Chapter 1: A need for coffee
I have the night shift. It's cold and dark and feels like it's gonna start raining soon. I probably should have picked a thicker fabric for my hero outfit. My grey scarf is wrapped around my neck and shoulders. It's rather heavy and actually kinda warm.
Nothing really happens at three am, apart from some drunks falling over. It's mainly pacing and patrolling. Nothing in need of a hero.
Hizashi is probably dead asleep at home, next to the cats. Sleep. That'd be nice. Just to... sleep for a while...
I blink a few times to keep my eyes open. I could really use some coffee right now, but nothing is open, and I don't have a thermos. I start running to keep my energy up. I have to keep up until eight, when the daytime pro heroes start working. I'm used to staying up late, but not working at night and sleeping during the day. It... sucks, really. I jog along the streets. Slowly but surely I get warmer and warmer. The street lamps light up the streets in small sections. Between the lamps, I'm almost completely submerged in darkness. I've never been afraid of the dark. In fact, I prefer dimly lit places over rooms with extremely bright lights. Hizashi, however, has to sleep with a night light on, or with someone next to him. He's basically a twenty-year-old baby with a mustache.
I slow down after a few minutes, so that I don't miss anything because my footsteps are too loud. I rub my hands against each other, trying to keep them warm. I probably should have gotten gloves with my hero costume as well. When, or if, I get more money, I'm probably gonna get myself another version of my hero costume, so I have something warmer to wear during the winter.
I pull my scarf tighter around me, since it can provide some heat. Wouldn't it be nice if there could be clothes with sewn in heat packets? That you could charge with a battery and turn on when you were cold. They would make a lot of money off of that. Just being able to turn on and off the heat. That would be nice...
I blink again and slap myself lightly in the face. I need to get sugar or caffeine, quickly. I look around if there are any vending machines or 24/7 stores nearby. As far I can see, nothing. I keep walking, hoping to stumble across something that can provide me with quick energy. I take my phone out of my pocket. I should be able to listen to the latest broadcast of Put Your Hands Up Radio, Hizashi's weekly radio show where he plays music and basically just talks. It airs during the day, when I'm asleep, so I can only listen to it when I work. I take out my bright yellow headphones as well and put in one earbud. I can not keep all noises out, in case something happens. The intro starts playing and his loud voice fills my body with an odd feeling. It's both relaxing and makes me nervous. Of course I prefer Hizashi's, I guess, "normal voice", when he doesn't have his hero persona on, when he's not Present Mic, but this will do. I start humming to the music he plays, while walking down the road. It's a mix of requests sent in by fans, the current top 100 list and his own taste in music.
Something soft streaks against my leg. I pause the broadcast and look down. It's a very small, malnourished cat, with dirty, tabby fur. I sit down and start petting it. It really is skinny, I can feel the poor creature's bones. Would Hizashi really get mad if I brought home a third cat? Would he really? The cat meows weakly and starts walking towards an alley. Does it want to show me something? Does it think I have food I can give to it and it's kittens? I follow the cat. I hear low groaning from the corner of the alley. I pull out the earbud and walk closer. It's coming from a lump, inside a box. There's words written on the box with large, black letters.
"MANIPULATIVE QUIRK, DO NOT SPEAK"
I look inside the box. It's a tiny human being, with a lot less clothes than what you need to stay warm. I can see the bones under the persons skin. I open the box further. That's not a tiny human. That's a child. I put a hand over my mouth. Someone left a child out to freeze and starve to death? I carefully nudge the child's shoulder.
"H-hey, are you okay?"
I've gone through rescue training, and how to act when coming across a victim, but I was never taught how to act if I found an abandoned child. A tiny head lifts from the ground. It's a boy, no older than five years. His light purple hair is messy and dirty, and is standing out in every single direction. I activate my quirk, in case the boy decides to use his "manipulative quirk" against me. He can barely even speak, or stand up.
"I'm the pro hero, Eraserhead. You can trust me."
Another nod. I don't know if he's even listening.
"I'm gonna lift you up, okay?"
He nods weakly. He needs food and warm clothes, quickly. I reach down in the box and pick him. He really is unable to stand on his own, he falls down to his knees as soon as I put him down. What do I do?
My scarf. It's meant to be a capture weapon, but I guess it can double as clothes. At least for now. I partially remove it from my shoulders.
"I'm going to wrap this around you, so I can hold you and you can stay warm." A third nod. I carefully start wrapping the scarf around his weak body. I wrap it around his arms and legs, until he basically becomes a caterpillar. Then I wrap it around my chest, so I can carry him on my back while I walk. I pick up my phone again and call Hizashi.
"Come on, pick up..." I mutter. It takes about 40 seconds for him to answer.
"Shota...? What's going on...?" He sounds like he just woke up, which he probably did.
"'Zashi. I found a kid."
“A kid? Are you talking about another cat again, Sho?”
“No, ‘Zashi, I found a real life child! I found a cat as well, but that’s not the point! He’s been left to starve and freeze to death. Can you just… please, get the bathtub going and fix instant ramen or something? I’m taking him home.”
“You’re taking him home? But Sho, what about his parents-”
“He doesn’t fucking have parents! He was abandoned! Just do as I say!”
I hang up and pick up the cat as well, I can’t just leave it here. And then I start running. The boy rests his cheek against my shoulder. What if I’m too late? What if he dies on our way home? I shake my head. I can’t think like that, I have to save him. I hold the cat against my chest. I’m not letting this one die either. I try warming it up with my hands, but I’m freezing as well. All I can do is run and hope that I’m fast enough.
It smells of chicken flavoured noodles when I open the door.
“‘Zashi! Come help me!”
I sit down and start releasing the child from my scarf. He needs to be heated up, quickly. Hizashi comes running from the bathroom and helps me. As soon as he’s free, he picks him up and goes to the bathroom. I’m still holding the cat. How do you clean a cat in a bathtub? I walk into the bathroom, where Hizashi is undressing the child. He looks up at me.
“Oh god you brought the cat as well?”
“Yes, I couldn’t just leave it! And what if it’s the kid’s friend?”
“His name is Tamotsu.”
I turn back to the child. Did he just speak? His voice was rough, like he hadn’t spoken for a long time. I look back at the cat. Tamotsu. Meaning protector, or keeper. Hizashi lifts the child and carefully puts him in the half-full bathtub. He lies down, submerging his entire body in the warm water. Hizashi’s always been a lot better with kids, so I’ll take the cat. I lift him up and put him in the tub. He doesn’t seem to mind, I guess he’s just happy to get rid of the dirt. The water gets muddy quickly from the dirt from both the cat and the boy. I take the showerhead and start showering the cat. I don’t have any cat shampoo, so I guess normal soap will do. The cat starts purring loudly. I’ll have to make sure to fill another cat bowl later. It takes a lot less time for me to clean the cat than it takes for Hizashi to clean the boy. I dry off the cat with one of our towels, and then let him out in the house. He’ll probably find the other cats soon enough. I make my way to the kitchen and get the noodles Hizashi prepared. I just add the flavour and walk right back to them. I crouch down next to the tub.
“Can you hold the bowl yourself, you think?”
Now that I can see his body, I notice how skinny he really is. I can see every single one of his ribs, and the bones in his shoulders are almost sticking out. His skin is practically hanging from his bones. He shakes his head. I nod and start feeding him the noodles, little by little, while Hizashi shampoos his hair. It doesn’t take much for him to get full. Of course, if he hasn’t been eating for a long time, his stomach will feel a lot smaller than it actually is.
“I’ll go look for some clothes you can wear…”
All of our clothes are way too large for him, but then, what did I expect? The only thing I have is cat clothes that Hizashi insisted we’d buy, for some reason. I’ll have to buy clothes for the boy tomorrow, but for now, a t-shirt of mine will do. I bring it back to the bathroom. Hizashi is talking to the boy. It seems like he got some energy from being heated up and getting some food. He turns to me.
“His name is Hitoshi Shinso, he’s five years old. He’s been out for two months.”
I get an uneasy feeling in my chest. He might as well be dead.
“Tamotsu got me food when I couldn’t leave… he stayed with me…”
So that’s why he named him Tamotsu. He was literally his protector. I did the right thing to bring him with me, then.
Once he’s clean and warm, Hizashi lifts him back up from the bathtub and starts drying him. Right, he’s gonna need underwear as well… and we don’t have time to clean the ones he wore. But a pair of mine or Hizashi’s would be too large…
“I’m gonna wash your clothes real quick…”
I bring the dirty clothes with me to the laundry room and fill the sink with water. I’ll prioritize his underwear, and take the rest of the clothes later. It’ll take too long to put them in the washer, so I’ll clean them by hand. They’re small and have trucks on them, but they look too large for the skinny boy’s hips. Like they’d fall off. I’ll buy some more pairs tomorrow. I wash them as quick as possible and dry them with a hairdryer. They are still slightly damp when I walk back to the bathroom. Hitoshi has a towel wrapped around him, and Hizashi is drying his unruly hair with another one. They both look tired. I hand them my shirt and the clean underwear. The shirt falls like a dress over him, and reaches him to his knees. It’ll do for now.
“We have to go back to bed. Especially you.”
I point to Hitoshi.
“You could either sleep on the couch…” I look at Hizashi, who nods. “...or with us, in our bed. It’s your choice, kid.”
His body trembles. He’s crying.
“I-I wanna… wanna sleep with…”
Hizashi really is a lot better with children than I am. His voice is soft and comforting. The boy nods and wipes his cheeks. He’s probably not have any human contact since he was left in the streets. I get it. Hizashi nods again and picks him up.
“I’m coming in a minute, I’ll just feed the cats.”
They walk to the bedroom and I walk back to the kitchen, where the bowls for cat food and water are. I take another bowl and fill it with the dry food they eat. Hopefully Tamotsu likes it. I don’t have to worry about him liking the other cats, though. As soon as I leave the kitchen, I find all three of them on the sofa, all cuddled up together. I can’t help but smile as I walk insidr the bedroom. Hitoshi is already asleep, curled up next to Hizashi. He would be a great dad. I however… I don’t really like children. Or adults for that matter. I prefer cats. I don’t know what to do with the poor boy. Do we adopt him? Do we hand him over to a foster home, or an orphanage? I don’t know. I remove my hero costume and leave it on the floor. I put on a large, black t-shirt and crawl down in the bed, on the opposite side of Hitoshi. How can he trust us, when he’s just met us? I look at Hizashi. He’s looking back at me.
“What do we do, Sho?”
I sigh deeply and look at the small boy between us.
“I don’t know.”
More? I guess? The first chapter really blew up, I'm shook y'all
I wake up from someone going through the closet. I turn around, thinking it’s just Hizashi looking for something to wear, until I can hear a loud THUD. I sit up and look towards the closet. It’s Hitoshi. He’s managed to pull down my capture weapon from the closet door, and is now buried underneath it. Right. We have a child now. I stand up and pick up the long scarf from him. It seems like he’s a lot more energized now, and with that, curious.
“What are you doing?”
I have to smile. I can’t not smile.
He jumps up and grabs the scarf again, snatching it from my hands. He starts wrapping it around his shoulder, but it’s too large for him, so he ust drowns in the fabric.
“What even is this?”
“It’s my capture weapon.”
I sit down next to him and start untangling him from the mess.
“I used it to hold you yesterday, remember?”
“Yeah, but how does it work? How do you capture people?”
I wrap it around myself and get ready to demonstrate. The fabric wraps itself around Hitoshi’s body and he almost flies through the air. I catch him and put him back down.
I smile at him. I can’t help but smile at this kind. He’s growing on me.
“That’s so cool… what’s your quirk?”
“I can temporarily erase someone else's quirk for as long as I look at them. It makes my eyes dry though.”
I sit back down beside him.
“What is your quirk?”
“Well… I don’t have control over it yet but… if someone answers my question, I can brainwash them for how long I want.”
So that’s what they meant with the writing on the box. Manipulative quirk. Do not speak. He doesn’t seem too evil though.
“Do you want to know something?”
Hitoshi looks up at me with large, round eyes and nods.
“I was actually also abandoned by my family. I was sixteen and my family told me they wanted me gone.”
I can already see so much of myself in this child.
“I… I was with ‘Zashi. I told them that I liked boys, and they didn’t like that, so they told me they didn’t want me anymore.”
“Are you and ‘Zashi married?”
I can feel my cheeks getting warmer. We’ve been talking about getting married, but we don’t have enough money to actually hold a wedding.
“No, but we would like to one day. Speaking of which, where is ‘Zashi?”
“Well, let’s go eat then. We’re going shopping today.”
I remove my scarf again and stand up. I stiffen up a little when I feel Hitoshi’s small hand grabbing mine, but I just roll with it. We leave the bedroom. I can feel the smell of cooking bacon and eggs from the kitchen. I lift Hitoshi into one of the chairs. We have a kitchen island with bar chairs around it, so we can eat, sit and cook all at the same time. Hitoshi would be too short to climb up himself. I sit down next to him.
“Hey, where am I supposed to sit!?”
I smile at Hizashi.
He sighs and glares at me. He plates up breakfast for all of us and resorts to sitting on top of the kitchen counter.
“So, today we need to buy clothes and more groceries. I was thinking that we could eat out for lunch.”
I nod at Hitoshi.
“I can’t see why not.”
Hizashi looks at me and nods.
“And we-” I point to Hizashi. “-need to talk.”
“Did I do something wrong…?”
“No, not about that… We’ll take it later. Right now we need to get into town.”
He nods and keeps eating his food. Hitoshi eats everything on his plate. We need to make sure that his stomach gets bigger so he can eat more.
Once we’re done eating and have gotten dressed up, we all walk towards the train station just a few streets from the apartment. We pay the ticket for Hitoshi and get on board on the bullet train. Hitoshi is constantly clinging on to either of our hands, making sure to never let go. He really is growing on me. On the train he insisted he’d sit in Hizashi’s lap. He’s touch starved after living in a box for two months. He has his arms wrapped around the boy’s chest so he doesn’t fall down from his lap. When we arrive, we walk straight to a clothing store. We let Hitoshi pick out whatever clothes he want, and then let him try them on. His eyes light up when we tell him we’ll buy whatever he wants. He picks out four pairs of pants, the same amount of shirts, a packet of socks and a packet of underwear. Then we get him shoes. A pair of sturdy boots will do. He changes into his new clothes in a public bathroom in the mall. When he comes out, I notice that his pants are a little too long. I crouch down and cuff them.
“You’ll grow into them.”
He’s literally shining. I can’t help but smile at him. I stand back up and grab his hand.
“Let’s go eat some food.”
He squeezes my hand as we walk through the mall. Hizashi told us to meet up at the sushi place in the corner of the mall while Hitoshi was changing. He’s managed to get a table for us. It’s usually pretty full. We sit down next to the conveyor belt and start grabbing plates. I hand over a few different types of sushi to Hitoshi so he can have a few to try from. I notice quickly that he doesn’t know how to use chopsticks. I put my hand around his and adjust his grip.
I steer his hand to grab the sushi roll, and dip it in the soy. I let go of his hand and let him do the rest. After a few tries, he’s starting to get the hang of it. He drops the chopsticks every now and then though. It seems like he enjoys the salmon sushi the most.
We’re walking through the grocery store, planning what meals to make in the following week. Hitoshi managed to convince Hizashi to let him sit on his shoulders as I hold Hizashi’s hand. We get some toys for Hitoshi as well, and a couple of books. He needs to be entertained in one way or another. He tells us what his favourite foods were when he lived with his biological parents, so we buy ingredients for those dishes. I already have a soft spot for him. I didn’t even know I could like any other people than Hizashi. I guess I was wrong.
We bought Hitoshi a toothbrush. Hizashi needs to help him brush his teeth. They are rather yellow after not brushing them for two months. But they’re all baby teeth, so they’ll probably fall out soon. How old are you when you lose your first baby teeth? I’m sitting in the living room, googling stuff about toddlers and how to parent while Hizashi tells him a goodnight story. I’m clicking around on parenting websites. One tells me that children lose their first teeth at 6. They should be able to brush their teeth by themselves at about 8 or 9. Depending on how far it is, you should start letting them go to and from school at 10 or 11. I close my eyes and imagine Hitoshi as a ten-year-old. Hitoshi growing up with us. Hitoshi as a teenager, going to UA, becoming a hero, just like his-
I’m about to think “dads”. Do I already think of him as my son? I peek inside the bedroom. Hizashi is reading from one of the books we bought, and Hitoshi is about to fall asleep, but I can tell that he’s trying to stay awake to hear the end of the story. After a couple of minutes, he closes the book and our eyes meet. He waves at me to come inside. I put the laptop on the couch and sneak inside.
“He wants you to kiss you good night.”
I look down at Hitoshi, who looks up at me with his big eyes. I smile a little.
I sit down on the edge of the bed, brush away the hair from his face and plant a very, very light kiss on his forehead.
“Good night, kiddo.” He closes his eyes and turns to the side, falling asleep almost immediately. I grab Hizashi’s hand and pull him out of the bedroom. We both sit down on the couch.
“We need to talk about what we should do.”
He nods slightly.
He looks towards the bedroom door.
“‘Zashi… I don’t wanna hand him over to an orphanage or foster home. I want…”
I sigh. How did I manage to become so attached in just a day?
“...I want to adopt him.”
I look back at Hizashi, expecting him to scold me but… he looks soft. Happy. He lays a hand on my cheek and kisses me softly.
“I feel the same, Sho. He’s a really good kid. I don’t think I’d manage to give him up.”
“But… since we’re two males… we’ll have to be married to adopt him.”
“Then we’ll get married!”
“Sure, Sho, but what about money? A wedding costs a lot to arrange, and we don’t have a lot of money. And we probably can’t work much until we can get Hitoshi to a school.”
I sigh and lean my head against my shoulder.
“Then… we’ll take extra jobs. You have your radio thing and I-”
“You can not work both day and night, Sho.”
I sigh once more.
“Then we’ll have to make sure to get him to school as soon as possible, so we can start working again. Or we can work every other day, switching between us.”
He nods slightly.
“And what about his biological parents? Do we do anything about them?”
“We could track them down and report them to the police for child abuse. I mean, we do have a witness…”
I nod towards the bedroom door.
“God, do you think they did anything to him before they left him? You think they hit him? Or starved him even before?”
“I don’t know, and I don’t want to ask him about it. It feels wrong to force a child to have to relive those memories.”
Hizashi wraps his arms around my waist and I close my eyes.
“We should probably go to sleep as well soon. It’s been a long day.” he whispers in my ear. I nod and force myself up from the couch. He doesn’t let go of me for even one second. We both make our way to the bathroom to brush our teeth. Hizashi is standing behind me with his head on my shoulder, and his arms around my waist again. Then it’s basically straight to bed. We both change into our pajamas and carefully climb into bed, on either side of the sleeping child, making sure to not wake him up.
A villain has captured them both. They’re just dangling over his shoulders, either dead or bleeding out rapidly. I’m not in my hero costume, and the villain has a mutant type quirk. There’s nothing I can do to help them.
I sit up, sweating. It was just a nightmare, I think… I turn to the side. They’re both right there, asleep. At least I didn’t wake either of them up. I very carefully crawl over the bed and lie down between them, with my back against Hizashi’s stomach, and my arms around Hitoshi. I wrap Hizashi’s limp arms around my own, hoping it’ll help me calm down.
We managed to find a pre-school for Hitoshi to go to. He’s been going for 2 months. Hizashi brings him to school, and I walk him home. We’ve started working again, so I pick him up right when I wake up, and Hizashi right before he goes to work. He’s already making friends. I’ve seen him with a boy with curly, green hair and another boy with light blond hair who are both in his age. He told me that “they wanted to be heroes, just like you”. The blond boy was pretty aggressive though, he was constantly teasing the boy with the green hair, who was quirkless. The boys had asked him why he had two dads come get him, and why neither of them looked like him. I don’t blame them, they’ve all grown up with a mom and a dad. It seemed like the green haired boy only had a mother though. But Hitoshi had told them exactly what happened. He wasn’t afraid to tell the truth, and he wasn’t afraid to think of those memories in the box. Brave kid. It took me months to even acknowledge my feelings for Hizashi, and I was 16. This kid is just 5. I’m just hoping he doesn’t use his quirk to make them play with him. I’ve actually never seen him use his quirk, not even to get something he wants. He can take a no. I’m wearing a black turtleneck shirt and black pants. I avoid going out in my hero costume when I’m not working, to not get recognized. I’m not that known, since I’m underground, but there’s still a few every now and then. I open the door and greet the teachers. They know who I am and that I’m getting Hitoshi by now. I wait in the hall while they go get Hitoshi. After a minute he runs up to me with a paper in his hand.
D-daddy? He hands me the paper. It’s a crayon drawing. On the top it asks “who is your hero?”. And underneath is a picture of me and Hizashi in our hero costumes, with “Present Mic” and “Eraserhead” underneath. On the very bottom it says “daddy and papa are my heroes”. My eyes fill with tears, I can’t help it. I crouch down and put my arms around him, still holding the drawing. God I love this kid. I plant a kiss on his cheek.
“It’s great, ‘Toshi.”
I’ve started saying ‘Toshi, just like I call Hizashi “‘Zashi”. I pick him up in my arms and spin him around. The thought of giving him up for adoption has been out of the window for months. No way we’re giving this boy up.
“Let’s go home, alright? ‘Zashi should be back from work by now.”
He nods and I put him back down. Holding his hand has become part of my life now, it comes naturally. I don’t want him to grow up. I want him to stay five forever. We walk across the street, on our way to the train. We only need to go about two stops, but it’s too long to walk. He’s talking about what he did with his friends today. They apparently built a huge tower of legos. He says that it went all the way to the roof, but I don’t think either of them would reach that high. We cross the street again. A large guy is walking in front of us. He looks like he has multiple arms, maybe even multiple legs. Must be a mutant type quirk.
“What do you want to become when you grow old?”
“I wanna be a hero! Just like you and papa!”
So I’m daddy now, and Hizashi is papa. I can get used to that. The guy in front of us stiffens up at the word “hero”, but I don’t care much.
“Yeah! I wanna catch evil guys!”
I think back to the entrance exam for UA. Fights against robots. Only people with physical quirks can get in. I only got in because I was transferred after the sports festival in my first year. I believe Hitoshi is going to have to go down the same route with his quirk.
“Well, I think you’re gonna become a great hero, especially with that quirk of yours-”
The guy turns around and grabs me by the neck. He practically lifts me up.
I try clawing at his hands, but he’s too strong with all his hands. I can’t breathe, and I’m defenseless without my capture weapon.
“The word hero has lost its meaning!” he practically yells in my ear. He squeezes my neck harder and I’m not getting any oxygen at all. My mind goes dizzy and my vision blurry. The people around us all start running away. I can see someone grab Hitoshi’s arm and drag him away. Someone calls the police.
“Daddy!” I can hear him yell.
“How dare you call yourself a hero, scum?”
I keep trying to make him let go of me, but it’s pointless. My neck feels like it’s about to break. I’m dying, I really am. I can’t leave him behind, not like this, not now.
“Let go of him!”
I can barely turn my head, but I will always recognize Hitoshis voice.
“Hah! Let go of hi-” his eyes suddenly go blank.
“Let go of him.” his voice is sturdy, not even trembling like any other toddler’s would. The guy lets go of me and I fall to the ground. I cough and cough, trying to catch my breath. I look at Hitoshi. He’s keeping his eyes on the guy.
“Turn yourself in to the police.” and so he does. He just turns around, sits down and waits for the police. I crawl up to Hitoshi. He’s using his quirk to, well, capture him. But it looks like he’s going past a time limit. His nose is bleeding. As soon as the guy is in handcuffs, he finally lets go. He’s about to fall, but I catch him before he does. My throat feels like it’s burning. I quickly wipe the blood from under his nose with the sleeve of my shirt. Then his body starts trembling. He’s crying. I put my arms around him, pulling him close to me. I don’t know if I can speak, but I have to say something.
“You saved me, ‘Toshi.”
My voice is rough, hoarse. I’m still breathing heavily.
“You’re my hero.”
We managed to get to the train after the police had asked us what happened. Of course they had seen Hitoshi use his quirk against the guy, but they wanted to see what happened before, and the context and all that. Not for a single second I let go of him. The police didn’t scold me for putting him in danger, since I was in danger as well, but they still seemed pretty angry. I let Hitoshi sit in my lap on the train ride home. Maybe he needed it, maybe I did. Just have him close to me, knowing that he’s safe. I rest my head on his shoulder and my hands around his waist. He stopped bleeding on the way here, but my sleeves are wet from both blood and tears.
We reach the apartment about half an hour later than anticipated. As soon as we get through the door, Hizashi basically jumps over us.
“I WAS SO WORRIED, SHO!”
I have to cover my ears. We both fall backwards as Hizashi jumps over us.
“Will you lower your voice? We’ll get kicked out if we’re being too loud.”
He furrows his eyebrows.
“What happened to your voice?”
“Daddy was attacked, papa.”
I smile a little. He’s just as surprised as I was.
“Yeah. A crazy strong guy in front of us grabbed my throat and almost killed me. But Hitoshi managed to capture him.”
“‘Toshi captured him?”
“Yes can you not hear what I’m saying? He used his quirk and made him turn himself in to the police.”
Hizashi’s eyes start glowing with pride.
He lifts him up from the ground and spins around enough times for me to get dizzy by just looking at it.
“Hey, calm down, he’s gonna puke if you continue.”
He hugs him and kisses him.
“You’re already becoming a hero!”
When he puts him down, I hand him the drawing I got from Hitoshi. His eyes glow even more.
“I’m putting this on the fridge.”
He runs to the kitchen, grabs a magnet and hang it up.
“My boy is gonna become such a great hero.”
I turn back to Hitoshi and sit down in front of him.
“You did good today, kid.”
He puts his arms around me.
So yeah Hitoshi officially calls Shota and Hizashi "daddy" and "papa" now!
