Chapter 8: My True Identity.
Waking up to Momo's smiling face was nice, but I remembered Grandmother calling to announce that she was in town… I shot out of bed, madly cleaning and reordering everything.
"Honey? Honey?" Momo pleaded, seeing me madly cleaning and organizing, panicking. She grabbed my shoulders. Tilting my face towards hers.
"Shh… honey, Koyurei, look at me," she said, "There we are, there's my hero," she smiled, a blanket around her shoulders, "Relax, take it easy, love," she hugged me, pulling me back down, "We have a good few days off,"
"Yeah… sorry, my Grandmother is kinda petty about cleanliness. Last time she gave us all the cold shoulder over a misplaced Cheerio," I sighed, "Still! The day is ours to seize a-" Momo pounced on me with a kiss.
"Mm… Mm… He-hey! Take it easy!" I gasped, she smiled and hugged me tightly. I just accepted it. She was so cuddly and my phone was exploding with texts and missed calls. From Him. I held Momo tighter, nervous about responding. She tilted my head towards her.
"Don't worry about him, focus on me," she said, "He's not here and he's just trying to wrap you back up in guilt. You'll still see your siblings, and you have me!"
I nodded with a smile, kissing her, feeling her arms around me and just feeling her warmth, even though my right side was hotter now. She pulled back, laying her head on my chest, on the right.
"You're so warm, like a walking kotatsu," she sighed, "Do you like those, Koyurei?"
"Yeah, at least when I just had my ice," I said, wrapping the blanket around her tighter as she purred a little.
"So toasty," she said, looking up at me, "I like it,"
"You do?" I asked.
Momo nodded, "It's your flames, not Endeavor's or your brother's, it's yours and I love you. So I know it's okay," she squeezed me but I heard a knock on our door. The front door, but I didn't want to get up.
Neither did Momo. She hugged me tightly, "Nooo…" she sighed.
"Momo, sweetie, get up," I sighed.
"Noooo!" she whined, "You're warm!"
"Momo, you can cuddle later," I said, going to the front door and opening it, at the door was Natsuo and Fuyumi, Shoto too. They all looked at me and at my messy hair and clumsily messed with pajamas.
"Oh, hey guys," I said, rubbing my eyes with my hands, "What's up?" Natsuo was grinning and Fuyumi looked a little worried, Shoto just went in as soon as I opened the door. I sighed and let them in.
"So, how are you?" Natsuo asked.
"I'm fine, Natsu, what brings you guys here?" I asked.
"Well, Fuyumi and Shoto called me in a total panic, seems like that bastard got called out by Gramma again, but he's still looking forward to the Sports Festival. It's not the same without'cha," Natsuo sighed.
"I mean, it was his fault," Shoto stated, "Koyurei just did what he does best,"
"Which is what?" Fuyumi asked.
"Wait until he was in a better position, then strike," he said, Momo came out of our room and leaned on me, wearing a soft beige sweater and jeans. She wrapped her arms around me, head on my right shoulder.
"Oh! We have guests?" she asked, "I've already met Shoto, but these two must be your older siblings, I'm Koyurei's fiance Momo! It's nice to meet you!" she was so happy and positive that Natsuo smiled and nodded.
"Yup! I'm Natsuo, and that's Fuyumi. You must be our lil' bro's little wifey! Better not break his heart now!" he teased, making me blush and look away. Momo kissed my cheek and laid her head against my shoulder. She popped up, "Oh! I should make some tea! Would you all like some? I know Koyu loves my tea!" she exclaimed. Shoto flinched a little at the sound of the kettle, but still I put my hand on his shoulder.
"Shoto, it's just water, Momo's not gonna burn you," I said, not knowing who gave him the burn.
Momo brought the cups in on a tray and I took one, sitting down as Fuyumi, Natsuo, and Shoto sat down and looked at Momo resting against me.
"Sooo… you two are close, huh?" Fuyumi asked, "I heard our father arranged the date,"
We nodded and Momo squeezed my arm, "Yeah, he did," I stated. Natsuo smiled.
