just can’t do this to him, Shinsou doesn’t deserve this!”

Bakugou froze and for a moment it felt like the world had tilted, slipping out from under him, everything too bright and too dull at the same time, the seconds slipping by in slow motion. “Who?”

Chapter Text

Shouto shifted slightly, rustling the cheap motel sheets. Izuku bit down a sob at how unfamiliar this all was.

“Izuku?” the taller boy asked. “Are you ok?”

Izuku wiped away the small tears that had gathered at the corners of his eyes. “Yeah, I’m, I just need, want a moment.” he laughed self-deprecatingly at his own struggle, clutching the sheets closer to him. “I’m just really tired.”

“Of what?”

Izuku blinked and the silence between them festered in the slightly warmer than normal air. “Everything,” he admitted.

“I see. I have been… tired for a while now so I think I understand.”

Izuku nodded, the sheets bunching around his body as he turned to face the taller boy, despite the darkness that prevented him from actually seeing him. “Do you want to talk about it?”

Shouto wrinkled his nose even though he knew the other boy could only make out his silhouette. “I would rather not. But I think it would be better for you if you spoke about your problems.”

Izuku nodded in agreement. A smile started to curve up his face but he pushed it down, guilt striking him. “I miss him, um, Kacchan. But I like, uh, spending time with you?” he laughed nervously. “But that just makes me feel bad, because what if he’s having a terrible time? What if he’s dead?”

“He’s not dead.” the certainty in the demon’s voice was almost enough to assure the smaller boy. “If he was dead, Shinsou would have tried to kill us.”

Izuku nodded slowly. “He called you Todoroki.” the silence stretched between them. “Is that your family name? I was just wondering if you wanted me to call you that instead of Shouto as first names can be kind of personal and if you preferred it I could call you by your family name, I wouldn't mind if that made you more comfortable as it isn’t really my, um, place? Cause I don’t really know you that well and I just…” his mumbling tailed off and the other end of the room was quiet. “Shouto?”

There was a small exhale. “I would prefer for you to continue calling me Shouto. I’m not very close to my family.”

“Right. Ok, I can call you Shouto.”

The silence continued with neither of them making a move to break it.  

“Do you know if Kacchan is ok?” Izuku whispered.

Shouto frowned slightly, closing his eyes and trying to sense Katsuki’s aura.

Panic, blind panic then calm. The sensation of someone placing their hand on his shoulder. A yell for someone else. Warm cheeks and cold fingers. He was crying.

Shouto’s eyes widened. “He’s fine.” Mentally, he cursed himself.

“Great,” Izuku relaxed. “I’m really worried, you know? Do you have someone like that?”

“I did.” They were the same person. “They were interesting.”

“Kacchan’s interesting too,” Izuku laughed. Shouto tried not to scream. “We’ve known each other for years.”

Shouto hummed thoughtfully, realising he could use this to find out how Katsuki’s life had been going after he was reborn. “Did you grow up together?”

Izuku perked up at the invitation to talk about the blonde. “Yeah! We were neighbours, he used to make fun of me a lot but as we grew up we kind of became best friends! Kacchan thinks saying ‘best friends’ is kinda lame though.”

“Huh.”

Izuku smiled but it was edged with sadness. “How long until we find him?”

“I don’t know,” Shouto replied, voice calm despite the worries raging in his head. “Soon.”

“He has a test coming up. At least that’s what he told me. Sometimes he lies about things like that, saying he’s staying at the library to study but he’ll go to his job and work extra hours to make more money for us.” Izuku shrugged. “He says his professors are really annoying but I know he wants to do well.”

“What’s he majoring in?”

“Chemistry. His teacher’s called Aizawa Shouta.”

Shouto choked, breaking into a coughing fit. “I’m sorry?”

“Aizawa Shouta? Do you know him?”

“You could say that.” Shouto calmed down enough to take in a breath. “What is with this town?”

Izuku pinched his eyebrows together. “What do you mean? How do you know him?”

“Um. We’re friends.” No, we’re not, why the hell would you say that. “He knows my father.” Ok, that is true.

“Wow, that’s cool! Do you like him?”

Shouto turned to look away from him, shifting over onto his side so he was facing the wall. He heard a rustling meaning Izuku must have copied him, each facing opposite directions on the opposite motel beds. “Yes.” No, his brain screamed at him. “He looked after me when I was a child.” That’s not even half true. Why would you even lie about that?! His brain exploded. Babysitting is a normal human thing, he reasoned with himself. You’re a fucking demon, genius - not a human!

Belatedly, he realised his inner voice sounded a lot like Katsuki. He also realised Izuku was talking.

“- and that’s kind of why Kacchan and I clicked! Don’t you think?”

“Yes,” Shouto agreed, absolutely no idea what he was agreeing to. Izuku’s aura practically screamed happiness though so he figured he must have done something right.

“What are we going to do now?” Izuku asked, his voice warm and trusting.

“I think we should stay in Blue Light, most supernatural activity in this city occurs here and there are a ton of gangs. I think that it's the most likely that one of those gangs took him to lure you into a trap.” Izuku opened his mouth to disagree but Shouto ploughed on. “Your power is a lot greater than I think you realise. Many people will hate you before even meeting you.”

“So we need to hurry?”

Shouto remembered the blur of panic he’d sensed earlier. “Yes. I know a few of the gang leaders through my brother. I suggest we speak to one of them but I don’t think we could do it ourselves.”

“Why not?” Izuku scowled, getting more and more fed up with their lack of options.

“We’re both too recognizable. You can’t conceal your power yet and I look too much like my father for anyone to properly trust me. I could ask my brother but I don’t know if he’ll agree. He’s… free-willed.”

“Why can’t we ask someone to speak to the gangs anonymously?”

Shouto shook his head, his forehead creasing. “It's not worth the risk, not when almost everyone, especially supernatural creatures are usually only loyal to themselves.”

“How come I’ve never heard of any of this? Surely if creatures like you were real everyone would know?”

“No one believes the people who try and tell others. It is easiest to keep your mouth shut and hope the creatures you discovered won’t try and shut you up for good. Most humans who get involved can either handle themselves or die quickly.” Shouto shrugged. “It's that simple.”

“Oh. But I’m not human anymore am I?” Izuku asked, almost afraid of the answer.

Shouto tilted his head from side to side. “Would you say witches are still human? They don’t have non-human blood in them. You house an entity that is, at its core, non-human yet your blood is still very much that of a human.

“You are a human with a very strong power.” Shouto levelled his gaze. “But you are a human nonetheless.”

“So I will either die quickly or learn how to handle myself?” Shouto looked him up and down and the feeling made Izuku shiver.

“I hope it is the latter,” Shouto murmured, his tone sincere. “If it has evolved, you will be, you are the strongest thing on this earth.”

Izuku blinked but Shouto didn't sound like he was lying, his voice was as rational and calm as always. He’d never been the strong one before, that had always been Kacchan’s job and even now he’d been depending on Shouto for everything, regardless of his own power.

“This earth? Is there more than one?”

Shouto smiled wryly. “One would argue hell is its own earth. I would agree.”

Izuku nodded, somewhat overwhelmed. “Will we go there?”

Shouto started. “Hell?” What the fuck is wrong with this kid?

Izuku flushed. Mindlessly, Shouto noted that it was a good look on him. “I was just curious. I don’t want to go there, I was just wondering what it would be like if we did!”

Shouto hummed. “It's hot.”

Izuku’s mouth fell open in disbelief.“Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.”

The shorter boy fell silent and Shouto took the chance to properly observe him. His hair had grown slightly, the curls more untamed than they’d been back at his house. He tried not to snort when he realised the boy hadn’t needed to shave despite being in his late teens. He had a childish face covered in freckles with large eyes that reminded Shouto of forests and when he looked closer he thought he could make out glints of gold, most likely remnants of his sudden acquiring of Soul’s powers.

He wondered how long it would take for the flecks to fade.

 

“Hey father,” Dabi greeted, pausing on the thin metal stairs and the older demon stiffened, clad in an expensive Italian suit, his hand clenching on the steel rail, rings scraping against the metal. “How have you been?”

“Don’t talk to me bastard.” the taller man spat, gaze still focused over the city lights. Dabi continued up until he was standing a few metres away from him.

“How’d you get up here so easily? Even I have to ask Hawks nicely.”

Enji growled at him. “I will remind him not to speak to you.”

Dabi sucked in a breath through his teeth. “He’ll love that, the bitch. Fucking worships the ground you walk on.”

Enji glared at him but it was never the looks that scared him. It was the violence they promised.

“You tend to have that effect on idiots. God knows why.”

Enji turned back to the view, the observation deck silent from their lack of breathing, the air dancing around them like it didn’t want to touch their skin. Dabi honestly couldn't blame it.

A plane flew over them, red lights darting through the sky before vanishing into nothing. Still, it was silent. Dabi tapped his foot impatiently, the leather barely making a sound against the concrete.

“Are you going to speak to me?”

Silence.

“Father!”

Enji kept his eyes clasped on the view but Dabi saw his fist tighten slightly, the telltale creak of metal giving him away. Realising his mistake, Enji pulled his hand off of the rail, leaving a faint imprint of his fingers in the steel. Dabi snorted out a laugh.

“Stop ignoring me. You spoke to me before. Hey!”

Still nothing. Dabi took a step closer, the air suddenly warming tenfold. A warning flame whipped out from his hand, blue light lighting up the space between them but Enji didn’t flinch.

“Father…” Dabi dragged out the word like a taunt but Enji still didn’t acknowledge it, all of his attention on a small building in the centre of the Blue Light district. If Dabi squinted he could make out the neon sign of a motel. When he reached out he could just sense Shouto on the edge of his awareness inhabiting the building.

“For fuck's sake!” Dabi cursed, running a hand through his hair. “Even when I’m right fucking here you don’t give a shit! It's all Shouto, Shouto, Shouto!

“Fuck!” Flames flared from his hand, blue fire flickering over the city before disappearing into the air like it had been swallowed into the night. He stormed closet to Enji, fisting his hands into his shirt and tugging down until they were facing each other. “Pay attention to-”

The shirt erupted into flames, orange and red licking at his fists, impossibly hot. Dabi bit down a cry, keeping his hands planted firmly in the material. Enji looked down at him, eyes alight with anger. As Dabi watched, his eyes flared red, then back to blue. Fire curved around the pair until they were enclosed in a sphere of it, the ground covered in roaring flames that burnt through the soles of Dabi’s feet yet avoiding the strong leather of his boots. Enji gazed at him unfeeling as Dabi felt the skin on his fists start to smoke and flake in the heat, revealing layers of muscle and then patches of bone.

He refused to move, standing his ground even as his skeletal left ring finger fell against Enji’s shirt, useless. He looked into Enji’s eyes and he saw a glimmer of pure hatred.

Dabi shivered, cold among the flames, grasping onto something that should have been ash.

“Stop,” he asked, too proud to make it a plea, his voice dry as smoke invaded his lungs. “Stop.”

Enji’s flames grew stronger and Dabi tried not to whimper. “Then fight back.”

Dabi’s eyes widened and blue flames gushed from his fingers, incinerating Enji’s shirt and burning into his flesh. Enji sighed like he was scolding a child and his own flames turned blue, a concentrated heat burning against the smaller demon’s skin. There was a crack as Dabi’s right thumb cracked open, the heat finally exhausting it. Black spilt from the crack but Dabi didn’t flinch, holding Enji’s gaze even as the taller demon reached down to twist the thumb off of his hand.

Dabi let it happen, refusing to shift his gaze even as his father carelessly threw his thumb off of the building, sending it spiralling down to the streets below.

Enji wrapped his hand around Dabi’s, flames bursting out of his skin and wrapping around the smaller demon’s fists. Dabi fell to his knees but Enji kept his hold on his hands, pulling them up until Dabi was fighting for solid footing, his feet only barely scraping the concrete floor. Finally, Dabi landed a kick, blue fire exploding out of his foot and allowing him to fall, regaining his footing. He tilted his head up, meeting Enji’s gaze again, shaking his hands out to distract him from the pain.

Neither of them moved, blue flames burning steadily at each other until Enji rolled his eyes and shoved Dabi to the side with a final rush of fire, silently relishing in his pained gasp.

“There,” Dabi panted, leaning heavily against the rail, black running down his hands to the floor. “I fought back.”

“Yet I’m still stronger.” Enji shrugged, turning back to the view like nothing had happened, turning back to watch Shouto’s presence and ignoring Dabi.

There was silence and Dabi grabbed at his own jacket like he was making sure it was real, the weight of the air suddenly overwhelming and stifling. Enji didn’t turn to him.

