The River Styx [Resurrection Quest]

Katsuki Bakugo

Sparky Sparky Boom Man
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As he awoke he had the dim sensation of being around a campfire, but far too close to the fire itself. Bakugo’s eyes flickered upon, his hand went to his forehead, and he felt the warmth all at once. For a moment he thought he was still on the island. Only the telling clarity of his mind alerted him to the fact that he was no longer feverish, he was no longer hungry to kill either, and that he was feeling a lot more like himself. ...which left him feeling rather irritated. Lying on the ground curled up in a ball, he opened his eyes all the way, and found himself staring dead ahead upon a scene he wasn’t expecting.

He stood. His arms were both intact - that was new to him given his death - and he was, well, he again. No longer did the crown weigh upon his head. No longer did he feel Deku in his mind with him, nor did he feel the presence of the scourge Sigma. It was just Bakugo again, and he was all alone up there. As alone as he’d ever been.

Except…

He heard a rustling nearby, and glanced over to spot Deku rousing himself from slumber upon what looked to be molten rock so hardened it was nearly obsidian. Despite his pride he felt himself compelled to rush to his longtime companion’s side - he’d never shown the sheepish boy compassion, but things were different now. They’d been together in a way more intimate than even a coupling could beget. They’d shared the same body, the same mind. The same loss of control when Sigma had taken over their frame.

As much as Bakugo wanted to keep up appearances; things were different now.

“Deku. Get up. Something’s happening,” he whispered, his voice harsh and commanding. Bakugo shoved the slumbering figure of Deku, huddled and hushed, and then stood upright and kicked him hard in the ribs. “Get. The fuck. Up.”

Deku whimpered, tears streaming, and quivered for a second before opening his eyes. The green haired boy sat upright slowly, looked about, and then widened his eyes.

“K-Kacchan...are we...are we in…?”

Bakugo looked in the direction of Deku’s gaze and felt himself uncharacteristically corked. The faucet of his rage had run dry momentarily, and whatever it was that kept him always moving forward had slowed.

Before them stood a hooded figure standing at the bow of a boat, oar in hand, and from underneath the shadow of the cloak Baku felt the piercing gaze of the ferryman. An ethereal beckoning fell over him and despite himself Katsuki Bakugo was compelled to motion. In slow shuffling steps he began to approach the boat.

It floated atop a liquid unbroken by surface tension. The boat was quaint, long, and simply built. It was nearly motionless at the shore of the flatland extending the distance between it, Bakugo, and Deku. The cloaked figure with the oar beckoned yet more hastily, and in doing so found that its sleeve accidentally tugged backward to reveal a long fingered and feminine hand. In alarm it hastened to pull the sleeve back up over the hand, and accidentally let its hood fall.

Bakugo’s eyes bugged: a beautiful blue haired bombshell beheld him, bewitching. She beheld him.

“Sorry about that,” she greeted, looking abashed. She met Bakugo’s gaze and he found that her expression was one of compassion, even regret. “...I’m Botan. I’m the ferryman. I know you must be feeling confused right now, but the two of you have...expired. You entered yourself into a dangerous situation, and now you’ve lost your lives. I’m here to see you over to the next stage.”

She thumped her oar once, playfully, against the floor of her boat which had, fittingly enough, just two seats to it. Deku stepped forward, past Bakugo, almost eager. Bakugo lingered back. For reasons unknown to him he felt apprehensive, though he knew this was the logical next step for him. He thumbed the hemline of his waistband nervously. Surprised, he found that his fingers had caught on a loop of twine.

Attached to it was the Super Crown. He looked down suddenly, crimson eyes alight with wonder. Part of him, fresh into this Afterlife, had wondered if what had come before had only been a dream. Yet...here it was. The crown, its eyes nonplussed, staring back at him.

“Don’t worry about that,” stated Botan reassuringly. “That Crown is a part of you. You might have noticed...it is a part of your soul. That spitfire of a Princess, deep down, is part of who you are! Take it with you when you go onto the next phase. Your soul will need it to be complete.”

Katsuki looked from her to Deku incredulously, though, the expression Deku shot back was one of warm affirmation. It was as if the fucking nerd was trying to tell him it was OKAY! ...how could this be okay!?

Yet his feet moved without him, and carried him forward onto the boat which rocked gently. Izuku Midoriya, bless his soul, was right there beside him. They sat upon the seats with Botan at the helm and slowly she began to paddle out. Looking over the side of the boat complacently, Bakugo realized that ghostly figures swam beneath the surface of the river, reaching, looking forlorn. Some disquieted part of his mind that felt distant urged him to feel alarmed, but he’d become overcome with a malaise. He just...couldn’t care. He felt calmed. For once in his life, Bakugo’s fire had become quenched.

Deku’s hand reached over and landed on his leg, and rubbed it in a gesture he was sure was meant to be calming.

“It’s okay, Kacchan. We’re going home now.”

The seafoam green eyes met his own and for once the smile beneath them was easy and peaceful rather than nervous and hungry for approval.

“We don’t have to fight anymore.”

But for the first time since his arrival here, Bakugo was disturbed.

Don’t have to fight anymore?

...that...that, he could never abide.

Far away in the direction they were heading he heard a growl, and then a howl. Some of Bakugo’s wariness returned, and he began to sweat. The sweet smell of burnt sugar filled the air, and the oar wielding ferryman, Botan, glanced back.

“...none of that now,” she whispered soothingly. “I know it’s hard, but you need to accept this. It’s time for you to move on. Both of you. You belong to the Afterlife, now.”

Bakugo felt his teeth grind and clenched one fist while the either hand grasped the Super Crown. Was he not royalty? Was he not a Princess? How could he go quietly into the land of the dead?

He knew that he could not.

Word Count: 1137/5000
 
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