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Finding the Smiles We Lost

Chapter Text

Izuku stared at the giant mechanical monster, watching it bear down on him as fellow trainees scrambled out of the way. He turned to run as well, but then he saw the brown haired girl from earlier, the one person who had been nice to him so far. She was trapped under a pile of rubble and the machine was almost upon her. He turned drawing the strength of One for All through him for the first time, preparing to leap at the enemy and...

 

Nothing.

 

Izuku knew where he was now, the now familiar atmosphere of a recurring nightmare becoming apparent as the D-class enemy from the entrance exam loomed over Uraraka, seconds from crushing her. Izuku fell to his knees with a soundless scream, watching as one of his best friends crushed like an overripe tomato under a car, her dying breath cut short in a burst of red, her face staring at him, judging him. He had failed her. He had betrayed her. He curled into a fetal position as the machine came closer, grinding gears louder and louder until he couldn't take it and tore his eyes open, red rimmed and pouring tears.

 

He was in USJ.

 

He watched as Shigaraki Tomura lunged at Asui - No, Tsu - and was stopped by Aizawa-sensei. As the Nomu repeatedly ground his teachers head into the ground, he lept forwards, calling the power of One for All to his legs to whisk Tsu away from harm in the opening Aizawa-sensei had sacrificed himself for.

 

But nothing came.

 

Izuku fell helplessly to the ground and stared as Tsu, ever calm, ever quiet, friendly Tsu's face crumbled away, the rest of her body following suit. Before they turned to grey ash and blew away like the rest of her, Izuku saw the look in her eyes. Betrayal. He hadn't been strong enough, he couldn't keep them safe, he should have been stronger, should have been faster, if only he wasn't some pathetic weakling who couldn't even keep his own friends safe. As Shigaraki lunged at him, fingers reaching out to cover his face, Izuku let his eyes close in hopeless defeat, the dark flow of unconsciousness taking him away again.

 

His eyes snapped open as a blade sung through the air a centimeter from his nose. A dark alleyway, full of trash and refuse, with two heros lying injured on the ground. One he didn't know well, but the other was Iida. His legs were mutilated, his pristine white armour darkened with blood and torn apart by vicious blades. Standing over him, twisting a sword through the fallen hero's back, cackling as blood spurted and Iida twisted and screamed, stood the Hero Killer. Stain. Izuku's mind filled with rage, and he drew the power of One for All to cover his whole body, cowling himself in energy so he could fight on equal terms with the monster standing over his friend.

 

Nothing. Just like before.

 

The Hero Killer pulled the bloodied katana from Iida's back, eliciting a shudder from the mutilated hero, and as his blood poured out of his body Iida’s eyes met Izuku's. Eyes filled with hate, with betrayal, eyes that despised him for being so weak, so useless, so - so pathetic! Laughing maniacally, Stain threw another dagger from his seemingly endless arsenal, and Izuku felt the cold metal pierce his right eye before his vision turned black and shattered away.

 

Izuku knew what was coming next, and that it was worse than all the others.

 

He was in a house, nowhere that he had been before, but it had been briefly described to him by Todoroki. A large, classic Japanese style house. The home of the Flame Hero, Endeavor and his children. Ahead of him, a door stood ajar. Peering inside, Izuku saw the remains of a training room, burning workout equipment scattered about the room, ashy smears scarring the walls. But the most terrible sight lay at the far end of the room.

 

Todoroki Shouto, Izuku's best friend and certainly one of the most important people in his life, was being held against the wall by his neck, his clothes ragged and bloody, his body covered in old scars and fresh bruises, burns covering every other inch of skin. Burns in the shape of handprints.

 

Standing over him, with a flaming hand holding Todoroki to the wall by his neck, stood Endeavor.

 

"You useless scum!" Endeavor roared, flinging Todoroki to the ground like a limp ragdoll. "I send you to that school to surpass All Might, and what do you do!? BEFRIEND his little apprentice?! You were created for a single purpose! To overcome All Might in every way!" As his bellowing continued, Endeavor rained down fiery blows like meteors upon the broken body of his son.

 

"If you cannot even overcome All Mights apprentice, then what's the use in keeping you? All you are otherwise is a useless abomination! No one loves you, no one needs you, no one cares!" Endeavors voice rose in a horrifying crescendo until he simply took ahold of Todoroki's neck with both enormous hands and twisted, flames licking from between his fingers. Izuku tried in vain to call upon his quirk, the one he knew he had, that All Might had gifted him but-

 

It was all his fault.

 

Todoroki's neck snapped, like a brittle twig bent past its breaking point, and his head fell limp, body slumping to the floor.

 

If only Izuku had been stronger, he could have stopped it. If only he had been there. If he had known. He should have tried harder. He needed to save everybody. If he couldn't do that he may as well die. He was worthless. He should just die and save everyone the trouble of dealing with him.

 

Izuku felt an arm on his shoulder. He and Todoroki were standing alone in the dorm common room. Todoroki's eyes were warm, and he twitched his mouth in that little way of his- not a smile, but amusement- and leaned towards Izuku.

 

"Don't worry Midoriya," Todoroki said contemptuously, head lolling back on a broken neck, bruises and gashes and burns covering him in a heartbeat. "You couldn't do anything. After all, you're just a worthless, quirkless, nobody that's better off dead. Your only value was given to you by someone else. What do you have to offer besides the accomplishments of others? Nothing." Todoroki dissolved, and other figures started to fly through his head.

 

All Might, bloody and broken on the ground.

 

Midoriya.

 

The rest of his classmates, torn apart by a ravenous mob of villains.

 

Midoriya!

 

His mother, hung up on a stake, insides hanging out-

 

"Izuku!"

 

A voice broke into his  head and he tore his eyes open. At first, he only saw a red and white blur, with blue and brown spots.

 

But as the fog of the nightmare cleared, he saw Todoroki leaning over him, red and white hair mussed and beautiful blue and brown eyes filled with worry.

 

When had Izuku started thinking Todoroki's eyes were beautiful?

 

Todoroki stared at him for a second before speaking.

 

"I wasn't able to sleep, so I was sitting in my room when I heard you... Crying. And moaning. I-I thought you were injured so I hopped from my balcony to yours. Are you alright?" He stared checking Izuku up and down for any injuries, but before he got anywhere, Izuku closed the distance between them, breaking down into sobs. Todoroki tensed up at the contact, and Izuku, even in his state, noticed and began to pull away. Before he could, Todoroki re-embraced him, allowing Izuku to bury his head in Todoroki's shoulder.

 

Shouto says nothing, knowing the symptoms of night terrors far too well not to recognise them here. He simply stays, sitting on the floor of Midoriya's room and letting Midoriya cry into his shoulder. Eventually, when the great, heaving sobs have quieted to sniffles, and Midoriya's body is not so clammy and shaky, Shouto asks,

 

"Is there anything you need?" Midoriya just clutches him to his chest more tightly, and whispers

 

"Stay with me. Please, Shouto." A soft whimper escapes Midoriya’s throat as he asks, and in response, Shouto wraps his arms more tightly around Midoriya,  intertwining one hand in his mossy hair.

 

"Of course, Izuku."

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

A few hours before dawn, Izuku and Shouto are sat on a couch in the common room. They each have a mug of freshly brewed chamomile tea in their hands, and no words are spoken. They simply sit and draw comfort from the other's presence. Eventually they begin returning to their respective rooms to prepare for homeroom.

 

Before Shouto can get far from the couch, he feels Midoriya's hand on his shoulder. He turns, head held at a quizzical tilt. Midoriya is blushing slightly, the dusting of pink making his freckles stand out.

 

"Thank you," Midoriya says, "and i-if it's alright with you, c-could I keep calling you Shouto? I-it's a really pretty name a-and-"

 

"It's alright," Shouto says, and as Midoriya lights up, he continues, "As long as I can call you Izuku."

 

Izuku nods happily. "Sure thing, Shouto.” He hums, trying out the name. “Ah! look at the time. We've got to get ready for class. See you later Shouto!" Finished speaking, he turns and runs off to his room. Todoroki returns to his own at a more normal pace. He wondered why Mi-Izuku had run off. The dorms had shuffled after Mineta had been expelled at the beginning of the second year, and his and Izuku's rooms are right next door to each other.