“Is that it?” he gasped out, the words nearly catching in his throat but he forced them out. “Is that fucking it?” he looked down at his hands, three of his fingers nothing but bones that were only held together by strings of muscles and skin. “Is that all you wanted to say to me?”

Enji’s gaze shifted to a skyscraper on the opposite side of the city, eyebrows pinching slightly but he still avoided Dabi’s eyes.

“Father! You can’t just…” he trailed off, unsure of how he could finish that sentence. Tears started to burn at his eyes. He didn’t try and stop them, instead just letting them snake down his face, leaving trails like lava in their wake. “I fucking hate you.”

For a moment he thought he saw him smile, pleased.

The sight filled him with anger and flames circled his bony fingers and filling in the gap where his right thumb should have been, coating the white in blue. “Shouto will lose,” he declared, storming back down to the stairs leading back into the main building, his plans of a peaceful evening obliterated. “I’ll fucking make sure of it.”

There was an indistinguishable noise behind him. Dabi guessed it was meant to be a laugh.

“You should never have fucking replaced me.”

The door smashed shut behind him and he heard, rather than saw, cracks inch out of the stones.

He held his head high as he descended the building’s stairs, refusing to lower it while Enji could be watching even as the pain of his hands made him want to scream.

 

Shouto had fallen asleep next to him, awkwardly draped over his arm so Izuku couldn’t move easily though he didn’t think it was on purpose.

The TV was playing quietly opposite them as they laid on Izuku’s bed, a soap opera that Izuku had heard his neighbour mention a few times providing a background noise to his thinking. The weight of the taller boy was comforting and reminded him of when Kacchan would collapse over him when they watched horror movies though Izuku could never work out if that was because Kacchan wanted to protect him or if the blonde wanted to be protected.

The memory made him smile.

It was still relatively early compared to Izuku’s normal sleeping habits and he knew he wouldn’t be tired for a while even if his imaginary Kacchan was yelling at him to get some sleep.

The journey back from Shinsou’s shop had been blurry but he’d distinctly remembered a neon turquoise sign of an eye that looked like it was floating over the street. He hadn’t acted like it but Izuku could tell Shouto was shaken by Shinsou’s parting words. He wasn’t quite sure what they were talking about but it scared him just as much as it scared Shouto.

Kacchan had said something like it just a few months ago during one of their ‘study sessions’ which basically meant Kacchan would get to practice exercising his vocal chords and Izuku would remember why he dropped out of college. Then again, even if he ignored Kacchan’s rather dramatic speech pertaining to Darwin’s theory, it also reminded him oddly of the tall blond man that sometimes showed up in his dreams.

“My dear boy, there will never be anyone who you can trust completely. This is a cruel world where only cruel people survive. Not even we can change that. It is merely the survival of those who are willing to do whatever it takes to get what they want.”

At the time Izuku had thought the words were pointlessly depressing but looking back he could appreciate the warning the man was trying to give him even if it was poorly delivered. He wondered if the blonde guy would get on with Kacchan. His rational side immediately told him no but he could see Kacchan learning from the man, maybe even for the better.

The demon hanging off of him shifted and his breath ghosted down Izuku’s forehead, the feeling making Izuku wrinkle his nose.

“Katsuki,” Shouto breathed.

Izuku froze.

Shouto pulled him into a loose hug and Izuku glanced up at him, the other boy’s face smooth. He was definitely still asleep. “I’m sorry. You should have ducked.”

Izuku’s face contorted into something ugly, disgust clouding his features. They knew each other, Shouto knew Kacchan yet he’d told Izuku he didn’t. Kacchan hadn’t told Izuku about him. Did Kacchan not trust him? How long had they known each other?

A thought hit the smaller boy with startling clarity.

Shouto had told Izuku he didn’t know Kacchan’s name yet he’d just said it. Izuku’s eyes widened in realisation. Shouto had told Shinsou they were looking for Kacchan without Izuku telling him his name. He’d lied to him. What else had he lied about?

Why was Kacchan friends with a demon?

“Katsuki,” Shouto whined, breath puffing over Izuku’s eyes. “It's not my fault you have terrible aim.”

Izuku clenched his fist and fell still, stewing in his sudden distrust of the taller boy. Shouto stirred at the sudden rigidness of the other boy, blinking slowly as he came to.

“Izuku? What’s wrong?” he asked blearily, yawning as he rubbed his eyes.

“Why do you know Kacchan?” Izuku replied stonily, his voice cold but he wanted it to be freezing.

Shouto faltered, his hand hovering over Izuku’s shoulder.

“You talk in your sleep,” Izuku explained, gaze focused on the opposite wall.

Shouto looked down, steam rising from his left hand nervously. “He-I-Um. Katsuki was-” his mouth continued to move even as no sound came out. Izuku knocked their shoulders together roughly and Shouto jumped, jolting away from him.

“What was Kacchan?”

“Reincarnated.” Shouto took in a breath and continued, his eyes tightly closed despite his better judgement telling him to watch Izuku very closely. “He made a deal with a demon and was reincarnated after dying due to the demon’s powers.”

“Why did you know him…” Izuku’s voice disappeared and Shouto cracked an eye open to see Izuku’s shoulders sagging. “Oh.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Does he know?”

Shouto shook his head quickly. “He doesn’t remember anything. It's better that way, he can live his life without worrying about me.”

“But you’re still coming with me to find him.”

Shouto’s head snapped up. “That was a coincidence, I swear. I’m coming because of you, I don’t want Katsuki to have to worry about me or anything anymore. I promise I won’t do anything to interfere with your friendship.”

Izuku pulled a face. “I’m not worried about our friendship. I’m worried about him. What if he wants to make a deal with you again? What’ll happen then?”

“It won’t happen.” Shouto ground out. “It won’t.”

“Do you have a choice in that?” Izuku asked, raising an eyebrow. Self-confidence was a good look on him, Shouto thought.

“Yes. I can decline the deal, but if he does try to make a deal it won’t be with me.”

“How do you know that?”

“He wasn’t meant to summon me in the first place, he’d made a mistake in the symbols. He might not be aware of it but inside, he’ll know not to make that mistake again. He’ll have learned. If he does make a deal it will be with-” his eyes widened. “Dabi.”

Izuku frowned. “Who’s that? Is he good or bad? Will he hurt Kacchan?”

Shouto’s gaze darted around the room. “Um. Shit.”

Izuku pushed himself off of the bed and Shouto’s gaze immediately turned to him.

“Where are you going?”

“How can you get in touch with Dabi?”

Shouto moved to the end of the bed, fisting a hand into the sheets as he watched the shorter boy move around the room, gathering his things. “Why? I can call him.”

Izuku stopped moving and turned to him. He tilted his head upwards until he was looking down at Shouto. “I want you to tell him to decline Kacchan if he tries to make a deal with him.”

Shouto nodded, slightly thrown off by Izuku’s sudden drive. “I can try but he doesn't always listen to me.”

“Find a way to make him listen then,” Izuku practically commanded, his eyes full of purpose. As soon as Shouto nodded he left, leaving the door to their room hanging open in the night air. Shouto heard his footsteps echo down the complex before fading into nothing. The demon looked down at his hands, feeling oddly relaxed despite what had just happened.

The door swished into the wall as a gust of warm air blew it away. Shouto looked up at the faint sound to see the large figure of his father blocking the doorway

“The bastard has gone home to lick his wounds. You won’t find him for a while despite what Soul wants.”

“He has a name,” Shouto mumbled but Enji ignored him, inspecting the room with a judgemental eye. “You said Dabi went home. I thought he didn’t have a home.”

Enji scoffed. “He’s a disgrace to our family but that doesn’t erase his power. There are many who would welcome a Todoroki with open arms, even a disgraced one.”

Shouto nodded.

“You had better be aware of your deadline Shouto. You know I hate to get involved.”

Enji sighed, the thousands of years showing themselves in his frame, dragging him down and carving lines into his face.

“Stay away from your brother Shouto.”

Shouto breathed in. “I don’t have a brother.”

There was a glint of pride in Enji’s eyes before it disappeared and he turned to leave. Shouto didn’t ask about the burn marks on his chest or the scorched foot mark on his trousers.

 

He scanned the shelves of the luminescent aisle, everything unnecessarily bright in the harsh fluorescent lights.

Halcion.

Sonata.

Belsomra.

Stop trying to shut me out.

This is your fault.

“Shut up,” he muttered. “I told you to not talk to me.”

I don’t answer to you.

He clenched his fist, ragged nails digging into his skin. “Why not?”

It was silent before a small chuckle echoed in the back of his brain.

You know how to shut me up.

He ignored it and turned back to the shelves. Clicking his tongue, he grabbed a bottle before hesitating and grabbing another brand, then two more. He shoved them all into his basket, the hollow rattling of the pills making him cringe.

His vision dissolved, blood splatters appearing on the polished floor before they shifted out of existence. He blinked and heard the continuous shudder of plastic bottles rolling together unceremoniously, crashing and cracking like eggshells, like ice, like wood cracking under flames, like bones-

His hands were shaking.

He placed the basket on the floor and took a minute to gather himself, avoiding eye contact with the small security camera mounted on the wall, fighting the urge to destroy it. After a few minutes, he picked up the basket again and made his way to the counter to pay, the white tiles squeaking under his trainers. The knowledge that anyone could hear him coming made him want to cry. There was a sick humming from behind his ear but he knew that if he turned, he’d find nothing.

The melody repeated, low then high, then wavering in the middle before dipping again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

He joined the short queue for the tills, trying to block out the music. If he focused on the person in front of him he could forget the presence pushing down on him, making his shoulders sag. She was a short girl with dark green hair that was dyed so seamlessly he can’t even tell if it was dyed or if she was born with the unnatural hair colour.

It was a few moments before it was his turn and the cashier smiled at him, the look seemingly genuine despite the late hour. They went through the typical script together, she asked how his day went and he answered ‘good’, ignoring the mocking yawns that echoed behind his ear, ignoring the tapping of something against the floor, ignoring the sudden bloodlust he felt looking at the girl's sunny disposition.

He’d gotten quite good at ignoring things now.

She gave him the pills back and their fingers brush, an unexpected warmth bursting between them. She blinked, brown eyes clouded with worry as she took a double take, looking him up and down in more detail, noting the unstylishly ripped jeans, the small red stains on his hoodie that he’d assured his neighbour was paint, the deep circles under his eyes that looked like they were carved into his cheeks.

“Do you want help?” her voice was soft, cute somehow, and despite the sense of urgency it carried, it still dripped with the same warmth she’d displayed earlier. It was a nice feeling but one that couldn’t last.

Uraraka, her nametag read.

What a bitch. Get away from her before she does something stupid.

He shook his head wordlessly and pulled his hood up and turned to leave but the girl grabbed his wrist again.

“Please, I know what you’re going through.” He looked back at her and the honesty in her eyes caught him offguard.

He felt the voice start to slip away before it was back abruptly, an unwavering presence behind him.

Leave.

He obeyed, not really knowing why, leaving the convenience store with a familiar weight on his conscience. He pushed down the happiness he’d felt when he realised the brunette might have cared.

“What was that?” he asked, glancing to the side even though he knew he wouldn’t be able to see anyone there.

Angel. Right cunt as well, practically dripping with goodwill.

It huffed out a laugh.

I know what you’re thinking. She can’t help you, I wouldn’t let go of this opportunity that easily.

“I know,” he agreed, fiddling with the strings trailing from his frayed cuffs, pulling one too hard and causing a row of stitches to unravel until he was holding a handful of black threads.

It laughed at him again, the voice raspy and full of easy confidence. He sighed wistfully.

You’ll get what you want soon. I just need a bit more energy.

“I know,” he repeated, a bit more forcefully this time and he could practically hear it roll its eyes. “I know.”

Kill someone else today.

He started. “No! Today’s not the-”

You don’t control which days I choose, vessel.

Kill someone or I’ll make you.

He shivered, the memory of it violently taking control from him, wrenching his will away from until he was nothing but a puppet.

“Fine.”

It spoke and he could hear the pleased smile in its voice.

Good.

 

“Ochako?” the short girl asked, her voice croaking strangely. She leaned over the counter to place a hand over the brunette’s. “Are you alright?”

“Yeah, I just…” she bit her lip, flipping her hand over so they could comfortably connect, lacing their fingers together. “I need to talk to Monoma.”

Tsuyu blanched. “You don’t mean that.”

The angel rolled her shoulders back, her aura changing to something more powerful. “Yes, I do.”

“He doesn’t listen to you, you know that. How will you even find him-”

“Kirishima knows the direwolf,” she shrugged. “Besides, I don’t care what that copycat says, he’s so not over him.”

“Kirishima’s…” Tsuyu trailed off, tapping her chin in thought. “Occupied. You know he found that blonde-”

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure he’s part of the problem.”

