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Story [BNHA] Watch Over Me (Fuyumi, Todoroki siblings, vignette)

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by ViariSkywalker, Sep 2, 2021.

  1. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Title: Watch Over Me
    Fandom: My Hero Academia / Boku no Hero Academia
    Author: ViariSkywalker
    Timeframe: sometime after manga ch. 259 (I can’t remember exactly, it’s been a while since I wrote this or read those chapters, but probably slightly before the PLA war arc? It’s winter-ish, I know that much.)
    Characters: Fuyumi Todoroki, Touya Todoroki, Shouto Todoroki, Natsuo Todoroki, Dabi
    Genre: introspection, angst, family drama, vignette/one-shot

    Summary: Fuyumi can never forget the brother she lost.

    Notes: First time posting NSWFF here on the boards, so that’s cool. :cool: I wrote this piece a little over a year ago, and it was my first attempt at BNHA fic, as well as being the first fanfic writing I’d done in two years at that point. Basically, writing this fic brought my muse back to life and made me realize it was time to finish Enter the Foreign, which has led to so much writing and so many new fics. So this vignette will always hold a special place for me. [face_love]

    There will be minor manga spoilers up through chapter 259. At the time I wrote this, it was canon-compliant and speculative, although that may not be the case now. Also, I really love the idea of Fuyumi and Touya being twins, (something which I had seen in a few other fics), but I was aware that canon might not go that route, so while I have alluded to that idea in this story, I left enough room for the alternative possibility.

    A note on spellings (Touya/Toya and Shouto/Shoto) - I've gone with the spellings I've seen used most in the fics I've read, but honestly, I went back and forth when I was first writing this because I've seen both ways used in fic and in English translations of the manga.

    Disclaimer: I don’t own MHA/BNHA, but I do love these characters, and I promise to put them back when I’m done playing with them.


    ~~

    Watch Over Me


    Sometimes it’s too much, coming in here. The perfectly tidy bed, the shelves stacked with old toys, the posters on the wall. Everything just as he left it. As if at any moment he could saunter through the doorway, sling his schoolbag onto the back of his chair, and just be there with her.

    Sometimes she’s fine. She can cross the threshold, tamping down the memories enough to tend to the shrine in the corner. She can bow and pray and hold back from crying too much or too loudly. She can shut the door behind her when she leaves and go on with her day, mostly ignoring the dull ache in her chest. She can smile and cook and sing and walk and she’s fine, she’s fine, she’s fine.

    “You okay, sis?”

    Her little brother’s voice is soft, almost painfully so. She wants to turn to look at him, but she can’t move. Fingers curled around the edge of the door, she stares at the slender shaft of light stretching across the bedroom floor and at her silhouette inside of it. The light just barely touches the corner of the shrine. She can’t do this today. It’s too much. Today it’s too much.

    The irony of being frozen in place is not lost on her. Slowly, she tears her gaze from the room, from the shrine, from the shadows that keep it hidden away, a time capsule of her best and worst memories. Her eyes settle on her little brother’s mismatched ones, and she lets out a breath she didn’t know she was holding.

    “Shouto, you… I wasn’t expecting you until later.”

    He glances at the partially open doorway. “Sensei let us out early.”

    She forces herself to step back and close the door. “Well, I’m glad you’re here. I still have so much packing to do.” She pushes her glasses up the bridge of her nose and smiles. “I could use your help.”

    Shouto’s gaze flickers once more to the door. “Of course. I’m happy to help.”

    They walk together to the kitchen, where a big box is sitting on top of the counter. She started filling it earlier, but she isn’t sure how much she should take. Her favorite cookbooks, obviously, and any tools and utensils she bought herself. Would Dad need a cookbook? He could always hire someone, or eat at the agency. For a brief moment she pictures him here, alone.

    “You sure you’re okay?”

    She nods absently. “It’s just…” Her chest is so tight, why is it like this? Why is it still so hard? “I know we need to pack. I know this is right for us, but…”

    Shouto takes a step toward her, reaching out a tentative hand to touch her shoulder. “Fuyumi—”

    “I don’t want to leave him.”

    She can already see Shouto pulling up his defenses, tighter than they already were. “He wants us to go,” he says through partially gritted teeth.

