Since living at Yuuei’s dorm facilities, Izuku had found that it didn’t take long for people to start becoming habitual in their living patterns. Whilst everyone already has their own established routines, people would begin to intermingle and join their activities with each other.
What started out as Izuku awkwardly chuckling as he bumped into Kirishima on a nightly binge for some fridge food, turned into Izuku sharing his clothes wash cycle with Aoyama, which led into sharing open study nights in the common rooms with Yaoyorozu and others who needed the assistance.
It became comfortable, and almost natural, before group activities began cropping up left and right, and nights of each week ended up with some sort of silly name.
Tonight is Talkative Tuesday.
The common room sofas are long, and Izuku finds himself smooshed rather comfortably between the broad side of Iida, and the cosy other of Ashido. He had been beyond embarrassed at first, but as their night had continued and she had melted further and further into Izuku’s side, he is more than surprised to find that he is quite comfortable too. Ashido’s hair tickles his chin, and Izuku rests his head against Iida’s bicep to avoid the horn threatening to poke out his eye. If Yaoyorozu sent a blanket his way he’d be a goner.
There’s nothing very specific about Talkative Tuesday. It’s a mellow night, and they have already shared one of the largest compiled servings of gyūdon known to man, and are left lounging aimlessly on the comfort of the westernised sofas. Nobody seems to like any of the shows airing on TV on Tuesday evenings, and the uncomfortable silence quickly evolves into a game of chit chat, and as each week passes it became a habit. Today’s topic starts from Tsuyu.
“I miss my family,” She announces sadly to the cushions. Uraraka is closest to her, guiding her head to rest against her chest within moments. She strokes her hair slowly, and Tsuyu begins to ramble about her younger siblings, and then her parents. Then Uraraka mentions her lack of siblings, but then begins to talk about her parents, and soon the sofa dwellers are passing down tale after tale of their family escapades.
Apparently the conversation is going in chronological order, because when Ashido finishes her tale, she elbows Izuku next.
“Your turn,” she grins, nudging him again when he tries to wipe his drool patch from Iida’s arm with an apology.
“Uhh, where do I start?” He asks. He’s embarrassed to admit that their conversation had become a background lull to him, and although he enjoys their talks, he hasn’t been focusing as much as he could have.
“The beginning helps,” Kaminari jokes from the far end of the sofa, where Izuku can only see his feet sticking out from where he sits.
“Well, uhhm,” Izuku kicks his own feet as he thinks for a moment. “I don’t have any siblings. My mum is like the best mum. She’s really sweet, but she worries a lot about the hero industry, and I guess she cries a lot?”
“ Awww , Midori-kun!” Ashido tosses an arm around his shoulders, and squishes his cheek into hers. “You take after your mother!” The group laugh softly as Izuku tries to wiggle out of her grasp, feeling heat rising in his face. She finally relents and releases him, and he knocks back into Iida, who catches him gracefully.
“Are you okay?” Iida asks from above him. Izuku smiles.
“ I’m g-great ! Thanks for the catch.” Iida nods and pushes him back up straight, and Izuku clears his throat, trying to settle his blush.
“Well?” Uraraka asks, “Do you share anything else with your mum, Deku-kun?”
“Uhm, well, I guess… We both have black hair?”
There’s a silence, much to Izuku’s confusion, and he almost asks what he said before Kirishima goes, “…I thought your hair was green, man.”
“ What !” Izuku grasps at his hair as if he could cover it up. “No it’s not! My hair is black !”
“Hmm,” Tsuyu tilts her head to the side, as if it needs contemplating. “Maybe from an angle?”
Kaminari clicks his fingers. “Yeah! Like if you just get the right kind of lighting-“
“-you guys are making this more difficult than it needs to be. His hair is green .”
“ It’s not !” Izuku defends.
The couch erupts into a softly heated debate, before Iida raises an agitated hand.
