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Todoroki VS The Media 

IV. Todoroki VS The Media 

Sending Shouto to the press conference by himself is a mistake.

Tenya is better at talking to the press. Izuku is leagues above both of them in the art of “being camera ready” or whatever that means. Tenya is polite, eloquent, and carries a leader-like charisma that bolsters him through even the worst interviews. Izuku is the star hero, the one with the Number One Hero smile and his own brand of likeable charm. Shouto has neither of these qualities. He doesn’t talk to the press. Even when he does he spends more time staring down the unlucky journalist or reporter than he does answering. 

Tenya is better at talking to the press. Izuku is leagues above both of them in the art of “being camera ready” or whatever that means. Tenya is polite, eloquent, and carries a leader-like charisma that bolsters him through even the worst interviews. Izuku is the star hero, the one with the Number One Hero smile and his own brand of likeable charm. Shouto has neither of these qualities. He doesn’t talk to the press. Even when he does he spends more time staring down the unlucky journalist or reporter than he does answering. 

“You’ll be fine,” Izuku says, pressing a quick kiss to Shouto’s jaw. He blushes all the way up to his hairline when Tenya mirrors the action on himself. “I’ll try to make this quick. You’ll barely notice I’m gone!”

“Izuku is right,” Tenya nods, clapping Shouto between his shoulder blades with a firm hand. “You will handle this. I have faith in you!”

Staring at the empty seat beside him, Shouto disagrees. The flash of cameras before him is a sea of vultures and attention hungry press attendees, hitting Shouto with one question after another.

“Is it true you are dating Pro Hero Ingenium?” “Are the rumors true? Are you dating Deku?” “Entropy, are you dating anyone?” “Did you take Ingenium and Deku to the Rising Hero Gala as your dates?”

Shouto stares sightlessly at the wall behind the crowd. “Yes.”

“Wait, which one --?” “How long?” “Who!?” “What does that mean?”

“Long enough. I moved into their apartment a week ago.”

“Who’s apartment?” “Wait, I’m so confused --?” “Who are you dating?” “What apartment?”

And so on. 

“Entropy!” A brave reporter steps out. “What are your thoughts on the board’s decision to move --”

“I don’t care about the board.” Shouto says. The flash of cameras blinds him for a moment. “Whatever they do or don’t do doesn’t matter. They don’t actually care about hero society or anything I have to say. Next question.”

“Entropy --” “What does that mean? Are you having issues with one of the board members?” “Your father, Endeavor, was recently --”

Shouto bites out, “Don’t ask me questions about Endeavor.”

“Is it true you two don’t get along?” “Your childhood rebellion from the Flame Hero is --” “Young men shouldn’t disrespect their --”

The glass of water on the table beside Shouto turns to a block of ice. The press in the crowd go wild shouting all at once. He puts a hand on the table and takes a steadying breath. Villains never unnerve him. Crisis never unsettles him. Petty jabs from people on the street or unsavory individuals (Bakugou) never dig under his skin. But the press, the media cycle...immoral sensationalists who shredded his family under a microscope after the news about his mother, these damn media people

“There are concerns your popularity polls are declining due to your --” “-- conservatives are not fans of your open involvement in the --” “Do you think the spike in petty crime rates is a result of --”

If only reporters were simple villains, Shouto muses. I could freeze them all. He considers actually freezing one of the reporters in the front row shouting about “Entropy’s lifestyle choices” which Shouto knows is a subtle dig at his “untraditional” choice of partners. A warm, solid hand on his shoulder distracts him before he makes up his mind.

“Sorry I’m late.” Izuku, Pro Hero Deku, Number One Hero addresses the crowd. To Shouto, he sneaks his hand behind Shouto’s neck and presses gently at the vulnerable skin there. “Alright, I’m here! Who’s got questions?” Every ounce of tension in Shouto’s spine expels through his body with a relieved sigh.

The reporters attack Izuku with as much ferocity as they showed Shouto. Out of reach of the microphones and cameras, Izuku whispers beside him; “I am really sorry. I didn’t mean to leave you to the sharks for so long.”

“It’s fine.” Shouto whispers back. “Where’s Tenya?”

“He’s spending more time with his brother.” Izuku says, shooting down a reporter with a question about agency territory reforms. “He said he’ll be back for dinner.”

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