Katsuki locked his jaw, swallowing a scathing remark as he looked at the woman in front of him.
She pushed her glasses up before holding her clipboard intently.
“Bakugo Katsuki,” he stated blandly, rolling his eyes as she diligently scanned the papers on her board. They went through this every time he’d gone to pick up his son. “Here for Bakugo Kyo.” Kyo’s teacher would stand up in front of him flipping through her papers as if she’d never seen him before.
Like she hasn’t been staring at a miniature version of his likeness all day.
“Oh, that’s right,” she nodded, smiling as she checked off something on her board. “Kyo! Your father is here for you!” she shouted behind her before turning back to Katsuki. “It’s good to see you Bakugo-san.”
Katsuki stopped himself from cringing. Some days, he found it hard to wrap his head around the fact that there was a small human with his and Ochako’s features calling him ‘papa’. He’d never be used to being addressed as ‘Bakugo-san’.
“Papa! Papa!” Kyo cried, rushing over and tackling his father’s knees. “Do I have karate tonight?”
“Karate is on Thursdays, brat,” Katsuki reminded him, placing a hand on top of his son’s head before looking at his teacher. “Thanks,” muttered, moving his hand to Kyo’s back.
“Actually, do you have a second?” she asked with a pleading smile.
Katsuki looked down at Kyo, brows raised.
Kyo looked up at his father, eyes wide and innocent as he shrugged. “I don’t know what she wants.”
“Oh, no, no, no,” the teacher started, lowering her clipboard. “Kyo’s not in trouble. We had an excellent day. He apologized after he called a classmate ‘damn idiot’-”
Katsuki’s eyes narrowed at his son.
“That’s what you call Oji Ei,” Kyo accused, staring back at his father. “And the kid had it coming.” He shrugged, unrepented.
“We’ll talk about this after.” ‘Talk’ meaning letting Kyo stay up late the next time Ochako had a late shift and buying his silence with a pack of strawberry pocky while reminding him not to repeat what he said until he was thirty so Ochako wouldn’t murder him. “What’s going on?” he sighed.
“Well, um,” she started, glancing between Katsuki and Kyo before shuffling through the papers on her clipboard, “I noticed you haven’t signed up for a day to come help out in the classroom.”
Kyo had been in school for a little over a month.
“Also, you haven’t attended any of the weekly parent events we’ve hosted,” Kaneko told him, frowning as she read from her paper.
“I work.” He knew she knew exactly what he and Ochako did for a living. “And my wife just went to one of those parent things this week.” He remembered her running out of the house in the beginning of the week, frantically screaming about how she’d forgotten to get the construction paper and glue sticks she promised to bring.
“Yes, I know you and your wife have very demanding careers, and we appreciate your hard work keeping the community safe.”
He really hated when people would grovel like this.
The compliment usually was followed by something they wanted.
“I just want to make sure that you’re engaged in our classroom community.”
“I know your wife has been very active with her presence in our classroom, despite her busy schedule.”
Was his son’s teacher insulting him or complimenting his wife? “Okay.” He’d promised Ochako he’d be nice to Kyo’s teachers.
“I just want to make sure all of our parents have an opportunity to get involved,” Kaneko nodded. “We’re having another event this Friday.”
No. “I think I have a shift that morning.”
“We’re hosting a class party to celebrate the end of our reading unit about butterflies. We could use a parent volunteer to bring snacks for the kids. Can I put you down for cupcakes?” she questioned, pen hovering over the sign-up sheet. “Or punch?”
Katsuki sighed, rubbing a hand over his face, “Sure.” She wasn’t going to accept anything short of ‘yes’.
“We appreciate it.” She scribbled down his name. “I’m excited you’re finally getting involved, Bakugo-san.”
“Thanks.” He wasn’t allowed to curse out his son’s teacher. “Let’s go, brat.” Katsuki looked down at Kyo, gently tapping his shoulder to encourage him to walk.
“What do you think of the brat’s teacher?”
Ochako frowned, placing the lid on the leftover fried rice, “Kaneko-san?”
“The mousey one,” Katsuki described, shrugging as he walked toward the pile of dishes in the sink. “With the glasses.”
“Kaneko-san,” she answered, picking up the containers. “You think Kyo would eat some of this for lunch tomorrow?” She walked to the fridge, putting the leftover pieces of their dinner in the fridge. “We don’t have enough chicken for all of us for dinner tomorrow, but maybe two days of lunch for Kyo.”
“Should be fine,” he nodded as he grabbed a sponge. “Anyway, Kyo’s teacher-”
“Whatever her name is!” Didn’t matter. He’d get it right when it counted. “She bullied me into signing up for some class party at the end of the week.” Katsuki picked up a plate and scrubbed.
“Um,” Ochako hummed, stepping back to look at the calendar she’d hung on the wall. She knew for a fact she could count the number of things her husband was bullied into on one hand with less than five fingers. “It’s the last day of the butterfly unit. They’re supposed to be releasing their butterflies into the garden by the school.”
“How the fu-” Katsuki paused for a moment, looking around the kitchen for any signs of their son. After dinner, Ochako had given Kyo a bath while Katsuki had to take a phone call. They both had tucked him in before going to clean the kitchen. “How the fuck do you know that?”
