“We have to get you involved on more big missions if we want to maintain your spot in the top three. I’m telling you Creati, the new calibration metrics for determining villain take down and rescue count are working in your favor. Had you debuted five years ago, you wouldn’t make it far with your quirk at all, but your credits received based on your analytical role in missions & rescues are insane!”
“Those numbers are important yes, but public persona & likability measures are equally important! It can easily push you further up in the rankings. Let’s not forget about that.”
“Well yes, they are important as well, though ‘equally important’ is a stretch Kiyoki.”
“Ha! Creati moved from the fourth spot to the third spot based on her public persona measures alone! I have the girl everywhere! Any major billboard, any major ad, any magazine cover, she’s there! She lives in the people's hearts thanks to me!”
Momo pinched the bridge of her nose lightly, her eyes tightly shut as she took in a deep breath. Tuesdays were annoying and she would have preferred to be anywhere in the world besides here at her weekly meeting with her agent Kiyoki and her manager Yuno. They argued consistently about Momo’s career trajectory, which was odd considering the fact that they were aligned on the vision- Momo maintaining her spot in the top five. How Momo would maintain her spot was a sore point.
Yuno was always focused on the actual hero stuff. He was consistently in touch with other agencies setting up Momo to work on stretch projects to assist other heroes on missions. His concern was that she defeated a mass number of villains and rescued a mass number of victims.
Kiyoki handled anything related to the press and had been working with Momo since her second year at U.A. Her concern was that Momo looked good 24/7 and that cameras were around to catch her looking good.
“No one cares about a hero that looks good if they aren’t doing their damn job well!”
“Yeah, well… EVERYONE cares about a hero when they do their job well and look damn good doing it Yuno!”
Momo was irritated. Typically, this conversation was easy for her to ignore, but for some reason, it was physically making her sick today. Her office began to spin and she shut her eyes tighter. Had she forgotten to eat breakfast this morning? She frowned, furrowing her brows. No. She grabbed a yogurt and toast to have with her tea.
Yogurt, toast, tea. She felt the aforementioned doing cartwheels in her stomach. Her throat naturally began taking deep gulps, as if trying to warn the contents of her stomach to be still. They didn’t listen.
“Creati… are you okay? You don’t look so good.”
Did she look as bad as she felt, because if so, surely she was a sight for sore eyes.
Her gulping was no longer keeping her breakfast at bay and she dashed over to the trash can, her body forcibly lurching up the items from within.
“Now imagine if the public saw THIS! Ratings would plumeth no matter how many people she rescued last week!” Kiyoki exclaimed proudly, as if proving a point. Yuno scoffed, making his way over to Momo.
“Are you okay Creati?” he asked, concern etched across his face. Momo nodded, still hunched over the trash can. His mouth formed into a dissatisfied line.
“This is no good. I told Deku I’d send you his way to help out on a drug bust move they’re making tomorrow, but I can’t send you like this.”
Momo held up her hand in disagreement.
“Yuno, I’m fine. Seriously.”
She flashed him a huge smile, causing him to pinch his nostrils close and stagger back.
“I’ll take care of it.” Kiyoki mindlessly stated, sifting through a bag. Moments later, she pulled out a toothbrush and escorted Momo into the bathroom.
“Anything you need to tell me?” Kiyoki asked, her hands on her hips as she tapped her right foot on the tiles of the bathroom floor.
Momo was bent over the sink, washing her very flushed face. She glanced up in the mirror, locking eyes with her agent.
“What do you mean?” the number three hero asked curiously, her left brow raised high.
“I’m just saying… you’re a married woman now and couples do….. things.”
Momo let out an embarrassed yelp, clutching her hands tightly against her chest.
“Kiyoki!” she hissed, feeling embarrassment wash over her.
“I’m just saying Yaoyorozu, between the slight weight gain and now this, one has to wonder.”
“I swear I’ve been maintaining my training regiment. I don’t know what’s going on with my midsection.” she retorted, frustration bringing her to the brink of tears. The topic of weight was always a touchy subject for Momo. She was always larger than other girls, having developed early, and the amount she had to eat for her quirk didn’t help.
“I know you have. I believe you. Which leads me to believe it may be something, or someone else.”
