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Those who smile the brightest hide the most

Chapter Text

Todoroki wasn’t exactly an insomniac. He has had nights of really peaceful sleep, and nights not so much but still long rests. However, he was still so often exhausted during the day, especially when neither of those was the case. Occasionally, he couldn’t get to sleep at all rather than just having a restless one.

He hated those days. They left him irritated and exhausted, fighting to keep his composure when talking to anybody. He hadn’t had one of those though since moving into the dorms. His family home always kept him occupied with bitter memories, no matter how hard he tried to forget them.

But still, it’s not like he could avoid it all together for too long, as his brain just wouldn’t want to shut off.

He sat up on the edge of his bed, gripping the mattress. Checking the clock, it was barely past 2, but everyone would already be sleeping. It was still a weekday, so it would not do him good to not get any sleep at all, but he had to do something to take his mind off of trying to. Maybe it would help.

He got up and switched his light on, planning to grab a book or something to occupy his time with. However, before he could even take more than a step, the light started flickering. It wasn’t too bad, but a little disorientating. He looked up at it curiously. It seemed to come in bursts. Stop, start. Uneven but a lot stranger than if it was constant. He was sure UA would have checked the electrical lines in the building, so it was unlikely it was the wiring. Besides, wasn’t it dangerous to leave damaged electrical equipment in building walls?

He doubted they’d do it. Usually he would have possibly left it till morning, but he had to do something to help himself sleep anyway.

But it wasn’t like there were many possibilities. So once he realised it, as silently as he could, he put on some shoes and walked into the hallway, quietly closing the door behind him.

The hallways were lit very gently in case anyone needed to go to the teachers if they accidentally used their quirks at night and hurt themselves or just if something went wrong. They were supposed to be in their beds by night, but as long as they stayed in the dorms, Aizawa didn’t tend to admonish them. However, the soft yellow lights highlighting the hallway were also very clearly under the effect of something. It was almost annoying Shoto’s eyes.

He was on the fifth floor, so he did wonder if he was right what was going on with them considering there was an entire floor in between them. How much power were they using? It became less curiosity and more genuine concern when, by the time he got to the third floor, the lights were like fireworks, flashing and brightening at odd moments in such quick succession it hurt his head.

He didn’t waste much time when he got to Kaminari’s door, knocking on it. He didn’t want to say anything as to not wake up everybody else, but his knocking may have been louder anyway.

“Kaminari.” He called in.

And suddenly the lights stopped fluttering. He looked around the hallways slightly, before hearing the door open in front of him and soon he was looking at a very messy haired teenager standing in front of him. He looked rather confused, rubbing his eyes.

“Todoroki? What’s going on?”

“The electricity was off in the building. I was wondering if it was you.”

He seemed a lot more awake all of a sudden. He dropped his hand and widened his eyes briefly.

“It may have been, I guess. I was sleeping, I don’t know. But-“

Before he could finish his sentence, the door to the room on his right opened and a far less put together than usual Iida popped his head out from his room.

“You should be sleeping, not be talking in the hallway. What are you even doing here, Todoroki?”

“I couldn’t sleep.”

“Well, you really should try. But either way, don’t have a conversation out here, other people are trying to sleep, Kaminari.”

“Why are you saying that to me?” He asked, offended.

Of course, he had an idea since he hadn’t appeared to have heard what Todoroki had said to him, just the noise of someone talking. He was convinced the teachers set their dorm layouts like they did so that he was among 3 people who would hold him back from being as loud as he usually was. He was offended until he mentioned this to Bakugo, who had said that nobody would have done anything else with him being as annoying as he was. By that point, he was offended by something else. It didn’t really bother him much after that though.

“Just be quiet. As UA students, we have to make sure we get enough rest so that our brains are working fine.”

“Sorry, Iida. We’ll stop.”

He turned back at Shoto’s words and closed the door behind him.

“Hey. Just come in, then.”

He smiled softly, waving him in. Todoroki blinked and stepped into the room as Kaminari turned the light on and closed the door behind them. He had never really looked much around his room. He had only been in it once, and it wasn’t exactly like he had much time to contemplate what he saw. Besides, he was really rather sleepy then and didn’t pay much attention. Looking around now, it was very clearly not his style by any means. It was more cluttered and filled to the brim with trinkets, but there was certainly a lot of personality to it. Very joyous, which he wasn’t surprised by. What did surprise him slightly was the book tucked barely under his bed, with a bookmark sticking out from it about halfway.

He looked closer, trying to read the title. He was not exactly bad at English, but he wasn’t expecting to find a use for it in Kaminari’s bedroom. However, he certainly wasn’t fluent by any means, so it’s why he was so surprised that the book wasn’t translated as far as he could tell. Kaminari was seemingly reading the original version of The Great Gatsby and was almost halfway through it.

“You want any food?” He asked, opening the mini fridge they all had in their rooms.

Todoroki stepped closer to take a look at the food he had. “Aren’t those just bags of crisps?”

“Yeah, sorry.” He laughed, moving over and sitting cross legged on his bed. “I usually just eat them here. I eat other food downstairs.”

“Why are you refrigerating them?”

He frowned, searching the room for a reason for the question. “Where else would I keep them?”

Todoroki just glanced back at the book. “Do you speak English?”

His face practically lit up. He had been hoping people would ask about things he actually knew about, rather than history or something like it which just kind of went in one ear and out the other with him. Everyone always just assumed he was bad at everything, but he had things he was good with. Language was one of them. He was fluent in English, having gone to America before, and learning it so he could say he spoke 2 languages. It supposedly made people more interesting and he was very interested in that sort of stuff. He hated learning it in school, it was dull and dry, so he often zoned out, but he still passed because he was one of the few people who actually was just naturally competent in it prior to High School. Nobody really paid much mind to him in that sense considering he always just acted like a bumbling idiot mostly. But he always found it weird to read translated versions of what he’s told are classics. They just confuse him even more when something comes up that couldn’t be accurately translated. It was worth to learn. Unfortunately, it hasn’t exactly helped his popularity with anybody yet.

“Yeah! Do you?”

“Not really.”

He raised his eyebrows. “But your grades are good.”

“School is just about remembering things. It doesn’t mean I’d be able to use everything in other situations.”

“I know, right? But English is fun! There’s multiple languages I can watch things in without having to read subtitles, and there are a lot of good books in English.”

Todoroki just looked at him with contemplation. He hadn’t mentioned why he had come down there since they entered the room, but this was a little more interesting he supposed.

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

Kaminari asked him with a grin, subconsciously tugging at his sleeves. Todoroki stopped staring but glanced down as he was picking on the material. He does that in class with Ojiro’s tail. It must be a tick of some form.

But as his sleeve slid up when he kept picking up the fabric then dropping it, Todoroki squinted at his arms. Thin red lines ran up along his skin, crossing over with each other and forming patterns that likely ran all along his arms. They all changed in the same changing room in classes, and while he didn’t exactly look closely, he was sure somebody would have mentioned them, even if he hadn’t seen the Lichtenberg figures covering his body, if they were there before, so they probably weren’t.

“What happened to your arms?”

His smile slipped only briefly in surprise, as he pulled his sleeves up, Todoroki was right, they covered the entire expanse of his skin. If he looked closely, he could tell they had reached up to his neck as well just slightly.

“Oh, again. This happens if I use my quirk too much without meaning to or being aware of it, though they don’t really hurt. So yeah, I suppose it was definitely me who messed with the lights, sorry. You don’t have to stand, you know.”

Todoroki had been standing perfectly still facing the bed the whole time, so it was probably a bit strange while he was relaxed on top of the sheets.

“It’s okay. But why did you accidentally activate your powers?” Todoroki knew it was something quite common, although usually among younger kids, but around their age it is most likely very closely related to emotional distress. “Did you have a nightmare?”

He shrugged but seemed unsure himself. “Not really. But, what about you?”

“What do you mean?”

“If you noticed the lights, then you were awake. Did you wake up from a bad dream, or something?”

“No, I just couldn’t get to sleep at all.”

“Aw, sorry man.” He stretched that last word out on a yawn.

“I apologise, I shouldn’t have woken you. I’ll leave now.”

He was a lot more curious, but it was late, and even if he couldn’t sleep he felt tired. Even just resting still helped, though he hoped he’d be able to actually get some deeper sleep. He headed to the door, reminding himself to remain silent, not that he had an issue with that when he was alone.

“Wait.” He turned back. “Are you sure you’ll be fine if you couldn’t fall asleep before?”

“I can’t really control if I can’t, so it won’t make much of a difference whether I’ll be fine or not.”

“Okay, but if you need company, you can stay and I’ll give you some pillows and a blanket.”

Glancing down, he noticed that Kaminari did, indeed, have 2 blankets messily on top of his bed. He probably found it comforting. But it also seemed he felt too hot underneath them once he slept, as one of them was kicked off towards one corner.

“I’m fine, thank you.”

“Okay, then.” He said with another yawn, looking down at his arms. “Hopefully we won’t have practical class tomorrow. I don’t want to have to explain this to too many people. I’ll probably get told off for damaging the dorms’ electrical supplies.”

“Goodnight then.”

“Goodnight, Todoroki.”

He left the room, shutting the door quietly behind him. He had a lot more questions than he expected he would when he first went to his room. He’ll need to remember to ask about them later.

Once the door closed behind him, Kaminari slumped his shoulders slightly, smile leaving his face. He got up and walked to his desk, opening a drawer, and taking out a small bottle. He bought it a while back. He was worried when he did that cashiers would stare at him for buying concealer, but as it turned out, no one really turned an eye. Nobody cares about what strangers buy, it seemed. He sighed, walking to his bathroom to look at the mirror with the make up in hand. He should be doing this in the morning, frankly, as it could be harmful for his skin, but he wasn’t sure he’d wake up in time. He would have just waited if Todoroki stayed, but since he hadn’t, it didn’t matter.

He pulled his shirt off to look at the lines running along his body. He didn’t need to cover them all, just the parts visible from under his uniform. They were not too bad, better than some other times it happened, so as long as they didn’t need to change tomorrow, they should fade soon anyway and he should be fine, but he didn’t want to risk it. So he started blending in the cream to his neck, followed by his wrist and forearm.

Soon, only his upper arms were obviously effected, his chest, neck, and forearms mostly covered by the foundation. He had gotten pretty good at it.

Twisting around to check if he got the back of his neck as well, he covered the top of the bottle and left the bathroom. He hoped it wouldn't rub off on his bed when he slept, but at least he wasn’t worried about Todoroki. Out of everyone, he’s one of the least likely to go accidentally gossiping about it. But still, people may know him well, but he had a lot about him that they still didn’t know. He’d have to be a little more aware of these things.

Letting his heart calm down to a more comfortable beat, he slid back into his bed, snuggling into his covers.

Chapter Text

Kaminari woke up, stretching his arms above his head. Before deciding to go slap his alarm and going back to sleep for another half an hour or so, he remembered the night before and sat up. He looked at his arms and groaned. It had rubbed off slightly on the inside of his clothing, meaning he wouldn’t be able to get any more sleep having to sort it out.

He decided to cover up his upper arm as well since he had time. He couldn’t fully cover the marks, they were visible underneath the thin layer of make up, but no one looks that close at him to notice. It took 10 minutes until he started getting dressed careful to not wipe away the still wet areas, and headed downstairs to join his class.

It seemed most people were already there. They never discussed it, but the class had basically silently communicated to each other to leave the dorms at the same time, probably to make sure nobody sleeps in or anything like that. And they only lived a few minutes away.

“Hey Kaminari!” Kirishima called with a grin as he saw his friend heading their way.

“Good morning, Kaminari. I trust you got some sleep last night?”

“Yeah, sorry about that Iida. Were you awake long after that?”

“No, it’s alright.”

“Do you want some tea?” Momo asked with a smile, holding the tea pot.

“Sure, thanks!” He grinned, and she took out another cup.

Kaminari looked around them all. It seemed he miscounted at first glance. It was only just over half the class who were awake yet, not the vast majority. Uraraka, Aoyama, Hagakure (he presumed), Jiro, Mina, Tsuyu, Tokoyami, and Todoroki were either just somewhere else or still sleeping.

It wasn’t an issue, Kaminari would probably be one of the last every day if it wasn’t for his electricity making him a bit hyper once he was charged. In fact, he felt a little tired, so once he remembered he had used some during the night he took out his charger that he kept with him, only to put it back for the time being when Momo handed him a hot cup of tea which he accepted with a smile. Besides that, they still had almost an hour to get to school. But he was still looking around to see if Todoroki was around when he didn’t see him at first.

Despite how good of a student Todoroki was, he was never the first one awake. However, after last night, he wondered if he got any sleep. Kaminari often struggled when his quirk first manifested as he had to try and calm himself down, but they all had relative control over their quirks by that point. Actually, Kaminari was probably one of the worst at it, more so than they knew. Todoroki was very unlikely to be kept awake because of his powers, so he was a little curious. But the amount of secrets he kept from the class, digging into it was probably not something he should do. He usually did if he thought he could help, but he couldn’t tell whether Todoroki was the type to ask for or want any.

“Has anyone seen Todoroki?”

“Why do you care?” Bakugo spoke up, leaning on the counter.

He always looked slightly dishevelled in the morning, but nobody ever pointed it out. Well, other than Kaminari, Sero, and Mineta who happily teased him (he took pride in the insults directed to him when he did it being just slightly lesser than the other 2.)

“Yes, actually, Kaminari, what happened during the night? Todoroki is 2 floors above us.”

“What do you mean?” Ojiro asked.

“Todoroki came to our floor during the night. I assume he wanted to ask something of Kaminari since he knocked on his door.”

He paid attention to making sure he didn’t give anything away with his face. He wanted to not talk about it, as he’d have to explain all different types of things. Thankfully, he had mastered the art of deception by acting like himself.

“Maybe he just wanted to hang out since he couldn’t sleep? Some people might actually not want to be mean to me here.” He asked, fake offended.

“Nobody here is mean to you, dumbass.” Everyone looked at Bakugo as soon as he said it. “What?”

Momo turned to Kaminari. “I haven’t seen Todoroki today yet. Why are you looking for him?”

“Just wondering where he is.” Kaminari said, taking a big glug of his tea before trying to not spit it out when he realised he didn’t blow on it.

It tasted quite good though. He finished it rather quickly, thanking Momo again and popping the cord back in his mouth to charge up. Todoroki was now officially the last one up, which was really strange, but they were in the dorms, so there was no reason to worry. He came down fully dressed 10 minutes before they all planned to leave.

“Todoroki. Were you still tired?”

“Yes. It wasn’t the best night yesterday.”

“A nightmare?”

“Restlessness.”

He prepared some breakfast for himself, sitting down and eating it. Nobody was paying attention to things outside of their own conversations now that everybody was down there. It’s how things worked. No matter how social somebody was, first thing in the morning, everyone would much rather be in bed.

“So what did you go to sparky’s room for then?”

Todoroki looked up at Bakugo. He didn’t look too interested, but there’s always a reason he asks questions. He looked at Kaminari who was looking strangely concerned at the question. Todoroki let his eyes drift to his neck and frowned. He couldn’t see the marks. There’s no way they faded though.

“I wanted to borrow a book to help me sleep.”

Kaminari relaxed. That lie he could go along with.

“Why the hell would you go to him?” He seemed a little more curious now, but he still probably could have just not answered and he would not have bothered following up.

“Hey, what’s that supposed to mean?”

Bakugo stared him down. Kaminari turned back around blushing and continued to chat with Ojiro on the couch. Todoroki glanced at him again. Why did he seem so panicked at the prospect if him telling the truth?

Iida stood up, checking the time. “Alright everyone. It’s time to go.”



To Kaminari’s relief, they only had classroom lessons that day, and since it was Friday, he should be fine by Monday anyway. He still didn’t like it, it was so difficult for him to focus in any classes, but he tried. He was sure he’d have bombed any tests that day, but at least none came up, and sooner rather than later, it was lunch time.

He usually just joined anybody he thought would put up with him (despite what people said, he tried hard to believe they didn’t actually find him that frustrating). This was usually Kirishima, who was a beacon of light, so he was never sitting alone, meaning there were always a lot more people around when he was with him.

Todoroki also tended to sit with others. But that day, he kept catching his eye. He didn’t mind him, but he didn’t really want to get deep into things. He didn’t think he acted too strange during the night, though, so he was curious why Todoroki kept looking at him.

Deciding that he needed to talk to him, he went over once they both got their food. It was better to have control and address things rather than let them fester. That way, it’s also easier to cover things up. And acting weird is just going to make people ask him more questions. He was friendly enough to just want to hang out with everyone, so it shouldn’t raise eyebrows. He didn’t really think about how the circumstances could, so he just ignored the possibility.

“Hey, Todoroki. Do you want to sit together?”

He looked stumped for a second but then nodded. Kaminari didn’t even wait for him, he just strode off to one of the tables where nobody was sitting. He followed him as he sat down, taking the seat next him, but didn’t say anything.

Kaminari side eyed him before sighing and resigning himself to starting the conversation. He was the one who invited him over, but he did it thinking he had something to ask based on his face throughout the day. Not that he minded, Todoroki was a great guy, if a bit aloof, but still, it was going to be weird. He was trying to get him to ask questions he specifically didn’t want to answer.

“So, what’s up?” He asked, taking a bite of his food.

“I’m wondering where your scars went.”

He laughed to cover up his blush. Apparently he was just waiting for some form of permission to ask it.

“They’re still there. Just faded. See?”

He held out his arms to him, close enough to his face that he moved back slightly, so that he could see the muted, pale red lines underneath the make up. Todoroki squinted but then sat back up straight again.

“They don’t fade this quickly.”

“Well, maybe not in lightning strike victims. But I’m special! My quirk absorbs electricity far better, so it means side effects reduce faster too!”

Addressing something with a lie was less suspicious than avoiding commenting on it all together. It was the entire reason he wanted to do it. He wasn’t in danger, why make people worry? Quirk misuse happens, especially with emitter types. Thankfully, saying it’s temporary doesn’t really prompt people to ask more questions.

“Why did you look so worried when Bakugo asked why I came to your room?”

Okay, maybe a few questions.

He shrugged. “It’s Bakugo. I didn’t want to deal with his insults about how I can’t not be an idiot even when I’m sleeping.”

“I never got the sense you were bothered by his comments. You are always around him.”

“True. I’m gathering sensitive information so I can take him down at some point! You want in?”

He smiled slightly, and Denki had to do a double take. Todoroki didn’t usually smile like that, as far as he saw. It was relaxing, seeing him a little more human as opposed to moving on autopilot like sometimes he seemed to be.

“I think it’s impossible to take down someone with information when they have no self awareness.”

Kaminari grinned. He was friends with Bakugo of course, and he knew Todoroki isn’t really one to just fire off insults (he usually resigns himself to beating them in fights if challenged), so despite none of what they were saying really being genuine (well...mostly, anyway), it was fun to just do this. He nudged him in the side lightly.

“I like you!”

He wasn’t looking long enough to see his wide eyes, before they both went back to their meals.


 

“Hey, Kaminari!” Sero caught up to him at the end on the day.

“Hey!”

“Do you have anything planned for the weekend?”

Kaminari almost faltered slightly. “Not on Saturday. Why?”

“Oh, are you doing something on Sunday?”

“I always go see my family on Sundays.”

Sero nodded, latching onto his shoulder. Not very good for energy, it was slowing them both down, but neither complained. It was quite a clear, warm day, so nobody minded spending a little longer outside than usual. Kaminari’s shoulder was taking the brunt of the abuse though, as he felt it slowly start to ache. He didn’t really want to tell Sero, but thankfully he took his hand off soon.

“Anyway, I was just thinking we could go see a movie or something.”

“Oh, you going to see something?”

They turned round as Kirishima joined them by their side with a toothy smile.

“Yeah, you want to come?”

Kaminari frowned. He never even said he was going. But it isn’t like there was reason to turn it down, anyway.

“Sure! Can Bakugo go? Although I don’t know if he’d want to.”

“I bet you 1000 yen he’ll say he doesn’t but will tag along anyway.”

He laughed. “Yeah, I suppose so.”

“Oh I’ll ask Mina and Jirou. See if they want to come. Though I don’t even know the movie yet.”

“What about Todoroki?”

This time, Kaminari did stop. “What? Todoroki?”

“Well, you seemed to be pretty friendly with him today. I just thought you were continuing your mission to make friends with everybody in the class.”

He blushed. “I don’t think Todoroki would want to come.”

“Well, alright. Arrange it with the girls, we’ll discuss the movie later. I’ll go find Bakugo!”

He ran off and Kaminari chuckled. He took out his phone and scrolled down to Jirou’s name. Most people would probably expect him to have contact pictures, but he never bothered to spend time changing them. Every time he wanted to do it, he’d realise he had homework he had avoided all week or something, and convince himself to do it, albeit mostly poorly. So it was just the names that remained, really. He opened their text thread.

Jirou! You free tmr? Want to see a film?

What film?

IDK. Sero suggested it, I never asked

You just agreed? You’re an idiot

What? It’s a movie. It’s going to be fun!

How can you know if you don’t know anything about it?

Sero wouldn’t pick something he knows we won’t like. He wouldn’t ask us to go

I suppose

So, coming?

Sure, why not

He grinned, turning back to Sero. He realised he had continued walking without even thinking and was glad that he didn’t bump into a streetlight or something. They were nearly at the dorms now, anyway, so he’d be able to ask Ashido in person. Jirou was often practicing some instrument in her room, so it was a better solution to text her.

“Jirou’s in!”

“Great! Once you ask Mina we can arrange a time.”



Turns out the movie was a horror, which got mixed reviews from everyone. Despite Sero picking it, he kind of wasn’t as big a fan as he thought he’d be. Mina strangely liked it, Jirou just looked a little put off by any gore in it but generally enjoyed it. Kirishima was very invested in it but, though he tried to hide it, he stiffened a lot throughout certain scenes (which was quite a bit more obvious with him of all people. Thankfully, he was sitting between Bakugo and Kaminari, neither of whom were going to tease him, though for different reasons). Bakugo (who, as Denki predicted, had come after a little bit of reluctance) was, surprisingly, far less of a horror fan than they assumed he’d be. He claimed the movie choice was stupid, which they at first just attributed to him making a dig at anything the others chose, but it quickly became apparent that despite facing worst things in real life (or planning to as a hero), having it presented on a silver platter on screen was not his idea of entertainment.

And then there was Kaminari, who had no idea what was happening most of the time. He just couldn’t focus long enough to keep track of the story thread. This always happened with him. He’d sit down, planning to do something, focus on one task, and then be completely distracted by something completely pointless. He was almost subconsciously searching for something else to catch his attention in the movie theatre, resorting to tapping out rhythms with his feet quietly. He rarely went to the cinema because of this. He’d watch movies on his phone or something where he could pause it and come back to it. But being in company meant none of that bothered him really.

“That was fun!”

“You alright, dude?”

Kirishima put a hand on Sero’s shoulder, who looked quite queasy after the cinema. Everyone was chatting now, heading out of the screens. Bakugo was listening, not really one to take part.

“Yeah, I’m fine. I should have picked something different, though.”

He smiled at him apologetically, which was unwarranted as it wasn’t exactly his choice, and turned to the others.

“Kami?”

He almost jumped, but pulled himself together in order to smile back. He was just hearing what everyone was saying, but wasn’t exactly paying attention. He felt a little off that day.

“How are you?”

“I’m great! It’s always fun to see Bakugo scared.”

“What the hell are you talking about, I wasn’t damn scared.”

He grinned at his reaction, knowing enough now that he wasn’t actually going to kill him, and turned back to Eijirou.

“Do you think he was?”

He laughed awkwardly. “Umm...well...”

“Whatever, I’m leaving.”

“Kirishima has the bus tickets. Remember, we bought them together.”

He stopped. “Fine.”

Jirou, Mina, and Sero were already ahead of them. They caught up with them and, with it still being early, headed for some food. Considering how mismatched they were, it was rather hard to find one place that worked for everybody. None of them really wanted to eat the same thing as the others, which was actually pretty entertaining to watch when you weren’t the one involved in the argument. It was always nice to spend the weekends like this.

Eventually, they managed to settle on a place (strangely, Bakugo was the easiest to convince. As long as he dumped a bunch of chili on his food, he’d be fine). However, he was also the one who ended up next to Kaminari on the way to it.

Now, Kaminari wasn’t scared of him. Well, not really. Despite what it may have looked like to outsiders, he had been proud of the fact that inspite of the name calling, Bakugo didn’t correct him with more than a grumble when he called him his friend. Still, he was not overly optimistic when the usually touch opposed Bakugo grabbed his shoulder as the others entered the diner.

“Huh? What is it?”

“What was half and half doing with you lately?”

Why was everyone asking him that? It's been a day. Could they not believe he just wanted to make friends him or something?

“He came for a book. Do you seriously not believe I can read?” He said, sticking with the story and genuinely a little put out by the thought of how little faith he may have had in him.

“Surprisingly, I know you can. But I don’t believe he would go to you for reading material. So tell me, and don’t even consider lying to me.”

Kaminari started panicking a little. Sure, Bakugo was another person who he didn’t really have to worry about accidentally gossiping, but the entirety of the situation was so stressful. If only he could just control his quirk better this wouldn’t be going on.

Before he could think of a reply, Kirishima walked back out the door.

“Hey, aren’t you 2 coming?”

“Yeah!” Kaminari replied a little too enthusiastically, but he couldn’t help it.

Bakugo thankfully didn’t seem interested enough to hold either of them back and simply followed them in.

Kaminari sighed in relief as Bakugo sat down in between Kirishima and Jirou. Quickly, he picked up the thread of conversation they were having and joined in again.

He felt really grateful to Sero for asking him to go with them. It was nice to spend time with people he cared about in such a relaxed environment. Outside of school and studying and stressful situations he really couldn’t be bothered to deal with. It was more than he usually got. He never liked Sundays all that much because of that, but Saturdays with his friends were definitely an improvement on the weekend.



The good news was, nobody questioned him leaving the dorms on a Sunday. So many students did the same, so there was nothing suspicious about it. And technically, he wasn’t lying. He was visiting his family.

It just so happens that it wasn’t his biological one, but rather those who raised him in the facility.

Ever since quirks developed in people, there have been hospitals and homes built for people who have difficulty controlling theirs. Free, to help everyone they could and avoid injury of people which often happened when people took longer to get used to theirs. Usually these were courses. Weeks or months when they stayed, doctors at their aid to keep them safe, help them harness whatever powers they could. And then sent home, with a discharge note and well wishes and a knowledge of "you are welcome back" shall it ever be needed.

But sometimes, it was a lot more permanent. Kaminari had a force of nature running through his skin that, even after years of use, still felt like it was burning him every time he charged. His body was not accommodating his power well. After all, he didn’t naturally produce any electricity, he just stored it. He used to cry out in pain whenever his used it, the sparks burning in his muscles.

His parents got worried. They couldn’t help him, they had no experience, and no money for private health care. They hoped it would pass, it did for each of them. But it didn’t, and at 7 years old, he was taken out of school for months at a time, because he had showers of bright golden sparks matching his hair cascading around him at random times. And he still couldn’t hold it in. And it stung. So, so badly. It hurt to move and it pained him to hurt anyone who came close to him.

His case was a lot more extreme than most people’s. So at the age of 8, they made the tough decision to relinquish their legal guardianship of him, with some amendments to the clause. The facility would be in charge of Denki until 2 things were fulfilled. 1) He is able to use his quirk without fear of instant injury, and 2) Denki decides that he is comfortable with returning home.

He didn’t know if he would be, if he was honest. He still saw his parents about once every month or so, being further away from them than what would allow more frequent visitations, but he didn’t grow up with them. He grew up in a home, with amazing people who he loved like his own blood. He didn’t know if he should feel bad that. He just felt closer to them by that point, and it made him feel guilty. He loved his parents, but he just no longer had the same connections with them.

But the reason he lived there prior to the dorms was still a bitter memory he wished he could forget about. And every Sunday, he’d be reminded just how useless he was without help, even with his own quirk.

He had gotten used to this routine now. It was a weekly thing after all. It barely effected him as he walked into the hallway.

Chapter Text

"Denki!"

He smiled, accepting the hug being thrown at him.

"Hey Kioko!"

He was used to it by that point. People may wonder why he was so okay with so many different types of people and, well, growing up surrounded by all sorts certainly helped. Granted, he didn't get on with EVERYBODY he met but he had gotten used to overwhelming presences and people both loud and quiet. He was the youngest staying there, but there were only 3 people who actually lived there as opposed to just having appointments. Although, technically he didn't live there anymore, so it was only 2 now. It was weird to think of that.

"How's school going?"

"Good!" He grinned, and then sighed. "Though studying and everything is hard. I'm still bottom of the class."

She smiled and hit him gently on the shoulder. "It's okay, someone has to be. And if everyone got into UA, then they must all be pretty smart. It's not embarrassing to be bottom out of the top 20 people who made it in."

He did like this about her. She never tried to convince him about anything most people did. She didn't really go "you just need to pay more attention in class" which made him so frustrated because he simply couldn't, or "you're smart in other ways" which was just patronising. She just used the information that was undeniably factual to help cheer him up. It was often a lot easier to believe things that came from her.

"But you’re still an idiot."

"Hey!"

And then that always happened. Well, she was basically his sister, so no wonder to be fair.

Kioko was the oldest person brought up there, still living there. She was 23, going on 24, and had spent the last 18 years of her life there. However, it’d be fully wrong to think the facility was anything but caring. They were all loved and well cared for and in fact, it was her choice to stay. She had gotten control over her power a lot earlier. It was a very complicated one at first, which was why she stayed there to start with. She was basically able to invade other people’s consciousnesses. As soon as she touched them, she’d be able to switch to see everything through their eyes until deciding to deactivate her powers. It was not tough to see how not having control of that would be terrifying for a 5 year old. A lot of people who bumped into others on the street were probably not the nicest if they didn’t even care that there was a child walking in front of them. From what Denki heard, her parents found her one day sobbing in her room with unintelligible drawings surrounding her, scared of “the angry man she was in her dream”. The police later arrested him for kidnapping when they took her to the police after scarily detailed descriptions of the events and locations. She was later taken to the home, and got help in not accidentally activating her quirk whenever she touched anybody. And she hadn’t wanted to leave. She was now working more as a live in assistant to everyone, and she was definitely fit for the job. They teased each other (after all, what else would siblings do?) but it wasn’t a hidden fact that they cared.

“Well, hey, Gin’s in his room.”

She led the way automatically, despite not really needing to. He knew where his room was.

She knocked on it. “Gin, Denki’s here!”

“We see him every week, why are you always so excited?” He called through the door as he fiddled with the lock and opened it up.

Gin was probably the worst off out of the 3 of them. Other people had come, lived there, and gone, but he still stood out as being unfortunate. He was able to manipulate oxygen. If he wanted he could suffocate a person by simply looking at them, or try and revive them if they passed out. He always joked that he brought a whole new meaning to taking somebody’s breath away. And due to the instantaneous effects his quirk could have, it was very difficult for not only anyone to trust him, but also tough to study. They couldn’t help him practice in a room with anyone in case something went wrong, they couldn’t get him to learn control alone as he still needed to breathe and if he didn’t manage to maintain oxygen in his lungs, he’d pass out, and it wasn’t like the extent or parameter could be measured without risking anybody. Even rescue missions would be difficult, as too much oxygen could kill.

He was moved there because of how connected to his mental state and unstable his power was, but he was never a bad kid. He was incredibly social, even if a little bit nervous around people sometimes, and gallows humour was definitely his forte. He was on quirk suppressants most of his life. Although it had become less and less, and he was slowly being eased into being able to have far better control over it. As they couldn’t test it well, they just aimed to lower the lethality of it, allowing him to practice and slowly get better. Out of the 3 of them, he was also the most desperate to get out of there, although not because he disliked it, but because it just felt claustrophobic to him, needing to live in one place like this. And he really did miss his family.

He was only a year older than Denki, but his appearance was a lot more outstanding in ways. He dressed simply, usually a hoodie and whatever trousers fit, but his face was a little bit otherworldly. The round, smooth cheeks weren’t a big deal, but the neon, electric blue of his eyes were. They were stunning and definitely in some way quirk related considering there’s no way that was natural otherwise (although how they were drawn together was still a mystery). His hair was plain silver throughout. Not grey, it practically shone. Over all, he looked almost distressing with how alien his features were, but he was really pretty. And besides, nobody cared anymore. Mutations were long accepted.

He smiled. “Hey Kami.”



Some people really didn’t like going near places like their’s. They either feared the people there, or pitied them, and it wasn’t exactly open as a tourist destination either. But despite what people may come up with about it, it was pretty much just a regular lifestyle that they all had, just with some more medication and different types of training.

Everytime Kaminari went there, they’d always end up just playing video games or instruments or something similar. They were of course allowed to leave the building, but most of the time it just boiled down to 2 hours of competing with each other (Denki had gotten a lot better since he had other people at the dorms to play with, a fact which quite thoroughly annoyed Gin because he struggled to win occasionally.)

That was always the part of his visitations he enjoyed.

“Denki, it’s 2 o’clock.” Kioko said, standing at the doorway.

“Oh, okay.”

And that was the part he didn’t.

He wasn’t just visiting every week. He had appointments he needed to get back for each time. His quirk was quite a mess to control, really. It didn’t exactly have a limit naturally. Unlike with others who would become tired and have clear signals of when to stop using their’s, his power was purely decided by how charged up he was. The issue was, not only did he have more difficulty holding it in if he overcharged, he also couldn’t really tell when he went too far until he had seriously hurt himself, which was never ideal.

So he was put on pills. They were specifically adapted to people like him, whose power depended on collecting outside sources, such as him with electricity. It prevented him from going overboard and harming himself, and capped his charge at a certain amount to prevent nerve damage. Due to him not producing electricity, his body wasn’t quite as adapted to stopping himself as other people’s may have been. He was always told he needed something to help stabilise it.

And he hated it. It made him weaker, it stopped his power so abruptly that he couldn’t function until the effects wore off. A hero shouldn’t be reliant on others, but he always was. It didn’t simply stop him from using it, it incapacitated him if he went too far.

“Hello.”

Kaminari entered the clinic, not needing to be invited in. The woman sitting there turned around at his voice, smiling widely. Aika was their guardian ever since they lived there. She was a woman in her mid forties, and she was really nice, if a little bit like an embarrassing parent sometimes. She was also a doctor, meaning they had an on site professional, which was really helpful. Her quirk wasn’t anything special really, but it didn’t matter as she was good at her job.

“Kaminari! How have you been, sweetheart?”

He smiled at her. “Cool! I went to watch a film with some friends yesterday.”

“Was it fun?”

“Yeah.”

She smiled softly at him. It was nice hearing him talk about friends. He was held back a lot because of the dangers of his quirk when he was younger, which was difficult considering how extroverted he was, but it sounded like he had a group of people now.

“I’m so proud you are going to UA.”

“You say that every week.”

“Because I can’t say it every day.”

“Oh, come on.”

“I’m sorry.” She laughed. “It’s just that some people who come here have such a dark outlook on life after it. I’m just happy to see you still being so optimistic and cheerful.”

He grinned. It was nice to be complimented about heroics, even if he was lagging behind people.

“So, let me get your pills ready for you.”

His face fell into a neutral expression as he nodded, watching her go over and grabbing a glass of water and a white pill bottle. He eyed it with near contempt, even after so long.

“Here you go.”

He thanked her, popping the tablets in and taking a swig of water. She frowned.

“You really should be taking them every day.”

He swallowed. “You always say that.”

“And it remains true.”

“Why? I’m fine like this.”

“You could hurt yourself.”

“It’s okay!” He smiled to reassure her. “I’ve been getting better. I can even control my direction a little better!”

She sighed. She had been trying to get him to accept taking the pills more regularly for a long time, but he kept just assuring her everything was fine. It wasn’t that he refused to exactly, he just seemed ignorant as to why he needed more. He seemed healthy, and certainly happy, so she didn’t think much of it, but she was his doctor, so she did wish he’d agree. She almost got lost in thought for a moment, before she spotted his uncovered arms and frowned, sitting bolt upright in her chair.

“Kaminari, show me your arm.”

“What?” He screeched in surprise.

“Your arms. Now.”

