Disclaimer: I do not own My Hero Academia.
Warnings: Deals with bullying
Note: Covers manga up to chapter 98
Ah, mornings, the time of bright lights and sunshine and a time to start the day. But, for most teenagers of Class 1-A, still tired out from a week of exams and heavy labor, they all agreed that this particular morning can go fuck itself. Weekends meant sleeping in and catching up on some much needed brain rest. It was a while before they started to truly wake up, and one by one, they stumbled out of their bedrooms and shuffled to the kitchen for breakfast.
Things were always slow at this time. The students didn't have the energy as their minds haven't fully gained momentum on a task yet. Getting adjusted to living with their classmates in the dorms had its ups and downs. Noise complaints were common and some students took longer to get used to the new environment. All that aside, they'd gotten used to waking up to seeing their friends in the morning, and finding a study-buddy was way easier now that everyone lived so close to one another.
It was also amusing to see how some behaved in specific situations, like how Bakugo seemed almost drunk when first waking up, with bed hair that looked like a tiny monster was eating his head. He would throw around 'fuck off's and growl when almost walking into someone in his sleepy state. The students learned to take full advantage of the zombie-like Bakugo, mostly Sero and Kirishima.
"Hey, Bakugo, nice hair. You're not gonna go back to that 8:2 style any time soon? Thought it looked good on you." Sero teased, doing his best not to laugh at the memory.
"Shut your face!"
"Might wanna do something about your face while you're at it. Think something's wrong with it today. You look like you're about to commit homicide," Sero suggested, inching away because he knew it wouldn't take much to nudge Bakugo's mind into full drive. He was not about to stay within reachable distance.
"Fuck off, shitface! I'll fucking kill you!"
"Dude, that's Bakugo's regular face." Kirishima butted in, chuckling at how tiny firecrackers went off in Bakugo's clinching hands that were ready to throttle any throat (or thing) close by.
"That's it – you're fucking dead!"
"Oh crap, he's awake!"
"Run for your lives!"
Kirishima and Sero bolted out of the kitchen, laughing as Bakugo exploded after them, fire cracking in his palm and his face in a snarl like a demon out of hell, abandoning the coffee he'd been preparing. Most of the students were still eating, taking up most of the dining area, some settling on the sofas in front of the television. Their peaceful meal was interrupted by hysteric laughter and explosions going off. The hyper bunch went around the sofas, using them as obstacles to avoid the savage boy.
"Hey, hey, come on! Not here," Jiro yelled, hearing an explosion right behind her.
"They're doing it again," Asui stated from the dining table.
"Stop it, this is so childish," Yaoyorozu scolded when the three boys bumped against the sofa. "Go roughhouse somewhere else, people are eating here!"
The bunch circled the coffee table and everyone eating there quickly collected their plates, saving most before Bakugo decided the table was annoying the fuck out of him by existing and flipped the whole thing over, just missing Sero who he'd been aiming the furniture at.
Yaoyorozu sighed. There was no stopping them.
"Come back here!" Bakugo ordered, running after them as they turned and fled.
"Bakugo, Kirishima, Sero, no running in the halls!" Iida advised, and then gestured at the red-eyed boy with his hand. "And Bakugo, please stop using your Quirk indoors!"
An elevator dinged. The doors parted, revealing a sleepy Uraraka. She yawned, rubbing at her eye. "Good morning, everyone," she said sleepily. Her eyes suddenly went wide when three boys stumbled her way. She instinctively pressed herself back against the elevator as they sped by.
"Morning!" Sero and Kirishima both yelled at the same time, followed by Bakugo's threats of: "I'll fucking kill you, you shits! Die!"
No matter how many times Uraraka had woken up to this, she wasn't sure if she'd ever get used to it.
"Good morning, Uraraka," Iida greeted. Some of the students put the table back to continue with their meal. Bakugo came stomping back, killer intent still glinting in his eyes. Sero and Kirishima also returned, the first had a suspicion looking bruise on his cheek from a punch and the second had a black burn mark at the top of his sleeve where he'd tried to defend himself. Both boys were grinning like idiots.
"So worth it," Sero said, holding a thumb up as approval.
"When are you boys going to act mature?" Yaoyorozu asked, still not too happy about having the table flipped again.
"Hey, nothing wrong with a little manly fight here and there." Kirishima tried to lighten her up.
"A little? Dude, you flipped my breakfast!" Kaminari complained, pointing at the upside-down plate on the floor.
"You can blame that on King Explodo over there." Kirishima grinned and pointed a thumb over his shoulder, gesturing to Bakugo who was now messing with the rice cooker. After eating and cleaning up, they let themselves rest, giving their bodies a chance to digest in peace. Some of the students made plans for the day while the rest jumped into conversations. Everyone was there…
Except for one.
"Where's Deku?" Uraraka asked. She hadn't seen him, which meant he hadn't eaten anything yet.
"Still sleeping in, maybe?" Kirishima said, looking at the clock.
"Midoriya's never slept this long before," Iida mumbled, cupping his chin while in deep thought. "In any case, he'll need to come down to eat as well."
Kaminari got up from the sofa and stretched. "I'll head up and get my phone. Want me to check if he's up while I'm at it?"
"If it's not any trouble," Iida said. His friend was most likely still in bed, and Iida was mentally preparing himself to scold him for oversleeping for this long. There was also the possibility that Midoriya's alarm hadn't gone off. That, or that it had worked just fine and, in Izuku's sleep-fogged brain, he had turned it off and went back to sleep without realizing. That had happened once.
As Kaminari left, Uraraka thought for a moment. "Maybe we should let him sleep a little more? He seemed a little tired yesterday..." she suggested.
"Really? He looked fine to me, if I remember well." Yaoyorozu commented.
