Things had changed.
He sits, alone in one of the changing rooms; since part of his uniform was burned by his own fire.
That was an odd statement; of course, these clothes were not made to tolerate quirks-since this can be anything, try to have a cloth that can tolerate it all would be impossible-so yeah, having issues for it was more than expected. Yet his mind still doesn’t process what had just happened; it has been a long time since he had used his fire side on purpose, but this was the first time feeling like that while using it.
How long it has been? When was the last time he didn’t think about his father? Worried about being punished, sad by his words, mad by his actions; it was always something, even when he was doing regular stuff, it was in the back of his mind. Being stoic to not reveal weakness, demonstrate to the enemy your power, don’t talk too much or they could get you; as much as he hates it, Shouto was the way he is today for him, not only his actions, but as a response.
Being “rebel” to him was a response, not using his fire side too; is like he couldn’t go anywhere without seeing that hard glare, judging him
It was almost laughable how he did all of this, fighting, studying and doing all for revenge, to demonstrate a point that could sound childish if you think it logically. He was so focused on that, that he forgot he actually had dreamed to become a hero, on his own.
"But you want to be a hero, right? That's fine. You're not... bound by his blood. Decide who you want to become. And be all you can be."
How he could forget those words? How that he needs it to get a punch in the stomach from his rival to remember?
Speaking of which…looks like he can’t do it alone, after all.
That was also ironic, he thought he could defeat the others without too much trouble, he didn’t pay too much attention to him, yet the exercises and the problems they had before, was somehow enough to make him confident he could win without using his fire side. He had been trained all his life, Todoroki did so much…that should be enough, right?
And yet, somebody who only knew part of his story because he told him, was smarter enough to resolve a problem that had been present in all his life.
Well, not like that; this wasn’t over, a fight and some words couldn’t be enough. But as a first step, one he couldn’t have done without him.
Honestly, Shouto didn’t get it. Why is he doing so much for him? He literally damaged his fingers beyond normal aside his arm, all trying to help him; the one who told him they were rivals and didn’t show any mercy or sympathy for him before. Talking to him in battle didn’t help him at all, it could be a strategy in order to destabilize him and win for that, however, that smile…no, there was no way that was his plan; not with him smiling at him when it was his obvious that would defeat him.
All his life, he thought alphas were like his dad; prideful, tough, that would smash whatever was in their way. He knew before that guy wasn’t exactly like that, yet losing a battle and breaking his bones for him…that was another level.
Todoroki was so deep in his thoughts, that almost forgot where he was. He was shirtless, still with the burned jacket in his hands; smoke, sweat and the fake scent impregnated the cloth, yet, if you pay enough attention, you could notice something muskier, more of an alpha than a synthetic smell or from an omega.
“Midoriya” He thought, remember the scent from the battle; his determination was impregnated in the arena; it was easy to notice some of it was in there, too.
Shouto…he didn’t understand a lot of things, and maybe need to learn more from others that he wanted to admit. For now, he wanted to learn more about him. Maybe, he could grow up more, at his side.
“Can we talk for a second?” Todoroki inquired, making the other guy painfully turn around to see him.
He didn’t show it, yet he felt guilty at seeing him like that. For what he could hear from others, he needed an emergency surgery since pieces of his bones were incrusted in him, and even with the help of Recovery Girl, it was still obvious he will need extra time to be healthy again. Is not like this was new, this was a routine at this point and he normally doesn’t care when this happens. It was because was his fault, or perhaps he cares for him more than just a rival?
He can see him just like a rival, now?
“T-Todoroki-kun?!” He appeared surprised, yet recover shortly “S-Sure, what do you need?”
The dual user put his hands in a fist, still aside his legs and hoping the other one didn’t notice this. He for sure need it to talk to him, yet he wasn’t the most skilled, also…the fact this matter to him this much make him feel vulnerable. Maybe this was also from Endeavor, talking in the back of his mind about not showing weakness and how your feelings were indeed, a weakness nobody could see.
