His heart throbbed.
A string of pain bloomed from his chest, the roots of it running through his whole upper body and if he wasn't running for his life - he probably would’ve curled into a ball and given into the pain. It drummed in his chest painfully, as a friendly reminder that he didn't have a lot of time. But he had to keep running, and had to ignore the constant pain.
“Don’t slow down!”
The bark distracted Kaminari from the burning feeling inside of him. He wanted to grab onto it and massage the place with his fingers but he couldn’t - Shinsou was holding his wrist and dragging the blond after him. And well, his second arm was still back in the... Wherever.
The sirens roared in his ears. The sounds of their chasers footsteps burst his skull in arrows of rapid thoughts, that were trying to figure out what to do. Especially now, when it turned out that not only were the police after him.
Those men in black suits had to be the villains responsible for the attack on his house. But he wasn't sure; that was to say he had no proof. Not that he had a proof to anything against the mess he somehow found himself stuck in, but that’s a story for another day.
Today he just had to survive.
“Let’s-” a sudden stab of pain hit his chest, making him almost trip. “Let’s split up!” He called, knowing damn well that the chasers would leave Shinsou alone at the moment he would separate himself from Denki. No one else needed to get hurt because of him being stupid enough to let all of this happen to him-
Shinsou’s nails raked into his wrist. It was almost painful.
“I know that you’re a fucking dumbass but I didn’t know you were THIS dumb!” he yelled at him furiously, then suddenly turned to the side.
Both men slid into an alley, however they didn’t stop running. Kaminari refused to answer Shinsou, because he had an answer, but he knew what his Shinsou’s response would be and they had zero time nor strength for arguing. Or at least he didn’t, he had no idea how tired Shinsou was. After all the dude looked like a zombie 99% of the time. No offense.
His heart throbbed again. It couldn’t be a good sign.
They burst out of the alley to a side street, that was usually empty at this time of the day. The sky darkened, the sun lulling itself to sleep over the horizon. Long shadows casted from the building and trees surrounding them, as their own shadows grew longer, more massive on the asphalt beneath their feet.
The alleyway curled at the end of the block, leaving them only an option to turn left or right. It was another narrow alley, one that you wouldn’t want to bypass at night hours. However, it didn’t matter for the galloping man. In any case, the only thing Kaminari paid attention to, was the distaning roar of the sirens, that became more and more muffled as they ran.
And then, Shinsou abruptly turned to a side road, and for a moment everything went blank.
There was a sound of an engine purring, and the smell of burnt rubber invaded his nostrils. Kaminari threw his head aside sharply, his first instinct was to dodge the car rushing their way - but the car was faster. His eyes went round as he realized it was about to hit Shinsou. tremor taking over his body.
Without thinking, Kaminari swung his right leg and kicked the front of the car, releasing all the strength he could into the blust. The tires roared louder as the car was pushed a few inches away, the two guys freezing as the shock slowly hit them. Kaminari’s consciousness permeated the fact that they had almost died twice in the last five minutes; which was slightly way more than he personally thought was necessary.
Kaminari breathed out. Did I just-
“You stupid ass bitch!” The door burst open as a man marched out of the car, a muscular and toned body with a beautiful face of the devil itself. Anger spilled out of him as if it was a tsunami waves, completely taking over Kaminari who froze in his place: Eyes wide, mouth agape, breath stuck in his throat. “I swear to fucking God that I-”
And then, Bakugo froze too.
Both blondes stared at each other for a solid minute. Kaminari didn’t know what to say, should he apologize for breaking Katsuki’s car or should he burst into tears of happiness because somehow seeing his massive, explosive friend made him feel safe for the first time in a few days.
“Dunce face,” breathed out Bakugo. “You- How- I mean…” Crimson eyes darted at Shinsou, for a moment sliding down before looking back at Kaminari. The other blond also looked down, noticing that Shinsou was still holding his wrist. Probably Shinsou noticed it too, because he let go after Kaminari looked back at the explosive pro hero.
