Chapter 1: Acts of Service
“What kind of Guys Night is this? Where are the boobs?! Where is the booze?!” Natsuo snorted, his eyes darting around the massive kitchen rapidly. The counter had ingredients spread neatly across them with kitchen utensils lined up in a perfectly straight line.
“Yeah. I’m kind of with your brother on this one Todo-Bro. You don’t even have a PlayStation set up for us.” Inasa chimed in, the large wind hero furrowing his brows tightly.
“What is this all about Todoroki?” Shinso asked before feeling Midoriya’s hand slap the back of his neck.
“You’re not being fair Shinso! No mind control tonight.” the number one hero yelped, a bright smile sitting on his face, surrounded by his freckles.
“Thanks for coming tonight guys. We’re going to take a beginners cooking class with a world renowned chef.”
The five men stared at him silently.
“Seriously, who let him plan tonight?!” Natsuo exclaimed.
“Ah, come on guys, it’ll be fun! Besides, you could probably really swoon the ladies if you cooked them a nice meal!” Midoriya stated lightheartedly. Todoroki couldn’t tell if his green haired friend was trying to convince himself or the rest of the group.
“Is this about you trying to get back in good graces with Momo?” Tenya bluntly stated, asking the question the rest of the gentlemen had been thinking, his arms chopping through the air aggressively. Todoroki grunted.
“HA! My sis still isn’t letting you touch her is she? Serves you right. I warned you that your behavior wouldn’t get you far.” Natsuo shouted, laughing at a volume much too loud.
“Okay. Fine.” Todoroki gritted his teeth, annoyed that he had to provide the group with an explanation. “I do want to learn some cooking skills so that I can take the load off of Momo. She’s been dealing with a lot as a new mom.
“Well why didn’t ya just say so? ‘Course we’ll do this with you bro! Anything for your Mrs.” Inasa exclaimed.
Quiet as it was kept, the simplest of tasks were ten times harder as a mother of a newborn. Momo had always been surrounded by a housekeeping staff growing up, so she took a lot of pride in doing household tasks around their apartment like a normal person. It kept her grounded and humble— something she always strived to remain. No matter that she was heiress to the Yaoyorozu empire. No matter that she was the number three hero. No matter that she was married to the number two hero. She rather enjoyed the simple things in life such as waking up to cook breakfast or doing laundry, but there was nothing she enjoyed more as a new mother than doing absolutely nothing.
Himiko was snuggled up next to her, secure in her pillow bassinet. Momo had a fear that one of them would roll over on their daughter while sleeping, so she purchased the neat product. Sure that Himiko was sound asleep, Momo debated internally on what she should do with the moment. Her options were shower, prep dinner, or do laundry. While she was tempted to do nothing at all, she knew that wasn’t a wise option and she needed to choose wisely before the moment of grand opportunity ceased to exist. As she mentally created a list of pros and cons for each task, she dozed off— her body deciding that sleep took precedence over it all.
When Momo woke up, she was visibly startled, chest panting as the moonlight peeked through the window blinds. She sharply turned to the alarm clock on the nightstand. It was after 7. Had she really slept for 6 hours?! How had Himiko’s cries not woken her up? She glanced to her side and noticed that Himiko was no longer there.
Adjusting her tank top and leggings, she headed out of the dark bedroom, noting the warm smells coming from the kitchen. The scene before her stopped her dead in her tracks.
There Shouto stood, holding Himiko tightly against his chest with his left arm— presumably keeping the newborn warm, while he stirred the contents of a pot on the stove with his right arm. She could not believe her eyes. Shouto did not know how to cook. Where had he learned this?!
Momo stood on her tippy toes, taking a peek into the living room across from the open kitchen. The piles of laundry that previously occupied the space by the couch were no longer there. Everything was in pristine condition. Had he done all of this for her while she slept?
