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“Hey, Kacchan!” Deku’s greeting is bright as he climbs through Katsuki’s open window. Katsuki pears over the top of his comic book and scoffs. He tosses his comic on the floor, used to the quirkless boy’s uninvited appearances.

“I thought I told you to eat shit and die last time you did this?” Katsuki glances at the other boy. He looks the same as always: bushy green hair, splattered freckles, and wide shiny eyes.

Deku nods sagely, “Oh, you did. You know I don’t listen very well though.”

“Of course you don’t.” Katsuki rolls his eyes and sits up. Had this been anyone else, Katsuki would have cursed out their entire bloodline, flipped his shit, and thrown in an explosion-fused ass beating for the hell of it. But it’s Deku, and he gets away with almost everything in Katsuki’s mind. Probably because Deku’s the only one that can get through Katsuki’s bitch fits and bullshit. He spins his hips and puts his feet flat on the floor. “You’re a shitty Deku.”

Katsuki had holed himself up in his room for hours, lying on his bed and doing random shit to pass the time. He cocks his head and pops the kinks out of his neck. He’d never say it, but he’s kind of glad Deku showed up, albeit unannounced.

From the corner of his room, he can hear Deku gently push the school crap on his desk to make room before sitting on the furniture. Deku says nothing about the insult, like he usually does, and kicks his legs, letting them swing in the air like pendulums. He beams back at Katsuki which the blonde promptly returns with a middle finger. “How was your day, Kacchan?”

It was nothing new. He had suffered through school which consisted of D-list extras that thought they were the second coming of Christ themselves. Katsuki followed that shitshow up with a mind-numbing session with his therapist. The dicknipple loved telling him the same bullshit about issues Katsuki doesn’t fuckin’ have. Then, the real cherry on top of his crappy days, the usual hackling of the old hag. Thinking about it makes him roll his eyes again. Everyone around him is so goddamn annoying.

“New day, same shit.” Katsuki picks up one of his socks off the floor and has to resist the urge to blow it up. Instead, he takes a page out of his shitty therapist’s book and decides to be productive.

He flings the dirty sock in his hands at Deku.

Katsuki wastes no time breezing back onto his bullshit as if he hadn’t done anything at all. “This fuckin’ moron in my class kept saying shit about me again, so I blew up a part of his desk and cussed him out.”

Deku swats the sock away. His nose wrinkles up with disgust and it makes Katsuki snort. He finds annoying Deku to be a very good use of his time.

“I swear every time he speaks I can see the few IQ points he has fall out of his crusty, dusty, musty ass lips. I don’t even get why the fuck I’m in the same class as him anyway. I’m acing all our tests and that dumbfuck made a twenty-nine on the last assignment, and you get twenty points from just copying what the shitty teacher told us to!” Katsuki scowls as his mood once again tanks. He snatches his other sock off the ground and it goes up in smokes. The douche canoe’s very existence is enough to get Katsuki riled up.

“Kacchan!” Deku scolds, “Don’t use your quirk indoors or to blow up any of your stuff.”

“And stop blowing up Daiki’s desk. He keeps talking bad about you because you keep doing bad things to him.” Deku tacks on as an afterthought.

“Maybe when he fuckin’ stops being an idiot that deserves it,” Katsuki mumbles. He hates it when Deku scolds him. The irritation after one of his shitty lectures is unbearable. “How do you even fucking know that lil’ bitch’s name? You don’t even go to my school.”

“I think the real question is,” Deku laughs at him, light and airy. He points an accusative finger at Katsuki, “why you don’t know his name.”

“Anyway,” Katsuki says with a raucous start, brashly changing the subject. He ignores Deku’s question and is quick to jump back on his soapbox, “the old hag and I got into a fight again about my shitty therapist. She won’t let me stop going to the money drain, but it’s her fucking money I guess. Just wished she’d stop wasting my time doing it. Like, the asshole keeps insisting that I'm ignoring my issues or that I’m in denial or delusional or some shit, and I keep telling him to eat my entire ass—“

“Kacchan, you know they’re only looking out for your best interests.” And that’s what pisses Katsuki off the most. He’s sick and tired of all these shitty ass people giving him their shitty ass opinions about how he needs some shitty ass help!

“Yeah? Well, it’s pissing me off!” Katsuki yells and more big sparks pop off the palms of his hands. “They keep on insisting I get hel—“

For the second time, Katsuki gets cut off again, but instead of Deku interrupting, his mother’s voice shouts from downstairs. “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SO LOUD FOR? KATSUKI, YOU BETTER NOT BE USING YOUR QUIRK UP THERE!”

