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The Little Piece of Hope in Our Pockets

Chapter Text

"Deku, there's an incoming villain, she's sending shockwaves through the city, the radius is crazy, be careful she-"

 

"On it."

 

One For All shot through Midoriya's body, launching him into the air, leaving Todoroki, Kirishima, Uraraka, Tsu, Bakugou, and Iida below him to hold the rest of the villains off where he had been fighting just before.

 

Now high above the buildings, Midoriya could see the villain, propelling herself towards the main fight. When she moved the asphalt erupted into waves, and the buildings surrounding her shifted, crumbling to the ground. Her quirk could bring the entire neighborhood down in a matter of minutes. He couldn't risk it.

 

He set his sights directly in front of her, so he would reach her at the speed she was going. He dove, rocketing through the air, and prepared a swift kick to hopefully knock her unconscious. 

 

The guards on his feet met her diaphragm, and she hit the concrete 100 meters away. She coughed, gasping for air. When Midoriya dashed to her side, her palm slammed onto the ground, sending him flying into a building near them. His ribs made a loud crunching sound at the impact.

 

Deku spat blood onto the sidewalk, and pulled himself off the ground. He could tell she had moved by the way the concrete rippled beneath him. He clutched his side and went to jump after her when the building wailed, and came crashing down.

 

He barely managed to dodge the beams, and coughed away the dust that accumulated in a cloud around him. I gotta get her away from the ground --

 

"Oh, goddammit," escaped Midoriya's mouth when he saw the villain imprisoned by a pillar of ice, closer to where the other pros were fighting. Of course Todoroki didn't know she was causing the shockwaves, but this is the complete opposite of what we should be doing --

 

Deku's jump was almost interfered by the massive ripple radiating from the pillar, but he managed to turn that momentum into more power for his jump. He flew towards her, her eyes livid then turning terrified as she saw him. 

 

And suddenly the ice cracked, and she dropped below his grasp. He was fast enough to move forward, using chunks of Todoroki's ice as stepping stones. But she fell so fast, and the impact made the streets move like a wave. More buildings collapsed around them. 

 

The impact sent the villain flying into the air, and by the look on her face, she was not pleased. Shockwaves. Ripples in the ground. Her palm slamming on the ground. She needs to have contact with the ground to use her quirk, get her off the ground--  

 

"Uraraka! Find a way to get to the villain in the air, and make her float!" He yelled into the communicator placed in his ear.

 

"Deku I don't know where they are, I need a boost," she shouted amidst the battle with the power-up type in front of her. 

 

"I'll bring her closer to you, get Iida-kun to propel you!"

 

"His engines are stalled," she said, frustrated. "Tsu! Launch me into the air, go!" She yelled, much too loud for the comms.

 

Midoriya focused on the villain, who was quickly closing in on him. She pulled back her fist, hitting him square in the jaw. The pain made his vision flash white, hit completely off balance, and he was hurled into a nearby building.

 

Uraraka followed right after, but when the villain hit Deku, she got sent backwards, out of Uraraka's reach. 

 

"Froppy!"

 

But her call wasn't necessary, Tsu was right by her side, jumping off pieces of ice she had made float. She wrapped her tongue around the villain's wrist and pulled. The villain looked horrified as she was swung into Uraraka, who slapped her, instantly turning her weightless. When the villain pulled out a knife, Uraraka pushed off on the ice and launched herself at the villain before she was able to cut Tsu's tongue. With a twist, the villain was restrained by the two heroes. For good measure, Uraraka took pleasure in knocking the villain unconscious. 

 

~~~

 

Kirishima saw Midoriya crash into the building, ungracefully hitting many beams and sharp edges on the way down, landing on the ground with a heavy thud.

 

That was not an easy fall, not even for Deku, gotta get to him. Kirishima punched into the villain's side. He had large arms, and sharp teeth, looking almost gorilla-like. Kirishima raised his arm to defend against another swing, and ended the fight with an uppercut that hit the villain's jaw.

 

Midoriya.

 

His bright red shoes were dirty, his face was bruised, and he wasn't moving oh god.

 

"Hey buddy, hey, hey, look at me."

 

"Deku! C'mon man, look at me!" Kirishima laughed out of relief when Midoriya opened his eyes, still unfocused, but hey, he's alive.

 

"Kiri-- agh" he grunted, trying to prop himself up.

 

"Woah, woah! Take it easy, that was a hard fall man!" Kirishima grabbed Midoriya's shoulders, and pushed him back to the ground.

 

Midoriya ignored him, and began to speak, "That villain, ha, er, she, oh ," he panted, clearly straining his muscles, "where's Uraraka? She--"

 

Kirishima looked in the same direction Midoriya was, and saw Uraraka, Tsu, and another woman who seemed to be unconscious, floating in the air.

 

"They're okay. The battle's dying down. There's a lotta damage, more pros working on rescuing civilians- hey! Deku, you gotta stay awake man!"

 

Deku's head rocked back, his eyes rolling back into his skull. 

 

"You're okay, buddy, you're okay." Kirishima grabbed his face. Midoriya responded with a hum. Injuries, injuries! Of course he's gonna have injuries!

 

He checked over his body, no glaring wounds on his torso, but Kirishima gasped when he saw the pool of blood pouring out of his friend like a fountain. 

 

"Oh, shit." He probably flipped Midoriya too quickly, but he needed to stop the bleeding.

 

Midoriya's lower back looked like it was ripped apart. Dark blood pulsed in a steady rhythm, filling the cavity. Kirishima saw what he thought was Midoriya's backbone. This is so, so much worse. From what he could see through the pool of blood, it looked like a slightly sharp beam ripped through him as he fell, leaving more scrapes etched into his flesh all up his back. He tore the fabric on his costume, and pressed down, but the noise that escaped Midoriya's throat was heartbreaking.

 

~~~

 

The pain from Kirishima pressing on the hole on his lower back brought Midoriya back to reality. The pain was searing, each and every muscle in his body contracting in pain.

 

"WE NEED A MEDIC! NOW!" Kirishima's voice was there, but it felt… distant. Every pulse of pain and blood pulled him back, closer to Kirishima's voice. 

 

~~~

 

"Red Riot, what's happ-- oh my god," the fear in Todoroki's voice made Kirishima wince. 

 

Todoroki kneeled at Deku's side. Kirishima was supporting him upright, putting pressure on the wound. When Todoroki put both hands on either side of Midoriya's face, he smiled. It was weak, but a smile nonetheless. His freckles were even more prominent on the apples of his cheeks. He let out a little giggle. Todoroki's heart broke. 

 

"Hey, hey, stay awake Izuku," Todoroki said softly. Midoriya hummed quietly, his head nodding to the side.

 

"Izuku? Izuku!" In a panic, Todoroki didn't feel his right hand getting colder, and he started tapping on his face. 

 

Midoriya shuddered. "Awake, 'm awake." His eyes were still glassy, but Todoroki could see that he was there. Tears slipped down his cheeks.

 

"'S ev'rybody else okay?" Midoriya's speech was a little bit slurred.

 

"Yeah, yeah. A few scrapes here n' there, but everyone's okay. And you will be too! You're okay, buddy, you're okay," Kirishima said, trying to be optimistic and uplifting. When Midoriya coughed blood came up and spilled onto his chest. 

 

"M' sorry."

 

"For what?" Todoroki couldn't help but get upset that Izuku was, yet again, unnecessarily apologizing.

 

Midoriya swayed again. He was going in and out of consciousness. 

 

More footsteps came up behind them. 

 

"... Deku? Oh, god, no!" Uraraka ran up behind them, Iida and Tsu following behind.

 

"How bad is it?" Iida said, directed to the group, followed by, "We need a medic, stat!" followed by his classic arm movements.

 

"He he. Iida. Why d'you do that?" Midoriya smiled up at Iida. He blinked lazily.

 

Todoroki jumped when Midoriya tensed up, his fingers curling up along with his arms, toward his chest. He groaned.

 

"Todo- agh," his jaw closed tight, and he squeezed his eyes shut.

 

"Lay him down on his stomach, Kirishima. And press harder!" Todoroki barked.

 

Midoriya made a sound like he was trying to talk, but he only coughed up more blood.

 

"He's gonna choke to death on his own blood. Where's the fucking ambulance?!" Bakugou snarled, but ultimately lacking any bite. He stayed back behind the group. 

 

"I hear the sirens. They're coming." Iida stated matter of factly.

 

"Hey, Izuku you're gonna be okay." Todoroki was trying to reassure himself more than Midoriya.

 

Tears were slipping from Midoriya's eyes. 

 

" 'hurts," he managed to say among the series of coughs and winces.

 

"I know, I know, but you're gonna be okay, alright? You're gonna be fine." Todoroki's voice wavered.  "You did such a good job, okay? You saved a lot of people." Deku coughed, gasping for air. Todoroki was sobbing, as was everyone else behind him.

 

" 'm sorry, Tod-"

 

They heard shouts from the road. The siren had stopped ringing through everyone's ears.

 

"WE NEED MEDICAL ATTENTION OVER HERE!" Bakugou screamed. 

 

Izuku, please. Please, please you can't die, please. "Izuku, please look at me, I need you." Todoroki choked between sobs.

 

He was unresponsive.

 

"Out of the way!" An unfamiliar voice shouted from the chaos.

 

Todoroki and Uraraka backed up when they saw a stretcher and five medics surrounded Mirdoriya and Kirishima. One took Kirishima's place and pressed on the wound. They swept Midoriya up onto the cot, and worked so fast Todoroki couldn't keep up.

 

He caught one of them saying, "We're losing him, get to the ambulance!" It only made Todoroki cry more.

 

