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Slow Burn

Chapter Text

It all started with a planned encounter in the hallway of my alma mater. With a boy barely older than my youngest. With Midoriya Izuku, someone who I had watched overpower a mind control quirk. When I first approached him he practically jumped out of his skin when saw me. But I never expected it to lead to this what it is.

“Endeavor,” he turned and I started to protest, “I am not All Might. And the same goes for Todoroki.”

I locked eyes with him staring into the green depths, his determination so similar to mine burning through from his eyes into every corner of my body, lighting up every nerve, “He may be your son but he isn’t you.”

My eyes narrowed at him, of course Shouto isn’t me, he must be an idiot to think I don’t know that.

I watched him walk away, because of course I knew that. his honeysuckle and summer rain scent remaining almost just as prominent even as he got further away. Because even though he was already gone from this hallway his words resonated within my head as loud as if he had just screamed them into my ear, because of course Shouto isn’t me, he’s my son, an improved version of me, but he isn’t me and I don’t think that.

But even though it wasn’t true, those words echo within me, bouncing around in my head, as I made my way up to the stands.

The announcer screamed out an introduction and Midoriya and Shouto walked onto the stage, the concrete beneath their feet, newly repaired, leaving footprints from the dust of the windy day. The dust unsettling as the match began and it was kicked up into the air.

I watched as Shouto and the boy fought, the boy with the green hair stressing his bones, breaking his fingers, blood oozing from scratches all over his body and not even noticing the pain in the fight. Cracking rang across the stands and the wind pressure swept my hair back and fanned my flames. His bones splintering and shattering over and over just to stay in the round. However he was screaming something I couldn’t quite make out over my ears popping from the wind pressure. And it had to bed something infuriating because Shouto was twitching with anger, losing his never falling facade of expressionlessness. But suddenly as I could hear what the boy screamed, “IT’S YOUR POWER NOT HIS!!!!!” the arena blistered with heat as flames erupted from Shouto’s left side.

My eyes practically flew open to a state that I didn’t think they would ever close again, I haven’t seen Shouto’s fire for many years and it was brilliant, he was releasing so much of it, plumes of smoke filling the sky.

I practically ran towards the arena’s edge as I maundered out words of excitement for my son, what father wouldn’t be when they see their son finally overcoming his mental block against their full power.

What I didn’t expect was to see the boy with broken fingers slumped against the wall, unconscious, leaving a spider web of cracks in the stone, in my peripheral vision. It was such a waste, his quirk is powerful, so much so that I compared it to All Might, but it’s unstable. Just useless.

But I quickly forgot the boy as I hurried, in an unhurried manner, down to the gate Shouto would be exiting. I waited for him to enter the tunnel with my arms crossed and a smirk on my face.

He entered with a blank look on his face, differing then the slight scowl or apathy he usually looked at me with, “What’s the matter? Not gonna tell me to get lost? You need to learn to control your left side, it’s dangerous to release so much energy like that.”

I opened my arms as the smirk on face became an actual smile, “But I’m glad you’re finally seeing reason. Now that you’ve abandoned your childish rebellion we can finally get back to what’s important.”

I held out my hand as I continued my plan for Shouto, “When you graduate you can work by my side. I’ll lead you down the path of the mighty Shouto-”

“I haven’t abandoned anything. As if I would be on your side so easily. It’s just that in that instant, in that moment, I forgot all about you.”

I looked at him in disbelief, “Whether that’s good, or bad, or something in between… that’s something I’ll have to think about.” He walked past me and I would be tempted to yell at him for destroying his uniform, for speaking with me , for… something, if not for the chill of shock that went through my body, even almost extinguishing my flames.

But now that I know Shouto is capable of using his powers of his own free will, I can try harder to get him to utilize them. And I turned back to my seat in the stands knowing this isn’t over, not by a long shot.

I made my way through the grey hallways, walking through the UA arena had always been a maze even when I had attended the school. I passed by some students entering the infirmary on my way back to my viewing section. I overheard their excited chatter, they were apparently on their way to say hello to Midoriya. It was no surprise to me that he had been admitted to the infirmary due to the extent of the injuries that I had seen. He was in laying down when I passed by the open door but I still side-glanced to further examine his injuries.

