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Fading through time

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"Are you okay? I-I'm sorry, are you okay?"


The world was spinning when he opened eyes. The blue sky and the bright sun were getting one pretty blur of colors, the smell of fresh air was overwhelming as if it was his first time of breathing after a long time.  There was the boy with green hair who was pretty nervous. The stranger was asking something in trembling voice and trying to bring Tsuna's attention to - was it even a thing? - quirk.


Blinking away tears, he tried to stand up only to fail miserably. Something was definitely wrong with his body (and his eyes, too). It made him stop the attempts to sit up. Tsuna couldn't see very well with his left eye even if he has had perfect eyesight earlier in his life. The body was stiff and heavy, and Sawada felt exhausted. He had felt that bad years ago, when Reborn started training him. The bruises on his hands and legs didn't look very good even from his point of view and, Tsuna thought, that's pretty awful to understand. The sunny and hot weather was not his the most favorite one, and now, being in a new place, this feeling of discomfort was almost unbearable. He was in Japan - that was easy to understand by familiar letters in the banners on the high building somewhere at the end of the street. The shadow from tall trees let him see more thoroughly his surroundings. It was a playground, but not the one from Namimori, which he could picture without problem even after a few years of absence.


"Where am I?" he asked, voice full of hesitance and hoarse from long dehydration. The boy's - he thought he will call him Midori for the color of hair and eyes - face lit up like the sun at the sudden question from Tsunayoshi as if he has found the most important thing in his life. Tsuna thought the reason was his earlier lack of attention at Midori's anxious questions and it was understandable. If someone saw his body lying in the dirty road, they would probably think he's dead or something terrible happened there. Neither first nor second occasion is good for him. Most would not dare to come closer than five metres. It was no wonder the little one was so afraid and trembling, even if his actions were very brave.

"It's M-musutafu, near U.A. High School", the boy sounded excited at some point of his speech, but then his enthusiasm was gone and replaced by sadness. Was it the school? But what was so special about it? Tsuna was confused. Was it better to say he don't know anything or be silent? Tsuna didn't know where to go and what to do after the end of this conversation. To be honest, everything seemed to be so strange and different and he couldn't think clearly. The Midori boy had knowledge and power to help him to come out of this miserable situation. It would not be his first lie nor his second.

"I'm lost", he confirmed surly while not looking the boy in the eyes, "can you help me?" 

 

The boy's name is Midoriya Izuku, he's six and he loves All Might (that's why mama brought him here? to see school where all cool heroes come from?). Izuku's rambling is pretty informative and Tsuna can bet little one has sun flames. It's painfully reminds him of long lost Sasagawa.

The world of heroes and villains. It's ironic, he thought, that mafia boss will be there. Yes, Vongola in his last years was right in the way to vigilante organization, but at the same time... all tenth generation had their cup of blood and death. Even the most peaceful of them as Kyoko or Haru had to kill to protect themselves or their loved ones.

Tsuna still didn't know how he looks and his name (or is he in his own body? but then why his eyesight is so bad?), but Izuku looked at him with something akin to awe and curiosity. It didn't grate on nerves, no, only left him wondering. Is he well-known? So, Tsunayoshi asked, "Why do you look at me so strange?".

Midoriya looked shy and embarrassed while answering question, "I thought you were someone else at first, but then I understood you're Todoroki, son of Endeavor".

The number two hero. The image of someone who has cold eyes and no moral. He reminds him of Xanxus, only the latter was better in more than one way. Xanxus was rough and cruel, but he cared for his guardians even if it looked more like cold shoulder to anyone else. He pushed them to be better, to be able to survive that fucking mess with the name Mafia and he did the best job in the world doing it.

And this man, Todoroki Enji, is his father. Somehow it sounds far worse than always absent Iemitsu.

Iemitsu, for all his wrong doings, was in love with Nana and did what he thought was best for family. Sometimes Tsuna muses was it for family or for famiglia, but the point is he didn't cause harm to the family intentionally. Endeavor is unknown element. The man is the second best hero and that's admirable, although his behaviour is one of the worst thing ever from what Tsuna saw. Eyes are the window to soul, aren't they? Tsuna thinks - feels - Enji's gonna be the new low.

Sawada (Todoroki, Tsuna reminded himself) has to find him and the faster the better. One doesn't need Vongola Intuition to know he will be in big trouble otherwise.

And so they went to police. It wasn't silent walk nor was it loud and full of laughter. Midoriya and Tsuna (well, he mostly kept his mouth shut) had conversation about All Might and their future as heroes (and he heard the term 'quirk' again. What the fuck does it mean?). The building was...normal. It had three floors and new-ish look about it. People went their way in and out, their chatter almost calming for nervous boys. That place was - is - the most important in his path to understanding the world as a whole new society. It's strange how one thing can change the future, isn't it?

He understood quickly what quirk does mean. Yeah. It's pretty easily done when you see human body with head of a cat among other thing. The world he found himself in is wonderful and amazingly terrifying. Even after long and bright life Tsuna felt wonder and shock, when he thought nothing can surprise him anymore. People may be the same, but, looking on the new places with curios eyes, the progress of technology is amazing. Probably after some time he would find downsides and would be disappointed, but right now he feels hope. 

And he met Endeavor.

He wished he didn't.

 


 

The days were long and exhausting. Shouto thinks time doesn't exist there, not anymore, but it's not true - the sun and the moon had been at the sky each day since his last meeting with Izuku (it may be their first and last). 


He didn't ever think a strict order of Todoroki's house will be so emotionally tiring. Something was telling him there were laughter and surprised screams of children playing games with each other some time in the past.
Now, now is a different tale. 

Tsuna's day is pretty simple. He wakes up, eats and then starts studying. More often than not father trains him as hard as he can endure. It's not alike with training he received from Reborn, no. 
Reborn, for all his sadism, liked being a teacher, he found the plain pleasure of craving something good out of pitiful students. The Hitman was better because he let Tsuna has time for rest and fun with friends. Sometimes it was only so little you need to feel good and rested. 

He catches glimpses of children from time to time when Endeavor's training starts and he needs to cross house to find a dojo. They are older than him, that's pretty easy to understand by their hight and long limbs which were always getting on a way. They are teens, actually, not children. 

He remembers his guardians every time he sees them. It's painful. Maybe being sad over their death is silly after long years of longing and grief, he thinks before going to sleep, but the shock of the new world and new life is exhausting for his mind. 
He wants to come home and hear his mother's cheerful voice, listen to Gokudera's fight with Yamamoto and feel happy even in time of war. The feeling is so strong Tsuna has the urge to sneak in the closet or cupboard and cry his heart out. He doesn't know the name of children even if he has an urge to find out because the lack of communication makes him emotionally unstable and itchy. How strange to understand that it's only three weeks since his waking up. Time sure flies away. 

The quirk of his - it's fire and Ice. He has felt scared first time he accidentally sets himself on fire and was watching his clothing burning with a stupid expression. Todoroki is thankful no one was there to see that particular scene - it's hard to remember without shame (Reborn would bite him for such behavior. He taught him self-control for that special reason, and there his student unleashed the dangerous power in wooden house) and Tsuna would do fine without jabs from his peers. 
He didn't even realize he will hate this house, this situation so much. The home is not home, but just building where he's being most of his days on the right of a prisoner. It's cold and without any warm feeling to its surroundings. The grand house of Todoroki is a cage. Simple and unbreakable.

The order of his day was broken by a father. It had a peaceful beginning and he even has done half of his homework before the man furiously started opening doors and letting out an angry screams. He felt scared when father was coming closer to his rooms. Everything has happened before he could do something about it. Closing eyes for one second, he fell down in darkness. Opening it later, he found himself in dojo, father towering over him and looking at Shouto with eyes full of hate and anger. 


