sat in class, bored out of my skull. I hated how much Katsuki ragged on me for meeting Endeavor. I only remembered it because of Mom reminding me whenever that day came up. I called it my 'Quirk Day' because it was the day I made my mark with my quirk. Now I was just listening to the teacher drone on and on.
I grew into a shy, withdrawn kid. I was drawing a picture of Katsuki lounging on his desk, highly detailed, just perfect. I only drew him because he was an oddly willing subject. He always liked when I would draw. He got nicer right around the time I gained my quirk.
The official name for it was Arsenal, but I liked Fire of Soul better. It made my spirit sound much more intimidating. So I went with the name, The Arsenal Hero: Fire of Soul. I know that seems long, but I liked it. I adjusted my glasses, finishing the drawing off right. The glasses were wraparounds, that way when I'm slinging blasts they don't go flying off. At least that's what Dad told me. I never had any real friends.
I was too scared, too scared that Soul would get jealous or I'd accidentally blow someone up. Soul was tiny at this point, his claws rapping on the desk, his rhythmic tapping getting on my nerves.
"Soul, can you go inside and do that? You're breaking my concentration," I whispered. Soul nodded and disappeared. I never had a crush on a girl, or ever needed a friend. I was sitting at lunch, alone, as I always did. Even Katsuki didn't sit with me, neither did Midoriya because he was scared of my brother's elitist ire. I liked him, though. I didn't see the girl until she sat down.
What I first noticed about her was her hair. It was long and green. Her eyes were a pleasing shade of dark green, and she was watching me closely. Almost observing me as if I was a specimen under a microscope.
"Day one in front of the demon… no sign of demonic activity, though it could be all a front…" she muttered, writing in a notebook.
"Uhm… can I help you?" I offered gently.
"It has initiated contact with me," she continues, putting the notebook away.
"What are you doing? Is that… are you studying me?!" I gasped.
"Yes, I have heard of you, Renaru Bakugou," she said.
"Well… that's comforting…" I sighed, my hands smoking a bit.
The girl looked at my hands and paled, "Look! I'm not a 'demon' okay?! It's just my quirk! Geez… did my brother put you up to this? He did, didn't he?" I asked.
"Who? The Rider of Conquest? No, it's my private investigation," she said as if it were the most normal thing in the world. Which it wasn't.
"Listen, I don't know what your major malfunction is, but I'm not gonna be your friend… I don't need 'em in the way," I sighed.
"Shiozaki Ibara," the girl said.
"Hm?" I grunted, blinking.
"My name is Shiozaki Ibara, Renaru, now we know each other," she said.
"Tch, fine! You can investigate me all you want! But know this: Soul is not a demon!" I conceded. Ibara smiled, and it was a nice smile, all things considered. I just sat there, and she wrote avid notes about me.
"Can you show me, Soul? I'd like to meet him," she asked.
"Sure. He's overzealous, just gimme a minute," I agreed, Soul popped out of my hands, he was less humanoid, the size of a medium dog. More like a Chinese dragon. He wound around my neck, glaring at Ibara's hand.
She poked him and he recoiled, hissing a little. Her dark green eyes shined with amazement, and my little dragon spirit nudged her hand. She continued to pet him, all insinuations of him being a demon gone. She just petted Soul and he loved the attention, purring and hissing.
"He's so cute…" Ibara sighed, her face so close to mine. I backed up a bit, but the little dragon noodle of my spirit clambered onto her, wrapping around her neck and nuzzling her for more pets.
"He's not always like that, sometimes he's a ten-foot-tall humanoid dragon with claws the size of broadswords… it just depends on the situation. He's my guardian," I explained, Ibara wrote that down, her pretty dark green eyes glancing over at my little dragon noodle.
She was sketching us. She had almost finished up when from out of nowhere, my brother swaggered up to us.
"Hey there, little bro! Seems like your 'no friends' policy is comin' to an end with this fine little lady!" he said, a snide edge was on his voice.
