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His world had been one of black and white—the monochromatic colors coming together to form a soundless melody; like the static within old movies, where you have to rewind and click play if you want to start all over. His world was dark. The dizzying haze of blacks and whites swirling throughout his mind, like he was a misplaced cloud amidst a storm. Yet he remained calm‚ well, as calm as Kai Krowli could ever be—ignoring all the talk about color and soulmates.
He was numb to this world that was devoid of color, trying to act as if someone had encased him in ice and left him to drown within his own cold heart- him trying to convince himself that he felt nothing, all as if he was six feet under, throwing all his emotions under the dirt, throwing himself against the pile with only the ability to scream. All he knew was that he had accepted his fate, that he shouldn't focus on romance if he ever wanted to be #1- if he ever wanted to mean anything.
If he ever wanted to surpass stupid fucking Lucas- if he ever wanted to become a true star, he knew he could never focus on something so worthless as romance; he had to have no distractions, so he could focus on aiming for the top, so he'd be sure that he wouldn't fucking miss.
But, god, there was that one thing he could never escape—that little tug of his heart whenever he looked at the color strip on his wrist, that burst of heat whenever he had fleeting thoughts about the color, and what everything might be like if he just accepted his fate of falling in love; the color red, the color of fire, the color of blood, the color of love.
There was a time Kai had been proud of his color mark, refusing to wear long sleeves or anything that could possibly cover the- to him- vibrant mark.
"No!" his four-year-old self had screamed, throwing a tantrum every time his father tried to put a pair of gloves on him, trying his best to keep his mark open for the world to see, while his father just wanted to make sure his son didn't get frostbite.
"No!" he had yelled as his mother literally wrestled him into his coat, She constantly having to push his sleeves down after his efforts to keep his mark open.
To this day, and to Kai’s embarrassment, there are odd pictures of him with one glove on, one sleeve up, and of him proudly holding his mark to the camera, a happy grin on his face as he proudly revealed the strip of color on his wrist to the world. Needless to say, those stayed at the Krowli household when everyone moved into their school dorms, Kai’s hatred over the embarrassing images and the risk that it posed towards his privacy (cough Ethan and Alya, this incredibly nosy friends cough) too much for him to handle.
But, ever since the strange soulmate marks appeared, it had always been a funny little tradition to ask a child what their favourite color was, friends of the child's parents always crouching down to the smaller human beings, ruffling their hair affectionately as they ask the silly question, finding it cute when the children would reply with such vigor- such excitement over a concept someone so young could hardly begin to comprehend.
Even with all the tantrums thrown over his mark, showing his mark to strangers had been a highlight of Kai’s day. Eyes lighting up, tantrum long forgotten, Kai ripped off his gloves/rolled up his sleeves -much to his mother and his fathers chagrin- he had shoved the mark in strangers faces, child-like innocence and excitement causing him to vibrate when standing still.
"Red! Red is my favourite color!" He had exclaimed proudly, holding up his wrist, the one with the strip of color that seemed grey to everyone but him. The adults has always smiled at his answer, shaking their heads slightly at his innocence as they got up from their crouching position, before beginning to talk with his parents about color- about blue, green, pink- all things that those who have met their soulmates could never get enough of, and he could never even hope to imagine, until he met his well deserved soulmate.
But then he had learned that not all men are created equal.
He learned of hatred, of those who decided to not follow the path their marks set for them. He learned of deceit, how those would cheat on their significant other, even if they were soulmates. He learned of a world devoid of colour, and how your world would fade to monochrome once again if your soulmate were to die, and how that colour would never return.
He learned of those with no marks, and how they were destined to be alone.
Two children sat in a meadow, bug catching nets cast to the side as they took time poke fun at each other. They were older than 4 years old age, but the eldest, a blonde boy, seemed to have taken control of the discussion, he proudly stating something while looking down at the other boy.
"See? Mom says I'm the first one of us to have gotten mine!" Kai raised a fist in the air, a proud grin on face as he showed Lucas his mark, bright red line on his wrist.
Sure, he had maybe gotten his a little earlier than the other kids, but hey, it was still a pretty damn cool thing to have.
"You got your mark?" Lucas gazed at the little line with wonder, abandoning his post near the anthill as he stared at Kai’s wrist. His eyes, Kai’s mother told him they were green, were full of wonder he took Kai’s wrist, gazing from Kai’s wrist to his own, blank one. "That’s so cool!" Kai couldn't even being himself to reprimand the younger boy for touching him, as he was too busy vibrating with excitement about the entire concept.
After a few short moments, Lucas stumbled off, taking his hand off Kai’s wrist as he took his position near the anthill once again, "I wish I had my mark.." He mumbled, fumbling for his bug net as he tried to get it from the slippery ground.
"Don't worry, you'll get yours soon!" Kai laughed, playfully nudging Midoriya, nearly sending the smaller boy toppling into the anthill. Lucas stumbled, but still laughed along with his friend, taking time to stare at his blank wrist with an innocent smile.
"Ha! Worthless is right! What good is someone if they don't even have a soulmate?”
(God, looking back on those words now, he should really apologize to Lucas, as he and Alex, the two markless lovers, seemed to be getting on just fine.)
And soon, he learned about true love; and how your mark shouldn't define anything other than your ability to see color, and how who you love shouldn't be based on a little mark on your wrist.
He found it ridiculous, how his colour- such a bright, deep, burning red- wouldn't mean anything now that these prior forms of social acceptance gave been thrown to the side, allowing those who hadn't had a chance from the start to get in the way of his goals.
Namely, Lucas Parker.
It might sound conceited for him to be thinking such about allowing people to follow their hearts, but for him, as someone who being raised as the leader due to his mark, everything seemed to be falling apart for him. He was supposed to be #1 for being the best of the best.
But now, without the moral he was raised with, what will he do?
He growled, ignoring then newspapers strewn across the coffee table from where his father must have left them. He already knew what they read, and how 'Soulmarks don't necessarily determine one's true soulmate.’
He hated it, how everything he has hyped himself up to be, all because he got his soulmark first, was a lie.
He growled, clenching his fists as the thought of failure began to race through his mind. Honestly, he didn't even know why he cared so much- why he was getting riled up over something so stupid in the first place. Maybe it was because he was sick and tired of being alone, and maybe it was because he was sick of seeing the bold, black letters on the newspapers around him, all of them mocking him with the same message: "You’re a failure.”
Well, if he was unable to be the best with one domain, he'd have to depend on the other.
Smoke beginning to rise and cover his heart, he opened his soulmate side hand. Bakugou stared at his mark, the red on it the only colour he has ever come to know. Clenching his fists, he felt the embers of his own anger burning into his flesh, a feeling that has kept him grounded ever since he first realized that life wasn't fair.
Shoving the newspapers to the side, Kai pulled down his sleeve,
And for the first time, Kai Krowli decided he hated the color red.