Chapter 1: An Unexpected Surprise
The soft pitter patter of early spring rainfall played out on the streets outside as Momo Yaoyorozu paced the length of her apartment, phone pressed to her ear like a lifeline as she called her best friend.
“Kyouka!” Momo practically shrieked in excitement the moment her friend picked up. “Guess who’s in her new apartment?”
“And there goes my right eardrum. Thanks Yaomomo.” Kyouka Jirou’s voice came rather faintly through the device, laced with sarcasm. “I’m gonna take a wild guess and say you are?”
“You are correct!” She said, purposefully ignoring the sardonic tone in her friend’s voice.
“Nice. Are the guys from the moving company still there?”
“No, they left about ten minutes ago.” Momo said, just as the faint strumming of a guitar came through the line.
Ah, Kyouka had put her on speaker phone again. Not surprising. She tended to mess around with her (rather large) collection of musical instruments while on the phone with her friends.
“They worked pretty fast, I was really impressed.” She added, looking around her new place and admiring the new set up.
Her mother would be proud.
“So you’re still feeling okay about the whole living alone situation?” Kyouka asked, a tinge of concern in her voice.
Momo nodded before remembering her friend couldn’t see the action. “Of course. This is a great opportunity to become more independent. Plus those 90 minute commutes to and from school were exhausting.” She added with a groan. She was ecstatic when she had learned her new commute would only be 20 minutes – walking. She could even cut the commute by 5 minutes if she took the bus.
Kyouka laughed. “Yeah, I have no idea how you managed to do that all of last year and managed to stay at the top of the class.” She said, strumming another note on her instrument.
“With great difficulty.” Momo sighed, running a finger absentmindedly along the granite countertop of her kitchen as she surveyed the rest of the apartment. “My extracurricular activities certainly didn’t help...” She trailed off as her eyes landed on the door between the kitchen and her bedroom.
When the moving guys had first arrived, they had dismissed the room as a bathroom. But Momo had just finished setting up the actual bathroom a few minutes before she had called Jirou.
“Uh Yaomomo? You okay?”
Momo didn’t respond, her eyes still focused on the door as she moved slowly towards it.
Was it a second bedroom? Her parents had told her they’d arranged for her to have a one bedroom apartment but perhaps they’d changed their minds at the last minute. Perhaps it was a spare room that she could use as a study. Perhaps she could even use the space to store her vast collection of exotic teas.
At that last thought she grinned and moved to grab the door handle.
“Momo what the hell?!”
She nearly dropped her phone at the sound of Jirou’s voice. She had completely forgotten about her friend for a moment there.
“Kyouka you scared me!” Momo said with a scowl, removing her hand from the door handle to place it over her rapidly beating heart.
She could practically see Jirou puffing her cheeks out in irritation on the other end. “You scared me! What are you doing? Why are you being all silent and weird?”
“I found another room.” Momo explained, reaching for the door handle a second time. “I think my parents got me a two bedroom apartment instead of a one bedroom.”
“…You rich people have the strangest problems.”
Momo ignored her and opened up the door, already mentally decorating the room.
That is, until she saw what was inside.
The apartment had come unfurnished, yet this room was set up with traditional Japanese furniture, very different from her western style room.
And next to the bed there was a navy blue backpack and what looked like men’s slippers, also navy blue with a simple design.
“Does someone live here?” Momo muttered to herself in horror.
There was no way. She had never agreed to living with anyone.
Was there a strange man living in her apartment? Did her parents know about this?
She faintly heard the front door open behind her but she couldn’t find it in herself to turn around.
The voice she heard next both filled her with relief and with inexplicable horror.
“Momo what’s going on? And is there someone there with you? That sounds a lot like–”
“Nothing, everything is fine. Kyouka I have to go, I’ll talk to you at school.” She cut her friend off and hung up before she could say another word.
Realizing she still hadn’t said anything, she turned around ever so slowly until she locked eyes with a heterochromatic pair she’d recognize anywhere.
“T-T-Todoroki? What are you doing here?” She cursed inwardly at how shaky her voice sounded. She hated the effect he had on her but she couldn’t help it; he was an oddly intimidating guy.
Shouto Todoroki had been in her class last year; their first year at Yuuei High School. Like Momo, he came from a wealthy, well-known family and excelled in school. He was – by far – the best player on the boys’ soccer team and held a black belt in Judo.
Despite Momo being just as accomplished, there was still something about the guy that made her feel inferior.
It could be the fact that half the girls in her year were into him and half the boys wanted to be him.
Or perhaps it was that he had a quiet, cool personality and rarely warmed up to people. Izuku Midoriya was probably the only person she knew that he was actually close with.
“I live here.” His response cut through her thoughts, startling her. “I moved in this morning but when I noticed the second bedroom I decided to go speak with the landlord. It turns out he made a mistake.”
So I won’t be getting a spare study room, she thought sadly.
“Is there any way to rectify the mistake?” She asked hopefully. There was no way she could go back to those 90 minute commutes again. Not with all the homework she’d be given and the volleyball tryouts approaching.
Todoroki’s normally impassive expression morphed into a frown. “I’m afraid not. I went to check out some other properties he suggested today but they’re all either too far away or too expensive. The best one I found is double the price of this one and it’s not as nice. Besides, I can’t ask my grandparents to pay any more than they have already. It wouldn’t be fair to them.”
Momo blinked. That was probably the most she had ever heard him speak.
“So I’m sorry Yaoyorozu,” he continued with a sigh. “But I can’t move out.”
Momo thought of her parents and let out a sigh of her own. The budget they had set for this place was already incredibly high and despite their wealth, Momo felt bad asking them to spend even more on her. Plus if she did move, she’d have to (somehow) find a new place that was just as well-placed, pack everything up, move everything over to her new place and settle in all over again. There was no way she could go through the whole moving process again. Not when the new school year would be starting in two days.
“I’m afraid I can’t either.” She said, breaking eye contact and looking down at her feet awkwardly. She didn’t fancy the idea of living with a boy but it wasn’t just any boy. It was a classmate who, despite his aloof personality, seemed like a decent enough guy. After all, Midoriya and Iida liked him. How bad could he be?
His frown deepened as he regarded his classmate. "Why can't you move out?"
Okay... decent guy but a little blunt.
"I have my reasons."
Momo wasn't interested in arguing over who had it worse. They both came from wealthy families and, as far as she knew, neither of them really needed to move out on their own but they did anyway.
"I see." His face was back to his usual, unreadable expression. "Well I suppose it can't be helped then. We'll just have to make this work for now."
Momo nodded, grateful he wasn't pushing the matter any further. "We can establish some ground rules if you'd like. Though I do pride myself on being a pretty quiet and tidy person - I don't think I'll give you too much grief." She added with a wry smile. "Plus, once student council and volleyball start up I'll be out of the house most of the day anyway."
"That's true. Same here." He said, meeting her gaze. "Though you know the school rules, Yaoyorozu. We can't let our classmates find out and risk getting caught."
That meant she'd have to keep this a secret from her friends as well. That thought didn't sit right with her somehow.
Still she relented with a sigh. "Yes, I understand."
Todoroki nodded. "Good. Then maybe - just maybe - this will work."
Chapter 2: Progress is Progress
[cue Titanic gif of Rose going "it's been 84 years"]
Does anyone even remember this fic? lol I'm SO sorry.
I swear future updates won't be this far apart. I've just been super busy and also super insecure about my writing. I think I re-wrote different parts of this chapter like 30 times. It's honestly still a giant mess so I apologize. I am mediocre at best when it comes to writing and it definitely shows.
You had to wait a while BUUUUT I have given you a 4,400+ word chapter as thanks for your patience :D
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The first day of school arrived two days later and Momo was more than thrilled to finally have an excuse to leave the apartment and get away from her new roommate.
It had taken two days of forced conversations (all initiated by her) and incredibly awkward silences for Momo to realize their living situation wouldn’t be the walk in the park she had initially believed it to be. While Todoroki had agreed (rather quickly – to her surprise) to living together, she knew it was only because he saw this as a temporary arrangement.
