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Izuku’s heart was hammering all the way to UA.

He was both dreading to see Kacchan and couldn’t wait to see Kacchan! He wanted some kind of definitive proof that it really was him he talked to last night.

Last night.

when Izuku had woken up, the first thing he did was grab his DS and see if what had happened really happened.

And there it was: Tsuki-chan on his friends list. With the same little irritated picture.

All morning, Izuku wondered what to do with the Jacob’s Ladder that Tsuki gave him.

Should he plant it? Put it inside his house? What? What?

Izuku was thinking of wearing it in his hair, for now. It would make a nice accessory! A way to show Tsuki-chan how thankful he was for the gift!

But it would look bad with his All Might getup. He had to have a wardrobe change!

To what, though?

There’s no way he’d make his hair green. He already was pushing it with the green eyes.

Hmm… he’d have to think of that.

“Good morning, Deku-kun!”

Uraraka snapped Izuku out of his thoughts, and he smiled at her.

“Good morning!”

She frowned in concern, tilting her head. “You look tired! Are you alright?”

“Y-yeah! Just… stayed up late last night playing a game.”

“Oh? What game?”

His face turned a little pink- he still hadn’t gotten over his worries of being made fun of. He knew Uraraka wouldn’t, but still!

“I, ah, I’ll tell you later!”

She smirked at him. “Oh, was it one of those games?”

Those games? What was she-

Oh.

Oh.

“N-no, it’s nothing like, that, honest!!” His face went pink at the implication. “It’s just- it’s just a little embarrassing!”

“Suuure~”

They stepped into the 1-A classroom together, and the first thing Izuku did was scan the room for Kacchan.

There he was, early as always. And- was Izuku imagining those dark circles under Kacchan’s eyes?

“Whoa, Bakugo looks tired,” Uraraka whispered to him. “You see it too?”

Izuku nodded. “Yeah.”

Playing a game until 3:30 in the morning has a tendency to do that to people.

“Do you think he’s ok?”

Izuku shrugged. “It’s Kacchan, I’m sure he’s fine!”


Katsuki was trying hard to resist the temptation of rubbing his eyes.

Fuck, he was tired.

It was his own fault for staying up so late, but still.

At least that 129 guy was entertaining.

He would crack a smile at the memories if he had the energy to.

What a god damn nerd. He was trying to impress him, too, it was so obvious.

He wondered what 129’s town looked like. Probably All Might themed or something. Maybe he could ask tonight.

He’d never admit it to anyone, but he couldn’t wait to get back home.

That game was oddly relaxing to him. If his anger wasn’t too bad, it gave him something else to think about. If it was one of the worse days, he played another game to blow off steam, and then it was right back to Animal Crossing to deal with the emotional fallout, the calm scenery slowly easing the post-anger numbness away.

Not that he’d ever admit it.

He thought he could get away with having his avatar look like him- he didn’t look especially striking, in his opinion. Tsuki was a fairly common name, though, and anyone who knew him might not get the connection due to the last-name basis he had with pretty much everyone.

That, plus the -chan at the end. Katsuki Bakugo would never put that suffix on a name he chose.

Except he did.

And he would rather die than admit why he did that.

Fuckin’ 129.

Katsuki never, ever, ever gave away his Jacob’s Ladders. But there was just something about 129, something soft and familiar. Like he’s known him all his life.

It was most likely Katsuki’s 3am sentimentality kicking in, but he didn’t know how to turn it off. Nor did he particularly want to.

His fondness for 129 was fine. 129 didn’t know who he was. Nobody in his class even knew he played Animal Crossing, let alone that he was talking to a guy on it. He could be as oddly affectionate as he wanted, and he wouldn’t affect him at all.

It was safe.

Maybe 129 could help him figure a few things out.

Katsuki was stuck- stuck between I don’t want to be like this and but I’ve been like this for so long; what do I become in its absence?

He was cruel.

He was cruel, and it cost him something he would never admit to missing.

He was cruel, and it could cost him new friends. Could cost him a hero career.

But he couldn’t just- not be cruel out of nowhere. Because then, what should he be? Doing a complete 180 on his personality seemed… fake. As if he was pretending. Slapping a mask on and trying to pass it off as his own face.

