In the Shadow @my.hero.xiii
Chapter 32

Chapter 32

An Island with No Heroes.


A heavy duty truck blitzed down the mountain road, being pursued by three other cars. The truck had three villains transporting a specific cargo. Snow fell from the sky as they all formed up behind the truck. Inside three villains, the reptile like Spinner, the magician Mr. Compress, and the Blueflame Arsonist, Dabi all were inside.

"How did they know our route!" Spinner yelled.

"Oh, I dunno, maybe the fact that they're having us drive a heavy duty truck?" Dabi snarled.

"Now, now, Dabi, it's unbecoming of a showman to be so grumpy!" Compress sighed. Making Dabi groan and come out of the top, shooting out a blast of flames at one of the cars. It flew over on its side and locked in place. Flames bathed it as a blast of electricity completely steamrolled, the hero flying past the car and slamming down on the other side.

"Damn, they really suck, don't they?" Spinner laughed.

'Look, take it easy on the turns, Iguchi! Where the fuck did you get your license!" Dabi yelled, frustration lining his tone.

"GTA!" Spinner yelled, "I learned from GTA!"

"Oh, you gotta be kidding me!" Dabi yelled back. Compress came out next to him.

"Seriously, you two! Is that lot relevant to our performance?" he asked, tossing out some marbles and a barrier came out, blocking the road and making a few of the cars wreck. Spinner stepped on it and the truck was home free! Or so they thought.

Standing before them was the number one hero himself. Endeavor stood tall as the truck raced toward him.

"You better duck…" Dabi segued, both arms lighting in azure flames as he shot them out, with Endeavor doing the same but the two attacks met in the middle. Blasting upwards and curling around each other

Before blasting away, Dabi tried to hurl another blast at the man he hated more than anything. But that wasn't in his cards. The truck was blasted off the road in an intense storm of orange fire. Endeavor watched the truck drop as Hawks flew in.

"Whoa… nice one, Endeavor! Now, let's see what they got in there!" he exclaimed. Endeavor joined Hawks down below, finding the back wide open with some sort of life support tank broken open.

"What were they transporting?" Endeavor asked.

"Seems like it was somebody?" Hawks theorized, "The cab is full of mud but back here… it's empty."

"Hawks, have your people monitor things. It could be a High End, as loathe as I am to say so," Endeavor cautioned, "Whatever came out of that must've been quite fast and quite strong,"

"I'll be on it! Hey… aren't your sons on Nabu Island?" Hawks asked. Endeavor nodded.

"Yes, I don't think they'd be attacked," he stated, "Although we can't rule it out, just get to it, Hawks,"

"Yessir!" Hawks jokingly saluted.


Flying always felt good, always feeling free, made me feel amazing. But I had a job to do here. We all did. We're on an island far from the mainland named Nabu Island. They used to have a pro hero here, but he retired so the Commission got the bright idea to send us here for a special project. So I was here doing normal hero stuff. Flying above the island doing a patrol. My normal routine during the day with my phone on me just in case they needed me in action. It was the winter vacation season, so many people were here.

Not a lot of action for me though, so flying wasn't so bad. I twirled through the air. My cell rang as I answered, "Yo! It's Rodan!" I greeted.

"Koyurei, Mr. Tanimura down at the docks needs someone to lift a few boxes, and well, you're currently flying over, so I said we'd send you," Momo said, I smiled.

"Thanks, babe!"

"Listen, I know you're bored," she said. I just smiled and flew over the island, my flames burning brightly when I got to the docks, landing and skidding down. Mr. Tanimura was a stocky middle-aged man with some trouble with his back.

"Oh! Todoroki! Nice to see ya flying around today! Ya know I never got ta know how you do that, but hey, saves on my labour!" he laughed.

"Eh, whatever floats your boat!" I lifted a few heavy boxes off the deck and down the gangway, my flaming wings going out and the boxes standing on the dock. The huge freighter loomed over us as he lit a cigarette and took a drag, a haze of smoke pouring out of the holes in his jawline.

"Man, marvellous job… have ya ever considered traveling the world?" he asked. I just smiled and sighed.

"Nah, I don't wanna go anywhere else really… Just busy helping people as much as I can, I might get a call in a-"

"Hey! Excuse me!" A woman called, interrupting me. She had her hands on her his, her eyes glaring at me and Mr. Tanimura as he shuffled off to get the supplies on the delivery truck, leaving me alone with the woman around at least Mom and Dad's age.

