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Guilty Acts & Guilty Minds

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The Midoriya family, which consisted of a mother, son, and a (later on absent) father, arrived at Musutafu six years before the Bakugou couple settled down in the humble town. The count turned seven when Katsuki was born.

Katsuki had known Midoriya Izuku his entire life, but it would never be the other way round. For the boy with dark leaves on his cheeks and forest eyes was born more than half a decade earlier than Katsuki and was even present during his messy birth full of loud expletives.

As far as he could remember, which was pretty damn far back, his old hag was always close to Aunty Inko. Because of that, Katsuki was also forced within the Midoriya pair’s proximity more than he’d like, honestly.

Deku came by often- and at that time, he wasn’t even known as a Deku to Katsuki yet. Just Ku, the gentle looking neighbour’s son who changed his diapers and practically raised Katsuki as his old hag went on random road trips with his Dad.

They trusted the Midoriya family that much. Izuku had been the receiver of Katsuki first words, it was also he who had taught him his Hiragana and Katakana, how to walk, talk and even use the toilet. Mitsuki had tried, of course, but her tough love paired alongside a short fuse, just wasn’t ideal for a child to deal with.

Once upon a time, Katsuki had even thought that Deku was part of the family package- by blood. It came as a rather shocking revelation to the young toddler when his mother had denied him of having Ku stay over forever and ever.

Time passed as simple as that. Years go by in a snap and Katsuki had come to the age in which he asked what Quirk Ku did so that they could compare.

What did it do? The boy excitedly hit the table with swinging feet.  How do you use it? Do you think I’ll get my Quirk soon? I'm already four and I bet it’ll be way more awesome than yours.

The endless train of questioning was almost unbearable, but the green-haired boy thankfully had the patience of a saint. They were having dinner at the time- Ku over at Katsuki’s place- and the older male was piling up veggies for his younger charge like nobody’s business.

Ku relented, a wry expression on his face once he was satisfied with the mountain of fibre on the plate. It looked out of place on the 11-year-old. Katsuki wouldn’t notice, though, his interpersonal skills always were one of Izuku’s greatest regrets. Nevertheless, he answered.

“I’m Quirkless, Kacchan.” Katsuki heard, and it was like the world came crashing. Because for all his life, however short that was, Quirklessness was simply an abnormality. Everyone else at school implied so too.

Unnatural, strange, weak. Deku might as well be a freak for all society knew. Despite 20% of the population lacking a Quirk of their own, it was still shocking to meet someone without a Quirk.

Kind of like meeting the extinct Dodo, and feeling intensely underwhelmed at the sight of the flightless bird who wasn’t at all pretty either.

Katsuki had denied Deku’s admission with vengeance. Even though he didn’t like saying it, he loved the one who raised him like a mother would, nowhere near death would Katsuki have even thought of hating gentle Ku.

To him, the older male was smart and strong and beautiful. Always with a smile, not once had Katsuki ever believed it when his real mother told him Ku was a genetically disposed cry-baby. Why? Because Ku never cried in front of him before.

“So how’re you gonna be a hero?” Asked Katsuki with a desperate little hiccup. Mitsuki turned to give her husband and Izuku a worried look. Undisturbed, Izuku responded calmly.

“I’m pretty smart, Kacchan. I can become a Hero without a Quirk.” Said the older boy, the wood of his trembling chopsticks touching his tongue.

Ku placed the pair of traditional cutlery on his bowl when Katsuki gave him a distressingly confused look.

“I’m still Ku, aren’t I? I’m gonna come back here again tomorrow like usual. Then the day after that and the day after that day too. Nothing’s changed, little brother. I’ll continue to take care of you for the rest of my life and be a Hero at the same time.”

“LIAR!” Katsuki screamed with furious tears. The blond himself didn’t even understand why. He only knew that it was impossible for a Quirkless person to amount to anything. Ku couldn’t become a hero, and what was the point of living if he couldn’t even do that?

Sparks flew when Katsuki slammed both his palms on table from where he sat. The water glass fell, spilling water with an echoing clink. “Don’t lie to me! Quirkless people can’t become heroes! They’re useless!”

His mother screamed after him when Katsuki ran up to his room to rethink his world views. Izuku… was weak and he was also strong; but the two were contrasting ideas and Katsuki fell asleep in a muddled pool of frustration.

He slept for 9 hours before he got up to the sound of dragging curtains. There, standing as if last night had not happened at all, was Ku. “Good morning, Kacchan.” Ku smiled brightly. The corner of his eyes were red and swollen, Katsuki couldn’t understand why.

It was routine at this point, Ku would clean his room for him despite his real mother’s protests. But before that, Ku would wake him up with the morning sunlight and then proceed to give him a kiss on the cheek or ruffle his blond hair. This time, when Ku proceeded to do just that, Katsuki purposely avoided it.

When he came back up after breakfast, Ku was gone and his room was as clean as ever.

Chapter Text

This continued for weeks on end. Everyone was surprised at the hot-blooded Katsuki’s cold treatment towards Izuku. He never answered when Ku called, nor did he acknowledge the older boy’s presence when he came by.

Katsuki simply pretended that the one who made sure that his bed was made and books were kept didn’t exist. He acted as if the one who packed the most delicious meals belonged to the Fae who detested humankind.

In a way, his treatment was far crueller than any harsh words or Quirk burn- for the boy did neither in his indifference. Time flew and Katsuki turned five. Even then, his heart continued to ache with something akin to betrayal.

The person he loved the most had also became the one he hated the most. Logic wasn’t pronounced in the arguments he held in his head. Katsuki still left his room unlocked when he went to sleep, and took the neatly packaged lunch box to school every morning.

Things changed once more when Katsuki almost died from the drop off the wooden trunk that connected two opposite creaks. The blond would wake up screaming even it was just a nap.