“That would be impossible. You know that I cannot get pregnant Kiyoki.”
“I know what doctors say, but they’re only human. Isn’t it best that we rule out that possibility the proper way?”
Momo wished she could turn off her brain completely. Every thought was too fast, every voice too loud.
“It’s rather shocking that you were able to conceive, though it should be noted that the fetus’s chance of survival is slim to none. Your body just isn’t equipped for this.”
“This is exciting! A hero couple of you and Todoroki’s caliber have never had a mini! This will secure the mom crowd. I can secure some sponsorships in that arena. It will be great.”
“This isn’t ideal while you’re in your prime, but I’m positive we can maintain your ranking if we supplement in other ways. I’ll have to get you in on more analytical work to raise your villain takedown metrics. You won’t be able to physically rescue but perhaps they’ll count some rescues based on your plans to aid in the rescue.”
Her physician, agent and manager’s voices were too much, but the worst voice of all was her own. It told her that she was stupid for not practicing safe sex and then scolded her for not being grateful for this miracle. It reminded her that she wasn’t fit to be a mother— she hadn’t even planned for this to happen after all. What kind of mother brings an unplanned child into the world? It always ended by making sure she knew how selfish she would be throughout the process because her body would surely kill her child. Why should she even try to carry the child full term?
The voices had been suffocating her for three weeks now, and no one knew besides the four voices in her head. She was losing her mind and knew that she had to finally break the news to her husband. She couldn’t bear the burden of dealing with this on her own.
If only she knew then just how alone she would be.
Shouto stood holding Momo’s hand, her four and a half month stomach was slightly poking beneath her navy blue gown. The cameras ate it up, excitement brimming through the crowd from the couple’s announcement.
They had chosen to make the announcement on the red carpet of the annual hero awards. The choice hadn’t actually been theirs, but rather a joint decision made between both of their agents and managers. Momo had agreed, though she was worried that it was too soon. Everyday that the baby survived, she thought was a sick joke and that at any moment, she would lose it. Shouto was indifferent— a mood he seemed to have taken on since he heard the news.
They headed into the packed venue, security escorting them to their seats. With the cameras and flashing lights behind them, Shouto released his grip from her hand, opting to shove them into the pockets of his tuxedo bottoms. Momo masked her pained expression beneath a smile— she had always been good at faking it.
As the evening came to a close and the cameras and crowd dissipated, Shouto turned to her.
“I called the car to take you home.”
She looked at him wide eyed.
“Seriously, you’re not coming home tonight?!” she whisper yelled, throwing a smile over her shoulder to an individual that passed them before her scowl returned.
“I have some paperwork I need to wrap up.” he cooly responded.
She searched his eyes for something… anything really. At the very least, some type of indication that he cared. It didn’t exist and it pained her so.
The day started off normal enough.
Since the pregnancy announcement, Yuno had arranged for Momo to engage in rescue efforts- primarily creating items as needed. Blankets, toys for startled children, basic items really.
She was on the ground now at a church that had been set on fire. The fire department should have been the ones to handle this situation, but apparently, foul play on behalf of a villain had been suspected.
Momo handled the roped off area for the victims, and had created heat protectant gear for the other heroes on the scene.
She was tending to a mother and infant now- the infant wailing at the top of his poor lungs. His mother repeatedly apologized.
“That was a very traumatic experience. Please don’t apologize. Here, I will make him a pacifier.” Momo flashed the mother a smile, attempting to create the item from her arm. Nothing was happening. Panic began to rise up inside of Momo. Did she need to eat? No, she wasn’t even hungry. Had she overused her quirk? No, she had created far more items during a smaller window of time than she had today. What was going on!?
“Oh please, don’t bother! You could be using those resources elsewhere! I can just feed him.” the mother stated, placing a hand gently on Momo’s arm. Momo returned the mother’s warm smile and got up to check on some of the other victims.
Things were beginning to cool down, and while Shouto and Momo kept things strictly professional at work, she desperately searched for her husband. She found him inside of the building-well, what was left of the building anyway, melting his ice walls that incapacitated the flames that took the building.
“Shouto.” she started, trying to control the panicked expression that she was sure had taken over her face. He didn’t bother to stop and look at her, just grunted in acknowledgment.
