S m i l eBlood; it was everywhere. Little droplets fell from your fabric soaked U.A. High skirt and hit the concrete below, rippling the already growing pool around your scrapped and bruised knees that bled into your once favorite pair of black knee high socks and stained your skin. If you managed to somehow get out of this situation, you’d need a new uniform seeing as your current one was beyond repair.
But that was the least of your worries. Right now, it was surviving.
You didn’t know how much blood you lost, but you were sure you looked much paler than when you first arrived at wherever the hell it is you were being held hostage.
“Smile,” your assailant whispered, voice unsteady as he wielded the weapon that caused the pool of crimson you knelt in. He taped your mouth shut with a generous strip of duct tape, stretching across to either side of your jaw.
Poised in a chair opposite you, he had flipped it around so his legs straddled the back of it. His eyes were as wild as his hair as he leaned over the arch of the chair, tipping the piece of furniture forward on its hind legs as he did so. The crazed grin and encouraging tone didn’t match the words that fell from his lips, and it made you shiver with faint nostalgia at the sound of it. Once upon a time that voice belonged to one of your dearest friends. “Smile at me like you do at him,” he demanded sweetly with an underlying hint of something akin to contempt threading through each syllable.
You didn’t move. You had long since stopped your tears, but the fire in them was anything but dead. Though you were afraid, you were anything but defeated.
Unbeknownst to you, it was one of the traits he loved most about you.
You didn’t speak. How could you when your lips were sealed? The little stray strands at the end of the tape tickled your skin, irritating you further the longer this encounter went on.
How long was it now? An hour or two? More?
You steadied your breath, controlling the rapid thumping of your heart as the loss of time began to strike up your anxiety. Focusing on the cutting of the skin on your wrists from the metal that bound them helped. Despite the bruising and lightly shredded skin, the pain had long become a dull throb and a welcome distraction in times like these. The feeling in your fingers had fled, the result of them being bound above your head. Those metal restraints were only thing keeping your body from collapsing into the steadily growing pool of blood below.
Locking eyes with your assailant, you vowed you wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of an answer. You’d deny him the attention he so desperately craved like a misbehaving dog. You wouldn’t struggle through your bonds or try to speak through the adhesive covering your lips.
Maybe he’d lose interest at some point?
Yeah, you thought bitterly, and Bakugo could learn a little patience.
Speaking of which, the loose cannon of a hero would be so proud of your resilience in this situation. The thought warmed you and fanned the fires of resistance burning in your bones.
Suddenly the knife was hovering a breath away from the side of your face, skin already flushed from your initial breakdown what felt like hours earlier. So consumed were you in your thoughts that you let your guard down. Your face always seemed to betray you, displaying your thoughts so clearly even when you didn’t mean to. Now was one of those times. It must have been obvious that you were thinking about him. You never pinned Izuku to be the jealous type in your younger years, but judging by the knife wielding, wild eyed lunatic before you, you didn’t really know much about him to begin with it seemed.
Where are you, Bakugo?
“I told you to smile,” Deku said flatly. His tone had flipped in an instant, dropping the sugar sweet in favor of a deadpanned threat.
He was supposed to be here by now.
“He’s not coming,” continued your captor, sliding the blade up and down a small portion of your cheek, spreading your own blood that coated the weapon along your skin like moving paint over a canvas. “He’s left you here all alone with me,” Grinning wickedly, he lifted the blade from your cheek and moved it upwards, lifting a strand of your hair out of your face as his eyes captured yours in their intensity. “Isn’t that nice of him?”
You clenched your fists until your nails broke skin, but that didn’t concern you.
What’s a little more blood at this point anyway?
“Guess I’m not that much of a deku am I?” the boy giggled, and your eyes wandered to the wobble of the knife near your eyes as his body shook with mirth.
Curling a strand of your hair delicately around his blade, he parted his path to the crook of your neck. The tone of his voice shifted and returned to its more serious counterpart as be breathed you in. “He doesn’t love you like I do,” he muttered against your skin, “I’d never let anyone take you from me.”
It sounded like a promise. A promise that you’d be lying if you said it didn’t scare you shitless. Even still, you wouldn’t move, suppressing a shiver that wanted to run it’s was up your spine. You wouldn’t let him win, not this time anyway.
“Did you hear me?” Deku asked you, leaning back to take in the features of your face while maneuvering his knife until it was just above his wild green hair. The lock of your hair still twirled around the blade became strained at the action and you winced at the pull of it. Up close, his once adorable freckles weren’t so cute anymore in your opinion. “You’d be better off with me anyway,” he continued, “What did he ever do for you except fail to protect you?”