“Please stop interrupting me.” Tsuyu pouted and Uraraka winced.

“Sorry.”

“And I don’t think it would be the best idea to get Kirishima’s new crush to meet his old crush.”

Uraraka slid down her chair, the store quiet around them. “I don’t think we have another choice.”

Tsuyu sighed, patting her on the shoulder sympathetically. “I’ll call Mina.”

Chapter Text

“Stop lying Bakugou! I just can’t do this to him, Shinsou doesn’t deserve this!”

Bakugou froze and for a moment it felt like the world had tilted, slipping out from under him, everything too bright and too dull at the same time, the seconds slipping by in slow motion. “Who?”

“Bakugou?” Kirishima’s voice fell into nothingness as Bakugou’s vision swirled into nothing. “Katsuki!”

The blonde blinked slowly, breathing growing heavier with each second. There was the sensation of an oddly warm hand on his shoulder and he leant into it, the contact almost anchoring him back to reality.

“Sero!” someone yelled, their voice resembling the redheads yet warped slightly in his disorientated state of mind.

His fingers grew colder as ice began to creep under his skin again, chilling the air around them and the hot hand on his shoulder felt like boiling water steadily inching into his skin. The feeling felt oddly familiar like he’d experienced it before in another body.

The door banged open and the loud noise made him start, whipping his head around to where a tall figure was hunched over in the doorway. The figure straightened up and hurried over to the pair. Bakugou felt his eyelashes clump together against his cheeks as they started to grow wet.

He was crying.

The warm hand disappeared and he was enveloped in a tight hug, the heat making the ice disappear until he could feel nothing but warmth. The blonde exhaled, letting his head fall against Kirishima’s shoulder, his breathing beginning to even out.

“Ok,” Sero said. “What the hell just happened?”

“I don’t know,” Kirishima admitted. “He just… freaked.”

Sero frowned at him, tilting his head to the side so his hair fell across his forehead. “What were you talking about Ei? And don’t lie,” he added when Kirishima opened his mouth.

“I asked him about his boyfriend.”

Sero sniffed the air experimentally. “What boyfriend? I can’t smell anything. If it's there, it's buried down a lot.”

“But…” Kirishima took in a deep whiff of Bakugou’s scent. “It's there, I guess it's small but it's definitely there. Yet when I asked him about it he didn’t know who Shinsou was.”

Sero choked on the air. “Sorry, his boyfriend’s Shinsou?” Kirishima nodded solemnly and Sero glared at him meaningfully. “Ei, you utter idiot. Shinsou hasn’t dated anyone since 1890.” they both turned to the blonde who was still being cradled in the redhead’s arms. “Wait a minute…” they looked at each other.

“Oooooh,” they exhaled in unison as Sero closed his eyes, gathering his patience.

“Reincarnation.” Sero nodded as he watched Kirishima put it together. “Reincarnation.”

Sero shrugged. “Probably, I mean he’s a human.”

Kirishima groaned as he brought his hands up to his face. “God, I fucked it all up for nothing and now he won’t give a shit about me once he’s realised just how much better Shinsou would be to him… I can’t believe this, I’m such a fucking idiot.”

Sero patted his shoulder sympathetically and Kirishima leant into the friendly touch. “Dude, I know you probably need legitimate advice right now but that’s a major oof.” Kirishima huffed out a laugh and Sero relaxed minutely, a pleased feeling flickering through him at having helped his alpha.

Kirishima’s head jolted up and the blonde stirred. “What about Shinsou’s debt?”

A warm aura settled around them and Sero wordlessly shook his head, the air suddenly tinted blue around the edges of their vision. “You’d better go,” he whispered. “I’ll get rid of this.” he paused, scrunching his nose up as he tried to focus on the small voice behind his ear. “Mina says there’s a new job for us.”

Kirishima grinned at him, scooping the blonde into a princess carry. “I’ll speak to Mina.”

Sero nodded at him and Kirishima closed the door behind him as he made his way through the house to Denki’s room where he placed the blonde onto the bed, hoping the other wolf wouldn’t mind too much. After that, he carried on to the lounge where the rest of his pack was relaxing, Denki sprawled across an armchair and Mina relaxing on the old sofa. Soon enough Sero joined them, a familiar heaviness in his shoulders that told Kirishima he’d taken care of the intruder.

“Uraraka called,” Mina remarked dryly once Sero had returned. Kirishima froze. “She wants to meet up.”

“Like just us two? Or with everyone else?”

Mina shrugged. “No clue. She wants you to talk to Monoma.”

The room fell silent as Denki’s mouth fell open and everyone’s eyes turned to Kirishima.

“Oh,” the redhead managed. “That’d be cool.” he shrugged, trying to come off as uncaring but his excitement dripped into his scent and the other two werewolves frowned.

Sero raised an eyebrow at him and Mina started to blow a bubble with a stick of bubblegum that Kirishima could have sworn she didn’t have before as Denki groaned.

“Dude, I thought you were over him!” the blonde complained.

“I am!” Kirishima defended, waving his hands at the shorter boy. “I am! I was just saying that it was cool!” Mina’s bubble got larger.

“Really?” Sero demanded. “Cause I really don’t want to have him walking all over you again.”

“Guys!” Kirishima protested. “He didn’t walk over me. And besides, so what if I end up talking with him?” he looked down. “It doesn't have to be a big deal.”

Mina’s bubble popped. It was silent as the three stared Kirishima down, the redhead still standing in the middle of the room.

The pink haired girl sighed loudly before pushing off the sofa. “It doesn’t matter anyway. She’s got a job for us.”

Sero straightened, remembering what it was he’d actually joined them for and grabbing his phone. “What is it?”

“Murderer. Guy with a demon contract. She just wants us to get rid of the demon,” she shared a side glance with Sero. “She didn’t specify about the human.”

Kirishima rolled his eyes. “Yeah because reasonable people would assume she wants the guy alive. Who’s the human?”

“Tokoyami something or other. I tuned out after she mentioned Monoma.” Kirishima massaged his temple.

“Oh my God Mina.”

“It’ll be fine. She wants you to talk to Monoma so we can find out who the demon is and work out how we can kill it.”

“I’ll text Tetsu.” Kirishima gave in, tugging out his phone. “He owes me from the last time I bailed him out of jail.”

Denki wrinkled his nose. “I don’t trust him Ei, he always smells weird.”

“You know he can’t help that and besides of course he smells weird to you, you’ve never met another type of wolf.”

Denki scoffed. “Well excuse me for worrying that he could kill me in less than a minute.”

“I’m not blaming you!” Kirishima backtracked, waving his hands in defence. “I’m just saying that it's natural for you to be wary of him.”

“You don’t meet a direwolf every day,” Sero agreed and Mina murmured assent, still deep in thought.

The room was quiet as Kirishima messaged the grey-haired man, pointedly ignoring their last couple of messages that mainly consisted of consonants as he’d been coaching Tetsutetsu on how to properly keyboard smash. It hadn’t worked but he wasn’t really sure why he had expected it too.

“Wait, what are we gonna do with Bakugou?” Sero asked only to be met with silence as the rest of the room realised their problem. Denki dropped his head onto his knees in defeat and Kirishima wished he could do the same but he had to keep up appearances and convince them that he knew what was happening and could handle it.

Denki sucked in a breath through his teeth. “This is gonna a shitshow isn’t it?”

Mina slowly nodded, her eyes locked on Kirishima. “Yup.”

“What about me and Mina go with Ei and you can stay with Blasty?” Sero asked Denki who nodded, relieved.

“As long as I don’t have to see Monoma I'll be peachy.”

“No,” Mina interrupted, still focused on Kirishima. “I want to go with Bakugou.” the sudden tension between the redhead and the demon bled into the air as Denki covered his nose, backing away from them as much as he could, Sero doing the same.

“Mina, what are you playing at?” Kirishima asked, his voice steadier than he expected it to be. “Bakugou should stay here, not meet Monoma.”

“Is it because you want to fuck him?” she replied. Sero and Denki erupted into protest as Mina continued to gaze at Kirishima. “Because I thought that personal relationships weren’t supposed to interfere with business.”

“Mina, you know damn well that when Denki and Jirou dated and it interfered with ‘business’ you didn’t do anything. It's just because this involves Monoma and you’re scared of him!"

The words echoed in the space between them as Mina’s eyes widened in hurt. “Yeah, fine, I’m fucking scared of him Ei! The last time I saw him he exorcised me!”

The reminder of their last encounter with the blonde made Kirishima fall silent.

“That’s why I want Bakugou there, to throw him off. If he knows you’ve moved on he’ll know he doesn't hold as much power over you anymore. Then maybe we can just get what we want and get out as quickly as we need to, and I won’t have to worry about him seducing you because I’ll know you’ve got Bakugou to distract you.”

“He’s not going to seduce me-” Kirishima spluttered and Denki snickered at him.

“He did last time,” Sero reminded him helpfully and Kirishima stared at him in disbelief. “Just saying dude.”

Mina nodded definitively, grinning at Kirishima triumphantly. “So it’ll be you, me and Bakugou?”

“Squad goals,” Denki muttered to Sero who ignored him.

“Fine,” Kirishima agreed, tapping his foot against the ground agitatedly. “But you have to promise me that if anything goes wrong, you have to protect him before me.”

Mina frowned at him. “Ei, I can’t agree to that. You know, my instincts will tell me to go to you first.”

Kirishima turned to her completely. “Mina, please.”

She hesitated, glancing across at Sero who nodded at her. “Fine. I promise. But if Monoma makes things turn south, you have to deal with it.”

Kirishima grinned at her. “I will.”

 

Shinsou groaned, his head falling into the floor from where he was doubled over by the chalk symbols.

“Stop kicking me,” he protested, rolling onto his back to face the taller man who scoffed at him.

“Repay your debt psychic. If you don’t want to talk about my… issue then we’ll talk about your fated.”

“I don’t want to talk about my ‘fated’ demon. I don’t know where he is.”

The demon nodded slowly, eyes trained on the glowing purple sigils that patterned the walls around them, thrumming softly as a result of Shinsou’s emotions running high. As he watched, the glow faded into thin outlines as the psychic calmed down and gathered his thoughts.

The purple-haired boy got to his feet and glared at the man, the bruises imprinted onto his ribs aching. “Look, the last time I saw him was over a year ago, he doesn’t hang around this part of the district. Try the west side.”

The taller man growled under his breath but Shinsou knew it wasn’t directed at him. “Why can’t you just sense him?”

Shinsou shrugged in a ‘what-can-you-do’ gesture. “We don’t have any real connection, our relationship was only business, I don’t care what he’s told you.”

The taller man carded a hand through his hair, sitting down in a cold chair by the window. “If you do this for me, I’ll settle everything you owe me.”

Shinsou narrowed his eyes. “This is that important?” Reluctantly, the taller man nodded and he let out a low whistle. “Damn, ok.” he walked over to his shelves, scanning through the collection of books. “What’d he do anyway?”

The demon stiffened. “It's not important but I need to find him quickly. I am concerned about my son.”

Shinsou rolled his eyes. “They’re both your sons, favouritism doesn’t deny blood.”

“How’s Katsuki?” the demon snapped and Shinsou flinched at the attack. “Isn’t he being hunted?”

“Shut up,” Shinsou muttered, his words falling flat in the face of the demon’s sudden drive.

The man above him hummed. “That’s your fault, isn’t it? You left your mark on him and now he has to deal with the consequences. I’m sorry you killed him.”

Shinsou gritted his teeth against the accusation, not rising to the other man’s taunts. “I have been on this earth longer than you have. Don’t try and talk to me about murder.”

“You’ve killed your fair share of people haven’t you though?” Shinsou didn’t reply, focusing on trying to find the book he was looking for. “I wonder how many of them were in your desperate quest to try and find him-”

“Shut up!” Shinsou exploded. “I don’t care about him anymore, ok? Stop trying to use him against me because it won’t work. I won’t help you find whoever you’re looking for, now get the fuck out of my house.” the demon didn’t move, instead settling himself more comfortably into the creaking red chair. Shinsou glared at him, pointedly turning back to the bookshelf and selecting a thin brown journal with an iron chain wrapped around it.

The demon blinked and Shinsou felt his entire body jolt in sudden pain as liquid fire raced through his skin, igniting against his bones. The psychic fell into the shelf to steady himself and he saw what felt like hundreds of books fall to the ground, spilling over the floor. The pain was gone as quickly as it had come and Shinsou sucked in a breath, glaring heatedly at the demon, surrounded by the fallen books yet his hand was still clasped around the brown journal.