“I’m sorry,” squeaked Denki, his voice trembled and cracked because the urge to cry ugly tears just grew stronger. He wasn’t even sure what he was apologizing for.
“Ugh,” Katsuki groaned.
“Okay, I know that both of you are thrilled from this big reunion but can we please run before those fuckers will find us again?” Shinsou’s words cut the tense atmosphere like a knife, bringing Kaminari back to reality.
Bakugo blinked, before looking at his car. Kaminari also glanced at it, observing the damage done. He felt relieved when he saw that only the bumper suffered from the hit: It folded in with a few cracks stretching atop. Nothing that seemed too serious. He still felt guilty about it, perhaps it was better to think before doing something like that.
"Jump in,” commanded Bakugou. None of them argued.
In a matter of three seconds, the three man slid into the car. Katsuki slammed the gas pedal, the car roared as if it hadn’t suffered a brutal kick from a bionic leg, and burst into the road in loud, agitated shrieks.
A heavy breath escaped Denki’s chapped lips, as his arm grabbed onto his chest and tugged at it. It was painful, his heart was racing and aching. The pain itself was formed in waves, which could only mean one thing: he had to take his medication before his heart would stop beating again - because the doctors couldn’t do anything better than this, because he couldn’t afford anything better than this; because it was the only thing that kept his body alive despite him feeling like a deadman-
“Oi, Kaminari!” a pair of fingers clicked in front of his face.
Kaminari strained, as much as he could, blinking. “Y-yeah?” his voice was still shaking.
“Are you- Are you alright?” Shinsou sounded a bit hesitant.
Kaminari swallowed the words coming out of his throat, only letting the famous lie escape and form a sentence that made sense: “I’m fine.”
“You sound like you’re about to have a fucking panic attack,” commented Katsuki, who had slowed down the car as they got farther away.
“Rest assured, he looks like it, too.” Shinsou observed him in concern as he said it.
“W-well, guess It happens when some crazy dudes are trying to- to fucking murder you for no goddamn reason .”
His eyes darted from Bakugo’s back to Shinsou’s violet orbs, while he forced his arm to let go of his shirt. He pushed himself up, resting his head on the sit. “Fuck…”
Silence spread in the car, letting Kaminari arrange his thoughts. As much as he could, that is. He was feeling as if a truck ran over him twice; the exhalation, heaviness of his body and the annoying hunger weren’t helping. As some karma, his stomach decided to grumble exasperatedly. It made a painful twist, as if sinking into his spine.
He felt nauseous.
This time he let his arm cover his lower midsection, eyes squeezed shut. Something popped in his ears when he swallowed. Exhaustion rubbed off his face, heart thudding against his ribcage. Eventually, it begun dropping to a normal heartbeat, letting his sore muscles finally relax.
“What were you running from?” Bakugo’s voice broke the silence, however it sounded gentle. Kaminari never heard him talking like that to anyone except Kirishima.
“As Kaminari said, some crazy fuckers,” answered Shinsou, crossing his arms on his chest. “I’m not sure what they wanted, but Kaminari said that they probably are the one that tried to break into his apartment-”
“No one broke into no one’s apartment,” grumbled Denki, finding the last will power to at least speak. “Someone tried to shoot me dead from my living room window.”
“Why the fuck?” The car stopped at a red light, Bakugo tapped nervously on the wheel with his fingers.
“I have no fucking idea-” Kaminari trailed off, frowning. In his mind, he recalled the events before the attack, searching for an answer what could actually trigger it. The letter popped up, followed by vague memories of the man that passed away next to him, the one who gave him the letter; then, he read the letter and called the police.
Denki swallowed down a lump of nerves, tremor taking over his body and pressure pressing on his skull. If he hadn’t called the police then-
Kaminari shook his head. Dwelling in the past wasn’t something heroes did.
Huh? He blinked in surprise. Did he just think like he used to when he was a hero? Was his body asking for his former self to come back that badly? If he hadn’t been chased a few minutes ago, he probably would have chuckled at the thought.
