Shouto Todoroki was no stranger to soulmates. He knew from his mother that they existed. He even had one himself. He found out one day when writing appeared on his arm, and Shouto knew the writing wasn’t his. His mother told him stories of how she first found out about her special someone which had given him an inkling of what to expect.
Shouto knew well that having a soulmate was the most joyous piece of knowledge a person could have, after all, his mother always had a soft look in her eyes when she spoke about hers. Which is why he found the writings on his arm from his soulmate quite...odd. Most people woke up to a heartfelt message from their other half, wishing them a good day, and Shouto? Well, he woke up to the exact opposite.
The messages he woke up to varied at times, the most common ones showing displeasures that he was still alive. It confused him and what confused him even more was the other messages he received. During class sometimes, he’d look down at his arm and see words like ‘worthless’ , ‘pitiful’ , ‘useless’ written there. It hurt. It hurt him to get messages like that from his soulmate. They hadn’t even met yet and his soulmate was saying such cruel things to him. What had he done to make them hate him so much? He never wrote back to them, feeling no will to respond to their messages. What was the point? He’d probably just upset them even more.
He never brought it up to his mother or sister, for he wanted to deal with the issue on his own. Shouto went on with his life, questioning the messages on his arm. He was thirteen when he first received the messages from his soulmate. He was sixteen when he first met them.
Shouto was in his second year of high school. He didn’t have many friends in his class, but he was quite close to Momo Yaoyorozu. She was soft spoken but was incredibly smart and was one of the few members of his class that he spoke to often. He was also close with Tenya Iida. He hadn’t been a big fan of the class rep at first, but he happened to stumble upon Iida doing mountains of work by himself. Shouto offered to help him and in turn learned about him and his family.
Shouto and Iida didn’t always speak often, since Iida was usually with Ochako Uraraka and Izuku Midoriya. Iida was incredibly close to the girls since the first day of school.
Shouto was never sure what to make of Midoriya. She seemed to be well liked by everyone in the class, except for Katsuki Bakugou. He hated her. He didn’t know why though. Midoriya had been nothing but kind to everyone and she was so optimistic. How could anyone hate her? Yaoyorozu kept telling him that he had a crush on Midoriya since he seemed to speak about her so much, but Shouto denied it. He kept telling himself the only reason why Midoriya was so interesting to him was because he got the feeling that she was hiding something. Something that Midoriya never wanted anyone to know. Shouto noticed that her smiles didn’t always reach her eyes. Sometimes they seemed forced. He wanted to know why, but he wasn’t close enough to her to ask.
His questions would be answered soon enough.
Shouto had been a bit late to school, his alarm clock not going off like it should’ve. He rushed to his locker once his father dropped him off at school. Near his locker, he noticed someone standing off to the side. He stopped for a minute, recognizing the person. It was Midoriya. She was huddled in a corner, sniffling quietly. He was about to go over to her and offer help when he noticed that she had a pen in hand, and one of her sleeves were rolled up. Confused, Shouto watched her write on her arm. He looked down at his own arm when he felt a soft tingling sensation. On it was written, ‘you’re such an idiot’.
He felt his heart shatter and he didn’t understand why. He barely knew Izuku Midoriya and yet finding out that she was the one who wrote such hurtful messages pained him. She was his soulmate, and he was hers. Did she know it was him?
Unsure of what to do or how to handle the new knowledge he received, Shouto walked away. He walked to class, mulling over his thoughts. Shouto’s eyes drifted over to Midoriya the minute she walked into the classroom. His eyes never left her during class either.
Shouto felt as if the universe enjoyed making him suffer. He hadn’t spoken to Midoriya in a week, though Shouto rarely spoke to the girl in general. However, ever since he found out she was his soulmate, he avoided any possibilities of interacting with her. He couldn’t understand why she wrote such cruel things to him. How could she be so kind to everyone, yet so mean to him? These thoughts plagued Shouto’s mind constantly.
