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i can't take you anywhere

Chapter Text

One of these days, Hajime Hinata was going to have to get used to the fact that nothing in his life ever went according to plan.

He’d been told on several occasions that he was too pessimistic, and while he was willing to admit that it was true, he still tried to look on the bright side every once in a while. But as he stared blankly at the empty road in front of him, Hinata was beginning to think that even that small bit of optimism had been a huge mistake.

“Hey, Komaeda,” he said, resignation dulling his voice.

The boy standing at his side turned to look at him curiously, wide-eyed and almost droll. “Yes, Hinata?”

“Where the fuck is the bus?”

It all started two weeks ago when Nanami had practically insisted Hinata join Class 77-B on their third-year summer class trip to Hokkaido. Hinata had tried to decline; he was a Reserve Course student, after all, and he didn’t want to overstep. He knew it wasn’t his place to go along with the Ultimates, despite the staggering number of them that he’d somehow befriended. But once Nanami gotten everyone else onboard, Hinata couldn’t resist for much longer - one week later and he was on a boat headed north with the rest of the class.

They’d spent a week in Hokkaido, and it was some of the most fun Hinata’d had in his life. Today was the last day of the trip, and the class had gone on one final hike through the forest before boarding the bus to the docks. The hike had been referred to as ‘a manly test of courage’ (Nidai), ‘our perilous odyssey through the fires of pandemonium’ (Tanaka), and ‘yay, an opportunity to ditch Soda in the woods!’ (Saionji). Whatever it was, it was apparently too dangerous to go off alone, so each person in the class had been randomly partnered up with someone else.

Hinata had, of course, had gotten paired with Nagito Komaeda.

He wasn’t nearly naive enough to think he could get along with everybody, but that didn’t stop his frustration at the state of things between him and Komaeda. Hinata’s friendships with so many of the Ultimates meant he was practically a constant fixture in Komaeda’s life, which was clearly something neither of them knew how to handle. It had been nearly two years since they’d met, and they were still constantly at odds.

It was obvious that Komaeda didn’t exactly have a high opinion of the ‘Reserve Course freeloader,’ but he also hadn’t tried to kill Hinata yet, which Hinata thought was probably something constructive. Theirs was a strange relationship; constantly challenging each other, disagreeing over nothing at all, and playing games with their words that only the two of them could comprehend.

The odd thing about Komaeda, though, was that he understood how Hinata worked better than anyone else. Komaeda knew exactly how to get under his skin, and he was so good at it that it almost felt like an Ultimate talent all on its own. Seriously, it was like he had a million pre-prepared insults about the Reserve Course ready to fire off at any given time. To be completely honest, Hinata often felt the same way about himself, but that didn’t mean someone else had to say it.

And, okay, maybe Komaeda wasn’t the only problem here. Hinata had considered that he could probably be a bit nicer, but, well, sue him. He tried his best to be an empathetic person, he really did, but he’d reached his tipping point; if Komaeda was going to try to drive him up the wall at every turn, he was going to do the exact same thing.

The point was, they weren’t friends. They didn’t like each other, and they didn’t get along, and that was probably why they’d ended up lost in the woods. As much as Hinata wanted to blame Komaeda’s luck, he knew that it never would have happened if he’d actually been paying attention to where they were going instead of bickering with Komaeda. After all, wasn’t Hinata supposed to be the one who actually had his shit together here?

Eventually, though, they’d stumbled onto a path out of the forest and found their way back to the bus - at least, the place where the bus was meant to be.

This is when we return to the beginning: Two boys and an empty road, waiting for a bus that would never come.

It was just before sundown, the cicadas were chirping, and Hajime Hinata was halfway to losing his shit. “...It’s gone,” he murmured despondently. “The bus is really, actually gone.”

“Are you sure you belong in the Reserve Course?” asked Komaeda, sarcasm dripping from his voice. “I would have thought that only the Ultimate Analyst could notice a minute detail like that.”

Hinata just glared at him. “No, this- this can’t be right. They wouldn't have just left us behind.” He frantically pulled his phone out of his back pocket. “I’ll just call someone to come get us, and- oh.” Staring at his phone screen, he saw that he had missed calls and unopened texts from practically every member of his class, including an astounding seventeen attempts from one Kazuichi Soda.

Komaeda was also looking at his own phone, which Hinata noticed only had one lonesome missed call from Nanami. “...It appears there wasn’t any service in the forest,” remarked Komaeda grimly.

Hinata narrowed his eyes. “Now who’s stating the obvious?”

Komaeda scrunched up his nose, looking affronted. “Sometimes I feel the need to to clarify,” he said disdainfully. “I just wasn’t sure if you were too stupid to get it on your own.”

With a groan, Hinata looked back down at his phone and tapped on one of the missed calls. As he waited for the other line to pick up, he put his phone up to his ear, letting out a small sigh on relief when his call was answered. “Soda, buddy!” he said. It sounded much more threatening than a casual greeting had any right to. “Where’s the bus?”

“Uh, okay, so, here’s the thing.” Soda’s voice on the other line was very, very nervous. “You guys kind of. May have. Missed it?”

“You left without us?” Hinata demanded, feeling his stomach begin to twist itself in knots.

“We didn’t want to, man, but we had a boat to catch! We asked the bus driver to wait, but he was all like, ‘No, I have a tight-ass schedule to follow! No, I won’t wait for your soul bro! No, you can’t put military-grade drones in the cargo hold!’ What an asshole, right?”

“Soda,” he warned. “How the fuck are we supposed to get back to Hope’s Peak?”

“Uh.” Soda paused. “Road trip?”

“...I’m going to hang up now,” Hinata said, and did just that despite Soda’s loud protests.

As Hinata shoved his phone in his pocket, Komaeda’s eyes flicked towards him. “...They’re gone for good, aren’t they?”

“...Yeah.” Hinata glanced back at Komaeda, morbid amusement taking over his internal panic. “Y’know, for someone called the Ultimate Lucky Student, you sure don’t seem very lucky right now.”

Komaeda just laughed hysterically. “Perhaps the bad luck of getting stuck here with you will lead to some extraordinary good luck in the future!”

Hinata let out a deep breath. “Komaeda,” he said evenly, “we’re going to be stuck together for a while, so you have to promise me that things aren’t going to get weird.”

Komaeda gave him a small, complacent smile. “I think we both know I can’t promise that, Hinata.”

Well, thought some stupid, traitorous part of Hinata’s brain:

At least this won’t be boring.