That’s when he started laughing again. Thankfully, this time he swung the knife back along with his head, clearing you of the danger of being grazed in his carelessness. Unfortunately, the lock of hair of yours went with it, the blade slicing through it with eerie precision.
“You should have seen his face!” cackled Deku, doubling over as the chair rocked back to all fours.
Your heart ached at his words.
Bakugo had tried so hard to save you.
The look in his crimson eyes when his fingertips brushed yours as Deku pulled you away replayed in your mind’s eye on constant repeat. When he called out your name with every ounce of energy his body could produce, falling to his knees because he knew he had lost; it hurt more than anything Izuku could do to you. The tears he had shed –
“Stop thinking about him!”
Your chin was yanked painfully upwards, arching your neck in a way that strained and stung. Crazed emeralds blazed into your eyes with such fire that you needed to dart your eyes to the side to avoid being burned by them.
“Those eyes are meant to be mine!” Izuku screamed, familiar tears welling in his eyes that took you back to your childhood for just a moment when he would cry for just about anything; until he continued and broke that spell with words that were anything but resembling the ones from your younger years. “Why do you always pick him!? What does he have that I don’t?”
Sanity, for one thing.
“I’m the one that should make your heart skip a beat in the middle of a conversation,” he continued, and you couldn’t help but be entranced by his raw and unfiltered emotion. You couldn’t look away from the pictures he painted with his words; pictures he must have imagined over and over and over again. “I’m the one that should keep you up at night, waiting for my messages to light up the dark of your room. I’m the one that should make your palms sweat. I’m the one that should make you blush. Me!”
Tears splashed in little droplets along your cheeks as he continued his spiral down into madness. “He’s nothing!” he screamed, and you winced as your eyes once again looked anywhere but into his, fear creeping into your throat at his sudden desperation. “He couldn’t even protect you!”
Something akin to compassion stirred in you. You felt bad for him.
“He’s weak, and pathetic,” Deku hissed, and his eyes almost seem to look through you and directed towards some phantom that only he could see. “I beat him! I finally beat him and you are my prize!”
You frowned. You felt his anguish, his hurt, and his despair.
The world had truly done a number on him, reducing him to this broken thing before you.
As if sensing your heart move for him, it was then that his eyes saw you again. His body stopped moving, tears still rolling down his cheeks but instead of wiping them or concealing them from view, he let them fall down his face like the telling of a beautiful tragedy. His hold on your chin relaxed and became almost tender. His eyes softened, pulling your gaze back. “I deserve you,” his words were so quiet they were almost inaudible. They shook; desperation and adoration clinging to every syllable. “I’ve always loved you more than him.”
You didn’t say anything. You didn’t dare. He was too unstable, too fragile. You didn’t want to hurt him anymore than the world already had. In this moment, the Izuku you knew was peeking through the cracks.
With unsteady fingers he cupped your face, sliding his fingers from your chin and along the tender side of your cheek. You didn’t lean into it. He was still a ticking time bomb after all.
His fingers paused for a moment, and then you felt it; the tugging of tape on skin.
He was going to release you; well, your mouth anyway.
Setting the blade down carefully, he used both hands to remove the binding on your lips.
Izuku didn’t rip the tape off; he didn’t tug it violently like you imagined he would. Instead, he gently inched it along, taking a millennia as he walked the length of it across the stretch of flesh he stuck it to. He watched your reddened skin rise with the adhesive, envious that it could be so close to you when he could not. Gently your skin fell back into place as he peeled the tape back, almost sighing as he watched more of your skin revealed inch by luscious inch like it was some forbidden fruit.
Your captor waited with baited breath as the last of your skin became free of the tape; waiting for you to say something or even better, smile at his kindness.
Honestly, anything would be better than the silence you currently cursed him with.
His face was inches from yours, crazed eyes steadied and half lidded as he leaned closer still. The scent of blood and metal was overwhelming with his closeness. The chair tipped forward once again as he moved even nearer. You could feel the heat of his breath brush your inflamed skin. “Smile,” he quietly pleaded as if under some sort of spell, “Just once, smile for me?”
If you were smarter you would have used this opportunity to gain his trust and later escape. If you were smarter you would have done what he asked. If you were smarter you wouldn’t have ended up here in the first place. Ruled more by emotions than logic, you hesitated, considering even giving in and gifting him the expression he so desired more than breathing.
His foot connected with his weapon on the floor, and the sound of metal against concrete seemed to remind you of your current predicament.
You remembered the situation he put you in, the pain he dragged across your body as he carved something into the flesh of your back. You remembered how he strung you up and laughed openly at your attempts to free yourself. It all came flooding back to you and damnit so did your resilience! What would Bakugo say if he saw you fall for Izuku’s tricks? So proud were you earlier of your steadfast resistance that it filled you with shame to think that you almost came undone due of a moment of tenderness from someone you thought was lost to the world.
