Okay, so like… hunger games, but... make it ABO. Every year, two tributes are taken from each district—one alpha and one omega.

Izuku’s an omega who volunteered in order to save someone else.
it’s quite common for alphas to take drugs to induce rut during the games, because an alpha in rut is basically impossible to take down. On the other hand, drugs to induce heat are generally used as a weapon AGAINST omegas. It’s hard to fight off attacks when you’re slipping in
puddles of your own slick, after all. Being a cute omega in the hunger games is basically a death sentence, bc while both these things are technically against the rules, donors still send them, especially if there happens to be an omega they’d like to see getting, erm...destroyed
So Izuku, big green eyes & freckled cheeks, petite stature & gentle curves, floating from place to place with an air of innocence that begged to be stolen... well. People begged him not to go. Let the one who actually got picked go instead—at least their death would be quick.
But of course, Izuku’s savior complex was too strong. He wasn’t about to let some poor twelve-year-old throw their life away. Still, when he got to the capitol, he admittedly had some second thoughts. He brushed off the suggestive comments, but he could still feel the eyes on him
which is why, from the very beginning, he didn’t even try to be strategic about supplies. He just grabbed the closest thing to him and ran, got as far away as possible. He was actually pretty successful the first few days. Hid inside a hollowed out tree and just laid low.
But things were never gonna stay that way, and deep down, Izuku had always known that.

About a mile away from his tree, there’s a river.

Every day, just before sunrise, Izuku emerges from his tree and stealthily makes his way over there to fill up his water bottle.
He’s had a couple of close calls, but nothing life-threatening…until today, at least.

See, Izuku likes to think of himself as being careful & attentive. Before the games, he used to help him mother make medicine, so at least as far as precise tasks were concerned, it was true.
But awareness of his surroundings has never been his strong suit.

While on his way to the river, he glances down at his arm and sees what appears to be rash of some kind. Confused and mildly worried, he starts to examine it, and as a result, fails to notice where he’s walking.
It happens before he even realizes his misplaced step. A snare closes around his foot, and Izuku covers his mouth to keep from screaming as it pulls his leg out from under him. His back hits the ground just before the trap pulls him up off of it completely.
Next thing he knows, he’s up in the air, dangling from a tree, upside-down. His heart is racing, but he wills himself calm down as he starts looking for his utility belt.

The sound of movement makes his stomach sink.

The smell of alpha pheromones makes him nauseous.
“Well, well, well. What’ve we got here?” One voice says.

“Oh shit, it’s the pretty one! The one from district seven,” another adds.

“You know, that trap wasn’t even meant for people. I set it to catch deer, but hey, I’m not complaining…”

Izuku doesn’t even hear them.
All he can hear is the sound of white noise and his own pulse. He had frozen up in shock when he heard them approaching. It’s only when one of them reaches out and brushes his fingers over his face that he fight-or-flight instinct kicks in.
With a rush of adrenaline, Izuku lurches upward, grabbing the rope around his foot and straining to work his way up. He can vaguely hear the alphas hooting and hollering at him, making comments about him being ‘flexible’ that he really did not want to think about.
Izuku grits his teeth as he climbs the rope. Once he’s managed to get his hands about a foot up, it gets easier, and he manages to hoist himself up on the branch the rope had been tethered to. The alphas don’t even seem concerned about him getting away,
Which, given that Izuku can now see that there are four of them and only one of him, doesnt seem so much like an arrogant reaction as it is just…rational. Izuku pulls out his utility knife & saws through the rope, but even in his panicked state, he knows his options are limited.
He clings to the branch as their voices start coming into focus again, and what he hears makes him feel sick.
“Aww, c’mon baby, don’t be like that!” One shouts. “We just wanna play!”
“ Yeah, that’s not very polite. How bout you come down here and apologize like a good omega?”
Tears start rolling down Izuku’s cheeks, and somehow they seem to notice it before he does.
“The crying’s good.”
“Yeah, we like the crying.” Another says. “But you could do a lot better. Maybe start by ditching the clothes, getting on your knees and spreading your ass for us.”
“Think you could take two knots at the same time, slut? We might think about forgiving you if you if you give it a shot.”
“If you’re scared of getting killed, don’t worry. We’ll be sure to get you pregnant first, so, y’know, at least your life will have meant something.”
Izuku’s hand clenches around the utility knife, and he is very seriously considering using it to off himself. At least then he could deprive them of some amount of satisfaction. With a shuddering breath, he makes up his mind, slowly bringing it to his wrist.
But before he can make contact, something small & round rolls across the forest floor. From where Izuku is, it looks like a rock, & continues to look as such right up until it explodes.

He drops his knife as he rushes to cover his ears, legs clamping tightly around the branch.
He only takes his hands off his ears when the branch stops shaking. For a minute, all he can hear is ringing, and all he can see is smoke.
As the smoke begins to clear, he registers the presence of someone else. He’s moving swiftly below him, occasionally stopping to stomp
on what, judging by the sickening crack Izuku hears upon impact, he can only assume must be the alpha’s /skulls/.
Izuku’s grateful at first, but as the wind blows and carries most of the smoke along with it, his heart sinks at the scent he now registers.


Another alpha.
There’s a moment where Izuku thinks he might not have noticed him, but it of course slips away the moment the alpha looks up, red eyes burning as he stares directly at him.

‘Well… I guess one is better than four.’ He thinks bitterly. ‘Maybe I could outrun him…?’
“Probably not.” The alpha says, voice deep and rough and, ‘oh, I said that out loud, didn’t I?’

“You did.” He again replies.

Izuku bites his tongue.

The alpha scoffs, looking away as he starts nonchalantly searching the bodies for supplies.

This goes on for several minutes.
Eventually, the alpha sighs, raking a hand through his blond hair before looking at him again.

“So?” He says. “You gonna come down, or what?”