He was falling, falling, falling. The drop of his stomach felt weightless as his chest threatened to spill from his lips. Katsuki could sense the sharp rocks beneath, the sound of the stream as it chipped the rocks in its image one piece at a time.

One wrong move and he could’ve been stabbed through the stomach and left to die in the washing cold. One slip at the wrong spot and Katsuki would never see his family again.

Had there been no rocks, Katsuki couldn’t even pretend that he would have fared better. He hadn’t learned how to swim yet, keeping his patience until Ku somehow made the first move to magically teach him how to.

His parents weren’t home when he fell. They’d gone outstation again, so it was Ku who gave a meaningless greeting when he got back home. Cold and soaked, Ku had taken one look at Katsuki before he was silently carrying the shivering boy to the bathroom.

Deku bathed him with lukewarm water after warming him up with a freshly dried towel. It was like old-time’s sake when gentle fingers shampooed his hair and cleaned his wounds.

The only difference was the silence that hung between them. Katsuki wouldn’t look at Ku unless he was made to out of necessity. To plaster up the cuts on his face, for example. Ku didn’t seem to mind, concern outweighing his sadness at his charge’s attitude.

Ku was efficient in every way that mattered. Dinner didn’t take long to prepare because Aunty Inko had apparently pre-made curry already. So all Ku had to do was heat up the meal over the stove and cook some rice.

They ate dinner without words. Every so often, Izuku would pass poorly concerned looks of worry that Katsuki trembled to scream at. He didn’t need the Quirkless guy’s worry. He didn’t want Ku to look down on him.

Katsuki was strong. He had a great Quirk and greater future as the world’s future number one Hero. Ku should’ve simply been a pebble on the road in his journey of life. So it must’ve been a mistake. Just why did he ask Ku to stay after he was tucked into bed?

The adrenaline had long worn off. When Katsuki went to bed, he woke with scarlet eyes snapping open only a few hours later. Exhaustion accompanied afterwards, but Katsuki had to address the terror in his veins first.

He felt that he was falling again. The sudden drop had crushed his bones and the slight sprain of his ankle had become an incurable snap.

Immediately, Ku was by his side. The door slammed open and the older boy quickly took Katsuki into his arms where the blond soaked a year’s worth of snot and tears into. The crying went on for an hour and the hiccups for half that time. What lasted for the entire twilight, however, was Katsuki’s unwillingness to let go of Izuku.

Ku carefully stroked his back and played with his spikes soothingly. He started singing, and it sounded terrible for he was on the cusp of puberty.

It was like a frog’s croak, but with a lot more smoothness. Ku would cough an every once in a while, Katsuki simply snuggled in further into the heat of Ku’s warmth.

“You can’t become a Hero, Deku. Don’t even try.” Said Katsuki in between hiccups. It was the first time he’d directly spoken to Ku in forever.

Ku continued to sooth him, voice rough but well-meaning. Katsuki didn’t like the lack of response, so he continued to repeat those same words over and over again. Not unlike a broken instrument who could only play one song.

He was finally blessed with a response once the heat of the blanket got to them. The air conditioning was on, but Katsuki’s natural body temperature was simply really high.

“Okay,” Deku had said. “Okay, Kacchan. If that’s what you want.”

Katsuki could feel something warm spreading on his shoulder amidst the comforting hug and trembling assurances. The feeling was easy to recognise against the comparison of his shirt turned cold from cooled sweat.

“You can’t become a Hero, Deku.” Katsuki repeated, afraid that it wouldn’t stick. “Don’t even try.”

To be Quirkless was the equivalent of being weak and useless. Deku wouldn’t survive if he became a Hero. It was a pointless dream. Let it die.


Chapter Text

It wasn’t as if their relationship recovered overnight. Katsuki wasn’t directly ignoring Izuku anymore, which had Mitsuki thanking whatever deity existed up there. However, on the flipside, the boy constantly reminded him to not become a hero.

Something shattered in Izuku when he entered middle school. Katsuki was 7, only a year had passed since he’d stopped the cold shoulder treatment.

Perhaps it was because Deku had no dreams to cling onto anymore. Perhaps it was Katsuki’s own hurtful words that constantly put Deku down and down again. Or maybe it was the bullying- abuse- of the Quirkless kid in which nobody believed would amount to anything in life.

Either way, Deku changed.

The smiles grew more plastic, for one. Katsuki couldn’t recall a time when Deku’s smiles hadn’t soothed him. Until it didn’t, that is.

The older boy might as well be imported from China with the way he acted around his mother and Katsuki's own. It changed slightly when he was with Katsuki, Deku became less fake and more… sad.

Katsuki didn’t ask, busily immersed in his life. Deku still came over, but the blond prioritised going out with his newest followers so it was basically as if nothing changed from the year before.

Life became like laundry; rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. That was the main thread in Katsuki’s life. Other than Deku’s ever improving porcelain mask, he’d even thought everything was okay and went out exploring more often than ever.

To start with, Deku was seven years older than Katsuki. Due to the age gap, it wasn’t to say the two had much to talk about either. Mostly, it was Izuku mothering the younger boy and catering to most of his needs.

The pointlessness of staying over became more apparent until even the persistent Deku could see it. He only came over when Katsuki called now, after finishing with his usual habits in the Bakugou household.

Deku came when Katsuki needed help with his homework and later returned when asked. He came when Katsuki wanted a tutor for his studies, repeating the actions of the request before once he was done.

He’d even tutored his pseudo little brother’s friends without question, even when they kept making fun of that Quirkless kid in the next class. Deku said nothing throughout it all. Quietly, once the sun set, Deku left without warning. Slipping out as quiet as a cat.

Always with a smile, Katsuki had no words for it. The blond couldn’t even tell the difference between what was real and fake anymore. He naively assumed that as long as he agreed, it meant Deku was happy to do as Katsuki asked.

“Your brother’s so smart, Bakugou. He didn’t even need to repeat what he said twice and I got it! Sensei was droning on forever and I lost him after the first sentence.” Extra #1 said, mouth agape with awe.

