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The Map on Our Hips and Wrists

Chapter Text

Shouto knew he was dissociated. 

His face felt weird, relaxed but also tensed into the perfect mixture of blank and apathetic. He'd formed the expression during his years living under the raging-human-trash-can that was his father, and though the feeling was familiar, it seemed almost foreign to him now.

 If someone had asked him at the beginning of the year to smile, he probably would have frozen them in a block of ice and left them until a teacher felt like rescuing the poor soul. 

However, with the newly assembled UA dorms, he'd been slowly but surely learning that showing emotion, didn't equate to weakness. It took awhile for him to get comfortable enough to smile and laugh in front of his friends, but they were patient and supportive as he rewired the mindset he'd acquired after 15 years living with his father. Honestly, It'd been far too long since he'd let himself laugh in a way that wasn't self deprecating or out of dark humor.

It wasn't often that he reverted back to his blank-slate expression, but somehow almost everyone knew those days were ones to leave him well the fuck alone.

The only exception was, of course, knows-no-boundaries Izuku Midoriya. 

The boy had been shooting him worried glances all morning that he didn’t even try to disguise. He'd gotten called out in every class, and if Shouto wasn't so far gone, he'd be hopelessly snickering at his best friend's awkward fidgeting and the classic muttering that was quickly driving Bakugo up the wall.

Currently though, Shouto was a mixture of too emotionally detached to give a shit, and too far retreated to have the desire to speak. 

He knew full well that the green-haired boy hated the blank expression Shouto had used as a shield for the past 10 years, but right now,he couldn't even muster the energy to take notes. He was viewing the world from a place above his body, watching events pass by in a grey fog that misted the corners of reality. His conscience was loosely tied to the top of his head like a balloon, seconds away from floating away completely. 

Another worried look was shot his way with desperate, malachite eyes, and Shouto let out a long sigh.

I need to fix this.

He doesn’t remember how he gave Midoriya the slip after class; events and conversations falling through his fingers like sand. To Shouto, one moment he was packing his things methodically into his school bag, and the next, he was sitting against his locked door in the 1-A dorms, watching the sunset fade into stars.

He wasn't sure how long he'd been there, motionless staring through his blinds, but after his first attempt at standing, he found his muscles stiff enough to assume it'd been a few hours at the least.

There was a first aid kit inside his desk; complete with isopropyl alcohol, band-aids, gauze, medical tape, and cotton pads. Shouto pulled it out, tossing the plastic tub onto his futon. He freed a small manila folder from its duct tape prison, securely fastened to the underside of a drawer, and tossed it after the first aid kit.

After locking his door and twisting the blinds closed, he slipped out of his school uniform, leaving him in a white undershirt and black boxers. 

He collapsed onto his futon, setting to work on the tabs holding the manila folder closed. A few moments of careful prying released the single razor blade that landed neatly in his palm. 

Shouto closed his fingers over it, shoulders slumping in relief.

There were 8 folders placed strategically around his room from the 10-pack he'd gotten at the convenience store, but he was constantly in fear that he'd come back after class and find them gone. 

There was no one in the dorms who'd go through another's room without permission, (besides Mineta, but even he had little to no interest in what Shouto did on his downtime) but that didn't stop Shouto's heart from racing when he imagined returning to his room to find them gone. It was less of a fear that someone would discover his secret -though that was still a serious concern- and more of a dependency on the slivers of sharp metal.

A simple cross-legged position gave him easy access to his usual spot. He set to work rolling up his boxers, every fold revealing more neat lines of red and white, stretching from the band of his long boxers to his mid-thigh where they ended.

Shouto squinted at his hip with annoyed scrutiny. I’m running out of space.  

He didn't remember how old he was when he started cutting, but the event that began the habit stayed firmly planted in his mind.

Endeavor was once again enraged at Shouto's refusal to use his fire during training, and during his one-way screaming match, he'd slammed his fist into the kitchen table hard enough to make the knife next to Shouto's plate, slice a thin line,down his forearm. The man had continued to roar, heedless of the two other occupants' wide, frightened eyes, and Shouto's loss of focus on his words. 

He'd stared at the crimson oosing out of the line of his forearm with fascination, reveling in how the hot liquid seemed to blow away the grey fog surrounding his brain faster than any wind quirk could ever manage. 

Red had always been the color of fire, scars, and burning pain. But in that instant the color took on a completely new definition. 

Captivating .

It quickly became Shouto's go-to whenever he began to float. A way to rid himself of the dissociation he often found himself slipping into after a harsher-than-usual training session, or a nightmare that woke him up with his Mother's name on his lips; but it quickly turned into a part of his daily routine. The older he got, the harder Endeavor pushed him, and with a feeling of complete oppression, came the need to exercise some form of control. 

Shouto found it both hilariously ironic, and utterly pathetic that his 'control' came in the same form as his Father's training. 

Pain .