 

As Shouto walked into his room, he caught sight of himself in a mirror. His cheeks were slightly red, and warm to the touch.

 

Izuku thinks my name is pretty.

 

The thought came out of nowhere, and as it came to mind, the red on his cheeks seemed to increase. Hmm. He'd ask Yaoyorozu about it later. For now, time to get ready for class.

 

Inside his own room, Izuku collapsed against his bed and pressed his face to his hands.

 

"Ohmygodican'tbelieveIdidthat! I told him his name was pretty out of nowhere! Why would I do that!? He raised his head from his hands and saw that in the mirror, his whole face was a bright crimson. Was it related to T-Shouto? Maybe he would ask Uraraka about it if it happened again. He pulled himself to his feet as his usual alarm for school went off, and went to prepare for class.

Chapter Text

As Shouto sat at his desk, the classroom filled with chatter. Izuku sat in his seat, chatting with Iida and Uraraka, while next to them an irate Bakugou was being bothered by Kirishima. Despite Bakugou's general attitude and bearing, he seemed to soften up a little when Kirishima told a corny joke or punched him affectionately in the arm. Satou sat and spoke quietly to Kouda, who was signing rapidly in response. Shouto couldn't really catch what his hand were saying at this distance, but he thought he saw the words cake and rabbit, which would make sense considering the participants of the conversation.

Standing at the doorway, he say Yaoyorozu talking with Jirou. The smaller girl was guesturing animatedly as she illustrated some story she was telling the taller girl. Yaoyorozu was listening intently, a sappy smile on her face and a soft blush dusting her cheeks, hands clasped demurely behind her.

Shouto gave a small smirk, and pulling out his phone, snapped a picture of Yaoyoruzu and sent it to her. Across the room he saw her notice the message, and get her phone out. When she saw the picture she blushed a deep red and glared at Shouto across the room. He affected an air of confused innocence as Jirou tried to make sure Yaoyoruzu was okay.

A few moments later, a message popped up on his screen.

Yaoyorozu: Just because I told you about my crush does not mean I need to be teased about it constantly.

With an amused twitch of the mouth, Shouto replied.

Todoroki: You didn't tell me anything.
Todoroki: All I had to do was look at your face when Jirou speaks.
Yaoyorozu: That's unfair.
Yaoyorozu: ...
Yaoyorozu: Am I really so easy to read?
Todoroki: Like a book.
Yaoyorozu: Do you think she knows?
Todoroki: No way.
Todoroki: For how sensitive her hearing is, she is very unobservant of what's right in front of her.
Yaoyorozu: Thank goodness.

Yaoyorozu: At least I won't lose one of my friends because of stupid unrequited love.
Todoroki: Oh?
Todoroki: It's love?
Todoroki: And you're sure it's unrequited?
Yaororozu: Be quiet.
Yaoyorozu: And what do you mean are you sure?

But Shouto simply put down his phone and smirked at her across the classroom.
Aizawa spoke up from his sleeping bag on the floor, reminiscent of the first day of school, and despite getting used to it, he still made half the class jump as he spoke.

"Everyone take your seats" he mumbled as he unzipped his sleeping bag to pull out some papers. "As youy all know, Mineta Minoru was removed from the school when it was discovered that he had placed cameras in the girl's changing rooms and female teacher's bathrooms."

All of the girls and most of the boys collectively shuddered thinking about him, and Aizawa muttered somthing that sounded similar to "Fucking disgusting" but it was too muffled by his scarf for any to be sure.

Clearing his throat, Aizawa spoke with a little more clarity. "Today we are getting a replacement student, one transferring up from the Gen Ed course. Some of you," he said, eyes flicking to Midoriya for a moment, "May know him from the sports festival. Please welcome Shinsou Hitoshi."

The door to the class opened and a tall, slender boy with bags under his eyes and an explosion of dark lavender hair walked in.

"Hey." Hitoshi said casually as he waved. He saw Midoriya gasp and wave to him and chuckled. He walked over to stand next to Aizawa.

"He will be taking Mineta's old seat and his room in the dorms, which we have sterilsed. Your seat is behind Midoriya," Aizawa said, turning to Hitoshi. Now we'll continue on to the lesson and never speak of Mineta again." Aizawa finished, walking out the door dragging his sleeping bag behind him and giving the class a few minutes to chatter.

Hitoshi slid into the desk behind Midoriya, and Midoriya turned back to chatter at him excitedly.

"Wow! I can't believe you transfered into our class Shinsou! I didn't know if we would get another student cause it's unusual for students from another school to transfer in other than in the first year but anyway its great that you're hear I know you wanted to get into the hero course i mean your quirk is fantastic for an underground hero or something like that but also for face to face combat because the enemy isn't expecting it..." Midoriya rambled on and Hitoshi tuned out, letting the familiar noise of his friend's muttering wash over him.

"Izuku." A calm quiet voice cut through Midoriya's muttering. "You're not letting anybody talk to our new classmate."

Hitoshi scanned the crowd quickly. The speaker was a tall and handsome boy with red and white split hair and a scar over his left eye, sitting at the back of the room. What was his name? Right. Todoroki Shouto, son of the current No. 1 hero, Endeavor. Midoriya's friend.

As Midoriya stuttered out apologies and let the other's crowd around him, Hitoshi heard one last bit of mumbling.

"Sorry, Shouto." Midoriya sounded sheepish but he was smiling at Todoroki in a way Hitoshi had never seen Midoriya smile. And, more suprisingly, the stoic Todoroki had a small smile on his face too. Friends, or...

Hitoshi smiled. He'd bug Midoriya about it later.

"Sososo! I heard your quirk can make people do whatever you want!" a bubly girl with pink hair and skin and... horns? was jumping up and down in front of him. Hitoshi smiled tiredly. This again.

"Yeah, don't worry about it, I won't control any of y-"
"Can you use it on me!? Pretty please? I wanna know how it feels!" said the girl... Ashido? from the sports festival, hopping in place like an overcaffeinated bunny.

That actually made Hitoshi sit up. Everywhere, people were scared of his quirk but this girl... asking for him to use it on her. He guessed the rumors about class 1-A's wackiness were well founded.

Before he could respond to Ashido's query, a tall and muscular boy rushed over, moving his arms in a strange fashion. His uniform was pulled taut by his body in all of the right places, as far as Hitoshi was concerned. His eyes trailed up to the boy's face, which was strong and handsome. He had black hair combed down and rectangular half frame glasses. Hitoshi wondered what he looked like under his shirt...

"Greetings, Shinsou Hitoshi! I am Iida Tenya, class representative. I too would like to request that you use your quirk on me. It will be an excellent chance to experience something that may come in handy against any sort of mind control, or perhaps in maintaining my own mental composure!" The handsome boy had stopped his strange hand gestures when he finished speaking, and Hitoshi snapped out of his haze to answer the both of them them.

"Um, sure I can use it on you two," Hitoshi said, rubbing the back of his head sheepishly. This class was weird. "I just need you to answer my question. What's your full name?" Hitoshi asked, turning partially from Iida to include Ashido in his question.

"Ashido Mina!"
"Iida Tenya."

As they responded, both of their face fell vacant and Ashido's ever present movements fell still. Hitoshi though for a moment. What could he do..?
Ah. "Alright. Ashido, you pinch Midoriya's cheeks." As Asido moved towards a confused Midoriya, he turned to Iida and ordered him. "And you..." Hitoshi smirked. "Do the Robot."

Amidst Midoriya's protestations at having his cheeks pulled, Iida began to move his arms and upper body in a way...

"Oh my god," Denki said.

"It looks like when he gets all worked up and waves his arms around!" Jirou finished.

There was a bout of laughter around the class as Hitoshi de-activated his quirk. He stepped up to Ashido, as Midoriya rubbed his sore cheeks, and extened a hand.

"Sorry about that." Hitoshi said, looking towards the ground.

She probably hates me now, just another enemy, she'll tell them all and I'll have no more friends here than in Gen. Ed, I should have just refused-

"That was so cool! Thanks for doing that!" Ashido yells, jumping in the air before dashing off to gush about how it felt to a... Floating uniform? As it moved around Ashido, Hitoshi realised that there must be an inisible person inside it.

He turned to Iida as well, holding out his hand. As Iida took it in his powerful grip, Hitoshi looked him in the eyes and smiled softly.

