Jirou thought that if she would be likened to any animal in the world, it would be a wolf. Fiercely loyal to, and protective of their pack, and mated to their partner for life. Yes, Jirou was a wolf. She considered the former class of 1-A to be her pack. More specifically, she considered both Kaminari and Yaomomo her mates. They were stuck with her for life. She would do anything for them, even if it meant having to turn on another member of their pack.
She was in hot pursuit now, stomping up the stairs, two at a time to reach her destination faster. She finally arrived in front of the door and raised her fist to begin banging against it.
“I KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE YOU COWARDLY BASTARD!” she shouted as her fists picked up their pace. She was relentless.
“I VOUCHED FOR YOU! I ROOTED FOR YOU AND YOU GO AND DO THIS?!” she wasn’t going to leave until he faced her like a man.
The door opened and Izuku stood before her, the number one hero flushed red, anxiously running his left hand through his hair.
“Jirou. Shh… Calm down. You’ll disturb the neighbors.” he sputtered.
“Like I give a damn. MOVE. I know he’s here.” she spat back, pushing past the large hero, entering his home without permission. Her head quickly turned, assessing her surroundings before she locked eyes with her target. She dashed across the room and flung her earjacks out.
“Jirou noooooo.” Izuku pleaded as he rapidly made his way between Jirou and her prey before she had a chance to connect. Izuku had her tiny frame tightly wrapped in his arms before he slowly placed her down. She stood still, glaring at the number two hero. Now that she wasn’t seeing red, she had the opportunity to take in his appearance. He looked… bad, awful really , and she actually felt her heart drop a little. Both of his eyes were bloodshot red and his dual colored hair was a mess. What she couldn’t get past was the look of absolute anguish that seemed to have permanently etched its way on to his face. She took in a deep breath, exhaling slowly while she gathered her thoughts.
“It’s been two weeks and you haven’t visited her not once!” she hissed. He refused to meet her eyes and she couldn’t decide if it upset her or made her feel bad for him.
“I want an explanation!” she demanded, crossing her arms across her chest. His lack of interest in the conversation further infuriated her.
“Do you understand... what you’re putting her through?” her question got caught in her throat. The thought of her best friend in the hospital bed not only physically in pain, but mentally and emotionally in pain as well tore at her heart. It wasn’t fair that Yaomomo was going through yet another heartbreak a year and a half after her last one. What had Yaomomo ever done to any of these losers besides be the best girlfriend ever? Of course Momo told her she was fine, but Jirou knew that was bullshit and if Momo wasn’t going to voice how messed up this was, Jirou would!
Was he really not going to respond? Well, that certainly was not fair. She had come here for an explanation and she promised herself that she wasn’t going to leave without one. If he wasn’t going to cooperate with her dialogue, she would have to force him to speak.
“You know… I was really rooting for you. Always pushing her to be with you since year one.” she began. She flopped down onto the couch. Izuku seemed hesitant, but followed suit. The green haired hero eyed her carefully. Her voice was calm and her head was clear. She knew how to get him to speak.
“I thought that you were different, good for her.” she continued, placing her folded hands on the back of her neck casually as she leaned back into the couch.
“But. I guess I was wrong. At least Bakugo had the balls to face her when he dumped her. You can’t even face her before ghosting her.” she smiled, delivering the final blow, emphasizing the name that she knew would cause a reaction. Todoroki stood up and marched over to her, causing Izuku to jump up to stand between them. She was on her feet now matching his staredown. The look in his eyes turned from anger to agony and then she saw it. His eyes gloss over before the tears fell.
“Too far Kyouka.” Izuku angrily whispered. He went to place a comforting hand on his friend’s shoulder, but Todoroki aggressively pushed him away. The tears were still falling but the look of anger returned to his eyes.
“You don’t think I know that at the end of the day, he probably would have been the better choice for her!? He’s not the one that almost fucking killed her!” he retorted, and she felt herself jump at his tone and his use of explicit language. Regret immediately washed over her. Why did she have to go and push his buttons?
“Todoroki...I… I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean that.” she gently stated, backing away as an act of surrender.
“She’s in that hospital because of ME. She could have died because of ME. I HAVE TO LIVE WITH THAT SHIT FOREVER!” he was shouting now and Jirou felt her fierceness further dwindling.
“But she didn’t die Todoroki and she could really use a pick me up while she’s in the hospital. She misses you. Besides, she doesn’t regret how any of it played out- even if you do. “ she was practically whispering now, reaching her hand out to place it on his shoulder. She watched as the number two hero crumbled before her- this time, anger no longer lingered in his eyes.
“You need to see her. Like see her see her .” Izuku added, whatever the hell that meant. Shouto reluctantly nodded, chest heaving as he allowed the tears to consume him.
