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Kids (Are The Future)

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.i – Nemuri.

Nemuri slides in beside Shouta at lunch. She barely acknowledges Hizashi’s greeting—which causes the blond to pout terribly—and focuses on Shouta with a truly terrifying grin.

“Say, Shouta, you wouldn’t happen to have a secret son, would you?”

Beside him, Hizashi sprays his water all over the table—so much for a (relatively) peaceful first day of classes.

Shouta looks up at Nemuri and sighs tiredly. “No, Nemuri, I do not have a ‘secret son’. What even gave you that idea?”

Nemuri seems to take this as an invitation, because her smile widens even more. “You two know I’m in charge of 1-C this year, right?” She doesn’t want for them to agree to continue. “Great kids. Speaking of, I didn’t see yours at orientation. Expelled them already?”

“No.” Shouta grunts.

“I’m sorry, what?” Nemuri gapes, her eyebrows raised so high they almost vanish into her hairline. “All of them?”

Shouta nods. “They have potential.”

Hizashi laughs, his hands twitching like he wants to throw an arm over Shouta’s shoulders. “It surprised me too!”

Nemuri laughs too, smirking at Shouta. “Yeah, has this ever happened to you before?” She lets out a fake gasp, putting a hand over her hand. “My my, Shouta, is this going to be the first time you get a whole class?”

Shouta glares at them both until the laughter subsides, wishing he could just go home already. Sadly, even if classes were done for today—which they’re not—they still have a meeting with Nedzu at the end of the day.

Eventually, Nemuri sighs and shakes her head, a smile still playing on her lips. “Anyway, there’s this kid in my class—tall, purple hair, maybe you’ve seen him around?” Hizashi and Shouta shake their heads—with varying degrees of enthusiasm—and Nemuri pouts.

“Figures. You probably would have thought the same I did if you had.”

“I’m assuming there’s more to him than ‘purple hair’ then?” Shouta asks in a drawl. “Because in case you hadn’t noticed,” he points at his own black hair “I don’t exactly have purple hair.”

Nemuri rolls her eyes at him. “Ha, ha, very funny. Of course, there’s more.” She leans in, her eyes sparkling with mirth and gestures at them to do the same.

Shouta doesn’t really want to—he doesn’t care that much for whatever new crazy idea Nemuri’s come up with today (a secret son, really?), but Hizashi seems to find this both intriguing and hilarious, and he drags Shouta with him.

After a long beat, Hizashi impatiently says, “Well, then—spill!”

Once again, Nemuri laughs. “Since you insist. Well, that kid has the official Shouta Aizawa attitude!”

Hizashi chokes on a laugh as Shouta blinks. “The what now?” he asks, feeling a headache building.

“You know, the—“ She gestures toward Shouta, muttering a “tired” and “grumpy” and “cats”, but that seems to be already too much for her, as she dissolves into peals of laughter. Hizashi, that traitor, joins her soon after.

“I’m sorry, babe, but you do kind of have kind of an attitude,” Hizashi replies, though he doesn’t sound very sorry.

“I want a divorce.” Shouta scowls, crossing his arms.

Hizashi laughs off the threat with the ease of somebody who knows how fake it is. Don’t worry, we love you anyway.

“… I’m going back to sleep,” Shouta says. His cheeks burn as he slides under the table and zipping himself up into his sleeping bag.

“Aw, Shouta, come on, no, come back.” Hizashi pleads after him, but his laughter makes it hard for him to sound coherent. Nemuri isn’t doing much better, and Shouta scowls harder.

The laughter stops eventually, and Hizashi lures him back to their table with food.

They don’t mention Shouta’s supposed kid again, or his ‘attitude’, but over the next few weeks, Shouta catches Nemuri sending him odd, considering looks as they cross paths, and she always looks like she’s biting her cheeks to stop herself from laughing.

It is incredibly frustrating, but ultimately, not really any of his business.

(And then the Sports Festival happens, and Shouta thinks that maybe it might be. Not how Nemuri thinks, of course, but… his business all the same.)

.ii – Hizashi.

Hizashi has been behaving… differently, lately. At first, Shouta hadn’t thought it anything to worry about—Hizashi was anxious by nature, and he was probably still worried about the USJ thing. If that worry expresses itself with his husband becoming slightly clingier than usual… Well, Shouta can deal with that.

