Eri was quite excited. Daddy had said that all the students were going on a break for a couple weeks, and he and Papa had helped her make a list of things they could do during it. Daddy said they should visit Nara Park and see the baby deer, go to some of the pretty castles and shrines and work their way through the list of best cat cafes-- Papa had even mentioned going to Tokyo Disneyland!!!! After studying the pictures on his laptop (with Papa reading the information along to her), they’d settled on going to Fantasy Land and Toon Town. She was going to meet Minnie Mouse .
But first, she had to say goodbye to all her new friends.
(She!!! Had friends!!! Sometimes Eri wasn’t entirely sure it wasn’t a wonderful dream, despite all of Daddy’s reassurances over and over that yes, she was safe and loved , but eventually she’d decided to try to enjoy it anyway even in her most worried moments, and take advantage while the dream lasted)
After much deliberation, Eri had decided to make a few of her friends cards. And of course, one for the whole class so nobody felt left out, even if she hadn’t worked up to talking to all of them quite yet. Daddy had nodded solemnly when she explained it and helped her get set up with colorful construction paper and the huge bucket of crayons on top of the kotatsu. Even though she loved her room and her bed and all the wonderful things Daddy and Papa had encouraged her to pick out, sometimes it was nice just to curl up by the warm blankets with the kitties. Daddy agreed.
They spent an entire evening working at the kotatsu-- Daddy on his student work with his red pen (sometimes he used a lot), and Eri with her larger color variety. Papa was at work, and kept saying that she should really be in bed halfway through the show, but Daddy was pretty understanding about that, too. He usually let her stay up the whole time and sleep in the next day, so they could both listen when Papa was actually there.
For all Papa’s pointed looks at Daddy when he’d come home and find them both up, Eri was delighted whenever he mentioned his “little listener,” and Daddy smiled with his eyes when he heard about Present Mic’s “favorite listener.”
Eri was glad they loved each other and were happy together. That was something she’d only seen in movies. Seeing them direct love toward her still took some getting used to, but sometimes Papa would swing her up into a hug or Daddy would help do her hair and she’d get a warm fuzzy feeling that spread throughout her whole body. It was nice.
Eri frowned down at the current picture in progress. Bakugo would probably want way more explosions. Maybe one out of the hand that wasn’t holding hers, too? She returned the black crayon and began rummaging around for some good red and orange crayons.
“Should I make one for ‘Toshi-nii, even though we’ll get to see him?” She wondered aloud. Daddy looked up from his papers. He hadn’t made many red marks on it yet, so maybe it wasn’t as horrible. Sometimes she considered offering him some crayons in an effort to conserve ink.
“That’s up to you. I’m sure he would love it, but would also understand your reasoning if you chose not to.”
“Hmm,” Eri pursed her lips, considering this problem while trying to get the best mid-explosion effect behind Bakugo. Maybe she should add sunglasses to them, too, actually. “If I do just the lines, maybe ‘Toshi-nii will come over to visit just to help me color?”
Daddy raised his eyebrows. “You want him to come over that badly?” Eri nodded. Daddy thought about this for a moment. “What would you think about him spending the break with us?” He said slowly. Eri gasped.
“ Really?! The whole thing ?!” That would be just about the best thing. ‘Toshi-nii was funny and said he was around a lot of smaller kids so he was so much fun , and he liked cats and listened when she made up stories about their dramatic kitty lives and sometimes she got to help him prank the other kids and he was just so cool .
“Mm, possibly; at least most of it,” Daddy said, tapping the pen against the paper and still looking thoughtful.
“ Yes please!!! ” Eri cheered. “Maybe he can go to Disney with us too?”
Daddy patted her head gently and smiled. She loved it when they smiled at her-- it wasn’t like His creepy horrible smile that meant something horrible was coming. Instead, it gave her the warm and fuzzy feeling and made her want to smile back.
… even if Daddy’s smile was a little different. (Papa called it his Totoro-smile and they had solid plans to have a movie marathon of Miyazaki movies over break, too, because they both said she’d love them. Eri trusted their opinions on that and was looking forward to it-- they hadn’t steered her wrong so far.)
“I’ll talk to Papa and see what I can do,” he promised.
Eri beamed back at him. Her parents were the best .