“Shinsou, I want to help you.” he proffered a hand to the shorter boy and Shinsou visibly stilled at the implication. “I can give you what you want. I know you say Bakugou Katsuki is unimportant to you but I know what you want more than you do. Let me help fix your mistakes.”

Shinsou chuckled lightly, eyes not shifting from the demon’s hand. “Nice try but I’m not interested.”

The demon’s hand didn’t move, locked in offering as his face slowly broke into a friendly smile. Shinsou swallowed.

“I don’t want to.”

The demon’s smile didn’t reach his eyes and the hand still didn’t budge.

“Stop.”

Nothing. Shinsou’s book dropped from his hand but the thud didn’t register.

No.

The demon tilted his head up in a wordless challenge.

The psychic felt his brain dissolve into an endless stream of what-ifs as he entertained the multiple possibilities. This wouldn’t kill him. This wouldn’t be his last decision.

“What’s in it for me?”

Todoroki Enji smiled.

 

“Kirishima?”

The redhead blinked slowly, looking up from the small screen and meeting Bakugou’s gaze. “Hey,” he murmured, surprised the blonde was awake. Denki shifted over his arm and Kirishima pulled away, placing a pillow under him so he was still comfortable.

“What time is it?”

“Um, 5:27.” Bakugou looked down at his feet then back up at Kirishima.

“How long was I asleep?”

Kirishima shrugged. “Like an hour? You passed out after I mentioned-” his voice caught in his throat. “Shinsou.”

Bakugou nodded in recognition. “Who is that? It feels familiar but…”

“Bakugou you were reincarnated,” Kirishima confessed, wanting to get it over with quickly and already preparing himself for the inevitable rejection. “In your previous life, you were in love with Shinsou. That’s why you recognized the name.”

Bakugou scoffed. “That sounds badass as fuck.” Kirishima laughed.

“I should have known your relationship was in the past. I know Shinsou and I knew when he started to see you but I never got to meet you back then, so…” he made a vague gesture with his hand. “Here we are.”

“Wait, you could have known me before?”

Kirishima bit his lip. “I could have yeah. But I didn’t. Shinsou was worried about other creatures finding and hurting you.”

Bakugou nodded, rubbing his wrists. “Sorry for collapsing on you.” He wrinkled his nose. “Again.”

Kirishima grinned at him. “Sorry for panicking about you and Shinsou.”

“So.” Bakugou started. “What does that make this then? You know, now that we’ve established that I don’t have a boyfriend.” Kirishima looked to the side guiltily. “Or are we just gonna pretend it didn’t happen?”

“I don’t know,” Kirishima admitted. “I don’t even know what we’re going to do with you honestly. Now Mina says we have a job and we’re gonna have to deal with that.”

They fell into an awkward silence.

“Do you want me to help?”

Kirishima jumped. “What?”

Bakugou flushed. “You know to pay you back for stuff. Like all the things you’ve done for me.” Kirishima didn’t say anything, mouth open in disbelief and Bakugou went red. “Fine, fucking whatever, I don’t have to anything for you, god.”

“No!” Kirishima interrupted. “You can help. You can definitely help and stay and…” he trailed off and they returned to the awkward silence from before. “Do you want a drink?” he asked, inclining his head towards their small wine cabinet which was mainly full of vodka, whiskey and Denki’s various cocktail ingredients.

“I’m not good with alcohol.”

“Oh. That’s fine! Um, what about just going for a walk? Unless you’re tired, then you can go to sleep since I really don’t want to have bothered you if you're tired and wanna sleep.”

Bakugou frowned, disgruntled. Kirishima wanted to punch the part of his brain that told him it was cute when it was clearly adorable. “You remind me of Deku.”

“Um, who?”

“Shit, you know literally nothing about me do you?” Bakugou realised, an astounded expression on his face.

“Doesn’t that just mean we can get to know each other normally? What were you expecting?”

“God, I don’t know!” Bakugou pouted. “You to have stalked me or something? I don't know!”

Kirishima rolled his eyes. “We didn’t stalk you.”

“Evi-fucking-dently,” Bakugou muttered.

“Hey, do you really want to help? Cause Mina wanted you to come with us tomorrow.”

“Sure,” Bakugou shrugged. “What are you doing tomorrow?”

“We’re meeting with some guy, he’s not really important, like he’s basically irrelevant, like if he died, I wouldn’t really give a shit, you know?”

“Uh-”

“But he can give us information so yeah. That’s the only reason.”

“Ok.” Bakugou replied, dragging out the ‘o’. “What do you want me to do, just come with you?”

“Yep.” Kirishima closed his eyes, basking in the cringiness of his existence. “That’d be awesome."



“Eijirou,” the smirking blonde greeted him, lounging across one of the red leather chairs of the hotel suite. “It's been a while.”

Kirishima hummed in acknowledgement, avoiding eye contact as he made his way to a spare seat. “Uraraka wants you to answer some questions.”

Monoma sighed petulantly, eyes still curved up in an invisible smile. “Babe you know I don’t answer to angels.”

“Don’t call me that,” Kirishima snapped. “I’m not alone.”

Monoma rolled his eyes. “Obviously. If you were I would have already made you blow me.”

The door banged open to reveal a fuming demon who was dragging another blonde with her. “God shut the fuck up.”

“Ashido I could carve your skin off in less than a minute if you tried anything funny. So let’s just make a few rules now. To start with, no swearing-”

“Fuck that!” the other blonde interrupted, rubbing his shoulder where Mina had been grabbing him. “What makes you so fucking important?”

Monoma’s eyes lit up and he clicked his fingers, the noise ringing throughout the room. It was silent as Kirishima kept his gaze on Bakugou while Mina was focused on Monoma.

Bakugou opened his mouth only for nothing to come out and his hand flew to his throat. His eyes widened and he spun to Kirishima, panic clouding his expression. Kirishima’s eyes turned to slits and he shifted his gaze to Monoma, burning at the blonde’s skin.

“What did you do to him?”

The blonde laughed cruelly, tapping his foot on the ground once and summoning his two companions. “Eijirou, he didn’t obey my rules! He had it coming babe.”

Bakugou’s eyes widened even further as he turned to Kirishima, both eyebrows raised. Babe? I thought he was fucking irrelevant Shitty Hair.

“I’m not your ‘babe’ now can we actually do what I came here to do?”

Monoma hummed and the door slowly opened to reveal two more people, a ginger with unnaturally large hands and a tall grey haired man who waved excitedly at Kirishima. They approached Monoma’s chair and positioned themselves behind it, the picture of intimidation.

“Now we can get down to-”

“When did you get an angel?” Mina asked, gaze focused on the ginger.

Monoma looked at the girl behind him, a proud grin spreading over his face. “It's a new protection program I came up with.” he slanted a gaze at Kirishima. “Tetsu, grab the human.”

Bakugou started, backing away from the others as the grey-haired man began to advance on him. He tried to speak but his voice was still gone and the loss of it was beginning to drag him down mercilessly, the silent letters he tried to push at scraping against his throat like he’d been screaming.

Kirishima watched the blonde back himself into a wall emotionlessly, a small part of him relishing in the fear reflected in the other boy’s eyes. Instead of ignoring it like he usually did, he let himself fall into the comfortable darkness his alpha instincts provided him, his mind spiralling with its newfound freedom like it always did whenever Monoma was around.

How dare he look so scared when it's not me approaching him, how dare anything think it's worthy of going near him?

Then, from an even smaller part of his mind.

He deserves this pain, this fear and god does it look good on him. The blonde’s scared expression made Kirishima want to push him down until he was screaming and from the look on Monoma’s face, his eyes hadn’t been as emotionless as he’d wanted them to be.

Tetsu lunged for the blonde and Bakugou darted to the side, raising his fists. Kirishima settled further back into his chair, leaning his head against the leather. Bakugou was strong but he was nothing compared to a direwolf. The knowledge comforted him in a way he knew it shouldn’t but the thoughts of Bakugou being completely beaten made him want to either rip out Tetsutetsu’s throat or fuck the blonde so deeply he’d finally learn why he shouldn’t have lied to him.

“Enjoying the show?” Mina asked, her voice dripping with disgust as she took in Kirishima’s predatory eyes. Monoma laughed at her.

“When he’s with me he can have whatever he wants Ashido. If he asked I’d serve this human up for him on a silver platter complete with a little red bow wrapped around his neck.”

Despite the mental image, Kirishima didn’t shiver, his eyes boring into Bakugou. The blonde looked up and noticed, a full body flinch overtaking him at the concentration in the other’s face as he completely forgot about the grey-haired man who quickly grabbed him, dragging him up until he was hovering around four inches off the ground.

Monoma got up and stalked over to the redhead, brushing a hand through the red hair. “He knows I’m powerful enough, don’t you Eijirou?”

Kirishima didn’t respond, fighting not to lean into the affectionate touch. “Do what you want.”

Monoma’s face split into a grin and he clicked his fingers again making the other blonde collapse into the taller man’s grip. Tetsutetsu’s hold loosened slightly but he was still gripping hard enough to leave bruises. Bakugou’s breathing began to grow heavier and Kirishima frowned as he saw the blonde’s face begin to turn red, his breathing becoming unsteady. The blonde looked up and they locked gazes, Bakugou sighing out in relief when he saw the redhead.

“Eijirou,” Monoma purred. “He’s yours if you want him.” he leaned in until his breath was tickling Kirishima’s ear, their words hidden from the rest of the room. “You can make him feel the pain you feel. You never have to hide your anger with me.” He wrapped his hand around Kirishima’s. “I love you because of your power, not despite it.”

Kirishima swallowed, Bakugou’s gaze still burning against his. “Give his voice back.”

Monoma smiled down at him, clicking his fingers and the blonde sucked in a juddering breath, choking out broken syllables before his head snapped up.

“What the fuck did you do to me?”

Monoma turned to him, distaste written over his face. “He’s quite crude, isn’t he Eijirou?”

“Mina, get out.”

The pink-haired demon whirled to him. “Excuse me? Did you really forget literally everything we talked about in the car? Ei, you can’t have just come here to fuck Bakugou.”

Bakugou’s mouth fell open as he turned to Kirishima. “You better fucking not have! Because if that’s really all that was-”

“Shut up,” Monoma clicked and the other blonde fell silent again.

“Mina, I won’t repeat myself.”

The ginger angel pulled out a golden tipped dagger and Mina stilled at the sight of it. “Fucking fine. You’ll lose Sero if I have anything to say about it. Good fucking luck being a lone wolf again dickhead.”

She stormed out, slamming the door behind her and Kirishima was acutely aware of Bakugou’s increasing arousal. “Have your bodyguards leave.”

Monoma smirked at him. “Of course babe. Get out you two.” his companions turned to leave but the direwolf hesitated at the door.

“Kirishima, I know you will regret this. Just think about it before you decide to-”

The door whooshed closed and Kirishima could tell from Monoma’s outstretched fingers that it was him. “What do you want to do to him first Eijirou?”

Kirishima’s gaze returned to the human crouched over himself on the other side of the room and his eyes glowed red. “Bring him over here. I want to fuck his mouth.”

Monoma’s eyes filled with lust as he looked Kirishima up and down. “Of course.” With a click, Bakugou started towards them, resistance clearly displayed over his features.

“Let go of him. I want to take control myself.”

Obediently Monoma let the other blonde go and as soon as he did Bakugou juddered to a halt, betrayed. “What the fuck Shitty Hair?”

“Bakugou I need you to trust me, ok? This doesn’t have to be hard.” the blonde shivered and shook his head stubbornly. “Bakugou, I can fix everything, you just need to be able to trust me.” the blonde didn’t move. “I’ll take you back to Soul.” The blonde’s head shot up. “I’ll take you home.”

Monoma frowned between the two of them.

“I just need you to trust me.”

Chapter Text

“Bakugou I need you to trust me, ok? This doesn’t have to be hard.” the blonde shivered and shook his head stubbornly. “Bakugou, I can fix everything, you just need to be able to trust me.” the blonde didn’t move. “I’ll take you back to Soul.” The blonde’s head shot up. “I’ll take you home.”

Monoma frowned between the two of them.

“I just need you to trust me.”

Bakugou gave him a slow nod and Kirishima grinned at him, taking a second to enjoy the trust even if the voice behind his ear, the one that had appeared when he was alone and had never really gone away, whispered that he didn’t deserve it. Abruptly Kirishima pulled his fist back and smashed it into Monoma’s jaw. Bakugou’s mouth fell open in a disbelieving gasp as the other blonde fell to the floor, groaning.

“That one was for using your magic against Bakugou.” he tugged him up only to throw him into a chair. “Now can we actually talk without you trying to make me care about you again?”