"Oi, Dame-Tsuna, didn't you want to give us some money before the end of school?" asked his classmate and Tsuna felt even more miserable as others started to laugh at it. Even his teacher smiled a little bit. 

It didn't matter in the end. His mother gives him only bento for school, but his bullies think he lies every time. They let him go with them to the alcove where nobody came through the day. It was perfect for their purpose.

 "N-no, I didn't," he meekly stated, feeling small and weak. It was gonna end badly. 

"Yeah?" the biggest boy grabbed him by the neck and lifted him up from the ground. Feeling the burning in his chest, Tsuna tried to breathe - and it was the beginning of the worst. "I don't think so, Useless".

The other two tied his hands and legs with some kind of steel and then the leader threw him away at the dirty ground. Sawada felt panic to flow in his blood and started wheezing. It was hard to breathe and the laughter of bullies was getting quieter and quieter - until it wasn't. 

They kicked him in the ribs and stomach and legs. There wasn't body part they didn't land a hit. One time it was lighter and then it was stronger. He started to silently cry. One. Two. Three. Four. On-

 He couldn't brea-

Everything went black. 

 

At this moment he was so afraid of his father he felt sick and weak down to every bone in the body. It didn't matter Shouto had the memories of past life as mafia boss and vigilante - he was small and scared and weak in comparison with Enji, whose body is heavy and blows are so hard he could not breathe for a while. 

Later, he understood that hiding in panic under the bed was not a very good choice as it only made Endeavor angrier. The events of this day are not very clear even after some hours after. One can say it was similar to a nightmare, but nightmares are always forgettable after some period of time. Todoroki thinks he will not forget (never forgive) it in his very life. 

Later, he couldn't move without feeling pain all over his body. 

Later, Tsuna wished for a family. He hoped of not being alone in this world, where Sawada was so cold and lonely down to his core. 

Later, Shouto was dreaming of home and comfort of mother's hugs while he was sleeping from exhaustion. The dream was light and cozy. 

It was not the only nor last time the same scenery happened. He hated it with every fiber of his soul.  Who could think Endeavor, the number two hero, was such a pathetic human being for all his great job at saving people from villains? It was so ironic, so disgusting it made him sick and tired. Todoroki hopes his siblings are in better situation than his. He can endure it longer, he can be a little bit stronger, if they will be healthier and protected. 

 


 

Shouto has seen his sister, Fuyumi, not so long after one of the most terrible training session with father happened. He thought that as long as he could see his other siblings everything will be pretty good. it was better than nothing. It was rational. But Shouto was not the best with logical and rational. Sometimes, the feeling of cold and emptiness and everyday exhaustion made him dissociate for the most part of the day. In a nutshell, the thinking was - is - hard at times. And now, after seeing - and talking, oh god he was talking with actual human being - Fuyumi, Todoroki cannot imagine his day without her presence. 

It's one of the most beautiful days he ever saw in his few months there. The sun is shining brightly and the wind is warmer than before - maybe it's a start of spring or the silence before the storm, Todoroki thought. Nonetheless, he felt completely peaceful for the first time. Feeling wind across his face, he let himself relax and that was one big mistake from his part. Shouto didn't hear a loud steps and an angry seething of Endeavor nor heard a sound of opening his door. 

Tsuna doesn't want to remember about it. It reminds him painfully of his bullying which lasted until the end of the middle school. Not the petty name calling nor backing him in an alley for his pocket money. No, he means the worst of it, when Nana needed to help him with injuries or Tsuna hid his bloody clothes.

Fighting back wasn't a good idea. 

 

"Stand up and fight!"

"You think it's enough? Try again, Shouto."

"You are my masterpiece." 

The words were ringing in his ears while he was put down again and again. Feeling exhausted and weak, he could only tiredly watch Endeavor with wary eyes and try to dodge the most painful hits. Even after closing his eyes, he still could see how father said angrily this sentences and pushed him harder thus making him try to defend himself even more.

 He wants to come back to his family. 

 

He was laying in the ground when Endeavor furiously closed the door to a dojo and left him like this. Maybe, at some point, Todoroki drifted to sleep because the next thing he saw was the dark blue sky and the blurry face of a young girl which hair was white with little red in it. Everything was dizzy. He truly felt nauseous.

 "Can you move?" she anxiously, but sternly asked. 

And oh darling, what a good question it was. He couldn't as he found out a few moments later. It wasn't the first time to wake up don't feel your body at all for Tsunayoshi, but for Shouto it was. ..He. He panicked. His lungs screamed for the air but he simply couldn't breathe in more than little intake which was so small Shouto almost choked himself to death. Everything was white and bright and so strange and he couldn't understand the shape of his surroundings even if he was there every day.

He felt disassociated. He felt miserable. His head was pounding and he couldn't hear anything nor understand the words coming from the mouth of the girl. It was happening so fast and so slow - the flow of time is different at moments similar to that. It's hard to pay attention to something apart from your inner turmoil. When he felt cold water at his face Shouto found himself watching as tiny fingers traced the counter of his skull and hair. It was grounding. 

 

Tsunayoshi woke up to the feeling of someone caressing gentle his unruly hair. It was peaceful and silent, so he thought everyone was sleeping or doing their duty in study rooms while he was recovering from a battle with another famiglia. 

Sawada wanted to be at school again and relive their years at tutelage under Reborn when he didn't need to do such boring tasks as paperwork and go on a meetings. There was a sadistic tutor and his new friends ( which were pretty strange but were his) and everything was so much easier. But, he thought, then it would not be as good as now. Sometimes he was truly glad he got along with Hibari and Mukuro in the end. To do it again would be so tiresome. 

Opening his eyes, he found out it was Chrome.

 Ah. She did it again, didn't she? His mist guardian needs to care about themselves more. 

"Chrome, have you slept today?" he asked softly already guessing an answer.

 Tsuna sighed. Pointing on the next bed he said "Have a sleep, please. You must be tired, Chrome. I will be okay."

 

Everything was better after that. 

 

Chapter Text

The fire. He looked around the dojo and everything he saw was ignited in the dark blue and hot red flames. The high flames obscured his vision and the rising smoke prevented him from breathing the air. Shouto was having difficulties staying awake. Everything was aflame, he couldn't breathe and he can't dodge it, please—

The blow threw him few metres away from a man and now he can see the anger and the fury behind this blue (like his own eye, secured by the long hair) eyes, he can see the change of expression on the kindless face. Every part of his body was in these angry red flames, promising a destruction and a pain at this very second when you were touched by him. Shouto's hands were trembling from hot seething pain of hits and burns, but he can't use ice, why can't he use his ice? Why-why-why-why?

He was helpless. He was helpless and pathetic, unable to fight his father or fly away from him like his brother. Each breath was small and it made him nauseous in the worst kind possible, but he needed to do it, he can't stop now.  He tried to stand up, clutching at his clothes, only to fail miserably. The world was spinning fast and mercilessly which caused him to fall again. Endeavor was there watching it like a hawk — ready to snatch away his prey and kill it right after enjoying its smell and flesh. One second he was watching it and the next he—

Everything went dark. 

'Oh,' Tsuna thought feeling tired but - strangely - at peace with himself. Nothing hurt. 

He was lying at something unusually soft while someone was quietly typing, sometimes murmuring lowly one word or another. The sun was seen through curtains and its rays were gentle and had that golden-peachy color which helped feeling content and relaxed. The silence in the room was of a good kind, allowing him to lie there, watching the clouds passing by and listening to quietness of the garden outside. People were walking not so long away and talking to each other about something, but the sound of it was muffled, reminding him of the morning humming. 

A days like that were rare occurrence. At the same time each of them made it worth all the headache he gets from the antics of his guardians. He glanced to the side where noise was coming from and saw Hayato. He was such a hardworking man, wasn't he? 

