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Brotherly Love

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My first day of training with my father, the famous hero Endeavor, didn't go well.  My Quirk had just presented, and when it did, he wasted little time in getting me to start using it. 

"Wow, such a beautiful blue flame, Touya," my mother said when I lit a small fire in the palm of my hand.  “You’ll be an amazing hero someday.” 

It made me smile to hear the joy in her voice.  Her encouragement was what I needed to hear once my training began.  Father cared little for how pretty my Quirk was, he only wanted to make it stronger.  Results were his only goal.  Being a clueless five-year-old, I put my faith in the fact that he was doing this to help me grow into the hero I wanted to be.  I was enthusiastic when we started to work together and put my all into everything my father asked of me.  At the end of those long days, I looked forward to telling Mom how I improved and what I had learned. 

My first real day of training ended with me on the floor, heaving as I vomited up my lunch.  This wasn’t what I was expecting.  Father did nothing to comfort me as he angrily yanked me back up until I stood on my own and pushed me to repeat the same exercise again.  My hands were getting too hot, and the dizziness in my head wouldn’t go away.  It wasn’t until I had passed out from the pain that he decided to call it a day.  Once I woke up, he told me in a cold tone to clean myself up and get ready for dinner.  I couldn’t even hold my chopsticks properly after the damage done to my hands.

It took a few years of painful exercises, violent outbursts, and hospital visits to realize that this wasn't for my sake at all.  My father only saw me as a tool to be used to achieve his own goals.  And once he saw that one of his tools was growing dull, he would move on to the next one.  I had to avoid that at all costs.  My sister and little brother didn't deserve to experience this kind of training. 

On the rare occasion I got to spend time with them, they helped me to see that there was more to this isolated existence than to be a mere puppet for our father's own dreams.  Rather than envy them for the fact that Father ignored them, I enjoyed the times I was able to see them.  It helped me to realize that I wasn't going through this pain for my own volition, but to ensure they didn't have to suffer this same fate.  Seeing their smiling faces helped me to get through the next training day.  As their older brother, I only wanted to maintain their innocence for a little while longer. 

Unfortunately, by own body would betray me at every turn.  My mother's ice ability was etched into my constitution, and it fought against my father's fire constantly.  It was getting to be too much for me to take.

"You're nothing but a disappointment, Touya.  Such a strong ability held within a weak body," Father said as he stood over me, having once again collapsed during his latest attempt at improving my power.  The scent of my skin burning once again assaulted my nostrils as I clutched my scorched arms against my chest.  I was ten years old. 

"This has gone on long enough, Enji, you can't keep doing this to Touya!"  Mom had been told countless times not to interfere with my training, but she'd grown weary of hearing the screams and seeing the bruises and burns.  She gathered me into her arms and walked out of the room.  Her stomach was swollen, my newest sibling would soon be joining our 'family', but she still had the strength to carry me away.

Father chased after us, "You're the reason he's weak, Rei!”

“You knew that I had a weak constitution; that I couldn’t hold up against heat.  Neither can Touya, that’s just the way he was born.  His body was built to accommodate an ice Quirk, not one for fire!  This obsession you have with All Might has gone too far!”

“Any Quirk can be improved through training, plain and simple.  A body can be made stronger through hard work and effort.  I told you not to interrupt me when I'm working with him.  It's my job to make him tougher, and you're negating all my progress!"  He grabbed Mother's shoulder and spun her around to face him.  Clutching me tight against her chest, I sunk my face into her shirt, as if doing so could shield me from my father’s wrath.

"Don't touch me!  He needs to go to the hospital again; his burns haven't even finished healing from the last time.  You promised me that you would stop until he was better.  I can't keep doing this, Enji.  Shoto will be here before we know it, and--”

Father’s hand thrust forward, catching her by the throat and pushing her into the wall.  The impact loosened her grip on me as I fell to the ground.

"Mom!" I looked up through teary eyes to see him still clutching her neck, whispering something into her ear.  Her own tears started to flow as she reacted to whatever he had to say to her.  He let her go and walked off in the other direction.  Mom wiped her face dry and clutched at her pregnant stomach.

"It'll be okay, Touya.  This pain is only temporary.  Let's go take care of your wounds now," her voice shook as she reached out her hand to help me back up to my feet.

Temporary.  I wonder if she realized she was lying back then, or if she really believed it wouldn't happen again.