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Gentle Hands

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Midoriya sat with his legs crossed as he leaned over his homework. The muscles in his neck ached from the numerous hours cranned looking at the pile of splayed papers on his desk. Training had been unreasonably difficult teamed up with Kacchan and Tokoyami today. The exercise itself wasn’t too difficult, the objective being a complexe version of capture the flag, but Midoriya spent most of his usual planning time arguing with Kacchan whether they should focus their time getting the flag or putting the other team members in jail. Tokoyami wasn’t much help in the argument despite being a powerful hero in training, his people skills weren’t adapt enough to break up a fight between him and his very, very aggressive rival. Todoroki was also clueless when it came to people skills, much like Tokoyami, but while Tokoyami was just very reserved, Todoroki, he believed, was actually pretty clueless when it came to interacting with people. Midoriya smiled when he thought about Todoroki’s cluelessness when it came to being social. He would often come to Midoriya with questions that the average person wouldn’t ask, like why Kaminari would randomly spout Vine references or how the excessive amount of emojis Ashido used on the group chat worked. Most of the time though, Todoroki would just watch with confusion written all over his face and Midoriya would explain it anyway. 

He looked down at his paper reading a paragraph about some civil war before realizing that he already read it. Midoriya silently cursed himself. He was getting distracted by Todoroki, lately, more than normal. Normally, Todoroki would be on his mind along with his other friends, but recently, his mind found ways to drift to the half- hot half-cold hero in training. Midoriya was always observing and thinking. His mind was constantly crammed with thoughts and ideas, whether it was analyzing heros and his own progress or observing his friends. Most of the time, he couldn’t get his brain to stop thinking and it was very exhausting when he was trying to do his History homework. 

Midoriya had a reputation of analyzing and taking expert notes but he didn’t think anyone realized how much he analyzes everything . Yes, he obviously analyzed heros and his studies but he analyzed people as well. His whole childhood was watching and observing and noticing. Before U.A, Midoriya thought that he was pretty socially awkward but it turns out that he was really good at reading social situations, he just never had any friends or people talking to him to test it out. Like Todoroki for example, was very awkward in social situations and some could brush it aside by calling him serious or mysterious, but really Midoriya knew that Todoroki didn’t have very many friends growing up. (How could he with Endeavor as his father?) But… neither did Midoriya. He spent a lot of his childhood wondering what he did wrong to deserve being ignored, bullied, rejected by everyone. So he tried to fix it by watching and observing the way people interacted and noticing every social situation. Maybe that was why it was so easy for him to make friends now. He had spent fifteen years of his life waiting and watching other people communicate; it was easy for him to jump in on it when people actually started noticing him. 

After a he forced himself to read the rest of the paper, Midoriya pushed his rolly chair backwards and stood. A few joints popped and cracked as he let his head roll from side to side. Mulling over the idea of getting a snack, he made his way down to the main floor with the kitchen and living area. Multiple of his classmates bumbled around even though it was relatively late which was reasonable since it was Saturday night. Midoriya vaguely remembers his classmates mentioning the upcoming weekend. With all the information swirling around in his head he can get pretty scatterbrained. 

“It is 9:30 my fellow classmates!” Iida shouted in the common room, “I suggest you all prepare for your nightly schedule and get some rest!”  

Jirou and Ashido groaned loudly while Kaminari booed. Midoriya chuckled lightly at Iida’s enthusiasm and mother-hen nature. Honestly, Midoriya appreciated it. At first, moving in the dorms made him miss his Mom a lot. It was just the little things that he missed from his mom, like the little check ups she would give him when he was doing homework or the nightly dinner meals they would have and sit down together and talk. Iida helped ease the little ache that he felt when he missed his Mom’s pestering. 

Ashido whined, “Oh come on, Iida! We wanna watch a movie!!” 

“I don’t see the harm in it, Iida,” Yaoyorozu started to make her way to the couch. 

Suddenly Midoriya felt a gust of air and saw a blurry image of red hair zip past him. 

“Movie night!” Kirishima whooped and leapt over the side of the couch and landed ungracefully jostling the entire couch. He toppled into the side of Kacchan and Midoriya heard multiple explosions pop from his hands. He winced and felt relief at the fact that his friend had a hardening quirk so he didn’t have to feel the full extent of Kacchans blows. 