She grabbed his arm, pulling it towards her. She rubbed her thumb over the skin, holding the back of his hand with her other hand. She then got up and walked over to one of the cabinets.

Kaminari mentally scolded himself. He should have worn a long sleeve shirt as the marks on his arms were still very much present. But it was such a hot day, he didn’t think it through. He just grabbed the first shirt he saw, leaving his arms exposed other than the thin layer of make up covering his scars.

Aika came back, holding a wipe, and sat down in front of him. She wasn’t smiling anymore. She was just his doctor whenever she actually worried medically, not his foster parent. She ran the wipe over his skin, clearing away the concealer and revealing thin, slightly faded but still prominent marks running up his skin. He knew that this would be taken as him still struggling with his powers sometimes, but it was different. He was simply asleep.

She stared at it for about 10 uncomfortable seconds before she spoke.

“No more arguing, you are taking pills away after today.”

He gulped. He was already weakened by them, had a limit as to how much he could use his quirk due to them. He didn’t want it to be limited even more. He always made sure not to present it that way, though. Not in front of her. He just played up his health and how well he was doing, and it wasn’t like it was hard to believe he was just a bit ignorant in that sense.

“But I already have a protection limit. And it dumbs me down, is that even safe?”

“The reason why you have that like it is, is because you only take them once a week. Your body can’t adjust to it properly, so it simply makes your brain react as soon as you go high enough to put it at risk of anything.” She explained calmly as he hoped she couldn’t see him sweating. “It wouldn’t happen if you took them regularly. In that case, you just wouldn’t be able to surpass a certain voltage at all.”

It wouldn’t happen if I didn’t take them at all, either. I’d be able to go as high as I wanted.

“How much will it effect my quirk?” He asked, trying not to sound saddened.

She bit her lip in contemplation. “I would say it would reduce the maximum you could emit at once by about half.”

Half. That was a lot. He hadn’t taken them regularly since he was little, but then he didn’t need all his power. He couldn’t let that happen, he was in the damn hero course. What kind of person would want to take medication that would reduce their power so much? It wasn’t fair that he had to at all. He had control over it now, why did he keep having to take those stupid pills?

“But listen. Your power is really strong, and at the end of the day, you only think that’s worse than full strength because your body can maintain a lot of electricity. To anyone else, a million volts would be just as effective at stopping somebody as 2 million.”

She was right. He knew she was. But still...

“Okay!” He said, false cheeriness coating his words which, thankfully, she seemed to believe.

She smiled at him and went to get a prescription form. They didn’t technically need it, they had the pills ready there, being a little different to regular clinics, but it was still the legal method. But then she stopped.

“Hey, Kaminari. Are you still, having trouble focusing in classes?”

He blushed, rubbing the back if his neck. “Yeah, kind of.”

“Well, congratulations.” She said. “I’m also giving you Adderall.”

His eyes almost widened. How many drugs was she putting him on? Although, in fairness, Adderall he could get on board with.

“Oh, why?”

“Well, it was difficult to test you for any learning problems considering it could have been that your quirk just made you hyper itself. But since you’re now 16 and have a better understanding of how to use it, I think it’s a safe bet your ability to focus lacks due to more than simply your electrical charge. And since I’m already giving you something today,” she said, writing his name on a bottle, “I thought it’s a good time to give that to you as well.”

Okay, he didn’t quite understand half of that properly. But he understood the basics. He actually felt a little excited at the prospect of him having trouble with learning not just being because he was stupid. It was always what everyone thought, but maybe there was some way to help that.

The quirk modifiers though...He still didn’t like them. At all.

“Okay, here you go. Take 2 everyday, one in the morning and one before bed. As for the Adderall, the instructions are on the bottle, but do not take more than 2 or maximum 3 doses a day, alright?”

He nodded and she smiled, handing the bottles to him. She studied him for a second and then exhaled.

“There’s around a month’s worth in each of them. So, as much as I love to see you, if you so wish, you don’t have to come back until 4 weeks from now to get it renewed.”

He blinked and widened his eyes. He always had to go back weekly. He liked seeing them of course, but sometimes he just wished he could spend it like the others did. Messing around on the last day of the weekend and everything. He looked down at the 2 things in his hands. He was suddenly in a lot more control over his health than he ever had been before.

“But don’t forget about us, okay? It’s up to you, but you can still visit us outside of needing to. I just know school must be a lot of pressure as is and I trust you just want to do everything you can for it.”

He looked up at her clear brown eyes and smiled. “Yeah, of course!”

She laughed and moved a hand over to ruffle his hair slightly. He moved it out of his eyes, but grinned wide.

“Take care of yourself sweetie. And I’ll see you soon, okay?”



After saying goodbye to Kioko and Gin, Kaminari headed out, a small bag containing the 2 pill bottles in his hand. He clasped them a lot harder than he normally would, but he was frustrated with himself. Stupidly leaving his arms uncovered in front of a person whose job it literally was to spot things in patients now led him to being on full time medication. He felt so pathetic. Nobody else needed this. They all knew what to do with their powers. Midoriya broke himself every time he used his, and yet he still didn’t need any control help like he did. Why would UA want someone who couldn’t even explore their full potential for fear of getting hurt? He already was struggling to keep up with everyone, now he would just be even weaker. His power was awesome, he knew that. Why did he have to lock it away when it could be useful?

Before he could think further though, he had already reached where he was heading.

The place was not very homely at all. It was kind of rundown and looked almost abandoned. He knew why of course. The person who lived there didn’t exactly have the best of luck in their life. He always thought it was unfair, she was kind and bubbly, and yet she was barely able to afford food, especially because she focused on helping others for little or no money. He always gave her something whenever he went to see her.

Like usual he knocked on the door and waited for a response.

It came rather quickly, as a smiling girl with waist length, dirty blond hair opened the door for him.

“Hi!”

He leant forward and gave her a quick hug which she returned with a laugh. When they pulled away, Kaminari, reached into the bag he was carrying, and pulled out a salad he had bought for her. He usually would not really eat stuff like that himself, but she needed nutrition. She took it gratefully and lead him into the house.

She had tried very hard to make the most out of such a bad situation. There were a couple of plush toys littering her room, and she had attempted to brighten up the walls with some paint. It was endearing.

“So, the same as usual, yeah?”

He smiled. “Yeah! Thanks, Aneko!”

She grinned and went over to get 2 paper bags. She kept some with her for purposes like this. Kaminari was always very intrigued whenever she used her quirk, though since he’s been going there a lot, she had pre prepared everything so she could avoid the side effect when he was there.

Aneko had a very potent yet passive quirk, which was really useful to Denki. She was able to harness the chemicals and hormones in her body and transform them into medication. Things like melatonin for sleeping pills or dopamine for blood pressure. The only issue was that it would temporarily effect her natural behaviour. She had explained to Kaminari how her quirk worked before. She produced a lot more of each chemical than other people, but her body was used to it. If she released too much out of her body at once, depending on what it was, it would have different impacts. Release too much oxytocin, change her dynamics with people until her body replenished it. Meanwhile, if she didn’t let go of any, she’d hurt herself. Build up of too much cortisol would make her anxious and depressed. She always had to monitor her levels to make sure they were managed. It had a lot of drawbacks, but it was still very useful.

Kaminari had once asked her why she wasn’t working as a hero with such a good rescue power. He had not thought it through really. He forgot what the entrance exams were like. He just assumed those fit to be heroes could, well, be them. He didn’t think about how she would not have been able to get in with a passive power like hers. She looked sad when he brought it up, but was always incredibly kind when he mentioned UA. He tried to avoid doing so most of the time, but sometimes he just spoke before he thought. He didn’t always realise what things upset people, he’d just get excited.

However, she had always wanted to be useful. So, instead of just giving up, she decided on basically being what Kaminari excitedly described as “a medical vigilante”. He viewed her as some of those superheroes he saw in old movies. She always looked so taken aback whenever he said that.

Most people would probably assume they were dating if they saw them together for the first time, but that was nowhere near the case. Sure, he knew she was very attractive if a little dishevelled, with her bright smile and shining green eyes, but he’s known her since he was 12 and if Kioko was his given sister in terms of legality, Aneko was his found one.

“Here you go.”

“Thanks.”

He took the bags from her, and put them in his plastic one with the pill bottles. They had 2 different colours drawn on to indicate which was which. Blue for endorphins, red for serotonin.

It wasn’t that he necessarily needed them, but they helped. His quirk would be painful if he went too far using it. Aika always said it would be better the more regularly he took his medicine, but that didn’t help him. With concentrated endorphins, he could avoid so much pain without sacrificing even more of his power than he already did. It was just so helpful. The serotonin on the other hand, was just to get over some things easier. Help him feel happier despite his difficulties with school, his quirk, and anything basically. He was mostly the same happy person without it, but it just limited the things he stressed over even more. He had a natural tendency to panic in some situations. He did not want that impacting his life anymore than it had to, so he was really grateful to have help in that. He still didn’t exactly know how each of them worked, all he knew was that they made him feel better.

“Hey, I downloaded some games and things on my phone. Let’s play!”



Going into Aizawa’s office was a lot more intense than he expected. UA students were required to tell their teachers of any medication they were on so they could know how to deal with any situations that arose. Well, Kaminari never did it with the ones he got from Aneko. They weren’t exactly legal and he wasn’t going to get her in trouble. Besides, they were all natural, how bad could taking them be?

But now that he had prescriptions and keeping them in the dorms as opposed to just taking them once a week, he had to.

“What did you want to say to me, Kaminari?”

He was unnaturally nervous for the situation. This was Aizawa, not a villain. Why was he sweating so much.

“Kaminari?” He repeated, after he didn’t answer.

“I had an appointment with my doctor today.”

Aizawa raised his eyebrows and nodded. “Anything we should know about?”

He couldn’t stop and think.

“Yeah. They gave me a prescription.”

“What for?”

He had to think quickly there. He knew what for and what he should say. But he didn’t like it. And Aizawa had probably nearly died so many time doing hero work (his teachers really were just so cool!), should he really be telling him something that would possibly hurt his chances of capturing villains?

He held out his left hand. “Adderall. They said it would help me in class or something.”

Aizawa glanced at the bottle and then up at him. “I’m glad. You’re a smart kid, but your grades are inconsistent. It’s good that they found a way to let you use your full potential.”

That was a bad choice if words. A really, really, bad choice of words. Kaminari’s hands furled around the bag holding the other bottle he held behind his back.

“Anything else?”

He nearly panicked. Yeah, there was something else. It was something that really annoyed him. He was really conflicted. On one hand, his foster parent trusted him enough to make him responsible for his own medication. He felt guilty and he hated the thought of not keeping that trust. But on the other, Aizawa already knew he took them occasionally. It was on his record. And he also knew how far behind he was the rest of the class. He was the only one who seemingly had an inescapable drawback, having to wait to use his power again was not effective in the middle of a fight. If he took them more consistently, his teachers would all learn just how much of a hassle his quirk was. He didn’t want that. He wanted to keep up with his class. He wanted to just stop being so useless every time he used his power when he knew he could do more without the stupid tablets. He didn’t need to take them. He’d be fine without them.

“No, that’s all.” He smiled.

Aizawa nodded. “Very well. I’ll add it onto your medical record then.”

Kaminari nodded, dropping the Adderall back into the bag and leaving the room. Maybe having control over such important things would mean he could choose what to do. He’d be fine.

Chapter Text

Bakugo was not a sentimental person. In fact, the suggestion of that was enough to get him frustrated. Being hung up on little things from the past was stupid. The only things people should be thinking back on were things that would make them stronger.

But he was also perceptive and intelligent. Of course he was. Knowing his class was important to growth as a hero. After all, despite his initial dismay, he would have to cooperate with them on it.

Which is why he was so focused on Kaminari over the next few days.

He wasn’t distracted. The opposite, he seemed to be picking things up a lot better. But even if nobody else could tell, he knew that something just wasn’t right. He seemed conflicted. It wasn’t obvious by any means. He still talked, still teased, still annoyed the living crap out of Bakugo to the point that he was convinced he’d one day snap and murder everyone, but he also seemed unsure of something the class couldn’t teach him.

He practically hung around him 90% of the time. Seriously, he basically couldn’t get away from him. And if there was one thing that told him was that the damn Pikachu did not address whatever the hell was bothering him. Among the ten billion words he probably spoke to him each day, he had seemingly neglected to mention there was something definitely going on with him. Either that, or he didn’t freaking trust them, which annoyed him even more. Why the hell would he think it okay to follow him around like an energetic puppy but not discuss the one thing he was actually curious about with him?

In fairness, he probably wouldn’t have noticed either were it not for one week prior. The reason he asked him why he was talking more to half n half was not because it bothered him. It was because when Todoroki was asked why he had been downstairs at his room, his face was one that he hadn’t seen since the license exam. He looked like his heart stopped for a minute. He probably didn’t even know he was watching him, but he also saw how relieved he was when Todoroki answered. Something was wrong if he reacted the same way to the bloody meatball guy as he did to a simple question not directed to him.

And that is why he started noticing things he had ignored previously due to them seemingly being irrelevant to him. He didn’t know why, but after how he had basically inserted himself into his life, he felt like he had to keep an eye on him. Something was wrong, and the twist in his stomach at the thought of that was something he did NOT like.



“Aoyama! Hey! What did you get?”

The class had just gotten their results back for a pop quiz they did the day before and Kaminari almost squealed. It was their final day of classes for the week, and it was also the same week that he had started taking Adderall to help him focus and not just find anything else in the room more important than the class. To his surprise, he had actually managed to finish the quiz with time to spare and had enough time to check over it. It was even more surprising when his friends compared their scores, and much to his shock, he was above Mina. In excitement, he had sprinted over to Aoyama as the class got dismissed, wanting to figure out where he stood among the class. It was the first time he hadn’t been last among them in terms of grades and, while he definitely wasn’t the smartest, it just made him feel so happy.

“I feel left out. If you’ve been studying, why didn’t you invite me?” Mina pouted, only half serious, now being 20th in that lesson.

She was never stupid either. With her, it was more about not having enough motivation in studying, preferring to try hard in other aspects of the hero course. It was very easy to look at her and Denki and dismiss them as being idiots, but neither of them really were. The difference was, Kaminari was hurt a bit more than Mina when someone said that to them. She just laughed it off almost, but when they said it about Kaminari, it just felt like another thing he failed at along with his quirk sometimes.

“Why the hell would either of you choose to study together? You’d get even less work done than separately considering your collective IQ likely doesn’t crack triple figures.”

“You’re so egotistical.” Kaminari replied, making sure to take a bit of advantage of language being his strong point just to contrast Bakugo’s comment a little.

“Hey, we all got above half correct! Let’s just be glad about that!” Kirishima reassured and Kaminari smiled at him.

Out of all of them, Kirishima and him were always the ones to spend the most time with Bakugo, so Kami wasn’t really as hurt by him as he acted anymore. Sure, he was arrogant and crude, but at the end of the day, he’d probably kill to protect people. Kirishima on the other hand would die for them. It was an odd mix of friends but Kaminari was glad to have them, even if things got difficult occasionally.

They exited the classroom quickly before they were the last ones left there, and followed the rest of their class to lunch. Kaminari was like a child on caffeine. He had no reason to be, but the fact that he was not on constant edge in class and then frustrated when he realised he hadn’t taken any notes when it ended was such a relief for him.

The lunch hall was busy as usual, everybody talking and fighting and whatever. They weren’t even in there yet and they could tell. He grinned all the way down the corridor until he spotted signature duel coloured hair.

“Todoroki!” He yelled, running over to him.

Though Todoroki still mostly just hung around Midoriya and his friends, Kaminari had minorly latched onto his side in the past week and was not thrown off. He seemed a lot more mean spirited when they first started at the school, but he also seemed to be quite a bit more open to other people recently. Kaminari kind of just liked that. It was always nice to see people coming out of their shells a bit more, even if he was still very reserved and was probably just putting up with him.

“What is it?”

“Look!” He said, showing his score to him. He wasn’t sure why, but he just felt like it. “It’s better than last time!”

“Well done.”

He grinned wide as Bakugo walked up beside him. “What’s the big deal? He only moved a few places.”

“If you moved up a few places, you’d be first in class, Bakugo.” Todoroki said honestly.

“Shut up, I’m already the best in the class.”

“Sure.”

“What did you just say?”

“Nothing.”

Kaminari laughed out, taking a risk at placing his hand on Bakugo’s shoulder (which got him an irritated jerk, but thankfully no threat of explosions) and just shrugging. Bakugo simply walked back over to the others, leaving Kaminari to turn back to Todoroki and smirk.

“Man, you don’t even have to say much to get under his skin, do you?”

“I don’t even try. I’m impressed you’re so close to him.”

“He’s not that bad once you get to know him. Though I kind of want to get him a Teddy Bear for his birthday just to see how he reacts. Although he still hasn’t told me when his birthday is, so maybe it will have to wait.”

“April 20th.”

Kaminari looked at him in shock and almost awe for a few seconds. “How do you know that?”

“I don’t think he hides it unless you ask him to tell you.”

He groaned. “Ugh. Bakugo is so confusing.”

He laughed it off, smiling at Todoroki again. He still seemed somewhat rigid to him which kind of just made him want to joke around with him some more. However, before he could think things through, his phone buzzed in his pocket.

He picked it out, opening the text.

Kioko: Hey Denki. Just wondering, are you coming on Sunday or not?

He read over the message and then completely forgot to keep smiling. He wasn’t upset, he was just thinking. Of course, he didn’t need to, but it had kind of become tradition. However, he had spent so long relying on them and doctor’s appointments and everything, he just wanted to break away from it a bit.

Sorry, no. Have to catch up on work.

It’s okay. Have fun at the weekend!

“Are you okay?”

He put his phone away and turned to Todoroki who was now looking directly at him.

“Yeah. Just my sister.”

He looked surprised. “You have a sister?”

“Yep.” He didn’t mind saying that. He had things he didn’t want them to know, but that was okay. Suddenly, he remembered something. “We have training class next, right?”

“I believe so.”

“Okay. I need to go to the bathroom.”

He ran off a little faster than he had hoped he would. He had forgotten they were training that afternoon. He opened the door to the bathroom, completely forgetting he hadn’t eaten yet, and, after making sure nobody was around, opened his bag. Their school was rather big, but he still avoided going to the one most people used, just to be safe. Looking at the door briefly again, he grabbed the bag with a distinctive blue stripe across it out and ripped it open, taking one small, round tablet out and throwing it back. It would take a little while for his body to break it down and help him, and strictly his medication was still in effect until the end of the week, but if it was wearing off, he’d rather avoid any pain at all. He opened the tap, letting the cool water flow, and cupped his hand under it. It wasn’t drinking water, but he wasn’t worried too much. He swallowed the pill with a large gulp of water and wiped his mouth.

He barely had time to close his bag up again before the door swung open and he almost jumped back.

“Dude, you okay?”

He sighed in relief as he met Kirishima’s friendly red eyes. “Yeah, what’s up?”

“Well, you were talking to Todoroki and then sprinted out of the lunch hall without any food. I just thought I’d check.”

“Thanks! I’m fine. Let’s go!” He said probably a little dismissively, shouldering his bag and feeling the contents falling around in it. He almost walked past Eijirou before a question hit him. “Hey, do you know Bakugo’s birthday?”

“It’s April 20th, right?”

He sighed, defeated, and threw his arms up in exasperation. “What the hell did I do wrong?”

Of course, neither of them realised how Bakugo watched as Kirishima ran off to fetch him.

 

Chapter Text

As the next week began and went on, Kaminari really couldn’t have felt much better. For the first time since he could remember, he could feel the crawl of electricity through his body in a way that made having that power invigorating. Unrestrained and effective. It made him giddy and excited. Add on to that the endorphins and serotonin, and he couldn’t even feel any pain that could have come with it other than occasionally a minor tingle, and the idea that they never decided to use painkillers but always chose those annoying quirk control pills became more and more confusing to him. It had only been 4 days since he had missed his regular dose, and he already felt so much better. He also had some painkillers from Aneko left from earlier weeks where they were less required meaning he didn’t fear running out, so over all, he was pretty damn happy.

His classwork was also improving little by little, which Aizawa was pleased to see, and he quickly began forgetting about the unused medicine in his bag. Other than that...well...not much changed.

“Hey. Sero!” He whispered.

The class was given a period for studying themselves, which left the 1A students sitting scattered around the library. He was catching up on some notes from over the past few weeks at the desks while Sero decided on taking the time to finish some homework, which was interrupted when he looked up.

“What is it?”

“How much would you pay me if I could flick my pencil at Bakugo from this far away?”

Sero looked around him at Bakugo, who was sitting at the opposite end of the room, having gotten a book from the shelf and not bothered to move far. The ever so consistent scowl was still present on his face, despite no real reason for it being there. Sero sat back down properly and faced Denki again.

“Not enough to cover your funeral.”

He shrugged, getting back to his work.

The truth was, no matter how he could have tried to dress it up, even if he found it easier a bit lately, studying was still something he hated. It was boring and 90% unnecessary to being a hero or anything like that. As far as he gave a damn, the quadratic equation of a parabola may as well have been ‘bite me’. It made just about as much sense as the actual answers, frankly.

Thankfully, before his suffering could extend any further, the class came to an end, and he was more than happy to pack his stuff up and head down to the changing rooms to prepare for All Might’s class.

Their teacher seemed a little bit worried the first few weeks after he retired that his class would view him with less respect, but now that it was clear that was nowhere near the case, he was more than happy to give pointers and assist in training as much as he could without powers. Everyone in the class still viewed him admiringly and it seemingly had a big effect on his teaching abilities.

“Hey, what do you think we’re doing today?”

“I hope nothing too much to do with fighting.” Tokoyami said solemnly. “Dark Shadow has been rather adverse to any forms since the last time I accidentally lost control. I don’t know what else it could be though.”

“Hey, don’t worry. Maybe it’s stealth training.”

“Well, if you all just got ready and left the damn changing rooms, you’d find out.” Bakugo said, irritated. Ironic, considering his outfit always takes about twice as much effort as everyone else’s to put on.

“We’re all ready, dude.”

“Yeah!” Kaminari said, practically skipping up to him. “Chill. We’re just talking.”

He laughed, walking past him and out the door, followed by a few others.

Nobody noticed Bakugo ripping his hand back from him and following him with his eyes as they walked out of it. When most people were already out the door, however, he stopped staring after him, and lifted his hand to his eyes.

He was used to heat, naturally. After all, his quirk both relied on and produced it. What he wasn’t used to quite as well, was the stinging and burning created by electricity. He couldn’t exactly stop himself from ripping his hand away where it briefly brushed against the back of Kaminari’s as he shuffled past him. He watched the colour pooling at the spot where he felt sparks bounce between their skin a few seconds prior, feeling the weak pain slowly dissolve. He looked up again, mouth slightly ajar. Nobody was in the changing rooms anymore, the few people who usually waited for him having left at his words, but he still stared at the door where they had left.

What the hell?

He didn’t seem to feel bad or anything when he left. Of course, he wasn’t injured or anything, but that’s besides the point. Had Kaminari not realised he used his quirk on him?

Before he could think further though, familiar red hair popped back between the door frames.

“Are you coming, man?”

“Yeah.” He huffed and pushed his way past him.

If Kirishima was shocked that he even replied rather than just shoved past, he didn’t question it.



“So, today, we are going to be working on one on one combat.” Toshinori said to the class. “It’s important to be able to work with others, but it’s also important to be able to defend yourselves when you are alone. Working as a hero, you won’t always have somebody there to back you up.”

The class was listening intently. Midoriya looked just about ready to burst. It really didn’t matter to them what happened to All Might, and it seemed to make him rather happy and helped him be quite a bit more confident in teaching.

“I would say pick somebody whose quirk is in the same area as yours. Rescue or stealth heroes will rarely be called to fight, so aim to train your abilities how they work best. Go ahead and pick your partners, and then we can begin.”

The students dispersed among each other, each finding a partner to work with. Hagakure and Ochako seemed to take All Might’s advice and grouped together due to both their quirks being better for scouting and rescue, and most fighting style quirks prompting people to join each other as well. Everyone seemed a little more comfortable with each other by that point, and especially in terms of people like Kaminari, who was socially confident enough in any situation, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a par-

“Oi, dunce face, you’re with me.”

His breath hitched and spun round to face him. “What? HUH? Wha-I-“

“What are you scared?” Bakugo said, grabbing his arm and pulling him away.

“I-No?”

He glanced behind him back at Kirishima who smiled sheepishly with a confused look on his face. Bakugo never bothered to make the effort to select a partner like this. He’d challenge people without a doubt, but he basically just took down whoever he could in class. Kirishima always asked him to train so he didn’t just stand there and start fighting the poor student who was left (say what you want about him, Bakugo never treated an opponent as if he had to hold back for fear of hurting them. It was almost his way of showing respect.)

Bakugo let go of his arm and he immediately froze with wide eyes as he took a few steps away from him before turning back towards him and immediately blasting his feet off the ground.

“We haven’t even started yet!”

“Yeah we have.” He growled, ignoring All Might saying the same thing. Now or a few seconds later didn’t matter.

He took a step closer to him and waited for him to get up. As soon as he did, he aimed a punch while activating his quirk, which he only managed to avoid due to his natural agility, and then jumped off to the side out of the way of his explosion.

Bakugo turned round to where he was now standing, breathing heavily.

“Dude, calm down, are you mad at me or something?”

“What the hell are you talking about? We’re in training!” He snarled that last part as he hit him in the stomach and blasted him 5 feet away, landing on his back.

Something was wrong with him and he was going to find out, even if he is the only one who noticed. If he wasn’t going to say it, then he’d beat it out of him.

Kaminari swallowed, and got up, taking up a defensive pose for the first time, leaving Bakugo to smirk.

“Well? Aren’t you going to fight me?”

“Dude, you really need to relax.” He said, before Bakugo made another punch to his stomach.

This time though, he was a little more aware, twist out the way, grabbing the exposed skin on his upper arm and activating his quirk.

Bakugo flinched his arm away, aiming his left hand across his body towards him and sending another explosion that way, which he only just managed to avoid. He grabbed his shoulder in a rush, and Bakugo felt a distinctive electric burn on his skin as Kaminari moved away, attempting to get away from his power. He looked up at him, seeing a slightly more determined face looking back at him and grinned.

Taking a little more liberty, he fired off a larger explosion than before, which Kaminari couldn’t avoid, and was knocked down, coughing up dust dredged up by his fall and Bakugo’s quirk. He quickly opened his eyes, seeing his opponent making up the distance between them.

Realising he couldn’t just release everything due to others being around them as well, he twisted around to lying on his front, and stretched his arm to grab Bakugo’s leg, sending a jolt through his muscles. This was enough to get him to loose his footing slightly, which Kaminari took advantage of, pulling his left leg out from underneath him, leaving him sprawled on his back, as he stood up.

Rather than throwing him off his game however, Bakugo made use of his position and sent a blast to his chest, making him stumble long enough for him to get back up and finally land a punch. What did make him think for a second were the obvious sparks flying off of his skin without means to use them to attack. However, he was finally getting somewhere. He realised very quickly after meeting him that Kaminari was NOT a hand to hand combatent. His quirk meant close range fighting was very reliant on his quirk, all he had to do was touch somebody and he could electrocute them. Bakugo, on the other hand, was far more skilled in terms of strength. Kaminari was faster, he was stronger. Meaning, so long as he managed to keep fighting at a distance until he distracted him enough so that he didn’t think to touch him, he had the advantage, and he could make use of his physical strength. On the other hand, if he moved in close while he was paying attention, Kaminari had better odds.

Thinking this through, he tried to keep his distance. If Kaminari wasn’t going to fight him properly outside of defense, he’d make him.

“Come at me then, loser.”

He put both hands out in front of him and, knowing he couldn’t avoid whatever was coming, Kaminari hung his head and lowered himself closer to the ground, one hand in front of his face, the other, steadying himself on the floor, in order to escape as much of the power as he could. As soon as the deafening noise passed, he straightened up as he ran at him, getting a little more into the fight now, just as he was almost knocked over by an explosion.

He tried to spin out of the way, but he felt the pressure it created on his back and neck, and the heat and smell from his slightly singed hair. He sighed.

“That was close.” He said, grinning at him after the near miss.

Bakugo stopped. It wasn’t close. Bakugo got him. It wasn’t serious, probably somewhere between first and second degree, but Bakugo’s last attack burned his neck. It was so obvious from his point of view as he followed his movements and his eyes drifted to the injured skin under his hair. He stilled for just a moment, anger replaced by confusion. Adrenaline was somewhat of an answer, but even then, he should be at least a little aware even if it didn’t hurt that much. How had he simply not felt it?

He couldn’t contemplate it a lot though, as Kaminari was by his side now, electricity crackling on his finger tips, prompting Bakugo to grab his arm and flip him over onto his back.

Or he tried at least. Because as soon as he tried to grab him, Kaminari was close enough to fire off his quirk into his body.

And his entire body shut off from his control. His muscles seized and he could barely even jump out of the way before he fell to the ground, legs unable to hold himself up anymore. His entire body felt like it was on fire as soon as he touched him and now...

He gasped for a few seconds, struggling to get much needed oxygen in his body, pain searing through his body before subsiding slightly. He tried to sit up slowly, but found it difficult to gain enough strength in his arms to support his weight. He could still feel the tingling leaving his body as he managed to get himself more upright, his head pounding in pain and making him want to tear up. He widened his eyes, staring down at his arm where the shock originated.

It had only been for a second, but it was enough to tell it was not a usual shock from him. Kaminari, the person who normally struggled with training against classmates because his quirk was so hard to control around others and didn’t want to seriously hurt anybody, had just sent him a voltage that he was sure if it was for a few seconds longer, would have resulted in something a lot more extreme than some headaches and muscle pain.

“What the hell?” He mumbled, looking up at the boy.

Kaminari was staring at him with a blank expression, a massive contrast to the grin of a few seconds prior. He didn’t mean it. He meant to throw him off, not actually injure him. But for some reason, he couldn’t bring himself to worry. It was as if the electricity had flipped a switch in his brain. He couldn’t feel bad or sorry past a small sense of curiosity. Instead of worrying and asking if he was okay, all he could do was stare and think. He couldn’t even be bothered to continue the fight, instead just lifting his hand up in front of him.

He had not realised. This was the first training day they had since he missed his medication. His quirk was a lot less resigned in him. He knew distantly that he should have been more careful, but at that moment, he just wanted to check something. He started up his quirk again, seeing yellow sparks run further and further along his arms. It was the first time that he hadn’t short circuited after such a strong attack. His quirk was still working.

He wanted to see how far it stretched, as he turned the power up higher, now running up along his arm, his neck, feeling the power surge through his body.

And then he was knocked out.

Despite his current state, Bakugo had blasted as strong of an attack as he could at him, hurting his arm in the process, but managing to knock the electric user down and stopping his quirk. The issue was, explosions were a lot louder than electric crackling and got louder the stronger they were, and soon, every head within a 20 meter radius turned to him.

He didn’t care. Shakily, he got up, walking to the limp body on the ground, still feeling weak but put that aside for the time being.

“Young Bakugo! We have to train ourselves, but you are still fighting your classmates.” All Might said, heading over to Kaminari and him. “You need to learn when to hold back, otherwise you will end up seriously injuring somebody.”

He looked up at him, looking like his eyes were about to pop out if his head. Had they seriously not seen what happened?

“Is Kaminari okay?” Kirishima asked in concern, and All Might looked a little flustered for the first time that class.

“I’m actually not sure. I don’t know much about injuries like this, so maybe we should take him to Recovery Girl just in case.

“I’ll do it.” Bakugo said and ignored some confused stares he got for it.

He went over to him, his strength still subpar for him, but returning a little more to normal, as he reached down and pulled one of his arms over his shoulder. He was breathing, so that was a good sign. But he struggled to pick him up at that moment.

“I’ll help. His weight won’t hurt me.” Kirishima said, moving over to them.

It took a minute for them work out the best way for the 2 of them to carry him due to him being completely out cold, before leaving the area.

Bakugo was barely paying attention to where he was walking, mostly just trying to stay upright and not collapse and thinking about the class.

He didn’t know how it looked to everybody else, but he assumed they thought he just got carried away. It wouldn’t have been the first time. But that wasn’t the reason.

He didn’t know what the hell was going on with him, but the idiot was hurting himself. He could see the strength of his own quirk ripping at his skin. Whether he didn’t notice or didn’t care didn’t matter. All that he knew, is every quirk had a limit.

Kaminari had reached it. So why, he thought, did he not freaking stop? In fact, how could he not stop, when every other time he used his quirk to that degree, he’d incapacitate himself? Why was it that Bakugo, a mostly objective party, could tell that he was damaging himself when he just kept going? He didn’t knock him out due to anger. He knocked him out because if he kept going, he had a feeling it would be a lot more than simply surpassing his limit.

Whatever was going on with him was no longer angering Bakugo. It was worrying him.

He saw the change in his demeanour just before Bakugo acted. He wasn’t the same happy go lucky person who would undoubtedly stop the fight if he thought he took things too far. Something had changed. It may have been only a few moments, but it was enough to realise. Something was seriously wrong. It wasn't just something bothering him like he thought. And he was going to figure it out.

Chapter Text

When Kaminari woke up in the infirmary, his first instinct was to panic. He remembered what had happened during their fight, and he had almost gotten out of bed before realising that if Bakugo was hurt, he’d either be in one of the beds next to him, or someone would be there to tell him about it. He sighed in relief, laying back down, before flinching away from the pillow as a spike of pain pierced him from his neck. He sat up, and slowly moved his hand to the back of his neck, squirming away from his own touch when he felt the sharp sting of a burn covering his skin. That was a little odd to him. He didn’t remember getting it. But, than again, he had been knocked out and he was against Bakugo. He looked around, trying to find his bag to get his pills out and ease the pain a bit, remembering he had left it in the changing rooms. He groaned, squeezing his hands in a fist. He supposed he’d have to just ask Recovery Girl For something for the time being.

Shuffling back up to rest against the wall, he looked around the place inquisitively. Nobody else was hurt seemingly. There was stuff he didn’t recognise despite growing up being raised by a doctor in some of the cabinets surrounding the room, and he suddenly felt really cold with the thin covers not providing much in the way of warmth. It was seemingly early evening judging by the sun, so he had probably been asleep a little while.

Looking back down at his bed, he started trying to piece together the moments before passing out. He wasn’t confused like he would be if he had a concussion, so that was a plus, however it still took him a few moments.

He remembered right up until he tried to use his quirk, and then things got a little bit muddled.

He didn’t need to know the entire story, though. Once he realised the implications, his heart gave a jolt. He whipped both of his hands up in front of his eyes and stared, smiling shakily. He had been able to use his quirk and he didn’t have the side effects he was used to. Of course, he felt bad about not being careful enough, but if he could harness that and control it, things would be so much better. He’d be able to stay on the battlefield longer and not force his teammates to aid him.

Sitting there, he tried to activate his quirk. He could feel the build up under his skin, but once it reached the surface, only a few measly sparks twinkled on his hands before extinguishing. He sighed. Of course. He could use his quirk longer, but he still relied on being charged up to do so. If he uses it in one go, he’d be aware of his surroundings, but he wouldn’t have any stored up power left to use. He wasn’t used to charging above a certain amount, but now, he’d have to find a way to do so.

The door opening broke through his thoughts.

“Ah, good to see you awake, Kaminari.” Recovery Girl said, smiling at him.

“Thanks. Is Bakugo okay, by the way?” He was pretty sure he was, but it was better for him to ask.

“Bakugo? Why wouldn’t he be?”

“No reason.” He said, relaxing. “I just wanted to make sure.”

Recovery Girl nodded, placing a bundle of clothes down on a chair next to his bed. “Well, I would say worry about yourself, but luckily for us, you seem rather unhurt, other than a few bumps. Your friends were worried though when you didn’t wake up after an hour, until I told them it was because of Midnight.”

Kaminari frowned. “Midnight?”

“Yes. I didn’t know how worn out you were after exercising, but it would have been no use for you to wake up if you were too tired to heal. Her quirk can be rather useful occasionally. Now, the only significant injury I could see was your neck. I think I can assume, but can you explain how that happened?”

He shrugged. “I’m assuming it’s a burn mark, right?”

“Yes. It’s surface level and easy to heal, but I would still like to know if there are any other similar injuries I may have missed.”