She glanced back over to her husband, who had noticed her by now. He greeted her with a large smile- a very rare expression from the number two hero. Though she tried to push it away, she naturally smiled back at him, annoyed by how tightly he had her wrapped around his finger. He made his way over to her and attempted to kiss her forehead, but she took a step away, her back firmly pressed against the wall behind her. Though dejected, he did not allow it to deter him from his next statement.
“I’ll do whatever it takes to keep you Mo. I’ll wait on you hand and foot until we grow old and die. I just want to make you feel good.”
Later, she wanted so badly to tell him that he had. He had made her feel so good that night with a home cooked meal in a clean home— but she didn’t. She wouldn’t give into forgiveness that easily. Men should have to do more around the house anyway she thought; this was not the 1930s with gender roles. Still, she acknowledged the effort Shouto put forth, though she planned to keep said acknowledgment to herself with her stomach full, her body rested, her mind relaxed and her heart warm.
Chapter 2: Quality Time
Chapter 2 Cameos: Rei Todoroki & Fuyumi Todoroki.
“I still don’t understand why you had mom order all of these physical copies of these outdated Disney movies.” Fuyumi stated, sorting through the boxes of movies sprawled out on the hospital floor.
“I wasn’t sure which ones Momo would select.” he flatly responded, annoyed with his sister’s many questions. Were all sisters equally annoying, or did his have a dash more annoyance than others?
The two of them were spending the afternoon with their mother at the hospital, and Fuyumi had been working his nerves with all of her lecturing. First, it was all of the tips about dealing with newborns (she didn’t even have any kids!). Then, it was all about how he should be attentive to Momo (as if she was the Momo expert!). Of course, it looped BACK around to how disappointed she still was with the way he treated Momo during her pregnancy (his disappointment in self was more than enough for the both of them).
“It really wasn’t a problem. I had fun doing this for you and the nurses even helped. Tell me what this is for again dear.” Rei Todoroki cooed, smiling brightly at her son.
“I want Momo and I to have a lock-in. We’ll spend the entire weekend camped out in the living room watching all of her favorite Disney movies. I just want some time with my wife. I still have two days left to get everything else, but this was a big help mom. Thanks for ordering the movies. I know it was time consuming checking off the list.”
“Oh nonsense! I was happy to help and I am sure Mo-chan will enjoy every minute of it. Quality time is a necessity.”
Momo and Himiko had spent the afternoon at the hospital with Shouto’s mother since they missed the visit three days ago when Shouto went. Every moment spent with the soft, sweet woman reminded Momo of the reasons she loved Shouto. There was so much of his mother deep down within him. It was in his blood, so even with the bad, she knew there was so much good flowing through his veins.
These thoughts comforted her as she headed back to their apartment. As she got the key through the door and pushed it open, a sweet smell overwhelmed her. Momo knew the smell and she knew it well. She licked her lips thinking about the chocolate chip cookies that Shouto had obviously baked.
As she moved further into the home, she stopped in confusion. A huge fort made out blankets and pillows draped across the entire living room area. Twinkle lights streamed across the walls and she was sure that she had seen a picture of such a scene on Pinterest or Tumblr. She raised her eyebrow questiongly, scanning the room until her eyes made their way to the stacks of movies near the TV. She heard the shower running in the bathroom and took the moment of privacy to snoop through the stacks, curiosity getting the best of her. There were ten stacks total, each with fifteen movies. She scanned the titles of the expansive Disney library. When had he gotten these? How did he find some of these!?
The bathroom door opening startled her, and she whirled around and met eyes with a shirtless Shouto.He had a towel wrapped around his waist with a smaller towel in his grip, rapidly rubbing the towel through his wet hair.
“You’re home sooner than expected.”
She gulped, slowly steering her thoughts away from her scantily clad husband.
“What is all of this?” she asked, motioning towards the living room as a whole and nothing in particular.
“We’re going to have a Disney Movie Marathon Weekend.”
“Do you not have work?”
“Took off and told the old man not to bother me- not even in the case of an emergency.”