“Something is wrong with my quirk.”
“Why are you here right now?” he responded.
“You are in here, talking to me right now. Why?”
“That is an amazing question actually. I have no idea why I bothered.” she scoffed, exiting the building just as quickly as she had entered.
Shouto was sprawled out on the couch. The fire had been easy enough to control earlier, but he was still exhausted beyond belief. He had been carrying a lot of stress ever since he found out about the pregnancy. Momo was insane for trying to even carry the baby to full term knowing that it would be damn near impossible for her.
He was frustrated that he was being thrown into fatherhood. He knew family curses were cyclical until someone broke it. He would have a household from Hell just like he had grown up in. How could he possibly be a father when he had never had the type of father that children deserve?
Truthfully, Shouto had been scared. Scared that he would lose his wife during this journey. Scared that he would find himself- his true self, and she would realize what a mistake she had made marrying him. He was his father’s child after all. Scared that if this baby somehow survived (though he didn’t believe it would), he would be a failure as a father.
He dealt with his fear in the same manner that he had as a scared child- he folded inside of himself, shutting the outside completely out.
“Shouto, are you awake?” he heard Momo whisper into the dark. He glanced over at the clock on the wall. It was a little past midnight.
“Guess I am now. But I was about to head out.” he grumbled, sitting up and rubbing his eyes.
“Now?! It’s late.” she argued, her arms wrapped tightly around her midsection.
“Yeah well… today’s rescue required quite a bit of paperwork- especially considering the damage done to the building and the number of victims on the scene.”
He eyed her carefully, she seemed to have accepted his response.
“Are you… having an affair?” she whispered.
“Are you crazy? What kind of man do you take me for? I would never, ever step outside of our union.” he spat. He wasn’t sure if he should be offended or if he should laugh at the bizarre inquiry.
“No. Just the type of man that leaves his wife to deal with her pregnancy all alone.” she sarcastically responded. He rolled his eyes.
“Yeah, I’m definitely not doing this with you right now Momo.” he huffed, getting up from the couch and heading towards the door.
“There are worse things than infidelity you know.” she mumbled as he slammed the door behind him. He didn’t care to analyze her statement. Didn’t care to replay the conversation they had just had. His mind did briefly wonder what she had came into the living room for in the first place. It wasn’t to pick a fight, but he shrugged the thought away. He had work to do.
Momo was the type of hero that blurred the lines between personal and professional. Her agent Kiyoki and manager Yuno were like close friends of hers. She had been sharing her pregnancy with the public, a huge ad displaying her in a maternity wear line had been gracing the streets. It was plastered in phone booths and in the train station. Shouto wasn’t that type of hero. Work and home were completely seperate for him, so as he headed into the office to wrap up the reports from today, he completely shed his worries from home.
Momo headed out to the hospital shortly after Shouto had left. Between her quirk malfunction and the abnormal amount of pain in her abdomen, she was worried that something was truly wrong.
Why did she have to ask that stupid question about an affair? Maybe he would be by her side right now if she hadn’t picked a fight. She knew she was just trying to comfort herself-- he wouldn’t have came anyway. He seemed to want nothing to do with their child and since their baby and Momo were a package deal, he did not want anything to do with Momo either.
She hypothesized a billion reasons why. An affair was at the bottom of the list, yet she still asked. She was sure that when it boiled down to it, he was just scared, but God had he been channeling his fear wrong. She was trying to be patient and understanding, but she was starting to resent him for his behavior.
She felt so alone. She felt like that lonely little girl from her childhood, surrounded by inanimate objects and hardly ever people unless it was the house staff or a huge dinner party. U.A. had given her a false sense of security from the warmth of people around her- but they were all adults now and she was back to being engulfed by the cold loneliness she had become so accustomed to as a child.
She returned home to a still empty house and tears fell as soon as she shut the door. The doctors suggested that she had a medically based termination. They warned her that she may not ever be able to use her quirk again or worse, things could get fatal, but she didn’t care. She would do anything to keep her baby alive, even if it meant she sacrificed her own life.