"Yes ma'am, what's the issue?" I asked, my smile brilliant and wide, already waiting for the bombshell. Maybe a missing kid? Maybe someone got trapped in the mountains! Something!

"No, ma'am, I will not hold your place in line," I sighed. The woman looked offended. "Look, being a hero isn't about holding places in lines. I almost died multiple times in this year alone. If I wanted to hold your place in line, sure, I'd do it,"

She just walked away as I ran off to take my shift at the beach. I needed to get going. So I did, passing by my brother.

"Hey! Todoroki! Can I get more ice?" the Shaved Ice man asked.

Shoto and I looked at each other, "Which one?" I asked. The man gestured to Shoto.

"…Oh right, here," he said, extending his hand and the ice shot out, being way more than he meant. The beach was a bustling center of tourists. All here for the summer rush no matter what. Or just to get away from all the hustle and bustle of mainland life.

God knows I needed it… Dad was pretty much his same awkward self. So coming to Nabu Island was a nice break from it. I went up to the lifeguard chair, finding Tsuyu there. She was more inclined to this than I was.

"So, what did you have to deal with, Tsu?" I asked, she looked down at me with her finger on her jaw.

"Well… some kids went under the divider, Sato-chan and I handled that easily, ribbit." She said, "Aren't you supposed to handle the mountains?"

"Oh yeah! Things were quite slow up there… but with the rain… shit!" I ignited my wings and blasted off, totally forgetting that me and Kirishima were on Mountain Patrol today! I always got my days confused. I landed right at the head of the trail, with Kirishima and Denki waiting for me.

"Dude, you're always late… what, did Momo keep you up last night?" Denki asked.

"No!" I blurted, "I went to bed at seven!" My cheeks flared, remembering that Momo had basically clung to me this morning.

"Aww, she wanted cuddles~! That's so cute!" He cooed at me, "You two are practically married!"

"Tch! Whatever! Let's go!" I exclaimed, "These mountains aren't gonna manage themselves!"

"He's totally flustered, Eiji!" Denki exclaimed.

"Well, I mean, him and Yaomomo have always been close," Kirishima commented, rubbing the back of his head, "Makes ya wonder…"

"If you're yammering about Momo and I, yes. We are going to get married after UA, a… Quirk Marriage," I admitted, making them freak out.

"WHOA!"

"YOU SERIOUS IS THAT WHY SOMETIMES YOU TRY TO BREAK UP WITH HER?!"

I guarded myself against their attacks of hits, "Yeesh! How about you try dating someone better than you!" I exclaimed, "Kirishima, you like Mina! Denki, you like Jiro! I NEVER HAD A CHOICE!" My eyes blazed as they backed off.

"Hey… hey, calm down." Denki said, "Come on, Koyurei, rein it in,"

I took a deep breath, glad we were on a mountain rather than being in town, I just reined it in, All I wanted was to… choose my life. Choose how things go and… Momo… she's… too good.

"Dude, yeah. Momo is perfect, but… come on! Ever since you two started dating you've been really working hard at becoming a hero," Kirishima said, "Even if she's too perfect, that doesn't mean you just kick her to the side."

"Aren't you being a little too hard on Momo?"

My brother's words came back in full force, and so did…

"You know, he's going to turn you into a breeding mare, right? You better enjoy these last few years, Yaoyorozu!"

His words. That villainous bastard's words. We went up the mountain, taking the trail up and seeing that nothing went wrong. Just cleaning the trails, lifting bags of garbage behind us and throwing them into a firepit I made with some lava in there to burn it all. Denki, Kirishima, and I wrapped up trail duty, with the other two making their way back down, leaving me up on the mountain.

My wings ignited on the summit, a lot of my days here I was sent up on the mountains. It was quiet, and you could see the entire island from here. All sprawling wilds and the tiny town in the distance with the ruined castle in the distance. A quiet and peaceful island untouched by villains. I felt my throat choke up.

I wasn't meant to follow in Dad's footsteps. He was already a hard act to follow. The strongest born hero ever in the history of Japan… and I was basically leftovers. Still… Nabu Island was quieter, the people were nicer… It seemed like a good place to raise a family.

Where no rankings existed or the media. No villains. Everything was sleepy on this small island.

My cell went off with Momo's ringtone and I answered. Relieved to hear from her again because I was worried about her.

"Hey!" I greeted, "What's up, babe?"

Momo seemed okay and her voice sounded somewhat tired, "When you get back, can we talk?" she asked.