And while it was totally fair for him to see it that way, she couldn’t help but take it just a tad personally when he continued circling apartment ads in the newspaper, ate his meals in his bedroom and left his boxes – still packed up – near the doorway.
She wasn’t that bad to be around, was she?
Despite already knowing Todoroki wasn’t the type to open up to just anyone, his icy demeanor still bothered her more than she’d like to admit. But what could she do? They were simply two very different people. She couldn’t force the guy into being her friend.
With an audible huff, Momo finished shoving the rest of her school books into her backpack and opened her bedroom door to find the apartment empty.
Of course he’d left without her.
Not that she was complaining – their conversations weren’t exactly riveting.
As she walked to school, Momo tried to distract herself with other things; volleyball, her new class schedule, her weekly grocery list. Perhaps she would buy a cookbook after school. Her parents had had a chef at home growing up so she wasn’t the most experienced cook… but how hard could it really be?
She listed off basic recipes in her head as she turned onto the street Yuuei High School was on.
Omelette Rice, Stir Fry Vegetables, Soba Noodle Salad…
The girl in question turned to see Ochako Uraraka bounding towards her with a sunny smile on her face, followed closely by Kyouka Jirou and Tooru Hagakure.
“Hey guys! How are you?” She smiled brightly at the approaching girls, happy to see a few friendly faces.
“Oh we’re great,” Tooru spoke up before the other girls could answer. “But enough about that. Tell us more about your fancy new apartment!”
Momo couldn’t help but giggle at the energetic girl. She had no idea how Tooru always managed to stay so upbeat but it was certainly refreshing after being trapped inside with Todoroki for two days.
“Kyouka told us you have a spare bedroom!” Ochako said before Momo could answer. “Do you know what you’re going to do with it yet?”
Momo froze. Crap, she had forgotten she’d told Kyouka about the spare bedroom.
“N-no, not yet.” She rubbed the back her neck nervously, refusing to meet any of their curious gazes. “I’ll probably just store boxes in there or something. It’s not very big.”
“Oh.” The girls looked disappointed with that answer. “Just boxes?”
“Just for now. Perhaps I’ll find a use for it when I get settled in.” Momo managed a small smile and the girls smiled back, happier with that answer. It wasn’t technically a lie – especially if Todoroki was set on moving out as soon as possible.
It was a relief actually; knowing Todoroki was looking for a new place to live. It meant she’d only have to keep their secret for a short amount of time. She hated lying to her parents and her best friends. Momo couldn’t help but wonder if he was also feeling guilty about all the secret keeping.
“By the way,” Jirou started as they entered the school. “Was there someone there with you the other day? I swear I heard a voice that sounded just like–”
Momo had never in her life been happier to see Mina and Tsuyu. She was not ready to discuss the other night with Jirou and she silently gave thanks to whatever god was out there for the interruption.
The other girls exchanged greetings as she thought about what she was going to say when Jirou asked again. It was a lot harder to lie to her than to the other girls. She just always seemed to know when Momo was lying or not.
It’s only a matter of time before Kyouka figures it out. She thought warily as she felt herself being dragged towards one of the bulletin boards in the main entrance of the school.
Uraraka, the one dragging her, squealed in delight as she found the list of second year classes.
“We’ve got the same homeroom class again!”
“Wait, seriously?” Jirou said, sidling up beside them to get a better look at the board. “Like exactly the same?”
“I think so…” Mina answered, squinting as she trailed her index finger down the list of names. “Wow, yeah, pretty much the same, except Mineta is no longer in our class.”
Momo couldn’t stop the “Yesss!” that escaped her lips. Not that she really tried to stop it. The little grape perv had been a constant thorn in her side all of last year and she couldn’t be happier to finally be in a different class, far away from his lecherous behaviour.
“No complaints here!” Tooru cheered, pumping a fist in the air.
“Indeed,” Tsuyu nodded. “But who’s replacing him? Because if it’s someone like Monoma, I’m not sure I want to be there when Bakugou finds out.”
The girls shivered at the thought.
“Nope, it’s Hitoshi Shinsou.” Mina announced, facing her friends with a wide grin. “He’s pretty normal right?”
“Yeah, he’s friends with Midoriya.” Tsuyu said with a smile as the other girls let out sighs of relief.
All of the quiet ones are. Momo thought with a smirk, thinking of a certain red and white haired boy.
Then she froze.
If there was only one change in the class list, then that means that Todoroki is in my class again this year.
“Yep, he is.” Kyouka raised an eyebrow at her. “Since when do you care about Todoroki being in our class?”
The other girls turned to her with questioning looks as she mentally cursed herself for accidentally voicing her thoughts.
“Who wouldn’t care?” Mina (unintentionally) came to her rescue for the second time that day with a giggle. “He’s dreamy. I hope he’s put at the front of the class this year so I can look at him more.” She winked as the other girls chuckled at her antics.
Momo closed her eyes and released the breath she had been holding, missing the look of suspicion Kyouka shot her way.
Class 2-A looked pretty much the same as Class 1-A had looked. The only change was Shinsou sitting calmly in the second last row, playing a game on his phone.
All around him was the usual complete and utter chaos.
“DAMN IT DEKU, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING IN THIS CLASS AGAIN?”
“O–oh hey Kacchan…”
“Deku!” Uraraka called out happily when she noticed the green haired boy. He turned away from Bakugou and shyly greeted her as she skipped over to them.
“BAKUGOU, I MUST ASK THAT YOU REMOVE YOUR FEET FROM THAT DESK.” Iida joined the fray, attempting to calm things down, despite being the loudest one there. “YOU ARE DAMAGING SCHOOL PROPERTY.”
The blonde haired boy let out a “tch” and kept his feet where they were, choosing to look out the window instead when Iida made his way over to reprimand him further.
The other girls broke away from their group to join the various groups of boys spread across the room, leaving Kyouka and Momo standing at the front, unsure of where to go. It didn’t really matter whether they sat or not since their homeroom teacher would be assigning them their seats in a matter of minutes anyway.
“So,” Momo felt her friend elbow her lightly and turned to look at her. “When do I get to see your new apartment?” Kyouka asked with a wink. “I’m the best friend so I should get the first peek right?”
Momo chuckled nervously, rubbing the back of her neck. “Oh y’know...”
“Good morning class.” A gruff but familiar voice called out, saving Momo from yet another conversation she didn’t want to have. How many times had she been saved in the last half hour? Four? Her lucky streak could only last so long.
“Mr. Aizawa?!” The class exclaimed in unison. It wasn’t exactly common to have the same teacher two years in a row.
“Yeah, yeah, you get me again.” He grumbled, making his way up to the chalkboard. “Try to contain your excitement.”
“Now,” he grabbed a piece of chalk and began drawing a diagram of the room. “Let’s just get right into it. I don’t want to waste time on seating, so the moment you see your name go find your assigned seat. No talking either. You can catch up at lunchtime.”
As he wrote the names down on the board, everyone began to move around and find their assigned seats.
With Jirou distracted, Momo took off with a stealth she hadn’t known she possessed until now, making her way towards her seat in the back of the classroom.
She saw Kyouka sit down and swivel around to look at her, but before their eyes met Kaminari sat down next to the purple haired girl and began chatting away; completely ignoring Aizawa’s no talking rule.
Momo snorted at the look of irritation Jirou shot her seatmate.
She heaved out a long contented sigh and leaned back in her seat. Her first day of second year was going rather well so far. There was no Mineta, no awkward talks with Jirou about her living situation and all of her friends happened to be in the same homeroom as her – a promising start.
She looked up to see Todoroki standing before her. He wore his usual impassive expression but the rest of him seemed rather stiff and awkward.
She was surprised he was choosing to interact with her in the classroom of all places. Perhaps he had finally come to the realization that he couldn’t continue to avoid interacting with her, seeing as they shared an apartment and a homeroom class. Perhaps he figured it couldn’t hurt to get to know his roommate/classmate a little better. That was what she hoped at least.
Her eyebrows scrunched together as she mentally perused the possibilities. Perhaps Todoroki would finally open up to her and extend his hand in friendship. No more lonely dinners and awkward silences.
She looked up at the boy with a small smile. “Yes Todoroki?”