“I’m not him,” Thought before squaring up his shoulders, what makes more curious the shorter boy.
“I wanted to apologize,” He told him, looking straight to his eyes and noticing his surprise “You got like this because of me”
“Is fine!” He insisted, raising a hand “I did this to myself! I could just walk away or give up, but this was my decision. You don’t need to feel sorry for anything”
“Even if you said so, you didn’t need to go this far” Not for me. If what he was meant to say; but there was no way, he can admit something so personal “I also wanted to ask…if you don’t mind. But, why you did it?”
“What are you talking about?”
“You…you weren’t only trying to win, right? What you said there, you wanted to help me. Why?” He couldn’t shake that doubt of his head; he was rude to him, uninterested, yet, it was enough for him to try to save him from himself. And for him, which world was so full of shadows and sorrows, that didn’t make any sense.
That wasn’t something the alpha obviously didn’t expect, with a hand in his nape, look to the other side “This may sound weird to say, but before…I thought you looked sad, even when you won.”
Todoroki blinked, confused. He appears sad? He had been stoic for years, first was a requirement for his training but it develops in a second nature at this point. Even if that was true, what that hasn’t to do with anything? They weren’t friends, he hasn’t spoken to him directly until that day; and despite that, was still enough just to do that for him?
Shouto…he couldn’t understand, coming from a world where heroes compete against each other for rankings, when his house was a battleground, where his only reason to being alive for his parent was to become a weapon for his success. Something like helping others because they looked depressed…sound childish, just like when they told him the reason why he desired to continue in the fight, is that he wanted to be a cool hero.
And still, was nobler than how he got this far. This was it? Why he did all of this, because-
“Deku-kun!” Another voice wakes up him from his dreams, and when he turns around; both Uraraka and Tsuyu were coming in their direction “Here you are, ready to go home?”
“Yeah” He smiled, more relaxed. They were together? He saw a lot of people going to their houses in groups, he wasn’t one of them of course. Turning around, Midoriya saw him again “You want to come with us?”
He blinked again, he…was talking to him? “Me?”
“Sure! I don’t know where you live, but we can go to the station together, unless you are uncomfortable with that! If that’s the case, well…”
He was still pretty much confused about what just happen. The way he saw the world…was so much simpler, yet more amazing that he could; at least if his predictions were okay. He already knew he couldn’t continue like this alone, and from all the people around, Midoriya was different for everybody. At least, from what he knew.
It was worth the try, right?
“Sure. Let’s go.”
After all what happen, he knew he needs to change some things.
For starters, is time to talk with his mother. He never did it before because he thought he will just make things worse for her, yet if he learned anything from his battle, it's that you can't go anywhere if you're tied to the past. He needs to be free of it, from his father, his sorrows. And that included that painful memory.
He will never recover completely if he doesn’t say sorry to her. All those thoughts and doubts that were in his mind needed to stop, and he cannot do that without having this conversation.
Shouto was unsure, scare even; because he didn’t want to cause her more pain. She suffers a lot already for his fault, she even got into that hospital for him. What would be her reaction, after all those years? She will recognize him? She had never seen him with his scar, and had been ten years. She will be mad at him for taking this long to apologize? Or his mere presence will cause her an anxiety attack?
This was really the right thing? Or he was just being selfish?
“Stop” He thought to himself, clenching his teeth while walking “I already made my mind, is not the time for doubts”
He always thought he was brave, strong, that there was no challenge that would make him try to go back. It was unexpected to him that this would become the greatest task he had done, making go against villains alone be like child’s play. He could feel his pulse go rampage against his chest, his glands leaving a distress odor--even if he was wearing a sweater trying to hide his glands--and part of him desired to go back to his room, into his hidden nest in the closet and no go back.
Todoroki growl for his instincts, desiring to kick his omega back into the deepest part of his mind.
