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Red hair, blue eyes

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She’s been told all her life that getting married would be the happiest moment of her life.

When her quirk manifests and she quickly learns how to control it, her grandmother tells her this.

When she receives her first love confession at school, her classmates tell her this.

When she graduates with the highest grades in her class, her teachers tell her this.

Nearly all the books and movies she’s read and watched tell her this.

Her own mother, who looks at her father with so much love in her eyes, tells her this. That is why there is no surprise that she is looking forward for her happily ever after as well; for her happiest moment of her life.

Fate works in the strangest way. On her way to her university, she makes a brief stop at a coffee shop to grab a drink. Instead of getting a drink though, she ends up in the middle of a villain attack.

In between the screaming and crying, she huddles under a table with another girl who’s shaking uncontrollably. Luckily, it isn’t long before someone breaks through the windows and the girl next to her breathes out in awe. They are going to be ok.

Although she’s not a fanatic, everyone knows who Endeavor is and can easily recognize him. His large frame and intimidating flames could frighten most people. He turns towards them and snarls out a command for them to leave the area.

The girl next to her is smitten and nods, immediately getting up to leave. However, in her haste, she doesn’t see the needles flying towards her and everyone else fleeing the scene.

Without thought, she immediately throws up a wall of ice to shield everyone in the coffee shop from the villain’s quirk. With the people safe, Endeavor quickly subdues the villains and the police take them away.

The incident ends with people thanking her, the police lecturing her, and Endeavor asking for her name.

--

She honestly doesn't think too much about the incident but soon after, her parents and extended family are gushing when a very prominent man appears at her door steps.

He introduces himself as Todoroki Enji and he wants to take her out for dinner. He tells her parents that he was incredibly impressed with their daughter’s quirk at the coffee shop and would be honoured to get to know her better.

With wide smiles, her family pushes her out the door and he takes her to the fanciest restaurant in town.

She’s never been on a date before, too busy with her studies, but she can’t help but think that it shouldn't feel like an interview. She is slightly unnerved at how interested Todoroki is in her quirk and abilities.

--

Everything happens so quickly. Soon Todoroki and her parents are planning their wedding and everyone in her family is giving her their blessing. She feels that things are going much too fast but her aunts, uncles, and grandparents tell her that she’s not going to find someone better than Todoroki Enji. His fame and wealth are known to everyone – the gifts he brings for her family are incredible. He is strong and powerful, perfectly capable in protecting her. She will be safe and happy with him.

Who would say no to the Number Two Hero?

With the support and encouragement of her entire family, she accepts the marriage and soon finds herself dressed in beautiful white.

She’s been told all her life that getting married would be the happiest moment of her life.

At the end of the ceremony, she’s not sure how she feels.

--

Living with Todoroki Enji is simple. His place is extremely grand and he has staff to tend to the house, leaving her with very little to do. However, as discussed before, Enji prefers her staying at home and so she rejects the countless job offers she has received upon graduating university.

Both Enji and her want to start a family. It will be nice to be home to watch over them.

Enji spends most of his time either training or working so she finds herself alone majority of the time. It does get a little lonely with how little attention she gets from him and how the staff is trained to not speak with her leisurely. However, she knows the loneliness won’t last.

When the first round of morning sickness appears and her pregnancy is confirmed, Enji's face lights up with the biggest grin on his face. The doctor congratulates them both and she goes home in a daze. A smile plays on her lips for the very first time in what feels like forever. She’s never seen Enji this happy before and she thinks to herself that perhaps she can grow to love him after all.

Perhaps it’s not too late for her to get her happiest moment.

--

Enji is extremely involved in her pregnancy. He demands the staff to cook the absolute best meals for her and to ensure that her every need is taken care of. He doesn’t allow her to overstrain herself and she could feel her fondness for the man growing. She’s caught him a few times reading baby development books. Who knew the terrifying and intimidating Endeavor was such a doting father?

When the baby kicks, she relays the information to Enji who smirks and announces how he will make the baby the greatest hero the world has ever seen.

