Rescuer! Bakugou x Male! Mermaid Reader

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"C'mon, we gotta check out your old wounds to make sure they're healing properly," the handler said as he gestured for you to swim up to him. By this point you could understand a bit of human language, but still relied on context clues and non-verbal commands for the most part.

Rather than obey, however, you stuck your tongue out at him and swam to the other side of the large tank, hiding from sight. He wasn't who you wanted to see.

"Dammit," he said while standing up from the edge of the enclosure, grabbing the pail of shit so you wouldn't sneak up for a snack while he was gone. "Call Bakugou up here, this one's picky."

"Doesn't he only listen to Bakugou, though?" the other handler said while tuning the hand radio to his coworker's sequence. "Hey, we need you up at Enclosure 6, we...don't gimme that attitude, you know he only listens to you. Must have an affinity for assholes-" He held the radio far away from his ear when a voice yelled from the other end. "He'll be right up."

About five minutes later an annoyed-looking blonde man waltzed into the enclosure room. "How are you all so shit at your jobs that you can't even feed a damn merman?"

"Not our fault! He won't let us run tests, just swims away or turns his nose up like he's too good or something. Maybe egos go together."

"I'm gonna fuckin' kill you, later," Bakugo growled out as he picked up the bucket of fish and headed up the stairs to the top of the large tank.

As though you could smell whenever he entered a room, you swam out from a rocky cave you slept in to see him - the only one you tolerated here. He had a nice, gravelly voice, and on the rare occasions you made him laugh it sent you swimming in delighted circles.

Bakugou leaned over the edge of the tank, dangling a slimy fish. "Oi, get up here, already!"

This time you didn't hesitate, popping your head up out of the water to grin at the human called Bakugou. The fish in his hand smelled delicious, but just as you grabbed for it he pulled it back with a smirk. "Nope, not yet. You gotta get up here so we can get this shit over with, first." Standing up, he gestured for you to hop onto the platform under his feet. You really disliked the exams because they felt intrusive, but they never actually hurt you...not like the others. You were taken care of here, given food and shelter...but you did miss the expanse of the ocean terribly. Maybe one day they'd set you free.

You swam down to gain momentum and jumped out of the water, landing with a thud on the hard, slippery surface. Bakugou tossed you a fish as he knelt down to examine the scars and missing scales on your tail, taking notes on which ones were healing and which ones weren't, if anything seemed off, etc.

Despite acting a bit harsh at times with his yelling, Bakugou had a gentle hand which you appreciated. His skin felt different from yours - warmer and drier.

As long as it was him, you did as he asked: opened your mouth for him to examine your sharp teeth, perform tricks to test your stamina...heck, one day he just sat and talked while you waded in the water. About what, you weren't sure, but his voice was nice and his face was expressive in an appealing way.

He was always so serious, too, which was why you enjoyed trying to trick him or make him laugh. Splashing water on him, pulling him into the water, smacking him with a fish, etc. Even though he got mad, it never lasted long.

For weeks you only let Bakugou record data on you, rejecting others that passed above your tank. Then, one day, he didn't show up.

Not that day, or the next. It hurt, oh it hurt. You didn't know it'd hurt this bad not to see Bakugou for a while.

The other trainers said "he'll be back soon" but you weren't sure what that meant. How long was "soon?" A week? A month?! Either way, you felt so lonely and upset at his absence that eating proved difficult since you had no appetite.

A few of your scales fell off, and your energy levels were the lowest they'd been since before they rescued you. You wanted to see him again. to see those pretty red eyes of his, to hear him talk to you about his day in a language you couldn't understand.

You missed him, far more than you thought you would.

Then, one day, a familiar smell wafted in through the water and into your nose. You looked up, and-

There he was! Bakugou was back! Immediately you dug through the sand in your cave for something you decided to give him when he came back.

"About time, man. He was miserable with you here, to be honest," the trainer with bright red hair commented as Bakugou grabbed a bucket of fish.

Bakugou brushed away the comment with sarcasm. "Well, duh, I'm the best worker here. Of course he likes me."

He walked past the red head to head up the stairs, kneeling down over the rippling water. "Been a while, huh?" he whispered to himself.

Almost without warning you shot up out of the water, nearly knocking him over in the process. "Woah! The hell is your deal? It was only a week!"

You shoved something into his arms, looking an odd mixture of nervous and expectant as Bakugou looked down.

"Shell?" It wasn't just any normal shell, though. It was an intricately spiraled and unbroken conch in a rare shade of orange. "What's this for?"

"OH MY GOD NO WAY!" Bakugou looked over to see Kirishima pointing up and looking startled at the display.

"WHAT-"

"I THINK THAT'S LIKE, A UH, MATING THING! HE TOTALLY HAS A CRUSH ON YOU, DUDE!" Kirishima yelled.

Bakugou looked at the shell, then looked at you, then back down at the shell, then back up at the shy grin on your face. "Holy fuckin' shit."

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