Izuku just stares at him for awhile, confused, before finally saying the only thing he can think to say: “Why the hell would I do that?”
The alpha snorts. “I dunno, maybe cuz I just set off a fucking loud-ass explosive?” He says. “Even this far out, I’d say you still got about four minutes at most before those creeps at the cornucopia come lookin’ for blood.”
Izuku considers this for a moment. He’s probably right.
But Izuku’s not an idiot. He’s not about to trust some random alpha in the middle of the fucking hunger games.
“So basically, I can either die right now, or four minutes from now, is what you’re saying.“
The alpha rolls his eyes. “I’m not gonna kill you, dumbass.”
“If I was, you’d be dead five minutes ago.” He gestures toward the line of crude grenades hanging from his belt. “You think this shit’s the only trick I have up my sleeve?”

Izuku just glares, clinging harder to the branch.

The alpha blinks.

“I’m not gonna fuck you, either.”
Suddenly, Izuku hears shouting in the distance. The alpha looks in that direction and swears. “Look, if this is how you wanna die, fucking whatever, but /I’m/ not stickin’ around to watch those trigger-happy weirdos fuck you to death.”
With that, he turns and starts jogging away.
Izuku is frozen in place for a moment.

Then he hears another shout, closer this time, and he makes up his mind. As quickly as he can while still being careful, he dismounts from the branch, sliding down the tree, grabbing his knife before running in the direction of the alpha.
He continues on that path, but for whatever reason, he can’t seem to find him. He slows to a stop after a while, panting as he looks around, confused.
Suddenly, a muscular arm wraps around his stomach, pulling him back against a firm chest as a large hand smacks over his mouth.
Naturally, Izuku starts struggling.

“Quiet.” He hisses, pressing harder on his mouth. It’s then that the sound of leaves crunching about fifteen feet away reaches Izuku’s ears, and he immediately goes limp.

They stay there, pressed together for nearly five minutes.
Eventually, the alpha loosens his grip, then releases him completely. Izuku takes a deep breath, but all he can smell is the man before him.

The alpha begins walking again, offering only a clipped, “Follow me.” Over his shoulder.

This time, Izuku doesn’t question him.
The walk takes about fifteen minutes. Every thirty seconds or so, Izuku has to apologize for stepping on the alpha’s heels. It goes on this way until eventually the alpha loses patience, whirls around and snaps at him to ‘stop fucking apologizing.’
Izuku apologizes for that, too.
The alpha leads him to a cave about a mile west. He has to crawl in order to get inside, but after a few feet, the cavern expands enough to stand.
He looks around, taking stock of his surroundings. There’s a small electric lamp sitting off to the side, a fire pit near the center.
In the corner is what appears to be a pile of random supplies, though a couple of the items look stained.
Izuku swallows, glancing down at the alpha’s boots. They’re still stained red with blood from when he… crushed those alpha’s skulls beneath his feet.
“Anyway, I’m Katsuki.”
Izuku blinks a few times, and suddenly, a rush of memory hits him.


“K-Katsuki Bakugou? From district three?”

The alpha nods.

Izuku’s honestly not sure how he didn’t recognize him before.

Katsuki had the highest training score of all the tributes.

A /twelve/.
Izuku saw someone congratulate him on it the next day, though for some reason, Katsuki had just seemed… angry about it.

A spike of panic hits Izuku when he chances a glance upwards and finds Katsuki peeling his shirt off.
He yelps. “I-I thought you said you were—that you wouldn’t—!”

“What?” He grunts, head emerging from under the shirt to glare at Izuku. A look of recognition crosses his face.

“Oh, for fu—I already /told/ you, I’m not trying to fuck you!”
“Can you quit being so damn—” He suddenly pauses. “Actually, no.” He then says. “Was gonna say something ‘bout you being too paranoid, but, I mean, considering the sheer volume of gross shit I overheard about you during training, I’d say your fears are consistent with reality.”
Katsuki grimaces. “I might actually be the only alpha here who isn’t out for your ass or something. I mean, Jesus /Christ/.”

Somehow, that makes Izuku feel both better /and/ worse.

He takes a deep breath and asks, “Okay… So then why are you undressing?”

“Because of this.”
He turns to face Izuku, and his breath catches for two reasons. The first is due to the sheer size of the man’s muscles—even for an alpha, he looks pretty fucking powerful.
The second is due to the large, bloodstained bandage wrapped around his left shoulder.
Katsuki winces as he starts to unwrap it. “Fuckin bitch hit me with a spear at the cornucopia.” He says. “Thought I cleaned it well enough, but I guess the fuck not.”
With the bandage out of the way, Izuku can clearly see what he’s talking about.

The wound is obviously infected.
“You know how to make medicine, right?” The alpha asks.


Now he understands.

Izuku slowly nods, standing to get a closer look. “With the right ingredients, yes, but…” He bites his lip. “I mean, why would you need /me/ for that? Considering, um…” Izuku trails off.
He’s not really sure if he should finish that sentence, considering how angry Katsuki seemed to be about his rating, but…
“I-I mean,” he continues, “I’m kind of surprised a sponsor hasn’t sent you something like that already, since… Well.”
At this, Katsuki scoffs.
“My rating?” He rolls his eyes. “Yeah, after what I pulled in the training room, I’m pretty fucking sure the gamekeepers just wanted me dead.”

Izuku gives him a puzzled look. “What do you mean…?”

“I mean they gave me a 12 so the other tributes would target me.”

“But.. why would they do that?”

“Oh, probably had something to do we me sneaking explosives into prejudging.” He nonchalantly replies. “Probably weren’t too pleased about me trying to kill them.” He shrugs. “Was damn near successful, too. You should’ve seen their fucking faces.”
Izuku’s eyes are wide as saucers.

He hadn’t heard about this.

How the hell had he not heard about this?

“Oh, I also told them that if I made it out of this shit alive, they’d better sleep with their fucking eyes open.” Katsuki says. “But that’s neither here nor there.”
For a while, Izuku just stares at him, his mouth hanging open, completely speechless.

“What…” He starts, stops, tries again, “what the hell is wrong with you? Why would you /do/ something like that?!”

