|| 1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 ||
Momo is 13 when she gets her first period.
Her parents had talked to her about it of course, told her it was completely natural and normal and healthy, and to come to them when it happens.
What nobody was prepared for was the pain.
She’s in the family garden creating some Lego blocks for herself when a bout of cramps, sharp and intense, roils through her abdomen and up her left leg. It’s so sudden she can barely call for help, and by the time the guards reach her, she’s on the ground sobbing, clutching her stomach and shakily taking in gasps of air.
They tell her it’s a combination of her diet and her genes. The high-fat diet has consequences, no matter how much she uses her quirk to balance it out and her father’s side of the family has a history of debilitating period pains. It’s just really bad luck, or so they tell her.
Of course, this doesn’t deter Momo from her plans of becoming a pro-hero. It’s all she wants. So, it’s what she chases and works for and earns.
The period pains get worse.
Class 1A doesn’t notice for the longest time. Momo is good at hiding it, at hiding how often she uses the loo for the first two days, how much pain she’s biting back in class, how badly she’s performing in training. She practices her smile in the mirror, sits through hours of class and training and socializing with a smile plastered on her face, and screams into her pillow at night. She spends those nights on her bathroom floor, alternating between throwing up and enjoying the cool feeling of the tiles underneath her.
Nobody realizes until Momo doesn’t show up for class one day.
Of course, everyone is immediately concerned- Momo isn’t one to skip. She takes the best notes, has perfect attendance, submits her assignments on time, the works. First period passes like that, and Aizawa even brings it up but nobody knows where she is. She hasn’t messaged a soul or called anyone about anything.
They’re on break after second period when Todoroki finds her on the staircase landing between the first and second floor.
Momo is on the ground, laying on her side. Her hand is in her mouth, blood dripping down her skin as she clenches it tightly between her teeth. Her other hand is wrapped around her abdomen, squeezing tightly. Tears stream down her face continuously, like an endless river. She’s muffling her screams, and it’s almost like she can’t even see Todoroki, her gaze piercing straight through him.
Todoroki is immediately alarmed, getting to his knees in front of her. He looks over her and can’t see any physical injuries, any signs of trauma.
‘Yaoyorozu,’ he says urgently, ‘what’s going on?’
Momo blinks at him, some of the tears dispelling. She finally sees him, recognizes him, and gasps. She pulls her hand away and the tears spill again.
‘I can’t-‘ she starts and sucks in a sharp breath ‘-I can’t breathe. I can’t- there’s too much pain fuck.’ Todoroki raises his brows- Momo never curses. Never. Not even when she stubbed her toe against the dining table and broke it.
‘We have to get you to recovery girl,’ Todoroki says, moving to help her up.
‘Wait,’ she groans. ‘I need- dammit, Todoroki let me borrow your left hand for a moment please.’
Todoroki complies without question, and watches as she takes it and places it on her abdomen above her uniform.
‘As hot as you can go,’ she says, ‘without burning my uniform. Please.’
Todoroki has no idea what’s going on, but he does as she asks. The effect is almost immediate- her breathing evens out, her eyes focus again, her body stops jerking in pain. It’s almost like she’s been sedated.
After nearly 2 minutes of sitting in silence, she gently takes Todoroki’s hand and places it on his own knee. She sits up gingerly and wipes away her tears, smearing some of the blood on her cheeks instead. Todoroki watches her carefully, ready to step in if she asks for help.
Momo looks at him with sad eyes. ‘It’s just my period cramps Todoroki. I’m ok, I’ll be alright.’
Todoroki quirks a brow. ‘You’re not ok Yaoyorozu, even I can tell just by looking at you.’
Momo is about to voice another protest when the door to the stairwell bursts open. Bakugou and Kirishima walk through with vending machine drinks in their hands and stop when they spot the pair on the floor.
‘Yaomomo?’ Kirishima shouts, running towards them. Bakugou trails just behind, eyebrows furrowed.