Momo was surrounded by a pool of blood. It oozed out of every pore and wouldn’t stop flowing. She was drowning, weighed down by the thickness of it all. She tried to scream for help, but blood came from her mouth instead of words. She fought it for a while, trying to swim through it all, but it eventually won. She allowed the blood to take over until her body was lifeless. The last thing Momo saw before she snapped awake from the nightmare was an endless sea of blood, and there her body lied at the bottom of it.
“Shouto!” she called out into the darkness of the room, frantically searching for his sleeping form next to her, only to be met by emptiness.
She glanced at the clock. 3:24am. She frowned as she eased out of the bed, still panting from the gory dream. As she headed towards the kitchen, she noticed all of the lights off.
Shouto was nowhere to be found.
It wasn’t until she tasted the saltiness of her tears on her lips that she realized that she had been crying. As her hormones got the best of her resulting in hysterical crying, she felt a kick in her stomach. She instinctively placed her hands on her stomach. Hiccups hitting her as she steadied her breathing.
“Oh. Oh baby. Hello. It’s your mommy. Are you awake?”
There. Another kick. Momo felt peace wash over her.
“It’s going to be okay. I’m going to be okay, I promise.” she cooed to the life within her, running circular motions across her six month belly.
When Momo returned to sleep that night, she dreamt of red again. This time, there was no blood. Instead, she saw the most beautiful sunset ever, the sky painted in shades of dandelion, tangerine and scarlet. As the sun set, she saw a beautiful baby girl with bright red hair, the same color as Shouto’s left side.
Her very full bladder interrupted her peaceful dream, but she woke up smiling nonetheless.
“Oh my beautiful sun child…. Himiko”
“She’s always so active when she hears your voice Sho. You should talk to her more.” Momo stated, taking a bite of the meal before her. She forced herself to swallow the food. It had been hard for her to eat, but Himiko needed the food and she would do anything for her daughter.
“I’m fine. Thanks.” he stated nonchalantly.
“Even when you’re saying these ASSHOLE things, she still loves it.” Momo retorted, slamming her fork down. Shouto paused, taking a deep sigh.
“Here we go.” he muttered, calmly placing his fork down.
“ASSHOLE ASSHOLE ASSHOLE!” Momo shouted, tears streaming down her face. It was exhilarating to just curse and state how she felt.
Shouto gave her a disinterested eye roll.
“You have been the most inconsiderate jerk this entire pregnancy. I’ve had to do this all alone! Do you know how that feels?!”
“I didn’t force you to keep IT!” he spat back, shoving his chair back to get up from the table.
“NO. YOU JUST CONVENIENTLY CAME INSIDE OF ME AND HELPED TO CREATE HER! HER! SHE! STOP SAYING IT! SHE’S YOUR DAUGHTER SHOUTO AND HER NAME IS HIMIKO. SHE HAS BEAUTIFUL RED HAIR AND WILL LIGHT UP EVERY ROOM LIKE A PRINCESS OF THE SUN!” Momo was inconsolable now. The dam has been broken and she couldn’t hold back.
“Fuck Momo. Spare me the details. She won’t make it anyway.” he hissed, zero regard for his delivery or how it would land.
His words hit her with the force of an eighteen wheeler.
“How can you say that? Why would you say that? You’re so evil.” she whispered. She crumbled to the floor beneath her, her breathing heavy.
“Mo— I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that. I—“
“I hate you. I hate you. I hate you Shouto Todoroki.” she made out in between labored breaths.
Shouto ran his hand over his face.
“This is… I’m just like him. I can’t do this. I’m pretending to be this perfect husband and you want me to be this perfect father. I don’t know how the hell to do any of that and yet you decide to keep the baby.”
“I believed in you even if you didn’t believe in yourself. I could have chosen anyone else but I chose you and you leave me out here cold for seven months.”
The air was suffocating her and she was in so much pain, it was almost unbearable.
“Mo— I’m sorry. I don’t want to fight anymore.” He was moving towards her now. She held up her hand, shaking her head.
“Stay away from us!” she screamed, doubled over in excruciating pain. He stopped in his tracks, wincing at the amount of pain in her voice.