He had to change, but to what?

He didn’t want to be cruel. He didn’t understand why he was so cruel.

And that was funny, wasn’t it? He was cruel. He should know why he was cruel.

But he didn’t.

Why did hearing Deku talk about being a hero twist his insides up? Make them burn like he grabbed his own heart and used his quirk on it?

It was impossible for someone quirkless to be a hero! Impossible! Didn’t Deku see? He was going to get himself killed!

It made Katsuki mad.

So mad.

And then Deku had a quirk- and then what? All those years of anger, for nothing? Hooray, he has a quirk, and the freedom to what, pulverize his fucking arm?

What an upgrade.

How cruel.

Katsuki couldn’t even be happy for him. He was even angrier than ever. His anger drove him to do things, things people knew about- and things people would never know about until they came into fruition.

His leg tingled with phantom pains.

He remembered the night he’d broke it- how it was crushed, how Katsuki was barely aware of his surroundings, gasping for breath, how one of his parents- he wasn’t sure which one- burst into his room and screamed.

“Again?” His mother had said. “Fucking again? How many TIMES, Katsuki? How many is ENOUGH?”

He wasn’t sure how many times would be enough.

He wasn’t even sure how many times it’s been. Keeping track would just drive him further into a pit of emotions he’d rather not name.

Aizawa-sensei’s arrival into the classroom snapped Katsuki out of his unpleasant thoughts.

God, he needed some fucking sleep.


Izuku finished his homework as quickly as he could and hopped on his DS.

Tsuki-chan still wasn’t online.

Well, Izuku was an hour early. He needed to tend to his own town, after all.

His town’s name was Ureshi- it sounded like the word for happy, ureshii, but he swapped out the last kanji with the kanji for town- shi.

Happy City, literally.

Izuku scurried around the town, making sure everything was as pretty as it could possibly be. He needed to impress Tsuki-chan! Not that there was much that was impressive.

His many inspirations from his dream town travels led there to be decorations wherever he saw fit to put them, in no real order or cohesive pattern. His town was more open than Satsu, giving its inhabitants room to breathe, as opposed to the concealing forests crafted by Tsuki.

Once he finished his work, he started thinking of his new appearance. He stole a glance to his friends list- Tsuki still wasn’t online yet.

He had time.

Izuku had settled for his hair to be a nice orange, to match Tsuki’s fires. That part, plus his new haircut, was easy. He liked the loose style he picked- there were two loose styles in the game, and he liked how both him and Tsuki had each one.

He wondered if Tsuki would take it the wrong way.

If it is Kacchan- he could! Maybe he saw Izuku’s new look as him being a copycat?

Blegh, he needed to stop worrying so much!

Maybe he should work on more insults? They seemed to impress Tsuki last night. Izuku still wondered why Kacchan would like to be insulted. Maybe he liked it because it was all in good fun? He must know that 129 didn’t mean it, and his lack of rage must indicate that his insults towards 129 were just in a joking manner.

Did he do this in real life, too? Did I just miss it? Were those ten years- no, no, that was a different style, those weren’t jokes. But I am kind of noticing it! He always says “DIE!” or “GO TO HELL!” when doing something extreme! Of course those were all jokes! Er, exaggerations. Something to hype himself up. I mean, I never actually thought that he wanted to kill all of his classmates, but I guess I just never made the connection before now! It’s kind of obvious in hindsight!

After too much debating with himself, Izuku decided to keep his current All Might outfit- it had been expensive for him to buy in-game! So many bells that could have gone towards his mortgage, or something.

The thing he saved for last was his Jacob’s Ladder, equipping it on his head and smiling at the screen when he saw how nice it looked there.

He headed towards the train station to open his gate, but on Far Away mode. Only his friends could visit, which, at this point in time, he preferred. He just wanted Tsuki to see, and maybe help him make his town good enough to open on Nearby.

He looked at the time- it was past 6. Where was Tsuki-chan?


Katsuki blearily rubbed at his eyes, lifting his phone and checking the time. 8:04 PM. He squinted and groaned at the light, letting his arm flop back onto his bed.

