Shouta woke up to the sound of crying. He dragged himself out of bed with a groan, and stumbled over to the crib in the corner. He glanced down and the crying abruptly ceased. Shouta smiled faintly picking up his son, "Hey, kiddo." Shoukan eyed him with his wide blue-green eyes, his expression almost curious. He reached out a chubby hand and grabbed at at his face, giggling when he succeeded in tugging his hair hard enough to hurt.
Even so, Shouta couldn't help but chuckle. He resembled Emi, so much so it was uncanny, and it wasn't entirely because of his looks. Although he was barely a year old, Shouts could tell that appearance and personality wise, the only thing Shoukan had inherited from him was his dark hair. Which was good. Since even Shouta had to admit he had a terrible personality.
"You know, kid," Shouta said as he gently pried his son's fingers from his hair. "I honestly never imagined it ever turning out this way." Shoukan made another grab for his face, babbling to himself and Shouta grinned. Had anyone told him just a couple of years ago that he would be a father, he would have laughed, or scowled more likely, at the mere thought of it.
He glanced over at Emi, unconscious on their bed and sound asleep. "She really something, your mother," Shouta said turning back to Shoukan who was watching him with Emi's eyes. Shouta smiled and Shoukan giggled happily.
He would kill to keep that innocent smile on his face. He wondered what Shoukan would grow up to be. Anything but a hero he hoped, but with two heroes for parents, chances of that were probably as slim as Shouta learning to see the bright side of things. It was funny how he only realized now, just how dangerous his job was.
"You can be anything you want," Shouta told Shoukan softly, "As long as you grow up good," he said. But he knew, even if he didn't they would love him either way.
* * *
Shoukan was crying.
He was lying on his bed, his head turned away, and facing the wall. If it weren't for the quiet sobs, Shouta could almost pretend he was just sleeping. Shouta walked into the room on near silent feet, sitting down on the edge of his son's bed.
"Hey kiddo," Shouta said. Shoukan ignored him, but his whimpers ceased abruptly. Shouta sighed, "You want to talk about it?" He asked. Shoukan shook his head, and refused to look at him.
Shouta had picked him up from the kindergarten an hour ago and Shoukan had been silent the whole trip. Anyone with half a brain could figure out that something was wrong. His son was a cheerful kid, and Shouta rarely ever saw him without that wide smile of his that made him look way too much of Emi. The minute they had gotten home, he had went straight to his room without a word and started crying.
Honestly Shouta wasn't sure what to do. Angsty teens he could deal with, but a crying four-year-old? Emi was usually the one who could get him to calm down and talk. Unfortunately she wouldn't be back until evening, so Shouta was on his own.
"What happened?" Shouta tried again. Shoukan remained silent. Shouta sighed, and started to get up, "Well, I'm going to get us some lunch, but if you want to talk about it..."
"They laughed at me."
Shoukan's voice was so soft, he barely heard him. He froze, "What?" Shoukan didn't look at him, "They said I was quirkless," he said, tears rolling down his face, "And I'll never be a hero."
Shouta cuffed the involuntary anger that had risen at Shoukan's words. As much as he would love to have a word with those children and their parents, Shoukan had to learn to fight his own battles for his own good. Shouta waited for his anger to cool before saying, more calmly, "Well, clearly they are wrong." His son was quiet for a long moment.
"But what if they're right?" He asked in a small voice.
Shouta could understood why he was worried. Shoukan would be turning five in a couple of months. According to his teachers he was the only one in his class, if not the entire school who hadn't manifested a quirk of some kind. Emi was worried too, and had been talking about bringing him to see a doctor.
Shouta wasn't all too troubled by it. He highly doubted that Shoukan would be quirkless. There were only a handful of quirkless left in the world, and the percentage of people born with quirks had risen from 80% to 94% in the span of seven years. Researchers doubted they would be any quirkless left by the next five years.
The quirks of the newer generation were also getting increasingly complex. Hardly any children were born with a quirk inherited from a single parent. Most had the combined quirks of their parents, even if the quirks were complete polar opposite. In Shota's opnion the radical combinations had produced some rather interesting outcomes. Like Nemuri and Hizashi's son, who's quirk could literal putting someone to sleep by talking.
But due to the more complex quirks, quirks seemed to take a longer time to manifest in children than they didn't ten years ago. And it was getting incredibly rare to be born with a quirk already manifested.
So Shouta wasn't worried. He was fairly certain that Shokan was just a late bloomer, seeing that his and Emi's quirks were two ends of an entirely different spectrum. Plus, his own quirk had shown up a good deal later than anyone else around him. Probably because he didn't even realize it manifested until much later on.
"You know they thought I was quirkless too when I was your age," Shouta said. Shoukan looked tentatively at him, "Really?" His voice was doubtful. "Yeah," Shouta said, glad that he had at least stopped crying, "My quirk was a mutation, so I didn't know anything about it."
"Mutation?" Shoukan echoed, "What's that?" His curiosity got the better of him and he sat up, legged crossed and facing Shouta.