"Did you rest, Hayato?" Tsuna asked opening his eyes and yawning slightly. A sudden sound of his voice must have spooked him, Sawada thought, smiling at the surprised green (green like of cat's) eyes. 

"No, I have to end editing some documentation for the next week to rest freely, Tsuna," he said quietly, looking away from his disapproving glance. Ah. That's how he wanted to play this game?

"Come here, Hayato, it can wait a few hours, I believe," he said, pausing for a mere second, "or I can help you with it." 

Hayato hesitantly looked at the screen of his laptop, thinking about his decision. It wasn't much of choice, was it truly? The weather was nice, too, and allowing Tsuna to help him with his own part of papers would be bad for his friend, boss and his sky. 

"Okay, you win," Hayato smiled, closing his laptop and looking at the bed where his friend was lying down. "Want to walk in the garden? Chrome and Takeshi have been there since yesterday's evening, if I remember correctly."

 


 

Shouto woke up with a smile. The dream left a sour taste in his mouth when he remembered he wasn't with them, with his family anymore. He can't do anything though, can he? It was so long ago when he truly could have changed every little detail that went wrong. 

The house was deathly silent, and Shouto felt relieved from that one thing. Thankfully, it meant the breakfast without Endeavor and his sick accusation and furious screams at Shouto's everything: behavior, clothes, condition of his hair and so on. It's always frustrating to start his day that way. 

Warm wind touched his exhausted form when he walked outside to do his morning routine, reminding him that spring is there. The weather was nice. There were some flowers he couldn't recognize and their garden looked far different from its cold and hollow form in the winter. He was tired and exhausted, but his mind was too restless for him to go to sleep again. School is about to start, he thought pensively. His first high school day starts in a few hours, doesn't it? His hopes were as high as the sky goes.

He hoped everyone would be nice.

He hoped they wouldn't mind his awkward behavior. 

He hoped they wouldn't mind how he looks. 

He hoped the teachers would be nice.

At the end of the day, he felt truly idiotic to think he would get along with everyone in his new class. Oh, it was such a foolish thought to have, wasn't it? That ol' useless Tsunayoushi would get everything done without help of his tutor, without his family. Oh god, how he fucking missed them.  

With the thought of morning rush in his mind Shouto was far more early to school than he wanted. The crowd was there and he let out surprised sigh at that sight, trying to see in which class he would be. That was his first mistake — allowing crowd to lull him toward the center, where people were pushing each other to get a look at the board with lists. 

It was sudden. One second Shouto was okay, tracing with eyes surnames and names with hope to find his, and another he stumbled and felt that familiar feeling of tightness in his chest, swallowing him whole without waiting. He was there and not, frightening his mind and making Todoroki fighting to breathe. He tried to breathe, tried to make bigger intake of air, but his lungs couldn't listen to him. Everything around him was one picture of stains and bright colors which never clicked in something known to him, something he could have grasped to stay afloat. 

It was terrifying. He couldn't understand where he was anymore (Was he still in a crowd of people? Did someone tried to help him?) and his limbs were frozen and numb and—
Was it him who was wheezing? He tried to stop choking on air and find something to lean on, but why was it so hard to stop wheezing and spinning? Why why why? He felt so weak.

 

Endeavor was there, watching him like a predator ready to kill him for being weak and sick, ready to destroy him in a moment of vulnerability. He was never enough, never good enough for him to be someone who can and would overcome All Might. He was a tool, he was a weapon and his steel was bad and blunt and that's why—

"Stand up, Shouto!" his father angrily said, towering over his exhausted form. "You will never be able to fight any villain if you're so weak."

He tried to breathe, tried to walk away from crowd and sun—

Tsuna was running away from someone, oh god, where were they? Where were his guardians? It was some time ago they were supposed to call him after their mission, Chrome and Mukuro, weren't they? Something was wrong, he felt it every fiber of his soul. 

He tried to focus on link, but it was so fragile and weak and why was it so? Were they injured? Please, no—

Tsunayoushi stopped. 

"Chrome? Mukuro?" he softly asked, slowly walking to their bodies. They were in blood, their beautiful hairs looked almost inky black from sticky wetness in it. His golden eyes searched for every open injures which needed to be treated urgently. "Just be alright, please—"

He slid down and felt tears in his eyes. 

 

After that, Shouto walked dazed in his classroom (was it truly 1-A, though?) and let a relieved sigh at near emtiness of it. It was good, he chose his own desk without worrying later that somebody would try to harm him in another seat. It wasn't that bad, per se, just...better be safe than sorry. 

They were good, he must admit. Even without his knowledge from another life, he understood why they were the best from hundreds of children who wanted to be a hero. Some were better than others, yes, but the most were pretty good with their quirks. The test was easier part of the day, even if he found green-haired boy a bit too much reckless (don't compare him, don't compare him to the—). 
He looked determined yet timid, kind. Maybe...maybe he would be a good friend. 

The shit began when one Bakugou Katsuki slammed down fist on green-haired guy's desk. 'Oh,' Tsuna thought tiredly, watching how green eyes, which a few seconds ago were shining brightly with happiness and curiosity, dimmed and how the boy shrinked anxiously lower in his seat, trying to appear smaller than he is. 'He is a bully,' he realized. 'And it's not the first time either, if the boy doesn't try to even hide his intention to harm another.'

The teacher was at lunch somewhere at the campus and most of the students were outside, enjoying the warm weather and talking to each other. Where was the gravity girl? She was certainly the one who tried to be friendly with the boy who was talking to Bakugou, murmuring something meekly. 

"Deku, what the fuck?" Bakugou growled, angrily towering over small form of his victim. "Did you forget your fucking place? You're worthless Deku, don't you dare to forget it." 

Shouto watched how the bully put his hands at the shoulder with small explosions  from his hands. Green eyes widened from fear and suddenly Tsuna couldn't take it anymore, couldn't listen to the taunts and watch it as if he wasn't there. He felt the temperature in the air dropped, but he didn't remember how he froze the bully's palms or how he appeared so fast around them preventing an attack. 

Shouto was trembling. He knew he was trembling even if it wasn't apparent to others. 

(Didn't they do it, too? They tried to corner him in the emty room to destroy his lunch, to taunt him, to remind him of his dirty blood and his absent father, which never truly hurted him. They knew they were stronger, didn't they?)

"Leave it, Bakugou," he said coldly, shielding green-eyed boy from his wrath. The situation painfully reminded him of his own past when nobody wanted to help him stand up against bullies. Too close for his comfort, to be honest. "I recommend you to melt an ice while nobody saw it," Tsuna said, ready to confront the boy. 

Bakugou tsked, furiously walking away from the room.  It wasn't the end but for now...Shouto sighed and stopped to think what he want to do now. Midoriya - was it right? - was now safe,  lunch time wasn't over and the weather was nice—

"Ah," he heard from his backside, "t-thank you for earlier, Todoroki."

Tick-tock. 

Tsuna felt pain all over his body. He tried to stand up and it only made him cry out from the sudden pain in his legs, after which he sloppily fell down with a loud sound. It was evening, and he was somewhere in the park. The light from the sun was faint and soft, golden rays visible through rich crown of the trees. It was sunset, he realized tiredly. 

Why was he there? His mum would be so anxious to see him so late, Tsuna thought. Or would she? Her son was useless and he couldn't even fight his own ground against some upper-classmate. He was so tire—

"Anytime," he said after some time. It was the wrong thing to say, he realized. Midoriya sank down, muttering something too lowly for him to hear it. He looked anxious and nervous. 

 

At the end, it was the only time he talked to someone that day.  

Chapter Text

 

 

I need you in the dojo after school. Don't be late. 

 

He felt terrible, his thoughts making him think about how today's session would end. Shouto's arms were peppered with the various burns and bruises, painting his skin ugly blue, bright violet and sick yellow. That was the result of a father's last training. 