The sound of the heart monitor beeping had become soothing. A gentle sound to lull her to sleep. An even tone to quiet her racing thoughts. A reminder that she was alive, and for that, she would be forever grateful.
Yes, it hurt that Shouto had been avoiding her. It hurt like hell. She wasn’t sure what was going through his mind, though she had an idea. He could be so hard to read sometimes though. So quiet, aloof and lost in his thoughts. Without his physical presence, she didn’t stand a chance at predicting his thoughts.
She missed him and she was worried about him. He had gone through a lot as well during their last mission. Everyone was so worried about her, but who was worrying about him? Who was taking care of him while she was here? Sure, he’s an adult and fully capable of tending to his needs, but she knew Shouto well and she knew he wasn’t taking care of himself.
They had only been dating officially for the past six months, but if she was being real with herself, her heart had always been his. As he swooped in and mended her heart back together a year and a half ago, there was no doubt in her mind that they were meant to be. There were so many ways that he showed her, even when he wasn’t capable of stringing the words together perfectly.
When he gives her the rest of his cold soba even though that’s his favorite and he doesn’t like to share but he wants to make sure she eats for her quirk… she knows.
When he forces himself to whisper sweet nothings into her ear because he senses her confidence dwindling even though he isn’t the best with his words… she knows.
When he rewatches any Disney movie her heart desires even if he thinks it’s boring and/or dumb... she knows.
When he attends group gatherings to appease her even though he hates those things… she knows.
When he’s comfortable in bed but gets back up a thousand times to make her tea or grab her book from the shelf or to change the temperature… she knows.
So, even though it had been two weeks since the incident and he hadn’t come to see her at the hospital not once, she forces herself to believe that he has a good reason. She just… knows.
And that knowledge, mixed with the sound of the heart rate monitor is enough to bring her peace. She takes one last glance at the red roses that sit beside her bed before she allowed her comforting thoughts and the gentle beeps to sing her to sleep.
Before opening her eyes, she can feel him there with her. Okay, maybe the soft scent of cotton from his laundry detergent mixed with the scent of a strong ocean from his cologne gives him away, but still- he’s actually here… finally and her heart skips a beat.
She wishes she had time to fix her hair or apply some lip balm, but she won’t fret too much over such trivial matters. She just can’t believe he’s actually here.
She slowly lifts her left eyelid, just to sneak a quick peek at him before she makes it known that she’s awake and when she does, he’s looking directly at her. She snaps it back shut instantly despite knowing he saw her so there’s no point.
“Mo.” he gently breathes out and she swears they’re going to have to give her electrical cardioversion then and there because she grows weak and gets heart palpitations at the sound of his voice.
Her eyes are still tightly shut because even though she smells him and heard him and kind of sort of saw him, she’s terrified. Terrified that if she opens her eyes fully, she’ll snap out of this dream.
She squeezes her eyelids together so tight, she’s sure that they’re jittering, but she must hold on to this dream just a little bit longer.
“Am I dreaming?” she asks herself internally, but then she feels his hand grab hers and she knows that it’s real. She slowly opens her eyes, scanning over his face.
She was right… he hadn’t been taking care of himself.
“Are you suddenly against haircuts?” she asks and she groans wondering why is she like this? Why would that be the first thing that flies out of her mouth? Their friendship makes it so that she’s completely inhibitionless around him. She’s always herself with him one hundred percent of the time. It’s freeing really, having grown up so reserved. He smiles at her snarky question, raising her hand up to his lips, kissing it gently.
“I’m sorry.” she whispers, and his facial expression is asking her why. He doesn’t have to speak with his words, she reads the question on his face.
“For insulting your hair- but I do hate it. And also for being in here while you were out there living a life so tough that your hair looks that gross.” he’s laughing now and she’s sure that this is what baby angels sound like. She can also tell that it’s been a while since he laughed.
She lifts her other hand and pushes his hair out of his face, tracing her hand over his scar before lightly grazing her fingers across his lips.
“ I’m so happy you’re here.” she whispers and she hopes those five simple words convey every hidden meaning.
She thinks back to her fight with Shouto two weeks ago. It wasn’t him that actually tried to kill her- she could see that it wasn’t him when she looked into his empty eyes before his ice came flying at her. She was sure that she was going to die but then she saw a glimmer in his eyes and knew that he was back. The ice missed her heart and went through her shoulder instead.
She is just so happy that Shouto is alive , and that it’s the real him, and that the alive real him is here next to her, his eyes so full. But there’s sadness within them. He’s troubled.
She furrows her brows together before scooting over on the bed, patting the space next to her.
“Can you tell me what’s on your mind?” she asks. He hesitates for a moment so she adds on:
“It’s okay. I’m hardly in any pain anymore, really.” she flashes him a huge smile and lifts her left arm. The physical therapy has been great for both her shoulder and her back. She’s confident she’ll be released soon.