"No hard feelings?"
"Of course not! I asked you to do it, and I am glad you did. I am sure this experience will be invaluable in future!" Iida stated. As he let go of Iida's hand, somewhat regretfully, Hitoshi clarified.

"No, I mean about the... Robot... thing. Aren't you mad at me?" Hitoshi felt worried. He didn't want Iida to dislike him. He supossed he should have thought of that before making him do an embarrassing dance in front of all his friends.

"Of course not!" Iida declared. "I requested that you use your quirk on me as I wanted to experience not having control of my body and how I would fight it. What you chose to do with that control was your choice. I did not specify what you should do, so it was entirely within your right to make do this... dance?" Iida seemed a little lost at that part.

Hitoshi listened on, bemused. He knew that any class with Midoriya Izuku in in was bound to have quite a few characters in it, but he'd never expected this. Not one, but two people asking him to use his quirk on them. Not being shunned because of it. And one of the two was quite attractive...

Other class members began to ask questions, but before they could truly begin, a voice cleared it's throat from the front of the room.

Ectoplasm stood there, waiting.

"It is good that you are bonding with your new classmate, but class has begun. Return to your seats and turn to page 394." There were a few muffled giggles from some, Midoriya and Yaoyorozu in particular, but they all sat down and began the lesson.

Hitoshi stared out the window. He'd only been in this class for a few minutes, and he was already enjoying it imensly compared to the Gen Ed course.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Later that evening, in the dorm common, Hitoshi was being questioned by his classmates. His favourite colour (butter yellow), his favourite animal (cat), favourite foods (coffee and Popsicles), hobbies (cycing and anime).

"What else can we do?" Ashido asks, lying her head on the shoulder of the invisible girl, who he'd learned was named Hagakure Toru. Hagakure clapped her hands for attention.

"I know! We can go see his room like we did everyone elses!" Ashido shot up at the suggestion.

"Great idea Toru! Lets go everybody!" She yelled, running over to Hitoshi to pull him. He blinked. What? Did he get a say in this? Based on the look on Ashido's face as she dragged him and the enthusiasm of the others, he guessed not.

"Well, we haven't got all night! Where's your room?" Ashido was talking into his ear, making him wince at her volume.

"Wait. Are you saying you dragged me all this way without knowing where you're going?" Hitoshi inquired.

"Yep!" Came Ashido's enthusiastic response. Hitoshi took a moment to shake his head.

"It's right across the hall from Iida's room." The moment the words had left his mouth, Ashido dragged him onwards towards it.

Ashido burst the door open to Hitoshi's room, and the other dorm residents crowded around for a look.

The walls were painted a light yellow, like cold butter. Hitoshi's beadspreat was a soft lavender with a Ghastly/Haunter/Gengar design. Along a shelf on one wall he had a shelf of various figurines. Decidueye, Mimikyu, Eraserhead, All Might, Midnight, Eren, Haru and a beat up Gengar doll were given places of honour. Underneath he had his desk, with a poster of Eraserhead on the wall by it.

"Oh do you like Shingeki no Kyojin Shinsou?" A curious voice asked. Hagakure seemed to be speaking. "I made Mina watch it with me cause I thought I would be scared but it was really good. We should talk about it sometime." Before Shinsou could answer, a scream was heard from the hall.

"Why the FUCK are there so many fucking people standng around! Move before you die!" Bakugou's voice exhoed through the hallway, causing the crowd to scatter.

Bakugou stuck his head through Hitoshi's door. Staring around the room, his eyes seemed to linger on the pokemon figurines for a moment.

"Hmph. Studid room. Like a little kid's." Bakugou snapped, shoving his hands in his pokets and stomping off.

"But Baku-bro, you said you liked pokemon. You said you waited in line all night to get the new game-" Kirishima is shut off as Bakugou yells.

"Shut it Spiky Hair!"

As the two of the head off the hallway making noise, Hitoshi leaves his room. Midoriya wasn't in the group of people questioning him, so where was he..?

After searching the dorms for a while, Hitoshi ended up back in the common space of the dorm. He took a seat, but before he could do anything else, an exhausted Midoriya walked in through the door, sweat heating to steam as it left his body.

"Hi, Shinsou!" Midoiya exclaimed. "Have you gotten settled in?"

Hitoshi nodded. "I have, but this is more important." He stood and grabbed Midoriya's shoulders. Ew. Sweaty.

"Why didn't you tell me about your boyfriend? I thought we were friends Midoriya!" Hitoshi cried.

Midoriya's face shone scarlet. "W-what are you talking about?!? I-i'm not dating anyone!"

Hitoshi Raised an eyebrow. "Really?" He said with a smirk. "What about Shouto, hmmm?

Midoriya's face turned even more red, if it was possible, freckles completely hidden by his blush. "Sh-shouto and I are just friends! Why would he even want to be with someone like me?!" Midoriya protested wildly.

Hitoshi kept his eyebrow up. "Well, if you say so Midoriya..." He turned to walk away, but after a few steps, Hitoshi turned back to Midoriya and shot him some finger guns.

"Good luck!"

Hitoshi walked back to his room chuckling as he heard Midoriya melt down further behind him. His friend could be remarkably dense for someone so observant.

As Shinsou walked away laughing, Izuku's mind rushed through his head at a thousand miles an hour. Did he and Shouto seem like a couple somehow? Was Shouto okay with it? He probably wasn't and just didn't want to offend Izuku. Shouto was always considerate of others before himself. Izuku walked back to his room to shower and go to sleep, still pouring over Shinsou's words in his mind.

Chapter Text

Momo yawned as she awoke, stretching and rolling her shoulders. Seeing the clock beside her bed, displaying 9:36 AM, she panicked for a second before remembering it was a Saturday.

 

Her phone chimed, it's unique ringtone of a quick guitar riff from a song Jirou had shown her, and then, while Momo was distracted, Jirou had set it as her personal text notification.

 

Jirou: Morning Yaomomo!

Jirou: I was thinking we could meet up at 11 for our plans today?

 

Plans? Momo thought sleepily. A little light went off in her brain as she remembered. Right! She and Jirou would be going out today! Just the two of them. First, they would be going to a music store that Jirou had wanted to show Momo. It was where Jirou had bought several of her instruments, and was clearly important to her. Momo had been wanting to see it for a while. Surely any place that could make Jirou smile so much ust be wonderful!

 

Afterwards, they would head to a tiny little cafe nearby, a hole-in-the-wall place that neither of them had been, but they had heard good things about from Tokoyami. Once they had finished lunch, Momo was going to take Jirou to her favourite art museum and they would wander around, looking at all of the beautiful paintings and chatting about their favourites. Maybe they would even hold hands...

 

Momo quickly slapped her cheeks to dispel the notion. Jirou wasn't interested in her. She would not ruin her relationship with her best friend over some silly unrequited romantic feelings. She picked up her phone and typed out a response.

 

Yaoyorozu: I will meet you in the common area at 11 o'clock.

Yaoyorozu: I'm so excited!

 

Placing her phone down beside her bed, she tidied up her sheets, pulling her bedspread up and fluffing her pillow. Satisfied with the state of her bed, Momo began pulling outfits from her wardrobe, humming an old piano tune she knew. What should she wear? It was a moderately cool day out, so maybe not the sundress...

 

Eventually she decided on a pleated white skirt and blue blouse with a deep red cardigan that Jirou had given her for her sixteenth birthday. It's colour was lovely, very similar to her hero outfit.

 

As Momo went to leave, her phone chimed. A quick check revealed a familiar number, with no name or image.

 

Momo felt the blood drain from her face, all of her happy excitement flowing out of her in an instant.

 

Now she felt only fear and dread, her stomach churning restlessly. Her legs shook, threatening to fall out from underneath her.

 

Her phone screen displayed only three words:

 

You are expected.

 

Momo fell against her door, sliding down to the ground with an audible thump. Her heart began to race, her breath accelerating till she was hyperventilating, drawing great, heaving gasps of air to try and stay conscious. The edges of Momo's vision flickered as she started to fade.

 

"Yaomomo? Are you alright?" Jirou's voice cut through Momo's panic as she knocked softly on Momo's door.