He blinked at her before setting his backpack down.
“You’re sitting in my seat.”
“I can’t believe you’re sitting next to Todoroki again Momo,” Mina whined, as the girls of 2-A sat down at one of the few remaining empty tables in the cafeteria with their lunch trays.
The other girls giggled as Momo flushed, recalling the awkward seating mix up from earlier.
Jirou rolled her eyes. “Since when do you have a thing for Todoroki?”
“Who says I have to have a crush on the guy to appreciate a pretty face?” Mina answered with a wink, eliciting another eye roll from Jirou; though this time it came with a small smirk.
“He is pretty cute,” Hagakure chimed in with a giggle, earning a high five from Mina.
Momo decided to join in on the fun. “Don’t let Ojiro hear you, Tooru.” She teased, laughing as the girl’s face went scarlet. “He wouldn’t like to hear that Todoroki is his competition.”
“It-It’s not like that!” She protested as the other girls burst out laughing. “We’re just friends!”
“I’m not sure anyone believes that Tooru,” said Tsuyu, picking up a rice ball. “After all, you two spend a great deal of time together.”
Momo laughed along with her friends as Hagakure spluttered at the remark. She was grateful to be talking about something other than Todoroki for a change.
“Hey, now that I think about it, Uraraka and Midoriya spend quite a bit of time together as well.” Mina added, tapping her chin with her index finger before turning to the startled brunette. “Is there something going on that you’re not telling us Ochako?” She asked mischievously, reveling in the deep crimson shade the poor girls face took on.
“D-Deku?! No way!” Uraraka clutched her reddening cheeks.
“Hard to believe you when your cheeks look like that.” Jirou noted dryly before taking a sip of water.
“I think the two of you would make a great couple.” Tsuyu said thoughtfully, tilting her head ever so slightly to the right. “And I think Midoriya may even have a bit of a crush on you himself.”
Uraraka let out an undignified squawk at this bit of information before burying her face in her hands and shaking her head side to side. Whatever she was mumbling into her hands was lost on the other girls though, so they decided to finally change topics.
“So Momo, what’s the deal?” Mina leaned forward with a grin. “When are we going to get to see your new apartment?”
And just like that, the fun part of the conversation was over for Yaoyorozu.
“Yeah you promised us a girl’s night.” Jirou said, flicking a piece of broccoli her way. Momo flicked the vegetable back with a little too much force and it went rolling past Kyouka off the side of the table.
She sighed. “I know, I know. Once I get everything unpacked and organized I’ll arrange a time for you all to come over.”
“How about we come over and help you?” Uraraka suggested brightly. “It would be more fun that wa–”
“No, no, that’s okay!” Momo cut in a little too quickly, waving her hands in front of her. “I–I just have a way of doing… things… y’know…” She trailed off clumsily as she realized the girls were staring at her oddly.
“You okay Yaomomo?” Mina cocked an eyebrow at her frazzled friend. “You’re being kinda weird.”
She noticed her friends exchanging glances with one another.
Momo attempted a reassuring smile (that was most likely anything but). “Of course. I’m sorry to worry you girls, it’s just been a big change moving out on my own and preparing myself for second year. I’ll feel better once I get settled in.”
Momo sagged in relief as the girls bought the excuse and went back to eating again. She hated lying to them. As vice-president of her class, she was supposed to be a good role model for her fellow classmates – and good role models don’t lie and secretly share apartments with their male classmates. But she couldn’t risk being found out.
Momo resisted the urge to smack her forehead at the thought. She was only halfway through her first day and she was completely overwhelmed.
Unbeknownst to her, Kyouka was paying extra close attention to the expressions on her best friend’s face and she didn’t like what she saw.
At the sound of the last bell, Momo was out of her seat and out the door before most of her classmates could even process what had happened. She was sure that must have looked incredibly odd to them, seeing as she was usually the last to leave; often staying behind to answer homework questions or chat with the other girls, but she was still reeling in embarrassment from her morning encounter with Todoroki.
Even Mr. Aizawa had looked rather surprised by her sudden departure – like he had just seen a rogue leprechaun bolt through the door and not his top student. She was just thankful he hadn’t said anything.
As she made her way out the gates of Yuuei High, her phone lit up with a notification telling her Jirou had sent her a text message. Momo sighed and pocketed her phone, already knowing what her friend was going to say. She could tell that Jirou wasn’t buying any of her lies or excuses, and it was only a matter of time before she was confronted over the issue.
Realizing she was out of food, she decided to stop by the supermarket near her place to load up on… well, she wasn’t entirely sure. Having grown up with a chef in her household, Momo had never really learned how to cook anything. Because of this, she had spent the last couple of days living off of cereal and instant ramen.
Momo grabbed one of the red plastic baskets stacked up by the door as she entered the establishment. The store was a modest size with a fairly simple layout; produce on one side, meat and seafood along the back, dairy on the other side, and a quaint bakery nestled next to the dairy section by the door. She glanced around, wondering where to begin. She had all the time in the world, really, seeing as she was hoping to avoid Todoroki for the rest of the day. He would hopefully be on his way home now since his soccer tryouts weren’t for another few days.
Momo growled in frustration as she slammed her basket down in the cereal aisle, crouching down next to it and burying her face in her hands.
She had decided to start out in the produce department and had made it about two aisles over before her current meltdown. She had been in the store for nearly an hour now and her progress was disappointing to say the least.
Her shopping basket held an avocado, a lemon, three packages of instant ramen (grabbed in a moment of weakness) and yet another box of cereal.
She had all the recipes she’d found earlier lined up on her phone as she strolled around the store, but the moment she came in contact with any of the ingredients, she’d find herself making excuses for all of them.
Too many ingredients.
Takes too long to cook.
Seems complicated. What if I screw up?
It was a new feeling for Yaoyorozu; not knowing how to do something. She was known amongst her classmates for being the one who always had the answer, no matter what the question.
Of course, none of them had ever asked about cooking.
She groaned loudly, burying her head in her arms, not even caring who saw her at this point. She half expected some grocery stock boy to find her in this position and kick her out for loitering or causing a scene in the cereal aisle. Instead, it was the last person she was hoping to see.
“Yaoyorozu, what the hell are you doing?”
Momo considered the odds of Todoroki walking away and forgetting he ever saw her if she just stayed in her current position a little while longer. It didn’t seem likely.
She slowly raised her head, watching as he reached into her shopping basket and pulled out one of the instant ramen packages. “Yaoyorozu, is this all you’ve been eating since you moved?” He raised an eyebrow, turning the package toward her.
He actually noticed?? Momo gulped, attempting to regain her balance as she stood up. Then again, it would be pretty hard to not notice. Todoroki’s side of the fridge was filled with fruits, vegetables, eggs and different sauces. Momo’s had a single carton of milk, which she used for both her tea and cereal.
Todoroki continued to stare intently at her, awaiting her answer but all Momo could think about at the moment was disappearing into the floor and never coming back up again. She felt like a small child being scolded for reaching into the cookie jar before dinner.
“I–well… yes.” She hung her head in shame, unable to look him in the eye after that admission. Exposing her one weakness to Todoroki of all people wasn’t easy.
“I see. Come on then.”
He then turned around and began walking down the aisle towards the meat display at the back of the store.
Momo grabbed her basket and scurried after him; her mind reeling. Why did he want her to go with him? And why was she always so intimidated by this guy? In pretty much any situation where Todoroki was not involved, Momo Yaoyorozu was a pinnacle of elegance, confidence and grace. She knew the answer to nearly every question thrown her way and she never second guessed herself. But then in would walk Todoroki and suddenly she was so unsure of everything.
The frustrating part was she couldn’t even figure out why it happened. It wasn’t like she had a crush on the guy. They barely knew each other. All she knew was that he had a sister and his father was a very successful businessman. On top of that, Todoroki wasn’t exactly known for his sunny disposition. So she mentally crossed that one off the list.
“Yaoyorozu? Pay attention.” Todoroki’s voice cut through her racing thoughts. She looked around, realizing they’d arrived at the meat department in the back of the store. “You need to pick the correct type of chicken. In this case, we’re looking for the breast. Do you see anything good?”