The compliment made the blond smirk smugly. “He looks a little different than you, though.” Extra #2 remarked with a nod, chomping on the freshly baked chocolate chip cookie Deku made. “Oh man, this thing is out of this world.”

“He’s not my real brother, shitty extras. He’s just the neighbour’s son. That’s all. I’ve known him since forever.”

“That’s not fair, I’d die to have such a cool brother. There’s just something him y’know. He seems really… what was it?”

“Cold?” Extra #2 answered with a guessing look, devil wings flapping. “Kind of dangerous, if you ask me. I thought I was gonna freeze my ass off when you brought us here.”

“Bullshit. Deku’s not like that. He’s the furthest thing away from cold. The nerd saves little birds from trees even if they’ll freakin’ die anyway.”

“I guess so…” Extra #1 reluctantly agreed, long branch-thin fingers on his chin. “Like, he was smiling real nice and all. But in a Mafia boss in the movies kinda way. That’s pretty awesome, ain’t it?”

“A talent.” Extra #2 snickered, reaching for a second helping of cookies.

‘Impossible. Deku’s Quirkless.’ Katsuki held back from saying, claiming rights on criticizing the teen. Even if Deku may be kind of useless, he was still the person who raised him. Silent treatment aside, Katsuki was reluctant to bite the hand that fed him; he wasn’t an ungrateful wretch.

When Deku returned later in the evening to have dinner, he also brought Aunty Inko along. Katsuki was pretty pleased, it meant that there would be dessert. And Aunty Inko’s desserts were never too sweet, just the way he liked it.

Palate aside, he’d also made sure to stare at Deku extra hard. He got nothing, brushing off the niggling feeling at the back of mind that indicated that the extras’ words were somewhat true.

He saw Deku wash the dishes wearing a simple green apron, humming as he squeezed the sponge for more bubbles to come out. Not one to beat the bush “Deku,” Katsuki called.

“Yes, Kacchan?” The teen answered gently. Deku had never raised his voice around Katsuki before.

“Those extras from this afternoon said that you feel cold. What the hell did that mean?”

Deku stilled. The sound of running water beating the base of the steel basin was left open, the blond told Deku to turn it off or else he’d be wasting water. Deku nodded and quickly pushed the handle inwards with his palm.

“It’s nothing, Kacchan. Don’t worry your head about it.”

“You’re not answering my question! Is there something you’re hiding from me that I don’t know about? Tell me now, Deku! Or I’ll blow you up!”

He was given a placating smile for the threat. A wobbly thing that might not even be real. Silence continued to fill the room and Katsuki was furious. Who was this? Katsuki didn’t remember allowing strangers into the house. Deku was supposed to listen to him, he thought of Katsuki like a little brother.

(It’s supposed to work both ways, a little traitorous part of him whispers. ‘Shut up.’ Katsuki tells it. ‘I don’t owe Deku anything. He did it all by himself.’)

In an act of déjà vu, the boy stormed up to his room. Deku remained like a statue in the dining, the mask of a smile still on. Shit, Katsuki swore internally. He hated this. He hated, hated, HATED this shipwreck of a farce.

He muffled his screaming into the pillow, buried underneath the warmth of the comforter. Suddenly, he felt a dip of weight on the edge of his bed. Deku.

“I’m sorry, Kacchan.” Deku apologised kindly. Katsuki couldn’t see his face, nor did he want to. “My finals are near and I’m feeling the pressure a bit. Don’t be angry, we’ll have curry for lunch tomorrow, okay?”

The coaxing went on for at least a quarter for an hour before Katsuki reluctantly wiggled out from his cocoon of self-justified misery. Deku was relieved, it was easy to tell when his expression softened like that.

Katsuki pinched the older boy’s nose, which made him let out a weird ‘meep’ noise.  “Why did they say you felt cold?” He insisted on asking. “Don’t say you’re warm-blooded, Deku. I’ve got no mood for your stupid jokes.”

Against Deku’s, Katsuki’s wrists looked pitifully scrawny. The fingers that was pinching the green-haired teen’s nose was pushed away, leaving Katsuki growling impatiently. Deku sighed, “Well, you see, Kacchan. Maybe I was a bit mad about your newest friends. They didn’t seem very nice.”

“Friends? They aren’t my friends, Deku. Those extras are nothing to me.”

There was a chime of laughter and maybe the temperature did rise a bit. “I’m glad. Since I’ve stopped wanting to become a Hero, all my attention will be on you now. My cute, cute, Kacchan, I’ve watched you grow up since you were this small. It makes me parental, y’know?”

“Don’t be disgusting,” rebutted Katsuki, even gagging for show. The theatrics was rewarded with a fond hair ruffle. “You didn’t finish your dinner.” Deku reminded. “Don’t waste the food please.”

Katsuki went down with a grunt of affirmation. After he left the room, Izuku let out a deep breath. To think that even a bunch of kids could pick up on his dislike. Thankfully, Kacchan had the emotional intelligence of a teaspoon.

Chapter Text

Deku skipped grades in middle school and graduated high school early. At 16, scholarships were lined up for his convenience from the start of Musutafu, to the end, and back. Apparently, it didn’t matter if he had no Quirk. They wanted his brain in a world where words were more valuable than lives.

Intelligent and slightly ignorant all the same, young Katsuki had asked his old hag, “Who’d want Deku?”. “Japan.” She answered, with an amused tilt on her lips.

“That doesn’t make any shit sense.” The blond sneered, later yowled when Mitsuki knocked him at the back of his head for the tone and language.

“You’ll get it when you’re older, brat. But you gotta know that if you want to be a Hero when you’re older, Izuku-kun’s going to have the last say on it. Treat him well, he’s a good person.”

“I know that!” Katsuki snapped rudely, earning another smack. Did he though?