"Nah, you don't know him like she does!" Hagakure declared happily.
Uraraka blushed, realizing what the invisible girl was about to answer. "W – wait! It's nothing –"
"She and Midoriya are –"
"Besties!" Mina suddenly interrupted, practically jumping from the sofa and scaring the crap out everyone else. "Yeah, besties! Side-by-side, always together! Of course she'll know if something's wrong with him, right?"
Ochaco realized her pink friend had saved her from an embarrassing moment. "Y – yeah…"
Sero snorted, which earned him hard stares and Kirishima's elbow nudging him hard in the gut. Sero covered his chuckle by fake coughing and everyone pretended to agree with Mina; pretended, because it was just that obvious. Ochaco looked at everyone else and felt like she was missing something important. It felt as if they were all in on something and she was left out of the loop. Oh well, maybe she was just imagining it.
"Maybe I should make him breakfast?" She suggested to Iida. "He might be still tired."
"The fuckmunch can make his own food," Bakugo growled. What, that little shit gets free food deliveries now?
"Bakugo, don't be mean!" She tried to sound brave, but talking to someone like him only made her voice come out as a squeak. "He could be really tired if he managed to sleep this long!"
"If that's what it takes to bring him down then the little shit should quit trying to be a hero."
"Stop calling him bad names!" she scolded, puffing out her cheeks.
"I'll call that useless nerd whatever the hell I want!"
"He's a nice person!" She pointed an accusing finger at him. "You're just a big bully!"
"Shove it, gravity bitch!"
"See? Bully! Deku will make a great hero because he's a caring person."
"You like him so much then why don't you go fuck' m already, eh?"
Five seconds of silence. The other students stared in horror, thinking of how they could've stopped the words from leaving his mouth, but it was already too late. Aside from Uraraka herself, everyone else knew she had a crush on their green-haired classmate. It was clear it didn't want her feelings to be out in the open, and everyone agreed to respect that. Well, most agreed.
She'd turned red in the face, eyes slightly wet. She lifted a shaky hand…
…and flipped him the bird.
Bakugo was ready to disfigure her face, and was about to do so if Kirishima hadn't thrown himself in the middle. He pushed the furious boy back while using his hardening Quirk, protecting him from the blasts going off in his face.
"You bitch – I'll kill you!"
Iida put his arm out in front of Ochaco defensively, nudging her back.
"Calm down, man!" Kirishima tried, pushing his friend further back.
"Just wait 'til I get my hands on you! I'll blast you to fucking bits! You and fucking Deku!"
"What's your deal with him, anyway?" Kyoka asked from the sofa. "I get that you and Midoriya went to the same school before and all, but what's with all the rivalry? Like, it looks one-sided."
"Yeah," Toru agreed. "Midoriya's been nothing but nice! It's all Bakugo. Like Ochaco said, he's a bully!"
"Not helping, not helping!" Kirishima struggled when the blasts became more powerful.
"Guys," Denki called urgently, panting from running down the stairs and almost tripping a few times in his haste. No one noticed him, though.
"I think Midoriya knows Bakugo longer than that. He said 'Kacchan' was a childhood nickname for Bakugo," Ojiro reminded them.
"Dang, I kinda feel bad for Midoriya," Mina said. "Imagine dealing with someone like Bakugo, and then find him in the same class with you again."
"Guys," Denki tried again with no luck.
"You're all dead! All of you – just you wait! You're all on my shitlist!"
"Can you tune down the fire a little, Blasty?" Kirishima asked, finding it hard to breathe from all the smoke.
"A lot of room on that list for you!"
"Yes, I believe Midoriya mentioned he and Bakugo used to be childhood friends at some point," Todoroki confirmed.
"I wonder what happened then," Momo said. "If it was something from back when they were kids, then it's childish to hold a grudge for this long."
"It's Bakugo who has a grudge," Ochaco accused. Iida tried to tell her to calm down. It didn't work. "Deku's nice to him all the time – it's Bakugo who's a bully!"
"Shut the FUCK UP!"
"Bully!" She stuck her tongue out at him.
"GUYS!" Denki yelled, finally getting noticed. Everyone turned to look at him. Even Bakugo halted his assault; his fist still on Kirishima's hardened cheek as they both stared in confusion. Kaminari looked panicked. "Guys, we've got a problem."
Hearing the news from Kaminari sent everyone (minus Bakugo) in a state of panic. They'd run up the stairs because they didn't have time to wait for the elevator. Izuku's bedroom door was wide open. Denki had left it like that when he'd made the discovery. The room was dark and gloomy. They stood just outside and the stench of hot sickness caused them to take a step back.
"Midoriya?" Iida called. The bump in the bed shifted, but that was it. Iida, Kirishima and Todoroki were the first to carefully step in.
"Watch out – there's puke on the floor!" Denki warned and everyone stopped in their tracks.
With a flick of the switch, the room was suddenly lit. "Found the lights!" Mina declared.
The sudden brightness in the room caused the bundle in the blanket to whine tiredly. He shifted again and the blanket slipped from his head. He looked awful; his face flushed and hair sticking to his forehead from the sweat. He was also panting slightly due to a blocked nose. He coughed and it sounded wet, as if he had mud stuck at the back of his throat. They then saw the wet puddle by the bed.
"I tried to help him up and he just threw up!" Denki explained, still disturbed.
"You awake, man?" Kirishima approached, minding the wet floor.
Izuku cracked his eyes half-open, staring at the ceiling, then at the red-head when he came into view. "Kiri… shima…?" his voice sounded off because of a sore throat and clogged nose.
"You feeling okay there, buddy?" Eijiro kept his voice down, fearing his friend might be suffering through a headache as well.
Izuku shifted to his side and tried to heave himself up, his arms shaking as they struggled to push his body up. They gave out beneath him and he slumped back down, slamming his face into the pillow. He grunted pathetically at his weak efforts to sit up.