He hadn’t meant to sleep for so long- he’d finished his homework quick and practically inhaled dinner, but the 3 hours of sleep he got last night had really done a number on him. He just wanted to rest his eyes for like, five minutes.

But no. It’s been two hours.

129 must think Katsuki stood him up.

He sat up and stretched, grabbing his DS from his bedside table and opening it. First thing he did was check his friends list- 129 was online! He rushed to the train station and opened his gate to Far Away- he didn’t want anyone intruding on this and interrupting his time with 129. Fuck nipping this new friendship in the bud.

He had matters to attend to in his own town, though.

As he scurried around Satsu and took care of everything one by one, he could feel the anxiety he wouldn’t admit to having ebbing away.

Why the hell am I anxious? I don’t even know this guy! Who cares what he thinks of me?

Whatever. He’ll burn that bridge when he gets to it.


When he had finished, there was still no sign of 129. Where was he?

Was he in his own town?

He went to the train station and first checked Far Away- and there it was. Ureshi. It was one of the few things he actually bothered to read on 129’s Town Player Card.

Without any hesitation (okay, maybe a little,) he hopped on the train.

As his game loaded up, he wondered where 129 even was. Did something happen to him, is that why he’s not there?

Did he realize just who he was talking to and decided to bail? Anyone who saw that picture of him from the sports festival would probably do the same.

Fuck that, though.

He stepped out of the train station and took a look around. Ursehi was nice, he decided.

It was a little disorganized, a little scattered- but Katsuki figured it fit 129 pretty well.

He decided to check the message board- nothing. Don’t get many visitors, do you, nerd?

He wandered around until he saw 129’s little avatar… just standing there.

Tsuki-chan: sorry i’m late.

Nothing. Who did this guy think he was, ignoring Katsuki like that?

Tsuki-chan: answer me f er.

Still nothing. Katsuki gripped his DS and felt rage filling him.

Wait no fuck don’t fucking do that for christ’s sake don’t destroy this before it even starts.

There has to be another reason.

But what reason?

129 figured it out and hated him, and he’s trying to find other UA students to show.

No, don’t fucking say that. Besides, he would have closed his gate.

129 was doing all that and was just trying to play it safe.

Oh my god, something else you shitty brain.

129 was laughing at him floundering around and he was totally doing this on purpose to rile him up and get him to show 129 his true colors-

FUCK! THESE ARE ALL GARBAGE IDEAS!

Something else, something else…

What’s something YOU would do?

129 is laughing at him and was about to corner him the next day and ruin his life.

OH MY GOD this is annoying. What’s something you would do AND LIKE DOING.

He would ruin his-

MY GOD I GIVE UP THIS IS HOPELESS. Okay, okay, one more. One fucking more. Something rational.

… 129 was recording this all and having a laugh at him and was gonna post it online to humiliate him and he would absolutely deserve it because of the last ten years-

FUCK’S SAKE!

I mean… that one’s right. Maybe not about the recording thing but the second bit was all correct.

A noise snapped him out of his thoughts.

129: ohmygosh im so sorry!!!

129: i fell asleep omg did i keep you waiting for long?

129: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Oh.

Okay, that made a lot more sense than the garbage his brain came up with.

But did it really?

Yes it did, shut the fuck up.

Tsuki-chan: i just got here actually.

Tsuki-chan: i thought you were giving me the cold shoulder.

129: why would i do that!!?

Tsuki-chan: lots of reasons haha.

129: i cant think of any!!

129: oh!! do you like my new look?

129: i made my hair orange like your fires!!

129: and the flower!! i wanted to look at it all the time so;;

Oh my god, oh my fucking god. Why was Katsuki finding this all so fucking precious? What was wrong with him? His chest ached for this shitty nerd with his shitty orange hair.

Tsuki-chan: it’s ok.

Tsuki-chan: town’s nice. happy city haha.

Tsuki-chan: at least your name fits your town.

129: ;;YOU THINK MY TOWN IS NICE??

129: yours is so much nicer!! i was actually hoping you’d help me with mine!!

Tsuki-chan: the weird scattered cr p fits your personality.

129: is that another insult!!?

Tsuki-chan: maybe it is. maybe it isn’t.

Tsuki-chan: get on my level.