This caused Momo to frown in disapproval. “I am positive Endeavor did not take that well at all.”
Shouto shrugged. “Eh. He understood, well… kind of. He does not understand why, but he knows that for me, you come first. Being a hero comes second. During your pregnancy, I allowed fear to consume me and I got too wrapped up in work. I won’t allow that to happen again.”
Momo stared blankly at him. She did not want him to have any indication of the happy thoughts that flowed through her mind or that her heart was bursting with excitement. No, it was best that she kept her cool.
“Well uh… I’ll take over baby duties while you shower and change into something more comfortable, yeah?”
Momo reluctantly agreed and handed Himiko to her father before she headed to the shower. 30 minutes later, she returned, wearing her favorite shirt-- the first t shirt that was ever made for the hero Shouto. A grand smile spread across her husband’s face when he saw her sporting the t shirt with his face largely printed across the front.
“I still hate you Shouto Todoroki” Momo firmly stated, only halfway joking.
They spent the entire weekend watching every Disney movie her heart desired, and she even convinced Shouto to sing along to some of the songs. When she played Snow White (which he hated), he did not even complain, and when she told him a million fun facts about the stories, he did not argue with her about their validity. She had enjoyed every second spent with her husband. They had not had time alone like this since they were in Paris to get married. Momo was no fool though and she was not going to allow Disney movies to break her so easily.
Even though they laid on opposite ends of the pillow fort and Momo ensured that they used separate blankets AND that a body pillow separated the two, no barrier could stop Shouto from easing his way back into her heart. She wasn’t going to share that with him though. He still had work to do.
Chapter 3: Words of Affirmation
Shouto was a man who did not speak much. Sometimes he just didn’t have the vocabulary needed to accurately articulate his thoughts, other times he didn’t feel comfortable sharing his thoughts, but most times, he just didn’t feel like it was anyone’s business to know what he was thinking.
Even as the number two hero, he opted out of interviews whenever he could. It was very rare for the quiet man to make a public appearance and on the rare occasion that he did, he was not there to speak on personal matters.
“I hate the grey, it washes him out. Where’s the stylist? Tell them I want Todoroki in the navy. It makes his eyes and hair POP!”
Shouto found himself rolling his eyes at his agent while he sat in the chair for hair and makeup.
“With all due respect Mr. Number Two Hero sir, could ya stop moving?”
“Sorry this makeup stuff is weird.” Shouto mumbled, trying to keep his face still as they applied powder on him.
“I promise that when you see the special on TV, you’ll be satisfied. It won’t look like makeup on screen.”
Shouto nodded, before apologizing for moving again.
As much as he hated interviews, he had agreed to film a 90 minute TV special all about balancing life as a hero, husband and father. He hoped that Momo would watch and understand how much she and Himiko meant to him.
Momo sat on the couch, Himiko balled up on her chest. She lazily flipped through the television channels. While she did not indulge in too much television, she felt that she deserved a break away from books. She had read enough in her life thus far where television would not rot her brain cells. Besides, her mother never allowed her to watch television and she did not have a ton of time to do so while at U.A. As an adult, she was exploring all that she could- even the rotten stuff. She had a guilty pleasure of indulging in Korean dramas, and was always on the hunt for a new one to start. As she flipped through the channels, a mop of red and white hair caught her eyes. She paused, watching her husband on the screen before her.
“I think that in generations prior, there was a focus on men being protectors and providers. I would say that my father Endeavor operated from that mindset. It served him well in his career advancement— obviously.”
Momo turned the volume up, listening to the awkward chuckle Shouto let out after his last statement. He wore a navy turtleneck and she could not resist from biting her lip. He looked GOOD! She was trying to focus on his words as he continued discussing the mindsets of many of the Ultra Heroes of the generations before, Endeavor included. He was uneasy discussing this. She could tell he was trying to share more about himself and upbringing without divulging too much information about his abusive past.