“Why?” He snorts. “Because this shit is fucking disgusting, that’s why.”
“W-Well yeah, but—” he sputters. “But that’s so… I don’t know, irresponsible? Why—”

“—You say that like I have something to lose.” He interjects. “I’m from the district that makes the tech they use to stop people from bringing in outside weapons. I know how it works.” He says.
He raises an eyebrow. “I saw an opportunity, and I fucking took it, because it doesn’t matter.” Katsuki smirks, sharp and dangerous. “They already sentenced most us to death by sending us here, Deku. How much worse can it get?”

Izuku blinks.

‘It’s… actually pronounced Izuku…”
“What was that?” Katsuki grunts.

“My name.” He says. “It’s pronounced ‘Izuku,’ not ‘Deku.’”

“Hm.” He says. “I dunno, kinda like Deku better.”

Izuku almost wants to retort, say something like, ‘is that really how you think you should treat the person you’re asking to help you?’
But then again, considering the fact that Katsuki just saved him from probably the worst fate he could imagine for himself, he figures it’s probably best to just let it slide.

“Whatever,” he says. “Anyway, I can treat your arm, but I’ll need some the right ingredients.”
“Way ahead of you.” Katsuki says, gesturing toward a bag at the far end of the cave. “I don’t know if it’s everything you’ll need, but I’ve been grabbing pretty much every plant I’ve seen for the past two days. There’s bound to be something useful in there.”
“Oh,” Izuku says, pleasantly surprised. “Well, let’s see, I guess.” He shuffles over toward the bag, kneeling as he opens it up more-or-less dumps out its contents. He hums as he spreads everything out, quietly hoping Katsuki didn’t accidentally pick poison ivy, or something.
After a couple of minutes, he speaks up.
“It looks like pretty much everything I would need is here…” He says, “But there’s only enough for a maybe two days’ treatment. Better than nothing, though.” He holds up one plant by the stem. “Do you remember where you found this one?”
Katsuki leans down to look. “Uhh, I think it was in a small clearing a few miles north.” He says. “Is that one useful?”
Izuku nods. “My mom and I used to use it a lot for things like this.” He explains. “It’s relatively common, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find.”
“But for now, I’ll just work with what we already have.”
With that, he gets to work.
It’s a meticulous process, but that’s part of what Izuku enjoys about it. It soothes him, somehow, especially now. It reminds him of home.
“How’d you end up in that tree, anyway?” Katsuki asks.
He says it so suddenly, Izuku reflexively jumps. Katsuki snickers at his reaction. Izuku glares at him, but the redness of his cheeks takes all the bite out of it.
“I stepped in a snare trap.” He mumbles.
“…You climbed the rope?”
“I’m stronger than I look.”
Katsuki whistles.
“Damn.” He says, pausing for a long moment before speaking again. “Honestly, I really didn’t expect you to survive this long.”
Izuku sits there for a while, trying to parse that statement and figure out how offended he should be. But eventually he just asks, “What do you mean?”
“I mean, I’m fairly certain you’ve been targeted just as much as I have been, if not more.”
Izuku hums, finishing up the medicine.
“I guess that’s not as big an insult as I initially assumed.” He says. “Anyway, I’m done. C’mere.” Katsuki comes to sit beside him.
Izuku grabs his arm, swallowing when he feels the bulk of his muscles beneath his fingers. ‘His biceps are insane,’ he thinks.
“Thanks.” Katsuki says, smirking.
“Crap.” Izuku mutters, face burning.
“You should really work on that little habit of yours.” Katsuki adds.
“People might think it’s cute, but y’know, not exactly conducive to keeping a low profile.”
Izuku bites his tongue and, in an act of pettiness, suddenly drops a glob of medicine right in the center of the wound. The alpha hisses in pain, reflexively lurching away. Izuku smiles.
He smears the medicine all over the wound and rewraps it.
“There,” he says. “You should be good for another day or so.”
Katsuki nods, leaning back against the cave wall with a deep sigh.

For a moment, Izuku just sits there, awkwardly fidgeting with the hem of his jacket.
“So, um,” He finally says. “Would you, ah… happen to have any water around here?”
Katsuki opens one eye to look at him.
“Yeah.” He says. “You don’t have any?”
“See, thing is… that’s what I was on my way to get when… you know.”
Katsuki nods, standing with a grunt.
He shuffles over to his bag and grabs a water canister, tossing it over to Izuku, who only barely manages to catch it in both hands.
“Thanks,” He mumbles, taking a long drink.
For a while, it’s quiet.
Eventually, Izuku asks, “So… how many do you think are left?”
Katsuki stares at him, blinking repeatedly. “You mean you dont /know/?”
Izuku shakes his head.
“I’ve been sleeping inside a hollow tree trunk for most of the games.” He says. “I only come out to eat and get water. Other than that, I’ve mostly just been sleeping as much as I can.”
Katsuki hums. “By my count, excluding us, there are nine others. Six alphas, three omegas.”
Izuku draws his knees into his chest. “Which ones?”
“I… don’t know for sure.” Katsuki says, sighing. “But I’m pretty sure the omegas are from one, two, and ten.” He scratches his head.
“The alphas from one, two, five and eight are all definitely alive. The other two I’m not sure about.”
Izuku stares at him for a while.
“Wait, but… back at the tree, there were four alphas.” He says. “You’re telling me that you killed /four/ out of the five dead alphas?”
“I’d been tracking them for a while.” He says, shrugging. “Was just waiting for a chance to strike. I saw them all huddled together under that tree, and it all just kinda fell into place. They were too busy yelling at you to even react.”
“…Guess I’m glad it worked out that way.”
After a few minutes of silence, Katsuki sighs and stands.
“Well, I guess I should probably get more whatever the hell that plant was.” He says. “You don’t have to come with, but it might be safer if you do.”
Izuku nods, taking one last drink of water before standing as well.
“Ooh, this is interesting, very interesting indeed,” The first commentator says. “It looks as like the omega from district seven has formed an alliance with the alpha from district three!”

