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The next Thursday, 7:45 P.M.


"Hey, Shoto?" Kirishima asked.

"Hm?" Todoroki asked, leaning over to look at the redhead. They were cuddled up together on Kirishima's mattress with Todoroki as the big spoon. They'd been laying down together for a while together, just relaxing after dinner with no particular plans in mind for the night.

"Can I...ask you something?" Kirishima asked, looking into Todoroki's eyes briefly before diverting their gaze.

"Of course," Todoroki said, shuffling around a bit so he could more comfortably look at Kirishima. "What's up?"

"Remember when we talked a while ago about why we wanted to be heroes? And what being manly meant to me?"

Todoroki nodded.

"What if...I didn't wanna be manly after all?"

Todoroki blinked. "I don't think you have to be anything you don't want to be."

"Even if...I don't want to be a boy at all?" Kirishima winced, not wanting to look Todoroki in the face. They squeezed their eyes shut for a minute before feeling a warm hand cup their cheek. Slowly, they opened their eyes to see Todoroki's looking back.

"The answer to this question doesn't matter to me, you want to be a girl? Or do you not feel comfortable either way?" Todoroki asked.

Kirishima stared. They hadn't thought Todoroki would get angry, but they were still surprised by how calm and unbothered he seemed.

"I think...the second one more? I don't like envision myself as a woman but...when I think about how my reasons for wanting to be a man...well, have nothing to do with being a man, it makes it easier for me to reconsider some things."

Todoroki nodded. "Is there anything different you would like for me to call you?"

Kirishima shook their head. "Not for now, but...I'll let you know." They then averted their eyes again.

"Is something wrong?" Shoyo frowned. "Anything I can do?"

"I just...," Kirishima trailed off for a minute before continuing, "Do you still wanna be with me?"

Todoroki tightened his grip around Kirishima. "I want to be with you no matter how you feel about yourself. I'll call you anything you want. And you don't have to have an answer, either. Sometimes trying to define feelings too much too soon...just doesn't help, so guess."

Kirishima relaxed into their boyfriend's embrace. "Thank you," they said, enjoying the physical warmth and sheer sense of stability. "That goes for you too, you know."

"Hm?" Todoroki blinked, unsure what Kirishima meant.

"With your mother. And your father. And your siblings. Everyone else. You don't need to decide between hating and loving. Forgiving or not forgiving. Forgetting or remembering. It's okay to feel multiple things at once, even if those feelings don't always make sense."

Todoroki's grip around Kirishima softened. "Thank you," he said.

"Do you still want to go visit your mother tomorrow?"

"Yeah," Shoto said. "Just as soon as we beat Bakugo in the sack race."




Friday, 1:30 P.M.


A lot had happened in the last week, and yet, nothing all that different from before. Todoroki had opened up a little more about his conflicted family ties, and Kirishima had pondered what it meant to be a man, or just a person. But in that time their frequent cuddling and hand holding had remained constant, as had Bakugo's bad attitude.

"Hurry up and line up so I can beat you to the curb!" The blond shouted from within his own awkward brown sack. He was the only one already at the starting line while his competitors and teammates were still getting used to how to move in their awkward bags. "How's Class 1-A gonna win if none of you can even reach the track?"

Field Day was here, and Todoroki, Kirishima, and Tsuyu had been selected as the rest of their class's representatives in the sack race. Kirishima and Todoroki struggled to hop forward in their bags, while Tsuyu struggled not to fully frog-hop right out of hers. With some effort, everyone involved managed to make their way to the starting line in time for the race to start.

Once the whistle was blown, everyone was off--until the promptly fell face first to the ground and had to get back up and try again. All, that is, except for Bakugo. He seemed to have actually practiced a lot beforehand, and was propelling his sack forward with small bursts from his Quirk.

"Bakugo shonen is lighting up the path, leaving everyone else in his dust!" All Might spectated over the intercom. "It looks like he's about to win!"

Bakugo sent himself flying with one last kaboom, soaring past the finish line. When he landed several yards beyond it he sat smiling from ear to ear, ready to gloat.

"But wait!" All Might announced. "That last blast destroyed the rest of Bakugo shine's bag! Instant disqualification! And the real winner is...Tsuyu!"

Bakugo screamed, pointing at his classmate. "Look at her! She's just hopping like normally while carrying her sack behind her with her tongue!"

"The rules never explicitly stated that you had to stay in your sack, just that it had to reach the finish with you," Eraser Head pointed out. "It's a valid win for Class 1-A either way."

The rest of the class erupted in applause. All except, of course, for Bakugo, who kept screaming obscenities until Sero covered his mouth with tape.

Kirishima, meanwhile, finished in sixth, behind Todoroki who came in fourth.

"That was fun," Todoroki said.

"Yeah," Kirishima said between giggles, pointing and laughing at Bakugo attempting to scream with his covered mouth. "It was."




The rest of the Field Day passed less eventfully, with more conventional victors and less cursing. The next part of the day was what Shoto had actually been concerned about. Looking forward to in the sense that it occupied his thoughts all day, but not in that he was excited. Nerves tightened in his chest and his throat felt painfully dry.

"Hey," Kirishima said, grabbing Todoroki's hand in their own. "I'm here."

Todoroki smiled back. "Thank you." He then knocked on his mother's door.

"Come in!" She said.

Kirishima looked down at the pair's hands silently as if in question. With a gulp, Todoroki tightened his grip. No need to hide when their togetherness was what he'd wanted to tell his mother in the first place. He grabbed the door handle with his free hand and opened it, and the couple walked inside.

In that moment, Todoroki felt no anger toward his mother. But he knew he would again some day, many days, and yet that on others he wouldn't. Kirishima knew that they felt comfortable in their relationship, even if they still felt a bit out of place within themself. Both of them knew that they weren't finished with the process of redefinition.

But nonetheless they felt revitalized. Reclaiming their sense of stability in each other's hands. Even if the rest of their lives around them seemed uncertain, the warmth of each other's palms did not.