Todoroki was probably the only boy, besides Iida, in 1-A who could say the word ‘breast’ with such seriousness.
Instead of answering his question, she found herself asking one right back.
“Why are you helping me?”
It came out in a far more accusatory manner than she had intended but if it bothered Todoroki in any way, he certainly didn’t show it. “You’ve helped me out in the past with schoolwork and such,” he shrugged, his eyes not leaving the packages of chicken on display. “I’m simply returning the favour.”
Ah, right. It was simply him repaying her for all her assistance in class last year. That seemed fair enough.
“I think this one should do.” He said, picking up a pack with two chicken breasts nestled inside. “Now c’mon, let’s get moving. It’s getting late and I’d like to have dinner at a decent hour.”
“Yaoyorozu, what are you doing with that pepper?”
Momo froze, knife in hand, and looked up at her roommate/newfound cooking teacher with a sheepish grin. “Cutting it?”
“Into giant squares that no regular human could fit into their mouth?”
Todoroki sighed and gently pulled the knife from her hand, demonstrating how to cut the pepper into smaller more delicate pieces, then handed it back to her. “Now you try.”
She kept his demonstration in mind as she began chopping the pepper into smaller pieces.
“Better.” He gave a nod of approval before turning back to the chicken on the stove.
Momo groaned in frustration at her lack of skill in the kitchen as she continued chopping away. Ugh, why am I like this?!
The question had been meant for herself, but she had accidentally voiced it out loud. Todoroki put down the paprika he had been sprinkling over the chicken and turned toward her with a quizzical expression. “What do you mean by that?”
She hadn’t really expected him to hear that, much less actually respond.
“Uh–well… it’s just that–well, y’know…”
“I really don’t.” He said dryly, crossing his arms.
She let out a long, audible sigh as she put the knife down and let herself fall sideways so her hip was resting against the edge of the granite countertop. “I just mean… how can my classmates rely on me as vice-president of our class if I can’t even cook something as simple as an egg?” She kept her eyes downcast, avoiding Todoroki’s intent stare. It was weird admitting something like this to someone like him.
Her question was met with a rather long pause as he seemed to mull over the question.
“I know I don’t get jokes a lot,” he said finally, tilting his head slightly to the right. “But that was a joke right?”
“No, Todoroki. That was not a joke.” She met his gaze timidly, feeling awkward. “I’m just not used to this feeling I guess…”
At that, he snorted. “You can’t expect to be a natural at everything Yaoyorozu. It’s just not possible.”
“Says you.” She retorted before she could stop herself. Where was this boldness coming from?
“I’m not good at everything,” he said with a frown, turning back towards the stove to check on the chicken. “There are lots of things I’m not good at.”
“Like what?” She picked up her knife and began to chop the rest of the peppers – properly, this time – and throw the pieces into a bowl.
“Like…” he scrunched his face in thought as he pulled the chicken off the stove to slice it up. “Golf… and chemistry. You should know; I went to you a few times for chemistry help during exams last year.”
That was true, Momo thought. Chemistry seemed to be the one subject Todoroki actually had a fair amount of trouble grasping. It was probably the reason he was ranked fifth in their class instead of higher.
“So there you go,” he grabbed the bowl of chopped up vegetables and dumped them into the pan with the now cut up chicken and teriyaki sauce. “Nobody is perfect. Perfection is a stupid notion.” He scowled as he said that, stirring everything together in the large pan. “You’re allowed to screw up and have a thing that you’re not great at. It’s all part of life. And besides,” he turned to look at her. “Knowing you Yaoyorozu, you’ll be a natural at this in no time.”
She felt her heart flutter and her cheeks warm ever so slightly at the compliment. There was something different about it coming from Todoroki. Maybe it was because he wasn’t the type to hand out compliments to just anyone. And because of that, she knew it was sincere.
“T-Thank you, Todoroki,” she bowed slightly in his direction, mostly to hide her pink cheeks. “For everything today. I really appreciate it.”
“No need to thank me,” he said, turning off the stove and pouring the contents of the pan over the two bowls of rice they had set out. “Like I said before, I’m simply returning the favour. You’re a big help when it comes to chemistry.”
“I’m always here to help if you need it.” She smiled warmly. This feels like progress.
He nodded in response. “Thanks Yaoyorozu. Sleep well.”
And with that, he turned on his heel, bowl in hand, and went straight for his room, closing the door shut behind him.
Still gonna eat dinner in his room huh, Momo thought wryly. Typical Todoroki.
Though this time, instead of scowling at the thought, she smiled.
Because while it wasn’t much… progress was progress.
Thanks for reading!
Comments are always appreciated. Honestly, without all your lovely comments from last chapter I'm not sure this would even be out right now. I had a REALLY bad bout of anxiety over my writing that apparently spanned TWO MONTHS. Nice job Myra. So yeah, comments are appreciated and are a GREAT motivator. It's always nice to know people are still interested in reading this.
I won't let the next update take this long, it was ridiculous.
Take care everyone!! x
Chapter 3: Never Be Alone
That awkward moment when I'm working on chapter 4 and realized I never actually published chapter 3... which I finished at the end of July... *dodges garbage that is surely being thrown at me* ...sorry!!
Sorry guys, life has been busy. New program at uni, injured my wrist on uni break, broke up with my boyfriend, promotion at work, balancing work with school... weeeee...
I actually wrote out a full detailed plan for this story after finishing this chapter so I'm HOPING that'll speed up updates buuut I'm not gonna make promises anymore lol sorry!
ALSO, this chapter is where Kamijirou starts to make their first appearance with their storyline.
Anyway, onto the story!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Soccer truly is the world’s best sport.”
The first Thursday in May marked the kick-off game for the junior boys’ A team against Shiketsu High’s own A team. Yuuei’s junior team had a 4 year winning streak, and they were determined to make it to five this year. Because of this, Momo had seen very little of Todoroki since their impromptu cooking lesson.
“Mina, you’re drooling.” Jirou noted dryly, nudging the pink haired girl with her elbow as the others laughed.
“I mean, can you blame her?” Hagakure giggled, gesturing towards the bench currently occupied by Yuuei High’s boys’ soccer team. “Our A team is looking pretty good this year.”
Uraraka cocked her head in confusion. “Uhh… looks-wise or talent-wise?”
Mina let out a small tsk. “Both, obviously.”
In terms of talent, Momo could definitely agree. With Todoroki, Midoriya and Bakugou as their strikers, and Shoji as their goalkeeper, losing wasn’t much of an option for them.
Momo and her female classmates continued walking through the stands until they found what Mina deemed the best seats in the stadium, taking their seats and watching as the boys now spread out across the pitch to begin practice drills.
Jirou rolled her eyes. “I thought you were here to cheer on the rest of the bakusquad?”
The Bakusquad: a name made up by Kaminari and Mina to represent their little group, consisting of the two of them, Hanta Sero, Eijirou Kirishima and Katsuki Bakugou. Bakugou made it abundantly clear he despised the name, which, naturally, only made the others all the more determined to use it.
“What, and I can’t check out some of their teammates while I’m at it?” Mina huffed, reluctantly tearing her gaze away from the field to face her friends. “Clearly the rest of you aren’t seeing how attractive Yosetsu Awase has gotten in the last few months. Or how well-muscled Bakugou and Todoroki are.”
“Ew, you’re checking out Bakugou?” Jirou made a face as the others laughed. “Did one of them whack you in the head with a soccer ball on your way up here?”
“He’s got the personality of a sewer rat but his physique is nothing to scoff at,” Mina said matter-of-factly, turning back towards the pitch with a grin.
“I suppose Bakugou without his personality isn’t terrible.” Tsuyu conceded, looking more than reluctant to admit it.
Uraraka spoke up but Momo was no longer listening, her attention now on the group of boys on the field kicking soccer balls around.
Or rather, one boy in particular.
Todoroki’s movements were mesmerizing. While the other boys on the team were definitely talented, he moved with a certain elegance and grace that none of them could hope to match. It made her wonder if he had taken up ballet as a kid, though Momo couldn’t imagine Enji Todoroki putting his son in a ballet class. Perhaps it was something he picked up from his mother; whom Momo had heard about once or twice before, but never seen.
