A/N: This may or may not be a sequel to 'Secret Admirer' (which you can read first or later; and wow, it's been two years since writing that).
I saw a fanart of young fem!Midoriya and Bakugou on tumblr and my feels got to me. I can't help it. Childhood friends with childhood promises are my weakness. Also, decided not to change fem!Midoriya's name. Because name-changing can be so tiring, also, girls with boy names are just as adorable yo. Also, non-linear plot because...um...I got lost when I wrote it and unscrambling what I wrote would feel like I've tainted this whole thing. I'm sorry about the last part if it felt really rushed (that's really a thing with me, especially because they're the MOST DIFFICULT (FUCK!) to write and or piece out.
Bakugou was so difficult to write, because he's too complex for me. But it was fun writing from his POV, mostly because I have an excuse to write curses and shit. It feels like forever since I've written anything, but I'm not proud of myself because this has been in my folder since last year. Still sorta proud for being able to finish it (even though it feels half-baked but you guys be the better judge, okay?)
"You're gonna marry me when we grow up, right?" an eager 6-year old Bakugou Katsuki asked Midoriya Izuku, who stared at her ring flower with big sparkly eyes. Her eyes were big, kind of like a doe, sparkly too, like diamonds (how would he know, he has no idea what the heck diamonds looked like), and the smile plastered on her face was far too big, too much for 6-year old Bakugou Katsuki's heart.
He couldn't remember her response then, but he never forgot about it.
Even after all these years.
Even after he found out that she was quirkless.
Even after he found out what an awesome quirk he had.
Even after throwing her away and branding her as Deku.
Even after all the horrible things he did and said to her.
Many years later, Bakugou Katsuki never forgot that one question.
But that was then.
"You're gonna marry me when we grow up, right?"
His first year at UA was a time where he really showed her the worst of his ego, tarnishing her ego once he found out that she had been accepted and was in his class, discovering afterwards in their first class that she had a quirk.
Just what the fuck?!
He's known her all his life and she had a fucking quirk all this time? How dare she!
She even had the gall to act like this was a new for her, that she still regarded him in the same light - that she was looking down on him.
Deku looked down on him.
That didn't sit well with him.
He's always hated that part of her, how she never failed to stand tall and be optimistic. It was always a bitter taste in his mouth seeing her trot in his footsteps, always making sure to keep her pace when the truth was, she was paces ahead of him. Truth be told, he just hated seeing her walk ahead without him.
Which is probably the reason why it felt really unsettling when he blasted her back at that one class, felt even shittier to see just how bad the effects of her quirk was to her.
Why the fuck was he feeling this way? And why in the seven fucks of hell did it send a nasty itch in his heart just reliving the fact that he had hurt her - he used his quirk to intentionally hurt her - that knowledge was first to the other fact that there are others with a quirk much stronger than his. Clearly, he had gone over his head. High school was definitely a new place and you're nothing but a nobody, second best.
But lo and behold Deku, chasing after him, trying to explain herself, how she never meant to keep things from him, and that her quirk was never really hers it was given. He was half-listening to what she was saying, feeling the dull ache in his heart return. And before he knew it, his ego took over and called out to Deku.
With a damaged pride, tears starting anew as he called out to her, recognizing her now as his rival, that he will do whatever it takes to make sure that she would never beat him again.
The first few days of high school came like a blur and then followed by a few weeks, and then months.
Although his life into UA was a far cry from his years in middle school, Bakugou neither seemed to care nor mind.
Deku, however, was doing fine. He'd often spot her with her newfound friends - round face and glasses, smiling and chatting stupidly amongst themselves. She was fitting in better than in high school.
He had his own band of ragtags, who somehow found it cool to hang with him - Ashido, Kaminari, Sero, and Kirishima.
More often than not, Kirishima would curiously ask him questions about his relationship with the green-haired girl. Bakugou was quick to shut him down, especially when the rest would follow up - with these stupid looks on their faces. It was fucking annoying, to say the least.
It's bad enough that he was in the same class as Deku, more so that their relationship got out immediately the moment Deku called out to him with that stupid nickname.
Although, he had to admit that it was kind of endearing. After all, people knew exactly the relationship between the two. Yet at the same time, for the same reason, it irked him for reasons unknown. How he wished she would fucking drop it.
(But he, for one, would never- could never drop 'Deku'.)
After the events of the UA festival and their internship, he noticed that Deku and half-and-half freak got along better than usual. At first, half-and-half regarded Deku with hostility, over his curiosity with his connection with All Might. But on later events, thanks to her encouragement and calling out on his half-assed performance, after finally accepting his fire-quirk, he saw her in a better light, treated her better.
And whatever happened during the internship, the two had a mutual understanding that was shared only through looks.
He hated it, detested it.
Why the fuck would half-and-half freak dare with his Deku?
His Deku? He snorted. Since when was Deku ever his?
Deku was a free woman - free to make her own choices, decisions, and mistakes. Therefore, free to do whatever the hell she wanted to do.
And then came the training camp.
