In the Shadow.
Chapter One: My Heart is Human.
Like ghosts, ice fades. The sun melts it all. I sat at the desk, cold and hard and constraining. I sat, a ream of index cards next to me, a stack of fifty or so. My brother, red and white hair so different from my light slushy gray, sat to my right. He watched everyone. Twenty-one including me. My brother and I, twins, were born to the number two hero.
A package deal. Shoto Todoroki, the heartthrob, the dreamy mystery… and his shadow. A monochrome copy. A monochrome clone. Koyurei Todoroki. The ghost, the enigma. Shoto did the talking, I resigned myself to silence.
A perfectly opposite duo. He was more reserved; I was more passionate. He and I weren't so far apart ever since we were little. All the others were different, but I could tell that they were doing double takes.
Mostly due to me being monochromatic. One of the others shivered.
"Brr… it's cold in here…" he mumbled, his green eyes looked at me, I flicked up a card.
"It's because my quirk is Dry Ice."
The boy nodded, his eyes shining, "So… you can't turn it off?"
"I'm afraid I can't…"
I leaned over to Shoto, "W-what's… his name?" I whispered to him. Shoto turned towards the Green-Haired Kid.
"He asked what your name is," he stated blandly, with the kid blinking, I just barely managed a smile, I hoped it was comforting or at least warm.
"O-Oh! R-right, I'm Izuku Midoriya!" The kid exclaimed, I smiled and flicked up a card.
"Nice to meet you, I'm Koyurei, my brother is Shoto. We're identical twins, but my quirk awakened and sucked all the color out of my hair, turning it gray and my eye color silver-ish. It seems to have been an advantage…"
Izuku read the cards I flicked up, nodding, "I see… so the gray hair is a chromatic change…" he muttered, "And… the reason it's cold is your quirk, yeah?"
I nodded, my gaze drifting, pocketing my cards and making sure my sleeves covered my arms adequately. Everything had to be perfect. Coat? Perfect. Hair? As perfect and soft as the newly fallen snow… Still, all of this work, taking the practical as an added 'Challenge' set by my father was taxing on my mental stamina. I was tired, sick with nervousness and mostly depending on my brother and my cards.
Then… I saw someone. Someone so pretty my world just froze. She looked interesting enough, bright pink skin, odd golden eyes with black sclera that were oddly intoxicating to look at. I blushed and tugged on Shoto's shirt.
"What is it?" he asked.
"Pretty, she's pretty," I whispered, the girl perked up and turned around and I must've said it at a higher volume. I fumbled with my cards.
"Eeea…" I mumbled, seeing the ream tumble and burst. I saw her get up as I kept collecting them, Shoto seemed not too bothered by it, letting the girl help. I was busy and I felt a warm hand brush mine a bit. I didn't bother looking.
"Here ya go!" she chirped happily, I took my cards and flicked one up.
"Thank you, sir/ma'am/miss."
"Aww! You're welcome!" she exclaimed, I was losing my composure, the air getting colder and colder, "Uhm… are you okay?" she asked. 'Eyes! Pretty… she's gorgeous!' I thought, staring right into those spellbinding eyes and blinking, trying to fumble for a card that fit talking to a girl this pretty.
She tilted her head, her curls slightly waving with the motion, she had the cutest smile… FOCUS! I fumbled and pulled up a random one.
"Don't let your dreams be memes."
"Huh? Is… is that… Pfft… Pfft…. HAHAHAHAHAHA!" she was laughing and I shot up, going back to my desk, overwhelmed and just wanting to sink into the floor. The first girl I talk to and she laughs at me? I felt kind of sad about it.
"It was a joke, Koyurei," Shoto stated, "She didn't mean to laugh at you, you just pulled the wrong card,"
"But… she's pretty…" I mumbled, "So… s-so…" I blushed heavily and my desk started to freeze. Shoto sighed and patted me on the shoulder, I shut my eyes and moaned a little, Shoto patted me on the back.
"When we get home, how about you just let me handle reorganizing your cards? Or… maybe I'll let you have extra time with your video games?" Shoto asked, smiling lightly, I looked up from my little hidey hole.
"E-even if…" I barely whispered.
"Even if he yells at you," Shoto said, "And even if today's an… ugh… review…" he groaned, "Seriously, I don't get why that bastard has you train even more, your quirk's stronger than my ice and can even make him stoke up his flames,"
"I'm… I'm terrified of him! He's… he's so scary…" I muttered, "Please Shoto, don't make me go… he's… he's gonna yell at me… and…" I clenched my hair tightly in my fists, "I… I'm already strong enough, why's he gotta mess me up?"
"Keep pushing! I didn't raise a quitter! OR A BASTARRRRRDDDDD!"
"You call that ICE?! I CALL THAT A WASTE OF EFFORT!"
"NO RESTING, KOYUREI! ALL THOSE YEARS OF REPRESSION THANKS TO HER HAS STUNTED YOU!"
"I… I don't wanna go home…" I whispered.
Everyone seemed to be so happy. That was good to see, and I liked seeing people happy. Mom was always happy, and Natsu and Fuyumi… but He never was… it wasn't… right. Either way, I liked school.
Everything seems so much better here. I mean… I… I don't get it. I guess it could be. Everyone was socializing, and I didn't realize that I was sitting right next to a bird-headed boy and right in front of a boy with purple balls on his head.