“We’ve strayed off topic and are wasting our time with heedless arguments! We need to pacify ourselves already.” When everyone stops their bickering, Iida faces Izuku once more. “Sorry, please continue Midoriya-kun. Hmm, what about quirks?”
“Oh! My mum’s quirk lets her attract small objects towards her, but it’s a little bit limited to weight and force. It’s kind of like a tiny gravitational pull.”
“Another thing you have in common with your mum then!” Kirishima announces, but oddly enough his voice is coming from behind him. Izuku tilts his head up to face Kirishima, who stands behind the sofa. “- you attract things too!”
“ Oh nooo ,” Ashido whines, flopping dramatically onto Izuku’s lap. He squawks. “-I’m being dragged in by your magnetic pull~”
“Oh no, me too!” Kirishima yells, jumping over the sofa and sandwiching Ashido and Izuku to the cushions.
“Is there room for anyone else?” Kaminari asks, peering at the pile.
“ No !” Izuku and Ashido choke from underneath Kirishima. He finally relents and frees them, parting ways with contagious laughter. Izuku feels beyond frazzled.
“Please no more,” Izuku gasps for air. “It’s too late for this.”
“Okay okay,” Jirou, who is sat on the floor by Yaoyorozu’s feet finally speaks up. “Then what about your dad?”
“My what?” Izuku asks, before realising. He corrects himself quickly. “Ah- ah, oh uhm ! I don’t have one, I guess.”
“Oh no , Deku-kun,” Uraraka gasps softly. “Is he-?” The sofa has gone silent, and Izuku is hyperaware of the widened eyes that all focus on him. Even Todoroki has leaned out of his spot far enough to peer curiously at him from behind Iida’s frame.
“He’s not dead or anything,” Midoriya reassures, waving his hands out in front of him. “He’s just, not around I guess? I don’t really know anything about him.”
“Sorry for presuming, Midoriya,” Jirou apologises softly.
“Oh, it’s no worries! Honest! I just, don’t have anything to talk about regarding him.”
“Still,” Yaoyorozu insists, “it was wrong of us to assume everyone had nuclear families. Maybe this wasn’t the best of conversations to persist on.”
“I wasn’t offended or anything,” Izuku reassures them. “I was enjoying this, actually.”
Personal feelings aside, the universe took its decision to side with Yaoyorozu this time, releasing a sudden trill of the bell. Everyone groaned with displeasure.
“ Aw man , curfew already?” Sero whines, pulling a crick out of his neck. Everyone begins to rise from the sofa in wary stages of exhaustion.
“I can’t believe we couldn’t get everyone a turn tonight,” Kirishima frowns, glancing at Todoroki and Iida. “Maybe next time, guys?”
Todoroki gives an awkward nod, and Iida’s smile is particularly sharp. “Thank you for thinking about us,” he says.
Izuku is tired, but he isn’t blind. He can see the relief across both of his friend’s shoulders. They didn’t want to talk about the personal going-ons of their families – at least not now. Things are still fresh and topics are sore for them in a way that Izuku cannot relate. He hopes they can both rest easy for the night.
“Good night everyone!” Izuku calls out, and smiles at the chorus of voices echoing the promise of sweet dreams in return. He manages to squeeze into the hallway leading towards the stairs, when someone taps his elbow, startling him.
He peers around to spy Todoroki looming silently behind him.
“T-Todoroki-kun! What’s up?”
Todoroki lowers his hand back to his side, before looking down at his socked feet. Izuku notices the rest of the class receding back to their rooms around them, and makes awkward eye contact with a curious Jirou as she passes them. He can only imagine what they must look like, standing like two traffic cones in the middle of everyone side skirting them. He can almost feel himself sweating, and hopes nobody sticks around to try and listen to their conversation.
Todoroki seems oblivious to the awkward tension surrounding them. “About earlier,” he says, “…That thing about your dad.”