First of all, there was a lot of things to be ticked off about it: one came in the form of Izumi Kota, the moment good-natured little Deku decided to introduce herself, the little snot punched her in the boob, he so badly wanted to beat the kid up. Next, was the grueling test he had to endure. That fucking sucked, making him realize of the hurdles he had to take to be number one. And finally, which was probably what ticked him off the most, was knowing that he had been a target.
At first, he was touched to see Deku go all the way to protect him, to make him his top priority - even at the risk of being with half-and-half bastard. He was also very ticked off to see her push herself - her arms were bandaged and bruised, her shirt had been torn into pieces and was wearing some other guy's (probably Todoroki's) shirt.
After the whole fiasco – the rescue she and the rest of their classmates planned, Todoroki and Deku were closer than ever.
Clear as day, the two seemed comfortable with each other, the strain during the Sports Event long forgotten and traded for something akin to friendship. And it only seemed to grow and develop in the following days, months.
Miserably, he watched as half-and-half freak made a move on her, seeing how easy it was for him to bring a smile to Deku's face. That sweet smile that never fails to send him to the edge.
And then the inevitable happened – right before the end of their first year, after everything they've been through – he confessed to her and asked her out.
Because he was Bakugou Katsuki, he couldn't find the heart to butt in and tell half-and-half freak to back off. Who was he to deny Deku of happiness? After all the bullshit he put her through? It wasn't fair of him, it just as hell wouldn't be fair for her.
So, she said yes.
Instantly, the two became a power couple - perfect for each other, balancing each other, complementing each other, just plain perfect. They had a great end to their first year that blossomed more into the beginning of their sophomore year.
Sulking, he buried his hands into his pockets and stomped all the way home, feeling his heart break with every step.
"You're gonna marry me when we grow up, right?"
Now, the Midoriya Izuku he knew had changed significantly since then; no longer trailing haplessly in his shadow, no longer that weak crybaby. She was shedding every ounce of her past self to make room for the hero she aims to be. But what didn't change was her obsession for All Might and that annoying calculating habit of hers or her sweet self.
He didn't like it, always taunting her angrily every chance he'd get. But instead of cowering like she used to, she fought back.
Deku actually fought back.
She stood her ground.
This new Deku knew her battles, she didn't half-ass anything that mattered (not that she ever did), but still, she remained her pure sweet and kind self. Bakugou loved her even more.
But the thing was: did he deserve her?
After all the things he put her through - the bullying, that helped put her self-esteem down, making her think so lowly of herself, make her so insecure about her looks. The last straw came when he insinuated that she should kill herself so that she'd have a quirk in her next life. It may have happened when they were younger, but childhood trauma sets on the kind of person you become in the future - good or bad.
So, answer: no, he didn't deserve her.
For a while now, he had this inkling about Deku and All Might - ever since she came after him and shared that she had received a quirk from someone, and seeing how the two suddenly seemed buddy-buddy, it wasn't hard to figure out who it came from. It had gnawed him to no end.
Knowing Deku's secret was one thing he honestly didn't feel like keeping, she was stupid enough to even come to him about it. But only because she made him feel cheated on for acquiring a quirk after years of being childhood friends. He honestly didn't deserve the title. Neither did he deserve Deku's undying sympathy and need to come to terms with her childhood friend - again, a title he did not deserve so long as he lived and breathed.
Though he was wearing sleeveless, the wind was cold and uninviting, tickling through his bare skin, but his body was boiling on the inside, seething - he was warm. Hands lay limp in his pockets, eyes trained to the green-haired teen before him, befuddled with the words that just came out of her usually brash childhood friend.
"K-Kacchan, what're you-" he didn't give her a chance to reply as he blasted his way towards her, her reaction came a little too late when he kicked her.
What was he doing? he thought, barely dodging a kick thrown her way.
What was he doing? he thought again, quickly countering a move she clearly copied off him - she was always a quick learner.
What was he doing? A swift punch to her abdomen, adding more force to it, seeing as she wouldn't fight back.
"FIGHT BACK, STUPID DEKU!" he roared, blasting his way towards her.
Green eyes widened, bracing herself for his attack, stance askew.
Those eyes almost stopped him cold.
Roaring, he pulled his hand back, but she easily dodged. Bakugou blasted after her, roaring angrily.
WHAT WAS HE DOING?
WHAT. WAS. HE. DOING!? He screamed, letting out everything he had as he slammed Deku to the ground, pinning her down, leaving her completely immobilized.
Why was he doing this? He thought angrily, getting to his feet, shakily. Why the fuck was this happening!?
"Why did I become the reason for All Might's downfall?" his voice cracked - angry, bitter, sad, and guilty, eyes pleading towards the green-haired teen before him, battered and bruised. Why do I always end up hurting you? His head was screaming, but his heart was bleeding – both for the same reasons.
After taking her on, forcing her to tell him more about her relationship with the hero they admired, as Deku fought him square on, she became more of an important person to him that she already was.
But still, it fucking hurt that no matter how much he already had, it was nowhere near the amount reserved for quirkless Deku. Deku, who had less than what he already had, but could do more if given about anything. That was uncalled for, that was unfair. Fucking hell.
