He wanted none of these.

These shitty, injured arms. This shitty teaching job. These shitty everything. Everything was just full of shit and he just wanted to punch something to get it over with. But that wasn't possible too, unless he'd want another long-ass scolding from Recovery Hag, which he told himself would make the situation even worse since that damn clearance would come from her.

He was aware, of course, that with the dangerous nature of their job, all sorts of fucked up things could happen. To the civilians, to his colleagues, to himself . . . And now it did, rendering him unsuitable to do his Pro Hero duties. For the time being, anyway. Not until he got that damn medical clearance.

Well, whatever. It's not like he had any other choice. This was a lot better than doing nothing. This was a lot better than doing fucking nothing. Maybe, just maybe, if he kept telling that to himself, it would eventually come true.

. . .

As soon as he stepped into the classroom, his first thought was that it looked exactly the same as it was 10 years ago. Pretty impressive, he thought, especially considering all the events that had transpired years after they graduated.

A strange wave of nostalgia washed over his head. For a moment, he completely forgot about all the shitty things that had been bothering him. He wouldn't say that being in U.A. felt like he was at home again, because fuck that, home was supposed to make you feel warm and fuzzy and shit, right? U.A. gave all sorts of different emotions, having a fair share of positive and fucked up ones which, admittedly, made it a worthwhile experience. It wouldn't be a damn place of nurture if all they got were wussy ass activities and frills that ain't challenging their brain cells and muscles the same. Those three years had brought change in him, and while he wasn't all about that school pride and crap, he didn't think he'd trade his experience in U.A. for anything else in the world.

It started when he was walking through the halls, right after visiting the school clinic. Not a single brat was in sight, and a tinge of pride flickered at the thought that the present generation seemed disciplined enough, in terms of punctuality at least. Well they better fucking be; it would mean he'd have an easier time while he's stuck in this blasted teaching job.

Oddly enough, his walk from the old granny's office towards his destination felt almost automatic, as if his damn legs were in freaking autopilot. The bizarre sensation that trickled his skin increased further the moment he realized he had already stopped in front of an enormous door. He glanced up, seeing the familiar, striking, red "1-A" plastered on it.

He reached for the door but paused upon hearing faint mumbles from behind it. He shrugged, just wanting to get the whole damn thing over with and slid it open with his left arm, using far more effort than he anticipated. Fucking weak, a tiny voice in his head said just as he felt the aching pain caused by the movement, but the thoughts were ultimately disregarded as he was welcomed by irritatingly excited voices coming from the present 1-A kids.

His little show time didn't last long, which he was goddamned thankful for, because to be brutally honest, he thought the introductions were a fucking waste of time. He'd still get to see all the brats once his classes commence the following day anyway, but that crazy old rodent Nezu insistedfor the sake of formality, he explained. Fuck formality.


He looked over at Ponytail, walking slightly ahead of him. They had just vacated that damn rowdy classroom so he was back to the solace of the hallways. Only the clattering of the heels of her shoes disrupted the silence.


The pace of her walking decreased until he caught right up next to her. She stopped in her tracks and looked at him, seemingly at lost for words. He simply raised an eyebrow.

She exhaled hard before the corners of her lips nudged upwards. "It's been a long time. I'm glad to see that you are well."

He eyed her closely. Thinking about it, the last time he remembered seeing her was during one of those Pro Hero meetings in the Tokyo division, but that was what, more than a year ago? They've never really had any real conversations apart from greetings all initiated by her, and he thought that it was mostly due to him not being a big fan of senseless dilly-dallying and her being smart enough to know it.

He huffed out a breath, adjusting the coat resting over his shoulders. He noticed the brief shifting of her eyes towards his right arm which was kept in place by a sling.

"Not damn well enough to do hero shit, though," he replied with a grunt, not making any attempts to hide the displeasure of his crappy state.

The response seemed to catch her off-guard as her smile faltered. Something flickered in her eyes that he did not like one bit. Concern? Sadness? Pity? His frown deepened.

"Let's get going," he told her, not giving her a chance to reply back as he resumed walking, "I'm teaching Hero Foundations, right? So I gotta meet the rest of the hero sections. The sooner this shit is done, the better."

"R-right," he heard her reply back as her heels rattled after him, "I'll be bringing you to 1-B, which is just at this corner. Their homeroom teacher, Phantom Thief, should be—"

"My, my, my!" an annoyingly familiar voice interjected, and for some reason, Bakugou sensed that his urge to punch someone in the face returned, increasing dramatically even, "Why look what the cat dragged in to U.A.!"

