After the Sports Festival, the tension between Midoriya and Todoroki had disappeared. Then after everything happened in Hosu, it was completely gone, and one could even say the two formed a tentative friendship.
Even though they had barely known each other for a year, and had only been friends for a few months, Midoriya was surprised by how quickly they had formed a strong trust between them. After everything that had happened, it made some sense. Neither of them had much experience in making friends, and there was a relief in finally people to rely on. Midoriya would never admit it out loud, but he really admired Todoroki.
Well, he actually would admit it aloud, and did frequently. Still.
While they weren’t necessarily as close as he was with Uraraka or Iida, their friendship was something different. Todoroki seemed to understand him better than anyone, and valued Midoriya’s opinions. Their trust wasn’t built on their abilities as heroes, but on them as people.
On the other hand, their fights were miserable.
Not that fighting had been much if an issue for them, not for a long while. Sure, they sometimes disagreed, and didn’t always talk as much as Midoriya would have liked, but they had never really faced any major conflict with each other since the Sports Festival. Even that hadn’t been much of a conflict so much as it was Todoroki directing his emotional struggles at Midoriya.
Now, though, Midoriya could say they were well and truly fighting. And as much as he hated fighting with friends, he couldn’t tell Todoroki the truth. Yet Todoroki still seemed upset with him, and it felt like being torn between two equally unfavorable outcomes. The truth would drive him away, but so would not telling the truth, and the whole situation became frustrating.
Calling it a fight was something of an exaggeration. It wasn’t like fighting with Bakugou; no confrontation, no yelling, no quirks or fists being thrown. Instead, they just avoided each other like the plague, both refusing to speak to the other.
Midoriya knew his friends were catching on, and Uraraka had been encouraging him to try talking things out. But Todoroki was avoiding Midoriya as well. Even if he tried to grapple him into a conversation, Todoroki would find a way out.
It didn’t help that Midoriya didn’t know why Todoroki was mad in the first place. He had cornered Midoriya one day, after a particularly grueling day, asking if he was okay. When Midoriya said he was fine, however, Todoroki had gotten upset, asking why he wouldn’t talk to him.
Midoriya fought back tears as he thought back on it. It wasn’t as if he wanted to bottle up his feelings and keep secrets, but the sting of rejection was all too familiar. As much as his feelings demanded to be felt, some things were just better kept quiet.
Apparently, Todoroki disagreed.
After a long day of classes and training, Midoriya wanted nothing more than a hot shower and a nap. His head had been throbbing mercilessly all day, and sleep was calling. At least it was finally the weekend, so Midoriya was free to sleep as long as he pleased.
He was barely finished telling Uraraka just that before she grabbed him by the arm, drawing her fingers together before he could realize what was happening. His limbs began to hover in the air, and a piece of Sero’s tape immediately wrapped around his ankle.
Another strand of tape prevented him from finishing his question.
The chance for a nap disappeared completely as Midoriya was gracelessly tossed onto the floor of Todoroki’s room. Todoroki, apparently, had not planned this, as the sound of Midoriya falling startled him up from his desk while a small patch of ice formed over his foot.
Midoriya jumped up and ran for the door once he was dropped, but the door had already been locked behind him.
“Come on,” he pleaded, knocking on the wood almost hard enough to splinter it. “Let me out. Whatever this is, it isn't funny.”
Todoroki walked up to his side and stared at the door in confusion.
“It's not supposed to be funny,” Uraraka called back. “Something weird has been going on between you two, and you're going to solve it one way or another.”
Todoroki placed his open palm against the door. “Uraraka, if you don't open this door, I'll be forced to burn it down.”
“Sure,” she said, and Midoriya could hear the smile in her voice, so much more savage than her usual cheer. “But remember! Aizawa-sensei said the next person to cause significant damage to the dorms is banned from this year's Sports Festival.”
“I have my money on Kaminari,” Sero chimed in. “So don't make me lose that bet!”
“We'll be back at the end of the weekend,” Uraraka added.
“If you haven't made up by then,” she continued, “we'll be forced to resort to drastic measures.”
“And locking us in a room together doesn't qualify as drastic measures?” Todoroki mumbled.
“Uraraka, what about-”
“Everyone has a private bathroom attached to their rooms.”
“Satou stocked up Todoroki’s room with food. Check the cupboard.”
Todoroki pulled the drawer on his cupboard open, and sure enough, all sorts of foods and sweets lined the shelves.
“My door was locked…”
“See you in two days!” Sero called, and the sound of footsteps grew distant on the other side of the wall.