Starting with making Hizashi deal with it.

He waits until one evening they’re both at home to address it.

Hizashi’s making dinner—neither of them is a really great cook, but Shouta’s food tends to end up being either too spicy or too bland, so Hizashi ended up the designed cook by default some years ago.

It becomes quickly apparent how necessary this conversation they’ve not been having is when he realizes that Hizashi’s been slicing the same carrot for the past five minutes.

“I think that one’s done,” he says with a huff of laughter, plucking the knife from Hizashi’s loose grip carefully.

Hizashi looks down at the board, falling silent in the middle of a song Shouta doesn’t recognize. His green eyes widen. “Oh.” He chuckles awkwardly. “Looks like it is, yes—what would I do without you, dearest listener?”

Shouta doesn’t dignify that with a response. He sets down the knife on the counter. “What’s going on, Hizashi?”

“Nothing,” Hizashi hastens to say. He chuckles again, but the sound is off and so shrill that Shouta could almost believe his husband to be using his quirk.

“Right,” Shouta drawls. “And this ‘nothing’ is the reason why you just spent five minutes pureeing a carrot you were trying to cut.”

Hizashi’s shoulders slump, and he starts to worry his lower lip between his teeth.

Shouta’s heart twitches painfully, and he sighs. He isn’t good at comforting people, not really. He’s usually too brutal about it, too harsh even when he tries not to be, but Hizashi makes him want to be better at it—Hizashi always makes him want to be better. He steps closer, placing a hand on Hizashi’s arm, and hopes it’s not as awkward as he thinks.

“Is it because I nearly—“ he has to pause to swallow, tripping up over the next word a little “died?”

Hizashi shakes his head vehemently. “No, no, no, it has nothing to do with that.” He falters, green eyes pained and shadowed suddenly. “I mean, of course, I worry about it, and you know I have nightmares still. But it’s over. It’s in the past, and you survived.”

Shouta frowns. “Then what is bothering you?”

“You’re going to think it’s stupid.” Hizashi sighs, grimacing. “It’s nothing, really—I’ll get over it.”

“And you’re clearly doing a great job at that on your own,” Shouta replies dryly. “Come on, Hizashi,” he says, softening his tone, “let me help you.”

“Ugh, fine.” Hizashi stops biting his lips and heaves a long sigh. “But don’t say I didn’t warn you, okay?”

Shouta nods impatiently, and Hizashi sighs.

“Well, here goes…” he mutters, before raising his voice for the rest. “I just can’t stop thinking about Shinsou being your son.”

“… That is stupid,” Shouta replies, arching an eyebrow disbelievingly.

“See? I told you you’d think that,” Hizashi moans. “I know it’s stupid, okay? It’s just… I can’t really stop thinking about it.”

“You don’t actually think I’d cheat on you, do you? And with a woman?”

“No. God, of course not. I mean, not really? It’s just, he really looks like he could be your son. You two have the same—“  waves “—everything.”

Shouta shakes his head. Despite how serious the situation is—it hurts, that Hizashi would get so lost into his own mind that he’d start considering something so patently impossible—he can’t help but feel amused, and his lips quirk up into a small smirk.

“Hizashi,” he starts—and he can’t even believe he has to say this, “Shinsou is not my son. I do not have a son.”

“But are you sure?” Hizashi counters nervously. “Maybe it was a quirk. Do you know every quirk you’ve been in contact with, especially fifteen or sixteen years ago?  Maybe—”

“Hizashi. Shinsou is not my son,” Shouta repeats.

“Okay, but are you sure? Really, really sure?”

“Positive.” Shouta rolls his eyes. “I think I’d know if he were. Now, come on,” he says, tugging Hizashi away from the kitchen, “I think we can afford to order in for tonight.”

“But—“

“And clean this up tomorrow,” he finishes, staring at Hizashi pointedly until his husband relents, and follows him into the living-room.

(Some time later, Shouta gives Shinsou a copy of his capture weapon, and starts training the boy to use it. Hizashi drops by on one of their lessons—he even spares with Shinsou, which is great since the boy needs to get used to sparring partners that aren’t Shouta too.

Thankfully, he waits until Shinsou’s already left to start laughing. “Still sure he’s not your son?” he teases.