There was a little bit of a longer delay between messages, but then-

129: unfortunately to get on your level...

129: id need a pair of cinderblock shoes and a trip to the mariana trench!

Katsuki couldn’t help the laugh that tore out of him at that. WHAT did he just say?? What just came out of that fucking nerd’s mouth?? He laughed so damn hard he dropped his DS and felt tears pricking his eyes. Where did he learn THAT?? Oh my god how long did he spend thinking that up-?!

He’d never been more delighted to be insulted.

And he hadn’t laughed that hard in… fuck, how long has it been?

He wiped at his eyes and picked up his DS again.

129: did i go too far?

129: im sorry if i did!!

129: please come back;;

Tsuki-chan: NO

Tsuki-chan: I WAS LAUGHING OH MY GOD

Tsuki-chan: how long did that take to come up with hahahaah!!

129: youd laugh if i said;;

Tsuki-chan: cmon. i wont be mean. im still riding the laughter high.

129: i… while i was waiting

129: i spent an hour thinking up insults and writing them down!!

Oh my god.

What a god damn nerd.

He kind of reminded him of-

Nononono we’re not going there again you shitty brain. We went there last night, and we’re not going back.

This isn’t shitty Deku.

He pretended not to notice how his chest tightened at that.

Tsuki-chan: you’re a nerd ahahahahaha.

Tsuki-chan: f ck. at least you try.

129: of course!! i always try my best!! even if its at insulting my new friends!!

129: did you like it…?

Tsuki-chan: of course i f ing did. that was legendary.

Tsuki-chan: the lack of confidence f ing killed it though. nerd.

129: im sorry!! its just that;; im not used to this!

129: im not the playful insults type! im always worried that like, what if i go too far?

129: and you block me or something haha;;

Tsuki-chan: tch. nothing is too far.

Tsuki-chan: words won’t f ing hurt me.

Tsuki-chan: don’t treat me like some kind of weak b ch.

129: ok;; im still new to this! so if i go too far! tell me!

Tsuki-chan: you won’t.

Jesus christ, was this guy for real?

129: ok… its just that, i kind of, had a bullying problem.

129: so im scared of hurting someone like that!!

Oh.

Oh.

Kastuki hadn’t stopped to consider… if 129 would even like the style of humor he decided to try out…

Tsuki-chan: i had a bully problem too.

Tsuki-chan: the problem was that i was the bully.

That’s it, 129 is going to call him an asshole and leave. He braced himself for impact and tried to ignore the knife in his heart.

129: oh, that IS a problem!

129: you said “was,” though! so you’re better?

Tsuki-chan: trying to be.

Tsuki-chan: failing.

129: i bet youre doing better than you think!!

Tsuki-chan: why are you cheering me up?

Tsuki-chan: i’m the kind of person that hurt you.

129: people can change, i think…

129: i have a friend- well, he hates me…

129: he used to be mean to me, but he stopped!

129: im hoping that maybe one day, we can talk it out?

129: is… that bad, do you think?

129: he hurt me but i want to be friends again!!

Katsuki felt like he was floating, and not in a particularly good way. This was disorienting, and shitty.

129 reminded him so much of Deku. So, so much. That little twinge of hope flared up again, and it was the only thing he could feel.

But it wasn’t Deku.

He refused to take a closer look at 129’s Town Player Card and confirm. He wasn’t sure if he could take it.

Tsuki-chan: you do what you want.

Tsuki-chan: people respond to sh t in different ways.

Tsuki-chan: but don’t let yourself be f ing walked over.

Tsuki-chan: if that a hole wants to change, dont let that be enough.

Tsuki-chan: he has to ACTUALLY change.

Tsuki-chan: don’t let yourself be walked over.

129: no offense but, to steal your words, don’t treat me like someone whos weak!

129: i can stand up for myself now!

129: i wont let him torment me like that ever again!

129: i wanna be friends again but im not gonna be stupid about it!!

129: and i AM mad at what he did to me!!

129: but im willing to hear him out, and talk, and smooth things out on both sides!!

129: i won’t be mad anymore if he actually did change;;

Katsuki smirked. This guy had some spark in him yet. Whoever he was, Katsuki had full confidence that 129 could hold his own against his former tormentor.

