“Your organs are melting from the inside.”
“Mhm.” his father murmured. Still looking at the papers on his desk. “It’s fine.”
“It’s fine?! The doctor said your organs are melting!” Shouto didn’t know why he was so passionate about this. He still hated his father...just because he had changed a little didn’t mean everything was fine between them. But still...he was worried.
“I heard you the first time Shouto...and I...appreciate your concern but it’s unnecessary.”
Normally, he would say something along the lines of “Fine, if it’s so unnecessary then you can take care of it yourself.” but recently he had come to the conclusion that this, right here, was one of his father’s defenses. Defense against what, he had no idea. Midoriya had point it out one day, how Endeavour probably didn’t have a great father figure. And it had clicked in Shouto’s mind. He had never heard of his grandparents from his father’s side. That’s why he had come to their house on a weekday, without even calling (not that he normally did call Enji or anything but he usually called Fuyumi) to find their family photo albums, maybe even his father’s. And heard that despicable conversation between his father and a doctor. “You need to stop pushing your limits Endeavour-san.” He had said. “Normally a fire that strong would cook you alive but because you are fire resistant to a degree, it just melts your organs from the inside. At this rate you will kill yourself slowly and agonizingly.”
“Okay.” His father had said. Like it wasn’t important, like it wasn’t the first time he had heard it.
“It’s not unnecessary.” Shouto ground out between his clenched teeth, trying to not yell at him again.
His father averted his eyes in response.
“Fine.” Shoto said, “I’m calling Fuyumi.”
This time his father turned back look at his face. “Don’t trouble your sister with mundane problems.” No matter how much Todoroki Enji had changed his challenging gaze had stayed with him.
But Shouto had a few more cards up his sleeve. “Fine.” he said without a fight, knowing full well that he was going to send Fuyumi a message once he returned back to the dorm. “I was here to look at our family albums.”
“They are up in the attic.” He said and turned back to his papers.
Just as Shouto was going to close the door behind him he heard a soft, “...call me if you have any trouble.”
He nodded even though he knew his father couldn’t see it.
The attic was dusty and cluttered. Filled with many boxes with or without labels. He found the albums in the farthest edge of the attic. It was weird to look through old photos...photos from before he was born. And it shocked him to see a photo of a baby Touya, his oldest brother. In the photo both Enji and Rei looked happy, their eyes crinkling from their huge sunny smiles. And baby Touya lay sleeping in his father’s arms.
Shouto quickly closed that album. What he was looking for wasn’t...this. He needed something far older, from his father’s childhood. And there, far deep at the bottom of the cardboard box a tiny album the size of Shouto’s palm, laid. The first picture was that of a sleeping baby in its little crib. Father , Shouto thought to himself. He could never imagine his father as anything less than the giant figure that he was. He took the photo out gently, to see if there was anything written behind it and luckily there was! He lit a small fire in his hand to better see the letters.
Todoroki Endou - 20XX
Endou? Could this be his father’s brother? He had never heard of an uncle before, well he had also never heard of his grandparents, so maybe this wasn’t that weird. He flipped the pages some more. They were all just photos of Endou in different settings and in different clothes. Just as he was going to pass another photo his eye suddenly caught another figure. There, right at the edge of the photo looking into the camera with a tiny scowl on his face was another boy. Shouto could recognize that scowl from a mile away. That was his father. He looked through the photos he had passed quickly, searching for a glimpse of his father but there were none. He resumed looking at the photos from where he left off.
He saw Endou’s first, then second, third and fourth birthdays. In the next photo Endou and Enji were starting kindergarten. Shouto’s grandfather’s arm was on Endou’s shoulders and his mother was holding his hand on his other side. Enji stood next to them, on the edge of the photo. Shouto flipped through the pages faster. But there was no other photo of Enji in the album. It ended with Endou starting a private high school and that was it... His father only had two pictures in the whole album.
Could there be another album? He thought to himself. Another album just for Enji? But the small box didn’t hold anymore albums.
He thought about what Midoriya had told him, that maybe his father didn’t have the best home life. That maybe he had no idea children should be loved and cherished.
This couldn’t be it, he decided. There had to be another box of albums. He returned back to his search through the boxes in a haste, reading their names and discarding them one by one. He was still searching when his father came to the attic, startling Shouto and causing him to drop the new box he was holding.
“Shouto?...ah sorry. UA called to ask if you were planning to stay the night here.”
“I-uh...yes. Tell them that I will return in the morning.”
“Okay, the dinner will be ready in thirty minutes.” Enji informed before turning around and walking away.
Shouto gave out a relieved sigh when his father’s footsteps went farther away. He didn’t even know why he was relieved...why was he hiding what he was doing? It’s not like he was doing something wrong...even though it felt like he was breaching his father’s privacy...
He closed the box for the night and walked down the stairs. He would look again at a later date...for now he had to think about what he had already found.