Oh . Izuku tries to sober up. This isn’t about him , he probably knows the most about Todoroki’s relationship with Endeavour more than anyone else in their class. Now he feels guilty, that everyone was talking so amiably and carefree about their happy lives with their family. Todoroki hadn’t said a word the whole conversation. Maybe now that it was over, he wanted to vent a little about his own fatherly issues. And Izuku would be more than happy to listen, if it would help him.
“What about it, Todoroki-kun?” Izuku asks, his voice tender. He knew Todoroki got a little mean when the topic revolved around his father, but within good reason. Even Izuku couldn’t hold back his temper when talking to Endeavour, succumbing to the urge to passive-aggressively insult the pro hero’s pride to his face . He just prayed that Todoroki wouldn’t get too wound up to sleep for the rest of the evening; nobody deserved to lose sleep over that man.
Todoroki finally brought his gaze back to Izuku’s face, boring into him almost intensely. Like he was trying to get a read on him. Then he says, “That wasn’t true, right?”
Izuku blinks, momentarily lost. “Uh, what?”
“The talk about your dad,” Todoroki repeats slowly. “-that wasn’t true.”
So this… Isn’t about Endeavour?
“Uhm, no ,” Izuku tries to reground himself in the right place for the conversation. He had been planning for a completely different conversation topic! “I was honest about everything I said about both of my parents.”
Todoroki shook his head. “Honest through omission perhaps. But not truthful.”
Izuku frowns. “Todoroki-kun, I don’t like that you think I’d lie about this.”
“Oh, I’m not- ah, sorry. I’m not trying to say it like –“
“Then what are you trying to say, Todoroki-kun?”
“What about All Might?” Todoroki presses.
Oh boy , Izuku thinks.
“What about All Might?” he parrots back.
“Your – connection with him-” Todoroki tries.
Izuku sighs, a little frustrated. “He’s not my dad, Todoroki-kun. We’ve talked about this.”
“But we’re… Friends now.”
“ I – Todoroki-kun, I wouldn’t have lied about that with you even if we weren’t friends at the time, but I hadn’t lied about it at all! You have the wrong impression!”
“You said you didn’t know your dad.”
“That doesn’t make All Might my dad!”
Todoroki breathes loudly through his nose, it seems that he is losing his patience too.
“Okay.” His voice is stern. “But there is clearly something still going on between the both of you.”
Well, that much is true, Izuku knows. But he can’t go about confirming it.
“I think you’re looking way too into it, Todoroki-kun. That kind of gossip can hurt people.”
“But what if, he knew more about it than you did?” he persists, although it sounds like his argument is beginning to dwindle.
Izuku still splutters. “Are you – insinuating that All Might would go about having – h-he’s not the kind of person! My mum isn’t that kind of person!”
Now Todoroki has the decency to look regretful, as if he’s just realised how far he’s dug himself into this hole. Yet again, he meekly says, “People don’t… Intend , for these things to happen.”
“My mum would have known him!” Izuku finalises. “They met for the first time in the dorm interviews! They had never interacted before then!”
“…Oh.” Todoroki furrows his brow, as if his one leg of conversation had broken off. It probably has, considering. Izuku groans into his hand.
“Is-is that all? Is this over now?” Izuku manages, thoroughly embarrassed.
Todoroki awkwardly lifts his arm to scratch at the back of his head. “No, not quite, I don’t think.”
Well which is it!? Izuku wants to crawl under his pillow and shrivel away from the conversation forever at this point. Todoroki presumed so much of his family life – just how often did he think about these things?
“Maybe you don’t think that All Might is your father,” Todoroki starts, “but I think… Maybe he thinks that you’re his son?”
If Izuku’s skin flushed any darker he’d be bleeding from his facial pores. “W- wha-what ? That isn’t – All Might wouldn’t-”
“Forget about the affair talk,” Todoroki wafts the air like it’s no big deal, but it still leaves Izuku scrambling for the brakes. “There’s nothing complicated about it. You may not be related by blood, but he treats you well. Better than most, I think. He favours you.”
“That isn’t – h- he doesn’t -“
“ Midoriya .” Todoroki cut him off, his gaze piercing his as he stands tall before him. He crosses his arms. “He gives you head pats.”