He wasn’t weak, neither a child who needed to go into his parents’ bed in order to feel safe; and the fact that those impulses where so similar was annoying to him. Maybe this is part of the things he normally doesn’t experience for being in so many drugs in order to prevent to appear like an omega.
Endeavor got a call early in the morning, that was part of the decision why he thought it was the best moment to try to contact her mother, and also casually forget to use the deodorant which normally uses to hide his lack of odor, or what would normally be the lack if he didn’t stop taking his pills for it since the sports festival that was a couple of days ago. He will get caught probably, yet decided he didn’t care.
He wanted to face his mother without lies, that included the one where all the people outside the mansion though. Shouto still remembers some years ago, when he got presented; being grateful to be a little more like her, and wondering what she would think about it. Looks like he will have a response to that, soon.
Stepping in the Hospital wasn’t a big issue, the nurses were surprised for it; Fuyumi had notified about his existence to the staff before, and also call that morning to let them know that he was coming and not was a lie. Even if they try to appear professional it was obvious in their expressions nobody saw this one coming; as far as they know, she only had two kids.
If they knew.
Apparently, the doctor had a talk to her before about his visit and the fact that it was him; since it was the first time and he was…related to a panic attack she had a long time ago, they needed to check she will be fine about it. For what he knows she was aware that he was going to be there and was okay with his visit. That was a good sign, right? At least she didn’t hate him enough to forbid his visit there.
Going to her room, he could feel his palms starting to sweat and his heartbeat going crazy, resonating against his chest to the point that he could feel it. He had dream so many times to go there, to see her; the fact that this happening was making him anxious. A mix of emotions were inside him; excitement, fear, nervousness, guilt, and a little bit of happiness. Even with the hospital letting odor erasing in the air conditioning, he thought his emotions where in the air; probably would smell really weird with all those feelings.
Once he got in front of the door, he almost was going to leave it, to go back and act like this never happen in first place. Part of him wanted to hide his face for the rest of his life, the other one really wished to see her; he was never mad at her, and he could hate it, yet he could feel that little kid inside him that wanted to see his mom again.
But most of all, he wanted to face her and say sorry; for causing her so many troubles and sorrows, for not being there for her, everything. And with that, he finally got in there.
The room didn’t have any decoration, but some furniture; on the side was a desk against the wall, the other side it was a bed with a light and something to look for the vital signs, and between these two on the side was a window. The room had more than that, yet he couldn’t apart his eyes from the front, where she was. Her mom was using hospital clothes, the one a patient will normally use; she was facing the sky seating in the bead.
“Mother,” He said, softly; making her look at him. She has barely changed, some more wrinkles; yet the same gray eyes, white hair on the same length; and that dreamy glare of her. He couldn’t detect any fear of hate on the hair, only a mild surprise that was coming from her.
“Shouto” She was facing him, and to hear that voice just got his memories. She sounds exactly the same as he was little, saying his name in such kind way that could make him feel protected. He feels a knot in his throat and his eyes getting watery; seeing her, smelling her, hearing her, was too much; how long he had wanted this? If he was more imprudent, more emotional and younger, he will probably just run to her side and hug her as if was the end of the world. But he knew that was not the moment, and more importantly, if she will be open to something like that. “Come here, take a sit”
He nods since he wasn’t sure about talking yet, and taking some steps and the chair that was with the desk, seating in front of her. Todoroki was looking at his hands, trying to control himself and not let her see that he was close to crying. They didn’t say anything for a little time that felt like ages to him. Why he was so awfully quiet? That was the plan, go there and accept his mistakes, why he chickens out after doing the most important step?
“Your scar…is still there.”
“Hmm?” He didn’t pay attention, too occupied kicking himself mentally.
“Your scar…even if it had been ten years, you still have it” As a reflect, his hands go there; where the burn part started. He didn’t feel anything these days, despite how it could look it was already cured in its own way. He looks at her knees, not facing her yet “It…it hurts?”