"It means that my quirk wasn't like my parents'," Shouta explained. His father could manipulate shadows and his mother could make small plants grow on the palm of her hands. When he didn't manifest one of their quirks by the age of five, they figured he was probably quirkless. He chuckled, remembering his parents' shock when they saw him use Erasure for the first time.
"So don't worry about it," Shouta said, ruffling his son's dark hair, with a small smile, "Just be patient. Who knows, maybe you're quirk might turn out to be the best of them all."
Shoukan hung his head, "But what if I..." he trailed off.
"It's alright to be quirkless, you know," Shouta said gently. Shoukan chewed his lip, "But I want to be a hero who saves people," he said quietly, "Like you and Ka-san," he said looking up at Shouta, his green eyes earnest.
Shouta sighed, rubbing the back of his neck. He really didn't want to give the kid false hope, but something compelled him say, "If you truly want to be a hero, being quirkless shouldn't stop you."
His mind drew up an imagine of Toshinori and Midoriya. Funny how the greatest heroes of all time were quirkless once upon a time. It wasn't as if Shoukan would have the same chances they did, but for now, he would allow his son to dream.
Shouta smiled, "You'll be a great hero, Shoukan," he said, "I'm sure of it."
His son visibly brightened at that. A smile curled at his lips and his green eyes sparkled. Before Shouta could react, Shoukan had thrown himself straight at him, hugging him tight. "Thanks Tou-san," he said, his voice muffled by his shirt. Shouta froze in surprise, but he smiled, ruffling his hair, "You're welcome, kiddo."
* * *
Shouta knew it was bad the moment the school called him in. But whatever he had expected it wasn't this.
Shoukan sat in the centre of the classroom, his hands pressed against his ears and crying his eyes out. A blue glow surrounded his small form, and his dark hair was rippling in the air in waves. Everyone else in the room, including his classmates and teacher had an unnatural blank look in thier eyes. Their expressions were flat and emotionless. "What on earth..." Hizashi who stood at his side murmured, looking as confused as Shota was, "They look like zombies."
Shouta wasn't sure why Hizashi had invited himself along. He didn't say anything about it and Shouta had long since given up on questioning his friend's motives in life.
"We can't get close to him," one of the head teacher said, "Anyone who tries ends up like them. They have their quirk erased and forget what they were doing," she explained helplessly.
That explains why they called him in. Shouta sighed, "Leave it to me," he said. Before anyone could stop him, he opened the door and strolled into the classroom. The second he stepped foot into the room it became incredibly hard to concentrate on anything. Nevertheless, he took one glance at his son and activated his quirk.
He wasn't entirely sure if his quirk could nullify Shokan's but the moment he activated his quirk, the blue glow around his son vanished and Shokan's hair fell forward. Instantly everyone else seem to regain consciousness, looking utterly bewildered.
Shouta barely paid them any heed. He was already hurrying to Shoukan's side. "Shoukan," he knelt down. Upon hearing his voice Shoukan cracked opened his eyes. "Tou-san," he leapt straight into his arms, "I'm sorry," he said between sobs, "I didn't... I was angry... they stopped talking ... I don't know how..." He babbled, crying into his chest.
"It's alright now," Shouta said, picking him up and rubbing a hand down his back soothingly, till the rapid rising and falling of his chest calmed, "Let's just go home, alright?"
Shokan swallowed, "Okay," he mumbled.
* * *
Shouta honestly didn't know what to make of it. His eleven-year-old son sat in a wooden chair in the kitchen directly in front of him, his expression stony. His dyed seagreen hair was a mess, and he sported a painful looking dark purple bruise on his jaw and a scrape on his cheek.
"Well?" Shouta crossed his arms, "Are you going to tell me what happened or am I going to have to ask?"
Shoukan's green eyes darted towards his face once, before he averted his gaze. He kept silent. Shouta sighed, "Right, I'm telling your mother and calling the school," he said and turned to walk out the door.
"No!" Shoukan said quickly, his voice was raised. Shouta turned back and raised an eyebrow. His son swallowed hard, "Please don't," he said quietly, his eyes fixed on the floor, "It'll only make it worse."
Shouta crossed his arms and waited. Shoukan swallowed again. He hesitated a long moment before speaking, "They were hurting a younger student," said finally, "I tried to stop them but they ended up targeting me instead."
Shouta eyed him with a frown, "And why is that?"
"They don't like me," Shoukan said, "None of them do." He took a deep breath, "They're afraid of me," he said, looking up. There was a hopeless look his eyes Shouta really didn't like. "They're afraid of what I can do to them." His eyes gleamed, and Shouta saw a flicker of turquoise but the pools of dark green. He blinked and they were gone. "I still can't control it."
Shouta rubbed his eyes and sighed through his nose. His son's quirk was complicated to say the least. Shouta wasn't even sure what the full extend of it was, and he doubted Shokan knew much more than he did. His son had given his quirk the name Cancel. It was quite fitting in Shouta's opinion. Cancel allowed Shoukan to erase out quirk factors, just like Erasure, the difference was that he didn't actually have to look at the person to halt their quirk, they just had to be in close enough.