“In case any of you aren’t aware, this is highly unusual.” The other adds.
“Alpha-omega alliances usually only occur between tributes from the same district,” He says. “It’s far more common for omegas and alphas to ally amongst each other, with the exception, of course, of those from districts one, two and four — they tend to stick together regardless.”
“You know what that means, don’t you?” He says, smiling.

“Hmm, hmm, it’s definitely curious.” The other replies, a knowing grin on his face. “Mr. Katsuki Bakugou, with his fiery attitude & penchant for isolation has earned himself the nickname ‘the lone wolf of district three.’”
“It’s hard to imagine anyone breaking through that harsh exterior of his…”

“Indeed, that’s true, but I think if anyone could do it, it would have to be Mr. Izuku Midoriya. After all, they don’t call him ‘the jewel of district seven,’ for nothing!”
“Very true, very true—I suppose only time will tell. Now seems like a good time for us to remind our dear sponsors that sending tributes heat or rut-inducing pills is strictly—” He winks, “—prohibited!”

Both of them laugh.

They manage to find more of the medicinal plant.

Katsuki had said something about some sort of edible berries nearby. It happens during those few minutes of separation.

Izuku hears movement across the clearing.

“Oh, Katsu—“ He looks up, and the words die in his throat.
Because standing across the field is someone, but it’s not Katsuki.

Theyre wearing what looks to be some sort of beekeeper’s suit, of all things.

He looks down, and when he sees what they’re holding, it’s as if all the sounds of the forest cease.


A tracker jacker nest.
From that moment on, everything seems to happen in slow motion. Izuku sees Katsuki emerging from the trees behind the person just as they’re raising the nest above their head. Katsuki lunges toward them right as it leaves their hands, launching high into the sky.
As it flies through the air, Katsuki’s pulling the pin out of a grenade with his teeth. He shoves it down the back of the person’s suit. Seconds later, the suit ruptures, along with the person inside it.

It’s the sight of blood painting wildflowers that finally breaks the spell.
Katsuki screams, “run,” as the nest hits the ground a few feet away from him, and that’s exactly what Izuku does.
He turns on his heel and runs blindly into the forest. Something sharp stabs into his arm, another on his hip. There’s a second explosion somewhere behind him.
He thinks he can smell smoke, but it’s overshadowed by the sensation of sudden, searing pain.

Izuku stumbles into a tree, screaming at the burning sensation coursing through him. He feels a pair of arms wrapping around him, and then he’s being lifted off the ground.
He doesn’t know if it’s Katsuki or someone else, but less than a minute later, he along with the other person are plunging under water, a large hand covering his mouth and nose. He’s kicking and struggling. Everything hurts, and he can’t seem to think.
His head breaks the surface of the water, but what he sees isn’t what he’d expected.

He’s… upside down.

There’s something wrapped around his ankle, so tight he can’t feel his foot. His vision seems to swing back and forth, like the pendulum on his mom’s old grandfather clock…
His eyes focus in on the grinning face of the alpha from district four. The alpha opens his mouth, but it just hangs there, static and gaping. The words, “Deku! Wake up, snap out of it!” Tumble out, reverberating in the chasm of his mouth like the horn on an old record player.
He feels something hit his face, like a heavy-handed slap, but his eyes flutter and suddenly he’s on the ground, staring at four’s shoes. His clothes feel heavy and cold, and he can feel hands on his waist, yanking at his shirt. Izuku panics, kicking and scrambling.

“Calm down, I’m not doing anything!” A voice echoes in his ears. “I need to see where they stung you!”

But for some reason, he can’t seem to comprehend the words. All he feels is hands touching him, restraining him, fabric moving against his skin.
All he sees is the terrifying sight of the alpha from four’s shoes leaving his field of vision as he moves somewhere behind him.

Everything is just weird, phantom sensations, punctuated by the occasional clarity of something cool, thin and soothing being laid across his skin.
Sometimes, his vision will stutter, cutting between an image of four’s lecherous grin and something too bloody and disfigured to identify, trapped beneath a heavy combat boot.

Cracking. Crunching.

Sometimes, Izuku will feel his center of gravity shift as arms wrap around him.
And then something cool and refreshing is flowing past his lips, down his throat and into his stomach.

Things get clearer over time.

Izuku just doesn’t know how /much/ time.

At some point, Izuku opens his eyes and, for the first time in a while, recognizes Katsuki.
It’s dark outside.

Katsuki’s holding what looks to be a sort of miniature air balloon, opening it up and pulling out a slip of paper. He stares at it for a moment before ripping it to shreds, pulling something else out of the container—a bottle that rattles in his hand.
Katsuki swears as he unscrews the top and promptly dumps it out, scattering what appear to be pills of some kind all over the cave floor. His rage only seems to mount as he starts stomping the pills, yelling as he grinds them to a fine dust beneath his boot.
He throws the empty bottle against the cavern wall and rakes a hand through his hair.

When Izuku opens his eyes next, it’s light outside. He slowly sits up, feeling something move against his skin. He looks down and sees a couple of leaves on his arm, and a few more on his hip.
He glances around the cavern and finds Katsuki asleep at the opposite end, curled up in a sleeping bag with his back turned toward him.

He stands, and the memories slowly start coming back to him. Izuku shuffles around the cave, his foot bumping against an empty bottle.
He reaches down and grabs it, squinting as he reads the label.

Heat-inducing pills.

His eyes flicker over to the small mound of dust near the mouth of the cave, triggering the memory of Katsuki grinding the pills beneath his feet. He puts two and two together.
Izuku can feel that familiar tightness mounting in his throat as he stumbles back against the wall, his body sliding down it. He sits there, sniffling quietly, his vision blurring. He’s not sure how to describe what he’s feeling. It’s not sadness, or happiness, or even relief.
It’s almost like bewilderment. It’s the understanding that things could’ve turned out so much worse, but for reasons Izuku still can’t fully understand, they didn’t.

He hears groaning across the room.

“Wha…” Katsuki croaks, sitting up, arms still encased in his sleeping bag.
“What the fuck?” He says. “What—why are you /crying/?”
Izuku doesn’t really think about it, but before he knows it, he’s crawling quickly across the floor, practically tackling Katsuki.

