Well, Katsuki thinks as he blasts another Nomu away. Aizawa you stingy bitch, I better get extra credit for this shit.
The monstrous creature he’d just sent flying snarls at him when it lands on all four, bubbling, scorched skin slowly stitching itself back together. Katsuki sneers back, lips curled to expose his teeth in a fierce, challenging grin. Heat gathers in his palms in preparation for their next contact, and he crouches low.
When it leaps at him, he meets the monster halfway in an explosive collision that sends smoke and rubble flying across the devastated street.
The pained cry the Nomu let out as it fell back failed to quell his annoyance.
This was supposed to be a normal day.
An internship with a some hero he couldn’t remember the name of even if he tries.
Katsuki is ten minutes into their first patrol fighting for his life. Not quite literally -the Nomu didn’t look as big or menacing as the one at the USJ from their first year- but certain enough to be a nuisaince. And the hero he’d been interning with for his work studies was missing.
To add insult to injury, the goddamn nerd yelling at his back while he tousled with his own Nomu. Deku’s opponent was a thing with too many arms, a nonexistent neck and the flat, emotionless face of a fish.
God, he hoped the hero got fucking eaten.
...well, not really. He’s passed that part of his life for the most part but still, where was the fucker? Did he just leave them here to deal with the two Nomu instead of helping like an actual licensed Pro-Hero should? Katsuki lost him in the chaos of the attack, but he had to be around, right?
What kind of D listed Pro-Hero was this to leave it up to two interns ? With how All Might pushed him to take this internship, Katsuki thought the man would be good shit.
...fucking hell, this was a ploy to get them to work together.
The sudden realization nearly costs him his face; Katsuki had to throw himself to the ground and roll to avoid the large clawed hand from connecting with his face.
In response, Katsuki unleashes another explosion from both hands with a roar, strong enough to send the Nomu skipping across the street like a round rock across the water’s surface. It’s satisfying, but nowhere near enough to quell the sudden burst of anger running through his body.
That’s what this was, wasn’t it?
God, he wouldn’t put it past the old man.
Their last term for their third year at Yuuei had just started and the man still didn’t get the message that at most, Katsuki could tolerate his successor. No matter how much Deku pushed, Kirishima cajoled and All Might sneakily attempted to pry, his relationship with his ex childhood friend had just too much baggage weighing it down to deal with.
Just as he thinks that, he hears someone shout over the general chaos and the Nomu’s roars. It’s a familiar voice that has his blood boiling.
“Kacchan-!” Deku yells, just barely loud enough for him to hear over their very loud, very angry opponents. The tone of his voice is questioning. In a flash of fury, Katsuki realizes the other boy was checking up on him. Him , of all people. “Are you alright?!”
“Focus on your own bastard, you dumb nerd!” He howls back, irate as he aimed an explosion that the Nomu only partially dodged. The abomination screeches, loud and stringent as it drew back, left arm turned a crispy black color. Katsuki’s nose wrinkled at the smell of burnt flesh.
He doesn’t hear Deku say anything else, but the loud thump of a large mass being tossed into the concrete and the sudden shaking of the ground under his feet gave him a little peace of mind.
The idiot was focusing on his job instead of looking after him like he was a toddler running through an antique shop. Katsuki was practically a grown adult, there was no reason for Deku to be up his ass. But the motherfucker did it anyways, right?
It’s because he’s a true hero, All Might would say with a twinkle in his eyes.
Katsuki’s certain he’d said it once.
Urgh. It made him want to vomit. A true hero. Ha. More like a walking talking disaster that somehow made it to eighteen. Anyone with a brain could see that Deku had the self-preservation skills of an ant.
Katsuki doesn’t allow himself to contemplate that thought further. Not while in combat. The Nomu he was facing screeches, a warbled sharp cry that makes his ears sting. Katsuki feels his expression twist into a ugly grimace at the unpleasant sound.