He wasn't skillful enough with his fire, and that was shameful of him but- 

He was afraid

At what state will he be at the end of the day? 

He felt tired and exhausted, every breath short and painful to do. Everything was fine and everything was wrong at the same time. He was breathing but it wasn't enough. He was as nauseous and lightweight as heavy and empty he felt. 

Tsuna was getting ready for school, his movements slow and sloppy, when he remembered about the USJ. His walk to the destination was full of anxious thoughts and dreadful feeling in his stomach, making him alert of his surroundings and sounds around him. He was nervous, every muscle tense and relaxed at the same time. Shouto's fingertips were white from the ice and freezing cold. Sawada had not noticed it before touching accidentally the door handle, spikes of ice meeting his fingers. 

What was wrong? Why he was so anxious? 

 

 


Tsuna wished he didn't go to school that day. He was sleepy, looking at his phone with single dedication. Everything had gone wrong even before the training began. It was funny, he thought after that eventful day, that he always made things worse Just being there. Dame-Tsuna was that reason behind every thing go awry. He chuckled bitterly.  

Young boys and girls, hope and excitement obvious on their faces, were ready to start being heroes, weren't they? If only villains had not been there, wanting to break their dream. 
He was shocked, trembling from adrenalin and memories— 

"Tsuna? Tsuna," Yamomoto's voice was full of concern, evident even with the distort from microphone, "are you okay?" 

Was he okay? No, no, he wasn't. 

Sawada chocked on his blood, hands trembling from recoil of the gun. The mass of humans wasn't getting smaller, their groups after groups swarming him, swaying him to the corner of the room to stop from doing his usual attacks and flying to the ceiling. To make him go on the defence. 

But did Takeshi need to know how hard it was to even breath between attacks from enemies? Probably, yes. Did he want to say it? No, he didn't. 

They miscalculated. 

"Are you okay, Tsuna? Please, answer me." 

and their smirks were like theirs, too, he wasn't ready. He wasn't ready to remember it so soon. 

Shouto wheezed, grabing his sides in vice grip, freezing his costume and everything before him in the cold dead ice. The air was cool, droplets of water frozen on the leaves. Surprised screams broke the silence of scene. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't even a liitle bit pretty. Their faces were one bright blur of colors at one point, his posture stiff and rigid from the stress and the fear of being caught unaware of any threat. Why were they there?  He looked at them, his mind unable to recognize any of this monsters. 

Who are they? 

The man whimpered, his ice working its job, and Shouto didn't even need to ask them nicely to open their reasons for that attack. 

Huh. All Might's death. 

All Might—

All Might wasn't there. Shouto stopped in his track, breath quick and short. That was...

That was dangerous and his classmates are just that, just children. Tsuna felt sick—

Chrome's body shivered from the cold air and her clothing barely held any warm to them, making her even more pale and ill-looking. She was fifteen and they were together, they always were together, Tsuna repeated it in his head. 

They were in a closed room, bodies tangled in one mess, trying to keep themselves warm and sound in their mind. It was hard. There were only cold merciless wind and constant screams somewhere in their block. 

They needed at least one plan. Chrome was in need of medical help and his friends — his family — were waiting for them in their safe house. 

Vongola was in the war and they needed to end it with their own hand. 

 

Midoriya was reckless. He was hurt, he was hurt and if Aizawa had not used his quirk he would have been dead, eyes full of fear and hope and despair, and Tsuna couldn't have helped him one way or another. 

He thought he heard screams, was he the one who screamed? 

Shouto felt hopeless. Everything was slow and toned down to the notch as if he was under ocean, its waves stopping him from hearing clearly. He was looking at the green-haired boy, his freckles bright on pale skin, and kept seeing old memories. His bones felt hollow, itching to do something, to touch something. Oh, how good it would be to hear their laugh and feel Hayato's fierce hugs, to feel their flames joining in one beautiful dance inside his core, yearning for—

He flinched, turning around hurriedly, from feeling the hand on his arms. It was painful enough to make him choke on his breath, trying to hide away a hurt in his face. Tsuna searched for threat, glancing at every object at his vision. 

"Todoroki," Shouto heard concerned voice, "are you okay?"

"Are you okay, Tsuna? Please, answer me."

"I'm fine," he said, voice emotionless and slow, "thank you."

The boy stood there, awkwardly trying to ask something. What was wrong? Tsuna's body tensed, movements slow and sloppy, and turned fully to face Midoriya. He glanced at him, seeing nervousness and concern in his eyes. And wasn't that strange? Tsunayoushi hadn't been making someone nervous and afraid of him nearly a decade, the sight of small green-eyed boy so anxious to ask something was something of wonder. 

It was wrong

"Do you want something, Midoriya?" he said softly, barely audible. 

He felt their eyes on them, watching them from a far, and he couldn't blame them. Midoriya was bright and smart even if a little nervous, but he held his new friends pretty close. Shouto felt a little bit envy towards him. 

"Can I," he stuttered, blushing," can we exchange numbers? Just...If someone is in danger, we will help somehow."

It was a good idea. "Sure."

 

 

The room was quiet and almost empty. Safe and good place to relax. The shelves with books were doing pretty good job in hiding him from the stray eyes of someone who couldn't entertain themselves on their own. The sun was shining through open window, its warm making Shouto sleepy and content. It was almost an evening, peachy colored sky and somewhat cool wind completing the picture of perfection. It was peaceful. The air smelled of something fresh and baked, easing his mind into full calm. 

His red and white locks of hair were messy and got out of his loose ponytail, a uniform was warm and cozy. His head was getting heavier and heavier untill—

he fell asleep, facing his mind's anxious visions. 

It wasn't easy to get up. It wasn't easy to make himself breath fully, his chest spasming from lack of oxygen and anxiety. There was that disgusting clod in his throat, the feeling alone enough to cry from the emotions and pain and raw hurt he felt at that moment. 

The sky was burning red, its corners dark blue with tiny hints of stars. 

He swallowed, feeling panic in his bones at the sight of dark hue up in the sky. He was late. He was so fucking late, he couldn't catch a train to be at his house in time. The father will be so mad after meeting with All Might and his lateness—
Oh God, he didn't want to be late.

He was running, breath short from anxiety and exhaustion, running with his clothes disheveled and his hair fully free from its low ponytail, the lungs were burning from pain. Everything was blurry, his tears blocking his eyesight, and was it someone who screamed his name? He was trembling and swaying from side to side, the ground dangerously close to his body, as if his senses were off. Everything was so fucking wrong. He was cold, cold, cold and was it the ice on his eyelashes? fingertips? The world was one blur of bright colors, every object multicolored and shaped into the paintings of impressionists. 

Tsuna wheezed, struggling to breath, and suddenly there were voices. 

"All Might," Midoriya said nervously, "what's happening?"

Oh no, oh no, oh no no no, he was late

"Please, Todoroki, breath with me," the boy cried, "please?"

Inhale.

He was trying to breath, trying to ground himself, but his lungs weren't working, spasming painfully. 

Exhale.

He tried to say about home, to say something, but all that he could hear was weak wheezing and quiet whimper. Everything felt so wrong, why was he like that? 

"Hey, Tsuna, do you want to go on a walk?" he heard Takeshi's voice, the boy curiously looking at the pile of papers on his friend's table. Tsunayoshi groaned, his sense of responsibility preventing him from resting even for a bit. 

"You know I can't," Sawada said with despair in his voice, "or I will see no end of it later."

Takeshi hummed calmly and stepped closer to his sky. Pulling out a chair, he sat and started looking through various documents. His face lost it mischievous expression and all he could see was concentration on a task presented. Tsuna frowned, touching his friend's hands lightly. 

"Why are you doing it?"

"So that you can rest with us all, silly."

He felt so hopeless and broken without them.

Inhale.  ExhaleInhale. Exhale—

 

Shouto passed out. 