Tsuki-chan: that’s what i like to f ing hear.

Tsuki-chan: rage, you d mned nerd.


Izuku had managed to talk Tsuki into at least helping him have some sort of cohesion with his random decorations, instead of it being scattered like it currently was, and they had spent a good deal of time moving things around together. Well, Izuku did most of the moving, and Tsuki provided the advice, mostly amounting to maybe this should be next to this, or jesus christ have some flowers other than tulips, this is redundant.

Izuku glanced at the clock, and his brow furrowed at how late it was.

129: its like 10:20!!

Tsuki-chan: oh shi ur right.

129: u need to sleep!! isnt hero school hard?

Tsuki-chan: i can handle it.

Tsuki-chan: but i was dying today.

Tsuki-chan: hahaha.

You sure were, Kacchan, Izuku thought. He remembered noticing that Kacchan’s movements were more labored throughout the day. But that was just because he was looking out for it- none of the others, nor the teachers, noticed anything. Or if they did, they didn’t think of it as anything too serious.

129: id bet!! i was dying too!!

129: i bet i was dying more than you were

Tsuki-chan: tch as if.

Tsuki-chan: i was totally dying more.

Tsuki-chan: i was so dead i was writing my will.

129: writing your will?? i was so dead we held a funeral at lunch!!

Tsuki-chan: well i was so dead we held a funeral in first period.

129: i was so dead i was DEAD

Tsuki-chan: THAT’S WHAT DEATH IS NERD HAHAHAHA

Izuku let out a soft laugh at that. He hoped that when Kacchan wrote out his laughs, he was actually laughing, and it wasn’t fake, mocking laughter.

Tsuki-chan: by the way.

Tsuki-chan: did you want my number?

Tsuki-chan: or something.

Tsuki-chan: this chat system f ing sucks. i wanna swear.

Izuku turned beet red- Tsuki wanted to give him his phone number? To talk like regular people? And have conversations? Normally?

He could message Tsuki-chan at lunch! While he was going to sleep! Before school! He didn’t have to wait for Tsuki to come onto Animal Crossing to talk to him!

129: yeah yeah yeah!! that would be so cool!!

Tsuki-chan: ok here you go.

And there it was.

Tsuki-chan’s- Kacchan’s phone number.

Izuku rushed to grab his phone, and shakily punched in the digits, triple-checking to make sure he got them right.

He had a simple message typed out, but right before he pressed Send, he was overcome by anxiety.

He felt sick.

This was totally a next step- now him and Tsuki were friends friends, whatever that might bring. What was it even like to be friends with Kacchan in the present day? Close friends?

Kacchan was so different as Tsuki-chan…

Tsuki-chan: are u gonna text me or what nerd.

Izuku took a deep, shaky breath, and exhaled.

Just press the button. Just press the button!

He pressed the button.

129: hi!! \(^▽^*)

Izuku held his breath as he saw the little “typing…” indicator pop up.

Tsuki-chan: OH THANK GOD I CAN FINALLY FUCKING SWEAR

Tsuki-chan: I’M TRULY LIVING NOW

Tsuki-chan: like giving water to a dying man.

Izuku let out a sigh of relief, of course Tsuki-chan was acting normally! Why wouldn’t he?

129: haha!! i saved you!

129: worry not! i am here! (*•̀ᴗ•́*)و ̑̑

Tsuki-chan: wowowow you REALLY like those things don’t you.

129: whaaat!! theyre cute!!

Tsuki-chan: never said they weren’t.

129: do you want me to make you one??

Tsuki-chan: you can do that?

129: yeah!!

Tsuki-chan: you know what? im curious.

Tsuki-chan: why not.

129: yay!! itll be my thanks for the jacobs ladder!!

129: its really cute…

Tsuki-chan: i can tell you like it.

Tsuki-chan: i might get a jacob’s ladder.

Tsuki-chan: a real one, i mean.

129: !!!! you keep flowers?

Tsuki-chan: don’t tell anyone. but yeah.

129: who would i tell? haha

Tsuki-chan: don’t know.

129: what flowers?? do you keep?

