Fading everything to black and blue
You look a lot like you
Shatter in the blink of an eye
You keep sailing right on through
Every time you say you're learning
You just look a lot like me
Pale under the blistering sky
White and red
Black and blue
Shouto peeked into the bedroom, his heart aching at the sound of muffled sobbing. His little hand pushed open the door as he came into his parent's room. Father wasn't in sight, and that made him relax, but the sobbing was still there.
"Mama?" He called out to her as she sat curled up on the floor, crying into her hands.
Her shiny white hair was messy and knotted, her thin wrists wrapped in blues and purples like bracelets. Red burns in the shape of his Daddy's hands marked her upper arms.
He ran to her and she welcomed him, holding him to her shoulder as she wept, her tears dripping into his hair.
"Mama, did Dad hurt you again?"
She cried harder, her battered arms closing around her son tighter.
"I'm sorry." He whimpered, tears building in his eyes.
Mama cried so often those days. She seemed like she was always crying. Father hit her more often than before due to her babying Shouto, as he called it. He yelled at her all the time, and she would cry.
Shouto hated it. He felt so guilty. He wanted to be strong for her and be her hero.
She pulled him back, her eyes wet and bloodshot, mascara running down her cheeks in black streaks. Her lip was split, her cheekbone bruised. She held such pain in her eyes, but she tried to smile at him. She tried.
"No, baby, it isn't your fault. Daddy was just angry at Mama. It had nothing to do with you." She said, she lied.
It always had to do with Shouto. When Mama would get bruises and cry. When big brother Touya would yell at their Father and be slapped across the face. When Natsuo wanted Dad to play with him and was ignored. When Fuyumi would shake and have trouble breathing. When Dad would get angry and yell and hurt. It always had to do with Shouto.
"I don't like Daddy. I don't want him to be mean to you. He's so mean." Shouto whined, fat tears rolling down his own cheeks. "I don't want him to be mean anymore."
Her busted bottom lip quivered, the smile breaking, "I know, baby. I don't want him to either."
Mother cried more and more as time went by, and Shouto felt so bad. It hurt to see her hurt. It hurt to see the bruises and tears, to hear her weeping and the sounds of Father's angry voice echoing through the house. He hated it.
He vomited on the floor, holding his stomach. Tears ran from his eyes and he hiccuped, gasped, choked on the bile.
"Get up! It isn't that bad!" Father yelled above him. He looked scary. He didn't look like a hero in these moments in this room. He didn't look like he did outside amongst the crowds when the cameras were pointed at them. He looked different behind the curtains of their home. He didn't look like a good guy or a hero, he looked like a bad guy, a villain.
The door flew open, footsteps running across the wooden floor. Cool hands touched his overheating skin, sizzling at contact.
"Please, dear! He's too young! Please, let him rest! He hasn't had dinner. Let him have dinner." Mama's voice was shaky and desperate.
He grabbed her roughly by her thin arm, yanking her violently away from Shouto. "He's fine. I told you to stop interfering with me and my son's time! Go tend to the house." Father yelled, the same stern voice he used with him as he pushed his Mother towards the door.
Rei turned around, hands clasped in front of her, "He's a child, Enji! Please, let him have a break-"
"Touya's useless to me now. He's too weak and frail. I'm not wasting more energy on that boy when he won't amount to anything. The other two have always been worthless. That just leaves Shouto. I need to make up for lost time with Shouto. He's much more promising."
"Dear, please. This training is too intense! It's not right! Touya's burns are still healing from it months later and Shouto is only five! You cannot do this to my children, please-"
Shouto's eyes widened when his Father slapped his Mother brutally across the face, sending her hard onto the floor.
"Shouto is my child! He is my legacy! He can take it! It isn't my fault your disappointment of a child was too weak for his own flames. Shouto is different. Shouto is perfect!" Father boomed loudly as his wife whimpered on the floor, her thin arms pushing her back up.
She tucked her hair behind an ear, the bright red handprint visible on her face as she looked up, tears rolling from her tired eyes, "please, I beg you…"
Endeavor rolled his eyes, huffing. "You feed my son, run his bath, and then I expect you to be in the room, in our bed, in one hour. Do you understand?"
"Yes dear! Yes, thank you, thank you, my love!"
His hand was almost gentle on her swollen cheek, lightly rubbing way tears with his thumb, "ice your cheek, Rei. So it doesn't bruise." He said almost softly.
He could hear his Mother's soft voice coming from the kitchen, her shaky tone suggesting she was crying. He tip toes down the hall, her whispering voice becoming louder as he got closer.
"I just can't take it anymore… the kids look more and more like him. Shouto's left side I cannot bare to look at sometimes."