    Fuyumi sighs, trying to release the tension in her chest. “No, not Dad,” she says, feeling tears prick at the corners of her eyes. “I mean Touya. As stupid as it sounds, I don’t want to leave him.”

    She can tell Shouto is struggling with what to say. It’s all right, she wants to tell him, you don’t have to fix this for me.

    “I can’t bear to disturb his room, but if I don’t, then everything stays here. He stays here. With all our bad memories. And he’ll never be part of our new ones.” Oh god, she’s crying now. Practically blubbering in front of her baby brother. Pull it together, pull it together, remember why you’re doing this.

    “Sis…” He says it in a whisper, almost scared. She laughs a little through the tears. Poor Shouto. He tries so hard.

    “I’m okay,” she says, wiping away the tears that are caught between her nose and her glasses. “I mean, I’ll be okay. I know this is what we need.”

    Shouto pats her shoulder gently. “We can make up a place for Touya, in the new house.”

    Fuyumi smiles. The knot in her chest loosens ever so slightly. “I’d like that.”


    ~~


    They move into the new house a few days later. At first, it’s just her and Natsuo. Shouto has a room, too; but for now he’s living in the UA dorms. There are still a few more weeks before Mom can join them, so in the meantime Fuyumi tries her best to make the house comfortable.

    Dad doesn’t come by the new house at all. He helps her load boxes into his car, then has his driver deliver them. He says he doesn’t want to put a stain on their new life. She wants to object, but then she thinks of Natsuo and his tightly balled fists, and she relents.

    That weekend, Shouto gets permission to stay with them. He brings a picture of Touya. When she asks how he got it, he shrugs and says, “from the old man.”

    She hugs the picture frame to her chest and tries not to break down. She already has a place for it in the house. Somewhere private, where it won’t upset Mom. Maybe one day she’ll be ready. Until then, Fuyumi can say her prayers and imagine her brother watching over her.


    ~~


    It still hurts to think of the old bedroom and the toys that were never played with again, the desk chair forever empty, the posters and the clothes and the shrine that her father will kneel before, alone. Always alone.


    ~~


    Another week goes by. Fuyumi walks back home from the market, carrying groceries for tonight’s dinner. Shouto will be there. She tells him he’s welcome to invite his friends again, but he declines. Maybe he’s too embarrassed after what happened last time.

    The weather is still cold, although a bit milder than it’s been. She doesn’t mind the cold though, and she enjoys the brisk walk to and from the market. She passes a group of children playing in a melting snow bank. Their cheeks are pink as they chase each other, laughing without restraint. Fuyumi tries to remember if she and her brothers ever laughed like that. Maybe if she concentrates hard enough, she can remember the sound of Touya’s laugh.

    For one fleeting second, she is almost able to hear it. Natsuo was telling a joke, and he messed up the punchline. She still picks on him about it sometimes; that’s why she remembers the moment. And Touya, he laughed so hard, she thought he was going to fall over. If she focuses hard enough, she can hear him.

    A woman calls out to one of the children, telling him to come inside. The rest of the kids disperse, leaving Fuyumi to finish her walk home in peace. Touya’s laughter is gone, plucked up by the wind and carried far away.

    Sometimes she thinks she can feel him with her, as if she could drag her fingers through the air and catch hold of him. She presses her free hand over her heart and smiles.


    ~~


    “I wish you would let me drive you to the store,” Natsuo says, an undercurrent of worry in his voice. It’s been weeks since he was attacked by that suicidal villain, but he is still on guard, waiting for it to happen again.

    “I appreciate it, Natsu; but most of the time when I want to go, you’re at school. Besides—” She reaches up and puts a hand on his cheek. “I enjoy the walk. So stop worrying!”

    “I can’t help it,” he mumbles as she pulls away from him.

    Natsuo helps her put away the groceries. They talk about school, about his girlfriend, about what else they should do to prepare for Mom. It’s so close, less than two weeks. Fuyumi closes her eyes for one very brief moment and can clearly see her mother and siblings sitting at their new table, smiling and laughing at Natsuo’s jokes, listening to Shouto tell stories about his classmates.

    “What are you thinking about?”

    She opens her eyes and smiles at Natsuo. “I was thinking of our new life together. How great it’s going to be.”