"Deku…" Ochaco covered her mouth in worry. She'd never seen him like this. He was usually brightly smiling and happy. This… this was just miserable to look at. It broke her heart. Kirishima pressed his hand against Izuku's forehead and frowned. "Sheesh, he's burning up."
"We should get Recovery Girl. In the meantime, we should probably get him downstairs," Iida said. The room smelled like vomit and he doubted anyone could rest here.
"Help me get him up," Kirishima said, yanking the blanket off and heaving Izuku up, worrying even more by how much the smaller boy was sweating. Iida and Todoroki offered their assistance, maneuvering the sick boy onto Kirishima's back. The movement woke him up again and the poor student looked around with blurry eyes.
"Everyone... What… why?" his green eyes looked down and panicked a little when he realized he was being carried on someone's back. "What's –" He coughed. "What's… going on?"
"Don't push yourself," Todoroki told him, placing a hand on Izuku's back so he doesn't fall back. Iida did the same as Kirishima carried him out, the students by the door moving to make way. They followed along, and when reaching the stairs, Jiro used her earlobes like a rope, tying Kirishima and Izuku together around the midsection before Ochaco made the sick boy weightless to make it easier to bring him down the stairs. Jiro's earlobes prevented Izuku from floating off. Dark Shadow moved the table out of the way, clearing the path for Kirishima to reach the sofa. With the help of Denki and Todoroki, they managed to get Izuku off and positioned him over the sofa. Ochaco released her Zero Gravity and the boy sunk into the sofa. He was out cold again.
"Please watch over him," Iida said, turning away. "I'll go get Recovery Girl." And he ran off, ignoring his own rule of 'no using Quirks indoors'.
Mineta ran over with a trashcan and dropped it by the sofa. Shoji handed over a blanket and a pillow, each student helping to bundle the Izuku and get him as comfortable as they possibly could. He coughed occasionally and grunted when he tried to turn on his side, the movement taking too much energy to do.
"Poor Deku…" Ochaco whispered, keeping her voice low, not wanting to disturb him.
"I guess it's a good thing Kaminari checked on him," Kyoka said.
Momo touched his forehead, then felt his cheek with the back of her hand. The frown on her face was enough to let them know it wasn't good. Their sick friend groaned. His shaky hand appeared from beneath the blanket and tried to push Momo away, his body leaning to the side and almost falling off the sofa. Momo grabbed him and Kirishima was about to do the same until Uraraka beat him to it, grabbing on to his shoulder and trying to stop his weak attempts at getting up.
"Deku, don't! You need to rest…"
He shook his head, pushing her away then suddenly covered his mouth. A grunt, then a wet burp, and suddenly Momo realized why he'd gotten up and tried to lean off the sofa in the first place. She quickly grabbed the trashcan and lifted it to his reach. He dove for it, heaving and vomiting whatever was left in his stomach. Momo held the trashcan just in case he couldn't hold on to it any longer. Ochaco brushed his hair out of his face with one hand and gently rubbed his back with the other.
"Oh man…" with the sight in front of him, Kaminari was fighting the erg to throw up as well. The noises and deep, gurgling grunts sounded both disgusting and painful. Mineta was having a harder time, his face already green and he kept swallowing in an exaggerated manner. Izuku dry heaved, tears pricking at the corner of his eyes. His sore stomach squeezed again, forcing him to burp up a tiny line of whatever that slime was. Stomach emptied, he dry-heaved over and over again, the bitter taste of regurgitated fluids still in his mouth.
Todoroki came with a roll of tissue papers, snapping a few off and handing them to Momo who then helped clean Izuku's mouth and chin. She threw the dirty tissues into the trashcan and lowered it to the floor. Ochaco helped him get comfortable in the sofa and covered him with the blanket, gently brushing his hair back because she desperately wanted to give him some comfort. Seeing their friend in such a state had put everyone in a bad mood.
"'m sorry…" He managed, clearly struggling to speak.
"Hey, it's not like you wanted to get sick," Mina said.
"Iida's off to get Recovery Girl. Just take it easy, man," Kirishima advised. He didn't hear an answer.
"He fell asleep," Ochaco confirmed, hand still in his green hair.
It was disturbing to see how much pain their friend was in. To think this was the same boy who had been smiling, encouraging them and helping them out not long ago. More bad news arrived when Iida called Ochaco. A team of heroes were on a mission, and requested to have Recovery Girl on standby, so Iida fetched whoever was available in her place. While he brought the doctor over, the students did everything they could, taking his temperature and bringing him water and hoping he'd take a few sips. Everyone kept taking turns, and those who didn't, like Bakugo, kept their distance, but still stayed to watch the scene. When the doctor arrived, Ochaco walked back and forth, wringing her hands in worry as her friend was getting checked.
Everyone else watched from afar, waiting. The sound of a foot tapping impatiently went unnoticed as they kept their attention somewhere else. The doctor examined him, ordered him to cough, then wrote down medication and instructed Iida to pick them up. They had to nurse him back to health the old fashioned way. They'd draped a cool, wet rag over his head. No one volunteered to clean up the mess in his room, so they ended up drawing straws.
"Oh, come on!" Kaminari shrieked, staring in horror at the short straw pinched between his fingers. He heard chuckling behind him and he snapped his head back to glare at them. "Not funny, you bastards…"
He could see a few students biting their lips in an effort to not burst out laughing. Some of the quieter students turned their heads away, their shoulders shaking slightly. Some, however, like Mina, Mineta, Jiro and Sero, showed no mercy, laughing and teasing.
Mina held out a bucket, wiggling it in front of him as if it were a present. "You know what you gotta do," she teased, grinning wildly.