Katsuki meets Deku’s wide eyes and he’s already pushing himself off of his desk. In a frantic rush, Deku stumbles over his two own feet and knocks over the cup of pencils on the desk, making Katsuki hiss at him. He can hear the rapid sound of Mitsuki’s footsteps as she makes her way up the stairs. Katsuki scrambles to untangle himself from his sheets and get off of his bed. Deku gives him a panicked look that makes Katsuki roll his eyes, again. Katsuki places firm hands on the nerd’s shoulders and shoves him into his closet. The second he shuts it, the door to his room swings open and reveals a fuming Mitsuki.

“What?” Katsuki bites. He crosses his arms over his chest as he leans on the closet in an attempt to act nonchalant. Katsuki glares at his mom expectantly despite the thumping in his chest.

Her eyes narrow in suspicion, but Katsuki holds his ground. Her hand is still on the handle of his door and she has a basket of laundry propped up against her hip. Katsuki knows the smell of smoke is still lingering. “You used your quirk in here.”

Katsuki scoffs at her and casually kicks one of the pens that fell off of his desk in the earlier rush. He hears it roll and stop with a clatter when it hits the leg of his desk. He challenges her with a glare, “And what if I did?”

“You knows you’re not allowed to use your quirk, Katsuki. In this household or outside.”

“And who made that rule?” Katsuki mocks as he jumps back onto his bed. His mom lets loose a sigh and pushes the door open further. She sets down the laundry outside of the door, and Katsuki makes room on his bed since he already knows what’s coming. It seems like he’s been running the same script, over and over.

“Katsuki,” She begins as she sinks into the bed, “you know why I do everything I do. You can’t use your quirk inside because it might destroy something, and I am not replacing anything of yours you blow up.”

Katsuki grumbles. He already knows that.
Growing up, all of his outbursts resulted in the demise of some object. At first, his mother would replace everything he blew up. The stuffed animals, the toothbrushes, the (ugly) vase in the living room. One day, though, his All Might toy did not come back new and squeaky. His backpack permanently had one of its straps burnt right off. And he walked for three months straight with a hole in the bottom of his shoe. No matter how many hissy fits he threw or how loud he screamed, Mitsuki refused to restore anything Katsuki destroyed. Katsuki quickly learned to stop using his quirk to destroy things after that.

Well, things he wants to keep. Katsuki doesn’t particularly care for that specific sock. Plus, he can blow up its pair later, when he, undoubtedly, gets mad again.

“Yeah, yeah,” Katsuki mutters. He fixes his sight on the color of his sheets, letting his hair fall in front of his eyes. He wants to get this over with. He already had a screaming match with his mom once today, so he really wasn’t in the mood to go through some bullshit heart to heart.

Mitsuki brushes his hair off of his face in an attempt to get him to look at her, but he turns his head away and lightly pushes off her hand. Katsuki’s eyes burn a hole in the door of his closet as if he could see Deku through the wood. A part of Katsuki laughs at the thought of Deku trapped in the horde of t-shirts he’s accumulated through the years. It distracts him for a split second from his situation.

“Katsuki,” His mother says slowly as if tasting the words on her tongue. She gently places her hand over Katsuki’s and lets out a breath when he doesn’t make a move to push her away. “I know you don’t want to go to Dr. Kobayashi, but I’m… I’m worried about you. I—I know it’s—”

Katsuki’s hand twitches with the need to use his quirk on reflex. His mother has always been about I know this and I know that and most annoyingly I’m worried about you. It couldn’t be any fucking clearer that his mom didn’t know jack fuckin’ shit about him. She doesn’t know how to deal with him anymore. She never took the time to consider what he wanted. He doesn’t want to talk to her. He doesn’t want to talk to Dr. Kobayashi. He wants her to leave him the fuck alone. All he wants is for everyone to hop off of his fucking dick!

“It’s been hard after your father’s passing, but Ka—” Katsuki rips his hand out from under hers.

“Get out,” His voice is cold.

“Katsuki-” Katsuki cuts her off again and points at the open door. “No, we’re not talking about this. Drop it or drop dead. Get the fuck out of my room.”