“I don’t think so.”

She looked him in the eyes and he felt strangely vulnerable under her gaze, despite her age. She didn’t seem to worry too much. Being the school nurse, she likely dealt with quite a lot of way worse mishaps during school.

“Well, let me sort it out for you, and then you can go back to the dorms.”

Before he could protest, she leant up and kissed the burn.

“Ah!” He screamed, pulling away from her.

She merely waved it away. “Don’t be like that. Take the clothes on the chair. I don’t have any of your ones, but use those to get back to the dorms. Your hero outfit has already been taken to the support group to see if anything was broken by the explosion. Just tell me when you are leaving.”

With that, she walked out of the room, leaving Denki alone to get changed out of his gown. He did feel mostly fine. If anything, Recovery Girl gave something for him to think about. Mostly, he elected to just charge with a charger in his mouth. It was simple, and it was directly in contact with a muscle, allowing faster charging speeds (he was vaguely aware he was making himself sound like a smartphone and it isn’t like nobody ever said something to him along those lines, but honestly, the amount of things phones could do, he took it as a compliment). But strictly, all it required was a source of electricity. The support class was already fixing up his outfit. Maybe he would pay them a visit the following day and see what they could do about his situation.


 

“Hey, can I borrow your science notes from last month?”

Kirishima looked up with a smile. “Sure. But why aren’t you asking Bakugo? He’s well ahead of me.”

“Yeah, well...” Kaminari looked over to where their friend was packing some stuff up. “He’s kind of been quietly staring at me since yesterday. It’s unnerving. I don’t know how to deal with him when he’s not yelling at me.”

“Has it been since your fight?”

He rubbed the back of his neck. “Yeah. I don’t know what’s wrong. But he’s Bakugo, he probably wouldn’t give me his notes anyway.”

“True.” Kirishima laughed, before they made it to where Bakugo was sitting and taking out his notebook. “Here you go. Not sure how good they are.”

“Thanks!” He gasped. “I just remembered! I need to go to the support course. See you later!”

He ran off with a grin and Kirishima smiled after his friend before turning back to Bakugo and stopping at the look on his face. He made the last few feet towards him smiling again, though a little concerned.

“Are you okay?”

“Where is drooly heading?”

“Kaminari? He said he’s going to the support rooms. Probably getting his costume back.”

Bakugo nodded and Kirishima sat down next to him. “Are you alright?” He asked again.

“Yeah.”

“Are you mad at Kaminari?”

“No.”

He really wasn’t. He hadn’t exactly done much to make him mad. He may treat everyone like he’s pissed off just that they exist, which was half right, but he wasn’t specifically angry at Kaminari then. Of course, Kirishima was still going to make sure. If he wasn’t there, Bakugo would have probably ripped everyone’s heads off their necks.

“You sure? He seems a bit worried he did something wrong.”

“It’s not worth my time to be angry at him.”

He shrugged. “Alright then, I guess.”

If nothing else, Bakugo was at least glad that Kirishima seemed to be able to tell when there was no point in arguing further.

Kaminari practically sprinted along the corridors. He had so much more energy lately, and he didn’t know why, but all he really wanted was to check if his idea was possible. He wasn’t a technician or anything of course, but Todoroki had something similar that he got done. It would probably be a lot easier with electricity, actually.

He knocked on the door which opened up to let him see a familiar girl standing on the other side.

“Hatsume! It’s you again!”

“Of course it’s her.” He could hear Power Loader addressing him from inside. “She refuses to leave the workshop even when she’s not supposed to be in here.”

She ignored him, electing to yank him inside and closing the door. “Hero course! Maybe you’re here to help me with my babies? I need someone to test them out!” She said, checking him over.

He blushed. It wasn’t like he was going to ask for it or anything, but he wasn’t exactly opposed to it. She was very pretty and cute. She also seemed really fun. If anything, she was fun to flirt with. It could be a lot worse situation to be pulled into than a pretty girl looking over his body and everything.

“You don’t look too difficult to fit for. I think I have some things you could try out! Let me get some, hold on!”

“Hatsume, stop.” Power Loader responded before she could take more than a couple of steps, before turning to him. “You’re the electric user, right? Are you here to pick up your outfit?”

“Yeah, thanks.”

“Aw, that’s so boring. Are you sure you don’t want to help me with this?” Mei asked with a glint in her eye, holding up what seemed to be a couple of weaponised roller blades.

“Well, there is another thing I wanted to ask.”

“What is it?”

He smiled. If they could help with this, then it’d be incredible.



It was 5pm. On Fridays, this usually meant everybody would be relaxing at the dorms or out in town or something. Kaminari certainly tended to. However, he was too excited by the prospect of what he asked for, and headed down to the free gym.

Students were allowed to practice there until 6 if they so wished, meaning he had another hour before he had to head back to the dorms. Well, not really, as he arrived about 10 minutes later.

He never found much reason to train outside of classes before. His quirk was pretty steady, and he couldn’t exactly help his directional control when he wasn’t sure how to. And...well, he was a teenager who wanted to relax, nobody could really blame him.

But the support course came through, and he was too anxious to try out his new equipment. They said it was simple, so they could sort it out rather easily, meaning by the end of classes, he had it in his hands. He wasn’t fully dressed in his hero costume, only his pointer system and the new wristbands he had snapped around him, and his bag to put everything in at the end, but it was enough.

He excitedly opened the gym door and walked in, before even realising he got a face full of steam.

He closed his eyes and wiped his face, befuddled for a second before the mist cleared and he opened them again. Once he realised who it was, he raised his eyebrows.

“Todoroki?” He asked, walking in further and closing the door.

He turned round to him, and lowered his hand. Kaminari threw his bag down at the side of the room, and looked at what he was doing. He could see a soaking wet dummy standing in front of him.

“Kaminari. I wouldn’t have expected you to ever come here.” He said, a little surprised.

“Yeah, well, I’m surprised that you’re here. What do you need to practice, you’re already insane.”

“Is that a positive?” He asked. “I’m not trying to act like that.”

“No, man. I meant your quirk! I wasn’t expecting you to need to work on it.”

“Oh.” He said before turning back to the dummy..

He raised his right hand, covering it in a thick layer of ice. Once it was clearly at least a foot thick, he put his left hand out in front of him and flames erupted around his hand, directly into the dummy, with such heat that Kaminari jumped back to avoid getting hurt. Steam rose up again and this time, he kept going until the dummy was almost dry, removing the puddle from the floor as well. Kaminari felt a little unease under his skin at the wetness in the air but just stared.

“Dude, that was awesome!”

“I still have better control over my ice than my fire. I need to work on that.”

Kaminari paled, sweating a little.

That was less control?

“Well, good luck then!” He said, wrapping an arm around his shoulder.

Todoroki turned his head, a little unsure of how to act in such a situation. Kaminari was a very tactile person, he had learned. It was his way of giving encouragement to others. Todoroki was certainly not used to that. The most contact he got growing up was from his mum, which wasn’t really an option for a long time. He quietly wondered what other family Kaminari had if he was so comfortable with everything and how they acted. He wasn’t expecting him to have a sister, but that was clearly not the case.

He whipped his head the other way when felt a small spark on his shoulder where Kaminari was holding onto him. He probably didn’t mean it, the air was quite moist which is probably not good for electricity, but he still pulled away just in case.

“Are you here to train then?”

“Yes! Actually, can I use your target for a bit?”

“Go ahead.”

He grinned, positioning himself in front of the dummy near the wall. He was happy the school let them use their gear for this otherwise it would be a bit difficult to practice with Todoroki standing right there.

However, once he remembered, he lifted his head straight up and turned sheepishly to Todoroki.

“Can you stand a few steps away? I should be fine, but if I brush against you when using my quirk, then...”

He simply took a step back and kept looking at him. He turned back to the target and fired one of his projectile disks, hitting it in the chest. He smirked, happy that his aim of that was at least okay, before pointing his fingers to the target and activating his quirk.

Despite his usual attitude, he took his quirk rather seriously. It was dangerous, after all. Even though he was currently aiming it at an inanimate object, he didn’t want to let his guard down, making sure his current hit the target right on and feeling the electric buzz on his fingertips. It was strong, but he didn’t feel any worry.

“Kaminari?”

He stopped, perplexed. He hadn’t noticed, but there was now a char mark on the body. Ignoring that, he turned around to his classmate.

“Yeah? What’s wrong?”

“You were going for a long time. Are you alright?”

“What?” He hadn’t realised. He looked down at his hand, squeezing one of his fingers. Yeah, he supposed it was a little numb. He hadn’t felt it hurt, so he didn’t think about it. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

Todoroki looked down at his wrist. “Is that a new support item.”

He smiled wide again, lifting it up for him. “Yeah! I was actually thinking of your heat regulators. They’re electric stabilisers. I need to charge to use my quirk but it can take a long time and I can’t use it if I run out. They have these electrode thingies on the back that keep me from dropping below a certain level during fights. Smart, right?”

“Was it you who thought of it?”

He blushed. “Well, I didn’t know if it was possible. I just kind of asked if it was and then they gave them to me. I have no idea how they work. It’s all sciencey and confusing. I don’t get it.”

Todoroki nodded. Denki felt a little uncomfortable. He was just a quiet person, but Kaminari still felt the silence a little awkward. Of course, knowing Shoto was just like that sometimes helped a bit, but he still kind of wanted to just talk with him if he could. Mostly, it was him talking and Todoroki occasionally asking a few questions.

“I’m impressed with your power.”

He lit up. “Thanks! Hey, can I ask something about your quirk?”

“Yes, I suppose.”

“If you melted your ice, would the water be drinkable?”

Todoroki blinked, taken aback by the question. “What?”

“Well, like, there are all those weird types of water that are said to be melted from icicles or something. So, if you, like, filled a cup with your ice and then melted it, would it be okay to drink?”

Todoroki stared. That was the oddest question he’s ever had asked about his quirk. What’s more, Kaminari looked genuinely intrigued.

“I’ve never tried it.”

“Seriously?”

“Well, taps exist.”

Denki laughed. “Yeah, but come on. We live in a world with superpowers! Have you never, like, been tempted to lick your ice or anything?”

“That is not really what I was told to use my quirk for.”

He shrugged. “I would have surely thought everyone had tried to experiment with their quirk or something. I can’t really do much that electricity wasn’t meant for. I did once try to power a TV, but I suppose that’s rather boring.”

“Did you manage?”

“Yeah. But then I electrocuted myself when I tried to work the WiFi at the same time and was banned from messing around with them.”

He heard a soft chuckle from next to himself, and turned to look. Todoroki actually had a really nice smile. To him, it was always an achievement when he could make other people laugh or smile. It was something he always just loved. He didn’t even care too much if they were laughing at him or with him, if he caused them to smile, that was enough.

Before he could ask what was happening however, Todoroki had walked over to his stuff at the side of the hall, and taken out his phone.

“We have half an hour to get back to the dorms.”

“Oh.” Kaminari had been hoping to get a little more practice in during 20 minutes, but he wasn’t expecting anyone to be there. “Should we pack this up?”

 

Chapter Text

Bakugo had absolutely no reason to wonder what the hell that annoying knock off stun gun was doing with his life. It wouldn’t effect him either way. He’d still be aiming to be top of the course, it’d just be one less idiot for him to have to deal with to prove he’s the top. Not ideal, he’d rather beat everyone fair and square, but he could make do with it.

But as much as he wished he could ignore it, he couldn’t. It was difficult to admit he was friends with anyone. Mostly because unlike in middle school, now it carried genuine weight.

It used to be easy to say people from school were his friends, when all they really were, were people who grouped with him, scared some dumb kid, messed around or whatever. The term just meant people below him who he happened to put up with for his own benefit.

But that wasn’t really the case anymore. As much as he wasn’t planning to say it, using the term friends was no longer some stupid, inconsequential thing he could say just to anyone he didn’t bother to blast aside. Instead, it was some stupid hero wannabes who he for some reason became worried about. Kirishima was easier to admit, at least he was a good sparring partner. But why was he trying to work out how to work out what the hell was going on with the freaking charger plug?

He mildly hated them for it. It was just going to slow him down if he kept having to worry about injuring somebody because they couldn’t take care of themselves long enough, or somebody hurting themselves. But it also made him immensely angry when be thought about just letting things lie. People shouldn’t be lying to him. And they certainly shouldn’t be on the hero course, spending their time doing whatever the hell they were doing that was so obviously something stupid.

He didn’t even know why he bothered to think about it. It was probably just something stupid. Everything he did was about something stupid.

“Damn it. I’m gonna kill you for this once this is over.” He groaned, grabbing his phone.

Whatever. He had his number for some reason, he may as well tell him considering he was at least half intelligent out of everyone in the class. If they wanted to start hanging out more, the least he could do was allow Katsuki the chance to get this stupid thing off his chest and pawn it off onto someone else.



UA was an incredible experience to anyone who entered. The school was filled to the brim with all sorts of state if the art mechanics and there was not a single quirk they couldn’t get accustomed to dealing with. The teachers were also pro heroes, so being under such tutelage was amazing.

However, it was a lot of work for everyone. They were having so much quirk testing and checking, add onto that the increasing amount of classwork, that it was difficult to rest more than an hour during the day most of the time. Nobody complained, though. They were all there for their dreams. It didn’t matter how hard they were pushed.

Having said that, half the class either whimpered or groaned when Aizawa told them they’d be checking how much their powers had improved since the first quirk apprehension test. They were all a little worried that what they did wouldn’t be deemed as enough.

The good news was, now being far more aware of his students quirk types, they weren’t going to just do everything like back then. They had special moves, specific weaknesses and strengths, it’s not like a ball throw would improve the more acid someone could shoot or anything. Instead, the 2 hero classes were all taken to a training facility off campus for the day to help assess them. Which Bakugo was seriously not happy about.

“Why the hell do we have to work with those-“

“Bakugo. If you’re going to start insulting our fellow hero course students, I’d recommend against it.”

“Shut up.”

The class was already on route to the location. It wasn’t far, but it was better for all of them to travel by bus. Thankfully, for civil reasons, the classes were split up until they got there. Allowing some people to express a couple of their displeasures at it. Well, it was mostly one person.

“I would have thought you’d get on well with some of class B, Bakugo.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” He snapped at Tsu.

“I mean, she’s not quite wrong. You and Monoma do have a similar type of attitude sometimes.”

“What the fuck do you mean, comparing me to that stupid copycat?”

“You do both have a bit of a superiority complex.”

“I do not have a fucking superiority complex, you damn freaks.”

“If you don’t all settle down back there, I’ll just tell class B to take the whole day and you will watch them.” Aizawa warned, stopping the class rather quickly.

“We’re just joking, dude.” Kaminari said, sitting way too close to him.

Bakugo glared at him which he didn’t notice, getting caught up in conversations around the vehicle. He looked fine. He was laughing and joking around with everybody, talking about something stupid for all he cared, it didn’t matter. No wonder none of the other idiots surrounding them could tell anything, maybe his lying abilities were better than he thought. But he really wanted to see what will happen when they test him.



“So, here’s how everything will work today. We have different zones for different types of quirks. We will be testing emitter types first, and then moving onto transform and mutation types. Those of you like Monoma and Kuroiro who need specific conditions for their quirks to be effective will have a situation set up for them. Class A will go first.”

Bakugo turned to stare at Monoma expecting something to come out of his mouth at his teacher’s words, only to find Kendo hovering over him. Her hand was on his shoulder ready to drag him away or grip if need be, and he kept his mouth shut. She simply smiled at him and Bakugo turned back to the front. He didn’t know her but he supposed there was something to respect about dealing with someone like him so calmly.

“Let’s get to the first area.”

The area they were at was huge. It really made the students question just how much UA could do with how prestigious of a school it was. The size wasn’t even the biggest thing, but rather how many different types of rooms and equipment and everything there was in it. It was almost intimidating.

It took them all about 5 minutes to actually get to where they were heading, and when they did, none of them knew how to respond.

They were in a watch room with a large window looking out across the actual area. It seemed the room where they were going to practice was about 20 foot tall and the viewing room was halfway up the wall, meaning they hand a wide view of everything in it.

The room had what appeared to be storage cupboards along the walls and some things lining the sides of it, but other than that, it was empty, ready to modify depending on who was to use it.

A lot more interesting was the room they were in just then. It had what looked to be a control desk, and it was covered in metres and buttons as well as the walls. The students all looked closer, or tried to at least because 40 teenagers in one space aren’t all going to get the same view, each curious as to what everything was. There were timers and thermometers and also cameras pointing into the training zone and a bunch of other things.

“This is amazing!”

“What do these things do?”

“How do they work?”

Questions came quickly from the curious students, bombarding the 2 teachers in the room with them. After a certain point, they were talking over one another so much that it was hard to distinguish words from simple mumbling, until Aizawa stopped them.

“This is the control room. Everything here is designed to monitor what each of you will be doing. Things like heat and electricity sensors among others are placed all around the room you see through the window out there.” He indicated to it, though it wasn’t exactly hidden. “We have a viewing system set up so everyone can see what is going on down there if you can’t see through the glass. We also have a microphone set up so we can communicate with all of you when any of you are down there, as well as you being able to talk back to us.”

“Everyone will get their turn to test their quirk. It’s helpful to know what everyone else can do, so we aren’t splitting you up but rather, all of you will watch your course mates go through their testing. You will each be going one by one.”

“Isn’t this a little...too much?” Sero asked, just a little bit nervous of the extreme set up.

“As heroes, people will always be watching you anyway. This will give you an opportunity to help prove yourselves to your classmates.” The two classes nodded. “My class are going first, so decide which of you wants to start.”

“I’ll go.” Bakugo said without hesitation.

“Oh, of course you wil-mm!”

He turned round at the sound of Monoma’s whimper, smirking when he saw Kendo having dug her nails into his shoulder. He was kind of starting to like her.

“Bakugo, go down the stairs we came up to the bottom. There’s the door.”

He walked out if the control room, heading down the flight of stairs. The building was definitely a lot different to what he expected, but the people who complained or got scared by that were stupid. It just meant bigger rooms to work in, who cares of the other nerds are watching him or not.

He entered the training area, and briefly looked around, before walking to the centre.

“Bakugo, can you hear us?”

“Yeah!” He yelled back, turning to face the window. It was indeed about 10 feet up, but he could still make it out perfectly fine.

“Alright. We’ll get you some equipment out in just a moment.”

Aizawa leant over to what seemed to be a different microphone (Bakugo couldn’t see but the students with him could) and ordered something to be brought out, which was difficult to discern due him not making much of an effort to get them to hear it.

They looked back at where Bakugo was standing, and a few seconds later, one of the closet doors in the hall opened and a couple of robots seemed to be rolling things out. Everything looked similar to the robots and training dummies they would have at the school to help them, except the robots were a lot bigger, and the mannequins also seemed to be more metallic. They ranged from small to larger.

Once everything was in position, the robots retreated into their cupboard and Bakugo was left to stare at the increasingly bigger dummies with sharp eyes.

“Bakugo, I want you to start with the smaller ones and then go up. See how many explosions it takes for you to destroy each of them. You can tackle 2 or more at a time if you so wish, but don’t get yourself hurt.”

You don’t need to tell me that.

“There’s also heat sensors on each of them, so we’ll be able to measure how hot your explosions are. Are you ready?”

He grinned, already heating up his palms. This was gonna be fun.



After Bakugo somehow avoided destroying the entire area, the class started getting a little more confident, volunteering one after another while the others were told to watch them and take notes if needed. Only a few people took up that offer, though, as Uraraka walked in.

She got strapped up to some kind of harness that was lowered down from the ceiling (the entire situation was so freaking well thought through with everything they had, it was impressive.)

“Uraraka, I want to see how long you can keep yourself suspended for. The harness is there for safety in case you lose focus midair, but do not rely on it. Do you understand?”

She nodded and yelled back, determined but a little worried. She still needed to work on keeping herself afloat for longer than a minute or so, and with 39 students, never mind 2 teachers, watching her, it was a little nerve wracking. Though since the sports festival, it didn’t really effect anyone. That was a televised event after all.

“Whenever you’re ready, I will start the timer.”

She nodded again, lifting her hands. “Ready!”

She activated her quirk on her body, floating up in the air and closing her eyes to try and focus on not letting go or accidentally throwing up. She took deep breaths and looked over to her classmates as her quirk started to carry her closer to the windows.

Inside, people were watching as she tried to keep her balance in mid air.

“Sir, no offense, but what do we gain from simply watching each other like this?”

“It’s important to understand not only your own quirk, but also everyone else’s.” Vlad told his student. “We can’t just ignore everything around us.”

Deku was one of the closer ones to the glass, smiling at his friend. She was doing really well. He really did have amazing friends, and amazing allies in other classes too. It really made him happy.

Uraraka ran her eyes across everyone a little shyly, before getting to Deku, who smiled at her encouragingly.

She blushed and accidentally floated higher up in the hall, barely managing to stop herself with a gasp before she hit the ceiling.

“...Woops.”

“Uraraka, are you alright?”

“Yeah, I...can I get down now, I feel a little sick.”

“Just get down whenever you want.”

Slowly, she lowered herself to the floor, taking some oxygen in to keep her steady. She had gone a lot longer than she usually felt comfortable with, and felt her stomach turn, but managed to keep herself steady. Aizawa glanced over at the timer, stopping it once she hit the ground with both feet, and then turned back to the mic.

“3 minutes 14. Well done, that’s an improvement on last time.”

“Well done Uraraka.” She heard Iida say from the box, and looked up.

She was a lot further from them now that she was on solid ground, but smiled anyway.

“Uraraka, do you believe you can do one more test?”

“Umm...yes. I think so.”

Aizawa called on the robots again, who pulled out something which basically looked like a giant weight.

The rest of the classes were still watching, but Bakugo was getting frustrated. As the next test was set up for Ochako, he moved up beside Kaminari.

“Oi, Sparky. When are you going?”

He whipped his head round. “What? I don’t...I don’t really mind.”

“Then go after her.”

“Huh? Why? I mean, what does it matter?”

“Surely you don’t want to be the last in the class. Everyone would expect you then to do really well.”

“Really?”

“We had a great opener. Nobody wants to end on a down note, do they?”

“Are you saying I’m not good enough to finish things?” He asked, mildly upset by his comments.

“I don’t want those Class B losers to think they’re better than us.”

It was true, but that really wasn’t what he cared about at this rate. He wanted to test him. See what he’d do under pressure. He did almost fry him with his quirk during their fight, he at least damn well deserved to know what’s going on with it. He didn’t care if he made him uncomfortable.

“I suppose I can go next then.”

Bakugo didn’t respond. He didn’t need to.

If he was honest, he was always impressed with Uraraka’s power. She made a seemingly none offensive quirk useful in fights, even against him. Of course, she wasn’t on his level or anything, but she was still a solid opponent. But he couldn’t think of that just then. Bigger fish and all.

“Uraraka, you can come back up now.” Aizawa said, and turned back to the class. “Who wants to go next?”

Bakugo promptly elbowed Kaminari in the side. He was so surprised, he spoke up before even knowing what he was doing. He wasn’t upset or worried that he was going next. In fact, he was curious. He was a little concerned at why Bakugo felt it such a need for him to hurry up, but it didn’t matter as he was told to make his way downstairs, passing Uraraka on the staircase, who looked just a little pale, but gave him a reassuring smile.

The room was a lot bigger than he thought. Well, it was still the same size, but it just felt so much bigger being inside rather than watching it from the outside. Just like everyone so far, he stood in the middle, turning back to where he could see everyone. He had not realised quite how many 40 people were for that room, but it was quite an audience.

“Kaminari for you, we will measure your voltage output. Turn to your right.” He did. “There are 2 short metal poles hanging off one of those hooks. They have inbuilt sensors. I want you to take them and just return to the centre of the room.” He instructed.

Kaminari moved to the wall. It was a hell of a lot more intimidating standing in such a big room alone, hearing his teacher’s voice echo around the entire area, than he was comfortable with. It felt like he was about to be interrogated or something. He scanned the walls, searching for what Aizawa described, before his eyes landed on what looked like 2 batons, except they had wires coming out them, running into the walls. He picked them up, letting the length of wires not inside the walls tumble onto the floor.

“These?”

“Yes.” He walked back to the middle. “They will measure how many volts you give out. Just hold onto them and use your quirk normally. See how high you can go.”

He nodded. This was probably going to be more educational to him than to anyone else, actually. He never learned what his maximum capacity was when he wasn’t on the pills, he was so young when he started taking them. He knew he could go up to around 2 million if really needed, maybe a little higher, but he also knew that it was only a reduced portion from his natural capability. How high it was, he didn’t know. That’s why he really didn’t want to go down another 50%. Even though he usually only went to around a million anyway, there was a safety net. A height he could go to if his allies needed more from him. Without it, he didn’t know how useful they’d view him.

This was the perfect opportunity to find out just how much he could push himself when he wasn’t on them. It had been around 2 weeks since he last took them, his system should be free of them now. He had been feeling a little charged up and antsy that day. This was probably going to help.

He squeezed the 2 pieces of metal in his fist, starting to activate his quirk.

He tried to start a little low, wanting to work on his control too, before increasing it bit by bit, but he struggled. It was as if he didn’t have the same control he used to. He more like jumped from one extreme to the other whenever he tried to hold back, so instead he released.

Aizawa looked up at the metre, following his student’s progress. Currently at 700 000 volts and going up rapidly. It quickly jumped to a million almost without warning. That was already rather impressive considering he’d been going for about 30 seconds at a steady strength, but where half the students expected him to stop, he kept going.

Denki still tried to fight back, work on how much he let’s loose of at once, but it was like an itch he really needed to scratch as he pushed less against the power wanting to escape from under his skin. Nothing hurt him. He could feel the pads on his wristbands heating up, replacing everything he released, but it didn’t hurt, and he was only vaguely aware of time.

Back up at the watch room, people were watching intently. This was a little flashier than Uraraka’s power in terms of viewing experience, watching electricity wash over and bounce around him.

“He’s reached 2 million.”

“Isn’t that the highest he’s gone before?” Midoriya asked, having followed his class’s progress quite thoroughly.

“Definitely an improvement with his time as well.”

Denki could hear the buzzing in his brain. It was like white noise, drowning out every thought outside of his immediate surroundings. He smiled, knowing he was able to go further. But he felt a little confused. He couldn’t think properly, he just felt the electric current coursing through his body. It was exhilarating. How long had he been going, anyway? He pushed ahead, feeling excitement at the prospect of passing his usual limit.

And then he stopped. Not his quirk, he kept that running through his body. He stopped feeling. Any confusion or panic he had repressed over going too far was gone. Now, all he could do was be intrigued as to why he hadn’t just went for it to begin with. What was the point?

He stood up straight, his mind clear of any feelings or emotions about what he was doing, and fully broke down the dam he had tried to keep up.

The change was immediate. Yellow lightening filled the entirety of the area, making everybody in the control room jump back in shock and cover their eyes from the brightness. The window sustained, unbroken, with sparks hitting it none stop. It was explosive. It lit up the room from floor to ceiling, bathing every person in it in warm, yellow lighting that would have surely injured anyone’s eyes if they looked too long at it.

They would have stared if they could look at it without blinding themselves.

“He’s reached 4 million.”

“S-sir, are you sure it’s safe for us to be here? I mean, maybe we – we could leave for a bit?” Mineta said, already backing out of the room.

“No. The window is safe.” Aizawa said, but he sounded worried. He turned, looking at the timer, and then up at the electricity metre, trying to avoid looking at the bright yellow littering the room from the sparks. He rushed to turn to the microphone. “Kaminari, stop.”

It didn’t stop, and everyone in the room began getting a little worried.

This is bad. I can’t see him through the lightning.

Aizawa knew that quirks had their limits. But he always expected that he’d be able to stop his students if they went too far. But he couldn’t even look that way without hurting his eyes, never mind seeing him through it. But if he couldn’t stop him, it wouldn’t be the rest of the 2 classes at risk. He stayed calm, leaning into the mic again.

“Kaminari, stop it.” He repeated.

Nothing happened.

Kaminari wasn’t paying attention. He was barely aware of what was being said to him. All he knew, is that he could keep going. He didn’t feel scared or sad or happy, he was simply curious, as he kept pushing himself. He wanted to see. He wanted to see what his breaking point was. Just how far could he go.

He increased his voltage further. He didn’t even know how high he was now. It didn’t matter. He didn’t even care what his teacher was saying. He was holding tight onto the equipment in his hands, feeling the sparks around his body, building up even more.

And then he gasped. And everything stopped as the room suddenly cleared.

Both students and teachers alike stood in shock. What the hell had just happened? Bakugo just about pushed people down the stairs to get closer to the window. Kaminari was just standing there. He wasn’t saying anything, he wasn’t moving. He was standing straight upright, looking ahead of himself.

“What the hell was that?”

“That...was...”

“Sir, is he hurt?” Kirishima asked.

Aizawa glanced at the metre which stated the highest voltage it had reached. Probably. “Kaminari, can you hear me?”

Kaminari lifted his hands. He had felt it. It had hurt. The sparks, the lightning itself, everything had hurt him, though only for a millisecond. He didn’t think about whether that was an issue. All anything mattered was that he was taking Aneko’s pills, especially a lot before training or testing, and he naturally had a resistance to electrical injuries. And he had still reached a voltage that hurt. That meant...

“How many volts was that?”

“Kaminari, are you okay?”

“Yes.” He stated shortly. “How high did I go?”

Aizawa paused. This was not a natural progression. Not this quickly. “6.2 million.”

“Holy crap.”

“Monoma. Didn’t you say he was one of the ones who failed their final exam?” Kendo asked.

“Yeah.” He stared.

With that level, he didn’t know if his body could handle it if he copied it.

People murmured quietly around the room, some impressed, others simply stunned. Everyone knew what electricity was, after all. It definitely was nothing to laugh at. And that kid had just produced over 6 million volts of it.

Aizawa looked at his student in contemplation. He had been trying hard all year without a doubt. Even his missteps in academical ways weren’t due to him slacking. But after a certain point, power can become an issue. He expected his students to have grown and matured. To have improved. He had not expected them to over triple their usual power in a few months.

Lightning bolts could contain up to a billion volts and it was possible to survive them, of course. But they were less than a second of contact. Kaminari had not dropped below 2 million for at least a minute and every single volt had gone through his body. At that rate, he hadn’t expected any human body to be able to maintain composure.

“Hold on.” Jirou said, completely stunned. “How is he not...you know. That was well above his usual limit.”

“I don’t know.” Aizawa answered honestly.

“Sir, I’ll go next.” Todoroki had stayed silent the entire time. If his appearance wasn’t so recognisable, it would have been easy to miss him in the room at all. “I’ll go down just now, tell him to come back up.”

“Alright.” His teacher replied.

Todoroki turned to the steps, walking down them.

He had ignored it when he was told to watch out for him. Well, not ignored. Bakugo texting him was odd enough, they only had each others numbers due to safety reasons, but him telling him that he should watch for Kaminari’s behaviour was even stranger.

The issue was, he received it when he was visiting his mother. So he put it aside for later and then didn’t ask him what he meant. But now, maybe he understood, as he walked over to him.

“Kaminari?”

He turned his head. “Yes?”

“Are you sure you’re fine?”

“Yes.” He stated matter of factly. “Are you next up?”

Todoroki stared. Kaminari’s tone wasn’t cold or rude or anything. It simply lacked the personality he always had. It was his voice, but as if whoever was saying it forgot how it was supposed to sound.

Todoroki wasn’t stupid. He knew electricity could have temporary, or on occasion permanent, behavioural effects on a person. The human body did have its own supply of it, so naturally anything to change that biological current could be harmful. But Kaminari never seemed to express such behaviour. Even if he went too far, his kind of excited and goofy attitude remained.

Why was he sounding so distant from that?

“Yes. Aizawa said you can go up.”

Kaminari felt a little lost. His arms were numb, almost painful, and he wondered how far he had gone. He felt anxious. And he felt like he was supposed to do something, but just wasn’t motivated enough to care about it. However, others did. So he smiled.

“Cool. Good luck then.”

Todoroki stared at him as he walked away.



By the time everyone had finished their testing, it was already past school time, and everybody was ready to get back to the dorms. Over all, it had been a relatively uneventful day. But this just made Todoroki all the more anxious to get a chance to talk to Bakugo properly.

He had only gotten the chance privately once they were back on campus.

“Bakugo.” He stopped him as he was about to head to his room.

“What?”

“You were right.”

He blinked, actually making the effort to turn round to him. “About what?”

“About Kaminari.” He said. “There’s definitely something wrong with him.”

“Yeah, we all saw what happened today.” He sighed. “But I suppose that’s not enough to go off of.”

“I want to help him.”

“Do it then.” Bakugo turned back, and began to walk down the hallway, before he called to him again.

“Are you saying you won’t?”

“Listen, I sent you that text so you can take care of it and then I can do whatever the hell I want. Not to have you telling me to help that idiot.”

“If you didn’t care, you would have just ignored it altogether. Why didn’t you?”

He pulled his fingers into a fist. Of course he didn’t ignore it. He didn’t want that loser to do something stupid, his intelligence couldn’t afford to suffer more. But he didn’t really have an answer as to why he cared. He kind of just did and it pissed him off.

“Fine. I’ll help that damn charger.”

Well. The next few days were definitely going to be fun.

 

 

Chapter Text

People may assume Kaminari hated anything quiet. He was always loud, impulsive, bubbly, generally just the exact opposite of what one would describe as ‘subdued’. But he didn’t hate it. He just didn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable around him, or have minutes tick by in awkward silence. But he didn’t mind having some time to think, especially lately.

It was an odd feeling sometimes, whenever he went over a certain voltage. It felt like he disassociated with the world. His brain just latched onto anything it could then, without really translating that into how it was supposed to make him feel. But it did allow him a clear mind to think, as he ran a finger over his wrist.

Apparently, the support course hadn’t anticipated how long he’d be using his quirk, leaving a couple of electrical burn marks around his arms. They didn’t hurt. To him they were just a reminder that he was improving. He wasn’t going to mention them to anyone, of course. They’d view it as a problem. He didn’t need people inside the school on his back about taking better care, like he always had with his family.

Despite all of this, he liked his personality. It at least seemed to make people smile. He didn’t want to be overtaken by thought, emotions always led his actions, and he didn’t want to lose that. So he went to his bathroom and took out a handful of the serotonin pills, taking them and waiting for them to have an effect, laying back down on his bed.



Class that day was pretty laid back for everyone, and the class relished in the lately uncommon chance they had that didn’t put them in mental or physical strain. It was also a rather warm, sun filled day, which was enough to make the vast majority of the classes happy, as they were able to hang around outside and enjoy their spare time.

For Todoroki however, he didn’t really have a preference for sun. His quirk kept him warm when it was cold, and cool when it was hot, so wishing for a sunny day sometimes felt a little redundant. However, it was still an enjoyable site seeing everyone having fun after classes were over. Half the class were outside, sitting around the dorms, against the building walls, by the doorway, anywhere they could find. Some were using the sun as an opportunity to revise on the crisp green grass, others just messing around for the sake of something to do.

It was only Tuesday. Not a day most of them would expect to be like this, in the middle of the week with everyone getting the chance to just enjoy the heat as usually they’d be too tired even if it was a nice day, but even the most uptight students relented and just resorted to hanging out with everyone.

It would have been a lot simpler for some of them though, if their minds weren’t filled with questions or half done plans. Much like for Todoroki or Bakugo.

They hadn’t gotten much chance to talk that day, but Shoto was very much pressing for it. He never specifically minded talking to people, at least not for a while now, but he just usually never asked to do so. Bakugo on the other hand was a ticking time bomb whenever anyone went near him. Which eventually resulted in him just giving up until he decided to talk with him and try and come up with a plan himself.

He didn’t have to wait much longer, though, as he was one of the few people still inside, which Bakugo apparently decided was a perfect opportunity to sit down next him.

“Hello.”

He grunted something mildly akin to a greeting (well, for him) and then looked at him.

“So since you dragged me into this, then any idea what to actually do?”

“I didn’t drag you into anything. You texted me.”

“Shut up. Either way, do you have anything?”

“Don’t you know him better?”

“If what I thought I knew about him was accurate, this wouldn’t be an issue. He never struck me as being smart enough to lie.”

“Maybe you aren’t giving him enough credit. He’s not stupid.”