Momo plasters a smile on her face, trying to hide her bloodied hand.
‘What happened?’ Kirishima yells, crouching down with a concerned look in his eyes.
‘She said it’s period cramps,’ Todoroki interrupts. In all honesty, he never grew up around his mother or his sister, so he has limited knowledge of periods in general. But with that limited knowledge also came the lack of a stigma towards periods in general. He doesn’t think anything of talking about it.
Kirishima’s concerned look melts into one of sad understanding.
‘Oh man,’ he says, ‘that sucks Yaomomo. They’re that bad, huh?’
Momo keeps her smile in place. ‘Really, I’m fine, it’s nothing I cannot handle, I’m ok-‘
A hand, absurdly gentle, pulls her bloodied one away from where she’s hiding it. Momo startles when she sees Bakugou holding her hand, giving her a tight look. He drops it gently and sighs. With a grunt, Bakugou sits down next to her, back leaning into the wall. Kirishima sits cross legged in front of her while Todoroki sits on her other side.
‘My old hag,’ Bakugou grumbles, ‘has period pains. More like period torture, I guess. She threw up every month on the first day. She’d have dark circles from the lack of sleep, and she’d slap hot water bags to her stomach 24/7. She even burned the skin there a few times. Painkillers didn’t do shit, there were no surgical options, not even birth control made much of a dent. She’d just grit her teeth and bare it every month.’
Momo listens silently, her hands slowly unclenching.
‘My moms,’ Kirishima pitches in, ‘are pretty chill with it. Well, Mama’s get really bad sometimes, but mom is usually ok. I’ve seen them bring each other ice-cream or squeeze each other’s shoulders. They sync up a lot too! Mama would always tell me to be nicer to mom, and mom would always tell me to give mama a kiss. They’re both so manly when they battle their periods every month.’ He offers Momo a gentle smile.
Todoroki hums. ‘I admit, I don’t know much beyond the biological part of it. But from what I can see, Yaoyorozu, this isn’t very normal, is it? This level of pain?’
Momo sighs, brushing away the fresh tears welling up in her eyes.
‘I, between my quirk and my genes, I have received the shorter end of the stick. Of course, I have looked into treatments. There’s nothing I can fix with surgery, and painkillers are usually ineffective. I have tried birth control measures, but they interfere with my quirk.’
Momo looks up at the ceiling. ‘I don’t think we talk about this enough, about heroes that menstruate. I can’t stop being a hero on the days I have my period, but sometimes, I’m in so much pain I can’t see straight. I-‘ she sucks in a stuttering breath ‘-I don’t know what to do sometimes. I want to stand on equal footing with my peers.’
Bakugou scoffs. ‘You shitting me? You’re top of the class, your quirk can make fucking canons, you tutored our fuckwit classmates into not failing miserably, and you did it all through this shit? What part of that is not equal with your peers?’
Kirishima nods in agreement. ‘I mean, Mina has some cramps too, so I usually bring her hot water bags when she asks. I read somewhere that spinach is great for period health, so I make us both protein shakes with spinach and banana! She says it helps.’
‘The iron in spinach must be beneficial,’ Momo muses, her face breaking into the first genuine smile of the day. ‘I usually up my iron intake as well. It does help.’
‘You’re right though,’ Todoroki adds, eyebrows furrowed, ‘we don’t talk enough about heroes that menstruate. Plus, the fact that you can’t seem to find a way to manage your pain without it affecting your life is proof that they haven’t put much thought into it, isn’t it?’
Bakugou grunts in agreement. ‘My hag volunteers at women’s shelters and tries to raise funds for pain meds and hygiene supplies and shit. It’s ridiculous. All of that shit should be free. No one asks to have a period every month.’
‘We can change that though,’ Kirishima pipes in, always the voice of positivity. ‘Look at the four of us, talking about it! Yaomomo, I’m sorry.’