“Hey girls, what are you up to?”
Momo was jolted from her thoughts by the new but familiar voice. Itsuka Kendou and a few girls from 2-B sat down in the seats behind them with friendly smiles on their faces.
“Well, we” Mina gestured to the others on her left “were discussing the chances of Bakugou becoming a serial killer, while Yaomomo here” she gave her friend’s dark ponytail a playful tug “was gazing at Icy Hot McHottie the whole time.”
Momo stiffened as her body temperature suddenly hiked up several degrees. She turned to her pink haired friend with a look of betrayal. “I was not gazing at him!”
Itsuka gave the two girls an inquisitive look. “Who the heck is Icy Hot McHottie supposed to be?”
“Shouto Todoroki, obviously.” One of the girls from 2-B, Setsuna Tokage, chimed in with a knowing grin. “The Icy Hot part is in reference to his hair, as well as the rumors that his right hand is always cold and his left is always warm… and I’m sure you girls can figure out the McHottie part.”
“Yaomomo sure can.” Mina gave her shoulder a poke and Momo swatted at her.
“Honestly Mina,” she huffed in irritation. “I was just watching their drills. It’s interesting to watch. Nothing more.”
It was the truth. Just because she found his movements interesting did not mean she thought he was attractive.
“Yaoyorozu… do you like Todoroki?” The question came from another 2-B girl, Yui Kodai, who was sitting just behind Momo. Like Todoroki, she was rather quiet with a similar stoic expression always on her face. She also played on the girls’ soccer team at Yuuei. In a way, she was a weirdly perfect match for Todoroki, and for some reason, that thought didn’t sit well with Momo.
“Oooo straight to the point, I like it.” Mina said a little too happily.
Momo rolled her eyes at the pink haired girl before turning to address Yui. “No, I don’t. Todoroki and I are simply classmates.” The girl gave a simple nod to her response before turning her attention back to the field. How odd, Momo thought. She and Yui rarely spoke so why would she ask a question like that?
“But you’d make the cutest couple!” Hagakure spoke through a mouthful of crackers so her remark came out rather garbled.
“You do seem to get nervous and fidgety around him quite often,” Tsuyu observed, crossing her arms and tapping her index finger against her chin. “Does that perhaps have anything to do with how you feel about him?”
“What? No I just said–”
“Maybe it’s because you liiike him,” Mina teased, poking a scowling Momo’s shoulder.
“Nah, that’s not it,” Jirou cut in, much to Momo’s relief. “It’s more like he’s some kind of pop idol and she’s his number one fan girl.”
“What? It’s true. You act like he’s Beyoncé or something.”
The other girls all burst into uproarious laughter while Momo felt herself shrinking further and further into her seat.
“I think what Jirou means is that you admire Todoroki and have a lot of respect for him and his abilities,” Itsuka added kindly.
“Yeah, but I like the way I said it better.”
Momo swatted half-heartedly at Jirou. She meant well. Even if she was a complete and total shit disturber.
“Aw man, so no secret crush?” Mina whined.
“No secret crush,” Momo nodded. “I admire Iida as well. Doesn’t mean I have a crush on him.”
“But you don’t get all weird around–”
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” a loud voice suddenly boomed over the intercom in the stadium. “Welcome to our Junior Boy’s kick-off game against Shiketsu High! Please take your seats; the match will begin in five minutes.”
“About time!” Mina said, pumping a fist in the air as applause and cheering from fellow students and soccer fans filled the now-crowded stadium.
The other girls cheered in agreement, with Tooru and Ochako bouncing up and down excitedly in their seats. Momo simply nodded before turning her gaze back to the boys, who were currently in a huddle. Todoroki’s dual coloured hair stood out among the others as he gave his team a pep talk – though Momo couldn’t imagine stoic Todoroki being the one to raise spirits and get everyone pumped up. The thought brought a wry grin to her face. She figured that’s what Kirishima and Kaminari were there for; the latter looking just about ready to explode from excitement.
It was Kaminari’s first year making the first string team (or A team as most at their school called it) so this game was going to be a big deal for him. The same went for Sero and Ojiro who also hadn’t made A team last year but got in this year.
Momo smiled and silently wished her classmates luck. It was going to be one hell of a game.
The game ended with a final score of 3-1 – a crushing defeat for Shiketsu.
Kyouka Jirou had never seen Bakugou look so utterly pleased in her entire life. He even accepted a high five from Midoriya.
He hadn’t even scored the final goal either. It had been Kaminari.
Kyouka wanted to say it was surprising – the class idiot actually doing something right for a change – but she had seen how hard Kaminari had been training this past year to make the first string team. And it turns out all of that training had paid off. Kaminari played damn good today and even she couldn’t deny it. She was actually pretty proud of the idiot.
As the cheering from the Yuuei side finally died down, the crowd began to disperse and the girls were able to make their way out of the stadium.
Some of the girls went over to chat with the boys while the others waved goodbye and headed home; Kyouka and Momo among them.
As her and Momo separated from the last of the girls, waving goodbye, they continued up the road. Kyouka could see the sign for Maple Street up ahead, where she would be turning left. Further ahead would be Momo’s apartment complex.
That particular topic had become a sore spot in their little girl group as of late.
It had been almost a month since Momo had moved into her new place, and at this point it was pretty clear she had no intention of showing it to them. Every week she had a new excuse, and the more it was brought up the more anxious and fidgety she seemed to get over the topic.
So Kyouka had told the other girls to drop it. Because while it was frustrating being (obviously) lied to and denied access to their close friends new space, it also became evident that it was just as frustrating for Momo. And Kyouka knew she needed to respect that; even if it hurt just a smidge that her best friend wouldn’t trust her with whatever was going on.
Perhaps she just needed some time. Momo seemed fine – the only time she didn’t was when they questioned her about her new apartment. Perhaps it was best just to leave the issue alone for now.
“That was quite the game, wasn’t it?” Momo’s cheery voice interrupted her thoughts. “Kaminari played well. He’s come a long way, don’t you think?”
Jirou nodded. “He really wanted that spot on the first string team.”
“It seems like he’s gonna have some fans this season as well,” Momo smirked, hiking her bag up on her right shoulder as they drew closer to Maple street. “He was being swarmed by first year girls as we were leaving.”
Kyouka scoffed, rolling her eyes. “Oh, fantastic. As if that ego of his needs to get any bigger.” If what Momo said was true, then Jirou would never hear the end of it from him. Kaminari was as girl crazy as they came.
Momo grinned. “I think he’ll be fine, so long as his fan base doesn’t exceed Todoroki’s.”
Kyouka snorted at the thought. Hell would freeze over before that happened. Icy Hot McHottie had that dumbass nickname for a reason.
There was a pause in the conversation as they finally reached the sign for Maple Street. They would be parting ways here, with Momo going back to her mysterious apartment.
And suddenly, Kyouka couldn’t hold back the question that had been lingering in her head for weeks now.
“Yaomomo… you’re okay right?” She twirled a lock of hair around her finger, watching as her friends expression shifted from serene to quizzical at the sudden change of topic. “Look, I know something’s going on with that apartment of yours and I know you don’t want to tell us and that’s totally fine–” Jirou added the last part in a rush as Momo began shifting uncomfortably. “–it’s honestly totally fine. I just… I want to make sure you’re safe.” She hated the desperate tinge in her voice; betraying her emotions. “I don’t mind if you want to keep a secret from me… as long as I know it’s not hurting you in any way. You’re my best friend and I…I just need to know for sure that you’re okay Momo. Are you?”
Jirou had expected tears, or even Momo reprimanding her for prying; telling her to mind her own business. Instead, the dark haired girl positively beamed at her friend before enveloping her in one of her soft Momo hugs; reserved only for those closest to her.
“Oh Kyouka, you really are a wonderful friend,” Momo spoke, her voice drifting melodiously into her ear. “But you really have no need to worry. I promise I’m okay; better than okay, even. I promise I’ll explain it all to you soon enough.”
