It's on a perfectly wonderful day that Izuku first hears it. He's got a whole lot planned for today, and he's attending an awards ceremony this evening with all of his wonderful friends. Some of his favourite heroes are going to be presenting the student awards, and Izuku can't wait.
Well, that is until he hears it .
“That's awesome, Kacchan!”
The sentence does not come from Izuku's mouth, but rather Mina’s, and Izuku is momentarily confused. Is this a joke? Is Kacchan going to blast the pink-haired girl to high heaven?
“No shit, it's fucking fantastic,” Kacchan replies, seemingly ignoring the inappropriate use of nickname. That's—
That's Izuku's nickname for Kacchan. What is Mina doing using it? It must just be a misunderstanding. What better thing to do is there than to put the record right?
“D-Did you just call him Kacchan?” Izuku asks Mins cautiously, swivelling around in his chair to face the pink-haired teen who leans against Kacchan's desk to talk to him (far too close to the blond himself, in Izuku's opinion).
“B-but—” (this has got to be a misunderstanding) “—that's my nickname for him. I-it’s special!”
“Mhm, too bad, hun,” Mina shrugs, twirling a strand of hair around her finger. “You gotta learn to share!”
She—she doesn't seem to understand . Izuku has been calling Kacchan such since they were bright-eyed children. His hero. He wants to hold onto that memory, cherish a time when they were close. Why is Mina getting in between?
(This is only a misunderstanding, right?)
“Mina, that nickname i-is very… special to me. It hurts when you use it,” Izuku tries to explain, bottom lip trembling involuntarily. He can't cry here! He can't cry over something so petty, and somehow he still feels like he's going to burst into tears any second.
Mina doesn't give him a verbal response, but if the way she rolls her eyes is anything to go by, she thinks Izuku is being oversensitive.
Is he being oversensitive?
God, but he feels so stupid for getting hurt over this. Kacchan—
Kacchan doesn't seem to mind. Not only that, but he reciprocates , granting Mina his rare smiles and genuine affection. Who's Izuku to ruin something like that?
But there's nothing left to say, is there?
Izuku is a mess. Tears stream down his face, ugly sobs wracking his body. What is wrong with him today? Why is he so heartbroken over this?
He's dumb. Idiotic, awful, every bit the Deku Kacchan calls him—
No. No, that's not—
Why would Mina be so horrible? Mina is… Mina is a lovely person. Izuku's never seen this side of her, it doesn't make any sense for her to act this way, yet…
She's clever. She must know what it means to Izuku.
But he still feels disgusting for getting angry at her. He's—he's a hero!
So why does he want to punch her so badly?
“How is it any different!?” Izuku screams at the blond. They stand opposite each other in Izuku's room, alone to argue in a way that Izuku doesn't ever argue.
This is petty, this is jealousy, and Izuku doesn't ever want to hurt someone else, but that is exactly what he's doing .
“Because!” the blond yells back, voice raw. “Because it would hurt like hell if you called me Katsuki. I'm fucking telling you — it would hurt like hell .”
That's awesome, Kacchan!
Hadn't hearing that hurt Izuku like hell? Hadn't it hurt him so badly that Izuku can't even find it in himself to address the blond as—
“I always do this,” Izuku whispers. “I always end up hurting the people around me.”
“You don't mean to, Deku.”
“But I hurt them anyway!” Izuku sobs. “I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so— I should have never—It's okay. Anyone call you Kacchan, anyone at all! It—it doesn't mean anything.”
Silently, in his head, Izuku adds a ‘Katsuki’ to the end of his sentence. He'd never say it of course.
But maybe then Katsuki would realise how much it kills.