Todoroki fell silent and walked back to his desk while Midoriya pulled his phone out, sending out an SOS message to the only three people who he was confident wouldn't be in on this. It began to ding only minutes later.
All Might: “Your classmates mentioned a trust building exercise the other day! I think it is an excellent idea, my boy! It is the duty of a hero to resolve conflicts, including his own personal ones!”
Shinsou: “I was the backup plan. They told me I would just ask you to walk in. You're on your own.”
Bakugou: “no. fuck you”
Midoriya sighed. The throbbing behind his eyes seemed to intensify, and sleep was beckoning.
“Sounds like we're trapped,” he said. “Sorry to intrude like this.”
Todoroki shrugged. “Not like you had much choice in the matter. You clearly don't want this, given how determined you are to get away from me.”
“Todoroki, it's…” Midoriya cut himself off as he rubbed his fingertips over his eyelids. “It's not that. Just...can we at least talk about this?”
“What's there to talk about?” he spat back. “I asked if you wanted to talk and you said no. So if you don't want to talk, then we won't.”
“Please,” Midoriya begged, tilting his chin to the floor so the tears building in his eyes weren't visible. “I'm sorry. Just please don't shut me out like this.”
Todoroki sighed. “Look me in the eyes and tell me that something is wrong.”
Midoriya’s head perked up, and his eyes met Todoroki’s gaze. It was cold as ice, as always, but not quite as blank as Midoriya had grown accustomed to. Todoroki always hid his emotions quite well, but there was a spark of hope and desperation there that so rarely showed on the surface.
“I… I can't.”
Todoroki nodded and pursed his lips as that flicker of emotion faded from his eyes. “That's what I thought.”
“Here,” he interrupted, pulling a rolled up futon from the closet and shoving it into his arms. “You can sleep on the floor, wherever you like. Help yourself to any food and whatever you may need from the bathroom. I have some work to do.”
“Will you just let me-”
“No, I won't. I'm sorry, Midoriya, but just not yet. When they come back in a few days we'll tell them we made up and just move on. But right now, I can't.”
Midoriya wanted to push, wanted to fight for something, wanted to ignite that same spark in Todoroki that he had during the Sports Festival, but words failed him. The building exhaustion had become too much, and Midoriya couldn't resist anymore. Clearly, nothing was being resolved on the first night.
48 hours to go. He would fix this.
“Goodnight, Todoroki,” Midoriya whispered into the quiet space as he rolled out his futon.
Todoroki didn't answer.
It was odd, Todoroki thought, that Midoriya had given in so easily. For one thing, classes had only just ended, and even with the clear exhaustion written on Midoriya’s face, it was surprising that he was already sleeping. Even more surprising, though, was that he backed down so easily.
Maybe Todoroki had pushed too far.
This wasn't an argument worth ending their friendship over, not by a long shot. Still, he refused to relent this time.
The truth of it was, Midoriya had helped Todoroki out of a dark place. After so many years of being alone, feeling as though his emotions were something to be buried and ignored, Midoriya was the light he needed to help him change. And that something Todoroki could never thank him enough for.
It was, however, something he could repay. While he so often reached out to everybody else, Midoriya failed to open himself to others and let them do the same for him. Todoroki assumed that maybe they shared a similar struggle, which is what drew them together. Yet Midoriya brushed him aside once he offered his help, same as he did to everyone else. It shouldn't have been surprising, in retrospect.
Todoroki didn't think he was like everyone else, though.
Their friendship was something special, maybe even more than friendship. At least, he thought it was. But when he extended the same hand that had been offered to him so long ago, it was knocked away.
But Todoroki could see it. He could see something eating away at Midoriya, the same way he had seen it in the mirror. Everyone saw it, and yet no one knew how to reach out. But he was tired of doing nothing.
What if he went too far, though?
Before his thoughts could take a dark turn, a shuffling noise sounded from the corner of the room. Midoriya kicked his legs as he began to wake, almost as if he was trying to run from an invisible enemy.
Todoroki watched from his place on his bed, too lost in thought to fear being caught staring. It took a few minutes for Midoriya to wake up completely and rise to look up at him.
He sighed. “Two days left.”
That would have set Midoriya off again. It should have set him off again. But instead, Midoriya only blinked up at him in a daze.
And that's not what his voice sounded like last night. That's not what his face looked like, and his eyes definitely had some sense of clarity and determination earlier that was now missing.
“Midoriya? Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I'm-” a grating cough cut him off, leaving him doubled over and gasping.
