Chapter 1: I don't want them to know the secrets
There were four students who never went home for weekends:
Satou Rikido, Hagakure Tooru, Bakugou Katsuki, and Todoroki Shouto.
The last, of course, made sense to everyone. No one thought twice of Todoroki choosing to stay every weekend instead of going home.
The other three, however, were more of a mystery.
Tooru dodged the questions easily. As easily as she could slip out of sight, she just as easily slipped around the questions. For her, home was cold and quiet- feet dancing over squeaking floorboards as she squirreled away enough food to survive and took to her phone to scrape up the bits of a affection she was starved for.
Satou just smiled and laughed, brushing off the questions like water rolls off a ducks back. He said nothing of the way his mother's words stuck like knives into his back and tore at his muscles- nothing of how desperately he felt like a disappointment and how he constantly felt like he was walking on eggshells, even so many miles away from home.
Bakugou responded with violence and yelling- how it was none of their shitty business what he did. He carefully shoved his insecurities and fear down into the sharp, cracked jar in his heart, replacing it with empty anger. He smeared foundation over the purple and blue stretched over tan skin and punched walls to scrape up his knuckles to find an excuse for the colors painting his skin.
All three, however, responded with the same two words whenever anybody tried to pry.
Until one day, they weren't.
The common room was quiet, except for the sound of the TV and Tooru munching on popcorn. Lights flickered against four faces, blue and red and white and red again as some stupid movie about aliens played.
Satou was curled into an armchair, woolen blanket wrapped around his large frame. He was half asleep, dozing off as yet another character was dragged off screen by one of the aliens. Across from him was Todoroki, sitting cross legged in his own armchair, hands folded in his lap.
On the couch were Bakugou and Tooru. Tooru, if you could see her, was sprawled out, elbow on the armrest as she devoured a large bowl of buttered popcorn. Bakugou, meanwhile, used his knee to prop up his arm which in turn propped up his chin, other arm hanging off his free knee.
The rest of the building was empty.
For the four left behind, it was an unspoken tradition to have a shitty-movie night on visiting weekends, when the rest of their classmates cleared out to go home.
None of them said a word to the others about why they never went home.
It was an unspoken truce.
After all, they all knew they wouldn’t like the answer.
Her bed was quiet.
The dorm was quiet.
Throwing back the covers, she pulled herself from the blankets and shoved her feet into her slippers, pulling on a sweatshirt. Glancing at the almost-full moon trying to push through her thin curtains, she hugged herself.
It was too quiet.
It reminded her of home.
Glancing at the clock, her heart sunk a little. Four a.m.
She wouldn’t be getting anymore sleep that night.
Not that anyone would notice the bags under her eyes— perks of being invisible, right?
No one notices the too-thin wrists or the scars lining her arms or the deep insomnia-inspired bruises under her eyes.
She can hide.
It’s what she does best.
Chapter 2: dreams and ideas shouldn't be the same thing
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
The scent of frying meat curled through the kitchen as Bakugou and Satou worked side by side. Even with his spiky hair, Bakugou only came up to Satou’s shoulder, but neither seemed to mind or notice as they worked, Bakugou effortlessly slicing through onions and carrots as Satou fried the meat, noodles boiling on the stove.
The soft scraping of a knife across a cutting board interrupted the sizzling of the meat as Bakugou added the vegetables to the stirfry, shifting to finish chopping the mushrooms before adding those too.
“What are you gonna do about break?” Satou asked, voice just a bit too casual.
“...what I always do,” Bakugou said shortly. A pause as they watched the food sizzle. “You?”
They always coexisted like this— in comfortable quiet. Neither were very talkative. Neither really feared each other— Satou, easily able to slice through Bakugou’s layers and defense mechanisms to see the anxiety driving him forward and Bakugou aware that despite his stature and muscles, Satou was a gentle giant who’d rather punch his face in at full power than hurt an ally.
And that’s what they were. Allies. Neither were yet capable of crossing that gulf between friendship and alliance. Instead, they coexisted in peace.
It suited them fine.
“Want to get Hagakure and Todoroki-kun or should I?” Satou asked, pulling the food off the heat and adding the sauce and noodles.
“You,” Bakugou grunted, grabbing plates. “Don’t want to see their ugly mugs until I have to.”
Satou did not point out that Tooru was invisible.
Satou’s smile looked fake.
He stared at himself in the mirror, eyes tracing the too-wide grin and slightly crooked canine. His smile was too sweet.
It faded into uncertainty, carving lines between his eyes and a sort of tenseness into his jaw. He ran thick hands down his face, pressing perhaps a little too hard, a little too rough.
He cupped his hands, water filling the cracks between his fingers as he splashed his face, eyes tired and aching. Leaning against the sink, he listened to the water rushing down the drain and breathed slowly.
You’ll only ever be a sidekick, Rikidou.
His hands tightened around the ceramic.
Useless piece of shit with a useless quirk — you’re lucky they took pity on you, Riki. I’m surprised you even made it into U.A. in the first place, let alone the top class.
Get me another beer, Rikidou. Hurry up, you useless, lazy bitch.
He ran his hands through his hair violently. He was okay. It was okay. He was fine.
He was fine.
Satou breathed out, thinking of the bakery he one day wanted to run, when everything was better, when he’d retired from being a hero. Not just a sidekick. A hero.
You’ll only ever be a sidekick.
Brown eyes stared into the mirror, faint bags lining them. He looked tired.
Satou turned and walked out, a sugary sweet smile on his face.
reviews are blessed
also satou is one of my favorite characters rip
Chapter 3: i smell of smoke
Todoroki doesn’t know a lot of things.
He doesn’t know who the top musicians are at the moment, for one. He doesn’t know celebrities or any of the cult classics or what cotton candy tastes like.
And maybe he’s never had a stuffed animal or pretzels doused in cheese or any of this silly magazines Kaminari leaves all over the dorm but—
Except...it’s not. And though Todoroki doesn’t know a lot of things, like how to interact with people or how to do laundry, he does know that there is something very wrong with how he was raised and that he was not meant to be a clone of his father, no matter what he says.
And Todoroki doesn’t really know how his siblings are treated or even what some of their names are but—
“Yo, half n half, that’s not how you fucking make toast, you dumbass.”
Todoroki sighed as he moved aside for his classmate, who ripped the bread from his hand and prepped it properly, smacking it back into Todoroki’s hand. He didn’t like Bakugou but he could handle his presence. Normally.
Today was not one of those days.
Whether Bakugou was being more abrasive than normal or if it was just his own tolerance that wasn’t holding up....or both...Todoroki didn’t know but his control was slipping like one of his opponent’s on ice.
But Todoroki is Todoroki and instead of blowing up he walks away, ignoring the yelling, the anger, the hand on his shoulder, the pushing and he walks.
So he goes to his room and locks the door and slips inside and hides between the pages of a book, the motions of a kata, the depths of his mind and the one-two-three-four-repeat count of his breaths, the feeling of ice shivering into being on the tips of his fingers.
It’s not okay.
He’s ice, ice, ice, frozen and cold and sometimes he doesn’t feel real. He doesn’t feel human, full, complete, right. He’s broken and shattered and he knows if he just reaches out and touches the fire-
But he can’t. He won’t. He knows the destruction that comes with passion and fire and even though he’s made steps, even though he can wield fire on the tips of his odd-not-iced skin it doesn’t quite melt the cold barriers of his heart.
It’s a leap that isn’t made in one inspiration speech, no matter how powerful.
He doesn’t know how to fix things.
He doesn’t know if he wants them better.
Todoroki doesn’t know a lot of things but he knows this one:
He smells of smoke.