"I am not cleaning puke!" He yelled, glaring at the bucket.
"Come on, be a man!" Kirishima tried to encourage him, holding up a fist in the air.
"You guys can't be serious…" Denki said. The realization of what his job required him to started sinking in.
"Very much serious," Iida confirmed. "But, do not worry…"
When Denki turned to the one with glasses, he was shocked to see him already wearing dishwashing gloves, an apron, and a white mask over his mouth and nose. "I shall assist you!"
"Wait… hold on, guys! The draw wasn't even fair!" Denki complained.
"Come on, even Bakugo drew a straw," Kirishima pointed out.
"Cause you annoying shits wouldn't stop nagging me," Bakugo growled, his fists clenching in irritation.
"Todoroki didn't draw," Denki reminded. "And Uraraka didn't either!"
"Todoroki went to get drinks," Mina explained, she then she turned to the sofa. "And she's…" She pointed at the sofa. Ochaco dipped a rag into iced water, squeezed the excess out and gently placed it over Izuku's head. He had to keep his mouth open the whole time to breathe as a runny nose made it difficult to inhale. He coughed, and it sounded as painful and sad as hearing someone's beloved puppy whimpering.
Denki couldn't take it anymore. "Gah, Fine. Give it here!" he snatched the bucket from the pink girl.
"That's the spirit!" Kirishima said and gave him a strong pat on the back.
"Be sure to leave the window open to air out the room. Ventilation is necessary!" Iida said loudly as he walked his friend to his doom. This was not how he'd hoped to spend his morning.
Todoroki came back with a drink. Ochaco helped Izuku sit up, settling behind him so that he'll lean back against her. Todoroki added a straw to help him drink it easily and offered it.
"Here, you have to stay hydrated. Do you think you can keep this down?"
Izuku gave a weak nod and took the drink. He had a weak hold on it, so Todoroki kept a hand on it to keep it steady. Between sips, Izuku had to take a break and give himself a second to breathe again. He let out an exhausted sigh when he felt like he had enough.
"Thanks…" He whispered as Ochaco let me rest again, yanking the blanket over him and resting her hand on his head in reassurance.
"If you need something, we're here, okay?" She told him. All she got was a hum in response as he slowly lost strength.
"How is he?" Momo asked from where she stood behind the sofa, resting her elbows over the backrest and looking down at the resting figure.
"He managed to drink some," Todoroki said, swishing the drink around to feel how much was left.
"Kaminari lost. He and Iida are going to go clean Midoriya's room," Momo explained.
"Can't imagine that being a pleasant task," Todoroki commented, placing the drink on the table.
"Don't…" the tired figure on the sofa managed. "Please, you… you don't have to… go that far…" while he was already flushed, it had deepened, most likely due to embarrassment. The thought of someone else washing the bodily fluids he'd left behind in his bedroom did not settle well with him. His friends were about to clean his vomit.
"Please, don't… it's my fault… you don't need to… clean up after me… You're already doing so much…" Talking with a sore throat was quite painful.
"Deku, it's not your fault, it was just an accident," Ochaco tried to reason with him. "You're really sick. Please, just let us help you!"
"She's right," Momo agreed. "You can't do much of anything right now, and it's not something that could've been avoided. There's no shame in asking for help once in a while, and you have friends who are more than willing to help out."
He felt hot tears prick at the corners of his eyes. "I'm so sorry…" for being a burden.
"Don't apologize," Ochaco told him. "Everyone gets sick. It could've been anyone. It could have been me or Iida or Todoroki or anyone. What would you do if one of us got sick?"
"I'd help." It was a simple, fast answer from him.
"See? We're all friends, and friends help each other," she said confidently.
"Yup!" Kirishima suddenly yelled, coming over with a box of tissues and placing it on the table. "We're all in this together! We push each other forward, so if ya need a little shove, we've got your back," He said and gave him a thumbs-up.
They thought the sniffling was because of his runny nose. Well, not entirely. He lifted his hand to wipe the teardrop that escaped down his cheek. "Thanks, guys… I mean it… Thanks."
"Deku," Ochaco whispered and reached out but stopped midway, not sure where to hold him or how else to comfort him. "What's making you sad, Deku?"
"I'm fine…" He sniffed again and tried to smile tiredly. "Don't worry… I was just… remembering something, that's all." Remembering how I used to be alone. He gestured to the tissue box Eijiro had brought. "Umm… can you…?"
Kirishima sat on the other sofa. He pushed the tissue box and let it slide across the table, reaching the other side, nearer to Ochaco. She swiftly pulled a few out and handed them to Izuku.
"Thanks…" He started cleaning his face then blew his stuffy nose.
"If…" Ochaco stopped to think for a moment. "If there's anything bothering you, you'd tell us, right?" she asked, then realized it might not have been a good idea to ask such a question in front of other friends. What if Izuku didn't feel like sharing his answer with one of them?
"You don't sound so sure," Todoroki said. He and Yaoyorozu had been quiet for the most part. But as they took a seat on the sofa, the way they looked at him… it was clear they were worried and, like Ochaco, were hoping for a clearer answer from him.
"I'm… I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel, I guess… I…" He hesitated. Was it safe to share this kind of information? "I haven't had a friend in a while so… this is all kinda new to me…"
"Do you miss the friends you used to have?" Todoroki asked quietly. He briefly looked at the stairs, making sure none of the other students were nearby to hear this.
Izuku looked like he wanted to hide into the sofa cushions. "Well… I… I… I kinda didn't have any… used to be friends with Kacchan when we were little but…"
The severity of how bad the relationship was didn't need to be said out loud. While Bakugo was violent to pretty much every person, he seemed to have a special kind of disgust against the green-haired kid. No one had thought to dig into this as most had assumed it was a simple case of friendly rivalry between two young boys who shared a history together for some time.