Edit: also I just noticed that I said that he's been going for 2 months and a week at the same time. Damn make up your mind. Anyways, I fixed it.
It’s 9 pm. My shift starts in half an hour. I’m changing into my hero costume in the bedroom, while Hizashi is laying beside Hitoshi, who is asleep. I wrap my capture weapon around my neck and shoulders. I walk up to the bed and give them a kiss each. It’s been three days since the incident. I went to the hospital for my injuries the day after, but it wasn’t anything major. They said that my voice would be fine after a week. I walk to the kitchen and prepare a cup of coffee. This time I’m bringing a thermos with coffee, so that I don’t feel like falling asleep. Hizashi comes tiptoeing out from the bedroom and quietly closes the door.
“I wanted to say goodbye before you left.”
I put down the empty coffee cup and put my arms around Hizashi. His skin is warm from being under the cover with Hitoshi. I plant a kiss on his cheek.
“Goodbye, Hizashi. I’ll see you in the morning.”
I don’t want to let go, but I have to. I’m just about to open the door when someone knocks. I furrow my eyebrows.
“Are you expecting company?”
Hizashi shakes his head. He looks just as confused as I am. Who would knock on our door this late?
I hesitate and open the door. Two cops are standing outside our apartment.
“Pro Hero Eraserhead?”
“We got a tip that you are currently taking care of an orphaned child, is that correct?”
“Three days ago, at around 5.34 pm, you put this child in danger. A criminal attacked you, and this child managed to capture him.”
“I didn’t put him in danger, I yelled at him to run. He came for the criminal by his own choice.”
The cops don’t seem to be listening to me.
“Since you are not the child’s parents, you must either hand him over to an orphanage or a foster home.”
My pulse is rising. They want to take him away from me. I shake my head.
“No, we can’t do that. He wants to stay here.”
“Then adopt the child within 90 days.”
“90 days? But sir, since we’re under 25 we have to be married to adopt-”
He interrupts me again.
“You have 90 days to get married and adopt the child, or he will be taken from you by force.”
He closes the door before I can say anything else. I’m just standing there, staring at the closed door. 90 days, to get married and adopt Hitoshi. It’s way too little time. My body starts trembling, I don’t know what to do. I feel a hand on my shoulder.
“Don’t touch me.”
My body fills with rage, sadness and fear, all at the same time. I grab the closest thing to me, the empty coffee cup, and throw it in the wall. It shatters into what looks like a thousand pieces. I scream as I drop to my knees. They can’t take him away from me. I grab the larger pieces of the cup and throw them to the ground, cutting up the rough skin in the palm of my hand.
“DO YOU NOT CARE AT ALL?”
I have tears in my eyes. I don’t want to cry, especially not in front of anyone. I can’t help it. I let out a loud sob. I put my hand over my mouth, hoping it’d muffle the sound.
“Of course I care, Sho. I care a lot.”
He sits down beside me and puts both of his arms around me. I keep sobbing, not even trying to hold back at this point. I basically lie down with my head in his lap, sobbing uncontrollable. I don’t know how to calm down. A door opens behind us.
“Papa…? Why is daddy crying?”
“Go back to sleep, ‘Toshi. It’s gonna be okay.”
The door closes, but instead of disappearing, the footsteps come closer. I open my eyes. Hitoshi is sitting in front of me. I try to smile at him.
“Don’t cry daddy, it’s okay.”
He grabs the end of my scarf and tries to wipe my tears with it. I let out something that sounds like a mix between of laughter and sobbing. I sit back up and pull Hitoshi close to me.
“It’s okay if I have to go to an orphanage.”
I sob again and pull him even closer.
“It’s not okay. I’m not letting you go, not now.”
I lay back down in Hizashi’s lap with Hitoshi on my belly. I’m trying to not cry. I don’t want to cry in front of Hitoshi. I keep wiping my cheeks, and both of the others help me. I look up at Hizashi.
“I guess we’ll have to get married, then.”
I offer him a weak smile.
“Shota, are you proposing to me?”
“I guess I am.”
He leans down and kisses my mouth.
“It’s a yes then.”
I feel a second pair of lips on my cheek. Hitoshi wanted to join too, it seems. I manage to calm down after a while and we all just lie down on the floor.
“Stay home tonight, okay? I’ll stay home tomorrow and we’ll figure this out.”
I nod slightly, closing my eyes. Hizashi manages to grab a blanket from the couch and puts it over all of us. After just a few minutes, Hitoshi falls asleep on my chest. After another ten minutes, the cats join us. I’m covered in fur and human bodies. But it’s good. I feel at home. Comfortable.
I wake up on the living room floor, still with Hitoshi sleeping on my chest. One of the cats is asleep on top of Hitoshi. The pale sun is shining in my eyes. It’s impossible to fall back asleep like this.
“‘Toshi.” I mumble in his ear. He closes his half-open mouth and looks at me. He’s been drooling on my shirt.
“We need to get to school, it’s already late.”
He rubs his eyes and sits up. The cat jumps down from his back and runs away, probably to the kitchen or bedroom. I lift Hitoshi off of my chest and sit up. Hizashi is in the kitchen making breakfast, per usual. I feel a sharp pain in my palm. I put my hand on one of the shards from the coffee cup I broke yesterday. I just sigh.
“Go eat breakfast with Papa, okay? I’ll be right there.”
He stands up and walks over to Hizashi. I make my way to the bathroom and start removing the shards from the cup. I’m bleeding, but it’s not that bad. I’ve gotten cuts before. Once all the shards are gone, I wash my hands and put some bandages around the wounds. Then I proceed to clean up the remainder of the shards. I’m gonna have to get a new cup. I go to the kitchen and join the others for breakfast.
“Do you want me to take him to school today?” I ask Hizashi. He shakes his head.
“I’ll take him there. You can… start planning meanwhile.”
Right. We have a wedding to plan now. Hizashi wants a big wedding, I know it. But we don’t have much money, or a lot of time. What should be the first thing to look for? A venue? Rings? Clothes? God, I don’t know, why’d I get to plan this? Hizashi is probably gonna want to wear a bright yellow tuxedo, but I don’t think i’d allow that. I think for a while. Let’s start by inviting people. Wait, no, I need time and venue for that. Let’s check the venue then. I google “wedding venues japan”. Way too much comes up. “wedding venues japan cheap”. A bit better. I find someone who can rent their rather big garden for weddings, pretty cheap. They have big sakura trees in their garden, and they should bloom in less than three months. I click on the “contact me” button, and send the person an email. Hopefully they have a free spot in April at the latest. I look around a bit more. A hotel. Another garden. A beach. I email them all, hoping that someone can take us. Hopefully they’re okay with us, well, being guys. We’re gonna have to try rings in person, that’s not something we can do via the internet. Same goes with clothes. Cake? What cake does Hizashi like? What cake do I like? Do I even like cake at all? I sigh and put the computer on the table. I should probably wait until Hizashi gets back with planning. I can’t do this on my own.
Hizashi comes back about an hour later. He looks tired, just like how I feel.
“I checked some venues. I found some who had large gardens who would rent it out for weddings, and some hotels who’d allow it. I emailed them all, asking if they have any free spots in April or earlier.”
He grabs the computer and puts it in his lap.
“We can not think “big” or “spectacular”. Right now we need to think “cheap” and “quick”. I know you want a big wedding, but-”
“We have to do this now if we want to adopt Hitoshi, I know. The wedding doesn’t matter as long as we get to keep him.”
“I’m glad you understand.”
I grab the blanket we slept under and pull it over us. It’s still slightly warm.
“But we are getting a cake and rings, right?”
“Yeah, we’re getting cake and rings. I just don’t know what flavour…”
“What do you want?”
“I don’t know, ‘Zashi. I haven’t had cake since my tenth birthday.”
“We could just go with the classic chocolate or vanilla, that’d probably be the cheapest. Macha would be pretty cheap too. But then banana…”
“We are not getting a banana flavoured wedding cake, ‘Zashi.”
A n g s t !
The guy with the garden responded first. We could hold our wedding there, barely 10 days before our time runs out. Hopefully that will be enough.
Next in line is sending out invitations. We shouldn’t need more than three. We don’t have many friends or family. We only have Hizashi’s mom, Nemuri and the Iida family. Tenseis little brother should be in the same age as Hitoshi. I leave the invitations to Hizashi.
“Hizaszhi? Should we really do this? Like… do we need the ceremony? If we’re in such a hurry, we should just get it done in papers…”
“I… I want to have a wedding, y’know? I want to have a ceremony and I want to wear a nice suit and eat cake-”
“I know you do, but… we have to do this quickly, and we don’t have a lot of money. It’s gonna be hard to plan this in just three months.”
“We’ll figure it out.”
“I don’t know… just renting that garden is expensive, and we need clothes and food…”
“We… we can take extra jobs. I have my radio show, right? And I heard that UA is hiring new teachers…”
“Do you want me to become a teacher? Don’t you need like, education for that?”
“Not at UA, remember? They’re allowed to teach however they want. The only thing needed is that you need to be a Pro Hero. And I can imagine that being a former UA student gives you extra points.”
I sigh and look at him. He really wants to go through with this.
“Fine. I’ll check it out tomorrow, but I’m not gonna go to UA alone.”
“I’ll go with you!”
I sigh again. I can’t believe I’m doing this.”
We both managed to get jobs at UA. We start next semester. It’s barely a month until the wedding, and we don’t have clothes or rings or anything. This is becoming more and more chaotic. I’m sitting at the table with marriage papers. We can not have a wedding, not now. We have to think of the child, so we can get this done as soon as possible. I have the adoption papers as well, ready to send them in as soon as Hizashi comes home. I’m tired, I just woke up. I’m supposed to get Hitoshi from school in half an hour. I’m drinking my first coffee for the day. I’m done with planning this wedding, it’s not gonna work out. Suddenly, one of the cats jump up on the table. It’s Tamotsu, the cat we brought home with Hitoshi. He’s gotten a lot fatter since we brought him home. He lays down on all of the papers, demanding attention.
“Really? You’re gonna stop me from doing my paperwork?”
I sigh and start rubbing his belly. For some reason, he enjoys it. Most cats don’t, but this one does, I guess. The cat purrs loudly and rolls over, almost wrinkling the papers.
“Hey, watch it!”
I lift up the cat and move over to the couch instead. He demands, and so I must deliver. He lies down in my lap instead. Cats are definitely my soft spot. That’s probably why we got two. I keep rubbing him. He rolls over so far that he almost falls out.
“Calm down, you’re gonna fall.”
When I come back home, Hizashi is already inside the apartment. He’s holding the papers I was working with in his hand, reading.
“Marriage papers, huh. I thought we were doing a wedding.”
I let go of Hitoshi’s hand and tell him to go to the bedroom.
“Yeah. We’re not gonna be able to plan this in a month. I already mailed the guy with the garden and told him that we’re not doing it. I mailed the Iida family, Nemuri and your mom as well.”
“I thought you were in on this.”
“I was in on it until it was a month left and we still don’t have anything planned. We don’t have time, ‘Zashi.”
“You said… when we graduated… that you’d always try to make me happy.”
“Well yeah, but now we need to prioritize Hitoshi. We have a month to get these papers in. If we do it like this, we’ll have lots of time to spare! No planning needed.”
“But what about me, Sho?”
“Are you really just thinking of yourself in this situation? Would you rather have a half-assed wedding than to keep Hitoshi? You’d rather put him in an orphanage for the rest of his life?”
“But what, ‘Zashi? But what?”
He goes quiet.
“We can always have a wedding later, it doesn’t have to be now.”
“Yes it does! It won’t be the same!”
“You have to be kidding me. You are being so selfish, you’re not even acting like yourself!”
I sigh again.
“You are going to sign those papers and send them in tomorrow at the latest. I have to get ready for my shift.”
I start walking towards the bedroom, but something hits the wall next to me before I can open the door. It was my half-filled coffee cup. It hits the wall and breaks, and the coffee spills out on the wall.
“Don’t you DARE leave me!”
I slowly turn around. His face is painted with rage and fear. I hold my hands up and start walking towards him, slowly.
“Hey, calm down. No need to be violent.”
“CALM DOWN? REALLY?”
I take another step towards him. He’s too close to the kitchen for me to be comfortable. What happened to him? He never reacts this strongly to anything. He seems to be reading my mind, because in the next moment, he has a kitchen knife in his hand.
“Hey, Hizashi! You need to calm down!”
I still have my hands in the air. I’ve been trained on what to do in these situations. I push my back towards the bedroom door, so Hitoshi can’t get out.
“You don’t get it, do you?”
He lets out a sad laugh.
“YOU are my weak point! My soft spot! I CAN NOT lose you!”
“You’re not losing me, ‘Zashi. We’re just… slowing down, okay?”
“I DON’T WANT TO SLOW DOWN!”
He charges at me with the knife in his hand. Too bad I’m better at hand-to-hand combat than he is. I dodge his attack and grab his wrist, pulling it behind his back.
“Drop the knife, Hizashi.”
He laughs again, dropping the knife to the floor. I keep holding him down.
“Leave the house until you’ve calmed down. I won’t let you near Hitoshi for as long as you are like this.”
I let him go and he drops to the floor. I kick away the knife from him, so he can't reach it.
Hizashi slowly gets back up on his feet, puts his shoes and jacket and leaves the apartment. I lock the door behind him and hurry inside the bedroom.
“What happened, daddy?”
Hitoshi is sitting on the floor in the corner of the room that has become his own. I sit down next to him.
“Papa is just going for a walk, he’ll be back soon enough. Don’t worry.”
“I heard you two yelling. Were you arguing?”
“...Yes, we were. But it’s gonna be alright, I promise.”
I kiss his forehead.
“I’ve locked the door, and I’ll be going out soon. I’m putting a stool in front of the door, so you can check if it’s Hizashi through the peep-hole, okay? Only let him in, no one else.”
“Wanna go eat some dinner? I don’t have time to cook a full course meal but we can eat instant ramen if you want?”
He nods again and stands up. We walk out to the kitchen. I grab the knife from the floor without Hitoshi noticing it and put it on the counter.
“Do you want the shrimp, chicken or beef flavour? We have one of each.”
“Beef it is. Hizashi will have to take the chicken.”
I fill the electric kettle with water and turn it on, waiting for the water to start boiling. I lift Hitoshi up on the table.
“When papa isn’t home, we get to sit on the table.”
My feet reach the floor, but Hitoshis don’t. He dangles his feet off the edge as we wait for the water to boil. The small lamp on the side of the kettle goes out. It’s ready. I stand up and pour water up to the small line in the cup, as well as pour in the spice. As soon as they have cooled down, I hand the beef flavoured noodles to Hitoshi, along with a plastic spoon and chopsticks.
“Hizashi will be back soon enough, I promise.”
Yeah, sorry you guys. I like creating unecessary angst just for the fuck of it.
I head back home about an hour after the sun’s up. The apartment door is open, Hitoshi probably forgot to lock it. The stool in front of the door has been moved, so Hizashi is home. I sneak inside. It’s six am, so I can probably get about an hour or two of sleep before breakfast. I open the door to the bedroom. The small night light in the corner is on, of course. Otherwise it’s completely dark. It smells weird too. Like… alcohol. I sigh and get undressed. He’s been out drinking. Stupid man. I crawl under the cover and look at them. Hizashi’s face is red, stained from tears. Actually, no, he’s crying in his sleep. I carefully put a hand on his cheek, drying his tears. I look at Hitoshi, tightly squeezed between his arms. He seems calm though. His arms… he has a bandage around his left forearm. Did he hurt himself while drunk? Or on purpose? I don’t dare to remove it myself, in case it starts bleeding. I’ll have to ask in the morning. Or rather, force him to tell me. But for now, I need to sleep. I give them a kiss each before I close my eyes.
The first thing I do when I get up is check the papers where I left them. Where I left them, on the living room table… they’re not there.
“Calm down, I’m signing them right now.”
I turn around to face Hizashi, sitting at the kitchen table with the papers. I walk over to him. He seems a lot more like… himself, than yesterday.
“You went out drinking.”
“Yes, I did. I had to do something.”
I nod towards the bandage on his arm.
“Oh, uh… I got a tattoo.”
“A tattoo? Hizashi, that’s-”
“Illegal, I know. But… I had to do it. I had to feel some kind of pain, some kind of punishment, but I didn’t want an ugly scar.”
He starts unwrapping the bandage to reveal a tattoo on his forearm. It’s… a cat, surrounded by lavender flowers, like a frame.
“Hm. A cat.”
“No, not just any cat. Look closer.”
I do as he says. The cat has red, almost glowing eyes, and the fur seems to be standing straight up.
“And the flowers are Hitoshi. Look at the color.”
He’s right, the color of the flowers is the exact same shade as Hitoshis hair. I smile a little.
“You are extremely stupid, you know that right?”
“Yeah, I’m aware.”
“I can’t believe I’m marrying you, stupid man.”
I raise my hand and slap him across the face. He doesn’t seem to mad about it.
“That’s what you get for 1) trying to throw a cup at me, 2) trying to stab me with a kitchen knife, 3) drinking at 2 am and 4) getting a tattoo!”
“Yeah, I deserved that…”
“I shouldn’t even forgive you! I should break up with you, take Hitoshi and the cats and leave!”
“...But I will. But! If you try any of this one more time, I will do it, I swear.”
“I can’t believe I’m marrying a fucking moron.”
I sleep through my alarm. I even managed to sleep through Hizashi’s loud entrance. I only wake up when both Hizashi and Hitoshi jump on top of my stomach. It seems like both of them decided that it was time for a cuddle session. I put my arms around them.
I yawn and look at them. Both of them look up at me with the same puppy eyes.
“Did you practice this or something?”
Hizashi pouts, begging for attention.
“Again, I can't believe I’m marrying a moron.”
I kiss his forehead.
“Hey, I’m really sorry about yesterday, I…” he sighs. “I overreacted.”
“Yes, you did. Stupid man. Coming at me with a knife when you know I’m better at close combat? It was basically suicide.”
“You don’t have to tell me. I’m better at long range though.”
“You are probably the most stupid man I’ve ever met.”
“I’m better at English too!”
“I know, stupid man! Stop trying to prove yourself!”
I ruffle his long, newly washed hair, making it tangled. He smiles up at me with his large, white teeth. I remember when we started UA, and he still had braces. It looked ridiculous. Apparently he had had very crooked teeth before. I can't imagine that now.
“Hey. How about we go on a date?”
Hizashi blushes. He looks… shocked.
“A date? Now?”
“Yes now. C’mon, get dressed. You too, ‘Toshi. We’re all going.”
We arrived at the mall at 6.30 pm. We ate dinner in the food court. Now I’m dragging Hizashi and Hitoshi up the stairs to the top floor. The arcade. Me and Hizashi used to go there a lot during our first year at UA. It’s been a while though. I open the doors to the arcade. It’s changed a bit. Some of the games have been switched out, and there’s new lightning. It’s mainly lit up by black lights. A lot of the games are painted with neon paint, so they glow in the dark.
“Yes, the arcade. Are you disappointed?”
“Of course not, just surprised.”
“Hey! Daddy, papa, I wanna play that one!”
Hitoshi points to a game that looks like a huge piano. That one surely wasn’t there when we were in high school.
“Calm down, we need to get tokens before we can play.”
I grab his hand again and walk over to the counter. I hand the employee enough money for at least thirty tokens.
“We’ll get more if they run out.”
I hand Hitoshi a couple of tokens, and he runs to the game he pointed to, dragging Hizashi with him. I start strolling around the arcade, looking at the prizes in all the games. Most are hero related, mainly All Might. It wasn’t very long since he had his debut, but he’s already very popular. All Might plushies, All Might shirts, All Might masks… something catches my eye. A claw machine. I walk up to it and look around in the pile of prizes. It’s mainly hero plushies. And there, in the corner, half buried under two All Might plushies, is a plushie with blond hair standing straight up, wearing a leather jacket. It’s a Present Mic plushie. I quickly insert a token. The machine tells me I have two tries. Okay, here we go. I move the claw with the joystick. I have to move the other plushies on top before I can go for the Present Mic one. I click the red button, and the claw machine goes down. It grabs one of the All Might plushies. Okay, I’ll take it. Two plushies are better than one. The machine gives me an extra go, for free. Sure thing, sure thing. But I’m not leaving without the Present Mic plushie. I quickly run out of tries. I guess the first one was luck. I insert another token and try again. Still can’t reach it. I have to move the other All Might plushie. But I don’t want another one… I sigh and try again. It grabs onto the other All Might plushie and drops it down to the little box where you receive your prize. But who do I give this to…? I spot a kid wearing a All Might onesie. I bet they’d enjoy it. I walk up to the kid and carefully poke their shoulder. The kid turns around to me. It’s the boy from Hitoshis class, with messy green hair. I think he called him Izuku, but I’m not sure.
“Hey, kid, you’re friends with Hitoshi, right? He’s in your class.” The boy nods at me with large eyes.
“I accidentally won an All Might plushie that I don’t need… do you want it?”
The boy’s eyes become even larger, if possible. He nods enthusiastically. I give him the All Might plushie.
“Thank you so much, sir!”
Without hesitating, he rushes up and hugs me. I stiffen up a bit, but it’s not much different from Hitoshis hugs. Izuku is just a bit smaller. A woman, a bit older than me, walks up to us. I look up at her. She shares the same dark green hair as Izuku. It must be his mother. Izuku lets go of me and goes to his mom instead. I stand up.
“You must be Mrs. Midoriya. I’m Shota Aizawa, Hitoshi Shinso’s dad.”
The woman smiles at me and shakes my hand.
“Inko Midoriya. Is Hitoshi here?”
“Yeah, he’s here with me and my hu- boyfriend.”
She doesn’t seem to react.
“Hitoshi told me about the time his dad saved him from a box out in the cold.”
“Yeah, that would be me…”
“I’m just glad you found him. He seems happy with you.”
A small smile forms on my lips.
“He is. We’re actually-”
“Kacchan, wait up!”
Izuku starts running across the arcade floor. I follow him with my eyes. He’s running towards that other kid, the aggressive one with the light blond hair. I believe his name was Katsuki.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, I have to go…”
I smile at her as she leaves to look after her child. God, it’s so odd to be out and… socialize. Make friends with fellow adults and parents. The only friends I ever had were Hizashi, Tensei and Nemuri. I walk back to the claw machine. I hope I didn’t seem creepy.
After another ten tokens, I finally have the Present Mic plushie in my hands. I start looking for Hizashi and Hitoshi. I find them at one of the karaoke games, both singing their hearts out. Hitoshi doesn’t know the words or the melody, but he’s doing his best anyways. The song ends and they receive their scores. Hizashi’s score is a lot higher, but Hitoshi seems happy anyways. I tap their shoulders and they turn around. I hand the plushies I won to Hitoshi. His eyes widen and jaw drops. It takes him a few seconds to process what just happened. Then he hugs me.
“Thank you, daddy.”
I crouch down and hug him back. I guess he enjoyed my gift.
“It took me eleven tokens so this better be worth it.”
He nods against my chest.
“I love it. Thank you.”
A new chapter, what? I'm so sorry that it took so long to finish this. I've gotten into a depressive episode, and I struggle a lot with motivation. Hopefully you'll understand.
A small glimpse of Izuku, Inko and Bakugo!
Chapter 8: Apple slices
Minor manga spoilers! Mainly just of Hitoshi and Eri, but nothing major.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
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.
“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.
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.
I look down at her. She wants me to lift her. I can’t say no to those big eyes.
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.
“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.
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.
I’m just about to leave the room.
“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.
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?”
“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!”
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?
So yeah as I mentioned, we have now traveled 10 years into the future, so we're at the timeline of the manga. Hopefully you'll keep reading it even if this happened.
Hizashi is driving. I’m sitting next to him, Eri and Hitoshi are in the back seat. We’re just minutes away from the house. We moved in there shortly after Hitoshi turned seven. Then we re-built it a bit to add Eri’s room. Hopefully she’ll appreciate it.
We pull up next to the house. Eri is too short to reach the ground from her booster seat, so I have to lift her out.
“Thank you, daddy!”
She grabs my hand and walks with me to the door. I’m always so baffled over how small she is. Hitoshi was a lot larger in her age but she’s… tiny. Hizashi unlocks the door and walks inside.
“Home sweet home!”
We have two weeks at home before school starts. Eri is probably going to live with us at campus, but she’s starting school as well. I can already bet the students are going to miss her. They practically love her. Even Bakugo has a soft spot for her. I caught him trying to braid her hair once during an afternoon break. It didn’t go too well, though.
Hitoshi walks straight to his room on the second floor. He barely leaves it when we’re home. I guess it’s part of being a teenager nowadays. I spent most of my teenage time with Hizashi.
“Your room is right next to ours, if you ever need anything.”
Our bedrooms are downstairs, next to the kitchen. We walk towards the bedrooms. Eri is still clinging onto my hand.
“Are you ready to see your room, princess?”
She nods and Hizashi opens the door for her. I haven’t seen her room myself either. She immediately runs inside to explore. She jumps up on the bed to get a better view. The wallpapers are a light pink, and there’s glow-in-the-dark stars and moons all over the roof. We bought her some toys, but most of her stuff was actually given to her by the students on her birthday, not soon after she came. She starts bouncing on the bed.
“Do you like it?”
“Yes, thank you daddy! Thank you papa!”
Hizashi lifts her up and spins around, kissing her cheeks.
I can’t remember ever being this happy.
The cats are starting to come out from their hiding spots. They’ve never met Eri before. They’re quite careful around new people, but it doesn’t take them too long to realize that Eri is kind and gentle. She always makes sure that she’s not pushing too hard when she wants to pet them. We have a couple of stray cats that walk around on UA campus, so I let her practice with them. She’s such a gentle, kind soul, she’d never harm a fly. One of the cats is climbing on top of her and settles down in her lap. She lays her tiny hand on top of it and carefully strokes it’s fur. I can’t believe she’s still so gentle after what happened to her. Being used like that. She’s so brave, so strong. I admire her for that. I pull her against me, hugging her.