It was one of those rare days wherein Katsuki visited on his own, so Izuku was in a disgustingly good mood. The teen had skips in his steps when Katsuki demanded for some handmade snacks which Deku readily started from scratch.

“Deku,” Katsuki called by the counter. The teen hummed just as the clock struck 1. He’d been whisking the batter with a pleased expression.

“What’re you gonna be when you grow up?” the blond asked then, like he hadn’t been the one to crush Deku’s dream in the first place.

The whisking stopped and Deku flinched. Just as quickly, the slight fracture in his mask was pieced together with practiced professionalism. In a strange turbulence of temperature, the air chilled and warmed simultaneously.

Katsuki ignored the goose-bumps in favour of growing angrier with every second gone. He’d always known that Deku acted a bit when he was around, but never had the difference been presented so openly.

Deku could tell that he was angry, of course. The teen always did. Prepared to take verbal blows, the pair of green eyes grew notoriously gentle and kind. Katsuki felt nothing but sad fondness directed his way.

It was the reason he left. With a scowl that could rival Villains, Katsuki walked right out of the kitchen and into the living and out again from the entrance.

Was it becoming a habit? Running away from his problems and pretending they didn’t exist till it blew up in his face? Whatever. It wasn’t like he cared.

But right before Katsuki’s foot could take the first step out, Deku told him with ear-piercing clarity. “I’m going to go into law, Kacchan, so I probably won’t be around for a while.”

“Suit yourself.” Katsuki declared coldly, head turned over his shoulder. He didn’t eat a single bite of dinner that night.

(Little did he know, that after his small figure left, Deku laughed loudly and bitterly. “Won’t you miss me?” He asked rhetorically, expecting no answer and getting none.)

Deku had never been a liar, so Katsuki and his family were on their way to the airport in no time. Idly, he counted his heartbeats when Mitsuki started rambling on about the influences Deku might encounter during his studies outstation.

Tokyo University wasn’t even that far away, Kacchan rudely clicked his tongue at the dramatics his parents went to.

His first airport experience wasn’t all that great. They had lunch, but the food was simply more overpriced than usual. Nothing too special. Deku avoided his scorching gaze the entire time.

People would be blind if they hadn’t noticed, although strangely enough, his mother hadn’t commented on the obvious tension between the two.

Boys. Let the brats be, they’ll get over it.” Katsuki might’ve imagined his mother say before she went into the washroom with Inko after their meal. It only did good in making his mood fouler than blue cheese.

Arguably, the last conversation Deku and he had was right before the nerd had to leave for the waiting room before boarding. Champion actor he was, Deku smiled warmly as he watched Katsuki’s expression spin through an entire colour wheel.

The older teen knelt on one knee and leaned in close, so close than Katsuki could almost smell his disgusting breath of Katsudon with an extra dollop of egg on top. They were at eye level now as Katsuki instinctively reached for the soft buzz from the undercut of Deku’s hair.

There was something about having the back of Deku’s neck that made Katsuki feel powerful, like he’d come to tame a dangerous beast knowing fully it’d die before even chipping the edge of his nails. “I’ll text, Kacchan.” He said softly, “I’ll even send over some gifts.”

Katsuki bared his teeth, canines and gums showing. “I don’t fucking need it,” he growled. Deku shook his head, the motion stiff as a handprint worked to form at the pressure Katsuki exerted on his skin.

“You’ll like it, I promise.”

“I said I don’t need the shit you give me.”

“Then you can throw it away. As long as you hate it, I will too. Just… just take a look at least, yeah?”

Katsuki made a strangled sound at that. “Stop being such a creepy freak, Deku.”

It made the other male laugh, rankling the blond to no end. With large hands at least two times larger than Katsuki’s, Deku gently took him by the wrist, releasing himself from the bruising hold.

For reasons unknown to men, or perhaps only him, Deku also unwrapped the dark forest green scarf he wore and gave it to Katsuki. It had been winter at the time, with temperature at the negatives but without snow.

He tugged at the comfortable cashmere around his neck. Katsuki rolled his eyes. They were in the airport; it wasn’t even cold. Was this supposed to be a compromise, or something? It was lame as hell.

“I’ll miss you, Kacchan.” Deku murmured, running large hands through his blond locks. Shit, now Katsuki’s going to have to choose his shampoo by himself. Hair should not be a concern for a guy his age.

“Fuck off.” And fuck off Deku did. For a long time and physically, to say the least.

Once a day, Katsuki would then receive a single text message from Deku which he never returned. Two months after the see off, the Bakugou’s mail was present with the (first, but certainly not last) ‘souvenir’ Deku said he’d give.

It was a set of headphones, latest on the market and more expensive than the usual household could afford. This was how he spent the scholarship money? Katsuki inwardly cringed with slight disbelief. He ended keeping the thing, though.

Chapter Text

The constant packaged mails didn’t stop by the single digits. Deku was consistent, if nothing else. Katsuki never questioned it, but he had realised that despite the pointless chipper texts and shit, Deku never returned to Musutafu.

Based on what he’d heard from his mother, Aunty Inko got money transferred every month and she video called Deku every few days. Their relationship was solid, albeit if a bit strained.

Katsuki secretly scowled to himself and questioned – everything was fine, right? Deku was supposed to like Katsuki; his proof laid in the newly modelled smartphone, the speech bubbles on the app as real as anything else.

Katsuki himself didn’t miss Deku when the little niggling voice popped up after the first year. Not at all. The nerd wouldn’t possible neglect his family because of him.

It wasn’t his fault.

The belief solidifies when he graduated from primary school to move on to middle school. Deku had appeared then, dressed smartly in a well-knitted dark green sweater over a white collared shirt. His once messy locks swept to the side.

A pair of charcoal pants completed the outfit. Deku had been leaning against the wall at the back of the hall when Katsuki’s own family were seated at the front rows, Mitsuki dabbing a lilac napkin at her eyes.