“Anyways, I think my generation is striving to make a change. I don’t believe that I should have to sacrifice my family or a happy home for a thriving career. I’m on a mission to prove I can have it all.”
She smiled at the twinkle in his eye when he said that. The documentary continued, showcasing clips of Shouto in action, discussing his stats as a hero and giving an overview of all of his many awards and recognitions. The first segment wrapped up.
“Now that we’ve discussed the story of me, part two will move into the story of we.”
When the heck did your father film this?! she wondered out loud to Himiko.
A picture of she and Shouto flashed across the screen. Her eyes widened. He NEVER discussed her or their relationship. Curiosity ensued and she sat up. Himiko whined about the change in position and after Momo adjusted Himiko on her chest, she glued her eyes to the screen.
“I have been in love with my wife since I was fifteen at U.A. I was never able to pinpoint when I fell in love, but I had always noticed her. As you all know, she was a recommended student as well.”
A class picture from their first year popped onto the screen and Momo couldn’t help but smile at the nostalgia of it all.
“I was young and dumb then and never seemed to find the right time to tell her how I felt and once I did, I did not know how to act on those feelings so we agreed to be friends. BIG MISTAKE.”
He chuckled, an easy chuckle and it caused Momo to laugh. How sweet of him to share his laugh with the public.
The documentary gave a brief overview of Momo and she was pretty satisfied with the way the documentary was handled and even more satisfied with the pictures selected. She briefly wondered if her agent Kiyoki had anything to do with the production.
Shouto shared traits he admired about her the most, with clips of his family singing praises about the onyx haired hero. Even Endeavor made a brief appearance to speak on how remarkable she was as a hero and human, and how he had been happy to have her join his agency almost a year ago. She blushed, her heart brimming with joy.
“Finally having her as my own is a dream come true. Words cannot accurately convey my true feelings. She’s always had my heart and will always have it.”
She smiled to herself, mindlessly rubbing her hand through Himiko’s hair.
The third and final portion was titled the story of three, and opened with a picture of Shouto, Momo and Himiko. She increased the volume on the TV.
“I shared earlier that I want to prove that I can balance work and home, but honestly for a while, I wasn’t sure how. This crippling fear worried me and I wasn’t sure that I would be an adequate father to our daughter.”
Momo held back tears. He was being real and raw. Where had he learned this? While it was painful to think about how awful he had been towards her during her pregnancy, she sincerely understood what had been at the root of it all as he discussed the emotional turmoil he suffered while she was pregnant. He did a great job of sharing just enough to satiate the public's thirst for information, while keeping details private; she appreciated that.
“My wife and daughter are everything worth living for. I have greater purpose because of them. My greatest concern is being my best for them. They are my everything. I love you both .”
He was looking directly into the camera and Momo understood that this entire thing had been for her. Shouto was stepping out of his comfort zone to love her out loud, publicly— proving that he truly would do anything for her. She was starting to believe it.
She never would tell him that she had tuned in, and she still wasn’t ready to forgive him, but she tucked this effort into her memory bank and smiled as she continued to surf through the channels for a Korean drama.
Chapter 4: Receiving Gifts
Chapter 4 Cameos: Jirou; Mina; Ochako; Tsuyu; Toru
“What do you get someone who has everything and can create so much?” Shouto huffed, his hands shoved deep in the pockets of his jeans.
“Momo is a lady of style and elegance! Clothes, shoes, bags! She’d love those things!” Mina squealed, the pink alien hero jumping excitedly.
“That’s dumb. Yaomomo works with all of the top brands, she has access to those things!” Toru stated, the floating t-shirt and jeans making her presence known.
“What about a far away trip! She’s so cultured and loves to travel!” Ochako beamed.
“Not a good idea with a newborn Chako--ribbit.” Tsuyu interjected.
“Oh yeah. Right. Sorry Todoroki.”
“Not a problem. Thanks anyway for the suggestion.”
They made their way through the crowded mall, his baseball cap and shades were enough to keep him under the radar. Ochako had her hair up in a high bun with shades. The rest of the group were not in the public eye as much and did not need to disguise themselves.