“You know daddy and papa loves you, right?”
She looks up at me, a little confused at first.
“Of course I do, daddy!”
She smiles widely. It took her so long before I saw her smile for the first time. That bright, precious smile I would do anything to see again. I squeeze her cheeks together.
“How did you get that scar?”
She points to the deep scar under my right eye.
“Oh, I got it while fighting villains!”
She likes when I tell her stories from work.
“Really? What happened?”
“There was this really big guy. He smashed my head to the ground. But then All Might and the other teacher came to save me. I couldn’t beat him myself. I did manage to save my students, though.”
“Really? That’s so brave!”
I smile a little.
“You are so kind, princess.”
I kiss her cheek.
“Daddy! You need to shave!”
“I don’t care! Hahahahaha!”
I rub my stubble against her cheek. She laughs and I hold her against my chest. I’m so glad we rescued her from Overhaul. I’m glad we adopted her. I didn’t think I liked kids this much.
“Sho! I thought you loved me! How could you do this to me!?”
I lay down the card.
Hizashi dramatically falls to the floor while grabbing his chest.
“I have been shot! I’m dying! You have killed me, Sho!”
“Don’t die, papa! I’ll save you!”
Eri jumps down from her chair and tries to loft Hizashi into her arms. She’s not doing very well. Hizashi laughs.
“Thank you, noble princess! You have saved me!”
He kisses Eri’s cheek and gets back in his chair. He picks up four cards. It’s the kids’ turn. I convinced Hitoshi to team up with Eri since she doesn’t quite understand the rules. They whisper and Hitoshi points to a card in Eri’s hand. She picks it up and lays it down on top of the pile.
“We’re blocking daddy!”
“Excuse me? I am extremely hurt.”
“So now it’s my turn, ri-”
“Nope, wait a moment.”
Eri picks up another card and places it on the pile as well.
“We’re blocking papa too!”
Hitoshi smirks and points to yet another card in Eri’s hand, since it’s their turn again.
“Extremely hurt, I’m telling you.”
I pick up two cards from the draw pile. It’s one reverse card and a green eight. I’ll take it. It’s Hizashi’s turn.
“Okay, then… yellow six.”
He places the yellow six card on top of the pile.
I look up at Hitoshi. I’ll get my revenge.
“Hey! Now I have to wait longer until it’s my turn!”
“Too bad, ‘Zashi, it’s the rules.”
“Hm, well, yellow three, red three. Color changes to red.”
“Hey! Don’t swear! There are kids nearby, Hizashi!”
“I can’t place anything!”
“Then draw three from the draw pile!”
He picks up three cards from the pile. Now I can get my revenge.
“Draw four. I pick green. Draw two. Draw two. That’s eight in total. Uno.”
“That was cruel, dad.”
“Yes. It was. That’s what you get for blocking me.”
I smile at Hitoshi and Eri. They draw all their cards and it’s Hizashi’s turn again.
“Uh… green three?”
I shrug and place my last card, a green two.
After dinner we all sat down on the couch and started watching some kid’s movie from America. It’s some ice queen who’s running away from her sister because she’s afraid of her powers. I don’t know, I’m not really keeping track of the story. Hitoshi is playing with his phone or something. Texting someone? Both Eri and Hizashi are asleep. I understand Eri, it’s late for her, but Hizashi, what the hell? It’s not like we’ve been working, why is he so tired.
I wrap my arms around both of them and look over at Hitoshi.
“Who are you texting?”
“Kaminari? Are you guys dating or something?”
His face goes red.
“Uh… no? Why would you think that?”
“He literally pierced your ear. I’ve never seen you trust anyone that much.”
“We’re just friends.”
I grab the remote control and pause the movie.
“I guess it’s bed time. At least for these two.”
I carefully stand up, making sure to not wake either of them.
“You should go to sleep soon. No later than eleven. Okay?”
I pick up Eri while Hitoshi leaves the first floor. I carry her to her room and put her down under the sheets on her bed. She’s already wearing her pink pajamas with cat prints on them, so I don’t have to help her change.
I kiss her forehead and turn off the light. I leave the door slightly open, as she can barely reach the handle. Then I go to pick up Hizashi. He’s sleeping like a baby. I pick him up and haul him over my shoulder.
“I’m telling you, you’re literally a baby with a mustache.”
I put him down on our wide bed. He is not wearing pajamas. I’ll have to change his clothes myself. But his jeans are so tight… I sigh and start pulling off his pants. How can he even walk in these? It takes me a couple of minutes before I can get them off. My breathing is already heavier. I put him in a pair of my pink sweatpants before I remove his glasses, hearing aids and shirt. Is it worth trying to get his dead limbs into a shirt? Or should I just leave him like this-
Eh. He can sleep like that. I tuck him in under the cover before I get changed myself.
“God damn overgrown baby.”
I end up wearing a tank top and a pair of shorts. I am rather warm, so I don’t need very warm pajamas. Unlike everyone else in this family. I crawl under the sheets and place my head on top of Hizashi’s bare chest.
“I love you, you fucking baby.”
Fluff! Fluff everywhere! I felt like I needed more fluff. I know y'all need more fluff too. And there is much more to come!
Behold: the next chapter
Best Jeanist giving Aizawa fashion advice
Chapter 10: Custom suits
It's a rather short chapter (I'm sorry!). Mostly to apologize for the lack of chapters before, so you get two chapters, two days in a row, wow!
And, here it is. Aizawa meeting Best Jeanist.
Hizashi thinks I’m out running errands. Technically I am, but not what he thinks I’m doing. I’m actually going to Best Jeanist’s hero agency to book a consultation with him. I do not understand fashion, and Hizashi can’t know. So, I’ll seek the biggest fashion icon in all of Japan: Tsunagu Hakamata. He designs clothes on the side of his hero work. If we’re gonna do it, we’re gonna do it properly. I open the large, glass doors to his agency and sit down in one of the couches in the waiting area. I have a bag with Hizashi’s tightest clothes, or at least that I could find. I can’t take Hizashi’s measurements without seeming suspicious, so this is the best I can do for now.
He comes up to me after about ten minutes of waiting.
“Aizawa. The last person I thought would be interested in fashion.”
I sigh and stand up.
“Let’s just get it over with…”
He leads me to a room on the top floor. It’s very open with windows in every direction. He sits down behind his desk and I sit down in front of him.
“So, tell me. Why does Aizawa need fashion advice?”
“I’d like you to make me two suits. Or actually, one suit for me and one for Hizashi.”
“Suits, huh. Have any idea of what you want them to look like?”
“Uh… I want them to have a matching theme, but not identical. And I want to wear something dark. Otherwise you’re free to do whatever you like.”
He grabs a pen and paper and starts sketching. I have no idea what he’s doing. We sit in silence for a couple of minutes before he turns the paper around to me. It’s a drawing of what a suit would look like.
“You really don’t understand… I’m thinking like this. You wanted to wear something dark. Your hair is dark. Dark dark dark bla bla bla. Hizashi is blond. He likes color, right?”
“So, how about the sun and the stars? Your suit would be a dark blue and his would be a light yellow or orange. Both suits would have rhinestones sewn into them.”
It does sound nice. It’s extra, but not too extra. And I get my dark suit. I decide that it’s best to let him do his thing. I nod once more.
“It sounds… good. I like it.”
“So. The price-”
“I don’t care. I have money. I’ll pay whatever.”
“Good. Then it’s only measurements left.”
“I can’t really… measure Hizashi without seeming suspicious. And I don’t want him to know. But I brought the tightest of his clothes, hopefully that will help.”
“We can always try. Lay them out for me.”
I do as he says and put his clothes down. It’s a pair of vinyl pants and a tight, yellow polo shirt, much like the one I’m wearing. But mine is black.
“How tall is he?”
“185 cm. But I can imagine he’d want to wear heels-”
“Heels doesn’t matter. The pants will end by the ankles. He won’t trip over them.”
I nod a little. I really don’t understand fashion. Why would one want to wear heels? They just hurt your feet. And Hizashi is already very tall, he doesn’t need to get taller. I can’t reach him if he does. Hakamata uses a measuring tape and writes down all measurements he takes. The legs, waist, chest, arms, hips, everything. Then it’s my turn.
“Hold your arms out.”
I do as he says. He places the tape against my side, measuring from my hip to my ankles, around my hips, chest and arms. It feels odd. People rarely touch me.
“What is the occasion, by the way?”
“When are you wearing the suits?”
“Oh… it’s for a wedding.”
Rings. How do I buy rings? What ring size does Hizashi have? How do i measure ring size? Can I steal his gloves? Can they measure ring size if I give them a glove? How does jewelry work? Do they have to be matching? Do I have to wear my ring at all times? Are there black wedding rings? Does Hizashi want like… diamonds and stuff?
I never thought shopping could be this stressful. I never liked shopping, and I’m not even actually shopping, I’m just making appointments, but this is already stressful. I’m going to have to ask Nemuri to help me. Is it too early to buy rings now? Maybe I can do it next week instead… yeah. Next week is better. I’ll just go home for now. Should probably tell the kids about it. And text Tensei and Nemuri. Can I… can I convince Hitoshi to be our ring bearer? Would he do that for me? I don’t think it’d be too hard to convince Eri to be the flower girl, she’d like throwing flower petals.
“Can you come here!?”
I hear his footsteps from the living room. He’s still wearing pajamas and a pair of slippers.
“You haven’t gotten dressed.”
“Well, I wasn’t planning on going out…”
“About that. Could you go out and get flowers for the kitchen? You know a lot more about flowers than I do.”
“Yeah sure but… why do you want flowers all of a sudden?”
“I don’t know, I saw a floral shop on my way back and thought it would be nice with some color in the kitchen. It’s just black and white, you know?”
“Shota Aizawa wants color in the kitchen. Sure. Sure thing.”
“Hey! I can enjoy color too! I wore a blue shirt the other week!”
“It was practically black, Sho. But sure, I’ll get some flowers.”
“Thank you, sunshine.”
“Woah, pet names too? Are you hiding something from me?”
“Can’t I show some appreciation from my husband? Rude.”
I kiss his cheek.
“Come on, get dressed and get out of here.”
I remove my shoes and walk inside. I quickly hide the bag with Hizashi’s clothes and walk inside the kitchen.
“I’ll make lunch by the way!”
I open the fridge. What could I make? There’s noodles in the cupboard. Should I just make regular soba? Or should I go an extra mile and make something a bit more… complicated? No we’re making soba.
“I’m leaving now!”
I look outside the window to make sure he’s left.
“‘TOSHI! ERI! GET DOWN HERE QUICKLY!”
“UH… TWO MINUTES!”
“NO YOU HAVE TO COME NOW!”
I hear two pairs of feet running down the stairs.
“Finally. We have to t- what’s that on your face?”
“Uh… Eri did my makeup.”
Hitoshi’s face is covered in black likes.
“Did you take pops’ eyeliner?”
“Does pops wear eyeliner?”
“I found it in the bathroom!”
“Yup it’s Hizashi’s…”
I sigh a little.
“Just make sure to put it back where you found it. Anyways. We need to talk.”
“About the eyeliner?”
“No, about me and Hizashi.”
“Are you breaking up!?”
“No! We’re having a wedding!”
“I thought you were already married.”
“We are! But we never had a wedding, and I know he’s always wanted a wedding, so you need to help me plan one.”
“Dad, I’ve never been to a wedding before!”
“Well me neither! That’s why I need help. We’re gonna have to go shopping for formal clothes.”
“Oooh can I get a dress?”
“You want me to wear a suit?”
“One person at the time! Please! The theme is… space? I guess. I went to Best Jeanist earlier today to get some help with mine and Hizashi’s suits, and he suggested the sun and the stars. So that’s gonna be the theme. So yellow, dark blue, dark purple, maybe pink too. But you have to promise to keep this a secret, okay? Don’t tell your friends or the teachers until the invitations come out. And do not tell Hizashi! Okay?”
They both nod.
“I’ll let you pick the clothes, as long as they’re somewhat formal and follow the scheme.”
I turn to Hitoshi.
“I want you to be the ring bearer.”
“Are you serious? No! Not in front of all of my friends!”
I sigh. I am going to have to give him some kind of reward if he’s gonna do it.
“I’ll let you get piercings if you do it. But only at a professional. I don’t wanna see Kaminari piercing you again.”
He squints at me.
“What’s the hook?”
“There are no hooks.”
“Fine. I’ll do it.”
I smile. That’s what I thought. Then I turn to Eri.
“I want you to be the flower girl.”
“What does a flower girl do?”
“You get to walk down the aisle before the bride and throw flower petals. However, there is no bride… so you’ll just walk before papa. Is that okay?”
“Yeah! I love flowers!”
“I know you do.”
“One more thing. Do you have any requests on who we should invite?”
“I already said him, Eri.”
“Okay so all of UA, I get it.”
“Oh! And Toshinori and Ken too!”
“So the entire hero department and all the teachers. Sure.”
I sigh. This is becoming bigger than I anticipated.
“I might invite Tensei Iida too, Tenya Iida’s older brother. We went in the same class in high school. So. All of 1-”
I have to correct myself. They are starting their second year.
“2-A, 2-B and the Big Three, as well as the teachers of the hero department and Tensei. That’s… fifty-eight people.”
I sigh again. I really do not like publicity. At least the press won’t be there. I hope.
We’re all going to the public pool today. Eri really wanted to learn how to swim. We got her a swimsuit the other month. It is pink with ruffles around the hips, like a skirt. She picked it herself, even if it shows her scars. She has to use floaties though. We’re all eating breakfast. All except for Hitoshi, who’s still asleep. I’ve been calling for him for the past ten minutes, but he doesn’t answer.
“I’m gonna go get him…”
I stand up from my seat and walk upstairs. I knock on his door.
“‘Toshi? Wake up!”
I open the door and walk inside.
“HITOSHI AIZAWA WHY IS DENKI KAMINARI IN YOUR BED?”
They both wake up from me yelling. Both are shirtless, and Hitoshi was sleeping with his head on Kaminari’s chest.
“Oh, good morning, Aizawa-sensei…”
“WHEN DID HE COME HERE?”
“I climbed through a window.”
I pinch the bridge of my nose. Denki Kaminari climbed through a window to get inside my house in the middle of the night. I grab Hitoshi’s arm and pull him out of the room.
“What are you thinking?”
“You know that we do not want the public to know about me and Hizashi, and you just invite Kaminari in here? What if he finds out-”
“He already knows.”
“Did you tell him?”
“No, I slipped up. I accidentally said pops instead of Mic-sensei in school, and he’s noticed that both you and him call me by my first name. So he asked if you were both my dads and I couldn’t lie.”
I sigh deeply and look at him. He looks tired.
“Fine. But he can not tell anyone. Not until the wedding. No one can know about me and Hizashi. Okay?”
“Can I get dressed now?”
I nod as well. He goes back inside his room. I get a sneak peak of Kaminari getting dressed.
“Don’t forget we’re going to the pool today!”
I walk back downstairs.
“So uh… what happened?”
“It seems like we have guests. Kaminari is here. And he knows about us.”
I sit back down in my chair and close my eyes. I’m so tired. How? How did this happen? How did I end up with Kaminari in my house? Out of every single student I have, Kaminari?
Hitoshi and Kaminari come downstairs about five minutes later. Kaminari is wearing one of Hitoshi’s sweatshirts. It’s a bit too big for him. They both sit down at the table.
“Hi Mic-sensei! Hi Eri!”
Eri waves at Kaminari. She’s friends with just about everyone in the hero department.
“So, Kaminari, we were planning to go to the pool today. Would you like to join us?”
“That’d be great, but I don’t have my swimwear with me-”
“You can borrow mine.”
I can’t help but smile. Me and Hizashi did the exact same thing in high school. I remember taking him to the school pool in the middle of the night, and borrowing his swimwear. I can’t blame him for doing the same thing I did in his age. Sneaking out at 1 am was my idea after all. I look at them. They really act the same way as us. Are they dating? I mean, they slept in the same bed…
I probably shouldn’t talk out loud about it here and now, in front of everyone.
I feel naked. I almost am, but it feels so wrong to not wear a shirt. I hold Eri’s hand as we walk inside the water. Hitoshi and Kaminari went to the jacuzzi the moment they stepped outside the changing room. Oh well, I’m not going to stop them. The water reaches my hips when Eri starts floating in the water. A lot of the other kids are staring at her. You stand out if you’re six and have scars all over your body. She doesn’t seem to notice them though. I’m still holding Eri as I walk to the deeper part of the pool, until she doesn’t reach the bottom at all. She’s kicking with her feet to keep her head over the water.
I don’t know how to teach her to swim. I might be a teacher, but my swimming is not that great.
“Hey, you wanna fly?”
I grab her by the waist.
“Are you ready?”
She gives me a determined nod.
“One… two… three!”
I throw her into the air. She goes down and then hits the water. Since she’s wearing floaties, her head doesn’t go underwater. She laughs.
“Again, daddy, again!”
I smile widely and throw her again. Hizashi is sitting on the edge of the pool with his legs in the water, since he can’t dip his head because of his glasses and hearing aids. I lift Eri up on my shoulders and go underwater. I walk on the floor of the pool while blowing bubbles out of my mouth. I can hear Eri’s laugh through the water. She’s so precious. I would die for her if it meant she would live.
I walk to the jacuzzi. It’s time to get lunch. The bathhouse offers stuff like microwave pizza and instant noodles, but it’s better than nothing. I stop a couple of meters away from the jacuzzi. Hitoshi and Kaminari are kissing. They probably haven’t noticed me. I cross my arms over my chest.
“‘Not dating’ my ass.”
They pull themselves apart.
“Yes we are.”
“Yes we are.”
“Lie to my face again. It’s lunchtime, are you coming?”
They both get out of the warm pool. I notice a small, red mark on Hitoshi’s neck. At least there’s no other people in the jacuzzi. I just roll my eyes and walk towards the cafeteria.
Oof this is so messy. I wanted to get some Kaminari × Shinso action because I kinda very much ship them. But I also wanted to get Aizawa telling his children about the wedding and some wholesome Aizawa + Eri father/daughter time. Sorry guis
“Daddy? Papa? Are you awake?”
I open my eyes. The whole room is dark. I sit up and look towards the door. It’s Eri. I crawl out of bed and walk up to her.
“What’s the matter, princess?”
“I had a nightmare…”
“Wanna sleep with us?”
She nods. I pick her up and walk over to our bed, placing her between me and Hizashi.
“Want me to turn on the nightlight?”
Another nod. I click the button to the nightlight and lie down beside her. She pulls herself close to me, pushing her head against my chest.
I kiss her forehead before I close my eyes.
I wake up again from not being able to breathe. My face is covered in fur. One of the cats is sleeping on my face. Okay.
“Tamotsu, stinky cat. Get off, I can’t breathe.”
I push the cat off from my face. He jumps down and settles on the cover instead.
“Yeah that’s what I thought. Stinky cat.”
It’s the first day of school. Hitoshi’s first day in class 2-A. We’re going to have to go back to the dorms today. And Hizashi is going to have to drive Eri to school every day, since his first lesson is later than mine. The first class is always homeroom, no matter what year you’re in. I guess I’ll make breakfast. I pry Eri’s hands from my shirt, carefully to not wake her up. I walk downstairs, starting to prepare breakfast. I’ll just make something with egg and rice. Not too hard. Can’t possibly mess it up.
I poke his cheek.
“What’s going on…?”
He sits up and puts on his hearing aids and glasses.
“I messed up the breakfast.”
“What did you try to make?”
“Rice and eggs.”
“Did you… did you mess up… rice?”
“How could you possible mess up rice?”
“I don’t know.”
“You’ve made rice before.”
He closes his eyes for a moment.
“I’ll help you…”
He gets out of bed and walks to the kitchen with me. The flowers he bought are still blooming. He bought dark purple tulips. He walks over to the counter.
“I need to teach you how to cook one day…”
“Why would I know how to cook if I have you?”
I put my arms around him from behind and lean my head against his shoulder.
“Why’d you get up so early, by the way?”
“Tamotsu was sleeping on my face, I couldn’t breathe.”
“Didn’t you place him on your face once?”
“Schhhhh you promised not to talk about that.”
“No he’s not! Don’t call him that!”
“Stinky, stinky, stinky cat!”
He hits me in the head with the plastic spatula.
“Stop! No more insulting the cats!”
I smile and kiss his cheek.
“You’re stinky too. Stinky man.”
He puts a couple of eggs in the frying pan. I kiss the base of his neck.
“Stinky man. That’s what you are.”
I kiss him again and again. He puts his hands over mine and pulls me closer. Oh how I love this man. I let go of him and walk in front of him instead, so I can kiss him on the mouth. I put my arms around his neck and pull his head down a little. I wrap his hair around my hand.
“You need to shave…” he mumbles against my skin.
“You know you think my stubble is attractive.”
“Attractive, yes, but not comfortable.”
I hear footsteps from upstairs and quickly let go of him. It would probably be weird if the kids saw us like this. I start preparing the table instead.
It’s Hitoshi. His hair is standing out in every single direction. Not that it doesn’t always do that, but it’s even worse than normally.
“Are you hiding any more boys under your bed?”
“What? No I’m not.”
He’s blushing. It’s very pale, but it’s there.
“Could you wake up Eri?”
He rubs his eyes and walks towards her bedroom.
“She’s in our bedroom, by the way!”
He turns and walks inside our bedroom instead. He walks back out with Eri a couple of minutes later. I pick her up and put her in her boosted chair. She sits on two pillows to be able to reach the table.
Hitoshi wanted to go to school first, so he wouldn’t be seen with me. I tried telling him that I’m gonna be his homeroom teacher, but he doesn’t want to listen. I go by train to UA, dressed in my hero costume, sitting with a bag with my clothes. We are moving back in the dorms today, after all. I walk through the familiar walls that surround UA campus. There’s already lots of students there, including the new first years. 220 new students. 220 students graduating. Or well, less, since some were expelled. By me. Oops. I quickly go to the staff room and put my bag on my chair behind my desk. Toshinori, Nemuri and Thirteen are already there. Sometimes I wonder if Thirteen’s hero suit is really warm, or if that’s what they look like. I guess I’ll never know.
I can hear people talking from inside the classroom of class 2-A. I smile a last time before I put on my teacher and pro hero role, and open the door.
“I want everyone in their seats when the bell rings.”
They all hurry up and sit down in their assigned seats. I stand behind my desk and look at my class, which now includes Hitoshi. I have to suppress another smile.
“Good morning, and welcome to your second year at UA. As you might have noticed, we have a new student in class. Hitoshi Aizawa.”
“Ooooh, are you related?”
Ashido is asking. I sigh.
“Yes. He’s my son.”
I look at Hitoshi. He’s blushing and looking down in his desk.
“Most of you probably know him. He’s staying in your dorms and will have class with you. Please don’t treat him any different because he’s new or because he’s related to me.”
It’s gonna be weird hearing Hitoshi call me “Aizawa-sensei” instead of “dad”.
Another short chapter, I'm sorry! Please forgive me for all these short chapters.
Chapter 13: Dance steps
Shota Aizawa can't dance and y'all know it.
I managed to drag Nemuri with me. We’re going ring shopping, and she knows a lot more about jewelry than I do. We’re looking at the different rings. There’s rings with huge diamonds and simple rings and even rings made out of wood. Nothing really catches my eye yet. I also managed to steal one of Hizashi’s gloves. I don’t understand why people would want to wear jewelry. It’s so unnecessary. The store clerk starts talking with Nemuri while I keep looking. She slips the glove out of my pocket. I’m too tired to talk, so I let Nemuri do it. She’s known Hizashi for half a year more than I have, so there shouldn’t be a problem. I hear her describing his preferences and personality. Should I pick out my own ring? Is that what you do? Are there any black rings? Can I have a black wedding ring? I stare at a ring. It’s grey or silver, matte. Plain, simple. I could see myself wearing that. I quickly take out my phone. I’ve got an idea. I text Hizashi.
“I miss your voice”
He calls me. I decline the call.
“I can’t talk right now. Can you send a voice message?”
It takes less than a minute until the voice message comes. I turn up the volume and hold the phone up to my ear as I click the voice message.
“I love you”
I smile and walk up to Nemuri.
“I know what I want.”
I ordered the rings. I ordered the suits. I booked the venue. The only thing left is invitations. I’m really not that creative when it comes to stuff like this, so once again, Nemuri is helping me. We need fifty-eight invitations. Or, fifty-seven, since I probably don’t need to send Nemuri a formal invitation. She’s making them black and gold to “represent us”. I mean, I see what she means but… isn't it a bit extra? But then, Hizashi is extra.
“I’m getting tired.”
I lean my head against her shoulder.
“Shota it’s barely nine. How can you already be tired?”
“Being a teacher is exhausting. Can’t you just… do your gas thing? I really need to sleep…”
I yawn and close my eyes.
“I can’t believe I’m being used by my own friend.”
She pulls up the sleeve of her shirt and releases the gas from her skin. All it takes is one breath, and I’m fast asleep.
“Care to dance?”
Hizashi is reaching out his hand to me. I shake my head.
“No, ‘Zashi, you know I can’t dance.”
“Come on, just once? For me?”
I sigh and grab his hand.
“Don’t blame me when I trip and fall to my death.”
He runs over to the radio and turns on some music. Then he grabs my left hand and my waist. He places my right hand on his shoulder.
“I can’t believe I’m doing this…”
I haven’t danced since middle school. I don’t remember anything. I look down at our feet and focus on not tripping or stepping on him.
“Hey, relax a bit…”
“If I relax I’m going to fall.”
He laughs and pulls me closer.
I accidentally step on his toes.
“Don’t worry. Are you ready for a spin?”
“A spin? Wait n-”
He lets go of my waist and spins me around a couple of times. I get dizzy and try to stop, but he keeps spinning me.
“Woah woah woah stop!”
