46. Serious Queries

"Todoroki-kun can I ask you a question?" Izuku said, pen scratching quietly at his paper.

Todoroki's only reply was a considering hum as he continued focusing on his calculus homework intently, his pencil leaving wisps of fog from the cold in it's wake as he scribbled.

"You live with him, so…do you know if Endeavour can turn his face off or is it always on fire?"

Todoroki's cold and already brittle pencil snapped in two. In the study corner that most of class 1-A inhabited there was a silence, pages no longer turning and pens no longer moving as nearly every head lifted to face Izuku, who seemed unaware.

The only person unaffected who continued working on their homework with no more than an eyeroll was Bakugou who had grown up with Izuku and all of his weird and strange questions.

Todoroki stayed quiet for a very long minute, looking at the scraps of wood and pencil lead in his hand, frost creeping along his papers.

Eventually, still quiet, but with a little bit of bite to his words, he replied,

"I don't know. Do you know whether or not All-Might is your father?"

Bakugou's pen suffered the same fate as Todoroki's pencil. However, his was a tad more explosive and served to splatter his suddenly impassive face with a gout of ink. His homework was not salvageable.

"Todoroki-kun," Izuku almost sounded affronted and still his pen scratched against paper.

"You started asking ridiculous questions first," Todoroki sniffed, almost offended as he started dusting loose bits of pencil into his palm.

"I was for real Todorok-kun," Izuku stabbed back, lifting his pen from the table to jab it at Todoroki. "It's a valid question. He can voluntarily light his hero costume on fire, but even in civilian clothing his face is on fire. It begs the question – can he even turn it off?"

"Have you thought of asking him this ridiculous question yourself?"

Izuku's attention immediately returned to his work and he muttered something.

Uraraka, watching on, immediately snickered. Izuku's ears turned red.

"I'm sorry?"

"I may have uh. Told Endeavour to uh. Um." Izuku scratched his nose nervously and set about straightening his papers compulsively. "At the very least, I doubt he wants to talk to me, let alone answer any questions."

Uraraka was nearly convulsing with her attempt at keeping in her laughter but she was set about digging out her phone.

"Uraraka," Izuku whispered. "You promised, no more videos."

Uraraka slid her phone across the table and before Izuku could snatch it, Todoroki had already scooped it up. He was so interested he wasn't even offended when Bakugou, still dripping ink from his chin, leaned in to look.

The video was choppy, but showed Izuku in the doorway of the classroom. The camera was front facing, the focus on Izuku's face and Todoroki, reading in the background.

"I'm the Shouto guardian, guardian of the Shouto," Izuku whispered into the camera.

Uraraka's face popped in next to his.

"Endeavour quivers before him!"

After that, the video cut into an edit, the camera facing at a sideways angle focused on Izuku facing down Endeavour in his hero uniform from school, slightly tatty and his brow furrowed.

There was a mumbling in the background noise, but before Todoroki could discern what it was about, the camera zoomed in on Izuku and Endeavour's face as Izuku pointed a finger in Endeavour's face and yelled, awfully loud, "Oh, fuck off!"

Uraraka, the person filming, could be heard mumbling, "Get wrecked."

Almost immediately All-Might had swept in from somewhere to gather Izuku up, mortified, but by that point the camera had cut off.

"Why did you record it," Izuku whispered, mortified.

"You told Endeavour what for," Uraraka said pompously, accepting her phone back. Todoroki looked like he was trying to hold back a seizure, one hand pressed over his face and his entire body trembling past his control.

"Besides," she added. "I never miss out on anyone getting their ass handed by you, it's like witnessing someone have a spiritual experience."

"I'm a member of the Izuku Experience club," Kirishima muttered.

"Aye," Kaminari added.

"President," Bakugou declared, letting his chair drop back onto all four as he glared down at his mess of papers.

"Izuku," Todoroki wheezed, as if choking on laughter.

"He annoyed me!" Izuku's voice went shrill with indignance. "Saying this and that about the festival, and – and that I was a distraction for your goals when anybody with two eyes and a brain could figure out they were his goals for you."

"You're going to get into trouble if you keep this up," Todoroki pointed out.

"Endeavour is going to get a kick to the shin if he keeps it up," Izuku rebutted, and when he finished organising his notes, he handed them over to Bakugou who accepted them as warily as someone picking up a snake.

"And for the record," Izuku added, as he shoved his stuff back into his bag. "All-Might is not my father. I called him dad once. By accident."

With that declaration, his ears burning red, Izuku stormed off, with a, "Keep those Kacchan, I'll make new notes."