But another huge difference was that Cancel didn't just cancel out quirk factors, it erased emotions along with it. Anger, sadness, fear, joy, love, grief, all of that was taken away the second Shoukan activated his quirk. The victims of his quirk became nothing more than hollow husks. Shouta hated to have to admit it, but Shoukan's classmates were afraid of him for good reason.
Cancel proved to be a volatile quirk, activating on its own accord when Shoukan got too emotional. It had been five and a half years since his quirk manifested, and it had gotten more and more powerful since that day, not to mention more and more dangerous. What's worse was that Shoukan still couldn't seem to control it at all.
Shouta sighed again. He pulled up a chair, flipped it backwards, and sat down in front of his son. He crossed his arms on the back of his chair. "Listen, kiddo," he said, "I'm really glad you stood up for the other kid, but you have got to be able to stand up for yourself, only then can you stand up for others."
"I know its rough," Shouta continued, "But like it it not, you have to learn to control your quirk. You've got to let them know you're not someone they can pick on."
"But I can't," Shoukan's voice was small, "I really can't."
"You have to try," Shouta said, "For your own sake, and for the sake of everyone around you," he chuckled, ruffling his hair, "I can't always be there to keep you in check now can I?"
Shoukan smoothed his hair back down, "I've tried," he mumbled, hanging his head and shrinking a little, "I've tried so hard, but I don't know how."
"Don't let it control you," Shouta said, "Don't be afraid of it. You're the one who's suppose to be in control, its your own quirk after all."
Shoukan lifted his head, "Would that really work?" He asked.
Shouta shrugged, "I don't know, but it sure worked for me," he said.
There was a flicker of hope in Shoukan's eyes at his words. His son gripped the edge of his seat, "Okay," he said with a nod, "I'll try."
Shouta smiled, "Good," he said, standing up, "Get yourself cleaned up," he said, "Your mother will be back soon."
Shoukan was silent for a moment, "Tou-san..." Shouta glanced at him with a slight frown, "What is it?" He asked.
Shoukan shifted around uncomfortably in his chair, "Please don't tell Ka-san," he mumbled, "I don't want her to worry about me."
Shouta's frown deepened, "Alright," he said after a moment's pause, "But only if you can get your quirk under control by the end of the week."
Shoukan's jaw fell open, "You're only giving me week?" He exclaimed, looking positively horrified at the prospect.
Shouta chucked, "I'm kidding," he said, "Do you really think I'm that heartless?"
Shouta grinned, "But I'm being serious, you've got to learn to control your quirk so you can stand up for yourself. Do you understand?"
Shoukan sighed, "I understand," he mumbled, "I swear I'll try."
Shouta nodded, "Good, and I'm not giving you a week, I'm giving you a month."
* * *
"Ka-san," Shoukan protested as Emi adjusted his tie once again, "I look perfectly fine," he said.
Shouta yawned, leaned back against the counter and sipping his coffee as he watched Emi fuss over Shoukan. Their son stood in the living room, dressed in his new U.A. uniform and grumbling under his breath. His usually messy seagreen hair was combed to the side, with a few strains still falling across his forehead.
"Come on Shoukan!" Emi said, "I'm just so proud of you! And it's your first day at U.A. would it kill you to be a little more concerned about appearances?"
"Appearance don't matter in the end," Shoukan said with a grin, he spread out his hands, "Besides I look awesome," he said.
"You're shirt's untucked at the back," Shouta muttered, lifting his mug to his lips and taking a long drink.
Shouta smirked as Shoukan fixed his shirt. "Okay done!" He said quickly before Emi could do anything else, "I'm leaving now or I'll be late!" He announced loudly, hugging his mother and grabbing his bag hurriedly.
"Sure you don't need a ride?" Shouta asked.
"No thanks, I'm good," Shoukan said, picking up a book he had discarded on the coffee table and shoving it into his bag, before making his way to the door, "See you later. Bye Ka-san!"
"Have a good first day!" Emi grinned, "Make some friends."
Shoukan glanced over his shoulder and mirrored her smile, "Don't worry," he said, "Friends aren't a problem, I'll be fine." He grinned opening the door, "Just you see, one day I'll be the greatest hero, just like Deku!"
Shouta smiled faintly and Emi chuckled, "Good luck to you then," she said. Shoukan grinned, and with one final look at them he left, shutting the door behind him.
Emi sighed, "He's grown up so fast," she said as Shouta approached, handing her a mug of coffee, "I could have sworn he was a cute little kid just a few years ago."
Shouta gazed at the door where Shoukan had disappeared. He had grown so much over the past few years it was almost frightening. Shoukan's younger years had been tough on him, but things started to change for the better when he got into middle school and only continued to get better as he got older.
He had full control of his quirk by the time he entered junior high and his personality really started to resemble Emi's ridiculously outgoing one. He was popular in junior high and Shouta thoroughly believed him when he said friends wouldn't be a problem.
Of course Shoukan would choose the hero course. But strangely Shouta wasn't all that worried. Shoukan knew how to take care of himself and he could tell the boy was born to be a hero. Shouta knew he would be a great one.
"Think he'll be alright?" Emi asked. Shouta caught the trace of worry in her voice. He kept his eyes on the door and slipped an arm around her waist, "He'll be fine," he said.
He was sure of it.