“Kirishima, I do not-” Iida tried.

Kaminari crouched in front of the DVD player, “What movie we watched tonight? Mission Impossible 3?” 

“Not again. It's literally so boring,” Jirou groaned.

Kaminari squawked in indignation, “Boring!”

“Yeah! They have like seven and it’s all the same thing! He goes on a mission he saves the world, he meets a new chick, and then it all repeats,” She drawled.

Midoriya grinned into his cup as they continued to bicker back and forth and made his way over to the couch. Gently, because of his throbbing head, he slid down onto the floor and pressed his back against the sofa where Yaoyorozu sat above him next to Jirou. 

Midoriya lifted his head, “What about we watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?”

Everyone paused momentarily to consider it before he hear them murmur in agreement. Kaminari grumbled and Bakugou muttered something about ‘Stupid Deku being a people pleaser’ that he choose to ignore. About 15 minutes into the movie, Midoriya swiveled his head around to count all of his classmates and found that Todoroki was nowhere to be seen. Usually with all the ruckus, Todoroki would make his way into the kitchen or common room, not really engaging but hovering from afar. 

Gently, Midoriya tapped Yaoyorozu’s leg and lifted his head to talk to her.

“Do you know where Todoroki is?” He whispered.

“Oh, he’s at the hospital with his mother probably. He visits her every other Saturday.” She replied with a smile. 

“He…? Oh. Thanks,” Midoriya turned back to the movie but didn’t waste any effort on trying to concentrate on the movie again. 

He couldn’t believe that he didn’t know that. Todoroki was visiting his mother? Ever since the Sports Festival when Todoroki told his tragic backstory of his mother pouring boiling water on his face, he figured that their relationship was something damaged or severed. Midoriya was happy for Todoroki, but he wished he knew earlier. What kind of friend was he that he didn’t even know that Todoroki’s mother was in the hospital in the first place?

Now that Yaoyorozu mentioned it, Deku couldn’t stop his train of thought from spiralling into questions and theories. Why was his mother in the hospital? How long had Todoroki been visiting her? Did he start visiting her after he yelled at him at the Sports festival? No, that's giving himself too much credit. All he did at the Sports Festival was yell some condescending things to get him riled up. But if that helped Todoroki in some way he was glad. The half and half hero always looked so alone and sad in the beginning of the school year. Midoriya was glad that he had somewhat helped the boy grow softer and more comfortable and maybe even a little bit happier. 

It was the beginning of their second year now and Todoroki and him had only grown closer. After the Stain attack, Todoroki had even called him a friend and rushed to his aid. Midoriya felt a soft fluttering in his stomach when he thought about it. In the multiple events that had overwhelmed Midoriya last year, Todoroki and him could rely on each other. He was even a regular member at their lunch table that was originally just Uraraka, Iida and himself. And he would walk with him between classes. Although he never talked much, Midoriya realized that Todoroki was an excellent listener. Most people drown out his constant muttering or remind me to stop. Todoroki never complained and offered his input when Deku asked. While he wasn’t super friendly or happy like his other friends were, Midoriya liked the friendship he had with Todoroki. The curious side of him wanted to deepen their friendship. He already knew more than anyone about Todorokis past but Midoriya wanted to get to know his personality more. To know if what made him laugh and things that he enjoyed to do. His favorite color or if he prefers winter or spring. Things that he knew about most of his closest friends.

“Deku, your mumbling again,” Uraraka laughed softly as she leaned close to his ear.

“O-oh! Sorry!” He yelped loudly and in response he heard multiple ‘SHHH’s and whispered, “s-sorry.”

He felt a blush crawl up his face in embarrassment as he clamped his mouth closed and turned to the TV. After a few minutes, a shiver crawled up his spine and Midoriya wished he had a blanket. Though, if Todoroki was sitting next to him, he probably wouldn’t even need a blanket. Just standing near Todorkis left side made him feel warm. Maybe if he was here, Todoroki would even wrap an arm around him if he asked. Immediately, he felt his face heat up again at the thought of cuddling with the boy. He didn’t even need a blanket with anymore. 