“Oh shut the bloody fuck up!” He sends the Nomu stumbling back with an explosion to the face. As the nitroglycerin in his gloved hand goes off, stunning the creature, Katsuki then ducks under a massive flailing hand to blast at the creature’s knees.
This time he lets out a concentrated explosion, putting far more power behind the blast than he would be comfortable or legally allowed to on an individual. Skin breaks and bones shatter. It falls over with a stringent shriek that left his eardrums rigging.
Breathe, he chastised himself as he blasts the creature again, this time at it’s head to try and keep it down longer. The smell of burning flesh is thick in his nose, stronger now. Think of the extra credit. The sweet, sweet extra credit.
Oh, he can almost taste it.
The victory. Maybe even overtake Yayorozou's top spot which he'd been fiercely fighting and clawing for since the beginning of their first year. For someone with confidence issues the girl was vicious in defending her position as the top dog of Class 1-A grade-wise, but maybe now he had the final step to kick her off her goddamn high pedestal.
This will be even sweeter with the constipated face Aizawa will be making while handing it to-
It was then that Katsuki spots it. A dark shape, moving in between the ruined cars, sticking to the shadows. It’s a sheer coincidence that his eyes landed on it.
A third Nomu.
This one is smaller than his current opponent or Deku’s -but for what it lacks in size it makes it up with its comically large mouth and sharp claws. All covered in blood, Katsuki realizes with a flash of cold zipping down his spine as he stared at the crocodilian head and the red-stained conical teeth.
It’s silent as it slowly stalks over to Deku, who is too busy body slamming the second Nomu into the pavement to pay attention to the quickly approaching danger. Who from where he was standing, was caught between two of the abominations and was blissfully unaware of this deadly fact. The hulking mass that made up the third creature was tense, ready to leap. To lunge and trap Deku in a maw full of teeth.
Even if he warned the other, there was no way Deku could defend himself from the attack and hold off his own Nomu at once.
It’s almost terrifying, how Katsuki’s mind blanks out. There’s no doubt within him to what he needs to do.
He tears through the air like a rocket, completely forgetting about everything else but getting there in time. There’s nothing else in his head but the desire to reach Deku on time; even the consequences of if he didn’t fail to cross his mind. All he knew was that he needed to be there.
And soon enough, he was.
His hands connect with a shoulder, hitting with enough force to make his arms buckle. The nerd makes an odd sputtered noise at the sudden contact like a deflating balloon. His arms went flying comically wide as the green haired boy was thrown off balance and far out of the way, the Nomu he'd been wrestling getting sent sprawling from the impact as well.
In that split, microscopic half of a second he has left before the Nomu reaches him, Katsuki catches a flash of wide green eyes turning towards him as he went down into the pavement, surprised and confused by the sudden assault from his own teammate.
In that fraction of a moment, Katsuki finds it disturbingly easy, pushing Deku out of the way.
Fortunately, he’s too busy getting torn in half by a Nomu to really dwell on this particularly horrifying realization.
Massive, unsightly jaws clamp down over his torso; there's a brief, final moment of lucidity for Katsuki where he feels sharp conical teeth pierce his skin.
Then the Nomu starts shaking him like a dog.
Back and forth, back and forth.
He feels cloth and skin give. Feels warm blood splatter against his body. The searing warmth of the creature’s jaws around him. The screaming, threatening to burst his eardrums.
It took a good moment for Katsuki to realize he was the one howling.
...but he’s not the only one. No, this call is more stringent, more wild -horrified. Desperate.
Tearing and making the owner's voice break as if their world was ending.
His arms and legs are unresponsive, turning him into a ragdoll in the Nomu’s massive jaws. His eyes are closed, and he swims in white-hot pain. Then suddenly as the Nomu swings it’s head around once more, a final, finishing shake, and then he's let go.
Flung off to the side and discarded like a broken doll.