 

"Y-yes, I'm fine," Momo called back, trying to keep her voice steady. "I-I'm sorry but I h-have to cancel our plans for today." Momo bit back tears as she spoke, hating how her voice shook. She didn't want to worry Jirou with her own problems.

 

"Yaomomo, please. I'm your friend. If there's anything wrong, you can tell me." Jirou's  worried voice came through the door, the clear concern almost enough to make Momo cry. She was so lucky to have someone like this close to her. But it was all the more reason not to get Jirou dragged into this. She was so amazing, she didn't need to be bothered with the issues of someone like Momo.

 

"Thank you Jirou, but I'm fine. I simply have a... f-family matter to deal with." Momo said, hoping Jirou wouldn't notice how her voice quavered as she said family.

 

"Well... If you're sure you're alright. Just... Just call me if you need anything. Please." Jirou called through the door, clearly still worried.

 

Momo took a moment to compose herself, drying her eyes and straightening her clothes as she prepared to leave. She kept her back straight and hands rigid, trying desperately to conceal all emotion. She reached the door leading out of the dorms where she could already see the formal black car waiting for her.

 

"Yaomomo!" Jirou called, running towards her, concern plastered all over her. Momo turned to look at her, and her heart couldn't take anymore, allowing tears to spill over her cheeks silently.

 

"Yao...Momo?" Jirou was stopped in her tracks by Momo's tears. Momo met her eyes for a moment before turning and running to the dark car waiting outside.

 

Kyoka stood, shocked into stillness. Yaomomo had been crying. Tall, strong, beautiful Yaomomo. The girl who had gotten the best score in the class on their written exams. The girl everyone came to for help. The girl who had captured Kyoka's heart since the first day Kyoka had laid eyes on her. And she was crying? It was unthinkable.

 

Kyoka had heard the shakiness in Yaomomo's voice, and seen the tears in her eyes. What could she be doing that inflicted such terror and misery upon her? A family matter she had said…

 

  • - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

As the dark suited driver drove her away from the place she now considered her true home, Momo cleaned up her tears and made sure that her face was properly composed. Her mother would not tolerate any weakness that she showed her.

 

After a silent drive of nearly an hour, the car was stopped at the front entrance of an impossibly grand mansion. The Yaoyorozu family home. Dark suited servants appeared before her, seemingly out of nowhere, and opened the doors. Once Momo entered, another servant stood before her, bowing low from the waist.

 

"My Lady Yaoyorozu. Your mother bid me bring you to her." His voice was flat and empty. Without waiting for a response, he turned sharply and led onwards into the mansion. Momo followed, trying to keep her legs from shaking. Despite the signs her body was showing, she held her face in a practiced and emotionless mask, the perfect face of the sole daughter to a wealthy family.

 

She approached two enormous doors, gilded in silver and all manner of precious gems. Two servants opened them, the doors moving silently despite their gargantuan size and weight. As Momo entered, the servant who had led her there bowed low to the ground, announcing flatly,

 

"Lady Yaoyorozu Momo." Once he had finished speaking, he backed out of the room, still bowing.

 

Momo kept her eyes downcast, hands folded respectfully in front of her, waiting to be spoken to.

 

"Daughter." The word was issue from a raised dais at the end of the room, where a tall and imposing woman sat. Her hair was jet black, gathered behind her head in an intricate braid. Her eyes were black as her hair, like two pools of obsidian, sharp and glittering, ready to draw blood at the slightest touch. Her skin seemed as smooth as ceramic, her lips bloodred against her pale face. She wore a junihitoe with alternating layers of black and white, and a dark crimson final layer, the colour of freshly spilled blood. In her hands she held a fan, white wood with a flame-red interior. The disgust in her eyes permeated the atmosphere around her as she glared down at her daughter.

 

“I see you still insist on throwing your family’s work and effort back into their faces by attending that absurd school. You are the heir to the Yaoyorozu fortune. You must act as such. By continuing to defy my wishes you are risking your health, your safety, and most importantly your reputation. The daughter of a prestigious family does not risk one’s own life for the common folk. You do not do physical labour. It is beneath you. And yet?” her mother’s glare intensified, piercing Momo to the core, almost breaking her mask.

 

"You come before me dressed like that? As a commoner? Have you no respect for your families stature? This complete lack of respect is the final straw." Without waiting for a response, she snapped the fan shut, a hard noise which echoed through the empty room.

 

"Strip." Momo began to do so without complaint, knowing that she could not argue. That she dared not argue. Soon, she stood before her mother in nothing but her skirt, hands covering her chest, head downcast.

 

"All of it." commanded her mother. Momo removed her final article of clothing, desperately fighting to not let the tears brimming in her eyes fall. Her mother stood, slowly advancing down the steps of the dias, never taking her hateful eyes from Momo. As she walked, she ran her fingers over her fan, white wood and red paper alike turning to a dark ebony wood under her fingertips.

 

As she reached Momo, she allowed one hand to fall from the fan, raising it to caress Momo's cheek. Without removing her hand, or allowing her eyes to break from Momo's face, she raised the fan in her other hand and brought it down on Momo's side with controlled furiosity. Momo shook at the impact, sharply gasping in air. The hand fell from her cheek, and another blow fell. And another. And another. Again and again her mother struck her, on her back, on her stomach, on her legs, her shoulders, her torso. Never on her arms or her face. Never anywhere that the blows would be visible. Between each blow, she spoke a single word, colder and sharper than granite.

"You." Whack."Are." Twhack."A." Whack."Yaoyorozu." Twhack. "You." Whack. "Will." Twhack. "Show." Whack. "Proper." Twhack. "Respect." Whack. "For." twack. "Your." Whack. "Family." Twhack. "Name." Whack.

 

With a final blow, she drove Momo to the ground, where she huddled in a ball, naked and beaten, shivering from the frigid air in the room.

 

Her mother leaned over her and whispered, words sharper than broken ceramic falling from her mouth over the body of her broken daughter.

 

"I trust that you have learned your lesson." Not waiting to acknowledge Momo's slight movement of her head, she called out.

 

"Take her to her rooms and clean her. Dress her appropriately for dinner with her family. And dispose of those common rags beside her." Without a second glance, she turned and left her beaten daughter behind. As servants picked her up, Momo dimly registered what her mother had said. She tried to reach for her cardigan, but a dark servant snatched it away from her along with the rest of her clothes, and left before she could muster the power to speak. As the edges of her vision turned to black spots, Momo stopped fighting it and allowed unconsciousness to wash over her.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Kyoka sat alone in the common area of the dorms, attempting to watch something on the TV but not registering anything that happened on it. It was a little past midnight, and Yaomomo still wasn't back. She couldn't have come in without Kyoka realising it as she had been sitting by the entrance since around 4:30, waiting for Momo to come back.

 

Kyoka was desperately worried. Something had clearly been wrong with Yaomomo that morning when she left, and she hadn't replied to Kyoka's messages at all. Yaomomo would always message her back. Even when Kyoka was up in the middle of the night on a music video binge or watching a new anime, if she sent Yaomomo a random message about whatever it was she was doing or a quick thought, within a few minutes, she would get a response. Kyoka loved those moments, chatting back and forth in the early hours of the morning. That was when they were both totally open with each other, in their own private world.

 

Well, Kyoka thought, maybe she wasn't entirely honest with Yaomomo. Although she certainly didn't intend to start being entirely honest as that would mean revealing her gigantic crush on her best friend. Yaomomo was much too good for her. Her grades were the best in the class, and she stood out from the crowd like a goddess, while Kyoka was somewhat of a delinquent, often getting scolded by the teachers. Her grades were a little above the average, but she would never be as good, as strong, as smart or as beautiful as Yaomomo.

 

Kyoka heard a car pull up outside and shot up. She ran to the door, throwing it open to see Yaomomo standing straight backed as the car pulled away. Kyoka hung back, unsure of how to act. The moment the car was out of site, Yaomomo's legs seemed to give out from underneath her and she fell to the ground, catching herself with her hands on the asphalt to avoid total collapse.

 

"Momo!" Kyoka ran to her the moment she fell. Yaomomo looked up at her somewhat deliriously. "Kyo...ka?" Her voice was weak, and seeing Yaomomo brought so low hurt Kyoka in a way she had never felt before. Yaomomo was wearing an elegant dress that had gone down to her ankles, tight and somewhat form-fitting. But in her fall it had torn most of the way up one leg. As Kyoka bent over Yaomomo to help her up, she noticed the myriad bruises that covered her leg.

