Moving into a new place is never easy.
Shouto Todoroki stares at the cardboard boxes lying in front of him, filled with many of his earthly possessions he managed to bring down from the great beyond and Europe. Previously for the past couple of years, he was sent by his father, Enji, also known as Lord Endeavor to observe and study advanced deity knowledge in Europe.
Afterward, he received a request from his father, instructing him to return to Musutafu, Japan and to bring all of his things.
A couple of weeks ago…
“Dad told you to do what?”
Shouto quickly called his sister the moment he received the request. Since she’s the closest child to him, he figured she might know something about this. Fuyumi currently works at the Bureau of Soul Immigration, located somewhere “in-between”. The bureau is responsible for managing soul relocation from earth to the great beyond and vice-versa if the soul receives permission to visit earth or to reincarnate. The office sounds pretty cool, sure, but Fuyumi is currently just another employee, responsible for higher management of the soul relocation.
Basically, it’s just a normal office job.
“He wants to meet me in Musutafu,” Shouto answered, “He also says to bring all of my things with me, I don’t know what’s for…”
“Well, I guess I could send you some of your things from home,” she said, “I’ll also call Natsu to help you with the moving thing,”
“Do you want me to come upstairs? It’s my things, after all, maybe I should pack it myself…”
“No, no, it’s not a big deal really,” she answered, “Just text me your new address and I’ll send your things over to you, bye.”
Fuyumi hangs up her phone, must be busy, Shouto thought. But still, everything does seem a bit strange… why would the stubborn old man ask to meet him in Japan? Why not upstairs? He seemed to love it there more than any other place in the entire existence. He was curious but realized he has a bit of work to do, he needs to find a place to live.
hotNcold: Can I ask a favor?
LadyUravity: Sure, what’s up?
hotNcold: I’m coming back to Musutafu, need a place to stay in town
hotNcold: Can you help me with that?
LadyUravity: On it! I’ll text you the options!
LadyUravity: Normal or supernatural?
hotNcold: Supernatural, but I wouldn’t mind normal, actually…
hotNcold: I know supernatural places are a bit scarce lately, so I wouldn’t blame you if you can’t find any…
LadyUravity: Wait, actually I know this place, it’s where…
LadyUravity: No… that could start some trouble… nope…
hotNcold: Something wrong?
LadyUravity: Nope, nothing’s wrong! Just stay put, I’ll… text you when I find some places for you to stay!
hotNcold: Thanks, I appreciate it.
Around a week later, he booked his ticket back to Japan, one way this time, not expecting to return to Europe anytime soon. He bought a few boxes of delicious Belgian chocolate truffles, wanting to share them with his friends as soon as he gets back. At the store, he began to think how many boxes he should buy, one for Uraraka, one for Iida, one for his brother, Natsu, and one more for…
“Izuku…” he muttered, staring at the box of chocolate in his hand.
That’s right, it’s been a while since he met or spoke with Izuku. But how could he forget about him? Around two and a half years ago, he was still in Japan, enrolling himself in UA State University. It’s been around a decade since he studied at a university, and he felt like he could use a refresher on present-day education. He enrolled at the same time as his old friend, Ochako Uraraka, something that she got excited about.
One month later, Uraraka announced that she found herself a boyfriend. She showed Shouto a picture of him, a young man around her age, with messy green hairs and freckles on his face. He was quite charming, normal too, Shouto thought. He felt a bit smitten just by looking at the picture, but what can he do anyway? It’s Uraraka’s boyfriend, after all…
Three years passed, Uraraka is 21 years old now, focusing on her chemical studies. She and Shouto were sitting together at a café, trying to finish up some work when he suddenly asked something.
“So, how is Izuku?” he asked.
“He’s fine, I think…” Uraraka answered, “We, um… we decided to give each other a bit of space after we broke up…”
“Oh, that’s understandable…” Shouto then returned back to his laptop, taking around five seconds before realizing what his friend just said, “You guys what?”