Chapter Text

A sound has been there for quite a long time, the humming vibration echoing through walls of the big room. It was peaceful. He sighed quietly and inhaled, aware of his surroundings. The smell of medicine, of something fresh and flowerish reached him, that scent alone enough to make him hold his breath. 

Where is he? Is it a hospital? But why— 

Oh. Oh. 

The boy tensed, his mind highly aware of every possible thing that awaits him at home (was it even a home, to begin with?) from Enji, and sank further in the bed, warm covers hiding his sore body from someone's view. Familiar feeling settled in his bones, the cold overpowering him and filling every pore of his soul with seething apathy and resentment. 

He hated it. 

Shouto doesn't want to go back to that empty and frozen to its very core building from where he is right now. Opening his eyes, he saw a little vase on the table near him with bright colored flowers. Azaleas. 

Take care of yourself for me. 

Todoroki hummed, touching its closer petals and smiling slightly. Scenting it would be so weird and painful to do - his arms have been hurting since he woke up, the burning always familiar and constant. 

"Ah," the lady said, smiling pleasantly at him, "already awake?" 

There was a man, awkwardly trying to find some chair near the pristine white wall to sit. He was tall, bright yellow hair and intense blue eyes. He was gaunt looking. He was—

Tsuna was looking at their bodies, every bone sticking out and visible through pale skin and tight clothes. They were there, alive and breathing, within his arms reach, but...  His chest constricted, trying to let out a tiny breath, and he felt his eyes water. They looked fragile, they looked ready to faint from the mere knock at their back. 

He wasn't okay. 

Sawada kept his eyes wide open, facing people in the room and trying to follow every movement of theirs. Constantly moving his eyes from one person to another, he suddenly felt exhausted and tired, the chill consuming him in a few seconds. 

The man wasn't okay even at the slightest. 

"Where am I?" he asked, voice hoarse and quiet. 

His chest tightened, the urge to help, to soothe burning inside of his mind. He felt sick, thoughts circling around the same problems, anxiety keeping him alert. He had been trembling, the tremor starting in his hands and rising all over his body. 

"You're at UA, Todoroki," Recovery Girl said softly, directing his gaze to the wide window with the view of the main gate. "You had a panic attack a few hours ago." 

The yellow-haired man looked at him oddly, his eyes soft and hard at the same moment. Shouto tried to hide further in the blankets, cocooning his arms to protect from all the gazes. A feeling of shame, of guilt and insecurity captured him, a bitter taste rising in his mouth. 

He was broken, wasn't he? 

 

 

 

The sky was soft blue (it reminded him of baby eyes, their colors not quite clear and murky) with a tiny tint of pale pink, a reminder of an approaching sunset. It wasn't that late — the last lesson had ended not long before it was 4 pm, but he decided to study at their school's library, choosing the silence of living place over the cold, empty sort of quiet.

So, it was not late. 

The wind was warm and soft, touching his skin gently and allowing to relax his sore muscles after a hard heroic lesson in UA. The murmurs of leaves and good weather made him drowsy, Shouto realized. It was so long ago he felt so... free. 

There was a cat, a beautiful little ball of fur laying at the sun-kissed road, sunbathing and licking its paws.  The cat had grey fur, but the color of it on the sun was closer to the blue-grey. Bright green eyes greeted him when he chose to sit near little feline. 

She was young, her face still small and too round, childness not lost through a small amount of time. He petted it, feeling too weak to resist his wish. A loud purring brought a smile to his face, warm sensation growing in his chest. 

"I will call you Smokey for your fur," he softly said, completely absorbed in her eyes. A gasp was let out near him, the sound so sudden it made him flinch and grab the cat a little bit harder. 

A frost appeared under his feet. 

"Oh my god," a girl whispered excitedly, her chocolate eyes focused at Smokey, "She's so cute, isn't she?"

Uraraka — was it Uraraka? — sighed happily, her hand petting the feline eagerly. He smiled, remembering Uri, how all of them searched her in the Vongola mansion. It was a good memory even if sometimes these searching parties led to destroyed wings from nervous and — with Mukuro and Hibari — dangerous guardians.

"Hey, hey, Todoroki, do you know her?" 

He shooked his head, trailing with his eyes the movements of the cat's tail, "No, but I've seen her around."  

Uraraka hummed quietly, thinking about something. She looked at him and then at Smokey, her hands never stopping their petting job, the fingers tracing lines known only to her own mind. 

"Do you mind," she glanced at Shouto, looking through her bangs, "to look after her with me after school? She's living on the streets."

"I don't mind it, no," he said softly, stroking the head of the kitten. He felt content, a feeling of loneliness retreating to the back of his mind. 

 

 

 

 

He felt awkward around Midoriya. Awkward enough to prefer silence after his panic attack to the open confrontation. And Shouto was anxious. Did he saw the burns and the bruises? 

Had he understood? 

His phone ringed and the vibration was barely audible in the dim lightened room. Tsuna frowned and picked his phone up, anxiety filling his blood. Was it Enji, letting him know about the next rough training he ought to receive? Or... was it someone else?

Midori:

Hello, Todoroki.
I'm sorry for writing this late, but—
I wanted to know something. Are you okay?

Sawada sighed, the tension leaving his body. Tsunayoshi felt relieved but still exhausted after a school day. Did Midoriya need to know it? No, no, they weren't that close. 

I'm fine, thanks for asking.

His fingers hovered over the screen hesitantly, thinking about his question. Maybe...maybe he can try to be more friendly?

And you? I'm sorry I distracted your walk that evening. 
*picture attached*

 

 

"Chrome? Mukuro?" he asked softly, walking slowly to their bodies. They were in the blood, their beautiful hair looking almost inky black from sticky wetness in it. His golden eyes searched for every open injury which needed to be treated urgently. "Just be alright, please, I can't," he choked, feeling weak and hopeless. 

Their pale skin was colored with a golden brush, sun's rays leaving its trail, and Tsuna felt sick at that sight, of the implication of their stillness. They looked peaceful, their eyes closed and breath small and even. 

He tried to breathe, tearing up their dirty clothes and looking for injuries, trying to will his gentle flames and weak sun flames to heal something, to help somehow. 

"Please, guys, plea—"

 

 

"Todoroki, don't be afraid to come for our help," Recovery Girl said, smiling at him. Shouto smiled too, although his smile felt forced and weak, more of a grimace than a smile. 

He felt tired, the questions that were asked a little too much intrusive for his liking. He was silly, knowing they can help and avoiding every single question in a fear of Enji's finding out and being here with him, alone and trapped. 

He lied. 

He lied it was his first time experiencing something like that, no, no, maybe it was some form of stress from USJ—

He lied every time. 

It was silly, it was fucking stupid and he was an idiot, oh god—

The man — Toshinori Yagi — was looking at him oddly all the time of their little q&a, as if he wanted to know something but was unsure how to. Tsuna had a sinking feeling in his gut, making him anxious of anything. 

He didn't like it. 

 

 

 

Aizawa stared at him. He glanced at others, too, to give them advice about that and this, to correct someone's answer and, in a nutshell, was being all over the classroom. He was helpful as pointed out by amazed gasps of understanding. 

Was it oblivious only to him? Was it because of his experience in the mafia? 

He didn't know. 

Was it with a purpose to give him the reason to confront the man? 

He didn't know. 

"Silence," Aizawa said, his expression bored but observant, "I have some news."

The silence was tangible, almost suffocating. It was too much tension in that tiny room, an atmosphere enough to make him struggle with breathing. Shouto clenched his hands together, squeezing them tight and painful. His scars were itching when he heard Aizawa say, "You have two weeks until school festival begins."

He closed his eyes, desperate to forget about this evening. 