“Oi, get off me you fucking—“

“Kacchan,” he blubbers.

“Uh, I’m sorry, /who/?”

Katsuki is squirming in Izuku’s arms, but the sleeping bag prevents him from breaking free as Izuku buries his face in his neck.

“Deku!” He growls. “Ew, gross! Fucking nerd, you’re getting snot on me!”

“Kacchan, Kacchan,” He repeats.

Eventually, Katsuki gives up struggling.
When he finally calms down enough to say something other than ‘Kacchan’, Izuku thanks Katsuki properly before preparing to hit him with a barrage of questions. The first one is the most obvious:

“H-How long was I out for?”

Katsuki squints. “‘Bout a day and a half, I guess.”
“Seriously?!” He quickly stands. “Oh… Oh crap, I have to—Kacchan, your shoulder! I need—do we have—”

Katsuki quickly puts a stop to his babbling. “Calm down, nerd. Fuckin’ christ. I went back for everything. It’s all in my bag over there,” he says, nodding toward his backpack.
Izuku scrambles over to it, sighing in relief went he opens the zipper and sees it for himself.

“G-Give me two minutes!” He says, and silence falls within the cave as he gets to work. Once he’s done, he quickly reapplies the medicine to Katsuki’s wound and wraps it up again.
Afterward, he scoots back against the wall and sighs.

“How long do you think it’ll take to heal?” Katsuki asks.

Izuku hums. “Couple more days treatment, and you should be okay.” He says. “Thankfully, it doesn’t look like the infection has progressed since yesterday.”
Katsuki nods and leans back against the wall beside Izuku, closing his eyes. For a minute, it’s quiet.

“Did you ever find out who it was?” Izuku eventually asks. “Who threw the nest, I mean.”

“Mm.” Katsuki grunts. “Omega from two.”

“Ah.” Izuku nods.

And then it’s quiet again.
“Has anyone else died?” He finally asks. “Other than her, I mean.”

“Both tributes from ten.” He replies. “Heard the canon go off twice at around sunset last night. Didn’t even realize the alpha was still alive, but I’m guessing they were working together.”

“I see…”
Izuku swallows. “So that makes…”

“Six.” Katsuki says. “Six, including us.”

More silence.

“I guess they’ll probably be coming for us pretty soon.”

At that, Katsuki snorts. “Y’say that like it’s new.” He says. “They’ve been coming for me since the very beginning, Deku.”
“Don’t act like you don’t know what I mean,” Izuku says, scoffing. “There are less distractions, Kacchan. It’s…” he trails off, but judging by the look on Katsuki’s face, he seems to understand when he means. Katsuki averts his eyes, brows pinching together.
“Listen.” He eventually says. “I…” He hesitates, lowering his voice before continuing. “You don’t… need to worry so much about that.” He whispers.

Izuku gives him a confused look.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean it’s very unlikely they’ll find us here.” He says. “Not /here/.”
That only makes Izuku more confused.

“Can you, uhm…” He laughs nervously. “Can you elaborate…?”


Izuku blinks. “Why not?”

Katsuki sighs. “Look. All I can say is… I took steps to make this place very hard to find unless you really, /really/ knew what you were doing.”
Izuku waits for him to continue, but he doesn’t.

“Okay, and…?” He prompts.

Katsuki makes a noise, something deep in the back of his throat. Before Izuku can even react, Katsuki suddenly leans in close. Izuku’s breath hitches when he feels the alpha’s lips against his ear.
“And that’s all I can /safely tell you/.” He whispers. Izuku can feel his breath, and it sends shivers down his spine. “Understand?”

Katsuki pulls back to look him at him, but honestly, Izuku’s not sure if eye contact is even possible for him right now. His face feels hot.
Izuku looks away nervously and quickly nods. “Y-Yeah,” He squeaks. “Understood!”

His eyes dart around, looking at anything but Katsuki, but he can still feel the alpha’s eyes on him. He’s sure he’s blushing, and that only makes it worse.

Katsuki huffs a laugh under his breath.
“Anyway,” Katsuki says, speaking normally. “I don’t think they’ll be looking for us just yet. We’ve got a few more days, I would guess.”

Izuku finally looks at him again. “Wh-Why’s that?”

Katsuki grins. “Other than us, the last non-career tribute is the alpha from five.”
Izuku has to think about it for a moment, but when it hits him, it hits him like a ton of bricks.


Izuku remembers her from training. She was so good at camouflage, she could hide in an /empty room/. They gave her a score of 11.

Katsuki’s grin grows wider.
“They’re gonna have to torch this fuckin’ forest before they find her.”

Just the idea of the careers having to play hide and seek with /Hagakure/ has Izuku clutching his stomach with laughter, but after a moment, the sound of distant bells catches his attention.
He watches as Katsuki swiftly heads over to the mouth of the cave, crawling halfway out to grab a small container attached to a parachute. A gift from a sponsor, Izuku gathers.

He opens up the container, and Izuku is immediately confused at what he sees.

“Is that… a cupcake?”
When Katsuki speaks, his tone is cheerful, but his expression is completely blank. “Yeah,” He says. “Looks just like the ones I always used to get at the bakery in my district. Very thoughtful.”

He suddenly leans into Izuku’s space, pressing his lips to his ear again.
Izuku gasps, body tensing as his heart rate spikes.

“Just so you know…” Katsuki whispers, deep and raspy. “There are no cameras in here.”

Izuku swallows, his mind conjuring up about a thousand possible implications for that statement within a span of about two seconds.
Then Katsuki continues, “But your tracker can pick up audio above a certain level. So try to keep quiet, yeah?”

Katsuki leaves his space just as quickly as he had invaded it, carefully setting the cupcake down on the ground before grabbing his backpack and rifling through it.
He pulls out a utility knife and continues talking.

