There was something reassuring in the high that came with.
Bakugou would have never considered using illegal substances, the idea of smoking seemed stupid to him but now it was practically a godsend. He didn’t know everything about weed, but what he did know was that inhaling at first left him hacking up a lung, and then every time after it was bliss.
It gave him pressure in his head, ever so slight like a hat on too tightly. A slight twirl of dizziness, and then, he didn’t care anymore.
He found himself grinning at thins he wouldn’t have found amusing before. He found the small jokes or cute little comments on late night television he streamed on his laptop something funny. His fingertips felt slightly tingly, he was a bit hungry and alert and focused and for a few hours he couldn’t fathom dying.
It helped his arms which throbbed. He didn’t feel the agony in his feet or the blooming bruises across his chest. His eyes felt sticky and dry, his mouth a bit chalky and he knew he reeked of the foul sweet smoke that weed gave, but he was happy.
(He knew it was so stupid, but it had been so long since he actually felt happy he was starving to feel it again.)
So Bakugou Katsuki very casually, became a recreational drug user.
Deku and Kirishima were having their one month anniversary, and Bakugou was laying in bed completely relaxed listening to a podcast. All homework was finished, his grades were improving now that he had a way to clear his fuzzy head every once in a while, and both his ankles looked like they had gone through a meat grinder.
He hadn’t gone for a run, instead he headed out to the forest that backed the 1-A dorm building and smoked in the leisure of a fallen tree. He burned some wet leaves, allowing the pungent smell of nitroglycerin and dead leaf matter to shroud him like a blanket. Even Kaminari’s nose wouldn’t be able to pick up the reak that covered his skin. His naturally red iris’ echoed the pink sheen, disguising it by being obvious.
His hands twitches slightly, calm and relaxed. His stomach gurgled with the early pangs of hunger, but he had gotten used to always being a bit hungry. It was pathetically easy to kick that useless reflex down until it submitted. He barely even noticed it now, and if it ever really started to bother him he’d chug water or tea until his stomach was disgustingly bloated.
He was relaxed, more than he ever remembered being. Everything was soft, he was happy.
“Fuuuck.” He groaned out quietly, his voice sounding weirdly distorted and odd in his ears. It was pretty interesting, how his left ear was hearing it like it was underwater but the right seemed just fine.
The ceiling swum above him- he reached up lazily as if he could pluck the tiles with his open palm.
His classmates had done internships when he was being bogged down with being a completely useless piece of shit. He was performing better now but he had wasted so much time. He could have gotten his license first time if he didn’t waste his time so much before. He could have actually learned something with Best Jeanist if he hadn’t been wasting his fucking time.
God, he was such a fucking failure wasn’t he?
“Yep.” He spoke out loud, still interested in how his left ear felt so weirdly clogged. “I’m completely useless.”
It sounded so strange, even as he rubbed it with one of his twitching hands. “I’m completely a garbage piece of shit.”
He almost laughed, unable to repress the small snort at how hysterically stupid he sounded. God, he should get shitfaced more often.
“Hey! Bakugou!” Kaminari waved him over after class, slamming both hands on his desk. Bakugou didn’t put his feet down, he cracked his eyes open ever so slightly.
“What the fuck,” Bakugou snarled viciously, “do you want?”
Kaminari’s grin didn’t waver in the slightest. “Mina heard that we’re going to be having group projects soon! We were thinking-.”
“ Fuck no.” Bakugou hissed out, recoiling back in his chair like the close proximity wounded him. “Fuck you and that goddamn pink faced freak. Get the fuck out of my face and leave me the fuck alone!”
Kaminari pouted, but there was a glimmer of hurt behind his eyes.
Good, Bakugou thought savagely to himself. Eyes flickered towards the front as Aizawa commanded the room, a stack of papers in his arms.
“Alright, sit down.” Aizawa snapped, eyes flickering without interest between Bakugou and Kaminari’s dejected form. “We’ve got evaluations. Fill them out honestly. We’ll discuss this all after but these forms are for your own personal use.”
He passed the sheets around, each blank except for the printed name of each student in the class. They were going to be evaluating each other, marking things that were both positives and negatives.