 

"Yaomomo... What happened to you? We need to get you to Recovery Girl. You need care." Yaomomo shook her head violently at the notion. "Please..." she muttered. "Just... help me up to my room."

 

Kyoka slid one of Yaomomo's arms over her shoulder, putting her arm around Yaomomo's waist to hold her up. With every step they took back to the dorms, Kyoka could feel Yaomomo trembling and wincing beside her. Her head started to fill with rage. Who had done this? Who had hurt someone as good and beautiful and perfect as Yaomomo? Kyoka would find them, and she would...

 

Cutting herself off, Kyoka shook her head. This wasn't the time to think about revenge. Yaomomo needed her. She had to make sure she would recover. Kyoka could see, by the look in Yaomomo's eyes, that the bruises weren't the only thing hurting her. There was something else. Something inside of her that just seemed... Broken. Like Yaomomo's bubbly and energetic personality had been beaten down until it stopped moving.

 

They reached Yaomomo's room, Kyoka almost dragging the much larger girl at this point. As Kyoka tried to open the door, Yaomomo fell against her back, her head falling over Kyoka's shoulder. Kyoka felt Yaomomo's breasts pushing into her back and blushed.

 

Dammit gay thoughts, not now! I need to take care of Yaomomo, not think about how to... Kyoka shook her head violently. Not now, she ordered herself internally. Getting the door open, Kyoka laid Yaomomo down on the bed.

 

Yaomomo groaned softly as she was put onto the bed.

 

"Come on. You can't go to sleep in that. It'll cut off your circulation." Kyoka said as she searched for a pajama top and bottoms in Yaomomo's wardrobe. Having found them, she turned to Yaomomo to see her still lying unresponsive on her bed. If Kyoka wanted to get her into something to sleep in, she would have to... undress her. Kyoka groaned. At times like this, why did she have to be so damn gay. Couldn't her brain wait until Yaomomo was taken care of? Closing her eyes to prepare her mentally, Kyoka slowly started to remove Yaomomo's dress.

 

When the ordeal was over, Yaomomo was dressed in clothes that she could sleep in without cutting off the circulation to her limbs, and Kyoka was blushing so brightly that she could be stuck in a lighthouse and be used as a beacon for ships kilometers away. Taking a moment to slow down her heart rate and allow her face to return to semi-normal colouration, Kyoka said:

 

"I-I'm going to go to Recovery Girl's office to see if she's there. If she isn't, I'll grab some bruise ointment and prepare a hot water bottle. She stood up to leave, but felt a slight tug on her shirt. Yaomomo was still lying in bed, but her hand lightly gripped the back of Kyoka's shirt.

 

"Please..." Yaomomo whispered, "Stay with me." Her voice was quiet and broken, tearing Kyoka's heart in two. How could anyone have done this to her Yaomomo. She was one of the strongest, bravest people Kyoka had ever met, and seeing her brought down like this right in front of her hurt more than anything she had ever felt. She took Yaomomo's hand from her shirt and held it gently.

 

"It's okay. I'm not going anywhere." Kyoka whispered, climbing onto the bed to sit next to Yaomomo, hands still linked as Kyoka began to run her other hand through Yaomomo's hair softly, humming a quiet lullaby to try and get Yaomomo asleep.

 

Tears started to fall from Yaomomo's eyes. Kyoka immediately stopped humming.

 

"What's wrong? Was I hurting you? Please!" Kyoka said, voice starting to fill with panic.

 

"I'm sorry..." Yaomomo breathed, words just barely audible. Kyoka ran her hand underneath Yaomomo's eyes, wiping the tears away.

 

"You're sorry? No! You don't apologise for any of this! None of this is okay! That someone did this to you..." Kyoka trailed off from her outburst, angry tears clouding her vision, threatening to spill over her cheeks.

 

"I'm sorry Kyoka... I lost the cardigan you gave me... It was my favourite one..." Kyoka gave a choked little laugh.

 

"You're lying here, beaten black and blue and you tell me that you're sorry about losing a gift from me? You stupid, ridiculous, beautiful, perfect woman. Please, don't ever change..." Kyoka trailed off again as she was overwhelmed by tears, muffled sobs tearing from her throat. She sat there for a few minutes, letting her tears run. As she dried her cheeks with her sleeve, she felt Yaomomo softly caress her cheek.

 

Looking up, she met Yaomomo's gaze, their eyes red-rimmed and teary.

 

"Thank you, Kyoka. You've always cared for me so much. I-" Yaomomo's breath hitched for a moment. "I love you." As she spoke, her voice had gotten fainter and weaker, until unconsciousness fell over her.

 

Kyoka stared at her sleeping crush in a state of shock.

 

What.

Just.

Happened.

 

Yaomomo had said... that she loved Kyoka? But  there was no way. She couldn't possibly love someone like Kyoka, who was in no way even a half decent match for her. She was injured, and delirious. She probably just meant she loved her platonically.

 

Kyoka's head buzzed as she lay next to Yaomomo, and it was a long time before sleep overcame her.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Momo opened her eyes. The first thing she saw was a head of asymmetrical purple hair. Looking below it, Momo saw Jirou’s face, lying on a pillow beside her. That sight shot her brain into maximum gear as she sharply pulled away from Kyoka, only to wince as she felt the soreness and bruising all over her. As she sank down into the bed, eyes tracing around Jirou's face, the events of last night came back to her.

 

After she had gotten back to the dorms she had collapsed from fatigue and pain, and then Jirou had run up to her immediately. Had Jirou been waiting for her? Then Jirou had helped -more like carried- Momo back to her room and laid her on the bed. Then...

 

Momo blushed heavily as she recalled Jirou undressing her. Mortified, she looked over to Jirou. Had she really been willing to do that for her? As her cheeks cooled, Momo remembered talking to Jirou, apologising for losing her present to Momo and then...

 

Momo shot upright in her bed as she recalled what she had said to Jirou immediately before passing out.

 

She had said she loved her. Momo's whole face began to glow bright red. Covering her face with her palms, she fell back into bed. She couldn't take it back now. The cat was out of the bag. She had probably destroyed her friendship with Jirou forever...

 

Then again...

 

Jirou had stayed, even after that horrifying announcement from a delirious Momo. And here she was still, sleeping peacefully, hair sticking out in all directions, drooling slightly on Momo's pillows.

 

As she saw her, Momo giggled softly. No wonder she had fallen for this adorable angel. Face still glowing as red as a tomato, Momo lay back in bed. Maybe she could just enjoy this while it lasted she thought, closing her eyes and drifting off to sleep once more.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Izuku stared at the giant mechanical monster, watching it bear down on him as fellow trainees scrambled out of the way. He turned to run as well, but then he saw the brown haired girl from earlier, the one who had been nice to him. She was trapped under a pile of rubble and the machine was almost upon her. He turned drawing the strength of One for All through him, preparing to leap at the enemy and...

 

Nothing.

He fell to his knees, remembering who she was as the nightmare progressed. The robot from the entrance exam loomed over them both, treads moments from crushing Uraraka.

 

Suddenly, an enormous spear of ice shot from the ground, spearing the robot through its torso and halting its advance. A boy with dual toned red and white hair shot past, sliding on ice. Another massive spear of ice hit the robot, knocking it back off its feet. Uraraka was safe. Thank goodness. His eyes filled with tears of gratitude and terror.

 

When his vision cleared, he was being held against someone's chest, his left side hot while his right was cool. Izuku looked up, his hand around Shouto's waist, and as he gazed into Shouto's beautiful blue and brown eyes, He leaned towards him, Shouto's head lowering to meet his, breath hot against Izuku's lips. Izuku closed the final distance between them, his lips meeting Shouto's...

 

Izuku opened his eyes. What had he been dreaming about? Oh. His recurring nightmare. But this time, it had ended differently, and he had woken up late morning, feeling rested, not sweating and crying and needing to vomit in the middle of the night. What had been different? Izuku closed his eyes as he tried to remember. Shouto had come in and saved the day and then...

 

Izuku's eyes shot open as he choked, remembering his dream. He had kissed Shouto in his dream!? What - What did that even mean?