"That's enough, both of you." A voice boomed, familiar, hard, and pained.
The two looked up, finding the hero they both admired for so long.
Just the sight of him made Bakugou realize how shitty he was...for everything.
And for some reason, even after hearing All Might's side of the story, recalling his words - live for the whole world to see - that caused Deku to break into tears, he felt as though All Might had entrusted her to him, adding weight to his shoulders.
'It's your turn.'
Those words, haunting and echoing, clear as day when he first heard them broadcasted, to when Deku broke down right next to him that night – it rang harder now, today.
From the corner of his eye, he watched the green-haired girl walk on her own, limping just a little.
Don't need to tell me twice, All Might.
It wasn't an easy promise to keep.
It hurt to see them together.
It hurts seeing the distance close between them.
It hurt especially knowing how easily Todoroki can make Deku smile, how he can make her feel better, bring out the best of her.
As much as he can, Bakugou tried to act civil towards the two - Todoroki most especially, for Deku's sake.
(He, at least, for his own sake, warned Todoroki that if he broke Deku's heart, he'll come after him.)
Deku still lingered, but only as a childhood friend who made it her obligation to look after him. How he wanted more. He wanted all of her attention, not just because of some silly obligation, but because-
Who was he kidding?
All his life, he's been nothing but ruthless towards her. What right does he have to wish to have her feel the same way he did? How stupid.
"You're gonna marry me when we grow up, right?"
"Bakugou, my man, that's your fifth drink already," Kirishima says worriedly next to him.
But the redhead's words fell on deaf ears as he downed his drink - champagne, mind you, dully staring out.
They were now in their senior year; a lot has happened, and a lot has changed.
Lazily, Bakugou's eyes trailed to the green-haired girl - whose curly hair was longer and tied with a neat little bow - walking up to two of her friends. The years have been good to her - she had grown taller, slimmer, stronger, and more beautiful. She smiled upon greeting; the blonde teen felt the familiar skip of his heart by just the sight of her smile.
A little while later, Todoroki walked in, arm making its way around Deku's waist and planting a kiss to her temple. Deku flushed lightly but returned the kiss with an affectionate look in her eyes.
He downed his drink again, playing oblivious to Kirishima's worried glance.
But Todoroki lasted for about four years before Deku broke up with him for reasons unknown.
And she was devastated, according to Uraraka. That was secondhand information, for Bakugou had been avoiding her since the two had started dating.
At the time, Deku was going through a rough time - her mom being severely ill, the building up of her image as All Might's successor and dealing with her newfound fame with tabloids of her recent breakup.
He would've stormed Todoroki, demanding why he broke Deku's heart when she pleaded him not to.
What surprised him was not her immediate openness to him – the fact that she could trust him so easily, but the hesitancy in her voice, the slight guilt with a twinge of regret. It was almost as if-
"Deku," it was almost a whisper, watching as her eyes fell shut. "you broke up with him?"
The clouds overhead moved away from the moon, bathing her in its light - bringing to light her bittersweet expression. Something twisted painfully in his chest, hands balled into fists.
"I did," she admitted, head bowing. Peeking her eyes open, her eyes fell on her limp hand, staring blankly at her scarred fingers - the same fingers caused by the person of topic.
Turning away, he didn't want to see the look in her eyes - it'll hurt him even more.
His mom, being so fond and worried about her (and her bratty shithead of a son), forced him out of the house to check up on her, knowing that he would've wanted to check on her but was too stubborn and beat up.
And he did, eventually.
He half-thanked his mom for making him even come here. If he were honest with himself, he just wanted to keep his distance - knowing she can handle herself just fine. But this was different, this was a heartache - nobody could deal with that shit alone and unharmed.
"It's strange, isn't it? I've been with him for so long, seen him through his ups and downs, helped him even repair his relationship with his family, but in the end...it just..." the words struggled to come out, stuck in her throat.
His eyes fell shut, hands twitching at his sides.
"I'm such a terrible person, aren't I?" she croaked, eyes beginning to well up. "I mean, who does that?" She sniffled; arms wrapped around herself. "Shouto," his name was still so soft against her lips, full of fondness and pain. "deserves the world, after everything he's been through. And yet, here I am, taking away what happiness that could've completed him."
There she goes again, wallowing in a so-called pathetic part of her, giving in to her weakness. He hated it, absolutely and indefinitely. He would've added his two cents, biting, but exactly what she needed to hear. However, considering her vulnerable state, he couldn't even be that heartless. Even if he wanted to.
So then, Bakugou did the only thing he thought of doing - the one thing he hasn't done in what seems like forever: he gently took her by the wrist and pulled her towards him. Both were shocked, her nose pressed up against his shoulder while his hands were wrapped firmly on her shoulder and lower back. After a while, the shock wore off. Suddenly, Deku was shaking. Panicked, Bakugou turned to her, only to stop when he felt something damp on his shoulder, feeling her shake against him before quiet sobs escaped her mouth, her arms weakly wrapping around him. Fingers, weak at first, slowly clawed at the material of his shirt, gripping tightly afterwards, he could feel them trembling. His shirt was beginning to get wet from her tears as more spilled from her eyes.