Chapter Text

Shouto was trying to breathe deeply, his eyes closed and muscles tensed, when all he heard was loud thumping of his heart beating. The sound was distracting, destroying his concentration completely. It was silent, but in that silence every intake of air and even the smallest movement were the loudest cries, spreading fast through the room. 

A dojo was empty and, nonetheless, it felt like it wasn't. He could remember the first time he was dragged here against his will, the first time he was burned by his dear father—

Shouto coughed wetly, his lungs full of pain and with his head throbbing. He was so tired, so exhausted by this torture that his mind was fuzzy. Was it something he had done? He didn't know. 
He didn't understand it anymore. He was his father, why? 
Why he was so...abusive?

"Shouto, stand up," the man said, his eyes piercing and hateful at once, "you have had enough rest!"

He felt weak. Shouto couldn't stand up anymore. The world was spinning fast and unforgivable, every color bright and painful to see. He felt nauseous. Something wasn't right. Something was so, so wrong, his mind screamed at him. It was too long, it was too quie—

Tsunayoshi screamed, the fire licking his arms where his father grabbed him. The pain was unbearable yet weak enough to keep him fully awake, making him watch in terror as his skin melted, its color turning sickly pink and scarlet. His throat felt sore but Tsuna kept screaming, the sound full of wheezing and high pitched noises. It was too hot and the air didn't make it better, the wind caressing his sensitive skin. 

It was a bad idea to come here, Todoroki realized suddenly, the room was full of bad memories. There were tiny sparks of something across his left part of the body, and he thought he was ready, Shouto thought it wouldn't be so bad to see it again, warm and angry (they weren't angry earlier, why was it so different?) red flames at his fingertips, and oh god, wasn't he wrong? It wasn't enough, he was never enough and he was so stupid to hope everything will be better without trying to fix it. 

Tsuna wasn't ready.  The fire engulfed his left arm fully, and all he saw was a danger.

Seething blue eyes looked down at Shouto's fragile form, his arms clutching the tummy and nursing an injury from the hard hit. He was hurt, hurt and there wasn't anyone who could save him from that man. 

"Do you understand, Shouto?" his father asked, fire mirroring in his eyes. 

Tsunayoshi shook with panic, his breathing erratic and fast. The fire rose higher from his body, its flames engulfing clothes and floor as if answering to his emotional state. The ice consumed him, the spikes and the frost biting his skin. He felt so weak and broken, it was too much—

 

 


 

 

"I expect the best from you, Shouto," Endeavor said, his voice full of threats and 'or else'. "Don't disappoint me."

He nodded, his heart beating too fast for such small talk. Todoroki felt trapped as if waiting for his sentence. Tomorrow will be the first day of the school festival. His goal before wasn't the victory, but now—

Now he needs to win.

 

 


 

 

There were eyes on him. He wasn't quite keen on knowing who was curious enough to stare, their gaze intent and unmoving. It was hot in the room, his classmates were tense and nervous, chatting mindlessly to forget about the festival. 
Shouto didn't feel surprised when that scenery was ruined by Bakugou. Loud and brash, the boy didn't feel the need to think about others comfort and safety while engaging with his own problems over domination. 

Todoroki tensed. 

"Oi you, Half and Half, listen there," Katsuki snapped, looking angry and determined, "don't you dare to think you can win." 

Frustration raised in his chest, climbing its way to his mind. Shouto couldn't allow himself to be less than perfect, couldn't be someone other than the winner. What was his problem? Why was he always assuming so much about people and their thoughts? It wasn't good. Bakugou reminded him of the father. Something bitter grew inside of his body, making Shouto clench his hands and breathe deeply. 
He wanted to hit something, hug someone from Tsuna's past and stop feeling that lost, that weak and hopeless. 

There were eyes on them, their whisper quiet and somber. There was Midoriya, anxious and panicked eyes directed to their part of the room. It wasn't good. Todoroki stood up to stare at the blond, "I have no wish to hear your barking, Bakugou," he said, feeling the ice on his fingertips, and walked out of the room.  

 

 

Adrenalin pumping through his veins, Shouto looked intently at Midoriya and tried to evade the boy's attempts to grab his headband. Everything was smooth and good when something went different, the boy before him determined and dangerous.

Endeavor looked down at him, his arm enveloped in the flames and ready to hit him in the face. 

The Father sat down near him to grab his neck and yank him towards his blue eyes, full of disdain and disappointment. His flames were hot to touch, to be near with, and Shouto felt his skin warming uncomfortably because of them, making him wince at the pain. 

Heterochromic eyes widen in fear, seeing the man readying his blow at—

Something clicked inside him. It felt natural, it felt good. 

Red, red flames rose from his left side, caughting by surprise the green-eyed boy, and Todoroki went rigid, his body completely still and unresponsive. It wasn't good, it wasn't even okay. Flames left a disgusting aftertaste in his mouth. 


He felt sick down to his core. 

 

 

 

 

 

He was first, it was good. Or that was what he had thought before he met the man. 

"If you had used the power at your left side, you could have crushed both the obstacle race and cavalry battle easily," his father said, and Tsuna felt frustration and anger shimmering inside of his chest, making him frown. He didn't even try to understand, did he?  Tsunayoshi wanted to be out of this building, feeling exhausted and tired out of sudden. The man is an arrogant ass.

"Your resistance is childish and tiresome, so stop fucking around and see to your duty to surpass All Might," Endeavor stated, looming over Shouto's small form. And that was it, wasn't it? That what he will always see instead of his son, his blood and family. The Great Masterpiece. Someone who would "win" in his petty contest with the number one hero, the later clueless about it. Even worse, All Might didn't understand what was so bad about Endeavor's doing.  

He didn't know what made him go so hard at Sero, the boy was terribly frightened and frozen because of his impulsive behavior. He felt guilty. Tsuna didn't have anyone to protect there, did he? He didn't have to do things like go out with all his power. 

He didn't know why it happened. 

He was destructive, perhaps too dangerous to be near the crowd, and Shouto felt so out of control, his actions and decisions strange and stupid. It felt as if he watched someone else do these things. That was silly, that was his reality, that was his whole new life. Todoroki felt his chest tighten, his mind slow and clouded. Every intake of breath was hard to do, his lungs full of something heavy that made breathing too taxing. His bones felt hollow, his insides empty and cold. He craved for comfort, for the company, sitting there in a hall. Tsuna wanted to cry. Tsuna felt like he could have cried his eyes out. Everything was wrong. He should have been dead for years—

"Are you okay," someone asked, their voice filled with panic and worry," Todoroki?"

And Tsunayoshi tried to answer, honestly, he tried to stop breathing shakily and answer to Midoriya, that boy with too much anxiety for the two of them, but something in his throat was constricting. He shook his head, still trembling and cold

"Do you...want to talk about it?" the boy said, unsure of himself and his actions. Midoriya was close to Tsuna, touching him with his hands. They were warm, and Sawada felt the need to hug the green-eyed classmate to force out his exhaustion and hollowness. It wouldn't be enough, no, but...It would be good. 

 His hair was a mess, locks of them reaching the eyes and sticking to his damp cheeks. The clothes felt so heavy and uncomfortable that everything in him wanted to be free of such feelings and sensations. Tsuna tried to clear his vision from hairs, trembling. The hand was so numb and cold, unresponsive and... was it the ice on his fingertips? Oh God, he was so weak—

Midoriya hugged him. The boy held him close, his curly hair clouding Shouto's face. Something wet strolled down his cheeks. Something salty and bitter. Tears. He was overreacting. 

"H-Hayato?" he cried, his voice wavering and trembling. "Hayato," Tsuna hiccuped, clearing his damp cheeks from tears, "I am—"

Decimo stopped talking, his mouth opening and closing.  "I swear, Tsuna, they will be alright," a pause, filled with heavy breaths, and then, "please, my sky, believe it."  Tsunayoshi flinched, his bubble being invaded by Hayato, who tried to clear his face off with the handkerchief. Gentle movement, soft touching of the cloth, and Tsuna felt himself relaxing. 