Bakugo glared at him. It was true most of his insults were just based on stupid things about his classmates, and anyone who was in the course wasn’t simply going to be stupid or anything, but after the events of the last weeks or so, he didn’t have the most amount of faith in his actions not being so.

“How the hell can he even use so much power?”

“He has a new support item. It replenishes any energy he uses.”

“Are those the things on his wrists? Well, it still doesn’t explain it.”

“Do you want to ask him?”

“No.”

They may not always get along, but when they had to, they did work well together. Both of them were painfully aware of the necessities of working with people they may find difficult, and they did at least have some respect towards the other. However, that didn’t exactly help when the thing they were trying to work together on was something involving somebody else, never mind when they had no clue how to go about it.

In the end, the broke away from each other, Bakugo going to the kitchen to get done find and Todoroki just returning to reading his manga.

It was about an hour later when Kirishima walked through the door with a grin.

“Hey! Sato just checked and he says he’s low on sugar, so we’re going to the store. Do any of you want anything?”

“I’m fine.”

“Okay. Bakugo?”

“Are you taking dunce face?”

“Huh? Yeah. Iida offered to go himself, but Kaminari worried he’d just get healthy stuff so it’s me, him, Uraraka and Sato. Are you good?”

“...Yeah. I’m good.”

He smiled, giving them a thumbs up and leaving. As soon as he closed the door, Bakugo made a beeline for the couch where Todoroki was sitting.

“Hey, half n half. That idiot rarely locks his door.”

He turned to him, frowning. “What do you mean?”

“If we’re going to find out anything, we damn well won’t down here. We’ll have better luck in his bedroom. Come on.”

He was already halfway up the first flight of stairs before Todoroki made to get up. He caught up to him on the first landing.

“What do you even want to look for?”

“I don’t fucking know.”

“We’re breaking into his room when we don’t know what to try and find?”

“We live in the same fucking dorms, if he wanted privacy, he could lock his door.”

“He’s very trusting.”

Bakugo didn’t really have an answer to that. Anyone who just saw the best in basically everybody they meet is going to be overly trusting sometimes. Bakugo didn’t view that as a strength. Easy to manipulate. It was useful to him in terms of others being so, or at least it used to be, but he didn’t want any of his friends to be like that.

When they got to his door, it turned out Bakugo had been right. Kaminari hadn’t made the effort to lock it up, and the door swung cleanly open.

“This is so fucking tacky.” He said, looking around the bedroom.

“It is very expressive.”

He closed the door. “It looks like his personality exploded in here.”

“Is that bad?”

He just huffed, walking further in. Despite the clutter, it was strangely well organised for him, especially things like CDs and his clothing. He seemed to really take care in them, viewed them as important. He hadn’t thought this through. Todoroki’s question suddenly rang with a lot more importance, what were they trying to find?

It was just annoying Bakugo too much to ignore. Someone who frustrated him because they were so emotive and joyous, who showed how they felt without fail, no matter what they were doing, having something they felt was important enough to hide. Someone like that to lie to him and everyone else was not something he’d just forget about. He opened up his desk drawers, finding nothing of interest other than some stationery and random bits of toys scattered around on the inside.

Todoroki seemed a little more reluctant to look through his stuff, so Bakugo made the effort of going over to his left and opening up the rest of the storage. It took him 3 attempts before he found something to make him pause.

“Why does he have so many books?”

Todoroki walked over to him, looking inside at the rows. “He says he likes to read. He told me that it helps him be alone and not be bored.”

“Why would he tell you that?”

“He wanted to, I would imagine. I noticed when I came down here during the night a few weeks ago.”

“Actually, yeah. Why did you come down here?”

Todoroki stopped looking through his collection. He didn’t forget about that night. But he hadn’t mentioned it or thought about it in correlation to the following events.

“He activated his quirk when he was sleeping. Messed with the electricity of the building.”

“And you didn’t freaking think to say that before?”

“Nothing seemed strange to me about him until yesterday. I suppose hindsight helps in that.”

After he said that, he turned around to his bed. He leant down, looking under it, and picking up the book still lying there. It was the same one from all those nights ago, and the bookmark hadn’t moved much. He hadn’t read it in that time, which, from what he said to him, was odd.

“Something was definitely on his mind lately, it seems.”

Bakugo scowled. He really just wanted this to be over. It was distracting him as well. He closed the drawer, looking around the room again. It was very open. Not many places to keep anything, or hide anything, it looked like no matter who argued with his style, he’d just happily grab anything he could which he had fun with and happily display it all. He supposed there was a certain level of self assuredness to like in that, especially from somebody who tried so hard to be liked.

He couldn’t see anything and was starting to think this was a stupid idea, until he spotted his bag in the corner.

“Hey. He left his bag.” He went over to it and picked it up.

“Are you sure we should look in it?”

“We’re already in his room, aren’t we?”

He unzipped it, barely holding back on his instinct to dump it all onto the bed. They’d have to not be obvious about having been there. Instead, he knelt down next to it, digging in.

Nothing really stood out. There were some jotters, a couple of loose pencils that told him his bag was far less organised than some parts of his room, and...

“What is this?”

He grabbed the paper bags he had spotted, taking them out and swiftly opening them.

They were nearly full of small, white pills. Bakugo frowned, searching the bag for a label, a name, anything like that, only finding a hastily scribbled on mark on each bag.

“What are these?” He almost whispered.

“Let me see.”

Todoroki took one of the bags away from him, looking a little perplexed, and pulled out a handful of them. He couldn’t tell anything about them. They were very uniform and looked generic. One thing was worrying though, and they both seemed to realise it.

“This can’t be medication.”

Bakugo stared into the bag he was still holding. He had no idea if they were going to find anything in his room or not, but he definitely had not thought about this. Were they narcotics? Or what? Why was he seemingly keeping them on himself all day during school?

He grabbed a couple of the pills, stuffing them in his pocket, and then doing the same with the bag that Todoroki was holding, and shoving them back in his backpack. As he was doing so, he also noticed something else. It looked like an actual prescription bottle that time, and he made to grab it.

Before he could do so, though, a knocking on the door made him and Todoroki stand up in shock.

“Who’s in there?”

Todoroki frowned. “Iida?”

Bakugo swore under his breath, quickly zipping up the bag and just waiting for the door to open.



Iida was never immune to a bit of fun. He hung around with his classmates outside, watching them do anything they wanted and occasionally warning them that it was dangerous. However, he would much rather be working while doing such. Unfortunately, his textbooks were all upstairs in his room.

So, he excused himself from his friends, and took the couple flights of stairs to the 3rd floor.

He had anticipated to simply grab them and return downstairs. But then he heard some voices and movement coming from his neighbours bedroom. He knew it wasn’t Kaminari though. He was away with some of the others making a grocery run.

Being aware that this could possibly be somebody playing a dangerous prank on his classmate and not wanting any injuries, he stopped in front of his bedroom. He hasn’t checked who was still downstairs when he left, so he didn’t know who it could be up there. He simply knocked.

“Who’s in there?”

He heard a voice and some shuffling inside. When nobody answered, he pushed on the handle and opened up the door.

Inside, 2 of his classmates he had definitely not expected to be alone together, and even more certainly in this room, were facing him, and he didn’t know if they looked more awkward or he looked more surprised.

“Todoroki, Bakugo, what are you doing in Kaminari’s bedroom?”

“Does it matter?”

“Yes. Why are you in the bedroom of one of your classmates when they aren’t here?”

Neither of them wanted to say anything. Whatever the pills they found were, they sure as hell weren’t going to randomly tell anyone they could. Either it was serious, in which case they had no right to throw Kaminari under the bus to one of their classmates, or they weren’t, and then it would just be them having broken in for nothing.

“Iida, it’s important that we’re here.”

“What’s the importance?” Todoroki stayed silent. “As your class representative, if something is wrong, I need to kn-“

“Shut up with that stupid class rep stuff and take that freaking stick out of your ass for 5 minutes.” Bakugo snapped, and he didn’t know where it came from. He was just strangely put off since he found those things in Kaminari’s bag and didn’t feel like explaining himself. “It doesn’t fucking matter why we are here, we aren’t here to do anything wrong.”

“Bakugo, I just found the 2 of you breaking into one of our classmates rooms when he isn’t even here and you aren’t able to give me an answer as to why. This is plain disrespect to Kaminari’s privacy.”

“Iida, we’re not here to do something bad.”

“Then tell me, so I can help you. We’re all future heroes, it’s our job. If there is indeed a reason you are here, then I will do my best to assist. Other than that, this is not an acceptable way for you to behave.”

The 2 of them stared back, unable to formulate a reply. It was true, they hadn’t exactly followed the accepted rules. But they really were there for a reason. The exact reason that they were not explaining themselves was because they were not trying to involve another person who has nothing to do with it.

“Well, if you do not want to tell me, then I’m sorry. These dorms are supposed to be a safe community for us students, and I can’t allow one of us to not have that respected. So you need to talk to our teacher.”

“Oh, come on.”

“I’m sorry Bakugo, but I’m responsible for all of our class. I can’t pick and choose whose side I am on. Follow me.”

Todoroki looked down and Bakugo groaned. This was not what was supposed to happen. But Aizawa was going to be a difficult situation to get out of.

Chapter Text

There were literally no students in the school who weren’t on some level nervous when sitting in the office of Shota Aizawa, wondering what was going to happen. It was physically impossible to not feel even a minor level of worry. He was respected and valued by his students, but he was also intimidating without a doubt if he wanted to be.

However, it was a lot more complicated all together when the students waiting on what he was going to say had no idea what they were going to answer. Aizawa had told them to sit down while Iida explained what had happened outside, leaving the 2 students uncomfortably sitting next to each other.

“Who the hell does glasses think he is?”

“Technically he did do the right thing. We did break in.”

“What the fuck does that matter?” He grit his teeth. “What are we even going to say?”

Bakugo may have had trouble being civil with anyone, but he had some integrity. It wasn’t his bloody job to rat people out to the teachers. Especially not Kaminari who he had wanted to kill considerably less than about half the class over the last few months. But what were they going to do with what they had found?

“I don’t want to say something about Kaminari that he doesn’t want others knowing, but it may also be best if we just told the truth.”

Bakugo stayed quiet for a second. He had not had many times in his life where he felt such weird conflict. He was shocked. It was difficult as hell to realise just how much effort must go into covering things up. He was neatly always upfront and honest about his actions, his feelings were a bit harder to control, but the way he behaved he could. He didn’t mind what people thought of him most of the time. So it was not something he fully comprehended. But he was also freaking angry.

“What the hell was that idiot doing?”

“People can ignore what’s best for them if they have their mind on a goal too much. He probably just wanted to be stronger.” Todoroki responded.

He had noticed his improvement over the past few weeks. He hadn’t thought it was anything bad. People grew stronger. It should have been natural.

Bakugo glanced at him as the door behind them opened and Aizawa walked in. He stepped around his desk so they were facing him and the 2 boys made an effort to meet his eyes. Like usual, they were difficult to understand really. He just looked tired.

“So what were the 2 of you doing in Kaminari’s room?”

Almost unintentionally, the two met each others eyes, and Aizawa blinked. They didn’t even work too well together during classes, and now they were silently communicating.

Truth was, he had an idea about the cause. Both of them were intelligent students and it definitely wasn’t like he didn’t spot it. He still had to question them of course. No matter intentions, heroes don’t just violate somebody’s private room like that. However, at that moment he was more interested in the why they did it rather than any punishment.

He sat down behind his desk, keeping his eyes on them. They didn’t say anything.

“I doubt the 2 of you would do something like this without reason. So if there’s a point behind your actions, then explain it to me.”

Todoroki looked back at him. If Kaminari was doing something that could hurt him, it was certainly their job to try and help him, they were heroes and his classmates. But was it any of their business to find out in the manner they did? One thing was for sure, he didn’t want Kaminari to hurt himself.

“We were worried about him.”

Bakugo looked at him but didn’t interrupt.

“What about?”

“He was acting strange lately.”

“We don’t need to say that. I know you noticed as well.” Bakugo said to his teacher, trying not to sound accusatory.

“Yes, I did. Quirks are not always predictable, but they shouldn’t behave so out of character. But it is not either of your responsibilities to try and investigate that in the manner in which you did.”

“We know.”

Aizawa looked between the 2 of them. He had gotten pretty good at understanding his students by that point. He wasn’t too good with people over all, but he was careful around his pupils. He watched their mannerisms, their actions, how they responded in panic. The two in front of him rarely panicked. They were tactical, strategic, and the only thing that held them back was their personal issues. But when it came to other people, it was clear even with them when they were holding something back.

“I am giving both of you detention for the rest of the week. However, though your actions were not appropriate, it is still important for you to tell me if you found anything of importance.”

Bakugo clenched his fist. Why was he so adamant not to tell him? It just felt like it wasn’t his right to. He didn’t ask Kaminari if something was wrong, every way he went about it was him just trying to read his behaviour. He wasn’t told. But what would happen if they didn’t say anything?

They would have to try and figure something out themselves, while avoiding susoicion. That wasn’t even an option anymore, with Aizawa knowing they were up to something. As for Kaminari, things may end up worse for him.

He huffed, reaching into his pockets and pulling out some of the pills he had taken. He meant to find out what they were himself, but he didn’t really get left many options as he threw them on the table.



When the 4 students returned from their shopping quest, they had happened to buy a lot more products for the middle of the week than they strictly should have. Each of them carried a bag filled with snacks and drinks for the hot day and, of course, baking ingredients on Sato’s request. It was good that he went with them, as the others would have probably completely forgotten to get it. Uraraka helped float them most of the way, but she didn’t want to start getting nauseous so they eventually picked up one bag each.

Once they had placed everything they needed inside down and handed out the rest to their friends who were still lazing around in the sun, Kirishima spoke up.

“Let me ask Bakugo if he wants anything from this.”

“Hold on, where is Bakugo?”

“Well, he was inside when we left.”

“I was just in there, though.” Uraraka said, having been the one to carry the bags inside. “He wasn’t around.”

“Oh, well maybe he went to his room?”

“No, Iida walked out with him and Todoroki.” Mina supplied helpfully. “He didn’t say what they were doing but he said they were heading to the school.”

“Iida took the 2 of them to the school?”

“Yes, I did.”

Iida had just walked over to the group, hearing the last half of the conversation they were having.

“Why?”

“I don’t think I should say, Kirishima. I don’t know what exactly happened, and I don’t want to make assumptions about our classmates, so I’ll leave that in our teacher’s hands.”

“Wait, you took them to the school for Aizawa?”

“Man, they really must have done something if you wanted to do that.” Kaminari said with a playful smile.

“Kaminari, I do need to talk to you.”

“What? Me? Why?”

“Let’s go inside.”

“W-what?”

They made it inside among a few curious stares from their class, and Kaminari looked in between completely bewildered and mildly terrified.

“Kaminari, I did not want to say this in front of out classmates due to it not concerning them and I do not want to cause trouble. But as you are concerned, I feel a responsibility to offer you what I know.”

“What? Iida, I wasn’t involved in whatever happened, I promise! Well, not this time.”

“That’s not what I mean. I sent them to the teacher because they broke into your room.”

The concerned confusion previously on Kaminari’s face was suddenly replaced by cold fear. What were they doing in his room? Were they there looking for something? Had he borrowed something off one of them and forgot to give it back? It would have been his best hope, but why would they go together? He quickly excused himself from the situation with Iida and sprinted upstairs.

Why was he panicking? They were his friends. He should probably not even keep things from his friends anyway. As soon as he had his door closed behind him, he ripped open his bag and dug through it.

He released a sigh of relief when he found the 2 bags and pill bottle inside, throwing himself onto his bed.

At least that was all fine then. But...why were they in his room? He started tapping his fingers against the covers, his heart still a little higher than normal. He’d have to ask them later.

He didn’t even have to wait long, as his phone rang just a few minutes later and he jumped in shock up having zoned out a little bit.

“Hello?”

“Kaminari, are you okay?”

“Todoroki? I...Yeah, what’s up?”

“Are you back at the dorms now?”

“Yeah. Hey, Iida said you were in my room, why?”

He went quiet for a couple of seconds and Kaminari was just about to ask if something was wrong before he broke the silence again.

“I’m sorry. We shouldn’t have gotten involved like that.”

“Involved in what?” He didn’t answer. “Todoroki, what are you talking about?”

He was starting to sweat a little. He glanced over at his bag again. What did he mean involved? Why was it that whenever people tried to say something serious, they always beat around the bush? He wished they just said it. He wasn’t exactly a judgemental person.

“We found the pills.”

His heart sunk. It was so much worse to find those without context as well. They had no idea what they were or anything like that. They’d assume something a lot worse than the actual case. But he wasn’t the most worried about himself. He could explain why he had them, even if he got in trouble. But if they told Aizawa, which he could easily tell they likely did, he’d have to tell him where he got them from. He couldn’t do that to her.

“Kaminari. Are you sure everything is fine?”

“Yeah!” He said, overly cheerfully. “Hey, those were just stuff like painkillers, so don’t worry about me, yeah?”

“Well, if they were just that then I’m glad. I’m sorry for digging around.”

“No problem. See ya!”

He usually wouldn’t an up like that, but his hands were shaking. He couldn’t blame them. If they had a reason to look around, it wasn’t their fault. But it didn’t help his nerves. What was he going to do?



The next day at school was one of the most anxiety inducing days Kaminari has had in his life. It’s the feeling you get when you screw up and know that there’s nothing you could do to make yourself feel better because everything revolved around your mistakes. He didn’t dare meet Aizawa’s eyes throughout the entire day and he honestly felt like he was about to have a heart attack all through classes.

It took until the last class of the day before Aizawa actually came to him. He walked up to his desk as everyone was packing up. He didn’t want to embarrass him by saying it in front of everyone, but obviously he needed to talk to the kid.

“Kaminari, stay behind.”

The fact that he accidentally electrocuted himself when Aizawa said his name didn’t help his nerves. It wasn’t a question though, and as he walked away it was obvious he wasn’t expecting a reply.

He didn’t know how he felt when he was making up excuses to his friends for not going with them. But soon he was left standing in a closed classroom with his teacher who could certainly expel him if he wanted, and trying to not keep releasing the electricity under his skin.

“From your face I presume you already know what this is about.”

He nodded, not feeling like his voice could be steady.

“Kaminari, I need to know if you understand the severity of this. You brought unidentified tablets onto school campus. That could be grounds for expulsion if I so choose.”

He gulped, hand twitching subconsciously. He didn’t want to be kicked out. He had a dangerous quirk, he just wanted to use that to be a hero. It’s why he wanted to be stronger.

“However, we analysed them overnight and we know they were not harmful in themselves. So the only reason I’m not choosing to do that is because you didn’t put anyone else at risk, but the rules of the school are all there to keep you safe. It doesn’t matter why you were doing something, if I feel that it puts in danger either yourself or anybody else, I will not hesitate to expel you, do you understand?”

He nodded. “But you’re...not expelling me right now?” He asked shakily.

“No. But that doesn’t explain why or how you have possession of pure serotonin or endorphin pills.”

He sighed. Okay. It seems they only found the bags. But that didn’t help. He couldn’t tell him. He may have been their teacher, but he was also a professional hero. If he said it, then someone he put in danger by not thinking things through would get arrested.

“Sir, I’m sorry, I can’t tell you that.”

Aizawa looked at his student. He was angry. If this had happened a few months prior, he would not have second guessed kicking him out. But he had taught him, learned about him. He felt responsible for his wellbeing. But it didn’t change facts.

“Why do you have them? If it’s a medical or mental health issue, we need to know about it.”

“No.” He shook his head. “It’s nothing like that, I promise. I’m fine. It’s just...my quirk hurts me sometimes.” He said, staring down at the ground. “I just wanted to catch up to everyone. They took away the pain.”

Aizawa continued to look at him. It was difficult to understand teenagers sometimes. They were not always in control of how they felt, they acted impulsively, lashed out. Kaminari seemed to do all of that to himself. He pushed himself to breaking point because he felt like he wasn’t strong enough.

That wasn’t true. He knew that. Electricity was useful and effective even in minor doses. Even just 10 volts could kill somebody if used correctly. But it’s always hard when you get something in your head. Not smart enough, not strong enough, not useful enough, whatever people were trying to best, they would always view as something they were bad at. It was illogical to him. They all worked so hard to get better, it was difficult to learn whenever a student didn’t understand what UA was all about.

“Kaminari, if you need help with training or anything, you should go to your teachers. Not resort to extremes like this. They may not be toxic, however, they can be addictive, and I can’t accept you putting yourself in such risk for the sake of your education.” He wasn’t going to yell. He wasn’t that type of person. But he needed to make him understand. “How often did you take them?”

Kaminari looked up and met his gaze. “A few a day, sometimes less.”

“Do you have them on you now?” He nodded reluctantly. “Can you get them out for me?”

He stayed on the spot. He didn’t really want to get it. He didn’t know why, he had just tried so hard to avoid things like this happening, it almost felt like a duty to keep things going like that. He didn’t want them to be taken or lost. He wished he could have just kept everything as it was. But eventually, he did go to grab his bag, and reluctantly pulled out the 2 packets, handing them over to Aizawa.

“You do know I can’t let you have them back, right?”

He knew. Of course he did. But it felt wrong. He had used them for so long, he hadn’t realised how much easier they made everything. He had gotten used to them. What would happen now?

His teacher held the 2 bags in his hands. They felt a lot heavier than they probably were. It just felt strange to him. Whenever he reprimanded Kaminari, it was for stupid stuff like talking in class or not listening, or possibly doing something dangerous but well within the realms of what he expected.

This was different. Not only was he not willing to be honest with him about where he got the pills from, he was also reliant on them in a way. He acted like he expected to just have them with him, help him wherever he was. He almost seemed confused as to what to do without them.

It won’t harm him. They weren’t naturally dangerous. But if his body got used to them already, then his natural production of them would be off. He would need time to adjust again. This was not going to be the happiest few weeks or so of his life, but he had faith. If he could focus on himself rather than school.

“You’re suspended.” He stated. “You are not permitted to leave the dorms without express permission until further notice.”

His eyes widened. “Sir, please. I don’t want to fall behind!”

“Somebody will provide you with notes so you can keep up. I’m not doing this to punish you, though I really should. I’m doing this because your health is more important than any classes. I’ll tell everyone you’re sick.”

“But I’m fine! I don’t need them, please. I’ll just work without them.”

“And hurt yourself in the process? I can’t let that happen. If you want to be a hero, you need to learn to control your power and keep it in check to make sure you don’t reach a point where it’s dangerous to yourself.” He paused. “Let me ask you. You say you don’t need them, but do you want them?”

Kaminari took a deep breath. His brain was just trying to take in everything it was just provided. He wasn’t expelled, at least, and for now Aizawa seemed to drop where he got the pills from. But he felt so uneasy. He didn’t like the feeling of not having them there with him. Of having to keep his quirk under lock and key once again because without them, he would pass out from pain long before reaching anywhere near the height he could with them. Of course he wanted them.

“That’s why you have other things to focus on rather than class right now. Strength doesn’t mean anything if you can’t find the balance between that and your health.”

The classroom went silent. It would have been tranquil if Denki hadn’t felt like sirens were going off inside his head.

His heart was still hammering as he was excused 5 minutes later. He screwed up. He needed to find a way to make Aizawa trust him again.

The day was a lot more grim than the one before. The ground was still wet from rain earlier in the day. It was actually peaceful in a way. Kaminari liked the rain. Odd considering his power, and it did limit how much he could use as well as multiply how dangerous it could be, but it was nice to look at. He could not play outside in it when his power manifested in case of accident, so he appreciated it a little more once he could.

He was expecting a quiet walk across the grounds until he could get to his room and just process everything. However, he couldn’t even walk properly out from the building before he was called back by a familiar voice.

“Hey.”

He stopped his thoughts in their tracks, turning around to find Bakugo leaning against one of the walls. He walked over to him once he stood still, and for a rare occasion, his features seemed more relaxed.

“Bakugo, hey.”

It was weird. He always complained about him sitting too close to him on the couch or touching him at all. Yet, he was standing with barely a meter between the 2 of them. But he wasn’t looking at him.

“What’s wrong?”

“Why are you the one asking me?”

He stared at him. His voice didn’t have the usual bite to it either. Despite the difference in their heights, it almost felt like he was smaller, his presence less prominent, less aggressive than usual. It was odd to him.

“Well, you’re my friend, I just want to know of something is up.”

“Why do you not have any freaking respect for yourself?”

He was taken aback. What did he mean? He had respect for himself. In fact, other than a few things here and there, he was quite self confident. Sure, he cared what other people thought of him, wanted to be liked, but he didn’t know what he meant.

“What do you mean?”

“You never get angry or annoyed no matter who the hell goes go talk to you, and yet you can’t bring yourself to pull yourself together enough to actually wonder if others give a damn about you.”

“What?”

Bakugo was not good at this. He was good at confronting people. Great with telling them he hated them or they did something stupid. But doing it in a situation where he was angry at what somebody was doing to themselves was not his specialty.

“I have no idea what’s going on with you, but whatever you are trying to do with your quirk and those things is stupid.”

He’s talking about the pills, then.

“Aizawa already sorted it, don’t worry, dude.”

“I am fucking worried, you idiot.” He spat out. “No matter what your quirk is, there’s a limit. What do you think happens when you try so hard to go over it?”

Kaminari looked down at his hands. They had been feeling a little bit numb over the past few days. He ignored it. Why should it matter? It was never hard to avoid thinking about it. His mind was already full with other things.

“You’ll get hurt?”

“Well done for finally figuring that out. Look, electricity is not something to fuck around with, alright?”

“Yeah.” He was so confused. What was happening?

Before either of them could say anything more to the other, they both looked up as thunder boomed overhead. Lightning briefly lit up the sky and Kaminari stiffened.

Crap.

“Is it safe for you to be outside during lightning storms?”

“Umm...not exactly?”

“Come on then, loser.” He said, making his way down the path.

Kaminari relaxed his shoulders slightly. Well, the walk may not be as quiet as he would have hoped for, but at that point it didn’t matter.

Chapter Text

When Kaminari was 12, handling his power was difficult enough when he was calm. Everyone had some electricity running through their body, but having a million volts circling his system at any given time made things hard no matter the situation. However, handling it when he was already stressed over things such as school work or his personal life meant sometimes, he simply couldn’t. Worse though, was that even with his medication, it still sometimes hurt. It was normal, of course. You couldn’t simply remove the pain from something imbedded within your DNA, stop it before your body was even old enough to stop growing even with a doctor’s help. Being on the pills full time at point simply stopped injury. At 14, so long as he wasn’t reckless, it had stopped most of the pain.

But it frustrated him. He was angry with himself for needing to do it. To either have to pick between being in pain and strong, or weaker. Even as a pre-teen, he understood the importance of quirks in their society. But he didn’t understand why they all had to come with a drawback of some form. It didn’t make sense to him.

Whenever he went to school, he would often get lost in thought over it. He liked imagining being a hero, being able to use his full power to take down villains with his full force. He didn’t really think it through well, being 12 years old it was just a fun fantasy at that point.

During his walks there, he sometimes passed an alleyway. He wasn’t supposed to, it was out of his way, but hey, he was curious, and ended up checking it out. There were small rooms and apartments lining the alley, and sometimes a few people sitting outside them and laughing. He felt bad whenever he looked at them. He didn’t live in a bad neighbourhood, if anything it was friendly and well built, but sometimes things like that don’t reflect everybody’s lives.

He talked to them on occasion. A lot of the people there were sometimes confused as to why, considering most people just walked past them. He couldn’t really understand that. He never minded talking to anyone. They were nice, mostly, and he liked learning about each of them. He never exactly made proper friends with most of them as such, but at the very least, they got on, and any nervousness he did have exploring the place the first time quickly disappeared.

That happened a couple times a week for him, though his teachers got increasingly frustrated if he turned up late when it did. He just kept going back to talk to them, until one day, only one girl was sitting on one of the steps. He smiled, and skipped over to her. They had talked before but never alone. She was one of the youngest there, he knew that much, just a few years older than him. She was nice, so he didn’t care if they were alone.

“Hi Denki.” She grinned, pushing her hair away from her face and instinctively making more room on the step so he could sit down next to her.

“Hey!” He happily took the place to her right, smiling brightly at her, and reaching into his schoolbag. “I have some snacks, do you want any?”

She looked at him and at the packet he was holding towards her, reaching out her hand. “Sure! Thanks.”

This was the exact reason he never got why people would find it weird that he was talking to her. She was just like him, and they had fun. Every time they talked it would just end up being random nonsense, and playing silly games and laughing. So, by the time when they were alone together, no awkwardness really existed to them and they were able to just excitedly mess around.

Both of the were children, after all. They were both energetic to say the least, too. It was evident that waiting for silence would not yield too good results with the 2 of them present, when their chatting could fill up an entire stadium.

It eventually became almost a tradition for the 2 of them. No matter who was present, they’d always end up sitting in a corner together, trying to throw bits of food for the other to catch in their mouth or something equally juvenile. Kaminari never really thought about how she viewed her life, until he unthinkingly brought it up and watched her smile settle down into a reserved, accepting expression.

“It’s the reason really why people were surprised you wanted to talk to us.” She said, finishing up her explanations as he listened intently. “In a world full of quirks, people assume the reason you don’t have a proper job is because you’re dangerous or something. So they tend to stay away from us, I suppose.”

“I’m sorry.”

She smiled, putting a blonde lock behind her ear. “It’s okay! It’s not that bad, we make some money! My quirk helps sometimes, as well. Ooh! I never asked, what’s yours?”

He straightened up at her sudden intrigue, smiling as he locked eyes with her and putting out his hand and allowing tiny sparks to fall in a mess of glittering yellow onto the ground.

Her eyes lit up watching the electricity jumping off his hands, listening to the brief description he was providing with intent ears.

“That’s amazing!”

Denki felt oddly proud at being able to make her smile like that. He pulled his hand away, stopping the light show and allowing for his skin to cool down slightly. He sighed.

“Yeah, it’s cool! But...It does hurt sometimes. I don’t know why I still can’t control it fully.”

Her eyes widened, and she jumped in her seat, bouncing her legs in excitement that she’d be able to help him out.

“Hey, if pain is the issue, I have a solution!”

He snapped his head up to fully face her. “What do you mean?”

“My quirk. It helps me create things like painkillers and stuff like that. I’ll explain how it works later, but...” She held out her closed fist, Denki waiting in curiosity, and opened it up a few seconds later, to reveal a small tablet on the centre of her palm. “I usually give it out to people who are waiting for a doctor’s opinion and they’re in pain or those who struggle to sleep or anything like that. Sometimes they pay me for it. But it basically is just a natural painkiller, so I don’t think anyone can overdose on them. I can help you out if you ever need it!”



Kaminari lay, staring up at his ceiling. He found it hard to think. Everything he focused on either became a hyperfixation or something he just didn’t want to think about. He hadn’t realised just how dependent he had become on Aneko. To him, it just felt like a simple fix. But now he realised how difficult things could be without them. 

4 years changed a lot, it seemed. However, he still had issues controlling his power under stress. And now, he wasn’t even on the pills that helped him do that, or anything to help with pain. So every time he felt panicked, he released some power, and every time he did, he hurt himself and caused himself to struggle even more.

It was a tough cycle that he really wanted to end. He knew the obvious solution. Take his medication, lower his wattage. But he still didn’t want that. It almost felt like giving up. What kind of hero would do that?

It had only been 2 days, and his body was already decorated in small electric burn marks, ones he was struggling to cover up properly. He just felt anxious, and he hated it. He wasn’t used to feeling like that. He almost felt a little numb and all he wanted was to get back to how things were before.

But he knew that wasn’t an option. Aizawa wasn’t there to make him feel bad, though it sometimes felt like it. If he made a decision, he’d stick with it, even if the student it involved disagreed with it. But why did he feel like he wanted to cry or punch something, if it was what Aizawa said was the right choice?

He gripped the covers under his fingers, taking some deep breaths before closing his eyes. He said he was going to be okay. He was going to be okay. He managed without them before, he could do it again.

He almost gasped when there was a knock at the door. It wasn’t difficult to figure out who it was. Most students were told he had the flu or something like that, so they usually left him be to get better. The exceptions were his friends who just tried whatever they could to make him feel better (which he normally would have appreciated but he didn’t exactly feel up for it that week), and the 2 students who fully knew that there was more to the reason he wasn’t in class. So naturally it was one of those 2 who Aizawa asked to keep notes for him.

“Todoroki, hi.” He smiled, seeing a familiar face helping him calm down.

He was all over the place lately, so it was very much appreciated. He was also very social, so being shut away from other people didn’t help him to be happy.

“How are you feeling?” He asked, walking into his room.

“I’m okay.”

Seemingly accepting the answer, Todoroki laid the notes down on his table. Kaminari sat down, opening them up and quickly scanning through them as a means to procrastinate actually having to write them down, before grabbing a pencil and opening his own jotter.

“Thanks for this! Your writing is really neat.”

“No problem.”

Kaminari glanced behind him at the, once again, awkwardly standing student. “Todoroki, please just sit down on my bed. You standing there is weirding me out.”

He laughed, though it felt just slightly too forced for him, and he turned back as the boy followed his invitation. He sighed, frustrated with himself. Smiling shouldn’t feel forced. It was natural, especially to him. He shouldn’t feel like he was being pushed into a corner by his own mind, always ending in a far less jovial note to where he started. He started tapping the pencil against his desk to focus on the rhythm of the noise.

“Is something wrong?”

“What? Oh, no.”

He stopped his movements to smile at his friend again, trying to squeeze the pencil tighter in his hands. Truth was, he had struggled to do much with his fingers lately. They were all worn out from the excess electricity he had released over the past few days. It felt constantly numb. And as he attempted to reposition it into a writing appropriate position, his fingers lost their grip and the pencil cluttered to the floor.

He froze. What the hell was he doing? It didn’t feel right. Things had just changed, and for once, he felt unsure how to adapt to it.

“Kaminari, look at me.”

He stopped staring at the pencil on the floor, and looked up to meet analytical, mismatched eyes.

“What’s wrong?”

“Sorry, my hand slipped.”

“It was a pencil.”

“Hey, my hand can slip off a pencil, if it wants to, I have no control over it.”

“...If that’s the case, we have an issue.”

Kaminari stared back at him and huffed a genuine laugh this time. Seriously what was he doing?

“Yeah, sorry. I just...I think I need a break from writing and stuff.”

“Do you want me to explain some of the things we learned to you, then?”

He widened his eyes and he nodded, panic lingering in his mind, but pushed to the back by having someone present to talk to.

He still stood by his statement. Studying was boring as hell. But, well, when he couldn’t go to school, doing it with somebody else was the best he was going to get. Though figuring out what to do without a friend there with him...that could hopefully wait for another day. Right then, all he could ask for was a distraction.

Chapter Text

It was Tuesday. It had been 2 days since Denki was supposed to go to her, like he had every week. Every Sunday, sometimes more just to see her. And yet, I had been over 48 hours and he hasn’t shown up.

Aneko paced the room anxiously, biting her thumb. This was another issue with her quirk. When she felt anxious, the production of cortisol in her system was increased by way more folds than anyone else, meaning she was half a minute away from having a panic attack every time she forgot to monitor and manage her body’s levels.

She breathed deeply. The last time he had missed a day without letting her know he would was 2 years prior when he was too sick to leave his home. But that was before he joined UA. Before she very well knew that everyday could put him in danger, hurt him.

She was proud of him. Immensely proud. He had gotten into the top class in Japan, and yet he never became too arrogant. She was so happy whenever he mentioned his class, even if it came with a slight constriction in her chest at remembering her circumstances. But it also terrified her. She wasn’t his family, not by blood, not legally, but he felt more like it than anyone else by that point. He had been a consistent light in her life. Now, she had no means of finding out if something was wrong and if so what it was. She was completely in the dark, with no phone to call him, and after hearing of all the student attacks in the school, it scared the crap out of her.

Closing her eyes, she focusing on her body, producing a couple of pills that clattered onto the ground as they fell from her body in a half success means of balancing out the hormones and chemicals making her so fearful.

She sighed.

He was only 3 years younger than her. She shouldn’t feel so responsible. But...

She needed to make sure. Best case scenario, he forgot or caught a cold. Hopefully one of those.