Izuku groaned, holding his head in his hands. He needed to talk about this with somebody who was more knowledgeable about this kind of thing. He grabbed his phone with its vintage Silver Age All Might case and started typing out a message.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Ochako looked up from her game of Tokaido with Tsu. Her phone had chimed. Leaning over it, she saw a few messages from Deku

 

Midoriya: Hi Uraraka!

Midoriya: I need to talk with you about something.

Midoriya: Uh, privately.

Midoriya: Can you meet me at the ice cream store outside campus at 12?

 

Ochaco glanced over to Tsu. "Hey, Tsu? Is it okay if I go meet with Deku in a little while? It seems like he really needs to talk to me," she asked, trying to ignore the fact that Tsu was wearing a shirt that was really much too big and her shoulder was falling out now that she had changed from lying on her stomach to sitting up.

 

"No problem. We can finish playing later, Ochaco." Tsu responded, finishing with a small ribbit. Ochaco giggled. She thought Tsu's ribbits were the cutest thing. Actually, she thought Tsu in general was the cutest.

 

"Thanks Tsu! I'll come right back and we can finish!" Ochaco called over her shoulder as she went to put on something that wasn't pajamas, messaging Deku back a quick "Sure!"

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Deku dug his spoon into his two scoops of ice cream, strawberry and vanilla mixing together to form pink at the bottom of his bowl.

 

"It's so weird Uraraka! Whenever I'm around him, I get nervous and then I start to blush and care about things like how my hair looks! My hair! How ridiculous is that!" Deku moaned, waving his spoon to indicate his hair, a tiny drop of ice cream landing on his nose without him noticing.

 

"And I can't seem to take my eyes off him while we train, especially when we're sparring! And when he takes off his shirt after training, I just want to feel his chest and his arms and- and- Argh! And the other day he was comforting me after a bad dream and I thought his eyes were beautiful! I've never thought that before about anyone! And last night..." Deku trailed off as he flushed a deep red.

 

Ochako leaned forwards over her cookie dough ice cream, holding her spoon between her teeth. Raising an eyebrow towards Deku she asked him in a suggestive tone:

 

"Oh? Last night? What happened last night, Deku?" As she spoke, Deku's face got even redder and he started stuttering unintelligibly. Ochaco laughed while she waited for him to recover. Deku was so easy to fluster.

 

Appearing to have regained control over his voice, Deku continued.

 

"Last night, I had my nightmare again, but this time, instead of you dying at the beginning, he saved you, and then- and then-" Deku seemed to be having a hard time continuing.

 

"Last night I dreamt that I kissed him!" Deku squeaked. Ochaco started to laugh. he was so embarrassed, it was hilarious.

 

Once she had stopped laughing, although it was hard with Deku pouting at her, she managed to ask him.

 

"Deku, when you feel these weird feelings around Todoroki, does it feel bad?" Deku thought for a moment before answering softly.

 

"No, no. They feel... good. Warm, and nice too." Ochaco rubbed the the bridge of her nose with one hand, slightly exasperated at her friends cluelessness. But that innocent befuddlement was just so Deku.

 

"Deku, I'm just going to say it straight, or in your case, pass it bi you. What you're describing is pretty much exactly how I feel about Tsu. And I am very much in love with Tsu. It sounds, to me, like you have a crush on Todoroki. A pretty gigantic one too." Ochaco finished her short statement with a decisive bite of ice cream.

 

"I don't have a crush on Shouto, he's just my friend!" Deku insisted. Oh, Ochaco thought. He was Shouto now. At the use of Todoroki's given name, Ochaco just raised her eyebrow as she looked at Deku and said nothing.

 

Deku stared into the distance as he thought. Something seemed to click as he thought.

"OhmygodIhaveacrushonShouto," Deku whisper-yelled. "How can we keep being friends if this gets in the way!?" Deku started to hyperventilate, clearly on the edge of immense panic at the idea of losing Todoroki.

 

“Hey, Deku. Deep breaths. You need to calm down,” She said, grabbing his shoulders to ground him. "Listen. I have been in love with Tsu for a long time and we're still friends. You can still be friends with Todoroki. And besides, based on how the two of you interact, I'm sure he likes you too." Deku had calmed down once she started talking, but when she mentioned Todoroki liking him back, he was so visibly shocked that it started Ochaco laughing again.

 

"No no no nononono. There is no way Shouto would like someone like me. he's so strong and handsome and cool, and I'm just- just me. You're spouting nonsense Uraraka!" Deku cried, but Ochaco just laughed again.

 

"Listen to me Deku.You are on of the only people who can draw Todoroki out of his shell. Whenever he's around you he's smiling and looks happy. The rest of the time, he just keeps a stoic mask up. Can’t you see that you must be very special to him to be able to make him feel that way with you." Ochaco took another bite of ice cream as Deku shook his head vehemently.

 

"Nope, nope, nope. You're just getting revenge for when I teased you about Tsu. I'm not listening anymore!" Deku put his hands over his ears as he went to pay for his ice cream.

 

"I'm not teasing you!" Ochaco called after him, but she didn't think he heard.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Shouto lay on his bed, hands clasped over his chest on top of his phone, thinking. He had been feeling weird around Izuku for the whole week. Whenever he was around Izuku, his stomach felt weird, like nausea, but good. And while he usually disliked people touching him, hated it in fact, when Izuku touched him, it felt... nice. It made him want more. He had also noticed that his cheeks had a tendency to get warm when he thought of Izuku.

 

He pulled up his phone and messaged Yaoyorozu.

 

Todoroki: Hello.

Todoroki: Do you think we could talk?

 

Shouto put down the phone beside him and waited for a response. A few minutes later his phone dinged several times.

 

Yaoyorozu: Hi Todoroki

Yaoyorozu: This is Jirou

Yaoyorozu: Yaomomo is still asleep, so she can't talk

Yaoyorozu: And I need to take her to the nurse when she wakes up.

Yaoyorozu: Sorry.

 

Shouto was lost. If Yaoyorozu was asleep, why did Jirou have her phone.

 

Todoroki: Why do you have her phone?

Yaoyorozu: Yaomomo came back really late last night after going to visit her family,

 

At reading the last word, Shouto scowled. He knew that Yaoyorozu’s mother could be remarkably like his father at times.

 

Yaoyorozu: She was all bruised and beaten up, but she wouldn't let me take her to Recovery Girl

Yaoyorozu: She's still sleeping next to me.

Todoroki: Tell her I hope she feels better when she wakes up.

Todoroki: And I have some ointment for bruises if you want to grab it later.

Todoroki: So she’s there?

Todoroki: Next to you?

Yaoyorozu: Yeah?

Todoroki: Ah.

Todoroki: It sounds like you really enjoyed sleeping with her.

 

Jirou doesn't respond to his teasing, which is really what he expected. Well, he would have to go and see if Yaoyorozu was alright later, but he shouldn't do anything until she woke up. If he needed to talk about Izuku, he would need to go to his second option.

 

Knowing he wouldn't respond to a message, Shouto leaves his room and heads down one floor, knocking on a door before taking a step or two back as to be out of range.

 

The door slams open just like he knew it would, and an irate Bakugou peers out.

 

"The fuck do you want, Half-and-Half?!" he yelled, the slightly decreased volume a sign that he may have been slightly closer to Shouto than he wanted known.

 

During the second year, Shouto had somewhat become friends/rivals with Bakugou. They were both highly intelligent, with powerful quirks and fighting prowess. After their battle at the sports festival, Bakugou became determined to fight Shouto at full power, using his fire and his ice. Somewhat accidentally, Bakugou had become friends with him. It was the result of Bakugou bothering him for a full-out fight. Bakugou had started training with him to try and get him to use his quirk on him, and throughout the process had opened up to Shouto a little, resulting in their unlikely friendship.

 

"Hello, Bakugou. May I come in?" Shouto inquired politely. With a snort, Bakugou left the door open, allowing Shouto in. he walked in, closing the door behind him. Bakugou threw himself onto his flame-orange bed. "So? The fuck are you here for, you shitty bastard?" Bakugou grumbled.

 

"I wanted to ask you about Izuku." Shouto replied, getting straight to the point. "He's been making me feel weird lately."