He blurted out, voice small and trembling, "My father is...not as good as he seems to others in public." I'm abused, was left unsaid. I want you to understand, was implied. Please, believe me, sang his heart. 

"That's an understatement, I think, " Midoriya said, untangling himself from the hug and inspecting Shouto. 

Chapter Text

Todoroki leaned deeper into the bathtub, soaking in the hot water and feeling himself go completely soft. The tension which was always there, in the back of his mind, disappeared, leaving him blissfully relaxed. He sniffed curiously the air, not fully understanding what got him so calm and stress-free. Some fruits? It didn't matter, of course. But it was nice to feel clean and fresh after training with his father.

Things were... good, Shouto thought wearily. Better than before.

He scored second place (not the winner, not the—) for his trauma with fire was more complex than being petty to his father, and Midoriya talks to him. It feels good, amazing even to be around such a loving person who wasn't afraid of showing his affection openly. It all got even better when he was told by Fuyumi that father will be away for a whole week before internships.

Answering to being in such a gentle environment could have gone better. Shouto wasn't ready, wasn't good enough to be around so much accidental touching when he couldn't even see it coming or to have conversations so often with people. He wasn't good enough. Not now, not never.

His phone vibrated. Was it—

 

Midoriya:

Look, Todoroki! It's cats!!!

So cute, isn't it??

He sighed softly, a smile creeping at his face. A tiny laugh escaped him while he was watching the video, some of his exhaustion after the day going away. It reminded him of Uri, her character painfully similar to Hayato's to the point of being smart enough to understand not only their emotional state but their conversation, too.

Wasn't it late, though? Todoroki glanced at his clock, pausing the video with cats, and felt himself go rigid. Almost midnight, he thought tiredly. Reality grounded and threw him out of memory haze, making him realize of how little time he had to sleep for school.

 

 

Did you eat? I hope so! Have a good sleep :)

 

Midoriya was so kind, it made his heart go soft and gentle, bringing out of his shell emotions he forgot about.

Exhaling, he typed his response, wishing his friend (was he? it was so long—) sweet dreams. The house was so silent, so cold even when summer was coming closer and closer to their doorstep. Exhaustion buzzing in his veins, Shouto went to the bed.

"Tsuna," he heard someone say near his door, "didn't you promise to dine tonight with us?"

Was it already so late? Evening sun shined through his window, obscuring the view of his friend. His bones were hurting from such a long time in one pose for paperwork. Tsunayoshi glanced at Lambo and then at his papers, feeling slightly guilty from the look at his guardian's eyes.

"Okay," he sighed, giving up on his work, "I am com—"

Dreams that night left a bittersweet taste in his mouth, the next morning felt like hell. His whole body was tense and hurt so much it was painful to twitch his fingers, not mentioning getting up from his cozy bed. Looking at himself in the mirror, he found some nasty bruises from falling and blocking some hits from father. He looked like hell, too.

Food was important, he knew, but it felt like nothing at all and like rotten at the same time. Tired and weakened from training, Todoroki decided to skip breakfast. It wasn't the best decision at all.

Was it the fog in his mind that kept him from focusing at class? He didn't know. Everything seemed so bleak and gray as if the colors were muted for him for the time being. Shouto didn't remember much of it, his memories hidden within. Midoriya was there, though, wasn't he?

Ah.

"Todoroki," the boy said shyly, coming to his desk, "do you want to eat together?"

It wasn't much, was it? He could do it and be fine. Food was important, Tsuna thought, feeling nauseous and weak. So he nodded, getting up and walking from the classroom. His body was hurting even after a few long hours and bruises were aching, making his steps cautious and somewhat clumsy, filled with rigidness.

There were eyes on him. Tracing his movements, the robotic way he moved instead of his typical pace, noticing the way he favored his wrists when opening doors. It made him nervous. Small talk with Midoriya was comforting, even if he eyed him, too.

It felt strange. "Ah," the teen mumbled, looking at him, "Todoroki, can you wait for a minute? I need something from Recovery Girl."

It was strange, he noted. The way Midoriya seemed to glance at him every few seconds to check over, how he tried to walk slowly and adjust to his pace, hovering near his bubble of the comfort zone. "It's okay," Shouto stated, watching with confusion relieve at his classmate's green eyes. Is he, Todoroki asked himself with hesitation, looking after me? Was it a concern in his eyes, then? Was it?

"I'm back," he huffed, looking a little bit embarrassed, "and I brought something for you. It's a warming pad."

Tsuna stared at him, feeling something old and new arise at this gesture. He felt—

He felt happy and warm (content, surprised, dazed), a small smile appearing at his face. Was it joy? His troubles forgotten, the day seemed brighter. Looking at the green-eyed boy, he noticed the way Izuku tried to fight with anxiety. So, he said softly, "Thank you." And it helped. 

 

Tired from walking, Shouto didn't mind to sit down and look at his lunch. A salad seemed okay, he thought, looking back at Midoriya. He exhaled loudly, a surprising idea coming to his mind. Wasn't it something the boy near him does every day? It would be good to repay him. No, he must repay him.

Fishing out of his jacket the phone, Todoroki hmm'ed and searched for a picture. He glanced at eating Izuku and called him, "Midoriya, look at this." Without a hint of emotion, he continued talking, "Do you know who it is? It's Monoma."

Confusion clear at Izuku's eyes, it was a few seconds later he gasped for air and giggled. "T-Todoroki," the green-haired boy whispered loudly, visibly shaking from laugh, "how can y—"

It was nice. Warm feeling consumed him for a minute, while he looked at the giggling boy. It felt good as if he told a joke and Hayato smiled after being serious and trying to work, told about something hilarious to Takeshi who was biting at himself for not being enough. As if he was helpful to his family and was supported back.

His smile dimmed.

 

That evening his walk to home felt like the path to the hell's ground. Exhaustion and emptiness came back with full force, making his steps slow and so painful (he felt like Atlas, with how heavy everything seemed to be). He didn't want to go and find his father waiting, towering over his form.

He didn't want to be there. 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

There were bad days and good days. Sometimes they were two halves of one day. That knowledge wasn't a key to understanding such a thing. 

Shouto hated it. The hopeless sensation of watching and listening to his father's drunk speeches about their, his destiny. Of seeing Fuyumi's ashen face and dull eyes, her quiet demeanor getting more distant as time ticked by. 

Something was badly different, and he tried to fight the dread in his soul, sitting in the bedroom all alone. The nervous energy was circling in his veins, the feeling of it enough to make him anxious and cold inside. 

The scream of pain cut through the air. His sister was screaming—

 

Endeavor was enormous. He was seething, flames spurring every second. He was seething and hurting Fuyumi, Shouto realized. It was too much. The ice on his fingertips was easy to summon to protect his sibling from fire (burns, skin melting away). He felt dread deep in his mind rising, filling his insides, and panic crawling under his skin. 

Piercing blue eyes landed on him, the heaviness of his glare enough to stifle him. 

"Shouto," the hero said evenly. It was dangerous. It was not peaceful. "I thought you were smart to not tell everything that happens at our home," he told, looming over his frame near the wall, "but I was wrong, it seems." 

The movement was similar to the pat, only the pat wasn't full of flames and didn't smell like burning clothes. It felt hot, it felt painfully hot. The panic attacked him, choked him, strangled him, and there wasn't anyone to save him--

Something he did was wrong, but what

"I didn't tell anything, father," Todoroki murmured, feeling dazzled and weak, but stubborn. There wasn't anything. Midoriya didn't know the full story. Didn't he? 

Tsuna felt nauseous. "Did you," the man almost whispered, "Shouto? Then why do they ask questions?" 