Tsuki-chan: hold on

Izuku held on, trying to picture the mental image of Bakugo Katsuki tending to flowers. He felt his face heat up at it- did Kacchan have a garden like he had in Animal Crossing ? Or was it just some potted plants? What potted plants? He cracked a smile at the thought of Kacchan scowling at his plants as he watered them, and screaming “GROW, YOU DAMNED BASTARDS! FLOURISH!”

His phone pinged and dissipated that mental image. His heart fluttered- what did Tsuki want to show him?

A picture of a cherry tree bonsai, of all things.

It was beautiful.

It was in full bloom, the light pink flowers large and vibrant. It was in a green pot, which worked well against the pink of the flowers. And- were those wires wrapped around the roots?

Kacchan took care of this? It was… amazing.

It made Izuku’s heart leap out of his chest.

Tsuki-chan: technically not a flower. but yeah.

129: ARE YOU KIDDING THIS IS AMAZING!!

129: you take care of that??? i love it so much!! it’s so pretty!!

129: what are those wires?

Tsuki-chan: it’s called nebari.

Tsuki-chan: the roots are important to the aesthetic of the whole thing.

Tsuki-chan: i put the wires in when i repotted it to this pot and added the new non-shitty soil.

Tsuki-chan: they’re shaping the roots and making them grow in a nicer way.

Tsuki-chan: it’s gonna be fucking amazing when they’re done.

Tsuki-chan: if i even did it right.

129: wow!!

129: and you call ME a nerd!!

Tsuki-chan: SHUT UP

Tsuki-chan: it’s only normal to know about what you do!

129: aww its ok, nerd!! i wont tell!!

129: nerds have to stick together you know!!

Tsuki-chan: I’LL KILL YOU

129: but i dont wanna die!! ε=ε=(っ*´□`)っ

Tsuki-chan: pff on my screen it looks like you’re running towards me

129: protect me, hero!! |ω`)

Tsuki-chan: even if you call me a nerd, i’ll never be a bigger nerd than you, nerd.

Tsuki-chan: and i’m only in training.

Tsuki-chan: can i be honest

Izuku went cold at that. Was Kacchan about to admit something to him…? Something that he, as Izuku, did not know? Something he was never supposed to know?

But who was he, to turn Kacchan away at his time of need?

129: sure!

Tsuki-chan didn’t say anything for a few minutes, and then:

Tsuki-chan: sometimes i don’t think i deserve to be a hero.

Tsuki-chan: fuck, that sounds pathetic.

Tsuki-chan: i want to be a hero. but i didn’t earn it.

129: you… dont?

129: but you’re so nice!

129: kind of rough! but nice

Izuku felt tears well up in his eyes. Kacchan thought like this? His Kacchan? Amazing, inspiring Kacchan, the Kacchan who always said he would be the greatest hero, the Kacchan who was stubborn to a fault, and would never let anything stop him from reaching his goal?

Tsuki-chan: i used to be an asshole.

Tsuki-chan: it’s worse than you think.

129: how do you know what i think?

Tsuki-chan: i don’t know.

Tsuki-chan: fuck

Tsuki-chan: i don’t know why i’m saying this

Tsuki-chan: i hate thinking about it

Tsuki-chan: i told myself i wouldnt tell

Tsuki-chan: nobody needs to know

Tsuki-chan: im selfish. it wont stop me

129: STOP IT!!

129: you’re just spiraling!!

129: im sorry for yelling but you have to stop!

129: i don’t know what YOU were like! but i was bullied too!

129: i know about people like you!

129: it’s obvious you actually CARE

129: im not gonna say its fine

129: but its not not fine

129: do you get it?

Izuku’s phone trembled in his hands as he bit back sobs. His tears streamed down his cheeks, a few droplets dripping onto his phone.

Was he doing this right? He wished he could say more- he knew what Kacchan did! Kacchan was really this torn up about it all? Izuku thought he would be more angry at the fact that Kacchan knew what he did wrong and yet didn’t apologize, but it all clicked.

Kacchan was scared.

He was scared- of Izuku? Of failure? Rejection?

Izuku was scared too. Scared of a lot of things.

He couldn’t fault Kacchan for being scared.

Tsuki-chan: i want all of this to stop

Tsuki-chan: forever.

