He was only a residential advisor for two reasons.
The first being that his father had forced him to apply. It was an opportunity for him to prove responsibility and leadership skills, after all. The second reason was that as an RA he got to have his own room.
And after eight months of being in charge of the fifty residents on the boy’s side of the building, Todoroki Shouto was positive he’d made the right decision. He definitely didn’t want to share a space with any of them.
Take Midoriya for instance. Arguably his best friend and by far the most tolerable of the male occupants in his building, the green-haired boy muttered when he studied, collected far too much memorabilia, and frequently had guests over.
No, despite the deep-seated frustration at admitting that his father was right, being an RA had plenty of perks.
There was a flurry of quick, resolute knocks at his door and Todoroki sighed. There were plenty of perks, sure, but a single drawback…
He opened the door to reveal a tall, serious-looking girl with her thick, dark hair pulled back in a high ponytail. Her eyes were slanted by severe brows. Her lips pinched into an all-too-familiar frown. Her student ID hung on its lanyard over her perfectly-put-together outfit despite it not even being a requirement to wear inside the dorm building.
When the RA from the women’s side of the building came to him it was always with the same irritated scowl. He could feel the lecture coming, and heaving another sigh, Todoroki opened his door wide enough to let her enter.
Her eyes did a quick sweep of his immaculate room. He knew she was impressed by his tidiness--perhaps the only trait they shared.
The female RA had not been forced into this position due to parental responsibility, and he had a feeling she wasn’t drawn to the perks of having her own room. No, Yaoyorozu liked the job. She thrived on being in charge, of helping Freshmen talk through their emotional problems, of staying on top of her residents’ grades and organizing study sessions. She enjoyed ensuring everyone made it back by curfew and organizing social events and being sure the snack counter was stocked with healthy produce.
And more than anything, she didn’t appreciate that her partner didn’t share in the joy of their mutual responsibility.
“It’s study hour,” she began, crossing her arms over her chest and leveling the weight of her glare on him. She was probably student council president in high school, Todoroki decided. She had the authority and carried the weight of responsibility with sturdy shoulders. Even though he hated working with her, he couldn’t bring himself to hate her.
No. She was too damn good at their job.
“Yep,” he replied, turning to sit at his computer chair. Because he had studying to do himself, he booted up his laptop and stared at his reflection in the screen. Behind his shoulder, he watched Yaoyorozu’s expression morph from mild annoyance to rage. He bit down on his smile as her hands planted themselves on her hips.
“Your boys are making noise in the courtyard. Kaminari has a guitar ,” she said the last word like it was something heinous--as though the blond were in the courtyard brandishing something far more sinister than a string instrument.
Todoroki shrugged. “Maybe that’s how he studies.”
“It’s loud.” Her lips flattened to a thin, pale line. “And it’s distracting the girls.”
Todoroki used his legs to turn in his chair and face her. A mild look of satisfaction settled across his features and, if possible, Yaoyorozu’s posture straightened.
“Ah. So that’s the issue here.” Resting his elbows on his knees and leaning forward in the chair, he weighed the options of upsetting her further. It was never wise, but he’d also never been one to back down from a challenge. “Sounds like something you should be handling then.”
Her fists at her hips compressed, knuckles turning white at the strength of her fury. “I tried. The boys are too distracting. Make them come inside and study, or…”
Todoroki knew she didn’t have a threat. But he also knew Kaminari needed to buckle down. The blond had a test on Monday that he probably wasn’t prepared for...
“Fine,” Todoroki quipped. “I’ll let them know they’re distracting the girls.”
Through clenched teeth, she ground out, “Thank you.”
And then she was gone, slamming his door behind her and Todoroki couldn’t help but smile a bit. She was mad, sure, but that didn’t stop her from being polite.
Yaoyorozu was seated on her bed, the soft hum of music floating from her computer speakers. It was a gentle, classical melody. The kind that was supposedly perfect for studying.
For some reason, despite chemical formulas usually coming easily to her, she was… distracted.
When there was a gentle tap at her door, she glanced over at her desk clock. It was late, but not that late. She wondered if Mina needed advice on an outfit or if Ochako wanted more cryptic relationship advice. Maybe Jirou had another question on her chemistry homework…
Getting up, Momo checked her reflection in the mirror. Her sleep shorts and oversized sweatshirt weren’t her usually presentable self, but the girls in the dorm had certainly seen her in worse. Opening the door, her big, professional smile fell.
“Oh. Good evening, Todoroki.”
He frowned at her. “I’m not going to this.”
She stared at the flyer in his hand. The one she had helped the Head of RAs on campus put together.
“Iida said it was mandatory for us all to attend,” she replied.
“Well, I’m not going. I don’t like fancy dinner parties. There are more practical ways to have fundraisers.”
“I know.” She couldn’t help but find herself agreeing with him. Todoroki was often frustrating to work alongside. He was aloof and antisocial and not willing to put his personal biases aside, but she had to admit that he was talented and capable, good with the residents. He was responsible and had flawless judgement. But above all else, he was unflappable and resolute when she felt like she’d bend to the faintest pressure. “I suggested another cookout, but…”
She bit her lip. But no one had listened to her. Todoroki inclined his head, hearing the words that hung in the air between them. He had a way of understanding things she hadn’t quite managed to articulate.
“I am sorry,” she whispered.
He sighed. “Yeah. I’m sorry, too.”
She blinked. “What? Why?”
