Aftermath of the Chase - MHA Oneshot
I debated sharing this for a while because I haven't written fanfiction in such a long time, and there still seems to be this disdain for fanfiction writers in the writing world. But I had fun writing it, and I want to share it. So here it is! A short between Deku and Kacchan. This takes place after chapter 323 of My Hero Academia.
Spoilers below for those who only watch the anime, or aren't caught up in the manga!
Deku sat in the tub of All Might’s bathroom back at U.A. High, fully clothed but for his mask, and soaking wet as the shower ran hot. The lights were dim but for an LED light plugged in above the sink. There were no windows.
His friends, his teachers...had said he was safe for now, that he had time, but he was so...exhausted. The citizens didn’t want him here. He...didn’t want to be here.
He’d turned on the water and sat down, and since then, he couldn’t bring himself to get back up again.
I’m fine, he’d told them. Iida had protested as usual, and he could tell that Uraraka didn’t believe him. Who among them believed he was really okay after all of this? But she didn’t say anything. Kacchan had been silent, too. Uncharacteristically, he had just stood there, arms crossed, that usual scowl on his face.
Deku could clean himself, at least, so they brought him here without any fuss. But all this time on the street had worn him down, and he was finally alone to feel the fatigue had seeped into his bones.
He never thought he’d actually be able to step into U.A. again. Maybe he could have relaxed and enjoyed this if he didn’t feel so guilty for being here. All he had known the last few months was doing everything he could to draw out All For One and the Paranormal Liberation Front. They could show up at any moment… But Principal Nezu had explained how safe the school was now.
The Front had only been sending assassins so far. They were trying to wear him down.
And it was working.
This was the last place he wanted to be. His friends, his peers, his mom… They were all here. This was the worst place to be. That the villains could find him and attack at any point was exactly why he had pushed everyone away. He didn’t want them getting hurt. Not again.
Kacchan, Gran Torino, Aizawa-sensei…
All For One wanted him. He’d had no choice but to leave. That stress, that awareness: it was too ripe for him to relax, even now, and every shadow played tricks on his mind. But he didn’t want the light on, either. The others had worked so hard together to force him to see reason… For him to let them help. The exhaustion he felt now outweighed anything else he might fear. He trusted them, and Principal Nezu, though he had to admit he still couldn’t help but worry. He had to bury that down, though; he couldn’t insult his friends like that, it was just… There was no room to underestimate their enemies. This wasn’t like the training at U.A.
He ran his hands over his face. They knew that. They were taking it seriously, too. Everyone was. He just...wanted to protect them, now that he could.
Deku slowly took in his surroundings again. He’d almost forgotten he was in the tub. Maybe he was wasting water like this, but at least he was in here. Warm water cascaded down his face, continuing to permeate his clothes. He began to shake. It was all he could do to sit up. Was he suddenly cold, or was it nerves?
How can I possibly do anything against All For One like this? I screwed up… I guess I really can’t do anything on my own.
He covered his eyes, still shaking. He didn’t even hear the bathroom door open.
“Midoriya…” A soft voice. Deku’s danger sense hadn’t gone off, but he was surprised all the same; he moved to wipe the tears forming in his eyes, except the shower was doing it for him. He turned to see Kacchan in the doorway, looking severe as always. But Deku couldn’t look at him; his gaze fell back to the bottom of the tub. Why had his voice been so gentle? Was there someone else behind him? He didn’t sense anyone… But Kacchan rarely called him by his name, and never so softly. It was always Deku, or Idiot Deku, or…
Kacchan was suddenly at the edge of the tub, looking down at him, frowning. Was he going to lecture him for being weak again? Tell him he was an idiot for trying to do this alone? He knew that already. He still couldn’t look Kacchan in the eye. He’d felt defeated before, but this felt worse. The spark Deku had had, that optimism… He could hardly feel it anymore.
Kacchan climbed into the tub with him.
“W-What are you doing?” Deku tried to move to give him room despite there being no room to give. Kacchan gently took Deku by the arm so he could get behind him. He hadn’t realized Kacchan had it in him to be gentle, or at least, he never thought he’d be the one to see it.
“They’re trying to kill you,” Kacchan said, so quiet that with the shower on, he almost couldn’t hear him. With his back against the tub, Kacchan wrapped both arms around him. At first, instinctively, Deku felt fear…
“They’re trying to kill you,” Kacchan repeated, louder this time. His voice sounded shaky, but Deku couldn’t be sure. “But I’m not gonna let ‘em. I’ll kill those bastards first.” He tightened his grip around Deku, though gentle still, and the fear vanished.
“I can do this myself,” Deku said, his voice weak.
“I know you can,” Kacchan replied. Deku tried to look behind him at his friend, but couldn’t. He’d never told him something like that before. “And we’re gonna help, idiot.”
There he is. Except this time, ‘idiot’ sounded more affectionate than the insult he was so used to hearing. Deku didn’t know what to say. He looked to the doorway; Kacchan had closed the door behind him. No one else had called his name… This was all him.
Deku could feel Kacchan shaking behind him. Or was it just because Deku was still shaking? He tried again to look.
“Don’t,” Kacchan said, his voice choked. Misery and guilt filled Deku at that sound. The tears he’d been holding back were threatening to overcome him again. Why was this happening? He knew Kacchan was a good guy deep down, but had Deku failed so horribly that now he’d broken Kacchan’s spirit? He couldn’t possibly be this upset for any other reason.
Why am I so useless?
“Why aren’t you crying?” Kacchan asked after a moment. His voice was clearer now. “You cry all the time.”
Deku forced a smile, hard as it was. “I can’t afford to shed any more tears. What would people think if they saw their hero crying? They’d lose all hope.”
“Don’t be stupid.” He knocked his forehead against the back of Deku’s head. It didn’t hurt. “There’s nobody around.”
Deku’s smile fell. He was right, of course. Except Kacchan was here, and Kacchan always hated it when he cried. Kacchan hugged him again. Deku didn’t know what else to call it; after all the battles he’d been through, he had almost forgotten what this kind of touch felt like.
Tender, warm… It felt like home. He could fall asleep like this. But not today.
He wasn’t sure what prompted it. Maybe all the exhaustion, Kacchan’s sudden kindness, his current reality closing in on him… All of it, maybe. He could cry at the drop of a hat at any other time, but for some reason this had felt different. Kacchan had been right to question him. But finally, he couldn’t hold it in any longer. Deku wept, and Kacchan just held him tighter for it. If Kacchan was crying too, he wouldn’t ever ask him. He buried his face in his hands, felt the warmth of Kacchan’s chest against his back, and let the water fall.
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