~~~

 

They wheeled him away into the ambulance and drove off, leaving Kirishima covered in blood. Midoriya's blood. He looked down at his hands. Scraped, dirty, coated in the blood of his friend.

 

Bakugou looked distraught. His eyes were cast down at the ground. He was still and quiet. Iida, Uraraka, and Tsu were holding each other, crying. Todoroki was crying, still on his knees. 

 

They could do nothing but wait.

Chapter Text

Midoriya sent a text around 10 in the morning.

 

broccoli_nerd: hey guys!! :D we should get together and go to lunch there's this really cool place i found!!!! i miss you guys

 

shouto_: izuku we all saw each other on friday when we graduated.

 

It was a calm Sunday. Winter was still rolling into spring, the mornings were chilled, yet the snowdrops poked up from the grass. The crocuses had yet to bloom. Shouto was relatively indifferent to the temperature, but his classmates, ex-classmates actually, made it very clear how they felt about the seasons changing.

 

Shouto had been spending the morning with Fuyumi and Natsuo, celebrating his graduation and his "pro-hero-ness" as Natsuo called it. Fuyumi got up early to make breakfast, insisting the cook take Sunday off. Shouto sat on the sofa just outside the kitchen where he could smell the eggs cooking. He spent yesterday with his mother, just spending quality time.

 

broccoli_nerd: but i'm just thinking that our schedules are gonna be crazy from here on out

 

gottagofast: I agree with Midoriya. Everyone will be extraordinarily busy in the coming weeks.

 

explody_mcexploderson: sounds lame

 

spikey: cmon bakugou! itll be fun dont be a party pooper :(

 

explody_mcexploderson: no

 

spikey: :(((

 

bubbles: ill go deku!! also bakugou youre going you have no choice

 

broccoli_nerd: yay :DD

 

gottagofast: I don't like how impromtu this is, but I am able to go this afternoon.

 

explody_mcexploderson: oi round face you dont get to decide for me i got shit to do

 

allhaillordkermit: whats happening

 

bubbles: thats a lie bakugou

 

bubbles: hi tsu!!! we're going to lunch together this afternoon 

 

explody_mcexploderson: not happening

also who the FUCK changed my name

 

bubbles: dont test me bitch or youll be pomeranian next

 

Shouto snorted at that.

 

spikey: midoriya, you wanna text the address?

 

broccoli_nerd: oh yeah i forgot

 

explody_mcexploderson: dumbass

 

Midoriya sent the address, a short cab ride from Shouto's house.

 

gottagofast: I suggest 1 p.m. Is everyone okay with that?

 

spikey: wait is everyone going?

 

bubbles: yep! 

 

bubbles: bakugou stop typing ur going mkay

 

spikey: i'll see you guys at 1!! 

 

broccoli_nerd: shouto are you coming?

 

Ah. He needed an answer. He didn't have a reason not to go.

 

explody_mcexploderson: worried about your boyfriend are ya? 

 

broccoli_nerd: shut up kacchan!

 

What?

 

shouto_: ?

 

allhaillordkermit: bakugou youre not one to talk

 

explody_mcexploderson: HAAA?? YOU WANNA SAY THAT TO MY FACE 

 

allhaillordkermit: okay, i will

 

explody_mcexploderson: OI

 

broccoli_nerd: shouto?

 

Shouto was very confused.

 

explody_mcexploderson: YOU FUCKING FROG FACE ILL KILL YOU

 

shouto_: ill be there

 

explody_mcexploderson: WHO WANTS TO FUCKING FIGHT ILL DESTROY YOUR ASSES YOU WANNA FUCKING GO

 

gottagofast: I must go. I will see you all in 3 hours! :-)

 

explody_mcexploderson: ILL SHOVE MY FOOTSO FAR UP YOUR ASS

 

spikey: … who taught iida how to do emojis

 

explody_mcexploderson: YOU WONT BE ABLE TO SHIT FOR WEEKS

 

allhaillordkermit: ochako?

 

explody_mcexploderson: OI

 

bubbles: ;)

 

explody_mcexploderson: OI

 

gottagofast: I think they are rather fun, Kirishima! :^D

 

explody_mcexploderson: STOP FUCKING IGNORING ME

 

bubbles changed explody_mcexploderson's nickname to yappy_pomeranian

 

spikey: o shit

 

broccoli_nerd: oh no

 

Shouto decided to turn his phone off, not wanting to deal with Bakugou's incoming outburst. Fuyumi had called him in to get breakfast anyway.

 

So he had 3 hours until lunch. However, walking into the kitchen, he figured he wouldn't need any lunch. He thought Fuyumi went overboard, but she looked very happy.

 

"Wait, Shouto! I have something for you," she said, walking past the kitchen island with a paper in hand.

 

"Huh?"

 

"My students, they worked together to make this for you!" She held out the paper. There were red and blue crayon scribbles surrounding "congratlashion!" He supposed the blue and red shapes were supposed to be his fire and ice. He was confused, as he had never met Fuyumi's students before.

 

Fuyumi caught the puzzled look on his face. "The girl, she really likes heroes, and when I told her about you, her face lit up." Oh. "She and her friend made this for you when I told them you were graduating."

 

Shouto smiled. How sweet.

 

"Alright Mr. Hero, eat!" she said, pushing a plate into his hands. Mr. Hero?

 

She shrugged at his confusion. "I dunno, just eat!"

 

So he did.

 

--

 

It was just before 1 when Shouto arrived at the café. It was sort of quiet, a little hole-in-the-wall shop. Old looking shutters were attached to the windows, with colorful flower boxes hanging into the sidewalk, though there were no blooming flowers in them yet. It was not Japanese at all, but it looked cozy. He could see why Midoriya had liked it.

 

"Shouto!"

 

He turned around, spotting Midoriya jogging up to him. He had a huge grin on his face when he wrapped his arms around Shouto. Knowing it was coming, he returned the embrace.

 

Midoriya's eyes were as bright as ever. He looked well rested, his freckles dotting his face like sprinkles. "I'm glad you could make it!" he said, giggling.

 

"Well you're in a good mood."

 

"I'm really excited for patrol tomorrow! We're finally full-fledged heroes, Shouto!" Midoriya bounced on his toes in excitement. Midoriya had changed so much since they started UA, yet he was still the same. Granted, he was quite a bit taller and his muscles had filled out more. Not that he wasn't muscular before, but the amount of muscle looked awkward on him. But he still got excited over the little things, like the flower choice in a garden or seeing a corgi on the street.