Mitsuki straightens her posture with visible tension in her shoulders. Her brows furrow, her hands clench, and Katsuki can see her speak through gritted teeth. “You little rascal, I am your mother. You ought to show some resp—“

“Get out!” Katsuki screams. His voice rises on the last syllable, sounding like his own throat is grating on the noise.

He hates this. Hates it, hates it, hates it. God, he fucking hates talking about his dad. Everything always goes back to his dad. His dead fucking dad. In the pity in his teachers’ eyes. In the taunts of his shitty classmates. In the endless sessions with his therapist. In these bullshit conversations with his mom. It’s always about his dad. It’s constant pestering from people that fucking think they know him. Newsflash! His dad has been dead for years, and he doesn’t have any problems.

Mitsuki purses her lips and stares Katsuki down. She sits rooted on his bed with no intentions of leaving, but Katsuki refuses to back down either. He can feel his heart pounding in his ears and his chest heaves with every breath. He stands firm, still pointing at his door. He can’t tell if his arms are shaking with rage or adrenaline.

Mitsuki closes her eyes for a moment in an attempt to pull herself together. The silence forces them to stew in the tension of the air. It only adds more fuel to his rage.

“Katsuki.” His mother tries to start again. He can tell she is on the cusp of yelling at him, but ultimately decides to continue with a low tone. “I know—”

A scream tears out of his throat without his permission and Katsuki’s fists curl in on themselves as he lets off an intense explosion. His mother instantly rises to her feet with a righteous fury written clear in the lines of her face.

“Do not use your quirk indoors, young man! You are in my house, under my rules, and you will not disrespect me so blatantly! I am trying to have a civil conversation with you and you are acting like a damn child.”

Katsuki can feel himself boil over. He’s so sick and fucking tired of the endless amount of bullshit his mother pulls by reminding him exactly who holds his leash. He feels his neck grow hot with every rule and finger that jabs into the side of his head as it tells Katsuki who pays the bills in this house. Who feeds him. Who raised him. Like a fucking yank on his collar.

Most of all, Katsuki is furious at his mother’s attempt to parade “worry” and “care” as if she was the victim to Katsuki’s bullshit. As if her lack of parenting was Katsuki’s fault. Every time Katsuki had tried to reach out to her, tugged on her sleeve, cried for help, she disregarded him, writing his words off as a child’s whining. It’s really fuckin’ rich of her to accuse Katsuki of acting like a kid when she’d never paid any attention to him otherwise.

“Haven’t you considered that I don’t want to fucking talk to you, mom?” His voice drips with venom, but he refrains from letting his quirk run wild again. Her face twists up, and Katsuki pushes forward. “Maybe I don’t want to talk to Dr. K or my shitty school counselors or anyone fucking else that insists I’m a goddamn basketcase!”

“Katsuki, I just want you to talk to someone!” His mom is matching his volume now, “You never talk to me anymore, and you keep isolating yourself. You don’t have any friends. You keep throwing yourself into your homework and locking yourself in your room. You aren’t healing. Katsuki, you aren’t getting closure for your father.”

Katsuki laughs, but the sound is ruined with hysteria, “I don’t talk to you because you never listen! I don’t need to tell any nosy fucking bitch my damn business! Everyone just wants to know what the fuck is wrong with me, but there’s nothing fucking wrong! This is the kid you got stuck with, mom! I’m so sorry I didn’t turn out the way you wanted.”

“You know that is not what I mean! You’re isolating yourself, Katsuki.” Her frustration is clear in the bite of her tone, and Katsuki feels a sick satisfaction for getting her to taste her own medicine. “I put you in therapy because you don’t tell me anything, but you keep refusing to let Dr. Kobayashi in either! Talk to someone, goddamnit!”

“I talk to Deku!”

“Deku isn’t fucking real!” Mitsuki screeches at the top of her lungs. The entire house goes silent again and Katsuki can see the horror set in her face. But there’s something in his stupid, stupid brain that doesn’t let him register it. He feels all his festering anger bleed and drain out of him. His mom opens her mouth to say something. An apology, damage control, but Katsuki doesn’t fucking care. He can’t hear her over the deafening silence in his ears. He can’t even look at her right now. He swallows thickly.

Katsuki just feels empty.

Chapter Text

“Get out,” Katsuki whispers as he stares at the grain of the hardwood flooring. He can barely hear himself in his own ears.

Mitsuki desperately tries to backtrack. She grabs his hands and cradles them in hers. “Katsuki… I’m- I-”

“OUT!” Katsuki screeches, ripping his hands from her. He can’t tell if his fingers are burning from his quirk or her touch. His mother flinches and backs up as if he was a startled wild animal. She wordlessly resigns to Katsuki’s request and walks out of his room.