He peered into the doorway, listening to her words as he stared at her back while she stood in front of the stove, her shoulders hunched.
"I can't, I can't take this anymore, i-"
"Mama, what are you saying?" He asked, and the tea kettle whistled loudly as she whipped around. Her eyes wide and terrified. He never saw her like that before, only times she looked so frightened was whenever Father was around.
She suddenly dropped the phone to the floor, "No, no, no!" Her hand grabbed the kettle off the stove, water splashing from it and hitting her skin, creating little dropsized burns. "No, no, no!" She shrieked, eyes wild, movements jerky and unnatural, dragging her injured leg as she dashed towards him like something from a scary movie.
"Mama, what's wrong?" He yelled as she closed in, grabbing a hold of his hair. "What are you doing? Mama, what are you-!"
"No, no, no!" She screamed and suddenly the kettle was being poured down onto his face.
He screamed, jerking in her grasp, the hot water scalding and burning his left side, his eye swelled up. He couldn't see!
Still she screamed, "No, no, no!!"
That was the last time he saw his Mother.
The sobs shook Shouto's small frame as he watched, making his bandages eye hurt and throb even worse. He stood, like he had been standing for hours, in the Dojo with his back against the wall, watching the scene play out.
His legs ached. He was hungry, tired, frightened.
"Watch and consider it your training until your eye heal." Father had told him. It had only been a week or so since that terrifying night where his Mother grabbed him by the hair and poured the kettle over his face. She was pulled away from him, torn from his life, sent away, and Shouto felt completely responsible.
Father told him he couldn't train Shouto with such a serious injury and risk worsening it. That was where the other boy came in.
An older boy, one of the children that played in the yard and sat at the table with them. The smallest one that Father always said was too frail and too weak for his quirk. Shouto didn't know him, didn't know any of the children really, he only saw glimpses of them between training and before bed, and sat at the quiet dinner table with them as they all ate…
He was forced to watch Father train the other boy in his place, with brutality and viciousness that even Shouto wasn't trained with.
Shouto didn't realize just how violent his Father was until he saw the training on someone other than himself. He had gotten worse since Mama was sent away. He was always angry, shouting, and scary. Now without his Mother there to protect him, Shouto was terrified of his Father.
Father said Touya was a back up plan if Shouto didn't work out, but Touya was fragile looking, even to Shouto. He ways looked tired and pale. He was always sick and his hands were always shaky. He was the oldest, but smaller than both of the other children and so skinny he looked like their Father could break him easily.
"Stop dodging and trying to squirm away. It's pathetic. You're pathetic, Touya. Use your quirk. Fight back." Father said, his tone almost bored if it wasn't for the slight edge of building annoyance his voice as they sparred.
He landed a hit directly in Touya's stomach and Shouto winced as the older boy fell to the floor.
"You aren't even trying." Enji spoke.
"I am trying!" Touya yelled from the floor, panting. He had angry tears in his eyes as he held his stomach, his body shaking.
"Try harder. You're supposed to be a good example for your brother."
"It hurts… you know it hurts to use my quirk."
"Still pulling that same pitiful excuse as you did back then? It doesn't matter, you need to overcome that weakness. You will never amount to anything if you're weak…"
Touya didn't say anything, just laid where he was. Shouto knew how this would end with his own training. Father could not stand for weakness. It made him furious, disgusted him.
"God, you're just like your Mother, get up!"
Shouto flinched at the mention of his Mother, his heart aching. He wished Mama was there to run through the door and make him stop.
He watched the other boy slowly drag himself upright, wincing at the way his movement stretched the burns on his skin.
He was like their Mother.
Touya looked at their Father, eyes bloodshot and heavy, sweat sticking his clothing to his body. "I wanna stop… I can't anymore."
"Get up, Touya." Father bore his teeth, snarling. His fists clenched at his sides until his knuckles were white.
"I said I can't, are you deaf?!" Touya yelled in frustration and Endeavor moved so quickly that even Shouto stumbled back. He heard the slap, saw the hand hit his face like how his Father would slap his Mother's face, it made him think of her even more, cry even harder.
Touya wasn't fast enough, a large hand grabbed his throat and he gagged as he was torn forward, then up and off the ground. Father aimed at his ribs, blow after blow, then dropped him onto the floor with a thud.
Shouto watched as the other boy gagged and coughed, blood dripping from his lips, tears rolling down his cheeks, his neck burned and blistered.
He glared at their Father, eyes narrow and lips in a snarl, "I hate you."
Father slapped him hard across the face again. Then he looked towards Shouto. "You were watching, how would you handle that attack, Shouto?" Endeavor asked calmly and Shouto felt small under the gaze of the powerful hero.