She laughs, finding the moment sweet and adorable. She imagines a son or daughter, fighting villains alongside their father. After a long day of work, they will come home and she will make all their favourite dishes while they tell her their tales of protecting the town.

She rubs her abdomen idly, smiling in amusement as Enji, her husband, continues to talk about his future plans for the baby, exaggerating how he will start training them once their quirk appears.

--

The baby arrives healthy and strong; Enji is pleased that she has birthed a son. She is tired and worn out but incredibly happy as she holds the bundle of joy closer to her. The nurse asks her husband if he wishes to hold his son but he bluntly refuses.

She smothers a small laugh, not surprised at his refusal. Her husband has a reputation to maintain as the Number Two Hero and most likely does not want to demonstrate the nervousness and childish awe most new fathers experience in front of others.

Enji stares down at the baby and vocally asks what the child’s quirk is. The nurses and the doctors say they don’t know yet and that they will have to wait to see. Enji huffs impatiently and mutters about time being wasted. He announces that he hopes his son will have both fire and ice powers and the nurse coos at how romantic her husband is being.

She looks down at the baby and thinks to herself that it would be lovely if their son had both their quirks.

--

Their son grows healthy with a head full of white hair. Her husband looks disgruntled when he realizes his son has pure white hair like his mother but continues to demand the absolute best for him from his staff.

On his second birthday, their son accidentally freezes the ground he is walking on and slips, tears immediately gathering in his eyes.

She’s so happy that their son has her powers. It may not be the combined powers that they were hoping for but she’s happy nonetheless.

When her husband learns of his son’s quirk, she is pushed aside and told to wipe that wretched smile off her face.

Their son bawls in the background, ignored by his father.

--

Ever since that day their son demonstrated his ice powers, her husband has stopped paying attention to him. She understands somewhat; Enji is a prideful man whose ego must have been hurt when his power 'lost' to his wife’s. Not that she thinks of it like that but her husband can be strangely petty at the little things so she leaves him alone and takes care of their son with the help of the staff.

Her mother calls asking how things are. She makes tea, hides the hurt, and pretends everything is ok.

When she’s pregnant with their second child, she prays that the child will inherit their father’s quirk. Surely having children, with each of their powers, will put a smile on her husband’s face? Then surely everything will be ok.

When their second son is born with only a fire quirk, instead of the smile she assumes her husband will show, it is the first time Enji calls her useless and hits her.

--

Her two sons are ignored by their father. Her first born is freezing things for his brother to melt. They are both free to eat whatever they want but she remains on a strict diet. She craves for cold soba noodles since Enji demands her to avoid cold food during her pregnancy.

She’s not pregnant now and, while the children are being watched by the nanny, goes to ask Enji if she could have some.

He scoffs but agrees to her request, immediately getting the staff to prepare the meal. Before she leaves though, he tells her that he wishes to see her in his bedroom tonight.

She freezes at his words. Since the birth of her first son, she’s hasn’t been sharing a bed with Enji, opting to sleep in the same room as her children instead. The only time she does sleep in the same room with Enji is when…

Her husband shouts, his displeasure at her pause obvious. She replies with a yes before quickly slipping out of the room.

She tries to control her breathing by making tea, the actions familiar and soothing.

Her cheek is still red.

--

The doctors tell her that her third child will be a girl. While she has always dreamed of having a little girl, she is terrified of Enji’s reaction to the news, so obsessed with the idea of a son who has both of their quirks.

When she gets back, she prays that he isn’t home. Unfortunately, he is.

She tries to quickly sneak pass him training in the dojo but before she can get away, his question booms loudly in the room.

Hesitantly, she replies.

She almost doesn’t dodge the fireball in time; some of her hair gets singed in the process. The smell is nauseating and her vision blurs, the residual heat feels like it’s burning her ear. She can't breathe.

It is the first time she cries.

It is also when the nightmares begin.

--

Her daughter is born with white hair and red stripes, the first child to have both of their hair colouring. Enji smiles widely for the first time in years and proudly names her Fuyuhi – Winter Sun, a name that represents both ice and fire. He eagerly announces how he will make her the greatest hero the world has ever seen.