He stops and laughs more, catching me in his arms.
“Hizashi you’re gonna make me puke!”
He keeps laughing.
“That’s disgusting, Sho!”
“That’s what you get for spinning me around for half an hour!”
I lean my head against his shoulder and close my eyes. I put both of my arms around his neck, and he puts his on my waist again. He walks back and forth to the music. I follow his steps. Or at least I try.
“You’re so stupid, ‘Zashi.”
“Really? I didn’t know that.”
“Yes, do I really have to tell you everything?”
Suddenly he pulls me closer and pushes my back backwards. I’m not ready, so I lose my footing and fall backwards.
“Ow! Hizashi what the fuck!”
Two pairs of feet come running down the stairs.
“Daddy! Are you okay!?”
I laugh at Eri’s concern and stand back up.
“Yes, princess, I’m fine.”
I pick her up in my arms and kiss her tiny horn.
“Papa just convinced daddy to dance for a moment.”
“Yes I did. Don’t you believe me?”
“No, I don’t.”
“I’ll prove it to you, right here, right now, young man!”
“No no no! I believe you! Don’t dance!”
“I will learn how to dance, only to annoy you.”
“I do not want to see that.”
I need to know how to dance for the wedding. Can Nemuri dance? Could she teach me?
“Maybe you should learn how to dance too!”
“I would never dance with anyone.”
“Not even Kaminari?”
His face goes red.
“Hng… maybe with Kaminari. But not with anyone else?”
“What about me? Don’t you wanna dance with me, ‘Toshi?”
“And with Eri.”
“Yaaaaay! Dance with me, ‘Toshi!”
“I can’t dance!”
“But I can!”
Eri hops down and grabs Hitoshi’s hands. She starts moving her feet in time with the music. I laugh and put my arm around Hizashi’s waist. I kiss his cheek. I can’t remember the last time I was this happy. I didn’t think I’d have a family fifteen years ago. Kids. A husband. But I’m glad it happened.
ANOTHER short chapter! I'm sorry! I've been sick and not had the energy to write anything at all. Hopefully I'll get my energy back soon!
“Teach me how to dance.”
I slam my hand against her table. The staff room is empty apart from us.
“Teach you how to… what? Shota Aizawa wants to dance?”
“Yes, he does. For his and his husbands wedding. Come on.”
She laughs at me.
“Okay, okay, calm down! I will teach you.”
She stands up.
“Are you doing girl steps or boy steps?”
“There’s different steps?”
“Girl steps it is. Hizashi is probably gonna lead. So I’ll lead now, and you’ll be… you.”
“Great, I can do that.”
“So, the girl, or in this case, the shorter man, puts his hand on the taller man’s shoulder. That’ll be me.”
“But you’re shorter than me.”
“Just do as I say.”
I put my hand on her shoulder.
“And then I, or the taller man, will put his hand on your waist.”
She puts her hand on my waist and takes a step closer. It’s so weird to be this close to a woman, even if it’s a woman that I’ve known since high school.
“And then we hold the other hands. But, you have to put your hand in mine, like you’re a delicate little princess who can’t walk on her own.”
“That’s right, I’m a princess.”
I put my hand in hers.
“Now, you follow my steps. When I step forwards, you step backwards with the same foot. Or, the opposite foot. Does that make sense?”
“Good. Let’s go!”
It hasn’t even been a second before I step on her toes.
“Sorry. Can we take it… slower?”
“You’re gonna step on my toes even if we take it slower. Just look at my feet, okay?”
I nod and look down. She slowly takes a step forwards, and I take one back. Another step backwards. Okay, sure, I can do that. And now a step forwards instead. Sure thing. Not that hard.
“Ready to go faster?”
“I’ll count to four and then we’ll dance to that tempo, okay?”
“Okay, yeah, sure.”
“One, two, three, four!”
She counts way faster than I anticipated. I almost step on her toes again, but I manage to avoid it in the last second. After a couple of steps, I get the hang of it. It takes a good two minutes before I step on her toes again and we both stop, laughing.
“What if i trip over Hizashi’s toes on the wedding?”
“Then we’ll all laugh at you.”
“I’d beat you all if you did.”
“Oh no! The big, strong Eraserhead is gonna beat me up! I’m shaking!”
“Hey! I’m strong!”
“And I can make you fall asleep in less than a second, Aizawa.”
“Only if I let you.”
We’re interrupted by someone walking in. I let go of Nemuri and turn around. It’s Toshinori. He must be done with class 2-A’s hero training for the day.
“How is Hitoshi doing?”
“Oh he’s doing great! Even if he’s a bit behind his classmates, he’s catching up quickly!”
“Good to hear.”
The wedding is getting closer and closer, it’s only a month away. The invitations have been sent out and I got the suits. The only thing left is getting formal clothes for the kids. Eri is in the changing room, trying on a purple dress in the same shade as the shirt Hitoshi picked out.
“Help me zip!”
I open the door to the changing room. She’s standing with her back against me, waiting for me to zip the dress for her. I move her hair and zip the dress.
“You look beautiful, princess.”
I kiss her cheek.
“Let’s check on Hitoshi, shall we?”
I pick her up and walk over to the changing room right beside hers, and knock on his door.
“Are you done?”
“I don’t know how to tie a bowtie!”
“Oh my god…”
I put down Eri on the floor and open the door. The bowtie is tied up in a knot. I sigh and untie it.
“Did Hizashi never teach you how to do this?”
“He did but I didn’t understand.”
“Well, you’ll have to learn it in time for the wedding, I’m not gonna be there to help you.”
I tie his bowtie for him and drag him outside. I put him next to Eri, who is still waiting for us.
Eri is practically beaming. I think she’d appreciate getting a new dress. Hitoshi looks… bored. I’m not surprised.
“You both look great.”
I give them a kiss each.
“Now you better change back so I can pay for this stuff. And remember to not show your new clothes to Hizashi, okay?”
“Can I sleep with you tonight?”
“Did you have another nightmare?”
I sit up in the bed, prying myself from Hizashi’s arms. Eri runs inside and climbs up on the bed.
“What was it about? Overhaul?”
She nods and sits down, wrapping her arms around herself. I hate seeing my girl like this, stressed and scared.
“H-he took me and kept hurting me, over and over…”
I carefully grab her hand and pull up the arm of her pajamas, looking at her scars. I show her my own arm, the scar on my elbow I got from Nomu.
“See? We’re the same.”
I don’t think I’ve ever shown her the scar on my elbow. It’s not very pretty, and I rarely wear short sleeves.
“All heroes have scars. Even All Might does. My students have scars already. It only shows how far they’ve come on their way to become heroes. And you already have more scars than Midoriya, which means that you’re already more of a hero than him.”
It’s not really true, but if she can look at her scars and think of being a hero, it’s worth it.
“I will never let anyone harm my princess ever again, okay? I’m gonna keep you safe until you can keep yourself safe.”
I wrap my arms around her small, frail body.
“Does papa have scars too?”
“Of course he does! You know those plastic things he have in his ears?”
“Yeah, they’re there so he can hear better!”
“They are a proof of an injury he got, because of me and his quirk, when we were in Hitoshi’s age. He yelled too high, so he damaged his ears and broke his glasses. It isn’t very visible, but he has scars in his face from that.”
“Does Hitoshi have scars?”
“I’m… not sure actually. Why don’t you ask him tomorrow?”
She nods, obviously getting tired again.
“Go back to sleep now, princess.”
Another nod. I put my head on my pillow and put my arm out. Eri leans her head against my arm, using me as her head rest.
“Good night, daddy…”
“Good night, princess.”
It only takes a couple of minutes for her to fall asleep again. My little princess. I don’t even want to think about what would happen if anyone did anything to her. If I wouldn’t be able to protect her.
Guess what happens in the next chapter
Spoilers: it's the wedding
Chapter 15: Golden eyeliner
Wow wedding time!!! I uploaded this chapter earlier than I planned to because I got impatient with myself oops.
Wedding day. Nemuri drove Hizashi to the location with a blindfold so he wouldn’t figure out where we are, and now she’s helping me get ready. She’s putting my hair up in a bun.
“Hey, not too tight! I’m gonna get a headache!”
“It’s not gonna stay up if I make it any looser!”
She’s wearing a dark blue dress and her signature red glasses. She helped me get into my suit ten minutes ago. Toshinori is helping Eri with her dress. I’m just hoping Hitoshi can fox his bowtie himself.
“Okay, there, is that good?”
I look myself in the mirror. My hair is slicked back and put up in a low bun in my neck.
“It looks nice. Thanks.”
“I didn’t say anything about makeup!”
“But I am! Come on, you even shaved for this, let me do something!”
“Are you going to try to cover my scar? Because I am 100% sure it won’t work.”
“No, I’m not talking about covering anything up. Just trust me, pretty please?”
I sigh deeply and sit down in the chair in the corner of the room.
“Sure, but not too much, and make it quick.”
“Okay close your eyes.”
I do as she says. She pulls something cold and a bit sharp against the lash line of my eyelid.
“What is that?”
“You’ve gotta be kidding me…”
“It’ll look great with the tie and Hizashi and his hair and suit…”
“You’re mad, have you ever seen me in makeup? I’ll look like a clown!”
“No you won’t. Come on, I’m sure Hizashi is wearing makeup too.”
“But he wears makeup on a daily basis, Nemuri!”
“You could do that too!”
“I am not gonna wear makeup on a daily basis.”
I push her away and stand back up, looking in the mirror again. I sigh once more.
“I guess it’ll do. What time is it?”
“I can’t believe I’m getting married in half an hour…”
“Didn’t you get married like ten years ago?”
“Yes, but we never had a wedding, you know? And Hizashi was really sad that we couldn’t have one, since we didn’t have money…”
“Aw, you’re so kind, Shota.”
She wraps her arms around me and kisses my cheek.
“Hey, not so close! I’m a married man!”
She kisses me again and again, not letting me go.
“Hey hey hey, too close!”
“This is my only chance, I will never let go!”
I give in after a while and just let her go on. I might as well, I’m not going to be able to stop her anyways.
I have never been this nervous in my entire life. I’m standing at the altar, at the very front, while the others get seated. Tensei, Tenya, Nemuri, Toshinori, and the rest of the staff are sitting at the very front row. Mirio, Tamaki and Nejire, as well as Midoriya, Uraraka, Todoroki, Kirishima and Bakugo are sitting behind him. There’s a space between Mirio and Midoriya. I can imagine that Eri would want to sit there. I feel so extremely watched, all alone in front of all of these people. It’s my students and co-workers, my friends, who I’ve stood in front of before, but this is something else. This is the first time we’re actually revealing our relationship to everyone. Except for Kaminari, I guess. Suddenly a piano starts playing and everyone stands up. This is it. The doors open, and Eri comes out first, with her little basket of flower petals. Her hair is braided down her back, and she’s wearing the purple dress I bought for her. She has the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on her face. She practically runs down the aisle, throwing petals everywhere. Then Hizashi comes through the door. His hair is put in a braid as well, and he’s wearing the pale yellow suit I got. I have never seen a man so beautiful. My eyes tear up as he walks towards me. I can’t help it, I’m just so happy. I quickly wipe my eyes, trying to not show anyone my weakness, before I turn back to Hizashi. I grab his hands once he’s reached the altar.
“I know you always wanted a wedding. I couldn’t give it to you then, but I can now.”
Hizashi looks like he’s about to cry too. Before he can say anything, someone walks through the door again. This time it’s Hitoshi. He’s holding a little box in his hand. The rings. he hands me the box and sits down next to Kaminari. My hands are shaking as I open it and take out the golden ring meant for Hizashi. it has small holes in the shapes of lines forming a voice message. I carefully place the ring on his left ring finger. It fits perfectly.
“Ever noticed that your gloves suddenly disappeared for a day?”
I don’t answer, I just hand him the box, still containing the other ring. My ring. He takes it out and grabs my hand. He puts the ring on my still shaking finger. No one has time to say anything before he cups my face between his hands and kisses me. It feels so odd to kiss in front of all of these people, who we made sure didn’t know about our relationship for ten years. But I think I like it.
We’re all sitting by the big table with lots of food. Hizashi is trying to convince me too feed him sweets, like “all romantic couples do”. He’s constantly clinging to my arm, not wanting to let go.
“Are you wearing eyeliner?”
“Nemuri forced me. She wanted me to match with you.”
“You even shaved.”
“If there’s gonna be picture taking, I don’t want to have a stubble.”
“Hey open your mouth.”
“Are you gonna try to feed m-”
He shoves a fork inside my mouth as I speak. I get whipped cream all over my cheek.
“Hey, calm down!”
He kisses my cheek, licking up the cream from my cheek.
“Wow, you taste delicious.”
I push him away.
“Disgusting man. I can’t believe I went through all of this only for you to try to eat my face.”
“I can’t believe you went through all of this at all. Where did you get the suits?”
“I happened to go to a certain pro hero with a love for double denim.”
“You went to Best Jeanist for fashion advice?”
“Yes, I did. It turned out good, right?”
“I’m surprised he convinced you to wear actual glitter, and not black.”
“It’s rhinestones, not glitter.”
“Hey, stop calling me that!”
“Or what, you’ll divorce me?”
He gasps dramatically.
“You know I wouldn’t!”
I grab his left hand and pull it towards my mouth, kissing it.
“You beautiful, loud man, you wouldn’t dare to leave me for even a moment.”
“It’s almost like you could read my mind.”
He wipes the rest of the cream from my cheek and licks it off his finger.
I look around the table. Mirio is helping Eri take the food she can’t reach. I could probably pay him to babysit her if neither me, Hizashi nor Hitoshi has the time. Hell, he’d do it without getting paid. I look to the other side of the table. Hitoshi is blushing. He’s gotten whipped cream on his nose. It seems like Kaminari tried feeding him cake as well. Tensei is having an intense conversation with his brother. Midoriya is having a just as intense conversation with Toshinori. It’s weird to see everyone wearing formal clothes. All the boys are wearing suits in varying colors, and all the girls have dresses or skirts. I rarely see them outside their school uniforms or hero suits. Even Bakugo is wearing a tie. Someone must have helped Midoriya with his tie, since it isn’t short like it usually is. He doesn’t even wear a tie with his school uniform. I stand up from my seat and all eyes turn to me.
“Ahum… me, Hizashi, Hitoshi and Eri will be taking two weeks off, starting next friday, since we’ll be going on a vacation t-”
Hizashi stands up as well.
“We are not going to America. Did you forget that I do not speak english at all?”
“Aw, come on…”
“We’ll be going to Fiji for two weeks.”
Hitoshi looks surprised. We’ve never really been on vacation, so this will be his first. Same goes for Eri.
“And, we’ll officially change our last name to Aizawa-Yamada.”
I sit back down. Hizashi is staring at me with big, round eyes.
I turn to Hizashi. He has tears in his eyes again.
“We’ll finally be a real family.”
A real family. All I ever wanted. And I finally got it.
Me and Hizashi are sitting next to the aisle. Hitoshi is sitting next to me and Eri next to Hizashi. Hizashi is squeezing Eri’s hand. I didn’t know he was afraid of flying.
“It’s okay, papa, I’ll keep you safe!”
I smile at Eri’s attempt to calm him down and look at Hitoshi. He’s already turned on some movie. We have about eight hours left of the flight, I might as well sleep for a while. I get my neck pillow and eye mask from my bag and wrap the blanket we all got in little plastic bags around me. I poke Hitoshi.
“Wake me up if they come with food or coffee.”
We’ve dressed in way too warm clothes for the weather in Fiji. We’ve been outside for barely five minutes, and I’m already sweating. Eri insisted on pulling her own bag, but she’s not doing too well. We’re waiting for the taxi sent out by the hotel outside the airport. Eri is sitting on top of her bag. Hitoshi is removing the hoodie he wore on the plane. No one here speaks Japanese, so Hizashi has to do all the speaking. I mean, Hitoshi does speak some English, but I do not remember anything from high school. Eri is too young to have English classes. A taxi stops in front of us and the driver asks us something in english.
I look at Hizashi. I have no idea what he just said. Hizashi starts talking to the chauffeur for a moment before he turns to us.
“It’s our taxi. Come on, let’s go!”
The driver gets out of the car and starts loading our bags in the back while we get seated. Eri gets to sit in the middle, since she’s the smallest. Me and Hitoshi sit on either side of her. Hizashi gets to sit next to the driver, since he’s the one who can communicate. He’s still speaking with the driver as they enter the taxi. I understand a couple of simple words, like “ten” and “Wednesday”. I have no idea what they’re actually talking about. Eri tugs at my sleeve.
“What are they talking about?”
“I have no idea.”
We’re all getting dressed in lighter clothes in our hotel rooms. Me and Hizashi shares a room, and Hitoshi and Eri shares the room next door. I’m borrowing a lot of clothes from Hizashi, since most of my clothes I own is black or grey. I didn’t think that’d be very fitting for a vacation to Fiji. Hizashi suddenly turns around to me.
“What do you think?”
He’s wearing a pair of wide, high-waisted pants and a red shirt, completely unbuttoned.
“Hizashi. I love you, but please, button your shirt. You can not walk around looking like that.”
“Aw, come on, don’t you like it?”
“Hizashi we are eating dinner with our children and a lot of other people. Button your shirt.”
I’m borrowing a shirt with pineapples on it and a pair of blue shorts. It feels weird to wear… color that isn’t dark blue.
“I think your shirt might be a bit too small for me.”
I can’t seem to close the last two buttons. Hizashi is a lot skinnier than I am, since he doesn’t need a lot of hand to hand combat, and therefore not a lot of muscle. I, however, rely a lot on hand to hand combat. My arms and chest are a lot larger than his.
“Well… just leave them open then.”
“You can see half of my chest, ‘Zashi!”
“No, you can see your neck and collarbones. Not half your chest. You’re such a prude, Sho, you need to relax a bit!”
“I’m not a prude, I just don’t like showing skin!”
“So a prude.”
I sigh and keep the last two buttons unbuttoned like he said. The shorts are slightly tight but I can still wear them. Just wearing shorts feels weird. I never show my legs outside my house. I catch myself fidgeting with my ring. I never wear jewelry either. But this is not the same, this is something else.
“Did you… did you like the ring?”
“Did I- oh Sho of course I did! Why wouldn’t I?”
“I don’t know, it’s very visible. And your fans might-”
“I don’t care if my fans find out that I’m married, even less that I’m married to a man. I don’t care if less people listen to my show or follow me on instagram or twitter. I don’t need people who dislike me in my life anyways.”
He puts a hand on my cheek and moves a strand of my hair with the other. His hands are so soft, unlike mine which are rough from years of fighting.
“The ring is gorgeous, my love. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.”
He caresses my cheek with his thumb.
“...also you look really cute in those shorts…”
“And you ruined the moment. Great.”
“What? It’s the truth!”
He kisses my cheek before letting go.
“Will you shave before we leave? Pretty please? Your cheeks are rough and uncomfortable to kiss.”
“You should have thought about that before you married me, you fucking banana.”
“Hey! I haven’t had my hair up for like… twenty-four hours!”
“Wow, a new personal record.”
“You’re being rude.”
“Another thing you signed up for when you married me.”
“I didn’t marry you, Nemuri drove me with a blindfold and suddenly I’m walking down the aisle!”
“Don’t lie to me, banana man, you enjoyed it.”
“No I didn’t.”
“Yes you did.”
“Yes I did.”
“Stupid banana, can’t even lie properly.”
I stand on my tiptoes and kiss his cheek.
“I’ll shave just for you.”
I grab the bag with my razor and toothbrush and all that stuff and walk inside the bathroom. There’s a couple of small tubes with shaving cream along with soap, shampoo and conditioner. I put some shaving cream in my hand before applying it to my cheeks. I hate shaving. It’s boring and takes a lot of time.
“Get in here!”
I slowly pull the razor down my cheek and wipe off the excess shing cream. Hizashi enters the room.
“Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You look like Santa.”
“Make up your mind, do you want me to have a beard or not?”
“Well it depends on if you’re gonna grow a full beard or just keep it like… this.”
“Says the man who can only grow facial hair in two spots under his nose.”
“Stop bullying me! Why did you want me to come in here anyways?”
“Can you sing for me? I never get to hear you sing anymore.”
“Oh, okay then…”
He starts singing a song in english. I don’t understand the words, but they sound pretty.
“Won’t you sing for me, songbird? Sing for the lonely ones? Sing me away from here with the words of the broken?”
He wraps his arms around my stomach and closes his eyes.
“You can fly where I can not fly. Sing for me songbird. Sing.”
His voice is so soft, like honey. He used to sing for me a lot more in high school but now… he barely does it anymore. I guess he doesn’t have that much time.
“You should sing more often.”
“You think so?”
“Maybe do it on your radio show sometime. I bet your listeners would love it.”
I can see his cheeks getting red through the mirror.
“Even if I don’t understand the words, your voice is still beautiful. Today’s music is just J-pop and K-pop anyways.”
“You don’t listen to music, Sho. There’s more than just J-pop and K-pop.”
“Not on the radio. You should play other genres on your show too. Maybe your listeners wouldn’t appreciate it that much, but I’m a listener too, you know?”
“You’re too sweet. You have shaving cream on your nose.”
The song Hizashi sings is Songbird by Ellen Benediktson! I guess it's a bit of an easter egg now in time for easter. The song was made from a swedish music competition called Melodifestivalen, and I myself am swedish.
Edit: I might take a short break from writing (probably not longer than a month). If you don't get any updates from this in a while, don't worry! I'll be back! I'm just very busy with school right now. I will update, I promise, I haven't abandoned this.
Chapter 17: Piña Coladas
Hizashi enjoys Piña Coladas
I’m laying in a hammock in the shade by the beach. I refuse to go out in the sun without ten layers of sunscreen. I tried giving Hitoshi sunscreen but he refused. He can’t blame me when he comes back home looking like a burnt tomato. I did manage to put some sunscreen on Eri. Hizashi refused until I threw the bottle at him. Hizashi is swimming with the kids. I’m not much of a swimmer, or an outdoors person. I’d rather nap in the shade. I’d rather wear a shirt too, but Hizashi forced me to go out without it.
Wet hair hits my face. I open my eyes and turn to the side.
“We’re gonna go eat lunch! Are you coming?”
“Yeah, I’m coming, give me a second.”
I make my way out of the hammock and stand up in the soft, warm sand. I put on my flip-flops and a shirt.
“Wait, let’s get those floaties off of you…”
I crouch down to her height and help her pull them off.
“Where’s papa and ‘Toshi?”
“At the restaurant. Papa was gonna order some drinks!”
I grab Eris hand and walk with her to the hotel restaurant. Hizashi is drinking something yellow out of a straw and Hitoshi is drinking cola.
I point to Hizashi’s drink.
“It’s Piña Colada! I can order one for you too if you want to.”
“What does it taste like?”
“Pineapple and coconut! You should try.”
He holds the glass up to me. I grab it and taste the drink. I shrug.
“Yeah, you can order one for me.”
I sit down between Eri and Hitoshi.
“What do you want, princess? You can have soda if you want.”
Her eyes light up. Since she’s still very small, we don’t let her drink soda that often, but I guess we can make exceptions when on vacation.
I nod and grab one of the menus on the table. Everything is in english.
“Uhh… will you translate for me?”
I look at Hizashi. He’s just smiling.
“Let me decide. I know what you like.”
“I don’t trust you, you’re gonna order something really weird.”
“Come on, I’ve known you for almost twenty years. I know what you like.”
“Fine. But nothing too spicy or weird.”
He calls the waiter and orders food and drinks for all of us.
“Why didn’t I pay more attention in english class?”
“Or when i tried to tutor you.”
“Yeah that too… I feel so stupid.”
I point to Eri and Hitoshi.
“You better pay attention in english class, or you’ll end up like me.”
The waiter arrives with our food. Eri got some pasta. Hitoshi got pizza. It was a while since we ate pizza, it’s too unhealthy if you need to gain muscle. I get… some kind of soup.
“What is it?”
“Shellfish soup! It was supposed to have shrimp and mussels.”
I stir around the soup with my spoon and taste some of it. It’s surprisingly good. Really good.
“I really like it, thank you.”
Hizashi smiles at me across the table. Oh god he’s so cute. I push my hair behind my ears and keep eating my soup.
“Will you let me cut your hair?”
I look up at Hizashi
“Not a lot, just the tips. It’s really uneven and damaged.”
“Well, I guess, as long as you don’t f- mess it up. Like in high school.”
“Did you cut dad’s hair in high school?”
Hitoshi looks at Hizashi.
“I did, but it was after an accident in our third year. Dad was captured by a villain who cut off part of his hair, so I got to even it out. I let him cut my hair too. It was fun!”
“No, ‘Zashi, it sucked.”
“Come on, it was fun to see you with short hair for once.”
I stand up and smack him in the head with my spoon.
“Hey! That hurts!”
“That’s what you get for bringing back my hairstyle in high school!”
I sit back down and keep eating my soup. Hizashi takes out his phone and shows something to Eri. She laughs.
No one answers. He shows his phone to Hitoshi too.
“What are you showing them?”
“Oh nothing, just the picture I took right after we cut our hair.”
“You’re lucky I don’t have my hero costume, or you’d be all tied up right now.”
I smack him in the head again. They all laugh at me.
“Look he’s doing the exact same face as in the picture!”
I sigh and cover my face with my hands.
“Why do I keep up with you three?”
“Because you love us, daddy!”
“You’re damn right!”
I grab Eri from her seat and start kissing her face. She giggles against my cheek.
“Daddy! It tickles!”
“Daddy, will you please join us at the beach? Pretty please?”
How could I possibly say no to those eyes?
“Okay, princess. I’ll come with you.”
I grab Eri’s hand and she pulls me out of the hotel room. She drags me along all the way to the beach. Hitoshi is already in the water.
“Oh he went to the bar! He said he wanted another pincolad.”
