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Why do children have to be so small?

Chapter Text

We rescued a little girl a couple of months ago. We just got our adoption papers approved. Hitoshi is almost seventeen. He’s transferring to the hero course after the winter. We trained for so long so he could finally transfer, he’s so set on becoming a hero. We’re both so proud of him.
Eri is constantly clinging to either me or Hizashi. She usually stays either in the teacher lounge room or the teacher common room by the dorms. The students are becoming more and more interested in her, especially Midoriya, Togata and Monoma. She gets to see them in the rare cases when all other teachers are busy, and she has to join us in the classroom. She usually just sits in my lap and looks at the students. She’s a lot different from when Hitoshi was little. She’s a lot more timid and careful, rather than curious like Hitoshi.
She’s currently sitting in my lap while I’m grading papers. Both Ashido and Kaminaris grades are improving. Same goes for Aoyama. I don’t really show them, but I am proud of them. Eri has started calling us “dad” and “pops”, like Hitoshi does. She’s playing with my hair.
“Yes, Eri?”
“Your hair is messy. Can I brush it?”
“Sure thing, princess”
She hops down from my lap. I pull the chair next to me closer while she gets her little pink hairbrush that Hizashi got her last week. She stands up on the chair and brushes my hair. I smile a little and keep my head high so she can reach. She’s very careful, making sure to not move my head or pull my hair. I move on to Todoroki’s paper. He’s doing well too, to no-one’s surprise.
“When are we going home?”
“Tomorrow after breakfast. I promise.”
Eri has never been to our house. We’ve been staying at the school nonstop since she came, but now we can finally get home. Hizashi has told her about what her room looks like. He managed to get some time off and decided to decorate it. He claims to have put up lots of those glow in the dark stars and moons in the roof. Unlike Hitoshi’s, Eri’s room is light and roomy. She doesn’t have a lot of belongings yet. We let Hitoshi pick the wallpapers in his room, which was a mistake. They’re a dark grey, almost black. He’s in some kind of… emo phase, constantly begging to get tattoos and piercings. “But pops have them!”, he keeps saying. But pops is an adult, and he is not.
I got lost in thoughts.
“There, done!”
Eri hops down from her chair. I touch my hair. It’s tied up with a ribbon.
“Thank you, princess, it’s great.”
I lift her up again and give her forehead a light kiss. I’d usually not go out like this, but I feel like she’d get sad if I removed it.
“Let’s go eat dinner, okay?”
We usually make dinner for ourselves, but since it’s the last day, Lunch Rush took it upon himself to make dinner for all of us. Eri is making more and more friends, even with the teachers. Especially Toshinori and Ken. I believe that Ken had made her a cement throne, and Toshinori crowned her princess the other week. She really is becoming the princess of UA, everyone loves her. I stand up and grab her hand.
“Can you…”
I look down at her. She wants me to lift her. I can’t say no to those big eyes.
“Sure, princess.”
I crouch down to let her get on my back. I make sure to hold her legs so she doesn’t fall off. She puts her arms around my neck. I feel her tiny horn against my cheek. I smile a little and leave the room. I walk with her to the teachers’ dorms. All the others are already there, sitting around the table.
“Sorry we’re late. Eri decided that I had to be pretty for dinner.”
I put her down in her boosted chair and sit down next to her. I look around.
“Where’s Hizashi?”
“Oh, he’s coming. He just had to shower.”
Right. That hair. I smile a little more and put food on Eri’s plate, as well as some apple slices. Someone always makes sure there’s apples nearby at all times. She eats a lot of apples for a six-year-old. There’s lots of different foods on the table: everything from soba to sushi to tempura. I take a little bit of everything.
Hizashi comes after about ten-fifteen minutes. He sits down in the empty chair besides me and kisses my cheek.
“Hey, we’re still at work you know!”
I push him away, but I can’t help but smile. The other teachers are very well aware of our relationship, but we try to stay professional at school. Referring to each other as hero names and stuff like that. Sucks.
“It’s the last day of the year, relax.”

Eri tugs on my shirt.
She yawns.
“I’m tired…”
I turn to the clock on the wall. It’s almost eight pm.
“Oh, it’s already past your bedtime. Let’s get you to bed, alright?”
I stand up and lift her up.
“I’ll be right back.”
I walk with her upstairs to mine and Hizashi’s dorm room. We managed to put an extra bed in there for Eri, but she prefers to sleep in our bed. I help her change into pajamas and tuck her in. I kiss her forehead again.
“Goodnight, princess.”
I’m just about to leave the room.
“Daddy, wait!”
“What is it?”
“The night light!”
Oh, right. I turn on the night light on the desk beside the bed. It creates a star pattern in the roof.
“Everything good now?”
She nods and closes her eyes.
“Goodnight, daddy.”
“Goodnight, princess.”

The rest of us stayed up for way too late. Nemuri brought wine, and I might have had a few too many glasses. I remember passing out on the couch, but I wake up in my bed. Both Eri and Hizashi are clinging to me. I look at the digital clock next to the bed. Almost nine.
“Hey. Get up.”
I pinch the small hairs under Hizashi’s nose. The rest of his face is smooth. I swear to god this man can not grow proper facial hair. I pull his mustache again, this time harder.
“Hey, wake up!”
He finally opens his eyes.
“What is it…”
His speech is slurred. He probably can’t hear himself.
“It’s time to get up, we need to leave soon.”
“Wait, I can’t hear…”
He sits up and puts on his glasses and hearing aids.
“Can you hear me now?”
He nods.
“We have to leave soon. And I need to find Hitoshi in his dorm.”
I force myself out of the warm bed and get dressed.
“You have responsibility over Eri until I get back. Give her an apple, she likes those.”
“I know she does…”
“Do you really?”

I’m walking through the dorms of class 1-C. Hitoshi’s room is on the second floor. I knock on his door.
“‘Toshi? Are you awake?”
No answer. I sigh and open the door.
“You have to get up, we’re leaving in an ho-”
The room is empty. He’s in the dorms of class 1-A, most likely. But in who’s dorm-
Kaminari. Of course. Who else?
It takes about two minutes to walk to the dorms of class 1-A. Kaminari’s dorm is on the third floor. I don’t even bother knocking on the other doors.
“Hitoshi, I know you’re in there!”
I open the door and walk inside. Kaminari and Hitoshi are sitting on the bed. Kaminari has a needle in his hand.
“What the actual fuck are you two doing?”
“I’m piercing Hitoshi’s ear.”
“No, you are not. Give me that needle. You are not allowed to get a piercing.”
“But pops have the-”
“But pops is an adult! You are not even seventeen! Now give me that needle!”
“Too late!”
Kaminari sticks the needle through the skin in Hitoshi’s ear lobe. He doesn’t have enough time to even react. I sigh.
“I’d ground both of you if I could.”
“But you can’t.”
I activate my quirk, purely for intimidation. Kaminari looks scared, but Hitoshi isn’t fazed.
“Hurry up. We’re leaving in two hours. And no more piercings.”
I slam the door behind me. I didn’t let him get piercings so he came to Kaminari to pierce his ears instead? I sigh. I’m so tired, how did this even happen?