Grabbing her jacket, she left the room as quickly as possible.

Walking down the streets was petrifying. Any hero or police officer she may run into could arrest her if they so wished. She wasn’t exactly following legal procedure with her life. She didn’t want that, of course. But she really needed to make sure Denki was okay.

The trip to the school took a lot longer than it would have if she properly knew the way. Her journey there was mostly filled with stopping at crossroads and taking the vaguely familiar one before changing directions and trying again. The fresh air helped clear her mind, and her anxiety had reduced to a buzz in her head, as she stood in front of the school, staring up at the pristine building ahead of her.

The security measures were extreme. Heavy metal gates and walls barred anyone from entering without express permission. How she was going to get through that, she didn’t know. But she had already come so far, she thought to herself as she leant up against the intercom, hoping somebody would at least be willing to listen to her.



It took her a good 15 minutes to even be let onto the grounds, with being searched for anything suspicious on her, questions, waiting for approval, and every security measure they could think of. She didn’t expect anything less, really. Considering everything that had happened in the school, raising suspicion of anyone entering was expected, but in her situation, it made her increasingly nervous and by the time they were done and took her to an office in the school, she was even more aware of the number of heroes surrounding the school. She felt strangely wistful as she looked around the walls and corridors, but her focus was drawn away from that quickly as she was sat down in the principal’s office.

He smiled at her and she tried to avoid hyperventilating. She really wasn’t one to be there. If they knew who she was, the amount of trouble it would cause her would likely be a lot more than whatever amount Kaminari was in, but all she did was smile back shyly. It was odd. She was never this shy usually, but she didn’t seem to know how to act normally when she was so out of her depth.

“Would you like some tea?” He asked kindly, and she instantly shook her head. “So, you’re here to visit a student?”

His voice was cheerful, but there was just something underneath it that made her feel like she was being interrogated. It worried her slightly, if she thought about it, but she couldn’t think of that.

“Yes. I was supposed to meet them on Sunday, but...they never showed up, so I just thought I’d, I guess, see if they are okay.”

“What course is the student on?”

“The Hero Course.”

His eyes surveyed her more deeply. Any thoughts that others may have had over Nezu being cute were not going to cross her mind with how sharply he was looking at her.

“Who is the pupil?”

“Um, Denki Kaminari.”

“Kaminari?” She nodded. “Are you related?”

“Well, no.”

“Do you have any identification on you?”

“…No.”

Of course she didn’t. It wouldn’t have proven anything good, and it wasn’t like she knew the protocol of how to handle trying to visit the school.

Nezu walked over to her and looked up to her eyes.

“I’m sorry, but unless we have the necessary documents, we cannot allow somebody to visit our students.”

She looked down at her lap with a sigh. It wasn’t exactly a surprise, she really hadn’t thought any of this through. She just felt scared and wanted to see him, but all she had seemed to have done was make the trip and then be unable to go any further.

“Is he okay, though? I just want to know.”

“I can’t disclose information on his wellbeing, unless you are his doctor or he gives permission.”

“But that means he’s hurt!” She barely held herself back from yelling, her heart skipping a beat as she did. “If he was fine, you would have just said that. There’s nothing against telling someone anything if they aren’t sick or injured, is there?”

Nezu looked at her with a soft smile. She certainly seemed worried. It felt almost cruel to keep somebody away from a person they cared about, but there were security issues that he simply couldn’t ignore. For all they knew, one of their class members was the one leaking information to the league, or she could be from the league herself and it would be putting the students in danger.

But if she was talking about Kaminari, then she would have to have a reason for that, and he hadn’t left the dorms all week. Not only would he likely not know of what the class schedule is, but he also wouldn’t have any opportunity to sabotage it or allow villains access to the grounds. If she knew something was wrong with him, then it is very possible she was telling the truth that she was supposed to meet him. Besides, if she was a villain, why would she even come with such an unprepared plan?

Luckily, his mind was his strongest aspect. He could problem solve and figure out situations presented to him rather easily. It was why he was made a teacher despite his species. So he had more than a few things he could use to decide what to do, and more than a couple of things he wanted to check from the girl.

When they brought her to his office, they gave him everything they checked when they went to her, including information she provided of her quirk. It was not worth sending her away quite yet if his assumptions were correct. He had a security camera in his office to make sure nobody breaks in or steals anything as well as high tech locks in place to defend important information, so he wasn’t worried when he spoke to her again.

“Do you mind if I leave you here for a few minutes?”

“Uh, okay?”

He walked out of his office, locking his door behind him to be safe, and made his way down the corridor. He had long decided that he was going to trust his staff to make the right choices for their class, so since he was obligated to know as the school principal, Aizawa had not been worried about giving some information on why his pupil was suspended. He didn’t know the full story, but he knew enough. He wasn’t going to chastise the boy, but this was the exact reason it was important that he knew of his situation, and now he had some important things he needed to tell Aizawa.



Aizawa was a teacher for many reasons, but figuring out how to deal with the not thought through actions of teenagers was not one of them, especially when it involved notifying their family.

Kaminari was an odd case. Legally, he wasn’t supposed to tell a pupil’s guardian of anything confidential, however if it related to their health, he was allowed to tell their doctor. When those 2 are one and the same and he doesn’t just want to make everything uncomfortable for them, it was a difficult thing to work out.

He had to notify his family though, so with a sigh, he called the second person on his contacts list.

It didn’t take long for the girl on the other end to pick up.

“Hello?”

“Is this Kioko Miyamoto?”

“Yes. Who are you?”

“You’re listed as one of the emergency contacts of one of my students, Denki Kaminari.”

“What?” Her easy-going tone was gone and quickly replaced with urgency at the word emergency. “What happened? Is he okay?”

“He’s fine. It’s nothing urgent.” Aizawa assured. “I just needed to let you know he isn’t feeling well right now.”

“Is he sick?”

It was a really difficult situation. He wasn’t in danger and based on the circumstances, stressing him would likely just make things worse.

“I wouldn’t worry about him. He just needs to rest and take some time out of class.”

“Okay. But are you sure he’s fine? Do one of us need to go get him?”

“No, it’s fine. I can't discuss anything more and if you wish for him to be at home then I can’t tell you not to, but I really don’t feel there’s any need.” That wasn’t quite true. It could possibly help to be around family, but he didn’t know his relationships with everyone, and based on how scared he looked when talking to him about the situation, it was a safe assumption that he hadn’t told them either. He has learnt since working with kids that it was not a good idea to force them in such circumstances. “I will let you know if there are any issues. But it isn’t anything serious, I’m just under obligation to communicate if he isn’t going to be in class.”

She sighed shakily over the phone. “Alright. You’re his teacher, I’ll trust you. Just, please let me know if anything changes? Please?”

Before he could reply, there was a knock on the door. He quickly wrapped up the conversation.

“I will. Thank you for your time.”

“Okay. Thank you.”

He put the phone down and went to open the door. Nezu walked straight in with a greeting and he closed the door behind him, turning back around.

“What’s going on?”

“I have a young girl in my office wishing to see Kaminari.”

He didn’t know whether it was a good or a bad sign that he wasn’t even surprised anymore. That kid has been occupying 90% of his job recently.

“Is she family?”

“If she is, she doesn’t have any identification.”

“We aren’t supposed to let anyone in without it.”

“Yes, that is true.” He paused and then looked up at Eraser. “Do you trust your students, Aizawa?”

Thought the question was unprompted, it didn’t feel odd. Trust and teamwork were always key parts of both teaching and being pro heroes. If you can’t work well with each other, understand each other, then a hero operation will fail, and it would be an immense disservice to the student. The question, however, was still rather more complex than it may have originally seemed.

“I believe in them.” He stated. “To trust them would suggest I wouldn’t work to notice when they’re doing something they shouldn’t. They’re strong and capable, but I would be failing as their teacher if I didn’t teach them with apprehension.”

Nezu smiled. It was probably the most honest Aizawa could get. It was obviously aimed at Kaminari, but his answer applied to all 20 of his pupils. Specifically him, though, was a little different.

Did he trust him? No. Not fully. He was a 16 year old who was never focusing on himself but rather everybody around him. Trusting him and leaving him to self-destruct was something he wasn’t prepared to do. Did he have faith in his goals and the idea that he could achieve them? Definitely. It was easy to dismiss students in any course because they weren’t the brightest, the strongest, the most popular. But there was a reason he still had 20 students. He doesn’t keep on people who he feels don’t have a chance. Kaminari clearly had the raw ability and spirit. Refining it was his job, but helping him do that was up to his teachers.

“Considering the circumstances, I’m thinking of allowing this girl to visit him. However, if I’m going to, I feel like you need to talk to her and ask her some questions before it. Especially considering the quirk we have on record for her.”

“What do you mean?”

“Her quirk is apparently chemical manipulation. She can convert the hormones and chemicals in her body into medicine.”

Aizawa straightened up more, raising his head. “She may have been the one to give him the pills.”



Aneko was almost wishing she had asked for the tea, even if it was just for something to focus on. She wasn’t bored. It wasn’t exactly a situation where boredom is the first thought. She was looking for a distraction. Even a ticking clock would have helped, if only there was one in the room where the sound was enough to ground her.

The door opening behind her was almost a relief if she wasn’t so nervous.

She recognised the man from the press conference he gave a short while back, but he looked a bit more dishevelled. However, she also knew from Kaminari exactly who he was, and she followed his eyes as he entered.

Being around way more people than he'd have sometimes liked due to his job, gave him pretty good assessment skills of others. This girl was weird. She seemed healthy, but also like she hadn't had the chance to get herself anything in a long time. Her clothing had loose threads which she tugged on and even the hairband around her wrist was slightly falling apart. He sat down in front of her.

“I’m Eraserhead. Kaminari’s homeroom teacher. You’re here to see him?”

“Yes.” She said, nodding.

“What’s your name?”

“I’m Aneko. I’m…a friend of his.”

“How do you know him?”

To most people, this would have been a hard thing to navigate around. He couldn’t reveal information about his student’s health, unless the person was their doctor, or directly related to the cause, so he could find out any dangers involved with it. However, he has been in his line of work long enough.

Her cheeks flushed in near panic. She hated how nervous she was, but she couldn’t help it. So many things were contributing to it. The only reason she wasn’t falling apart was because she could somewhat take control of her body’s substances when she realises she’s slipping.

“We’ve known each other for a few years. It’s nothing really special, we just get on.”

“Tell me about your quirk.”

She blinked, but remained as calm as she could. “What-what do you want to know?”

“I want to know what you can do, as well as the extent of it.”

"Well, I can use anything the body naturally produces and transform them into physical pills. I can’t make anything foreign to the body. How is Denki?”

She was getting really worried about describing her quirk, but it didn’t matter as long as she could find something out. But she just wanted to know. That was where everything was going to end up back at, so even if she accidentally made herself more suspicious when trying to avoid doing so, she didn’t notice. She just wanted to change the topic.

“I can’t tell you.”

“Everyone is telling me that. Please, I just want to know if he’s hurt or sick.”

“If he was, would you want to do something about it?”

“Well, I mean, yes. I don’t want him to feel ill. But…why are you asking me these things?”

“It’s for the protection of our students.”

“But my quirk isn’t violent.”

“No. But any quirk can be used for good or bad. It depends on the person. The ability to utilise the body’s natural resources in such a way can be rather harmful if in the wrong hands.”

She tapped her fingers on her thigh not leaving her eyes from him. She had never been so close to a hero before and the initial worry somewhat wore off, she actually felt oddly curious. Do heroes interrogate people? She assumed those were the police. What’s their job like? If the situation was different, she’d have asked about that.

“You see, even with good intentions, if you gave a student any of those pills, then they’d be in a bit of trouble.”

She stared, an odd look in her eyes.

Aizawa watched her as she seemed to catch onto his reasoning. The truth was, he had become pretty good at thinking on the spot. Whether it be due to fighting or teaching didn’t matter, it allowed him to choose the best course of action, and in this case, the best questions.

To most people, the question would seem perfectly normal. A teacher looking out for one of the kids isn’t strange, and it’s a perfectly natural thing to ask. However, if she was the one, as he suspected, who gave Kaminari the pills, then the question would seem far too specific to be routine. Aizawa couldn’t simply tell her without Kaminari’s consent, if she wasn’t the one who did it. However, considering how illegal even just using your quirk without a license never mind on other people is, if she was the person, he could let her know as a basis for a possible arrest. Getting her to admit to it would be the best course of action. The intricacies of the job were there for a reason, and as she blinked and her lips separated into half shock, he felt his suspicions were confirmed.

“What happened to him?”

Aizawa's face slackened. Kaminari never said who gave them to him, he assumed it was out of fear of getting hurt or something similar. But this girl looked so vulnerable. Was it out of fear for her safety, not his?

“I need you to tell me exactly what happened with you two. You gave him the pills, correct?”

She swallowed. “Is he...did I hurt him?”

He sighed. “The pills themselves didn’t injure him in any way. He simply didn’t think to stop his quirk because he couldn’t feel pain from going too far.”

"I never knew it was going to be bad for him! It's just...he came to me once about 4 years ago. He was saying how his quirk was hurting him and how people in his school already had control. I just...I wanted to help him. He was nice.”

“I understand the need to help out.” He said, judgement absent from his tone. “But there’s a reason doing it in this way isn’t acceptable. You can cause more harm than good. Tell me what happened.”

She lowered her head and inhaled. She was worried about him before, but now she felt guilty. How could she do this?

“I offered to help him. I mean, I didn't realise there would be much harm in helping someone ease their pain when they're just, you know, getting used to their power and all. I didn't think he'd be coming back much, just maybe the occasional help. It's what usually happens. But he started coming back every week, and I just thought he didn't know how to use his quirk yet or something. But then a few weeks later, he said that he's getting better with it but he still felt really sad about how everyone seemed better at their quirk than he was. He just said he wanted to get past it."

"So you gave him serotonin."

She nodded stiffly. "I should have cut the endorphins in half and replaced them with it but...I just kept them both the same. And he just seemed so much more stress free. He was always a happy person, but it felt like he was so much more relieved. So I thought I was helping. I...didn't think about how it would hurt in the long term. I’m so sorry.”

He looked at her. She seemed so small in that moment. It was very clear her intentions came from optimism, and it was hurting her that it didn’t happen like that. It was almost naive.

“How old are you?”

“What? I’m...19.”

19. She was practically a child. Only 3 years older than most of his students. Why was she in such a different situation to them all?

"You've been doing this since you were 15?"

"I...13."

"Why?"

She shrugged. "I didn't exactly have much chance to get into hero school with a quirk like mine. And I didn't quite...have the best opportunities in general, I guess. Some people can't get the right medication, and I can make it so I just thought I'd...try and help them."

The girl trailed off and Aizawa continued to try and read her. She didn't seem to have anything bad in her aims, but it was difficult to try and sum her up. Her age was almost enough, though.

He had his qualms about the hero system as was. It had such a focus on fighting and popularity, nobody cared enough about pure rescuers or supporters. Everyone pushed aside people who couldn't take down the enemies they were made to face.

When heroes were more of a new thing, it was different. There was a reason Recovery Girl was one of the few healing heroes still working. Back then, heroes were defined by actions, not credentials and power. It was a time when the term "hero" simply meant those who save others, who help people out of more than self interest and give people a hope for their future. It was a time when anyone could be called a hero, whether it was their job or not.

Now, all that mattered was what school they went to. It didn't matter how good of a person they were or how good hearted or strong they were in so many other aspects, all they cared about was how easily they could knock someone unconscious.

Of course, he understood. People in their line of work need to be able to defend themselves and stay safe. They can't allow people who are unable to use their powers in an effective way to be out there, fighting for the people of their city. But it meant that people like the girl sitting terrified in front of him were left to suffer, unable to achieve that which every child was always told to reach for. It was cruel. Telling everyone that the best job in the world was to become a hero just to have it ripped away because their quirk type was considered less impressive. And then it just kept getting worse. The entrance exams now removed the human aspect of heroics. They didn't consider that heroes fight villains, not dummies and robots. Shinsou missed out because of this, and, if this was the case when he was at school, he would have too.

Sometimes he wondered if this could ever really change back.

But he couldn't think about that then. His student was what was important.

“His body simply got used to taking everything. Once he adjusts, he will be fine.”

She looked up, a strange determination now overpowering the worry in her eyes.

“Please let me go see him.”



It was incredibly weird seeing how much the girl changed as soon as they left the office. Once she got control of herself, even through the obviously remaining worry, she smiled softly. She felt horrible and just wanted to see him, but if she was going to, then feeling only sadness with nothing to balance it out, would not be how to go about it. It was the answer age gave Aizawa when he asked her as he led them towards the dorms. It was odd how much he learned about her in those mere 5 minutes.

Once they got there however, Aneko could feel her heart picking up pace.

“It’s really big.”

“Well, each dorm houses 20 students.”

“It’s nice seeing something so pretty.”

He looked at her. She was staring up in awe at the building and he couldn’t help feeling concerned. She really seemed unaccustomed to anything like this. What was her life like that a dorm was so exciting to her, at 19?

“I’m going to let you talk alone, so come back once you’re done. He’s on the 3rd floor. His names on the door.”

“What? You’re letting me go on my own?”

“I assumed you’d want some privacy.”

“Well, yeah.”

“All of my students are in the surrounding rooms, possibly in the common room. Even if I was worried about you doing anything, you couldn’t without all of them hearing. That’s why I’m letting you on your own.”

“...Okay. Thank you.”

She smiled at him and entered the dorms. As far as she could see, no one was around. She had arrived at UA just at the end of the school day, so now everyone was probably relaxing in their rooms and everything.

She went to take the stairs, counting the number of flights. She would have been slightly embarrassed at how out if breath she was by the 2nd one if she wasn’t alone, but as she was, she simply carried on, looking around curiously, as she stepped onto the 3rd floor landing.

She was just about to search around for the room when a voice almost made her jump out of her skin.

“Who are you?”

She gasped, thinking she was alone. Whoever said it was understandably a mixture of confused and on edge at the sight of a stranger in their dorm, his voice was enough to tell her that much before she even turned round.

Even thought she had never met him, she instantly recognised him from pictures and descriptions Kaminari had given her. She smiled.

“I’m Aneko. I’m just visiting a friend.” She pointed a finger at him with a grin. “Red Riot, right?”

He seemed to relax a little in surprise, still keeping up the expected guard he had to be careful to not let slip in case she was a danger.

“You know my hero name?”

She shrugged. “I also know your real one. Denki talks about his friends a lot.” She said with a laugh.

“Kaminari?” His shoulders slumped fully. “You know him?”

“Yeah. I have for a few years.”

He relaxed. If she knew him, it’s unlikely she was there for anything else, especially since he hadn’t left the dorms lately due to illness. Someone visiting wasn’t out of question. He grinned and walked up to her.

“Sorry, he never mentioned he was getting a visitor.”

“Yeah, I’m not surprised, since he doesn’t know.”

“You’re surprising him? That’s great! He’ll be happy to see a friend.”

She laughed, tying her hair behind her head as it once again ended up in her eye somehow.

“You seem like how he described you.”

“Yeah? What kind of things did he say about me?”

“Well, he said you don’t like studying much either. But he mostly just said you were excitable like him. Both if you seem friendly, as well. Not that I know you.”

“It’s okay.” He said happily. “Thanks! I hope so, it’s a part of being a hero after all, right? Being likable and all?”

She huffed. “Yeah. You know, I like your spirit. You actually do remind me of him somewhat, you know.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. I can see why both of you wanted to be heroes.”

He raised his eyebrows for a second and then broke out into an even bigger grin. “Well, we’re all going to graduate together and become Pros.”

“Good luck!”

He kept smiling for a few more seconds, before looking down the hallway and back to her again. “Hey, I was actually about to go check on him since he’s been sick recently. I’ll take you to his door.”

“Thank you.”



Kaminari was playing with a Rubix cube as he lay on his bed. It was incredibly frustrating, but it gave him something to do rather than stress. Or at least it’s how he started out. As it turns out, trying to solve the toy was a lot more stressful than he had ever anticipated. He had never solved one before. It wasn’t necessarily due to his abilities, but more because as soon as he got started on one, he’d be distracted by other things and then just leave it for months at a time.

However, it had been good for him lately. It was plastic, so it didn’t make his quirk go haywire, when he was doing it he was frustrated about the cube not his situation, and it stopped him scratching his arm. He had gotten into the habit of subconsciously clawing at his own arm whenever he got a little restless or anxious, and he didn’t want to, so some kind of game always helped. Whether it was a video game or a puzzle. It also distracted him from the text he recieved from his sister in the last 10 minutes. He was grateful Aizawa didn't seem to want to add the full story, but how was he supposed to respond to a worried text when he neither wanted to be honest, nor lie.

He sat up as he heard a distinct knock on his door.

“Come in.”

Kirishima opened the door and leant in. “Hey, you have a friend here. I just thought I’d check how you are.”

“I’m feeling a little better, thanks, man.” He said, with a light smile.

“Great. I’ll leave you 2 alone then.”

Kaminari frowned as he pulled his head back out of the room. There was usually no need to leave him alone, most of the time his friends just bombarded him all at once. The confusion quickly disappeared once she walked in and closed the door. Well, confusion about the privacy thing at least. There was a completely different type of worry and unanswered questions he had now.

“Hey Denki.”

“Huh? What are you doing here?” He asked, louder than he meant.

She smiled at him and went over to sit down on his bed. He swung his legs over the edge to give her space and stared at her in complete shock as she took it and looked at him.

She smiled sadly. “How are you?”

“I’m fine. Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t go on Sunday. I had stuff on.”

She sighed, looked over his body. “I talked to your teacher about the pills.”

“What? He said he wasn’t going to mention those.” He said, barely opening his mouth.

She wanted to keep happy and positive when she had gone up there. It was always how the 2 of them were, and she damn well didn’t want to change that. But she spotted his arms, his neck where a small burn mark was visible under the collar he was wearing even in private to hide it. She realised she couldn’t simply handle this with smiles. Sometimes, people need to be serious.

"I'm sorry." She said glumly. "I didn't think anything of you coming back every week, I never bothered to keep asking what was going on. I just accepted what you said and gave you the pills."

Kaminari stared for about 10 seconds as he started to blush. He felt terrible. She looked sad. How? Even through everything, she rarely looked like that.

"It isn't your fault that I wasn't telling you everything."

"I should have guessed. Most people just...come when they need it. They aren't narcotics, so I assumed nobody would be searching for them unless they needed them. I guess I didn't think about 'needing' having more than one meaning."

She bit her lip, and Denki looked down at her shaking hands. He wanted to put his hand over them, but he didn't trust himself or his power in his state.

"You helped me when I asked for it. It's not your fault I abused your quirk."

She smiled tearfully, laying her palms flat on her thighs to try and stop the trembling throughout her body.

Most people who went to her were either families with kids who needed urgent health care, or adults themselves. Teenagers occasionally. But they stayed away mostly. Most were planning to be heroes, like everyone else in the world seemed to be. So did everyone else. They were turned off by illegality, by her. So they only came when they had no choice. Even if they weren't planning to be heroes, nobody wanted to associate with criminals.

She helped anyone who came to her. Hero, villain, civilian. She didn't have the right to decide who deserves help and who doesn't. Maybe she was just as bad as the villains who hurt others, then.

But Denki...he was never scared of her. He was always so happy, and kind, and she felt like he was part of her life forever from that point. Even after he joined UA, he never hated her or was nervous around her. And she didn't think about the fact that he wasn't an adult. She trusted him so much she forgot to care for him herself. Didn't consider how the doses she gave to people 10 years his senior a few times in their life, would have different effects after years of weekly visits.

Didn't even have the qualifications or assessments of her quirk to know what the right dosage was. She just believed things were okay as the pills were technically all natural. She supposed there was a reason people had medical licenses.

She was so scared by the thought of anything hurting him that she stretched her quirk, her body, to the extreme to make sure he was not in pain. She ignored warning signs because the thought of him being anything but the loving, energetic child he was freaked her out too much to think about.

"I always just wanted to help people." She said. "I couldn't become a hero. Nobody cares about how much pain you can take away when you can't save people in time to do so. I couldn't get a doctorate. I was just...left useless. And I just knew there were people out there like me. Who needed help and couldn't get it legally or they had issues with their doctor or something. I thought this way, I could reduce some pain in the world. I never thought about my actions hurting others. I suppose everyone is a good person in their own eyes.”

“No, you are a good person.” He started picking at his bed covers as he briefly averted his gaze before looking back up at her, his heart constricting at seeing her like that. “I just...I took things too far. You could never hurt anyone.”

She looked up at him. His eyes were filled with fear and worry. She smiled at him sadly and looked down at his arms, pressing down the mattress in front of him. She gently grasped one of his wrists, and pulled it towards herself.

The faint but there scratch marks that littered his lower arms stung her eyes as she looked at them again. She ran her fingers gently across his skin, feeling him shake.

"I did hurt you. I hurt you and you can't even admit that because I made you so dependent on me. I was so, so wrong to do that. I took away your body's way to heal itself. And now...now you're in so much more pain than you could have possibly been without me."

She looked up at his eyes again. He looked so lost. She hated seeing him look so broken, his usually energetic, jumpy behaviour mixed so deeply with desperation and sadness.

"I'm so, so sorry."

She gently ran her hand through his hair, resting on cupping his cheek and wiping away tears that had started running down. He averted his gaze, blinking more drops out. He was not in the best place as was, he certainly couldn't deal with this situation while being the same comforting person he used to be, as much as he hated it.

He sniffled, and swallowed back a gasp. How had things come to this, anyway?

"It won't last forever, will it?"

He didn’t want to say that to anyone before. Bakugo, Todoroki, Aizawa. People who knew about it were there to talk to. But he felt like he had cemented his place in the class, filling a specific place. He was always aiming to pick everyone up when they were down. It oddly felt like focusing on himself was out of place. But right then, it simply felt right.

She shook her head. "Thankfully not. Your body got used to relying on an outside source for its hormones, so it just needs a little time to adjust. But you'll be fine. I promise."

He nodded slowly. He had gotten so many people dragged into his mess. So many people who cared about him were getting scared and hurt because he just wasn't willing to feel weak. He had to fix it.

She looked closely at him, pulling her hand away from his face. She sighed. This was not something she wanted to do, but at that moment, all she cared about was him. But that didn’t mean that the entire time they spent together would have to be so dull and sad. She cleared her throat and wiped her eyes as she spoke.

“Right. Now that’s done, can we play the game we did the other week? It was fun!”

His attitude changed almost instantly. Though any of the sadness he had was still there, his smile once again lit up his face as he nodded and pulled out his phone. Well, everyone cries sometimes. It was a real relief to see him smile again, though.



Aizawa was waiting in the lounge. He didn’t know what exactly he was hoping for, but he knew that talking to his friends was always going to help him. If Aneko could help him, then it would be worth waiting a few minutes.

A few.

It took about 40 minutes before she had come out again, during which a couple of his students had taken residence in the living room and asked him questions on why he was there which he didn’t quite think he should answer. If he was perfectly frank, then he had just gotten even more tired.

But once she walked down the stairs, he stood up.

“Hi, sir. Sorry, I didn’t think you’d wait the whole time here.”

“Hey, who is she?” One of the boys yelled over from where they were watching TV.

“Never mind about that. She’s with me. Come on.”

He said the final part directly to her as he led the way out of the dorms and into the sunlight. Once the door was closed behind them, he turned around. She smiled softly, looking away.

“So, are you going to arrest me for everything.”

“No.”

She stood completely still, the only part of her moving being the gentle breeze brushing her ponytail across her neck. Slowly, she started to look up.

“What?”

“If we treat every unfortunate person trying to help somebody as a criminal, then the world would only consist of heroes and narcissists.”

“But...I am a criminal.” She didn’t like calling herself that, but it was true.

“You tried to help by doing something stupid. If you were in this class, that would be worth a month of detention, not incarceration.”

She stared, lifting her head fully, mouth hanging open.

“You’re really not arresting me?”

“Not yet.”

“What?”

He pulled out a note from his pocket. “Going to prison would limit how good of a second chance you can get. This is going to be better.”

He handed her the piece of paper, and she took it with a confused glance. She read through it quickly, eyes moving as fast as they could. Her brain barely even had time to take in the information she had in front of her with how fast she was going, but she got the basic idea as she looked up with round eyes.

“Is this a...recommendation?”

“I can’t make you become a hero, but many agencies are often looking for assistants. They aren’t the same, but occasionally if they’re like you then they can at least help treat any injuries they sustain but don’t feel are important enough to get checked out. I’ll make some calls. A hero’s recommendation can go a long way.”

She hadn’t blinked for the whole time he was talking, just starting at him with big, green eyes.

“But, why?”

“If I arrest you, you wouldn’t get a second chance to prove yourself. If I don’t and you work at a hero agency, then if you try and break the law again, there will be heroes all around you to stop that and take you into custody if they must. This way, an agency will have a staff member they’ve been looking for, and you’ll have a job. It’s simply not worth the hassle to get you on trial when there’s a better alternative.”

He explained it as if it wasn’t important, but a weight she hadn’t even realised she carried fell off her chest with the huff of breath she let out. She was so caught up in other people’s businesses, she hadn’t thought about how genuinely scared she was past some unease. She didn’t want to be in trouble, in the hands of heroes who she just wanted to help. But she had expected it.

“Thank you!”

“Just don’t revert back to what you used to do. Quirks that effect others are especially dangerous if used incorrectly, even ones like yours. Don’t waste your opportunity.”

“I won’t.”

“Good. I’ll walk you out now.”

Chapter Text

It’s always a lot harsher to wake up to the artificial glow of the overhead lights than it would be to your own accord, the gently warm wash of the sun, or even a song set as an alarm. It rips anyone away from peace as soon as the switch flicks on and the first instinct a person has is to pull the cover over themselves to block the brightness that their eyelids couldn’t filter out. Nobody ever expects to really wake up to that, considering someone has to make the effort to change it, and they definitely did not agree to that.

Feeling somebody sitting at the foot of the bed, pulling the duvet off you is even more frustrating as there’s no choice but to try and curl up into a ball as even the warmest summer day would leave anyone freezing once forcefully removed from bed.

“Wake up, idiot. It’s 6 o’clock.”

Kaminari stops struggling with the covers, finally opening his eyes and propping himself up on his elbow. He twists his neck round, feeling it crack slightly, to affirm who actually is on his bed, sitting with their legs crossed a lot tighter than he’d usually have his and glowering at him.

“Bakugo?” He asks, sitting up, stifling a yawn. “What are you doing here?”

“You’ve basically slept the whole day. Some of the others downstairs are wondering about you.”

“I’ve slept through the day?”

It was true he had difficulty sleeping at night lately, and that meant his sleeping schedule consisted of random naps throughout the days, but he didn’t think he’d ever sleep the whole time.

“Yeah. You missed dinner.”

“What?” His stomach practically growled just at the mention of food. “Oh.”

Bakugo huffed, picking up a plate he had in front of him which Kaminari hadn’t seen before that moment, and shoving it into his hands. It had 2 sandwiches on it which he eyed, confused.

“Eat.”

“You made me food?”

“It’s a freaking sandwich. It would have looked pretty bad if I came up here and just let you starve, now eat it.”

He picked one up, his grip still a little loose from having just woken up. “You didn’t poison it or anything, right?” He was...half joking.

“Why the fuck would I poison your food?”

“I don’t know, did I make you mad or something? You could kill me right now.”

“Poisoning’s for pussies. If I wanted to kill you, I’d go about it differently.”

“That’s reassuring.”

“Just eat the food.”

He laughed softly, biting into the bread. To be fair, he wasn’t worried about Bakugo anymore, not for a long time, but he still hadn’t expected him to turn up at his room and wake him up with a plate of food. He ate it rather quickly, a little uncomfortably under his stare, before pushing the plate aside.

“Thanks.”

“You good?”

“Uh, yeah.” He said, a little taken aback by him actually asking.

“Good. Then finally tell me what the fuck is going on with you.”

“What?” He faltered.

It wasn't odd, in fairness. Who wouldn't want an answer to somebody acting as he had? It would have probably been stranger if he ignored it. But as simple as it may have seemed, talking about this stuff was a lot harder to actually say or experience.

“You still haven’t given me a clear answer. So spill.”

“I...there’s...not much.”

“Sure. That’s why you’ve been hiding up here like a baby, pretending to be sick.”

“It’s not my choice! I was told to.”

“Yeah, by the way, nobody actually believes you’re sick.”

“What?”

“You haven’t acted like it in any way, dumbass. The only reason anyone still gives you the benefit of the doubt is because they don’t think our teacher would lie to us.”

He blushed. Yeah, okay, maybe he could have put a little more effort into actually seeming like he bad the flu or something. He was a little distracted by the headaches and pains he couldn’t talk about without giving too much away.

He stretched his arms above his head, feeling exhaustion from sleep drain from him and replaced with simply feeling numb and steady. It had been like that over the last few days. He hated crying, especially when it was seeing his friends do so, but he never wanted to either. It was a little hard to avoid confronting stuff when you can’t breathe from your throat constricting and eyes blurred. He never really cried much, most of the time, at least. But he had just been feeling so over the place that he had stayed away from his class and he hated it. He was never a lone wolf, he basically inserted himself into situations nobody even wanted him in just because he felt the need to be around everyone. But he was also tired.

He really had screwed up. Even some of the most closed off people were worried about him, and he had no idea what to do to reassure them it was all fine. He hated that he was worrying them. The amount of stuff everyone had gone through did not need another thing to worry about on top of everything else. So he sure as hell wasn’t going cry in front of Bakugo Katsuki. But he was right. He didn’t owe him an explanation, but he deserved one.

“You know the stuff you found in my bag?” He asked quietly.

“Yeah?”

“Well...” He sighed, staring ahead of him, surprised he hadn’t been told to just spit it out already. “Dude, everyone here has such cool quirks, and they can handle them as well. Mine just kind of burns me if I don’t have anything to help me with it. They were just endorphins and stuff to help with that.”

“How the hell are painkillers supposed to help other than in ignoring it? You trying to kill yourself?”

“No. But come on, you saw how much stronger my power was when I didn’t hurt myself by using it.”

“Actually, yeah, what the hell is up with that? I don’t know how the fuck most people didn’t question it, but what happened to your drawback?”

He stared into critical red eyes. Somehow, even when he acted concerned, it was seemingly impossible for him to not seem somewhat scary. He laughed softly at the realisation and gulped. Yeah, he wasn’t getting out of this.

He got up and grabbed his bag, taking it over to the bed and sitting back down. He avoided looking up at his friend as he unzipped it and with a strangely steady hand he hadn’t expected himself to have at that moment, lifted up the still full pill bottle.

“I am supposed to be on medication to help with pain and things like that. It’s said to stop me getting hurt when using my quirk and stuff.”

Bakugo took the bottle and Kaminari dropped his hands to his lap, fidgeting with his fingers to calm himself down a little. He felt a lump rise in his throat as he averted his eyes from looking at him, feeling suddenly scared at having shown somebody something he kept hidden on himself all day specifically to keep secret so nobody would find it.

“It’s a prescription?”

“Yeah.”

“Then what’s the issue?”

"I’m not taking them.”

Bakugo put the bottle down and looked over at him. He stopped moving as soon as he did and met him with a blank stare.

“Why not?”

“Well, it weakens me. You’re the one always talking about strength, I don’t want to be a weak link in things. I can at least try to be stronger, so I just take the painkillers instead.”

“So you think that being strong means not giving a fuck about your health?”

“What? Well, no.”

“Then what’s your problem?”

He had not expected this reaction. Some dismissive remark was more what he suspected would come out of his mouth if he heard that Kaminari needed medication, not him getting frustrated at him not taking it. He felt a little bad for expecting that, obviously that wasn’t going to be the case. Other than some exceptions, Bakugo doesn’t tear most people down just for the sake of doing so or simply mock those who are weak, otherwise his attention wouldn’t be mostly drawn to people like Todoroki and Midoriya who are both very powerful. He wants people to be as strong as they can so his brags about being better than them land with more of a punch. He said it many times himself, beating those who are weak is possibly even worse than losing to somebody stronger. At least the latter qualifies as a proper fight.

 But even though he wasn’t just going to be an outright jerk to him, it didn’t explain why he didn’t seem to care about the strength of his quirk. Wouldn’t he want it stronger?