"When did he stop being your friend?" Momo asked carefully. She was ready to back out and apologize if the question turned out to be too much on him.
Izuku closed his eyes to think for a moment, his headache not helping him at all. Was it okay to show them his past, when he was at his weakest? Would they think less of him? He then remembered how Todoroki took him aside and told him his. He had trusted him enough to show him his childhood. It was his turn, now. It was only fair, after all.
"I… think it was when we found out I was Quirkless as a kid… I didn't have a Quirk until a few days before I applied to U.A… It sort of manifested out of nowhere… some kind of mutation."
He couldn't tell them about One For All, so he used the same excuse he had told his mother. Random mutations were rare, but not unheard of, so he went with it. It was the only believable explanation for the appearance of a Quirk that developed while he was in his teenage years – way over the usual age limit when a Quirk usually developed.
The group slowly digested the information. He saw a slight shift in Todoroki's eyes, but the guy managed to keep his expression stoic. He saw the surprise in Kirishima's face, and slight sympathy in Yaoyorozu's. He couldn't see Ochaco, as she was sitting behind him, but he noted she had gone quiet. Having a Quirk, even a useless one, was a sign that you fit into society, that you belonged, that you had something special, something that helped define you, but still allowed you to be part of a majority group. While the Quirkless had almost the same rights as the group with Quirks, it was social society that usually brought them down.
It was a well-known fact that those who were Quirkless had significantly higher suicide rates. They also had difficulties when it came to schools and careers. A number of Hero Academies did not allow for Quirkless students to apply, and when it came to jobs, those with Quirks related to the field of work – while not necessary – were usually preferred. So when it came for a hospital to select between a person with a Quirk that could save lives, and a Quirkless person, the choice was simple.
There was also the fact that those without Quirks were seen as easy targets for villains. They had no form of self-defense, so a villain didn't have to worry about their victims suddenly spreading their wings and flying away, or uttering an ear-piercing shriek as a flight-or-fight response to being attacked.
Kirishima felt his fist tighten. He remembered his own childhood in school, how kids used to gang up on that one Quirkless kid, when one bully had grabbed him and poured milk down his pants in the cafeteria the other day. Kirishima remembered how his younger self had given that bully a hardened fist to the face, which had resulted in a full on fight and both students getting sent to the principal's office. It had been worth it, because he couldn't just stand there and watch something like that. The Quirkless kid had been the butt of every joke, and watching him get physically humiliated was something Kirishima couldn't allow, not while he was around to stop it.
Now, knowing that Izuku Midoriya, his classmate, his friend, might've been in that satiation at some point… it brought his anger to a boiling point. Midoriya was a sweet little guy, kind and helpful and a little on the shy side. He didn't look intimidating, and he wasn't a tall kid. He was also a smart kid, considering how many surprising twists and turns he'd pulled to win a few times.
When Kirishima thought of the first few days, when first meeting Izuku, he recalled the way the boy used to flinch and fidget and get easily startled by the simplest sounds or movements. The possibility of him being a victim of bullying wasn't farfetched. The thought irked him. Midoriya was the kind of person who stood up for others, but not for himself. He would sacrifice his body to help someone, but when it came to his own safety, he would tank so many damaging hits, sometimes beyond what his body could take.
"Hey man, must've been tough, huh?" He told him sympathetically.
Izuku intended to hum as a response but ended up coughing as his throat disagreed with the movement.
"Is that…" Ochaco hesitated. "Is that why Bakugo calls you names all the time?" she asked, wringing her hands anxiously.
Izuku coughed again before taking deep breaths to calm down. "He… let's not… blame everything on him. He wasn't the only one who used to call me that so…"
"Midoriya, you could've told someone," Momo said gently. "I didn't think it was this bad, but if the way Bakugo is treating is still bothering you…"
"Nah…" He sighed. "It doesn't bother me anymore… and… he's… he's not a bad person… he's just competitive that way."
Or maybe you're just too forgiving, Todoroki thought.
Yaoyorozu lined up the timeframe of his life to get a better picture. He had spent most of his life alone, dealing with people who saw it their job to put him down. He had no sort of leverage back then; no way to defend himself and no one to defend him. She wondered just how much he'd been hurting and for how long he'd been holding all of that in.
"If Bakugo wasn't the only one who picked on you like you say, then there were others." She said, cupping her chin the same way he would when thinking.
He pulled the rag on his head down to cover over his eyes, because he couldn't keep up with them with the pounding headache and eye-burning lights of the room. That, and he didn't want them to see his teary eyes. "Yeah…" it was an embarrassing thing to admit. He was basically showing how weak he had been.
"Didn't anyone try to help you?" Ochaco asked sadly. She hated bullies. She could never understand how someone found joy in the misery of others. Bullies only felt powerful by putting other people down.
"Not… not really, no…"
"Did you tell a teacher?" Yaoyorozu asked.
"No, but… he was there sometimes… the teacher, I mean. He saw it happen but…" he remembered when the class had found out he wanted to apply to U. A., how they'd laughed their asses off and how Kacchan attacked until he had his back against the wall, cowering in fear while the teacher just stood there, not amused by the usual outbursts he'd seen from the class. "He never interfered…"
Todoroki shifted his hand, and Momo heard the sound of glass crunching. He had his arms crossed, but she managed to see one of his hands. Some ice had developed in his palm. He closed his hand and the thin layer broke apart. He was angry. She couldn't blame him.
"Was it just teasing, or was it also physical?" She asked cautiously. The more she asked, the more he opened up, and what he showed was scaring them all.