But the habit stuck fast, and after a close call with infection, and his father barging in at the wrong time, it was his most closely guarded secret. 

The right side wasn't nearly as crowded, so after a moment of consideration, he ripped open the packet of cotton pads, dipping a corner into the rubbing alcohol, and ran it carefully over his blade. 

He wasn't stupid. He knew if he developed an infection, it was only a matter of time before someone would find out, and he'd be back to right where he started. Scared, disassociated, and drowning under the waves of conformity and oppression.

Besides, the remaining alcohol on the blade just made the cuts hurt that much more.

Once clean, Shouto traced eight faint lines as a map. Reverently, he placed the cold silver onto the first, and took a deep breath.

Swipe

There's a sharp sting as the flesh parts, then droplets of blood bloom, quickly spilling over the tear in the skin, and slipping down to drip slowly onto his black futon.

Shouto smiles. 

The crimson breaks through the fog around his thoughts, letting his emotions affect him again, and sharpen his senses. As the endorphins runs through his veins, Shouto lets out the breath he'd been holding.

But as sting fades, the fog returns, and he desperately places his blade on the next line.

Swipe

Again the fog clears, and Shouto regards the new red line with morbid fascination. But again, the rush leaves quickly, he pushes the blade down again.

Swipe

Swipe

Swipe

9 weeping lines later, Shouto's clear-headed with no sign of his dissociation returning. He blinks down at the bloody mess dripping sluggishly onto the black futon cover, and allows himself to laugh. 

He’s going to regret this later, but with the beautiful crimson of his lifeblood conglomerated on his hip, and the puffy edges of ripped skin, he’s too elated to care.

They're clotting into squishy beads by the time his laughter -which sounds closer to choking on broken glass than the joyful sound Midorya always seems to bring out of him- eases up and he can see out of the eyes that were previously stinging with tears Shouto isn't sure were from relief or the endorphins flowing through his system. 

Right, time to clean up.

Shouto snags the alcohol-soaked cotton pad next to his thigh, running it over the now blood-stained blade, restoring it to the previously reflective silver, before sliding it back into the manila folder, and closing the tabs with an air of finality.

Next comes a newly-soaked gauze pad to run over the tears in his skin. Shouto relishes the feeling of his ever-fading pain coming back ten-fold. 

A waterproof plaster is quickly and firmly placed to stop the remaining bleeding. Normally he'd leave the wounds open to rub against the inside of his clothes, but with all the hero and rescue training class 1-A attends during the week, infection is too big a risk. 

Shouto would rather not have it leaked to the press that the son of the Number 1 Hero, cuts himself because he can't deal with his father's training.

It would destroy both of their reputations, and though Shouto couldn't care less about his father's, his own is worth protecting, seeming as he's striving to be a pro-hero himself.

Chapter Text

Shouto should have known that hiding anything in the 1-A dorms would be virtually impossible.

His classmates, though overwhelmingly kind, are far too curious and nosey for their own good.

Don't get him wrong, Shouto loves almost all of them, *cough* Mineta *cough* but there's absolutely no sense of privacy in a dorm full of outgoing teenagers, and that makes things difficult.

Honestly without Momo's head's up about the betting pool on if his pubic hair of all things, was half and half, swirled, or mixed, he would still be taking quick showers at 3am.

However, the rumors gave him just enough leeway to get away with bathing in his long boxers.

They think he's being purposefully spiteful, and though that would actually be something he'd do, the boxers aren't there for his amusement alone.

Which is exactly wherein his problems lie.

As is, everyone seems to be hell-bent on catching him with his pants down. Literally.

Honestly he counts himself lucky that it's Midoryia who’s the one to finally succeed.

 

. . . .

 

Izuku, against popular belief, actually didn't care what his crush's pubic hair looked like.

Honestly, the mere thought of it sends him into oceans of anxious mumbling, and though he is slightly curious, he'd really rather not see his best friend with his pants down.

Izuku certainly didn't plan on finding the heterochromic boy taking a shower in the communal bathrooms at 3 am. Heck, he hadn't even planned to be awake in the first place, but after the nightmare he'd had… there was really no chance of falling back asleep, so he figured that after washing the cold sweat off his body, he might as well get his day started.

Izuku didn't mind the other students seeing him while he showered. Don't get him wrong, he'd prefer to take one alone, but he’d gained considerable muscle in the past year, and he certainly didn't have anything to hide that wasn't already common knowledge.

... Well, there were a few scars he'd rather not share, but they were fully faded, the white lines barely noticeable against his pale skin; if you didn't know to look for them.

Besides, he'd stopped after meeting All Might.

The sound of water running made him frown quietly. He knew that a good amount of his classmates had insomnia and/or recurring nightmares. Who wouldn't after what'd they'd been through ? But still, showering at 3 AM wasn't exactly a good sign of sound mental health.