So you reeled back and spat directly in his face and hissed with every fiber of your being, “You’ll never be half the man that he is.”
It may be all you would ever get to say to him, hell it might be you final words, but damn did it feel good.
The sound of his hand connecting with the side of your face echoed off the walls before you could add on to that insult. It stung, pain flaring and pulsing like waves. Your body urged you to cradle it in an attempt to soothe the sting but you couldn’t. Even if your arms were freed, you had long since lost the feeling in them. They’d collapse upon release and be reduced to nothing more than two dead weights at your side, hardly proper instruments to heal, let alone comfort.
You almost grinned at the thought.
Snarling, his eyes flashed dangerously as he replaced the tape across your mouth without a second thought; slapping it on a little too roughly and half hazard which caused you to recoil ever so slightly. He gripped the back of your head with his free hand and held you in place as he pressed the adhesive strip down with his palm for good measure.
Afterwards he used that same hand, still stinging and red from the impact of his slap, to wipe your saliva from his face with his eyes trained on you all the while. He brought his glistening fingertips to his lips and lapped up the saliva with his long and agile tongue; twisting through them and spending a moment too long on the ends of them. When he was finished, he flashed you a surprisingly heart stopping grin.
Heart stopping because it was terrifying.
Definitely not because it was oddly sexy. Though you had to admit his confidence did things to you.
You purposefully pulled down on your restraints until a sharp pain sang through your body, the flesh of your tender wrists cut open a little more by the coarse metal cuffs. It jarred you back to your senses as intended.
Deku wasn’t confident, nor was he was sexy. He was a psychopath. Psychopaths weren’t sexy; they just weren’t.
So why did you need to convince yourself of something that was typically common sense?
“I bet you don’t look at him like that,” Deku’s voice brought you back to the present; his comment in reference to your narrowed eyes while you battled your thoughts. He sighed and shrugged his shoulders, reaching downwards to draw a line in the pool of blood collecting around your knees. Looking at his crimson coated digit, he contemplated for a just a moment if he wanted to lap that up too; torn between desire to taste you and the joy he received when he put on a show.
Instead, he poised the bloodied finger just in front of your taped lips. Tilting his head like a curious puppy, locks of hair flopping to one side, he smiled in a way that was oddly adorable despite the insanity dancing behind his eyes. He painted a lopsided grin across the stretch of tape over your face like a crude finger painting done by an innocent child. Leaning back, he examined his handy work with a serious expression, the remnants of his bloodied finger pressed to his chin in contemplation; stamping an incomplete fingerprint on the patch of pale skin. “It’s not the same,” he mused seriously, “but I suppose this is better than that awful scowl of yours.”
The skin above the tape wrinkled into a sneer dripping with contempt; your eyes still burning with that momentarily forgotten flame.
“Such fire,” Deku mused, picking up his blade once again to clear the stray strands of hair in front of your face to the side, giving him a better view of your lethal expression. “I can see why he likes you. Not many can rival his temper, but of course you know that.”
You shook your head to stop the invasion of your personal space and in doing so cut the skin just below your eye on his raised knife. Inhaling sharply more from surprise than actual pain, you winced as a small droplet of blood fell like a crimson tear down the side of your face, its trail interrupted by the raised material of the abrasive tape.
Izuku dropped the knife in an instant, its handle hitting the bloody pool on the ground first before the blade. “Don’t do that!” he screamed, cupping your face in his hands. They trembled at the contact of his skin on yours and his eyes welled with tears. They fell like little crystal droplets, mixing with your blood below. “Why would you do that!?” he panicked, using the pad of his thumb to wipe the bloody tear from your cheek. “Why would you mar such perfect skin?”
But my back is perfectly fine, you inwardly mocked, narrowing your eyes in contempt.
“Please don’t look at me like that,” cried Izuku, pushing his wild locks back with unsteady hands. He stood violently upwards, knocking the chair over in his haste. He paced a few steps back and forth, a mix of panic and frustration making home in his heart. “I can’t stand it when you look at me with such hate!” he shouted, now tugging on his locks and pulling his head downwards until his chin practically touched his collar bone. “Am I that much of a monster to you?”
He paced for what seemed like minutes, mumbling incoherent and broken sentence fragments; starting a new thought before the last could complete itself.
You looked away. The scene unfolding before you seemed all too familiar from a time when his muttering was adorably nonsensical and rather endearing. Those memories were now twisted by a darkness that consumed him and warped into a disturbing broken mirror; an alternate reality that should never have existed.