"Both… and… I could handle hits just fine, but…" words hurt more. His already cracking voice hitched. He could feel the rag sucking up his tears. "Someone…" don't. Shut up. "…someone told me…" Stop. Don't say it. Shove it back down and lock it up. Just stop right there, you've shared enough. "…to jump off the school roof…" That's too much – shut up, you're doing a big mistake. "…and I was stupid enough to think about it…" Oh, you fucked up now. You've done it – you've officially ruined whatever friendship you had with them. They would never look at you the same way again, dumbass.
A sob jumped from his slimy throat. He couldn't help it; everything was messing with his thoughts: the memories, the headache, the thought of his friends thinking he was too much of an emotional wreck to deal with… "I'm sorry… I didn't mean to…" he sobbed and chocked on his saliva, coughing again.
A sniff. Then another. It wasn't him, though. He heard the shuffling of clothes and, in an instant, a body fell on him, wrapping him in a tight hold. "Wah…?"
"Deku…" Ochaco. She was hugging him. She was crying. Through his own sweat, he still managed to feel her tears smudging his neck. "I'm sorry… I'm so sorry. I wish I could've been there for you, Deku." She hugged him harder and he felt her wet cheek rub against his neck.
"U… Uraraka, you shouldn't be this close," he whispered, his throat torturing him. "I'll get you sick, too." He tried to push her away by her shoulder, but she shook her head no and tightened her hold.
"No! You need it," she insisted. "You have us now. We all love you, Deku!"
His confession had shaken her to the core. It was as if he was about to commit suicide right now and she was trying to stop him. "Uraraka…"
"We are all comrades here, Midoriya, even if some of us don't get along," Todoroki told him.
"You may have been alone back then, but not anymore," Yaoyorozu said. "We're all here for one reason: to help others. What kind of heroes will we be if we couldn't even help a friend? We may not understand what you're going through, but let me tell you that we all care for each other."
"Gah! Don't trip me, you pricks!" Kaminari yelled from the floor above. "It's hard enough as it is!"
"Yeah, Jiro – try again when he's going down the stairs!" Mina laughed happily.
"Why are you guys ganging up on me? I just scrubbed puke off the floor and I think I'm scarred for life now. Come on, give me a break…"
"Quit being a drama queen."
"You're all evil! Evil, you hear me? Laughing while I worked my ass off!"
"You have to admit, the face you were pulling the whole time was hilarious."
"I hate you. All of you."
Momo sweatdropped. "…even if they show it in weird ways."
"I wish I was there, man," Kirishima said. "Whoever told you to do that is beyond fucked up. I would've knocked their teeth out for ya." He grinned and gave him a thumbs-up. While Izuku flinched for a second, remembering that it had been Bakugo who'd tried to suicide bait him, the thought was replaced with flattery. They were all on his side.
"It's their loss," Kirishima told him. "Look where you are now! The top Hero Academy. Next time you see them, rub that in their faces. And if Bakugo crosses a line, then you can go ahead and call big brother Eijiro, alright?" Kirishima gave a toothy grin and slammed his hardened fists together with a satisfying clap, giving an indication to what he meant. "I'm one of the few who can handle that guy."
Izuku couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Guys…" new tears threatened to spill.
"Now make room," Kirishima shouted and held his arms wide open. "I want a hug, too!"
Before he could react to that, the red-haired boy practically dropped himself over Izuku and Ochaco, who was also still hugging him. Izuku gasped in surprise from the added weight and Ochaco squealed.
"Eijiro hug!" Kirishima named the special move.
"Kirishima!" Ochaco laughed at being caught in the hug as well.
Izuku couldn't help it. Before long, he was chuckling, then laughing as loudly as his throat allowed him. This felt too good. The heaviness that had lived inside him for years like a parasite was gone, replaced by that flattering butterfly in his chest. He felt lighter, as if a burden had been lifted. He had friends now… ones that were willing to catch him if the bridge collapsed from under his feet. The thought was so surreal, he was sure he was crying and laughing at the same time.
Momo smiled gently at the laughing pile on the sofa.
"Kirishima, you're squishing us!" Ochaco giggled.
"Se – seriously, guys–" Izuku managed from in between his own laughter. "–don't get so c – close! I'll get you sick!"
"Worth it!" Eijiro declared.
Momo glanced over at Todoroki, seeing a calm smile on his usually stoic face.
Standing in the middle of the stairs, just out of sight but still close enough to listen in, with his hand gripping the railing in frustration, the red-eyed teen's nostrils flared. His teeth clenched together, threatening to crack. He huffed and walked back up the stairs.
Denki groaned in exhaustion, the action clearly exaggerated. "I did it…" he sighed tiredly.
Seated on one of the sofas with his arm over the backrest, Kirishima looked up from his phone and grinned. "You done?"
"You should've seen him," Mina said, leaning against the sofa playfully. "He kept whining like a baby the whole time!"
"Lay off…" Kaminari wanted to argue, but his lack of strength failed him. "It was over the sheets, too. I think I'm traumatized." He scratched the back of his neck tiredly then peeked over at the sleeping form. "Holy crap, he's still asleep?" he pressed his hand to the rag on Izuku's head, checking of it was still cool to the touch or if it needed changing.
"He was awake just a minute ago," Kirishima explained, remembering the emotional breakdown his friend went through a while ago. "'was really drained, though."
It was hard for Kaminari not to notice the redness at the corners of Izuku's eyes. He gently ruffled the sleeping boy's hair. "Rest up, buddy." He wasn't sure what it was, but seeing Midoriya like this had lit a sort of protective instinct in them they never knew the smell of fresh cooking brought his attention.
"Whacha' doing there?" Denki asked, noticing both Ochaco and Shoto wearing aprons, her chopping greens and him stirring a pot. "Is that soup?" He felt his own mouth water.
"It's not for you, silly," Ochaco informed him, giggling at how his face fell in disappointment.
"Homemade meals. Midoriya's livin' the highlife, now." Mina said, admitting that smelled good.