Under normal circumstances, Shouto would not have been at the mall,let alone with Momo’s group of friends- but this was not a normal circumstance. He was desperately trying to get back in Momo’s good graces and was willing to spend whatever, say whatever, and do whatever it would take to make his wife happy to be his wife again. His energy was drained from being dragged to the variety of stores based on the varying tastes of the women he was with. Never did he think one singular mall visit would result in a visit to a pet store (Tsuyu needed a special soap that amphibians used), a music store (Jirou just wanted to pop in and see the display of a band she was working with), the Prada store (Mina just wanted to window shop), a hair salon (Toru needed new shampoo and Shouto wondered if she even actually had hair), and a jewelry store (Ochako was picking up a watch that Izuku had gotten a link taken out of). 15 stores later and he still did not have anything for Momo. He sighed, tired and defeated.
“Honestly, it was a mistake coming here. You know these sorts of material things don’t mean much to Momo. All she cares about is the life she shares with you. The family you’ve built. The fact that you’re her home dude.” Jirou stated, yawning lazily.
Family… home… it finally clicked for Shouto. He knew exactly what he would be getting for his wife.
Momo sat in the back of their driver’s car, her view obstructed by a blindfold. She was trying to mentally keep track of time. Had it been 10 or 15 minutes? She heard Himiko making spit bubbles from her car seat and the sound of Shouto planting kisses on the two month old’s face. Hard as she had tried, she could not quite figure out where they were going and she lost track of the turns they were making long ago. She sighed, finally giving up just to enjoy the boring ride.
Shouto had taken the day off and simply told her that he had something that he wanted to show her. Dressed in leggings and an oversized t-shirt from a band Jirou was working with, she hoped they were going to a place where she would not be seen by anyone— especially not paparazzi. Her agent Kiyoki would kill her if she was caught looking like this. In her own defense, Momo told Shouto to give her a moment to change, but he insisted that she looked beautiful and that she could make a trash bag look like high fashion. She had scoffed when he said it. Flattery was not going to get him out of the dog house. Still, she kept the outfit on.
The car pulled to a gentle stop and the quiet engine cut off. She listened as Shouto unbuckled Himiko, and then heard their driver open the door on Shouto’s side. Shortly after, the door on her side flung open and she felt Shouto’s calloused hand wrap around her own. She instantly snatched it away.
“I know we’re still a little broken right now, but I need you to trust me. I just want to guide you.”
She wanted to look into his eyes, wanted to read them for his truths, but the blindfold made it impossible. She instead took a deep breath and allowed him to grab her hand to ease her out of the car. He snuggled her close to his body to take tiny steps towards the surprise, and while he was pushing his limits, she allowed the closeness. She didn't want to fall is what she told herself. This was the first time she had allowed him to touch her in months and her stomach instantly sprouted a butterfly garden within.
She heard him fumbling with keys before he warned her to watch her step as he guided her forward.
“Okay. We are here.”
His voice echoed through the space, and Momo wondered if they were in a museum or something- but why would he have keys? She lifted her hands up to her eyes, gently pulling the blindfold down. An inaudible gasp escaped her lips.
They were standing inside of an empty house— a house that eerily resembled the house of her dreams she had described to Shouto years ago. Her eyes darted around the large space, natural light spilling through the floor to ceiling windows. As she looked out the window, she noticed the sold sign in the lawn. She turned to Shouto.
“You bought us a house?”
“I bought YOU a home. Come on. Let me show you.”
He held out his hand and Momo contemplated on whether she would accept it or not. Her moment of consideration led to him lowering the body part altogether, briefly frowning before he forced a tiny smile back onto his face. He nodded towards the left and began walking. She trailed behind, maintaining a safe distance.