The younger blond wasn’t blind. He noticed the bunch of hormonal pubescent kids whispering among themselves like a bunch of chittering harpies, making goo-goo eyes at the attractive stranger.

“Congratulations, Kacchan.” Said Deku when the ceremony ended, a warm smile on his freckled face. In the crook of his arms laid a bouquet of fresh flowers. A small card attached on a stick jutted out from the crisp waxy paper, copying the older boy’s words.

“Deku? What the fuc- when did you get back?” Katsuki asked numbly, mouth he’d deny to have been stuck open long enough to catch flies. “Yesterday night, actually.” Deku flushed, finger scratching the line of his jaw. “I wanted it to be a surprise.”

Counting backwards from 10 like Deku once taught him after a particularly bad nightmare, the countdown served to calm his fraying nerves. What was he even feeling nervous about? Katsuki feared nothing.

Fuck, he grumbled underneath his breath, and shoved the taken bouquet of lilies and carnations and something directly at his father’s stomach. “Katsuki!” he heard the old hag admonish loudly.

Dodging the head smack his mother motioned, Katsuki’s sweaty grip on Deku wrist as he dragged them both away surprised the continuously busybody crowd. Even the teachers that were approaching with stars in their eyes backed off when they saw the expression of repressed something in Katsuki.

Such a pity, most of them sighed in their minds. It wasn’t everyday a student worth bragging about came up. Quirkless or not, at least the young Midoriya was polite and paved on a road to wealthy success.

On the other hand, Deku remained placated. Indulgence full and true on his content smile.

“What the fuck were you thinking when you pulled this shit off, Deku?!” Scowled the boy once he dragged them to a relatively neglected looking storage room connected to the gym nearby.

Deku slid the entrance close behind him, bumping his head on the door frame as his hand didn’t leave the handle. “What do you mean, Kacchan?” The 19-year-old dared to feign, voice playful.

“You haven’t returned once for almost a year! Do you even know how upset that got Aunty Inko? Then you just come down here all of a sudden for me.” he pointed at his chest with thumb.

“Of course,” Deku interrupted before Katsuki could continue. “It was your graduation and you’re my precious little brother. Although I did come down to see my mother, y’know. I just told her to keep it hush.”

Katsuki flinched. “What.”

“It was never for more than a night, Kacchan,” The young adult pacified. “I didn’t want to make a big thing of it.”

“But you didn’t tell me.” The blond yowled wetly, accusing and upset. Betrayal was thick in his tone. Rational dropping faster than his explosions. “Think you’re so big now, huh, Deku? Am I just some kid that you could just give some treats to and I’d roll over all happy like a fucking dog? Well guess what-!”

The taller male was dropping to one knee before he knew it. Katsuki felt warmth surround his lanky frame that reached only till Deku’s chest if they both stood side by side. “That’s not it, Kacchan.” The low soothing voice murmured next to his ear.

Grinding his teeth, Katsuki gave Deku a look. “Really,” Deku lightly tussled his hair, bringing sweaty ones to his fuzzy undercut. Katsuki pulled at the short strands, idly considering setting off an explosion but deciding not to.

“The thing is,” He started cheerfully, and bashfully nodded when he saw Katsuki scalding gaze. “Okay, okay. My Kacchan’s so impatient.”

Katsuki bared his teeth this time, a guttural growl leaving his lips.

“Oh- Oww… W-wait, don’t pull! Alright, alright, I give. I’ll get straight to the point!

“I may or may not have been avoiding you.” Deku admitted, eyes averted guiltily. He shouldn’t have been surprised, but hurt welled from within Katsuki without his permission nevertheless. And with his free hand, the blond punched Deku in the chest – the help of his Quirk aiding along the impact.

Deku gasped, but made no other indication of his pain. “If I saw you, Kacchan.” The nerd continued, “I wouldn’t want to leave.”

“Don’t bullshit me, Deku. What the fuck does that mean?”

“Exactly that. Your mother’s been updating news of you for me, you see. Not that I asked, but I’m not one for complaining. You never answer my texts,” Deku pouted, “And on the blue moon occasion that you do, it’s always super short and you never tell me anything about yourself or day! Blame a concerned older brother, why don’t you.”

Katsuki squinted, familiar anger rising. He wasn’t truly angry, however, more exasperated. An emotion reserved exclusively for Deku. “Talk.”

“She said your tantrums have been worse since I left!” Deku wailed comically, looking unfairly handsome even so.

“Something about having no more slave to drive around so you’ve been taking it out on your classmates. I thought that if you knew I returned, you’d only have to say the word, and I’d drop all of my due assignments for your whims.”

“Don’t be fucking ridiculous, you wouldn’t actually do that, Deku.”

“He said he would, didn’t he.” Panda-eyes giggled hysterically. “Ohemgee, and you’re saying that this guy isn’t anything more than your childhood neighbour?”

“I smell bullshit,” Soy-sauce Face chipped his unwanted opinion in. Katsuki wanted to bash both their faces in.

“Fuck you,” Katsuki said instead. Scattered around the class with several sitting on their desks, his classmates laughed. Save for the Four-eyed Elite, who looked scandalised by the course language.

Really, fuck him, fuck this, and fuck afterschool circle time.

“Nothing to be ashamed about, Bakudude! Deku sounds super manly! It’d be pretty cool to grow up knowing someone like that.” Shitty Hair elbowed him playfully.

In exchange for deepening his scowl, Katsuki pretended to ignore the considering look that flashed past the Hair-for-brains’ stupid face.

Make the count to three. Katsuki could hardly even recall why they were talking about his past. Much less about Deku. He liked his privacy, and venomously blamed the nerd that subconsciously ate at his mind. Reminding him to make more friends; to be civil.

I mean, look at Half-and-half. The guy admitted to having 3 siblings before him and he didn’t have to say shit! While Katsuki got these assholes speculating random-ass speculations just because he changed headphones every few days or so.