 

"Yeah, it is pretty exciting," he said, though he was focused more on Midoriya rather than his words.

 

Shouto wasn't one to feel very sentimental, but he was at this moment. Standing in front of his best friend, he knew that despite all the pain they had been through. It's been a hard road, but they made it through. Together.

 

"Hey Izuku?"

 

Midoriya looked up. "Hmm?"

 

"Thank you. I couldn't have done it without you."

 

Midoriya raised his eyebrows and blushed up to his ears. "What?"

 

"You helped me get to where I am today. I still have a long road ahead of me, but you… you made this all possible. So thank you."

 

Midoriya got even redder, which Shouto didn't quite think was possible. He looked like an embarrassed little tomato. "Uhm, I-uh, I mean, I don't-- I don't really, uh, think, but, uh," he stammered.

 

Shouto looked into the window, appearing oblivious to Midoriya's reaction. "I hear Iida inside. And Uraraka. We should head inside," he said, beginning towards the door. It took a solid second for Midoriya's brain to catch up, but when he did, he hastily followed Shouto inside to the table seating their friends.

 

"Kero, I don't really like coffee."

 

"Then get a sandwich? They sound good."

 

"I just wonder about the nutritional value, I don't--ah! Todoroki and Midoriya, I'm very glad to see you both!" Iida said upon noticing the two walking to the table. Uraraka and Tsu were already there, looking at a menu. 

 

The inside of the café wasn't modern, but it was clean yet cozy. French country. It was lovely.

 

"H-hi guys!"

 

"Are you okay, kero?" Tsu looked puzzledly at Midoriya, still slightly red from his and Shouto's conversation.

 

Midoriya's voice went up an octave, "Fine!"

 

Shouto took a seat next to Iida, and Midoriya sat across from him. They picked a larger table, which was nice.

 

"Go. Inside. Now."

 

"Fuck off!!"

 

Bakugou and Kirishima. Right on time.

 

"We're over here," Uraraka called, though the place wasn't that large and the two had probably heard them speaking already.

 

"Hey dudes and dudettes!!" Kirishima grinned. Bakugou looked disgusted. 

 

"Don't ever say that again."

 

"Why not Bakubro?"

 

Bakugou grumbled. "You're an idiot." Kirishima ignored him.

 

"What they got here?"

 

"Some good looking sandwiches, coffee, it all looks good!" Uraraka replied. "Nice choice, Deku!"

 

Midoriya blushed, albeit less furiously. "Thanks, my mom brought me here a couple of weeks ago."

 

"Fuck, I need some coffee," Bakugou said, rubbing his eyes.

 

So they all got their drinks, served by a polite boy just a little younger than Shouto and the rest of them. The food was good, so they melted into a comfortable conversation. They talked about what happened after they had gone home after graduation. It was pleasant. They were all good friends, enjoying an afternoon together.

 

That's when their phones went off.

 

There was a villain in the area, destroying blocks of the city. They were to suit up and head to the coordinates they were texted. Midoriya went up to the counter and apologized to their server, explaining that they had to leave immediately. The boy seemed shocked, but not too bothered. It wasn't super uncommon for these things to happen.

 

They all left, going to their separate offices where they stored a suit. They didn't say anything to one another as they left the café, hurrying to prepare. 

 

Shouto didn't spare a glance to anyone as he booked it down the street.

 

--

 

Shouto fidgeted with his hands in the empty waiting room of the hospital. He stared at his shoes, his ears ringing. His suit was ridden with dirt and grime, and he felt greasy from his sweat drying. His hands were torn up with cuts and scrapes, but the pain just fogged his mind and didn't actually hurt. His head pounded, throbbing against his temples. There was a buzz clouding his head, like if he touched the chair, his fingers would simply pass through. There were steady footsteps of nurses and doctors wandering through the halls, each with their own respective duties. The smell of a hospital was like no other, and Shouto could say with confidence that he hated it. He didn't like hospitals, there was nothing good that came from them. Death, injury, illness. He hated it. It smelled like sterilization, like floors mopped endlessly to remove any trace of germs, any sign of blood. Like the scraping of raw skin to remove contaminants. Hushed whispers of sorrow and condolences for loss. Workers that delivered news with a blank stare, a stare that had seen the death of so many, they were able to perfectly hide their emotions. The pulse of a heart monitor, detecting the last few moments of life. Oxygen machines, and breather tubes. Hospital food that tasted like cardboard and didn't sit right in your stomach, so you would never feel full. Watching the clock tick endlessly, a waiting game that would never cease, as you sit in a bed. Nothing good ever came out of hospitals. Shouto progressively hates them more and more.

 

There was no word on Midoriya's condition. His mind was only thinking of the worst.

 

Shouto didn't know what to do with himself. His mind raked through every second of the battle. He made mistakes. So many mistakes. His mistakes caused Midoriya to get hurt. He fell hard. There was no telling how extensive the damage would be.

 

Shouto heard footsteps running through the hallway. He glanced up and saw a familiar red-head looking distressed.

 

"How is he?"

 

"I don't know, Kirishima. They haven't told me anything," Shouto admitted pathetically.

 

"How long have you been here?"

 

"Hours. It's 8 o' clock."

 

Kirishima let out a breath he had been holding. He crashed into the chair next to Shouto, still in his hero gear. He dirt smeared on his face along with blood, and he looked entirely exhausted.

 

"God, I didn't, I didn't know how to help him," Kirishima said quietly. "Just seeing him like that, I just didn't know what to do… I couldn't…"

 

Shouto didn't know how to respond. There was nothing he could say that would make it better.

 

Kirishima slumped forward. His rough hands grabbed at the sides of his face. The fabric of his suit was tattered in most places, ripped and hanging loosely. He had some bandages around his waist and on his arms, but they were probably just surface wounds. Kirishima didn't seem bothered by them. 

 

"Did clean up go okay?" Shouto asked. He stayed for a bit after and did what he could, but he had been out of it. The other pros there and rescue officials had sent him to the hospital Midoriya was at. 

 

"Honestly, it could have been so, so much worse," he said, turning his head to look at Shouto. There were bags under his eyes. "A couple blocks were destroyed, and there were hurt civilians, but the body count was minimal. I don't remember the exact number. I got a few people out of some tough spots, but my quirk isn't great for rescue."

 

"Yeah."

 

"Uraraka is still dealing with the rubble, Tsu is searching for the injured," Kirishima said, his voice somber. "Iida was being treated on site. I think Bakugou was too."

 

They would probably be there soon. Probably not Uraraka or Tsu, but Iida would. Hopefully there would be an update by then.

 

Kirishima hauled himself out of his chair and approached the reception desk. The woman there had smiled sadly at Shouto a few times. 

 

"Midoriya Izuku?" he asked. Shouto could just make out his words from the other side of the room.

 

"He's still in surgery, love. I can't give you anything more. I only told you because of your friend over there, but I actually don't know anything else." She seemed sincere, though Shouto wasn't the best at deciphering that.

 

"Okay, thank you ma'am."

 

Kirishima walked back to his seat without looking at Shouto. Sitting in his chair, Kirishima rested his chin on his hand. Shouto slumped back into his seat.

 

He wouldn't say that he actually slept, he was far too stressed for that, but he closed his eyes as several hours passed. Iida came in at about 11 p.m. After seeing the state of his other friends, he took a seat next to them and waited. No one talked.

 

It was approaching 2 a.m. when Midoriya Inko walked into the waiting room. She was crying. She saw her son's friends slouched uncomfortably in chairs and decided not to disturb them. They had worked hard. She walked to the receptionist and received the same answer, "he's still in surgery."

 

She sat a few seats down from Shouto. He stirred, and sat up more when he saw her. 