After an additional moment of thought, he climbs onto the tiny bed with her. They lie on their backs, shoulder to shoulder. One false move, and one of them is toppling down, so they lie there perfectly still listening to each other breathe for a while, while he gathers his thoughts and tries to assign them to the appropriate words.
“You’re here because of me.” he states… his voice so hoarse, she intertwines their hands to provide him comfort.
“Uhm… technically I’m here because of me. I made the decision to run in to save you.” she responds.
“You wouldn’t have had to run in and save me if I hadn’t gotten brainwashed or whatever in the first place.” he states, his voice growing firm.
“And you wouldn’t have gotten brainwashed or controlled or whatever if I had been more thorough in my planning of the mission.” she states in a tone laced with sass.
“No. I won’t allow you to take it there. YOUR PLAN WAS FINE! You created a plan based on the information you were given.” he’s fully found his voice now and Momo internally debates on whether or not she’s going to argue. Shouto hates when she down talks her planning capabilities ever since their final exam against Aizawa year one.
“ If I can’t take it there, then you can’t blame yourself for me being here.” she finally responds, and she feels him stiffen beside her.
“Honestly Sho… you’re being such a big baby jerk about this. I’m the one in the hospital bed. If I’m not even mad at you, you don’t reserve the right to be mad at yourself!” she huffed. He’s groaning now as he pinches the bridge of his nose.
“Ugh that doesn’t even make any sense Mo.” he retorts but before he can continue, she’s cutting him off again.
“AND...ANNNNND you left me in here for TWO weeks without seeing me ONCE. I’m the only one that gets to be upset here.” she feels herself getting annoyed at the whole ordeal. They sit in silence now, allowing the brief interval of time to naturally calm them down.
“I came to check on you everyday Yaoyorozu.” he finally says and now it’s her turn to stiffen at the use of her proper name. She snorts in response before they allow silence to consume them once more.
Shouto finds the silence with Momo comforting. It’s never awkward and he likes that she doesn’t try to fill it. He’s able to sift through his many thoughts this way.
It wasn’t fair that she was being so forgiving. Even though Momo almost died at his hands, she’s still allowing him to have her. He was hardly deserving. He should be her protector, both as the number two hero and her boyfriend, yet he was weak enough to get taken control of. He was a joke, yet Momo still loved him. Was she dumb?
It wasn’t fair that he was being so selfish. Even though he almost killed her and he shouldn’t be allowed to have her, it made him want her more. If anything, he wanted to prove that he could be her protector, both as the number two hero and her husband . He was weak to let love control his decisions like this, but life was short and he loved her. Was he dumb?
“So it was you leaving the red roses?” she finally asks, breaking the silence. He nods, even though she isn’t facing him.
“Perfection. Beauty. A way to say I love you.” he recites perfectly. Momo had taught him many moons ago how there was a language of flowers. Red roses seemed timeless and were an accurate way for him to convey his feelings. Simple, maybe even cliché, but Shouto thought that they were perfect for her. She hums before allowing the silence to settle over them once again.
The silence allows him space to get out of his head and into his heart. He makes a decision and knows that there’s no going back now.
“I have something for you.” he whispers. Why is he whispering? He feels his palm sweating, even though she’s holding his right hand, and he knows she feels it too because she readjusts the grip she has on his hand. He digs through his pocket with his left hand and grips the gift tightly. His heart is suddenly pounding so loud, the sound is deafening and he wonders if she can hear it.
“I… the timing is odd, I know, but your first night here, I couldn’t see you because I wasn’t immediate family.” he finds himself saying, and he’s already chidding himself because this isn’t the speech he wrote down and rehearsed.
“And I already knew I wanted this, but after thinking that you may die, I feel the need to speed this up.” he’s continuing now, completely off script and he wants to rip his lips off because what the hell is he even saying?
They’re both sitting up now on the bed and even though he’s stumbling so bad over his words and everything sounds so damn stupid, he knows that if she can read his eyes, she’ll understand. So… he’s gazing into her onyx eyes harder than he’s ever done before because he needs her to feel his words even if what she’s hearing flow from his mouth sounds crazy.
The box is out of his pocket now and he’s fumbling to open it.
“I had a million different ways to do this but Izuku told me that I would know when to do it so I’ve been carrying this around and I don’t know… I just know that I have to do this now. It’s what my heart is telling me.” he’s continuing to ramble as he continues to fumble with opening the box. Momo is sitting perfectly still and he’s hoping she knows what’s coming next.
Finally he gets the box open and there the ruby ring sits as a gasp escapes her lips before her eyebrows wrinkle, realization is starting to seep in, but he can tell she’s still confused.
“Shit! uh…” he remembered that he forgot to get down on one knee. He jumps up and gets on his knee, but he forgets the ring in the box on the bed and Momo is too high up from the floor where he is kneeling for him to grab her hand.