Happy, she should be happy about this. Finally, she birthed a child that has both of their powers. Finally, they can be a proper family.

But the worry remains and the despair stays. The feeling in her gut only makes sense when after Fuyuhi turns 5, she doesn’t exhibit a quirk.

She’s quirkless.

Endeavor rages.

She doesn’t remember what happens that night.

--

She cuddles with her three children: her two sons and beautiful daughter. As suggested by the nanny, she renames her daughter Fuyumi because no matter what, she will always be her beautiful daughter. Quirkless or not.

They sleep peacefully and she lets a small smile grace her lips at the small mercy she has in life. At least her children are safe. No matter what, at least they are safe and happy.

The door to her bedroom opens without warning and she is being pulled up roughly by the arm, dropping her cup of tea in the process. Endeavor barks at her to stand and she shakes from the treatment. She knows what he wants and she doesn’t want it. She doesn’t want this. She just wants to be with her children. She just wants to live quietly and peacefully.

Her refusal to comply causes his other hand to reach for her head, twisting her long locks around his fist before he yanks upwards. Surprised, she gasps in pain and immediately stands to alleviate the hurt. Angry words flow through her ears but all she can hear is the crying and screaming of the children she is leaving behind.

--

She’s pregnant again.

Her mother calls to congratulate her and coos at what a large, happy family she is building.

She doesn’t know how to respond to that so she doesn’t.

Telling her mother she has to go, she hangs up. She breathes heavily and buries her hands into her face, wondering when she lost all control of her life. Days now pass in a blur and she loses track of time. She’s tired, so tired, her sleep is constantly haunted by nightmares.

All she sees is red hair, blue eyes, and a condescending smirk. Sometimes she remembers being swallowed in flames. There’s so much heat, so much fire.

Sometimes the images show up while she’s awake and she has to make a conscious effort to snap herself out of it. It’s exhausting and takes a lot out of her. She needs to relax; perhaps she should make a cup of tea…

She hears her children laughing and fumbling around as they play in the hallway together. Her second calls for her excitingly. She shakes her head to clear her thoughts before standing up to go to her children.

She smiles tiredly and before she can ask what is happening, she turns the corner and is greeted to red hair, blue eyes, and fire. So much fire.

A scream rips through her throat; she takes a step to the side, misplaces her footing, and falls.

--

She loses the baby.

The doctor regretfully tells her the news when she wakes up. She feels guilty when relief floods through her rather than sorrow. She’s glad she’s not having another child who will no doubt be ignored like her other children. Secretly, while she knows this will upset Endeavor, she relishes in the thought of denying the man this chance. For everything he has done to hurt her, she’s glad that this will hurt him back.

However, the feelings are short lived when they get back to the house and Endeavor punishes her second son for his foolishness.

This is the first time he hits one of her children.

She physically stops him with her body, her arms wrapped around his arm to stop the beating. She's still weak from the miscarriage. Her vision swims in tears and ears are filled with cries. For the first time, she begs for him to stop. She will do anything if only he stops. Please stop!

Endeavor complies and leaves her on the ground, broken. Her children wail into her arms, fear evident on their tiny faces.

She sees red hair and blue eyes and screams silently.

She wishes she could strangle him.

--

She’s pregnant again.

She’s really tired…

--

Her fourth child is born a little early. The stress she undergoes during the pregnancy causes her to go into labour weeks earlier than expected. Endeavor is spewing toxic words at her, angry at her negligence in the one thing she’s good for.

Red hair. Blue eyes.

The medical team arrives at the house on time and the baby is delivered safely. Her fourth child is much smaller than her other children and worry blooms in her chest. However, while he may be small, he cries just as loudly and the doctors deem him healthy. There will be staff monitoring him though in case something does come up.

The doctor asks for a name and Endeavor hands him a piece of paper before walking away, not even acknowledging her.

She’s surprised it still hurts, thinks she should be numb to this sort of pain already.

Her fourth child is so small and appears so fragile. She hugs him close and prays to the higher ups to watch over her Shouto.

--

Perhaps the whole fiasco with Fuyumi causes Endeavor to become wary despite Shouto looking like two different halves stuck together. He doesn’t say anything about her newborn son and leaves her and her children alone.