“I don't know why I bothered asking.” Todoroki stood from his bed and walked over to Midoriya’s place on the floor before placing a palm against his forehead. “You have a fever. And that was based on my left hand. Were you sick yesterday?”
“No,” Midoriya rasped. “At least, I don’t think so. I mean, uh, I had a headache, and I just wanted to sleep, but I didn’t feel…” he trailed off to swallow thickly. “...feel like this.”
Todoroki nodded. “Okay. This has gone on long enough. You just stay here, and I’ll call Yaoyorozu.”
“Yeah, sounds good…” Midoriya nodded as his eyes began to blink shut, his body falling back to the pillow beneath him. Even after sleeping for nearly twelve hours, the exhaustion still remained clear on his face.
Todoroki grabbed his phone from the nightstand next to his bed, only to have a blank screen stare back at him. He had spent the previous night studying with Yaoyorozu, and only then realized that his phone charger was still in her room.
“Midoriya?” Todoroki called, eliciting a small startle. “Sorry, didn’t mean to wake you. Do you have your phone on you? Or your phone charger?”
Midoriya pushed himself back up onto his elbows and grabbed the phone beside him. He looked down for a moment before turning back to Todoroki. “No, I didn’t have a chance to charge it once I got back from class, and Uraraka grabbed me, so it’s not like I could pack anythng, and-”
“I understand,” Todoroki said softly, though a rush of ice shot through his veins. It was the weekend, so everyone was bound to be out. And without their phones, and therefore no way to ask someone for help…
Todoroki strode towards the door and began pounding.
“Alright,” he called, praying for someone to hear him on the other side. “You need to let us out. Midoriya is sick, and this plan made no sense. Open the door.”
“Open the door!” he repeated, pounding even harder. The door began to rattle inside its wooden frame.
“Todoroki,” Midoriya said. “No one can hear you. Could you just… stop, maybe? The noise- it isn’t really…”
Todoroki watched as Midoriya blinked again, longer this time, eyebrows scrunching up. He took a deep breath. Even sick and exhausted, Midoriya was still the one talking sense into him.
“You’re right,” he admitted. “It seems like we’re stuck here until they come back for us. I guess we’ll have to figure something out until then.”
Midoriya nodded. “It’s fine. I’ll just-” he began to lean back once again, his arms shaking below him.
“No. Sleep in my bed, it’ll be more comfortable. I’ll see if I have any medical supplies in the bathroom.”
Midoriya straightened a bit, opening his mouth to protest. However, the sharp look Todoroki sent him made him deflate. “‘Kay.”
Todoroki began to scope out his bathroom once Midoriya was comfortable. A glass of water, and… some painkillers. For someone who came home with as many training injuries as he did, Todoroki’s first aid kit left a lot to be desired.
“This is all I have,” he announced as he walked back into the room. “I need you to sit up and take these, then you can sleep.”
Midoriya nodded and began to push himself up, but he gripped his head with the movement and nearly fell back down. Todoroki wrapped an arm around him and pulled him up, pushing the painkillers into his hand and holding out the cup of water. Before Midoriya could grab it, he formed a bit of ice on the outside, creating a frosty surface on the glass.
“Thanks,” Midoriya mumbled, swallowing the pills before leaning back into the bed.
Todoroki remained silent, rising to move to his desk. If he was going to be stuck here, he may as well try and-
“Wait.” Midoriya called. “Don’t go yet.”
Todoroki turned to him and quirked an eyebrow up.
“I…” he started, but seemed to cringe inwardly as he fought to get the words out. “Are you still mad at me, Todoroki?”
“Yes,” Todoroki answered without hesitation. Midoriya flinched. “I am not going to treat you unkindly while you are sick like this,” he continued, “but I am also not going to just get over this because of it, either.”
Midoriya bit his lip, but nodded to himself, as if he already knew that would be his answer. “Right. Okay.”
Midoriya rolled onto his side to face the wall, and Todoroki moved back to his desk. It was painful to talk to Midoriya like that, especially considering how bad he must already feel; especially considering how bad Todoroki already felt.
Because things had been going really well with Midoriya. Almost too well, if he was honest. And as apprehensive as Todoroki felt allowing himself to get his hopes up, he also had faith in Midoriya not to hurt him. But maybe he had put too much faith into him, to the point that he couldn’t imagine how Midoriya could ever disappoint him.
Not that it was his fault. How could you blame somebody for not loving you back?
“Todoroki,” Midoriya called again, quieter this time.