 

Shouto had seen Midoriya's mother quite frequently over the past few years. He had often come over to their small apartment and had dinner. She was a sweet, caring woman, that offered for Shouto to come over whenever he pleased. He didn't take up on that offer save for a few times, but he appreciated it. She smiled softly when she realized he was awake, but it broke Shouto's heart to see the tear tracks down her cheeks. She looked so much like her son. Although, it was probably the other way around.

 

"I'm sorry," he said, which was so soft it was barely heard. 

 

She smiled as a few more tears slipped down her face. "It's not your fault, sweetheart."

 

Shouto felt like he was choking. His eyes welled up and it felt like there was a chain wrapped around his ribcage that could only get tighter. "I didn't, I couldn't--"

 

"Please. Please don't say that," she said. He looked her in the eyes despite feeling like he couldn't. Her eyes were red and puffy, red splotches covering her forehead. Her hair was messily pulled back from her face, and she was in a faded t-shirt and sweats. 

 

She quietly moved towards the chair next to Shouto and sat. She tentatively rested her hand on his upper arm.

 

"He'll be okay. He's strong."

 

Shouto knew that. Kirishima, resting beside him, knew that. Iida, texting their former classmates, knew that.

 

But every second that passed, every time the clock's hands moved closer to the next number, his heart dropped, as did his hope. Every breath he took felt like they had no oxygen, and he was desperately gasping for breath. He was there. He saw that shape he was in. It wasn't good. A fall from that height should have killed him.

 

Maybe it did.

 

The battle kept playing in his head, over and over again. When he saw Midoriya limp, held in Kirishima's arms. The blood pooling, staining the concrete. Midoriya's deliriousness. Him trying to apologize despite doing nothing wrong. 

 

He couldn't lose him. Not now. Not after everything.

 

But he was stuck playing this stupid waiting game.

Chapter Text

It wasn't too long after that Shouto fell into a restless sleep. There were no visuals to his dreams, but there was a steady feeling of sickness and anxiety. Flutters of nausea coming in and out, the unbridled desire to scream and cry until his voice throat was raw. The fact that he was sitting in a very not comfortable chair didn't help.

 

When Shouto was lightly shaken awake, he nearly jumped out of his skin at the sight of big, round green eyes staring into his.

 

His heart broke into further pieces when he realized it was Midoriya Inko. He tried to shake away the adrenaline from being startled.

 

"I'm sorry to wake you, but you looked like you were having a nightmare, dearie," she said, soft enough that she wouldn't wake Kirishima or Iida, who were asleep as well.

 

"Oh," he said, still not entirely awake. "I'm sorry."

 

"No need to apologize," she said, taking her hand from is arm and placing it back in her lap, which held some denim fabric. There was a long, thin needle in her other hand holding white thread. The denim had carefully placed stitches, patterned in what appeared to be a flower. It looked delicate, but sturdy at the same time. Precise and strong. 

 

Noticing his interest, she lifted the denim a bit so he could see it better. "I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep, so I might as well practice this pattern I've gotten," she said, adding context Shouto didn't ask for, but was happy to hear anyway. When he had been over at the Midoriya's he had seen fabric and various crafts strewn around. Not disorganized at all, just a tad messy, but he was sure she could find whatever she needed. He also remembered her mentioning that she did commissions like these to bring in more money. He didn't know exactly what it was, but it was beautiful and she was really good at it.

 

"It's beautiful."

 

She smiled weakly. "Thank you."

 

The lights were far too bright for Shouto's liking, but he looked up towards the clock. Just past 3. That meant Midoriya had been in surgery for around 12 hours. But still, no update. Midoriya's mother would have told him otherwise.

 

Though he was still in a bit of a daze, he really didn't want to go back to sleep. So instead he decided to be entertained by the rhythmic patterns of the needle passing through the denim. He didn't notice how she had shifted so he could see it better.

 

All energy he had had the morning prior was gone. The mix of combat and stress was exhausting. He actually would rather fight for hours and hours on end than have this happen. He could do fights. He's been doing them all his life. It's what he'd gone to school for. Acing his combat skills. He knew what he was doing in the battlefield. But waiting for hours on end to see a surgeon walk into the echoing waiting room, only to be told his best friend was dead. He couldn't do that. 

 

Reality set back in as the haze of sleep lifted. His heart beat too fast, and his stomach flipped and turned. He was so horribly lost. 

 

Shouto was trembling. This was his fault. If he had been better, the villain would never have gotten him. He could have been there, right by Midoriya's side. If he had been there this wouldn't have happened. They worked so well together. There was this seamless flow between them, there was hardly any communication between the two. They weaved together, in and out, landing expert hits. They owned the battlefield. With the other at their side, they were unstoppable. Shouto had been told all his life that he would become the number one hero, but watching Midoriya, he knew who would claim that place for years to come. His thought so quickly on his feet, coming up with strategies that, while not flawless, guaranteed his victory. His quirk was incredible, his mastery over it was unlike anything Shouto had seen before. It was so versatile, gave him speed that was unmatched, and strength to reverse the odds of any battle, no matter the challenge. He wielded great power and an incredible mind. But that wasn't the reason he would be number one. It was his heart. He wormed his way into every situation he could, his freckled smile nosing into business that wasn't his. He was great with people in a way that Shouto wasn't. He got the smallest children to smile in the worst of situations. He soothed the hearts of panicking parents and civilians, assured them he would make things right. And somehow he always did. He was a hero, with or without the licence.

 

But when Midoriya needed him most, he wasn't there. And now he was on a table, his own life out of his control as doctors worked to save his dying body.

 

And it was Shouto's fault.

 

He didn't notice the tears that were pouring down his face.

 

--

 

Kirishima stirred awake when he heard someone beside him walking away, and fast. His neck was so ungodly sore, but he drowsily looked up to see Todoroki leaving, headed to a hallway that directed people to the restroom.

 

Panicking, he looked where Todoroki had been sitting moments prior, and saw Midoriya Inko. She returned his gaze, looking very concerned. She had bags under her eyes that could carry a five pound weight. She was holding a needle and was sewing or something, Kirishima didn't know.

 

He opened his mouth to speak, but she interrupted him. "There's still no word on him."

 

Of course not.

 

Beside him, Iida was dozing, his head nodded a bit to the side. He looked fairly peaceful. He had a very, very long day. They all did. He needed rest. Combat was not easy, and that battle had been challenging. But Midoriya had the worst of it. Maybe if Kirishima got there faster, if he had been stronger he could've--

 

No. He can't think like that. It wouldn't help anyone. He had to be strong. He had to be strong for when Midoriya got out of surgery, and as he recovered. He would get back on the field. And they would fight together, maybe go get a burger too. God, Kirishima was hungry, it ate away at his stomach, but he could still feel Midoriya's blood coating his hands. The thud of his body hitting the ground after falling 20-some stories. His groans of pain. It made Kirishima nauseous. He didn't want to eat. He would eat later, he couldn't calm the anxiety making his heart race until he knew Midoriya was okay. He would be okay. He would be okay.

 

Kirishima didn't know what to do with himself. He didn't want to go back to sleep, his neck and back hurt from being in the waiting room chair for hours on end. So he pulled out his phone. He had a shit ton of texts, which he really didn't feel like answering.

 

They were mostly from people checking in on him. He sent a quick reply to his parents assuring them he was okay, and continued to scroll. Bakugou asked him how he was, and how Midoriya was as well. Kirishima didn't want to say that he still didn't know. Iida had created a group chat with those who had texted wondering how Midoriya was, even people that weren't at the battle. News spreads fast, he guessed. Iida said that he was waiting at the hospital with Todoroki and Kirishima, and he would update them on his condition when he knew more. Iida always knew what to do. He and Midoriya were able to think so quickly on their feet. It didn't matter if Kirishima could truck some heavy hits, it didn't change anything if he couldn't take charge. So many people around him were already heroes. They were all incredible. He hoped he could be like them one day. He didn't feel like he was even close.

 

It would just take some time for Midoriya to get back on his feet, that was all. He didn't want to lose his friend.