Mitsuki pauses at the doorway, picking up the laundry, and looks over her shoulder. “I’m sor-”

Katsuki slams the door closed after her.

So fuckin’ irritating, Katsuki scolds himself for his near violent shaking hands. He begins to pace around his room in an attempt to soothe his churning emotions. Too many things are going on at once. Too many thoughts are swimming in his head to process. He can feel his heart pounding too fast in his chest. He can’t think! Katsuki pulls at his hair as if he could reach in and pluck the rapid fire of anxiety out. His breath shudders. He can’t tell if he wants to cry or punch his hand through the wall. He settles for placing one palm on his stomach and the other over his breastbone. Katsuki shuts his eyes and begins to count.


One. Two. Three Four.


One. Two.


One. Two. Three. Four.








Hol- Ow!

What the fuck? Katsuki hisses at the poking pain in his foot, and his head whips down to find the accusing item. It’s a pencil. He just stepped on a pencil. Katsuki chokes on his breath.


Katsuki sends the pencil flying with a light kick and doesn’t even bother to register the clatter it makes when it lands. Deku. Deku was here. Deku is here. Katsuki knows exactly where he is right now. He greedily swings the door of his closet open, adrenaline pumping in his head. She’s wrong. She’s wrong. She’s wrong.

Light floods into the small space and Katsuki is quick to scan the closet for bushy green hair, splattered freckles, and wide eyes. Katsuki finds Deku exactly how he had imagined him, pressed up and trapped in the hangers of his shirts. The shorter boy is staring back at him with surprise. Katsuki lets out a delirious laugh and pulls Deku out of his clothes. He tugs Deku closer and runs his hands down the rough fabric of his dumb, dumb t-shirt and cups his face. It’s a reminder. Deku is here. He’s here and he’s real.

“Kacchan?” Deku murmurs into his hand. (Katsuki can feel- Feel!- the vibrations.) He pulls Katsuki’s fingers off and laces his own with them. Deku gives him a reassuring squeeze, and Katsuki sighs. He feels Deku tracing and mapping out the features of his face and closes his eyes. Deku is… here. It’s like his world is right again. Everything slows down. He feels… calm.

“You’re crying…” Deku mutters. His fingertips trail down the slope of Katsuki’s nose and follow his eyelashes, wiping his cheek. Katsuki blinks open his eyes and presses his free hand to his face. When he looks at it, his fingers are wet and glistening, only then does Katsuki register the cold trail of his tears.

He sniffs and grabs the bottom of his shirt to roughly wipe his face. “It’s fine.”

Katsuki isn’t sure who he’s placating.

It doesn’t really matter, though, because Deku isn’t paying attention to what he’s saying. He holds up Katsuki’s hand and brushes the irritated skin. Katsuki didn’t even realize how badly he dug in nails into his palm while he set off an explosion. He hisses at the pressure and Deku murmurs an apology. “You really shouldn’t have used your quirk, Kacchan.”

“Didn’t even feel anything,” Katsuki mumbles his retort, confused. How did he not aggravate the inflammation when he opened the door? Or when he ran his hands down Deku’s shirt? He stares at his palms like the feeling is alien to him.

Deku pulls his hands away from him. “Hey, let’s go get something to treat this.”

“Yeah,” Katsuki says mindlessly, already being guided out of his window by Deku. “Yeah.”

There's something gentle about the way Deku holds his hand as if he's trying to commit the grooves of Katsuki's calluses to his memory. He wraps the inside of his palm around Katsuki’s like a child would hold their mother’s hand. They both pay no mind to the trembles that wrack Katsuki’s body.

Still exhausted from the fight with the old hag, Katsuki can’t hear himself think with cotton stuffed in his head. The only things that keep him rooted on Earth are the sounds of Deku's rambling. Katsuki doesn’t pay attention to what he is babbling about this time, but he finds comfort in his voice. It's almost nice to hear the nerd talk. Keeps him distracted.

Katsuki resists the urge to intertwine his fingers firmly around Deku's; instead, he focuses on putting one foot in front of the other, mindlessly leading them to the gas station. In an instant, the hairs on his neck stand, and he can feel the curious, judgemental eyes of his neighbors trained on him. He doesn’t take a moment to ponder why they have suddenly taken an interest in him. He already knows it’s because he's the delusional kid of the neighborhood. Well, that and because he left the house in such a hurry that he left his house barefoot.