Bakugou’s skin itched, insects crawling over his skin. He closed his eyes and inhaled shakily. He felt like everyone was watching him, dozens of eyes and grins laughing and chain him up he’s a goddamn villain! Muzzle him!
Bakugou picked up his pencil, eyes looking at the first name he had to evaluate. That creation chick. He could do this.
He got a stack of papers, each written in different handwriting that marked all his flaws.
He couldn’t do this.
General Consensus: relies too heavily on quirk use over physical combat abilities.
Bakugou has no ability to cooperate with partners or work in a team.
His thighs had healed over, mottled and puckered. Patches from where in his frustration he blasted the skin right off. It was disgusting and pinkish with patched of red around where the meat of his quad bulged visibly. It was good he was gaining muscle so quickly, it was good, it meant that he was being better.
(He knew he needed to get more, he knew he needed to push himself more .)
He couldn’t keep blasting them, not when he had the muscle he needed and he could afford to have large surface wounds when he practiced constantly. There was no amount of baggy pants that could hide the need for skin graphs.
What he could do was...well.
He still wasn’t getting above 95% on every assignment.
And he did own a penknife.
“Alright, you all know you’re having a group assignment.” Aizawa sighed in class, looking exhausted as he started fishing for chalk. “As you all have suspected, you get to choose the group. This of course is not the case, because a few of you were slacking about it.”
Nobody looked, but Mina and Kaminari started to very slowly sink down in their seats.
“I am assigning partners based on physical state, and the evaluations.” Aizawa continued with a sharp eye, “You are required to keep an informational report on your partner.”
Midoriya perked up, and Sero looked more glum at the thought of more work.
“This is how this is going to work.” Aizawa looked firm as he scanned his eyes over each of his students. “You are going to follow your partner’s exercise and training regime for three consecutive days, then alternate regimes. You are to note all progress and what your partner does outside of official training sessions. This is to both increase your own development, and to emphasize what it takes to get through this school.”
Aizawa’s eyes were glowing as everyone shrunk.
Mentally, everyone was sweating over the chance of being paired up with Iida…
“Here’s your partners.” Aizawa’s eyes flickered across the room sharply. “Aoyama. You’re partnered with Koda. Ashido, you’re partnered with Asui. Iida, you’re partnered with Todoroki. Uraraka you’re with Kirishima. Sato you’re with Yaoyorozu. Shoji you’re partnered with Midoriya. Sero you’re partnered with Hagakure. Tokoyami you’re partnered with Jiro. Kaminari you’re partnered with Mineta. Bakugou you’re partnered with Ojiro.”
Ojiro broke out in a sweat as Hagakure spun on her seat to pat his shoulder reassuringly.
“It’s okay!” She assured him quietly, “you’ll be fine!”
“No, I really won’t be.” Ojiro sighed already accepting his fate.
“Dude!” Kaminari wheezed out, looking completely relieved. “Mineta has no exercise! I’m saved!”
Ashido didn’t look upset, instead she was waving across the room excitedly at Asui who was awkwardly waving back.
“I’m happy I didn’t get paired up with Mr. Speedster over there.” Jiro used her thumb to beckon at Iida, who was exchanging firm professional greetings with the equally blank Todoroki.
Ojiro glanced over towards his partner, dreading for his life.
Bakugou Katsuki was reclined in his chair, perfectly balanced as he glanced out the window bored. Good god, the neck muscles on that guy were so large Ojiro wasn’t sure if he could survive one day of exercise.
“Toru,” Ojiro gulped, “I’m going to die.”
The best thing was, that since half the class was following a pre-existing routine, they didn’t actually have to change their schedule.
Which meant, Ojiro woke up fearing for his life when his door was being pounded on far too early in the morning.
“What?” He muttered, stumbling up and out of bed to open the door tiredly.
Bakugou was standing there, fuming with an aura of hate and frustration. His glare itself could cut diamonds.
“Get dressed.” Bakugou spat out, eyeing Ojiro’s sweatpants with a scowl. “We’re going running. Now.”
Ojiro looked at the clock in the hallway, “class starts in two hours?”
Bakugou crossed his arms and clicked his tongue, “You want to do this shitty as hell assignment or not, eh? Get your shoes on you lizard shit lets go.”
Ojiro did, throwing on a shirt and shoes and trying to wipe the sleep from his eyes. The sun was just starting to rise, he doubted anyone was even awake in the building yet.