    Natsuo gives a noncommittal shrug, but she sees relief in his eyes. “I’m just glad I don’t have to go back there again. I’m glad none of us do.” He looks like he’s going to say more, but the moment passes.

    Fuyumi has that ache in her chest again. She has tried so hard to focus on all the good things in her life, all the positive change, but when she does, she inevitably circles back to the reasons that those changes were necessary in the first place. Her father, barely in her life at all and too much in Shouto’s and Mom’s and—

    “What do you think Touya would have been like?” She blurts it out before she can stop herself. The question hangs in the air between them, and she sees no small amount of pain in Natsuo’s eyes.

    “I don’t know,” he murmurs, leaning against the kitchen counter. “I don’t remember… I mean, sometimes I don’t know which memories are real and which ones I exaggerated or just made up.” Natsuo inhales and exhales slowly, as if steadying himself. “He was fun, I think. And adventurous. Or was that just me who thought so? Because he was older and cooler than me?”

    “No one is cooler than you, Natsu.”

    He raises an eyebrow at her, trying not to smile. “Oh, we’re doing quirk jokes now, I see how it is.” He shakes his head in mock disappointment. “You think you’re so clever.”

    “I can be, when I want.” She says it with a hint of mischief. This is nice. Talking about Touya without being totally depressed. “It’s not just you, you know. He was adventurous. And cool. And brave. He didn’t always get to show it, but he was.”

    Natsuo folds his arms across his chest, lost in thought. Fuyumi doesn’t dare tell him that – in that moment – he looks just like their father.

    “I know he didn’t ever want to be a hero because of him. But he was driven enough that I bet he could have done it. Maybe even knocked that bastard down a few rungs.”

    “Natsu!”

    “I know, I know, I’m sorry, sis. You know how it is for me.”

    She looks away, wondering why it still upsets her when Natsuo talks like this. It’s not like she doesn’t understand. Hell, she lived it! She’s not trying to pretend all those horrible things never happened. She just doesn’t want to hurt anymore.

    An image pops into her mind unbidden. Touya is older, looking a lot like Shouto but with untamed red hair and a confident smirk poised on his lips. Tall like Natsuo, but slender like their mother. He holds his hands out, orange flames flickering across his fingertips, a faint hint of blue at their center. He would have been an amazing hero. He would have been amazing at anything.

    “Here.” Natsuo grabs a pot and starts to fill it with water. “I’ll help with dinner.”

    Once more, she puts on a smile.


    ~~


    She sees Touya in her dreams.

    He never speaks to her, never even looks at her. He’s little more than a shadow, and yet she knows. She knows it’s him.

    Every step she takes toward him pushes him even farther away. She cries out, calls his name, pleads with him to turn around, to come back to her. But he can’t hear her. He never hears her.

    He never turns back.


    ~~


    Another week passes. The weather continues to grow milder, and Fuyumi finds herself longing for another cold snap. In a few days, her mother will leave the hospital and be welcomed into their beautiful new home. She can’t help the grin that spreads across her face as she carries another armful of groceries on her way back from the market.

    The sun has already dipped far below the horizon, the last rays of golden light overtaken by the rapidly darkening sky. She got a late start getting to the market, which means a late dinner for her and Natsuo. She wouldn’t be surprised if he’s already eaten something by the time she gets home. It’s her own fault, of course. She’s been a step behind all day.

    Maybe it’s the lack of sleep? She’s been so restless lately. She figures it’s all the changes they’ve been making. New house, tweaks to the routines, getting ready for Mom. Yeah, that’s probably it.

    The night air is so quiet that when a trash can tips over in a nearby alley she nearly jumps out of her skin. She jerks her head toward the sound, heart beating faster as she searches for whatever – or whoever – is in the alley. But there’s nothing there, at least nothing she can see in the fading light. She doesn’t stop walking; in fact, she forces herself to move as fast as she can without breaking into a run.

    Her brain is on high alert now, scanning the street for threats, for other pedestrians, for anyone she can call out to if needed. For a moment she thinks how ridiculous it would be for the daughter of the Number One Hero to get mugged so close to her own neighborhood. The press would have a field day.

    But the street is quiet. She tries to slow her breathing a little, tries to stop the mental freakout she’s on the verge of having. No one is out here. She’s fine, she’s fine, she’s fine.