So, he let her cry, hating the half-and-half freak for causing her pain, and himself. He was at fault, too.
As the green-haired girl broke into sobs, his hold on her unyielding.
He swore he'd never let Deku cry ever again.
Right after their break-up, the two childhood friends became closer than ever. Better actually, as opposed to their civil relationship back in high school. Albeit, Bakugou felt like he was cheating himself if he didn't make a move on her, just as Kirishima suggested. But no, that wasn't right, it wouldn't be fair to Deku - Deku, who just got her heart broken. He wanted to see her smile again, to be her usual self.
Honestly, it just felt good to be friends again – to be able to be there for her, to stand by her. All those memories from his childhood were his most cherished ones, especially when it involved Deku. Those were the brightest days, when the world wasn't' governed by power, greed, and whatnot.
Whenever she visited her mom, he was sure to be there for her. Whenever she wanted to visit All Might - Toshinori-san, to Deku - he went along as well. Whenever she had errands, she tagged him along and he was quick to jump at the offer.
Strangely enough, both she and Todoroki were friends still. But it didn't particularly ease the tension between them. Bakugou, in particular, was not amused at the idea of the two exes being civil. Although it was Deku who ended it, it was Todoroki who caused her tears.
Because of how the two childhood friends were rekindling their friendship, it was only a matter of time before people picked up on their tails - especially because they were up and coming heroes who made it to the top 20s.
Deku was branded as a two-timing slut in those shitty gossip magazines. Some, even questioning her innocent looks, saying that 'looks can be deceiving' as she had a lot of male acquaintances that she's had good relationships with.
Thankfully, she was surrounded by friends, family, and colleague who had her back. Most especially, a certain explosive childhood friend, ready to defend her from all the hate from the media, hating how the world would suddenly turn on her with just a rumor. He would protect her dignity, while he still can.
"The fuck, Deku? How can you be so nonchalant about this?" Bakugou growled, his hands beginning to smoke.
Sighing, she passed a look at the blond - exasperating and pleading, before saying with a shrug. "There's nothing to do about it actually. According to Toshinori-san, these kinds of things just happen when you make it big." Closing the refrigerator door with her foot, she placed the ice cream pack on the counter and slid it over to him. "The best thing to do is ignore it."
"Ignore it? Ignore it?! How can you just 'ignore it'?" He added violently with equally violent air quotations, not touching his ice cream just yet.
Seemingly used to his tirades, the green-haired woman let him be and took a spoonful of her yogurt. "It doesn't even matter. No matter what I say, someone will always try to twist it, find a loophole, and make me the villain. Funny how that works, huh?"
He felt a vein pop, but for the sake of Deku's shitty way of dealing with problems, he decided to grab at his ice cream - chocolate cherry, his favorite - and wolf on it with vigor much to her relief. Although seeing as he took bite for bite, chewing thoughtfully, she knew the argument was far from over.
"My mom called," she began, carefully. Bakugou would've rolled his eyes at that, thinking that she was changing the subject, but stopped to listen. "she saw the news, said that the nurses were asking her thoughts about it."
"And?" he couldn't help but ask, despite being a not-so-subtle subject change, whenever Deku talked about her mom, it always calmed her down. "What'd she say?"
Leaning back, she tilted her head and stared at the ceiling. "What we're doing is nothing people should worry about, especially when it comes to childhood friends. You're always there to bring me to my senses, the same way I'd do. You're my protector."
There was something that irked him with the way that was phrased but said no more, scarfing on his ice cream instead, relishing in the sweet and fudgy taste on his tongue.
Ever since the news broke out of their sightings, Bakugou had the urge to just storm those publications and burn the place down. But NO, he had a reputation to keep. In addition, reporters were fucking relentless, showing microphones, recorders to his face for a piece – he'd only respond with a blast, nothing more to say. Honestly, he was fucking tired of nosy asshats who think it's fun to poke at professional hero's personal lives. Also, how dare they call Deku a 'slut'. She's anything but - in fact, she's anything but horrible. She was sweet, still so sickeningly sweet, and doting, especially as the years went by. They could call him a 'shitty person', a 'maniac' or an 'opportunist'- whatever the fuck they think of him, just leave Deku the fuck alone.
Taking another bite, he bit on his spoon and left it hanging, eyes trailing up to the green-haired woman standing opposite him. So much of her has changed throughout the years. For example, she seemed more capable of herself now, more feminine. Contrary to what she thinks of herself - and of which he had a part of, thank you very little - she was a beautiful woman. She had such a vibrant presence to her, which was made prominent by just her smile that lit up her whole face.