Monoma flushed, looking embarrassed and Bakugou suppressed a sigh of relief when he realised the redhead had been waiting for a time to strike, his mind having spiralled into panic as soon as he’d lost control of his voice. Kirishima immediately turned to Bakugou, his eyes shining with worry.

“Are you alright? I’m so sorry I couldn’t help earlier but Tetsu was fighting you and he’s really strong so I wasn’t sure if it was best I interfered but now that I think about it I probably should have and I’m really sorry but…” he faltered. There was a part of me that didn’t want to help. Monoma’s mouth parted in wry realisation, forming an ‘o’ as he raised an eyebrow at Kirishima. Kirishima kept his gaze down, not looking at either of them, a familiar self-hatred rearing up in his gut.

“Eijirou,” Monoma murmured, tone soft. “You’re fine. Breathe.” Bakugou frowned at him, their relationship still confusing. “Right, if this…” he swept his gaze up and down Bakugou and disgust flickered across his face briefly. “ Human is important I will leave him.”

“Fucking good,” Bakugou scoffed, reaching a hand up to his mouth so he could check for blood where Tetsutetsu had punched him earlier. “You should mind your own damn business.” Monoma sneered at him.

“Seriously Eijirou? Of all the people in the world you had to find him?”

Kirishima chuckled to himself. “He wasn’t what I was aiming for at the start either.” Bakugou scowled at him before realising he was talking about Soul. “Look, can you help us and we won’t have to see each other for another century.”

The unpleasant thought of how old Kirishima actually was filtered to the front of Bakugou's brain and stayed there, no matter how hard he tried to push it away.

“It's the demon attacks right?” Monoma asked, carding a hand through the thin strands of blonde. At Kirishima’s questioning gaze he glowered at the redhead as if affronted. “It’s clearly a demon case otherwise you would have gone to our favourite psychic.” Kirishima tilted his head to one side, scrunching up his nose, Debatable. “And it has to be something actually relevant for your lot to take on so it's the demon attacks. It's pretty simple, right? Some human made a contract and the demon needs blood to survive. What did you need me for?”

Kirishima glanced at Bakugou who had stood up during Monoma’s speech and collapsed onto a sofa, carefully looking over his hands, the left one streaked with red from what looked like a carpet burn when he’d fallen to the floor. Kirishima’s eyes softened unintentionally and Monoma followed his gaze and looked away, a familiar feeling growing and twisting around him.

“Because you are the most powerful demon I know,” Monoma puffed up his chest in pride, “and I know that you’ve been meeting with Aizawa recently.”

Bakugou’s head snapped up, eyebrows in danger of vanishing into his hairline. “Hold up. Aizawa Shouta?”

Monoma’s mouth fell open, eyebrows pinching together in irritation. “It appears I’ve misjudged you. For a human to have contacts like that-”

“He’s my Chemistry professor, why the fuck is he friends with demons and fucking werewolves?”

Kirishima huffed out a confused laugh at Bakugou’s confession and even Monoma seemed thrown off, sitting up straighter. “God, do you know Yamada as well?”

“Yamada Hizashi? Aizawa’s husband?”

Monoma choked. “ Sorry ?”

Kirishima shook his head, pushing the new revelations away though he made a mental note to ask Mina about it later. “Back to my previous point, you’ve been meeting with him as a Sin and he manages the contracts as part of his duties. Do you know which demon has been really active?”

Monoma groaned before glaring at the redhead in incredulousness. “Ei, I’m a demon, not a machine! I don’t remember every name I see, ten contracts are made every day on average and I’ve been meeting with Aizawa for over a year-”

“He’s taught me for over two,” Bakugou cut in, inspecting his fingernails. Monoma glared at him.

And he chose me to take over his duties, clearly displaying his strong trust in me and my abilities,” the demon boasted, his teeth gritted. Bakugou scoffed out a laugh.

“He asked to be my PhD supervisor,” Bakugou mocked. “Clearly displaying his even stronger trust in my abilities-”

“God knows why,” Monoma jumped up, slamming his hands down onto the table only for Bakugou to laugh at him.

“Um,” Kirishima raised a hand and both of the blondes turned to him. “Do you two realise that Aizawa literally is -”

“No,” Monoma interrupted, expression gleeful. “The human doesn’t know so don’t tell him then he’ll never know Aizawa as well as I do. He probably chose him out of pity after all.”

“What does that say about you? Besides he definitely thinks I’m better,” Bakugou remarked and Monoma clenched his fist, towering over the sitting down blonde who only smiled up at him though there was a menacing edge to it. “Well?”

“Monoma, he probably likes you the most, ok? Cause you’re better than Bakugou,” Kirishima placated, placing a hand on his shoulder. Bakugou sneered at him but Kirishima just shook his head, tilting his head towards the floor where cracks had started to emerge from Monoma’s feet. ‘Comparison isn’t good for him,’ he mouthed and reluctantly Bakugou nodded making Kirishima relax.

“Demons that actively feed on blood are rare and after the Todoroki incident,” Monoma looked at Kirishima and a sort of quiet understanding seemed to pass through them. “They don’t interfere with humans. The one you guys are looking for probably has guts, especially if he’s making enough of a fuss that Uraraka had to step in.” he slumped back down into a chair a strange dark green aura surrounding him. “I’d just exorcise it and be done. If you can save the human, congratulations. If not, don't beat yourself up. If it made a deal with a demon it probably won’t be worth much, an outcast most likely. No one’ll miss it.”

Bakugou shuddered, the words planting themselves firmly in his mind, imaginary ice dancing up his fingers, chilling his skin in a way that seemed startlingly real. A crow cawed outside and Monoma groaned, the green strands around him darkening further.

“God, those birds annoy me.” Kirishima raised an eyebrow. “It's the bloody freedom,” Monoma confessed and Kirishima aahed in understanding. Bakugou glanced between them, curious at the unspoken connection they seemed to share. “I’m not sure what else I can do for you so unless you want anything else ,” he looked Kirishima up and down pointedly, voice dripping with want.

The redhead scoffed. “Yeah, no. I’ll see you later?” Monoma rolled his eyes.

“Did you hear literally anything I said? I’ll be busy with Aizawa, I do have duties you know.”

“Demons aren’t known for their drive, my mistake,” Kirishima teased and Monoma laughed. “Good luck, I know you’ll do amazing.”

Bakugou looked away and Monoma noticed his sudden awkwardness. “Can I speak to this idiot alone for a second?” he asked and Kirishima frowned but Monoma continued before he could say anything. “We share a few common interests and I want to know what kind of human could catch your attention.” Bakugou opened his mouth to protest but the pointed look Monoma shot him made him stop. “It shouldn’t take too long.” Kirishima looked between them once more before slowly nodding.

“I’ll be outside if you need me,” he murmured, the comment more directed at Bakugou than Monoma and the human frowned at getting singled out even if it was relatively justified.

The door clicked when Kirishima closed it and for a minute they two blondes listened to him trying to reopen it, clearly panicking at the realisation that he’d locked them inside together. After the moment had passed Monoma rolled his shoulders back and sat down, the green tendrils of energy pulsing at the movement.

“I don’t trust you,” Monoma started and Bakugou’s mouth fell open though Monoma pressed on. “I find it hard to believe that a human with unnatural energy around them just happen to come under the radar of a wolf, and an alpha at that.” Monoma clicked his fingers and Bakugou stiffened in defence though all that happened was a tall pint glass of wine flickered into existence. Bakugou raised an eyebrow at the glass but Monoma ignored him, taking a relatively delicate sip. “But as much as I want to, I can’t detect anything evil around you which unfortunately means I should be able to be mature and not rise to the bait of your new relationship with Ei. Should is the key word there.”

Bakugou didn’t say anything, painfully aware of the fact he was effectively stepping on eggshells.

“I’m going to guess Eijirou didn’t tell you what I was before you came here?”

“He said you were a demon,” Bakugou conceded and Monoma clicked his tongue.

“But not which type?” Bakugou reluctantly shook his head and Monoma grinned. “Good, that means I have the satisfaction of doing it myself. You’ve met a…” he closed his eyes briefly like he was feeling for something. “Shapeshifter lately haven’t you?” Bakugou nodded, watching the way the dark green waves of air twitched around the blonde as he focused. Monoma noticed his gaze and smirked at him. “They’re nice, aren’t they? A pretty side effect for a relatively simple existence. Eijirou called me a Sin and I’m willing to bet you’re so stupid you don’t even know what that means.”

Bakugou ground his teeth together, he’d never wanted to punch someone’s teeth in as much as he did in that moment but he pushed it down, promising himself he’d take the time to go to the gym later. That thought was quickly overruled by the panic of oh shit, what if my membership has terminated. That thought was then overwritten with the realisation that that worry was stupid, it had only been like a week. “I know what a sin is fuckface.”

Monoma gasped in fake disbelief. “Wow,” he crowed. “Now you’re nearly a tenth as clever as I am!” Bakugou sucked in a breath, willing himself to keep control of his anger even if basically all of his rational thoughts had dissolved into screaming swear words at the blonde in front of him. “Oh! Did Eijirou tell you how we met?”

“Oh my god,” Bakugou mumbled, slumping down into his chair, sorely wishing he’d denied Monoma’s request as he just knew that he was here for the long run. The demon hummed like he hadn’t heard Bakugou’s words and before the human knew it, he had been swept up into a green-tinted memory.

The wolf licked at the open wound that covered the deer’s side, scarlet steadily dripping onto the ground, mixing unsatisfyingly with the mud. A scent cut across his awareness and his ears twitched, head snapping to the side. Crusted blood peeled away from his fur until the red flakes surrounded him, their smell coating him in danger. He ground his teeth together and one of the small bones he’d been picking off the deer crumbled in his mouth, filling it with a dry powder that tasted like rocks. The moon shone down on him from behind a cloud and for a moment he was calm, the silver light covering him in peace before a far-off howl caught his attention, the promise of contact making him salivate. His thoughts sped off, whirling around in circles and entertaining possibilities so strange the wolf knew they would never be real.

“Jesus christ you’re big,” a demon grinned at him from a dense patch of trees. “An Alpha?”

Kirishima jumped at the sudden appearance and twisted his head from side to side in answer, face still contorted with a fearsome growl, the blood around his jaw starting to dry unpleasantly and making his fur clump together.

The demon whistled in appreciation, slowly approaching him. “Where’s your pack alpha?” he reached out a hand to the wolf and Kirishima flinched away, jolting back from the touch but not running off completely, content to pace a few metres away from the blonde, watching him warily. The demon frowned at the hostile actions but shrugged it off. “Are you alone?”

Kirishima growled loudly in answer, blood and spit oozing from his mouth in threat. He scratched at the ground, long claws digging up patches of dirt and the demon recognized it as the warning it was.

“You want a pack alpha?” Kirishima’s ears twitched. “I know a wolf who wants a pack as well. He’s a bit peculiar though but I think you’ll get along. His name’s Tetsutetsu. What do you think of that?” Kirishima threw his head to the side, clearly showing his disinterest but the demon only raised an eyebrow. “You’re prissy aren't you?” Kirishima bristled at the assumption and the demon laughed. “My name’s Monoma Neito.”

“Romantic isn’t it?” the demon puffed up his chest. “Are you jealous?”

“You met when he was in the middle of fucking murdering a deer, why would I be jealous?”

“Cause you met when his friends were beating the shit out of you!” Monoma bragged loudly making Bakugou’s eye twitch. The demon started laughing, the sound echoing through the room before the door crashed open and the ginger angel from before stormed in, pulling Monoma up by his shirt.

“I am so sorry,” she apologized, forcing the demon into a bow despite his protests and the grey-haired man winced at the interaction from where he'd appeared in the doorway. “We made a deal he could do what he wanted for forty minutes before we could stop him. He’s spoilt and I thought he just wanted to pretend he was stronger than he is but clearly he has no idea when he needs to control himself,” she shook him as she complained, voice pleasant despite the frustration that had bled into her voice. “I hope you’re alright?”

Bakugou let out an indignant grunt. “Are you fucking kidding me? You let him do that shit because you made a fucking deal? Why the fuck wouldn’t your common fucking sense kick in and tell you that it had moved past him trying to intimidate people?” at some point during his rant Bakugou had stood up and was prodding Monoma violently despite the blonde’s wheezed protests.

The ginger bowed to him again, her hair falling over her face and for a moment Bakugou thought he saw a tear glitter in the corner of her eye. “I am truly sorry for the problems we’ve caused you.”

Bakugou scoffed, running a hand through his hair like he could push away his urge to kick the ginger through the window. He turned to Kirishima who immediately stood straighter making the grey-haired man look at him weirdly before his eyes widened in understanding. “Please tell me you got everything you need so we can get out of this place. That way I won’t actually murder someone today.”

