Chapter 31. A Long Way to Go.
Everything was silent, almost tense. I only had one eye and everything but… I noticed something coming out of the smoke, something oddly familiar. A figure covered in burn scars and dressed in black, all kept together by many strands of fabric just waiting to break.
"Well well well… how touching! Yet another day where the heroes win it all!" A raspy, oddly familiar voice called, belonging to the man as blue flames surrounded us, "I'm just here for my Nomu, but seeing as you torched him I guess I have time for a little chat, seeing as this is our first meeting, right Endeavor?"
"Dabi…" I growled, he smiled.
"Oh yeah! You DO know me! Haha!" he cackled, "Well… here's the de-"
Suddenly, Miriko landed between us, cracking the pavement and launching in the air again, "Heya! I saw the news I hopped over! Hey Patchwork, yer with the League, yeah Getcher ass over here so I can kick it!" She yelled.
"Tch, dammit… do it, Ujiko…" Dabi sighed, the Rabbit Hero almost went in for a kick but Dabi backed away, "Besides! We can have a heart to heart another time! SO DON'T DIE, ENJI TODOROKI!" he burst into mud and the flames went out.
All I could think of was the fact that he had pure malice in his voice. But I was too injured to do anything. But… it couldn't be who I thought it was. Could it?
Ever since Dad's battle with the Nomu, I have resorted to training even harder than ever. Running with weights on my back, lifting more and more weights as the days wore on. With special permission, I could fly around campus as long as I had someone watching me.
But now… I was slowly trying to pull myself up after a long day of training. Mostly in the water, just to test my breathing. Dad was finally discharged and Shoto wasn't very excited about it. Neither was Natsuo but Fuyumi suggested we all get together and celebrate the victory.
Momo was waiting at the side of the pool, smiling and holding a towel, "Dear, it's going to be alright." She assured me, her onyx eyes glittering in the afternoon glow. She tied her hair back into its usual fluffy ponytail but I liked it a little better while it was down. She was wearing her usual uniform, but I just wanted to stay with her. I didn't wanna do this! I mean, yeah, I worried about him, but I wanted to stay the hell away from that trash heap of a house.
"Koyurei, you're stimming again," Momo said, "With your hands, you're nervous."
"Nervous? Me? Noooo!" I denied, "Just uh… e-excited!" my hands were tapping each other and locking around each other.
"When you're excited there're stars in your eyes." Momo grabbed my hands and squeezed them. "If you don't go, how will you know things will go wrong?"
I bit my lip, "It's just… Dad… he's never… been like this. Not even when I was little… And now Fuyumi and my Mom are riding the bandwagon and here I am still indecisive."
Momo just huddled against my warm chest, closing her eyes and leaning in gently, "Just be you, Koyurei. You decide whether to let your father in. Whatever you choose will be the right thing, just like when I went out with you,"
She fondly kissed my broader muscles, in fact I was looking more and more like my dad with each passing gain. It was weird but Grandmother joked that puberty was hitting me like a space shuttle.
In so many ways she was right. So I just leaned down a little and kissed Momo on the forehead. Her soft hair tickling my chin. Momo was absolutely perfect. I heated up and put my shirt back on, letting out a long breath.
Letting the weight in me lighten just a tad. I stood in front of the mirror, looking in at my harsh bluish gray eyes, my tall and muscular body, my softer but no less tough looking face. My longish lava hair was blue.
I closed my eyes and turned around, knowing I had to just grin and bear it. Dad was trying and as much as I was tentative about it, I had to just take it. I wore something casual and left my dorm, seeing Shoto and Ibara talking, she seemed very worried.
"Ibara, take it easy, I know your dad and mine have had history before… oh hey Koyurei, where's Yaoyorozu?" he asked.
"Uhh… I didn't know that bringing my girlfriend was mandatory," I said, "So she's… staying back this time," Then I felt a tap on my shoulder.
"I am not!" Momo exclaimed, "Where Koyurei goes, I go too!" She was wearing a normal-looking blouse with a suit jacket, a skirt on and her hair was brushed and curled slightly on the ends.
"Oh, hey Momo." I said.
She just held my hand as we headed out, Natsuo waiting outside, "Come on, you guys, time to face the Balrog." he sighed.
"B-Balrog…" Ibara squeaked, shuddering, "You truly do need my help then! Oh, Shoto, I must do my utmost to save your soul!" she was shining as Shoto blushed a little.
"Ibara, it's fine. Just… just calm down." he said, grabbing her hand. I chuckled.
"Aww! Looks like you really have a Galadriel!" I teased.
"Shut it!" He hissed, turning red, "Just let me…"
"Shoto, dear, It's alright…" Ibara cooed, "I'm just glad to be here with you," I just giggled as we all piled into Natsuos car. He drove tensely, the car grumbling just like he was, I sighed and looked out the window, seeing everything whiz by.
I just wanted to get this over with. So when the old house showed up I braced myself. Natsuo noticed that.
"Hey, bro. You don't have to stay long, I'm just here for the food," he said.
"I know, but then it'll get weird," I mumbled, "Even if Momo's there, then there's the whole thing with Dad and Fuyumi working so hard and then…" I rolled my hand, "Your whole thing with him,"
"Just get in here and stop complaining." Natsuo sighed, I know you don't like it but if your girlfriend can handle it so can you,
I huffed and followed him inside. Never thinking I'd ever cross this threshold again. It sucked the life out of me. I just wanted to go back to the dorms and forget it ever happened. I closed my eyes and Momo grabbed my hand.
"Oh! Shoto, Koyurei! And your girlfriends!" Fuyumi exclaimed, "Nice to see you all!" She had her hair tied back and she was wearing an apron, working hard in the kitchen.
