Contrary to popular belief, Katsuki wasn’t a perpetual angry person. Sure, he screamed and cursed, but that was more like a pressure pot releasing some of the heat, otherwise he was going to explode, and not in the fun way. He also recognized that anger was a fucking exhausting emotion, and nobody carried it with a heavier heart than Deku.
The nerd was a mix between a heart of gold and I neverending faith in everybody’s goodness. Deku believed in people completely, and he was kind to anyone he met. Katsuki, on the other hand, was the opposite. He took a long time warming up to someone, and he conducted himself with a frown that disheartened people from starting shit with him. It worked for Katsuki, but since Deku and he spent most of their time together, first as friends, then hero partners, and at last (Or that had said all their UA classmates) as boyfriends, Katsuki’s rougher image tricked people into thinking his partner was going to let them get away with their crap.
Katsuki hadn’t heard what the reporter said to Deku.
They were handling a rescue situation, and Katsuki was too far away, guiding people to the medical attention, when the mob of reporters surrounded Deku. His partner was covered in dirt and debris, but his smile was bright and approachable. Katsuki kept an eye on him, just in case.
Deku answered their questions for a while, approachable and friendly, when a man shoved his mic in his partner’s face, and asked him something with a weird grin.
From all those years together, his face was an open book for Katsuki, and he knew the idiotic reporter had screwed up. The nerd’s smiled disappeared in a blink, and the lines around his eyes tightened. He squared up, jutting his chin out. Katsuki watched him open and close his mouth a couple of times, lost for words. No, not lost for words, he was deciding how spin the rudeness of his answer without going for the throat. Deku packed fire like the best of them.
Katsuki was parting the sea of jackals before he thought about moving.
“Deku!” He shouted, some reporters protested, and gave him offended looks. Whatever, fuck them, he needed to reach Deku.
“What’s your opinion on that, hero Deku? Public opinion is...” The weasel was insisting, but Katsuki didn’t let him finish.
He grabbed the man by the shoulder, and shoved him out of his way. Deku’s gaze snapped to Katsuki, his shoulders relaxing, even if his jaw was still clenched. He mouthed a relieved Kacchan, and Katsuki was officially seething.
“We have better things to do, Deku.” He commanded as he gripped his partner’s hand. “Let’s go.”
“Excuse me, Ground Zero, what are you...?”
“I don’t think you want to finish that sentence, man.” Katsuki warned him, towering over him. The reporter stepped back, and as he fixed his strongest scowl on his face, the mob scattered, suddenly very interested on the concrete or anything but Katsuki’s incendiary eyes.
He jerked Deku away from the circle of people.
“Kacchan, wait!” Deku exclaimed, staring down at the reporter, who was clutching his mic to his chest, nervous and uncomfortable. “You couldn’t be more wrong even if you tried, and you can quote me on that.” He practically growled.
“It’s in your best interest to shut up now.” Katsuki cut him off, pulling his nerd away.
Deku was quiet after that.
It was obvious that the nerd was furious, but he didn’t want to talk about it. Deku gave only strained smiles to people at the agency, and he spaced out mid conversation. Katsuki caught him closing his hands in fists, then frowning and rubbing his face, as if he could wipe off the anger with his hands.
He drove Deku to and from the agency daily, but today he took them directly to his place.
“Huh? Kacchan?” His partner woke up from his trance, seeing the familiar neighborhood.
“You are spending the night, Deku.” Katsuki got off the car. “I don’t trust you to stay home and don’t hunt that fucking jackass.”
Deku sighed, scratching the back of his head.
“Was I that obvious?”
“To me? Yeah.” Katsuki, closed his door, marching to the other side, and opened the passenger door. His partner got down, and Katsuki wrapped him in a hug. “Are you going to tell me the fuck he said or what?”
“I don’t even want to think about it.” Deku mumbled against his neck.
His partner hadn’t spoken a word since Katsuki sat him on the couch, and got them dinner. He even indulged the nerd, ordering take out for them instead of making something from their nutritional plan. As he ate, Deku played with the food, chop sticks picking up and dropping the same veggie over and over again, driving him crazy. It was disquieting; the nerd’s muttering was part of the sounds of his world. He admitted it was fucking weird, but his explosions and Deku’s thousand miles per hour murmuring filled him with comfort.
Katsuki watched him for a couple of minutes, until he ripped the container from his hands, cleaning out the coffee table, and taking the trash to the kitchen. On his way back, he studied his nerd. His shoulders were taut, and he kept scratching the sides of his thumbs, picking at the skin. Okay, that was it. He leapt over the back of his couch, landing next to Deku, making him jump in surprise. Katsuki leaned back on the armrest, grabbing his partner from the shoulders and pulling until Deku’s back was resting against his chest, caging him between his legs. Katsuki rubbed his arms and then interlocked their fingers, both hands in his, steading them.