If he gets drunk at the bar I swear I’ll murder him. I remove my sandals and walk into the water, still holding Eri’s hand. It’s cool compared to the hot air. It’s rather nice actually.
“Daddy daddy! ‘Toshi is teaching me how to swim!”
“Really? Can you show me what you’ve learned?”
I sit down in the sand, letting the waves roll over my body. She goes out a bit further in the water, where it’s a bit deeper, and lies on her back. She’s floating, all on her own. She’s never done that before. I smile widely.
“You’re doing great, princess. I’m so proud of you.”
She stands back up in the water and smiles at me. She really is adorable. I wouldn’t trade her for anything in the world. I’ve been so lucky when it comes to my family. I have the kindest daughter, the strongest son and the most loving husband. Hitoshi walks over to Eri and keeps showing her what to do in the water. I lean back and close my eyes. Maybe the sun isn’t that bad.
Someone trips over me and falls. I open my eyes.
Of course it’s Hizashi. I’m not surprised.
“Sho I’ve tripped and I can’t get up!”
“I can’t help you if you’re on top of me, dumbass!”
He smells like alcohol. He’s drunk.
“You have to get off of me and I’ll help you, okay?”
He slowly rolls off my body and stops on his back in the sand. I stand up and help him get up.
“Let’s go to the hotel room…”
I wrap his arm around my shoulder to keep him from falling over. Eri and Hitoshi are still playing in the water.
“I’m taking papa to our room, I’ll be right back!”
“You’re so pretty…”
I open the door to our room and dump him on the bed. He ragdolls and falls over. I sigh.
“How many drinks did you have, ‘Zashi?”
“I-I don’t know!”
He’s suddenly crying.
“I l-love you so m-much, Sho! Don’t l-leave me!”
He’s sobbing violently with his face in the pillows.
“Sho! P-please! I need attention!”
“Calm down, calm down…”
I walk over to the bathroom to get him a glass of water.
“Calm down, I’m coming! I’m just in the bathroom!”
I walk back outside and give him the glass.
“Drink this and then get some rest, okay?”
“What is it?”
“It’s another one of those Piña Coladas you really liked.”
“O-okay then… but only one more…”
He takes the glass and drinks the water in one big gulp.
“Go to sleep now, okay?”
He rests his head in my lap and wraps both his arms around my legs. Well then. Hopefully he falls asleep fast so I can go back to the beach to the kids. I don’t trust Hitoshi that much to check on Eri to not drown.
Chapter 18: Nightmares
Boy oh boy have I been struggling with writing lately. As I've said before, I'm very stressed because of finals and concerts, and I should be completely back on track by the end of May/beginning of June. I hope you understand! I have NOT abandoned this.
Someone knocks on the door. Housekeeping? Now? I sit up and look around. It’s three am, the room is completely dark. Who would be knocking now? They knock again.
I force myself out of my bed and look through the peephole in the door. It’s… Hitoshi and Eri? I open the door and look at them.
Eri is holding Hitoshi’s hand. It seems like she’s the one who got him out of bed.
“What’s going on?”
“‘Toshi had a nightmare, so I said that whenever I have nightmares I always go to you!”
I smile a little.
“Go sleep with papa and I’ll take care of your brother, okay?”
I put a hand on Hitoshi’s shoulder. Eri runs inside and crawls into bed. I pull Hitoshi into the room and close the door after him.
“Hey... are you okay?”
He shakes his head. I grab his arm and walk with him to the bathroom. I let him sit down on the toilet.
“Talk to me, ‘Toshi.”
“I wanna go home.”
His voice was weak and small. I put a hand under his chin and push his head up. His cheeks and eyes are red, he’s been crying.
I grab some tissue and wet it, before wiping his face with it.
“Do you want to sleep with us?”
He doesn’t answer. His body is shaking, he’s crying again.
“Hey, it’s okay, it was just a dream.”
I wrap my arms around him. He lets out a small sob against my shoulder.
“Do you want to tell me what happened in your dream?”
“T-they all died… and I c-couldn’t save them…”
“M-maybe I w-won’t be a good h-hero after all…”
“Hey. Don’t say that about yourself. You’ll be a great hero. That’s why I went through all of that to train you so you could join the hero course. Don’t you dare tell me you won’t be a good hero.”
He doesn’t answer this time either.
“It was just a dream. It wasn’t real.”
I carefully kiss his cheek.
“I may not be your biological father, but I am your real father. I will support you in every decision you make. But you are not allowed to say such patronizing thing about yourself.”
I let him cry against my shoulder for however long he needs to. He doesn’t really cry that often, so it’s good that he can let out his emotions for once. He lets go of me after a couple of minutes.
“How about we go to sleep?”
He nods again. We both stand back up and walk to the bedroom. Hizashi and Eri are asleep, laying tight next to each other. I pull the covers to the side and let Hitoshi crawl in first. I put out my arm so he can use it as a pillow, just like he did when he was younger.
“I love you, dad…”
He’s already closed his eyes and might even be asleep. I smile a little.
“I love you too, kid.”
When I wake back up, Hitoshi is still sleeping with his head on my arm. Eri and Hizashi seem to have left the room. I carefully nudge him.
“Hey, ‘Toshi. Wake up.”
He doesn’t react.
“‘Toshi. Get up. We’re late for breakfast.”
He slowly opens his eyes and look around.
“Yeah, I think they’ll stop serving breakfast soon, we have to hurry. Get up.”
I push his back, forcing him to sit up.
“I wanna sleeeeeep…”
“You can sleep outside, come on. Breakfast.”
“Do you think I can nap in the pool?”
“Uh… no because you might drown. Now go to your room and get dressed.”
He slowly gets out of bed and walks to the door.
“Come back here when you’re done, okay?”
As soon as the door closes, I start changing. I’ve almost ran out of shorts and non-black shirts. It’s weird to wear this much color. I put on a blue shirt, shorts and my sandals. I sit back down on the bed and wait for Hitoshi to come back. Unless he fell back asleep. But no, after a couple of minutes, he knocks on the door. I open the door and look at him. His hair is even messier than usual, which I don’t understand how it even happens. He still looks exhausted.
“Ready to go?”
I grab my room key and lock the door behind me.
“Do you want to talk about what happened last night?”
I guess we talked enough yesterday. Talking can be exhausting, I get it. Or, I think I do. We walk in silence to the restaurant area. I have no idea where Hizashi and Eri went. But I guess it’s good to have some alone time with your son sometimes. We reach the cafeteria and grab a plate each. I fill mine with fruits, scrambled eggs and sausage, typical hotel breakfast. I’m starting to miss my juice pouches.
“Are you sure you are okay?”
“Yes, dad, I’m fine. You don’t have to worry so much.”
“You don’t seem fine.”
He just looks down at his plate.
“Come on, I’ve been trained to take care of people. I can see that you’re hurting.”
“It was just a nightmare, nothing else.”
The bags under his eyes are deeper and darker than usual.
“This isn’t the first time you’ve had a nightmare in a while, is it?”
“Is it keeping you up at night? Are you having a hard time sleeping?”
“Come on, ‘Toshi, talk to me. If you’re hurting I want to help.”
“I-I’m not… hurting…”
“Yes you are, ‘Toshi. I can see it.”
He rubs his eyes. I can’t tell if it’s because he’s crying or because he’s tired. Either way it doesn’t matter.
“Do you want me to get you professional help? So you can sleep properly?”
I get the tiniest nod as an answer.
“J-just… don’t tell pops…”
“If you don’t want to. I’d rather you tell him yourself. Can you do that?”
“I’m glad you told me about this.”
I take a napkin and carefully wipe his cheeks.
“It’s just another week and then I’ll make sure you get the help you need.”
Chapter 19: Bleeding ears
Guys! Please write comments! I love reading comments, even if it's just "wow that was fun" or anything! Tell me what you want to read! Tell me what I can improve!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It’s the last day of vacation. We’re going to the airport in the afternoon, and we should land in Tokyo tomorrow at noon. Then it’s straight to UA and back to school on Monday. We’re all spending the last day on the beach. I am, as usual, sitting in my chair in the shade. Hizashi is at the bar getting drinks for all of us, hopefully alcohol free. Hitoshi is still teaching Eri how to swim. I’ll make sure to get her a proper instructor when we come home. Hizashi sits down next to me with a small tray with four glasses on it, and a bag of chips.
“‘Toshi! Eri! Drinks and chips!”
All the glasses are the same, so it doesn’t matter which one I take. The kids come running out of the water and plop down next to me.
“Is everything packed? All clothes? Phones, chargers?”
“Yeah, everything except our swimwear.”
“Great, make sure to put them in plastic bags before you put them in your bags, or everything inside is gonna get wet.”
I take a sip of my cola and look at Hizashi. He’s helping Eri with her hair. She’s still struggling with putting it up herself. He ties it with a hair tie and stands up.
“I need to go to the bathroom real qui-”
Someone bumps into him and he falls forward, right onto me. I quickly put away my glass to grab him.
“Woah! ‘Zashi, are you okay?”
He looks up at me. His pupils seem to double in size.
“Will you marry me?”
“We’re already married.”
“Marry me again!”
I turn to the person who bumped into him, who seems to be explaining what they did in english.
“Uh… ‘Toshi? Will you translate for me?”
He suddenly bursts out in laughter.
“What is it? Why is he like this?”
“He has a love quirk. Pops must have been hit by it and fell onto you and… fell in love with you.”
Eri laughs too.
“Papa really loves daddy!”
I sigh and try to make Hizashi sit up properly.
“Come on, get up… you overgrown baby.”
He refuses to let go of me, clinging to me like a child.
“Hizashi! Sit up!”
“I don’t wanna let you goooooo…”
“How long is this gonna last for?”
“He said up to a week.”
“Oh god… he’s gonna be like this in school too? We’re doomed.”
“I love you, Sho…”
“I know you do, come on, get up.”
I never managed to get him to sit up. At least not outside my lap. And now he’s insisting that he’s gonna sit in my lap in the taxi too. But all he’s getting is a hand to hold. Both Eri and Hitoshi think the situation is hilarious. I do not. Hizashi is currently… kissing? Licking? my cheek while I try to push him away.
“Hizashi I swear to god, I will divorce you.”
His eyes fill with tears.
“N-no! You can’t do that!”
“Yes I can and I will if you continue. I said you can hold my hand, not that you can lick my face!”
“I want to appreciate you!”
“You can appreciate me in other ways than licking me! Come on, sit down properly!”
He sighs deeply and dramatically before he sits in his seat, crushing my hand with his.
“And sit next to Eri, not pushed against me.”
“But I don’t love her as much!”
“She’s your daughter, Yamada!”
I’m hitting his weak points on purpose, because it seems to work. He frowns at me and sits closer to Eri.
“He doesn’t mean it, Eri, don’t worry about him.”
“I know, he’s just weird!”
I feel Hizashi’s hand creep up to touch my leg. I slap it before he can grab me.
“Only hand holding. Nothing else.”
He pulls his hand back.
“And if you continue, I won’t sit next to you on the plane.”
We’re finally at the UA dorms. Hitoshi basically grabbed his bag and ran to the 2-A dorms as soon as we left the car. So now I’m left with a 6-year-old child and Eri.
“Come on, let’s go inside.”
I grab Hizashi’s wrist and pull him through the door to the teachers’ dorms. Nemuri is sitting in the couch, drinking what looks like coffee.
“Welcome back Sh- what happened to Hizashi?”
“Yeah long story. He was hit by a love quirk or something and now he refuses to let go of me. Can I get some help? I can’t get him off myself.”
She stands up and grabs Hizashi’s waist, trying to pry him from my shoulder.
“Come… on… Hizashi… let go!”
“I will never! You can never make me leave my one true love!”
I’m sure he’s not aware of it, but he activates his quirk. He’s yelling straight into my ear. I try to cover them, but he’s holding my arms too hard.
“Hizashi you are hurting me!”
His eyes fill with tears again. He slowly lets go of me and laughs sadly.
“I’m sorry, Sho… I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
His quirk is still activated. I cover my ears this time. It feels like my eardrums are about to explode. Nemuri is saying something to him and I slowly remove my hands from my ears.
“I’m sorry Sho!”
I’m not quick enough this time. I grab Eri’s arm and pull her to the elevator.
“He doesn’t have much control of his quirk when he is like this, but I’m sure he’ll be back to normal soon.”
“Daddy! Your ears!”
She pokes my cheek with her small finger and shows it to me. It’s red. I’m bleeding.
“I’ll be okay, okay princess? It’s nothing, I’ll just head over to Recovery Girl. You don’t have to worry about me.”
I smile at her and pick her up, leaning her against my chest. She tries to wipe the blood off of my cheek.
“Hey. I’m fine. You don’t need to worry.”
I grab her hand and step out of the elevator.
“I’ll be fine and so will Papa. Don’t worry, princess.”
So basically Hizashi was hit by a quirk that either creates love or amplifies love. Since the person wasn't in control, it was amplified quite a lot. He's basically a ragdoll who only thinks of Shota. I'm sorry this is a mess and kinda short, I wanted to keep you updated.
Chapter 20: Kicks to the stomach
Holy crap I actually wrote something!
Sorry for not posting in a while, I've been extremely busy with school and just not feeling motivated or inspirated. I promise to start uploading like usual again from now on!
Sorry if this chapter is a bit messy.
"All english lessons with Present Mic will be cancelled for the rest of the week."
He's currently sitting in my lap behind my desk. I can barely see my students, since he's covering my view. I think he's sucking on my cheek.
"Uh… Aizawa-sensei? What happened to Mic-sensei?"
"He was hit by a love quirk. He should be back to normal in a couple of days."
I try to push him away from me, but he refuses to let go.
"Hizashi, you have to let me teach!"
I can feel twenty pairs of eyes on me as I call him by his first name.
"He won't listen unless I call him by his first name. And I'm not gonna call him babe he-"
"Hizashi, no. That's enough, go sit in the corner."
"No buts! Go to the corner!"
He starts sobbing violently straight in my ear. I push him away and he falls on the floor.
"All of his other emotions were amplified too. When he's happy he's super happy, and when he's sad he's super sad. GO.TO. THE CORNER."
I point to the corner of the classroom, behind Uraraka. He walks over to the corner and sits down with his back against the wall, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Anyways. It's almost time for the sports festival. You are now second year students, so the pressure is higher than last year. Especially for those of you who placed high last year."
I look at Bakugo, Todoroki, Tokoyami and Iida, who all placed in the top four.
"Of course I'm glad that MY students are winning, but Vlad King has been training his students more than ever."
Then I turn to Hitoshi. This is his time to shine.
"Make me proud, kids. Class dismissed."
I grab Hizashi's arm and pull him all the way to the teachers' room.
"You are not leaving this room until the day is over."
I force him to sit down in his chair. All teachers have their own personalized desks. Hizashi went all out with the decorations. There's stickers on the desk, mainly of his own merch. Egoistic much? But there's also All Might stickers and stuff. And everything. Is bright yellow.
"Listen to some music or something. Talk to someone. Be productive. But you can't follow me to my lessons."
He pouts at me, probably trying to make me feel bad. It's not working.
"I'll be back at lunch."
I give him a quick kiss before leaving the room.
"Help me train for the sports festival."
"Wouldn't that be cheating?"
"Wouldn't you training me to get into the hero course be cheating too?"
"...fair point. Okay go get dressed and meet me in the training hall in ten minutes."
He shows up dressed in his P.E. uniform, capture weapon and voice device. I shake my head and activate my quirk, in case he tries to pull a sneaky on me.
"No weapons allowed. Only your body is allowed."
He just sighs and removes his stuff. He hasn't gotten a proper hero suit yet, it's scheduled to arrive the week after the festival.
"Remember that you'll be fighting people who know about your quirk. If you want to use it, you have to know exactly what buttons to push."
I deactivate my quirk and remove my own capture weapon, as well with everything in my pockets.
"Go. Beat me. No countdowns."
He charges at me with all his might. I just step to the side. He trips and falls.
"Come on, you can do better. Get up."
I grab his arm and help him up.
"Again, come on."
He raises his arms and charges at me again. This time I block him. I grab his wrist and pull him towards me, pushing my knee into his stomach. He groans and tries to get away.
"You need to cover your face with one hand and your stomach with the other. You can't leave either unprotected. I thought I taught you that."
"You did, but-"
I just hold up my hand. I'm not gonna give him any chance to use his quirk. I may be harsh, but he needs all the training he can get. He raises his arms again, this time doing as I told him. He charge one more time. I'm about to block him the same way I did last time, but he kicks me in the stomach instead. I take a couple of steps back before regaining my balance, but he's already on me again. He kicks me in the chest and I fall. He's so much stronger than a year ago. He grabs me by the hair and punches me in the face. It hurts. It's a good sign. He hits me again and again until I bleed. I hit the floor twice to signal that I give up. He lets go of me and I stand up, wiping the blood from my nose.
"Why'd you ask to train with me if you were just gonna beat me anyways? You're already ready for the festival."
I smile at him.
"Maybe I just wanted to show off what I've learned."
"You learned how to beat your dad, congrats."
I ruffle his hair. He smiles back at me.
"I'm proud of you, 'Toshi, you know that. It doesn't matter if you win or not."
I wrap my arms around him. He buries his face in my chest.
"Make Eri and Pops proud out there too, will you?"
I stuff my nostril with tissue. He got me good, he really did. My nose won't stop bleeding. But I don't really mind, I've been through worse.
"Daddy! What happened to you!?"
"Your brother beat me up."
Eri gasps loudly.
"Why would he do that!?"
I laugh and pick her up, leaning her against my hip.
"So he can beat up his classmates next week. Don't worry, princess, I'm fine."
"I'm gonna beat him too!"
I laugh even more.
"You're not allowed to beat anyone until you go to UA."
"Can I at least heal you?"
"Yeah, I'll use my quirk! I'll rewind you to before you were hurt!"
"You can do that?"
I'm not sure if I trust her. She did kill her biological dad this way. I know I can stop her if I need to. But I must raise her confidence somehow.
"Okay, I trust you."
I put her down and sit down in front of her, so she can reach me better. She puts her tiny hands on my cheeks and closes her eyes. I can see her focus. It takes about a minute or so for her to activate her quirk. The small horn on her forehead grows slowly. My nose stops bleeding and the bruise on my jaw goes away. The swelling on my right eye goes down. It just takes a couple of seconds, barely half a minute, until she's done. She quickly lets go of me and opens her eyes.
"Did I-? Is it-?"
"You did it, princess. You healed me. Thank you."
I smile and kiss her forehead before hugging her.
"My little hero!"
I fall backwards with her on my chest. She laughs and put her arms around me. Or at least she tries, but her arms are too short to reach around.
"I love you, daddy."
I smile widely and kiss her again.
"I love you too, princess."
It's the day before the sports festival. Everything is prepared, everything is done. Hizashi has latched onto my arm and chest. He won't move, even if I push. I guess this is my life now. Eri is sitting on my other side, leaned against me. Hitoshi is in his dorm. We're watching some Disney movie together. Why do the characters always feel the need to sing for no reason? I mean, Hizashi does that too, but he just sings. He doesn't start dancing a- nevermind, he does that too. Am I living in a Disney movie?
Someone is banging on the door. I wake up from my slumber and stand up.
"Wait here, I'll check who it is."
I pry Hizashi from my arms and walk up to the front door.
"Move move move!"
I do as he says and move to the side, letting him in. He's completely drenched.
"I thought you were in your dorm?"
"Well I sneaked out."
"Why are you wet? It hasn't been raining."
He opens his jacket and reveals a tiny, soaking wet kitten.
"It was stuck in a well. I had to get it out."
"There are no wells at UA."
"We left campus."
I sigh and grab the kitten.
"I'll go give it a bath. You go get warm."
The cat is shaking in my arms. It doesn't look like it's gotten any food for a while. I hold the poor thing against my chest as I make my way to the bathroom. I turn on the tap, making sure the water isn't too hot. I carefully put down the cat in the sink and start cleaning it. It looks up at me with it's big eyes. All I can think of is the night I found Hitoshi. In that box, skinny, cold, weak, not even able to stand up by himself. And his cat, Tamotsu. His protector. I wouldn't have a son if it weren't for that cat. My eyes fill with tears. I see the same pain I saw in my boy that day as I see in this cat. I pick the cat back up and hold it against my chest.
"I'm so sorry…"
The cat meows and leans it's head against my shoulder.
"I'm so sorry this happened to you…"
I turn around. Hitoshi is standing in the door frame, wearing warm clothes and drying his hair with a towel. I quickly wipe my cheeks and put the cat down.
"Sorry, I got a little… emotional…"
I put special cat shampoo in it's fur, removing any dirt. I slowly increase the temperature of the water so it can actually get warm.
"What are we gonna name it?"
He walks up to me with another towel, ready to dry it off or catch it if it panics.
"Is it a girl or a boy?"
"A girl. I think."
"We should let Eri decide. She never got to pick any names for the cats."
I wash off the last of the shampoo and pick her up from the sink, handing her to Hitoshi. He wraps her up in the towel, drying her off.
"I'll go fill another bowl of cat food."
I leave the bathroom, praying that he didn't see me cry. I take out a new bowl and fill it with cat food, placing it next to the other two. The other two cats roam free on campus, but they usually sleep in our dorm room and eat here. If they can't get in there's food bowls in the lounge area and outside. But there's usually someone there to help them use the elevator. They're quite smart. One of the cats has fallen asleep on the couch, next to Eri. She's carefully petting it while watching the movie. God, I love my family so much. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Hitoshi comes out of the bathroom, still holding the kitten. He puts it down in front of the bowl. I'm relieved to see that she's eating the dry food we have.
"Thank you, Hitoshi, but you should go to sleep. It's getting late and it's the sports festival tomorrow."
I flick Hizashi's forehead, trying to wake him up.
"Are you back to normal yet? If you aren't, I won't let you commentate the festival."
I flick him again and he finally wakes up.
"Mmngh… what happened?"
"You were hit by a love quirk. You've been clinging onto me for over a week."
"What day is it?"
"Sports festival day. Come on, get up, get ready. We gotta be at the stadium in an hour and a half."
"Wait, it's sports festival day? WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME?"
"Do you not have any memory from the last week?"
"I remember… vacation…"
"Okay so no memory. Come on, hurry. Your hair takes forever to style."
"Okay okay okay, calm down!"
I make my way out of the bed and start getting dressed. All teachers must be in their hero costumes and all students must wear their P.E. uniforms. Like a normal school day. I check on the kitten before making breakfast for myself. She's sleeping with our other female cat. She's had kittens herself before, I think she can sense that the kitten needs a mother. I smile at them and refill their bowls.
I knock on Eri's door before opening it.
"Eri? Are you awake?"
She's still in bed, tightly hugging her pink teddy bear.
"Eri, wake up. We gotta get ready for the sports festival."
We've requested to let Eri take the day off. She wanted to see Hitoshi fight, so Recovery Girl and Toshinori get to take care of her during the day. I put a hand behind her back and help her get up. She yawns and rubs her eyes before letting go of her teddy bear.
"Can I wear my dress?"
"Absolutely, as long as you don't get it dirty."
I make my way over to her wardrobe and take out her red dress.
"Have you ever wanted… a mom?"
She looks up at me, surprised by the question. She does have a biological mother out there somewhere, but we don't know her name or where she is. I don't know how much Eri remembers of her.
"Well… I don't really care."
She looks up at me with a big smile.
"I have two dads and a brother and that's great! I wouldn't want anything else in the world!"
She stands up and walks over to me, wrapping her arms around my waist. I pick her up and kiss her forehead.
"Come on, get ready and we'll have breakfast before the festival. Are you ready to see 'Toshi kick some ass?"
"Daddy! Don't say that word!"
I laugh and put her down.
Another slightly messy chapter. Next chapter will include ShinKami angst and some confident ass girls!
Sports festival day. The first event for the second year students was a "the floor is lava" kind of game. They had to climb on platforms between two and ten meters up in the air. The last 42 standing get to advance. Hitoshi passed easily. He just brainwashed people and told them to jump off. It was quite fun to watch, but I have to be neutral.
The second event was a teamwork game. Hitoshi teamed up with Midoriya, Kaminari and Jiro. Three people in each team get a paintball gun each, and the fourth would be the target. You get points for each target you hit. Hitoshi's team passed with the second most points.
And now it's just the one-on-one event left. Hitoshi is fighting Iida in the first round. Iida came in a shared third place last year, so he's strong for sure. But then, Iida is a bad match up to Hitoshi. He never stops talking. I believe Tensei and the rest of the Iida family is in the audience. They must be proud of him. Hizashi announces the start of the match and they're off. We can hear every word the students say, but the audience can't. They have small microphones on their shirts, so the teachers can hear them.
Iida charges at Hitoshi at full speed, but he knows what to do. Iida may be fast, but so is Hitoshi. Well, not as fast, but you get my point. He steps to the side and starts running in the opposite direction.
"Up for a game of tag, are we? You're it!"
"No, I know how your quirk works! If I answer you, you'll brainwash m-"
I have to turn off my microphone to not reveal my laughter to the audience. It's so ironic. Iida slows down and stops in front of Hitoshi, who is smiling widely.
"Step off the stage."
Iida turns around and starts walking away, towards the edge of the stage. Iida is smart, he really is, but he needs to think twice sometimes. He steps outside the line on the edge of the stage and Nemuri declares Hitoshi's first win. Hitoshi bows to Iida and steps off. He didn't even break a sweat. Iida looks ashamed as he walks back to the students' part of the audience. I look up at the scoreboard. His next match is… Kaminari. His boyfriend. Kaminari isn't the smartest, but he's becoming strong, and he knows Hitoshi. I honestly don't know how it's going to end. Are they going to dare to go all out on their partner?
Yaoyorozu passed the first round of the one-on-one event. So did Shoji, Asui and Jiro. Which is nice, because they didn't pass last year. Of course Midoriya, Uraraka, Bakugo and Todoroki all passed as well. I'm hoping to get a new top four than last year.
