It wasn’t often that Hizashi tried to blend in with the public, but this time his whole persona of Present Mic was too much, he just wanted to buy one small thing for Shouta. He didn’t need the whole population to know that Present Mic was buying a present for someone. Besides with braided hair, a black baseball hat and a face mask no one would recognise him. Luckily this didn’t work the other way around because as soon as he entered the mall, his eyes caught on a fury of wild purple hair. Hizashi knew about Hitoshi, Shouta couldn’t shut up about the kid, not that he minded, still, sometimes he preferred to hear about something else especially, right before bed.
The boy was sitting on one of the mall sofas, Hizashi could tell from his posture that the boy was most likely about to fall asleep, if not already sleeping. He was slumped, and his eyes were closed, Hizashi could see the dark circles under his eyes even from afar.
Slowly he decided to approach the kid when a tall and sturdy looking man appeared in front of Shinsou and unceremoniously shook the most likely unconscious teenage awake. Hizashi watched as the purple head shoot upright and immediately turned to the man. Hizashi couldn’t hear what was said between the two, but from what he observed he was sure that Shisnou almost didn’t open his mouth and when he did the man risen his hand at the teen. He didn’t know what was going on, but he knew that it wasn’t good. Hizashi was about to insert himself between the man and Shinsou when the asshole said something, turned and left the kid at the mall.
Now Hizashi didn’t know a lot about raising children or teenagers like in this case, but he knew that whatever happened here wasn’t good. He was sure that if he didn’t make sure that the kid was okay and Shouta somehow found out about this little encounter, he would be sleeping on the couch and the cats would take his rightful place next to his husband. The closer he came to the kid the more worried he became, Shouta told him that Shinsou didn’t have the best of life, but hearing and seeing were two different things.
The kid still stood frozen in place, his hand was on his probably bruised cheek, Hizashi really hated the fact that Shouta wasn’t with him. Although he was better with people, Hizashi knew that this time his husband would be a better person for the kid. He didn’t want to make Shinsou more nervous, so slowly he approached the teenager, hoping that the purple head would recognise him, despite his perfect disguise. The closer he got to the kid the more nervous he actually felt. It was kinda stupid, he was Present Mic, he was never afraid of talking, but this time he knew that it wouldn’t be a fun kind of talk.
He stopped right in front of the purple-headed kid and was about to move the mask to reveal his face when Shinsou’s head, shot upright and his eyes locked on his today glassless eyes. The teen didn’t move, even to remove his hand from the cheek. For probably the first time in his life, Hizashi was lost for words. Looking at the kid now he noticed that the sweatshirt he was wearing had holes in it and the probably once ripped jeans were almost falling apart. He hated that he only now noticed how bad the kid is doing, he wondered if Shouta has ever seen Shinsou outside of his school uniform or gym clothes.
“What’s up, little listener.” Hizasih hopped that his usual greeting would put the kid at ease. Instead, he watched as Shinsou furrowed his eyebrows and shifted a little to cover himself more. The kid didn’t speak and that worried Hizashi more than he would like to admit. Without really thinking, he took a small step closer to him and took off the mask. “Honestly, Shinsou the fact that I ran into you is amazing. You see I’m here because I need to buy a gift for Sho and I have no idea what to buy him.” He tried to use one of his more soothing tones, hoping that the kid would relax more. “I can’t get him a cat.” When a small smile appeared on the teen’s face, he decided to continue. “Again… Anyway, would you like to assist me?” He really hoped that he didn’t come off as too much.
For a moment, the kid looked to the side, Hizashi wondered If he was making sure that the man from earlier wasn’t around, then he looked at him and gave a small nod. Hizashi smiled, this time using one of his real smiles and moved towards the kid.
“Great, so do you have any ideas.” The kid nodded a little. “Really? Come on, you have to tell me.”
The kid smiled at him a little and shook his head. Shouta told him on one occasion that sometimes Shinsou just didn’t speak, he didn’t know why and the kid never told him, but from what he knew it was a result of one of the worse homes that he lived in. Sho even mentioned that over the last month, these silent spells were becoming more frequent.
“Okay, I won’t make you tell me, but I need you to show me.” The kid laughed and gave him an expression that could be roughly translated to ‘What do you think I’m doing?’
With that Shinsou turned around and without making sure if Hizashi was following him started to walk towards the exit of the mall. The kid moved through the city as if he had it memorised, if Hizashi had, to be honest, it was a little frustrating, even after living here for the bigger part of his life he still sometimes got lost in it.