“A three-years-old can explain better than you two, fucking nutheads. Better explain this shit when you calm down,” announced Bakugo, resuming the ride. The car rolled down the street, he took a turn to a way leading to his and Kirishima's house; and honestly Kaminari didn't know if that was a good idea, though he was too tired to argue.
“But first we need to feed him and let him rest,” Hitoshi leaned forward, looking at the road.
“Didn’t you say Kirishima was with you?” Suddenly asked. Kaminari glanced at him in confusion.
“He was supposed to come but he had an emergency call, so I told him to fuck off and that he’ll be able to meet Kaminari after that," shrugged Katsuki.
“Oh,” Shinsou nodded. “Anyway, do you have food there or do we need to buy it?”
“I’ll cook you something if there’s nothing to eat.”
“I feel honored,” snickered Denki. Katsuki’s food was always comforting.
“You’d better,” grumbled Bakugo, as the car slowed down again and stopped in front of a big building.
Kaminari looked at the massive place. It hadn’t changed since the last time he visited them. The only thing that HAD changed was him.
They entered into the lobby, both Shinsou and Bakugo screened Kaminari behind their buffed bodies. The lights were so strong, Kaminari felt he’d go blind if he wouldn’t look somewhere that was a darker place. The smell of expensive perfume floated in the air, or perhaps cologne, or both. It was better than the smell of prison for sure.
“Good evening, Bakugou-san,” the secretary smiled at them. Bakugo and Shinsou stood so close to each other that Kaminari could barely see past them, but he managed to steal a glance, noticing a tuft of white hair, gathered in a bun on the woman’s head.
“Good evening,” muttered back, leading them to the corridor in which the elevator was. The moment they were out of sight they let out a breath, relaxing a bit. “Jesus,” geunted the blond, taking out his keys to call the elevator here.
“We can’t risk anyone seeing him,” whispered Shinsou.
“Oh, really?” deadpanned Bakugo.
Kaminari felt like a true criminal hearing those words, and he really didn’t like it.
Kaminari jolted awake, gasping for air as cold sweat covered his forehead. His head bumped harshly into something, and string of pain exploded in his forehead and he winced in pain, rolling to the side and curling into a ball as the pain throbbed in his head. His palm covering the bump to-be, eyes squeezed shut and for a moment his mind was blank, taking in the itching feeling. A whimper left his lips.
“Dude!” roared someone for the side. Denki glanced up, his gold eyes meeting a pair of red ones that were staring at him in concern. “I’m so sorry I didn’t think that you’d jump like that-”
“Kirishima!” cried out Kaminari, without thinking he leapt at his friend, wrapping his arm around his shoulder and burying his head into the socket between his shoulder and neck. Kirishima gasped in surprise and caught him before both fell, wrapping his muscular arms around the smaller males waist. Then he let out a chuckle, nuzzling a bit with his nose into Kaminari’s neck, patting his back with his massive palm.
“I missed you too, man. I’m so happy that you managed to escape!” he exclaimed, they tore apart, hug ending too soon. “But God you look awful,” he mumbled as his eyes ran up and down Kaminari’s beat up, tired and slouching frame. All Kaminari could respond with was a desperate chuckle, because he wasn’t wrong. He also felt awful. “What did they do to you? God, I’m so mad. How could they? Oh my God.”
Kaminari was crashed in another rib-crushing embrace. The red head squeezed him rightly, not letting him enough space to free his only arm and hug him back. “A lot of happened,” he whispered.
“Katsu told me that you passed out the moment you sat on the couch, so they decided to let you sleep,” informed his Kirishima. Well, that explained how he found himself on the couch. When he thought about it, he didn’t even remember entering Katsuki’s house… Probably he was so tired that his mind shut off when they stepped into the elevator because that was the last thing he remembered properly.
He was about to nod, when suddenly he noticed the rays of light pouring out of the big window in the couple's living room. They stretched at length on the floor and lay on their faces, almost making his friend's eyes glow under the light. He stared at him for a few moments, noticing that he was shirtless, wearing green sweatpants and his hair was slack and scruffy over his shoulders. Kirishima looked like someone who had just woken up, and that had greatly confused Kaminari. Didn’t Katsuki say Kirishima was at work? What was he doing here, looking all domestic and comfortable?