The momentum sends him flying. Weak, bleeding, he can do little to brace himself as his body hits something hard, bounces, then hits something else equally hard that somehow gives under his body.
Sharp pain blooms across his limbs.
Katsuki spent enough time around the nerd to recognize what the sound of a bone breaking sounded like.
He hits something hard but fragmented; his body rolls with the momentum, bouncing across the surface like a ball until he ends up crushed into the floor. Katsuki can't think past the white hot pain that leaves him mute.
Instead, he lays where he’d come to a stop, pressed down by something unknown. A faint thought wander by that maybe he’s buried in rubble, but he was too out of it to register anything else about his surroundings.
Fuzzily, he thinks he hears something not unlike a lightning strike and a deep, echoing boom -then silence. Complete, blessed silence that soothed some of his headache.
It’s almost too easy, relaxing amongst the rubble. Let the exhaustion drag him down into a deep, dark abyss. A part of him weakly scrambles to hold on, but it’s weak, weary and small.
Quickly enough, Katsuki drifts away.
When he returns to awareness, it’s to the sound of someone screaming a familiar name.
“Kacchan!” He hears the strangled shout somewhere far off. “Kacchan!?”
This second call was shorter, more choked -but also closer.
He has half a mind to respond, but moving his body is impossible. Even his mouth feels like the bones had been replaced by concrete, crushing him into the rubble and pinning him in place. There’s dust sticking to his sweaty skin. It’s disgusting and repulsive, but he can’t find within himself the familiar urge to run to the nearest shower.
Instead, he feels nothing but exhaustion ...and a growing sense of numbness that should be alarming, but isn't.
Shut up, you silly nerd , Katsuki thinks drowsily. Thoughts come to him in fragments, jagged and vague. I’m trying to sleep over here. Stop screaming like the world is ending.
The weight is pulled off him.
Katsuki is limp as he feels the rubble get lifted off his upper body one by one. His body isn’t responding, numb and so far away, swimming in a daze. So much so, what little part of him that was still coherent could do nothing but wait for assistance. Normally such thought would have him foaming at the mouth -he was Ground fucking Zero, he didn’t need any sort of help- but in this moment Katsuki found himself easily accepting this.
...it was probably the blood loss.
Or the possible concussion.
Either way goes, he thinks a bit hysterically.
There’s a choked gasp above when he’s finally exposed. It grates at his ears, scratching at that barrier between his body and his mind.
“Oh god, Kacchan,” He hears a familiar voice whisper, shaken. Too shaken. Too different than the usual panic he remembers that voice being capable of making. “-oh my god please no Kacchan no, no no no...”
When Katsuki feels a pair of hands touch his battered, broken body, the pain suddenly flares back into awareness, shattering the wall between his mind and body.
It’s like a switch had gone off in his brain, and the pathetic lump of fat in his skull was finally registering the information his nervous system was desperately trying to get through.
Everything hurts, far much worse than anything Katsuki had ever endured. From his toes to the top of his scalp, there wasn't a part of his body that didn't feel like he'd gone through the wringer. His chest especially, a throbbing pain that stretched from the lower left side of his torso and crawled up to his right shoulder in a zigzagging motion.
Still, despite the unimaginable pain, Katsuki can only offer a weak exhale that dies off into a wet gurgle.
He feels it now; something warm and liquid on his upper body, dripping down his sides and sticking with the debris. It’s in his mouth too, warm and metallic.
...that's...not good. Not fucking good at all.
“Someone help!” The scream that tore it’s way out of Deku’s mouth was disturbing, the other boy’s voice breaking at the end. The sheer desperation in his tone is enough to stimulate whatever is left of Katsuki’s drowsy mind into focus again. “Help!”
No matter how much Deku screams, Katsuki hears no response. No shout back, no cry, no one to help them.
….so this was how things would go down.