“Lets go!” Bakugou shrieked back at him furiously, “I’m not holding back for your weak ass!”
God, he’s even worse in the morning. Ojiro thought to himself exhausted already. “How far are we going?”
Bakugou huffed and started to stretch one leg, surprisingly flexible. “Past the administration buildings to the western gate and around the supermarket then back along that shitty ass Koi pond.”
Ojiro stared. “That’s….that’s really far.”
Bakugou scowled. “Tch. It’s only ten kilometers. It’s morning so shut your trap and lets get going.”
Ten kilometers with class starting in two hours. It wasn’t that bad.
(Ojiro didn’t realize that they were running it in 40 minutes.)
“Toru,” Ojiro winced, sinking into his chair with aching legs, “Bakugou is a monster.”
Although he couldn’t see her, he could tell she was worried. “Is he that mean? He always seems so stressed or something.”
“No it’s just…” Ojiro trailed off with a wince, “He...he’s very passionate.”
“Oi! Where the hell you think you're going?” Bakugou shrieked, grabbing Ojiro by his tail to forcibly drag him down the hallway.
“To lunch!” Ojiro yelped back, scrambling on the seamless tile.
“No the hell you aren’t!” Bakugou was spitting fire, looking like Ojiro offended him on far more than a physical level.
“What the fuck.” Ojiro thought to himself, barely able to keep his breathing under control.
He needed many breaks. He wasn’t that experienced with swimming, it made him feel a bit uncomfortable to have a water logged soggy tail.
Bakugou though, was plowing through the goddamn water without pausing once.
“What are you doing?” Bakugou spat back, heaving with exertion. The bodysuit was well worn, fading from friction rubs along his under arms. He looked very, very used to swimming during lunch break.
‘Oh my God’ Ojiro realized in a calm sense of horror. ‘This guy is on a whole new level.’
“Get back to fucking laps!” Bakugou hissed, prickling in fury. If it wasn’t for the hand his hands were underwater, there would be blasts detonating. “You better have been fucking counting!”
“How much do you normally swim?” Ojiro dreaded to hear the answer but some part of him was very curious.
Bakugou’s nose scrunched as he scowled. “1500 meters, give or take a hundred. Get moving we have half a fucking hour you dimwit.”
1500 meters. That was a...wasn’t that a mile? In the American system?
Oh my god. Ojiro thought with a niggling sense of suspicion. The amount of weights Bakugou was forcing himself to lift was….was on Shoji’s level really. The muscles in his arms were ridiculously large, his deltoids looked like thick rope instead of firm muscle.
Ojiro’s stomach growled from missing lunch, already he felt weak and exhausted.
“Where the fuck do you think you’re going?” Bakugou pounced on him the moment he tried to sneak back to his dorm room to recover and down some pain killers. “We’re running apeshit. Two and a half hours now.”
Ojiro stared and felt sick. “But...But we already ran today. This morning.”
Bakugou looked at him like he was daft. “Yeah? Now we run again. For god’s sake, do I have to do everything around here? I run for two and a half hours now, around the full campus, then I do reps before I call it quit.”
“Reps?” Ojiro asked numbly.
“Tch.” Bakugou huffed, “Pullups and pushups and shit. Sixty pushups, thirty pullups. If you don’t finish, you don’t fucking sleep.”
‘Okay,’ Ojiro thought very calmly and very horrified. ‘This isn’t healthy.’
Ojiro stared in shock as Bakugou kept running, Ojiro having dropped out only a few kilometers into Bakugou’s fucking death sprint. For god’s sake, the explosion expert could likely finish a marathon in his state.
He made it back to the dorms, ignoring Ojiro (or forgetting all about him), and casually keeled over to vomit foaming stomach acid into the shrubbery. Over and over until it was dry heaving and casual trembling sweat.
“Whoa, you need to sit down.” Ojiro rushed over, worriedly fretting. “We can call Recovery Girl-.”
“Get your fucking hands off me.” Bakugou snapped back, spitting off to the side where he had been retching previously. He looked composed, like this was something casual. “We’re not fucking done yet you useless extra.”
Sixty pushups, and thirty pullups.
When Bakugou had just run himself into puking.