As soon as they exited the mall, he covered his mouth with the mask once again. Shinsou watched him do it with a smirk that Hizashi thought meant ‘You’re not fooling anyone’ then shrugged and started to walked away from the mall. They made their way through the busy city centre and just when he was about to ask Shinsou is he knew where they were going, the kid gripped his hand and pulled him into an alley. Hizashi wasn’t a stranger to being pulled into dark alleys Shouta made sure that he knew all the stray cats that left near them, but something about being pulled into a dark alley by a student made him nervous.
Without stopping or letting go of his hand, Shinsou pulled him to the other side of the alley. When they came outside the alley, Hizashi was met with a view of one of the side streets that he usually avoided. Shinsou stopped and looked at him for a moment, then he shook his head and took out his phone. When he held it up, Hizashi noticed that the notes app was opened and the only word written at the beginning of the page said ‘shortcut’. He nodded, showing that he understands and with that, the kid turned around and led him further into the street.
This time the teen came to a stop in front of a pastel-coloured building. Hizashi didn’t know why the kid thought that Shouta would like it, but he decided to wait a little longer before questioning him. The kid smiled a little looking at the building and look at Hizashi challenging.
“Okay, little listener. Show me what you got.” Shinsou smiled at that and walked inside.
As soon as Hizashi crossed the doorway he knew that the kid was right, Shouta would love the place. It was a cat café, but from what he could see it wasn’t as popular as the one that was closer to them. Shinsou smiled at someone, and immediately an older lady came to him with a smile.
“Hitoshi, I haven’t seen you in forever.” The boy waved at the woman a little and Hizashi wondered how long he knew her. “Oh, and you brought a friend. How wonderful.”
He quickly removed the face mask and smiled at the woman. “Hello, Shinsou actually showed me this place because I’m looking for a gift for my friend.” The woman smiled at him kindly and quickly turned to Shinsou.
“Of course, Shinsou you know where to go just wait for me there, and I will bring your orders.” Hizasji was about to tell the woman that he didn’t order anything yet, but he noticed that the kid was already moving again. “And you don’t have to pay.” Before he could talk to the lady she already disappeared behind the bar, and Hizashi had to jog a little to catch up with the kid.
Shinsou led them to a table that stood in the corner of the place, immediately when they sat down three cats appeared next to them. The teen took one of them and started to run his finger through its fur. Hizashi watched as the teen became more and more relaxed, and soon his posture became slacker. After some time, the woman came back holding a tray with two cups and two plates, one of the plates was filled with snacks while the other had just a slice. As soon as the tray was placed on the table, Shinsou moved to take the smaller plate, but his hand was quickly slapped away.
“I don’t think so, young man. We both know that you probably didn’t have anything to eat yet.” He watched as the kid opened his mouth to protest, but before he could even make a sound, the lady shook his head. “No arguing.” After that, she placed the fuller plate in front of Shinsou and turned to him. “Now, if Hitoshi brought you here because you are looking for a gift for your friend I can only imagine that he likes cats and coffee.”
Hizashi smiled and nodded. “Sometimes I think that he could live only of off coffee.” The woman laughed.
“He has something in common with Hitoshi then.” When he looked at the teen, he noticed a small blush on his face. “Anyway if you will like the coffee just came and talk to me, and I will give you our offer.”
“You got it.” With that, the woman went back to the counter.
For a moment, he watched as Shinsou slowly stuffed his face with the food. “You come here often?” As soon as he said it, the teen’s eyes moved from the plate and locked on him. “You don’t have to tell me I’m just curious and noisy.” Shinsou watched him closely then shrugged and buried both of his hands in the cat’s fur.
“I…I worked here kinda.” Shinsou’s voice was a little rough and when the teen finished speaking, he immediately took a sip of his drink.
“What do you mean work. Weren’t you a little too young for that?” Hizashi didn’t care about the fact, that sometimes he said something without really thinking about it but right now looking at the teen’s expression he hated it.
“I just helped around, so it wasn't really a job.” The teen looked a little nervous, and he knew that he had to change the subject.
“Okay, little listener. So how is your training going?” Shinsou brighten up a little at the question, and they began to talk about the training, and the teen relaxed once again.
By the time Hizashi took his first sip of the coffee, it was lukewarm, not that he cared it was Shouta how needed his coffee hot and fresh. To Hizashi’s surprise, the drink wasn’t bitter, it was actually one of the best coffees he’d ever drunk.
“Damn, this is good.” Suddenly Shinsou started to laugh, and he realized what he just said. “Fuck, kid you can’t tell Shouta that I swore in front of you.” This seemed to send the teen into another laughing fit and Hizashi processed the exact words that left his mouth. “Oh… You can’t tell Shouta about this either.”
The moment the kid stopped laughing, he looked straight at him and lifted one of his brows. “And what will I get from it?”
He smiled at the kid. “I will bring you coffee to school?” For a moment Shinsou looked like he thought about the offer, then he shook his head.