 

Maybe if Kirishima had gotten to him faster. He could have caught him, eased his fall. He wouldn't have smacked so hard against the ground. That moment kept playing over and over again in his head. When he fell, Midoriya didn't even look like a person. He crumpled on the pavement, unmoving. He looked like a dummy, not like someone that had life, that he cared about. 

 

God, there was so much blood. The warmth soaking his hands and his clothes, desperately trying to stop the crimson river. Trying to hold onto the blood, uselessly trying to put the blood back where it should be, not staining the cement. He remembered seeing the awareness move in and out of Midoriya's eyes. The blood caking on his skin. The bastard was more concerned about the people around him rather than himself. And him apologizing. Why, why did he feel like he had to apologize? He didn't do anything wrong, he did everything right. It hurt Kirishima to hear him apologize, barely able to speak, blood filling his throat and spilling from is mouth. 

 

Kirishima hated seeing the faces of his friends when they saw Midoriya in Kirishima's arms. Uraraka started crying immediately. And Todoroki… Todoroki looked like the world had ended. His expression when he saw Midoriya, how he fell to his knees instantly. 

 

When he was whisked away in the ambulance and Kirishima was left in the same position in shock.

 

Kirishima had been holding him. He didn't know what else to do. Oh god, what if he made it worse? You're not supposed to move a person after a fall like that, right? An injury like that, moving a person could kill them. He… he killed Midoriya. No, no, he wasn't dead, not yet, they would have been told. Midoriya's strong, so unbelievably strong, he'll be fine, he'll be fine, and he'll get back to hero work in no time, not a problem. Kirishima's eyes were flashing side to side in thought, bouncing his heel furiously against the tile. He'll be fine. He'll be fine. He'll be fine. What has he done? He ruined everything, he's a failure, how could he ever think he could be a hero? He's pathetic, and now his friend is paying the price for his arrogance, his narcissism thinking he could be a hero. His friend who was a remarkable hero, who always knew what to do, and brought hope to everyone around him, that saved so many lives, and could thwart any villain without breaking a sweat. Midoriya was a hero, and Kirishima moved him, he's not going to survive because of what Kirishima did, he's going to die, oh god what has he done?

 

Inko set aside her project and moved a seat over. She wrapped her arms tight around Kirishima's shuddering body, pressing him closer to her. He sobbed into her shoulder, grateful for a mother's embrace. Tears slipped down her cheeks too, but she was quiet. Her hands rubbed his aching back, softly moving up and down. The action was so small, but it brought Kirishima comfort that he couldn't describe. Iida stirred behind him, but Kirishima didn't notice. Iida looked at Inko, concerned for Kirishima. Inko slowly nodded back, trying to assure Iida that everything was alright. It really wasn't "all right". Everything was wrong, and it hurt, like trying to pull his legs enough to walk through thick mud, chains hooked into his back. Everything was screaming in his head, he was so tired, but Inko calmed him. Nothing was fixed, nothing would be until he knew Midoriya was okay, but that hug was just enough to soothe him. He had to remember that he wasn't alone, had to push away the anxiety and guilt, though that was easier said than done.

 

They stayed in each other's arms for quite some time. There was no pressure to stop. Inko was so welcoming, not at all bitter. But maybe she should be, she would if she knew what had happened.

 

That it was Kirishima's fault. 

 

--

 

When Shouto left the bathroom and entered the waiting room, his heart skipped. Kirishima was in Inko's arms, oh no, he's gone.

 

But Iida looked calm. Surely Iida would be crying if… if…

 

Shouto ran up to them. Tears made his cheeks tickle, but he didn't care. Midoriya…

 

"Is he--?"

 

Kirishima startled at his presence. His eyes were bloodshot. He opened his mouth to speak but he choked, breathing in quickly a few times. He wouldn't look Shouto in the eye.

 

Inko looked up at Shouto, catching his attention. "No word honey," she said, almost a whisper.

 

Shouto let his head fall forward. He's not dead, he's… 

 

Kirishima sniffled, and when he spoke his throat and nose sounded clogged. There was a slight gumminess in the way he spoke. "Sorry, I-uh, got… uhm I got," he said, wincing at the stammer.

 

Shouto was quiet. "It's okay Kirishima. I understand."

 

Kirishima nodded and went back into Inko's arms, which she gladly accepted. She probably needed the hug as much as he did.

 

Inko was in his seat, so he took the one across from Iida. They sat in silence. There was nothing that could be said, nothing they could do. Shouto's thoughts kept attacking his mind. If he had just done something, if he had been better, this wouldn't have happened. He let down his best friend, and Shouto could do nothing. He was useless, helpless, as his friend walked the line between life and death, probably closer to the death side. 

 

Shouto knew he wouldn't be able to sleep even if he tried, so he sat, waited for some news. Rather sooner than later, rather alive than dead.

 

Nearing 4 in the morning, Shouto jumped out of his seat when he saw a man walking to reception from a hallway, dressed in scrubs. The man turned to the four sitting in the waiting, and popped up his eyebrows. He looked dead on his feet, but also like it was not the first time he had felt like this.

 

"Midoriya Izuku?" he said, shifting a bit forward and speaking to Inko. Shouto's heart skipped.

 

She was shaking. She dropped her sewing and looked directly into the surgeon's eyes. "Yes?"

 

The surgeon walked forward, taking a seat in front of the group. Iida looked much more awake, sitting pin straight in his seat. He tried to hold an emotionless expression, but he looked like he was about to cry. The surgeon rubbed his hands together, looking down at them, studying the action. Shouto was holding his breath.

 

"He's been stabilized for now."

 

Midoriya's mother burst into tears, as did Iida. She covered her mouth and started sobbing into her hand. He was okay. He was okay. He's alive. Alive. 

 

The surgeon inhaled and released it. "It was touch and go for a long time. He flatlined three times, and we almost lost him the last time." Midoriya's mother muffled a pained cry by shoving her hand in front of her mouth. "We had to remove one of his kidneys due to the damage, and the other is very bruised. There are some broken vertebrae in his back, his right shoulder blade broke, and his collarbone, along with some fractures in both arms. His broken ribs punctured his lung and his stomach, but we were able to solve that for the time being. There's been damage to nearly every organ, and his left femur was shattered. I'll spare the rest of the details."

 

All four of them were in shock. That was a very, very long list, and there was more he didn't say.

 

"Those injuries, while serious, can be healed with time and the use of some quirks. However, the biggest concern at this moment is his head." He paused, looking up, seemingly finding the right wording. "It is highly likely that there are major concussions. We're not sure how that would affect him, if he wakes up."

 

That 'if' hurt. Shouto felt his chest burn, the ache spreading all over his body. The lights were too bright, they pierced into his brain, shooting a searing pain in his head. Midoriya's body was barely holding on.

 

"I can show you to his room, Mrs. Midoriya," said the doctor. "We can continue this conversation and walk."

 

Inko pressed her stout fingers into her eyes, taking deep breaths. She was still shaky, but she had a strong will and was able to calm herself. She pushed herself up from the chair, gripping the plastic arms. Now standing, she tucked her sewing into her bag and lifted it up onto her shoulder. She closed her eyes and inhaled. When she breathed out she set her shoulders back, and lifted her head high. She was strong.

 

Shouto got up from the chair, and looked expectantly at the surgeon. His legs felt like jelly underneath him, barely supporting his weight. But even so, he had to be strong. Like Midoriya.

 

The surgeon looked at him quizzically, but then his expression cleared. His voice was low. "At this time we don't normally let anyone but immediate family in, but you all have been here for God knows how long." Shouto was saddened at the thought of not seeing Midoriya. He just… really needed to see him. He couldn't explain why.

 

Iida looked a bit shocked by that, clearly not expecting it. Even so, he rose immediately, despite looking like he was about to fall asleep. Kirishima still had tears running down his cheeks and got up, albeit slower than Iida had. Shouto turned back to the surgeon, and the other man headed towards the hall. They didn't walk very quickly.

