Todoroki decides that his mother has to go outside of the clinic she’s in from time to time, so he takes her out for walks or to go and eat a little something together. That also means that they are completely alone, though – no nurses and doctors checking up on them to make sure that Todoroki’s mother is alright. No interruptions at all.
That leads to quite some long, awkward silences in which the both of them don’t know what to talk about.
It’s Todoroki’s mother who has the saving idea. She smiles, inspiration striking her, and she says, “Tell me about your class again, Shouto?”
And that’s easy, Todoroki thinks. There is always something to talk about when it comes to U.A and class 1-A in particular. The newest shenanigans they have gotten into. The training their absolving. How he sometimes worries about them for being too reckless.
He re-enacts things his friend have done or said (“And he just smiled through it, can you imagine that? Like All Might!”) and tries to give his mother an image about what kind of people his peers and teachers are (“Bakugou always yells and swears, but I think he doesn’t really mean it”, or “Aizawa-sensei is stern, but fair. I appreciate that.”)
He doesn’t really notice how much he perks up and how talkative he becomes when he talks about them. But his mother notices, and she smiles, even though she could cry of joy. Shouto, her little Shouto, who never had real friends, who got hurt so much, got treated so badly by both his father and her, has found people he loves. People who love him in return.
She couldn’t be more happy, apart from…
“I would really like to meet them,” she says when Todoroki finishes one story and takes a break from talking to take a sip of his drink. She’s joking – she doesn’t think that Shouto will let her meet those amazing people. Thinks that he is still not completely comfortable around her, after what she did to him.
But that’s not what makes Todoroki hesitates, oh no. He hesitates because – why did he not think of this sooner? His mother should meet his friends (family?). She definitely should. He knows that at least Class 1-A will love his mother instantly, just because she is his mother who is important to him. His mother, on the other hand, will also come to love his friends – they are amazing, after all.
So as soon as their afternoon together is over, Todoroki goes back to the dorms and tells the others that he would like to invite his mother over on the next weekend.
The kids start planning out a little welcome party, just for Todoroki’s mother. They are totally here for this. Izuku even calls his mother, asking for her help in preparing some cakes and snacks for the event. Inko promises to come over that day.
Aizawa suggests that he could drive Todoroki to the clinic and then pick his mother up from there to bring her to the dorms with them. Toshinori proposes that he goes with them – since the clinic will perhaps try to protest that the woman is not healthy enough yet to leave the clinic, and nobody will try and stop All Might if he orders it. (Yes, for something like this, Toshinori would readily abuse his power and status. This is important, after all.)
There was once a time where Todoroki would have been speechless and overwhelmed by all the utter care those people show him. He still is, a little bit. But by now, he knows their big hearts, their conviction, their love for each other – him included. So he just smiles brightly, listening to the different ideas and suggestions, tossing one or two comments in, but mostly just silently appreciating his blended family.
And the following weekend, Todoroki’s mother is completely overwhelmed one. When she steps out of the clinic – still flabbergasted at the fact that All Might himself had just walked into the clinic and basically ordered the responsible doctor to let her leave the clinic at her whenever she wanted – she is greeted by Aizawa. The scruffy teacher hasn’t bothered to change into a too formal attire, but he has thrown on a casual shirt and some jeans, and he helps her into the car as if she is a celebrity.
(He ruins the polite demeanour by slamming his fist into the snickering Toshinori’s upper arm, though)
And when they reach the dorms, Todoroki’s mother startles yet again as a horde of children practically pounces onto her, greeting her cheerily, happily, shaking her hand enthusiastically or just straight out hugging the breathe out of her. Everyone is talking over each other, trying to get a look at her, trying to let her look at them, and it’s too much as well as it is wonderful.
She’s almost a bit relieved when Aizawa orders the children to calm down and ushers them back into the dorms, dragging Toshinori with him (“You go calm the children down while I change clothes again.”)
Todoroki’s mother barely has time to get into the living room, before she is already gently ushered to sit down, take something to drink and eat and make herself comfortable. (“Please feel at home here, Todoroki-san!”)
She kind of wishes that Shouto could be by her side, so that she could tell him how amazing the greeting alone already is. But her son is in the middle of the commotion, helping his enthusiastic friends out where he can. Sometimes, she catches him watching his peers, a fond smile on his face, and so calm and peaceful like she has not seen him since he was a little child.
Tears burn in her eyes again. Shouto had had to wait so long to find something like this – a home, such good friends, something like family, even. A better family than his mother and father had ever been for him, apparently.
Part of her is just happy for him. The other part of her wishes that she could have been this home and family for him. But she had lost that chance, hadn’t she? She had destroyed what they had had, and now she had no longer a place in Shouto’s life…
She jolts when Inko shows up next to her – yes, Inko would never let the opportunity slip to spend time with her son and his friends, so she stayed for the whole afternoon.
Inko smiles comfortingly at Todoroki’s mother, handing her a cup of tea. “Here. You seem to be in need of something calming.”
“T-Thank you,” Todoroki’s mother uselessly tries to get rid of her tears as she accepts the cup with shaking hands.
“You know…” Inko still smiles, but there is a tad of seriousness in her eyes. “Your son loves you very much.”
“He planned all of this with the help of his class and his teachers. From what I’ve gathered, he was very nervous about all of this, trying to get everything perfect for you,” Inko sips at her own tea, gaze drifting over to where the kids are arguing about which snacks to serve first. “He wanted you to love it, I guess.”
Wanted her to love it… Todoroki’s mother sits very still, barely breathing. If that really was the truth… if Shouto cared about her opinion, then that meant… that there was still hope?
Could he really forgive her fully? Accept her into that family he had found for himself.
She looks over her shoulder, searches for Shouto.
Shouto is listening to Izuku – she knows it must be Izuku, Shouto has talked so much about him – as the green-haired boy explains something with flailing arms, clearly excited about the subject. Todoroki’s mother catches snippets of “news” and “top hero” and “so cool!” as she tries to listen.
And Shouto is smiling. Her son, whom she has met again only recently and got to know as a serious, closed up person, is really smiling while he listens to the other boy. Then he turns and calls out to someone – to All Might. The blond hears him, laughs, reaches over to pat Izuku’s head as if to calm the enthusiastic boy down. Izuku blushes and grins sheepishly…
And Shouto starts laughing out loud.
It’s nothing like the serious teenager his mother got to meet. It’s a loud, happy laugh, accompanied by a bright smile and twinkling eyes.
It’s the laugh of the little, happy boy he once had been.
She’s crying when Shouto turns around, still laughing, to look over at her.
Her son’s expression crumbles into shock as he sees her like this, and he shouts, rushing over to her. “Mother! What…?!”
And suddenly everyone is there, swarming her, reaching out for her, trying to comfort her.
“Are you alright, Todoroki-san?!”
“Is it too much for you?”
“Do you want to take a break?”
“Or should we be quieter? We can do that, really!”
“No! No, really, please, you did nothing wrong!” she sniffles, shouts, sobs through her tears, holding onto Shouto’s hands that steady her by her shoulders. She even manages to smile up at her worried son. “I’m just…”
She has to stop and take the sight in again. More than twenty people, standing behind her son and at his side, ready to protect him, help him. People who love him.
And she can smile for real. “I’m just so happy I get to know all of you.”
I’m so happy he found you all.