Monoma let out a loud laugh. “Like you could lay a hand on me-”

The ginger hit him over the back of his head, forcing him into yet another bow, muttering her apologies. Bakugou shook his head in frustration, forcing himself not to slap him.

“Yeah, we’re good to go,” Kirishima murmured to the human who only scowled at him.

 

“Shouto?” Izuku asked, cocking his head at the taller boy. “Are you alright? I’m sorry I left earlier, I just needed to clear my head.” The demon didn’t move. “Shouto? I said I was sorry, do you want me to get you like a present to apologize? What would you like? Kacchan doesn’t like presents, he thinks they’re stupid and that when I give them to him I’m looking down on his choices and trying to influence him to be like me, haha. Shouto?”

The demon flinched. “Sorry, what?”

Izuku’s gaze softened. “Are you alright?”

Shouto huffed out a laugh, still staring into space at the foot of the motel bed like he’d been when Izuku had first returned. “I’m fine. Why do you want to find Katsuki so badly? He isn’t the easiest person to get along with.”

“Trust me, I know,” Izuku murmured, taking a seat next to the demon.

“I do trust you.” their eyes met and a strange sense of understanding filled the space between them. Izuku flushed a violent red and Shouto started in surprise. “Are you ok?”

Izuku blinked, still staring up at the taller boy. “Yeah-yes, I’m fine.” Oh my god.

“Izuku?”

The shorter boy nodded at him, mouth parted slightly like he was expecting something. Shouto brushed it off, thoughts spiralling back to his father and the duty that was starting to seem more and more impossible.

“Enji will be proud of you young Shouto.” Toshinori wheezed, golden blood pooling over his fingers from the large wound in his stomach. “But this does not have to be your only purpose. You are your own person.”

Shouto ignored him, eyes fixed on the golden droplets that were flecked over his hands. “What have I done?” he whispered, barely audible but Toshinori’s senses allowed him to pick up on it.

“You have done your duty, young Todoroki. I wish I could say I expected otherwise. In the end, we all return to our roots. Yours just happen to be covered in blood.”

“I’m sorry,” Shouto managed, thick tears blurring his vision, freezing and steaming as they made their way down his face. “But I don’t want to be forgotten.”

Toshinori smiled at him, the large grin having never left his face. “You won’t. Go to your contractor child. He will need company.”

Shouto closed his eyes, reaching out to Katsuki through his energy and only being able to sense an overwhelming calm. “He’s going to die isn’t he?” he asked, despite already knowing the answer. Toshinori nodded and Shouto screwed his eyes shut, throat growing tight. “I hate you.”

“How long do you want to live for?” Shouto wondered out loud, glancing at Izuku. “I’ve always wanted to die pretty early on. Is that bad? I just can’t imagine living for eternity.”

Izuku frowned at the question but decided to indulge the other boy. “Why not? I think it would be nice to live forever, you would never have to worry about wasting your life away if you knew you could just live a century longer.”

“Do you know how many people you can lose in a lifetime?” Shouto bit back, his tone sobering. “Imagine that for eternity. God, everyone I’ve cared about has had to die. And those who I think I might care about…” he refused to look at Izuku. “I know they’ll die soon.”

“If Kacchan died I don’t know what I’d do,” Izuku admitted and Shouto stilled, the shorter boy not knowing just how true the words were for him. “I can understand why you wouldn’t want that pain.”

Shouto didn’t reply, relishing the quiet that had spread around them when Izuku realised Shouto was done talking. Izuku’s phone buzzed and the sound made both of them jump. Carefully, Izuku reached towards it, frowning at the unfamiliar contact number.

“It's a picture,” he mumbled to Shouto who only nodded in response, curious about who was suddenly texting the smaller boy. They looked at each other and Shouto shrugged at him, gesturing to open the message. Izuku keyed in his password and Shouto didn’t even pretend to look away but from Izuku’s slow smile he didn’t think the other boy minded.

“The date Kacchan and I got the house,” he offered as an explanation for the series of digits. There was a faint click as the phone unlocked.

Izuku’s breath hitched.

The photo was slightly blurred but there was no denying that it was Kacchan, the blonde wearing a leather jacket Izuku had never seen before and holding hands with an unfamiliar redhead as they rushed down a busy street, neon lights blaring around them. The picture had been taken when the redhead had looked over his shoulder to grin at Kacchan who only grinned back, their eyes twinkling in the lights of the street signs, practically screaming happiness.

The phone fell out of his hand and Shouto caught it, holding it closer so he could properly analyse the duo’s surroundings.

That was from a few days ago, followed it, the text strangely ominous.

Wanna know why he ran away from you Izuku-sama? <3

“Sama?” Shouto asked, tilting the screen so Izuku could see the texts. The shorter boy wrinkled his nose at the name and shook his head to Shouto to assure the demon he had no idea who it was.

I love Izuku-sama so I’ll tell him everything!!!! 。^‿^。

Kacchan ran away so he could be with his boyfriend! He thinks you’re a little bit useless Deku~

He didn’t want to have to deal with you anymore because I know that in his heart, he truly hates you!!! (✿◠‿◠)

Don’t worry though Izuku-sama! I can take care of you!! <3 <3 <3

Shouto placed the phone down on the floor between them, carefully watching Izuku’s expression and inwardly wincing when it went dangerously blank. “I’m sure she’s lying.”

“Then when did she take that picture?”

It was silent and Shouto watched Izuku’s aura flare threateningly, a clear sign that his anger was very close to overwhelming him and his more human instincts. His own instincts started to tug at him, beckoning him to leave, to run, to flee.

He ignored them, his gaze still focused on Izuku who had started to breathe heavier. Belatedly, Shouto realised a small tear had started to trickle down his cheek, catching the thin beams of light that flickered through the cheap blinds. “Izuku?”

“My hand hurts,” the smaller boy muttered and Shouto’s gaze immediately shot to the clenched fist, drops of gold rolling down his skin like gems, the liquid glittering prettily, his own instincts telling him how delicious the golden blood looked. He lifted a hand to unfurl Izuku’s fist, pleasantly surprised when Izuku actually let him help. Katsuki had always wanted to lick his wounds himself, never letting himself show any weakness yet Izuku readily displayed it with an attitude that screamed ‘I’ve had worse’.

“Izuku, can you give me your other hand?” Shouto asked quietly, his heart wanting to break Izuku out of the spell he’d fallen under while his brain screamed at him that this was it, this was his chance, he should sink his claws into Izuku’s chest and pull out his heart until his entire body was covered in gold.

The smaller boy gave it to him, gaze not shifting from the far wall, eyes foggy with unwanted emotions. “Thank you,” the demon murmured, cradling them together, and wrapping his own hands around them to try and reassure the boy that he was there. Izuku’s eyes flicked to him briefly when he squeezed the hands in support so he counted it as a victory.

“They were lying about Kacchan wanting to leave,” Izuku finally spoke, his fingers flexing in Shouto’s hold. “They have to be. He can’t-” his voice broke and another tear rolled down his cheek. Neither of them moved to stop it. “He can’t want to.” he let out another sob. “I thought he wanted to stay with me.” Shouto didn’t say anything, letting Izuku speak and trying to piece together the situation himself. “Was it just pity?” he turned to the demon whose eyes widened at the sight of the other boy.

His green hair was messy and smoothed down on the left side from where he’d been leaning against the bed. His skin was ruddy with tear tracks and red splotches that had surfaced as he cried. His green eyes were still shimmering with gold but there were fewer flecks than before and as he watched, a fat tear swept down his face, golden spots leaving a trail of glitter down his face. Izuku hiccuped in another sob and leant back so his head could rest against the bed, an audible thunk echoing through the room at the motion. Izuku’s shoulders jumped up and down slightly as he huffed out a laugh.

“God, I do look pathetic.” he bolted up, whirling to Shouto and tugging his hands out of Shouto’s hold only to tug Shouto’s hands closer to him using his own. “But I’m not useless! I’m smart and good at basic tasks and me and Kacchan are friends now. I swear we are.” he slumped slightly, shifting closer to the taller demon. “You said it yourself, right? Fate’s a strange thing.”

Shouto nodded in agreement, transfixed by the smaller boy, his hands itching to pull him even closer for reasons he couldn’t seem to explain. For a moment he was faced with the distinct memory of Shinsou and Katsuki leaning into each other as the sun set just so they could be closer to the other. What did they do after they were close though?

“And I know better than anyone that Kacchan isn't the easiest person to get along with.” Shouto scoffed and Izuku rolled his shoulders back, more confident at the positive reaction even if all he was reaffirming Shouto’s earlier words. “But I stuck with him despite that and I’m not going to stop now. And even if he does have a boyfriend, I’ll just get along with him as well!”

Shouto chuckled at the smaller boy’s sudden drive. “I can see why you’re the new holder,” he whispered. “You’re going to be amazing Soul.”

Izuku frowned at the name but brushed it off, heart still tingling strangely from what sounded oddly like an accidental confession though Izuku couldn’t see what was so wrong with him knowing it. “Thank you.” he shuffled until his knees were brushing against Shouto’s, red flashing across the demon’s cheeks. “I hope I’ll make you proud.” Shouto grinned at him, eyes glistening in pride.

“I know you will. You’ve just got to believe in yourself a little first.” Izuku smiled back up at him and suddenly Shouto was acutely aware of his hands in Izuku’s, the contact having successfully stabilised the shorter boy. Following his gaze, Izuku flushed, snatching his hands back to the demon’s silent protest. Shouto attempted to send the shorter boy a signal that he wanted to hold hands again using his eyes but Izuku was staring down at his knees, hands fisted in the thin material of his jeans. Shouto sighed out, every dangerous thing he’d ever done suddenly paling in comparison to the surprisingly daunting task he’d set himself.

He sucked in a breath and grabbed Izuku’s hands, pulling them to his chest like he was afraid Izuku would take them back. The shorter boy blinked up at him and Shouto was sure he could hear his blood pounding against his veins, panicking at his own actions.

“Sho-” his voice cracked. “Shouto?”

“I’m sorry Izuku,” the demon murmured, pushing all of his worries aside and tugging him into a long kiss.

Izuku’s brain short-circuited. Oh. This was new.

Shouto’s lips pressed against Izuku’s, smiling at the way the shorter boy melted into the touch. Hesitantly, Izuku’s lips shifted against his own, trying out his own methods and Shouto let him, their lips moulding to the other’s almost effortlessly, their connection making Izuku’s heart soar and the tingling feeling of the other boy’s unrestrained aura bursting with joy made Shouto want to cry with happiness.

Finally, he pulled away, not trusting himself to be able to control his urges if they went any further. A drunk woman outside their room cackled at something one of her companions had said and the loud noise made Izuku scramble back, Shouto mimicking him in the other direction. Embarrassed, they avoided eye contact, Izuku’s fingers fidgeting in their hold and Shouto squeezed his experimentally, smiling guiltily at Izuku when the other boy started at the sudden contact. If that was how it felt, he could see why Shinsou and Katsuki did it so much.

“So-”

“You did not need to be sorry for that,” Izuku interrupted before flushing. “Sorry.”

“You didn’t need to be sorry for that,” Shouto returned and they both laughed awkwardly.

“Uh, I might get some sleep now,” Izuku smiled shyly at him and the demon felt his cheeks grow hot.

“That’s fine,” Shouto smiled back. “We can work out what to do later.” He wasn’t sure whether he was talking about the kiss or finding Katsuki.

Izuku nodded, slowly at first before speeding up as he grew more certain. “Yeah, that sounds good to me.” he stood up and approached the bed before glancing over his shoulder. “The, um, kiss was good, nice ,” he corrected himself, tucking a curl behind his ear. “It was nice.”

Shouto looked away, afraid that Enji would be able to see him being so vulnerable. “Same.”

Izuku didn’t notice his sudden aversion to the topic and laid down, shifting around until he was comfortable. “Goodnight.”

“Goodnight.”

Shouto sighed out, collapsing onto the floor, his head relatively cushioned by the cheap carpeting. Izuku’s phone almost glowed in his sightline and he risked a glance at Izuku only to see him sleeping soundly, unaware of the demon’s actions. A small part of him was proud at how much the other boy seemed to trust him but the rest of him was just worried about the boy’s safety if he was this unworried.

He reached for the phone, ignoring the superhero background and going straight to unlocking it, quickly typing in the password he’d seen Izuku use earlier. He examined the picture of Katsuki and the redhead but instead of looking at the surroundings he zoomed in on the redhead’s face, a small part of him convinced that he’d seen it before. A small peek of fangs told him what he’d already assumed; this man wasn’t human. He wasn’t a demon, there was a small scab on his left hand that was tinted with red blood and he wasn’t a vampire because Shouto could see him in the picture.