“You know, man, I thought for sure you’d say something different about this.” He laughed awkwardly, resisting the urge to scratch at his wrist again.

“Like what?”

“I don’t know, like how of course I need this while you don’t need any help or something.”

He groaned. He didn’t even have any idea what he was doing up there, but he needed to get some sense into him it seemed. “Listen here, idiot. Everybody in this freaking world has stuff to deal with regarding their quirk. I don’t need any help because I can handle that shit myself, but if you do, then being a little bitch about it will not make you any stronger. Suck it up and deal with things the way you need to.”

Kaminari almost forgot that he still felt mostly worn out and just stared. This was an incredibly weird way to go about helping anybody. He seemed to have stared for too long, as before he could even respond, Bakugo stood up from the bed. He didn’t need any further answers. It wasn’t his job to interrogate him, he didn’t need the intricacies He picked up the discarded pill bottle by Kaminari’s feet and chucked it at him.

 “Take your medication. And come down already, the rest of the losers are worried and they’re annoying me. I’m done.”

He opened the door and left, leaving Kaminari to clutch the bottle in his hands and stare at the door. Slowly, he looked down, turning it over in his hands and thumbing at the label. Feeling a little restless after another little while of sitting still, he jumped off the bed and threw the bottle in one of his drawers and moved over to get dressed, stopping halfway through with a sigh before continuing. He had some stuff to think about.

Chapter Text

“Hey! We’re going out, you coming?”

This had really become common over the last 2 days to hear from his friends. He re-joined his group, with a little less enthusiasm than he normally would have had because the idea of hurting them always hung around the back of his mind, and since then, they acted like everything was normal. It probably was to them, in fairness, and Kaminari was glad, but it was difficult for him to be as present with them as he wished.

He had been waking up more and more regularly with lines covering his arms, and pretty much the only days he didn’t have them were ones where he could barely sleep long enough to survive that day. For once in his life, he didn’t want to be around people who could ask questions, but he preferred such over having Bakugo glaring menacingly at him whenever he went downstairs. Not that it changed. He just watched him out of the corners of his eyes which was almost more awkward.

“Aizawa told me to stay in the dorms until I’m better.”

“Dude, you seem healthy enough. I’m sure if you asked him, he’d let you come.”

“Who cares if he doesn’t go, I’d prefer to be left alone too than have to deal with all of you.”

Kaminari smiled gently at Bakugo which he either ignored or didn’t see. Despite his brashness, he was not one to spill anyone else’s secrets. It was almost weirdly protective, which he knew if he brought up would probably get him punched.

Kirishima quickly turned his head to Kaminari. “Do you not want to come?”

It was appreciated that he’d ask, but it was difficult to really answer. He wanted to go and get back with his friends, of course. He also really wanted to get out of the dorms, he was getting a little anxious at not having a single change of scenery. But he also knew that right then, he couldn’t be as fun as he normally was and in fact be rather dangerous. Not to mention, it might give Bakugo more of an opportunity to talk to him without suspicion.

He hadn’t taken his pills yet. They were sitting in one of his drawers and a lot of his day was consumed by either thinking about what to do with it or doing anything to avoid thinking about it. He didn’t really feel like explaining that. But he missed hanging out with everyone.

“No, I do!” He smiled. “I’ll ask if I can.”

Sero grinned at him and jumped closer on the couch, making Kaminari instinctively flinch away to avoid accidentally shocking him. Thankfully, it seemed to be subtle enough that he didn’t feel the need to drop the smile on his face.

“Good. We really need to get you out of here.”

He smiled back, and then jumped up. “I’ll go find him.”

He ran off towards the front entrance, and pushed it open, stepping out into the fresh air. The air inside had been almost stale, even with windows wide open, no breeze hit him like it did outside. It was a warm day, but he actually appreciated the cool wind that rustled some of the leaves on the trees and cooled down his skin which had been burning simply on its own. It felt so much better to be able to stand where he did than trying to figure out a new thing to distract himself with. It helped clear his mind and soothe the burns it could hit on his skin as he smiled.

It calmed any nerves he had as he made his way along the path towards the school. The teachers should still be there, it had only been about half an hour after school ended. He hoped that things would be okay, it wasn’t exactly his wish to have broken the rule set to not leave the dorms just to be told he wasn’t allowed. But then again, it wasn’t like he never caused annoyance to him. He probably know how to deal with him by that point.

He ran through the corridors until eventually he got to the room they were told to search if they needed him. Well, actually, it was more like ‘you better not disturb me unless somebody is dying’ but the important thing is, he was likely going to be there. He simply didn’t really have any part of himself that could warn him that maybe he should leave him alone, and it’s not like it really mattered. There was something he had to ask, it was why teachers were there anyway.

Kaminari knocked on the door, a little too erratically. The prospect of having to possibly be lectured about everything again pusher worries closer to the forefront of his mind, which was quickly wiped out as a call from inside snapped his attention back to the present. He opened the door quickly and had already let it fall closed behind him before Aizawa even had time to finish what he was saying.

“Kaminari, what are you doing here?”

The good thing was that he was at least socially confident. If he was anyone else, he was pretty sure he’d struggle with fear of being turned down, but as it was, he just had a small voice at the back of his head. It was rather quick for him to get over any situational anxiety (any more persistent issues were a little different admittedly) so at least asking any questions would be fine.

“Sir, you said that I need to stay at the dorms unless I have permission to leave, right?”

“Are you here to ask for it?”

“Kind of. My friends asked me if I wanted to go out with them. Can I?”

There was of course a reason why Aizawa hadn’t expelled him despite having every reason to. He didn’t want to judge him by when he was low or struggling, not when it was clear to him he had chosen the right school. But it also meant he needed to make sure he remained on the right path, not lose sight of himself along the way. There were always going to be disadvantages no matter how he handled this, but considering who he was talking to, keeping him away from activities was probably not the best option.

“Alright then.”

Kaminari raised his eyebrows and smiled in surprised relief. Despite his hopes, he wasn’t sure what the response would be.

“Really?”

“Yes. It’s not worth keeping you inside at this rate anyway.” He looked at him with a frown. “But I do have to ask something of you then.”

“What is it?”

“How are you feeling?”

That was not as easy of a question to answer as it was to ask. Truth be told, he felt weird. He felt a little confined being indoors so much but with the way everything had come tumbling down around him lately, it also almost felt like when his quirk first manifested, which really was not too comfortable. But he needed to get over that.

“I don’t know. I feel fine.”

Aizawa sighed. “It isn’t up to me how you behave, but I’m going to ask that you stay close to the others for today. Other than that, you’re free to go.”

He straightened up, smiling again. “Thanks, sir.”

He turned around to leave before considering the idea that his teacher may have had something else to say, so he was a little caught off guard when he was called back.

“Kaminari, remember the emergency contact information I gave out to all the students?”

“Yeah.”

“If you need to talk to me about this situation, use it.”

“But...didn’t you say to us that was for if we’re in danger or something?”

“I said that to stop you contacting me asking me for homework answers. If you need any help, I’ll still respond.”

It wasn’t really as simple as that, but the fact remained that if his students needed him in some genuine way, he wasn’t going to turn them away. A few stupid questions, he could deal with. But as a hero and a teacher, letting somebody struggle alone was different.

Kaminari looked confused for just a brief second before he remembered what was happening and nodded. “Okay. Thank you.”

He left the room, closing the door behind him with too much vigour once again, but if there were any people around to complain, he’d drown their movements, their noises, out, as he slumped his back against the door with a gulp. It was getting a little more difficult to act like things were okay. It was overwhelming. He didn’t want to have to lie about anything, he should just be genuinely okay. But it was always just a mess when he wasn’t pretending, and yet he was far too naturally expressive to pull that off for long.

With a sigh, he pulled out his phone from his pocket and looked up his latest messages, opening up one which had been sitting in his inbox for almost 2 days. Things had been weird recently so he forgot to reply to it and didn’t know what he’d say anyway, so he just left it. It wasn’t something he’d usually do, normally he’d talk with anyone so much he could make them regret texting him, but there was not much he could think to say.

Gin had asked him if he’d like to meet up if he was feeling better. He didn’t really know if he could at that point but explaining anything was not exactly appealing to him either. However now he knew he could leave the place, at least for that day, so dismissing any concerns he had, he knew it was best that they meet there. Better than ignoring him anyway.

He quickly typed a message out before realising he forgot to ask where the others were going. Quickly putting his phone back, message unsent, he walked back to the dorms. It was something he was kind of looking forward to. It would not be anything special or anything, but he could have fun just about anywhere with the right company. It was going to be a nice day. He’d just have to focus on that, not everything else.



Turns out, literally nobody had a plan, which pretty much summed most of their outings up properly. None of them, other than perhaps Bakugo though even he was sometimes questionable, seemed to know how to plan anything past the bare minimum. It didn’t matter though.

One thing Kaminari really had missed when distancing himself from them was not just the feeling of having people around him, but also having people whose stories and everything he could get invested in. It was not like he was a difficult person to entertain. He may get bored of stuff sometimes and not get back to them until months later, but actually getting excited was rather easy for him, and while that could annoy people, he didn’t care too much. To him, it was just entertainment, it felt odd for people to roll their eyes at it to him. But that wasn’t an issue when he could get lost in any discussion he had. He needed it even more then than before as well, if only to distract himself from the now constant feeling of electricity passing around his body and distract the others from looking closer at his arm.

Frankly, it was so much easier to just get back into the flow of things than he worried it would be, and as they arrived in town, he had almost pushed aside any thoughts that he didn’t want in the situation. Well, he tried to at least. But every time there was a lull in the chat, it was easy to start thinking about it again, so he just didn’t let that happen.

Which was possible during travel when they were on a bus. However, walking along the street made it slightly more difficult until they ended up where they were trying to find themselves.

Kaminari was so often a big child whenever he went out anywhere, it was almost odd to him that he was so distant as soon as they stopped. The stores and buildings surrounding the area and the shuffling of people walking around was more overwhelming and panic inducing than calming. With conversations, he knew what he had to focus on, background noise remained just that. But when there was nothing to concentrate on, only the mess of chatter and food steps that he could hear from everyone piercing the air, it made him grip his hand into a tight fist to ground himself against the overpowering things surrounding them.

“Let’s go look around then.”

There were only 4 of them there, so the idea of losing somebody was not really something that crossed any of their minds. However, Kaminari almost wished he had already lost sight of all of them when Bakugo turned to face him as Kirishima and Sero went off somewhere. It wasn’t that he was scared of him, but after everything he knew, it did make him a little cautious.

He stared at him, seemingly aiming to try and figure him out, but before he could even say anything, Kaminari was already searching the area, avoiding his eyes. It was Friday, so the location was pretty much filled with people. Everyone liked taking the weekend to do shopping or have fun, and as extroverted and usually open as Kaminari was, he didn’t feel like discussing anything like that in a situation surrounded by people. Especially not when their friends could over hear, or someone could recognise them as UA students.

“Can we not tall about that stuff here?”

Bakugo kept his eyes trained on his face for a few more seconds before he turned around with a grunt and walked off in the direction the others went. Remembering Aizawa’s advice, Kaminari barely had time for a relieved sigh before be ran to catch up with them.

The day was going pretty well for a Friday activity over the next hour. At the end of the week, it wasn’t like anybody wanted to start on any homework they were given without time to relax, so it was just a way to help everyone procrastinate most of the time. The clothing stores were always what caught Denki’s attention. He was not shy when it came to trying on items. People may complain about shopping with girls, but whenever he went with his sister, he’d usually end up coming out with more clothes than her. It was just fun and exciting for him, so why should he care?

They had also bought some drinks and probably blocked a bunch of people’s ways by not realising they were chatting in the middle of a path. Over all, the sun was warm enough to enjoy searching the entire street for shops or entertainment without stress, and there were certainly plenty. It didn’t take long until they were already talking about going to lunch soon.

There was really not much out of the ordinary for them until Kaminari checked his phone as it buzzed.

He had told Gin where they were going to be in terms of the street, and apparently he had just taken the opportunity to camp out on one of the benches outside and text him to let him know.

“Hey, I’m just gonna go check out some more places, yeah?”

Kirishima had just been looking at the racks of clothes with him when he turned round to let him know.

“Okay.” He smiled.

“I’ll be back soon!”

With that, he ran out of the store, stopping in the square to look around. He quickly realised that the size of the place meant this was probably not the smartest meeting method, as he made his way through the crowd of people, looking for the bench. He should have thought ahead further than just “let’s meet somewhere around here” but thinking before speaking really was not his best quality.

It took about 10 minutes before he finally spotted the distinctive silver hair he was looking for. He was quick to panic sometimes, even if he does manage to regain composure, so it was a massive relief that he didn’t need to keep running around in circles as he made his way over there.

“Hey, loser.”

If there was ever a situation where tone mattered, it was with siblings. Despite the words ringing the same as how Bakugo usually responded to anything he said, there was a lot more casual teasing underneath than when it was him. Not a surprise, Gin was a lot more naturally drawn to people in spite of issues that came along with that, so any hostility didn’t make it into his voice much.

“Hey!” He said, sitting down on the bench.

He frowned, looking at the space between the 2 of them.

“Why are you sitting so far away?”

“What?” Kaminari said, eyes making the same journey. “Oh, sorry.”

He hadn’t really noticed, he just did it. His quirk coated his body in electricity, if he sat close, it’s more likely to hurt someone, so lately he’d just kept at least a foot or two of space in between whoever he was with, and it had seemingly just gotten larger. He put his hand out above the bench to help himself scoot closer. However, as soon as he realised the bench was made of metal, he ripped his hand back.

“What’s wrong?”

“Can we just stand up?”

This was ridiculous. Why was he so worried?

Gin looked confused but simply shrugged, standing up with his drink in his hand.

“So...” He said as soon as Denki stood up after him. He took the bubble tea he had and took a long drink through the straw until he ran out of breath and looked back up with a smirk. “What’s up?”

“Why are you asking like that? It’s weird!”

“Yeah, I know.” He took another sip before lowering the cup down to his side. “Why are you acting so strange today, anyway?”

“What?”

“You’re really jumpy.”

“I...well...”

Gin laughed as he struggled to come up with an answer. He bad just asked to stand up because he was scared he’d accidentally fry the 2 of them if he sat on a metal bench, it’s not exactly like he could pass that off with denial.

“You just realised whatever you were going to say was stupid?”

“Hey, it wasn’t stupid!”

“It doesn’t really matter, to be honest.”

Swaying lightly on his feet, it was odd how relaxed he seemed for someone he knew this was obviously unusual for. Then again, the fact that he has trouble with a lot of this stuff had always helped him to be more empathetic and drop any grudges rather quickly. The world was difficult for him, but he always understood that it meant he should not make it harder for anybody else.

Out of all of them, he was the only one who couldn’t go to school properly. Kioko’s quirk worked on touch, and it was more scary than outright dangerous, so with certain precautions, she was fine. Denki’s was also predominantly touch based, though sometimes he did fire off some electricity when he got scared, but he was on medication, so it was managed enough for him to have a normal school life.

But for Gin, his quirk was unstable and dangerous enough that it wasn’t enough to try and simply level it out. They needed to lock it away. But suppressants eventually wore off, and if they did, getting a couple dozen kids out of the class without oxygen was not a risk anyone was willing to take. Truth was, his quirk was potent. Very much so. And Aika wasn’t willing to let anyone get hurt, let alone have it be on his conscience for something he couldn’t even control. So they tutored him individually.

He was never stupid, he understood why that was the case. However, it effected the way he interacted with people. He was never surrounded by people his own age, except when kids came in for check ups. Going to high school was the first time in years that he had a little more freedom with his life, his choice of friends. The amount of effort he tried to put in to practice with his quirk without harming himself whenever he had an opportunity, which he was rarely given, was all because he was sick of it holding him back, and finally it was controlled enough that discomfort was usually the most he accidentally caused. But it still wasn’t ideal. He had lost out on a lot of his childhood to just be perfectly confident in public.

“Why did you text me before anyway?” Denki asked.

“I wanted to go out somewhere but didn’t really have much to do. Besides, the girls were worried about you so I thought I’d try and do something about it. Not that it matters since it took you 2 days to reply.”

"Oh...um…sorry.”

“Nah, it’s fine.” He said with a sigh. “I get it, you have a lot on.”

Kaminari couldn’t help but look away. He never wanted to make any of them worry. It just didn’t occur to him that they may. It had become more and more difficult lately to think with a clear mind for him.

"So," Gin asked, making him snap his head back “what’s been going on?”



It never really seemed fair to judge students purely by their grades, when so many people had different areas they had strengths in that this did not show. But that was always something Kirishima tried hard to work on, even just so he himself felt confident enough to go to UA. It did make the feeling when he got in that much more intense, with all the hard work paying off in the end. But going there for months by that point certainly helped other aspects show more.

Just like for many people on the course, his spirit was something strong statements were often made about. Willpower and all that were just as important as power, as some people said. Whether that was fully true or not felt up to debate sometimes, but it was something that doesn’t need to be limited by the power or appeal of one’s quirk. Without drive, what did a quirk really even matter?

But despite his want to help anyone he could, he still sometimes doubted his own judgement. In the middle of action, he’d jump in quickly. When there was time to think about something, that’s when he’d double guess it. It certainly didn’t mean he wasn’t worried though. Especially not when he started getting suspicious.

"Hey, Bakugo. Do you know if something's up with Kaminari?"

Bakugo turned his head away from the clothes he was pretending not to look at and round to his friend who was still slowly flicking through the items on the racks. Despite continuing to do so however, he seemed tense in a way that could not be attributed to his quirk.

So he noticed.

"Why are you asking me? I'm not his freaking babysitter."

"Yeah, I know. But you've been talking with him a lot more than usual, which was surprising honestly." He said with a light laugh. "He's just been weird. I thought you may have noticed something."

Of course he did. Surprisingly a lot quicker than Kirishima who was arguably closer to him. It would save a lot of headache if he just told everything to him as well, but no matter how difficult Kaminari may make something or how he'd annoy him, it wasn't his job to give out personal information on anyone. That was not up to him.

"Ask him if you want to know."

"I would have." He finally stopped looking through the clothes. "But he hasn't come to me or anything, and then he was off school because he was sick, I didn't know if it would just be pointless pressure."

"He hasn't been sick." Yeah, it wasn't up to him to reveal stuff he was told in confidence, but Kaminari also shouldn't be responsible for worrying anyone or frustrating him, so he'd just have to find an in between. "At least not enough to worry about."

"But then why was he out of class?"

Bakugo sighed, dropping any pretence he tried to have of not caring as he spun the rest of his body round to him. Kirishima was always just trying to be a good friend, and concentrate on making sure they all felt okay. But this often resulted in him debating whether he was pushing too much, wondering whether constant compliments would be appreciated or thought of as insincere. This entire reason was one of the ones why Bakugo thought caring so much about how everyone else feels was stupid. He couldn't control that, if he wanted something, why wouldn't he just act on it?

"Look, if you want to get answers, ask for them. That idiot is always just trying to be liked, he won't come to you with any problems he has if he feels you wouldn't care."

His jaw slackened. "Why would he think I wouldn't care?"

"Well he won't fucking know if you don't ask him about it, will he?"

It was obvious when thought about, but if people are worried, it’s easy to overlook those things. Kirishima was never scared to ask his friends if they needed help or anything of the sort, but when it was Kaminari, it was confusing. He always seemed too much of an optimist for that to happen.

Kirishima pulled his hands into fists, a gesture that may have been slightly excessive considering he wasn’t going for a fight and was instead just trying to support his friend, but he didn’t think that.

“You’re right. I’ll tell Sero so I can go find him.”

He walked past Bakugo who resisted the urge to call out and tell him they’ll see him later whether he goes on to hunt for him or not, instead following behind him. Since when did he just willingly go along with what someone else was doing?

Sero it turned out was a lot easier to find then Kaminari. It took 5 minutes of searching through stores for Kirishima to think of calling him up, with Bakugo not being too much help in suggestions prior to that despite his previous advice, at which point they still had to find him among the still very much present crowds of people. It had thinned out a little, but still rather packed for them.

The lightning flash in his hair made it a little bit simpler to spot him, however, after another few minutes of looking around the place he had said he was. It was recognisable enough that once they knew the general area, a glimpse of the black bolt standing out among the blond was difficult to overlook.

“Hey, Kaminari!”

Kaminari turned round, remembering at the last second to smile at his friends. It was difficult enough to act natural when they asked where he was, knowing full well that he wasn’t alone, but for some reason, he hadn’t thought that they may be looking for him to have a need to ask that. Yeah, occasionally, he definitely wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. But that didn’t matter as the 3 of them made their way over, each of their eyes glancing over to Gin with various expressions.

“Hey, we were looking for you.” Kirishima smiled before looking over at him.

It wasn’t him who brought it up though.

“Who are you?” Bakugo asked more bluntly than any of them hoped he would.

Gin looked a little fazed by the situation and Kaminari felt slightly bad. He had never introduced them to each other, and despite being 17, it was never simple to tell how he would react to confrontation. He was fine with people of course, but people like Bakugo...yeah, that’s a different matter altogether.

“I’m Gin, Kami’s foster brother.”

It was Denki’s turn to hold back on the reaction he wanted to have as his heart jolted in a manner unrelated to his quirk. None of his friends knew of his circumstances. Facilities like where he grew up were still somewhat taboo to some people. People there were considered reckless and dangerous to many people and while he didn’t mind saying he had siblings, there was a reason he hadn’t mentioned the foster part. He schooled his features into what he felt was a natural expression. Maybe they wouldn’t ask about it.

“Foster brother?”

Damn it Sero. Of course his friends cared, he had barely talked about his family before.

“Kaminari, you didn’t tell us you had a brother?”

Oh, that was what they were curious about then.

“Sorry! I suppose it never came up.”

He punctuated that with a laugh, hoping to skim past the topic. He wasn’t exactly ashamed, but it was really not something he wanted to talk about. There were very few subjects he felt were off limits for him, he could probably go on a tangent about like 99 percent of talking points, but his upbringing was a little too complicated. What would they say? Everyone is at a school for the best in the country, he wasn’t going to explain to them how difficult he found everything.

“Oh, you didn’t know?”

Gin looked over apologetically to Denki. It was useful to have grown up around each other, admittedly. Sometimes, it meant that it was a little easier to understand each other. Siblings don’t always get on, quite often it’s just arguments and fighting and all sorts of stuff that, with quirks, would have probably been a lot more dangerous actually. But when they’re the only ones who can kind of get how the other is feeling, those moments were not on the forefront of their minds.

Kaminari was ready to smile back at him to let him know it was okay, but a single deep breath was enough to drive that instinct away.

The air had gotten considerably harder to breathe, feeling almost suffocating and a quick glance at his friends showed the rising of their chests, fighting the lack of oxygen in the surrounding air.

It was annoyingly counter intuitive that whenever he felt anxious, that’s when his quirk tended to go slightly haywire, making everything all the worse. It was why he usually stayed indoors despite always wanting to go out. He joked about it, but it’s not like he actually wanted to hurt anybody, and yet whenever he worried about it, the air seemed to react to his feelings. He couldn’t seriously harm anyone really, the quirk suppressants he was on were weaker than he used to take, but they had their own limits. However, accidentally activating it was never a good idea.

Kaminari forgot about his fear of electrocuting him as his hand snapped up and rested on his upper arm, grip firm enough to ground him. He didn’t know whether it was out of selfish reasons, if he just didn’t want the others to realise what was going on, or if it was pure protectiveness, but either way, it was important. It may be weird to others, but it was what they had always learnt. If his quirk went out of control, talking him down was the best they could do. Any touches would be dangerous, harmful. But for Gin, it was always a hand on his arm. It calmed him down, reminded him that any stress or fear he had in that moment was not strong enough to overpower the physical fact of having people around him who could help if he needed it. Eventually, it lost the meaning, and just became a general support. Even during circumstances where there was no need to be scared, no danger or need for anger, it kind of just helped him. It also happened to be one reason why Denki was always so touchy with his friends. He had grown up with the solution to his brother’s struggles being comfort and touch, and for him, it was voices. He missed out on things like hugs for a long time and, as lame as it may sound, it always felt nice to have some physical contact.

But right then, as the air became easy to breathe again and his 3 friends seemingly either chalked it up to it just being their own bodies needing more air or suspiciously eyed Gin but did not mention in it, he quickly withdrew his hand.

“So, you grew up with Kaminari?”

“Yeah. He’s younger than me though, so I have a lot of clear memories of embarrassing stuff he did when he was little.”

“You’re only 10 months older.”

“Yeah, I don’t care.”

Sero stifled a laugh. It wasn’t that Kaminari was dreading the idea of sharing memories and stuff, but it wasn’t exactly reassuring when they were already trying not to explode from curiosity.

“It doesn’t matter.” Bakugo said, oddly casually. “I doubt he could have been any dumber when he was younger.”

“Hey!”

“Why, did he try and eat a Dorito whole again or something?”

“Dude, what the hell?” He said to his brother, who ignored it with a smile.

It was always a littla surprising how adaptable Gin was. Every time he was thrown into a social situation with people he didn’t know, he’d be nervous and practically terrified for, like, 2 minutes, and then somehow manage to work through that enough that he was able to hold conversation with no issues. The problem usually was waiting out that 2 minutes without the person leaving. With Kaminari there and talking to his friends, that was kind of not going to happen, and now he felt slightly like he had written his own death sentence.

“How’d that go?” Sero asked.

“I mean, the key word is ‘tried’. It didn’t get far down his throat before he almost died.”

“Come on, that was like 3 years ago.”

“You were 13?”

“I was just curious, stop being mean.”

Everything was surprisingly light, and Kaminari didn’t know why that felt odd to him. Usually he would relish in humour, even at his expense. But even if he didn’t exactly hate it, the conversation felt a lot more uncomfortable to him. How had he become an outsider? Rather than laughing along with everyone, he just felt antsy, his focus drawn away from the people surrounding him. He was usually more than capable of pushing things to the back of his thoughts, but trying as hard as he could, if he had nothing to do, it always made its way out of the dump he tried to place it in.

“Are you joining us for the rest of the day then?”

“Oh, well,” he looked over to Denki who simply shrugged “yeah, I suppose.”

“Bakugo, that okay?”

“Whatever, I don’t care.”

“Great! You can tell us more about him.”

“Oh, come on, everyone did weird stuff when they were kids.”

“Yeah, and I want to find out more. Come on, let’s go.” Oddly enough, he sounded more interested than as if he was trying to find something to laugh at, so all Kaminari did was respond with a soft smile as the 5 of them made their way moving around the place again.

“Sorry about that.” Gin whispered, leaning down to his ear.

Having been just a little distracted, he jumped at the voice. Dammit, he needed to take control of himself.

“It’s all cool! You can meet some of my friends at least.”

“I’m glad you aren’t worried about me hurting them or something.”

“Why would he be worried about that?” Bakugo said from a couple steps in front, shocking both of them who had not realised he was listening. “His quirk is strong enough on its own, he could hurt us alone if he wanted to, he wouldn’t need you.”

“What?” He responded in surprise. “Did you just give me a compliment?”

“It’s just a fact, don’t let it get to your head. Still, I recommend keeping your quirk in check if you don’t want the other 2 knowing.”

“Huh?”

“You...you noticed?”

At this, he turned around. He had simply been talking to them while walking, not even looking their way, but now he stopped in front of them, forcing the siblings to stand still. Kirishima and Sero had been too busy looking around all the shops to notice them as of yet, but it wasn’t like they were naturally oblivious, so Kaminari wondered why Bakugo had stopped knowing full well they’d realise soon.

Looking at them, Bakugo could very easily tell they were not biologically related, even without the word foster being mentioned. He didn’t care. It was easy to assume he was just judgemental to everyone, but he really wasn’t like they thought. He simply stood by the idea if respect needing to be earned, but he was not stupid enough to judge someone by their family and dig into whether they were blood of not. Anyone who judges people for those they are born to or anything need to get better at remembering who the focus of their vitriol is meant to be.

“This is the exact reason it isn’t smart to always try and see the best in everyone. You’ll miss important details like your quirk.”

“Hey, man, that’s such a gloomy outlook though.”

“It doesn’t-“

“Hey, why did you all stop?”

Kirishima interrupted, breathing just slightly heavier after the short sprint he made to get back to them. He looked around them curiously and for some reason, Kaminari turned away. It just felt odd to be in this situation, and he didn’t want another person to worry about him.

“Who cares, let’s just go.”

“...Okay.”

They started making their way across the road where Sero was still waiting for them patiently. Kirishima fought the urge to glance at his friend every few seconds, the knowledge that something was wrong staying on his mind. He acted do oddly serious around Gin even while joking and while he respected showing that side to his family, it just cemented the fact that there was a lot of stuff he didn’t know about him yet. He wasn’t going to ask yet, not in this way, but he had to later. Not only was making the effort what a man should do if they’re worried, it was what a friend had to. The weekend was upon them and soon they’d probably be heading back anyway. He’d talk to him then. As much as he didn’t always feel completely confident himself, it was important that his friends felt okay going to him about stuff.

For the next hour or so, he was just going to enjoy spending time with them.

Chapter Text

The showers were all lined up along the walls, steam less prominent around the room than it usually becomes after even five minutes of use, as the boys flooded in. Most of the time, hardly anyone cared about where they stood, the showers all did the same job as each other after all. By this point, nobody even felt overly awkward.

The last few weeks, Kaminari had usually showered before anyone else did. He didn't have classes to go to or a need to relax once the day was over, so his nightly routine, frustratingly to him, had become hiding away before anyone could ask questions. But now, it was harder. He had been out all day with the others and though he enjoyed it, it made getting away from them before they all went to the bathroom so much more complicated. He couldn't do it.

As much as he could hide his arms with sleeves and makeup during the day, doing so in such a setting was making his heart beat faster with worry.

Ignoring the resigned chatter a few people were still having around him, to which normally he'd probably join in, he made a beeline to the shower nearest the door. Nobody really paid much attention to each other in the bathrooms, so any queries anyone would have possibly had about him died before it reached their lips, as everyone spread about the room. So much of the noise he seemed to drown out as the sound of running water filled the room. Mineta had, whether helpfully or unhelpfully he'd yet to decide, taken the space next to him, unsurprising considering he was one of the few people who put up with him, but he barely heard the sly comments he made or even the chastising some of the others gave him.

"Wow I'm exhausted. At least it's the weekend."

The room slowly became misty following Sero's comment, and yet Kaminari hadn't even made an attempt to open the tap. It was a stupid thing to be scared of, but it didn't matter. He knew why he was, and the least he could allow himself to do was hide his arms with the vapour.

In any other situation, eyeing a tap with what probably came off as pure fear would have been a definite source for embarrassment, but he didn't think that far ahead. He was simply too tired and caught up in his thoughts.

"Kaminari, are you okay?"

He hadn't realised anyone had been paying attention to him. Although after 30 seconds of no sounds coming from his shower, things were bound to be noticed.

"Yeah." He smiled, and quickly turned on the tap.

The water was soothing. He instinctively washed it through his hair, and across his face with a barely audible sigh.

Usually his mind ran rampant in the shower, random thoughts that, if he expressed, would likely cause some manner of confusion among his peers. He couldn't exactly help how his brain worked, and he didn't even mind it. It was a minor but existent source of entertainment that helped stop him from getting bored.

That day though, only one train of thought was running in his head with nothing to derail it.

He had no idea what he was doing. Both his siblings had everything far worse, and even when they met up earlier Gin was still having trouble controlling his power.

And yet he was the one screwing up the most. He was so stupid. How can he imagine to move past anything or become a hero, when he was still not only in the bottom 5 of the class but also so much further behind either of them?

He had no idea why he was even thinking any of that. He wasn't usually self conscious. In fact some would say he's too laid back. But he was scared. If he kept messing stuff up, he wouldn't even be able to control his quirk, never mind help somebody else.

He closed his eyes, roughly gripping biceps with his nails digging in, as the water brushed over his skin, washing the makeup off his arms, and discolouring the previously clear water as it ran down the drain. His eyes opened and drifted towards the swirl of water and really just hoped no one would notice as he hugged his arms tighter around himself.

He tried to take deep breaths, calming his heart, but the warm mist in the room made him cough as soon as he did.

He barely managed to avoid gasping when he felt a spark pop on his arms and his heartbeat picked up even more. Nervously he glanced around the room. He could barely make out anyone, but he just hoped that the electricity wouldn't conduct to anyone else.

He was so tempted to just leave and run out, but he wasn't prepared to raise suspicion. Would leaving first without a word be strange? Probably not. But he couldn't risk that, so he closed his eyes again, trying to calm down.

Any relaxation the water brought quickly evaporated. He was too wound up to regain control, especially with the added complication of the water seemingly tugging at the current in his body.

Soon it felt like acid against his skin. It felt like he was on fire, and he didn't know whether the heat was coming more from his skin or the water which, frankly, could have been scorching for all he knew.

Everything was too much. He never felt like this before. He practically relished in the small sensations the world brought wherever he went, his attention span being too small to measure without some kind of stimulus, but he just wanted it over with. He couldn't be bothered nervously glancing back behind him every 10 seconds to try and see if anyone was trying to ask anything from him or keeping his back firmly twisted away from them.

He just wanted things to be how they were before where he had a chance to screw up his grades by not paying proper attention as opposed to not even being in class to have the opportunity to do that. He didn't feel like himself hiding away. He never used to.

But all he could think of in that moment was needing to stop the heat. It felt as if he had a fever, his entire body ready to burst into flames, and he just wanted to twist the tap and instead of the heat be enveloped in ice cold water. At the very least it would distract him.

But he couldn't risk it hitting anyone else. Mineta was still next to him and there's no chance he'd get away with it. He wanted to run out. Leave. But he was sure somebody would follow up with him about that later. So he simply braced himself against the heat, listening to the sounds around him.

He didn't know how long it was before the first person turned off the shower, nor the 2nd. Nobody ever bothered with the time as long as it was under half an hour.

But Mineta was the third to turn off his and leave.

And It took approximately 2 nanoseconds of him being out of the stall before Kaminari twisted the tap.

If it wasn't for the still running showers around the room his sharp inhale would have been much more noticeable.

The change in the temperature was enough to distract him, but it came with the challenge of concealing his shivers. And no matter how hot or cold it was, it was still water and he still couldn't work out how to stop his quirk from misfiring.

He was freezing but it was okay. He at least no longer felt like he was about to burn up.

The cold was nearly enough to drown out everything around him as it seeped into his skin and stuttered his breathing. If he was honest, he didn't know how much it helped past a distraction but with how feverish he was feeling before, the hot hurt just as much as the cold.

He really had no idea how long he had been in there but slowly, one by one, all the showers began turning off and the door opening to let each boy out.

As soon as the last shower turned on and the door had closed after it, he lifted his hand back up to the tap and turned everything off. He wished he had just left earlier, but he couldn't think straight. Even once the water had shut off and he had calmed down, all he could do was wrap his towel around himself and rest his arms against the cool tiles.

"Kaminari?"

He was so shocked that even his shaking stopped briefly. He thought everyone had left already. But turning his head greeted him with a very worried looking face which he could hardly make out among the steam.

Kirishima had hoped he could talk to him after he was a little more relaxed after showering. So once the water turned off, he stayed behind as everyone filed out the room. He simply wanted to wait for him. But now it was almost difficult to do anything but stare.

It was obvious something was wrong, but he thought it was probably something like he was worried about school work or had been feeling unwell even then. Those are usually the things most obviously on his mind. But everything just seemed much deeper now.

He had never seen him collapse like that. He didn't use to cry if he was just frustrated and he was usually very open. So what was he trying to hide?

"Oh, hey. I thought you would have left."

Denki smiled at him, something which normally would have probably passed as natural but now it just worried him.

He took a couple steps forward to close the gap between them. He only stopped when he stepped on one of the tiles closer to Kaminari, ripping his feet away in surprise. A few drops of water was still gently running towards the drain and the ground was plain cold.

Looking back up, Kaminari had obviously attempted to stand back up and stop shivering from the air hitting his already cooled skin, but it wasn't exactly like the human body worked. Nobody could just stop feeling the cold.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah, all good." He answered, though even he could hear the crackle in his tone as he attempted not to cry.

Tears mixed well with water but his face was too dry now to hide it.

"Bro, you're scaring me."