Curly locks were as green as ever, mossy almost, kept short still - as it was easier and lighter to deal with during hero work. Her eyes had narrowed slightly, but still so wide and doe-like. As he stared at her, he realized that her nose was slightly upturned – kind of like a buttoned nose, her cheeks looked soft and round, she hadn't gotten rid of all her baby fat, and freckles dusted around her cheeks. Dressed in a shirt (with a stupid print on it that read 'shirt' in kanji) and shorts, Bakugou found that her body had changed proportionally - in middle school, she was teased for being too skinny, but after acquiring her quirk - her body filled in the right places, giving her an athletic build. Still, she was shorter than him.
Overall, in those shitty words - boy, did she have a major glow up. Puberty did her good.
What was he thinking?
Shit, was he checking her out?
Cursing, he smacked a hand to his face - a bit too hard, he was sure there was going to be a mark - much to the alarm of the green-haired woman before him.
"Kacchan, are you alright?"
She squeaked, jumping. "Eek! Wha-What did I do?"
"Then why are you yelling?"
"Never mind!" hopping off the highchair he sat on, he dumped his now empty ice cream carton and towards the sink, to wash his spoon. Green eyes followed him, observing and wary - unnerving him.
Circling the counter, she watched the blonde almost warily. "Kacchan, are you sure you'll alright?"
"Yes," he answered instantly, calmly. "Sorry, let me just…"
Swallowing on her yogurt, she nodded before turning. "I'll just prepare the game, okay?"
He turned to watch her leave, her small figure walking towards her living room to set up his game console (which he brought over, by the way). Although weirded out by the thought that he was checking her out (don't judge him), for some reason that fucking grape - Mineta's words, came to mind: Deku really had curves in the right places, along with a sweet doll-like face, topping it all off was her sweet and headstrong personality. It was easy to note that they were plenty of reasons to be taken by the green-haired beauty, or rise to fame, or land numerous campaigns and ads for beauty.
One time, he remembered seeing an interview of Deku in some morning talk show. The host was gushing about Deku's then relationship with half-and-half, to which the green-haired replies came short and simple, as instructed. However, the host suddenly asked a rather risque question that had the poor woman blushing and fumbling on national television. It was cute and all, but the fact that she was too embarrassed to answer left a lot of questions for Bakugou. After all, he kept himself out of her life since high school, since she got together with half-and-half.
"Yes?" she looked over her shoulder, green eyes blinking.
He stopped, lips in a tight line. "You've dated half-and-half for a while, right?"
Surprised at Kacchan asking her questions, she turned to meet him, grabbing her yogurt for some reason. "Four and a half years, yes."
Uncharacteristically gulping, he scratched the back of his head and asked. "So," throat suddenly dry, he swallowed. "did you and half-and-half...?"
The pause lingered, likely to explain for itself.
It took a while for her to get his question before red rose to her face. "No!" she yelled, nearly throwing her yogurt. "No," she said, calmly this time. "We didn't get that far."
He felt relieved. Thank god.
Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!
Did he just really ask that?
For the nth time in his life, he actually felt really stupid. Or maybe he really was stupid.
Catching on his line of thought, her face turned a bright shade of red, putting Kirishima's flaming red to shame.
"K-Kacchan!" And then she was laughing, that sweet, gentle, breezy smile of hers.
Despite the awkward situation - put up by his stupid and awkward question, it turned out happy. How he loves the sound of her laugh. He couldn't help it, a genuine smile breaking its way on his lips.
He vowed to protect that smile for as long as he breathed.
"You're gonna marry me when we grow up, right?"
It took him so long to realize that the truth was right in front of him all along - he was in love with his childhood friend, desperately, ultimately, hopelessly, and passionately in love with Midoriya Izuku.
But the thing was, there was a question that lingered at the dark corners of his mind, resurfacing together with his feelings: did he deserve her?
Everything came to him in a flash, cold dread washing over.
Answer: No way in hell.
After everything he put her through - emotionally-speaking, with the bullying and his shitty pride?
But damn it, he just...
He loved her; he really did.
When they were younger, he was a brat who didn't know how to deal with an amazing person who effortlessly tried to prove herself, didn't want his pride to be second to hers. Fuck.
Exhaling, he fixed his position, turning on his back, staring at the green-haired beauty fast asleep above him. With her eyes shut, thick lashes touched at her skin. Carmine eyes traced the curve of her cheek, her freckles across her cheeks, he wanted to touch her. Something felt like it twitched, it was his fingers.
After a rather busy day, the two wounded up crashing at the agency's lounge room, half past midnight - he read from the wall clock. Deku had insisted that 'it was okay for Kacchan to use her lap as a pillow because he had a long day', the argument lasted for almost 5 minutes before his exhaustion won over and he slumped over. Considering their position now, with her head slumped over, he should've argued more. Fuck, her situation would be back for her neck.
There was shuffling and cursing that filled in the next few minutes, before it was resolved with a breath of relief from him. Him, lying on his back, neck propped against the arm rest, Deku, lying on top of him. Okay, so it was seemed more romantic of a position more than anything, but it was the comfiest position for both.