It's time for Hitoshi's and Kaminari's match. Electricity doesn't travel in sand, and Hitoshi has to make Kaminari talk to win. They're similar in strength, so I don't know who would win if they just went hand to hand. The match starts. Kaminari would have to touch Hitoshi to electrify him. They both start running towards each other. Hitoshi says something that I can't quite hear because Hizashi is screaming right next to me. Kaminari bites his lip to not answer. I plug in my headphones so I can hear their conversation and block out Hizashi's yelling.
"You're not gonna answer me?"
Kaminari runs towards him, trying to touch him just for a moment, but Hitoshi dodges.
"Has your small brain finally understood that you can't answer me to win?"
He's pushing his weak spots, trying to trigger him. Making him reply out of anger. He seems determined not to answer.
"Your tiny tiny brain finally understood what to do to win against me?"
Kaminari runs again, trying to touch him, but he dodges once more. Even from up here I can see Kaminari's frustration. Hitoshi just looks smug. But I know it's an act. I know that his heart hurts with every insult he yells at him.
"No one could ever love your stupid ass! I'm just with you because I feel bad for you!"
This hurts to watch, it really does. I'm just gonna let Hizashi do his thing and watch.
"I hope you know that. I don't love you. Your friends don't either. Everyone is just with you because they feel sorry!"
Kaminari finally answered. He has tears in his eyes.
"Stop stop st-"
His eyes go blank. Hitoshi has taken control and can finally stop acting. He slowly walks up to his boyfriend and puts his hands on his cheeks, carefully to not lose control.
"I'm sorry. I don't mean it, you know that. But… I have to win."
He kisses his forehead and steps back.
"Walk off the stage."
Kaminari turns his back on Hitoshi and starts walking towards Nemuri. He's not strong enough to break free like Midoriya did last year. He walks past the red line and Hitoshi claims his second win of the day.
Yaoyorozu won. Midoriya came in second place. Hitoshi and Asui shared the third place. Hitoshi lost to Yaoyorozu and Asui lost to Midoriya, and then Midoriya lost to Yaoyorozu. I'm really proud of all of them. Yaoyorozu has gained her confidence back and is stronger than ever. As expected from a student who got in on recommendations. Midoriya didn't even break a bone. Toshinori walks on stage and give the students their medals. His entrance was a lot less epic than last year, but he's retired as a hero. The audience still cheers as loud as ever. He speaks to each one of them and then it's all over. I'm done for another year. I remove my headphones and leave the room. I have to find Eri and Hitoshi.
Kaminari is sobbing against Hitoshi's shirt. I guess what he said really hurt him.
"H-hey, Denki. Calm down. You know I only said it to wi-"
"Does winning matter more than my feelings?"
I've never heard him not know what to say. It feels wrong. I stay behind a wall so they won't hear me.
"I-I just… I wanted to make my dad proud, you know? He told me it's okay if I don't win but… I still feel like he wants his only son to win."
Don't tell me…
He did that because of me?
A sudden pain in my chest hits me. Guilt. I've been training him to become strong, I've been harsh so he can catch up with his classmates. Does he feel like… I'm not proud of him? Kaminari doesn't answer for a while. I think he's trying to calm himself down.
"Do you think… Aizawa approves of me? Do you think he thinks I'm too… stupid for you?"
I can't stand listening to this anymore. I have to say something.
"That' not true."
Both of them look up at me.
"That is not true at all. Don't you dare say that."
They let go of each other. They look ashamed. I turn to Hitoshi first.
"I am proud of you. I tell you that all the time. I'm proud of you whether you win or come in last place."
I turn to Kaminari.
"And you… why would I not approve of you? I don't care about how smart or strong or tall my son's boyfriend is. I care about if he's kind. I care about if he loves him. Nothing else matters to me."
I found Eri with Recovery Girl. She had made lots of healthy snacks for her to eat while they watched the festival. I appreciate that. We're walking back to our dorm after having dinner outside of campus. Kaminari and Hitoshi are walking behind the rest of us, holding each other's hand. Eri is sleeping with her head against my shoulder. Someone grabs my free arm and I stop. It's Hitoshi.
"Dad you owe me a piercing."
Oh. Right. I promised that he'd get a piercing if he was the ring bearer at the wedding.
"In the weekend. Just no noses or lips."
"Eyebrow is fine. But just one."
He runs back to Kaminari. I guess he's telling him about his plans for the weekend. My son is becoming more and more emo for every day that passes. Just like his dad.
Angst angst angst
I actually made myself cry while writing this
Hitoshi got his piercing and I paid for it. Kaminari held his hand. Now half of his face is swollen and red. Or maybe I'm just overreacting, I don't know. I guess they like it, but he's not getting any more piercings until he's turned 18.
Hizashi is getting Eri ready for bed, helping her brush her teeth and putting her hair up. He picks her up and carries her to her bedroom. I smile at them. I'm pretty sure Kaminari and Hitoshi sleep together on a daily basis. It does feel weird to see my boy with a partner, but it' none of my business. And besides, I know Kaminari. He wouldn't hurt Hitoshi.
Hizashi sits down next to me and I lean my head against his shoulder. I wrap both arms around his waist. I'm exhausted after the sports festival yesterday.
"I'm tired and I need attention."
He puts a hand on my head and strokes my hair. It's still slightly wet after I showered. I reach up to kiss his cheek.
"Did you shave?"
"Am I not allowed to shave?"
"Of course you're allowed to shave. You just don't do it very often. I've become used to your stubble."
I bury my face into his neck and close my eyes.
"How about we open those ice cream tubs we bought the other day?"
My interest has peaked. I like ice cream.
"Yeah, ice cream. Just don't tell Eri."
Hizashi got up from his seat.
"I'll be right back."
He leaves our dorm room and went out to the corridor. Our room is on the second floor, specially re-built so we could have Eri live with us. One day she might get her own dorm. One day she might join UA and become a hero. What would her hero name be? What would her hero suit look like? I picture Eri as a teen, trying on the first prototype of her suit. Maybe she'd cut off her hair? That'd be badass.
My thoughts are interrupted by Hizashi entering the room. He's holding two bowls with ice cream, one in each hand. I sit up more properly and take one of the bowls.
"What flavour is it?"
"Yours is coffee, mine is banana."
"Why am I not surprised?"
He sits down next to me and I lean my head against his shoulder again, picking up my spoon. The ice cream tastes intensely of coffee and a hint of dark chocolate. It's good. I close my eyes for a moment to just enjoy the taste. Hizashi puts his arm around my shoulders, pushing me closer to him. He's warm and soft, I sink into his skin. I take another spoonful of ice cream.
I put my bowl on the table and look up at him. He seems to be almost done with his ice cream as well.
"Can't we just… sleep on the couch tonight?"
"No one is stopping us."
He stands up and I grab his wrist.
"Wait- where are you going?"
"I'm getting pillows and a blanket. Don't worry."
He kisses my forehead and leaves to go to our bedroom. I feel clingier than usual. I guess I'm starving for affection.
He wraps the thick blanket around our shoulders.
"Can you kiss me?"
"Kiss me. I need a kiss."
He smiles and puts a hand on my cheek, slowly leaning in. He kisses my mouth and separates my lips with mine. He tastes like banana ice cream and skin. I push my hands through his hair. It's soft and free of any tangles or hair products. His chapstick brushes off on my lips. It tastes sweet, like some fruit. Maybe melon. I carefully stroke the back of his neck with my thumb in a circular motion. I let go for a moment to catch my breath, and then I go right back to kissing him. He leans back so I can lay on top of him and I let go once more. It feels like it was a long time since I got a proper kiss. I put both my hands on his chest. His heart beat is fast, heavy and steady. He looks up at me, smiling, with his glasses half off. I lean my head against his chest and close my eyes. He puts one hand on my head and strokes my hair. If I could purr, I would. But I can't. It's a shame.
I mumble against his chest. I have both of my arms wrapped around his upper body.
"You're gorgeous. I couldn't ask for a better husband."
"So you just married me for my good looks?"
"Actually, Nemuri drove me to my own wedding and I didn't know I was marrying you until I walked down the aisle."
"Actually, we were already married at that point. And you could have said no."
"But I didn't want to. Because I love you."
I open my eyes and reach for the chain around Hizashi's neck. Both of us wear our rings as necklaces. I take his ring in my hand and look at it. It's been heated up by being against his skin all day. I don't think I've ever seen him take it off. The ring is thick and gold, with hollow markings in the shape of a voice message. I recorded it myself. I take my own ring and look at it. It's the same, but silver, and with Hizashi's voice message instead. I put them both in my hand and close my eyes again.
"Hizashi… when I die, I want you to have my ring, okay? Wear it next to yours, wherever you go."
"Of course. Only if you will do the same if I die before you."
"I don't want to think about that."
I am so sorry for being gone for so long again! I've had a hectic month with vacation and conventions. Hopefully I'll be able to write more now.
This chapter marks the end of another fluffy part of the story, and you know what that means
Chapter 24: One way or another
This is what I foreshadowed to in the end of the last chapter
We'll begin a new phase of your training today. Once a month, all of you will be patrolling in differents parts of the country for a whole day. You have your provisional hero licenses, you're allowed to take action if you need to. Patrolling is a big part of being a hero, and it needs to be done. The only exceptions are those of us who are teachers, since we already work here every day."
I look at my students. They all look exhausted after the sports festival, but heroes never take breaks.
"Get your hero costumes and meet me outside in ten minutes, changed."
Hitoshi is wearing his hero costume for the first time. It includes his own capture weapon and voice device. The fabric is loose and dark purple. It looks black in the dark. Hizashi helped him design it. He looks great. I try not to smile.
"Today we'll travel as one big group. The next time you'll go in pairs, and then after that you'll go alone. Any questions?"
Ashido raises her hand.
"Do we get to pick who to go with?"
"No, I will randomly assign you a partner. Anything else? No? Good. Let's go."
I lead the class towards the train station. We're going to a city by the coast, where the crime rate is a bit higher. I feel like a kindergarten teacher, having to lead all their students and make sure no one gets lost. Should I get a rope they can hold onto, or make everyone hold each other's hands, too? We all sit down on the train in one big group. A lot of people are staring at us. I guess they recognize the kids from the sports festival. Or maybe they're just confused why there's a bunch of 16-year-olds dressed up as heroes on the train. I really don't like being watched. And I miss my sleeping bag.
I walk at the front of the group, constantly making sure no one gets left behind or gets lost. We walk to an area with lots of apartment buildings. I turn around and call to the class.
"Watch your step, the asphalt has holes!"
It's a poor area, no one really cares about fixing potholes.
"Hey! Aizawa-Yamada, Kaminari! Don't fall behind!"
I have to refer to Hitoshi as "Aizawa-Yamada" now and I absolutely hate it. He's Hitoshi, not Aizawa-Yamada. They're walking a bit further behind the group than the rest. And they're holding hands. They let go of each other as soon as I call on them. I wonder if the rest of the class knows about them. They probably do, they're not very great at keeping it a secr-
I don't have time to even end my thought before something interrupts me. The ground is trembling. It's an earthquake.
I'm sure they felt it too. It wasn't too bad, but it can get worse, quickly. The ground shakes again, this time more. I sit down on the ground so I don't fall over. The others do the same. It will get worse, I know it already.
"You all have your provisional hero licenses, you are allowed to take action in case something happens. If it gets worse than this, order people to evacuate. The buildings could collapse. If they collapse, head inside the rubble and look for wounded, but NOT until the coast is clear. I don't want to see anyone get injured, and I do NOT want to see anyone just standing around, being a coward. You're heroes now, not children."
The ground shakes a third time, worse than both of the first times.
"Okay, everyone, go!"
People are already coming out from their apartments. Being inside a building if it's about to collapse is not the best thing to do. Everyone jumps into action. The ground shakes a fourth time and this time I actually fall over. The buildings are going to collapse, and the people inside will either get badly hurt or die. They need to go somewhere open and stay there. I run inside a building and start ordering people around. Knock on doors, yell. Everyone needs to be outdoors, quickly. A lot of people are hiding under furniture, like they were taught to. But that's not what we're gonna do now.
The floor cracks. We're all going to fall down five stories unless we get out quickly. I'm carrying a small, sleeping child in my arms. I won't let him go down with me. I hurry over to a window and open it. I wrap my capture weapon around him and carefully lower him to the ground. Todoroki is there to take him as soon as he can reach him. The glass in the window breaks and I have to hold onto the wall to not fall out. I can not panic now. I'm a hero. The building is nearly empty, apart from some elderly that are slower. I'll have to carry them myself if we want to get out in time. I don't have time for formalities. I grab an elderly woman and carry her on my back. I start running down the stairs as the ground shakes again, violently. The electricity is out in the whole area, if not the whole city. I grab the railing to not fall down the whole staircase. Big mistake. The railing falls off and the floor breaks. I become weightless for a moment before falling. One story, two stories, three stories, I don't have the time to count before I hit the ground. Everything happens so quickly. Something hits my back, but it doesn't hurt. I can move my arms, a little. I have to keep going, even if it'll be the death of me. One way or another. I move whatever's on my back and stand up. Or I think I'm standing up. The woman I carried is laying on the ground a couple of meters away from me. I have to get her out, I have to. I have to take her to safety. I pick her back up and keep walking towards the exit. She feels heavier than before.
I blink a couple of times and look at whoever called for me. It's Kirishima. He seems to be okay.
"Your leg! How can you even stand?"
"What about my leg? I'm alright…"
Why'd I get so sleepy all of a sudden?
Something falls on top of me. The world spins for a moment before everything goes black.
I have to beat Yamada, and then it's over. If I beat him, I win. I win the sports festival and I get to transfer to the hero course. The commentator announces the start of the match. I've watched Yamada in his other matches. He wins with his quirk, but he never goes into combat. He just screams "YEAH" and no one can take it. I think I saw multiple people's ears bleed. His quirk is powerful, but without it he's just skin and bones. I can see him activate his quirk, but I'm quicker. I activate mine, making my hair stand up. My eyes go red. It's like he's been muted, nothing comes out of his mouth. This is my shot. I run towards him and grab both of his wrists. I push my knee into his stomach, refusing to blink even once. I'm not sure if he's figured out how my quirk works yet, I can't take the risk. I push him to the ground and press my knee against his back, holding his arms behind him.
"You are nothing without your quirk. A hero needs more than one super move."
I blink, but it's not enough time for him to activate his quirk. But he noticed.
"Your quirk turns off when you blink, Aizawa."
He smiles, like he just figured something out. I don't care. The time it takes for me to blink is not long enough for him to activate his quirk.
"Do you give up yet? Accept the fact that a kid from the general course beat you in the finals?"
"A hero never gives up."
"You don't really have much of a choice."
I push my knee harder against his back. Wouldn't it be fun if I broke his glasses too? His back makes some kind of cracking noise. God, he really is fragile. The pain is visible on his face, he's struggling.
"Ngh- stop! I give up!"
I look up at the judge, who nods. I let go and stand up. I've won.
Someone grabs my shoulder. By reflex, I turn around and grab their wrist. It's just Yamada. He has a thick, white bandaid on his cheek and seems out of breath.
"H-hey Aizawa… I need…"
His cheeks are bright red.
"You need what?"
"I need… a bandaid… because I scraped my cheek falling for you."
He winks at me through his yellow tinted glasses. I let go of his wrist.
"I could easily have broken your back. And you already have a bandaid."
He doesn't seem too angry about his loss.
"Well, I need another one! See?"
He points to his red cheek.
"I didn't come here to make friends. And I'm straight."
I turn his back on him and keep walking down the hall to the changing rooms. The prize ceremony is in fifteen minutes and I don't want to look like a whole mess.
"Aw come on, we can at least be fr- mutuals! At least if we're gonna be in the same class! You're transferring, right?"
God he talks so much.
"What do you want your hero name to be?"
"I don't know. Do you ever shut up?"
He doesn't seem to want to leave me alone. I sigh and roll my eyes.
"I hope you know that you're not allowed in my changing room."
"Then why are you still following me?"
"Because I wanna be your friend!"
He leans his elbow on my shoulder. He's a bit taller than me, and his bright yellow hair stands straight up, like a cockatiel. He could easily be a bird. I look up at him. His eyes are green behind his glasses, and he has light freckles across his whole face. He's 15, but he doesn't have any facial hair yet.
"Can you not-"
I push his elbow away and try to pick up the pace, but he has longer legs than I do. I stop and block the way for him.
"Look, I do not want to be your boyfriend. I do not want to be your friend. I do not want to be your mutual. I came here to be a hero, not to make friends."
He sighs and smiles at me.
"How are you supposed to make it through school all alone?"
"Why are you so set on being my friend? You have friends."
I've seen him in the corridors. With that hair and that personality he's hard to miss.
"Because I care about more people than myself! I don't want anyone to be alone."
"I'm telling you that I want to be alone. I don't want friends, I don't need friends. All I need is a weapon and I'm good to go."
I turn back around and keep going. But he's still following me. I'm not going to get rid of him, am I?
"Hey, Shota, what's your hero name gonna be!?"
"I don't know, I don't care."
Our teacher is having us pick hero names and presenting them for the class. Yamada presented his hero name "Present Mic" first, before anyone else. It seems like he's been thinking of this a lot.
"Hey, I got it! How about Eraserhead!?"
He grabs my whiteboard and writes "ERASERHEAD" in big, bold letters with his pen. He hands it back to me and pulls my chair out.
"Go present it to the class, Sho!"
Right, "Sho". He's started calling me that. God, he's obnoxious. I just sigh and stand up, walking up to the front of the classroom. I hold up my whiteboard.
Yamada is beaming from his seat, right next to my empty one. I don't know how we managed to get our seats next to each other. Did he bribe our teacher? It doesn't matter. What matters is that he's writing a note and leaving it on my table. I go back to my seat and pick up the note.
"You look tired, have you been sleeping recently?"
That's not what I expected. I furrow my eyebrows and look at him. He's acting as if he can't see me. I take my pen and write on the back of the paper.
"Why do you care?"
I wake up in a cold sweat. I had a nightmare, and I can't stop thinking about it. I pick up my phone and text Hizashi.
"Are you awake?"
I pull at my hair. I've been losing hair lately. I grab my hairbrush instead and brush it quickly. There's already a big chunk of black, worn out hair on it, but I don't have the motivation to clean it. My phone pings.
"Yeah, what's up?"
"Can I come over? I know it's late but I don't feel good."
"Yeah, sure. I'll leave the door unlocked."
I carefully open the door to Hizashi's apartment. He lives with his single mom. She's very kind and loving, and she enjoys hugs a lot. I make my way to Hizashi's bedroom and open the door. He sleeps with a nightlight on.
He turns around in his bed and blinks a couple of times. He's not wearing his glasses, so he probably can't see me properly.
"Sho? Is that you?"
I dump my bag on the floor and crawl under the cover next to him. He wraps his arms around me.
"What's going on?"
"I had a nightmare and… I realized something."
"What'd you realize?"
My cheeks get hotter; I'm blushing.
"I think I like you, Hizashi. I've never liked anyone before. No girls, no boys, no one. And my nightmare was about… my parents finding out. They wouldn't accept me being with a boy, they…"
My eyes fill with tears. I haven't cried in years, it feels wrong.
"They'd kick me out, Hizashi."
He pushes me closer to him and I close my eyes. I don't want to cry in front of anyone, it makes me feel weak.
"Is this why you haven't been sleeping well?"
I just nod against his shoulder. I'm too tired to hold a proper conversation.
"Let's just go to sleep, okay? We can solve this in the morning."
I nod again. He pulls the cover over my body and moves the pillow so I can use it too.
"Good night, Sho."
He slowly pets my hair. It's calming, soothing. Comforting. I feel… loved.
"Good night, 'Zashi."
So, this is a flashback that Shota sees while unconsious from his first year at UA. In the first part, he's in the finals, about to fight Hizashi. In the second, they're gonna pick hero names. In the third, they've known each other for a while and become friends. Or more.
Something heavy rests against my shoulder. It's round and hairy, and has a small, pointy tip. Eri, of course. Did she sneak inside our room during the night? Did she have another nightmare? I slowly open my eyes. The sun lights up the room. Oh. I'm at a hospital, not at home. The room is completely white and clean. I don't like it. I look around a bit more. Something is stuffed under my arm. A worn, old Present Mic plushie. I recognize it. I won it for Hitoshi more than ten years ago in the arcade. There's a needle in my hand, connected to a tube. And three chairs. Hizashi and Hitoshi are both asleep, leaning their heads against my bed. Hitoshi has a light purple stubble on his chin. How long was I out for? Couldn't have been for more than a week, right? I sit up, trying to move as little as possible. If I'm at a hospital, I'm either sick or injured. Or I just gave birth. I push Hitoshi, since he's the closest to me except for Eri.
"'Toshi. Wake up."
My voice is rough, like I haven't used it for a while. I must have been out for a while then. I push him again.
"Hey. Wake up."
He finally opens his eyes and sits up properly. It takes him a moment to process what's happening.
"Dad? You're awake!"
He throws his arms around my neck and hugs me.
"Hey, watch out, your sister is sleeping…"
But he doesn't want to let go. I don't mind, I can appreciate a hug right now. I stroke his back with my free arm and lean my head against his shoulder.
"How long was I out for?"
"About a week and a half. You were in surgery for the first fourteen hours."
"Fourteen hours? Really?"
He nods and lets go of me.
"You fell down three stories and got tons of rubble over you. You might as well be dead, you lost a lot of blood."
"The woman that I carried, did she… did she make it?"
"She was already dead when Kirishima came to you. But I guess you didn't notice, you were running on pure adrenaline."
"Did anyone else get hurt? How'd they get me out from beneath the rubble?"
"Well technically Kirishima got buried under the rubble too, but he wasn't harmed. Yaoyorozu and Uraraka helped get you out before the ambulance came. But otherwise, almost everyone was unharmed. Except for you."
"What time is it?"
"Uhh… almost nine in the morning."
"Could you wake up your… other dad? I'm getting hungry and he has to pay for breakfast."
"Also, I think the rest of the class want to meet you. And maybe sign your cast."
I look down on my legs. My left leg is wrapped in a thick layer of plaster. I shrug.
"Maybe in the afternoon. But right now I need breakfast, and to talk to my husband."
Hitoshi violently grabs Hizashi and shakes him.
"Wha- what's going on? Is the house on fire!?"
He's not wearing his glasses or hearing aids, so he can neither see nor hear. Oh well. Hitoshi hands him his stuff. Eri is still sleeping peacefully against my chest.
"Sho you're awake!"
"Does everyone have the same reactio-"
And another hug.
"Hey, Eri is still asleep. Don't wake her up-"
His hug is a lot tighter than Hitoshi's was. I can barely breathe and my ribs hurt.
"Could we talk after breakfast? I'm starving."
"Yeah yeah yeah sure sure, I'll get something from the cafeteria…"
He quickly stands up and takes his wallet, leaving the room. I see his wipe his cheeks before the door closes. I turn back to Hitoshi.
"You have a stubble."
"So do you."
"Well I always have a stubble. When did you start shaving?"
"Like two months ago? I'm really late, I know."
"No, it's a part of growing up. I was really early while Hizashi was really late. He can't even grow more than that tiny thing he calls mustache."
Hizashi is crying. Eri got distracted by games on Hitoshi's phone. Hitoshi fell asleep in his chair, I guess he hasn't gotten a lot of sleep for the past week. I'm trying to calm Hizashi down, but it's not working very well.
"You could have died, Sho! The doctors said they didn't even know if you were gonna wake up!"
"But I did, right? I'm fine."
"No you're not! You're covered in bandages!"
"Hizashi, don't you remember my fight with Nomu. That was worse."
I pull him against my chest; he crawled in my bed right after breakfast. I stroke his hair, but he doesn't seem to want to calm down. His breathing is heavy and shaky.
"I'm fine, okay? I'm alive, I'm awake."
He pushes his face against my shoulder and sobs. I know how he gets in situations like these. He acts strong until the bubble finally bursts. He's a good actor, but he has to stop.
"I took your ring?"
"You told me… if you die, I should take your ring. So I did."
He unbuttons the first button of his shirt and pulls out the chain. And there they are, both of our rings, next to each other.
"I knew something was missing."
"They gave it to Hitoshi right before you went into surgery. When I got here with Eri, he gave it to me. We didn't get to see you until you were completely stable, a week ago."
"I was unstable for half a week?"
He nods and buries his face in my shoulder again. My shirt is wet from his tears.
"You stopped breathing and your heart stopped like five times. Your stitches didn't heal properly."
"That doesn't matter right no-"
"Yes it does! This is the second time in a year you've been hurt this badly! Maybe... maybe we should retire from being heroes."
"Hizashi, my sunshine… we're heroes because we do risk our lives. None of my students were hurt. I'd rather die than let any of them die on my watch. I love my job and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm glad you bribed our teacher into letting me sit next to you, I'm glad you picked my hero name. And I'm glad that I beat you up in the sports festival."
I kiss his forehead.
"You made me the one I am today. You made me a hero."
"I don't want you to die, Sho. I couldn't live without you. And I couldn't raise 'Toshi and Eri alone. I can't even feed the cats."
"Hey, stop that. One day, one of us will die. It can be tomorrow or in forty years. But if I'm the one who dies first, you have to know how to take care of yourself. I know you can do that. For me."
He nods again.
"You can take care of yourself. You're a great dad, a great husband and a great hero. Don't try to tell yourself otherwise."
I put my hand under his chin and force him to look at me. I place a light kiss on his lips. His lips are a lot more chapped than usually.