"So, when's the wedding?" he asked, "Maybe Gramma and Mom can come then?"
"W-wait! We're only fifteen! I mean… uhm…" I mumbled, "Just after graduation!"
Fuyumi laughed and Natsuo snickered, "I'm happy to see my baby brother so happy with a girl like you, Momo. Still, its-" I noticed she was crying, she took off her glasses and sobbed.
"It's so good seeing him so happy! He's just been so shy and… and he's been through that horrible training. I'm- I'm just so glad that he's found his own happiness!"
"Well, I'll be with him for now and forever, isn't that right, Koyu?" she asked. Momo laid her head on my shoulder.
"Yeah, that's right, Momo," I said.
That's when I heard the door again, and I realized something. If her hair was as long as I remembered it now? We'd have to move out or parkour over burnt floors. I tentatively went to the door and opened it, seeing my grandmother standing there, a smile on her face and blue eyes meeting mine.
"Well well well, at least Rei raised you with manners," she greeted snidely, smiling and kissing me on the forehead, "It's good to see you, Koyurei," she said.
"Y-yeah! You too, Grandmother!" I exclaimed, leading her inside and seeing the others all looking up at us.
"Gramma!" Natsuo yelled, barrelling into her, hugging her tightly, "It's been so long!" Grandmother laughed.
"Of course it has, Natsu!" she exclaimed, "Your father was NOT amused with me showing up, he kept accusing me of putting our sweet little snowball up to what he did,"
"Tch, he would," Natsuo huffed, Grandmother peeked over Natsuo into the living room.
"Shoto, Fuyumi and? You." she said, eyes on Momo. She walked over and looped her arm around mine.
"I'm Momo Yaoyorozu, and you must be Koyu's paternal Grandmother, Tekka, was it?" Momo asked, smiling.
"Why yes, you've done your homework," Grandmother said, "And you're the famous Momo I've been hearing of, better take care of my little snowball, okay?"
"Right! I'll do my best!" she exclaimed with a wide grin. Grandmother turned towards me and Shoto.
"I'll see you both in the Sports Festival," she stated, hugging us, "I know you both have been through a lot, so this is a new start for you both, you just have to help each other out," she pulled back, her heat felt way more assuring, but she looked sort of regretful. She left, saying goodbye to our siblings and they left soon too.
I gasped and landed on the couch, "Oohhhh! I've never been more nervous!" I sighed, "Shii…" Momo giggled and leaned against me.
"Do you think it'll be okay?" I asked, "Grandmother doesn't come into town very often ever since Mom left, but… I-I mean… I can still talk to you and my family without problems,"
"Yes, you are quite frigid to others even when you attempt to talk," Momo said, "We'll work on it,"
I nodded gently, "Right, I need a lot of help and luckily I have a brilliant teacher," I said. Popping up from my sitting position and trying to not be so excited. I sighed and put my hands into the pocket of my hoodie, feeling a familiar weight in there. I pulled out a small key-chain and smiled a little. It was a little key chain of Dad. I used to have my haircuts be styled like his, too. I laughed at the memory of him being so proud that I picked his haircut.
Now I grew it out longer and still spiked it at the top. In memory of my parents. Mom left and Dad died the day he first burned me. Momo was typing her hair back and I sneakily planted a kiss on the back of her neck.
"What? Can't get enough of me?" she asked.
"I can't. Your ponytails are so cute!" I exclaimed, "I mean, look at mine… they kinda suck," I wiggled mine, it looked like a raccoon tail. Momo snickered and undid it, making me gasp and try to wrangle it back in.
"Babe! How daare youu!" I whined, "Geez! It's my vibe!"
Momo was so pretty, it was hard to be mad at her. She leaned against my chest, her hands on my cheeks, squishing them together.
"Chubaba lips." she said, "Moosh, moosh moosh!" she squished them over and over, rubbing my cheeks, "Braaah!" she exclaimed. I leaned in quickly, kissing her on the lips. She pulled back and grinned.
"Shall we go?" she asked.