Midoriya didn’t see Todoroki until next afternoon. Hours after his morning jog and after almost everyone was out of the dorms, he heard the quiet shuffling of feet in the kitchen. Deku’s hands momentarily froze in the middle of making himself a sandwich when Todoroki padded into the kitchen. Todoroki froze too.

“Good morning, Todoroki!” Deku noticed the bags under his eyes and the glazed look of just waking up, “Or afternoon, I should say, because it’s pretty late. Its lunch time actually, I’m making myself a sandwich, do you want one?”

He blinked a few times as if he was trying to process what Deku said, “No thank you, Midoriya. I was just going to make myself some coffee”

“Oh alright!” Midoriya kept the easy smile on his face as he turned back to his sandwich. 

The silence stretched between them as Midoriya tried to think of what to say. The silence wasn’t awkward per say, but it wasn’t comfortable. Midoriya was still burning with questions about his mom but he kept his filter in check before he spoke.

“So when did you get back last night?” 

In his peripheral vision he say Todoroki stifen at the question. Apparently, that was the wrong thing to say.

He cleared his throat, “2, I would say.”

“Oh wow. So that's why you slept in so late. Did Sensei get mad at you for being so late? Cuz curfew is 12?” 

Taking a sip of tea before replying he said, “I… didn’t use the door.”

He didn’t elaborate so Deku didn’t push, but oh, how he wanted to. Todoroki already looked uncomfortable so instead of asking the burning questions on the tip of his tongue, Deku launched into a hero analysis he saw on the news. The sight of his friend visibly relaxing was worth not knowing. 

Talking in between taking bites of his sandwich, he chattered away with him. Without stopping the flow of words from his mouth, he made his way over to where Todoroki was standing to get a cup. 

“But Mount Lady had the upper hand in the fight, obviously- can I get a cup?” Midoriya stood in front of where Todoroki was blocking the cupboard which held the cups.

Todoroki blinked again, processing the sudden shift of conversation, “Oh. Yes.”

Before Midoriya could, he reached up to the cupboard to grab a cup for him. 

“Oh you don't hav-” Midoriya was cut off by a quiet hiss of pain from Todoroki. 

He watched him flinch and bring his hand holding the cup reflexively towards his chest. After a second, his face cleared from the scrunched up expression of pain and his eyes flashed with something that resembled fear.

“Todoroki?” His voice squeaked, “Are you ok?”

His face smoothed over into neutral and he slowly let go of his cradled arm, “ Yes. Yes. Sorry, I…”

Cup forgotten, Deku reached for his right arm, “Are you hurt?”

As soon as his fingers made contact Todoroki jerked away from his touch. 

“I’m fine, Midoriya. Excuse me,” Before Midoriya could stop him, he briskly pushed himself off the counter and exited the kitchen, leaving Midoriya with even more questions.  




He didn’t see his injured friend until Monday in class. Midoriya tried to talk to him before class started but Uraraka had pulled him into a argument she was having with Bakugou.

“I’m pretty sure that I’m a faster runner than you are, Bakugou.” 

“Shut it, round face!” 

Deku silently groaned, Uraraka loved to pick fights with Kacchan for some bizarre reason. 

“Since you refused to race me then it's obvious that your afraid of losing!” Uraraka continued, “Therefore, I’m the faster one.”

Bakugou growled, “There's no way in hell that your faster than me! I don’t wanna waste my time beating a useless wannabe like you in a stupid race!” 

She grinned, “Just admit it Bakugou! I’m a faster runner than you. Even Deku agrees! Right Deku?” 

Both of his unreasonably competitive classmates swiveled their heads to look at Midoriya. He gulped. 

“Ahhh,” Uraraka smiled almost threateningly and Bakugou glared daggers at him, “y-yeah! Uraraka is really fast!” 

Bakugou exploded after that as Uraraka shouted her triumph. Deku winced and turned back towards Todoroki who offered him a small pitying smile. Midoriya almost stared too long at the way his lips turned up before Aizawa droned at them to all get in their seats. 

Class dragged on as he jotted down notes half-heartedly. From years of taking notes and watching heroes battle simultaneously allowed him to write neatly and efficiently without even glancing down at what he was writing. Soon, however, the monotone voice of his teacher made his head drop and he shifted to doodling on his paper instead. His hand slowly shaped the face of his classmates and Midoriya spent a longer time than he should have sketching the small smile on his drawing of Todoroki. Drawing people was always apart of his hero analysis so he wouldn’t say that he was unable to draw people or that he even was that bad at it. 