“No, is fine now; really” His voice was emotionless, still too scared to let his feelings slip so easily.
She was her hands in her knees, an in a moment, she had these in a fist, and the smell of sadness was in the air. He swallows, it was really that painful for her to see him? Maybe this was a mistake and he was pushing too much; he knew that he needed this, but it was worth to put his mother into pain for his own selfish desires?
“I’m so sorry Shouto” His eyes open wider, without believing what she was saying. He hears that right? Without thinking about his previous shyness and sentimentalism, he lifts his head and sees her; she indeed appears to be sorry.
He blinks, confused “Beg your pardon?”
“I’m sorry Shouto” she repeats, now being her the one that was looking down, not facing him “I hurt you, you hear me say horrible things and I left you. I know you were suffering, and I still didn’t try to go for you, I’m so sorry-” She stops talking, sobbing and getting tears out of her eyes, overwhelmed.
His mind was shocked, trying to process this. She was sorry for him? Why? It was he fault, it was because him she got beaten down, that she got that reaction and needed to be in the hospital for this long; and she was asking for his forgiveness?
“I…I don’t understand”
“I know it doesn’t make sense; I was supposed to protect you and-”
“No, is not that” He negate with the hear, looking directly at her for this; he wanted to see her response “Why you are saying sorry?”
“W-What?” She shutters, trying to clean her tears a little; stopping a moment.
“I…it was my fault” He holds his legs so much that he feels his nails, even with the cloth of the pants. He keeps himself together; there was no comeback “I couldn’t keep the pace, and for that you got punished. I was there when I suppose to be sleeping in my room, I scare you, you got here for me. This is all my fau-”
He stops at mid-sentence, when in the blink of an eye, she got out of his seat and hug him, letting his head on her chest. Todoroki freezes, surprised for the sudden touch, especially one that kind and soft. Shouto didn’t get a lot of hugs these days; Fuyumi used to do it when they could, yet he was getting older and stronger, so he slowly stopped. He knew his father didn’t like it in the first place and he was scared she will be punished, since he was getting bigger and shouldn’t be “weak”.
It had been a decade since his mother hugged him.
“I’m so sorry, Shouto” She repeats, putting a hand on his hair and petting softly “I should've be there, I should;ve at least contact you to tell you; but I was so scared that you will hate me, I couldn’t manage that. You did nothing wrong, you couldn’t do it; you were so young, and you didn’t deserve anything that happens to you. I thought to be apart from you will prevent hurting you more, and I see I was wrong. But let me tell you something, you don’t have anything to be sorry about, and I love you, Shouto”
The knot in his throat was back, and he feels it in full force to the point he couldn’t say anything. He never thought-he had never dream she will say something like this, this lovely and wonderful; feels almost like a dream. He couldn’t believe it totally, not yet; but knowing that she still loved him, and she didn’t hate him…was too much. Without thinking further, he put his arms around her waist and cry, cries like he was a child again; the difference this time, is because it was for relief, happiness.
She holds him, just like when he was a child. His mother didn’t say anything against it; where his father would probably complain about this demonstration of weakness, she just silently pets him in the head and let him cry all he needed to do. All the doubts, fears, those feelings he kept to himself in order to survive in that house; where now out in full force. Good thing the shitty old man doesn’t have a way to know what was happening in that room.
Shouto wasn’t sure when he finally stops, separating from her and muttering a little ‘sorry’ for all that show; Rei just smiled and got back to her seat. There were in silence again, but at least this time was more comfortable than before. Perhaps, because they told their fears to the other; who could know they will forgive each other so easily.
“What made you change your mind?” She said, breaking the ice again “Not that I’m not glad that you are here, on the contrary; yet, why did you come here after all this time?”
There was also that, saying sorry wasn’t the only reason to be here “I…for the longest time, I refused to use my fire” She stared at him, surprised “I thought that If I could be a hero just with my Ice, I could demonstrate to him that I didn’t need him. I wanted to refuse to use his power”
He looks at her, being afraid that she could say him that it was the correct thing to do and the past few days thinking wondering were a mistake. Rei keeps the silence, let him continue.