Shouta elbows him in the side. “Shut up.” He hisses, his cheeks heating up.

Hizashi just hums back, smiling.

They’re halfway home when he suggests, “What do you think about him getting a speaker too? Or well, something like it. To manipulate his voice?”

Shouta grunts. He hates to even think it, but it’s a great idea. “…He’s still not my son,” he replies.

Hizashi huffs out a laugh. “Yes, dear.”)

.iii - All Might.

The problem with Yagi is that the man is always far too cheerful. At first, Shouta had kind of assumed it was part of his All Might persona, but no, the man really is just like that all the time.

It makes it harder to dislike him too, which isn’t ideal—when Shouta had disliked the man, he had no compulsion to actually keep listening to him. Also—and the realization had been kind of horrifying—Shouta has been finding it harder to ignore Yagi Toshinori than it had ever been to ignore All Might.

Add to that the fact that they both taught the same class, and somehow Shouta has now been sitting at his desk, listening to the man talk for what feels like hours. For all he knows, it might very well have been—Shouta had tuned him out at some point when it had become clear that man had nothing new to say.

“I find what you’re doing with young Shinsou to be admirable, but aren’t you worried that his association with you might put him in harm's way?”

The mention of Shinsou’s name drew Shouta out of his daze, and he looked up from where he’d laid his head in his crossed arms, frowning. “What are you talking about?”

“Shinsou-kun—from General Education? I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure to teach him, but for you to take notice of him, he must be good.”

“He is.” Shouta sits up. “I’m still not sure what this is about?”

“Ah.” Yagi chuckles nervously. “I was wondering if you weren’t worried about some of your enemies learning of your personal connection with young Shinsou?”

Shouta swallows. “I’d be lying if I said the thought never crossed my mind,” he admits, fingers coming up to worry the edge of his scarf.

It’s true—after the USJ and the training camp, Shouta had had his fair share of nightmares, and not all of them had stared the League of Villains. He’s had this fear every year since he first started teaching, and he knows Hizashi’s had it too—he supposes it makes sense for Yagi to worry about the same thing, especially given the type of enemies the man must have made for himself during his hero career and how diminished his power was now.

“How do you deal with it then?” Yagi’s voice drags Shouta out of his thoughts, and he shrugs to give himself a few seconds to gather a proper answer.

“I guess… You trust that you can protect them, that the school will protect them—and that if all else fails, what you taught them will be enough.”

Yagi nods religiously as Shouta speaks. “I see,” he says thoughtfully, but it’s clear he’s still worried.

Hoping he’s not about to regret this, Shouta sighs and asks, “Why are you asking me this?

… It is fascinating, the way Yagi turns into an awkward mess at that question.

“Ah—Well, you’re aware, I’m sure, that I’ve come to consider young Midoriya as something of a protégé...?”

Shouta snorts, because that’s an understatement if he’s ever heard one, and gestures at Yagi to continue.

“Right, right.” Yagi laughs nervously, wringing his hands on his lap. “How do you, erm, handle your own personal connection with young Shinsou?”

“All Might.” Shouta sighs, rubbing his temples. “What are you talking about?”

“… Your personal—ah, filial relationship with the boy?”

Absurdly, Shouta wonders if maybe he should start considering the possibility of just letting people make their own assumptions—it doesn’t seem like he’s able to stop them anyway—but Shinsou already has parents. To take their place like this would not only be illogical but also presumptuous.

“Shinsou’s not my son.”

Yagi frowns. “Is he not? I assure you, Aizawa, you can trust me with this secret.”

From somewhere else in the room, a bright peal of laughter echoes, and Shouta recognizes Nemuri’s voice in it instantly. It’s followed by a loud shushing sound that can only be Hizashi, and Shouta scowls.

When he turns back to Yagi, the man is staring at him dejectedly. “I’m sorry if I overstepped, Aizawa-san, it wasn’t my intention.”

Shouta rolls his eyes. “You didn’t overstep anything, Yagi. Shinsou really isn’t my son. I just think he shows potential, and it’d be a shame for him to stay stuck in General Education just because his quirk is useless against robots.”

“Are you sure, though? I could have bet…”

Shouta heaves a sigh. “Yagi, I’ve been married to Hizashi for the past ten years. I haven’t slept with any woman who could be Shinsou’s mother, and I think Hizashi would have told me if he’d spontaneously developed a uterus and carried my child.”