Shouto replayed the clip in his head, his hands shaking at his side, "I'd… I'd grab the attackers arm once he had my neck for balance and ignite my flames on my throat to get the grip to loosen. T-Then slid down the arm, attack with my quirk. Your midsection was open, and that is a, that's a vulnerable area, so I would aim for that." Shouto whispered quietly, trying not to let his voice waver from his hiccupping cries. Father hated when he stuttered.
The youngest looked towards Touya, lying on his side holding his face, an arm wrapped around his ribcage. He was breathing unevenly, his bloodshot eyes fixed on Shouto.
"Did you catch that, Touya?" Father asked, "He's a child and can defend himself better than you. Pathetic. Try that, what he said."
He gave no time before reaching down and grabbing Touya's throat again, ripping him off the floor and back into the air. Touya screamed, and the scene repeated before he was dropped back to the floor. Shaking now.
"I hate you…"
Enji stood over him, disappointment on his face as he looked down at the white haired boy gasping on the floor. His hand reached down and Shouto closed his eyes, he couldn't watch anymore.
"Again." He said.
Touya was an angry child. He was always angry. It often reminded Shouto of Father, a lot about the older boy did.
Shouto crept over to him slowly, tip toeing like he was walking on eggshells. He bit his lip, hand hovering above blistered and bruised skin.
The training had gone on for hours before Endeavor finally stopped, by then Touya's arms, throat, and back were covered in burns, his shirt mostly burned away. His hair was matted with blood, face covered in it, and there were purpling bruises over his ribs.
"Don't touch me!" Touya yelled at him before his fingers even landed and Shouto shot back like he had been burned.
"I'm, I'm sorry!" He squeaked, "you're hurt."
"Well no shit!" The older boy yelled back, pushing himself to his hands and knees, hair blocking his face from his younger brother's view.
"Should I… Should I get Fuyumi?" He asked softly, his good eye watering, bad eye stinging.
Shouto watched helplessly as Touya sat up, grimacing as he held his stomach. His face scrunched up, angry and flushed as he wheezed.
"But… You're hurt…" the tears started to fall again, gaze rolling over the damaged skin, how raw his brother's throat looked, how badly he was shaking. "Fuyumi will help you bandage your wounds. She helps me with mine like Mom did and-"
"Well not everybody is a spoiled little brat like you, Shouto! Nobody helps me!" Touya snapped, ''I said I'm fine!"
"I'm sorry." Shouto whimpered, his bottom lip quivering as he folded in on himself. He felt bad. It was his fault Touya got hurt, his fault Mama was gone, his fault-
"No… I'm sorry, Sho. I'm just mad. It's not your fault, it's all Dad's fault." Touya's blue eyes narrowed, glaring at the door their Father had exited. "I hate him so much."
"He's so mean." Shouto whispered, beginning to cry, "I miss Mama…and now you got hurt because of me too. Everybody gets hurt because of me!"
"It isn't because of you, Shouto. Don't cry. Dad is just… he's just an asshole."
Shouto tilted his head, "What's an asshole?" He asked.
"Dammit, don't say that. It's a bad word." Touya snapped again like Dad's, then his face softened like Mom's. "It just… I mean he's mean. He's a mean person." Touya said.
"Why is he so mean to us? Why did he hurt Mama and have her taken away? Why does he hurt us and be so mean?"
Touya looked at him with an unreadable expression as he tried to breathe, having difficulties with his ribs broken. "I don't know…" he admitted softly, then looked back towards the door, eyes narrowing again. "But he needs to be stopped."
Shouto heard the yelling from the other end of the house and slowly peeked down the hall from his bedroom door towards the sound.
"Well then where the hell is he?!" Dad was yelling, his voice booming through the house.
"We don't know. That's why we're telling you." That was Fuyumi, she sounded like she was crying.
"Look, there's clothes missing from his room, his backpack is gone too. So is his tooth brush and body products." That sounded like Touya, he sounded angry again. "He probably ran off. This is your fault."
Shouto jumped at the sound of flesh hitting flesh and a pained groan.
"My fault?! How is it my fault that brat ran away again!"
Touya started yelling back, his voice booming as loud as Dad. "Maybe because of shit like this! You calling us brats and smacking us in the face and sending away Mom!"
"Boy, you better watch your mouth or I will-"
Fuyumi's voice cut between the two screaming, "Please, can you not fight? We need to find Natsuo."
There was silence for a few seconds as Shouto crept out of his room , "please, Dad, let Touya go. It'll be dark soon and he's alone and he's only eleven years old. We need to find Natsuo."
"Fine." There was a sound of someone being shoved to the floor and Father went on grumbling, "do either of you know where he would have gone?"