Five bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, and even an in home gym. It was a bit extensive for just the three of them she thought, but she was blown away nonetheless. The kitchen was extravagant and she could see herself experimenting with so many recipes. The master bedroom had a huge garden tub and she was already planning out bubble baths. The master bedroom had a balcony that overlooked a garden, and while she had mostly remained silent during the tour, the garden probed her to speak.
“You… there’s… it’s just like the garden at my family home.” she whispered, turning to face her husband. His heterochromatic eyes met her dark orbs and he nodded.
“Let’s go see it.”
As she made her way through the garden, she noted the red rose bushes already in bloom, and the blank patches that left room for her imagination to run wild and plant whatever she saw fit.
“I know how much the garden back at your family home means to you… and that means a lot to me.”
Why did she feel like crying? She blinked away her tears, not daring to let Shouto see that she was indeed moved by his efforts.
“It’s already all paid for and it’s all in your name. YOU own this alone. I know you’re giving me a second chance to make things right, but if at any point you decide I’m not what you want, I’ll surrender and know that I’ve made my bed to lie in. I just want you and our daughter well taken care of, even if it’s without me. I just want you to be happy.”
“You’re making it so hard for me to hate you.” she sniffled, frustrated that the tears had a mind of their own.
“It’s the least I could do. I made it so easy for you to hate me in the first place. Even I hate me.” regret lingered in his tone.
She gazed at the red roses adorning the bush nearest her, studying them carefully as she tried to get her feelings in check. Emotions were hard, but logic was easy. In moments like now when her emotions were out of whack, she drafted a list of logical elements; her choice today being a list of causes and effects. She needed to analyze the pieces that led them here and begin to think through the effects of what her decision today could lead to.
Logically, she felt that she shouldn’t forgive Shouto. When she thought back to how she felt during her pregnancy, it gave her every right to hate him...
So why was her brain telling her to follow her heart?
“I can’t see myself here without you.”
The words fell from her mouth without her permission and she was angry with herself. With her brain and heart aligned, they would work in tandem (her brain the leader) to move towards forgiveness. The gap was closing quicker than she had ever anticipated and she did not understand how the very man who had left scars on her heart had turned around to ease the pain so rapidly.
She should still be livid. She shouldn’t have even given him another chance. She should be so cold and distant just as he had been- but Momo couldn’t. It was not her nature and… she didn’t want to be that way with him. She was hopelessly in love with him, but now was not the time to express such. He didn't deserve that from her just yet. Instead, she allowed her statement to linger, occupying the silence between them before she headed back inside of their new home. She still needed to work through what all of this meant moving forward for them, but for Shouto, her statement gave him all of the hope that he needed.
Chapter 5: Physical Touch
Chapter 5 Cameos: Enji Todoroki/Endeavor & Natsuo Todoroki
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Sex and the City? Sounds SPICY!” Natsuo shouted, causing Endeavor to scowl.
“Easy there perv. It’s a western film… or television series… or book...or something and hardly what you’re thinking. Momo watches it… or reads it… or whatever. Anyways, there’s this scene where the guy builds a custom closet and proposes with a shoe or something, I think. I’m not explaining this well, but the sentiment still stands. I want Momo to have a custom closet.” Shouto tried to explain to his father and brother, as the three men installed shelves.
They had spent the early half of the week painting the closet, and now they were installing the final elements. Shouto wanted everything in the house to be perfect before their scheduled move in next week. While they had hired professionals for everything else, he wanted to do this part himself.
“You’re standing too close to me old fart. Scoot over.” Natsuo hissed, elbowing Endeavor.
“No abusing the Boomer.” Shouto stated, slapping his brother on the back of his neck.
Endeavor grunted, his eyebrows furrowed tightly as he drilled into the wall.
“I wonder if your mother would have wanted something like this.” the large man mumbled, his eyes fixated on the task before him. Natsuo and Shouto glanced at each other uncomfortably.
“It’s a little too late to wonder those things, don’t you think?” Natsuo asked, before Shouto shot him a glare.
“Well I… I started the paperwork for her release.” Endeavor let out a heavy sigh, finally pausing.