 

Bakugou scoffed, throwing his hands behind his head. "Of course he's making you fucking feel weird. he's a weirdass." Despite Shouto somehow befriending him, Bakugou was still incredibly antagonistic towards Izuku. However, Izuku was much more confident against him these days, and mostly Bakugou's insults and bullying didn't affect him.

 

Shouto frowned. "No, not like that. It's not uncomfortable. It's like a... warm soup inside me. Like the nausea you get from training too hard, but... pleasant. And when I see him, or sometimes when I think of him, my face becomes warm and turns red for some reason." Shouto waved his hands slightly, trying to indicate the feeling.

Opening one eye to cast a glance towards Shouto, Bakugou humphed. "For someone so intelligent, you're a pretty fucking dense moron aren't you. You've obviously got a fucking crush on shitty Deku." He turned over on his bed so that his back was facing Shouto.

 

What? Shouto had never had a crush on anyone before. He had no idea how he was supposed to feel. "Why do you say that?" He asked Bakugou, confusion evident in his voice.

 

Bakugou sighed.

 

"You get weirdly fucking happy when you see him or think of him, right Half-and-Half? He makes you laugh even when he just acts like his usual shitty self. Your defenses just fucking disappear around him." Bakugou sounded angrier than he had a few moments ago, but also slightly... Regretful? It was not an emotion Shouto associated with Bakugou.

 

"That's... exactly right. How did you know?" Shouto asked Bakugou.

 

"Cause I had a fucking crush on Deku too, all through elementary and middle school. unlike you, I didn't know how to deal with my feelings, and I thought that he was doing something to me to make me feel different. So I took it out on Deku, made his life a living hell because he unknowingly made me fall for him. So don't take a page out of my book. You have a fucking crush on him. Deal with it right, or move on, like I did." Bakugou's voice had become softer and less angry as he spoke.

 

Shouto decided to not mention the slight shaking of Bakugou's shoulders, or the quiet sniffles, simply telling him "Thanks Bakugou. I have never felt this way about anyone before, so I needed help to understand." Bakugou didn't respond, and Shouto left him there on his bed, closing the door behind him. Before heading back to his room, he knocked on Kirishima's door and told him that Bakugou might need him. Kirishima nodded, quickly dropping into his room to grab a pack of spice candy he had bought earlier and walked over to Bakugou's room. Shouto heard both of their voices, but couldn't pick up any words.

 

Walking up the stairs to his room, what Bakugou had said really hit home. Shouto liked Izuku. Romantically. He had no idea of how to act, or how Izuku would react to this. He wished he could talk to Yaoyorozu, she would have the right advice for him, but neither she nor Jirou had written him.

 

The dorms were quiet as he arrived back at his room, most of the residents out for the day with their own plans. Shouto had nothing planned, aside from a practice spar with Izuku at 6. Perhaps he would read a book in the meantime, and try to sort out his feelings before he went and became somewhat physically intimate with Izuku during a sparring session.

 

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Kyoka sat beside Yaomomo, gently stroking her hair. She was still asleep, bruises from the previous night showing on her collarbone and shoulders. Kyoka thought back to the night before, and what Yaomomo had said. There was no way she had meant it, right? Kyoka was just a lonely lesbian with a massive crush on her straight friend, reading too far into the subtext.

 

Kyoka's train of thought was broken as Yaomomo stirred under her fingers. Removing her hands from Yaomomo's hair, Kyoka slid back a little on the bed to allow Yaomomo some room to stretch.

 

"G-good morning Jirou," said Yaomomo, and was it Kyoka's imagination or was she... Blushing? And avoiding looking at Kyoka's face? "Thank you for caring for me last night." Kyoka laughed a little.

 

"Two things," she said. "First, it's not morning, it's afternoon. And second..." Kyoka's laughter died in her throat and her voice become much softer. "What happened to you yesterday, Yaomomo? Please tell me. I-I'm just so worried about you. I want to keep you safe." Kyoka's voice became choppier as she spoke, and her eyes spilled a few tears that she tried to discreetly wipe away.

 

Her vision blurry, she didn't notice Yaomomo's hand until it had wiped the tears from her eye.

 

"Oh, Jirou," she sighed, looking into Jirou's eyes with an expression that wasn't just friendship. It was appreciation, it was desire, it was gratitude, it was... love? Kyoka mentally slapped herself. Not the time to over analyse her every facial expression, brain!

 

"You've always been so good to me, standing up for me and keeping me company, despite how much I must bore you with my talk about art and books." Yaomomo continued, the soft look still on her face, her hand still caressing Jirou's cheek lightly.

 

No! Kyoka wanted to shout. You're always so passionate and energetic about what you enjoy, not a single person could possibly find you boring. Especially not me!

 

But her voice failed her, caught in her throat, feeling that if she made any noise this fragile moment would be shattered like a glass sculpture, impossible to reconstruct.

 

"You deserve to know. The truth is... My mother doesn't approve of me attending this academy. She deems heroics unfit for a proper lady. Too inelegant and unrefined. She married into the Yaoyorozu family from a poor farming family. Her parents owned a large area of farmland that my grandfather wished to drill as he had discovered the presence of a large oil well there. However, my mother's parents would not sell, no matter how much money they were offered. So my grandfather offered them a deal. Their daughter would marry his son, and live a life of luxury along with her child and the rest of their family. My mother's parents could not refuse that. Money was something that could be stolen, could lose value or become obsolete, but status and social security could not be bought for any price. And so my mother joined the Yaoyorozu family. Because she comes from such a humble background, she believes very strongly in what is and is not right for the heir to the family title. I came here with the approval of my grandmother, but she has since passed, leaving my father as head of the family. My mother wants to remove me from UA, teach me to become a proper lady, like a porcelain doll. My father has allowed me to stay so far, but..." Yaomomo trailed off, and pulled up a leg on her pajama pants, gesturing to her bruises.

 

"My mother summons me periodically, a-and she lectures me about disrespecting the family, a-and then she-she beats me. Never where it will show, always where it will be hidden by my clothes, where no-one will notice. Not as if I would deserve concern" Yaomomo's voice had begun to shake as she spoke, and now tears began to flow freely from her eyes.

 

"Last night she had me brought before her and then she-she forced me to strip, all of my clothes, including your gift to me, and then she beat me. Again and again! I-I don't understand... I j-just wanted to be a good daughter, a hero, someone people look up too, but she hates me for it. I-I can't bear it any longer. I just want it to end!" Yaomomo's voice had risen in tempo and volume as she spoke, tears pouring over her cheeks as she bent over in bed, hugging her sides as she sobbed. Her voice was ragged, and it sounded like something deep inside her, something Yaomomo couldn’t fix, was broken.

 

Kyoka didn't say anything. She just pulled Yaomomo into a tight embrace, slowly rubbing circles into her back as the larger girl cried into Kyoka's shoulder. Slowly, her tears came to a stop. She pulled back from Kyoka, out of the reach of her arms.

 

"I apologise. I don't want to drag you into my mess." Yaomomo's voice sounded dead, emotionless. "I should listen to her. I'm worthless here at the academy anyhow. Why should I waste everyone's time when it won't amount to anything? And you should find someone better to spend time with, Jirou. All I do is bore you and make you take care of me." Yaomomo's face was still downcast, she wouldn't meet Kyoka's eyes. She hugged her sides even tighter as she spoke, seeming to collapse in on herself.

 

"What are you saying all of a sudden, Yaomomo!?" Kyoka yelled. "You're the top student in the class. You got into the school through the recommendation of a pro hero! How could anyone think you're a waste of time!?" Yaomomo still looked down.

 

"I don't have what matters most. All I have is information. I'm not kind, or quick thinking or brave or strong like the others in our class. I'll only hold them back in a real situation. I'm useless." Yaomomo's voice was quiet and mechanical, a marionette moving its mouth in time with someone else's voice.

 

Kyoka's eyes filled with angry tears. How could Yaomomo's mother do this to her? Yaomomo was the best person she knew. "Yaomomo, you're not useless! You're strong, you're beautiful, you're smart! Just, listen!" Even as Kyoka yelled, she could see her words weren't having any effect. They couldn't get past the barrier of insecurities Yaomomo's mother had trapped her behind. Kyoka raked her mind, desperate for how to break through to Yaomomo, kind, caring Yaomomo, her Yaomomo.

