clear and muddy lakes

All of You

68. “I can hear you crying, you know. At night, when you think no one is listening.”; 71. “I’ve seen how much you really care. Don’t pretend like you don’t.”, requested by the lovely @fornhaus

Pairing: kacchako, obvsly.

Rating: t

a/n: sorry i’m such a lazy ass. This came out a bit longer and less angsty than I expected, but I just decided I can’t do prompts for shit. I always get carried away from the topic, in the end you ask me for apples and I give you pears. Anyways, hope you enjoy it anyway!

————————————————-

The air was warm, a pleasent breeze rushing through the trees and bushes that surrounded him. In front of him, was the lake that mirrored the starry night sky. No sounds could be heard, aside from the crickets, and, of course, the muffled laughter and chatter of his classmates.

It was one of those summer nights he would probably spend in his room, studying or reading some comics. That is, if he was home. Right now, Bakugou Katsuki was trapped in a campsite far, far away from the U.A. dorms, cursing all the souls within a hundred mile radius, and their mothers.

Summer break was just around the corner, and the students of classes A and B decided that they should all take a trip together to get their minds away from the midterms and have some fun. Which was exactly the opposite of what Bakugou was doing. In fact, he had only agreed to go thinking it was a training camp, like in first year. He would later find out that the only training they would be doing was on how to make s'mores and sing dumb songs by the fire.

After so much time living together, it was not like Bakugou wasn’t already used to the presence of his classmates. Hell, sometimes he wouldn’t even be that bothered by their shenanigans. But being tricked into coming to their little trip, wasting his time with stupid shit like that, it had spiked his fury in a whole other level.

He could easily had taken the easy path there and just burn them all to bits before they thought of another song. But after all they went through, Bakugou had to learn his lesson about thinking his actions through at some point. Instead, he got up from his seat by the fire and walked into the woods, screaming that anyone who followed him would have their head ripped out of their body and shoved into their ass. So, after a quiet walk, he expected to calm his nerves and clear all the murderous intentions out of his head.

What he did not expected, though, was to find Uraraka Ochako, sitting alone on the muddy ground, staring at the clear water of the lake.

She had her big Nº 13 hoodie on, short brown hair floating with the breeze. After a better look, he noticed her shoulders were shaking.

The boy stood there for a few seconds, the wind brushing his wild hair, hands in his pockets, unsure of what to do.

Bakugou wasn’t exactly the example of a caring person. Even after a year and a half of sharing a house and a classroom, he still couldn’t remember half of his classmates’s names. He just didn’t give a fuck. But she was different.

Uraraka had something in her. A hidden side, obscured by a good girl mask that could fool anyone and everyone. Except for him. She liked to bat her little eyelashes at him, smile at him in the halls, scold him for not being friendly or some shit. But as much as it all confused him, he had seen her for who she really was during their first fight, and in all their other fights since then. He was the only one who could see through her mask, who was able to push her past her breaking point and take a peek at the real Uraraka. She had caught his eye, to a point where he wasn’t satisfied with just a peek anymore. He wanted to see more, to find out what she really had to offer. So, on one sleepless night, Bakugou decided to go to her room and challenge her for a real match.

But before he could knock, he heard her sobs. Tiny, shaky sobs that, although he would never admit it, made his heart beat a little faster. Much more faster.

Bakugou had been avoiding her since that night. Don’t get the wrong idea, he wasn’t a coward. He would never run from his problems, like some chicken. But something in him has changed when he heard her crying. She was suffering, and somehow, that affected him too. He was fucking terrified of her.

His sharp crimson eyes stared at the back of her head, as her sobs and sniffs got louder. He scowled, turning around to leave while she hadn’t noticed his presence. Carefully, he took a step forward, then another–

“B-Bakugou-kun? Is that you?”, Uraraka’s meek voice reached his ears.

Fuck his life. He had stepped on a branch. What the fuck was he supposed to do now? Comfort her? As if.

He slowly turned around, ready to make up some excuse for why he had been watching her cry, possibly throwing some insults and explosions on the way. But when he could finally see her face, his resolve was shattered.