“Ugh…..” he finds himself grunting as the panic rapidly washes over him.
“I’ve never done this before. I’m sorry.” he stutters.
Momo is doubled over in laughter now and he’s sure that either his panic or his confusion will be the death of him.
“Shouto, can you just say the four words that I think you’re trying to say?” she asked, wiping the tears from her eyes. They are not tears from romance but tears from humor and he’s embarrassed.
“Ah yes. Uh…” he stands up and grabs the ring before taking her left hand into his own, lazily bending down. If he actually touches the floor, he won’t be able to reach her hand.
“Will you marry me?” and although nothing else made sense, he was able to get those four words out clearly and confidently. She nodded as more tears came down and these were the tears he didn’t mind.
“Are you sure that this is what you want?” she whispered, looking between the ring and him.
“I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life Mo.” he gently responds. This time, he sees a look of full realization set into her eyes, and he knows that she was able to read his thoughts clear as day.
They were lying back down in the hospital bed now, and despite the craziness life had thrown them these past few months, in that moment, things felt normal again- especially when Momo began to play 21 questions.
“Did you ask my father first?” she asks and he scoffs, causing her to smile.
“Good. Because I am not an item to be sold off for a dowry.” she giggles.
“You are yours and yours alone. Only your permission is needed.” he states lazily and he feels her grip his hand.
“I’m yours now too.”
He hums as he considers her statement.
“Not quite yet, but I’ll make you mine.” he finally responds and he can actually see her smile spread across her face from his peripheral.
She was holding her left hand in front of her face now, and Shouto couldn’t help but smile. He did good with that one. While Momo didn’t want a fancy engagement party or even a traditional wedding, he knew rings were still very important. Being the number two hero really came in handy when it came time to shell out the money for that ring and it was worth it. Momo deserved it, and while she was used to the finer things in life and didn’t ever demand such from him, he figured he would give her the world anyway.
“Did you tell anyone about this?” she asks curiously.
“Izuku came with me when I looked for the ring. I’ve been carrying this for a few months but the timing never felt right. Fuyumi knew. My mom knows. She always knew.” he whispers that last part. Momo hums before throwing out the next question.
“When do you actually want to…. You know.” she started, twiddling her thumbs.
“Get married? Yesterday, today, tomorrow. The day you get out of here.” he responded and she laughs easily, but he is serious.
“You told me that you didn’t want something big- that you were all tired out from superficial events. I am honoring your request.” he adds.
“You remembered.” he can hear the smile in her voice.
“If you want to actually plan something, we can- I just… I want something special just between the two of us. So much of our lives are lived in front of the public and once we’re married, it will be worse. It would be nice if we had something just for us to relish in for a minute.” she says thoughtfully.
“K.” he cooly responds without a second thought. Shouto’s only opinion on anything is that Momo gets what she wants. They could get married in this hospital bed for all he cared, so long as she was his.
“Shouto, there’s a lot to think about with making a decision like this. Are you sure I’m the one you’ll want forever?” she whispers. This causes him to furrow his brows.
“Do you think I’m taking this lightly?” he asks and he can tell that she does. He groans.
“I knew that you were my future back when we were 15 at U.A. I’ve already been waiting forever for you.” he says, and as he places a single kiss on her forehead, he can feel her relax.
He doesn’t need to tell her how these past two weeks have been hell for him. How he replayed the scene of almost killing her in his mind over and over again and he didn’t know what he would do had she actually died.
He doesn’t have to say that mending her broken heart for a year straight after Bakugo abandoned her was such a force of labor because while he was trying to be a good friend to her, he was already in love with her and was trying to suppress those desires.
He keeps to himself how painful it was to see her in a relationship with someone other than him for three years and now he’s pressed to make up for lost time.
No. He’s not going to say any of it. He hopes Momo accepts it and believes it when he says he’s been waiting forever for her- because in the fast paced, dangerous lives they live as heroes where they were forced to grow up at the age of 15, these years have felt like an eternity for him.
Her breathing is steady and even now and he’s sure that he wants to listen to this perfect melody for the rest of his life. He was never able to pinpoint the exact moment in his youth when Momo snuck in and embedded herself into his heart, but it doesn’t matter now. He’s happy she did. He’s happy he gets to experience love because for so much of his childhood and early teenage years, he didn’t think that he was deserving of it- he has a scar on his left eye to prove it after all.
She’s been silent for a while now. He can no longer hear her loud thoughts whirring through her mind.
“Sleepy?” he asks. She nods, so he places the pillows behind his back and allows her to nestle on top of his chest.
Here, on his chest, with the knowledge that Shouto wants her forever, mixed with the sound of the heart rate monitor, peace overcomes her. She takes one last glance at the red roses that sit beside her bed before she allowed her comforting thoughts, his heartbeat and the gentle beeps to sing her to sleep.