“We broke up,” she said, “I assume you were asking me about that part,”
“Yes, of course!” he said, “How long? You haven’t told me about this before,”
“Just around three days ago. We decided maybe it’s time to end things, it’s been a bit… stale, and none of us enjoyed it, so… we broke up, just like that…”
“The concept of human relationships always intrigues me…” he said, “There’s always going to be hard feelings when two people parts, unlike the upstairs…”
“I thought you guys have soulmates there as well,”
“We do, it’s just that… everyone there lives forever, no more dying, no more pain, no more aging, and as a result, we pretty much live recklessly. If your soulmate kissed, or bond with somebody else, nobody’s upset, it’s all part of the immortal life…”
“Huh, that’s really interesting,” she said, “Well, one day if I die, I absolutely won’t let that happen to me and my soulmate!”
“They all said that…” he chuckled, “Hey, can I confess something to you?”
“I kinda have a crush on your ex,” he said, “It’s silly, but I thought I should just let it out…”
“No problem, really,” she smiled, “You wanna go out on a date with him?”
“W-what?? No! You two just broke up!! T-that’s going to be…”
“It’s not going to be awkward,” she chuckled, “He’s just my friend now, we decide to put everything aside. Don’t worry, I’m not upset or anything, you want some carrot cake? I think they just put some in the counter!”
“Sure?” Shouto answered with a confused look, “But you do know that I’m immune to any kind of poison, even the magic ones, or any magical curses…”
“Oh, don’t make a big fuss about it, Todoroki!” she answered, standing up from her chair, “Like I said, it’s okay, Izuku is yours now. I’ll be right back…”
Later that week, he went out on his first date with Izuku. It was a pretty nice date, Shouto picked a nice restaurant downtown, they ate, and then went dancing and laughing out in the park. It escalated pretty quickly afterward, they kissed in the park, before turning it into a make-out session. And before they know it, both of them are already naked, lying in Izuku’s bed inside his dorm room.
Shouto left quietly when Izuku was already asleep. The date was nice, but what happened afterward… he regretted it, all of it, thinking he blew his chances with Izuku, turning his date into a one-night-stand. He got frustrated when he got back into his apartment, shouting out his anger in the shower.
And then, a text from Izuku pops up…
greenBun: Last night was… great. Can’t wait for our next date.
He was happy to see that he didn’t blow his chances after all. He went out for a talk with Izuku the next day, and they both agreed to become boyfriends. They began planning out their next date after that.
“Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you!!”
After living for a pretty long time, Shouto had gotten used to the concept of having a lot of birthdays in his life. In the early years after he was born, he would usually celebrate it with his mother and three siblings in their vacation house upstairs, it was a pleasant memory. But things had to change, for better or worse. His mother’s banishment from the great beyond happened three months before his tenth birthday, and he decided against having a party that year, and the years after that as well.
Recently, in the past decade, he’s been celebrating his birthdays again thanks to Uraraka who reintroduced him to the concept. Good things have happened ever since he went to university, first he got to know Iida, a gifted human coming from a powerful family with great expectations, something he could relate to. Iida is a pretty hardworking, straightforward, and strict person, someone to help keep Uraraka and himself in line with the rules, as he knows that they both tend to get… impulsive when left alone.
The second one, well, he’s sitting next to him.
“Happy birthday dear Todoroki! Happy birthday to you!!”
Izuku, Iida, and Uraraka smiled and laughed seeing the white and red-haired boy blows out his birthday candles on top of his cake. It was round cake split into two colors, white on the left, and red on the right, a joke from Uraraka since she was the one who ordered it. Thankfully, Shouto took it well and giggled at it when he first saw the cake, something that Izuku thought was pretty cute at the moment.
His birthday came at the exact right time this year. Shouto has just finished submitting his thesis revision to his professor, apparently, the last day to do so. He should expect the graduation announcement on Friday, and the ceremony around a month later, something that he was glad about. He had so many titles, so many college experiences, and yet he thought that this is the best one.