For a fleeting moment, his mother’s words fill his mind, and Katsuki wonders if they can see Deku holding his hand or if it looks like Katsuki is holding his arm behind him. The thought slips away when the pad of Deku's fingers brush against one of his fresh blisters.

"Sorry, Kacchan," Deku says sheepishly when he hears Katsuki hiss. A small grunt is all he gives to acknowledge Deku’s apology. After a moment of hesitation, Deku begins his muttering once again, and Katsuki returns to the fog of his thoughts. He feels himself fade into the clouds until a sharp shove brings him back into focus.

“Kacchan, were you even listening to me?” Deku questions the dazed blonde. He continues to shake Katsuki until he apologetically shakes his head. As they arrive and enter the dilapidated gas station, Deku repeats his question. “You saw the new hero, Choicemaker’s debut yesterday, right? I was wondering if you thought he would get into the top ten.”

"No, Choicemaker's quirk is cheap, and he didn't go to U.A, I wouldn’t even say he’s Isamu material," Katsuki says as rounds the corner to find the few freezers in the establishment. He can practically hear Deku pouting as he trails behind him.

Katsuki reaches into the freezer and pulls out a popsicle that the two boys could share while Deku continued his mumbling, "Just because he didn't go to a high-ranking school doesn't mean his quirk is cheap, Kacchan. I happen to think scrying is a cool quirk. Just think of the possibilities! No pun intended."

Katsuki rolls his eyes as he picks up a set of bandaids on his way to the checkout and drops them and the twin popsicle on the counter. "Of course you would think that. You don't have a quirk. Besides, Choicemaker is barely able to defend himself in a fight. There's no amount of future foresight that can save a hero that can't even throw a punch."

He digs his hands into his pockets, fishing out a couple of crumpled bills. Katsuki drops the cash into the attendee's open palm and grabs his purchases. Before he could turn around to leave the shop, the man gives him a weird look. For some reason, it makes Katsuki's stomach flip. He stays quiet as he tugs the plastic bag off the counter and leaves with Deku trailing him close behind. They continue the remainder of their walk in silence.

"Do you want to talk about it?" Deku asks after they’ve settled onto the ground. They stop where they always do, in the woods, next to the river.

Katsuki stares at the calm water as Deku carefully twists the white bandages around his fingers. Katsuki had told him that it wasn't necessary, that he could do it himself and he didn’t need some worthless nerd’s help, but Deku had insisted anyway. There's a long stretch of silence as Katsuki bites off the last chunk of his popsicle, chucking the wooden stick into the plastic bag when he finishes. Deku's half still sits in the wrapper since he was adamant about wrapping Katsuki's hand. He promises to eat it after he’s done.

“No… yes… I don't know," Katsuki finally whispers. Even to his own ears, he sounds scared.

Deku puts the roll down and places both of his hands on either side of Katsuki's face, forcing him to look him in the eyes. "Hey, we don't have to talk about it if you don't want to. I—I heard everything, Kacchan. You don't have to go through it again."

"She's wrong." It's the only thing Katsuki can say.

Deku smiles sadly, "Yeah. She is."

Something in Katsuki’s chest aches at the sight of Deku’s expression, so he squeezes his eyes shut and falls forward, trusting Deku to be there, and buries his face into Deku's shoulder. The cool and saccharine taste of the popsicle lingers on his lips as Deku softly tells Katsuki about his theories on Choicemaker’s quirk. He doesn't know how long they sit there for, but when he opens his eyes, only the night sky and silence greet him. He's completely alone.

Katsuki spares a moment to glance around at his surroundings to see if he could find where the damn nerd went, but he’s nowhere to be found. Something deep inside him isn’t surprised at the revelation, and Katsuki ignores it, opting to stare straight ahead. Around Katsuki, the dark trees are somber. They cast melancholy in their black shadows, and a pang of loneliness and fear hit him. He would never admit it, but the woods scare him. They make him want to scratch at his bandages and scream in the foliage. Somehow, Katsuki thinks, no would hear him even if he did. The stars, on the other hand, glint beautifully off of the water like a siren pulling and calling for him as if whispering promises of silence and peace.

But Katsuki heeds the scenery no mind, he can only stare at the melted puddle of sugar Deku's popsicle leaves behind.

Katsuki’s mouth feels cold, but he suspects it might not be from the ice cream.