When the bell rang, Midoriya finished up that last of his drawing before placing his pencil in his bag. 

“What's that?” Uraraka chirped.

Midoriya jumped so violently that he almost toppled out of his seat, “Uraraka! Ah! It’s nothing really!” 

He quickly covered the drawings with his hand, embarrassed.

“Aww, don’t be like that Deku! I love your drawings!” 

Iida joined in, “Yes. I also enjoy seeing your art. You are very talented, Midoriya!” 

Deku felt a blush rise on his cheeks at the sudden attention. It was nice that his friends were complimenting him, but he wasn’t used to people actually liking his doodles. In middle school people made fun of his drawings calling them useless and dumb. The only person who ever enjoyed them was his mother. How sad was that?

While he was left stuttering, Uraraka yanked the book out from under his hand and looked over the drawings. Deku yelped in alarm and watched helplessly as his friends oohed and ahhed over his embarrassing drawings. 

“Oh, is that one me? It's so good!” She giggled.

Iida exclaimed, “This drawing of Todoroki is also very nice Midoriya! You captured his rare smile perfectly.” 

He visibly flinched at the exclamation and buried his face in his hands. At the mention of his name, Todoroki made his way up to where the crowd that was gathering and Deku was groaning into his hands.

Curiously, Todoroki leaned over Uraraka shoulder, “Is...Is that me?” 

“Yeah! Deku is really talented right?” 

He peeked through his hands and caught Todorokis eye, “Yes, he is.” 

If he wasn’t already blushing, he was a full on tomato at this point. The look that Todoroki gave him was almost soft and endearing and it might have made Midoriya’s heart stutter in its place. He heard Uraraka flip a page of his notebook and that made him spring into action. Midoriya leapt from his seat and scrambled to snatched the notebook from her. 

“Okaaaay! That's enough invading my privacy, Uraraka!” He grumbled and stuffed the notebook in his backpack.

She huffed but let it be as they all made their way towards the door. He and Todoroki made eye contact and his face unwillingly turned red again. He willed his facial expression to relax but his cheeks felt pinched into a fake smile. That was probably the worst thing ever. 

Todoroki lifted his lips in a small smile again and Deku almost did a double take. Two smiles for Todoroki in one day?? What did he do to deserve this?

“You’re drawings are really good,” Todoroki said softly as they walked to their next class. 

“Oh, um, thanks. You're weren’t supposed to see that though. It’s really embarrassing and weird and I’m sorry if you’re like creeped out or anything! It’s been a bad habit of mine to draw people who are interesting. I mean! You’re not interesting! I mean you are interesting but I didn’t mean for it to sound like that!” His blabbering dissolved into nervous forced laughter and if the ceiling decided to give out and crush him, he really wouldn’t mind. 

Todorki’s lips twitched again, “It’s fine, I don’t mind. I was surprised that's all. No one has ever drawn me before. It’s interesting to see how you interpret my appearance in your drawing style. Although, I’m sure I don’t smile that way.” 

Midoriya inwardly cheered and almost forgot to respond as he heard his friend speak. Most days he only got a few words out of him but today it seemed like Todoroki was in a talkative mood and Midoriya loved it when Todoroki spoke. 

“Smile like what way?” Was all he could muster.

“Like,” Todoroki eyes shifted away and he almost looked flustered, “Like its some amazing thing that I smiled. Like it's important enough to be drawn in your notebook.” 

He furrowed his eyebrows at his friends response, “But… it is.”

Todoroki’s eyes shifted back to his and he looked at him wearily as if he wasn’t sure if he was mocking him or not.

Midoriya didn't know what he was thinking when he blurted, “Well you don’t always smile, but when you do…it really is amazing, Todoroki.” 

“Oh,” Todoroki said and Deku internally screamed.

He was so stupid. What friend says something as cheesy as that?! He jerked his head to look away from Todoroki and mentally kicked himself for being so transparent. 

He felt a slight chill on his left side as reached his classroom, “WellokbyeTodoroki!”