 

The receptionist gave a half-smile to Shouto. Her eyes were soft. Sympathetic.

 

They all sort of wandered down the hall, the doctor lagging a bit, swaying a little. Iida did not like how slow the pace was, but he endured. Inko probably didn't like it either, but she made no sign of it, calmly walking by the surgeon's side. Shouto was itching to see Midoriya and disliked the long, slow walk, but it was also nice to be out of a chair. Kirishima kept up a little behind them.

 

"So," said the doctor, trying to start up again after the silence, "we don't exactly know what happened when he fell, so we'll run some tests later tom- today, actually, and do some brain scans, CT, and some other stuff."

 

Inko said something along the line of "okay," Shouto couldn't hear exactly what. She pulled a small floral handkerchief from her bag and pressed it to her face.

 

Iida spoke from behind Shouto. "What can you say about his condition that you're sure of?"

 

"I'm not going to lie, it's bad," he said. "A lot of injuries, likely brain trauma, extensive lower back damage, chest cavity damage." 

 

The original high of finding out Midoriya was alive was quickly crumbling. Shouto wasn't sure Midoriya would be able to pull through as easily as he had in the past.

 

"W-what quirks do you have available?" Inko said, her voice catching in her throat.

 

The doctor took a second to answer. "At this point, Recovery Girl's quirk would kill him, he just doesn't have the energy. There are some tissue-repairing quirks in Tokyo, and I'll see about some contacts I have outside of the country. It's difficult because not just anyone with a healing quirk can come in. Right now he's too weak to handle most. We have him on heavy-duty pain killers, and we will use the medical technology we have, but we won't know until we do some more tests, which we'll work out later."

 

They all said nothing. Shouto's body ached, his mind felt heavy. There was a simultaneous need to see Midoriya and also walk the other way, not wanting to see his friend utterly broken in a hospital bed. Shouto ignored the latter as the former was much stronger. He had to see him with his own eyes. He couldn't take it any longer.

 

The surgeon stopped in front of door 5-328. There was no name tag underneath the number yet. He shifted past Inko and Shouto and pulled the handle down, pushing the door into Midoriya's room. Shouto shuffled his feet walking inside.

 

There was a steady hum filling the room, accompanied by beeps. The room was large, and even with Shouto's quirk it felt a bit chilly. Tucked behind some various machines there was a bed, with Midoriya in it. As Shouto came closer, he felt it hardly looked like Midoriya at all. His right arm was held up against his chest and bandaged. The top half of the bed was lifted a bit, elevating his head and upper body. His lower half was covered by a blanket, but there were bandages wrapped around his torso, coming up his chest and over his shoulder. He had a brace supporting his neck. Shouto counted at least 3 tubes coming out of his body, one shoved down his throat connecting to a ventilator. It was sort of loud, he could hear the steady rhythm of breaths. 

 

If not for the monitors detecting his heartbeat, Shouto would've thought he was dead. His skin was so pale from the cool lights, no ounce of warmth in his face. His eyes were closed, but it wasn't like he was sleeping. Some people tell themselves that they look like they're sleeping peacefully, their limbs carefully placed, their face soft while they take a nap, their lips parted ever so slightly. But this wasn't a movie. Midoriya wasn't resting in his bed, he was bruised, broken, and barely hanging on. His jaw was slack and his face was blank. There was no emotion, no sign of life. No muscles contracting to make him smile, wince in pain. He was attached and completely relying on the machines keeping his body alive. It made Shouto nauseous.

 

Inko stumbled to his bedside right away, falling to her knees. Her hands shook with her stifled sobs, afraid to touch her son for fear of hurting him. 

 

"Izu-Izuku, sweetie," she said in between cries. She lifted her hands, but stopped when she realized she couldn't hold his with all of the bandages. She collected herself a bit more after a moment and pushed herself up to sit on his bed, a careful distance away so she didn't touch him. Her trembling hand reached up and raked through his messy curls, and brought it back down to touch his cheek. She was being as delicate as she could be, avoid the tube pushed into his throat.

 

Shouto, Iida, and Kirishima gave her space, standing back by the door for a minute. The surgeon clasped his hands together and looked down, quickly and quietly excusing himself from the room. Shouto couldn't even hear the others breathing. He shifted from foot to foot, hardly ever taking his eyes off of Midoriya. He was the only one out of his friends that was still holding back tears, the others' gates had flooded already.

 

Inko stopped whispering to her son, and set her hand on the bed, twisting to face Shouto and the others. Her voice was barely audible over the noise of the machines. "You can come over, it's okay."

 

Iida walked slowly. He stood on the side opposite Inko. He was quiet. He didn't take off his glasses to wipe away the tears that were silently falling from his eyes.

 

Kirishima came up behind Iida and sat near his legs. He dragged his fingers through his hair and let out a quiet sob. He looked at Midoriya then put his head in his hands, his shoulders shaking.

 

Shouto took two small steps towards Midoriya and stopped. His body froze, and he took a few shaky breaths. He wanted… he wanted to go closer but his legs were anchored to the tiled floor. His stomach flipped, sending waves of nausea up his throat. His hands felt cold, numb. It was like there was a barrier between his finger and thumb when he closed his hand. The endless pulse of the machines rang in his ears, every sound throbbing against his head. His knees felt so horribly weak.

 

And then he felt a soft, small hand touch his. When he looked up bright green eyes and a kind smile stared back at him. She gently pulled him forward, unlocking his legs, enabling him to move towards the bed. She sat him down on the side of the bed where she had once been. Shouto looked into Midoriya's ghostly pale face. It made his heart hurt.

 

"He's okay," she said softly, squeezing his hand. "He's okay."

 

Shouto tried to say something, say no he's not look at him , but all that came out was a pained whimper. Inko wrapped her arms around him and he eased into her hold after the initial surprise. He'd gotten better at accepting affection over the years. 

 

He pulled out of the embrace after a moment. It was nice, but he was still getting used to it. He did feel a bit better. He heard a few sniffles from Kirishima and Iida. 

 

Inko glanced again at her son and sighed. It was a sad sigh. "I don't suppose you all eaten anything…"

 

They didn't speak. Shouto could feel hunger, he knew it was there, but it didn't quite hit him. There was some sort of blockage in his head, dulling, quieting his need for basic things like food and water. He knew he should eat, drink, but he couldn't muster the energy to.

 

Inko pushed herself up from her son's bed. "C'mon, we all need food. Sitting here and staring at him won't heal him."

 

Kirishima hummed and Iida quietly said, "alright."

 

"Todoroki?" It took Shouto a second to register that he was being talked to. He looked up at Kirishima. "Are you coming?"

 

Shouto didn't want to. At all. "Yes, just… give me a minute?" He saw Iida nod. When none of the moved he added, "You go ahead of me, I won't be too long."

 

Inko walked around the bed, avoiding various machines, to stand beside Iida and put her hand on Kirishima's shoulder. "Let's go."

 

Shouto kept his gaze on Midoriya. His paleness made his freckles stand out even more than they already did. They had all spent more time out in the sun as interns in their final year, so more and more freckles dotted his nose and the apples of his cheeks. The others in the room shuffled out, lightly shutting the door behind them. The latch clicked, and then it was silent. The white noise of the ventilator filled the room. Shouto's breathing seemed awfully loud in his own head.

 

His eyes explored the room. There was a clock near the doorway. He read it automatically, but the numbers didn't register. The room was mostly barren apart from the machines and a few chairs. They looked slightly more cushioned than the ones in the waiting room. The chairs sat underneath two large windows. The sky was still dark at this hour of the morning, and the lights of Musutafu were already beginning to brighten the streets, a sign of some people in the city awakening for their day. But even so, it was still quiet. This time of night (morning?) was for the early-risers. The garbage collectors, mailmen, train and taxi operators. Everyone thought of the mayors, CEOs, heroes of the city, as the ones who kept the city churning and alive. But really, it was the janitors, the truck drivers, the construction workers, and the nurses. They were the life of the city that Shouto devoted himself to protecting.