“When I was a brat, we used to get these every year on my birthday.” Katsuki carefully starts cutting down the center of the cupcake. “I only mentioned it to my mentor once. Kinda surprised she remembered, honestly.”
Katsuki sets the knife down, and Izuku watches with wide eyes as he proceeds to stick his fingers between the two halves of the cupcake and /pull something out of it/. He quickly covers his mouth to keep his muttering in check.

It’s small and covered in frosting.
Izuku’s not sure what it is, but he remains still, eyes following as the alpha raises it to his lips. Katsuki looks him in the eye, smirks and proceeds to drag his tongue across it. He watches the bob of his adam’s apple as he swallows the frosting.

“Mmm. Very nostalgic."
Katsuki continues to lick the frosting off the object, which Izuku eventually recognizes as some sort of metal… /device/. He’s still not sure what it is; it looks like the sort of thing you’d find inside a computer, or some other piece of technology Izuku doesn’t understand.
Once Katsuki’s done licking it clean, he wipes the object on his shirt and tucks it in his pocket with an almost smug grin. He slides the container over to Izuku, a nonverbal invitation of sorts, then stands up.

“Anyway, I’m gonna go ‘catch us some dinner.’”

He uses air quotes.
“Shouldn’t take more than… oh, a couple of hours or so.” Katsuki says. “Don’t come looking for me if it takes longer, though.”

Izuku wants to say something. He really, /really/ does, but the stern look in Katsuki’s eyes reminds him of what he told him.

“O-Okay…” he squeaks.
Katsuki grabs his belt—the one covered in grenades—and straps it around his waist, before throwing his backpack over his shoulder. He approaches the cave entrance before turning around again.

He mouths the words ‘don’t worry.’

Then he hunches over and crawls out of the cave.
Izuku listens to his footsteps as they recede into the distance, and for a while, just sits there, hands plastered over his mouth. It takes a good five minutes or so before he relaxes enough to peel them away from his face.

He glances at the cupcake, and his stomach growls.
With a sigh, he pulls the container toward him and eats.

It’s objectively delicious, but Izuku can’t think about that right now. Not after what he just saw.

He licks his fingers clean and lays back against the cave wall.

Katsuki’s never mentioned his family.
In fact, when he thinks about it, Katsuki’s never explicitly mentioned /anyone/ from his district, apart from his mentor, of course. That could just be because it hadn’t come up. That’s almost certainly the case. But… who knows? Maybe Katsuki doesn’t have anyone at home.
Maybe he doesn’t have a family. Maybe he doesn’t have friends, or acquaintances, or anyone he really cares about. Izuku knows it’s weird, but he finds himself hoping that’s the case.

Because he doesn’t know what, exactly, Katsuki’s up to, but he’s seen enough to know one thing.
If Katsuki gets caught, he’s going to be executed.

And if there’s anyone out there who Katsuki cares for, even the tiniest bit?


He’ll have to beg to be sent to the gallows alone.
Izuku tries his best to put it out of his head, but being left alone with his thoughts makes it so difficult.

It’s terrifying to imagine what could happen if Katsuki gets caught.

But in a weird way, it’s almost /more/ terrifying to imagine what could happen if he doesn’t.
It’s scary, he figures, because he doesn’t want to get his hopes up. Because entertaining the idea that Katsuki might succeed with whatever the hell it is he’s up to will only make it more painful if he doesn’t.

/When/ he doesn’t, Izuku reminds himself.
But the thing about Katsuki is… well, he’s pretty smart. He’s clearly quite knowledgable about the inner workings of the technology the gamemakers use to make the games possible, as one would expect of someone from district three. But normally, that wouldn’t be very useful.
There’s a reason tributes from district three don’t win very often, and it’s because knowing how something works doesn’t mean much without the tools to utilize that knowledge. Even if it did, there’s only so much you can do when someone’s already got their finger on the trigger.
There’ve been cases of tributes from district three’s technological knowledge coming in handy, but they’re few and far between. In general, they simply lack the tools and time required to make use of it.

But Katsuki, it would seem, doesn’t have that problem.
It would appear that Katsuki has the support, the tools, the time and the expertise to make it work.

…That has to be worth /something/, right?

Izuku runs his fingers along the cave floor, feeling the texture on his skin, slightly rough. He’s not sure how much of it is real.
For many years, he’s watched as the gamemakers created creatures and events in the arena, manipulated the environment to suit their needs. He doesn’t know how much of the world around him is just a product of technology, but it’s obviously a nontrivial portion.
Izuku swallows, pulling his blanket up over himself.

Maybe all of this really is just… Katsuki’s playground.

For some reason, the thought makes him squirm, his brain suddenly conjuring forth the image of Katsuki licking frosting off that weird object from from earlier.
The way he maintained eye contact as he dragged his tongue across it, licked his lips and smirked. The phantom sensation of his breath against his ear. Izuku grips the blanket, knuckles turning white. Okay.


So, maybe that affected Izuku just a bit more than it should’ve.
But it’s not his fault, alright? It’s been weeks since Izuku last spared a thought for… himself. People never seemed to want to leave him alone, and even when they did, he was far too stressed out to entertain those sorts of thoughts.

But Katsuki’s just… so…
Izuku whines, ducking his head under the blanket and curling up into a ball, nails digging into his flesh. He’s not gonna do it. He’s not gonna think about Katsuki’s handsome face, or his sharp teeth, or his intense gaze. Not gonna think about his strong body, or his big hands...
“Now’s not the time, now’s not the time,” He mutters to himself, burying his burning face in the soft blanket.
It’s kind of hard to think about it right now, anyway, what with Katsuki being away doing god knows what. Izuku sighs and wraps the blanket tighter around himself.
After a while, he manages to fall asleep.

When he wakes, it’s to the feeling of something warm and delicious being pushed into his mouth. He releases a muffled “huh?” as he scrambles to sit up. Katsuki’s sitting there, grinning at him, backlit by the fire.

“Hey, nerd.”
“Kacchan,” He says, sighing in relief. He chews and swallows. “When did you get back?”

“Eh, little under an hour ago. Didn’t wanna wake you.”