"Oh uhh… sure!" I exclaimed, "I'll be back in a bit," I said, hanging up and jumping off the mountain, igniting and blasting off back for the agency. My flight wasn't long but still it felt like forever as I landed and saw the others coming in.

"So Koyurei, I heard from Momo that you got a surprise for her!" Mina exclaimed, I gulped, backing off from Mina as she stepped closer. Her golden eyes shining mischievously and her smile even more so.

"Well, uh… uh yeah! Yeah, I do! Just uh… I need to… uh… find Momo! Yeah!" I stuttered, "Uhhh… b-be right uh… back!"

'Damn it! What am I doing? Come on, Koyurei! Giving your girlfriend something important shouldn't be this hard!' I thought. Mina touched my shoulder.

"Hey… wait a minute…" she said.

'Oh no! Shes… she's got me!' I continued, 'Great, now she's gonna know that I got something for Momo!'

Mina turned me around and straightened my costume, "Haha… you silly goofball! Your costume was all messy! Now go win that princess's heart!"

"Uh… okay." I said, "Thanks, Mina," I left the common area and found Momo out of her costume and in her casual wear with her hair down, just dragging a brush through it. I recessed a button on my watch and my costume retracted, leaving me in my boxers but brushing past her to get a t- shirt and jeans.

"Oh! You're back, Koyurei!" She greeted me midway through my shirt before coming on. I pulled it down, and she just smiled, watching me slide on my pants. I felt the small mass there. I patted it as Momo and I went outside, somewhere more private. Under the stars, overlooking the city I fell in love with. Overlooking where I'd be until I die when I'm older. A peaceful island, just me and Momo and our kids… no more dangers, no more anything. Just…

Peace.

We sat next to each other, her eyes staring up at the stars with me. I knew this was a shot in the dark but I had to take it. Just to seal the deal… Dad and I went out and got her a ring. He paid for it but I chose it. A nice, bright sapphire. Her birthstone.

"So uh… ever thought about the uh… future?" I asked.

"Well, yes." She said, "but Koyurei… you…"

I got down on one knee, yanking the box outta my pocket, "Momo Yaoyorozu! Put this on your finger! I-I know my Dad decided this… but… I wanna make it official! S-so… Momo, Marry me after UA!"

Momo sat there, stunned. Her eyes wide, but… no crying. No rush into my arms. Just… stock still. I cocked my head at that.

"Momo?" I asked, "Ohhh! I get it! You're just stunned! Go on and put it on!" I coached her along. She just smiled and took the box, closing it.

"I'm… honored that you'd do this… but… Koyurei," she took a deep breath, "Find another girl."

"Wha- But, Momo… you're the one with the same birthstone as this ring! I… I don't understand, I thought you were done with me pushing you away." I stuttered.

"It's… it's not about that, Koyurei. It's about… right now." She said, "Your father just became the number one, and-"

"I'll protect you! I promise!" I declared, "No one is gonna get you when I'm around!"

"Koyurei, no, that's not- Ugh! I know you love me, Koyurei. I know I should take it and put it on… but… I… I can't. You're… too good for me,"

'Eh What… What the HELLLLL!' I thought, 'Did this just backfire? Oh god it did! OH NO!'

"Momo, are you even listening to yourself?" I asked, "You're amazing! You… you gave me so much, and I can't even hold a candle to my dad or my brother! I've lived in their shadow all my life and… when you met me… you saw me for me, I can FLY!" I grabbed her and yanked her into my arms.

"And… and it's all thanks to you! So… let me carry my share of the weight, together… ya know?" I asked, "I wanna move here and take over the agency. I don't wanna be a big city hero…"

"But… it's… it's not right, Koyurei. This marriage…"

"I don't care, Momo. I care about you! This is your decision and I won't take any other answer other than yours. So… when you're ready…" I said, smiling, "We'll do it!" Momo just gave it back and I pocketed it.

She just curled up in my arms, "I'll work hard to be worthy of you, Koyurei,"

No, that's not right. She already is. Just having her here is enough for me. No matter what. I didn't know how else to say it. I guess… a ring wasn't in the cards right now. But I just held her tight, just let her be in my arms for a little while.

Island life… was easy. I wanted our lives to be far away from our old ones, so I guess an Island with no heroes was gonna work wonders. Momo just settled close by for the rest of the evening, her expression taut, thinking, brow furrowed.

"Dude, she's been thinking all night…" Denki said, "You sure it went well?"

"I… dunno. I mean, the way she's acting is almost like I asked her what the square root of i is," I mumbled, "I screwed up and jumped the gun again…" I moaned.