"What's your game, Katsuki?" I asked, Soul, rewinding around my arm and becoming a black dragon tattoo on my arm.
"Nothin' bro! Nothin' at all, just have fun with your new friend! You always attract the weird ones!"
"The fuck, Katsuki?" I snarled.
"Language, Renaru," Ibara hummed, I groaned softly. I gained another new friend soon after.
The park was a peaceful place after school, a place I frequented to get out of my twin's way. I usually hung out at the lake and drew there as well. I drew frogs, toads, dragonflies, sometimes even a picture or two of Ibara.
Yet there was someone with me today, I saw her swimming towards me, all I saw of her was her hair and wide black eyes, her wide mouth stretched in a smile. I looked up from my drawing pad to see the girl striding towards me with a small hopping gait. Her hands were large, and her feet too.
Her smile didn't fade as she settled next to me. Her eyes closed serenely.
"I see you around here a lot, ribbit," she said, the little croak in her voice was cute… wait! What am I thinking?! Get your stupid mind outta the clouds, Renaru!
"Yeah, I use this place to get away and doodle, my brother is a ticking time bomb…" I sighed. The Frog Girl smirked and held out her hand.
"Tsuyu Asui, call me Tsu," she said, smiling.
I shook it, "Renaru Bakugou, call me Ren or Renaru, whatever your preference," I answered bluntly.
Tsu and I became friends from then on, and Ibara and I too. I went home after a long day of drawing and hanging out with Tsu to see my Mom and Dad waiting, with Katsuki griping and snarling.
"Hey, guys! What's up? Why're you all so tense?" I greeted, Dad was smiling and Mom too. Katsuki looked like he wanted to murder me, which was daily. Mom was holding an envelope, and I didn't know what it was about.
"Renaru, your mother and I… we… got this in the mail!" Dad admitted, passing the letter to me, and written in strong, sweeping ink, was the penmanship of Endeavor! My heart soared as I opened it.
But… looking at Katsuki's face… it didn't seem right. He should be the one with this letter, not me.
It is not often I come across certain quirked children of other families that impress me as much as you do. I seldom offer recommendations to UA as well. Consider this as repayment for your brave rescue from Mirror Man, I look forward to working with you.
The Hell-Flame Hero, Endeavor.
My heart dropped like a stone, this wasn't right. As much as I wanted it to be right… Katsuki was enraged.
"Katsuki? Let's take this outside, okay?" I asked.
"Grr… fine!" he conceded, stomping out with me following. I shut the door behind me. He was sitting on the front stoop, his teeth grinding.
He whirled around, his eyes narrow, "What makes you so special?! What's so special about that dumbass dragon or that fucking dumb Arsenal?! Stop thinking you're fucking better than me!" Katsuki yelled angrily, grabbing me by the collar.
He shook me, "I should be the one with that letter! I should be the one who becomes the top hero! NOT YOU! Always lookin' down on me, always fucking smiling at me!" he yelled, I saw tears running down his cheeks, and he let me go.
"Dammit… I was jus'... Jus' wanted to protect you…" he admitted, grabbing my shoulders.
"You… you were behind the other kids… and I tried to help… but… they convinced me that I was top dog compared to you, and you're MY BROTHER!" he snarled, his teeth clenched.
"I forgive you, Katsuki…" I huffed.
"You shouldn't… I, I called you so many things… thought you were quirkless. Now on the day, you gained it, you just so happened to save the number two strongest hero in the country from a mirror guy?! We were only FIVE!" he yelled.
"You deserve the recommendation, Katsuki, not me," I said.
"Why?! He'll know it's not you!" he objected.
"That's why I'm gonna take the standards with you!" I decided.
Katsuki's face went slack, and I smiled, summoning my sparks. He summoned his limply. We clenched hands and pulled each other into a bone-crushing hug. I smiled.
"You… you sentimental bastard!" he sniffed, hugging me tighter.