He grins toothily as he hears a loud screech followed by a thump coming from behind him. In front of him, Yagi’s face is burning a bright red.

“I—I see,” the man stutters. “My bad. I’m really sorry about this.”

“There was no harm done,” Shouta replies. “Don’t worry about it.”

Yagi nods jerkily, apologizes again, and nearly flees the room—not that Shouta cares. At least now, he gets to enjoy what little is left of his break in peace.

.iv - Eri.

“Your class is nice,” Eri tells him shyly as they wander around the cultural festival. “They’re loud, though.”

Shouta snorts in amusement while Hizashi laughs loudly. It seems like Eri has a gift for summing things up. “They are, yes,” he says.

They walk aimlessly for a while. Eri seems intent on trying everything, and while it is slightly exhausting, Shouta has got to admit that her enthusiasm is very heart-warming.

He does regretfully have to steer her and Hizashi—who doesn’t seem to be planning on doing any actual patroling any time soon—away from Class 1-C’s haunted house. Sadly, Eri has probably seen much worse before, but the last thing they need is for her to get scared and panic. There’s little chance she could activate her quirk, and even if she did, Shouta’s here to erase it, but still. He’d like to avoid this situation entirely if possible.

“We can come back when they’re disassembling everything if you still want to meet them,” Shouta compromises.

“You promise?”

Shouta sighs. He briefly considers kicking Hizashi when his husband actually coos out loud over Eri’s serious expression, but he decides that would probably set the wrong example.

“I promise.”

Eri nods, and they move on to the next stand.

They’re all pretty good, and when they finally wander back around to the haunted house—that is indeed being taken apart—Shouta slightly regrets that they didn’t get to try it out.

The students are all pretty busy, carrying things left and right, but they all take the time to wave at them—well, at Eri, probably, or maybe Hizashi, since it’s not like Shouta looks particularly welcoming.

Eri and Hizashi are waving back cheerfully though, and so they linger for a bit.

Shouta doesn’t realize Eri had actually been scanning the people there until she points triumphantly at a familiar head of purple hair, towering over his classmates.

“Aizawa-san, is that your son?” she asks excitedly, tugging at Shouta’s hand.

Hizashi immediately chokes on his laughter, somehow almost tripping over his own feet even though he’d been standing still, and Shouta can only think ‘Not again.’

Faced with Eri’s hopeful and excited eyes, he almost doesn’t correct her. But Shinsou isn’t actually his son, even if Eri, who had never even met him, got that idea somehow.

“No,” he corrects her gently. Before her face can fall too much, he adds, “Shinsou’s actually my student. Not my son.”

“Oh.” Something complicated flashes over Eri’s face before she nods again. “I thought he was your son.”

This only makes Hizashi’s laughter redouble, and Shouta sighs. They’re starting to draw attention to themselves, which he’d hoped they’d be able to avoid—somehow, his glares don’t work as well when Hizashi’s doubled over and Eri’s holding his hand between them.

“No, Shinsou is just my student.”

And because the universe hates him, Shinsou is the one Class 1-C sends to look in on them.

He’s slightly out of breath as he arrives, but he looks… happy. He’s smiling a little, and though he still looks tired—Shinsou always looks tired—for once, he doesn’t look like he’s about to fall asleep right there.

“Sensei, is everything alright?” Shinsou asks, a faint hint of worry threading his voice.

Shouta sighs. “Everything’s fine.” One look to the right tells him that Hizashi’s still going to be useless for another few minutes, and he pushes Eri slightly forward. “This is Eri. She wanted to meet you,” he says.

Eri’s eyes are round as she stares up at Shinsou.

“I— Really?” he asks, shock flashing over his face before he manages to smooth it out.

Eri nods wordlessly. Her eyes flicker back to Shouta, who nods encouragingly at her. She turns back toward Shinsou with another nod.

“Yes,” she says softly. Her eyes almost dart down, but she raises her head up again to keep looking at Shinsou. “Aizawa-san told me a lot about you.”

“You talked about me?” Shinsou asks quietly, his eyes wide as they snap to Shouta.

“I talked about all of my students,” Shouta replies defensively.

Hizashi, grinning but otherwise recovered from his laughing fit, mock-whispers over Shouta’s shoulders, “Don’t listen to him, Shinsou-kun, you’re his favorite.”