"Sorry!" He redoubled his efforts to stay calm. "It's cool, you don't have to worry."

It would have been a bit more believable if he didn't flinch away when Kirishima reached out a hand.

"Sorry, my quirk is feeling a little off tonight. I just don't want to hurt you."

"It's okay. You can't hurt me!"

He smiled what he thought was a reassuring smile at him as he half hardened his hand and rested it on his shoulder, careful not to cut him.

It almost felt like he slightly leaned into the touch despite his apprehension. Everything about the situation still worried him.

He looked him over hand slowly softening as his eyes landed on his arms.

"What happened to your arms?"

Kaminari blushed, pulling his arms slightly tighter around his body. "It happens with my quirk sometimes. It doesn't really hurt anymore."

Well, that didn't seem like he was lying at least. But if he hadn't even noticed how off things were with him, maybe he was wrong there too. Anyway, neither a friend nor a hero would just let this all rest.

"Hey, get dressed and I'll meet you in your room, okay?"

Kaminari wasn't exactly planning on talking to anyone that night, but he also knew he couldn't just turn him down. So he nodded. He really was terrible at keeping secrets it seemed, whether his or someone else's. Well it wasn't like he had to be worried of Kirishima. But no conversation that starts with someone breaking down in a bathroom is going to be fun.


Kaminari had calmed down by the time he had gotten changed and the only thing that worried him was the forthcoming discussion. He really wasn't used to serious talks. Especially not about him. He much preferred random nonsense in which he could annoy Bakugo (it was a favourite past time of his.) But he wasn't going to get out of this.

So he simply opened up a bag of crisps and sat down opposite his friend.

Hey, it may have been a serious discussion, but he would still eat if he wanted to.

"What's up?"

Yeah that was a stupid question but he wasn't exactly looking for an answer either. He had offered Kirishima something to eat too but people seemed to keep turning down middle of the night snacks filled with oil. It was a mystery to him.

"What's wrong?"

“It’s nothing. Don't worry, okay?"

It upset him that his friend didn't want to talk to him. But it wasn't because he was hurt by it. He just wanted to help him and he couldn't very well do that like this.

He wasn't a person who was ever in denial about anything even if it was something bad, so he quickly understood what Bakugo had meant when he said that Kaminari wouldn't ask for help if he thought no one cared. At least not when it was serious. So he just had to make sure he knew somebody wanted to listen.

"You know Kaminari, I'm always here if you need to talk."

"Thanks, but honestly you don't need to worry. I'm fine."

"...Are you sure?"

He attempted to keep a reassuring look present in his eyes but he really couldn't and Kaminari's smile dropped as he realised just how far this had gone. People were genuinely scared for him now, his friends were probably more concerned about himself than he was. It wasn't right. He did not want anyone to worry for him.

He had always thought that talking to people about this would get ridicule or pity. Some of them already laughed when he overused his quirk, what would something like this sound like? Besides, he wasn't this type of person. He wanted to make people smile, he didn't want to see them dull down around him because they realised he had stuff going on.

But Kirishima was frowning because he hadn't opened up and that was already too much for him.

"Hey, can I ask you something?"

"Yeah.”

"What do you think of my quirk?"

It was such a stupid question, he knew that. It was like an unspoken rule to not ask anyone that or you'd just be let down or hurt.

"I think it's great! Why, what's wrong? Why are you asking?"

Of course Kirishima was never gonna say something mean.

"I've just been having a few issues with it is all."

"Really?"

He nodded. Other things were happening too but most of them he'd worked through already, at least partially. And the other things Aizawa knew about. But only Bakugo knew of direct issues with his quirk and as surprised as he was about how none judgemental he had been, he still wasn't exactly planning on unloading on him.

"Alright! We can work on that if that's the issue. You're coming back to class soon, right? I'll help you train it. Though others might be better suited for it, but I'll still help."

He had been really shocked recently at all the different responses people had given him. Kirishima acted excited at the prospect of working with him. He had never really been self conscious about what his friends thought of him, but hearing him enthusiastically offer to help was still a little unexpected.

But he also knew he wouldn't be able to help it only through training and his mind drifted back to the abandoned bottle he kept in his drawer.

"Thanks! I'm so sick of staying inside all day. It's been so boring! I never thought I'd say I'd rather be in class."

"Yeah." Kirishima said with a laugh. "It can be hard, but if it's what we have to do to make it as heroes, I'm always ready for it!" He grinned before raising his eyebrows. He was there for a reason. "Your quirk is amazing. It's suited for a hero! If you struggle with it, you can talk to me. A man should always be there for others."

He wasn't the smartest or the strongest in class for sure, but he knew about struggling with quirks and I he could make a difference to the person, then that's what he'd do.

“But it’s a little useless if I can’t use it properly.”

“Dude, I never knew you felt bad about your quirk.”

“I don’t really.” It was the most honest answer he could give. “But everyone is learning to get better and I can’t even control my quirk. Ah, I don’t get it. I’m not good under pressure, I don’t know how I’m supposed to keep up with all of you.”

He shrugged, falling back on the bed with his hands behind his head. He was getting a little tired so he didn’t have the same energy to feel bad about whatever he was saying as he would have earlier.

“Well, I feel like that sometimes.”

“Huh?”

“It’s hard to do everything. It feels like there’s always someone better than you. But it isn’t meant to be a race, is it? I at least want to work with all of our classmates, even if I don’t surpass them. All I can do is my best after all!”

He punched his palm, getting hyped up by what he was saying.

“Bro, you’re getting too into this.”

“Sorry.” He rubbed the back of his head once he realised. “But it was hard to get into UA, and it isn’t like I’m overly gifted. My quirk is rather less exciting than yours. So I will keep working on getting better and I will help you do so too.”

There certainly was a reason it seemed why Kirishima was friends with so many people in the class, much like Denki. He had a habit of inspiring people just by being so passionate. They were definitely different, but it wasn’t too surprising they got on so well. There were a few people who would always have your back no matter the situation, and Kirishima was one of them.

Kaminari smiled, before cutting himself off with a yawn. He hadn’t even noticed that it was rather late. Technically they weren’t supposed to be in each others rooms by that point, either. It had been a long day.

“Are you tired?”

“A little.”

“Yeah, me too.” He smiled. “Do you think we should go to bed now?”

“I don’t know. But Iida’s next door and I don’t want to deal with being told off again.”

It wasn’t that he didn’t like Iida, but sometimes he did feel he has to loosen up a bit.

“Yeah, you’re right. Okay. I’ll leave you alone then” He got up and walked over to the door before stopping and turning back. “See you tomorrow!”

The room became almost uncomfortably quiet once he left, but he didn’t feel bad about being alone that night. It simply left him with a lot to contemplate. He felt a little too filled with energy to just lie there though despite being exhausted and his first instinct was to walk over to his drawers.

The pills were still lying there, untouched, and every time he thought about them it just brought up so many fears within him. But he had over the last few weeks experienced what it was like to ignore his problems. He had hurt himself and made his friends worry, and as determined as he had been a few weeks earlier, all he could do by that point was wonder if any of it had been worth it.

He worried that it would be weird for a hero student to lock away part of their ability, but everyone around him had their limitations as well. He had almost forgotten that until he had just talked to him. Everyone struck him as confident and brave and he had just ignored everything else. But all that was really different with him was that be thought this might be a quick solution.

He didn’t know why he didn’t realise that was stupid before.

He grabbed the bottle and opened the lid, pouring a couple out onto his hand. It still sucked to think about how his own power was too dangerous to himself, so much that he couldn’t even use it at its full potential. But he had abandoned that idea, at least for the time being.

He simply through the pills into his mouth and swallowed them dry, not bothering to make the walk to his bathroom to get some water.

It took a few deep breaths for him to calm back down, still mildly angry about his own decision, but eventually everything settled. He could still feel his heart pounding, but he made an effort to get everything else done quickly as a means to ignore that, chucking the container back in the drawer, quickly brushing his teeth for definitely less than 2 minutes and jumping into bed.

It felt a lot warmer than it was after the cold shower but his skin quickly caught back up to its previous state of uncomfortable heat. He really didn’t know how much sleep he was going to get that night, but he already realised he would have a lot of stuff to clear up tomorrow. Well, distantly he realised.

That was not something he was going to think about that night.



Drawings (I'm adding descriptors as the drawings are black and white)

Excuse the awkward poses. I have no idea what to do with the human body.

Kioko

Brown hair, brown eyes, 23 yo

Test

Gin

Silver hair, electric blue eyes, 17 yo

(Yes, I'm giving him a Captain America hoodie. He's my character, so if I say he likes marvel he does. And I'm in a Marvel mood as I'm excited for Far From Home)

TestHope you like them :). Feel free to give me notes.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

"Hey, idiot, can you charge my phone?"

Somehow, Kaminari had managed to avoid any suspicion on his part that Saturday. Despite most of the class remaining at the dorms considering it was still morning, and how much quieter he has been while hardly even realising, mostly everyone else was occupied with their own thing.

Though, that was obviously not going to last forever, and soon, he had been dragged into conversations and joking around. It's not like he disliked it, but his mind was too preoccupied. He almost missed how Jirou had shoved her phone under his nose.

"Hey, why would you call me an idiot and then ask me a favour?!"

"Because you always say yes, anyway." She smirked.

There never was any venom in her tone, but it still made him pout.

And if he was frank, he didn't want to do it that day. He still felt unstable, and the taste of the pills the prior night was enough to make him feel sick.

Had he made a mistake? Should he have just left everything be? No quirk was completely unsuited to the owner, right? Even without the pills he should have been able to eventually handle it. So why couldn't he just get through it all? Why did he have to give in?

"Kaminari?"

He almost gasped slightly, her voice being a little bit shocking for him. She looked at him, waiting for an answer, but her eyes were now radiating a hint of genuine concern after his frown faded to real sadness which he forgot to fully hide.

"Oh come on, I'm not a walking power box."

"To be fair, you technical are." Sero chimed in, never one to miss out on using any means to keep the mood light.

"Well, I don't always want to be used as one."

"So you don't wanna?"

Kaminari knew that if he sincerely refused, Kyoka would back down. It wasn't exactly serious, and she did own her own charger. But there's a reason literally everyone came to him about this stuff.

There was something to be said for him always accepting to help them. And he really didn't want to make her feel bad or anything. So he simply reached a hand out and took the phone, pulling out his cable.

"You're all horrible. Charge them overnight."

"You need to just turn us down sometimes then."

"I for one think it's very noble of you, Kaminari, to always help your class out like this. But do always feel free to turn anyone down. It is up to you what you do after all."

"Yeah. Thanks Iida."

If Iida wasn't so damn earnest, he would have probably rolled his eyes. He really took something like being class president rather seriously and was basically zooming around everyone all day to make sure they were safe and just hyped everyone up even when it was really unnecessary.

It was just a phone after all, it wasn't anything worth thanking him for like that. But he wasn't going to be rude to him, especially when he was just being encouraging.

The next half an hour was mostly missed by Kaminari. Normally him charging phones would have not been a big deal, but lately precision with his power and output had been more complex than usual. So his attention drifter from the conversation he was half a part of and to the little bar on the phone showing just how far along the battery was.

"Oh, I was going to go out, but it's starting to rain."

"Wha' "

In his sudden surprise, a spark bounced off the end of the wire where it touched his skin as his head snapped up, speech slightly slurred from the cord still hanging out of his mouth.

"Crap! Sorry Jirou."

Before she had a chance to stab him with her jacks or something, he managed to look at her phone and checked that it did indeed still work.

"It's fine, it's not broken." The power cord had disconnected as he dropped it from his lips, and it remained at 87%. Not wanting to put it back in his own trust, he handed it back to its owner. "Here, is this good enough?"

"Yeah thanks." She took it, checking for herself that he didn't break it before relaxing again.

It took a moment of guilt over almost breaking his friend's phone before he shook it off and glanced over to the windows where Yaoyorozu was still sitting with her legs crossed.

It was odd. Knowing it was raining, the sounds of the drops as the water got heavier and heavier became incredibly apparent, but he still doubted he'd have noticed were it not for someone pointing it out. The closer he got to the window, the more he could focus on how the droplets hit the glass.

It wasn't a storm. No thunder alerted him of the prospect of lightning. It was just rain. But it still brought him a sense of unease.

"Hey, I'll just go see how bad it is, one minute."

He didn't even make it more than 2 steps before confusion was clear among his class.

"What? Can't you tell from the window?"

"Kaminari, I really wouldn't recommend that. You might catch a cold."

"It's okay, I'll be fine."

"Is this your way of trying to get sick leave from studying?" Sero teased.

"Is that what you think of me?"

"A little."

"Gee, thanks."

"What do you expect, if you're dumb enough to go out in the rain."

Bakugo was close to glaring a hole in his skull and he had to fight not to cower back. Yeah, they were friends, but he doubted even Kirishima could stand that stare without being a little humbled by it even with how close they were.

"It's cool, the dorms are right here, I can just come right back in."

If anyone else said anything, he didn't hear it, as he practically sprinted the few metres to the door.

"I wonder why he's so curious about the rain."

As loud and out there as he was, few people seemed to be able to tell when something was wrong with him. Little flinches meant nothing when some of them already knew he sometimes panicked during distress. It's always odd how much people can notice of a person once they latch onto information about them.

It was annoying enough to Bakugo that he genuinely cared. But he was one of the few people who actually knew whatever the hell was going on with him, and it just felt like an itch when there was something he should be doing.

He waited for about a minute, staring at the door he had ran out of, before almost subconsciously, he had turned to face Todoroki. He really was a hard person to read. It didn't seem like he was thinking of anything until he noticed him looking and the passive look he carried seemed just a little more intense than Bakugo originally thought.

All he really could do was glare at him. He had no intention to go out in the rain, but someone had to go get that idiot before he electrocutes himself and cuts off the entire dorm's electricity.

But he wasn't a damn telepath. He couldn't just look at his classmates and let them know 'you gonna do something about this?' So he was only mildly frustrated that he was met with a half concerned blank stare.

Kirishima was a trustworthy friend and if he thought something was seriously wrong or a secret, he'd keep it all to himself. It's noble and all. But because of course he didn't know the severity of how much of an idiot Kaminari was, and how he ignored the idea that pills existed for a damn reason, it wasn't hard to find out why he returned to his room so much later than everyone else.

Katsuki was also tempted to kick someone's ass considering that waiting to ask him meant he stayed awake well past his usual schedule.

But if he reacted that strongly to showering, water couldn't exactly be good for him.

Why does he bother with any of this?

He didn't say a word as he got up and headed over to the door.

"Hey, where are you going?"

"I'm gonna go drag him in before he short circuits the entire campus."

"What do you mean? He may not have the best grades but he knows how not to use his quirk when he doesn't want to, right?"

No response mattered. He simply closed the space between himself and the door and slipped through it, still standing underneath the building to avoid soaking through.


 

Truth was, he liked the rain. Usually even just listening to the sound of the falling drops was a helpful way for him to calm down and get his often frantic thoughts targeted to one single thing.

Normally being out in it would not have caused any issues either, though lightning was a different matter, naturally. Lately however, even the water scared him. Having it touch him felt like a sure fire way to induce sparks and pain which he so deeply wanted to avoid.

It didn't matter that over the course of using painkillers it dulled his senses. Since not being on them, everything felt doubled.

But he was also curious. How would the rain effect him now that he had given in and taken the medication? Would he still be hurt by it? Would it take longer for everything to readjust?

Most of the time he'd leave those questions unanswered. He didn't wanna risk pain to understand no matter how intrigued he was.

But so much has changed and as simple as it is, he doesn't want to have to limit the weather in which he can go outside too.

Which left him standing at the foot of Heights Alliance, tiny specks of rain practically sticking to his skin. The temperature was still warm so the water was almost a welcome sensation.

It was almost hard to notice the faint pain it still left as it left streaks down his face, his arms, all of his body.

The calming white noise of the drops hitting the ground helped clear his mind. Things had been getting better from the outlook when he wasn't on the pills. The adderall still helped him focus and while he wasn't exactly going to be a genius compared to the others, the top 5 in class were still a bit intimidating, he had consistently been finding it easier to land at least 18th in class instead of 20th and generally just had more understanding in topics.

But his quirk....heroes were meant to risk their lives. So why was it so hard for him to put up with a little pain and frustration if it meant helping others who needed it and making a name for himself?

Was that selfish in a way? He wanted to help people, but he also wanted to be appreciated for his quirk, his abilities.

So maybe, no matter what he did, everything would end up with him acting for his own good sometimes.

He stood like that for a minute before lifting his chin up to look at the sky and opening his mouth.

"What the fuck are you doing?"

He jumped, being caught incredibly off guard by the voice in the doorway.

"Bakugo, what are you doing?"

"Answer me first, dumbass. Were you just tasting the rain?"

"Well...not really. I was just curious."

"What about?"

"I just....I heard about stuff like acid rain, y'know. And was just checking if...I could tell or something."

The look Bakugo gave him was halfway between "how the actual hell are you so stupid?" And "why the hell did I come out here just to listen to him talk shit?"

"Firstly, that's not how it fucking works, secondly, your instinct to check if something is dangerous is to put it in your mouth?"

"Well I didn't think it would be dangerous! Like, I didn't expect it to ACTUALLY hurt, I was just...wondering if it might. Some things need to be tested."

"...I have no clue how the hell you've survived this long."

"Hey! Don't tell me you've never done anything dumb."

"No."

"Oh come on dude."

There really was never a point in arguing with him. Bakugo would ignore it or get angry if people started something with him, but Kaminari...was rather persistent. Even over something stupid, he would not let up if he were to continue it. Why did he even put up with him? That probably was the dumbest thing he ever has done, hanging around with all of them for whatever reason.

"Just come in before I lock you out."

"You can't even do that! Only teachers can lock up, can't they?"

"I'll find a way."

"Is my mere existence so pertinent to you that you'd go through gratuitous effort to get me to do what you want?"

"Don't try and sound smart now. I just caught you drinking the rain, no matter how many words you pull out of your ass you won't convince me you aren't hopeless. Now come on."

Kaminari stared at his back for a few seconds before sprinting up to him.

"Geez, why are you so harsh?"

It wasn't a surprise that he didn't answer and just shoved the door handle in his hand. He didn't say anything until they were both in and away from the door. Only then did he stop and lock eyes with him.

"You're lucky I didn't need to go physically grab you or you'd answer as to why I'd be caught in the rain."

"What?! How would that be my fault?"

"Just go get changed. You're soaking wet and I can't be bothered listening to another lecture by glasses about respecting school property when you get it everywhere."

It was only when he walked away from him that he started to feel what he meant. He was only out in the rain for like 2 minutes, but with how heavy the water poured and not wearing a jacket, he didn't have a single part of his body not sodden.

He sighed before his mind alerted him of something and he dug through his pockets in mild panic.

Forgetting things wasn't new to him but he really wished he'd have remembered the fact that his phone was in his pocket before he stood outside in the rain.

Thankfully, when he found it, it didn't seem to have taken any damage. The screen lit up easily and swiping the lock screen away, he was greeted by his apps.

But unlike usually when he'd ran through a bunch of games before finding on the spend the next few minutes on until inevitably getting bored, he hesitated opening his contacts.

Aizawa had said he should contact him if anything came up. But that would mean admitting to something even more disappointing than anything he's previously known of him.

He tapped the back of his phone with his index finger as he thought about it, as a droplet rolled down from his hair, landing on the screen.

Stopped his movements, he turned off the screen and put it away in his pocket. It could wait until he got dressed, right?



Aneko

Chapter Text

People could have easily judged Kaminari as being the sort of person to put off anything that didn't involve the attitude "I bet we won't die if we do this, right?" But that really was not the case. Stuff that he outright hated or was scared of were the things he tried to avoid. And trying to call up his teacher just to admit he made a...nother mistake was not gonna be fun for anyone.

Why was it so difficult when he always put himself out there to make friends even at risk of being laughed at?

Aizawa was not as scary as he looked when he used his quirk once his class already got to know him (and the fact that Denki may have managed a little extra sleep in class when the teacher couldn't be bothered to stay awake just for textbook work was definitely a plus). But going to a pro hero and openly admitting that it wasn't enough for him to need medication so he doesn't fry his nerves anymore, but also that he ignores the instructions of a medical professional, was enough to make him feel like a dissapointment.

He could hardly feel the light pressure of the phone pressed against his palm as he rested. Yet, he knew if he squeezed his fingers around it, he would risk pain shooting up his arms. Electric shock damage always healed quickly with him. But how could it, when he didn't give it time to? When he just didn't give his body enough of a break to recover from the volts circling his body.

"Dammit." He groaned, pulling the screen to himself. "How the heck am I supposed to text a teacher?"

Who was ever formal in a text message? Most of his consisted of random misspellings because he sent them too quickly to check and make them accurate and A+ (according to him) jokes that just ended up confusing everyone of his classmates who weren't named Mina, Sero, or Bakugo (though that latter was mostly just too pissed off at not being able to accurately call them out on their idiocy if he didn't understand what they were saying and made an effort to pick some stuff up. He puts way too much effort into insulting everyone he meets, if you ask Kaminari.)

Opening up to Aizawa's contact, he spent a good few minutes debating how to actually sound appropriate when texting. It was difficult to figure out whether even just starting with 'hey' was acceptable.

"Ah well." He shrugged, deciding differently in the end and ringing him up.

For how unenthused he seemed most of the time, to his credit, Aizawa answered rather quickly

"Kaminari?"

"How did you know it was me, sir?"

"I have all of my students numbers. Is this important or are you wanting to ask something I'd just say no to straight away?"

"No, it's.." he paused for a moment, thinking whether there's any chance of phrasing what he wants to say as a closed question, before settling on no. "Yeah, it's important. Is that okay?"

"Of course. What do you need to talk to me about?"

He was so impulsive. Even when he spent time wondering how to respectfully address a teacher in text, he never bothered to consider how he'd actually talk to him about  his situation.

"I guess....well..."

"Kaminari, would you prefer talking in person?"

"Yes!"

That was a lot better. He didn't know why, but he always felt more comfortable looking people in the eyes when talking to them. Other people disagreed, he knew. They found talking face to face harder. But he kind of just felt more confident among people.

"Alright, I can head over to see you."

"But it's the weekend."

"Luckily for you I have some papers to grade anyway so I'm feeling like I'll need to be a little more productive today anyway."

He didn't sound like he felt more productive. But did he ever?

"Thanks, sir!"

"Sure. Just think about what you want to say, I'll be over soon."

"Okay."

Hanging up, he thought about what he had said. Think through what he wants to say? What did he want to say? Not winging it was hardly ever his style unless he had screwed up already and needed to think.

It was about the pills. It wouldn't be hard to make some kind of joke about it, right?

But that would have probably been a waste of time considering the topic was more serious. He probably had to just be honest with him.

Any attempt to plan something quickly went out the window and he resorted to playing games on his phone until there was a knock at the door.

"Yeah hold on."

He got up, opening the door to find his teacher standing their, usual demeanour making him seem serious and worn out all at once.

Does he only have one set of clothes? Yeah that definitely is not an appropriate thing to say to him.

Even after having some time to calm down, he still didn't know how he should explain stuff. After closing the door, he simply gestured to the chair at his desk. He probably should have cleaned some of the stuff away from there.

"You can sit down, sir."

"Are you feeling better, Kaminari?"

It was a lot harder to simply respond with a concise answer after everything. He never wanted to bother people but at the same time he just couldn't avoid it. They were gonna be bothered by him regardless of his intentions. There's absolutely no way to always get on with everybody and the fact that he managed to be friends with both pretty much all the girls in the class and Mineta at the same time should probably be enough of an achievement on its own.

Only half aware of what he was doing and not meeting his teachers eyes fully for another 10 seconds, he scratched at the back of his neck.

"Sir, do you know...well, my medical records?"

"Yes, I have access to them. Is something wrong?"

His time hardly changed from monotony but it was still evident that there was concern behind his questions.

"No, it's all fine now. But I suppose I probably should have mentioned some things before. They didn't really seem important."

His demeanor was off putting to Aizawa. Not because it was frustrating or upsetting, but because when the boy who made him nearly regret the dorm idea because he thought it a good idea to test out the extent of the microwaves abilities (to his credit, he didn't put any metal in it. Just everything else that should never be inside a microwave) was acting so solemn and serious, something was undoubtedly wrong on at least some level.

"Kaminari, I'm your teacher, if there's something bothering you it's best if you tell me."

"Yeah but you're scary when you're angry."

He laughed. It was odd being so casual with him and usually he would have never said that but he was just beating around the bush.

"I'm not going to get angry if you talk to me."

Did he even have a choice? There was a reason he called him. This was not it. The plan was not just to sit there and, for once in his life, shut up. He couldn't just avoid it anymore.

"I haven't been taking my prescription like I was meant to."

Aizawa knew what he was talking about. As irritated as he may have sometimes seemed, he paid strong attention to the class. To how everyone acted and behaved. He could even understand the most confusing people under his tutelage with something akin to ease.

But to think Kaminari would be so worried about talking to him made him concerned. It meant there was more to his abandoning his pills than just forgetfulness or ignorance.

"Is something going on I need to be aware of?"

"Not really. I just..."

It's a horrible feeling he tried so hard to avoid acknowledging. The feeling of people your age, your skill level, some with fewer natural abilities or gifts than you, surpassing you every which way you turn.

In intelligence. In composure. In power. Everything seemed to be a blur of motion as everyone around him grew stronger and better and all he could do was screw up taking some stupid pills.

"Everybody has made sacrifices to improve and I just felt like I could be doing more."

It didn't miss Aizawa that his student we avoiding meeting eyes.

"That's why your power output increased so much then." It wasn't a question but Kaminari still nodded in reply. "I never hesitate to expel anyone I believe is unfit for hero work. All keeping them on would do is provide false hope to a generation following them who would undoubtedly ignore all the injuries that come with it that hurt all the more if you aren't cut out to be one. The bruises heroes get in this line of work would amplify to lacerations, concussions, and often fatal incidences. They'd be praised and admired and children like you would look up to them, but all I'd see is a death I could have avoided were it not for unnecessary sentiment towards unreachable dreams."

It was true, Aizawa may have usually been low key in sentimental stuff. But that didn't mean always getting around expressing things.

"You passed the entrance exam, but that proves nothing. Many who are better than you failed it. But your thinking is shallow and superficial if being the best is all that ever matters, so much so that you throw away your own mind by doing something stupid. I dislike the ideal of a hero. But I have to admit, there is a sense of gratification that's meant to come from being one. Being self centred to an extreme is never good. But if you go too far the other way, you'll end up not taking anything away from any of your experiences. Outside of your power and the potential of it, I kept you on the course despite your consistent lack of effort in some classes because you seemed to have the perfect balance between desire to reach a great height and understanding that the purpose of a hero may very well simply be to not allow people to get hurt. It's a shame you can't stretch that same attitude to yourself. If I had known your resolve was this weak, my choice in keeping all of you on may have changed."

Forgetting his nerves, Kaminari looked up, eyes wider than he realised. He wasn't going to....was he?

"Tell me Kaminari, what does being a hero mean to you?"

"Huh?"

He hadn't thought about that much. Who would have thought the usually monotonous, mostly emotionless teacher would be the one asking him that? Why would anyone ask anyone that?

His reasons for being a hero were more clear. Cute girls, because he looked up to his sister who was practically a nurse in a way, helping people. But saying to save people just sounded...lame. It felt more like a cop out, even though it was one of his reasons. Why was he trying to constantly come up with something meaningful and cooler?

The only thought that popped into his head as he tried was of the people he had met on the street all those years ago. To Aneko. They had been so nice to him even if they didn't know him. There was a reason he was so friendly to everyone. If he wasn't so curious, those people would not have done to cause him to interact with them. They didn't stand out at all.

"I guess...I want people to be able to trust me if they feel that they need somebody. If I stood out from the crowd and people thought I was cool, maybe they'd be happier coming up to me and trusting me."

He sounded way too sincere to his own ears.

"And is lying and pretending you aren't hurting yourself the best way to gain their trust?"

"No?"

Aizawa sighed, half biting back a groan. "You're not a bad kid. Your potential is as much as anyone's. But if you never bother to actually think about your reasons, then you'll be in trouble. If your medication would have been a problem, I'd have talked to you about it way earlier. Not taking it is what alerted me to keep my attention on you. Understood?"

How many times had he even blinked? Kaminari completely forgot to and his eyes were dry as he stared at him. Why didn't this feel like a telling off? What was he doing?

"Yes sir."

"Is there anything else you want to say?"

He bowed his head again. "You didn't really tell me what happened to Aneko. Just that she was fine."

Of course she'd be on his mind.

"I gave her a chance to help people without breaking the law. I can't say much as I'm not sure how she's getting on but she's not a bad person so there's no reason for me to punish her."

Denki's mood lightened almost immediately. "Thank you sir."

"It's up to her now whether she follows the agreement." He stood up. "I expect you back in class on Monday. Take your pills and try your best."

"Okay."

At that moment he remembered something and suddenly felt scared again. His doctors appointments. They were restarting tomorrow.

"Wait, does this mean I can leave the dorms now?"

"As long as someone knows where you're going or you have knowledge of one of the teachers that it's a private matter, yes."

"...I see. Thank you."

"You sound unhappy."

"Nope! Just thinking."

"Alright. I'll see you in class."

Kaminari barely heard the door close.

That was one task down. Now....how was he going to explain this situation to his family?

Chapter Text

"Aneko?"

As much as he knew he probably shouldn't, her place was on the way. Or at least it wasn't much of a detour. Not having seen her for a while, he really did miss her. It was always simple for him to find comfort with people, but letting them go was different.

So yes, he decided to check up on her before he went to his appointment.

But he didn't get what he hoped for.

No voice responded to his call. The house, if he could call it that, was empty and for the first time, he realised just how lonely and cold the entire atmosphere of the room felt without the warmth of her possessions or the kindness of her smile as he walked through the door.

How had he never properly seen that before? Why was everything so much more clear now, something he only thought of in passing previously, becoming so much more evident?

Was she even okay?

He didn't bother to keep his smile on his face, but didn't let himself look sad. She clearly moved somewhere. If she was in danger, her things would still be around.

So why did this feel so off?

Change wasn't especially rough for him, he was used to it and took things in stride. But once something seems so set in stone, not having that work in the expected way made his body feel cold. Opening the door and not seeing the odd warmth that she provided in the dull room was scary.

Where would she have gone? He hadn't seen her since the night at the dorms. The last time they saw each other, he had been a mess. Even with the knowledge that she must be fine, the thought that he left everything like that hurt him.

But even after everything, for the most part he tried to remain a positive person. He didn't even need to attempt to convince himself that he would see her again.

It felt off, leaving the room without a goodbye, but he had somewhere to be.


The walk to the facility seemed a lot longer than usual, and frankly, he wasn't sure whether it was because of nerves or if he genuinely walked slower. Either way, he definitely did stop in front for a minute as opposed to simply pushing the door open like always.

It only then occurred to him that he hardly thought about what he would even say. He had been so consumed by worrying over saying anything, he just...forgot.

Why was this so difficult? He would usually never hesitate.

No. It's okay. He's talkative anyway but it's easy to rile himself up if he tries. He just has to not try.

It feels like whenever he forgot to study or do an assignment and he had to tell his teacher that. Except he could handle that, unless it was an exam or part of his grade, all it would get him was some harsh words and maybe extra work. It wouldn't hurt him in the long run.

But this was his health and he screwed it up. And now he has to go and tell the people who were trying to help him.

Well, no getting around it, he thought as he walked in.

The walk through the corridors was surprisingly silent, and he had allowed himself to hope a little that it'd be like that until he got to where he wanted to go. It was the first time he knew that he truly wished for silence. However, of course that wasn't the case, as Kioko ran to him as soon as she laid eyes on where he stood.

"Hey Denki! You're early."

It wouldn't have been good to let his disappointment show, so he avoided it. "Yeah. I wanted to talk with Gin a bit. Is he here?"

"What, you don't want to talk to me?"

"Huh?" Crap, did he upset her? He really should have said hi before. "Oh, that's not what I meant."

She smiled brightly, placing a hand on his shoulder and rubbing it gently. Him and Gin were closer, it wasn't a surprise. "I'm just kidding. Yes, he's in his room. Remember, your appointment is in an hour, okay?"

"Yes, thanks."

"I will still catch up with you later! I haven't seen you in almost a month, you know."

"Got it!"

She waved him away, heading back to do some work.

Well that was one obstacle done. Although, why he wanted to avoid her so strongly was a half mystery to him. He liked her enough, after all.

It wasn't like he had a lot of time to ponder it. Gin's room really wasn't that far away from where he ran into his sister.

The door took a few seconds to open after he knocked on it and when it did, he looked about as confused as Kioko.

"Huh. I wasn't expecting you for at least another half an hour."

"Why is everyone so surprised I'm here early?"

"Y'know, I'm gonna ignore that and start keeping a calender of all the times you were late for when you ask this question again."

That was...fair enough. Punctuality wasn't his greatest skill. Not his greatest weakness either, admittedly.

"I always turn up though."

"I don't think you understand how appointments work." He said with a wry smile.

The two walked back into his room, with the elder instantly resuming what he had been doing before the intrusion and settling back down on the bed.

His bedroom always seemed to change whenever he went there. Just minor things, like little drawings he made on the wall while he was restless, or paper cranes hanging from the ceiling. In a mostly plain room, it gave it a lot of life.

Kaminari looked round at it all, taking the seat at his desk instead and tapped his fingers on the table. Not exactly discreetly as it was almost without a beat.

"What's up?"

"A lot."

Lying was stupid. There was no point anymore.

"Well, I have time."

The tapping persisted, slowly developing a clock like rhythm. It took a few moments, but the speed, the almost subconscious tip tap, it felt as if he could feel his heart pounding. Or he'd think that, except his heart was fine. It wasn't going to burst out of his chest, it wasn't going to randomly stop. And he felt better physically than he had for so many days that month.

Yet he was still somehow scared.

"Kami, you good?"

"Yeah I'm fine. I kind of just screwed up a bit?" He said with a shakey laugh.

"More than usual? Is someone hurt?"

"No, I jus-Wait, what do you mean more than usual?"

"I was just joking." He smiled. "But seriously, is something actually wrong?"

Whatever was written on his face can't be flattering. Not when it prompts jokes to die out between people.

Maybe it could help. It doesn't matter what prompts it, he has to kind of come clean to someone eventually.

This was going to be a convoluted explanation, considering he's a little confused of stuff himself. He'd better get started.



"There we go. Got through it!"

He was about a moment away from literally clapping himself on the back before he stopped himself. He always rambled. It was the issue with any literary assignments at school too. The teachers give a maximum length, he'll take forever to start writing it doing literally everything he can think of to avoid it, once he actually starts he'll go on for 30 pages, half of which won't make any sense, he'll attempt to sort it out, completely and utterly screw it up, then feel frustrated about all the time he spent on it just to fail.

But one thing he seemingly didn't have to worry about was Gin's reaction. During his explanation, the expression on his face hardly changed, and by the time he was done, anything he did feel and could have shown was already over.

Now he just stared back at him, leaning his weight on his arms outstretched behind him. Nothing he said surprised him. It wasn't that he expected it or anything, but he understood it too much for it to be shocking. It was easy to understand the need to get away from all that crap, to just not take the medicine if he thought his power could be handled without it.

"So you're back on the pills now?"

"Yeah. I hate to say it, but maybe I don't have as much control as I thought."

"I know the feeling."

There was no tension in the room, but his smile still seemed more soft and sad instead of what a smile should be. There was no person in the world who was completely emotionless. Feeling empty and scared may replicate it for a while, but there's always some way to work through that and all people could hope for was that once those feelings vanished, they'd be thrown out on the positive side of the spectrum.

However, it wouldn't help to feel bad now. He could easily tell him what he knew everyone else would say, and probably had said before. That it's stupid, that it's dangerous, that there's always a reason for medicine that's prescribed. But all that do is make him a hypocrite. He was never the best at reading people, but what he did know is that if their circumstances were swapped around, Gin maybe would have done the same as a prospective hero. Kaminari really didn't need another person telling him he's an idiot, even he could tell that much.

"Well, hey. No one was hurt, right? Not really. And you're okay now too. So you don't need to worry anymore."

"I know. But...like, what am I meant to say to them?"