It was also his first week anniversary of going out with Izuku.
The green-haired boy sitting next to him quietly hands over a small gift box under the table, whispering something to him quietly while Uraraka and Iida were occupied talking with each other at the moment.
“Hide it in your coat,” he said, “Sorry, but they can’t know about this one, it’s a bit past our budget mark, and well… they’re going to tease me endlessly if they find out,”
“Izuku, it’s not they if it’s just Uraraka,” Shouto answered, “Thank you, Izuku. I can’t wait to open it. It’s not something for… the other gift, right?”
“Uh… no, nope, nope!” Izuku said, trying to keep his voice down while his face slightly blushed, “That one is separate...”
Shouto returned to his apartment at around 6 PM with Izuku after eating out together. Izuku winked at him, saying it’s almost time for his “other gift”. He chuckled, seeing Izuku actually attempting to tease him, something he never actually expects from the boy. But when he entered the apartment lobby, the receptionist at the front desk called out to him.
“Todoroki-san, there’s a couple of things you should know about,” she said, “Your neighbor said that they saw two people entering your apartment after you went out this morning. They left very quickly, it seems…”
“W-what?” Izuku asked, feeling worried, “Oh my God! W-who are they??”
“Your neighbor said it was a round-faced girl with brown hair, and a rather tall boy wearing glasses…”
“Oh,” Shouto said, “Nothing to worry about then…”
“One other thing, an old gentleman came in and asks to see you. But since you weren’t here, he said that he’ll be back tomorrow morning,”
“Is his hair white?” he asked, “A bit spiky and messy?”
“Yes, that’s him alright…”
“What? Who is it?”
“My, uh… grandfather…” he sighed, “Sometimes he visits my place just to check up on me. But I haven’t heard from him since I moved here a month ago, it’s about time, I guess…”
“That’s really sweet of him!”
“Well, that’s my grandpa for you…”
The next morning, Shouto wakes up alone. Izuku did spend the night at his place, but left the apartment around ten minutes earlier, wanting to finish some work at the campus library. He kissed Shouto on the forehead, not wanting to wake him up, but that proved to be useless, as Shouto was already up for about half an hour, lazing around in his bed next to his boyfriend.
He got out from the bed and went to the bathroom door, brushing his teeth before getting a quick splash on his face. Feeling refreshed, he walked to the kitchen, wanting a cup of tea and some toast for breakfast this morning. Although technically he doesn’t have to sleep or eat, Shouto had grown accustomed to his morning routines, wanting to fit in with the human world a bit more.
He turned on the TV, changing the channel to his usual morning talkshow. With a piece of toast and jam in his mouth and a cup of jasmine tea in his hand, he sat down at the couch, watching the TV for some entertainment, wanting to know about the latest development in the human world. He stared at the five gift boxes lying on his coffee table, two from Izuku, and the other three from Uraraka and Iida.
He opened Uraraka and Iida’s other gift first, the one they snuck into his apartment for some reason. It was a framed photo of the four of them along with a charm paper on top of it. It’s usually common for magical people to give charms to each other on their birthdays. There’s a note on it, congratulating him on his 147th birthday, and an explanation about the charm.
“Good luck charm,” he read, “Guaranteed to give its user 24 hours of good luck,”
Shouto grinned, putting Uraraka’s photo frame on his bookshelf and storing his charm. He moved to Izuku’s other gift box. Opening it, he finds a small pendant with Izuku’s photo on it. The letter simply congratulates him on his 22nd birthday, along with some other things. He smiled, storing the pendant inside his pocket before going back to eating his breakfast.
But his morning was interrupted a mere moments later as the doorbell rings. Shouto sighed, remembering who was coming today, it’s been a while since he visited him, but that usually means that he was busy either upstairs or on another side of the world. He usually brings some gifts for him, something he appreciates.