Shouta glares at him viciously, but Hizashi only keeps grinning.

When Shouta turns back toward Shinsou, the boy is smirking. “You didn’t deny it,” he says. He looks down at Eri. “He didn’t deny it, right?”

Eri hesitates for a moment, her eyes flickering between Shouta and Shinsou—and probably Hizashi too, who is undoubtedly flashing her thumbs up behind Shouta’s back in what he thinks is a discrete maneuver.

“He didn’t, no,” she finally replies shyly, shaking her head a little.

Shinsou nods. “I guess that means I really am your favorite then, sensei.”

“I’m disowning all of you,” Shouta grumbles. Hizashi and Shinsou take it good-naturedly, grinning still, but Eri’s eyes go wide with hurt, and Shouta winces.

Damn it. “Not you, Eri, of course,” he corrects quickly, glaring at the other two in case they dare to protest. “You can stay.”

.v – Shouto.

Being part of Class 1-A isn’t really as different from being part of Class 1-C as Hitoshi had thought it would be.

Sure, the kids are a little more… rambunctious here as they’d been in his previous class, and he has a few different classes, but it’s really not as drastic a change as Hitoshi had half-feared it would be.

Aizawa-sensei sends him a pointed look from the front of the class, and Hitoshi refocuses on his work with a blush.

Right, he should probably avoid daydreaming in front of Aizawa-sensei—or any teacher, actually. They probably won’t kick him back to Gen Ed over it, but Hitoshi’s not about to give them the chance to.

The one real difference with Class 1-A is the people there, he thinks. He had told them, back when he had still been trying to join their class, that he wasn’t planning on making friends or in being pals, or whatever.

That attitude had worked fine in his previous class, where his classmates had seemed fine with remaining acquaintances. He hadn’t planned on remaining there, so getting close to them hadn’t made much sense.

He doesn’t miss them now that he’s left, just like he’d planned. Really, he doesn’t—even though they still invite him to eat with them and greet him every morning and…

No, Hitoshi doesn’t miss his old class. It is kind of nice though, to know that they’re not forgetting him.

Anyway, this class is different. Even though Hitoshi didn’t come here to make friends, it seems like everyone in the class wants to be friends with him.

Well, except Bakugou—which Hitoshi is rather relieved by, actually.

Everyone else, though? They’re relentless. It’s a good quality in a hero, he knows, but when it means that everywhere he goes, there’ll be some other student from his class trying to talk to him, it’s just a little frustrating.

Which is why Hitoshi retreated outside to eat his lunch today. The weather is nice, neither too cold nor too hot, and it’s less noisy than inside the cafeteria.

Unfortunately, it seems like today he’s not the only one to have that idea, because Todoroki joins him a few minutes after Hitoshi unpacks his lunch, offering him a slight questioning nod as he points to the empty space next to Hitoshi. Hitoshi shrugs, and Todoroki seems to take it as an invitation, because he sits down.

Well, Hitoshi reasons, at least Todoroki’s usually mostly quiet.

They eat in silence, and Hitoshi almost fools himself into believing he’s safe until Todoroki suddenly speaks.

“So, when did you know Aizawa-sensei was your father?” He asks this very matter-of-factly, like he’s talking about the weather and not, say, Hitoshi being related to one of their teachers.

Hitoshi chokes on his rice. “I— I’m sorry, what?” he asks, sputtering as Todoroki awkwardly tries to help him by patting his back.

Todoroki frowns. “Aizawa-sensei—he’s your father, right?”

Before Hitoshi can get the chance to deny it, the other boy continues, his tone thoughtful but certain. “I wasn’t sure at first, you see, but you really look alike.”

“... But we don’t?”

Todoroki sends him a dubious look. “Even taking the fighting style aside, you’re both tall and with more or less the same body type. You’re both insomniacs, too—I’m not really sure how your quirk could have evolved from his, but Brainwashing and Erasure aren’t that different in the grand scheme of things. Or maybe your quirk was a spontaneous mutation…”

Todoroki continues to mutter his theory as Hitoshi stares at him, dumbfounded.

His heart skips a beat for an instant—because what if Todoroki’s right?—but Hitoshi dismisses that thought almost as soon as it enters his head. He knows his parents, and he knows how his quirk evolved from theirs.