So what if they weren’t on the market yet? The girl who could pull out a freakin’ canon ball from the space between her tits could’ve gotten them too. She was as rich as Hades himself. Why’d they gotta be so fucking annoying about it?

“Because you also showcase knowledge on events that neither Pro-heroes nor police are unaware of.” The creation girl pinched her chin, replying to a question that Katsuki might’ve blurted in his irritation and anger.

Right. Now wasn’t that the source of all this? Yap a secret on one of Japan’s greatest crime groups- as unofficial as the information technically was- and the Extras flock. Some of the story-telling before had been shittingly unnecessary, though.

“The nerd was half-asleep,” Katsuki defended. “No one had any proof it was real. Deku’s nothing special.”

“To you, yeah.” Creation Girl said coolly. Her shrug only served to make everyone else more curious. They didn’t know much outside Heroes and battle tactics. Who was Midoriya Izuku?

Chapter Text

To Todoroki Shoto, Midoriya Izuku was equal parts a saviour and Hero that belonged exclusively to him in the vaguest sense. As much as he failed to see it, not many considered the morally dubious character heroic by any means.

The fact wasn’t a deterrent. Not much could be considered an obstacle when the image was so firmly ingrained into his mind, much more vivid than any of his trash father’s unethical tries at ‘Hero’ training.

The view of Midoriya’s back as he put Enji beneath the metaphorical heel was breath-taking. It set Shoto’s heart aflame and on ice all at once, stomach dropping and heart fluttering. His head had spun, eyes wide with disbelief. Unlike anything before, for once, the heat of his father’s flamed fist hadn’t mattered.

Why should it? When Midoriya had taken the brunt of it in an effort to protect his twelve-year-old self. He couldn’t even recall why the young man was there in the first place, only that the muscled arm blocking over head as he protected Shoto looked a lot like the scar his mother gave him when it was still fresh.

The evidence of Shouto’s salvation- sin, joy, the proof that someone cared, all at once- on Midoriya covered on a majority of his arm, reaching from half his forearm and quite a distance above his elbow. There had been some blood and fraying pink skin that looked kind of slimy alongside forming blisters.

Carried out of the Flame Hero’s own home, Shoto could only toddle along, loosely taking hold of the uninjured hand when Midoriya was heaved on to the stretcher. The medics didn’t seem to mind, giving only one understanding glance before they were both hitched on to the ambulance.

(Midoriya’s hand were large and had stubby fingers, his nails neatly trimmed. Staring at the back of it, visible veins were laced over the subtle bumps of solid bones. Clearly, this particular arm was mercifully left unscarred, it was supposed to be a good thing. But Shoto would later dream about falling, the press of gravity broken when someone catches him. Cradled carefully, the arms that caught him were both licked with fire’s ravenous tongue.)

Endeavour’s face had been slack, like it had yet to register in his brain as to how much he’d fucked up from this accidental ‘incident’ alone.

He’d just injured a civilian, and not just any random side-walker on the street. Midoriya was a man of many, many talents. One of which was a spell-binding charisma that entranced one too many men, women, and non-binaries in power. Specifically, power that technically decided his career.

So what if the boy hadn’t graduated? People knew a diamond when they saw one.

So what if he didn’t have a Quirk? Did people think society ran on gladiator-style battles or something? No, it was on (preferably legal) paper work above paper work above plenty of sleepless nights trying to make sure said paperwork goes through in the first place. Everything had its protocol, after all. They weren’t barbarians.

A good Quirk defined by its use in battle? Pointless, by the long term, if all the good it did was to destroy. Everyone had their roles, government included. Especially them, but direct battle was not included in the repertoire of responsibilities. Hell, the current ruling president’s Quirk simply allowed him to identify a person’s competence for particular jobs. That was it. Executive officers- the ones who actually cared- loved him anyway.

It was a constant battle in office, where invisible tensions ran high. Every word served as its own weapon that can and will be used against you at the most inconvenient times. One wrong step, and anyone could find their power, influence, reputation- entire lives washed out like bleach poured down the drain because of few wrongly worded statements to the public.

In a time where Quirks and Heroes were common, you bet the sly shits watched themselves. Riots could get dangerous, especially protests fuelled by arguably valid passion just because they could.

Someone had to remain to make sure the future generations weren’t living like a bunch of unstructured animals without any practical or efficient order whatsoever. Until they realised that fighting wasn’t going to feed them, people tended to forget that not everybody could sustain themselves on self-righteousness alone.

Perhaps as only a single digit individual, Midoriya Izuku wouldn’t make much of a difference, but sometimes, one good lawyer was all it took for the pieces to fall like the accidentally elbowed years-old dominos. Plus, the boy was good with a crowd, he knew they wanted and how to get it. He had the facts and society’s unprecedented rules to back him up. It was by society’s standards- safe, sane, and consensual.

Plus, he had a drive that had the front seaters vibrating in anticipation to see this young hawk fly. Midoriya would be the only person who could be offered four adoption forms to sign simply after one dinner party.

Endeavour’s witnessed it first hand during an exclusive event; Midoriya had ideas, very sound ones. And people ate it up like they’d been starved throughout their entire careers.

In Shoto’s eyes from the present, time moved too quickly. One blink – he was with Midoriya at the hospital. Two blinks – at his sibling’s apartment in the next. Three blinks – wandering the courtroom’s marble floors. Everything within a dream’s indecipherable timespan that shouldn’t have been as surprisingly instant as it was.

Just like that, Father- the monster’s gone. Shut away from the world forever. Left to rot in a lifeless abyss where living was worth less than dying. Plus, what was left of the Todoroki family: his sister, mother, and brother were free to take charge of the entirety of the flaming trash’s wealth as compensation.

Once Izuku was given the okay to leave the hospital, Endeavour’s career was essentially done - to put ice on the soba. Pride, prestige, dignity, mutilated off like a bird with clipped feathers. Shoto hasn’t felt this much spiteful glee since Touya accidentally set good ol’ Dad on fire, leaving him with very permanent scars.