 

But he couldn't protect the person that he cared about. His best friend, who was lying in a hospital bed, broken.

 

Shouto lifted himself from the bed and wandered over to the chairs. His limbs felt so unbearably heavy, a slight tingle in his fingertips. His muscles were sore, his feet hurt. He had to consciously keep his eyelids open, the one thing at this point that was keeping him awake.

 

He grabbed the plastic arm of one of the chairs settled beneath the window and dragged it over by the bed. There were little felt feet on the chair's legs so it slid easily along the tile, without noise. He sat down, scooting the chair so he could lean on the bed. Mirdoriya's face hadn't changed. His expression showed no emotion, no life. He wanted to see his eyes again, that shone more than any emerald he had ever seen. The way their corners folded in when he smiled really hard. The way the bridge of his nose would turn bright red when he blushed, how the color would run up to his temples, and when he was really embarrassed, his entire cheeks would flush.

 

Shouto's thoughts drowned out the noise of the machines next to him. He set his chin down on his forearms, allowing his eyes to close, which was just enough time for him to fall asleep.

Chapter Text

Shouto awoke with a start. Loud, obnoxious noises blared in his ears, but he didn't realize what it was.

 

He looked up, bleary-eyed, and saw Midoriya laying in bed. Same position, no expression. The morning sun illuminated his face and the rest of the room. The noise was making his head scream.

 

Shouto's heart jumped into his throat when he saw Midoriya's heart monitor.

 

He was flatlining.

 

Shouto leapt up from the chair to the door, pushing it and flinging himself into the doorway.

 

He clutched his chest and screamed for help.

 

He screamed until his throat was raw, squeezing the doorframe The dam broke. Hot, burning tears hit the floor. Shouto felt like his throat was closing, his chest so tight. His hands were foreign objects to him. His head roared, the sound of footsteps coming towards him fell on deaf ears.

 

When a nurse stood before him, he grabbed her arm and pushed her into the room, barely containing his sobs.

 

Suddenly there were more footsteps, more people stepping around him. They shouted things, wheeled a cart from a corner. Shouto couldn't see through the tears that blurred his vision. His chest seared with pain as he let out sobs. 

 

He just got him back, he was going to be okay, and now he was dying, he was dying, and he didn't know what to do, his best friend was dying, he was supposed to be okay, why, why didn't he wake up sooner?

 

Then there was a heavy hand putting pressure on his shoulder. A shaky voice next to him spoke. "Todoroki?"

 

Shouto looked up and saw Kirishima, and though his eyes were still a bit blurry, he could see his friend crying and looking past him into Midoriya's room.

 

The doctors were frantically working. There were five people hovering over the bed, and about three others standing a bit farther back, but assisting with various tools and such. Shouto couldn't keep up because they were moving so quickly. 

 

Kirishima's grip tightened. He grabbed Shouto's wrist and pulled him away. His legs moved, unaware of what was happening. When his mind caught up, he weakly tried to yank his hand out of Kirishima's.

 

"What?"

 

Despite the literal waterfalls on Kirishima's face, his voice was firm yet kind. "I can't watch this, and neither can you. We're only getting in the way."

 

Shouto felt like he was torn in half. He couldn't leave, he couldn't abandon Midoriya, he couldn't wait again, for hours and hours on end, waiting to see if he was dead or alive, he couldn't, he couldn't --

 

"Todoroki, please."

 

He really didn't want to. He knew he should leave, that it's ripping apart, his brain knew that, but his heart screamed in agony.

 

His ears tuned into one of the doctors behind him. "Severe pulmonary contusions are causing the lungs to fill with fluid, and internal bleeding has started again, we need to start emergency procedures."

 

Shouto felt Kirishima wince. "Todoroki, we need to go. Please."

 

Shouto nodded. There was nothing he could do.

 

--

 

Shouto felt numb sitting at the table. He still felt the gut-wrenching hurt in his chest, but there was a bubble around it. He didn't know whether or not to say that it hurt less now. Shouto had woken up many times and screamed, scared, adrenaline pumping through his veins, but not like that. Crying made him feel awful.

 

There were some shitty pancakes on a paper plate, some syrup sitting in a plastic cup. There was some sour orange juice, and a tart apple. He didn't want it, so he picked at it with his fork, making small rips. He had a huge headache.

 

"Todoroki."

 

"Hm?" he hummed, shifting his eyes off his plate and to Inko.

 

"Eat."

 

Shouto was silent. He had zero appetite. His gaze wandered.

 

Iida spoke. "Todoroki, you need to eat, please." His eyes were tired.

 

Shouto reluctantly put small pieces of pancake in his mouth. It wasn't good, but his stomach seemed to finally realize how empty it was, so he ate some more. Inko continued her sewing project, and Iida was on his phone. Kirishima stared off into space.

 

He was so tired. There was an odd barrier between him and his anxiety. The worry didn't reach his fingertips, making him shake, and the vice around his neck had loosened quite a bit. 

 

So he ate some more, not really thinking anything of it. When he finished (he didn't eat everything, he decided he didn't want any more), the group silently walked back to Midoriya's room.

 

It looked different with sunlight streaming through the windows. It warmed up the room quite a lot, especially without the cold white lights on. The room was still empty, Midoriya likely still in surgery. The room was no longer filled with the sounds of beeping machines, so the sounds of ringing telephones, shuffling feet, and far away voices filled it instead.

 

Shouto's feet padded across the room, echoing on the floor. His shoulders felt less tense than they had before. He wasn't sure if the few hours of sleep made him feel more rested or even more groggy.

 

He sat down into the chair he had slept in. His movements were mechanical. He pulled out his phone.

 

He decided to send out a few quick texts. One to the group chat with Fuyumi, Natsuo, and his father, who had all been texting him relentlessly. They sent well wishes, expressing their gratitude that he was okay.

 

Urakaka had also texted him 43 times in the past few hours. It would be easier to call than text, despite how much he hated it.

 

She picked up after the first ring.

 

" Todoroki? Is everything okay? Iida said a little, but not very much-- "

 

"He's in surgery again. Don't know when he'll be back out."

 

" Oh, god, " she said, and he could hear what sounded like crying through the phone.

 

Shouto was quiet. "He's in really bad shape Uraraka."

 

That only elicited more sobbing. He let her cry.

 

When her crying settled down, she said, " I'm coming to the hospital, I want to be there when he gets out of surgery and when he wakes up. "

 

"Uraraka, that might not be for days--"

 

" I don't care! I-I already let him down, I can't, Todoroki, I can't do that again. "

 

"Just make sure you eat before you come here. The food is really shitty."

 

She chuckled at that. " Yeah, okay. See you soon. "

 

"Bye."

 

He was silent for a time. He tried to leave out the 'ifs' for Urakaka's sake. Besides, she would figure those out by the time she got here. No reason to say it over the phone.

 

"Is Uraraka okay?"

 

Shouto turned to Kirishima. He was leaning against the wall.

 

"No. None of us are."

 

Kirishima didn't respond. Shouto set his phone down, pressing the heel of his hand into his temple.

 

Iida and Inko were in the other chairs sitting underneath the window. Inko had her head tilted back, her eyes closed, taking small, calm breaths. Her hands sat in her lap. Iida was staring at his phone, his thumb appearing to scroll through some sort of article or book. 

 

The atmosphere of the room changed completely when the door opened. Several nurses and people in scrubs wheeled Midoriya's large bed in, pushing various machines and attachments with it. Midoriya was in the bed. He was alive.

 

Shouto stood and waited as they set him up in the room. He was still on a ventilator. That thing was loud. One of the nurses smiled softly to the group as he left. He had deep bags under his eyes.

 

Iida stumbled up to the bed as soon as the door closed. "Midoriya…"

 

Kirishima stayed where he was, a good distance from the bed. "Hey buddy…"

 

Inko touched the side of her son's face. She whispered something.

 

He heard a quiet, "Ah, good," and turned to see the even-more-exhausted surgeon from before. He apologized for intruding.

 

Inko sniffled. "'s okay."