The hands on his neck were choking him, cutting off his breathing little by little. Dark spots were clouding Shouto's vision. Drunk people can't control their strength well, he thought alarmingly slow. Fuyumi's voice was distant, her frame dancing around them with anxious energy. Why didn't she run away? Freezing his father doesn't help for long, she knows it. 

Everything was slow and fast at the same time. Landing on the floor, he wheezed, panic flowing over to his heart. Tears were streaming down from pain, from hot seething pain of burns and bruises on his skin. 

He was utterly useless and felt dumb. 

"Go away," Endeavor growled, rage in his eyes, "I don't want to see you at this house."

It should not be such a surprise, but his world fell apart. It shouldn't be, but it was painful. 

Shouto was - is - homeless now. 

 

 

 

The sky was burning softly, red and golden colors were filling it prettily, hiding away stars from view. It was getting darker. 

Todoroki felt cold and hollow, his thoughts racing over different things. He didn't know what to do now. Tonight, he didn't have any place to sleep or pace away the night. His things were at home, closed at his bare room. Shouto was walking slowly to the old park, feeling lost. 

"Shouto!" Midoriya screamed excitedly, running to his place. He was in his sportswear, training. 

That made him look at himself and feel embarrassed over his burned  clothes and disheveled hairstyle, locks of red and white out of his usual ponytail. 

He wasn't ready at all for a concerned glance and a hug. It felt nice. It felt warm. It was enough. The stress of the previous situation suddenly hit him, and Shouto felt like crying. Tears in his eyes, he tried to say something sweet and calming, to distract from his emotional state, but all that was able to go through his throat was a wheezing sob. 

Burns and bruises reminded about themselves with pulsing pain, anxiety filled his mind and—

Crying was all he could do, clutching with all his might at the classmate's clothes. All years of longing for companionship, for help to save his family, years of feeling lost and alone finally found an exit. Gentle murmurs, a warm presence that hide him from the outside world, tiny breaths there and here were helpful. He felt somewhat better. 

"Shouto," Izuku plead softly after some time as he hugged him firmer, "let's go to my mother, she will be glad to see you." 

Going home felt like a good idea, Tsuna thought tiredly. 

 

 

 

Inko Midoriya was a lot like her son, all soft and gentle but firmer. Her presence filled the room with an atmosphere of love and care, reminding him of lost things and memories. She was kind enough to help him with applying bandages to bruises. Inko was nice to the core. She made him feel safe, something that was the forgotten state of being in his last home. The home where he doesn't belong anymore. 

Did he belong there at all? How was his sister, all alone in that house with him

Izuku and Inko got along well, the talk never stiff or dying over some awkward stuff. They were a family, a working system of two people tied with blood and affection to one another. 

"How is school to you, Shouto?" asked with curiosity Izuku's mother, looking at him with her dark green eyes. It pulled him from his musings, startling him. 

"It is," he said with a croak, "challenging for sure." 

Izuku nodded, looking very serious out of sudden, "Yeah, they make us work harder than we thought." 

That was true, Shouto noted tiredly, blinking away sleep. Dinner made him drowsy. "Father says it is not enough to be first," he murmurs slowly, closing his eyes. He felt sleepy and heavy, exhaustion crawling under his skin. The softness of bed felt like a dream come true. The silence felt cozy, the sound of clock monotone and rhythmic.

Sleep wasn't sudden. 

 

 

Soft caressings of hair were nice to feel in the morning. Two touches to the top of his skull, then a few seconds of fingers on the scalp and ears. Awkward tries of little braids, gentle tugging enough to bring shivers of pleasure. 

Opening up eyes to meet the green of his classmate's was certainly something new of experience. It made him wake up fully. 

"G'morning," Shouto said quietly, touching nervously his neck and wincing. 

"Are... are you okay?" Izuku whispered loudly, looking at him with concern. "Is it from him?" 

It was, he thought uneasily. While he did have scars and burns at UA, they were peppered with kisses from Recovery Girl and healed nicely. Old ones didn't do that. He nodded. 

Izuku looked serious, contemplating something. Was it a wrong thing to admit? What now? 

"But," the boy asked, "what happened? I found you far from your home and it was getting near midnight, Shouto." 

Todoroki looked away, "It wasn't nice." 

The thing with Midoriya family was that they have some connection because he couldn't understand how else Inko decided to sit him across her and make him cozy to ask the same question. It wasn't nice to do so. 

"I won't demand answers from you," she started gently, "and will allow you to live here for some time, but talking may help, Shouto." 

It may. Or may not, he added to his thought. It is decided then, isn't it? 

"My father--" 

Someone knocked on the door, the sound of it loudly echoing through the house. Who could it be? He hoped it wasn't someone he knew, someone dangerous. Her glance at him said to stay put when he wanted to walk away from the room. It would have been for the better, Shouto thought later. Far better. 

A lanky figure with a blast of blond hair and gaunt features (Chrome was laying at the floor, her stomach dangerously close to her spine, and was throwing up with blood) strode nervously to the room he sat in. 

The man sighed quietly and then looked up to see Izuku and Shouto together. 

Todoroki wasn't at his best right now. Clothes were burned and turned black, the skin around his neckline was filled with painfully looking bruises. It still wasn't easy to not allow himself to go away from the piercing blue eyes of the man. He felt embarrassed. 

"Young Todoroki, Midoriya," the blond said, searching for something, "I came to announce that you will be moving to dorms if your parents allow it." 

Oh, Shouto thought, sinking deeper inside his chair. His hope was a mess of a flickering flame, dying off and reliving again. Things were not good, not at all. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The boy was strangled by someone stronger than him, All Might thought, deeply concerned for Shouto. Bruises looked fresh, the burns still had that ill pink color of damaged flesh. 

Who could do it to Todoroki? 

Sinking deeper into his place at a car, Toshinori felt unsettled by his realization. Years of respecting Endeavor for his hard work, only for it to crumble down and to know about the truth. Disappointment filled his heart, making him frown. 

Why didn't he notice everything earlier? Why nobody noticed? Why

Aizawa will want to know it, Yagi decided urgently. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tsuna raged, flames flying off from his hands. Everything went to hell since the start of  the operation. If only he knew earlier they will be betrayed tonight! 

"Hayato," he said through the comm, listening attentively to any sound on his line, "how is it going?" 

People surged from different rooms, attacking him at the same time, searching for his weak spot. The silence over the comm was alarming. He felt dread deep in his mind arising.  No, don't tell him they are... 

"Chrome? Takeshi? Ryuohei? Kyuoya?" he cried, feeling the weak link to his guardians flickering, "Lambo?" 

They can't be dead, no—

 

 

Shouto screamed, feeling the phantom pain of broken and pierced lungs. Breathing hurt so much during his last moments on Earth, he wanted to cry. 

Dorms were nice. Shouto felt relieved when he had found out before his first day of school began that Fuyumi can allow it instead of Endeavor. The building felt like home already, giving him freedom from fear of angering his father with some nonsense. 

There were teachers on each floor. He shouldn't be surprised that one day Aizawa will be present during his nightmares. It shouldn't be so...hard to talk to an adult. The knock on his door left him tensed, but he knew better than pretending to be asleep. 

"Come in," Shouto said evenly, looking at the teacher without his usual outfit. Aizawa was nice enough to sit far away from him and give time to relax before talking. It was kind. 

"I will be frank with you," he said with a serious voice, "we are investigating your home situation and Endeavor's place in it." 

Oh, Todoroki thought, feeling distant. "Will you help us?" 

The nod was all he could do at the moment. He didn't have any reason not to do such a thing. 

The man continued talking, "On the other hand, UA felt the need to do something helpful for you, Todoroki, and offer you an appointment with school therapist, which is accepted by your sister." 

"It makes therapy mandatory?" Shouto asked, feeling small and anxious. Hope for the better future rose to the bait. Will they make him less broken

"Yes, it does."