All of Shouto’s plans of avoiding Midoriya until he got his thoughts together came to a standstill when Aizawa paired him with her for a small paper. Aizawa called their names together and Shouto’s eyes fell on Midoriya. He watched as her face went a bit red. Was she embarrassed by working with him? Letting out a quiet sigh, he stood up from his desk and went over to Midoriya. His chest ached as he approached her. Midoriya looked up at him, the red in her face dying down as she softly smiled at him. “Hi, Todoroki-kun.” She greeted quite cheerfully.
“Hi.” Shouto replied shortly and coldly. Midoriya looked startled by his coldness but quickly recovered.
“S-So um, do you want to do some work after school in the library today..?” Midoriya mumbled. Shouto stiffly nodded in response. They fell silent after that, neither knowing what to say. Thankfully the bell rung and saved both of them from the tense atmosphere. Midoriya stood up from her seat and grabbed her things. As she was making her way to the door, Shouto grabbed his own things. If he had turned around in time, he would’ve seen Bakugou trip Midoriya as she left the classroom. He didn’t.
Shouto was distracted throughout the day and it seemed other people noticed. Of course Yaoyorozu had been one of the first to notice, but she knew it was better to let him figure things out on his own. One Ochako Uraraka thought differently though. She approached him after lunch.
“Alright, spill, what’s going on?” She asked. Shouto looked up from his work, confused. He and Uraraka never spoke very often, unless Midoriya was apart of the conversation. Shouto stayed quiet, making her sigh quietly.
“What are you talking about?” He asked.
Uraraka dramatically sighed, falling into the seat beside him. “I’m talking about you and Izuchan. She said that she was worried she might have made you upset. So, what’s going on?” She questioned, crossing her arms. “And don’t think I’m going to let you off the hook.” Shouto held back his groan, but didn’t talk immediately.
“You’re close to Midoriya, right?” He eventually asked. Maybe Uraraka could shed some light on what was going on. Maybe she could ease Shouto’s confusion.
She blinked. “Yeah, why?” Uraraka replied, growing more confused.
“Has she ever seemed...rude?” Shouto inquired.
Uraraka seemed appalled by the very thought. “Rude? Izuchan? No way. She’s too nice for that.”
“How can you be sure?” He asked. Shouto narrowed his eyes suspicion. Was Uraraka just covering for Midoriya?
Uraraka frowned in response. “How can you be sure that she’s secretly really mean?”
Shouto rolled up his sleeve to show Uraraka the writing on his arm. “I saw her write this.”
Uraraka gasped as she stared at him. “SHE’S YOUR SOULMATE?!” The girl cried. Students turned to stare at them.
“Can you keep it down, please?” Shouto mumbled, growing frustrated.
Uraraka flushed in embarrassment. “Sorry, Todoroki-kun.” Uraraka apologized. “Can I?” She asked, reaching for Shouto’s arm. He nodded, holding out his arm for her to see. Uraraka grabbed it gently, rereading the words written there. “Izuchan…” She murmured, frowning. Shouto watched her expression. She didn’t seem surprised by what he told her, she seemed upset. “I can’t tell you, Todoroki-kun, I’m sorry. This isn’t my secret to tell.”
He slowly pulled his arm back, looking at her, silent. “What do you advise I do then?” Shouto asked. He needed clarity, not confusion, and after speaking to Uraraka, he was definitely more confused.
Uraraka pursed her lips before saying, “I’m not sure how much she’ll tell you but...try asking her about it.”
Shouto nodded, “Thanks, Uraraka.”
The girl smiled politely at him. “Good luck, Todoroki-kun.”
The meeting in the library was awkward and incredibly tense, the tension being so thick it could’ve been cut with a knife. Shouto was staring down at the book in his hands as he tried his best to ignore Midoriya’s worried glances. He could practically feel her anxiety from across the table. Midoriya hadn’t spoken a single word to him since they greeted each other and even that was a bit strained.
The girl was writing down notes in her notebook, probably thinking about what to write for the actual project. Shouto had been switching between researching and planning, himself. He had a pencil in his hand as he flipped through the pages of a book, writing notes where he needed to.
Midoriya spoke up. “Ah, Todoroki-kun, I-I think I found information that might be helpful for you…” She murmured as she passed him the book.