The next few years are peaceful; so peaceful it feels like she is living in a dream. Her other children fawn over little Shouto, playfully poking the baby’s sides to make him squeal in delight. Their father never being there is a blessing. Her nightmares stop.

In this moment of peace and quiet, little Shouto grows up and is able to walk and talk. For the first time in what feels like forever, she feels her heart soaring whenever her children call her mother. She really feels like one as she pats little Shouto’s hair flat. The colour red doesn’t terrify her anymore.

When her mother calls, she feels like she’s breathing in fresh air when she can finally say that she’s happy and means it.

--

She doesn’t realize just how fragile those peaceful days are.

While her older children are at school, she spends her time with her youngest. She brings cold soba to the living room to share with little Shouto when she learns how much he loves to eat it.

She pushes the screen door open with a smile only to drop the tray in surprise.

Little Shouto is sitting on the ground, holding cubes of ice in his right hand while his left is blazing with a flame. His eyes are shining with childish glee when he realizes what this means. He can be the hero he wants to be!

The revelation brings him joy.

The revelation brings her despair.

She runs forward and grasps both of his hands together in hers. Shouto squeaks when the fire touches his mother and he immediately puts it out, blowing cold air onto her hand. The pain from her hand does not compare to the pain in her heart. The small flame from her son’s hand cannot compare to the fire she sees in her mind.

Before he can say anything, she pulls him in for a tight hug and gets him to promise to never use his quirk again.

She doesn’t trust Endeavor enough to let him know.

--

Unfortunately, Endeavor finds out about Shouto’s powers.

He also finds out she was hiding it from him.

The nightmares come back.

--

Endeavor is angry at the wasted time and thus pushes Shouto harder to make up for it. Her little Shouto is confused, he hardly sees his father and now he sees him on a daily basis.

She wakes up to find Shouto missing from her bed at an hour much too early for a regular 5 year old. Heart pounding in her throat, she runs to the dojo and pushes open the screen door just in time to see Endeavor land a sickening punch to her son’s stomach.

Little Shouto falls to his knees and heaves, back arching while he clutches his stomach in pain. She too falls down as she tries to comfort her little boy. She looks up to Endeavor, to the Number Two Hero and begs him to stop.

She receives a slap to the face as he pushes her aside.

--

Days are separated by whether or not Endeavor is at home.

When he is, he’s torturing little Shouto with his warped idea of training and she does everything in her power to get him to stop.

When he isn’t, she can hold Shouto close and carefully treat his wounds.

Today, he isn’t home and little Shouto is crying in her lap, scared of one day becoming a bully like his father.

She gently pats his hair down, carefully focusing on the white strands of hair and the wobbly grey eye, and whisper soft encouragements. She wants the best for her youngest but she doesn’t know what to do, what she can do. More than ever, she hates how powerless she feels, how she once again, lost all control of her life.

Little Shouto looks up at her, eyes swimming in tears.

Red hair and blue eye flashes before her and her mind burns.

She quickly blinks away the image of fire, so much fire, and clears her mind enough to give him a small smile.

While small, at least it is real.

--

She continues to interfere with Shouto’s training.

Endeavor continues to physically tell her to stay put.

She stands her ground against the smacks and slaps and occasional burns.

He then bans her from entering the dojo and all she can do it shriek at the locked screen doors before the staff pulls her away, her son’s anguished cries permanently stuck in her head.

It is only when the staff nervously tells her the training is more intense the more she interferes that she stops clawing at them.

She feels like her mind is sinking in quicksand.

They leave her alone in her room with the revelation.

--

She finally decides to tell her mother the truth, or at least some of it: her unhappiness with her current life, the lack of emotional care Endeavor gives to her children, and the reoccurring nightmares that prevent her from sleeping.

She doesn’t mention the things he has done to her and the details of the nightmares. She doesn't mention what he’s done to Shouto, what he's doing to Shouto. She doesn’t know how.