Exhaling in relief, his breath fanning her face – a serene look on her pretty face. Feeling the twitch of his fingers again and before he could stop himself, his fingers reached out to tuck a strand of hair away, feeling smooth skin against his fingertips. Just as he was about to put his hand away, as if of instinct, they wrapped around her waist, resting against the small of her back. In turn, she snuggled up to him, his chin atop her head and her nose against his sternum, where he could smell her more. But he didn't complain – couldn't, wouldn't anyway.
"You brats should get home," a figure appeared, almost a shadow in the dark. "it's past working hours."
"We're crashing," Bakugou replied simply, carefully turning on his back to his former teacher, lest he wakes the green-haired woman. "'sides, Deku has the key."
The older man's eyes narrow, clearly not liking his response but didn't say anymore. Instead, his eyes fell on the sleeping woman, as if studying her. "Do whatever you want."
Bakugou would've been satisfied with the conversation at that if it weren't for the underlying pause Aizawa purposely left, his eyes taking the two in. He rather didn't like the way he was looking, even when he was younger - the man can be too sharp, inquisitive. A skill probably taken from years of experience that came with his quirk.
"Is there something else you wanna say?" he asked, keeping his voice low, almost in warning.
Blinking, the older man sighed, burying his hands deep in his pockets. "I'm not one to intrude, but you've been reeking too much. You may notice it, some may do and are probably too polite, scared shitless of you, or playing a blind eye."
His brows furrowed, asking with his eyes to get to the point.
Another sigh. "It's plain simple," Aizawa voice drawled, almost murmuring. "you're in love with her."
His face was set into a blank slate, but his eyes yielded an emotion that the dark-haired man didn't miss. Thankfully, it was just them.
Exhaling through his nose, a rather heady and deep exhale, the blonde lowered his head, staring dully at the ground. "Yeah."
He half expected his former adviser to sigh - probably in affirmation or something. Instead, all he got was his pointed stare before leaving, footsteps even and silent against the floor. Falling back, he sighed instead. Maybe it was better to put it at that; sometimes a silent affirmation spoke plenty.
Deku's head tilted to the side, continuing to breathe slowly, blissfully unaware of Kacchan's declaration of love for her.
It was a given that the road of being a hero was not an easy feat, especially when you practically had the whole world on your shoulders and some emotional baggage from your personal life. Every day either was composed of escaping gunshots or knives, running away from numbers of enemy grunts, going toe-to-toe with a skilled villain, dodging a point-blank shot or cut - basically, it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows.
Still, it didn't set Bakugou at ease knowing that Deku could get hurt regardless of her assignment. Especially if she was in an assignment.
It was an apprehend-turned-rescue mission, once the villain had been incapacitated, she was rushing over to save a truck that was on the verge of falling off a cliff. It didn't help that it was pouring that day, making it all the more difficult to catch and get a grip.
He was called on the last minute, just as he and a group were about to head home when they got the call. His heart pounded against his chest, painfully, setting him on edge. There was a livestream of the whole thing that played on the car, as he screamed for the driver to go faster.
"Bakugou-san, please calm down-"
"SHUT THE FUCK UP, SIDE-KICK!" he screamed at the younger hero, vein at the verge of popping. "CAN'T THIS CAR GO ANY FASTER!?"
"It looks as though Deku has some difficulty getting the car! Seeing as the ground is slippery and all."
The camera zooms in her face, rain and mud painting her face as she struggles to pull the truck in. Bakugou's knuckles were turning white, breath coming in labors now.
"We're almost there!" the driver says, carefully cruising through the wet road.
Deku, Deku, Deku, Deku-
"She did it!" the reporter said, sighing in relief, together with everyone else in the car. Bakugou didn't join, eyes not once leaving the familiar hero in green, pushing the truck aside.
Their car came to a screeching halt, Bakugou quickly got to his feet and pulled the door violently, eyes searching amidst the rain dust.
Deku, Deku, Deku, Deku-!
There she was, wearing a tired grin as the family were carefully attended to by medic.
Rain pelted down on him, washing away the sweat and anxiety.
He took another step, fully intending to make it towards her-
Suddenly, the ground gave away beneath them. Not a moment to lose, Deku pushed the youngest girl away, safe in the arms of a medical personnel, before she fell.
His heart stopped; time seemed to freeze. And before he knew it, her name escaped from his mouth and he was running towards where she stood.
Earlier that day, he had another mission, so everything hurt. His hands hurt, his arms hurt, his leg was cramping, he was pretty sure there were bruises on his torso - he didn't care. All the feelings he's tried so hard to bury began to surface, forcing him into action.
Security and medical personnel tried to stop him, seeing as the ground continued to give away beneath their feet. He was pulled away from the scene, but he continued screaming, his voice silenced by the pouring rain. He was sure his voice would be raw from screaming too much, he didn't care.
The moment of victory was suddenly stripped away, people wearing grim looks on their faces. Some began crying. He hated it, knees giving away as he fell to the wet ground.
No, no, no, no, no, no!
Slowly, the rain began to let up, the dust began to clear, fingers weakly grasping mud, he tried to breathe – fuck, how do you do that again?
"Look!" someone cried behind him, pointing back.
Weakly, he raised his head, to where she stood.
At first, it was almost nothing but rubble, but then...