A nice smell of omletrice and something else he couldn’t tug a name to hit his nostrils, making his sniff a little bit louder than he wanted to; and his stomach rumble as a reminder that he was starving, because even it couldn’t remember what and when was his last proper meal since two nights ago-
Or maybe more? “What time is it?” he blurted out. “How long have I been sleeping…?”
“Well, Katsu said you were here at around six. now is nine in the morning.”
Kaminari’s jaw dropped. “What?!” I slept for fucking half a day, what the fuck.
“Food is almost ready,” a familiar voice echoed in Kaminari’s ears, making him look up at Shinsou who entered the living room. “You should wake him up- Oh, he’s awake,” Shinsou shot Kaminari a glance, nodding in acknowledgment. He was also wearing sweats, gray ones, also shirtless. His hair was an even bigger mess than usual, he himself looking like someone who had just woken up.
Now, Kaminari was utterly, absolutely, without any shadow of a doubt - confused.
Wait- Kaminari was too part of the shirtless gang. “Um-” he cleared his throat, noticing that he was dressed in sweatpants that were probably once size too large. “Thanks for the… Clothes…?” half asked, half said, unsure.
“No problem. You were so stinky but we didn’t want to wake you up, though I did change your clothes. If you want a shirt,” Kirishima pointed at the coffee table in front of the couch, on which lay a folded shirt with the words GO BEYOND PLUS ULTRA printed on it. Kaminari snorted.
“Oh my God, it’s from our graduation.”
Kirishima giggled. “Yeah, it was the only shirt that wouldn’t look like a dress on you. You don’t mind, do you?”
“Of course not,” he was grateful that they let him sleep here, let alone giving him clothes and feeding him. They were the best friends he could have asked for. “But can I…. Uh, shower?”
“Sure,” smiled Kirishima. “Do you need help?” he hesitated, eyes glancing at his legs. “I mean… Can you put it under water?”
Kaminari sniffed. “Technically, I shouldn’t. But I was already swimming yesterday when I escaped from prison so I don't think I can destroy them anymore,” he shrugged.
“How do you even shower with them?” asked Kirishima.
“What are you talking about?” Shinsou interrupted them. Kaminari almost forgot that he was there too. He lifted his legs, so Shinsou could see his feet.
“I don’t have legs,” it was a weird way to put it but he had no strength to give him proper explanation, maybe next time.
“Oh okay- wait, did you say swimming?”
Kaminari blinked. “Maybe?”
“Don’t fucking maybe me, did you jumped into the fucking sea?!”
Kaminari blinked again. “Yeah?”
Shinsou squeezed the bridge of his nose. “You have five fucking minutes to shower.”
Not wasting any spare moment, Denki jumped on his legs, saluting to Shinsou. “Yes sir, be ready in five minutes.”
The door into the shower opened the moment Kaminari pulled the pants Kirishima gave him on his waist (after a hell lot of struggling, because doing it with one arm was very hard). He jumped in surprise, noticing that it was Shinsou who peered inside. "Have you ever heard of knocking?" he pouted, feeling a lot better after taking a shower.
"Wanted to check out if you're alive," shrugged Shinsou, stepping him. “You need help?" he asked, glancing at the shirt Kaminari had already grabbed.
Denki huffed. "Please."
The curl of a smirk that was formed on Shinsou's lips for a brief moment made Kaminari think that he was very amused by looking at him struggling to dress up with one arm. However, none of them commented anything on the matter.
"They let you stay here too, I guess?"
"Aha. I don't think it's safe for me to go back to my apartment now too."
Kaminari snorted. "Welcome to the club."
Shinsou rolled his eyes as he stretched the shirt on Kaminari’s upper body. His hands were warm. “You always looked young, but with this shirt you look like a fucking high schooler.”