“Weird,” he muttered before the answer hit him. “Werewolf.” he reached up a hand to rub his temples. “Of course it’s a werewolf. Of course.” he glanced back at the picture, shifting to Katsuki’s face. He looked happy and from the casual way they held hands he had to assume they knew each other relatively well, not to mention the happiness that practically oozed from the redhead until Shouto could sense it even through the picture.

A bird cawed outside and Shouto groaned, getting up to shoo it away from the window but when he creaked open the window he couldn’t see anything. Frowning, he leaned out a little further, trying to make out the animal, ice hardening in his hand in case it was a trap. He came up empty-handed and let the window swing closed, turning back around only to jump violently.

A relatively short angel with light brown hair was panting in the middle of the room, her hair slicked down with sweat and irregular cuts that looked like claw marks traced up and down her arms, crusted with white blood. Her cheeks were flushed like she’d been running and whenever she heaved in a slightly more painful breath, feathers flickered into existence around her.

She looked up and the determination in her gaze caught Shouto offguard.

“I need your help.”

 

Bakugou sneered down at his feet as they trudged through the cold forest, torches arching through the air and grazing off of branches. Mina shivered a few metres away, clutching her hot pink jacket closer to herself.

“I told you, you should’ve brought a coat,” Sero murmured next to her but she ignored him, reaching into her pocket to pull out a cigarette and lighting it with a click of her fingers, pink sparks creating smoke. Bakugou wrinkled his nose at the smell and Kirishima smiled at him, a red scarf draped over his shoulders. Bakugou ignored the redhead, content to keep his eyes on the ground in front of him. Denki yawned somewhere behind them, his luminescent winter boots crushing the autumn leaves.

“How much further?” he asked, muffling another yawn with his hand.

Kirishima sniffed the air, confusion flickering over his face. “Not far, I can smell their house.” Bakugou raised both of his eyebrows, summoning his patience as the fact that Kirishima could smell his fucking house quickly became his main thought.

“Why did we even have to go through the forest Ei?” Denki complained, his breath misting in the night air. “Could have just got an uber.”

“Multitasking Pikachu,” Mina reminded him, tipping her cigarette in his direction before taking another drag, pointedly facing away from Kirishima. “We’re demon hunting.”

Bakugou blanched. “What the fuck?” he whispered to himself but from Sero’s chuckle, he knew it wasn’t as quiet as he’d wanted it to be.

“We should be at your home soon Blasty, stop worrying.”

“Fuck you, I wasn’t fucking worried shithead.” Bakugou shot back, bristling at the accusation.

“I feel like Mystery fricking Incorporated,” Denki moaned and Sero snorted.

“Bakugou can be Daphne.”

“Fuck you.”

Kirishima glanced up at the moon, worry flitting over his face. “We don’t have that long, do we?” Sero followed his gaze and shook his head.

“We’ll need to act soon, find him when the moon is complete then catch him when we’re most powerful.”

“Double-edged sword though,” Mina muttered, the tension between her and Kirishima melting slightly as they both acknowledged the problem. “The demon will be stronger as well.” Bakugou glanced between the three of them, a sudden heaviness covering them.

“What’s stronger?” he asked, words not really registering in his mind. “A werewolf or a demon?”

Sero grinned at him. “Typically demons but Ei’s a rare case. Just aren’t any alphas left anymore. He’s a dying breed.” Kirishima looked down, refusing to meet Bakugou’s gaze.

“Oh.”

It was all he could manage, the heaviness from before suddenly suffocating.

Mina rolled her eyes at them. “Ei can’t you just transform? It’ll make this whole thing easier,” she asked the redhead, cutting through the sudden awkwardness and although her eyes were still relatively cold Bakugou could see them soften slightly as Kirishima smiled sadly at her.

He looked away, glancing at Bakugou. “But…”

“Oh my God!” her and Denki groaned and even Sero started to massage his temples.

Denki breathed out. “Look, he’s still gonna want to fuck you when you’re a wolf!”

“Not how I’d word it,” Sero murmured, wincing slightly. “Bestiality’s not how I assumed this conversation would go.”

“Excuse me?” Bakugou exploded. “I don’t want to fuck him now you fucking morons! Fuck off Dunce Face, you don’t know shit.”

Denki nodded sagely. “See?”

Kirishima’s mouth fell open. “Um, Denki, I don’t think-”

“Just fucking do it Shitty Hair,” Bakugou muttered, head turned to the side until only his red ears were visible. “It’ll get me home quicker.”

Kirishima glanced up at the almost full moon and sighed, realising that he couldn’t pawn this off to the other two wolves. He tramped over to a far patch of woodland and the others were silent as they heard the faint rustling of him shrugging off his clothes before there was a loud thump. Slowly, heavy steps got closer and Bakugou flicked a torch in their direction, revealing a large black wolf, red eyes glistening in the light. Carefully, he approached Bakugou, eyes glittering with understanding. The blonde swallowed as he looked the wolf over, hesitantly reaching out a hand to touch the unnaturally warm fur. Kirishima let out a sound akin to a purr, leaning into the steady touch and, encouraged, Bakugou pressed more firmly, smoothing his hand over Kirishima’s fur. Sero let out a wolf whistle and Bakugou flushed violently jumping back and snatching his hand back to his chest. Denki and Sero exchanged glances and Kirishima rolled his eyes at them.

The wolf sniffed the air slowly before darting off down a side track, his eyes narrowed. Mina stretched her arms above her head, chucking her cigarette somewhere behind her but Bakugou didn’t hear it land. She brought her arms down, grinning and when Bakugou looked at her directly, pink seemed to fringe her entire body, tinting her skin rose. Her acid coloured eyes met Sero’s gaze before fluttering closed. She rolled up her sleeve, bearing a shimmering forearm.

“You ready?” she asked and Sero beamed at her, knowing she would sense the encouragement.

“Always.”

As Bakugou watched, golden circles started to emerge from the demon’s skin, glittering in the darkness. Belatedly, Bakugou realised all of the torches were off and the only sources of light were Mina’s strange pink hue and the circles. Slowly, they slotted into what seemed to be their rightful place, hovering over each other with about half an inch of space between each one. Light erupted from them and Bakugou watched the seven circles collide into one, strands of light bleeding into the off-puttingly empty circle and twisting around each other to form sharp lines and symbols, shapes infecting the dark space. Sero glanced at the blonde, grinning when he saw how enraptured he was at the show, well aware of the fact that Mina was deliberately trying to impress him. Mina’s eyes flared open and the symbol appeared over Sero’s head, coating him in a neon yellow light before fading into the night, leaving the four in darkness.

“You’re so extra Mina,” Denki yawned, reminding Bakugou of his presence.

Mina winked at him, casting a side glance at Bakugou. “It worked.” Sero hummed in agreement and Denki followed their gazes to the other blonde.

“Oh my god,” he realised. “You are such a try hard!”

“You’re just jealous,” the demon shrugged. “Sorry you don’t have a contract.”

Denki scoffed. “Sorry Sero’s gonna die early.”

Sero’s eyebrows jumped. “Um, Denki.”

Mina bristled at the blonde wolf’s accusation. “Do you ever think before you speak? God, I know why Ei had to take you in, you fucking weakling .” she ran a hand through her hair, the curls bouncing back into place as her voice hardened abruptly. “I’m going to go and help Ei, you guys can stay here. Sero, stay safe.” the two’s eyes met and Sero nodded. Satisfied, she left, speeding off into the thick branches. Sero didn’t watch her go, turning back to the two blondes.

“I’m gonna head back,” Denki murmured, eyes fixed on his boots, his shoulder sagging. Bakugou wasn't sure what Mina had meant but it had clearly affected the other blonde. “Let Ei know.” he sloped off back in the direction they had come and Bakugou shivered, feeling like he had just seen something he really wasn’t meant to. Risking a glance at Sero, the blank look on the taller boy’s face caught him offguard. As he watched, the wolf clenched his fists, staring off back down the path like if he stayed still for long enough the other boy would come back.

A few moments later, Bakugou watched his shoulders slump and his face crease at the edges like he wanted to scream. “Right then,” he muttered. “Let’s head on. He’ll find his own way back.” Sero opened his mouth like he wanted to say something else before closing it again, bringing up a hand to brush a few strands of hair back from his face.

“Are you alright?” Bakugou asked, the forest still between the two of them and Sero clicked on a torch, the sudden beam of light making the blonde jump. Sero huffed out a laugh, rolling his shoulders back.

“It doesn’t matter. We need to carry on.”

They continued down the path, the silence between them making Bakugou wince.

“So, you're gonna be home soon.” Sero started, looking like he would rather be anywhere but the forest. “That’ll be fun.”

Bakugou groaned. “You do know you don’t have to make conversation with me, right?”

Sero shrugged. “Kirishima likes you, it’d be nice to get to know you, don’t you think?”

Bakugou frowned. “Not really.” Sero sighed, already tired.

“Look, I’m trying to speak to you like a normal person, it’d be nice if you at least tried.”

“You aren’t normal Tape Face,” Bakugou sneered at him. “And what if I don’t want to fucking try?”

“Then you don’t deserve Kirishima,” Sero smiled and Bakugou’s mouth fell open as he sputtered for an answer.

“I don’t fucking want Kirishima! You can keep him shithead, I don’t give a shit!” Sero looked him up and down before slinging an arm around his shoulder, silently laughing at the way Bakugou immediately seemed to tense up in a sort of fight or flight reaction.

“Ah, you’re adorable,” he grinned, tugging the blonde closer. Bakugou huffed at him, crossing his arms and leaning away from the contact. “You just need a few lessons in dealing with social situations and you’ll be fine.”

“I don’t need lessons !” Bakugou ground out, glaring at the taller boy. “Fuck you.”

“Maybe just some friendly advice then,” Sero smiled. “Ei’ll help!”  Bakugou shuddered and the other boy laughed at him, pulling his arm back so they were walking side by side again, a slightly more comfortable silence separating them.

“Is Dunce Face going to be ok?” Bakugou asked, his voice quiet and Sero froze for a second, the sudden stillness barely noticeable but Bakugou felt the way his arm locked in place next to his own.

“Yeah.” He swallowed. “He’ll be fine.” Bakugou decided not to comment on the scared look on the other boy’s face. “He’ll be fine.”

“What was Mina talking about?” Bakugou murmured and Sero stopped walking, staring down at the ground in desperation.

“It's nothing, just friendly joking.” he scratched at his wrist, the motions getting faster and faster. “It's nothing. Denki’ll be fine.”

Bakugou reached out a hand and slapped Sero’s away. “Stop it, idiot. God, you’re like Deku.”

Sero frowned down at his feet. “Useless?” Bakugou’s eyes widened.

“Friendly joking.”

They glanced at each other and Sero shot him a watery smile. “I hate that excuse. It's never true.”

Bakugou hummed in acknowledgement, guilt wrapping around him like vines. “It's never friendly either.” A branch shifted a few metres away but they both brushed it off as the wind. “Mina called Kirishima a lone wolf at Monoma’s place,” Bakugou muttered.

“I know,” Sero murmured and Bakugou looked up at him in confusion. The taller boy shrugged, pushing his hands into his pockets. “Mina told me, she felt pretty shit about it.” Bakugou frowned. “Um, werewolves operate in packs but Ei used to be a lone wolf. Emotions can balance each other out in packs so pack wolves are generally way more stable than lone wolves. When Ei was alone, he says it was some of the darkest moments of his life because of how amplified his feelings were. There aren’t many lone wolves cause most people can’t handle it for long. Werewolves thrive in packs where they can build emotional connections where the other wolf understands their wants.”

“Oh,” Bakugou said, twisting his mouth to the side as the full weight of what Sero had just told him came together with the memory the blonde demon had gleefully shown him before. “And that’s where Monoma came in.”

“Yep. Ei and Tetsu were a small pack but just having one other wolf is never enough. But that’s where the problems started. Tetsu isn’t a werewolf and at his core, he just couldn’t understand what Kirishima needed, no matter how deep their bond went. So Ei wanted to create a pack with more werewolves and one day, him and Monoma were in the city when they found me in an alleyway. Ei likes to say it was fate.

“He turned me and kind of took me under his wing. Monoma didn't like it because he wanted Ei to himself but Ei told him he’d have to deal with it and they had a massive fight but they stayed together. Then, me and Ei found Denki, who had abandoned by his old pack for being too… weak and we kinda picked him up but he never really got over it, being abandoned. Monoma snapped and left Ei when he finally realised me and Denki were there to stay.” Sero sucked in a breath through his teeth. “And that’s why Mina called Denki weak.”

Bakugou worried his lip between his teeth. “Right. Why did he turn you though? Did he just feel like it?”