And yet, here you were; that alternate reality very much your reality.
“I’m not a monster,” Deku reasoned, talking more to himself than to you. “I could have done so much worse to you. I’ve been patient! All I asked was for a smile; just one!” He tugged the strands of his hair harder, his shoulders now curling in on themselves to give way to the action. “You couldn’t even give me that? How hard is it to smile? You heroes do it all the time!” Turning to you, his emerald eyes catching your concerned gaze, he spoke through locks of strained green hair. “You do it for so many people, to ease their pain and assure them that everything will be okay. Am I wrong?” His knees seemed to weaken as that fragile boy rose to the surface; eyes welling with tears once more. It was a slow decent, but when his knees hit the concrete floor he was but three feet from your suspended body, streaks of your blood drawn across the skin on his face and brushed through strands of his hair. “Am I wrong?” Izuku practically sobbed, begging for confirmation.
You nodded slowly, mind on auto pilot as you watched your old friend crumble at your feet.
“Am I so beyond saving that I don’t get the chance to see your beautiful smile?”
Was this a trick? Which Midoriya was the real one? The fragile boy made of broken glass or the raging psychopath?
He was always smart, analyzing heroes for their strengths and weaknesses. He may not have a quirk, but he didn’t need one.
One of your weaknesses was your heart. Your compassion, Bakugo once said, would get you killed. Was Izuku using that against you even now?
Tears hit the ground and rippled the bloodied pool before you could stop them.
You cried. You cried for him. You cried for his past and the hand he was dealt by a world too cruel. You cried for the pain you thought he must have gone through, growing up around his peers that flaunted what he could never have; opportunity. You cried for the thousands of times he was hurt by those who should have protected him, burned by the very man you had fallen for. You cried for your apathy, standing by all those years and never intervening more than scolding the one responsible for his pain. You could have done more. You should have done more.
Beautiful, large tears fell from your eyes as your heart bled for the boy you should have saved but didn’t.
You vowed that if you made it out alive that you would be different. You would try harder.
Izuku wasn’t beyond saving.
The switch flipped and the coping mechanism you imagined he formed to protect his glass heart took over. “Oh?” he grinned at your tears, taking them in like a drug. All traces of hopelessness and despair were gone. “Are we ready to smile yet?”
You cried harder. For some reason, seeing his mind so snapped into two distinct personalities cut you deeper. You knew he didn’t mean the things he said when this version took control; you needed to believe that. You felt responsible for this darker side of him.
“How about we make a deal? I’ll even let you go. Isn’t that nice of me?”
The words were haunting. They promised freedom, but did you deserve it? On one hand you didn’t know the conditions of the deal you were meant to agree too, but on the other hand it may be your only chance at freedom; freedom you could later use to save your friend from himself.
Deku straightened his back, and in doing so also pushed back his wild locks to get a better view of the image displayed before him. Your tears had not stopped falling even though your face was struck with careful contemplation. “I need an answer, first,” he cooed, rocking back on his heels as he outstretched his arms. “Those are my terms. I can’t give something for nothing after all. You’ll just have to trust me.”
You nodded. God help you, you nodded your head in compliance with his terms. You took the leap to trust him. After all, he was right; he could have done so much worse to you by now but all he asked for was a simple smile. Your trust for your freedom didn’t seem so outlandish.
“Wonderful!” he sang, and produced from his pocket a cell phone. “I’m going to let you go,” he explained, “under three conditions.”
You narrowed your eyes suspiciously. All of a sudden his terms seemed to outweigh the prize.
“Don’t look at me like that!” Deku chuckled, “You were the one who agreed without reading the terms of service. That’s not my problem” Rolling up on the balls of his feet, Deku stood and crossed the space between the two of you, his polished black Oxfords stepping gingerly into the pool of red around your knees. He lazily traced the juncture where your skin met metal around your wrists, eyes on the bruises that had already formed in a neat circular pattern across your skin. “Condition one,” he began “I’m going to give you this phone. In it I’ve programmed my number. You are, under no circumstances, to share this information with anyone. If I find out you do, you won’t appreciate the results. Understand?”
Unable to vocally agree, you nodded your head; darting your eyes to the side to avoid staring directly into his crotch.
“Magnificent,” he smiled and crouched down to your level so that his eye line was matched with yours. He pressed his blood stained forehead against yours and continued. “Condition two,” he purred, “I want you to show him. I want you to tell him that you belong to me. Can you do that?” Tucking a strand of hair behind your ear delicately, he elaborated. “Tell him that your body belongs to me. After all –”, he grinned wickedly – “I wrote my name on it.”