And this was normal for him.
“Hey, Toru?” Ojiro spoke into his phone shakily, “Bakugou is...really not okay.”
Bakugou looked near suffering when he was forced to oblige Ojiro’s normal exercise habit. Focusing less on speed and overall health, more on dexterity and technique.
Bakugou was the class powerhouse. More than once, Ojiro had gotten a few looks of pity for this assignment. Nobody could imagine that Ojiro was having a good time- especially when his legs and body hurt so much the next day he was visibly shaking.
Now that he was recovered a bit, he had the time and rare opportunity to look at Bakugou and truly evaluate where he stood.
Bakugou was ripped raw muscle. He drank an insane amount of water and electrolytes, likely to replenish the amount he sweated. He had fancy specialized gloves to reduce accidental explosions while he lifted weights which was rather considerate of him.
Sometimes though, when he stood up to quickly he’d sway ever so slightly. Eyes distant and glassy before he snapped to attention and snapped even crueler insults.
Ojiro couldn’t even comprehend how powerful and strong Bakugou was, even while lifting weights with him. He was built like a tank, and everything was made from scratch. Ojiro had asked Midoriya who confessed that Bakugou’s genetics actually ran on the sleeker side. Bakugou worked harder than anyone; he wouldn’t accept Ojiro’s kickboxing and plenty of breaks when the boy did competitive swimming at lunch break.
It felt a bit like...betraying his trust, to spread rumors about his insane scheduling.
Aizawa though, he was their teacher and had created the assignment.
Ojiro didn’t feel too horrible when he approached the staff room, slipping inside and making instant movement towards where Aizawa was crashed out on the staff couch there. Ojiro spotted Midnight looking at him curiously, she waved a small gesture and he smiled politely.
“Sensei?” Ojiro said, waiting calmly as Aizawa jerked awake with a groan. The bags under his eyes were vicious.
“I have concerns over the assignment,” Ojiro said, pulling out the careful spreadsheet he had made with Toru’s help once he shared his concerns. “It’s about Bakugou Katsuki’s unhealthy degree of training.”
Aizawa looked a bit prickly as he accepted the sheet, blinking quickly to clear up his vision. He stilled, very quickly sitting properly the moment he began to actually read the spreadsheet.
Ojiro had spent hours tracking both Bakugou’s scheduled exercise, and involving Toru to spy on Bakugou to determine his level of activity once using Ojiro’s own schedule. The evidence was damning.
“You’re certain on this?” Aizawa asked, eyes flickering up with a completely serious expression. “These are the rough times?”
“Exact times, I ah, used a stopwatch to make sure.” Ojiro confessed, now feeling a bit uncomfortable. “He didn’t notice I don’t think-.”
“Thank you for bringing this to my attention.” Aizawa said calmly and with a chilly layer to it. “That’s all.”
Ojiro couldn’t help but feel like it wasn’t enough.
“Bakugou, stay after class.” Aizawa said at the end of the lesson. Bakugou squinted, scowling. He assumed it would be good news- maybe they’d realized how far ahead he was in remedial lessons and would be permitted to take his exam early?
He didn’t want to stay behind anymore. He already was so far back- especially when he had heard that Deku had-...
No. He couldn’t afford to slow down and think about that. Not now, not-.
“Yeah?” He asked, trying not to let his discomfort show. “What is it?”
Aizawa stared at him with dark eyes. Bloodshot, red rimmed. He frowned, looking at something on his desk before he crossed his arms slowly. “I’m concerned about how you’re handling the stress of UA. You’ve gone through multiple traumatizing things, more than anyone your age should have. If the stress continues to accumulate-.”
“ Eh?” Bakugou hissed out, red raw fury washing through his skin. “Have my grades dropped or some shit?”
Aizawa didn’t look pleased. “Several classmates have confirmed that you’ve been sleeping in excess-.”
“I’ve been going to bed early so I can get shit done.” Bakugou defended, ignoring the way his throat tightened. Why was he not believing him? He was fine- this was- was bullshit.
“I’m ordering you to see the UA medical facilities for a complete checkup.” Aizawa continued sharply. “Immediately.”