“Thanks.” His reply was short while his voice was monotone. From where he was looking, he could see Midoriya’s shoulders slump in something akin to sadness or rejection. He wasn’t sure but they fell silent once more. Shouto wasn’t sure what was said, though he did register Midoriya’s meek attempts at starting a conversation with him. She didn’t get very far for he shot down her attempts almost every time.
Eventually, Midoriya got fed up with him and snapped.
“I’m sorry Todoroki-kun, but I can’t take the cold shoulder anymore! What did I do to make you so angry with me?!” Shouto looked at her, no longer writing his notes, no longer ignoring her. “Was it something I said? Something I did?” Midoriya’s voice cracked, eyes darting between him and the table.
“Don’t act innocent.” His tone was cold and harsh. “After all these years of waking up to messages from you about how much you hate me, I thought you would’ve at least had enough courage to take responsibility and offer an explanation.” Shouto had surprised himself by his outburst. Normally, his emotions were kept in check, so he was startled when the words came tumbling out like that. The minute the words spilled from his mouth, he felt instant regret. Midoriya’s face was pale and she was staring at him with realization and shame.
“You’re my soulmate…” She whispered, mostly to herself. Midoriya started down at her lap, offering silence. “Todoroki-kun...I’m so sorry , I forgot you saw the messages too…” She finally said, and Shouto blinked as he stared at her. Why did she seem so surprised? Had she genuinely not known that he was her soulmate? If not, why had she written those things?
“I-I um...I have to go…” Midoriya hurriedly grabbed her things as she pushed herself up from her chair and rushed to the door of the library. Shouto watched her go, unsure of how to feel.
How badly had he just messed up?
Growing up as a child, Izuku looked forward to meeting her soulmate. She loved the idea of being someone’s other half, their perfect match. She saw how happy her mother’s soulmate made her and Izuku wanted the same thing too. She was fascinated by the existence of soulmates and would usually trace over the words in yellow written on her mother’s arm.
Izuku researched soulmates as much as possible as a child. She even had notebooks dedicated to notes she took down about the idea of them. She gushed to her childhood friend quite often about them. Kacchan had always told her it was annoying, but he listened to her anyway.
At night, she’d trace words on her arm before going to bed, wishing her soulmate a silent good night.
All of that continued until she reached middle school. Her first year started the cogs of change in her life. Firstly, Kacchan had begun to change. Slowly, he stopped hanging out with her after school. He hung out with a group of boys who didn’t seem too keen on letting Izuku hang out with them. Kacchan also stopped walking with her to school as well. He stopped sitting with her at lunch, studying with her, and so on. Before Izuku knew it, he stopped being her friend all together.
Secondly, Izuku started being bullied by almost everyone in her class. The simple reason being, they all assumed she didn’t have a soulmate. Her research showed her that soulmates usually start writing to each other at age thirteen. Izuku was too anxious to write anything to her soulmate, so she hoped they’d write first.
They never did.
When her classmates found out, they all made fun of her, teased her, rubbed in her face that they had soulmates and she didn’t.
What really sent her over the edge was Kacchan joining in on the fun. Slowly, middle school became a walking nightmare, and Izuku was alone to face it all.
Between the bullying and trying to survive middle school, Izuku forgot all about her soulmate. She never received any messages from them, and slowly came to terms with the simple fact that she was apart of the population that had no soulmate.
So when she was looking for ways to cope with how she was feeling, everything about her lack of soulmate came crashing in like a tidal wave. An article she had been reading suggested writing down how she felt. She didn’t have any paper near her at the time. All she had was a marker and her arm. She hesitated at first because what if she did have a soulmate? The very notion was ridiculous to her. If she had one, why did she never receive a message from them?
With her mind made up, she took off the lid of the marker, and began to write.
It became a habit after a week.
The minute Izuku got home from the library, she ran to her room and called Ochako, panicking. While waiting for her friend to answer, she paced her room in her panic.
“Izuchan?” Ochako eventually answered.
“Ochako!” Izuku cried, “Todoroki-kun is my soulmate and he thinks I hate him!” She exclaimed, beginning to ramble. “He thinks that those things I wrote were for him ! And then I panicked and ran out of the library, and now he probably hates me, if he doesn’t already. Oh my god, what if he thinks I’m a coward?! Oh god, Ochako I really screwed up!”