Jirou felt a weight lift off her shoulders at her friend’s words. She could hear the honesty in Momo’s voice and it put her turbulent thoughts at ease.
Jirou finally returned her hug with a small smile. “Okay, well I’m glad then. You know I’m always here for you no matter what, right?”
“I know. Same here.”
They broke apart with shy smiles. “Well, I better run to the supermarket before it closes.” Momo said, her shy smile suddenly turning devious. “Looks like you’ll have someone to walk home with.”
Before Kyouka could ask her what the heck she was talking about, her name was called out by a voice she’d know anywhere.
“Hey Jirou! Wait up!”
Kyouka sighed. “Great, I’m going to get to listen to that idiot ramble on about his fan girls.”
Momo giggled, “Oh Kyouka, be nice.” She then turned to leave. “I’ll be off then, see you tomorrow!”
Her dark haired best friend waltzed away looking far too pleased with herself but Kyouka didn’t have time to respond as Kaminari was already upon her.
“Hey, Jirou! Ready to go home?” He was still in his soccer uniform, which was covered in dirt from the game. His hair wasn’t looking any better; sticking up in every direction with mud spattered on the ends.
“Idiot, don’t say it that way. People will think we live together or something!” She eyed the people walking past them on their way home from the game. Thankfully, they all seemed far too preoccupied in their conversations to pay them any attention.
“Whatever,” he said, his sunny smile not faltering in the slightest. “Let people think what they want to think. Now c’mon Jirou, I’m starving!” He grabbed her hand and tugged her along with him.
“Who says I’m eating with you?!”
He shoved his phone unceremoniously in her face and, sure enough, there was a text from her dad inviting him over for dinner. Oh the joys of being neighbours with this fool.
“My parents got called out of town on business yesterday,” he said with a shrug, pocketing his phone. “I guess they let your dad know before leaving.”
“Oh, then that means…”
“Yeah… they missed the game.” Kaminari didn’t bother to mask the disappointment in his voice as he said it, lightly kicking a pebble out of his way as they continued up the road.
Jirou felt her fists clench involuntarily. Kaminari’s parents were good people and she knew they loved their son; but man she hated their jobs. They had missed countless events because of them and now they had missed a game that meant more to Kaminari than anything.
“Eh, it’s okay. It sucks that they’re not always here for my games and stuff, but you know who always manages to make it?” She had a feeling she already knew the answer as he turned to her with his signature grin back on his face. “You. Every single time, without fail.”
She turned her head quickly to the right to hide her flushed cheeks. “It–it’s not that big of a deal…”
Still, his words brought a warm, fluttery feeling to her stomach.
“Of course it is! You’ve been to every single one of my games.” He gave her a small nudge. “And every time my parents missed my birthday in the past, you were always right there with an awesome backup plan.” He paused for a moment, looking quite serious. It was an odd look on someone like Kaminari. “Honestly… I don’t know what I’d do without you Jirou.”
She kept her face angled away from his so he couldn’t see the colour it was turning. “Idiot, that’s what friends are supposed to do.”
“Yeah, I guess.” He clasped a hand on her shoulder. “But still, thanks Jirou. You’re the best!”
He stopped walking, his hand still on her shoulder, and she looked back up, realizing they had arrived at her house.
She shrugged his hand off and turned to him with her best attempt at a scowl (given her blushing, awkward state). “Yeah, yeah… don’t go getting all sentimental on me Kaminari. You know I don’t like that stuff.”
“I think you secretly do.”
“Shut up. Do you want us to feed you or not?”
“Yeah, let’s go!” He beamed, starting towards her house. The boy had the attention span of a golden retriever. “I can’t wait to tell your dad about the game and my goal.”
Jirou smiled. Her parents were music people through and through; meaning sports had never been number one on their list of hobbies. However, because of Kaminari’s parents’ constant absences growing up, they had ended up slowly but surely assuming the roles of soccer mom and dad; driving him to games, watching said games, listening to recaps and learning about the sport for his sake.
While Mika Jirou still wasn’t quite sold on the sport; Kyotoku had quite happily taken to the role of ‘soccer dad’. He was pretty much Kaminari’s number one fan and it was embarrassing as hell because he let everyone know it.
She watched as her dad opened the front door and caught Kaminari in a bone-crushing congratulatory hug.
Jirou laughed at the ridiculous display. They were a couple of lunatics, but she couldn’t imagine life without them.
Momo arrived home later than she had planned, having stopped at the local convenience store on the way home for a quick last minute meal.
Her mind was still reeling from her conversation with Kyouka. She hadn’t realized her strange behaviour had had her friends questioning her well-being. It made sense though; she had acted rather bizarrely every time her apartment came up in conversation. Her friends had probably been thinking the worst had happened.
Momo sighed as she unlocked the door to her apartment. She was immensely relieved that Kyouka had decided to leave the whole apartment topic alone, but at the same time, she felt guiltier about the secret keeping now.
Kyouka was such a good friend; honest, loyal, trustworthy…
Would it really be that bad if she knew the truth?
She was taking off her shoes as a voice called out to her.
She paused, halfway through kicking off her second shoe.
Was that… Todoroki? And did he really just welcome her back?
Momo turned the corner to find him sitting at the kitchen table surrounded by takeout boxes.
“Oh–uh, thank you. What’s all of this?” She gestured to the feast on the table and grimaced when her traitorous stomach rumbled loudly.
If Todoroki noticed the noise, he didn’t show it. “I ordered us Chinese takeout for dinner since neither of us got to eat because of the game. There’s chicken chow mein, sweet and sour pork–”
“Y–you didn’t have to do that!” Momo interrupted before cringing inwardly at her rudeness. “I just–it isn’t fair for you to pay for all of this.” She began to unzip her backpack, looking for her wallet. “How much was it? I’ll–”
“Forget it, Yaoyorozu.”
“I said forget it. I’m not going to let you pay me back so don’t bother wasting both of our time trying to argue with me. Now hurry up and eat before the food gets cold.” His tone left no room for argument.
He pushed an empty plate towards her and gestured for her to sit down.
Momo reluctantly did as she was told, vowing silently to repay him one way or another. They lived together so she was sure there’d be an opportunity somewhere in the near future.
“That was a great game.” Momo said, opting to break the stiff silence that had fallen over them. “You played well.”
Todoroki looked up, caught off guard by the sudden compliment. “Oh, thanks. Though I personally think our newer players deserve the praise for this game. They exceeded my expectations – Kaminari especially. I think we have a promising season ahead of us.”
Momo nodded, remembering her earlier conversation with Kyouka. “They worked really hard all year to qualify for the A team. I think that makes them valuable players; because not only are they talented but they’re determined to do their best and keep their places on the team.” She said, scooping another helping of fried rice onto her plate. “Kaminari and Sero also have a different, rather unusual style when they play, which makes them unpredictable to the other team. It’s quite handy.”
“Yes, exactly.” Todoroki was now staring at her with a look of mild interest, and if she was being honest, the change in expression made her a little uncomfortable. “You’re quite perceptive, aren’t you?”
“I–uh…” Momo flushed at the remark, not quite sure what to say. Was he complimenting her?
“It makes sense you’re captain of the volleyball team then,” he said, breaking eye contact to add more pork to his plate. “You seem like you’d be great at strategizing. No wonder your team has had so many victories.”
“Oh… well, thank you.” Momo wasn’t sure what else to say in her flustered state. “I didn’t know you watched our volleyball games Todoroki.”
“Only a couple of times in the past. I mainly hear about them from our classmates.”
They continued to eat, occasionally chatting about schoolwork and their classmates, and Momo began to realize that perhaps Todoroki wasn’t as unapproachable as she had initially thought. The more they talked, the less flustered and uncomfortable she felt around him.
Which led her to finally ask a question that had been on her mind for the past month.
“Say, Todoroki?” He gave a nod of his head to show he was listening; his mouth full of rice. “Why do you always eat dinner in your room?”
She waited for him to swallow his food, hoping she didn’t sound intrusive.
“Because it’s what I’m used to.”