His sons stood silently, both surprised.
“I should have done this sooner-” he started before Natsuo interjected.
“You SHOULD have never had her admitted in the first place.”
Endeavor nodded in agreement.
“I think that’s great, but you don’t expect her to fully forgive you do you?” Shouto asked, genuinely curious.
“Ha. You’re in no position to speak on full forgiveness. Momo should have left you dumbass.” Natsuo snorted. Shouto couldn’t even muster up an argument, his brother was right.
“Even I am to blame for your relationship issues. I am afraid that no matter how I try to atone for my sins, the cycle will be vicious. A sin that my children have inherited.”
“BULLSHIT! I accept none of that Gramps. My relationships flourish because I am amazing and handsome and really and truly amazing.” Natsuo exclaimed, very proud of himself.
“It's just taken a bit more effort on my end not to make the same mistakes that you did. Anyways, I don’t think it’s fair for mom to be released and forced to go back home with you. She should stay here.” Shouto decided.
“Yes well… that sounds like a good option. The decision will ultimately be hers. Paperwork will take some time to process since there is a portion of time spent where they assess and observe her for some months.”
The two brothers nodded, allowing the conversation to naturally find its end there. The three Todoroki men continued on the project before them as Shouto thought through the changes his father had made. The decision will ultimately be hers rang through his mind the loudest. At least his old man finally understood the beauty in choice versus force. He was changing too, and he hoped Momo noticed.
Momo stood before the large three way mirror in her closet. Her agent Kiyoki had the collections that Momo had locked away in a storage unit delivered to her new house and Momo had spent the better part of her day organizing her closet, pausing every so often to try something on and reminisce.
The closet was too much, it was beautiful, it was sooooo thoughtful. Momo could hardly believe the transformation that had occurred in the space. Himiko slept soundly in her rocker at the center of the closet, Momo eyeing the baby carefully through the mirror before returning to the reflection that stood before her. She frowned.
The strapless gown on her did not look nearly as good as it had when she wore it to her first ever hero awards almost five years ago. She couldn’t zip the back, the strapless-ness exposed the nasty scar on her left shoulder from The Syndicate mission two years ago and the open midriff highlighted her c-section scar. She wasn’t sure if she had ever felt this disgustingly hideous. Not even her pubescent years had set her up for the way she felt right now. She traced the scars slowly, not able to stop the tears from falling. She closed her eyes, trying to force the tears away and when she opened them again and returned her gaze to her reflection, she spotted Shouto in the doorway. She jumped, quickly wiping away the tears to no avail.
“Mo… what’s wrong?” he asked, crossing through the doorway and making his way towards her.
She frantically shook her head. Why did the sound of concern sound so sweet on his deep voice? His question only made her want to cry more, so she did, and he stood there as helpless as her.
She held the dress closely to her body taking one last glance at her reflection before she snatched it off and moved to walk past him. He gently grabbed her wrist, bringing her into a hug. It had been MONTHS since she had been in his arms, and she didn’t have the heart to fight against it any more. She needed a hug. She needed his hug.
She cried until she had no tears left to give, and as he held her tightly against his muscular and broad chest, he made sure to tell her how gorgeous and perfect she was. When her crying finally stalled and the closet was filled with nothing but the sound of her quick breaths, he turned her around to face the mirror.
“You know, my therapist says that it isn’t good to hold such heavy emotions to yourself.”
Momo raised her eyebrow, making eye contact through the mirror. “Your therapist?” she questioned, head tilted curiously. He nodded.
“I thought that I was healed from my past traumas. I thought that U.A. healed me. I thought that Izuku healed me. I thought you healed me. We were kids, just fifteen years old. I don’t know why I thought we could unpack my issues alone and everything would be okay.”
Momo had so many questions. When did he start seeing a therapist was the primary one. Instead of shooting off the thoughts in her head, she granted him silence to sort through his own.