 

Oh what the hell.

 

With one swift action, Kyoka closed the difference between them, rising onto her knees to get her head to the taller girl’s, and brought her lips to Yaomomo's. Kyoka stayed there for a few seconds, savouring the pillowy softness of Yaomomo's lips, the faint taste of a chapstick from the day before. Peach?

 

Kyoka pulled back, face rapidly burning scarlet as her brain caught up to what her body had just done. "I-I-I-" Kyoka stuttered, too embarrassed to speak. But as she looked at Yaomomo, her face full of confusion, one hand lightly over her lips, looking charming and beautiful even with teardrops in her eyes. She was back to her usual self, but...

 

Momo stared at Jirou, transfixed. Jirou had... kissed her? But why? Surely she didn't deserve her? Why would someone beautiful and strong like Jirou kiss her? All Momo had was things she had read? Jirou was different, she could sing, and play so many instruments, and she had always protected Momo, even just from words. If Jirou had kissed her, did that mean..?

 

Jirou was blushing a deep red, as was Momo. Jirou was stuttering, and finally managed to speak.

 

"I'm so sorry! I just couldn't think of anything else to do to get through to you! My words couldn't get to you and you were hating yourself and I couldn't bear to hear the person I love talking about themself that way! Please don't hate me, Yaomomo! I don't want to lose you!" Jirou was panicked, waving her hands frantically, looking everywhere except for at Momo.

 

Hate her? How could Momo hate her? Jirou was...

 

She was perfect. Momo loved every single part of her. She could never hate Jirou. She loved her!

 

"I'm so sorry! You probably never want to see me again! I'll leave you alone now. Just... Please... don't hate me..." Jirou was crying hard now, rubbing at her eyes with the backs of her hands, trying to stem the flow of tears.

 

Before she could think, Momo put her hands over Jirou's, moving them from her eyes. As Jirou watched her in shock, Momo leaned in towards her face, gently putting their lips together. Jirou stayed frozen for a moment, unable to comprehend what was happening, but then all of the tension left her body and she melted into Momo's kiss, kissing her back with equal passion.

 

They stayed together, embracing, lips locked, until Jirou pulled away to breathe. She stayed close to Momo, looking into her eyes with wonder.

 

Momo smiled, even as tears, a mix of happy and sad, poured from her eyes.

 

"How could I hate you, Kyoka? I love you."

 

Those simple words were the last straw, breaking down the dam of feelings Jirou had put up. She cried and cried, and Momo held her tight.

 

"I-I was j-just so scared of losing you, and so worried and scared and - and-" Jirou broke off into a series of sobs, before flinging her arms around Momo's neck and crying out

 

"I love you!"

 

The two stayed wrapped around each other, crying from joy, from fear, from sadness, and as all of their locked up emotions poured out, they knew that no matter what the future brought, they would be able to face it together.

 

Chapter Text

Shouto sat in his room, staring at a textbook for his English class, but not really taking it in. So. He liked Izuku. Romantically. It should have been more obvious, but he supposed his lack of experience in this field could be blamed for his ignorance.

Well, now he knew what he was feeling. What should he do about it? Yaoyorozu would know. And he needed to make sure she was alright from seeing her family.

Todoroki: Yaoyorozu?
Todoroki: Are you alright? I know you just saw your family yesterday.
Yaoyorozu: Hello Todoroki
Yaoyorozu: Yes, I'm quite alright.
Todoroki: I'm glad.
Todoroki: Could we talk in person?
Yaoyorozu: Certainly.
Yaoyorozu: Could I come to your room? Kyoka is asleep and I don't want to wake her.
Todoroki: Oh?
Todoroki: Yes, I don't mind if you come here.
Yaoyorozu: Thank you.
Yaoyorozu: I'll explain when I see you.

Shouto dropped his phone on his bed, little read and white cat charm Izuku had bought him a week ago spread off to the side. So Jirou had finally taken some action on her monumental crush on Yaoyorozu. He hoped that it would work out for them, they were both obviously in love with each other and it would really help out Yaoyorozu with some of the issues her family had literally beaten  into her.

A soft knock came at the door, and Shouto got up to let Yaoyorozu in. She was wearing pajamas, and her hair was sticking out in all directions. Shouto raised an eyebrow slightly at her hair, and Yaoyorozu flushed lightly.

"I just got out of bed. You wouldn't look any better." Shouto didn't say anything, but he sat down.

"So? Why exactly is Jirou asleep in your room?" Shouto asked, definitely wanting to know more before saying anything about Izuku.

Yaoyorozu hid her face in her hands. She had turned very red. Something was mumbled into her palms.

"Pardon?" came Shouto's response.

"...kissed me." Yaoyorozu slightly removed her hands from her face, allowing Shouto to hear the end of her sentence.

Shouto stared at her.

"What."

Yaoyorozu flushed a darker shade of red, like sun dried tomatoes, and hid her face again. She spoke into the palms of her hands once again, but Shouto had leaned forwards a bit, and could hear her now.

"Kyoka, this morning, she kissed me..."

Yaoyorozu, that's... fantastic!" Shouto exclaimed excitedly.
"So? are you two a couple now? Whats going to happen? When is your first date? I'll be coming along to make sure it goes alright. I could give you some romantic snow! Is snow romantic?"

Yaoyorozu had to laugh, despite her burning red face. Todoroki didn't usually get excited very easily by anything other than his pretty damn obvious crush on Midoriya (although he hadn't figured out that he had a crush) so seeing him get so energetic about her love life was quite adorable. He was bouncing on his knees, and had a grin on his face. For someone who usually expressed most of their emotion with slight changes in the tilt of his mouth, and with minor changes to his eyes, this was the equivalent of screaming at the top of his lungs and breaking down a door.

"Please, I... I think we are dating. We don't have any dates planned, but I am going to change that!" Even as she declared it, the idea of asking out Kyoka simultaneously made her incredibly happy and incredibly nervous.

Yaoyorozu smacked her cheeks softly. If she blushed any harder she might give Todoroki sunburn. She quickly moved to change the topic.

"So, Todoroki... What did you want to talk to me about?"

Shouto calmed down, and stopped bouncing. He was ecstatic for Yaoyorozu, as he knew that she had been pining for Jirou pretty much since USJ, and being the useless lesbian that she was, had never done anything about it. But he was also thankful that she had reminded him that he needed her advice.,"

"So. I've discovered that I like Iz- Midoriya. Romantically," Shotuo said with a completely serious face.

Yaoyorozu lost it.

She fell to the ground, laughing so hard it turned into a coughing fit. Shouto stared at her in confusion.

"Is it really so funny?" Yaoyorozu tried to answer him but another burst of giggles bubbled up and she had to wait to calm down. Yaoyorozu finally managed to regain some breath.

"It's- It's just that you-" She broke off giggling.

"You finally realised. I knew for so long. It was so obvious. It was so, so obvious. God. How did you find out?" Yaoyorozu kept a hand over her mouth, managing to control her laughter somewhat.

Shouto began blushing a little.

"I asked Bakugou. He knew Midoryia for a long time, so I wanted to ask if how I felt about Midoriya was normal. He told me very quickly what I was feeling." Yaoyorozu stared with more than a little shock.

"You asked Bakugou something about Midoriya and he didn't just tell you to fuck off? You two must be closer than anyone realises. But that's besides the point. Now that you finally know that you like him, you need to know what to do. But I can't help you with that." Shouto furrowed his brow.

"You can't help?" Yaoyorozu stood up and walked over towards the door.

"Listen Shouto," she said, "For stuff like this, you need to figure it out by yourself. I think love is different for everybody, so my advice might not help at all. I think that if you do anything, it should be something that is genuinely from you. I'm happy for you Shouto. It's better to know that you like someone, even if you don't do anything about it." Yaoyorozu offered Shouto one of her smiles that seemed to light up the room, and slipped out of the room.

Shouto stayed sitting where he was. Yaoyorozu had said to do something that was genuinely from him, but Shouto didn't really have any ideas. What if he asked Izuku to a date, but Izuku didn't like him in the same way? Would it destory his friendship with Izuku? No, he was too kind for that. But it would still put some tension between the two of them. By the time 5 'o clock had rolled around, along with Shouto's daily sparring session with Izuku, he was still sat on his bed, deep in thought.