"I'll climb up with you! Who needs a cushy recommendation?! Not the Bakugou Brothers! It's either both of us, or neither of us!" I said.
"Damn right, Ren!" he yelled.
I grinned, knowing that I was throwing away my free ride to the top. I had never felt any happier than I do now. Katsuki and I came back inside, seeing that Mom and Dad had listened in. Mom pulled us into a hug.
"I knew Ren wasn't gonna leave ya behind, Katsu… he's not the type to do that," she whispered into Katsuki's ear. She went over to me.
"Y' made the right choice, Ren, you two are gonna rise and gonna do this right! We Bakugous never accept handouts! Unless it's cash!" she laughed, kissing us on our foreheads. We both scoffed and went up to our rooms.
My room was full of clutter and papers covered just about every wall. All of them were my drawings, of me being a brave, strong hero. In all of them, Katsuki and I were equally fighting side by side like the brothers we are.
I fell on my cushy bed, staring up at the ceiling. I didn't need some hero telling me I'm good to validate my dream. The real conundrum was tomorrow…
Oh well, save it for tomorrow's me...
Soon, we were only a summer away from our high school years. my shaky hands still shook without the bands, but I was still working on it. His quirk was still unwieldy and made his hands shake more. Katsuki had changed,
I was drawing his hero suit in his 'Special Book' today. He had more comfy bands on his wrists, developing the rest of the suit. He made the coat red and black, with silver accents. He would wear a mask, over the bottom of his face, keeping his eyes and hair hidden under a hood.
'The Arsenal Hero: Fire of Soul... nice ring to it...' I thought, dismissing it.
For now, I just had to dream about UA.
Katsuki and I revitalized our relationship as brothers. Soon to be torn apart again because of UA. At least there was some sort of peace at the house. I wasn't very combative at all. While Katsuki was more combative than ever. Our two opposite natures clashed in the worst ways imaginable, like today.
"I don't understand! What crawled up your ass and died?" Renaru snapped.
Katsuki had busted into my room, grabbing his book.
"There can only be one Bombing King," he growled, activating his quirk and incinerating it.
My bands were off in a second. I tackled my brother like a linebacker. We fought each other, slinging fists and feet I was body-slammed to the floor. Katsuki was the stronger of the two of us physically, I was stronger Quirk-wise and mentally. By then, Mom was yanking Katsuki off of me, I knelt and tried to pick up the ashen remains of years and years of hard work and dedication. Mitsuki heard the heartbroken cries and tried to comfort me once she'd strong-armed Katsuki into his room.
She'd hugged me close, regardless of how much I bled.
"It's going to be okay... you have other books." She reasoned.
"But... one of the pictures in there was going to be for Katsu, for the day he got into UA..." I sniffed, blood and snot leaking as my mother handed me a box of tissues. I held the flow back and Mitsuki realized what he was saying.
"So, you're giving up?" she asked.
"Yeah... I'm not all that strong, my hands shake, and my explosions can destroy the people I'm trying to protect! What kind of hero is that?!" I sobbed.
"Shh... shhh... It's okay, you don't have to compare yourself to your brother, you just have to leap of faith, ya know? It never hurts to try." Mitsuki soothed, petting Renaru's hair.
I nodded, smiling just a little bit. Katsuki was listening, feeling terrible about incinerating his brother's special book. He felt even more terrible as he realized how much damage he'd caused his little brother. He walked back to his room, closing the door behind him.
"Mom? Do you think Katsu and I would be good heroes?" Renaru asked.
"Of course! You two will be the greatest ever!" Mitsuki encouraged.
That night, when their parents were asleep, Katsuki came into Renaru's room, even if he was fourteen, Lil' Endeavor was cuddled against his chest, Ren was curled into a little ball. He stirred, muttering about a giant grasshopper before settling back into dreams. Katsuki laid down beside his little brother, crying as he hugged him.