Besides, he’s seen Aizawa-sensei around Yamada-sensei—there’s no way Aizawa-sensei had a kid with his mum.

He shakes his head. “Stop,” he says, and wonders of wonders, Todoroki does.

He frowns again, tilting his head as he stares at Hitoshi. “What is it?”

Hitoshi sighs. He sets his bento down and runs a hand through his hair. “Aizawa-sensei isn’t my father.”

Todoroki nods. “I know, you’re probably keeping it a secret to protect you from Eraserhead’s enemies. I won’t tell anyone.”

Hitoshi shakes his head. “Todoroki,” he states flatly. “I’m not Aizawa-sensei’s son.”

“Cousin, maybe?” Todoroki weakly suggests after a brief pause, but his shoulders are already slumped in defeat.

Hitoshi rolls his eyes. “We’re not related. At all. He’s just my teacher—our teacher.”

“Oh. Well, thanks for telling me then.” He looks disappointed but not completely surprised, so maybe he hadn’t been entirely sure of his theory himself.

Todoroki starts eating again, and after a few moments, Hitoshi cautiously does the same.

They walk back to class together after that, and Todoroki doesn’t mention his Aizawa-is-your-father theory again.

He does, however, keep staring between the two of them when Aizawa-sensei teaches a class, muttering to himself and scribbling down what Hitoshi really, really hopes isn’t another crazy theory.

(Midoriya is the next one who appears to be designated for the ‘befriend Hitoshi’ mission. It might just be that they’re headed in the same direction, but seeing as Hitoshi’s spent months taking this way home without being stalked by a green-haired shadow, he rather doubts it.

As usual, Midoriya is practically vibrating next to him with the need to talk. Usually, Hitoshi ignores him, but today, he actually has something he wants to talk about.

Midoriya and Todoroki are friends—maybe the boy will have some insight into his friend’s behavior.

“So, Midoriya,” Hitoshi starts, inwardly wincing at how quickly the other boy’s head perks up at his voice, “about Todoroki…” He licks his lips, unsure of how to phrase this.

Midoriya frowns, his brow furrowed in concern. “Oh boy. What happened?”

Hitoshi clears his throat. “Ah… Does he usually… Ask people about who their parents are—I mean, who they might be related to? Hero-someones they could be related to?”

Midoriya’s groan tells him all he needs to know. “Oh god, he did it again? I’m so sorry, we tried to tell him that there was no way, but he wouldn’t really listen, and—” Midoriya breaks to take a deep breath before bowing deep. “I’m really, really sorry!”

Hitoshi awkwardly gestures at him to stop. “Why are you apologizing? You didn’t do anything.”

Midoriya’s cheeks are red when he straightens up. “Because I really should have tried harder to dissuade him? I mean, I guess you and Aizawa-sensei do look a little bit alike, but last time, Shouto tried to tell me I was All Might’s son, and he was wrong then too…” He shrugs. “So. Sorry?”

Hitoshi sighs. What the fuck is it with this class? Out loud, he says, “It’s fine. And stop apologizing, please.”

“Sorry!” Midoriya’s eyes grow wide and he lets out a squeak as he slaps his hands over his mouth. “I mean, I will.”

And Hitoshi… Well, Hitoshi can’t help but laugh.)

.+i.

In his defense, Hitoshi’s been running on about two hours of sleep a night for the past three days. He’s moved past exhausted and into ‘how am I even awake’ territory a long time ago, and he has no idea how he even managed to get to class today.

He certainly doesn’t remember getting there.

He zoned out during first period and his notes are just barely legible for this one, and he doesn’t really realize why he’s stopped writing until Aizawa-sensei’s standing in front of him, handing him back a test Hitoshi can only sort of remember taking last week.

The words slip out before he can even think to stop them. “Thanks, Dad,” he says as he accepts the paper.

The class falls silent, and Hitoshi suddenly realizes what he’s just said. His eyes flow wide open, and instantly, he feels wide awake.

He looks up to find the class is staring at him—even worse, Aizawa-sensei is. He doesn’t look angry, thankfully, but he does look kind of annoyed.

(And is that pleasure, flashing through his eyes for just a second?)

“Shinsou,” Aizawa-sensei starts tiredly, “if you were that tired, you should have just said. Iida, escort him to Recovery Girl—Shinsou, take a nap.”