“Whoa whoa, Izuchan, breathe!” Ochako exclaimed. “Slow down! Walk me through what happened.”
“Okay…” Izuku mumbled, following her friend’s advice. She took a few deep breaths. “We were at the library working on the paper Aizawa-sensei assigned us. I thought he was still upset about something I did, so I asked him about it. He um...he thought I was just acting innocent and mentioned the messages I wrote on my arms. That’s when I realized he’s my soulmate, so I panicked and ran out.” She explained. “What do I do, Ochako?!” Izuku cried.
“I think you and him need to talk, Izuchan. I tried talking to him today and he sounded really hurt and confused. Don’t worry, I didn’t tell him anything. I told him it was yours to share.” Ochako replied. “Talk to him after school tomorrow. I’m sure Todoroki-kun is willing to listen to you, and I doubt he hates you, Izuchan.”
Izuku took another breath, and although she felt anxiety in the pit of her stomach, she felt a bit more relaxed than before. “Thanks, Ocha.”
“Let me know how it goes!”
The school day went by slowly for Shouto. He was distracted during class, still thinking about what happened the day before. It didn’t help that he had woken up that morning with a message from Midoriya.
Please meet me in the classroom at the end of the day.
Shouto wasn’t sure what to make of it. What did Midoriya want to talk to him about? Would she apologize and explain, or leave it at an apology? Would she tell him she hated him? That it was all an act? After all, that had to be why she ran out the day before, right?
A deeper part of Shouto believed there was more to it though. Maybe it was connected to his suspicions of Midoriya hiding things.
He was left with his thoughts all day, until the final bell rang. Aizawa-sensei dismissed them all, and Shouto packed up his things. He glanced over at Midoriya and saw her moving sluggishly. He frowned a bit at the observation and turned back to his bag. The classroom slowly emptied, Shouto noticed Aizawa-sensei shoot them a look before leaving. Maybe he noticed Midoriya’s odd behavior as well.
When they were alone, Shouto went over to her desk. “Midoriya.” He said.
“T-Todoroki-kun…” The girl mumbled, glancing up at him. “B-Before you say anything, I n-need to apologize. Those things you saw on your arm they were...they were never intended for you.”
“Then who—“ Shouto cut himself off when he realized what she was implying.
“I’m so sorry, Todoroki-kun. I forgot they appear on you too…” Midoriya whispered. “Although, I didn’t know I even had a soulmate until yesterday.”
“How..? Why..?” Shouto muttered. “Why did you write those things? Why were you so—“ He stopped himself. “So cruel to yourself?” He asked, staring at her. What could have possibly driven Midoriya to writing those things?
The girl offered a sad smile, “It was what everyone around me believed.” She said. “And writing those thoughts down...well, it was a way of getting them out of my head.”
Shouto frowned, looking at her. “Midoriya, forgive me for being so forward but...were you bullied before U.A.?” He questioned. It actually made a lot of sense. Shouto had picked up on the way she used to tense when Uraraka or Iida got too close. He also saw how she and Bakugou interacted at times. There was definitely some history there.
“Ah, I was…” Midoriya answered. “Kacchan had turned his back on me, and I never got anything from my soulmate so I just assumed I didn’t have one. I-If I had known that I really did have one, I wouldn’t have written any of that on my arms. I’m sorry, Todoroki-kun, and I-I completely understand if you hate me.”
“Midoriya,” Shouto began, “I don’t hate you, I don’t think I ever could hate you.” He admitted. “You’re my soulmate. How can I hate you when you’re you ?”
He saw Midoriya’s eyes water, and he internally panicked. Had he said something to make her cry? “M-Midoriya I—” He tried to stammer, but he was cut off when he had an armful of the girl.
“Thank you, Todoroki-kun.” Midoriya whispered, smiling.
Shouto softened, slowly wrapping his arms around her. “You’re welcome, Midoriya.”
At home, Ochako was working on her homework. She heard her phone go off, and she glanced over at it. It was a text message from Izuku. She read it with a bright smile.
I owe you all the mochi in the world!