"Sorry... I'm so sorry..." Katsuki sniffed, smiling sadly I opened up my eyes.
"Katsu? It's okay..." I yawned.
"No it isn't, that book was irreplaceable. I incinerated it... and that was wrong." Katsuki sighed, his softer side was exclusively for me only.
"What was that drawing you were gonna give me anyway?" Katsuki asked.
"Your suit," I answered.
"What?" he questioned.
"Well, I drew a hypothetical hero suit for both of us." I sighed quietly.
The reality hit Katsuki when his brother said that. He was jealous of his brother because their parents liked him better, he was quiet and gentle. He rarely raised his voice and was always focused on something else other than himself. Katsuki thought his brother was a better person than him, but he was just a gentle person by nature. He wanted the two of them to be heroes together.
We stood before UA, it was a beautiful day, and I was jittery with excitement.
"Alright bro, this is the day that we become heroes!" Katsuki encouraged and we walked up to the front doors.
We walked into an auditorium and saw some other students. We sat next to each other,
I nodded, smirking the program went on.
"Alright! Who's ready to ROCK?" a man in a black leather suit and bright orange sunglasses with a tall blond pompadour crowed.
There was no response.
"Alright, you hip kids and groovy cats! Lessee if you can handle what we here at UA are throwing down! Today's practical exam is gonna pit all of y'all against our patented 'Faux Villains'!" the man continued.
"It's kinda like a video game! And I understand that it may seem a bit too hard, but... there are some y'all who'll find it easy!" The man acknowledged.
Katsuki felt his brother tense up, he gave his shoulder a reassuring squeeze.
"There are three types of villains in this test, each is marked with a certain number of points!" the man continued. I noticed there was a fourth type in the introduction packet.
"Um... e-excuse me!" I called, standing a spotlight fell on me.
"What is it, listener?" the man asked.
"I-I... Noticed there was a fourth type. Is that a mistake?" I asked.
"Not at all, kid! There is a type of robot that doesn't give you any points at all! Think of the Thwomps in Mario, they're just obstacles in your way! Thank you for your attention to detail!" the man yowled. I sat down, my eyes downcast. Katsuki smirked at his embarrassment.
"Now then, get out there and go beyond, PLUS ULTRA!" the man yelled.
Katsuki and I were separated with Ibara being with me. I started to panic, "Bro... Bro!" I called after Katsuki.
"You're gonna be fine, Ren, you got your girlfriend to keep you company!" Katsuki called back.
"G-Girlfriend?" I stammered, latching onto Ibara's arm. Soon, we were on a bus on the way to the battle centers, their bus was filled with the smallest amount of people.
"May I ask why your hands shake too much?" Ibara asked, cocking her head to the side in confusion.
"I was born with it, and I have balance problems... that's why I wear these bands. They help me steady my hands so I can write better and eat with chopsticks." I sighed, tired of explaining it.
"Why is this bus so empty?" I asked.
A girl with a black ponytail piped up, "This is the bus for the Recommended Battle Center, where candidates with recommendations duke it out with stronger robots." the girl described.
I remembered that red-letter he got days ago, from Endeavor himself. It was simple and to the point, and it also sparked yet another brawl between the brothers. He had been recommended and Katsuki had not. That was why I had a bandage wrapped under the long-sleeved shirt I put on, even if it was the end of summer. Katsuki had blown me through a wall, and my arm got cut as I tried to stop myself. It wasn't deep, but it had healed easily enough and didn't get in the way of my quirk.
I was lucky, but the bus came to a stop. I realized that I couldn't go back and make good on my promise...
"Showtime!" the driver yelled, opening the door, we all filed out. The RBC was huge! It was the size of a whole city and was filled with many city-like things, like stores and apartments, fully furnished and realistic. There were alleys and backroads and all kinds of shortcuts.