“H-he hugged you …” Izuku knew his argument was weak. “A-at the Sports Festival.”
Todoroki rolls his eyes. “As a prize, perhaps. But if they were handed out only as tokens of achievement, All Might must think that you’re improving by the day. And absolutely no one else.”
Midoriya tries not to think about it. All Might is his mentor, of course there’d be a little bit of favouritism in the mix somewhere. He just hadn’t realised it was so apparent .
My Boy , All Might had dubbed him since day one. No wonder Todoroki is so hell-bent convinced on him being his dad. But he knows he isn’t his father, not in any case. He is his successor, and All Might is his mentor.
But did mentors and students share high fives, and head pats, and shoulder grips? Mentors could be proud of their students, but Izuku seeked for that validation the same way he seeked for the warmth of All Might’s embrace when he gripped him tight on the beach, crying as they realised that All Might’s era was well and truly over.
Distantly, he hears himself chuckle, and scratches at his flushed freckled cheek.
“It’… it’s not as if there is anything between us,” Izuku starts, “but if there could be, I’d wish he was my dad, I guess.”
Todoroki doesn’t respond, and Izuku prays he didn’t say anything to further stem Todoroki’s very incorrect theories. But then, he hears Todoroki murmur, “Me too.”
Izuku blinks up at Todoroki, caught off guard. He watches Todoroki as if waiting for an explanation, but instead Todoroki just shrugs and says, “He just seems like a really nice guy. His hug was nice.”
And then, something odd but understanding slots into place in Izuku’s gut. Todoroki had botched up their talk, sure, but suddenly it made sense. He wasn’t attempting to call Izuku’s family out for having some sort of crazy love affair conspiracy. He was trying to relate to him. Todoroki’s father was Endeavour , for crying out loud. He wanted some sort of closure about how neither of them had an established relationship with their father, and Todoroki was trying to – trying to give Izuku a way to get around that. He thought All Might could be his dad. He thought he could take on that role for him, that he was taking up that role for him.
And maybe, in some bizarre way, he was right .
“…You look like you have a lot on your mind,” Todoroki admits, and as Izuku blinks back into awareness he realises that Todoroki looks well and truly uncomfortable. “I think… I went too far tonight, and burdened you. I’m sorry. I’ll be off, now.”
Todoroki gives a quick bow, before he turns to leave towards the elevator. Face still a red hue, Midoriya mumbles out a, “W- wait!” The button is already pressed, but Todoroki turns to face him anyway. Izuku fiddles with his hands.
“I’m sure… I-if I put a good word in… I c-could get you a head pat from All Might.”
Todoroki’s eyes practically flash. “ Oh … You think so?”
Of course he’d be excited over the prospect . Izuku chuckles quietly. “Yeah. I think All Might has more than enough love to give.”
In the dim lighting of the dorm hallway, Izuku hears Todoroki hum under his breath, as the elevator doors ping open and bathes his figure in light.
“I… Look forward to it, then.”
“He wants… A head pat ?” All Might repeats, his brow curled like a question mark.
Izuku laughs shakily, talking low so his classmates can’t hear him over the sounds of their exerted training. “Y-yeah. I heard it only in passing, b-but I think… With his relationship with his father…”
“ Ah ,” All Might answers, face sharp and frowning, as if considering. “Thank you my boy, I’ll be just a moment.”
He pats Izuku’s shoulder offhandedly, and Izuku tries not to preen in embarrassment at the reminder of ‘ My Boy’ and ‘ He favours you’ racketing across his mind. In the distance he can see Todoroki has stopped performing his training, looking up attentively at All Might’s skinny beanstalk presence, as he nods occasionally to whatever the retired hero is telling him. Probably pros and cons of his training tactics.
Then, he sees All Might’s hand land softly in Todoroki’s split hair, and after a moment, it ruffles through his locks.
Even though Todoroki’s expression is controlled, Izuku can feel him beaming .