She looked scared, frightened brown eyes staring at him from her seat by the lake. Her cheeks, usually rosy and flushed, were now pale and stained with tears. Her small frame looked even smaller, quivering under the moonlight.

Suddenly, he couldn’t breathe. She got up, wiping the dirt off of her shorts, avoiding his gaze.

“I… Umm… What are you d-doing here?”, she tried again, looking mildly taken aback by his expression. He must have been looking really stupid.

Shaking his head, Bakugou opened his mouth, trying to think of something to say. Nothing came out. He averted his gaze, feeling his cheeks warming up.

Uraraka bit her bottom lip, looking at everything but him. She looked extremely uncomfortable. A part of him wanted to apologize for walking in on such an intimate moment for her. A bigger part of him wanted to punch that part in the face. What was happening to him? It was her fault for crying on a public space! He had nothing to do with her, it wasn’t his fucking business. Again, he could easily have chosen the easiest path. But something about seeing her in such a frail state made him change his mind.

“Uraraka.”, he said, his strangely quiet tone capturing her attention again.

He moved a bit closer to her, reluctantly. She blinked, watching as he scowled and tucked his hands deeper in his pockets, looking like he regretted every word he was about to say.

“Why are you… y'know…”, he started, finding it hard to get the words out of his mouth. “… crying?”

She blinked again, several times, brows knitting in confusion.

“Why do you care?”

Good question. There was literally no reason for him to give a fuck about her, or what she felt. But he did. He fucking did. And no matter how stupid his words sounded to himself, he couldn’t help but want to know why she was suffering.

“Who the fuck said I cared? Don’t get cocky, round-face!”, he exclaimed, not able to hold back his tongue. She looked even more confused. “It’s just really fucking annoying to hear you crying all night, and then have to bear with it here too!”

Her eyes widened, the color rushing back to her cheeks in embarrassment. “Y-You could hear m-me?”

Bakugou’s scowl deepened, as he runned a hand through his blond hair, trying to hold back all the weird feelings that threatened to spill.

“Yeah, Uraraka, I fucking heard you.”

She pursed her lips, hugging her torso and looking at her feet. Her eyes were closed again, a shaky breath leaving her lungs. He felt a pang in his chest, a strange urge to cup her face in his hands and tell her to breathe. Again, what the fuck was happening to him?

She opened her eyes, and he could swear they were even sadder than when he found her. Uraraka took a step back, going back to a sitting position next to the lake, looking expectantly at him. Bakugou hesitantly moved forward, sitting next to her, resting his elbows on his knees. She hugged her knees to her chest, a shaky sigh leaving her mouth. They were only a few inches apart from each other now.

“I’m sorry for bothering you.”, she started, looking at the clear water before them. “I’ve received some bad news lately and it’s been a little difficult for me to accept them.”

A few beats passed, his strict eyes locked on her face, before she cleared her throat and continued.

“My father is sick. It’s not so serious, but he still can’t work properly. But his debts keep growing y'know…”, her voice sounded so weak it was barely audible. “… My mother said it’s okay, that they’re gonna work this out. But I need to help too. I can’t just stay here and watch them work themselves to death.”

Bakugou went dead silent, the sharp features of his face curling in a frown. He had expected for her problems to be related to that bastard Deku or something, but this was much more serious than he initially thought.

“Do you mean…”, he muttered, voice faltering for a second. She still wouldn’t look at him, eyes trained on her reflection on the lake. “… does this mean you’re…?”

Her grip on her knees tightened. “Yeah.”, she mumbled, and he could swear his heart has skip a beat. “I might have to drop out of school.”

She finally looked up at him, and the first emotion to hit him was confusion. It took his brain a few moments to process the real impact of her words. Then, a hurricane of feelings rushed through his mind, bliding his senses and making a big mess out of his already confused heart. He felt anger, and grief, and revolt.

Anger because of how fucking unfair that world was, for someone so unbearably kind like her to have to give up on her dreams so early. Grief, because no matter how much he denied it, that girl has done a great job at marking her name in his mind, and watch her go away would be much more difficult than he would like to admit.