"You sure you don't want my help back there?" Kirishima asked.
"It's fine. We've got enough hands," Shoto told him, moving aside so that Ochaco could get to the sink.
No one commented as to why Katsuki lingered there uselessly, glaring at everything that moved, as if he were forced to be there against his will. Considering that he usually avoided contact with everyone for most of the time, for some unknown reason, he wasn't rotting up in his room. Instead, he just stood there, leaning against the wall, watching as everyone mother-hened the runt. The amount of attention Deku was receiving was irritating. It wasn't like he'd die if they left him alone for two seconds!
They sat down a bowl of steaming soup and reluctantly nudged him awake. He cracked his eyes open and blinked in confusion. Noticing so many people gathered around him, he settled for a simple, "Hey."
"Hey yourself, sleeping beauty." Mina poked him playfully, trying to get him to move.
Figuring that they must've woken him up for a reason, he pushed himself up and rubbed the fatigue from his eyes. The rag fell from his head, but Tsuyu simply took it for later use.
"What's going on?" he asked, still dazed and half-asleep.
"We made you something," Ochaco announced.
His eyes widened when he saw the bowl. "You… you guys made that? For me?"
"Of course!" Iida shouted. "Healthy nutrition is essential for healing! And you can't take your medications on an empty stomach."
"I…" he searched for any word that might help. "Thank you… everyone. Really, you didn't have to."
They propped him up, keeping the blanket wrapped around his shoulders, and carefully handed him the bowl. He was sure they'd go all the way and help spoon-feed him if he hadn't reached out for the bowl. Having his friend clean his gunk and then having the others make him food… he had enough dignity left to feed himself, at least. The steam helped him breathe a little better, and having to occasionally chew on bits of veggies worked his gums and jaw muscles. Ochaco took the empty bowl from him and Iida helped him take his medications before he was finally allowed to sleep again. Content, he sighed deeply, feeling a cool rag on his forehead again.
He was being a good patient. Some students were glad he wasn't being difficult like their own younger siblings used to get when sick. It could have simply been because he was older than their younger brothers and sisters, but if it had been someone like Katsuki, they were sure it wouldn't have been that easy. It could have also been that Midoriya was a cooperative person in the first place.
"Do you think he'll get better before school?" Ochaco asked, rinsing the empty bowl in the sink.
"Well, if not, then we'll just have to take notes for him," Iida said.
Kirishima was glad almost everyone got together to help out when their friend couldn't even stand on his own. Midoriya had always been that one kid who brightened their days with just a smile. He was the sunshine of the class, and that said sunshine was now down and tired and in pain, shivering pathetically. Helpless. The sight of his condition had put everyone on autopilot mode, doing whatever they could to keep him comfortable. They all knew that miserable feeling when sick, so they sympathized with him whenever he whined in discomfort.
They also almost had a heart attack when they caught a glimpse of ash blond hair stomping over to him.
Almost everyone groaned. "Hey – oh crap, Bakugo!" Denki called out, fearing things weren't going to go well. And they didn't. Bakugo grabbed Midoriya by the front of his shirt and hauled him up quite violently.
Kirishima sighed in frustration and waved a hand back at everyone, gesturing for them to stay put. "I'll handle him," he assured them then made his way over to the potential disaster that was about to happen. "C'mon, man, just leave him alone."
"Stay out of this, hair-for-brains!" Bakugo growled.
Izuku was looking up at him in terror, and then squinted when he was jostled and jerked back and forth by his shirt. "And YOU!" Bakugo barked in his face. Izuku cowered from the force of it. "You THOUGHT of it? You literally – you fucking thought of jumping? The fuck is wrong with your brain? Are you fucking telling me you're THAT fucking weak?"
Izuku fumbled with the hand grabbing him, trying to get it to release his shirt. "Ka – Kacchan!"
"Are you that fucking stupid?" he spat in his face. "You whine and cry about wanting to be a hero then you go ahead and want to throw yourself just like that? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?"
Kirishima, sensing the others' eyes beginning to widen – in confusion by those who had been too busy laughing at Kaminari cleaning vomit; and in disbelief and horror by those who had witnessed Midoriya's confection. He decided this needed to stop now. "Bakugo, just put him down–"
"I said STAY OUT OF IT–!"
"That's enough, Bakugo." Even though Kirishima had hoped he'd be able to handle this on his own, he was sort of glad Todoroki interfered as well. "Can't you see he's sick?"
"Like I fucking care! And YOU stay out of it, too, half-and-half son of a –!"
He couldn't finish that insult, because he felt a slight wetness on his face when Izuku suddenly jerked and sneezed. Right. In. His. Face. The sneeze mimicked the spray of a perfume bottle.
…on his face...
"I'm… I'm so sorry, Kacchan – I tried to hold it, I swear!"
The hand grabbing Izuku's shirt automatically unlatched, dropping the boy.
"I'm so sorry!"
"Fucking goddamn shit! You're fucking gross – fuck!" Bakugo wiped at his face as if it were burning acid. "I'll fucking end you!"
Kirishima hooked his arms under Bakugo's and started to drag him back, tiny grenades going off in the other's hands. "Come on, man. Let off steam some other way. Wanna blow stuff up? I know you like blowing stuff up."
"I'll blow your head off!"
Kirishima managed a chuckle. "Let's not go there. Come on; let's get outside so you can go crazy."
"–let me go!"
Izuku watched as the explosions disappeared behind a sharp turn. He heard them for a while, along with Kirishima as he tried to lighten the mood. Todoroki helped him up from the floor and sat him on the sofa again. Ochaco came running, fussing over him and asking if he might've gotten hurt.
"I'm… I'm okay…" His mind was miles away. "Thanks, but I'm okay, really."