Bakugou was smart. They would never find anything on him. His shorts went far down, past the red meat of his hips where explosions cooked him for his failures. He chugged water until weight formed and masked the unbalanced mass of his muscles. His reflexes weren’t slow from stress when electrolytes left him tingly and electric at the smallest touch.
They would never find anything fucking wrong with him, because there wasn’t anything.
He lost time, so he ran well past dusk. Leaping off his balcony railing, using a tree to slow his descent before he began his long laps in the dark, running along the treeline to stay out of sight of the security cameras. It was a normal boring Thursday, nothing special, nothing specific.
He ran, and his heaving breaths instantly recognized the thick musty reek drifting out of the forest. Lost in the darkness, the rich smell Bakugou knew in his lungs.
“Oi!” Bakugou stormed through the trees, ignoring brambles and twigs catching on his shorts. It was late, normally nobody would have caught whoever it was.
And it was a...fairly large group. Older students, third years. Some looked familiar in different ways, some looked surprised and amused by the sight of Bakugou tearing into their secret little clearing. Well established with logs made into benches, coolers with sake and other alcohol smuggled into the UA campus. Outside the third year dorms that were, surprisingly, fairly close. The trees and starlight basked in the rich smell of dank weed.
“Hi there!” Someone cooed, a heavily intoxicated upper student that found Bakugou’s presence endearing, “want to stay a while?”
Why not? Bakugou thought. Free weed was always better than having to sneak away on his own. Maybe he’d be able to sleep tonight.
It was a different kind of drug, bubbling under his skin and making his body pop with new foreign explosions.
He couldn’t help it, the slight drool and open easy grinning. The sleepy weary feeling fading under the riptide of some other strange sensation.
It was unlike anything he knew, and he knew quite a bit. He never burned with someone else, but burning alone was impossible now surrounded by warmth and other laughing free bodies.
He didn’t know how to feel about it, and then he grabbed someone's arm and the feeling of their skin was so new and good and -
And Bakugou remembered sharp vicious teeth biting forcefully into his neck, that thick delightful haze and his own curiosity that the upper years' dorm building was so much more open and lavish. He remembered slumping into a door, snickering and fumbling uncoordinated before biting sharp and moving sharper.
Bakugou slept loose limbed and relaxed beyond thought. The snoring body next to him did also.
When Bakugou woke up, well past dawn in the bedroom of an anxious trembling third year, he almost laughed. Amazing, how weed calmed his temper and smoothed over his anxiety.
Tamaki, Bakugou learned his name, was nice enough to at least offer him a shirt (a much larger shirt that Bakugou pulled on hastily). Tamaki was blushing so hard his face was blood red when he noticed the marks and bites all across Bakugou’s back and neck.
It was fine, he wouldn’t see the guy again- although he did look familiar somehow. Bakugou ignored it, still feeling loose and sore in a new way.
He made his way back to the dorms, slipping inside with an ever so slight swagger to his steps.
Ashido looked up from her cereal, sharp eyes glancing over the clearly too large shirt , Bakugou’s slight swagger and mused hair, and promptly screamed “Oh my god!”
More shrieking, until Bakugou managed a sharp tooth sneer and hissed out, “not so fucking loud!”
“Bakubro-.” Kirishima cheered happily, “‘I haven’t seen you in da-ys….” his cheer faded, eyes raking over Bakugou in blatant shock. “Bro, is that a hickey?”
His good mood already fading, Bakugou bristled in a new way. At least Deku wasn’t there.
“That totally is!” Mina squealed in delight. “Who is she! Or he! Oh my god you didn’t come back last night-.”
Bakugou gave a single low grunt, shoving his way to where the tea was sitting out. His mouth tasted like something rotting. “Some Tamaki-guy. Sharp teeth on that fucker-.”
Kirishima dropped his breakfast. The bowl broke over ceramic, his skin blanching and he looked like a mixture between enraged and horrified. “You….you s-slept with Tamaki-senpai?”
‘Oh, that bothers him,’ Bakugou realized with a cruel sense of delight. Something malicious and rude twisting in his gut. Good, good. Shitty Hair deserved it-.
“Yeah,” Bakugou said coolly, basking in how horrified Kirishima’s fucking face looked. “He was a decent fuck.”
Mina quieted, and Kirishima walked out of the kitchen hastily.
Tea had never tasted so good.