“Two cusses two coffees.” Hizashi laughed a little at the statement.
“I guess I can’t argue with this logic. Two coffees that’s it.” The boy smirked at him.
“We will see about that.” He almost shivered at the statement. Shouta told him that Shinsou liked to bait people, he supposed it came in handy with his quirk because the kid made it easy to respond to him.
“Okay, Mr Coffee Addiction. Do you really think that taking him here would be a good gift?” He knew it would be, Sho wasn’t one for gifts, so taking him here would be a great alternative.
“Yeah.” He stared for a moment wanting for the boy to continue, but the purple head only sipped on his coffee and took a bite of one of the cookies.
After a second, he groaned and rubbed his hand over his face. “You know you behave just like Sho. Tell me why, kid.”
“Oh.” The kid sounded as if he didn’t understand why he was asking, but indulged HIzashi nonetheless. “Well, first of all, the coffee’s great. Also, it has cats, and every other cat café near UA is usually full of people. This place is calmer and cosy, plus from what I know no one from the school knows about this place, so you two don’t have to worry about being recognised.”
“Yeah, that makes sense. But how do you know that I will be here as well?” The kid rose his eyebrows at him.
“Aizawa-sensei always tells me that his annoying husband is calling, and I saw you two together at the park once. Also, he drove me home in a bright coloured car, and I’m pretty sure that he would never own anything that is in other colours than black.” Oh, the kid was smart, and he knew about it.
For a moment, Hizashi was speechless, then he turned a little red. “He talks about me!”
Shinsou looked at him bewildered. “I mean he mentioned you a couple of times, is that a weird thing.”
He shrike even more and felt a big smile coming. “This is the best I’m gonna tease him so much. Thank you, little listener.” The kid just shrugged and went back to eating his food.
By the time they finished the meal, and Hizashi talked with the owner about buying a membership card for Shouta, it was dark outside.
“Do you need me to drive you, little listener?” Shinsou looked at him for a moment, then shook his head.
“Nah, I’m cool”
“Are you sure, it’s really no problem, Shinsou?” The kid once again shook his head
“Really, I’m good. See you at school, teach. Don’t forget the coffee.” He laughed a little and nodded.
“Wouldn’t dream of it. See you, little listener.” Hizashi knew that leaving Shinsou wasn’t such a good idea, but he was sure that if he tried to reason with the kid, it would end in a screaming match and all his progress would go to waste.
He watched the retrieving form of the teenager, and only when he fully disappeared from his vision, did Hizashi start the longish walk to his car.
The moment Shouta entered their apartment, he was in the small hallway.
“I met your kid today.” His husband looked up at him in confusion, so he decided to continue. “Purple hair, tired eyes, coffee addiction that could rival yours.” At that Shouta’s confusion cleared and he could see a small smile appear on his face.
“Where did you see him?”
“At the mall. He helped me with something.” At that, his husband looked at him curiously. “Do you know anything about his home life?”
Shouta’s expression turned more serious and at the same time harder. “From what I gathered it’s not good. Shinsou’s in the foster house. He still didn’t tell me anything, but I’m sure there something going on.”
“I think I saw his guardian. He slapped him.” Shouta’s expression turned murderous. “Is there anything we can do?”
“I’m trying to pull him out of there, but it’s difficult. He needs to admit to being harmed and up to this point, every injury he sustained was passed off as an accident. From what I know he won’t say anything because he’s worried that the next place that he will be moved to will be too far from U.A.”
“And you know that how?” At that, Shouta turned to him and smiled a little.
“Hawks.” Hizashi felt his brow rise, he knew that the winged hero wasn’t Shouta’s favourite because of all the attention that the young hero had on himself. “He met the kid in an alley and befriended him. Hawks gives me reports about his health.”
“You got a pro hero to spy on a high schooler?” For a moment Shouta looked a little sheepish.
“I needed to know if he’s okay and he wouldn’t tell me. Besides Hawks was going to visit him anyway.” Hizashi just shook his head.
“you can’t do that Sho.”
“He wouldn’t tell me if he was hurt and I needed to make sure that he is fine.” For what it was worth his husband actually made sense.
“How about you talk with the kid like a normal person and try to convince him to tell you what’s wrong instead of spying on him via Hawks?”
With that, Hizashi went back to the living room and waited for Shouta to appear.
“Oh, by the way, Why did you need Shinsou's help?” Now he wasn’t going to fell for something like this.
“Sho, honey, it’s for the two of us to know and for you to find out. And no trying to convince the kid to tell you.” His husband just shook his head and actually smiled a little.
“You’re ridiculous.” Shouta’s voice was found, and Hizashi smiled hearing it.
“You love it.”
“Never said I didn’t.”