"I'll assist you in the kitchen, Miss Fuyumi," Ibara hummed. She breezed into the kitchen as Fuyumi leaned close and nudged Shoto.
"Oho! Look at you~! Jackpot!"
"Hm… I wouldn't say Ibara is a jackpot…" Shoto mumbled. I just sat down beside Momo awkwardly. Not because Dad was coming home but the fact that Natsuo was obviously stewing, Ibara was about to drop a sermon, Shoto was laser focused on his tea, and Fuyumi was trying to keep everything from going crazy.
Momo just laid her head on my shoulder. I kinda just calmed down and focused on the food brought out by Fuyumi and Ibara. Ibara sat down next to Shoto and Fuyumi sat on the end next to Momo.
We steadily began eating as the door slid aside, showing Dad. He looked okay except for the big as fuck scar on his face, it ran through his eye, shaving off a good amount of his eyebrow and pushing back his hairline a little with it ending at his chin. He surveyed all of us, seeming to pause at the sight of Momo and Ibara.
"Welcome back, Dad!" Fuyumi exclaimed.
"It's… been a while, Natsuo, everyone," he said, sitting down as Shoto piped up.
"That's a bad scar," then he went right back to eating. I just looked up at him.
"I… uh… uhm… hope your recovery ah…" I choked on my words, having Momo finish it for me.
"Koyurei was so nervous after the fight that he barely slept, he's glad your recovery went well, Mr. Todoroki,"
"Hm. I see." He said, Natsuo and Shoto glared at him and I just wanted to go back to my dorm and go to bed and forget this ever occurred.
"Hey, you two both promised to celebrate, remember?" Fuyumi hissed, making me get up, pulling Momo with me. Dad noticed the sudden movement.
"Koyurei, what's the matter?" he asked.
"Look, Imma just say what's on everyone else's mind here, but this isn't right or normal or anything of the sort. My relationship with Momo, Mom leaving, You dumping me off with Grandmother every chance you got, and you decide to care now? This is bullshit! How bout I decide what I do for once, huh?" I ranted.
"The only family I had back then were Shoto, Natsu, Fuyumi, and Grandmother! This shit feels fake! Like it's on your terms! Just like with Momo! Just like with Mom! I have to live with your shadow over me all my life!" I fumed, my hair bubbling and hissing.
"It just doesn't feel right… How can we just go on like everythings okay? How… how can I go on knowing everything is gonna be okay when you get hurt like that! Ah hell… I feel like I ruined it… sorry, Fuyu. Thanks for the food," I bowed my head and left, Momo holding onto my arm.
"That was… something." She commented, "Wait… Wait, Koyurei," she tugged on my arm a little, making me stop.
"Are you going to break up with me again?" she asked.
"Maybe. I'm a goddamn mess right now and the only thing keeping me from committing arson is the knowledge that my Grandmother would smack the shit outta me with a sandal," I growled, "Also, why the fuck would you bring up the fact that I stayed up worrying over him?"
"Because you did," she said.
"RRRGHHHHH! I told you to quit taking things outta context!"
"But we had context," she stated, "Seriously, every other week you want to do something drastic," she sighed.
"I… I… Fuck! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!" I yelled, "Dammit! Why the fuck is he doing this?" My hair burst into flames before cooling, "I don't understand…" I whispered. "He never tried before, why is he trying now?" I just sat down right there on the curb, head between my hands and just not understanding.
Momo just sat down and put her arm around me. She just hugged me and got us walking away. I just wanted to ditch it all. Run away to some island and be a hero there. It was a dream of mine to just be a hero to somewhere where they didn't know me or my father.
It was also my dream to drive a mecha and save people with that robot fighting bigger things than me. Childish and immature, but that's all I was. Running in this world under the shadow of my stronger and better siblings and father.
'Why couldn't they understand that I couldn't take things the same way as them?' I thought, 'Why can't I just swallow down this shit and grow a spine and not run away?' I grabbed my head, 'Fuck… why am I so scared?! It's not supposed to be this way!'
This is where the hero should pick himself back up and tell his foe to hit him harder. Not where he's gonna mope around and be sad! Momo just hung onto my arm. It didn't feel right anymore. I wanted to just let go of it all and carry on.
I used to want to cling on and let everything sail on by. But sometimes… sometimes it's time to let things fall. Let the water close over your head. Face the shark again. Terrifying as it was… facing the unknown.
I needed to face it with a smile, right?
I needed to face it how I decided, right?
Momo looked up at me, "Koyurei, you're thinking." She said.
"Momo… I… I gotta know something." I stammered, "Is it normal to… be terrified of the unknown?"
"Of course it is, why do you ask?" she wondered, "Of course its normal, but it's not like you have to face it all alone."
She grabbed my hand, "You have me, and all your friends. Your brothers and sister, your grandmother and mother too," she said, "I'm sure that you can handle it,"
"That's optimistic, but okay, whatever," I mumbled. "I'm just worried,"
Momo and I just stood up and started our way back to the dorms. I wondered what the next thing was gonna be. I had a long way to go either way. Once we got back to the dorms I settled into my bed with her laying near my chest.
"Man, that was a shitshow and a half, huh?" I asked. Momo sighed and nodded solemnly.
"At least you didn't fistfight him again, like at the exam."
"Hey, back then it was him or me, Shoto just fucking bailed," I said, and Momo just kissed me on the forehead.
"I know, Koyu big powerful man," she giggled. "He makes bad guys go boom!" she was teasing me. I just smiled and pulled the sheets over us, ready to go to bed.
Momo cuddled into my side, always with that cute smile on her face.
I still had a long way to go.