"Sure, where to?" I asked, she smiled and leaned against me. I didn't know, but maybe there was somewhere we could go. I didn't know but she wanted to go somewhere, leading me down the way. The day was heavy and overcast, the clouds seeming to have their own weight to them.
The air was muggy and I tied my hoodie around my waist and Momo had an umbrella in her hands. I smiled and wrapped my hand around her's. I smiled and the umbrella bloomed out in a fiery orange. Rain smacked and punched it, with the staccato of our steps and the hammer of the rain, the cool and slick path under us as we forged our way through the neighborhood bustle.
It was a perfect day to just dance in it, to just take off running through the puddles and mud and smell that harsh scent of the earth. I wanted more than anything to get the hell outta this town. I leaned close and kissed her cheek.
"Momo, once we graduate, we're gettin' the hell outta this city, I'm gonna be the one that's gonna break the cycle. Our kids aren't gonna know a lick about what happened to me. All they're gonna know is that Daddy doesn't like Grandpa," I said, my eyes staring into hers, touching foreheads with her underneath the orange canopy.
"I don't understand, don't you want to be a hero?" Momo asked. I kissed her gently, leaning back.
"Babe, that's the last thing I want. I just wanted to spend time with my Dad, I keep going an' going and I- I keep hoping that he's gonna be right around the corner. I keep hoping that the Dad I know is still there. I wanted him to be proud of me," I looked down at my hands, shaking and looking over my shoulder-
I saw them. The orange flames, the scorching inferno that engulfed my childhood. Momo gasped a little, eyes widened and I stared right into the eyes of my father, cutting us off.
"So, you ignited and you think you know everything." He stated, "Running away and having your happy little ending?"
I looked down at my feet, "What kind of lies has she been filling your head with? You can't hide forever, son." He said, I looked up and saw that he was extinguished, arms spread out for a hug, knowing me. Knowing I'd never betray him.
Nightmare scenarios played in my mind if I didn't go with him and if I did. No more waking up peacefully and not starving myself. Back to self-punishment. Avoiding everyone I cared about. No more looks of affection, just…
"I-" I started.
"I just…" I trailed off, shuffling my feet.
Dad looked at me, his eyes looked so different. I hesitated. One shaky, unsure step. One shaky unsure step and I don't know where. Backwards? Forwards? Each time he burned me I used to tell myself that I was one step closer.
My feet moved, I couldn't allow Momo to get hurt. So if it meant I couldn't see her again? If it meant I couldn't be happy?
I'd do this for her. Falling in love was a mistake. I took another step, every fiber of my body was screaming at me to stop.
Momo deserved better. She deserved Shoto, not me.
Then, I remembered.
It was raining.
After that, we passed by him, and he left something, palmed over to me as we passed. I didn't notice him looking back or even passing the thing over. It was stiff, scuffed with slight burns, a card.
"I'm Proud of You, Koyurei."
I put the card in my pocket, those were words meant to be spoken, not read. Besides, I can't keep her waiting. Mom wanted to see me. Momo came with just so she could get caught up with all that happened. I was nervous.
What would she think of my right side? Would she get scared? Would she snap like He told me she would do? Momo squeezed my hand and I took a deep breath. I breathed out, seeing my breath puff out.
The closer we got to the door, the more nervous I got. What if I mess up? What if she hates me? Momo let go of my hand as I looked at her. She kissed me on the forehead.
"You've got this, okay? Just poke your head out when you need me, alright?" she assured me. I sighed and looked at the door with my mother's name next to it. I quietly opened the door, seeing my mom sitting there staring out the window.
I stepped in, shutting the door behind me, looking at her. The last time I saw her was when she went away.
"H-hey, mom," I stuttered, seeing her slowly turn around, looking at me with those gray eyes that held so much love back then. I smiled weakly, feeling all kinds of emotions run onto the stage. I crumpled, fell to my knees and sobbed.
"I'm so sorry! I-I made you go away! I tore us apart! I tried to keep everyone together… but I wasn't strong enough!" I sniffled, "I'm sorry, Mom! I'm so sorry!" it felt raw and painful, like a wound I tore the stitches out of.