Izuku nods. His head’s still a bit foggy. “I’m… happy you’re safe.” He murmurs.

Katsuki blinks, and turns back toward the fire.
He’s rotating some sort of meat on a skewer.

“I, uhh…” Izuku starts. “How long was I out for?”

“Dunno,” Katsuki shrugs. “/I/ was out for about four hours, so… that, plus one hour, minus however long it took you to fall asleep after I left would be your answer, I guess.”
Izuku wants to ask what he was up to during those four hours. He really, really does.

“Tough hunt, huh…” he mumbles instead.

Katsuki turns slightly, throwing him an amused look over his shoulder as the light of the fire dances on his skin. Izuku gulps.
He wraps the blanket tighter around his body and scoots closer to the fire.

“Where’d ya get that blanket?” Katsuki idly asks. “It’s nice.”

“Oh, this?” Izuku says. “It was a gift from a sponsor. It’s really soft. Blocks my scent, too.”

Katsuki hums. “You get a lot of those?”

“Sponsor gifts.”

“Oh.” Izuku says. “Not really. I mean, I don’t know. I’ve only gotten two so far, but maybe that’s a lot…?”

Katsuki shrugs. “Nothing crazy, I guess. Some people don’t get gifts at all, though. So there’s that.” He pauses. “What was the other one?”
“Few days worth of rations.” Izuku answers. “It’s the main reason I’ve managed to survive this long. Only left my log for water and, um. Bathroom breaks.”

Katsuki nods.

“Do you… get a lot of gifts?” Izuku follows, after a moment of silence.

He snorts. “You could say that.”
“I mean, it makes sense.” Izuku says. “You’ve probably got a lot of people betting on you.”

“Eh, don’t know about that.”

“I’m serious! Kacchan, you’ve got the highest score /and/ you’re from a district that doesn’t have a lot winners. People love an underdog.” He says.
“Combine that with your talent and looks, and you’re bound to attract tons of support.”

Katsuki side eyes him, a smirk slowly spreading across his face. Izuku knows he messed up before he even says it.

“My looks, huh?” Katsuki drawls. Eyes piercing, sharp alpha teeth glinting.
It hits Izuku like an electric shock, and Katsuki’s intense stare has him squirming in place.

“W-Well, I mean—! Just—“ He sputters. “I’m j-just being objective, is all!”

“Deku thinks I’m hot,” Katsuki sing-songs.

“N-Not, like, /personally/!” Izuku squeaks out.
“I-I’m just saying! You’re, y’know, very c-conventionally attractive… I don’t have to be attracted to you to see that!”

“Oh, so you’re /not/ attracted to me, huh? You find me unattractive?” He deadpans.

“What? No, I-I mean, I didn’t say that—“

“So you /are/ attracted to me.”
Izuku’s pretty sure he’s about to explode.


“Deku thinks I’m hot.” Katsuki repeats, grin growing wider. “Deku thinks I’m a super-mega-ultra-sexy alpha. One that he, personally, is extremely attracted to. Like full-on butterflies-in-the-stomach, doki-doki type shi—ow!”
Izuku harshly pokes him in the shoulder, right where the center of his wound would be.

Katsuki winces, reflexively trying to cover the area with his hand. “Fuckin’ asshole.”

“You had it coming.” Izuku shoots back.

Katsuki narrows his eyes. “Correct. But also, fuck you.”
Maybe it’s because he’d been sleeping all day, but that night, Izuku just can’t seem to fall asleep, no matter what he does.

There’s something on his mind that he can’t seem to shake. Something he’s had on the back burner for a while, now.

With a sigh, Izuku sits up.
About five feet away, on the other side of the cave, Katsuki sleeps peacefully. Izuku carefully untangles himself from his blanket before standing and shuffling over to him. When Izuku gets within a certain radius of him, the alpha’s breathing seems to change.
Izuku slowly lies down beside Katsuki, bodies facing each other. He knows Katsuki’s awake, that he’s waiting for him to speak, but for a long time, all he can do is just stare at him blearily. Eventually, Katsuki seems to grow impatient, though, releasing an irritated groan.
He doesn’t even open his eyes when he speaks. “You gonna say somethin’, or are just you gonna lie there watching me sleep like a creep?”

Izuku opens his mouth, closes it, opens it again.

“S-Sorry,” he eventually manages to say. It’s only then that Katsuki opens his eyes.
It’s actually a little alarming at first; he’s never seen Katsuki up close in the dark, and the strange, red glow of his eyes takes him off guard. Tapetum lucidum, just one more thing separating alphas from omegas. That otherworldly eyeshine designed to help them hunt at night.
Izuku gulps, averting his eyes and pulling his blanket tighter around himself.

“I can’t sleep.” He says. “Can’t stop… thinking, I guess.”

Katsuki doesn’t say anything, just continues staring at him, waiting for him to go on.

“Kacchan…” He starts. “If, I mean…”
He stops for a moment, taking a deep breath to compose himself before continuing. “If… I mean, on the off chance that it comes down to just us…” he says. “Um, what do you think will happen…?”

Izuku squeezes his eyes shut.

For a very long time, Katsuki doesn’t respond.
Eventually, the alpha sighs.

“…You shouldn’t think about things like that.” He tells him.

Izuku opens his eyes, and finds that Katsuki’s are closed again. For whatever reason, that response sends a spike of anger through him.

“Wh—but how could I /not/?!” He whisper-shouts.
Katsuki slowly opens his eyes again, staring at him blankly. He looks exhausted, and somewhere in the back of Izuku’s mind, he feels bad for waking him up, but at least for now, his anger outranks his guilt.

“Kacchan, apart from us, there are /four people left/.”
“I-I mean, obviously I don’t /wanna/ think about it, but sooner or later, we’re gonna have to—!”

“—No we won’t.” Katsuki snaps, with an air of finality that makes the words die in Izuku’s throat. He slowly closes his mouth and stares into Katsuki’s glowing eyes, brows furrowed.
“…How can you be so sure about that?” He eventually asks.

Katsuki maintains eye contact for a while, then looks away with a sigh.