“Used to? You mean back at home–”
“–I usually eat dinner in my room.” He finished with a nod. “My father is always busy with work and Natsuo is away at university. Fuyumi tries to be around but her teaching job keeps her busy. So I just make myself food and eat in my room.”
Momo gaped; surprised by the amount of information she had just received from Todoroki himself about his family. She had never heard him talk about them before.
But still, she had so many questions. Did his sister teach him how to cook? Why didn’t he mention his mom? And didn’t Midoriya mention a few days ago that Todoroki had a third sibling? Where was this mysterious other sibling?
Despite the onslaught of questions dancing around in her head, she kept her mouth shut. Judging by the look on his face, it was clear he didn’t want to go into detail about his family life.
It suddenly made sense why Todoroki was so good at being on his own. It was because he was used to it.
The thought made Momo sad. She had grown up an only child with busy, successful parents but she had never felt that same loneliness. Her parents had been strict and proper, but also very loving and doting. And when they weren’t around, the maids and nanny had been around to keep Momo entertained. They had always been so kind to her. She couldn’t imagine sitting alone in her room each night, eating dinner and staring at the wall. Suddenly, the image of a little Todoroki doing just that popped into her head…
“Yaoyorozu… are you crying?”
It took Momo a moment to realize she was in fact crying. Salty droplets slid down her cheeks and she quickly wiped them away, glancing up at Todoroki, whose normally impassive expression had morphed into one of genuine concern.
“Ah–sorry Todoroki... I’m fine, really.” She attempted a smile as she rubbed the last lingering droplets from her eyes. “I’m not sure what came over me just now.”
“Well, alright.” He said, watching her carefully before eventually turning back to his meal.
Momo followed suit and they continued in easy conversation until they finished most of the food.
Todoroki washed the dishes as Momo put away the food and suddenly she was overcome with emotion. She had to say something.
He looked up from the plate he was drying. “Yeah?”
“I’m glad you chose to eat with me today.” She smiled brightly. “I enjoyed it.”
Todoroki paused for a moment, looking completely baffled. “Ah… yeah… me too, Yaoyorozu.”
And as puzzled as he seemed, she knew he meant what he said.
After all, just because someone is good at being alone doesn’t mean they necessarily like being alone.
Even someone like Shouto Todoroki.
A note: I use "A" and "B" teams for the soccer in partial reference to the class A and B in the show but also that's what my cousins did at their American high school and it worked conveniently for my story so I rolled with it.
(I am not American, I am Australian and things went a little differently at my school but I'm not gonna confuse ya'll with that LOL)
Also 'first string' is like first pick... I'm not good at explaining this stuff.
I hate the ending to this chapter and I'm so sorry. It feels so damn cheesy to me. Like I can't. But I gave up on it loooong ago.
ANYWAY, lemme know what you think in the comments below :D I'm glad I finally have a damn plan for this story. It felt like such a mess up until now.
Thank you to all the kind reviewers who encouraged me through my writing anxiety :) It still comes and goes so it's always nice to look back on your comments for encouragement. I don't think I'd get anything done without your lovely comments!!
Take care everyone! xx
Chapter 4: When You're Ready
**IMPORTANT PLZ READ** Heyy guysss... so I know it's been a while since the last update so I've included a quick recap of the last few chapters if you don't want to go back and read.
Last time on New Beginnings: Momo moved into her new apartment, only to find her quiet, anti-social classmate Shouto Todoroki living in the other bedroom. The two agreed to live together for now, with Todoroki keeping an eye on the papers in case any listings pop up. While distant at first, he grows more comfortable with their living situation, even helping Momo grocery shop and learn to cook (we love our girl but she can't be perfect at everything). Todoroki eventually even begins to sit down for meals. Meanwhile, the boys are dominating at soccer, with Kaminari becoming an MVP of the team. We discover that Jirou and Kaminari are neighbours and that Jirou's parents are like second parents to him since his parents are absent quite often due to demanding jobs.
This chapter was a bore to write tbh lol. (Mainly cause it got deleted (accidentally) the first time, and I had to re-write it twice afterwards because I loved the original draft and couldn't decide on how I wanted this to go). It's more of a set up for the more exciting chapters ahead.
Like, chapter 5? It's about to go down.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Momo slumped into her seat Thursday morning, her eyelids fighting a losing battle with her brain to stay awake. It had been almost a week since her talk with Todoroki and, while he had begun to stick around more often for meals, she could tell he was reluctant to share any more details of his personal life for now.
And she understood that, she did. But the image of a small, lonely Todoroki had been burned into her conscience every night for the past week, making it next to impossible to get any sleep.
She let out a tired sigh just as the chair of the desk to her right slid back. Much to her surprise, it wasn’t Todoroki. Instead, Jirou slid in next to her looking apprehensive.
“I’m fine, Kyouka,” Momo said immediately, knowing exactly where this conversation was headed. “Just tired.”
Jirou’s snort of disbelief was softer than usual. “You can’t expect me to believe that when you’ve been walking around like a zombie all week.”
“We missed you yesterday,” Momo said after a long pause, cringing inwardly when she saw Jirou’s frown deepen at the less-than-subtle subject change. “You never miss movie nights.”
Jirou sighed and Momo could see her internally debating whether to keep pushing or give up and accept the subject change. “I was jamming with Pikachu,” she finally said. “I owed him a jam sesh since I’ve missed the last two.”
“Aren’t you two neighbours? Can’t you jam at any time?”
“Not with his soccer, my singing lessons and homework on top of all that.”
“Singing lessons?” Momo’s eyebrows shot up involuntarily. “But you have a lovely voice.”
Jirou flushed at the praise. “Thanks, but I’m actually trying to improve my vocal range.” She poked her two index fingers together, focusing her eyes there instead. “My parents have a friend who’s supposed to be really good. I only started last week but it’s been a great help so far.”
“Oh, well that’s great Kyouka!”
The sound of a throat clearing had them turning to the right, where Todoroki stood awkwardly.
“Uh, are we changing seats or something?”
For a moment Momo wondered if, in her tired state, she’d accidentally sat in his seat again, but Jirou just snorted before rising from his seat. “Nah, you’re good. Just wanted to check in with Yaomomo.”
She turned to give Momo one last meaningful look before returning to her seat near the front.
Momo knew that look: it meant Jirou would be checking in again soon.
“I can’t believe we’re going to Kyoto for our class field trip,” Ochako exclaimed through a mouthful of food. “It’s going to be so much fun!”
“Uraraka, I understand your excitement, but I must ask that you chew and swallow before expressing it.”
“Sorry Iida,” she mumbled, watching in embarrassment as a few grains of rice flew out of her mouth along with her apology.
“It’s not exactly a classfield trip though, is it?” Tsuyu inquired. “Since both class A and B will be on it.”
“That is correct Asui.” A new voice chimed in behind Ochako. She recognized it immediately and cringed. This couldn’t be good. “It figures class A wouldn’t want to acknowledge the superior class joining them on the trip.”
“Oh, hello Monoma,” Midoriya’s response was polite, but Ochako could see the way his shoulders tensed as he made eye contact with the blonde. “What brings you to our table?”
“I heard that lanky string bean you call a forward injured his ankle yesterday,” he practically sang, wasting no time in his gloating. “Whatever will you do in your game next week? I hear the team you’re playing is incredibly talented.”
Ochako resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Monoma was captain of Yuuei’s B team: a team comprised of all the players who didn’t make the cut for the A team. Like Kaminari, he had been incredibly determined to make the cut, and he hadn’t taken it well when he ended up on B.
Whenever the slightest thing went wrong for the A team boys, Monoma was on them like a vulture to its prey, ready to harass them to their wits end. Ochako wasn’t exactly sure what he got out of it, besides a few irritable expressions from the players he was harassing. At this point, it was pretty common to just ignore Monoma or laugh off his petty insults.
“It was just a sprain,” Todoroki spoke up, his low timbre laced with irritation. “Sero should be fine for next week’s game.”
“And if he isn’t?”
“Then we’ll manage.” Todoroki’s tone was bordering on glacial, his expression not far behind.
Ochako frowned. Todoroki seemed to be on edge today for some reason. Normally, he didn’t give Monoma the time of day.