Two days later, at the lunch table, Izuku froze reaching for his drink and asked, in a hushed voice, "If he can pick and choose what to set on fire…his pubes?"

Kirishima snorted juice out of his nose and, so completely put out by the question, Todoroki's knee slammed hard into the table, jostling nearly every plate and spreading a fan of ice out around the table.

"Deku what the fuck." Bakugou jabbed his fork angrily in Izuku's direction. "Some of us want to eat you fuckmunch."

"Endeavour," Izuku said insistently. "It seems like he can set his hair on fire without it burning away – of course he'll be resilient to something he can conjure himself, it's a part of him – but does that account for every hair?"

Todoroki calmly set down his sandwich.

"Quirk inheritance between family is very common. Have you ever thought about how yours and All-Might's quirk are nearly copies of each other?"

"Stop answering my questions with questions."

"Why do you think I even know about my father's – " Todoroki made a face.

Izuku lit up in understanding.

"That is an awkward one I guess. Sorry. And inherited quirks not relative to parental quirks are possible too, Todoroki-kun. Especially when they develop late, because most people dote on their parents quirk and try to activate a similar one which triggers at the appropriate age."

"Mic drop," Kirishima muttered and didn't even flinch as Izuku kicked him under the table.

"He can pick and choose," Todoroki finally said, about five days later huddled over a table with Izuku and Bakugou. "I went up to his face and asked him if the fire was permanent and he looked so shocked that I deigned to talk to him that he turned it off for me just like that. No more cryptic answers from you either; is All-Might your father?"

"Nah," Izuku replied dismissively. "He made me clean a beach to help me build muscle and then made me eat one of his hairs to borrow his power just in time for the entrance exam."

"And here I thought I could trust you to tell me the truth," Todoroki sighed, but he was smiling slightly. "I suppose my question was a little heavier than yours after all."

Both of them engrossed in their work as they were, didn't notice the intense stare Bakugou was giving Izuku's bent head, his face twisted in a thoughtful way.

Izuku woke up with a shriek as the door was kicked open, his afternoon nap interrupted by Bakugou storming into the bedroom.

"I knew it!" Bakugou hissed, pointing a finger in Izuku's face as if he hadn't just given the other a brief heart attack.

Izuku curled his arms protectively by his chest, trying to calm himself down.

"Knew what, Kacchan?" He asked tiredly, unable to keep from trembling briefly. The loud noise had reminded him of unpleasant things.

Bakugou's face twisted briefly, before he dropped down on the edge of the bed in a heavy sit, even waiting for Izuku to sit upright.

"You were quirkless until the entrance exam. That thing about All-Might's hair was true you bastard."

Izuku felt the blood drain from his face and the words stuck in his throat as he tried to figure out how words worked.

"Um," he began, mouth dry. "I just – I wanted Todoroki-kun off of my back. It was…he kept saying All-Might was my dad and it was…if it got out to my mum, that people thought she was unfaithful. I thought maybe if I treated it as a joke he wouldn't – and I – you can't tell anyone!"

Bakugou scoffed.

"Why would I do that."

Silence. Then –

"Deku, you ate his hair, what the fuck."

"He said I had to ingest his DNA," Izuku said miserably.

"That's disgusting. And he made you clean a beach? What if it wasn't All-Might and some skeevy pervert asshole?!"

"Oh, no, it was definitely All-Might. And I had to build up my muscle, remember? He told me if I used the quirk without a suitable body I could have exploded!"

Silence again.

"What?!" Bakugou, ironically, exploded, the bed sheets smoking at the addition of new holes.

"Ah, my bed!" Izuku frantically patted at the marks Bakugou had made. "Kacchan, be careful!"

"What the fuck do you mean exploded?!"

Izuku kept patting at the bed covers, refusing to make eye contact.

"As it sounds. Pop?" Izuku curled his fingers by his chest and then spread them out abruptly, mimicking something popping open under pressure.

Bakugou stared for a long time, before he took a hold of Izuku's collar and pulled him close enough that their noses touched.

"You ever use this fucked up quirk without thinking ever again, I'll fucking kill you myself," Bakugou hissed. "No more risks. No more fighting villains. No more anything."

"Kacchan," Izuku said, exasperated. "I've made it this far. I don't need babying."

Bakugou scoffed but didn't deny the accusation.

Izuku was only slightly exasperated at Bakugou following him closely for the remainder of the week, interjecting whenever Izuku showed even the slightest inclination of using his quirk. It was annoying but…

He would deny it if you asked, but Izuku liked the feeling of being doted on. Even if Sero got punched when he joked Bakugou was being clingy.

guess who's back bitches. laptop has been beaten into submission for the time being.