She sighed as she popped open the dishwasher. “I read the classroom newsletter.”
“I’m not reading fifteen pages about fingerpainting every day.”
“It’s a three-page newsletter every week.”
“It’s nice that she takes the time to inform us about what’s happening in the classroom.”
Katsuki rolled his eyes, “It’s not like I don’t ask the brat what is going on.” Anytime he picked his son up, he made it a habit to discuss the school day. He asked Kyo about what he learned, the friends he’d made, and how he was liking his class. Katsuki would also sit with Kyo and go over homework and read with him before dinner.
He knew what they were learning.
“Brat never mentioned the butterflies being a big deal.” They’d colored a page with butterflies and labeled the wings, antenna, tree, flowers, etc… “I thought it was some busy work.”
“No,” she told him, plopping dishes in the dishwasher. “I mean, not much for the kids to do but observe them in the chrysalis, so Kaneko-san has them observe them for changes, they make a note on the class chart, and maybe a discussion before they break into reading groups.”
“I only know the routine because I’ve witnessed it.”
His frown deepened.
“What?” she asked. Standing straight, she placed a hand on the counter as she stared at her husband.
“His teacher made it sound like I’m not involved.” He hated how much the accusation hurt. “I mean, she didn’t say it, but she sure as hell was trying to imply that I’m absent or some shit because I have come to serve cupcakes or fucking color.”
“You’re not absent.”
“You don’t gotta tell me that shit, tell-” He dropped the sponge in the sink, trying to remember Kyo’s teacher’s name. “mousey’s-”
“ Her -” Why the hell couldn’t he remember her damn name? “-that”!
“I’m sure she doesn’t think that,” Ochako wiped her hands on the front of her shirt, walking in front of him. “Hey.” She looped his arms around his neck. “She just wants to make sure that you feel welcome. She knows were busy-”
“She mentioned you coming in despite your busy schedule,” he grunted sourly. Wet hands circled around her waist and pulled her against him as he rested his chin on her shoulder with a pout.
She snorted, reaching up to scratch at his scalp. “This is bothering you, isn’t it?”
“I don’t care what the hell she thinks.”
Even though he’d grown so much since their time at U.A., she could still see glimpses of the immature boy she’d fallen in love with. “It’s okay if you do.”
Ochako bit her lip stopping herself from laughing. “I think Kaneko-san judges parent engagement based on who comes in to volunteer.”
“Which is bullshit.”
“It is.” It was definitely an unfair metric. “She doesn’t see all the things you do with Kyo outside of school.
It should show in Kyo’s work.
“ But ,” Ochako started, leaning away from him so she could look in his eyes, “It’s important that we participate in school activities.”
“I don’t want Kyo to think we’re too busy for him.”
“Yeah.” At home, Kyo was the center of their world. Everything revolved around their son until he was tucked into bed before they decided to give themselves some downtime. Now that Kyo’s life was starting to reach outside of their home, they had to make sure to be present in those locations as well. “I’ll bring some damn cupcakes to the butterfly party.”
“Good!” she chirped, kissing him softly.
He grunted against her lips, keeping her close against him as he kissed the corner of her mouth.
“Enjoy it now,” Ochako hummed relaxing into his touch. “In a few years, Kyo won’t want us coming to his classroom so we should enjoy this.”
“Eh,” he grumbled, nuzzling his nose behind his ear, “We’ll just have another.”
She laughed, “It’s just that easy, huh?”
“Yeah.” His hands kneaded down her lower back.
“Kid in the house,” she groaned, frowning as her eyes drifted closed.
Ochako opened one of her eyes as a smile grew on her face.
Katuski stared at the brightly decorated door in front of him, taking a deep breath as he looked down at the container of cupcakes in his arms.
He could do this.
It was just a classroom filled with judgy teachers, possibly judgy parents, and feral children.
“Fuck me,” he mouthed as he took another deep breath before stepping inside.
A legion of pissed off criminals with flaming chainsaws felt less intimidating.
“Bakugo-san,” Kaneko greeted as she continued to collect the papers from the children.
Katsuki took a small step into the room, seeing other parents already organizing treats at the back of the room.
“You made it just in time,” she smiled as she continued around the room. “You can place those at the back of the room with the other snacks.”
“Thanks.” He could hear the excited chatter from the children as he made his way back with the cupcakes.
“Papa!” Kyo waved, leaning up from his seat to wave at his father. “Papa, you came!”
Katsuki looked over at Kaneko as he made his way to his son. “Of course, I came. What the heck are you talking about?” Cradling the tray in one of his arms, he ruffled his son’s hair.
“But you had to work today,” Kyo reminded him with a look far too serious for a three-year-old.
“Yes, but-” He’d always have work.
Ochako was right.
In a few years, he wouldn’t want them sitting in the classroom with him. It wouldn’t be anything personal. He remembered asking his father to park a block away from the school when he was in second grade because he wanted to be independent. Some day, Kyo would want the same thing. “I wanted to see your butterflies, brat.”
To be Continued…