Let that man have a taste of his own medicine for once; what a tragedy that it hadn’t marred over an area obvious to the public eye. Shoto had destroyed five training dummies because of that unfortunate detail. He also may or may not have set the training room on ice and fire by accident.

Back at court, an embarrassing rumble escaped his stomach. He hadn’t an appetite all morning, but it struck during a very specific moment. Shoto was half convinced that it wasn’t the type of hunger that related itself to food. He suspected something a tad bit more ravenous, but not at all related to lust. No, he was an emotionally stunted 12 and half years old. Romantic love listed least of his unsolved repertoire of priorities bred of spite and anger. So Shoto was entranced with admiration, probably. He could guess trust as well, or exhilaration? or jealousy, or Idolization. Either was plausible, a healthy dose of fear notwithstanding.

Shoto wasn’t without doubt, despite his trust in the lawyer. The monster might be lawfully locked away by society’s rules and sanctions, but what if his father escaped? He wouldn’t put past the man to think himself above the law regardless of his stripped Hero status.

The Todoroki family were wealthy and powerful, so leaving the country with a new identity at hand wouldn’t be easy, per se, simply not impossible.

The boy let out a frustrated grunt when his father was escorted away by a formally dressed man. He tugged at his own suit- tailored in navy blue- when the thing almost burned to ashes when his feelings overrode control. Stoically frantic, the boy patted down the fumes of smoke starting to wisp from the fabric.

Damn it, Shoto.

“Todoroki-kun! You doing alright?” Came a voice, friendly, calming, familiar in equal measure. Shoto looked up, eyes and scar hidden by bi-coloured bangs. Midoriya-san was walking up to him, gait steady and graceful with the occasional wince when his still-healing arm wrapped in a sling rubbed wrongly. His eyes were indescribably gentle.

The smile honestly helped. Shoto’s hands immediately attached themselves to Midoriya-san’s blazer as he knelt down. “What if he gets out?” He asked, voice soft. “Father has friends,” Shoto’s expression sunk, “I don’t want Fuyumi-nee, Natsuo-nii, Kaa-san, or anyone else to get hurt.”

“You’re right that your old man has friends,” Midoriya acknowledged, sounding like he approved of Shoto’s worry. “But he won’t be getting out and neither will anyone get hurt.” He promised, giving a reassuring look. Shoto almost asked how Midoriya knew that until he saw the sinister smirk flash past Midoriya’s face.

“Don’t worry, Todoroki-kun. I have friends too.”

“Midoriya-san, call me Shoto, please.” The younger boy politely wanted, flushing shyly. It got him a surprised widening of Midoriya’s eyes, the shimmering shades of green outshining the heavy dusting of freckles on across his nose and cheeks.

“Sure thing, and you can call me Izuku too. But only if you grant a small favour of mine, ne?”

Shoto let out an unintelligent “What?” which busted a short laugh out of the older male. “Just kidding, I’ll call you Shoto and you can call me Izuku even if you don’t do this for me. But what about it, I’ll be extremely grateful if you’re willing to do this for me. Consider me in your debt, Shocchan.”

“I- That’s not- Okay.”

“Thank you,” Midoriya’s eyes curved happily. “You’re planning to get into UA, right?”


“I’m asking this of you because I have no doubt you’ll get in, Shocchan. You’re a good boy; smart and extremely talented. You’ll make for an unrivalled Hero in the future. I can see it.” The young adult grinned. Shoto could see the seriousness in his eyes. Midori- Izuku believed in him, truly.

“My little brother’s planning on getting in too.” He continued happily. “Watch out for him for me, yeah? His name’s Bakugou Katsuki.”

“Is he like you?”

“Appearance-wise? Not at all. Our families were neighbours so I’ve raised him since he was born. You can’t miss him. Kacchan can be quite the attention magnet. He has an amazing Quirk and an… explosive potential. I’d honestly pay to see you two meet, actually. You’ll both make quite the pair.”

“Ah.” Shoto dropped his head, it wasn’t exactly what he was looking for. No matter. “I’ll look after him, promise.” He said. “Thank you,” Izuku murmured, having taken Shoto’s right hand and saying his words into it like a prayer. Shoto noted that his Hero’s lips felt dry against the flat of his palm. Maybe his right side wasn’t so bad after all.

Chapter Text

The guy was probably aware of it to some extent, but Kirishima thought that Bakugou Katsuki was magnetic. Equipped with a literally explosive Quirk of a crimson glare that could arguably kill otherwise, there was something about the way he carried himself that had Kirishima so, so curious. Quite blatantly in admiration as well.

I want to be as manly as him! the red-head’s inner man yelled with conviction.

Even if Bakugou might not be the friendliest of folk or one for polite conversation, Eijirou honestly couldn’t care less. He wanted them to be friends even if the journey would cost an arm or leg.

Bakugou radiated a kind of heat to him that made him feel so alive – and not of breath, more within the lines of a final match between two otherworldly champions that bet their life and death on the final outcome.

Nevertheless, today might be the wrong day to try asking about hobbies, thought the teen, because Eijirou was actually decent at reading people.

He had a gist of the lines people drew, what they could handle and not. Tact, his dad called it. An excellent social skill to have, his other father summarised. He got it from me, Dad would then claim. You wish, Pops immediately choked in laughter.

The blond was all kinds of furious right at this moment; and it wasn’t one Eijirou could try testing any kinds of limits on. He’d die an unmanly death for although going down in a battle of furious storms sounded manly, provoking a classmate who needed his space very desperately wasn’t.

Eijirou couldn’t help returning the subtle looks that Mina gave him.

Aizawa-sensei had frowned when he walked in for homeroom and Eijirou chalked it up as a normal reaction to Bakugou’s obviously foul mood so early in the morning. He thought no more on it when Class 1A finally has their first activity that was relatively school-like wherein people were volunteering themselves so enthusiastically that they were almost spilling over from their seats. 