    A hand grabs her in the darkness, and everything around her spins.


    ~~


    She remembers the last time she used her quirk on another person.

    She is twelve when Shouto gets his quirk and starts his training. She already knows what that training is like; Touya has endured it for years, although his “delicate constitution” means that Endeavor can never push him as far as he wants. And when Touya does try to push his limits, he says it feels like his insides are on fire.

    At first, she’s relieved when Touya doesn’t have to train anymore. She and Natsuo can spend hours with him, and no one cares. No one drags him away or yells at them to quit distracting him.

    Then one day they hear their father’s roaring voice echo throughout the house, enraged by something little Shouto has or hasn’t done. Touya’s face goes white as the three of them stare in the direction of the training room. They don’t play anymore that day.

    The yelling becomes more and more frequent as the days go by. One time she sees her mother run down the hall, disappearing into the room where her father is always so angry. Touya drops the ball they’ve been kicking around and storms off to his room. That day, she follows him.

    He doesn’t answer her when she asks to come in. She calls his name at least a dozen times, begging him to talk to her. She is met with silence for a full minute before she hears his ragged scream.

    When she throws the door open, he is on fire.

    He holds his hands out to stop her. Tells her it’s fine, he has it under control. She watches in horror as his body contorts, trying to bring the furious orange flames into submission. They recede little by little, but he’s still in pain, as if the flames have merely moved inside him and are trying to burn their way back out.

    I can’t, he says, eyes wide. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t…

    She flings herself at him, wrapping her arms around his trembling shoulders, pulling from the icy center of her own body to help cool his. They collapse against each other, two halves of the same whole, freezing and burning and it’s okay, I’ve got you, I’ve got you.

    He is fine after. No burns, nothing to show how close he’d been to going over the edge. But she thinks of the intense heat against her skin and the violent shaking of his thin body, and she makes him promise never to push that far again. Because she can’t bear to be the only one who can save him.


    ~~


    Her groceries fall to the ground as her attacker roughly drags her away from the main road. One hand is covering her mouth, ensuring she can’t scream. She tries to kick him, to bite him, to make herself dead weight so he can’t move her. Nothing slows him down. They’re almost in the alley, and she doesn’t want to think of what happens next, but that’s all she can think of.

    The icy pit of her stomach is seeping out into her veins, and she has never felt colder. The man forces her up against the alley wall, still holding his hand over her mouth as he produces a knife in the other. And she thinks of her mother and her brothers in the new house and Touya always watching over her and her father who could incinerate this bastard in a heartbeat. And then something else blossoms inside her.

    Rage.

    She wraps both hands around the arm holding the knife, forcing the cold center of her quirk out through her fingertips. She may not be able to make mountains of ice, but she can get really goddamn cold, and she can make whatever she touches really goddamn cold, too.

    Her attacker’s arm starts to shake in her grip. “Wha—?” He tries to pull away, but she digs her nails in and drops his temperature even more. The knife clatters to the ground as he screams.

    “Y-you b-bitch! What—” His teeth chatter so violently he can’t get another word out. Finally, he tears his arm from her grasp, dropping to his knees as he rubs at his extremities, trying desperately to warm up.

    Groceries forgotten, Fuyumi runs. She runs until she is on her street, runs until she is through the front door, runs until she collapses into Natsuo’s arms. All she can think is how glad she is to be home. To be safe and to be home.


    ~~


    The alley is silent, save for the whimpering of the half-frozen man crumpled on the ground. He rubs his hands, his arms, his chest, trying to get some feeling in his body before he passes out. He doesn’t hear the footsteps echoing in the dark.

    “You look a little chilly,” a low voice says from the shadows. “I can help you with that.”

    He looks up, and the last thing he sees before oblivion is a pale hand encircled in brilliant blue flames.


    ~~


    Fuyumi shuts the door to her room and collapses on her bed. It’s been one of the longest nights of her life. Hours spent reassuring Natsuo that she’s okay, talking to the police, watching Dad blow up her phone like an actual lunatic.

    I’m fine, she texts him when she’s able. Don’t worry, I’ll come by the agency tomorrow.

    She figures she’s lucky he didn’t rush over and blow the damn door in.