Right across from them was that damn Copycat, standing smugly while wearing that sorry excuse for a hero costume… And was that a fucking moustache over his mouth? What look was he going for, anyway? A ridiculous magician prick?

"As I was saying, 1-B's teacher is Phantom Thief," Ponytail retorted, and judging by her choice to stand between him and Copycat, he knew she was trying to prevent some sort of conflict. Her arms were already hovering between them like boom barriers. "Or as you may know him, Monoma-san—"

"I don't think introductions are needed, Creati." The cheeky bastard extended his arm towards him and managed to poke his shoulder just before he could avoid it. His anger meter rose to dangerous levels when familiar explosions appeared on Copycat's hands. "I think he remembers me just fine!"

"How did a prick like you ended up being qualified as a teacher?" Bakugou stomped towards him, bumping onto Ponytail's arm which kept him in place. Copycat better be thankful his arms were covered in bandages or else he would've wiped that stupid smug grin off his stupid face. "U.A. must be really damn desperate!"

"Ah, the pot calling the kettle black!" Copycat replied unfazed, all while setting off small explosions in such a pompous way that effectively pissed him off more. Bakugou felt mocked-mocked in such a way that fuckface could use his Explosion Quirk where he himself couldn't, not in his pathetic physical state…

He brought out his left fist, already shaking, ready to combust despite the bandages covering it.

But the explosions never came, since a gentle yet firm hand stopped it before it did.

"That's enough, Monoma-san." Her voice was spoken in an authoritative tone that was somehow awfully familiar. "You wouldn't want me to call Kendou-san and tell her you've been causing trouble again, would you? Or perhaps I should contact Shiozaki-san too? Oh, how she'd be disappointed to learn how—"

Copycat's face paled. The look on his face was priceless that he almost felt sorry for him. Almost, because fuck him.

"T-there is no such need for drastic measures, Creati! I was simply kidding. Come on now, Bakugou Katsuki! I shall introduce to you my class!"

The abrupt change in Copycat's attitude perplexed him, and for a moment, he was actually curious about Ponytail's 'threats.' Anything that could help him know about his enemies' weaknesses was worth knowing.

"I'm leaving Bakugou-san to your capable hands then, Monoma-san." Her tone was deceiving, seemingly friendly yet implying something like "you better not fucking screw up" at the same time. The prick predictably nodded in affirmation; it was laughable witnessing how he pathetically crumbled before her. His amusement quickly faded as soon as she turned to him. Her face shifted entirely, looking at him with the same soft expression as before. "And I'll be seeing you later, Bakugou-san."

"Yeah." He reflexively avoided her gaze, which he felt lingered even as he entered the classroom. "Whatever."

His introduction to 1-B turned out a lot better than he anticipated. To his surprise, Copycat was actually capable of being tolerable in his presence, though he wasn't sure if it was still due to Ponytail or the fact that he actually possessed professionalism. Similar to 1-A, the 1-B brats displayed astonished, unfiltered reactions that pissed him off less, if only because there no longer was novelty to it. Soon enough, he also faced the second and third year students, and by the time he was at the last class, the annoyance dissipated completely and he suddenly just felt tired. It wasn't even lunch time yet.

Was he really cut out for this sort of thing?

Nezu met with him right after the whole thing, and he was introduced to the rest of the department. There were some familiar faces—Midnight (with far more wrinkles since the last time he saw her, though he knew better than to blurt that out), that horse girl from class B (teaches English, apparently), that former Gen Ed prick with bed hair but ironically looked like he never slept his whole life (homeroom teacher to one of the third year sections), and that comical illusion girl from Shiketsu (she kept spouting she's too lit for Modern Lit, whatever the hell that meant), among others. The day dragged on as he was oriented to other essential crap—like all the do's and don't's, schedules, work and rest days and whatnot—until he was brought to an empty cubicle in the faculty room.

"And this place is all yours—for the duration of your stay, anyway," Nezu said, tapping the desk, "I'm aware this arrangement is temporary and the only reason you're here is that you have zero options left, but I hope you would consider extending your stay when the time comes."

He kept silent, pondering over his words. His first thought was there was no fucking way he'd stay longer if he had choice.

". . . I'll be taking my leave, then . . ."

He was made more for the battlefield, for combat, not for teaching a bunch of brats. There were other people much suited for the job anyway.