“But then…somebody, said something to me that makes me change my mind. He said, ‘Is your power, isn’t?’” Todoroki closes his eyes for a moment, almost remembering that day on the battlefield “He said how everybody was doing their best to become a hero, and I should do the same. And thanks to that, I remember something you told me”
"But you want to be a hero, right? That's fine. You're not... bound by his blood. Decide who you want to become. And be all you can be."
He repeats those words softly; it was ironic, now he could remember it as if was yesterday, even if he forgot that conversation for most of his life. How he could? How did he let behind something that important? And why he needed somebody else to remember it?
But most important, she still believed that?
“You…you still think so?” He plays a little with his hands, shy for some reason “That…that I can be a hero even if I use his fire?”
He was conflicted, and not sure which who talk this. Even if he told his past to Midoriya, this somehow feels too personal, not wanting to admit his weakness to somebody he wasn’t sure was a friend or not. Is sister would not understand the complexity of the issue, she wasn’t a hero and her power wasn’t that strong anyway. His mother may not be a hero, not now or in the past, but this…this shaped her life, she was in the spot she was because of her quirk and Enji’s quirk.
Also, he felt responsible for this situation, if even she that was here for him, could say he was okay using his fire…then, it would demonstrate this was the right decision.
She didn’t respond immediately, looking carefully at him. Then in one moment to another, she moved a little to the front and took his hand “Shouto…who are you?”
“Who is Todoroki Shouto?” She rephrases the question, staring at him “Is Endeavor’s son? His legacy to prove he is the strongest hero?”
He knows what she is saying this, and her tone of voice makes obvious she is not saying this to hurt him or anything; still, he tenses himself before finally saying “No, that’s no me”
She nods, satisfied “That’s your answer, Shouto. You are not him, and neither your quirk; you are your own person, and whatever you want to do with this is your decision. But do it for you, not for anybody else, not me or him.”
That…was not what he asks for, yet it was better than hoping for her opinion. If he wanted to move from the shadow of the old shitty man, he needed to stop focus so much on him, or just will proof to others that he couldn’t do anything that wasn’t related to him; and he would not let that happen.
She moves her hand to his neck, rubbing slowly her wrist again him; he could almost purr to it. When he was the last time he was scented? This was common in families, especially between parents and children; yet his mother was the only one who did it to him when he was a child, his father refusing to submit to those instincts. He was glad about it, because he prefers to be burned by his fire than smell like him.
This was common because it was proof of the family bond, and kids felt calm when they could smell their parents, even if they weren’t around. He remembers that special omega parents, would have the urge to do this; it was a basic communication instinct.
He wonders if she had dreamed to do this since they were separated from each other.
“You are an omega, too,” She says, waking him up from his daydreaming and making open his eyes since he closes this when she was petting him. The tone of her voice is neutral, not mad or happy; just natural.
“You were hoping I will be one? Or you preferred I was something else?”
“None of that, actually” She smiled, full of love in her eyes “Many parents hope his children would be male, female, or some dynamic. I…didn’t have a preference to be honest, I was just hoping you guys will come healthy. Is all I ever wanted”
Her smile decays, a little “The only thing I feel bad about you being an omega, is that I wasn’t there for you. Fuyumi told me you didn’t know what was happening to you until somebody told Enji you were nesting. I’m sorry.”
“Is fine” He responds, perhaps too quickly; yet sure about his answer. It was indeed a surprise, yet nothing gets out of control of anything; it was a good thing a maid discover him instead of his father at least. “I will manage, I promise”
“If you have any worries about omega related things, or anything, you are always welcome to come back and tell me,” She says, with a smile that demonstrated his sincerity.
So, she wanted him to be back; that fact alone was enough to make him smile, too.