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Endeavor is Dead (i know because i killed him)

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Naomasa does not want to be here. He usually enjoys his job—enjoys what he accomplishes—enjoys the fact that he helps make the world a better, safer place. Despite the challenges, he does good.

 

But sitting in front of Todoroki Shouto, he hesitates for the first time. Questions just how much is worth it .

 

The file is small—only because the case opened barely an hour ago—but he knows it’s getting bigger by the second. Whilst he’s here, others are tearing apart the Todoroki household—the crime scene. And others are speaking with the rest of the Todoroki family—the witnesses.

 

He doesn’t want to ask the questions glaring up at him from his notebook. He can’t begin to imagine what Todoroki Shouto’s gone through today.

 

The death of a loved one is a traumatizing event. No matter the circumstance—no matter how violent. But this had been violent. Had been bloody and burned and bludgeoned. Naomasa only got a quick look of the scene—he’d immediately been ushered in to run questioning. But what he saw rattled him more than any other murder he’s witnessed.

 

Because who is capable of killing the number one hero?

 

And if Todoroki Shouto witnessed it...

 

Aizawa’s constant glare is unnerving in a way Naomasa thought he’d gotten used to. But, he’s so rarely on this end of Aizawa’s hostility. Usually Naomasa gets to witness it aimed towards others. It communicates surprisingly clearly. If Naomasa harms Todoroki Shouto in any way, Aizawa will eat him alive.

 

Aizawa fought to be in this room, only got in through a loophole which declared UA as the automatic temporary guardian in emergency situations. This is, without a doubt, an emergency.

 

If the rest of the Todoroki family weren’t actively being questioned, Naomasa is sure one of them would be here, instead.

 

“Get on with it,” Aizawa hisses across the table.

 

Naomasa clears his throat, flips through his notebook just to waste a few more seconds, and then meets Todoroki’s gaze. “I’ll try to be as considerate as possible,” Naomasa begins, “but there are a few things I must ask you.”

 

Todoroki doesn’t react in any way. He doesn’t even blink. In a way, his gaze is more frightening than Aizawa’s—only because Naomasa can read none of its intent. He’s accustomed to Todoroki’s lack of expression, but this is on a whole other level. It’s like he isn’t even there—just an empty shell of a body.

 

He could be dissociating—a response to trauma that nobody would fault him for.

 

Naomasa can’t put this off any longer.

 

He’s learned, over the years, that his quirk has limits. Open-ended questions like how did Endeavor die? leave room for vague half-answers that are still, technically, true. Questions about opinions or beliefs are tricky because what a person believes to be true is not necessarily the truth.

 

So, Naomasa asks mostly yes-or-no questions. Those don’t leave much wriggle room at all.

 

“Todoroki Shouto—” his name still doesn’t get any reaction. “Did you witness your father’s death?”

 

“Yes,” Todoroki answers—true—despite the fact that his face barely moved. His eyes still haven’t changed, but Naomasa recognizes his voice and tone as Todoroki Shouto.

 

Naomasa swallows. “Do you know who killed him?”

 

“Yes.” True.

 

Naomasa cringes and stops himself from glancing at the one-way mirror. He has to ask this next question, no matter how much he doesn’t want to. It’s protocol, and the only way to secure Todoroki’s position as a witness and nothing more.

 

“I’m sorry, but I have to ask... Todoroki Shouto...," Naomasa starts, his throat dry. "Did you kill Endeavor?”

 

“Yes,” he answers without hesitation.

 

He’s telling the truth.

 

A solidity finally forms in Todoroki’s gaze, like he’s really seeing Naomasa for the first time.

 

Aizawa tenses, sits up just a little straighter. He glances at Todoroki and says, “He’s lying,” like he’s trying to convince himself.

 

“Why?” Naomasa asks automatically. He wants to know—needs to know. Maybe it was an accident. Maybe Todoroki was under the control of some crazy quirk.

 

Naomasa is fully aware that this question is too open-ended. That Todoroki could easily speak around the truth, if he wanted to.