    She’s still a little shaky. The adrenaline, probably. She presses both hands to her face and exhales into them, the cool air tickling her skin. Then she slides off the bed, crosses the room, and kneels in front of a small cabinet.

    Carefully, she opens the doors. Her vision is already swimming as she smiles up at the picture inside.

    “Hey, big bro,” she whispers, tears spilling onto her cheeks. Her chest aches as much as it ever has, but she can’t stop smiling as she reaches up to touch Touya’s face.

    “Thanks for watching over me.”


    ~~


    Ashes scatter in the night air as he walks right over them. He steps out of the alley, looking in all directions for witnesses. Not a goddamn soul to be seen. Lucky him.

    He spies the bag of groceries spilled on the pavement. Takes a few more steps and reaches down to pluck an apple off the ground. Tosses it once, twice, three times in the air. He raises it to his lips, then reconsiders, a ghost of a grin tugging painfully at his scarred face.

    He presses the apple to his cheek, nice and cold against his unmarred flesh. Closes his eyes and leans into it with a sigh. “Not bad, little sis,” he whispers. He holds it there for a few more seconds, until all the cold has been leeched from its bruised skin. Then he tosses the apple over his shoulder and strolls off into the night.


    Fin
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2021
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb. The characters are compelling, their emotions real, the grief, the caring, the attempt to move on in spite of, trying to keep yourself and your family intact.

    The scenes were vivid - I especially enjoyed the bit about the children in the park and how that led to the all too realistic and heart-tugging talk about memories.

    @};-
     
    ViariSkywalker likes this.
  3. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Thank you so much! [face_blush] I'm really glad to hear that all of those aspects came through in the writing! The Todoroki family is so heartbreaking, and I honestly think each one of them is fascinating. They're one of my favorite parts in a cast and story that is already so varied and complex.

    I'm glad you liked the imagery here! This whole vignette sprang almost fully formed in my head last year, and I'm really pleased with the results. Thanks for reading! :D
     
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  4. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    I LOVED THIS.

    Honest to goodness, there's just so much pain to explore in this family that I wouldn't even know where to begin. But you tackled these characters and a tricky subject with such a fitting tone of soft strength - just like Fuyumi herself. I really can't say enough about this piece. [face_love]

    In particular, I enjoyed . . .

    Welp. Just a few words in and my heart already hurts for Touya still being so present, even when he's gone. I especially loved 'the irony of being frozen in place.' What a great line!

    Eugh. I hate thinking anything Endeavor-positive, but this line still struck a chord. He's still her dad, no matter how monstrous he has been and how conflicting that has to feel with him 'trying' to be better, and she's going to care, in a way. Even when she doesn't want to.

    :_| :_|

    *mutters* dang ninjas . . .

    Shouto!! [face_love] Dear boy, knowing just what to say.

    Another haunting image! I could have quoted most of this story for that. ;) =D=

    I couldn't cut my quote down here, this scene was so poignant! So much longing and love and bittersweet everything all packed into a few vivid words. =D=

    [face_laugh] I will never not love siblings being siblings.

    Isn't that Fuyumi in a nutshell? I feel you really captured her between this and the uses of repetition in the she's fine, she's fine and too much, too much. This story really felt brittle, in a way. But, like a thaw, too, if that makes any sense? Just: darn good writing all throughout.

    My stomach twisted for this, I'm not going to lie. What a horribly vivid way to describe Touya's torment.

    Again, your use of repetition and parentheticals (is that the right word for the rambling interupting trains of thought that you like to use) is so effective!

    GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH, VIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!

    And the ice breaks!

    Fuyumi may not have been the Number 1 Pro Hero her father was looking to breed in his offspring, but her quirk is still nothing to sneeze at. And she has the will and the strength - even if its a softer strength that she might not even recognize in herself before this moment - to not be a victim again. I loved this!

    And I really do love me some Dabi being Dabi. :p [face_devil]

    [face_love]! I appreciate how this was such a great bookend, framing the time Fuyumi helped extinguish his fire with her ice and answering that ghostly sense of Touya being right there that Fuyumi was aware of. Excellent structure, marvelous prose, and such great emotion all throughout!


    This was such a hauntingly thoughtful character study, and I enjoyed every word. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing more from you in this fandom if you're ever so inspired. ;) [face_batting]

    [:D]