"There's a few places that come to mind." Touya said.
Shouto peeked into the living room, observing his Father pace, Touya hold his bleeding lip, and Fuyumi cry softly.
"Where?" Father asked sharply.
Touya paused, crossing his arms, "What are you going to do when you find him?"
"That is none of your concern."
"It is my concern. He's my brother, and he's upset and I don't want you to hurt him." Touya hissed, his teeth clenched.
"You have no right to interfere with how I handle your siblings, I've told you this time and time again. You're acting like your mother."
"What, you gonna send me away too?" Touya hissed.
Endeavor reached forward, grabbing Touya by his hair and yanking , pulling him closer to snatch his upper arm with his other hand, growling into his ear, "I told you to watch your mouth, I will not stand for this kind of disrespect-"
"Dad, please, let him go!" Fuyumi yelled, covering her mouth with her hands.
"Ow, you're burning me you piece of shit!" Touya yelled, the skin under Father's hand beginning to smoke.
"Keep pissing me off, you worthless bastard, just see where it gets you."
"Dad, please! Don't hurt him!" Fuyumi reached for their Father's hand and Shouto yelped when he backhanded her hard, knocking her onto the floor with such force she bounced off the ground.
Blue flames lit on Touya's hands and he punched Endeavor several times in the stomach, screaming, "don't you touch her, monster!"
Father threw him a good few yards across the room, smacking against the wall and falling to his knees. Fuyumi looked up with blood coming from her nose, eyes locking with Shouto before she looked over to Touya who was standing, ready for a fight.
"Please, stop fighting! Shouto's in the room, he doesn't need to see this!" She yelled and Touya's fire instantly went out.
Shouto felt small under the three pairs of eyes now fixed on him, standing in the doorway with tears in his eyes, holding his blanket desperately in between his fingers.
Father suddenly reached towards Touya again, grabbing him by the front of his shirt, right in his face, "Tell me where you think your brother is or I'll drag you into the training room and beat it out of you since you want a fight."
"I'll show you, but I'm coming along. I don't trust you with him alone." Touya said with a glare.
Father groaned but shoved Touya towards the front door, "have it your way. Let's go."
Shouto watched them leave, shaking so bad he felt like he couldn't stop as his sister got up and walked towards him, wiping away the blood from her nose with the back of her hand. The tears still fell down her cheeks.
"Hey, buddy.. it's okay."
"Where's Natsuo?" He asked, looking up at her as she touched his shoulder gently.
"Natsuo… he got lost outside somewhere, but Daddy and Touya are gonna go find him. He'll be okay, I promise, buddy." She said, bending down to his level.
He eyed the fresh blood dripping from her nose, the bruise developing on her cheek. "Why did Daddy do that? Why did he hit you and hurt Touya? Why is he so mean?"
She bit her bottom lip, glancing down for a minute before she took a shaky breath and looked back at him. "Daddy is really sad and angry right now. I think he misses Mom and he's upset about a lot of things, and when Dad gets upset sometimes he loses his temper and does mean things."
"Is it my fault?" He asked.
"No, honey! No, it isn't your fault at all!" She said quickly, "it's Dad. He needs to learn to control his anger. It has nothing to do with you. It's Dad, okay?"
He looked towards the door, his bottom lip quivering again. "Is Natsuo and Touya going to be okay?"
"Don't worry, they'll be okay. Touya and Daddy are gonna find Natsuo and bring him home safe and sound. Everyone is going to be okay. I promise." She said, trying to smile but it looked painful on her chapped lips. "they'll be home soon. We can wait for them, okay buddy?"
Minutes went by, then an hour, then two hours. Fuyumi and Shouto sat on the sofa waiting and waiting. Fuyumi kept reassuring him, but her leg shook more and more the more time went by.
Finally, after almost four hours the door opened. Father was angry, pulling a sniffling Natsuo inside. The other boy had dirt on his clothes, smeared on the side of his face, and dark colored bruises on his face and neck. He was shaking from the cold, or maybe it was fear. Father didn't say a word.
"Where's Touya?" Fuyumi asked.
Natsuo was pulled by his arm through the living room, beginning to cry.
"Where's… where's Touya?" Fuyumi asked louder, panic in her voice.
Not a word.
"Dad, where's Touya? Where is Touya!" She yelled, breath coming out fast.
Natsuo began sobbing as he was dragged me to his room and the door slammed shut. The sobbing quickly turned to screaming.
Fuyumi stared at the backpack discarded on the floor. Her eyes widened with horror as she looked at Touya's coat beside it, burned and stained in blood.
Touya didn't come home that night. Shouto never saw Touya again…
Until he saw Dabi.