 

But instead Todoroki answers, “He wanted me to forgive him,” and it’s the truth.

 

- - -

 

Shouto feels almost as safe in the kitchen as he does in his room. And, while that’s still not a lot, it’s more than nothing. Endeavor does not—can not—cook. It is below him—a job for women, or paid staff, or professionals who own too-expensive Michelin star restaurants.

 

Which is why Shouto nearly drops the whisk when Endeavor asks, “What are you making?”

 

The words lack Endeavor’s signature hostility and instead sound like he’s reciting them off a page. He stands just outside the division between kitchen and dining room, with his hands in pockets and an unrelaxed slouch that makes him look like a yakuza.

 

Shouto does not want to answer. He wants Endeavor to leave, to leave Shouto in the kitchen. To leave him alone.

 

But he knows that won’t happen, knows that not answering is disrespectful—an easy excuse for Endeavor to lash out. “Pancakes,” Shouto answers before turning back to the bowl.

 

“Sounds good,” Endeavor says.

 

There’s bleach under the sink. Rat poison on the floor of the pantry. Shouto gets the urge to dump both in the batter, offer some to Endeavor and take them both out.

 

He would never do it. Though he isn’t sure why. Fear, maybe. Of his father or death, he isn’t sure which. He isn’t suicidal, despite the many times he’s fantasized about ending his own life. He’d never really do it.

 

Endeavor still isn’t gone by the time Shouto has the pan on the stovetop. He wants to say what the fuck do you want or even get the fuck out, but instead he says nothing.

 

“Where’d you learn to cook?” Endeavor asks like he’s seriously interested.

 

Mom. Fuyumi. Shouto says, “Youtube,” as he drops clarified butter onto the pan. It’s a cast iron his mother spent years seasoning before Fuyumi inherited the task.

 

Shouto doesn’t love the stovetop—doesn’t enjoy the heat of it, the flames licking across the bottom of the skillet. He usually sticks to things he doesn’t actually have to cook. But Fuyumi had mentioned pancakes in passing, how much she missed breakfast-for-lunch with Mom. So Shouto is using the stove.

 

Endeavor takes a step into the kitchen. Shouto notices because he is terribly aware of his father’s presence. How he fits into rooms. How he can corner Shouto.

 

The only thing between them is the counter. His only escape route is the entry to the living room. If Endeavor rounds the counter, he’ll be trapped.

 

Shouto pours a scoop of batter onto the pan. It makes a sizzling sound that tightens his neck. The batter starts bubbling around the edges. Like boiling water.

 

Shouto flips it.

 

Endeavor steps further into the room. Shouto stops breathing. He turns towards the living room—to make his escape. But then he smells burning. He can’t stop himself from scooping up the pancake with a spatula and placing it on the hotplate. He regrets it even as he’s doing it.

 

He can feel Endeavor’s proximity in the oppressive heat.

 

Shouto is trapped between the refrigerator and his abusive trashcan of a father.

 

Endeavor looks at him without making eye-contact, hesitating on his scar and the All Might apron Hitoshi bought him. Shouto doesn’t often engage in provocative behavior towards his father, but living in the dorms—away from him and with good people—has given him ideas. Courage. A righteous anger he couldn’t muster before.

 

Slowly—like it physically pains him to do so—Endeavor sinks down to his knees. He places his hands on his thighs in a perfect rendition of seiza.

 

He looks straight forward and, in the same recited tone, states, “I’m sorry.”

 

Shouto flinches backwards. His heart stops before returning with a fervor, pounding against his chest like it wants out. “What?” he says—whispers—thinks—yells—he isn’t quite sure how it comes out, or if he says it out loud at all.

 

Endeavor looks up, makes eye-contact. “I’ve been a terrible father. I have not treated you with the respect or love you deserve.”

 

Shouto isn’t breathing anymore. Or he’s breathing too much. He might be hyperventilating.