“Cause I’m not going, and you’re going to be the one that has to explain to Iida why I’m not there.”
To his retreating back, Momo shouted, “Hey!”
But he didn’t so much as turn around, and Momo rolled her eyes all the way to the ceiling.
Her hand slapped something on his desk, right on top of the notes he’d been studying.
Todoroki refocused his vision to read the header on the paper before lifting his gaze to meet Yaoyorozu’s. She looked awfully serious for a woman brandishing a flyer on safe sex.
“You were supposed to make a bulletin board by Tuesday for the boy’s side.”
“Mm. Was I?”
He pushed the flyer away and continued reading over his notes.
“I’m serious. They’ll be coming around to check them soon. You can come take a look at the girls’ side--”
“--but you can’t just copy it. And you most certainly are not permitted to take a photo of my board, print it out, and slap it on your over like you did with the board on body positivity.”
Todoroki sighed. With practiced patience, he raised his eyes to meet hers. Yaoyorozu looked tired. More tired than usual. Her skin a bit pale, shadows darkening the skin beneath her eyes. She had a bad habit of stretching herself thin, but this was…
“And don’t make Iida do it.” She pointed an accusatory finger at him. “This is your job. And also…”
Her words trailed off as she dug in her backpack. After a few moments of rustling, she pulled out a large bag.
“...pass these out.”
“What is this?” he asked, and opening the bag to reveal it was stuffed to the brim with condoms, he immediately dropped the bag as if its contents had burned him. “No! Absolutely not. I’m not encouraging them to…”
“You’re not giving them a pass. You’re just making sure they don’t impregnate any of my girls.”
She sighed, but he couldn’t help but notice a bit of pink flush dotting her cheeks.
“Fine,” he grumbled. “I’ll put them on a table next to the bulletin board.”
At this, her eyes widened. “You made a board?!”
“Nothing fancy. Just printed off seven of the forty-two links you sent me,” he mumbled.
Choosing to ignore his clipped tone, Yaoyorozu clapped her hands together happily. “Oh, Todoroki! Thank you so much.”
And she left and it was quiet enough that he could finally study again, except it still kind of smelled like lavender tea and expensive perfume and for some reason Todoroki didn’t want to dwell on, he found it just distracting enough that he couldn’t concentrate.
“Tell your girls to wash the gym towels when they’re done using them,” Todoroki said in lieu of greeting.
Yaoyorozu looked up from her text book and blinked. “Good morning, Todoroki.”
“The boys went to use the gym before classes started, but all the towels had been used and hadn’t been washed or replaced. Remind the girls of the system.”
She nodded, once. “R-Right.”
“What’s wrong?” he asked, running a hand through his wet hair. He’d managed a shower after his workout, and he’d… Todoroki glanced down at his damp shirt. It clung to his chest and shoulders, and… When he looked up, Yaoyorozu was staring studiously at her book. Her eyes wide, unwavering and unblinking.
“I will remind them of the gym’s towel protocol. It won’t happen again.”
“Good,” he said, and when he turned, lingering for a moment at her door, he found her still staring at her book. She tucked some of her bangs behind her ear and Todoroki was struck with how pink her cheeks were.
There was music blaring. She could hear the thumping of bass from her room. Throwing open the door and storming down the hallway toward Todoroki’s door, Yaoyorozu came face-to-face with the men’s RA.
“There’s a party,” she said at the time he shouted, “What is all this noise?!”
Yaoyorozu’s lips flattened to a thin line. “It does sound like it’s coming from the floor above.”
Todoroki sighed. “But those speakers are definitely Kaminari’s.”
They walked up the stairwell together, the rhythmic thumping of bass and excited chatter of residents growing louder and clearer with each step.
When they made it to the floor, they found the girls’ doors all open, the party spilling out into the hallway. Jirou’s room seemed to be where the music was concentrated, but when Mina flittered out of Ochako’s room, a plastic cup of punch in hand, she caught sight of the pair of RAs and skidded to a stop.
“Oh, hey Yaomomo.” Her eyebrows wiggled. “Todoroki.”
“Good evening, Mina. I see you girls are having a party.”
“Not a party!” she laughed, waving a hand in the air as though to wipe away the mere suggestion of rule breaking. “Just a small get together. And we didn’t invite either of you because, well, we knew you wouldn’t have any fun.”
“Oh.” Yaoyorozu said with a blink. At her side, Todoroki frowned. They locked eyes for a moment before the dark-haired girl exhaled. “Regardless, we should say. To make sure nothing gets out of hand…”
“Sure.” Todoroki inclined his head. “Would you like a drink?”
“Ah.” She bit her lower lip. “That would fine. But no alcohol.” She was working, after all, and it wouldn’t be proper… But she was encouraged to mingle with her residents, to be not just an advisor but a friend. So she smiled and said, “Just a soda.”
“There’re condoms over there,” Mina shouted over the music, pointing to the bag of condoms Todoroki had handed to Midoriya to pass out. As Mina danced in the opposite direction with a smile tugging at her features, Yaoyorozu flushed all the way to the roots of her hair.
Todoroki met her gaze, his expression serious, and asked, “How about we just start with that soda?”
“Yeah,” she laughed. “Soda would be good.”
“Okay.” His lips flexed to a smile, and Yaoyorozu decided that Todoroki had an exceptionally nice smile. She liked being an RA, and as Todoroki returned with a plastic cup of soda for each of them, she couldn’t quite remember why she’d ever wanted to do this job alongside anyone else.