“You’re supposed to be sleeping,” he responded.
“Well, I can’t. Not like this. I need you to talk to me. I need it so much.” A waver began to take over his voice, and Todoroki couldn’t decide whether he should rush over there or give him his privacy.
“Fine. We’ll talk, after you sleep.”
“No!” Midoriya called, leaping upwards. He began to tilt to the side, and the decision made itself for Todoroki. He rushed over to his side and steadied Midoriya by the shoulders, placing a hand back to his head. It was definitely warmer than before.
“Yes,” Todoroki insisted. “You aren’t in any shape to have this conversation right now.”
“Please,” Midoriya turned to him with watering eyes. “I want you to hear what I have to say.”
“You need to sleep-”
“I’ll decide what I need to do, Todoroki.”
“I’m not. I might be a little more talkative than normal, but isn’t that what you wanted?”
Todoroki paused. That was what he had wanted from the beginning, wasn’t it? Midoriya had been avoiding him, and now he wasn’t. But frustration had taken over his rationality, and Todoroki ended up pushing Midoriya away the same way Midoriya had done to him. So what was the problem?
“Fine,” he relented. “But lay back down. Don’t push yourself more than you have to.”
Midoriya smiled shakily. “Thank you.”
He fell onto his back, letting out a gasp and then a sigh of relief as Todoroki placed an ice-coated hand over his forehead. Even when there weren’t any actual supplies, Todoroki still had his quirk.
“I don’t know why you’re mad at me,” Midoriya blurted.
Todoroki stiffened. “What?”
“Okay,” he continued. “I guess I might know. I have a guess, I mean, but I don’t understand, because you asked me why I wasn’t telling you the truth, but if I’m right, then you’re mad that you found out the truth, but I don’t know how, and is it because you heard from somebody else? But then-”
“I was mad because you were mad at me.”
“And you wouldn’t tell me why,” he elaborated.
Glassy eyes stared blankly back at Todoroki. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Midoriya nodded into his palm. “I was never mad at you,” he hummed, leaning into the cold touch. “How could I be? You’re wonderful.”
“But… you were avoiding me.”
His face, already flushed from his fever, grew even redder. “That wasn’t because I was mad.”
“Then why?” What other reason would Midoriya have to avoid him?
“Because…” he trailed off, breaking eye contact.
Todoroki nodded. “This happens a lot, Midoriya. I understand if we can’t be friends. But you need to tell me, or else I’ll-”
“I don’t want to be friends.”
Todoroki’s heart skipped a beat, but he refused to let it show on his face. “That’s okay. I understand, it’s hard for people to deal with my-”
“Ah! That’s not what I meant, sorry! God, that must have sounded so bad, huh? Maybe you’re right, maybe I am delirious. It would explain the rambling, though I guess I do that even when I’m not sick, uh...”
Todoroki stared down at him.
“I don’t want to be friends because I want to be more than that because I think I’m in love with you, Todoroki.”
Midoriya nodded furiously before turning away from Todoroki’s touch. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, but I didn’t mean to avoid you, I just didn’t know how to deal with my feelings, and-”
“I am too. In love with you.”
Midoriya flipped around. “You are?”
Todoroki nodded, and Midoriya just stared at him. Then stared more, squinting his eyes and refusing to look away. Just as Todoroki moved to extend his palm once more to make sure he was okay, Midoriya let out a breathy laugh.
“Oh my gosh, you really are telling the truth.”
“What makes you so sure? Not to say that I’m lying, which I’m not, but-”
“Oh, Todoroki,” Midoriya said with a fond smile. “You wear your emotions all over your face. It’s one of the things I love about you.”
No one had ever told him that before. In fact, he was always told the exact opposite: that he was cold, that he was unreadable, that his expression always gave off an uncaring, intimidating presence.
Midoriya wasn’t like everyone else, though.
As much as Todoroki wanted to stay by his side, Midoriya forced him to keep his distance to avoid getting sick as well. A temperature-based quirk would create a lot of problems if Todoroki had a fever as well, and Midoriya said he refused to be the cause of any fires or mass freezes in the dorm building.
Still, Midoriya could only keep him so far away. Todoroki still spent the day taking care of him, trying his best to inch closer and closer towards the bed until being forced away again. Ultimately, the entirety of day two was spent talking and sleeping, both of which were much needed.
Todoroki counted his lucky stars when he checked Midoriya’s forehead the next day and found that his fever had broken. Midoriya slept late into the morning, but the clear exhaustion and discomfort on his face had faded into a peaceful calm.