 

"The emergency surgery was a success. Pulmonary contusions--lung bruises--were causing his lungs to fill with fluid." He gestured to the few chairs in the room. "Let's sit, I'll give you the full diagnoses."

 

The four of them complied, Iida leaning by the window and Kirishima choosing to stand again.

 

"I'll be spewing a bunch of medical mumbo-jumbo, so I'll try to explain it as simply as I can."

 

"Please just start already." Shouto winced at his own impatient tone. The doctor didn't seem bothered.

 

"Like I said, what, hours ago, jeez it's 1 pm, uhm, there was serious damage to his internal organs, lots of bruising, though that will heal with time. We did a few scans while he was out, there doesn't appear to be significant brain trauma, a minor concussion, so he was very lucky in that sense." He stopped to let that information sink in, and started up again. "We cleaned the gashes on his back and stitched the damaged tissue, and we removed the unsalvageable kidney since there was a lot of damage to his lower back. As far as his broken bones go, the orthopedist replaced his ribs and stabilized them, and we applied some technology to other broken bones like his shoulder blade and his femur."

 

It took a minute for what the surgeon had just said to click. Shouto looked over at Midoriya. There was more color in his face. Though that was good to see, it didn't calm Shouto's stomach, which was twisting uncomfortably.

 

Inko's voice was a bit shaky from crying, but she spoke quietly. "What can we do about treatment?"

 

The doctor sighed. "Well, we will be taking out the ventilator soon since he won't need it, probably tomorrow. I've contacted a person whose quirk will heal his bones faster than normal, and with the technology of what we have here, any breaks should be mostly healed within a few days. Except for that femur, it pretty much shattered." He brought his hand up onto his face.

 

That was good though. Midoriya wasn't dead, and he would heal quickly. He would get back on his feet soon enough.

 

"He's on serious pain killers, so I don't expect him to wake anytime soon, I'd give it at least a week," he said. "He's not out of the woods yet, but once he wakes up and he gains some stamina, we'll bring in Recovery Girl."

 

Inko thanked him in between happy sobs.

 

When. When he wakes up. The weight lifted off Shouto's chest. When.

 

Even with that relief, there was still a voice in his head blaming himself. 

 

This was his fault. It was. He should have been better. He almost caused his best friend to die. And he still wasn't out of the woods. The surgeon said he'd probably wake up, but what if he doesn't? That kind of thing happens quite often. He might just never wake up. His body might be healed, all his organs functioning as they should, but for some reason he just won't wake up. There wouldn't be a reason, he would just stay unconscious. 

 

No, Midoriya would wake up. He would. And Shouto could apologize for failing him. Again. He would apologize, and then they would work their way back up into their regular training once Midoriya had his strength back. But that's only if Midoriya accepted his apology. Shouto has caused him pain, given him scars, what if this is the last straw? Shouto wouldn't blame him, he's given him scars, put him in pain, how on earth could he expect Midoriya to completely forgive him? It was Shouto's fault. He made rookie mistakes, he couldn't get Midoriya's cues when the other needed him most. He nearly died, and it was entirely Shouto's fault. Midoriya wouldn't forgive him. He shouldn't. Even if he did, Shouto could never forgive himself. He hurt the people he cared about. That's all he ever did.

 

The surgeon rose from his chair, snapping Shouto back to reality. His eyes were watering.

 

"Come by when you like, I have no problem with it. But you three?" He pointed at Shouto, Kirishima, and Iida. Shouto's eyebrows raised. "You three are heroes, no?"

 

"Yes sir," Iida said meekly, uncharacteristically so.

 

"You three need to go home. Shower. Sleep. Eat a decent meal." His gaze was determined. "I know you're worried about your friend, but I have seen this too many times. Midoriya isn't going anywhere. You three still need to protect citizens, and you can't do that running on a few minutes of sleep and anxiety. You can come in later, just get some food that isn't from the cafeteria here."

 

All of them were speechless. Shouto didn't like being told what to do, but admittedly he was too tired to care. Some warm food sounded really good. And a shower. But he wasn't ready to leave Midoriya yet. He needed to stay for a bit longer. Just to make sure.

 

A little machine buzzed on the doctor's hip. He flipped it up to look at the small screen and pressed a button that clicked, and the buzzes turned off. "I have to go. Get some rest, all of you. You're not doing him any good by not taking care of yourselves."

 

"Thank you," Iida said, as the doctor walked swiftly from the room.

 

The door was only shut for a moment, as Uraraka swung the door open, tears falling.

 

"Deku-kun!"

 

She crashed onto the end of Midoriya's bed. Kirishima went over to hug her as she wept. Shouto was not good at comforting people, but he went over to sit on the bed with Uraraka, placing his hand gently on her shoulder. 

 

"He's gonna be okay. He'll wake up," Kirisima whispered. He seemed to be trying to convince himself as well.



They stayed in the room for a time. They didn't talk a whole lot, and even when they did, it was quiet, as if they were too loud Midoriya would wake. He didn't. 

 

They all tried to relay a bit of what the doctor said back to Uraraka, but their descriptions were mediocre at best. 

 

Shouto dragged one of the chairs over, resuming the position he had earlier that morning. He didn't go to sleep, he just rested his elbows on the bed, watching Midoriya's chest rise and fall.

 

He really wanted to talk to him. Just tell him he was sorry. That's all. Then Midoriya could go back to sleep. He could rest some more, help himself heal. Tell Midoriya that everyone was okay, that he was too, that he could sleep and get better. Let him know that he was right there, right by his side, and he would be there when he woke up again. That he wouldn't leave. Make sure he wasn't in any pain. Tell him he could sleep peacefully, that he would feel better when he woke up again. Shouto would assure him that everything was going to be okay. He could return the favor for once.

 

Despite his fears, Shouto knew Midoriya would be okay. He was really tough. And stubborn. Too stubborn for his own good at times. 

 

And he was forgiving. He looked past someone's flaws, past their mistakes, and gave them a second chance. Shouto felt he had long passed the mark of second chance.

 

He didn't really want Midoriya to forgive him. Shouto's stupidity had nearly cost him his life. He never wanted that to happen again. That wasn't forgivable. But he would do better.

 

Inko stood. She was exhausted, but there was a determined look in her eyes. "You all are welcome to come to my apartment. We all need food. We can't do anything to help him at the moment. He just needs rest."

 

Iida looked startled. "Please, I could not! I do not want to invade on your privacy, I will have to dec--"

 

"Iida," Uraraka interrupted. She smiled and rolled her eyes. "We're all going over there. It wasn't a suggestion."

 

Shouto was puzzled. It didn't sound like an order… 

 

"Oh."

 

Inko straightened. "Let's go. I'm not letting any of you eat another hospital meal." She walked over to the door and held it open as she looked back.

 

Iida got up and followed. Uraraka got off the bed and thanked Inko.

 

Kirishima's eyebrows furrowed. "Are you sure? I'm okay--"

 

"I'm sure," she said. "You are always welcome in my home."

 

Kirishima's face flushed. He nodded and left the room.

 

Shouto heard his three friends walk down the hallway. There was a bit of chatter outside. He sighed, looking back to Midoriya. He couldn't tell if there were more tubes connecting him to machines. His face wasn't as hauntingly pale, and vaguely looking more like he was sleeping rather than lifeless. The apples of his cheeks were red, but it was only because of his paleness that it stood out. His freckles were still prominent though.

 

He felt a bit better knowing that Midoriya was alive and safe for the time being. It was all he could really ask. He still didn't want to leave though.

 

"Rest up, Izuku. I'll be back soon. I promise."

 

Shouto wanted to put his hand on him. He was afraid to touch him, so his hand floated in the air for a second. He settled on Midoriya's shoulder, just barely feeling the warmth of his body. His head lowered.

 

"You'll be okay," he said, under his breath.

 

He took a few deep breaths. He didn't feel like crying, he was too tired from the morning.

 

He didn't see Inko's smile at her son's friend, grateful that they had each other.