imagine a scenario where Todoroki isn’t completely passed out from Bakugou’s attack, where he’s still awake–but just barely. He can see Bakugou’s blurry figure stomp over to him through the clouds of dust, screaming. And suddenly, he’s being lifted by his shirt.
Imagine Bakugou lifts Todoroki to yell at him, screams at him–how DARE he do this? How DARE that two-faced bastard do this to him, a win like this means NOTHING. It’s worse than losing, because he didn’t win at all, it’s nothing but a hollow shell of a victory, only won because his opponent refused to go all out on him.
this isn’t what Bakugou wanted. This isn’t what he wanted at all. he wanted to prove himself, to defeat Two-Face with his own power, with his own skill, not–not this. Not a victory where fucking Two-Face just…. gives up. Refused to fight him. Didn’t see him as worthy to fight…
Wasn’t he strong enough? What the fuck. Why. Why couldn’t Todoroki just fight him all out, use his goddamn flames like he did with Deku, always Deku, why not him, goddammit, why, why, why–
Todoroki squints through the dust, trying to focus on the face in front of him. His eyes widen–it’s Bakugou, of course it is, who else yells like him? But it’s not the yelling that’s a surprise, it’s the expression. Bakugou’s face is screwed up, red and angry… and his cheeks are wet with tears.
Bakugou continues to rant and yell at Todoroki, but it all sounds like white noise. All he can see are the tears running down Bakugou’s face, the quivering lips, the shaking eyebrows that are tilted together in an arc that looks less like anger, and more like desperate frustration.
Some of the tears fall on Todoroki’s chest. He doesn’t notice.
“ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME, YOU BASTARD?!” Bakugou shrieks, voice cracking in the middle, shaking Todoroki from his thoughts both literally and physically. Bakugou is huffing and crying and glaring wet red eyes at him, waiting for an answer.
Todoroki feels something heavy in his chest. he’s not sure what it is. He’s just so full of confusing emotions–after his fight with Midoriya, after forgetting for just those few moments, after using his fire side for the first time, after remembering why he wanted to become a hero in the first place… after everything.
It’s been an emotionally exhausting day. He’s confused. Conflicted. He doesn’t really know what to do.
He’s never been very good at understanding others. Apparently he was never very good at understanding himself, either. At least until someone made him remember. Until Midoriya made him remember.
But right now, Bakugou is right here, right in his face, sobbing, and Todoroki feels like he owes him an answer. He’s not sure what to say.
What would a hero do?
Todoroki locks tired eyes with Bakugou. He tenses, baring his teeth.
Todoroki parts his lips.
“Are you alri…”
The words never get out, as a sweet smelling mist drapes over them like a soft blanket. Within seconds, Bakugou’s grip on Todoroki’s shirt loosens and both boys collapse, out cold.
The next time Todoroki sees Bakugou, he’s chained against a pillar, raging like a madman, howling as loudly as he can with a muzzle strapped to his face, and glaring daggers at anything and everything.
There are no tears to be found.
Did he imagine it? Todoroki looks down at his palm and curls his fingers.
He’s still confused. Still conflicted. All Might helped him a little… he just needed time to sort things out. Needed time to look at himself… remember why he wanted to be a hero. He… he needed to see his mother again.
(When was the last time he had a hug?)
(… When was the last time he hugged her?)
When All Might turns to Bakugou and removes the muzzle, Todoroki watches quietly from the corner of his eye.
Bakugou rages. He yells. He screams and shouts and refuses the medal All Might so valiantly tries to hang around his neck, fighting against it like a man fighting a noose.
“EVEN IF SOCIETY ACKNOWLEDGES IT, IF I DON’T THEN IT’S TRASH!!!”
The medal is hangs in between clenched teeth, and Todoroki decides that no, he didn’t imagine it. Even if he didn’t quiet understand, still doesn’t, those tears were real. He looks down at his clenched fist.
I’m sorry, Bakugou. He thinks.
There isn’t anything he can do here. He couldn’t give Bakugou the fight he wanted. He…
Todoroki looked up at the sky.
He’s going to see his mother tomorrow.
(so i wanted to write a scenario where Todoroki actually saw Bakugou crying before Midnight’s made him pass out, and it kinda became this, oops)