". . . Feel free to decorate this place to your liking . . ."

This ain't his way. It ain't a way to become the top hero like he had always wanted.

The sound of the door closing stirred him out of his thoughts, and he realized Nezu had already left. Judging by the silence of the room, he concluded he was alone at the faculty room.

He dragged his chair and took a seat, eyes moving towards the office supplies placed at the corner of the otherwise plain-looking desk.

He sighed, resigning to the fact that he had to accept this shitty stopover. His goals had to wait.

He reached for a piece of blank paper and pen, intending to start his stupid lesson plan, before realizing something was wrong.

His writing hand—the right one—was immobilized by the cast.

Cursing, he attempted to write with his left instead, but he clearly struggled controlling it and all that came out were garbage scribbles. Even the damn paper kept moving and he couldn't keep it in fucking place. Out of sheer frustration he ended up crumpling the stupid paper and hurling it to the nearby trash can. It missed. The stupid paper fucking missed.

He slammed his left fist to the desk, and the throbbing pain that sprung up at the moment of the impact caused him to almost regret his impulsivity.

Pathetic. So fucking pathetic.

Ignoring the pain, he roughly whisked out of the chair and headed towards the door, intending to get fresh air and prevent him from destroying himself further along with the furniture inside. As he walked through the door, he almost bumped into someone, yet he couldn't bring himself to care who the fuck it was. He didn't want to end up pouring his wrath over some unlucky extra, cause unnecessary ruckus and make everything else more of a damn disaster.

Thankfully, his walk through the outdoor spring weather did a good job in calming his nerves. He purposely avoided the crowds of students, paying no heed to their curious stares. Soon enough, he ended up reaching the faculty dormitories. He dropped himself onto a bench across from the building and closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose.

"What do you want?" he finally declared. He didn't have the patience for any silly games. "Don't think I haven't noticed you following me around."

A chuckle was heard.

"I don't expect any less from you."

He would've normally been pissed off already, but as soon as he confirmed the person's identity, whatever animosity slowly died down and was replaced with guarded vigilance. While Ponytail had always been one of the reasonable ones in his class and wouldn't show up for no reason at all, she possessed that lethal, observant eye capable of breaking down the toughest of walls, just like how she did in that one exercise test in first year. And the thing he absolutely hated the most about it was how much fucking sense she made, how she rubbed the salt in the fucking wound because the truth fucking hurts. Rationally speaking, he knew that's exactly what he needed if he wanted to improve . . . but no, he wanted nothing of it. Not now.

"I didn't see you at the cafeteria."

"I'm not hungry," he lashed back, hoping to end the discussion, but a subtle, knowing smile formed on her lips instead. He warily eyed the small paper bag on one of her hands.

"I figured you'd say that."

She sat on the other end of the bench. He watched as she delicately placed the paper bag between them.

"Lunch Rush's specialty onigiri. I figured you might've missed it. When I first started working here two years ago, it was the first meal I requested."

His stomach growled, the damn traitorous innard. He knew she was trying to suppress her giggles. Feeling the heat rise on his face, he hastily grabbed the paper bag and took the rice ball out, munching it in seconds.

He was already imagining it. You shouldn't starve yourself to death, Bakugou-san, shouldn't you know better? Your body should receive proper nutrition, Bakugou-san, especially if you want to recover quickly.

Yet none of it came. Instead, she was seemingly content in quietly sitting beside him, reviewing whatever document was at her hand. From time-to-time, he knew she kept momentarily glancing at him, but he pretended not to notice.

He appreciated it.

In no time, the paper bag was already empty. Ponytail exhaled hard, before standing from her spot.

"My class is starting in a while. I'll be taking my leave," she said, "If you need anything, then please call me."

She didn't give him a chance to respond as she strode away, heels clattering away rhythmically. He knew better than to take offense from it. She was still the same-their polite, responsible, concerned-as-ever vice class rep. It's no wonder she decided to be a teacher. As much as he hated to admit it, she was the very definition of 'virtuous.'

It only took him that moment to piece the puzzles together. The reason why she no longer attended the Pro Hero meetings, the reason why he never got to work with her despite being in the same district, was because she decided to become a full-time faculty in U.A.

Meaning that with her decision to close her hero office AND to renew her U.A. contract more than once, she must've found fulfillment in teaching instead of hero-ing.

Hmph, good for her, then.

He stared at the spot where she had been. At the back of his head, he hoped he'd attain that same contentment in his life . . . Eventually, perhaps.