Momo blinks, ‘What for Kirishima?’
‘For not noticing! You must’ve been in so much pain all this time, huh? I’m sorry for not noticing and doing more.’
Momo feels something cold press against her arm. She looks down to see Bakugou pushing his unopened drink into her elbow.
‘Take it, staying hydrated helps with the cramps.’ He stands up and brushes his pants. ‘Think you can stand?’
Momo takes a sip of the drink, relishing the cold fizzy burn as it slides down her throat. She takes a deep breath and stands, stumbling a little before catching herself. Todoroki steadies her around the elbow.
‘Can we take you to recovery girl?’
Momo smiles warmly. ‘I’ve been already. We’ve been working together on some remedies. It’ll take time, but I hope we can come up with something.’ Momo hums. ‘I should put more work into this. I can’t be the only hero that faces such bad period pains.’
‘That’s so manly Yaomomo!’ Kirishima beams. ‘I’m kinda dumb so I don’t think I can help with the research but let me know if there’s anything else I can do.’
Momo giggles into the back of her hand and they start moving towards class together. As they reach the top of the stairs another bout of cramps settles into her gut, and she clenches the railing with a white knuckled grip.
The boys stand around, guarding her, supporting her, giving her small smiles and reassuring nods. Todoroki offers her his hand again, and she quickly makes a heating pad and hands it to him, so she can continue to use it during class. Bakugou urges her to drink more water, and Kirishima keeps telling her how manly she is.
When they get to class, everyone crowds around her and she laughs softly, promising to explain everything later. The rest of the day passes by with little incident, and throughout it all, Todoroki takes the heating pad from her, heats it up and hands it back, hour after hour.
They talk about it in the dorms after class, and recounting her episode opens the floodgates for all the girls.
‘I get really bad migraines,’ Uraraka sighs, rubbing at her temples as if in anticipation. ‘It makes the nausea from my quirk even more unbearable.’
Jirou nods. ‘I get you. I have leg cramps, makes it impossible to use my legs during heartbeat surround. The speakers are too painful to use, and I’m never as stable as I’d like to be.’ She gives Kirishima a pointed look. ‘I’ll join you at the gym next time, teach me some leg moves. I want to get stronger.’ Kirishima gives her a huge thumbs up and a blinding grin.
‘My back gives out sometimes,’ Mina says. ‘I have this pain that burns in my lower back on a few occasions, it’s the worst.’
‘I don’t have a lot of physical symptoms,’ Hagakure pipes in, ‘but I do have PMS and depressive episodes. I’ve been trying to figure out a good med balance to fix it.’ All the girls nod at that, squeezing her arms and shoulders in silent support.
The teachers are brought into the loop too, and Aizawa gently berates Momo for not coming to him sooner.
‘We’re here to help,’ he says, eyes the gentlest she’s ever seen. ‘Learn to rely on your teachers more, will you? Such troublemakers , the lot of you.’
Momo makes hot packs for the girls after that, and the teachers don’t blink when one of them passes it to Todoroki in the middle of class as the boy just heats it the appropriate amount before passing it back without so much as a hiccup in his work.
Bakugou sends Momo articles and tips from his mom about pain management and dealing with cramps. He says it’s because he wants her to be in top condition when he beats her for #1, otherwise it won’t, in his eloquent words, mean jack shit. Momo tries some stuff out, happily surprised when her symptoms are even the slightest bit reduced. Kirishima offers to make them all spinach shakes, and they take him up on that every so often, complimenting his limited cooking abilities.
And on the days Momo is back on the bathroom floor heaving into the toilet, Jirou holds her hair back. Mina cuddles her on the couch when her hands are clenched as she bites back tears, and Ojiro sits by her feet, a reassuring presence to depend on if she ever needs something.
They’ve still got a long way to go as a society, but it’s a start. And a damn good one at that.
14 notes · View notes