“Cornucopia creeps will kill us first.” He declares, but his face is blank, and the words feel empty. After a moment, Katsuki turns onto his back.
Katsuki stares at the cavern ceiling for a moment before his eyes slowly fall shut. With a frustrated exhale, Izuku rolls over onto his other side, turning his back on him. He closes his eyes and tries to go to sleep, but the added tension only makes it more difficult.
After a minute of silence, he hears movement behind him. His breath hitches as he feels the heat of Katsuki’s body closing in behind him, the press of his lips against ear and hot breath against his skin.

“Trust me.” Katsuki whispers, just loud enough for Izuku to hear.
He tenses, doesn’t dare move or speak, though whether it’s out of fear of being overheard or fear of breaking whatever spell put them in such proximity, he’s not entirely sure.

“I need you to trust me, Deku.” He murmurs, planting a hand on Izuku’s shoulder. “It’s gonna be okay.”
Izuku remains still for a few seconds before hesitantly reaching up and shakily placing his hand on top of Katsuki’s. The alpha’s breath catches, but within seconds, he’s lacing his fingers through Izuku’s.

He thought it’d be nerve-racking, being this close to Katsuki.
Perhaps at another time, in a different context, it would be. But at least for now, he’s able to relax into it. Katsuki’s hand is so warm, and Izuku’s feels so small in his grasp. He can feel his breath against the back of his neck, and at this proximity, his scent is so strong.
It wraps around him, cocooning him in the calming smell of smoke and caramel and something almost spicy. Before he knows it, his eyes are fluttering shut, and he’s drifting off into a peaceful slumber.
When he wakes the next morning, Katsuki’s not lying next to him, but he’s got the alpha’s blanket draped over him in addition to his own. He yawns, rubbing his eyes as he sits up. His vision focuses in on the image of Katsuki sitting crosslegged on the cave floor, shirtless.
The tin of medicine Izuku made sits open before him, and Katsuki’s fiddling with the bandage on his shoulder.

“Here, lemme do it.” He says. Katsuki’s head snaps toward him, eyes wide and blinking rapidly, like he didn’t realize Izuku was awake.
It makes Izuku smile, laughing a bit too himself. Last night, all it took was him getting close to Katsuki to wake him up, and yet somehow, he still manages to catch him off guard.

Izuku crawls over behind Katsuki, deftly unwrapping the wound and reapplying the medicine.
Once he’s done, he fixes the bandage and sighs. “There, you’re all set.”

Katsuki mumbles a thanks as Izuku scoots back against the wall. He’s still wrapped in both blankets, and the alpha glances at him, seems to look him up and down.

“Fuckin’ blanket thief.” He mutters.
Izuku raises an eyebrow. “What was that?” He asks, with faux-innocence.

“I said you’re a filthy fuckin’ blanket thief, Deku.” He says, much louder this time.

He rolls his eyes. “Yeah, well, you don’t need it, anyway.”

“Oh yeah?” Katsuki snorts.

“And on what grounds do you make that claim?”

“Are you kidding?” Izuku says. “Kacchan, you’re like a human furnace. I don’t think you need any /help/ staying warm.”

“So, in other words, because I’m just so goddamn hot, yeah?”

Izuku narrows his eyes. “Kacchan.”
“You heard it here first, folks.” Katsuki says. “According to Deku, here, I’m simply too hot for blankets.”


“To all our bourgeois listeners in the Capitol, let it be known that Midoriya Izuku of district seven thinks I’m hot as hell and would prefer I sleep naked.”
“Kacchan, do you really want me to punch your shoulder wound that bad?” He asks, even as his face starts heating up.

“Do you really want me to sleep naked that bad?”

“Could someone translate that? All I hear is ‘please kick my ass.’” Izuku says.

“I’d like to see you try.”
Izuku freezes.


He can’t back down /now/, can he?

In a flash, Izuku launches himself at Katsuki, grabbing him by the shoulders and using his weight and momentum to push him down. Katsuki’s eyes are wide, and he hisses as his back hits the cave floor.
He recovers from the shock a second later as Izuku’s grabbing at his wrists. Before he can even think, Katsuki’s rolling him onto his back, capturing his wrists in one hand and pinning them over his head. He’s grinning like a madman, dropping his full body weight on top of him.
Izuku blushes, suddenly very aware of the way the alpha’s hips are slotted between his legs, but he’s not about to give up so easily. In one quick movement, he wraps his legs around the alpha’s hips and uses the upward momentum to flip him again, freeing a hand in the process.
His hand instantly goes for Katsuki’s face, fingers spread as he leans in, trying to hold his head down. With his captured wrist in hand, Katsuki yanks his arm out to the side, knocking him off balance. Izuku hits the floor, wincing as Katsuki twists his wrist behind his back.
The next second, he’s face down with Katsuki on top of him, one hand pinned against his lower back. He tries to push himself up with the other hand, but Katsuki captures that one too, pinning it above his head. He struggles a bit, but then the alpha drops his weight on him again.
He can feel him on top of him, one leg between his slightly spread thighs. Katsuki’s hips press against his ass, and Izuku bites his lip. It takes every bit of self-control he has just to stop himself from arching up into him.

“Do you give?” Katsuki growls, right in his ear.
It makes Izuku shiver.

“N-No.” He replies.

“‘No’?” Katsuki repeats, almost like a laugh. Some mixture of amusement and disbelief. He feels Katsuki’s hands tighten around his wrists.

He lets it hang in the air for a moment.

“…B-But I am pretty hungry.” Izuku then says.
Katsuki snorts and rolls off of him. “So you’ll give for food but not me?”

“Something like that…” He says.

Katsuki clicks his tongue, and Izuku sits up, stretching his arms out as he watches Katsuki pull his shirt back over his head.
“Well, there’s some berry bushes nearby.” He says, once his head pops up through the neck hole. “Maybe they’re part of a balanced breakfast, maybe they’re filled with deadly poison. I don’t know which one it is, but I bet you could tell me.”

Izuku smiles. “Sounds promising.”
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