"So lucky…." the ball boy sighed, "Why does there have to be two ice-cold chads in this class?" I leaned back and flicked a card towards him.
"Why're you mad? Because we're handsome or something?"
"Get on our level. Actually, don't, you stygian nightmare."
Fuyumi's cards came in handy for perverts! I heard something impact and jumped, the spikes of ice on my desk lengthened into a small divider. I didn't want to go. Everyone was so nice… except for my seatmate behind me. But that was moot, my ice faded, and with it I needed to…
"Heeeeyyy!" the girl from earlier ran up and there was that dazzling smile again. I didn't flick a card up, I took a deep breath.
"H- Hello…" I stammered.
'And now… I die. I die before even giving my shattered remains of my heart to someone… without it being a quest for power… which means… Yaoyorozu's going to Shoto and… and I… will probably end up alone. Everyone I care about has already moved on and I'm… just stuck.'
"So you talk! Wow… you're even cuter up close!" she exclaimed, "My name's Mina!"
"M-Mina…? Are… are you… p-pro… proposing?" I spat, making the pink girl's face flush a deeper pink.
"WHAT?!" she gasped, "Y-you…? M-Me? Like… "dating" dating?" I blushed, shutting down, flicking another card up, this time from Blue. Her eyes scanned it and I flinched.
"No. Like marriage. But… if you want to be friends, that's fine."
'Place gun to roof of mouth, blow me away.' I thought. Mina looked at the card, blinked, and looked a little sad. I didn't want to make her sad! I hustled after my brother, blushing furiously and trying to get that pouty face out of my mind. He smiled.
"The old man's going to enjoy that story…" he sighed.
"Shotoooo… don't tell him…" I whined a little.
"I won't." he stated.
Our house wasn't home. Not in the conventional sense. It was a classic Japanese-style home, old and on the historical registry, Shoto slid the door aside and I slid it shut, removing my shoes and Shoto smiled at me.
"Get to your room, I'll handle the Balrog," he said.
"God be with you, brother…" I whispered.
"He shall NOT PASS," he said like that wizard in our favorite movies. I hustled to my room and dodged through the hall, making it there and sliding my door shut. I heard Him training and hoped he didn't stop.
But then, the weights that signaled hell's gates dropped to the floor, and the Balrog's groan of satisfaction rang out. I wanted to shut it out, but I couldn't… I could hear everything. The walls were so thin…
"Shoto. You're home," He stated, His voice like that foul monster's roar. I tensed, it was bubbling, boiling calmly.
"Of course, like I'd be anywhere else. How was today?" Shoto, brave and strong like the wizard, asked so calmly. Two opposite elements working together as one like a spell. Shoto always knew what to do, and I was always clueless.
"Easy, how was yours?" He asked.
"Good. Everything went well. I got second in the Quirk Apprehension, and…" he got interrupted.
"Who got first, Shoto? Was it your brother?" He asked, voice dangerously low. Shoto probably nodded at this point or stayed silent.
"Yaoyorozu," Shoto reported, making the chair He was sitting in squeak. He was angry, his snarling voice thundered.
"What." He stated, before measuring his response, "As expected of his betrothed. They'll make a fine addition,"
"Wait, I thought you sai-" Shoto began before getting cut off again.
"I changed my mind, She's your brother's now," He stated, as if it was normal to treat girls and ladies like objects. Like tools. They weren't like that. They were… more. They were people too. My door slid open and Shoto was on the other side, I gulped hard, hearing the booming growl and wishing my cold would dominate
Wishing isn't the same as being. He looked at me and smiled, a fake one. I knew they were fake, just wires being pulled to look as if he was smiling. He was a walking demon in a flesh-suit that broke my Mom, alienated my sister, ignored my other brother… and valued us because of how powerful we ended up being. Cold blue eyes met my warm gray with flecks of hopeful blue. The silver lining. The wires pulled and the belching sulfuric breath of his flames snapped me back to reality. Time to don the shell and keep it up until I can hide again.
"Ah, Koyurei, how d'you handle yourself today?" He rumbled, false interest lining his tone, I flatly looked at him.
"Well enough, I performed to the best of my capabilities and functioned well," I stated, "Even though there were some with better programs than most," He nodded, and I knew my overcomplicated jargon would tide him over.
"But you were in third, why is that?" He wondered, His eyes piercing.
"As I have stated before, I performed to the best of my abilities. One must account that not all quirks are equal. There is not a known quirk that is everything," I droned, "Please, do not take this as a failure, it is only a fact." The heat stoked, and I flinched, shaking, tremors wracked me.
"Failure is no option, either way you'll have a use," He said.
I didn't know what he was getting at, but then I knew the minute he grinned again.
"I've arranged you with Mr. Yaoyorozu's daughter, I believe she's in your class? Anyway, get ready, it starts in a few hours," He stated, the wires still pulling his lips up with a smile. I nodded and left to my room, flash-freezing the door in my anger.
Who was HE to decide who I loved?! Who was HE to decide what I do?! I mean… she MIGHT be nice… or pretty… or absolutely gorgeous.
But… then she'd turn out just like him. Cold and cruel. I guess… I'll know when I meet her…