He nearly did a double take as something – no, someone, was making their way back up.
And then he could see her - struggling to pull herself up, standing to her full height, bruised, dirty, victorious, beautiful. Alive.
Deku was alive.
Alive. Alive. Alive. Alive!
Everyone was cheering, applauding as the heroine walked towards them, limping slightly.
Watching her almost die in front of his eyes, just how many times does he have to go through Deku nearly dying in front of his eyes all because she was too reckless, stupid, and unselfish to throw her life to save another? No, he wouldn't fucking have it.
Suddenly, he couldn't take it anymore. Enough is enough, fucking damn it! Blasting towards her, regardless of who was in the way, he grabbed her by the shoulders, yelled to her face of her recklessness and failure to asses her surroundings (amongst other things) before he up and confessed to her there and then, uncaring where they were and the state that they were in - his heart just couldn't take it anymore.
"Be with me, Deku?" It came out nearly in a whisper, voice faltering and his heart beating like a drum. Carmine eyes took her in - even in her disheveled and haggard state, never has she been more beautiful in his eyes.
He didn't care anymore.
He just wanted to be with her, to prove himself for what will probably be the nth and last time of his lifetime.
Green eyes widened at him, staring straight into his, unable to look away from the intense look he was giving her, the reddening of his face to the tips of his ears, or the words that left his mouth, before softening.
His heart nearly stopped when she quirked her lips into a small, gentle smile.
"What," he grumbled, peeking one eye open to see one of the most beautiful things in the world. He released a breath, lazily scooting closer and wrapping his arms around her, noses touching.
With her this close, he could feel the calm of his senses, could see the beauty that is her – face flushed from the having just gotten up, cheeks wrinkled from the pillow and hair stuck here and there – that quells the monsters and insecurities in his head, could smell her sweet scent.
Brushing strands of hair away from her face, she asked. "Do you remember when we were younger," his breath nearly hitched, holding. "and we'd play hide-and-seek?"
Oh, not exactly what he was hoping for.
"What about it?" he asked, leaning forward to press his forehead against hers. Mentally, he remembered that she was planning to have brunch with Toshinori-san and her mom, he was to tag along (per the norm).
"Kacchan always found me first," she said, pouting a little.
"Of course, I'd find you first," he scoffed lightly, breath fanning her face, cupping her cheek. "you were the easiest to find."
"Yes," she nods, eyes still on him. "but if took you a while to find your feelings towards me."
Frowning, he pinched at her cheeks.
"That was uncalled for," he retorted, letting go to rest his hand around her waist. Giggles left her mouth, and all was forgiven.
Craning her head up, she pressed the gentlest kiss to his cheek in apology. The corners of his lips threatened to lift, but he fought against it. When she leaned back, staring into his eyes, she was met with a rare soft mien from his carmine eyes.
The morning light graced her face, giving her an ethereal glow, like she was a goddess lying in his bed. A goddess dressed in her godawful All Might pajamas.
Truth was, she was the first person he'd look for. He knew everything there was to her, even when they were younger. She was pretty predictable, always chose to play safe and within her comfort zone even when playing. So, it's not his fault he can guess that she'd hide in a tree just a few feet away, inside the play pen, behind the bushes, or inside those construction cylinders.
"Really?" her head tilted in question; eyes bright at his earnest confession.
Huh, go figure.
Hey, it didn't hurt to let her in on things he's kept hidden for so long. He may be a master of seeking her out, but he was also a master of hiding his innermost feelings. Deku was horrible at the game, but she wasn't one to give up on seeking. He loved her for it.
Pressing his lips against her temple, lingering a bit, he returned his gaze. "Without question."
She smiled then, soft and sweet. He felt his heart soaring at that, like he was on a high, experiencing gravity, it felt like he was paying witness to the birthing of a star.
He never thought he'd be this happy to have her by his side.
Amidst the shadows, after years of their supposed defeat, the League of Villains have somehow managed to emerge from the shadows, bringing with them a promise that they'll wage an all-out war against the heroes, threatening to put an end to the heroics once and for all. It's been so long, and they've been quiet, but it's not like the heroes weren't anticipating this.
As the discussion was held, with every hero in the room, everyone could feel the tension of the upcoming 'War Against Heroes'. This was one of the biggest things they must do as heroes, especially with the influx of heroes and villains. Most especially to uphold to their pride as heroes to instill and keep the peace from thwarting innocent civilians.
It took days, hours worth of discussion to look at every angle or come up with a strategy.
The whole thing made him uneasy, on edge.
Carmine eyes kept staring at green, who stood along with the rest of the heroes, trying to come up with plans, tactics, and other angles they could work with. So far, they've managed to secretly vacate the city within 200-mile radius days prior. It wasn't easy to convince a population why their homes would soon be a warzone.
Something swelled in his chest seeing how the woman in front of him was a far cry from that shy little girl who muttered a lot under her breath, a notebook in hand as she made her analysis. Who knew that brilliant mind of hers would make an impact and bring her this far?