“Thanks. That means when you’re all old and wrinkly I’ll be looking like I’m forty,” Kaminari’s stomach reminded him even louder that he was hungry. A blush covered his cheeks. “O-Ok, let’s go eat something, I’m starving.”
Shinsou only nodded. Kaminari felt a bit uncomfortable as he followed Shinsou to the kitchen. It wasn’t the first time he was here, but for the first time Shinsou was here too. They weren’t even friends in high school, so it felt weird that out of all people who could have helped him it was Shinsou. It felt a bit surreal, everything that had happened. Should he really be surprised by anything at this point?
“Finally you’re here,” scowled Katsuki, receiving an elbow from Eijirou.
“Sit wherever you like,” the redhead smiled. Kaminari smiled back at him, sitting at the closest chair with a plate in front of him. A big omelet rice was on it, with some vegetables and a cup of fresh coffee.
“Thanks for the food,” his first instinct was to slightly clap his hands as the rest of the table did, but it was a bit impossible without one arm.
“Will you be able to even eat?” asked Kirishima, who already dug in into his plate.
“Yeah, don’t worry. Not my first time,” Denki reminded, lifting the chopsticks and tearing them apart with his mouth. Then, still holding one of them with it, he placed the second one beneath it until he got a good hold on it, and dug in. “This is so good!” he cried out, feeling the tears swallow in his eyes. He hadn’t had good food for too long (three days).
Bakugo muttered something under his breath, but Kaminari was too busy munching like a hamster on his food.
“Slow down,” he suddenly heard Shinsou, who was sitting next to him. “You’ll choke.”
Denki swallowed. “Sounds like a good idea.”
“Please don’t-” breathed out Kirishima.
"I mean,” Denki stared at the cup of coffee, trailing off. “Jesus, can I have a straw? I just really don’t want to do the whole procedure with the chopsticks each time I wanna drink.”
“Oh yeah, sure.” Eijirou hurried to stand up, rushing to bring him a straw.
Bakugo glanced at him. “Where did you lose your goddamn arm?”
“The police took it.”
Shinsou choked. “What the fuck?”
Kaminari sighed, looking down at his plate. Suddenly, his appetite disappeared, but he forced in another bite. “Guys… A lot of stuff has happened. Actually, I don’t know from where to start…” mumbled. Kirishima placed the straw in his cup and moved it closer to him. “Thanks.”
“No problem,” they all watched as Denki took a sip. “Start from the beginning, I guess. You need to explain so we’ll know how to help you.”
Kaminari opened his mouth. “And don’t say shit like: you don’t need to; or any other nonsense you’re thinking.” Bakugo cut him.
It actually made Denki smile. “Ok.” he breathed in. “Remember that we went to the club on Saturday night?” he started, his knees rubbing one onto each other in uneasiness. Bakugo and Kirishima nodded. “Well, after we split up, I took a shortcut to my building. It was somewhere around 1 am when suddenly some weirdo collapsed near me and fucking died. He looked like someone was chasing him and gave me a letter, telling me to not give it to them; whoever they are, and then he died. Anyway, a moment later came Midoriya-” he didn’t miss the way Bakugo frowned, “-who turned out was the one chasing him. He said it’s some hero stuff and then before he let me go he asked if the man had given me anything…” his voice trailed off. Should he tell them everything?
“And?” asked Kirishima after a moment of silence.
Kaminari slapped himself. Yes. He had to tell them the whole truth. They were his friends and wanted to help him.
“Let me guess,” Shinsou spoke before him, “You didn’t give him the letter.”
Shame washed over Denki as he nodded.
Bakugo snorted. “I would’ve done the same-”
“Then I returned home and read the letter,” continued Denki, swallowing a lump of nerves. “Someone named E wrote it to Professor Ryo Hanazaki, it’s the man who started my Physiotherapy and got me a prescription for medication. He was also my surgeon. Anyway, I don’t remember exactly what was written in the letter but…” slowly, he lifted his eyes, locking them with Kirishima’s, “As from what I understood, for this whole year and a half, I was just a test subject.”