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~Home is where the heart is~

 

That was how the saying went. Originating from a time where the kind of house that Todoroki lived in would be considered warming and safe. The only warmth was from the fire which burned from the family's patriarch. The safety: From prying eyes that would seek to help. Help the science experiments within.

 

That was it, wasn’t it. That’s all they were to Endeavor. Experiments. Some fail, like Shouto’s siblings. Thrown to the side as broken and useless things. If Shouto was the jealous type, he would have called them the lucky ones. But, jealousy was not an emotion he designed to possess. Only survival instinct.

 

After all, when you’re a success, survival is paramount.

 

“Again, Shouto!” The bristling fire, radiating off of his father like the sun incarnate, struck Shouto’s side. The side of his abdomen, of course. The searing pain that coursed through stopped near the top of the torso. It has always worked like that for him. Ever since his mother…………..

 

Thinking about that was not a choice. It was severed nerve endings. Nothing more.  Following his father’s command, Shouto slowly rose to his feet, which seemed to be both of the left-variety from how his stance was near collapsing. The coallessing of ice in his left hand, Shouto began amassing a veritable forest of icicles across his arm. The forest that would consume this monster and drown him to nothingness.

 

That was the plan. But plans seldom go to tact when faced with the sun itself. The ice melted to oblivion before Shouto could even reach Endeavor. The hope was burned away by reality.

 

“Did I truly desire to kill him?

 

Thinking about that wasn’t a choice. Shouto was simply trying a new strategy. Nothing more.

 

Kneeling. Shouto was kneeling. Like observance towards this mighty tyrant before him. The burning symbol of heroes. Which said so much more about heroes than it did about Endeavor.

 

“Sloppy. We’ll continue tomorrow.” Funny. When Shouto sneaked away to the computer at night, always designing to make sure that not a single soul was waking, the stories told different. They told of how the men like Endeavor would be all emotion and rage, striking and screaming when they bite. But Endeavor never had anything other than a sick belief that what he was doing was: “What he must.”

 

This man was not a demon, wild and savage. But a devil, cold and calculating.

 

“U.A. only accepts the highest. Make sure you are that.” With those words, Enji left the Shouto with his burning arm, still freshly raw from the pinpoint attack of earlier. Endeavor never made sure to burn Shouto. These wounds were constantly superficial. Pain was all that Shouto had to remember from them. But the pain, the pain did not leave.

 

The tightly wrapped bandages around his arm, Shoutou made his way through the halls of this gilded cage. So tight and constriction  but simple and fragile. If any of them walked forward, they could tell the world what kind of man Endeavor was. What this devil had done. Why wouldn’t they? Why couldn’t they?

Because Endeavor had instilled a simple but potent fear in each of them.

 

“Who would believe you?”

 

The devil was right. He was the No.2 Hero of the world. A paragon and knight of virtue. Honor. Justice. That was the face he put out to the world. And people so much preferred a face to what lies beneath the surface.

 

Finally, sluggishly pulling open the cell door, Todoroki collapsed on his bed.

 

A few hours of sleep. That would help. It would make things easier. That was a lie. But a comforting lie.

 

*BZZZT! BZZZT!*

 

That was a phone, obviously. But the vibrations that erupted beneath the mattress showed it was so much more than that. It was freedom. True freedom.

 

Wrestling an arm beneath the bed, Todoroki wrenched out the key to the outside world. With a few pounds on the keyboard of it, she had logged into the Discord.

 

Bomb-Girl: Wondering when ya’ dumbass would get online!

 

Deku: Kacchan, be nice.

 

Let’s Start A Riott: Ayyy, the gang’s all queer.

 

Bomb-Girl: That joke was never funny, you token male.

 

Reii: I found it funny.

 

And with that single message, Reii Todoroki had entered the world of freedom. Away from the cruelness of her father’s blows and barbs. Hidden from the despair of her mother’s memory. A true home for her heart.

 

Reii had entered the world of a private Trans Discord. And it was glorious.