It made Eijirou's chuck out a short laugh when Iida-kun soon came up with a way to make the decision making fair. The guy was seriously so efficient it was kinda funny. Nevertheless, their class was pretty chill, all things considered. Eijirou could already tell how everyone here, save the Mineta guy, would make absolutely manly Heroes in the future.

Gratefulness welled within him, streams of manly tears feeling like ice on his cooling cheeks. Everything was just so unreal, y’know. He was really here, in UA, with other UA students sharing the same class. He could honour his idol and himself properly now.

“Wipe that disgusting shit off your face, Hair for Brains,” Admonished a coarse voice, knee deep in resembling an animal’s growl.

The red-head turned, as so did everyone else. It was the first word the blond had spoken since the day started. Eijirou took the offered tissue paper anyway, idly noting that Bakugou had changed his wristwatch again. Another inhumanely expensive item, so he’s observed for the past few days. Why’s Bakubro even carrying around tissues?

“Er- thanks?” Eijirou grinned poorly.

“I can’t fucking stand it when any sorta lame ass cries.” Bakugou said like the mind-blowingly manly psychic he was, making him gasp dramatically. Hiding his shark teeth behind a calloused palm, Mina squealed nearby.

“Our resident angry Pomeranian is being nice!” She shook Tsuyu's shoulder excitedly. “Aww, he even carries around tissues like a mom!”

“Shut up.” Bakugou grunted grumpily; “FUCK!” he then slammed the desk with a clenched fist, as though just remembering that he still had a teeth-grating anger to bite on still. Yet even as he left the class after Aizawa-sensei’s soft permission, he didn’t forget to toss in his choice of a class representative on the way out. At that moment, Eijirou decided he really liked the guy and that Bakubro will be his friend.

Normally – and Katsuki was pissed off to admit how much it bothered him – Deku never left him hanging. Always, always, and things may be delayed, but his texts never went unanswered for more than 24 hours.

Deku liked to bitch about this particular part of himself, half laughing through the screen they video-chatted with once a month. He was too soft on him, he’d say fondly and then jokingly accuse Katsuki of his terribly inconvenient timing that he did on purpose sometimes.

Even so, it didn’t change that the older man always returned any kind of text Katsuki had to Deku’s own lame messages. In which consisted of the most random of questions and motivational Hero quotes. All Might’s in particular. Yeah, Deku thought that the shit was hilarious. Katsuki would concur.

The truth stayed especially absolute whenever he took an initiative to ask Deku about something: be it questions about his studies, ass-crack of dawn ‘what if life was actually a simulation all along’ questions, questions on the best restaurants to have curry-topped pizza or even where his bomb printed socks were.

He wasn’t even responsible for tidying the blond’s room anymore, but Deku always knew for some peculiar reason. Katsuki suspected sorcery when secret cameras were out of the question because: one, it would be plain despicable creep behaviour; two, highly illegal for a practicing lawyer; three, Katsuki had set his room on fire more than once across the numerous summers.

In conclusion, he was pretty fucking sure about the sorcery theory.

Anyway, the older man essentially liked keeping up with Katsuki’s life in general. This time, however, casted a shadow of worry and habitual anger when he was left hanging.

Everything had been as usual in the morning. For breakfast, the blond ate two pieces of toast dipped in leftover curry from yesterday night because nobody was fucking judging.

Plus, his old man and woman were outstation again so Katsuki also treated himself to an extra box of yogurt – a rare occasion, when having two felt like a sin when his parents were home and he didn’t know why.

You: Deku where r d xtra shoelaces

You: White 1

You: Also wats the norm price for 3.5 carrots

You: fuck off dun ask

Katsuki didn’t get an answer when the last class at UA ended. Deku’s profile showed no signs of being online for the past 10 hours either. Immediately, the blond regretted checking in the first place because he could feel his twice damned temper flaring like a thermometer dropped in hot water, colour equalled to the loud roar of thunder as the skies blacken in herald of what’s to come.

He wasn’t equipped to deal with this shit. Everything simply kept rising and rising and rising. Every breath exhaled from his classmates tickled a sleeping lion. Their voices failed to become white noise buzzing in the background, amplifying threefold instead.

He knew what Hair-for-Brains had for lunch, what type of guys and girls Panda Eyes liked, had overheard fucking Half-and-Half’s nearly soundless jab at Endeavour when Soy Sauce Face said some shit about the Hero to Caw-caw-motherfucker.

It wasn’t anywhere close pleasant when Katsuki’s brain started to whirl out all kinds of worst case scenarios in addition to all the noise. Deku was fundamentally still weak in his eyes – anything could’ve happened and the nerd would be helpless to it. Katsuki would be helpless to it.

Next day flew by and nothing. Katsuki was ready to blow shit up (he did bow shit up) and people parted like the red sea wherever he went, passing second glances if he growled while checking his phone for seventh time this morning. It said a lot when even Hair-for-Brains wisely stayed clear.

Katsuki discretely rolled his eyes when he left the class in the middle of their little voting session. He’d picked the Momo girl who had showcased that she knew shit.

Making a turn at the end of the corridor, he found solace in the washroom where there wasn’t anyone present. Toilet stalls were a blessing and Katsuki’s ate up its silence with a loud curse. 

“What the actual fuck, Deku?!”

Checking his phone in the washroom, Katsuki burst a vein. The nerd finally replied! A spam of answers after his own green bubbles.

Deku: !!! omg srry Kacchan

Deku: Had rlly important stuff to settle

Deku: new boss kinda shit

Deku: op dun tell him I said that

Deku: anyway, ur shoelace r on the top right shelf in the storeroom in the blue watch box. Carrots r… um.

Deku: around 330 yen if u get em at the store I showed u. they do deliver but u gonna hve to pay more

Deku: how was ur day Kacchan?