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Izuku could hear talking… 

He rolled over, trying to figure out who it was, and where it was coming from. He blinked a few times then rubbed his eyes, chasing away the last few remnants of sleep. Something soft and warm brushed against his arm and he couldn’t help the way he shied away from the contact. It was just Niisuke, he realised a moment later. Which meant he was in Kenichi’s house. 

Which meant the talking was probably him streaming. 

Izuku knew they’d stumbled back into the office at some point, but he was disoriented, couldn’t figure out exactly where Kenichi was. Somewhere behind him. He’d lost his shirt even though he intended not to, which meant…

Which meant all his cuts and bruises were visible to the camera…

He felt sick. 

“Just a reminder, no cam today since I have a friend over, might turn it on later if he says it’s okay.” Kenichi announced cheerfully, almost as if he knew how Izuku was feeling. 

He almost got whiplash from how quickly his emotions changed. His throat burned and his eyes prickled dangerously. It was at that point he noticed a little care package next to him, a bottle of water and some painkillers for his hangover, antiseptic and fresh dressings for the cuts from last night, and more. He felt… cared for. Kenichi wasn’t normally like that, it was something he could rely on but this time it felt kind of nice. Izuku couldn’t hold back the sniffles, even though he tried to. 

“Oh hey, you’re awake…” Kenichi murmured, sounding a little distracted. “Oh wait… no don’t cry… BRB guys!”

“S-sorry…” he gasped amid the sobs. He couldn’t contain it anymore. He felt like shit and he honestly hadn’t expected the shut-in to be so respectful of him, he was caught off guard by the kindness. It shocked him to realise just how paranoid he’d gotten in just a few short hours. 

“It’s fine, I understand. You’re going through some shit. Want a hand up? You can go crash in my room for a bit if you want?”

Izuku vehemently shook his head. He didn’t want to be alone. 

“No? Okay, you up for playing co-op then? I messaged ‘Toshi and asked him to bring some clean clothes over sooooo…”

“Yeah... I’ll play.”

“Want any help with your dressings?”

“...You don’t mind?”

“‘Course not. You just take your painkillers and sip the water I left you, and I’ll do that, yeah?”

“Okay…” 

He took the tablets and sipped his drink while Kenichi cleaned him up. It felt weird, but reassuring. A few minutes later he struggled to his feet and took the other plush office chair at Kenichi’s desk. They booted up some other game, and while it was loading, Izuku happened to glance at the chat, and saw a few well wishing messages from Kenichi’s fans. 

“Whoops, didn’t turn the mic off. Sorry ‘Zu.”

“Don’t worry about it.” 

He began to calm down after that. Knowing his friends were there for him really helped, he hadn’t realised how much he’d needed to know he would be respected. It was still hard to focus on the game, but that was fine.


Hitoshi definitely didn’t get enough sleep for this shit. He traipsed through the streets to Izuku’s agency with the picture tucked in his back pocket, thinking over what he was going to say. He needed to be civil, he knew he couldn’t let the others know what had gone down last night. He also knew he couldn’t tear into Bakugo like he wanted. He huffed to himself as he barged into the office and made straight for the break room. 

He almost felt sorry for Bakugo when he saw how worried he looked.

“‘Zu’s... fine, but you have bigger things to worry about right now,” he said as he handed the picture over.

The silence that followed was heavier than cement. 

Bakugo leapt to his feet so ferociously that his chair went flying. He felt a pang of something uncomfortable when he saw just how livid the blond was. He really cared about Izuku, and Hitoshi knew it. He was just pissed off at being the cause of tension between them yet again . Especially because it would have all been solved with a simple chat! 

Bakugo stormed off, and the bang that followed was either an explosion or the back door being torn off its hinges. Jirou and Todoroki glanced at each other. 

“Have they split up or something?” Jirou asked hesitantly, gesturing over her shoulder.

“No… just…” he shrugged because he couldn’t figure out how to explain it without going into too much detail. 

Hitoshi sighed softly and followed Bakugo out to the shop’s dinky yard. He half expected to see a crater when he got there, but the blond seemed surprisingly composed. 

“Is he really okay?” 

“Not really, but I couldn’t exactly say that. Probably off his face right now, and I can’t exactly blame him. He’s with Kenichi.”

He could see the gears turning in Bakugo’s mind. 

“Ueda?”

“That’s the one, our stoner shut-in friend.”

“Oh…” Bakugo threw himself into one of the flimsy plastic chairs tucked in the corner of the yard and practically deflated. “Everything’s going wrong…” he mumbled, looking so defeated that Hitoshi had to admit he felt a bit sorry for him.  “Maybe everyone’s right and I’m too fucking feral for a decent relationship…”

Hitoshi wasn’t sure he was supposed to have heard that last part, but he had really good hearing. It hit him all at once that Bakugo was dealing with some serious self-worth issues. He couldn’t muster up the kind of contempt he wanted to, he just felt increasingly concerned. About both of them. He could almost see exactly what was going to happen. Izuku wasn’t exactly known for his healthy coping mechanisms, and Bakugo didn’t have any , healthy or otherwise. It was a recipe for disaster and he was torn between being as far away from it as he could be and trying to keep his friend from spiralling out of control… and if that meant dealing with Bakugo’s shit…

 “Hey now, cut that out. Yeah, it’s going wrong but-”

“But what?!” Bakugo roared. 

Hitoshi rolled his eyes and leaned on the wall beside him. “I wouldn’t say you’re beyond hope. Just try using your brain once in a while. I assume you have one? It’s not just a fireball in your head right?”

“There’s gonna be one in your head in a minute if you don’t shut up.” 

“Look, I can’t say I’m impressed with you at the moment, but like, if you need to talk then I’ve got ears, right?” The blond gave him the filthiest look he could muster. “Bearing in mind that the lack of talking is what got you in this mess. So like… think about it.”  

He turned to leave, but felt a hand close on his wrist. 

“Wait…” Bakugo bit his lip as he tried to figure out what to say, and Hitoshi was instantly taken back to that other time in the yard… he just seemed bizarrely small and vulnerable. “Stay? I’m… not very good at talking but I want to try…”