 

Endeavor continues, “I’ve made a lot of mistakes. There are so many things I regret, but I want to keep this succinct. I’ve grown, Shouto. As a father and a human being. I’m sorry.”

 

Shouto’s too cold and too hot at the same time. He can feel his quirk licking at his skin, threatening to consume him.

 

Endeavor does not move.

 

When Shouto can breathe again, he grabs the pancake batter and shovels some onto the pan. He refuses to look at Endeavor.

 

The weight of Endeavor’s gaze is suffocating. As he’s dropping two more pancakes onto the hot plate Shouto grunts, “Get up.”

 

Endeavor doesn’t move.

 

It’s infuriating. That he thinks he can apologize. That he thinks saying I’m sorry and I’ve grown will make it all better like a fucking band-aid.

 

Shouto throws the spatula across the room and yells, “Get up!

 

Endeavor doesn’t even flinch. He sits like he isn’t threatening Shouto with his presence, like he hasn’t literally cornered him.

 

Endeavor states, “I won’t get up until you forgive me,” and Shouto breaks.

 

He chokes on air, on spit, on his own voice. Later, he’ll realize he was laughing. A broken laughter will haunt his dreams.

 

When he can feel his body again, Shouto states, “No.”

 

Endeavor scowls in an impulse, face twisting into an expression of distaste and anger. He fixes it almost immediately, but not quite quick enough. “What do you mean, no?"

 

The room is getting hotter and Shouto doesn’t know who’s quirk it is, or if it’s just his own mind tearing him apart from the inside.

 

Endeavor continues, “I apologized. I did everything right.”

 

Shouto barks out a laugh instead of screaming. His skin is vibrating. Everything hurts. He can’t see anything except for Endeavor’s face.

 

“I apologized,” Endeavor declares, “so now you get to forgive me.”

 

Shouto can’t feel his legs. “I will never forgive you,” Shouto whispers. And then he yells it, screams it, throws it at Endeavor like a fucking blade, “I will never forgive you!

 

Endeavor scowls a dangerous expression Shouto recognizes all too well. He shoots up to his feet. Shouto knows what’s coming—anger—pain—fire.

 

He squeezes his eyes shut. For a moment, everything is calm. He can feel his fingertips again. He’s no longer burning, or freezing. All he can hear is the quiet hum of the stove burner.

 

Something breaks. Endeavor is in his face, flames flickering and fist raised. Shouto lashes out. With his fire. With his ice. With the cast iron skillet that’s in his hand.

 

He isn’t sure how it happens—whether he freezes or burns Endeavor or both—but then Endeavor is on the ground and Shouto keeps hitting him and hitting him and hitting and hitting and hitting and hitting him with the skillet. Pummeling him with his mother’s favorite cast iron skillet.

 

He doesn’t stop his quirk from exploding.

 

- - -

 

Todoroki Shouto is covered in blood. His front half splattered with it like someone sprayed him with a hose. Full of blood.

 

It’s a sight Shouta won’t ever forget—All Might’s smiling face stained with Endeavor’s blood. It’s almost poetic.

 

The edges of the apron are seared.

 

After the medics clear him—declare Todoroki Shouto completely unharmed (with the unsaid resolution that all that blood is, in fact, Endeavor’s)—Shouta is finally allowed to approach him.

 

Todoroki is bundled up tight in a shock blanket that’s quickly soaking up blood.

 

“Are you alright?” Shouta asks only because he doesn’t know what else to say.

 

Todoroki looks up at him and—for the first time Shouta’s ever seen—he smiles . It’s small, but it reaches his eyes in a way Shouta never could have anticipated.

 

“Yes,” Todoroki answers. “I’m alright, now.” He looks the happiest—the most content—Shouta’s ever seen him.

 

It scares Shouta.

 

- - -

 

“Do you regret it?” Tsukauchi asks. He sounds desperate, like he’s pleading with Shouto to say yes.

 

“No,” Shouto answers and it’s the truth. “The only thing I regret is not doing it sooner.”