“I have a question for a fucking massive nerd, Deku.”
“Yes, Kacchan?” The smile was all over his voice, small, but Katsuki heard it.
“Do you think Monoma can actually improve?” He asked, ghosting a kiss on his temples. "The fucker can copy three quirks for a time frame, but that time is like a container leaking and eventually running out? Or it’s more like a band that he can stretch more and more with practice?”
“Huh... Well it all depends on whether it's a resistance thing.” Deku began. “Like, if Monoma is holding onto the quirks or not...” He formed his ideas slowly, hesitant, but Katsuki listened to him explain his theory patiently.
Katsuki was petting his curls by the time his partner got tired of speaking about that jackass.
“Do you think Silver Shitty Hair becomes steel on the inside as well? Or it's just a layer of metal?” Katsuki asked, not letting Deku’s analysis died down.
“Oh! I have wondered that, because if Tetsutetsu and Kirishima actually become solid, his organs would need to adapt, like a space between them? Otherwise how would they breathe? Do their hearts still beat?” The mumbling started to pick up speed, the nerd pouring himself into the question.
“Does Aizawa Jr’s brainwashing has to do with the frequency of his voice?” Katsuki speculated, putting the idea out. “Like right now he can fuck up only the front of the mind, but if he learned to modulate the waves, could he demand harder commands with a deeper reach?”
“In that case, would headphones help? Something to filter the waves of sound from his voice?” Deku wondered, biting his thumb.
Katsuki kept it up for a while; throwing question after question, wracking his brain for ideas, as Deku turned back from time to time, eager to discuss more.
Little by little, the nerd relaxed. He started to smile and gesture wildly, hands coming back to Katsuki’s as soon as he was done with his point.
Eventually, they stopped speaking nerdian.
“You have been reading my notebooks.” Deku accused him, grinning.
“Tch! I peruse, dumb Deku.” Katsuki corrected him. “I would like to be prepared to take you fuckers down, in the remote case you become evil.”
“And if you become evil?” Deku elbowed him, playfully.
“Then you better run.” He replied, smirking. “You wouldn’t stand a fucking chance against me.”
Deku laughed, body shaking in Katsuki’s arms.
“Wouldn’t you trust me to stop you?”
“Fuck no, I would trust you to follow me, you bastard.” Katsuki said, shrugging. “If I went to the dark side, it was the right call. I’m never wrong.”
His partner broke the hold, turning to face him on the couch. Deku kneeled between his legs and cupped his face.
“You would never become a villain.” He declared. Fury still simmered in that pool of green, and with the way he said the words, almost like he was snarling them, Katsuki finally understood. He groaned on the inside, cursing how long it had taken him to figure it out.
Very few things riled up Deku like that.
“No shit, Deku.” Katsuki scoffed. “Do you think I would prove all those shitty extras right? Fat fucking chance. I’m a hero, and that’s final.”
“I’m not going to repeat what he said, but he was wrong.” His partner insisted.
“Fuck yes, he was.”
The reporter had insulted him, that’s why Deku was that angry.
Katsuki dealt with those kinds of opinions all the time. They had chased him all through UA and his years as a pro, but he was faster. He rose through the ranks without problem and with Deku as his partner? They flew up as a duo with no comparison. Still, people never stopped spewing crap; Katsuki was used to the bastards getting their own stupid conclusions about him, and trying to get others to agree. He couldn’t give less fucks about them. The right people and Katsuki knew who Ground Zero really was, that was more than enough for him.
The nerd kissed his forehead, the rage on his behalf shifting back to love and admiration for Katsuki.
“You are every inch of a hero as All Might was.”
“I don’t know, Deku, All Might was fucking huge.” He teased him. “Hard to believe now that he looks like a Halloween decoration.”
Deku stifled a laugh, pinching his side. He only did that when he agreed with whatever shit Katsuki had said, but it was too rude for the nerd to say.
“Then I’ll take half of All Might.” His partner proposed.
“Two halves of the same hero, huh?” Katsuki squished his freckled cheeks, pulling him closer.
“That’s why we are a hero duo, isn’t it?” Deku said against his lips, and he kissed him.
The kiss had a certain bite to it, one Katsuki didn’t mind. Deku’s left over anger and frustrations made his lips desperate, and he rolled with it, feeling how the gentleness returned to his nerd with each brush of their lips.
“Thanks for that.” Deku whispered.
“The kiss? If you are going to be that grateful, I’ll start charging you.”
“You know what I mean, Kacchan.” He said, as Katsuki gathered him in his arms. “For talking me down, anchoring me.”
“Anytime, Deku.” He assured him.
What people didn’t always grasp was that they balanced each other out.
Whenever Katsuki felt the weight of his responsibilities, Deku eased his burdens. So, when Deku needed him, Katsuki wasn’t going to hesitate to pick up the slack.
They were a team, and they had each other's back.