“I was okay for a while, but that’s because I felt safe and in control. When you got pregnant, that safety and control was compromised. I did not-” he paused and Momo could tell that this was hard for him to revisit. She wanted to tell him it was okay, but a selfish part of her wanted him to relive her pregnancy through his thoughts. She was the one who had to actually live through it. If she was strong enough to survive that and work towards forgiveness, he could deal with his guilt and unpleasant thoughts on the matter.
“I did not handle any of that appropriately and I almost lost you as a result. I did not even realize that I was hurting you in the process of trying to protect you. I just did not want to turn into my father and I thought that distance would prevent that. You needed me though and I don’t know why I couldn’t see that. It was stupid really, and illogical. I started seeing a therapist the day after you gave birth and have had ten visits since then. I want to be better for me. I want to be better for you… for Himiko… for us.”
Momo turned to face him, searching his eyes as she always did for the unspoken truth. There was none today, he had laid it all out on the table. "So yeah, anyways... if a professional says you should not hold heavy emotions to yourself, they're probably right."
He grabbed her hand and led her over to the ottoman in the center of the closet. He plopped down, looking up at a still standing Momo.
He reached up, tracing the scar along her left shoulder, frowning a bit as he did. She shuddered beneath his touch.
“I hate that I’m the one who caused this scar, but it looks so beautiful on you. A testament of your courage and care. You literally saved my life Momo Todoroki. I am forever indebted to you.”
His warm fingers moved to her c-section scar, a teeny tiny, hardly noticeable grin snuck onto his face.
“And this one? Proof that you can create miracles.”
His lips replaced his fingers as he trailed kisses along her stomach. He grabbed her hips and pulled her closer to him.
“I’ve always been fascinated by your quirk, the way your body creates these amazing things, but I think I am more impressed by your body’s ability to adapt to carrying a life inside of you. Your hips spread to do that and god does it look good.”
He was rubbing the stretchmarks on her hips slowly, giving each and every one their own moment of individual attention as he bit his bottom lip.
“And these?” he was eyeing her thighs now, so much love filled his eyes. “You’ve always had the greatest pair of legs I have ever seen Mo. Long and strong.” he planted a single kiss on each one before he abruptly stood up.
His hands grazed across her chest, causing her heart (and other places) to flutter. Her stifled whimper did not go unnoticed and he smiled.
“I’ve always loved your chest, that goes without saying, but I am searching for what’s beneath.”
His hand lightly moved around the left side of her chest, pausing every so often before moving on. He finally let out a satisfied sigh, keeping his hand in place. He moved his hand and nuzzled his head in the spot instead, listening to her heart beat. She wrapped her arms around his neck, holding him close.
“The scars that I left here aren’t visible like the rest, but I know that they’re there. I wish I hadn’t put them there, but when I hear your heart beat like this, I am reminded how beautiful your heart still is. It's as beautiful as the rest of you, scars, stretchmarks and all.”
He lifted his head, kissing each and every tear away as they fell, and when there were no more tears left, he kissed her forehead, his lips lingering in the spot for far longer than was necessary for a forehead kiss.
“I need a real one.” she whispered, and he eyed her carefully, ensuring that she was confident in her decision before moving his lips to hers.
As their lips meshed together, Momo felt their hearts do the same, and even if there were scars there, she knew that with his love, even the nastiest of them all would eventually fade away.
Ah... and here we are! Redemption. My heart physically hurt after writing Sun Child and while I had NO plans on writing this fic, it just popped in my mind as I checked my work emails this morning so I worked on this whenever I had a free moment throughout my day. It was needed.
Physical Touch & Receiving Gifts were my faves to write. Which were your faves to read?
Pink glitter hearts! Thanks for reading- and to those who are invested in the series as a whole and engage in dialogue with me, I appreciate it so much! I don't plan out the stories told in this series at all! Literally, the characters just wake me up in the middle of the night with scenes or a statement and I just go from there like the maniac that I am. I can't believe people are actually reading my work. Thanks a ton!