Ashido brought colored pens. They've all surrounded my bed, waiting to get a chance to sign my cast. I specifically asked them to sign with their hero names. I currently have "Deku" written in bright green, "Ingenium" in dark blue and "Ground Zero" in orange. I'm happy that Bakugo changed to Ground Zero instead of King Explosion Murder. That's really not an acceptable name for a hero. A nurse checked on me earlier, changed my tubes and stuff. She'd be back later to take a proper look at my stitches. Having so many people in the room is a bit overwhelming, but I'll manage. I still have a heart rate monitor connected to me, so the nurses will be notified if they notice that my pulse gets too high because of the stress. But so far so good. Eri insisted I'd share her apple to keep my energy up. She's currently sitting in Yaoyorozu's lap, who is braiding her hair. It's a lot prettier than the braids I and Hizashi do. Hitoshi is holding a purple pen, ready to sign my cast. But he hesitates. He hasn't decided yet. He's not sure of the name he picked out, the name that's on his license. I grab his wrist and pull him towards me.
"Hey. Your name is great. Stop doubting it."
"What if it makes people scared, rather than feel safe?"
"You want to scare villains, right? No one will be afraid of you if they know you're a hero."
He nods and removes the cap from the pencil. He writes, with small, purple letters, "Brainwash", right below my knee. The same name as his quirk.
Dudes I just got a motivation boost and wrote 1400 words in a day
Chapter 27: Sunrise breakfast
I'm so sorry I've been gone for a while. School is stressing me tf out and I just feel like general shit. This chapter is a bit shorter than normal but hopefully that's okay.
Crutches suck. I'm holding on for dear life to not fall. Hizashi is walking next to me, ready to catch me if needed. I'm not allowed to put any weight on my left leg. I'm a bit unstable and wobbly, but I'm getting the hang of it, slowly but surely.
"Hey, slow down or you're gonna fall."
"I can take it however fast I want to."
"Look, I know you wanna heal and get back to school, but you have to take it slow. Recovery Girl isn't here, you have to heal the slow way."
"Well I don't want to heal the slow way, I want to get back to work now."
"But you can't. So take it slow."
"But you aren't?"
"I'm hurt, I'm allowed to be annoying."
A nurse comes to check on me twice a day. Check the stitches, change tubes and get me food, all that stuff. My stitches are slowly dissolving and healing up. At least I no longer need life support, and I'm allowed to get out of bed for a couple of hours every day. Hizashi still needs to help me shower and walk, though. Eri gave me a card yesterday that she had made all by herself, covered in rainbow glitter, saying "GETT BETER SON" in big letters. Her spelling isn't the best, but at least she cares. I have it placed on the nightstand next to my bed.
"Get up. We're taking a walk."
"Take a walk… what time is it?"
I rub my eyes and look around. The room is still dark.
"About 6.30 am. Come on, get up."
"I can't reach my crutches…"
"I'll get them for you, don't worry."
Hizashi places a light kiss on my forehead and hands me my crutches.
"Why are we going out so early?"
"I want you to see the sunrise."
"Can't you just open the window?"
"No you need to see it from the outside."
"Am I even allowed to go outside?"
"No not like that- I'll show you, just get up."
I move the cover and slowly get out of bed. All my tubes have been removed except for the IV. They told me they'd remove it by the end of the week, so just two more days. I put a slipper on my right foot.
"Where are we going?"
"Why are you here so early anyway? I thought you and the kids went back to the dorms?"
"We did but… Hitoshi can take care of himself, and I left Eri with Nemuri, just for today. I don't want you to be all alone here."
"I'm fine, 'Zashi. I have people who feed me and take care of me. And I get to leave in like, three days."
"Just let me do this for you, pretty please?"
He smiles at me and gives me the puppy eyes. It's always hard to say no to those.
"Fine, but after this you need to head back to work."
"I promise. Okay, let's go."
We take the elevator down to the first floor and head to the cafeteria.
"A breakfast date? Is that what you have planned?"
"A breakfast date while watching the sunrise. Outdoors. What do you want?"
"Fine, juice? And an omelette?"
"Sure. You go sit down outside and I get the food."
He kisses me again and points to a glass door. It leads to a small garden with benches and tables. The flowers are in full bloom, or maybe they're plastic. It doesn't matter, they're still pretty. It's a bit cold, but I'll manage. I sit down at one of the tables and look around. Just a couple more days and I'm out of here. Right, the sunrise. That's why we're outside. The sky is painted red and orange and pink and yellow. Kinda reminds me of Hizashi's hair. I lean back and look up. It's nice to just have a calm moment in the middle of all this hospital chaos.
"I got the food- aren't you cold?"
"A bit, but it's fine."
He removes his jacket and puts it over my shoulders. It's still warm from being heated up by his body. I smile and lean my head on his shoulder.
I reach for the glass of juice. My ribs are still sore, but I can move. I don't need as much painkillers as before.
"Can you help me shower before you leave? I don't like it when I need help from the nurses."
"Sure, if we make it quick. I need to be back at UA at 8."
I look up at him. The sunrise reflects in his glasses, I can barely see his eyes. I reach up and remove them from his face.
"Hey, what are you doing? I can't see."
"You're just… so pretty…"
"Are you high? Did they give you a too big of a dose?"
"No, I'm not high… I just want to see your eyes."
"Well I need to use my glasses to see your eyes, so I need you to give them back."
I put a hand on his cheek and touch every single one of his freckles. They usually become more visible in the summer, but he hasn't been outside in the sub for a while, so they're rather pale.
"You're so pretty."
"You told me that already."
"Well it's important that you know about it."
Back home at last. I'm not allowed to do any hero work for at least three weeks, until my cast is off, but I can teach. At least for a couple of hours each day. At the moment, I'm just chilling on the couch in the teacher's lounge with my leg propped up on a chair. It's my lunch break. Nemuri insisted she's bring me food so I didn't have to walk. It's very lonely in here. I miss my cats and Eri. Technically, I'm done for the day, I might as well head back to our dorm and take a nap. At least then I'd have a bed and my cats. Or I could just nap here and let Hizashi carry me back when he's done…
"Daddy wake up! It's dinner!"
I rub my eyes and look around. Eri has crawled into bed with me, currently poking my cheeks.
"I'm coming, princess. Can you hand me my crutches?"
She gives me a quick kiss on my forehead and hops down from the bed.
"Are you sure you don't want me to rewind you?"
"Yes, I'm sure. But thank you for offering."
I take the crutches from her small hands and stand up.
"What's for dinner?"
"Pops ordered Takoyaki, he just came back home."
Teachers usually eat whatever we want unless someone has ordered or cooked for all of us, but that only happens on special occasions. We step inside the elevator and Eri presses the button to the ground floor. She's just tall enough to reach without having to stand on her tiptoes. She's grown a lot since we rescued her, but she's still fairly short compared to her classmates. I've heard them ask about her scars, and she doesn't always know what to answer. I don't blame her, I would be traumatized if what happened to her happened to me. But the teachers tells the other kids that it's not nice to point out somebody's scars or imperfections. They're really kind, the teachers. Next year she's going to the same school where Fuyumi Todoroki teaches, Shoto Todoroki's older sister. I made sure that I knew who's gonna take care of my girl, and I trust Fuyumi. I don't know her that well but she seems kind and caring.
"What are you thinking about?"
I snap out of my haze and look down at Eri.
"Oh, just that you're getting so big! You're gonna grow up to be so tall and strong."
"Really? You think so?"
"Absolutely, I'll make sure of it myself."
"Do you think I can get to train with you and 'Toshi someday?"
"Of course, but you're still young. We want to wait until you're a bit older, when you can actually get muscles."
We step out of the elevator. The common area smells like a bunch of different foods. Nemuri got herself sushi. And…
He rolls out his wheelchair and looks at me.
"What are you doing here?"
"Well I don't have anything to do so I thought I'd visit some old friends. We haven't met since the wedding!"
Eri seems to hide a bit behind me. Right, she hasn’t been formally introduced to Tensei yet.
“Eri, this is Tensei Iida, older brother to Tenya Iida from 2-A. He used to be a hero and we went to school together. He was there at the wedding, remember?”
Tensei waves from his chair. Eri is still shy to new people, especially adults. She hesitates.
“It’s okay, he’s kind, you can trust him.”
"Are you sure?"
"I'm sure. Go say hi. I'll go sit down."
I slightly push Eri towards Tensei before sitting down by the table. It takes her a couple of seconds before she goes up to him. I place my crutches on the floor next to my chair and lean my head against Hizahi's shoulder.
"Did you carry me here from the lounge?"
"I did. I'm not surprised you fell asleep in there, the couch is really comfy."
He hands me a plate filled with food. I snatch a sushi roll from Nemuri's plate without her noticing.
Somebody is poking my shoulder. I must have fallen asleep by the table. I sit back up and look at whoever is speaking to me.
"Can I take Eri to my dorm? Midoriya messaged me saying he wanted to meet her."
"Yeah, sure, just make sure she's back at 8.30, or she's gonna fall asleep in your dorms."
I lean my head against Hizashi's shoulder again. Hitoshi takes Eri's hand and leaves the dorm with her. I've been sleepy all week.
"Shota, you can't sleep all day."
"It's not day, it's evening."
"But you just napped, you gotta stay awake."
"Fuck you Nemuri, I can sleep whenever I want."
"That's rude, now get up."
"I'll take Hizashi from you."
"You can't do that."
"I can and I will."
Hizashi's shoulder disappears from under cheek. Nemuri has taken his chair and pulled it out.
"Hey! Give me back my boyfriend!"
"I thought you were married."
"Okay fine, give me back my husband!"
"Nope, I have the divorce papers right here."
I don't have the energy to fight her, and I can't reach my crutches.
"Can I nap now?"
It's almost 9 and Hitoshi isn't back yet. I suppose he just forgot. I pick up my phone and call him.
"Come on, pick up…"
"I'll go over to the 2-A dorm and get Eri."
I grab my crutches and slowly stand up.
"I'm coming with you."
"In case you fall?"
"Haha, very funny. You just need an excuse to be nearby."
"Whatever, let's go."
I make my way over to the door and leave the dorm building. The air is cool and the sky is dark.
"Do you think he forgot? Or maybe they both fell asleep?"
"I don't know, it doesn't matter. I trust 'Toshi but I won't let her sleep outside her own bed."
It's a two minute walk to the dorm. It seems like the lights are still on. I knock on the door before opening it.
"Hitoshi? Are you in here?"
Most of the class is sitting in the common area, playing some board game.
"Are Hitoshi and Eri here?"
They look up at me.
"No, we thought they were with you."
"No, he said he was taking Eri here. He said Midoriya had messaged him-"
"I haven't sent any messages to Hitoshi."
"Then where is he? He never came back here?"
"No, not since he left to go to you."
"Everyone get up, we're going out."
I go back outside. UA campus is huge, it's gonna take hours to check everywhere. I could cover more if I wasn't still injured.
"Hizashi, can you call for them?"
"Yeah, give me a moment…"
"Everyone cover your ears!"
Hizashi clears his throat and activates his quirk.
The sound of his voice echoes between the buildings. If they're at campus, they must have heard him. But no one comes or answers.
"I want everyone to look for them, no one goes to sleep before we've found them."
My pulse is going up. Where are they? Why aren't they answering? Are they just playing a prank? Did they run away? I haven't been this stressed, ever.
It's been over an hour and we haven't found anything, except a single, purple strand of hair. It doesn't help much, though. I've walked all the way over to Ground Beta without finding anything. I have tears in my eyes, but I'm trying to not show it. Kirishima is walking with me and I don't want him to see me like this. I don't know what I'd do if I lost my children. The reasons I'm alive. I can't lose them.
The bush next to me moves.
"Eri? Hitoshi, is that you?"
No answer now either. I sigh and turn back from the bush, but it moves again.
"Show yourself, coward."
A single, light blue marble rolls out from the bush and down in front of my feet. A single, light blue marble that could only have been created by one person: Mr. Compress.
All I can do is roll the marble between my fingers. I don't know what's inside, but I know it isn't Eri or Hitoshi. I haven't slept in days. Maybe weeks. I don't even know what day it is anymore. All I know is that my children are gone and I need them back. The League of Villains have them somewhere, probably torturing and using them for their own winning.
I jump up, ready attack. But it's just Hizashi.
"You need to sleep. It's almost 2 am."
"I know you can't, but you have to try. And I don't want to see you so… alone."
"I am alone."
"Not correct. I'm still here."
"But my kids are gone, kidnapped by psychopathic villains, and we don't know where they are."
"Sho, my love. I know you're upset but we have to keep it together. We're heroes, remember?"
"Heroes can be sad. And I'm still injured."
"Please come to bed, Sho. I know you want to be alone but I need you. Here, with me."
He strokes my arms up and down. He's warm.
I grab my crutches and make my way into the elevator, Hizashi holding a hand on my back as we walk.
"I miss them."
"I do too."
"Do you think Eri is having nightmares?"
"Maybe. But we can't think of that right now. We have to keep our heads high and stay positive for as long as possible, until we get a lead."
"And how are we supposed to get a lead?"
"We could make an announcement. It's not hard to ask the media to do something like that. And I can do the same on my radio show."
"And what if no one answers?"
"Then we keep looking."
Hizashi opens the door to our room. Eri's door is still open. I look inside, hoping to see her there, sleeping peacefully under the covers. But no, it's dark, cold and empty. I step inside and quickly turn on the pink nightlight in the corner of the room. At least I can pretend she's there.
"Sho, c'mon. You need to sleep."
Hizashi grabs my hand and drags me out of the room. I quickly rub my eyes, trying to not cry.
"Can we sleep with the nightlight on?"
He turns on the nightlight in the shape of a cat and gently leads me to the bed. I feel like I'm out of my body. I can only move if someone pushes me. I haven't changed out of my pyjamas for two days. I lean my head against his chest.
"I miss them."
"I want them back."
"I do too."
"What if they're already dead?"
He sighs and kisses my head.
"We can't think like that. We need to keep it together, remember?"
I close my eyes and a single tear runs down my cheek. Hizashi quickly wipes it away.
"I don't know if I can take it, 'Zashi. I don't' know what to do."
"Hey, we're gonna push through this. We're gonna get them back before you know it and we'll go back to normal."
"Eri will be back to how she was when we got her. She'll be traumatized."
"She's stronger than ever. She can push through too."
"No she can't! She's just 6! She's helpless! They could easily break her in half like a stick!"
The tears are flooding from my eyes, making Hizashi's shirt drenched.
"Sho. My love. I know this sucks, it does for me too.”
My body is shaking. He wraps his arms tightly around me.
“Just please, get some sleep, okay? It’s almost 3. You haven’t slept since wednesday. I need you to stay here with me, and for that, you need to be healthy. I need you. Your students need you. The teachers need you.”
I let out a weak sob, the sound muffled against his chest.
“Yes you can. Because you’re Shota fucking Aizawa-Yamada. You can push through and I know I will too.”
I must have fallen asleep in class, because when I wake up, I find myself on the classroom floor stuffed inside my bright yellow sleeping bag. Actually, it's not mine. This one seems new, and it's a bit thicker than mine. Probably Yaoyorozu's work. There are no students left inside, the bell must have rang a while ago. I grab my crutches and slowly stand up. I look around the room. The blackboard is not the way I left it. Something's been written on it. No, wait, not something, it's many things. I rub my eyes and walk closer. 21 small messages, all written with different colors of chalk. Again, must be Yaoyorozu. Iida wrote a long paragraph about how he knows I'm going through a tough time but still have to take care about myself. Aoyama somehow got chalk with glitter in it. Is that even possible? Bakugo wrote "take care of yourself, asshat". Thanks, I appreciate it. But my whole class, minus Hitoshi… that makes 19, not 21. Who are the extra two? I recognize Hizashi's large and bubbly letters in the very corner of the blackboard, in bright yellow. Toshinori must have used the same chalk. I smile for the first time since the day and take my phone out. I would keep the messages here if I could, but the board has to be cleaned. I take a picture of the blackboard before picking up the sponge to erase it.
I'm heading over to class 2-A's dorms with my new sleeping bag under my arm. I want to thank them for what they did, since they actually cheered me up a bit. I open the doors and head inside. It seems like most, no, all of them, are in the common area, cheering on each other. I stand behind a corner and look at what they're doing. Asui, Bakugo, Iida and Sero are sitting in the sofa, all holding a Wii control. They're playing some game. I clear my throat and made my presence known to the teens. They pause the game and look at me.
"I just… I just wanted to thank you all, for the messages you wrote on the blackboard. And the new sleeping bag. It… it meant a lot to me. Thank you."
I turn around and am just about to leave before someone stops me.
"Aizawa wait! Do you wanna join us? We're having a Mario Kart competition!"
Kaminari calls for me. Kaminari should be feeling worse than anyone else in the class, he's Hitoshi's boyfriend. He has deep bags under his eyes, but he still smiles. I was so focused on myself I didn't even think of him.
"Uh… yeah, sure. I haven't played in years, though, so I'm a bit rusty."
I walk into the common area and sit down in a chair behind the sofa.
"So, how does it work, are you keeping scores?"
"We're in groups of four. The two who score the highest get to proceed to the next round. We're still in the first round, I'll place you in the same group as me, Koda and Ashido!"
Midoriya writes my name next to his own on the paper he's using to keep the scores. It seems like they're on the second group. Kirishima and Uraraka placed the highest in the first group, so they get to proceed.
"Did you pick groups or were they random?"
"Completely random, we drew lots."
The game starts again and people start cheering on the people who play. Todoroki, who was knocked out in the first group, is cheering on Asui and Iida. Kirishima, Asui and Kaminari are all cheering for Sero and Bakugo.
Okay, my turn. Time to pick a character. Midoriya picks Luigi, Koda picks Toad and Ashido picks Peach. It was almost five years since we played at home, but I still recognize most of them. I used to pick Shy Guy a lot, so I'm picking him now too.
"Wow, Aizawa mains Shy Guy? He's lame."
"Shy Guy is amazing thank you."
A map has been randomized, so no one has a say in which one we play.
"Okay, so, accelerate with 2, brake with 1, steer with the wheel and use items with the cross buttons. Right? I think I remember."
"That is correct, Aizawa-Sensei!"
Iida practically yells in my ear. And before I know it, the race starts. I fall behind but quickly catch up again, placing second after Ashido. Most students are cheering for their friends, but every once in a while I hear someone yell "Go Aizawa!". I end up in second place, passing Midoriya right before the finish line in the third place. I smile a little. I can push through.
Man I made myself cry with this chapter. Oops.
I'm sitting in the studio while Hizashi does his weekly broadcast of Put Your Hands Up Radio. I'm in the booth next to him, but I don't have a microphone. My broken leg is propped up on a second chair. He introduced me as his "lovely husband Sho" when the show started. He announced our marriage in his first broadcast after the wedding. His listeners dropped by a few hundreds after that, but it doesn't matter. He's currently taking phone calls from listeners about Hitoshi and Eri. Someone called in to say they had seen a very tired boy with lavender step out of a car. I wrote down the address and now Hizashi is playing a soft jazz song in english. I'm glad he took my advice I gave him on our honeymoon to start playing songs he like himself rather than just the top 100. I take a sip of my coffee to stay awake. Tsukauchi is here as well, ready to take any information we get to the police. I lean my head against Hizashi's shoulder. It's almost 4 am, meaning that it's just another hour left of the programme. I close my eyes, ready to fall asleep in any moment. The song stops and Hizashi starts speaking again, about to take another call from a listener.
"Gooood morning dear listener! You are now live on Put Your Hands Up Radio! How can I help you, or you help me?"
"I know where your children are."
A chill goes down my spine. I would recognize that voice anywhere. Tomura Shigaraki. I can see the panic spread across Hizashi's face.
"Of course I do. Do you wanna say hi?"
"Cut the feed."
I stand up and gesture to the audio technicians to do as I say. The "on air" sign is turned off.
"Track the call."
I can hear a child crying in the background. It must be Eri. She's sobbing loudly and yelling. I hope she's okay.
"Why don't you say hello to your dads, Hitoshi?"
The only answer he gets is heavy breathing.
"DO AS I SAY!"
Water splashes against something and Hitoshi screams, most likely out of pain.
I grab Hizashi's Mic.
"Why are you doing this to them?"
"To get into UA, of course. What else would hit hard at the heart of UA than kidnapping and torturing two of the teachers' children? And we all know little Eri is so loved, of course it would hurt everyone. Why don't you say hi too, sweetheart?"
The sobs become louder as he moves the phone to her.
"Leave him alone!"
"Oh I already told you we can't do that, dear."
Tears well up in my eyes. They're hurting them and there's nothing I can do to stop them.
"Let's see here… oh, I know!"
There's a short pause and then Hitoshi screams again. Something made out of metal hits the ground.
"I've never understood the point of piercings. Why would you make a hole in your skin and then fill it with metal? So unnecessary."
Another splash of water. I want to cover my ears to escape the sound of my children being tortured that fills the booth.
"Anyways, they probably have about two weeks left to live, unless you find them before that. We're not feeding them, we're not their parents."
A click and the call ends. I drop the microphone and fall back in the chair.
"I don't know if I can take it much longer, 'Zashi."
He wraps his arms around me.
"Just let me finish the programme early and we'll go home, okay? Let's go to sleep."
I nod weakly and close my eyes.
"We're tracking the call, Aizawa, don't worry. We'll know where they are by tomorrow."
"Thank you, Tsukauchi…"
"They're gonna be fine, Sho. We'll find them and get them back."
He kisses my forehead and lets go of me, getting ready to go on air again.
"We've found the location of the phone that made the call."
"Great, then let's go."
"No, we can't just walk in there. We need to plan out how to do this. We have a little less than two weeks. And by then, your leg should be fine."
"We can't just sit here and wait while my kids starve to death or bleed out! They're being hurt!"
"I know, Aizawa, but if we just storm inside we're all gonna get killed. We need to plan this through."
"Then so be it! I want my children back!"
I slam my fist in the table, maybe slightly too hard. I want to stand up but Hizashi stops me.
"Hey, calm down. Tsukauchi is right, we have to plan this. We have no idea what they're actually doing, we just know where they are."
Yuka jumps up in my lap. It's the kitten that Hitoshi brought to the dorms a while ago that Eri got to name. She meows at me and butts her head against my chest. She seems to be missing Eri. I scratch her behind her ears and close my eyes as she sits down in my lap. I lean down to kiss her forehead.
"I know, I miss her too."
Hizashi strokes my arm.
"Sho will have his cast removed in a week. After that, he'll have a week to get strong again before we have to go."
"That's two weeks too much."
"We can't go before then, you know that."
"Then I'll remove my cast earlier."
"Sho, stop! You have to take care of yourself! I know you're hurting, I am too, but you have to let yourself heal before we can do anything!"
His voice was broken yet powerful. His bright green eyes were filled with tears behind his red framed glasses. I want to cry, but my eyes remain dry. I put Yuka down on the floor, grab my crutches and stand up, putting my arms around Hizashi.
"I know, I'm sorry."
I lean my chin against his shoulder and close my eyes.
"I'm just so frustrated. I don't want to be the reason it takes to long."
"I know, but there isn't much we can do about it."
He kisses my cheek.
"Just promise we'll get them out alive?"
Sorry for the delay! I've been falling behind due to sickness and stress. But I do have something exciting to announce: I am writing my own real book! I might translate it to english and sell it if all goes well.
We're outside the building, waiting for the signal to head inside. My team consists of me, Nemuri, Ken and Snipe. The rest are at the front, making a distraction. We'll sneak in the backway, hopefully unnoticed, get the kids and then get right out of there. The rescue is the priority. The signal could come at any second, my whole body is tensed up. My cast was removed 6 days ago. Those 6 days, I've spent exercising as much as possible. I needed to be strong for this. Nemuri is constantly keeping an eye on me, in case I fall over or something. And I thought Hizashi was overprotective.
There it is, the signal. It's do or die. Nemuri opens the door and we all rush inside. We need to locate where they are and get them out quick as hell. I have an ambulance on speed dial if needed. Hopefully we won't meet anyone on the way, and if that's the case, Nemuri can take them out. We reach a three way crossing and split up. Snipe and Ken go alone, Nemuri goes with me. We all have hidden microphones and earbuds in case we need to contact each other. Hizashi has one too, under his headphones.
"What do we do if we don't find them?"
I've started losing hope. Sure, we found where the call was made from, but this is practically a labyrinth.
"Or if they're dead?"
"Shota you can't think like that. We'll find them, they're somewhere around here."
"And if they're n-"
"No, let me ta-"
"Shota I heard something! Shut up for two seconds!"
She puts a hand on my chest to stop me, listening for the sound again.
"There it is again! Can you hear it?"
"I thought Hizashi was the only one who needed hearing aids. It's Eri, come on!"
She grabs my arm and pulls me away.
"Wha- how can you hear that? I didn't hear anything!"
"Because you're deaf!"
She drags me through the corridor, down the stairs. We end up in a basement-like space. It's dimly lit and damp. Everything smells weird.
"Can you hear her yet?"
"N- wait. Maybe."
There's a very faint cry of a very small child.
"Oh my god it's her."
I rip my arm from Nemuri's grip and run towards the noise.
"I'm coming, princess! Hang in there!"
"Hey, stay quiet, Shota. There could be people here!"
"Then take them out!"
I don't care about getting caught or beat up, I only have to get to them. Nothing else matters. I think I might have ran past someone, but a couple of seconds I hear them drop to the floor. Nemuri must be using her quirk. The crying becomes louder and louder, I must be getting close. I end up in front of a door.
"Princess? Are you in there?"
I let out a sigh of relief.
"Is anyone else there?"
"Hitoshi, he's stuck…"
"No one else? Just you two?"
"Okay, I'm coming inside."
I take out one of my caltrops and stick it inside the lock on the door. It's thin and small, it should work…
The door opens. The room behind it is even darker than the corridor outside, and a lot colder. And there she is, Eri, my princess, on the floor.
"Oh my little princess…"
I hurry over to her and pick her up. I hold her tight against my chest. I'm not letting go of her ever again.
"Are you hurt anywhere?"
"But what, princess? What is it?"
She sobs against my shoulder, gripping my shirt with her tiny fists.
"T-they hurt 'Toshi…"
She points to a glass door on the opposite wall. Nemuri comes rushing in.