There was no clarification needed for who he meant by them. Gin he was not worried about at all. He was easy going and generally level headed, a lot more do than him. It'd be hard to make him angry or get him to overthink anything. He was always straightforward in his thought processes. If Kaminari needed a freak out from somebody, he'd be the wrong person to go to, but as it stood, he was the closest person he could find to someone understanding his situation.

"Maybe just be honest?"

"How?"

"Well...tell them why you thought this was best? You aren't the first person they had to deal with here, you know. I think the issue is you've always been kind of an attention seeker."

"Hey! What do you mean?"

"You want to stand out, right? Be flashy and all. I'm not saying it as a bad thing, but maybe it means when something bad is happening, you forget that you aren't the only one that thing must have happened to before."

"....huh?"

How was he even supposed to phrase that?

"You see all the positives in everyone you can, so you end up forgetting this world is full of mistakes and stuff. But I'm not judging you, so why do you automatically assume they would?"

He was right. He knew that. It didn't matter what kinds of quirks or abilities everyone else had, he only properly worried about his own, thinking that everyone had theirs under control.

But thinking it through so deeply only made him spiral, something he wasn't used to so he had exactly zero ways to know how to deal with it.

Dammit! Why was he panicking suddenly? Even though the advice was accurate, it was dawning on him that all he could do was wait out the time until he had to go in and talk to them.

Gin, who had laid down on his back as his mild panic escalated, seemed to be starting to realise just how worried he was and sat up.

"Denki, relax, okay? Look, what are you so worried about?"

"They'll be angry and everything." He said, started to scratch at his wrists again, needing to do something with his hands.

"Wow, your nails are getting long."
 
"What?"

His fingers stopped moving and he raised them in front of his face. He wasn't exactly a vain person but he did usually put effort into his appearance. And his attention was easily caught, so it was distracting for all of about 10 seconds.

On the other hand, for Gin, straightforward and logical meant he was also a little less tactful and sensitive to stuff. He wasn't cold, but having spent most of his time with only a few people, sometimes he had a warped idea of what things were to be taken how seriously. He mostly relied on his feeling of guilt. Which meant he tended to make a lot of mistakes as he'd only then realise if they were actually bad.

It was rather quick that he felt uncomfortable at how he changed the subject.

"Sorry." He said uncomfortably. "That doesn't matter. But seriously, listen. They can't exactly do much. At worst they'll be disappointed."

"Well, I don't want them to be."

Okay, this was getting out of hand. He was acting oddly for himself, and Gin really didn't want Kaminari to get more hurt because of some stupid pills.

They were rather different people but you cannot grow up in a house with the human personification of sunshine and not feel a little protective of them.

"Kami. Just calm down, you don't have to say anything to them."

"What?"

"I assume they can't make you. Your medical experience is all up to you to mention. So, I mean, you can screw up and all but it's still all your choice whether you tell them or not. Chill, okay? If you don't want to say anything about it, no one can force you."

"But they'll ask."

"Yeah, probably....but even if the medicine is important, it's still kind of up to you, is it not? You're taking it now, right? Don't feel like you have to force yourself to discuss a mistake you've already learned from."

"But...." his voice had grown a lot softer. "I...don't know what I want."

It was frustrating to admit that. He's 16. He really should have a better handle or even just knowledge of his own quirk and ideas.

Gin sighed. "Well, my quirk is a disaster of human safety, and you managed to get into UA with yours. Sorry, Kami, but I guess mine is a little different to yours. I can't really give much advice."

He flopped back down on the bed, staring at the plain white ceiling. Quirks were odd. They were parts of people picked purely by genetics, and yet sometimes, no matter the genes shared by the family, the power of the offspring would be unsuited to them. As much as he liked messing with people, he wasn't proud of his power. He'd rather have none. Quirks were always a bit overrated to him, at least to those who do not wish for one outside of the necessary 'I can't wait to see what I can do' reactions of little children.

Kaminari had always intrigued him about that. He was so keen to use his electricity for everything his mind could imagine. Even through everything, his lack of confidence in his quirk stemmed from his difficulty controlling it as opposed to the ability itself. Yet he weirdly never really judged him.

It's an odd thing living in a societal circumstance so different to what most people assume as the norm. They tend to think the world is split in 2, from what little he's seen. Those who admire quirks and praise people based on them, and those who despise the idea that humanity has become so shallow.

But him? He didn't fit in either.

As distanced as he had been before in his life from all sorts of communities, he could see people of all kinds. On TV, out on the street just passing by him, even just the few memories from before he was brought there.

As far as he saw, if a good person got a bad or harmful quirk, they'd avoid its usage or do everything they could to turn it to positive use. And vice versa, it's dangerous. A villain with a quirk perfect for doing good could easily twist a seemingly awesome ability and make people scared of the power itself as opposed to the person.

Humanity had become dependant on superhumans but at the end of the day, human beings do not change too much. He didn't view quirks in general as an issue. It was more like the new section of judgement being opened up based on what type of existence is acceptable that was stupid to him.

But Kaminari really was one of those people who he would have trusted with an ability himself, even with the knowledge that he'd struggle to control it. It all depends on the person, doesn't it? And Kaminari wasn't gonna just become an aggressive idiot because he had a hard time adjusting what he used his quirk for.

So if he wanted to talk, who was he to try and taint his idea of quirks because he drew a short straw with how his intentions clashed with his power's natural ability?

"...Can I ask you something?"

"Sure."

"What do you honestly think I should do?"

That was the question he clearly wanted to know. Even if Gin on average was terrible at suggesting stuff, even if the situation hit too close to home, he wanted to know what he thought. Not what he thought would make him feel better, but his actual opinion.

Of course. He probably knows people who could distract him or make him feel better elsewhere, Gin realised. The entire point is BECAUSE it's close to home for him. He really was looking for advice. So he'd give it to him.

"I think you should tell them. Like you did with me. They won't be angry or anything."

That, to him, was clearly the correct option. He didn't want to force him or make him feel pressured after realising just how anxious he was, but the option was still the right one.

Denki smiled, despite still clearly being scared. "Alright. Got it."

He sat up straight and looked over his brother. Growing up around him, he'd gotten used to loud and kinda obnoxious. It was putting him on edge seeing him so subdued. Still, even with the context of the discussion, he couldn't help but laugh.

"That's all fine, but even so. You've known me most of your life, you should know I'm not the best to come to for serious stuff."

"I don't know, you have this weird kind of mysterious vibe about you. I don't know if you're hiding something."

"You are ridiculous."

"Oh come on. I just wanted some help." He moaned.

"Yeah but as I said, why did you come to me? Kioko is a lot better at this stuff than me."

"Maybe. But she has spent so long here I was scared she wouldn't understand not following medical suggestions. I didn't want to make her feel bad."

That was something he could understand. If either of them were fully truthful, neither would choose to live in the place like she did if they had full choice in the matter and a place to go. It wasn't that they weren't sentimental at all, but the only real draw were the people who they could visit. Which is partly why Kaminari was excited to go live in dorms. Well, that and TV shows very much misrepresenting how awesome dorm life would be.

Besides, Gin at his core was also just a teenage boy with a lot of nonsense on his mind. But he did wish he had better comments for him. It was almost embarrassing how relieved and proud he was of himself when he thought of something helpful.

"Hey. What about anyone from UA? Surely there are people who know what this type of quirk is like?"

"This type of quirk?"

"Well, I suppose the best term would be self inflicting."

"At UA?" Well, every quirk did have a kick back in some form. But he really was not a judgemental person so he hardly took notice of their flaws unless he had to. "I don't really know who I'd ask."

"What about that boy from the sports festival? The one who broke his hands and everything. And then started yelling some stuff at his opponent until he almost burnt down the stadium, which was odd."

"Midoriya?"

He hadn't really thought much about him. Of course there was no animosity between them, they talked and everything, but they usually just weren't in the same circles. Thankfully, as the class was a little frustrated with his and Bakugo's yelling matches. Seriously, if they were not underage, somebody would have started a drinking game based on them 2. Probably him or Mina, to be blunt.

"Do you not get on?"

"It's not that. I just never thought of him."

"I dunno, you're the only one here to know him. But maybe he could be a bit more helpful with some stuff."

He definitely wasn't wrong. Kaminari almost debated how he didn't think of it sooner before his brain settled on a different thought.

"I forgot you watched the sports festival." He said, voice slightly more mumbled than his usual tone.

Gin all but giggled. "Yeah. Do you even remember anything from it?"

"I'm missing like an hour spread out across the day. I can't remember the wait between the cavalry battles and the one on ones or right after I went up against Shiozaki. It's not really missing, just a bit blurry."

"Well, it was fun to watch you get annihilated."

"Hey, her quirk was perfect against mine! She basically had insulated hair."

"And even before using your quirk you practically short circuited just from seeing a pretty girl, right?"

Okay, that was a more comfortable topic for him. It elicited a much more happy smirk than the previous minute of discussion.

"She was cute, right? All the girls at UA are."

"Yeah I saw. But, I mean, Kami, I'm once again the last person who you should go to about this."

"Aww, dude, why don't you wanna talk about anything?"

"Oh, you can feel free to ramble on about the cute girls at school if you like. It's funny seeing how excited you get."

"I'd feel weird doing it now that I know you don't care."

Gin held back an eye roll, instead sitting up and moving over to his drawers.

"Oh hey, look what I learned!"

He took out a lighter, and held it up in front of himself. As he tried to get the flame to appear, it sparked a few times before a warm orange glowed from the top.

After focusing on something, it didn't take much to work out what he meant, as a rush of oxygen from below created a missile of flame shooting up towards the ceiling.

The only issue? It happened to catch one of his decorations in its path. While it was only partially burnt and the fire immediately fizzled out, there was still the smoke detector to worry about.

"Oh cra-"

It gave one single beep before Kaminari shut it down with a bolt of lighting.

After that, the room seemed a lot more silent than it was before. The 2 boys just stared at the broken equipment as the ashes of what little had burned of the paper decore floated down over their heads.

"You know, I'm not sure that was 100% legal, Kami."

"I guess we'll say it was an accident?"

"That's one hell of a well aimed accident."

Okay, that's fair. But destroying a fire alarm probably was not...well appreciated.

"Sorry."

"It's okay. But if I die from a fire before we can replace it, I'm blaming you." He said as he threw himself against his headboard.

"Maybe just stop setting fires in your room?"

"That's no fun. Now here you go." Gin chucked one of his remotes at Denki who caught it and instantly made to move over to the bed. It was weird how used to it they both were. "I won't just let you beat me in games."

Chapter Text

Whenever the most social person in a group, family, a workplace, or anything, starts going quiet, it’s incredibly rarely not a sign of something bad. Unless there’s some kind of surprise party or anything of that sort and they’re trying to avoid giving it away, it’s usually just a signal that they have something way too big and distracting on their minds.

It wasn’t unusual to see Kaminari fidget, but it was to see him do it out of nerves in such a casual circumstance. It had been happening more and more frequently over the last few weeks, but of course, seeing him for the first time in a month, it really caught Aika’s attention. She was a doctor, after all, paying attention to her patients and their body language was a part of her job. But more than that, those three were basically her kids. It had been so long since she had met each of them, that her analysis and understanding of their behaviour was most of the time no longer medical, but rather personal.

So none of her concern was purely professional when she asked him what was wrong.

Speaking about things that happened, things that people regret or are embarrassed by, is usually equally as cathartic as it is difficult. The throat closes up and feels tight, and in any instant if they relaxed they’d probably start crying.

But by that point, he was well past that, and only a faint feeling of anxiety remained. There had been so many people he had talked to about this throughout the last few weeks, it was a lot easier to avoid crying, though the lump in his throat and scratch of his voice remained there as he settled his hands as much as he could.

“Denki, seriously, what’s wrong?” Aika asked for the second time.

“I haven’t been taking the pills.” He rushed out, surprising himself.

Before, every time he talked to somebody about this, it was always putting the main topic off until they were probably genuinely scared for him. But even if it was helpful in a way, allowing him to gather his thoughts, he had had enough. He knew his own personality, and lately everything just felt off. It was just being overly aware of everything he had to worry about and even things he didn’t need to and over thinking talking to anyone.

If there was one thing he was sure of about himself, it’s that he was not designed to think anything through unless as a last resort.

Yeah, he should probably fix that. But for now, his impulsion worked for him as the words slipped out of his mouth before he could help them.

He barely noticed that he wasn’t looking at her until her voice caught his attention again.

“Denki, can you look at me?”

The entire situation was something he so wished could have been avoided. Talking to his generally tough teacher or his brother who probably would not judge anyone for murder if it was in any way justifiable was completely different to telling the person partially responsible for your health that you just basically ignored their advice. Dammit, he was such an idiot. Why did he do that?

“Kaminari.”

There was not any blood relation between them, but it didn’t matter and he was just as scared looking up at her as if she really was his mother. He had always found it easy to befriend people, to connect with everyone, and maintaining those no matter how difficult it may have seemed was probably the trait that most people appreciated in him the most. But it did leave more people to hurt and that really was something he never wanted. He wasn’t the bravest or most courageous person in the class, probably not even near the top. Worrying for his friends who always managed to get caught up in something was a really annoying little voice inside his head. But while he was scared and nervous sometimes, actually worrying for himself was mostly a new feeling. Putting energy into being concerned for his own safety past the normal fear everyone had maybe could be a better idea as a hero student, since the way he was at that point didn’t exactly help his awareness of his surroundings. So this feeling was even worse because it was unknown.

“I’m sorry.” He mumbled.

Her expression was hard to read, but at least she looked relaxed. No tension was clamping up her posture, or making her grip the edge of her table with force.

“Let me see your hands?”

Wordlessly, he placed them on the desk behind which she was sitting. The arrangement of the room was always clearly very clinical, all sanitised with different contraptions (don’t ask Kaminari to name them, he always zoned out when people were talking about them) around the room, but it was also a lot more comfortable. This was the place somebody not only worked, but lived. The desk, while clean from dirt and grime, was cluttered with a few memorabilic objects and the walls looked personalised in a way that usually would have relaxed most people, no matter how little they liked going to get check ups.

His hand was scarred. Not extremely, so little that he barely noticed, as they didn’t just appear one day but rather amalgamated to form scratch marks and electric burns, some barely there, others angry red splotches or lines that were at best irritating at most painful to touch.

“Your skin is really hot.”

Yes. He knew that. There was a reason he liked snow and appreciated winter. A similar reason as to why Bakugo prefers summer. For Bakugo, his quirk needs heat to work best, so his body has grown accustomed to it. For him, as opposed to the weather effecting his power, it affects him, and if he’s too overheated, using his electricity could result in illness, so cooling down is important. Not having any help from medicine either riled his body up even more.

It had calmed down a bit since he took them, but weeks of ignoring it all was not helpful.

“I’m taking them now, you know.” He explained awkwardly.

“Why didn’t you do so when I gave them to you?”

He shrugged. It was not a response, he knew it, but he didn’t want to begin to explain.

“Alright, stand up.”

She didn’t say anything none medicine related for the entire check up. It was 20 minutes that felt as impersonal and doctorial as if he walked to any hospital. But this wasn’t any. This was the person he grew up with, and he was surprised that his heart rate managed to remain at around 70bpm, as opposed to going into the hundreds.

“Well, it seems there’s nothing too serious wrong, thankfully. I’d suggest using ice packs for a while to try and stabilise your temperature while you adjust back to taking you medication and I’d recommend a cream for the injuries on your skin, but those should be easy to deal with. Although, your reflexes are dampened. You seem to have a bit of nerve damage, which may be a bigger issue. But it’s not too extreme, so hopefully it should heal with some help. Have you been in pain?”

“…Yeah. A bit.”

“I’m not shocked. Funnily, electrical pulses can be used to treat nerve pain, but considering the circumstances, I wouldn’t recommend it, so I’ll give you something to help ease it. Over the counter drugs should be fine, so you shouldn’t need a prescription. Just remember to take them, okay?”

It was difficult to tell whether that was meant as a snide comment, but he still mumbled out another apology following it, which just caused her to pause what she was doing.

“Why are you sorry?” She asked.

He wasn’t expecting to be asked that. It was obvious to him.

“You asked me to do something and I ignored you.”

“Denki, what I asked you to do was as your doctor, not as your guardian. As that, yes, I’m annoyed, but more because I’m worried for your health. As your doctor, I can’t ever demand you take anything I prescribe.”

“I didn’t mean that. I know you can’t make me, but I didn’t want you to be upset. I was hoping if I was stronger it would be easier for people to look up to me and be proud of me.”

It had hardly been a conscious decision to say that. Looking at him, most people wouldn’t guess half the things he wants out of life. Sure, things like popularity, girls, friends, are obvious, but the issue with acting like his main purpose in life is to make others happy is that it gets hard to notice when things aside from the obvious are really for himself. If he’s someone people can look up to, that helps reassure him he’s doing a good job, but pride in him? Nobody ever wants to disappoint people they care about.

A sigh broke the harsh silence in the room.

“I’m sorry for acting the way I did today. But I promise, you didn’t make me any less proud of you.” Yeah. This entire situation was embarrassing. But he didn’t interrupt. “Look, you came here as a terrified little kid who really wanted to interact with everyone but you were too confused and worried about the reason you had to come here. As a professional, I gave you those pills to do my job. As a foster parent, I gave them to you because I thought they’d help you smile easier. If your decision was to not take them, thinking it was better, then the only thing I can be upset about is the result of you injuring yourself, not your choice to try out something you thought would help you.”

Smile easier? Weirdly, that had not even occurred to him before. There was probably some form of irony in everything, how he was so much more stressed and worried, even with his quirk working at about 200%. It had been a while since he had really been able to be completely care free, with the biggest worry being if he scored above a C in his last math test.

“I wish I had just taken them.”

There were many responses he could have guessed would happen after that. But one he definitely wouldn’t have said was a laugh. Not a laugh at a funny story, not like a hearty laugh, but more an exasperated fondness. There wasn’t really a word for it he could think of, but it was strangely easy to pinpoint those emotions from a simple sound.

“You’re talking like it’s too late.” She smiled. “As I said, your injuries are minimal. 4 weeks could not have left that much damage, that’s why I gave you pills worth that long. And if you went back on them before, then I have no doubt you’ll recover within maximum a couple months. But I need you to know, I won’t be doing the same thing until then at the very least. Until you’re better, we will have weekly appointments like before, and I will give you a prescription of one week’s worth.”

“Huh?”

That was it? There was nothing more dramatic like he had imagined, just mild exhaustion with him. Was everything okay with everyone?

“Yeah, I mean, I guess you could decide not to take them again, but knowing you, after this my guess would be you’d try and do the opposite.” She said, writing the prescriptions. “So I also must tell you, please do not try and just swallow all of these at once, or I may actually have a minor heart attack due looking after you.”

“I wasn’t going to do that!”

“Well, what did you really expect?” She handed him the papers

“I…” A lot worse than this. “I don’t know, I didn’t think it through.”

“You may want to start doing that, it would stop you from panicking so easily. Anyway, I’ll go get you an ice pack for now. It’s refreezable, so don’t throw it out.”

With a gentle pat on his shoulder, she walked past him, out through the door. As soon as she was out of sight, Kaminari’s brain seemed to switch back on. That really was a lot less reason to worry than he thought.

“So how’d it go?”

“Wha-!” Dammit, he had only just gotten to relax a bit. “Were you listening in?”

“No.” Gin said, walking into the clinic and taking a seat in the chair next to Denki. “I was just in the kitchen. I saw her leave here so I thought I’d check on you. You good?”

There was no falseness in the way he spoke, even if it was a bit more upbeat than how most people would ask it. He still wasn’t overly good at communicating through social cues and conventions, but he was always sincere, and that’s really all that mattered.

“Yeah, I’m gonna be fine.”

Chapter Text

The dorms were not always great. Sometimes there were minor disputes over eating something someone else had been saving, other times arguments were about a hair’s breadth from ending with the entire lounge collapsing.

But for extroverts and social butterflies, the dorms were like an inset excuse to annoy all their friends whenever they wanted.

And that was about half the class.

It had been weird for Kaminari, shying away from everyone before. It felt like he wouldn’t have been able to avoid it with how things were going, but it left him feeling anxious and as if something was off. Going back to the dorms after his appointment was something he hoped would help ease him a little. Tension was annoying. Why was everything so hard? He was still barely passing a couple of his classes. All the work he missed in school, he had to catch up with in his room, which completely ruined the vibe he was trying to have there. School and study groups are for work and science and algebra and whatever, his bedroom the place he could internally groan about all that and drag his friends to, to plan something.

Though, if he gave it some thought, he hadn’t actually visited that many of their rooms. Of course he’s been at the start of this system, where they went to everyone’s, but him just going over was strangely uncommon. The ones he’s been to were mostly Kirishima’s and Sero’s, and a few times to Mina’s, Jiro’s, Todoroki’s, Bakugo’s (though mostly none consenting from that party, but Kaminari was well past the point of being scared of him), Yaomomo's for the occasional homework advice, and Mineta’s, but with the other’s it was basically none existent.

Midoriya was one he was curious about. They were on different floors, so he didn’t really need to cross in front of his door very often, and while they had no problems with each other at all, their interactions were limited. But he seemed like quite a fun person to hang out with. He was smart and had an awesome ability and obviously knew a lot about all sorts of quirks and powers, it’s cool.

Luckily for him, the only people who ever questioned why he was knocking on anyone’s door were the people whose he was knocking on.

The door took a couple seconds before being slid open, the owner’s face shifting from a smile to surprise.

“Kaminari?”

“Hey Midoriya! Can I come in?” Considering he was already halfway through the doorway by the time he asked, made it a little pointless however.

“Oh…sure.”

Some people found certain habits of Denki’s annoying, that’s for sure, but he was too used to just acting overly friendly and Midoriya was too polite to say anything when he sat down on his bed, simply closing the door behind him instead of any complaints.

“Wow, your room really is amazing.”

It really hadn’t changed that much, really. Still covered in All Might merch, though looking more closely there were a few things from a couple other heroes too. Even with everything in the room, though, it still managed to look less cluttered than Kaminari had ever managed to make his look. Posters and figurines lining ever inch, prints, bedcovers, badges, all just left the place looking well lived in and loved even though it’s only really been a few months. The aging on some of them was a lot more obvious than others, as well. It’s very easy for everyone to forget he was actually observant in general, even he forgets it until he notices things such as that.

Walking over to the walls to take a closer look provided him with a distraction from Midoriya’s confused eyes following him, with a blush, knowing he was checking all his things out. “How long have you been collecting all of these?”

“I was really little, but I don’t have the first things I owned here. They’re still at home.”

“Woah, you have even more? That’s awesome!”

Though he wasn’t doing anything wrong, Deku had wondered why he was suddenly there. It wasn’t that he minded, although he still wasn’t used to having people wanting to come into his room. There had pretty much been a gap between the ages of around 5 to 15 when he got into high school where he didn’t really have anyone to even invite if he pleased, so somebody he rarely talks to properly turning up was undoubtedly making him a bit curious.

Especially Kaminari. He pretty much had half the class to pick from. Nobody really made an effort to push him out anymore. Either they didn’t mind or decided it was not worth the hassle to tell him know, particularly considering he was prone to not listening to everything. What could he offer that would make him want to visit him?

“Do you need help with something?”

Oh, right! He was there for a reason. “Yeah. You're smart, right?”

With his freckles and green hair, he honestly kind of looked like a strawberry every time he blushed. “I-it depends on what you mean, I guess?”

“Well, you know a lot about quirks and how they all work and everything.” Only semi-consciously walked over to his dresser to stare at some more of Midoriya's memorabilia, he continued. “Oh and you still seem to struggle with your own, I guess.”

Deku brightened up a little at the first part of his statement, but got a little more reserved again by the time he finished. “Do you want to ask about a quirk, Kaminari?”

He spun round fast enough to almost knock half the contents he was looking at off. “Yeah.” He smiled, mostly not wanting someone he had noticed is rather observant to know he was panicking a bit. He didn’t like lying but he had gotten pretty good at it. Mostly. Still screwed up a lot. “Hey, Midoriya, how have you gotten so much better at using your quirk? You were pretty off your game at the start of the year.”

It was that sort of thing that he was a little blunt with sometimes, but neither of them noticed. “Umm, yes,” Midoriya said a little awkwardly. How much could he say about this? “Why do you ask?”

That was a lot easier to answer them he expected, mostly because he knew that’s definitely a question that was going to come up. “I don’t really get my quirk.” He lay down onto the bed again, clearly having completely disregarded the fact that this wasn’t, in fact, his own room. “It’s hardly possible to attempt directions, and I always mess up with how much I can use it. And you’re the only one who I know for sure has a quirk with a similar backlash.”

“Is this about helping you control your electricity?”

“Well, in a way I guess? I don’t know how possible controlling the actual thing is, in terms of aiming without any support. I can kind of do it over a short distance. It would be cool if I could manage at some point though!” Okay, now he was rambling and stalling. “But I’d like to not hurt myself when I use it.”

“Oh.”

Midoriya wasn’t aware how bad it was. Quirks usually have some kind of backfire to them, but he didn’t realise it actually hurt him if he went too far, only that he couldn’t use it anymore past a certain point. If he needed help, he would have expected it simply to be about how to not overdo it, but he had always seemed so happy that pain was far from his expectation.

But that didn’t matter. It was still the same concept, about control. It just served a different purpose. There was a reason he was collecting all the information he could about quirks. Yes, to help him in a fight should he need it, but rescue was always more important to him anyway. This was…sort of like that he supposed.

Though he couldn’t really discuss his quirk properly. There were many people who underestimated people like Kaminari, but he was more than aware that anyone who got into UA had the capability of figuring something was up with it if given enough information. Besides, he didn’t want to be the one to judge someone else. How was he supposed to do this then? Basics could work, they’re both quirks regarding power in some way. But if he’s had his from childhood and still struggles with injuries, does that mean his quirk actually takes even more of a natural toll on his body than one for all? It’s not as powerful, he doesn’t think, but his uses the bodies natural resources and powers them up to the max, electricity for Kaminari is something he needs to charge up on, so it could be that the body is not suited for so much.

“Hang on!” Of course.

He wasn’t just collecting information on pros, but his classmates too.

It was somewhere around. How many notebooks had he filled so far? He labelled the ones about the other students, but his drawer had like 20, some full, some unused, others in the process of becoming the prior.

It was not something he usually showed to people, of course, but Kaminari wasn’t exactly a judgemental person by any stretch of the imagination. And he kind of had a right to his own stats (or, what Deku guessed were as accurate as he could get) he supposed.

“Got it.”

Flipping through the pages until he got to the sections he wrote about him, he became immensely glad that, while they were still awkward, his sketching skills had become somewhat better than when he was little. It was stupid, he knew, to even try and draw anyone at all, but he found it helped, especially when labelling important quirk aspects, or weaknesses, or anything of the sort.

Though he still blushed, realising he’d have to show it to him.

He laid the book out on his bed, flattening it on the page as much as he could.

“Ooh, is that me? Cool drawings!”

Of course he’d comment on that straight away.

“I can never be sure how someone’s quirk works, of course. It depends on a lot of factors, and we haven’t been tested under enough circumstances to find out everything. But I think these are the basics I noticed from you.”

Kaminari looked over the page, barely blinking. It was incredibly impressive. He’d been watching everyone this closely? Wow. It was way more then just the basic information, it even had an approximation of charging time period. It was all pretty accurate too.

Though…

“Midoriya that’s awesome, but I can’t really…output that much power.”

“Huh? I just wrote down what I saw the last time we had a quirk assessment.”

Denki started fidgeting again slightly. “Yeah, that was weird. I really didn’t feel too good after that, and besides I think it was, like, a fluke or something.”

“Okay then! Sorry, I’ll change it later.” He said with a smile. “But, umm, do you mind me asking how much you can use without inflicting damage?”

Well, that was a fun question to answer in that moment. Truth was, he didn’t know. Did it only start damaging him once he started feeling pain? He hadn’t been on his new dosage to figure everything out yet. Would not being able to go above 1 million stop it, and in that case was going to Midoriya even worth it?

“Sorry, I don’t really know.”

“Well, if you aren’t charged up enough, you can’t use as much electricity though, right?”

“Yeah, I suppose that’s true.”

“Kaminari, I don’t think our quirks are quite similar enough that I can give you some first hand advice, necessarily. But if I was right with the time it takes you to recharge, maybe you could try doing it for slightly less to start with.”

It felt like something easy to understand. So it was hard to figure out why he was confused. But how did any of this corollate to each other? He could retain all of the energy easily. That was the simple part.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, can you feel whenever you are fully charged?”

“Yeah, it’s kind of like a buzz. I dunno, grown kind of used to it.”

“Do you always charge up as much as you can?” He nodded in response. “But not only does that take a long time, it could also be part of why you put all your power out at once without meaning to, or struggle with control.”

“But if I don’t do it, I can’t use my quirk.”

“What about when you slowly deplete over time? You can use your quirk fine even after you used it a little before right?”

That was true. Usually he avoided thinking too deep about his own quirk, just the necessary information to use it and get support items. It was a kind of rabbit hole he didn’t want to go down usually when it came to thorough thought about it. However, Midoriya seemed a lot freer in this discussion. He probably enjoyed it, at least a little.

“It’s like,” Deku continued, “if you have a glass full of water right to the top, then it makes it more difficult to carry without spilling any.”

What? “…I can’t really go near water when I’m using my power.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Oh, nothing.” Though he was still confused, he got what he meant as soon as that reply slipped out. He did wish it hadn’t. “So, if I also keep track of how much electricity I’m taking in, then it might be easier to work out how much I can use without harm?”

“Yes, exactly!” His eyes shone as he spoke, as if he just figured out a puzzle he had been trying to, which this kind of was, frankly. “You have new support items now, right? Maybe if it’s easier to monitor with those, you could use them in that way too.” The expression on his face turned a little more sombre after that. “I’m sorry I can’t help you more. But for me it’s my own body that sometimes hurts me. It’s not an outer force like electricity for you. If you wish, you can take a picture of this page if that helps you? Just…don’t show Kacchan, he doesn’t like me writing about him, so he’d probably try and destroy all of them.”

Kaminari took him up on the offer with a grateful smile. It was hard to know how much it would actually help him, but it was still interesting information. The amount he sometimes forgot about his own quirk was frustrating in a way.

“Thanks Midoriya!”

A quick wave before he closed the door, and he was out of the room with a sigh. This time, his smile didn’t disappear fully, like it so often had as of late as soon as he was out of sight of anyone else. It was more determined.

It annoyed him to no end that he couldn’t just learn to use his ability like Midoriya, needing to have medication.

But he was back on it now even if it was irritating. It would help keep him in check, and if he kept an eye on what he was just told, maybe things would work out without any painkillers anymore.

He had always been an optimist. And things were at least getting back on track finally.

Chapter Text

Dammit, he may be his friend, but the moment he sat down in class for the first time since everything, he wanted to ask Sero to tape Mineta’s mouth shut or something.

Of course he didn’t mean any harm asking questions about where he had been, it was unusual, but it was a lot easier to avoid everyone when he could stay in his room. Now, that wasn’t really an option. And he was more than excited to get back to class. Not that he liked studying, he still maintained most of it would not come in use unless he was trying to build a building where angles were needed or whatever, but being on his own, even with all the stuff in his room, wore him out. He never thought he’d end up missing the classroom, or anything.

However, it did come with pretty much everyone giving him weird glances. The exceptions being Todoroki, Bakugo, and Kirishima. Most of them were pretty careful in not questioning, everyone thought he was sick obviously, so the looks were mostly just glances of concern to see if he was okay, even if they registered differently to Kaminari. Mineta on the other hand, lacked…just a little tact in that regards. He was smart, sure, but he was also worried none of the girls would want to be near him if he caught whatever Kaminari had that took him out of class for so long.

It took 5 minutes of relentless pestering before Jiro, either feeling sorry for him or, more likely, irritated with Mineta, pulled his feet out from underneath him with her jacks.

“Jiro, don’t use your quirk on your classmates.” Aizawa commented as he walked through the door, though it lacked even more conviction than usual, clearly just said out of duty. “Mineta, just leave Kaminari alone. He’s fine, you’re the one not in your seat.”

Thanks sir!

The rest of the class carried on as usual. It was weird how Denki was a little distracted about not being in pain for once. Had it really been such a constant for him?

The thing that worried him was how much his quirk would be effected. Over the next week, out of sheer fear, he didn’t used it since going on daily doses. How much less is one million volts, anyway? It was kind of just part of him before, he never concerned thinking about it past the bare minimum. His teachers let it go knowing he had been unwell, but everyone knew that could not last for long. He’d have to fight with it soon and if he didn’t, then the pills are kind of useless anyway if he gets expelled for lack of work. He didn’t want to be expelled! What was he meant to do?

“What are you panicking about?”

“What?”

“Are you okay?”

It did feel nice to be able to talk to people more freely again, even if it was those who had visited him in his room.

“You know Todoroki, I wouldn’t’ve thought you’d be so good at reading people.”

“I always had to be observant. I just usually found no reason to put it to use outside of school or training. But you rely on interactions with others, so I didn’t want to ignore it.”

Well, that bluntness remained, but it did make him laugh. “You’ve changed a lot, huh?”

“I’m not that different.”

“Sure you are! Everyone was totally intimidated by you when we started school. And it wasn’t exactly the type of ‘wow, I can’t believe we’re in the same class as him’ type of intimidation. It was more like ‘if we upset him too much, will he freeze us to death?’ That has been gone for a while.”

“Has it?”

“Yeah. Now it’s more like ‘it’s really cool if we can have him on our team in a fight’, even if I’m not fully sure what Bakugo feels about anyone yet, including you. But I wouldn’t have been able to talk to you like this a few months ago.”

It wasn’t even noticeable to him how his stress from previous weeks was fading. How the things he worried about for a while were still very prevalent, but he was more at peace with having to deal with them. Frankly, talking to anyone over the previous few weeks was a lot more of a chore than normal, as much as he wanted to.

“…it’s a lot easier to talk to someone as naturally social as you. You do most of it.”

“Thanks either way, dude.”

He forgot to say what he was thanking him for, but even Bakugo was a lot more vigilant about paying attention to him, though barely noticeable. Todoroki probably didn’t even have it in him to change his attitude towards him. They spent more time talking with each other, but his behaviour during that time was the same as before. It was just a nice way to get his mind off everything.

Their break was over quickly after that, and every class headed to their respective rooms. Or, in the case of 1A the training ground.

Kaminari had spent quite a bit of time looking over the few notes Midoriya had given him. He didn’t really know how it would help, but surely it couldn’t hurt to understand his quirk better. It also gave him a little ego boost to know someone had been paying so much attention to him.

Now, it was time to actually put that into action.

“We’re testing how well you balance rescue and attack today.”

“Like how we did at our license exams?”

“Exactly, well done!” All Might said proudly. “Except we can’t have heroes like that come in every time we need training, so we rely on artificial traps. We have our ‘hostages’. The closer you get to the area they’re in, the more ‘villains’ you will have to fight off and tricks to get around to get there. We have 2 training areas available right now, so you will go in teams of 10 to try and rescue them.”

“Sir, what exactly are the villains in this scenario?”

“You’ll just have to find out when you face them.” If I state that they’re mostly ecto’s clones in costumes, and robots, it will not sound as impressive. “Select your teams.”

In the end, after much fighting from some people and resigned doneness from everyone else, they came up with 2 relatively well balanced teams.

Team one, Asui, Hagakure, Todoroki, Midoriya, Kaminari, Ojiro, Kirishima, Sero, Jiro, and Aoyama in the first training ground.

Team two, Ashido, Koda, Sato, Yaoyorozu, Uraraka, Bakugo, Iida, Shoji, Tokoyami, and Mineta going over to the second.

“Considering our quirks, when we start I think Jiro, Sero, Hagakure, and I should focus more on locating and rescuing, while everyone else focuses on the villains.” Tsuyu said to the team.

“As in attacking?” Yeah, he had already predicted this would be the case, but it was still a little nerve wracking.

“I think Tsuyu’s right.” Jiro added. “Though, of course, that doesn’t mean we won’t have to fight or that you won’t need to help in the rescue. But it is the most suited to our quirks.”

Any comments or objections about to be made were thrown out the window as the speakers came to life and All Might’s voice boomed over the area.

“Young heroes, everything is in motion. Go.”