To be honest, Katsuki hoped he would have a much longer run than this. Hell, they hadn’t even graduated yet. The ceremony was just around the corner, too. Something squirms within himself at the thought, a twisting, gut-wrenching sensation that has what little part of him that was still conscious tensing up.
Despair is not an emotion Katsuki feels often, but right now it's crawling up his spine and choking him as effectively as the blood in his throat.
He was going to die.
He was going to die and there was nothing he could do about it.
“You're gonna be fine, okay Kacchan?” The words are stammered next to him, so close now.
He finally musters the strength to flutters his eyes open, catching sight of wide green amidst a sea of tears. Deku was hunched over him, hands hovering over his body. Eyes wet, wide and almost bulging as they move out and down his broken body.
“Y-you'll be fine. You’re going to get better and then give me an earful about not being careful, right?”
Even a deaf man would have noticed the pathetic undertone behind his desperate, stammered words.
You have to be.
Katsuki watches numbly as the tears continue to trickle out like little rivers down freckled cheeks. It's clear that the other teen knows the futility of his own promises as well as Katsuki. There's just too much blood.
Goddamn it, Deku. He thinks, but the anger’s weak and nearly not there. You absolute disgrace of a human being.
Maybe it's exhaustion, maybe it's the slowly looming darkness sinking its teeth into him - ha, ha, see he was laughing - but Katsuki doesn’t find a single bone in himself that feels resentment towards his disaster of a classmate for the position he was in.
Honestly, it was his own fucking fault.
Did he regret it?
It’s a terrifying, humbling realization. If he had the strength, he would blink instead of staring vapidly at Deku’s weeping face. He would reach out of his arms didn't feel like they were stuffed full of lead.
This desire only intensified as Deku bent down, his forehead nearly touching his. Katsuki feels the soft green curls brushing against his skin in a gentle caress that did nothing to quell the disappointment within himself as Deku let out another quiet, broken cry:
“....please don't leave me…”
Katsuki wants to smile wryly, but he only has to stare emptily as the other teenager breaks down in front of him. As Deku tries to gather him up, to hold him together as he’s fading away.
The feeling of his tears landing his skin only made it worse.
And with that, the last of his strength leaves him. He falls, alone, into the dark.
Hands. Moving. Bad. Hurts.
“Sir, step back!”
He chokes. There’s blood in his throat. There's blood everywhere. Wet, warm, salty. Metallic. It's thick on his tongue.
“-you’re hurt, let us-”
A snarl. Faintly, he hears the crackle of lightning. It brings back memories of green curls and freckles. They're important, the freckles, Katsuki thinks hazelly. They're very important. The reasoning however stays firmly out of his reach.
His brain was misfiring on all cylinders, sputtering like a piece of broken technology not even the crazy bitch in the Support Course could fix.
“I don’t care -help him !”
He's moving. His eyes burn.
Consciousness came to him slowly.
White was the first thing his eyes related to his brain, followed by the rest of his senses returning to Katsuki with the speed of a dying snail. He felt warm and soft, enveloped in what Katsuki’s thinks are blankets and yep, that had to be a bed under him.
What the fuck happened?
His mind struggles to recall why he was here and why he felt like a puddle of melted cheese, but distraction comes in the form of movement at his side. He tilts his head to the left, peering under half-lidded eyelids at the source of the motion.
He was greeted by the sight of a human-shaped form with a blob of bright, electric yellow color on top. Katsuki blinked, squeezing his eyes, trying to get the useless things to work correctly.
When they’re open again, he sees Kaminari Denki sitting on a chair next to his bed (?), eyes practically bulging out of their sockets, mouth gaping open as he stares at Katsuki like he was seeing the dead rising from the grave.
The charging cable of the phone sitting on his lap falls from his lips with a wet pop . It’s followed by the thinnest dribble of droll, which was the last thing Katsuki wanted to see.
Katsuki’s mouth felt dry and his tongue heavier than lead, but he managed to wheeze out his indignation:
“...wipe your fucking mouth, b-bastard.”