Monoma smirked, clearly enjoying the reaction he was getting out of the normally composed Todoroki. “Well I guess we’ll see about-” Thwack.
The group watched in shock as the blonde’s knees buckled beneath him. Next thing they knew, he was on the ground rubbing the back of his head.
Kendou stood behind her collapsed classmate with her chemistry book in hand. “Sorry about him,” she grinned apologetically. “He doesn’t handle jealousy well.”
Monoma opened his mouth to protest, but Kendou already had him by the collar, dragging him back to their table.
“Well that was…” Iida trailed off, unable to find the words. Ochako couldn’t blame him; it was hard to find words to describe someone like Monoma.
“A melancholy soul, consumed with darkness,” Tokoyami muttered.
Sure, Ochako thought wryly. We’ll go with that.
When Momo returned home after volleyball, freshly washed dishes sat upon the drying rack and Todoroki was nowhere in sight.
Had he already eaten without her?
Todoroki’s practice always began an hour earlier than Momo’s, so he was usually home with dinner made for the both of them by the time she got there. It had become something of a routine in the last couple of weeks, with Todoroki finally joining her for meals only recently.
She opened the fridge to see if perhaps he had left her some leftovers, but there was only a carton of milk and a pack of rice pudding on her side. Huh.
Momo knew it wasn’t right to be mad at Todoroki for not leaving her anything, but a heads up would’ve been nice. Though she supposed it was her fault for relying on the boy for meals to begin with. She had the basic cooking skills down, she just needed to practice more.
She sighed, grabbing the rice pudding off the top shelf. She had a couple of protein bars in her room; if she had those as well, she’d be able to make it through the night with minimal stomach growling. The thought of only that for her dinner elicited a low rumble from her gut, but she ignored it with a grimace and sat down at the kitchen table.
Just as she began to dig into her pudding, a faint angry voice came from the direction of Todoroki’s room.
So he was home.
His voice grew louder with each sentence and Momo could begin to make out some of the words. ‘Not my problem’, ‘don’t care about anyone’and ‘damn hospital’were some fragments she caught from the heated conversation he seemed to be having. It was clear he was on the phone since his voice was the only one that she could hear. That, or he was giving someone a serious verbal smackdown.
Momo knew it was wrong to eavesdrop on someone’s private conversation, but she was finding it hard to look away from the door as Todoroki’s voice grew louder and louder. She wondered who he was talking to, and why a hospital would be involved in whatever problem they were having? She had never heard Todoroki, a normally calm and collected individual, get this angry before and she couldn’t help the concern flooding through her. Did someone get hurt? Was he okay?
Suddenly Todoroki’s door flew open with a bang and Momo felt the pudding cup leave her hand as she shot up from her seat. She watched as the last of her dinner hit the floor and splattered everywhere.
“For the last time, I don’t-“
She looked up from her spill, wondering what caused Todoroki to stop speaking so abruptly, only to find him standing a few feet away, staring at her with wide eyes. It was clear from his expression that she was not meant to hear any of that conversation. Momo felt her gut twist with guilt, despite knowing she had every right to be sitting in the kitchen with her food.
The two stood in silence, gawking at one another. It took a moment for her to pick up on the low, masculine voice coming from the other line, on the phone that now hung limply in Todoroki’s hand. He must have noticed Momo’s gaze trailing down to his hand, as he lifted the phone back to his ear and muttered a quick “gotta go, bye” before hanging up on whoever he was talking to, before they could respond.
She looked towards her yogurt cup once more, avoiding eye contact with her roommate as the tension in the room grew.
“Yaoyorozu,” he said quietly after another minute of silence. Momo turned her head, forcing an awkward but polite smile to her face.
“How much of that did you hear?”
Momo fought back the grimace that threatened to surface on her face. “Nothing.”
His eyes narrowed at her response.
Momo exhaled loudly. Of course he didn’t believe her; that conversation had been far too loud and heated for her not to hear a word of it. “Only a few fragments of conversation,” she amended lamely.
She shifted uncomfortably under Todoroki’s scrutinizing glare. It was moments like this that made her wish for the ability to read minds - or perhaps the ability to transport herself far away from situations like this one. Momo glanced at the pudding cup still sitting on the floor and decided now was a good time to pick it up. His gaze remained fixed on her as she busied herself by cleaning up the mess. He’d talk when he was ready.
“That was my father,” he said finally, his voice flat.
Momo paused, napkin in hand. Ah, that made sense. There was a rumour going around school that Todoroki wasn’t particularly close with his father; though no one seemed to know the details of their relationship. If that phone conversation was anything to go by, Momo could see why he wanted to keep those details to himself.
“You don’t have to talk about it,” she spoke with what she hoped was a reassuring voice. “It’s between you and your father. I won’t pry, and I definitely won’t speak of this to anyone.”
“I know you won’t,” he spoke without an ounce of hesitation, surprising her.
“You’re not the type.” He wasn’t looking at her as he spoke, choosing instead to focus on the fridge to her left.
“Okay… well, don’t get me wrong, if you want to talk I’m happy to lend an ear,” she said. “But don’t feel obligated to tell your life story to me just because I happened to overhear your private conversation.”
“Okay,” he said after a moment, his gaze returning to her. “Thanks, Yaoyorozu.”
His eyes narrowed once more and Momo eyed him warily, wondering what the issue was now…until she saw what his gaze had landed on.
“Yaoyorozu, are you eating rice pudding for dinner?” His tone reeked with judgement and Momo glanced sheepishly at her ruined meal now sitting on the table.
She shrugged. “There wasn’t really anything else I could eat. I had to improvise.”
She was surprised to see guilt colour his normally impassive expression. “Ah, of course. We’ve had our dinner routine going the past couple of weeks and I completely fudged it today.”
“I can’t believe I was so caught up in myself, I left you without a meal,” he continued, ignoring her attempt to interrupt. “I really am turning into hi-”
“Todoroki!” She huffed, raising a hand to stop him. “It’s fine, really.” Except her stomach decided to contradict her at that very moment by rumbling loudly, eliciting a raised brow from her roommate.
Momo flushed. “Right, well… I’m a little peckish, but I’ve got a-“
“Perhaps we should go over how to make an omelette again, Yaoyorozu.”
“N-no,” she waved her hands wildly in front of her before he could turn towards the kitchen. “I remember, I promise. I just didn’t feel comfortable taking the food from your side of the fridge.”
“Because it’s… impolite?”
Todoroki fixed her with what might be his most sardonic expression yet. “What are you talking about? We shopped for it together,” he said. “And in cases like this where you’re risking going hungry, or resorting to pudding snacks for your meal, just go for it. I’ll understand.”
“O-okay,” Momo nodded, now feeling a little silly for overthinking the fridge situation. “So… about that omelette…”
“You forgot how to make it didn’t you?”
“Forgive me!” She dipped into a deep bow and was about to explain herself when she heard a low rumbling sound akin to a chuckle. Looking up, she found Todoroki with a smirk on his face.
His smirk softened. “You really are something.”
Momo blinked, feeling her face heat up about a hundred degrees. What did he mean by that? She didn’t get a chance to ask though, as Todoroki had turned away and walked towards the fridge.
“Now come on, let’s make you some dinner,” he said, his voice back to its usual deadpan tone.
She grinned as her stomach rumbled once more. Any questions she had could wait until later. For now, dinner sounded great.
I'm so glad this chapter is over LOL. I really hope you guys at least somewhat enjoyed it because I hated writing it.
If you follow me on tumblr then you probably heard back in.. December? perhaps?.... my old computer deleted half of my writing files (this chapter, a bunch of one-shots and school assignments) (yes, I cried - it was sooooo much work gone!!) and I just really struggled to get this chapter out because, again, it's just a set up for what's to come. I tried to keep it lighthearted so it would at least be entertaining for you guys, hopefully I succeeded?
My new computer doesn't do me dirty like that so hopefully I'll have some fun Kamijirou and Todomomo oneshots up for ya soon.
And obviously an update on this as well..... hehe...
Thanks for reading! And if you're one of those readers who've been patiently waiting for MONTHS on this update.... so sorry, but thanks a million for sticking with this story!