"That was really scary, Deku," Ochaco said. "I'm so sorry we didn't stop him sooner."
"It's okay. Really," he assured her. "I'm fine. Just a little sleepy."
"Oh, here, let me help you," she said and pulled up the blanket to cover him once he was settled.
"Thanks…" he whispered, and it sounded like he was thanking them for more than just these simple acts of kindness. It didn't take long for him to drift into the waves of rest he truly needed.
"Dang." Denki whistled. "He went full Bakugo on him."
"Let's hope to keep him at bay, at least until Midoriya gets his strength back," Momo said.
"I feel like Bakugo's gonna try and kill Kirishima out there…" Denki said worriedly.
"Nonsense!" Iida intervened. "Bakugo may be malicious, but even he wouldn't go that far."
The explosive strike was blocked successfully by a hardened arm. The more hits Bakugo threw, the more his palms sweated, the more powerful the next punches were. Kirishima didn't like that fact. Not one bit. But he wasn't about to back down now. While the Bakugo's explosions got bigger over time, his stamina didn't function the same way.
"Come on!" Kirishima slammed his hardened fists together. "Show me what you've got!"
He shouldn't have said that, because while he'd managed to block the hit, the force of the explosion sent him skidding back, his feet digging tracks into the ground. "Now that's what I'm talking about!" Kirishima grinned, enjoying the fact that he was able to drive his friend to give it his all. He wasn't so how long they continued, but at some point, he saw that both of them were panting, so he called it off, holding his hands up in surrender and plopping down to rest.
"Then don't pick a fight with me, asshole." Bakugo didn't yell this time. His voice was more neutral. He walked to the side of the building and sat down, leaning his back against it. They both stayed like that, panting and catching their breath.
"I'm guessing you knew about that," Kirishima finally said, looking up at the sky. The sun had gone down.
"The whole… you know, roof jumping thing."
"Yeah. What of it?"
"I know you're not much of a talker, Bakugo, but did you, like… try and talk to him? You know, at that time."
"Why would I? If he wanted to die that badly then he should've gone right ahead. Not my job to make sure he's alive."
"I know you don't mean that, Bakugo."
"Yeah? And how would you know?"
"You were worried," Kirishima said simply. "When you were yelling at him earlier, you were angry that… that he thought about going through with it…"
"I don't give a crap about that loser," Bakugo grumbled and got up.
Kirishima huffed in amusement. "Whatever you say, man."
Izuku slept for who knows how long. He heard footsteps but didn't bother opening his eyes to check. Earlier, he had drifted in and out of sleep. The lights were off to not bother him and Uraraka was taking a nap on the other sofa. She had offered to be the one to watch over him and be close by if he needed anything. Iida had brought her a pillow and covered her with a blanket. He had also checked on him a few times.
These footsteps, however, sounded different from Iida's. He felt a hand press against the dry rag on his forehead. The rag was taken away, and then he heard wet slushing, ice cubes clinking, and the sound of a string of water dripping. The rag was returned to his forehead, a little colder now. He heard the shuffling of clothes as the person turned to leave, and Izuku cracked his eyes open halfway, blinked, and then closed them again.
The body froze for a second. "Shut up and sleep."
Izuku couldn't help but smile a little.
"I mean it," Bakugo warned before finally leaving.
Ochaco blinked from the sound. She briefly saw Katsuki as he walked away. Worry flooded her mind and she quickly turned to check on her sick friend. He looked fine. Bakugo hadn't done anything to him. She then felt the rag. Slightly wet. It hadn't been her, then… She stared in astonishment as Katsuki disappeared through the elevator.
The next morning, they all did what they could, pitching in and even turning on the TV to help prevent the patient from dying of boredom. Then, boredom had gone down the drain when Kirishima went to check on his other friend.
"I can't believe this…"
"Well, he did sneeze in his face."
"I'm sorry; this is just too funny right now."
"Shut up," Bakugo groaned from where he was trying to sleep on the sofa, next to the one occupied by Midoriya. "For fuck's sake – be quiet." His rant ended with a coughing fit. "'s all your fucking fault," he said through a sore throat, glaring daggers at the other sick boy. "Just couldn't keep your germs to yourself," he blamed. A sick Bakugo was a slightly disturbing sight to behold.
"I'm really sorry, Kacchan…"
"Actually, it's kinda yours, Bakugo," Mina said.
"Yeah, you were the one who tried to strangle Midoriya," Denki agreed. "If you hadn't done that then he wouldn't have gone Fus Ro Dah in your face."
"I said shut up…Gah, damn headache…" Bakugo sunk his face into the pillow.
Kirishima scratched the back of his neck, dreading the day. "Can't be helped. So who's gonna clean his mess?"
Kaminari dramatically slapped himself. "Please, don't tell me he puked in his room, too…"
"He did. Saw it."
"Stay otta my room, assholes!"
"Do we draw straws again?" Mina asked excitedly.
"Nope. I'm out." Denki crossed his arms into an X shape. "I'm out. I'm so out. Not doing it again. Nope."
"Oh come on, Kaminari!"
"Na-uh. Not happening."
"Come on, Kaminari, let's get this over with," Jiro tried to drag him back with her earlobes, preventing him from escaping.
"I said stay away from my room! Don't touch my shit!"
"Kacchan, please don't yell…"
"I'll yell whenever the fuck I… Fuck, my head…"
Yaoyorozu sighed and rubbed at her temples. Their mornings were full of surprises.
Note: As a person who has been bullied as well, in a way, I see myself in Izuku. I might do another story regarding this issue, but let me finish my other projects first. This took longer to write mostly because I kept jumping from one unfinished story to another. This story wasn't meant to be this long, but I just kept adding and adding until I remembered I needed to stop somewhere. I admit, I had a lot of fun writing this.