Shouto walked away from the couch and opened his apartment front door, finding an old man standing in front of it, carrying a plastic bag filled with what he assumed to be gifts.
“Shouto!” the old man said, “How nice to see you! I brought gifts for my favorite grandson!”
“Grandfather,” Shouto greets him with a smile on his face, “You haven’t seen my new place, right? Come on in, then…”
“My grandson!” the old man said, “My beloved grandson! I don’t know how you could turn out this good considering how terrible my son is at raising his kids…”
“Okay, you could cut the act now…” Shouto said, closing the front door, “Almost everytime you came to my place, it’s always like this. Seriously, what is it with you and old people, Natsuo?”
“Okay, okay!” he chuckled. The old man’s body suddenly began to reverse aging, turning into a young man, about a few years older from Shouto with spiky white hair.
“Being old is just awesome, y’know?” Natsuo answered, making himself comfortable in Shouto’s couch, “Everybody’s nice to you all the time, the lady at the bakery gave you free bread, and you always get to walk first, try it sometimes!”
“No thanks, I prefer to stay young and not waste my magic…”
“Suit yourself,” he answered, handing his brother a couple of boxes, “Oh, Happy Birthday, by the way! I got you gifts from Europe!”
“This is a puzzle of the town Venice,” Shouto said, inspecting the boxes “And this is one of those alcoholic chocolates from Belgium…”
“Yeah, they made the best damn chocolates,” he said, “I already gave Fuyumi her gifts when I got back home a week ago…”
“Home, as in home upstairs?”
“That’s the one…”
“How are… things?” he asked, “You know I haven’t exactly been there in a while…”
“Seven years, that’s how long according to Fuyumi,” Natsuo said, “Eh, you know, like usual…, your room is still clean, it’s empty most of the time since Fuyumi is busy with her job, and dad, well…”
There are reasons why Shouto never really talks about his father, terrible reasons. Uraraka is probably his only friend that knows, and he can’t even make up stories for Izuku. Whenever the topic came up he just… tries to avoid it entirely. But Shouto did tell him about his three siblings, Fuyumi, the eldest hardworking one, Natsuo, the adventurous one, and Touya…
“I know, I know,” Shouto said, “Let’s just… not talk about it…”
“Yeah, he’s awful,” Natsuo said, “Anyway, I came to talk about you today. I was traveling through Athens when I remembered something…”
“What is it?”
Natsuo hands over his brother a small book, it’s a booklet for “The Academy”, one of the most renowned supernatural higher education facilities in the world. It’s also one of the places that offers advanced deity political science as a major. Something which is required for deities if they want to become…
“Wait, you want me to…” Shouto paused, staring at the booklet in his hand, “Become a guardian deity?”
“No, not really, actually,” Natsuo said, “But I think it would be good for you, settling down a bit and everything, yeah? Maybe get some experience and stuff, politics is what our kind does best, after all?”
“And how did that turn out for you?”
Shouto remembered his brother’s failed experience as guardian deity at a small coastal town in Hokkaido. Needless to say, it didn’t turn out well as he caused two crisis during his first year thanks to his carelessness, and the local chapter of the magic magisterium decides to give him a no-confidence vote, which effectively ended his career at the start of his second year.
“L-let’s not talk about me!” Natsuo answered, trying to avoid the subject, “Look, I think you could do so much better than me! There’s plenty of places in the world that could use a Todoroki as a guardian deity, a-and I want you to have a successful future and everything!”
“Hmm…” he said, considering the opportunity, “Maybe I do need a career… but what about the…”
“Old man? Eh, I wouldn’t worry about it, he’ll agree in a heartbeat if you ask him nicely…”
“Fine, I’ll think about it,” Shouto said, “It’s just there’s one thing I need to think about if I’m gonna go study abroad for two years…”
“What is it?” Natsuo asked. His brother hands him over a small pendant, and he opened it to find a picture of someone, “Oh… OH!! Well… that’s going to need plenty of thoughts…”