Izuku might be a bit of a worrywart, but after so long not having any friends, there was no way in hell he wouldn't care deeply for the ones he'd managed to make.

He pushed the door open gently, hoping not to disturb the occupant, but stopped as soon as he caught a glimpse of familiar red and white hair.

Todoroki wasn't wearing boxers.

Izuku couldn't see his face. The boy was gazing at the wall as he gently massaged the shampoo through his bi-colored locks, but the gentle arch of his lower back was on full display.

Izuku was just about to slam the door and run for the hills when Todoroki turned.

Seeing the door open, he started in surprise. Izuku tried not to look, but at that exact moment, his curiosity for the betting pool got the best of him and he glanced down.

His heart froze in his chest.

Todoroki scrambled to turn around and cover himself, but Izuku had already seen the all-too-familiar red and white lines covering the other boy's thighs and hips.

"T-todoroki…"

The heterochromic boy flinched.

"I-" Izuku tried, but an icy voice spoke over him.

"Forget what you saw and don't mention it to anyone." Todoroki commanded, pulling on a pair of long boxers, and bushing past the still frozen green-haired boy, bubbles from the lingering shampoo floating in his wake as the boy rushed out of the room

Izuku blinked, and he was gone.

" Shit ." He muttered under his breath, scrambling to follow his friend.

There were patches of ice on the floor, in the shape of familiar footprints. Izuku felt the familiar warmth of Full Cowl activating, green lighting crackling around him as he broke into a dead sprint.

" Todoroki!! Wait!!"

 

. . . .

 

Shouto was panicking.

Midoryia saw him. Midoriya saw him . Midoryia saw him.

The only sound registering though the short gasps was blood rushing in his ears. His whole body was cold with a numbness that kept him trembling.

Whether a side effect of the terror or actual shivering, he didn't know.

What he did know was that he needed to run .

Shouto sped up the stairs, flying through his hallway in record time. He didn't waste time with the lock, letting his left hand go supernova and melt the metal of his doorknob out of recognition.

A foot pushed the door closed before he collapsed onto his futon, cocooning himself in a blanket, and curling into a protective ball against the wall in one smooth movement.

Chest heaving and fingering digging into his scalp, Shouto tried to take stock of the situation.

 

  1. He'd woken up from a nightmare, and decided to take an ice-cold shower to wash away the feeling of fire singeing his skin.

 

  1. Since it was 3 in the morning on a school night, he'd thought that he’d be the only one awake, therefore assuming it was safe to let the cuts on his hips be properly cleansed by the soap and water without the layer of athletic material stopping the natural water flow.

 

  1. While washing his hair, Shouto felt a pair of eyes on him, and turned instinctually, forgetting that he didn't have his boxers on.

 

  1. Midoryia was in the doorway, head tilted to the side, in the way it moved when he was about to ask a question, when he'd glanced down and his face lost all color.

 

Midoryia had seen him. Midoriya had seen him. Midoryia had seen him.

A hand lands on Shouto's shoulder.

He reacts .

In seconds the offending appendage is covered in a three-inch sheet of ice. Shouto glances up slowly, regarding the fleshy icicle with caution.

Fuck .

"Midoriya."

Two confused, Malachite eyes blink at him.

"Sorry…" Todoroki mutters absentmindedly reaching out to melt away the crystal prison he'd frozen his friend in.

Midoryia chuckles nervously, rubbing the feeling back into his fingers. "No, I'm sorry!! I probably shouldn't have touched you like that, but you were freaking out and shivering and I just wanted to talk about-"

Midoriya's mouth kept moving, but Shouto couldn't hear him. The blood rushing through his ears coupled with his returning panic drowned the green-haired boy put completely.

"What part of 'forget what you saw' did you not understand?" Shouto asks, voice colder than his friend's previously-frozen arm.

Midoriya brings up a hand to rub against the back of his neck sheepishly. "Yeah, about that…"

Shouto cut him off, voice dangerously low. "No. We're not discussing this. Get out."

"Todoroki, wait!! I-" Desperation flashes in Midoriya's eyes.

The room drops a few degrees as Shouto glare reaches nuclear levels. "Get. Out."

"Just let me-"

"NO!! GO THE FUCK AWAY!!" Shouto yells, fire licking the left side of his face, curling into the blanket wrapped around his shoulders.

Midoryia stepped back, eyes widening with an unrecognizable expression. He opens his mouth as if to speak, but snaps it closed with a definitive click.

Shouto's completely hyperventilating at this point, tears evaporating on one side of his face, and freezing to the other as his eyes beg his friend to leave him the fuck alone.

Slowly, Midorya raises his phone, taps on the flashlight, and pulls up his sleeve.

Shouto squints suspiciously at the bright light and strange action, staring at the arm in question with caution. He doesn't see anything of note, and with the panic roaring through his blood, he's not in the mood for subtleties. There's nothing that's going to make him want to talk about- oh. Oh .

 

Scars .