The boy didn’t see the type to from what I had seen, but he might sue for damages. However, after a quick sniff I realized that he was radiating no scent of distress and that it was only his friends giving the air a stale stench. At least I didn’t have to deal with that, again, the last time Shouto had injured someone I had been out 2 million yen.

I quickly picked up my pace past the infirmary as I heard the boy reassuring his friends that he was fine and was able to make it back to my seat. When I had first booked a seat I had decided against sitting among civilians but due to that fact, I was further from the arena. So I chose some food from the buffet that had been laid out in the room and returned to where I had stood before, behind the railing as I watched the blonde that had just fought exit the battle arena. Shouto and the Tensei boy were the next to enter.

The announcer came on, “Let’s move onto the next round! Both of these competitors come from renowned hero families. It’s a fight between the elites! Iida Tenya vs Todoroki Shouto!” I scowled against the comment about elites, it was obvious to everyone that the announcer was trying to drum up interest. But I was able to ignore the blatant abuse of pre known knowledge and turn my attention to fight as Shouto sent out an attack. Shouto sent out a wave of ice, the reflectiveness sending the shine of the sun into the stands and apparently Shouto’s eyes, as the Iida kid leaped over the spikes. The boy tried to land a kick but missed as Shouto quickly ducked. The kid was already playing to the defense due to the fact that Shouto began the attack and had a more offensive power, it would only be a matter of time before he ran out of energy.

However the kid kicked again and Shouto was hit, hard, it sent a wave of annoyance through me. With Shouto practically knocked out the kid picked him up to throw him over the border but was barely able to get 10 feet before being encased within a layer of ice.

I crossed my arms, he hadn’t used his fire, but I’ll let it slide since his ice was far more practically against this kid.

I could almost feel for the kid as he cried but it was simply a bad matchup for him and the fact that Shouto was seemingly taking as long as possible to thaw him out probably does not help too much either.

I contemplated going after Shouto to remind him of his fire usage, but decided against it as the next competitors entered the stage since he would already be in the waiting rooms on the other side of the stadium. I busied myself by looking into the battle in progress, it was between the bird shadow one and the explosion boy from Shouto’s class, it was difficult to tell what was happening due to the dust clouds. But it eventually came to an end when the explosion boy won, pheromones of caramel and smoke filling the arena after the kid’s win.

Even for me, a prime alpha, it came off as a bit barbaric. However, my mood was lightened ever so slightly as Shouto walked into the arena and the boy reentered after a break.

“At last, we’ve arrived!! The best of the best among U.A.’s first-years will be decided! It’s final match! Todoroki vs Bakugou!” I lifted my chin when Shouto locked eyes with his opponent, Shouto will easily win in a match against the blond when he uses his fire.

“NOW START!!!”

A wall of ice, bigger than anything Todoroki has ever made before, covered the ring and towered over the people, chilling the air.

A BOOM! echoed against the concrete structure as ice shards scattered in every direction. From then on ice and explosions bounced off every wall as they fought. But Shouto was eventually able to grab onto his competitor and gain the advantage.

“Use it,” I whispered through my scowl. But he quickly backed off, clearly infuriating the blond. The blond yelled incoherently at my son, presumably threatening him and crying out that he’ll beat him.

Shouto remained blank in his expression and I knew that he wouldn’t use his fire, whatever that grenette lit in him has gone out.

“DON”T LOSE! COME ON!!!” I turned to the yell resonating from the Class 1-A stands. Shouto seemed to reignite something within himself, for a split second, before it went out with a huge blast the blonde had set off.

After the flames petered out it revealed my son laying on a pile of ice rubble, similar to how Midoriya was just a few rounds ago. Bakugou tried to attack my unconscious son and I was about to practically jump over the railing when Midnight knocked him out and declared Shouto the loser.

I felt shame rise in my core, my masterpiece, my youngest son, had lost, with all his power, had lost. Even with someone other than me on his side, he had lost.

I had to sit down, I returned to my seat, knowing that if I allowed myself to get riled up, I’d burn down the whole campus. I couldn’t even be bothered to be frustrated at All Might giving out the medals. However I wasn’t so stupid as to notice that All Might spoke to Shouto before giving him his medal.