"Alright! You Elites are gonna have to fight the robots without causing too much collateral damage. The goal is not to harm the buildings or property too much." A new voice said, belonging to a sleepy-looking man wrapped in a bright yellow sleeping bag. I felt even more nervous. I looked to the others, some of them even have their gear and suits. I knew I wouldn't be able to get in on measly odds like this... my quirk was too powerful, and I had intended to go all out and get in without using my bands. But now I had to. I looked over to Ibara, who sent me a reassuring smile.
'C'mon Ren! Be a hero!' I thought, sparks igniting between my fingers, a timer ticked down from ten.
'Mom believes in you! Dad does too! So does Katsu!'
'Take those bands off! Show them that you belong here!'
'Just go beyond your best...'
I made a mad dash inside, seeing three robots marked with ones in front of him, I dashed towards them, using my quirk to blow them apart in a heavy right hook. 'My hands only shake when I have to do ranged attacks, If I stay close, I can wade in and blow them apart that way!' I thought, going from robot to robot, seeing that they were learning. They were staying out of my range, so I had to improvise, I held out my hand, it was shaking mightily. I aimed not for the robot, but for where it was going to go. it was a direct hit, despite the shaking hands.
I heard someone calling for help, it was that ponytailed girl from earlier. She was fending off the robot with a metal rod, holding it back, but still, it was learning. It was overpowering her slowly but surely. I advanced with an explosive enhanced jump into the fray.
"BLASTER SHELL!" I yelled, a corona of explosions sent the three-pointer flying backward in pieces. I ran back over to the girl.
"You okay?" I asked, hoisting her up.
"Y-yes, I'm alright. Thank you." She said, a small smile on her face, making me blush again.
"Uh... you're welcome!" he stuttered.
'I met two cute girls today! Man, I'm on a roll!' I thought happily, dashing off to see if there were more people to save and more bots to blast away. I had not found any more robots as the city fell away, revealing me and the other students standing in the middle of it.
"ALRIGHT! TIME FOR THE FINAL BOSS!" The man from earlier in the auditorium yelled.
From the sky came a giant black steel robot. Its many eyes pinning the others to the spot.
"DON'T GIVE UP! WE GOTTA BEAT THIS THING! OTHERWISE, I WILL!" I roared. The others didn't move. My sparks turned bright and I stood still, charging up a final blast. After this, I might pass out.
"FULL POWER!" I yelled, blasting the advancing bot into smithereens. I fell to my knees, gasping for air, I felt an arm around my shoulder. It helped me to my feet. I clung to the person, my eyes closed. I could still hear though.
"I've got you, Renaru. You're in the first place." Ibara's lilting voice said, with admiration in her tone.
I let out a small laugh, knowing that I made it in. My dream... it'll be realized. I woke up in a makeshift infirmary. My mind was hazy from all the stamina it took to blast all of those villains. Katsuki was sitting on my bed, looking down at me in rage.
"How could you? How could you do that?! After all that talk about us climbin' to the top together, you pull this?!" he snapped.
"Katsu... how the hell was I s'posed to know?" I asked.
"Y'coulda jus' oh I dunno, took yer eyes offa Ibara for five seconds and jump ship?!" he snarled.
"Oh, so now Ibara's at fault?! Next, you'll say Tsuyu is, too!"
We glared at each other, he then softened.
"Whatever at least Dad n' Mom will be proud enough..." he sighed. The door opened, and Tsuyu with Ibara in tow shuffled in, Tsuyu slightly hopping. They looked worried as Katsuki pushed past them.
"You okay? Ribbit?" Tsuyu asked.
"I'm fine, just tired..." I sighed. Ibara grabbed my hand, and Tsuyu fixed her with a sideways glance.
"Who's she?" Tsu asked, a bit guarded.
"That's my other friend, Ibara Shiozaki," I introduced.
The two girls glared at one another.
"Ibara," Ibara said with false serenity.
"It's Tsuyu to you," Tsu trilled.
When did my life get so complicated? All I wanted was to be a hero, now two girls are gonna start a war over me? How could this get any worse?