Then… I felt her arms around me, and I sobbed into her shirt. All this time I thought she'd never hug me again. All this time I thought she left because I did something. I sobbed and sobbed, my heart shattering open.
"Koyurei… you're so big now," she said.
"Yeah, I-I am…" I stammered, "I finally got out," Mom tilted her head at that.
"Out?" she wondered, I opened the door and Momo came in. Mom smiled and stood. I dried my tears and stood, Momo bowed.
"Hello, Mrs. Todoroki, my name is Momo Yaoyorozu. It's a pleasure to meet you, I'm Koyurei's girlfriend," she stated.
"Oh! How lovely! Is this one of the things that you've been up to, Koyurei?" she asked, raising an eyebrow and smiling.
"Uhm… probably? She's been taking care of me," I rubbed the back of my neck, "She uses me as a portable kotatsu now…" Mom laughed a bit.
"Huh?! Mom, that's not funny! I mean, it kinda is, but that's not the point, the point is for me to find my own reason to be a hero. I wanna be one, but… I don't know why anymore,"
"Aw, Snowflurry, it's okay," Mom sighed, "you'll figure it out," she patted me on my head. I sighed and stood, with Mom looking at Momo with a pleasant smile. I smirked and leaned against her.
Momo wrapped her arm around my shoulders and Mom seemed willing to listen, so I cleared my throat.
"Mom, Dad and I aren't on speaking terms anymore, and I- I just found out that I don't just have ice… I can't control the Fire on my own, it's kinda scary," I admitted. Mom nodded, a far off look in her eyes.
I sighed and turned away. I was worried that she'd fly off the handle, "I've always been terrified of fire, I almost never use it but-"
"Koyurei, what color is it?" she asked, tone still warm but I flinched at the question.
"B-blue, they're blue, like his," I said. She nodded and I grabbed Momo's hand, squeezing it tightly, "I hate fire so much, no matter if it's mine or not. But if I have to use it, so be it, right? To tell you the truth, I forgot all about him when I ignited, scared the mess outta me though," I looked down at my right hand.
"Sorry for bringing it all crashing down like that but I needed to admit it," I said. I turned and went to leave.
"Mom, at the end of it, let's see if we can just fix it," I said, "Dad's still in there, I just know it,"
"Koyurei," Mom said, about to say something that I'd never forget, "Why hold on to the past so tightly? You and your father are equally stubborn, but you have something so different from him,"
"What would that be, Mom?"
She smiled and she got up, touching my cheek.
"You're happy where you are. You're satisfied. Your father never had enough. But with you still believing in him, I just wonder why," she said.
"Because I see a good man past all he did, someone's gotta spark that change and if it's me then that's what I gotta do, Shoto's not gonna do it so I will," I said. We left after that and headed home, with me finally having enough with all this.
Momo laid next to me, looking at me with her silver eyes. I stared back at her for a brief moment before rolling over. She tilted her head to the side just before.
"Do you still care about him?" she asked.
"My Dad? Kinda…" I mumbled, "It's confusing,"
"He sucks, but people love him. He hurts, but he inspires others. All my life he's been nothing but cruel but whenever I reached out people either denied it or tried to help but he tore them away…" I started to cry.
"One of these days I'd be in the river. I only stopped myself because of Shoto and my siblings, and now you. I don't understand what the hell's so good about my dad! I was suicidal for a long time during middle school, always known for being Endeavor's son and not Koyurei. Just shouldering that for so long killed me!" I rolled back over, burying my face into her chest, crying harshly into it.
"If I hadn't met you… I'd be dead," I admitted, feeling her hand sweep through my hair, "I just want to be fixed… I'm broken and I know I can't do anything about it right now… but I just want my family to be happy! I'd do anything,"
I sobbed in her arms, like a broken little boy. This was the first step in a long road.
I was terrified.
"Koyurei, shhh…" she sighed, "Cry it out," I hugged her tightly.
She was so kind and understanding. It still boggles my mind how she wanted to stay. Still, to each their own I guess. I finally stopped crying. She said nothing, but sometimes…
I liked the warmth.