Revolt, because that was Uraraka Ochako, that stubborn, impulsive, courageous mess of a girl he had learned to respect. An adorable looking girl who could lift up buildings and create meteors and never, ever accepted defeat, even after his most powerful blows. She would still refuse to give up.

Right now, he couldn’t find that girl. Looking deep into those frightened eyes, at her trembling hands, at her heaving chest, he just couldn’t find her. He only ever knew two sides of Uraraka: the cheery, innocent girl who he fought to ignore in class and the powerful, determinated woman he yearned to face up on the battlefield. But this was a new side of hers, the broken one, barely able to hold back her sobs, who hid herself from the world to fall apart alone and scared. Bakugou felt like his lungs were shrinking, making it impossible to breathe.

She still held his gaze, her big brown eyes full of sorrow, and tenderness, and so many other emotions he couldn’t describe. Her eyes could easily put the sky above them to shame. He couldn’t understand why someone like him could suddenly notice these things. Like the little beauty marks and small scars that adorned her face and neck. The pink flush of her cheeks that has spread to her nose and ears. The teeth marks on her slightly parted lips, from biting at them nervously. So many details abour her came at him at once, as if he had been pinpointing them since the day they’ve first met. Maybe he did. At this point, his confusion was too much to handle.

Bakugou came out of his stupor when he saw her mouth curl up in a sad smile. Then, a short giggle scaped her.

“What’s so funny?”, his voice was raspy and low, way too low for his standards. He suddenly realized of how close they really were, their shoulders almost touching.

“Oh, it’s nothing, I just…”, she giggled again, shaking her head. Looking back at him, there was something else in her eyes he couldn’t exactly name. It made his hands tremble a bit. “You’re the first one to know. And I kinda like it that way.”

His gaze shifted to her eyes, then to her lips, and back to her eyes. What was that supposed to mean? They weren’t friends. That was probably the most intimate conversation they ever had. Uraraka closed her eyes again, taking a deep breath and runing her hand through the water.

“I’m not worried ‘bout you.”, he said, staring at the lake.

She opened her eyes once again, an eyebrow quirking up in confusion.

Bakugou grabbed a branch at his side and started fiddling with the water, distorting his reflection. “You’ll find a way.”

The girl smiled sadly, watching the small waves on the lake. “I’m afraid it’ll be a little trickier this time.”

He let go of the branch, scowling at her. “Who the fuck are you?”

“Huh?!”, she squealed, surprised by his sudden change of tone. His crimson eyes stared deep into her brown ones, eyebrows knit together, in that always grumpy expression that inspired authority.

“Answer me! Who the fuck are you?!”

She cleared her throat, unsure of how to respond. “U-Uraraka Ochako.”

Bakugou scoffed, not averting his gaze from her. “Are you fucking sure? Doesn’t seem like it.”

Her confused expression didn’t budge, annoying him to bits. “I… I-I don’t understan–”

“I know a girl named Uraraka. Annoying little bitch. She’s always wearing these stupid smiles every time I see her.”, he grumbled, making the girl next to him puff her cheeks in annoyance.

“Oh yeah? If you hate this girl so much why don’t you–”

“I’ve seen her done so much stupid shit, that sometimes I wonder how the fuck did this girl ended up in third place on the entrance exam. That had to be a mistake.”

She looked down at her hands, her bottom lip starting to quiver again. “I get it. You don’t have to be so mean.”

“She’s always letting her damn feelings get in her way, like some little kid. Never thinking before acting, like a fucking amateur.”, Bakugou’s voice was as harsh as his words.

“You can stop now, please. I don’t want to hear how stupid you think I am.”, she hugged herself again, gaze lost in her reflection on the lake.

But he wasn’t done. “I’ve seen her trip over her own feet more times than I’ve seen the sun rise.”