“It’s so typical for you to cower back in the face of opposition instead of facing it like a man! You don’t get to back down now and try to calm me down. I’M PISSED! YOU DID THIS TO ME AND YOU WILL DEAL WITH THIS!” she didn’t know she could yell that loud or cry this much. The tears refused to stop.
“I have zero clue what the FUCK you want from me Mo.”
“I just want you to see—“ her voice croaked and she wrapped her arms protectively around her stomach. “ She’s a miracle. I never thought I could create a miracle. Of all of the things I’ve created, she’s the most perfect of them all. I wish you could be happy for me. For you. For us.”
She never knew how he responded. She collapsed on the floor of their dining room. Had she been alert, she would have noted the pool of blood surrounding her just as it did in her nightmare a few weeks ago.
“She’s 28 weeks. If we cut the fetus out tonight, chance of survival for both mother and baby is… low. Baby would be extremely preterm. Mother is bleeding out.”
Shouto nodded, not understanding any of this besides the fact that he was possibly going to lose both Momo and their daughter in one swoop. He should have been present during her appointments, but he had conveniently missed them all. He had not attended a single one.
He knew the basics- that Momo was not supposed to be able to conceive, but that she miraculously had. As a result, it was not likely that the baby would survive.
He did not know how high risk the pregnancy had been. He was not aware that their daughter had been eating Momo from the inside out. He had no idea that Momo may never be able to use her quirk again.
Placental abruption. Subchorionic bleeding. Cesarean delivery. What the hell did these terms even mean?
She was right. He was evil. Only a monster could be that far removed from their wife and child as he had been.
Fear was suffocating Shouto, a new type of fear. He eyed the baby curiously, his heart pounding out of his chest. How had Momo known that she would have bright red hair like his, minus the black patch that sat towards her tiny forehead?
“I know its a little scary seeing her like this… so tiny with all of these tubes poking out of her, but you can touch her you know? Let her hold your finger. Talk to her. I’m sure she knows your voice.”
Shouto gave a simple nod to the nurse, hesitantly reaching into the glass box that his daughter laid in. He placed his index finger into her right hand and instantly fell in love, but he didn’t deserve his daughter’s love. He didn’t deserve Momo’s love. He didn’t deserve any of the life that he lived. He felt… defeated.
“See? She loves you already. It will be up to you to care for this little one here. Mom may take a while to heal.”
“I… I can’t do that.” he stuttered, feeling panic overtake him.
“Sure you can. We’ll be here to help.”
“Where… where is she?” Momo asked, worry and fear evident on her face.
“Shh… shh. She’s okay Mo. She’s in the NICU,safe and sound.” Shouto assured her, holding her hand tightly in his. She snatched her hand away from his grasp and he had to admit that it hurt.
He took in the sight of his wife, her hair in disarray after the delivery and the emergency blood transfusion afterwards.
“I thought that I was going to lose you.” he whispered.
“You wouldn’t have cared.”
He furrowed his brows tightly, causing a crease to form at the center of his forehead.
“Not true.” was all he could muster up. Momo glared at him with a look of disgust.
“Mo… I’m sorry. I--”
She held up her hand dismissively.
“You are a SMOOTH talker Shouto Todoroki. You made promises when we got married. Promises you neglected to keep these past seven months. I don’t want to hear ANY of it. If you are sorry, then you SHOW me that you are sorry.” she spat, fury glassing over her dark eyes.
“Just tell me.” his voice croaked, her anger causing him pain. “Just tell me what to do Mo. I’ll do anything. Please just don’t leave me.”
He sounded like a wounded animal, he knew, but he didn’t have time to worry about how weak he sounded begging his wife for forgiveness. He needed her to know that he could do better. He would do better. She sighed deeply.
“I made promises too and unlike you, I keep my promises. I’m not leaving, but I can’t promise that I will forgive so easily. You hurt me Shouto in ways I’ve never felt pain before.”
The wall of anger had been cracked, replaced by a wall of hurt. He wiped the tears as they fell from her face.
“I will spend the rest of my life making it up to you and our sun child.”
And even if he knew that a devil’s spawn like himself didn’t deserve Momo, their child, or the life that he lived, he meant every word. Momo had been so strong fighting for her life and their child’s life all while saving lives. She was his hero, and now… he needed to be theirs.