Her mother, while shocked to hear how neglectful Enji is, immediately rationalizes the behaviour to Endeavor being a workaholic. Her mother tells her to try talking to Enji about her worries and concerns, surely they can work something out? After all, he is a man who works effortlessly to protect his family and the rest of the public as the Number Two hero.

She wishes she isn’t afraid to tell her mother the full truth. She doesn’t call her again.

--

Endeavor is training Shouto again and she feels even more powerless after learning just who he takes his anger on. To keep her mind off her youngest, she goes to pick up her other three children.

The stress and lack of sleep are getting to her, she almost forgets the route and it takes her much longer to get to the school.

Her three children are waiting for her by the school gates alone. It's been awhile since school has ended. Fuyumi tears up upon seeing her and runs for a hug.

Her second son laughs, the noise sounds haunting in her ears. He teases his younger sister and calls her useless and pathetic.

The words and laugh echo in her ears, tone getting deeper and deeper with each repeat until it sounds just like his voice.

Useless.

Worthless.

Red hair. Blue eyes.

She startles when she feels cold, her hands are suddenly frozen and she blinks to clear her mind. Fuyumi is wailing uncontrollably. Her first son has frozen her hands. Before she could ask him why, she sees.

Angry marks on a tiny neck.

Her second son coughing for air.

They walk home quietly. Her second son nervously offers to melt the ice off her hands, the fear in his eyes makes her hate herself more. She shakes her head and refuses.

The cold keeps her grounded. She hasn’t used her quirk in forever but it’s familiar.

She doesn’t trust herself anymore.

--

Most days, the staff watches over her older children under her request. Unfortunately, Shouto isn’t attached to any of the staff members and immediately latches onto her whenever he can. Some days her heart swells with joy. Other days, her heart grips with fear.

She loves them all so much and that’s why she needs to fight against this. For Shouto’s sake.

She’s a mother of four but she feels so alone.

Anxiety claws inside of her.

She chokes on nothing.

She chokes on everything.

She knows she needs to calm down, needs to relax. Tea, yes, some tea would help steady her mind and allow her to breathe. She hasn’t made tea in a while.

Setting the kettle onto the stove, she switches the heat on. Grasping the edge of the stove counter, she counts silently in her head in hopes to clear her clouding thoughts.

One. Two.

He’s always Number Two.

Three. Four.

She’s had four children with that monster.

Five-

One didn’t make it.

Shaking her head, she takes a deep breath and instead, focuses on the air flowing in and out of her lungs. Just keep breathing...

She hears the doctor and nurses telling her to keep breathing and pushing.

She hears her children crying as she's dragged away.

She feels something warm on her arm.

A hand grabbing her arm, dragging her into a dark room, pushing her down-

The cry rips out of her throat and she lashes out. The crash snaps her out of her thoughts and she is back in the kitchen, sees the spatulas and ladles scattered on the counter top and stove, the paper towel falls against the window. She heaves, struggling to maintain her breathing. Taking a deep breath, she slowly picks up the fallen items and places them back into the holder.

The last spatula is close to the kettle and she realizes that is where the heat against her arm is from.

She can’t do this anymore. Even her thoughts betray her.

With trembling hands, she reaches for the phone and dials a number she knows by heart. She stares at the kettle, eyeing it warily, her mind distorts its form to look like something else.

Her mother picks up, her soothing voice greeting her and she immediately breaks down because everything around her is falling apart, has been for years. She tells her mother everything.

All the pain.

All the hurt.

Red hair, blue eyes, fire.

She tries to think of her four beautiful children but her mind keeps changing their hair colour and twisting their features. She loves them but she can’t keep doing this, she can’t stay in this household anymore. It feels as if her mind is crumbling the longer she is here.

She feels like she should be crying.

She feels like all she does is cry.

Her mother asks about Shouto but the image of her youngest that comes to mind is twisted and distorted.

“M…Mom?”

She freezes.

Her mind’s blank.

She hears words.

Her heartbeat drowns them out.

She turns.

Her vision blurs.

She sees red hair blue eyes a condescending smirk laughter fire fire fire

Her hand touches something hot and the piercing whistle is replaced with screams.

--

She’s been told all her life that getting married would be the happiest moment of her life.

They lied.