Uraraka got up from the grass, legs quivering a bit. “Okay, stop it! I get it! I’m useless and stupid and–”

“I’ve seen her get herself in danger over the dumbest things!”, he got up too, not letting her run away. They were only inches apart, her back facing the lake. “She tried to throw three tons of concrete at my head once! Who the fuck does that?!”

Her gaze was fixed on her feet, hands curled up in trembling fists at her sides.

“Stop it.”

Bakugou scowled, getting even closer to her. “This one time, she lifted a whole truck to find some little brat’s doll! How stupid is that?!”

She tried to push him out of the way, a few stray tears already running down her face. “Let me go! Stop it, Bakugou!”

He felt his chest tightening again, but didn’t stop.

“She even jumped off a building once to save a fucking villain, even though her weight limit was almost running out! Isn’t that fucking crazy?!”

He had to hold her wrists now, to stop her from sending him floating out of her way. She struggled in his hold, punching and kicking what she could see, but it was no use.

“Stop it! Stop it, stop it, stop it!”

Biting his bottom lip, he locked her wrists with one hand, while forcing her to look at him with the other.

“And you know what the worst part is?!”, Bakugou’s voice resounded over her protests, her fighting slowing down for a moment.

His expression looked almost painful, eyebrows knitted and face heating up at the proximity of their bodies. But his eyes told another story. There was a whole storm of sentiment he kept inside, waiting for a moment to be let out. All the anger and frustration he had hidden deep within his soul, all the nights he had spent wondering what was missing. What kept him up at night?

“The worst part, is that I can’t get her out of my fucking my mind!”

Her eyes widened, breath stuck in her throat. They were so close their noses could almost touch. He stared at her eyes, hoping she could understand everything he meant by just that stare. By the way she stopped struggling, he thought she did.

“At first, I thought I just wanted to fight her, but I was wrong! I was so fucking wrong!”, Bakugou’s face was incredibly red, and by the tone of his voice, it wouldn’t be a surprise if everyone on the fucking camp had heard them by now. He couldn’t care less. “ I don’t want to see just a part of her, I want the whole package! The annoying one, the strong one, the broken one, I want all of them!”

Uraraka just stared at him in awe, face wet with tears, blushing twice as much as him. Her mouth opened a few times, but nothing came out.

He let go of her wrists, taking a few steps back and breathing heavily. It had been a long time since he had screamed like that.

“That girl may be annoying, and naive, and she might irritate the fuck out of me…”, he muttered, his eyes never leaving hers. “But i’m fucking crazy about her. She’s the bravest fucking girl I’ve ever met, and hell would freeze before she gave up on her dreams after the first obstacle.”

The girl blinked, running a shaky hand over her hair, trying to digest all of what she just heard. Her mouth was completely shut, not even trying to formulate an answer anymore.

Bakugou turned around, ready to leave her with her thoughts. He had no idea why the fuck he decided to confess all those things after barely acknowledging them himself, but what is gone, is gone. He felt mortified, furious at himself for spilling all his own issues over her when she needed help dealing with her own. All he could do now was to go on his way and let her think.

“Trust me in this, round-face. If you really are this girl…”, he looked over his shoulder, seeing her confused eyes and quivering legs. “… you’ll find a way.”

At this, he walked into the woods again, disappearing from her sight, leaving an even bigger mess in her heart than when he found her.

Alone in your Head

The worst punishment we can mete out to prisoners is solitary confinement without any stimulus. This leaves the prisoner alone in their head. Alone with their thoughts. A recent scientific study showed that people would rather endure the pain of electric shocks to being alone in their head. 

This is why it is so hard for some people to meditate. They are not actually meditating but merely sitting alone and thinking. Meditation is not sitting and thinking. Meditation is not passive. Meditation is an active process. When you are meditating correctly, and yes there is a correct way to meditate despite what the New Age gurus might tell you, your mind is involved. You are focusing consciousness to a laser like point. Thoughts may come and go but we do not engage them. 

Do you know what happens when we do this? There is no boredom. There is no discomfort. There is no fidgeting or fretting. Time ceases for us. Without thought to muddy the waters our spirit becomes a calm clear mountain lake.