Tsuki-chan: but it never does

Tsuki-chan: i try and try and try and try and it never works

Tsuki-chan: what am i supposed to do

Tsuki-chan: i have ONE SHOT to talk to him. once. one. uno.

Tsuki-chan: if i fuck up thats it

Tsuki-chan: i fuck both of us over

129: its ok to be scared…

Tsuki-chan: i’m not scared.

129: i said its ok! but

129: i think you deserve to be a hero

129: heroes mess up! they just have to fix it

129: so fix it

129: i know you can do it! (*•̀ᴗ•́*)و ̑̑

Tsuki-chan: has anyone ever told you that you’re too nice

129: sometimes!

Izuku wasn’t sure if Kacchan had figured it out yet. What if he had his suspicions, but didn’t want to say anything, because it would be obvious who he was if he was wrong? Or maybe he was banking on Izuku himself not knowing who he was?

What he wanted to say was a risky move.

But… Kacchan took a risk, too.

He was vulnerable.

Izuku could only try and imagine how hard this was for Kacchan. What kind of breaking point Kacchan was pushed to, to talk about this with anyone!

Was Kacchan just at his breaking point this whole time? Had Izuku never noticed?

He had to help Kacchan. That’s what heroes do.

129: you know how i said i was bullied?

129: and that i wanted to be friends with him again?

129: people say im too nice

129: i know my mom thinks it, even if she doesnt say it;;

129: im doing it anyway because i know! i know i can!

129: i know he’s a good person! i’ve seen it!

129: and i know YOU’RE a good person!

129: i dont know what you did, but…

129: i think i’d still like to be your friend

129: if it were me you bullied

129: if i thought you were a bad person, i wouldn’t still be talking to you!

Izuku trembled as he waited for a response, each second feeling like an eternity. He wiped at his eyes, sniffling as his insides twisted- a futile measure, as new tears just replaced the old ones.

It took Tsuki-chan a long time to respond.

In actuality, it was probably only five or so minutes. But to Izuku, it felt like an hour. Maybe more.

He couldn’t hold back sobs anymore; the most he could manage was just muffling them, biting his lip to keep them quiet.

Had Kacchan done… something? Did he leave? Was he crying and couldn’t type? Izuku didn’t want to think about Kacchan crying, ever. But why wasn’t he answering? Was he thinking, or just doing something? What was he doing? Was it something bad? Was he hurting himself- no, no Izuku thought, Kacchan would never hurt himself. Or would he? I used to think that Kacchan never felt this way but he DID and he’s talking about it, and Kacchan NEVER talks about things like this, ever, he doesn’t talk about anything, and he feels bad about hurting me? And he’s scared? Anything goes. Anything goes! Anything, including things I really really don’t want to think about. Oh god, Kacchan said he wanted everything to stop forever, did he mean fixing things or did he mean-

Ping!

Izuku scrambled for his phone, letting out a cry of relief at the texts.

Tsuki-chan: that’s you.

Tsuki-chan: my guy is my guy.

Tsuki-chan: i made a mistake mentioning any of this.

Tsuki-chan: i just want to go to bed.

Tsuki-chan: don’t worry about anything i said, ok?

Tsuki-chan: everything is fine.

Izuku felt sick, he honest to god felt sick as he read the texts over and over. Those simple little lines seemed so foreboding- they were so innocuous, but Izuku felt as if they were a hastily slapped band-aid on something ugly, something nobody was ever meant to see.

129: are you sure?

129: its ok if you still wanna talk!!

Tsuki-chan: i’m sure.

Tsuki-chan: i’m just pissed. at myself.

Tsuki-chan: don’t worry.

Tsuki-chan: i’m fine.

129: ok…

129: ill be here if you ever wanna talk again though!

129: i may not be studying to be a hero, but i can be YOUR hero! (*•̀ᴗ•́*)و ̑̑

Tsuki-chan: nerd.

Tsuki-chan: neeeeerd. haha.

Tsuki-chan: goodnight.

129: night, tsuki-chan!! (ノ^ヮ^)ノ*:・゚✧

Izuku was left to wonder alone, if he really did the right things.

He didn’t get much sleep that night.