Sero flinched. “I was dying and he decided to give me another chance at living.”

“What happened?”

Sero’s sad smile fractured slightly. “The building wasn’t tall enough.”

Bakugou’s head snapped to him.

A loud caw startled both of them and Sero whipped around, stabbing out a hand to get ready to push Bakugou back. Both of their gazes fell on a crow who was perched on a low hanging branch, gazing down at them with surprising intelligence reflected in its eyes. Bakugou shuddered. Another caw echoed throughout the forest and Sero turned around to see another crow perched on a taller branch opposite the other one. As one, the crows tilted their heads to the side and turned back to the two figures standing on the path. Bakugou took a step back and leaves crunched under his foot revealing a deep rabbit hole.

“Crap,” he cursed, jumping away from the opening that was almost exactly his foot size. Sero glanced at him but quickly realised the blonde was alright and turned back to the crows. Carefully, he twisted his hand deliberately, motioning for them to carry on. Bakugou glanced back up at the crows, watching the way their eyes followed him as he rejoined Sero and they slowly started to walk through the forest, the torch focused on the ground and making weird shapes reflect in the crows’ completely black pupils.

As they disappeared through the trees Sero glanced behind them, eyes widening when he saw several more crows perched on the branches around them, all watching him and Bakugou with strangely calculating black eyes.

“You live here?” he murmured to the blonde who winced.

“Not my first choice. It was just the cheapest option we could find.”

“We?”

“I live with Deku.” Sero raised his eyebrows in an acknowledging nod, noting the way Bakugou’s eyebrows seemed to twist together whenever he talked about the other. “We grew up together and his mum asked me to… keep an eye on him.” he breathed out a laugh self-deprecating. “I owed him that much after everything I’d done so I agreed.” he whipped to Sero, eyes alight with pain. “You know, after everything I said to him, after everything I made him do, he never told his mum I was anything less than perfect. She always thought I was his best friend.” he reached up a hand to massage his forehead. “He dropped out of college pretty early on, said he hated all of the noise and people. Too much contact I guess. He had a choice, to go home with his mum or stay here with me. God knows why he thought I was the better option.”

“Do you wish he’d gone home?” Sero asked, placing a steady hand on Bakugou’s shoulder.

Bakugou stilled. “Yeah,” he quietly admitted before sweeping a hand through his hair agitatedly. “Then I wouldn’t even be in this fucking mess!”

“Then you wouldn’t have met Kirishima,” Sero murmured, rubbing circles into his skin.

Bakugou brushed his hand off, striding down the path with new purpose. “It'd be for the fucking better.”

 

Mina and Kirishima were waiting for them when they reached the house, Mina lounging against the kitchen window, fogging up the glass with pink cigarette smoke. Kirishima jumped up when he saw them, waving excitedly at the duo before frowning and looking behind them. “Where’s Denki?” Mina’s head snapped up, worry flashing over he features.

Sero glanced at her before turning back to Kirishima. “He went home, didn’t say why.”

Kirishima nodded slowly, still not looking entirely convinced. Bakugou breezed past them and tapped the back door's glass with a nail, frowning when there wasn’t any hint of a reply. On instinct, his hand drifted to his jacket pocket before he realised that A) it wasn’t his jacket and B) he didn’t have his keys. He turned to Kirishima who flushed in realisation, pulling Bakugou’s house keys out of his pocket. Their fingers brushed when Kirishima handed them over but Bakugou didn’t react to it, staring down at the thin red strap attached to the dull keys, lost in a memory he didn’t know existed.

“Kacchan, I got the keys copied like you needed, sorry, wanted! These ones are shinier, so you should probably keep them, I can have the old ones!”

Bakugou looked over the keys appraisingly, raising an eyebrow. “What’s the red thing?”

Deku straightened, scratching at his palm slightly, sweat prickling at the back of his neck. “Um, it's like a charm! But then I realised Kacchan probably wouldn’t like charms that much so I just got a red band so you can attach it to your coat and stuff, I got myself a green one so we kind of match! Um, if you don’t want it I can take it back or just put it in the bin or-”

“Stop worrying shithead, you’re giving me a headache.” Deku looked down, ashamed and Bakugou groaned at him. “It's fucking fine, I’ll keep it.” Deku’s head shot up, his eyes glittering with pride. “You’re lucky red’s my favourite colour.”

“Bakugou?” Kirishima asked, placing a hand on his shoulder. “You good?”

The blonde nodded, snapping out of the trance to unlock the door, tugging it open and wincing at the slow creak that echoed from the wood. “Not my first choice,” he muttered, glancing at Sero who met his gaze with a helpless shrug. He stepped into the stale house, coughing at the amount of dust swirling through the air. He glanced at Kirishima who didn’t meet his gaze, focused on the darkness of the house. Bakugou flicked on a light switch and the luminescent kitchen beams flared through the faint shadows. There was a thin layer of dust over the kitchen counter. As if in a dream Bakugou approached the table, refusing to believe what his gut instinct was telling him.

His gaze fell on the silver foil that lay forgotten on the wood, four holes where pills were missing.

“Deku?” he called, breaths growing quicker at the lack of reply. “Deku!” he yelled, running into the hall and up the stairs to the shorter boy’s bedroom, preparing himself for what he was half expecting to find. “Deku where the fuck are you?” the door crashed open and Bakugou cursed when he all he found was another layer of dust blanketing the bed, the air somehow stuffier than it had been downstairs. Bakugou’s gaze drifted to the bathroom and he sucked in a breath, praying to anything that he wouldn’t find the scene his mind had immediately thrown at him when he hadn’t been welcomed back. He pushed the bathroom door open, sagging against the doorframe in relief when Deku wasn’t lying on the floor covered in blood.

“Hello?” he heard Mina call from downstairs and the house seemed to get quieter at the sound, receding into itself. Bakugou slowly made his way back downstairs, his steps growing heavier and heavier.

Bakugou tugged out a chair without thinking, falling onto it. “He’s gone.” he cradled his head in his hands, hunching over the chair, trying to place his head between his legs like he’d been taught to do by Deku himself after the nerd had realised Bakugou experienced panic attacks as well. Holy shit, what if his body’s in a fucking river somewhere or splattered over some fucking concrete, shit, shit, shit, shit.

Kirishima and Sero glanced at each other and Kirishima swallowed, inhaling a quick gulp of air. “He hasn’t been here for a while.” the redhead walked over to the blonde, reaching out a hand like he wanted to touch him but decided not to.

“Ei?” Sero murmured, gaze fixed on the doorframe. The redhead looked up and blanched, a handprint cleanly burnt into the wood. Noticing, the redhead’s complexion Sero sucked in a breath. “It gets worse. Wait till you see the fingerprints.”

Bakugou frowned at the two of them through his fingers, getting up to inspect the mark. “The actual fuck is this?” the swirls where fingerprints would typically be were carved into a definitively non-human pattern and when Bakugou reached out his hand to touch them he felt a rush of heat carve through the air towards him, pushing him away. He pulled his hand back, carefully placing it by his hip. Sero frowned at his reaction, brushing his fingers against the indentation without harm.

Kirishima paled even further as he took in another long sniff. “A Todoroki was here.”

His eyes met Bakugou’s.

Mina shivered at the sudden cold that seemed to blanket them, turning to Bakugou. “God, this house is coated in energy. Do you want to die?”

Bakugou rolled his eyes at her. “I wasn't really aware of it before my fucking spirit quest.” Sero snorted. “Where did he go?”

Sero’s grin faded. “We don’t know.”

“We could ask the psychic,” Mina offered and Kirishima sucked in a breath, eyes widening.

“Yeah, no!” he pointedly did not look at Bakugou who was frowning at him. “Let’s not do that.”

Sero reached up a hand to massage his temples, realising Kirishima's distress. “I swear Ei, if you don’t get your shit together it will end up killing us all.”

Mina tilted her head from side to side like she was considering it. “You know he has a point.”

“I don’t need to get my shit together thanks,” Kirishima muttered. “I just don’t think he could help us.”

“If this psychic could find him, I’m up for it.” Bakugou interrupted. “How long would it take? Would he know why Deku left? God, his mum’s gonna kill me. I can’t believe I lost him again .”

“Again?” Mina raised an eyebrow.

“We were in middle school and I told him to kill-” he cut himself off, looking sick and avoiding Sero’s gaze. “It doesn’t matter.”

“Friendly joking?” Sero offered and Bakugou scoffed in disbelief like he couldn’t believe what he’d done.

“Something like that.” he turned back to Mina. “What were you saying about the psychic?”

“I said no!” Kirishima yelled and the kitchen fell silent, the house around them seeming to sharpen at the loud noise. “We aren’t going to him. He won’t help.” he whipped to Mina. He’ll just end up finding a way to steal Bakugou back so everything would be like it was when he had him. “Please, he won’t help, he’s a selfish jerk. Please, Mina.”

She looked him up and down, realising he was serious. “Fine,” she sighed and Sero rolled his eyes. “How are we going to help?”

“Who says we have to help?” Kirishima said, running a hand through his hair. Bakugou froze. “We have a job now and you said it yourself, this house has a ton of energy, if we stay here or even just keep coming back we’ll only make it worse. It would be best for Bakugou to call the police and let humans deal with it. I’m just looking at what would keep Bakugou the safest here.”

Mina growled at him, pink fringing her like it had in the forest. “Ei you take one look at that handprint and tell me humans will be able to find him. Besides, aren’t we just back to where we started? Just searching for Soul again. And wouldn’t it be better to have Bakugou come with us? He knows Soul. He can help and if he’s with us, he’ll be safe.”

Sero sagged where he was standing. “She has a point. We’re just back where we started. This whole thing was just a massive waste of time. And now we know the Todoroki’s are involved. Are you sure you even want to carry on looking for him?”

“Look, I’m not saying we should look for Soul, Sero. I’m saying we should look for Deku.” Mina murmured and Bakugou looked at her, surprised at the unexpected support. She caught his gaze and her lip quirked up. “There’s a fuck ton of magic energy in this house and I think Blasty has some potential no matter how hard he seems to be trying to convince me otherwise.”

Sero glanced at the handprint again, recalling Bakugou’s reaction. His eyes narrowed, glancing between the blonde and the charred wood. “Potential, huh?”

 

Tokoyami shuddered at the cold even as the shadows around him enveloped him in an empty heat, the swirls of black twisting over his body until he couldn’t make out the pale skin. He reached up a hand to grab at his duvet, doubled over his bed as he tried to find purchase even as the black heaved up and down like they were trying to breathe. Against his will, he found himself slowly starting to breathe along with them. Purple-tinted tendrils snaked up his neck and wordlessly he lifted his head to allow them more room to creep up his skin. Abruptly they tightened and he jolted at the consuming feeling of his bones being swallowed into the black.

I’m hungry.

The shadows around him hissed as one, voices sliding over each other.

I will feed tonight, I must.

Get me food vessel.

The human took a step forward, the shadows around him heaving with every breath, drifting into his skin with every movement. “Who?”

He felt the shadows smile as one, their grip constricting mockingly.

I smell magic blood nearby.

There was a long inhale like the shadow was sniffing the air.

Yes, strong magic blood. Let me show you, see with my eyes.

Tokoyami blanched but nodded slowly, acutely aware of the heavy pressure of the black around his neck. Tendrils of purple clawed up his face, stretching his skin thinly over the shadows. One strand reached over his eye and steadily, others joined it until his eyes were covered in the shifting darkness, pressing down on his eyelids and forcing his eyes open.

Now then…

The creature hummed, narrowing impossibly around the human, tugging at his lungs. Tokoyami’s eyes flared white and for a second all he could see was a blinding light until it calmed down and he could make out a blonde boy standing by a kitchen windowsill, holding a steaming mug and staring out at the forest, his dark orange eyes twisted in frustration.

Strong magic blood.

The shadow whispered like it was a reminder. As Tokoyami watched the blonde turned away from the windowsill and walked further into the house, throwing some silver foil down onto the table. If Tokoyami squinted he could make out the bumps of pills pressing against the foil.

“Who is he?” the human mumbled, eyes forcefully stuck on the figure.

Names are irrelevant, vessel.

Tokoyami nodded unwillingly, the shadows pulling at his jaw and pushing it down like he was nothing as he was forced to agree with the deep voice. Suddenly, the shadows sharpened, scraping against his figure as they scratched and bit into his skin, black thorns endlessly swirling around him, swathing him in the fake plants. He choked out a small breath as a spike carved its way down his face, leaving a trail of invisible red in its wake, the blood immediately swallowed up by the darkness.

We will kill him together and you will achieve your wish.

The thorns slid back into the heavy weight, the sharp edges gone and the dark mass of shadows back to snaking around him.

I promise.