Hitoshi nods numbly as he gets up to follow Iida. “Sorry,” he manages to mumble as he brushes past Aizawa-sensei. The man just sighs and pats him on the shoulder once. He doesn’t say anything.

The last thing Hitoshi hears before the door snaps shut behind him and Iida is Aizawa-sensei’s voice, sharp and clear as he hisses, “Not a word! Now, it’s back to work for all of you!”

Of course, the entire school knows by lunchtime, which is when Hitoshi groggily stumbles out of Recovery Girl’s office to eat.

Since he feels marginally more awake, Hitoshi decides to make a little detour by the staff room to apologize again.

He stops in front of the door, his fist raised to knock, when he hears a very familiar cackle. It’s Kayama-sensei, and she’s laughing loudly as she gleefully shouts, “I told you he was your son! I told you!”

Hitoshi has never been more confused in his life, and he carefully backs away from the door. Maybe he can come back later, after all. It’s not like Aizawa-sensei won’t still be there to apologize to after lunch.

He also nearly backs away from the cafeteria when all attention turns to him when he enters—he has never been gladder for Class 1-A’s habit to just drag him into their circle as he is when they wave him to their table while Bakugou explosively threatens everyone and Iida… sort of stares at them in disappointment?

Uraraka pats him on the arm as he sits. “Don’t worry, we saved you a seat,” she says. It’s next to hers. “We asked Aizawa-sensei, and he told us you’d be there for lunch,” she continues, answering the question Hitoshi hadn’t even been aware he’d been wanting to ask.

“... Right. Thanks.”

Uraraka grins back brightly. “Sure thing!” She pats him on the arm again. “And don’t worry about Aizawa-sensei—I’m pretty sure he kind of adopted our entire class, this was bound to happen sooner or later. Granted, I wouldn’t have bet you to be the one to crack first but…”

Asui suddenly leans in, laughing. “Don’t mind her, she’s just being a sore loser. She thought Deku-kun would be the first one to call Aizawa-sensei ‘Dad’.”

Hitoshi blinks. “You… bet on this?”

Asui nods. “Duh. Of course, we did, ribbit.”

Hitoshi feels himself smirk. “Is Aizawa-sensei aware of this?”

Asui and Uraraka exchange a tense look, before Asui slowly shakes her head. “No. God, no — can you imagine? He’d probably kill us.”

“Or worse,” Uraraka continues, “expel us.” Her eyes narrow as she stares at him, and Hitoshi feels a shiver run down his back.

Still, he lets his smirk widen as he blinks innocently. “So, I shouldn’t tell him then?”

Asui freezes, but Uraraka just crosses her arms. “What do you want?”

Hitoshi shrugs. “I want in—fifty percent of the winnings.”

The two girls gasp, and Uraraka shakes her head offendedly. “No,” she says. “No way. Ten.”

“Forty.”

“Twenty,” she counters.

“Thirty-five,” Hitoshi replies. He’s starting to grin—who knew Uraraka could be so ruthless?

“Twenty-five,” Uraraka replies after a beat. She looks at Asui, who nods, and adds, “And that’s our final offer. Take it or leave it.”

“Well, then I guess I’ll take it. Pleasure doing business with you two.”

They look up to find the rest of the class staring at them with various amounts of disbelief. Uraraka turns pink and Asui laughs sheepishly, but Hitoshi just stares at them unflinchingly until they look away.

Unfortunately, the same trick doesn’t work on the rest of the students in the cafeteria, who are still, for the most part, staring at him.

He turns back to Uraraka. “Any chance you have a plan to deal with this?” he asks, but without holding too much hope.

To his surprise, Uraraka just laughs. “Don’t worry, it’ll blow over by the end of the week—now that you’ve started things, you can bet that the others will start doing it too. Or at least, Kaminari will.”

Hitoshi’s eyes drift to the familiar blonde, who was leaning back on his chair and trying to balance his fork on his nose.

Yeah. Somehow, he can see that happening.

He turns back to Uraraka. “Thanks,” he says.

She smiles back, bumping her shoulder against his. “Anytime—you’re one of us now, okay? We take care of ours. We take care of everyone!”

Her spirit is contagious, and Hitoshi finds himself smiling back.