"Did you find the-"
I give Eri a quick kiss on her forehead before handing her over to Nemuri.
"You stay with Nemuri, okay? I'll go get your brother and then we get out of here. I won't be gone for longer than a couple of minutes."
I kiss her again before heading to the glass door she pointed to. Eri clings onto Nemuri's shoulder. She's scared and touch starved. And now when I think of it, she's a lot lighter than before. They must have been starving them like they said they would.
I look through the glass door. Half hung up is my son. His wrists are tied in rope, strung up in the ceiling. His feet are just barely touching the floor. I touch the door handle. It's locked as well.
I take a couple of steps back and force my shoulder into the glass door at full power. The door breaks and I can head inside.
"Hitoshi? Please tell me you're awake…"
He slowly lifts his head. His face is covered in blood, most of it coming from his head and a large wound across his face. It goes from under his left eye all over to his right cheek, crossing his nose.
"We'll match now, dad."
I can't help myself. My eyes fill with tears and I run up to him. I have to physically stop myself from hugging him. He could be hurt more.
"Let's get out of here."
"Is with Nemuri right outside. She's safe and you will be too, okay?"
I reach up and untie his right wrist from the rope. He winces as I touch his arm.
"Does it hurt when I touch your arm?"
He nods slowly, looking down at the floor again. It could be broken, or it's just the burn marks from the rope. I don't have time to find out.
"I'll try to be as careful as possible, okay? Hang in there."
I slowly untie his left wrist and he drops to the floor. I don't think he has enough energy to stand on his own.
"I'm gonna carry you on my back with my capture weapon, okay? Just tell me if anything hurts when I touch it."
I remove my capture weapon and start wrapping it around his body, the exact same way I did when I found him in that alley ten years ago. Except this time he's triple in size. I press his chest against my back and wrap the rest of my scarf around my chest and shoulders. I pick up his legs and stand up.
"Just try to stay awake for as long as possible, we're going straight to the hospital."
"Denki can wait. You need to be taken care of."
I leave the small room he was in. Nemuri is still standing outside with Eri pressed against her chest.
"Let me take her."
"Are you sure you ca-"
"Yes, I can. Give her to me."
She hesitates but still hands Eri to me. I press her against my chest.
"You stay awake too, okay princess? I know you're tired but you need to stay awake until we get to the hospital. It's not far."
Nemuri holds up the door to the ER and I rush inside. I contacted Hizashi on our way here, saying we got the kids and left the building. He'll be heading over as soon as possible. It's in the middle of the night, so it's practically empty. The receptionist looks up from her desk.
"Oh dear, I'll call for a doctor right away! Please, sit down!"
I put down Eri in a chair and unwrap my weapon to release Hitoshi.
"Are you awake, 'Toshi?"
"Good, I'm going to put you in a chair now, okay?"
"Lap? You want to sit in my lap?"
He nods. I sit down in the chair next to Eri and put him in my lap, wrapping my arms around him. He is also a lot lighter than before, just like Eri. I want to ask him what they did to him, but he's not prepared, neither mentally nor emotionally. I carefully stroke his hair.
"Stay awake for a little longer, both of you. The doctors are coming soon and you'll be taken care of. Papa will be here soon too, I promise."
Nemuri sits down on Eri's other side.
"I told the receptionist about the whole situation. She said she wasn't completely sure, but they might have to spend the night here. Maybe longer."
"That's fine, as long as they get the care they need."
"Hitoshi and Eri Aizawa-Yamada?"
I look up. A doctor, a tall woman with bright blue hair, is standing in the doorway. I pick up Hitoshi, having him lean his head against my shoulder.
"Just a little longer. Hang in there."
Nemuri lifts up Eri and we follow the doctor inside the hospital. The doctor opens the door to a room and we all head inside. I put down Hitoshi on the bed.
"Are both of them hurt?"
"As far as I know, only Hitoshi is. Eri says she's fine, but I'm not so sure."
"We'll check on Hitoshi first, then. Would you prefer to lay down, dear? It's okay if you want to."
He nods and puts his feet up on the bed, laying down on his back.
"I'm going to clean the wound in your face, okay? It might sting a little."
She walks over to the counter and gets her gloves ready. I stand up.
"Do you want me to hold your hand, 'Toshi?"
Another nod. I grab the hand that isn't hurt and he squeezes it hard. It feels a lot bonier than it did before.
"Close your eyes for me, will you? We don't want you to get anything in your eyes."
He shuts his eyes and the woman starts cleaning his wound. He squeezes harder, it must hurt.
"How long ago did you get this wound, Hitoshi?"
"A week ago…"
"What did they use to make it?"
"A broken glass bottle."
The cut him open with a broken glass bottle. I'm going to murder them once. They hurt my children. They have to pay.
"Well, it doesn't seem like you'll need stitches, but it's going to become a scar. But well, all heroes have scars, right?"
She wipes away all the dried blood from his face and moves on to the wound on his head. It seems deeper.
"And how did this one happen, dear?"
"That's how they broke the bottle."
"They smashed a bottle against your head?"
I blurt out without thinking.
"I'm going to kill them, you'll see…"
"Mr. Aizawa, please. There are children nearby."
"Sorry, Mr. Aizawa-Yamada. But please, watch your language."
She moves his hair to look at the wound in his head.
"This one seems deeper… I'm going to have to cut a bit of your hair off to reach better, okay? Just a small patch."
He seems like he's about to fall asleep, even though he's in pain.
"Hey, stay awake."
I squeeze his hand back, but not too hard. I look at his wrist. It's bright red from the rope, but it doesn't seem broken or hurt more than that. Good thing he's not left handed. The doctor cuts away the hair around the wound, letting the hair fall to the floor.
"Oh yes, this one needs stitches… I'm going to clean your wound, inject some local anesthetic into your scalp and patch you up, and then I'll take a look at your arms, okay? Just stay awake for as long as you can."
It takes almost two hours before she's done with Hitoshi. She's gonna let him get hooked up to an IV and have him spend the night at the hospital, like the receptionist said. Now she's checking on Eri. Since she has no visible external injuries, apart from a small cut on her leg, she's checking her breathing with a stethoscope.
"Breathe all the way in, dear, and all the way out."
Eri does as she says, even if she might as well be asleep.
"You're doing great, sweetheart. One more time."
I refuse to let go of Hitoshi. His left arm is wrapped up in a thick layer of plaster and his right wrist is covered in bandages. The doctor gave me a cream to put on the burn marks until they can heal on their own. His arm was broken in two places, but luckily it had only been two days since it broke. If it had gone much longer it could be healing on it's own, in the wrong way. I'm stroking Hitoshi's hair again, he's still in my lap.
"There, all done. I'll have you spend the night here with your brother as well, and have you hooked on an IV too, to get your energy and levels up. If everything goes well, you'll hopefully be able to leave tomorrow. Do you want a sticker, dear?"
She hops down from the bed and follows the doctor to the counter, where she has a little basket with stickers and toys for children she treats.
"Here, pick any you want."
She goes through the basket for a minute before finding something. A cat sticker.
"Look, daddy, it looks like Yuka!"
I smile a little at her. Honestly, I'm exhausted too.
"Well, take that one, then."
She takes the sticker before looking up at the doctor.
"Can I please take another? I want to give one to 'Toshi."
"Oh of course you can, darling. Take however many you want."
Her face lights up and she roots around for another minute. She picks another two stickers that look like our other cats. Then she hands one to me.
"It's for you, daddy."
"Why thank you, my princess, but wouldn't you rather keep it for yourself?"
"No, I want you to have it."
"Because you saved me! And I love you! Please, just take it!"
I smile more and take it from her.
"Thank you so much, princess. I love you too."
Yeet long chapter incoming! Get ready for them feels!
Chapter 32: A favor
Woah another chapter akready? I got inspiration.
I wake up from someone humming. I slowly open my eyes and look around. I'm laying next to Eri in a hospital bed. Opposite our bed is another one, with Hitoshi sleeping peacefully in it. Oh, right. We rescued them.
"Oh, good, you're awake. I brought breakfast and new clothes."
Hizashi presses a kiss against my lips.
"Do you want coffee?"
He has a thick bandage on his cheek.
"Were you hurt yesterday?"
"Nothing too bad, just a couple of scratches. A very kind doctor insisted she'd patch me up before I came here."
"She was the one who took care of 'Toshi and Eri too. Eri was practically unharmed, thank god. 'Toshi however…"
I look over at my sleeping son.
"His arm was broken and had a big slash across his face, both of his wrists had rope burns and a wound in his head. But he'll be fine. We should let him sleep for as long as he needs to."
Hizashi nods and sits down in the chair next to the bed, handing me a cup of hot coffee.
Eri moves around, putting her head in my lap.
"I hope she's not having any nightmares, but I won't be surprised if they come back after this."
I sigh and look down at her. She's so tiny against the wide bed. It feels like she's gonna break if I touch her.
"Anyway, when did you come here? We must have been asleep by then."
"I came some time around 3. You were all asleep. I stayed until like 7, and then I went home to get breakfast and clothes."
"You haven't slept?"
"No, not yet."
"Love, you need to rest. At least a couple of hours."
"I will. Later."
"Please, try to get at least a couple of hours until the kids wake up. I love you but you need to take care of yourself. You also need to shower."
"I'll shower when we get back."
I take a sip from my coffee."
"About that. I think we should go home instead of the dorms. At least for a week or two. Going back to the dorms could be overwhelming for them, being around a lot of people who are very loud."
"Yeah, but you're his loud dad, not friend. There's a difference."
I put down my coffee cup on the table next to the bed to adjust Eri. I have her lean her head against my chest.
"Do you want a sandwich?"
"Hm? Yeah, sure."
Hizashi takes out a small box from his bag and hands me a sandwich.
"After breakfast you have to rest for at least a couple of hours. We can switch, I'll take the chair."
"You're so kind, love."
He leans over the bed to kiss my forehead.
"I know, aren't I?"
We got to go home in the afternoon. Eri and Hitoshi are still rather tired, but they're doing a lot better than yesterday. I'm helping Hitoshi shave since he can't do so with two injured wrists. His stubble has grown quite a lot in the three weeks he was away. I also applied some more cream to his right wrist to help treat his rope burns.
"Why are we not in the dorms?"
"There's too many people there right now. We were thinking it'd be overwhelming to go right back to school."
"I feel lonely."
I smile a little and kiss his forehead.
"You could meet one of your friends tomorrow, if you want to. I'll talk to Nezu about it."
"Yeah, sure, Denki."
I can only imagine how worried Kaminari must have been. I carefully wipe the rest of the shaving cream from his cheeks. I made sure to not touch the wound. It was patched together with thin strips of tape.
"I'll go to the dorms and drive him back here tomorrow, okay? But he can't stay overnight, he has to go to school, too."
"When will I go back to school?"
"When you feel like you have enough energy to do so. Until then, either me or Hizashi will stay home with you every day."
"You don't have to…"
"You said yourself that you feel lonely. And you can not cook when your wrists are like that."
I wipe his face with a damp cloth.
"'Toshi, we need to talk about what happened. I can see that you're hurting, more than just physically."
He doesn't answer.
"Hey. It's better that we talk about it now than waiting a week. Please, talk to me."
His entire body is shaking. When he looks up at me, he has tears in his eyes.
"T-they strung me up and…"
"Hey, take it from the beginning. You told me Midoriya had messaged you."
He takes a couple of deep breaths to calm down.
"I got a message from Midoriya saying I should bring Eri to the 2-A dorms. I came to the teachers' dorms to get her. On our way back someone jumped on us from behind and made us into marbles."
"Mr. Compress. He was there at the summer camp attack that got Bakugo kidnapped last summer. He must have made himself into a marble to slip past security. Okay, continue."
"I don't remember much of being inside the marble, other than that it was dark. When we came back, they tied me up in that room…"
He shudders by just the thought of it.
"They made sure that I always had an open wound. They'd splash me with salt water every hour. When one cut had healed, they made a new."
"So that's the splashes we heard in the phone call…"
"After a while they realized I didn't have any useful information, so they just left me hanging there to starve or bleed to death. They stopped checking on us too. Eri would sit by the glass door and talk to me, saying that "daddy and papa will come get us soon." The sadness and worry in her eyes… it broke my heart. I couldn't protect her."
He lets out a loud sob and leans his head against my shoulder. I put the cloth down and wrap my arms around him.
"It's okay, you can't always save everyone. That's what it's like being a hero."
"But she's my sister! I have to take care of my own family!"
"I think Eri feels like she has to take care of you right now, rather than the opposite."
"She doesn't have to…"
"I know, but let her. It's her own way of feeling like a hero. Let her take care of you. Let her feed you or brush your hair or brush your teeth or whatever. Let her paint your nails bright pink. Accept her little gifts. She feels the need to take care of you. You've taken care of her, now let her return the favor."
I knock on his dorm room door. The other students are not up yet, I made sure to come early. I sigh and nock again when I don't get an answer.
"Kaminari wake up."
Finally I hear movement behind the door, and it opens a couple of seconds later.
"Oh, hi Aizawa-sensei. What's up?"
I stare at the boy. He's wearing a bright yellow shirt, no pants and a pair of blue socks.
"You wear socks to bed?"
"Uh… yeah? I have cold feet."
"...anyway, I'm driving you to our home. Hitoshi has requested you'd come home to us to keep him company during the day."
"Hitoshi? He's home?"
"Yes, we got them home yesterday night. Come on, get ready, we're leaving in ten minutes."
"But what about school?"
"I already talked to Nezu about it. You're allowed to be off from school today, but tomorrow you're going back."
"When is Hitoshi coming back?"
"When he feels like he can do it. Nine minutes."
"Okay okay fine, I'll get going…"
He yawns and closes the door. My son's boyfriend wears socks to bed. Unacceptable.
"Okay, some rules before we head inside. Don't comment on his injuries, but do feel free to sign his cast. Don't say he looks tired or skinny or whatever. If he needs help, help him. Both of his wrists are injured, one being broken. Understood?"
"Then let's go. I think Hizashi is making breakfast. I don't know if Hitoshi is up yet, but if he isn't, you can head to his room."
I leave the car and hold the front door open for him. He may be my student, but he's also my son's boyfriend. I don't have to be a teacher all the time. Sometimes I get to just be a dad. It seems like Hitoshi and Eri are up. The whole house smells like nail polish.
Kaminari heads to the kitchen and I follow him. Eri is painting Hitoshi's nails in a light lavender color, matching his hair.
He sits down next to him and kisses his cheek very lightly, making sure not to touch his wound.
"Hey. I missed you."
"Stay still, 'Toshi!"
Kaminari leans his head against his shoulder, stroking his arm, again careful not to touch any injury.
"Fluffball? That's what you call him?"
I sit down next to Eri and look at Hitoshi's nails. They're a mess, but a bit less of a mess compared to the last time she painted someone's nails. Progress.
"Well, yes, because his hair is always so fluffy."
"Okay, breakfast is ready! I hope you like scrambled eggs because my omelette failed."
"You're doing great, at least you tried."
"Are you mocking me?"
I smile as he hands me a plate of scrambled eggs. I close the bottle of nail polish and put it away.
"Kaminari, would you prefer tea or coffee? Or juice?"
"Two cups of tea, one cup of black coffee and two glasses of juice coming up!"
"I want coffee too."
"Nope! Sick or injured boys don't get caffeine!"
"I'm a man."
"Sorry, sick or injured men don't get caffeine."
Hitoshi rolls his eyes but accepts the defeat. He closes his eyes and leans against Kaminari.
"Did you sleep well tonight?"
"I barely slept at all. I woke up from nightmares."
I want to tell him that he can come sleep with me and Hizashi whenever he needs to, but I don't want to embarrass him in front of his boyfriend.
"Well why don't you take a nap later then?"
"Try to eat something, okay?
"I'm not hungry."
"Yes you are, you just can't feel it."
I put a hand on his head and move some of his hair, careful to not touch his bandages.
"If you eat breakfast I'll get you a piece of that chocolate cake you like. You know, from the café down the street, that really expensive one. I'll buy the whole cake if you eat lunch and dinner too. Everyone gets cake."
"I don't want cake."
"Yes you do, come on. You need food to regain your energy and muscles. So you can be a hero again, remember?"
"I don't want to be a hero. I don't want to go back to school."
I stand up and carefully grab his arm, forcing him to stand as well.
"Come, we're going to the garden for a moment."
"I don't wanna go outside."
"Yes you do, let's go."
I hear Eri ask if Kaminari wants her to paint his nails too before I close the back door behind me. I have him sit down on the bench that's placed against the wall.
"What did they tell you?"
"They didn't tell me anything."
"Don't lie to me. They're villains, they're manipulative fucking bastards who don't think about anyone but themselves. What did they tell you?"
"I can't… I can't talk about it…"
"Is it because you don't want to or because they said you can't talk about it?"
"I'm going to murder them. I swear, I will fucking murder them the next time I see them."
I wrap my arms around him and have him lean against my chest. His body is limp, like he doesn't have any energy to move it himself.
"'Toshi, I've raised you since you were five. You've always wanted to become a hero. And we worked so hard last year to get you into the hero course and we made it! We can't just give up now because some disgusting villain said some bullshit. Whatever they said, it's not true, I can promise you that. Whether it was about you or someone else, they lied."
I want to hug him harder, but I'm scared he'd break.
"I've told you this before and I'll tell you again. You'll become a great hero, I'll make sure of that myself."
I kiss his forehead and close my eyes.
"I love you. Hizashi loves you. Eri loves you. Denki loves you. All your other classmates love you. A villain's hate can never compare to that."
I take his left hand and pull it towards me.
"Let me look at your wrist and then we'll go back inside, okay? Just tell me if anything hurts and I'll stop."
I slowly remove the bandages from his wrist. The rope burn is still bright red, but it seems like it's healing. I take out the cream I got from the doctor from my pocket and carefully stroke it against the burn. He whines, but doesn't say anything.
"Do you want me to stop?"
He shakes his head.
I apply the cream all around his wrist, turning it around. Then I spot something on his forearm.
"Is that a tattoo? When did you get it? And where?"
"It's a stick 'n' poke. You make it yourself with ink and a needle."
"First piercings and then tattoos? We've talked about this, tattoos when you're eighteen. It's another year left."
It's a very tiny, black lightning bolt, surprisingly rather straight.
"Did Denki make it?"
"Did you give him one back?"
"A brain. Even though it looks more like a cloud."
I want to be angry, but I can't.
"Well you can't just get a tattoo and have me be the only one without a tattoo like that."
"Eri doesn't have any tattoos."
"Eri is six. Come on, after you go back to school, all four of us are getting a tattoo. Me, Hizashi, you and Denki. I'll pay."
Wait. What did I just say?
"Really. Let's go have breakfast."
Aizawa is getting a tattoo! Comment tattoo ideas, the one I like the most will be the tattoo Aizawa gets!
What have I gotten myself into?
"You know, you don't have to get a tattoo if you don't want one."
"No, I promised him. I'm getting a tattoo. You are too. We're all getting tattoos."
"Yeah, sure, but all of us already have tattoos. Or, well, handmade tattoos."
I called Kaminari's parents, asking for their permission to let Kaminari get a tattoo. They said it was okay, as long as it's nothing ugly or anything like that.
"Do you know what you're getting?"
"Yeah, I just need to find an open spot."
"As long as you don't get any tattoos on your face. You've promised me that."
"Yeah, I know. No face tattoos."
"You still have room on your legs, right? And your chest is open."
"The chest sucks to get tattoos on. Don't get a chest tattoo."
"I wasn't planning to get a chest tattoo. My chest is too hairy anyways."
"Your whole body is hairy. Where are you getting yours?"
"My forearm. Easy to hide, not too painful… right?"
"As long as you don't get it on your elbow it should be fine."
Hizashi pulls out a chair and sits down next to me, looking at my computer.
"Well, what are you getting?"
"Something cat related."
I'm scrolling through cat tattoo ideas on google.
"Oh maybe a tattoo of our cats!"
"No, I was thinking more of in the direction of your cat tattoo. The one that represents me and 'Toshi that you got ten years ago. So three cats to represent you, 'Toshi and Eri."
"Awww that's so cute, Sho! I didn't know you were so sappy!"
"Hey, stop that! If I'm getting a tattoo, it should have meaning. And my family is what matters the most to me."
"You're too precious, love."
"I said stop!"
I try to shoo him away but he manages to place a kiss on my cheek. I can feel my face getting hot.
"Are you gonna help me or not?"
"Only if I get to sit in your lap."
"Jesus Christ 'Zashi why are you so clingy today?"
"All this "I want a tattoo of you" talk is making me emotional! I want to be near my husband!"
I sigh and move the computer from my lap, letting him sit across my thighs. To be honest, he's not that heavy. He's not got a lot of muscles, so he's just skin and bones. I don't mind, it just makes it easier for me to carry him every time he passes out on the couch.
"Okay, how about this: three cats. One ginger cat with big green eyes, that'd be me. One grey-ish cat who is asleep for 'Toshi and a white kitten with a scarred ear for Eri. Like in one picture, rather than spread out into three separate tattoos."
"Yes, color! Black and grey tattoos are boring!"
"You have a bunch of them!"
"That is not true, I have like three that are just black and grey."
"I thought you knew I wasn't a colorful guy. The most color I've worn in the past ten years were your clothes."
"You have a bright yellow sleeping bag, don't lie to me."
"Because yellow is a nice color."
"Then get a yellow tattoo!"
"God you're stubborn…"
"That's why you love me!"
He wraps his arms around my neck and kisses every spot he can reach. Someone walks down the stairs, and Hizashi lets go of me before they reach the landing. It’s Hitoshi. He's rubbing his eyes, it seems like he just woke up.
"Oh, hey, what are you doing up so late? Did we wake you up?"
"No, I'm hungry… I was gonna get a snack."
"Oh, okay then."
He walks over to the kitchen and I turn back to the computer. I can't scroll far before he comes back.
"I can't reach the cereal and I can't move the chair."
"Pops can help you."
"Wait, why me?"
"You're taller than me, and you're kind of sitting in my lap. I can't really move."
"Hey, I'm like two centimeters taller!"
"Those two centimeters matter a lot. Go help your son."
He rolls his eyes and stands up to go help Hitoshi with the cereal. I grab a pen and paper and try to sketch out what it is I want. It's not the prettiest, but at least it's something. I draw three cats. They're rather cartoonish, but that's fine.
"No, you can't have chocolate cereal this late. You'll get too much energy and won't be able to sleep."
"But poooops I want chocolate cereal!"
"Be quiet, boys, Eri is asleep. No chocolate cereal."
I draw three cats like Hizashi explained. Then I add some numbers underneath.
"What are you drawing?"
They both sit down next to me on each side and look at my paper.
"I'm trying to draw my tattoo."
"Wait, you're actually doing it? I thought you didn't want tattoos."
"I made a promise. I'm gonna keep it."
"I didn't think you'd actually do it."
"The day I break a promise is the day I die."
I turn to Hitoshi.
"Well, what are you getting, then? Have you thought about that?"
"I want to get something meaningful, y'know? I don't just wanna get something because it's cool or pretty…"
"As long as you cover that… poke thing, I don't care what the motive is. And you can't have anything sexual or offensive either."
"Stick 'n' poke."
"Right. Poke thing."
He leans his head against my shoulder and takes the paper from me.
"I want something… I don't know."
"Well, how about flowers? They're pretty and can have meaning. Look-"
I grab Hizashi's arm and pull his sleeve up.
I point to a floral tattoo he has on his forearm. It's at least six or seven years old, but the color is still bright. He had more flowers added to it after we got Eri.
"The black velvet Petunia are supposed to represent me. The lavender Candytuft is for you and the white Daisies are for Eri. There's so many flowers to pick from, and so many colors, so many meanings. They can be whatever you want."
"Can I have my arm back?"
I kiss the tattoo before letting go of his arm. He pulls his sleeve back down and I turn back to Hitoshi.
"All I'm saying is… flowers is a good place to start. They're pretty and hard to mess up if you go to a good tattoo artist. You're still free to get whatever you want."
I press a light kiss against his forehead. Somehow, his hair always stands up, no matter what. He puts the now empty bowl on the table and leans against my chest, closing his eyes.
"Do you think you can go back to school soon?"
"Maybe next week, or the week after that…"
He yawns and wraps an arm around me. He'll probably fall asleep at any moment.
"That's good. I'm so proud of you, 'Toshi."
His breathing becomes slower and more regular. He's asleep.
"I'll take him back to his room…"
I carefully pick him up, still having his head leaned against my chest. I walk up the stairs with him, open his bedroom door and put him down on his bed. Someone knocks on the door.
"Is 'Toshi okay?"
"You're up too, Eri? I thought you were asleep."
"I heard 'Toshi and got worried… can I sleep with him?"
"Of course, princess. Come here."
She has dragged her pink teddy bear with her from her room. I lift her up and place her next to Hitoshi.
"Just be careful, he's asleep. You don't want him to wake up."
She places the lightest kiss on his nose before curling up against his stomach. I pull the cover over them and tuck them in.
"Goodnight, princess. Take good care of your brother, okay?"
She reaches up and gives me a kiss as well.
"Aren't you the sweetest? I'll leave the light on in the hall and the door open. Me and papa are in our bedroom if you need anything."
I kiss her horn before leaving the room. I see Eri putting her small arms around Hitoshi, probably thinking I can't see her. She's so loving and caring. I'm so lucky to have her, she's a little ball of pure sunshine. And Hitoshi… he's so brave and strong. He can protect me when I can no longer protect myself. I walk down the stairs and head to our bedroom. Hizashi is already there, changing into his pyjamas.
"Eri wanted to sleep with Hitoshi."
I pull my pyjama shirt over my head and lay down.
"We hit the jackpot with the kids, 'Zashi. We really did."
He crawls into bed and pulls the cover over us.
"I know, Sho. I'm so happy I get to raise them with you."
Fluff because I'm sad and need to cheer myself up? You got it.