Midoriya woke slowly, stretching his arms high over his head before slumping over onto Todoroki’s shoulder. He glanced upwards. “Good morning.”
Todoroki smiled. “Morning. You look better.”
He nodded. “I feel better. I wonder if it was just stress. I used to get sick a lot back in middle school, when the bullying was at its worst.”
Todoroki quirked an eyebrow at that. “Bullying?”
Midoriya chose that moment to perk up and point to the window. “Todoroki, look! It’s snowing!”
His eyes followed the gesture to see fluffy snowflakes drifting lazily to the ground outside. “The first snowfall of the year. It’s later than usual.”
“We have to go play, Todoroki!”
“No,” he insisted, shaking his head. “You’re still sick, even if you feel better. You need to stay inside.”
“But you were just covering me in ice yesterday.”
“Yes, but that was because-”
“And physical activity will be good for me!”
“You should take it easy-”
“Todoroki, pleeease?” he begged, placing a kiss on Todoroki’s cheek.
Well, how could he say no to that? Besides, his right side might not be strong enough to tame the heat spreading into his face.
“We can’t.” he said. “The door is still locked, and I don’t think anyone is coming for a few hours still. So you’ll have to wait.”
“About that,” Midoriya said with a sheepish smile. “The door has been unlocked since yesterday.”
Todoroki whipped his head to stare at him. “What?”
“My phone never really died,” he admitted, refusing to look Todoroki in the eye. “I just told you that because I didn’t want you to keep ignoring me. I texted Uraraka yesterday to tell her that I was sick, and she wanted to let us out, but I insisted that I was okay, and that I thought this was our only chance to fix things. I’m sorry, I just didn’t know how else to get you to talk to me, but I really did mean everything I said, and I promised her I would tell you we could leave if things got bad enough, and — are you mad?”
Todoroki sighed, but he was unable to prevent a small laugh from bubbling up from his throat. “No, I think I’m done fighting with you. Because it really sucks.”
Midoriya beamed. “Snow?”
“Yeah,” he said with a laugh. “Let’s go play in the snow.”
It had apparently snowed all night, given the generous coating of the ground, though it was still only the loose powder of early winter that could barely be shaped. That did not stop Todoroki and Midoriya from attempting to build a snowman in the shape of All Might, however.
After his hair collapsed for the fifth time, though, they gave up, and Midoriya scooped the right shoulder off his quickly-collapsing snow mentor and launched it at Todoroki’s arm. That started an all out snowball fight, with both of their quirks being thrown in to bring a competitive edge. Midoriya was launching snowballs as hard as he could (within reason). Todoroki used both sides to launch large balls of ice with one hand and handfuls of slush with the other. They were both soaked in mere minutes, but neither seemed to notice.
Midoriya let one snowball go too early, sending it flying high, directly into Todoroki’s face. He immediately panicked, running over to make sure he hadn’t caused any injuries, but Todoroki had just grinned. He got his revenge moments later by allowing the wet snow to drip onto Midoriya’s face as he pressed their lips together.
Midoriya stared back at him in shock before grinning maniacally and tackling Todoroki to the ground, insisting they make snow angels. Midoriya’s ended up short and round, while Todoroki’s was melted on one side and frozen to the ground on the other. Midoriya broke down laughing when he saw it, letting himself roll onto his back into the snow.
“I was right,” he said while he stared into the clouds, loose flakes clinging to his face and hair. “I feel loads better.”
Todoroki smiled. “I do too.”
Midoriya tilted his head to the side. “But you weren’t even sick.”
When the members of 1-A returned later that evening to let them out, they immediately panicked at the sight of an empty room. Kirishima immediately began throwing out conspiracies of kidnap and ransom, while Sero grew jittery at the thought that being the one to lock them in would leave him accountable if they were attacked. Ashido began asking for bets on which had killed the other and which had fled the country, while Iida began organizing an impromptu search party.
Uraraka merely watched on with a fond smile before walking to the window and pointing out to two figures lying side by side in the snow, their hands tangled together. The search party was called off, Sero nearly fell to the floor in relief, and Yaoyorozu expressed her relief that they had finally worked out their feelings.
Kaminari glanced outside and shrugged his shoulders. “Are we sure they’re good? It looks like a battlefield out there. And what’s that pile next to them? Looks like a homunculus made out of wet snow.”
One figure rolled to the side, and the other followed suit, the two of them leaning forward into each other.
“Yup, okay, they’re good!”