Momo was with the other girls, and I saw her talking with Mina and Ochako. Leaving me with the other guys.

"Dude, don't sweat it! Mina and I are smooth sailing!" Kirishima exclaimed.

"Gee, that makes me feel better… I look at my brother and his girlfriend and I wanna barf," I sighed, "Makes me think that Natsuo is hiding something,"

"Still, just take it easy," he said, "So you're going through a rough patch, it's not like it's the end of the world,"

I clenched my hands into fists, "No, you don't get it," I said, "We… we went all the way, I… I invested so much time into this, almost died for it… if I lose it now… I can't… I can't just… rebound,"

"Yeah ya can, Bud… were with ya!" Denki exclaimed, "You're badass and strong, you're tougher than most guys. You probably are to hero material! I mean, look at me… I'm not good at school stuff and well… my mom… she…"

Denki went quiet, "Just… look dude, you're not alone." He said, "I got your back, we all do," I sighed and looked back at Momo, "I just… don't know what to do…" I looked back down at myself, My dad… my brother… my family… they're all… looking at me like I need to do things a certain way, do I give up my girlfriend for her sake or keep her around because my family would want it.

Mineta came up to me, "Dude, Sometimes ya gotta know when to hold em and know when to fold them, right now… it's folding time,"

"You got that from TTS didn't you?" Denki asked.

"Yeah, but I thought it was good advice for the Momo Rider, he's gotta decide whether to let his family or his dreams go," Mineta said.

'Family… or my Dreams…' I thought, 'Momo… or my Dad…' I got up.

"That's stupid, Mineta. I can have both. I'm going to bed." I stated. Marching to my room, Momo and I didn't share this time. It reminded me too much of… him.

"Go on! Hit me! I know you have it in ya!" I snarled, "What's one more burn?"

"What's one more burn?" I asked myself, "Where the hell did that come from?"

I took off my shirt and studied my burns in the mirror. They were getting thicker, darker, and more common down my back. My wings hurt me. My ice hurt me. I couldn't handle them both.

"I'm not like you! I never was! I only let you train me because it made you happy! I only took that much pain because Mom left and I thought it was my fault! Now All Might is fighting and… and It's all my fault! I tried to save Bakugo! And now… now… Shoto and Momo are in danger!"

It's… all my fault I made it this far. All my fault I kept chasing my dad, all my fault I lived in his shadow… if I had just… not left the house. If I had resisted going out on that date… none of this would've happened. I would be another failure. And…

I'd be happy with that. Being too quiet, being too cold. Unapproachable. The old me showed himself in the mirror, his long gray coat zied up to his chin, his cold gray hair and his bluish gray eyes stared at me.

*Fwick*

Are you happy, Koyurei?

I dunno.

*Fwick*
Do you love Dad?

Dunno.
*Fwick*

Are you going to tell her it hurts?

Dunno.

*Fwick.*

Are… are you sad?

"Yeah." he flicked the card over on its other side, a stack of them a mile long beside him and a barely organized answer ile was next to him.

Why?

"I wanna choose things myself. I like it that way."

Other Me looked puzzled, But… you didn't choose Momo.

"I know."

Or your family.

"I know."

So why go back to this?

"I dunno."

Cards flicked and fluttered, everything kind of breaking down around me, leaving me and the other me standing face to face, tears running down his cheeks. He raised a black card with white lettering.

We were doing so well.

"I know."

Let's go see her.

"No."

Why not?

"She doesn't wanna see me."

Then… The door opened, and there was Momo. Her eyes were full of concern.

She wants to see us.

Then… she saw my scars. Momo slowly walked over, hugging me from behind. She just squeezed me, and I noticed… my hair was out, gray all over again. Eyes smoldering with an ember of flame.

"Momo… hey." I said.

"You never head to bed before dinner, I brought you some," she commented, carrying some food in but mostly leaving it on my side table

"You saw them… didn't you?" I asked.

"Of course I did… I said nothing because I figured you didn't want me to." She said, laying her head on my back, "How long has it been since you've had them?"

"Ever since my fire reignited. Don't feel sorry for me…"

Momo pulled me back on the bed, "I don't feel sorry for you, she muttered, Just eat and get ready for bed, we've got a long day tomorrow…" she whispered. I ate calmly, feeling her stroking my back. I just smiled to myself. One day… I want to wake up here, with her by my side, living our lives far away from the mainland. On this island with no heroes.

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