Still, in spite of his awe of her confidence and intellect, just knowing what they were going to face and what was going down, he can't help but feel – dare he say, scared.
The day before the battle began, he had pulled Deku aside, took her some place far and private, never mind the stares from old classmates and schoolmates.
"Oi, don't you dare die out there, you hear me?" he tells her, hands on her shoulder. "Don't you also dare to outshine me, just because I'm number six" he had still not gotten over how Todoroki – her ex – was number five. "I swear if I see an ounce of- "
"I'll be fine," she tells him simply, cutting him off.
His grip on her shoulders loosened, shaking lightly, before tightening. Drawing out a sigh, he weakly rested his forehead against hers. Deku had closed her eyes, letting his exhale fan her face. They remained like that for a while, in that empty corner.
Soft gentle hands (she hadn't worn her gloves just yet) cupped his cheeks, Bakugou slowly opened his eyes, softening, meeting her own – soft and warm, directed only to him.
Leaning up, she pressed her lips against his, still wearing that gentle smile of hers. "Be careful out there, okay?"
Growling, his lips chased after hers into a longer kiss. "Stupid Deku," she giggled - quelling the small fear in his heart, fueling his drive - in spite of that. "that's my line."
The fighting felt like it went on forever.
How the fuck it began, he'll never know. And there was no fucking end to it! Villains just keep popping out of nowhere, heroes equally popping in to fend them off.
At first, the he and Deku had fought side by side, their fighting styles – close-combat and ranged - easily complementing the other. Villains that came were dealt with quickly, and the tandem would go off to the next.
In the heat of the battle, however, with villains crawling in every corner, it made Bakugou lose sight of the green-haired hero.
Angered that he was separated from her, he blasted through the villains mercilessly, leaving no prisoners.
Heroes and villains alike cowered at his unyielding power and might.
His attacks became erratic, explosions becoming violent, he was losing control. It felt like he was a kid again, that shitty kid who loved to let loose and showoff.
Try as he might, to get into contact with Deku, comms were suddenly shut when a villain cut it off with their quirk. They were easily dealt with thanks to Hawks, but comms were still down.
"Shit, fuck!" grabbing the tiny earpiece, he threw it to the ground.
Suddenly, his jaw felt sore and burned in pain, as a villain came out of nowhere, a cocky look in his face. Feeling a vein pop, the blond's already murderous expression doubled as he stared down at his next victim. Realizing their mistake, the look of confidence all but dropped, body beginning to quiver.
"Oh, you're going to pay shit for that-"
A pained shriek caught his attention, it was familiar and near.
Seeing green, he threw his hands behind him and flew past enemies, obliterating them in his path, to reach her. But she had already taken down the enemy before he reached her.
"IZUKU!" he calls angrily, landing clumsily on his feet. "WHAT THE FUCK!?"
"Not so loud, Kacchan!" she berates, wincing slightly to meet his gaze.
His eyes fell to her frame, assessing her injuries - a burn here, a scratch there, but nothing serious overall. Taking a step towards her, he takes her face in his hands, feeling her skin through his gloves. Large green eyes blink at him curiously, always so big and bright through the years.
A huge wave of relief washes over him, swallowing the bile and unease, and he drops his head on her shoulders, arms wounding tightly around her.
"You're gonna marry me when we grow up, right?"
The question made the green-haired beauty turn to him almost immediately, he worried she got a whiplash, fond memories filling her head.
A loud whistling resounded, white sparks flying off to the sky before exploding. The fight was over. There were cheers from heroes, tired and weary but happy to know that they had won. Everyone too happy, except for the two who were lost in their own world.
Lifting his head, the nervous 25-year old Bakugou Katsuki asks once again, breaking them apart by an arm's length. "You're gonna marry me when we grow up, right?"
He looked so small, so afraid, and so unsure - a farcry from the usual hot-headed, cocky man she knew and love.
"K-Katsuki..." her voice trembled, eyes filling with water.
Releasing one hand from her shoulder, he reached into his pocket, feeling for the velvet box (that was slightly roughed from the battle and fumblings). With shaky hands, he slowly opened the box revealing a ring – a golden ring shaped like flowers, adorned by simple jewels that were green like her eyes, and red like his.
Ever since he bought it, he couldn't put it away – fearing that she or some fuck would happen upon it. It was annoying to hold on to, but it was something. It was a reminder. It was his lucky charm.
Regardless of where they were, the situation they were in, the smell of blood, ash, steel, and sweat lingering around them - he only saw her.
Fuck, he was sweating all over despite the obvious fact that his hero costume was built for sweat. FUCK.
But he was floored when he saw the look in her eyes, realizing how soft they were. His heart took off, realizing that he knew that look- no, he remembered that look.
So, she hasn't forgotten.
Ah, now he remembers, too.
He remembers now what her answer was.
Her laugh was light and soothing, like water. Those big eyes turned to his, her grin growing bigger and cheeks getting more color. Young Katsuki waited patiently, hands sweating, his heart beating so loud that he thinks she can hear it, gulping nervously for the nth time.
"Yes!" she had said then.
"Yes," she says now.