The following Monday, Eri double-checked her tote bag worriedly. It was so cute and she and Daddy had found it when clothes-shopping and it was purple and pink and had cartoon kitties on it. Usually she used it to carry some toys and books when she got to tag along with Daddy or Papa and they got stuck in a meeting, but those had all been packed in the car to be taken to the apartment. Home , Eri mentally corrected herself. She was used to thinking of the teacher’s dorms as home, but her parents did have an actual dwelling outside of UA, and were eager to return to it during the school break. Daddy had promised to read to her in his bean bag chair, which sounded cool , even if Papa made it clear he disliked it because he thought it looked super ugly, Shochan! Eri thought that as long as it was comfy, it would probably be fine. Maybe, if she liked it, she could get one in the room she and ‘Toshi-nii were going to share. Or maybe they could put it by the kotatsu. She’d have to run that by Daddy. It was a great idea.
But that was for later. Right now, she had carefully sorted and laid all of her drawings in the tote bag and really hoped they hadn’t been squashed or she’d forgotten someone’s and had packed it away.
“Eri-chan!” Kiri-kun was the first to spot her peeking through the door to the student common room. Behind her, Mirio replaced his student keycard in his wallet and gave her an encouraging thumbs-up.
“Hey guys! Aizawa-sensei asked me to hang out with Eri-chan while he finished a couple last-minute things. We were on our way back, but she’s got some presents for you!”
The students aww’d and gathered around. Eri began pulling the papers out one-by-one, examining them, and passing them to the correct student.
“This one is for Izuku-kun, and Ochako-chan, and Shouto-kun, and Kiri-kun…” she listed off quietly, trying not to panic. Mirio had loved his picture with Tamaki and Nejire, so maybe they wouldn’t be ill-received here, too? Papa made a point of ensuring that every single drawing ended up on the fridge before being carefully placed in a folder to keep it nice, but there was a chance he was just being nice about it.
“Eri! This is so great !” Ashido squealed. “That’s so sweet of you!”
“I love it!” Kirishima exclaimed. “That must’ve taken a ton of work, Eri-chan!”
“She’s just so pure!” Kaminari wailed. “I can’t even handle it!”
Eri blinked. That sounded a lot like Papa. Before she could say as much out loud, Bakugo kneeled down in front of her, carefully placing one hand on her shoulder and looking her in the eyes.
“This is the best fucking thing I have ever seen,” Bakugo said seriously.
Eri grinned .
“LANGUAGE, BAKUGO!” Iida yelped.
Mirio grimaced. “I don’t need Aizawa-sensei hunting me down and killing me if Eri-chan repeats that.”
“If she repeats what?” Papa appeared behind Mirio, scooping Eri up in a hug. He looked ready to go, with no sign of the hero costume and wearing his comfy clothes. He had a butterfly clip holding his hair up, matching what he’d done to Eri’s hair that morning before Mirio had swung by. “Thanks, Togata-san!”
“Anytime, Mic-sensei!” Mirio smiled. Eri liked that-- she’d missed it, but Tamaki and Nejire were good at helping her cheer him up when she got to spend time with the older students. Ashido looked slightly puzzled, probably expecting Daddy, but he was probably still finishing work things.
Papa settled her on his hip. Eri loved it. “Hey there, little listener! You wouldn’t repeat any uncool words that happened to be said in your adorable presence, right?”
Eri blinked at him. “How do I know if it’s an uncool word, though?” She asked with concern.
“Anything that comes out of Bakugo’s mouth,” Kaminari supplied helpfully, ducking the swipe from said boy for his efforts.
“Shut up, idiot!”
“Well, most things,” Papa amended, chuckling. “Otherwise someone will have a heart attack and I’d really rather avoid that whole conversation.” This was punctuated with a pointed Look at Bakugo, who grumbled. Most of the students were drifting away, going back to gathering their things and adding it to the huge pile in the middle of the room, but a couple lingered.
“Bye, Eri! Have fun on break! Make sure to tell me all about it, alright?” Mirio gave her a quick hug and a wave, then headed toward the third-year dorms.
“Do you have any plans for break, Eri-chan?” Ochako asked. Eri was already riding the high of her drawings going over so well, and this reminder of the upcoming plans made her beam.
“We’re gonna pet cats and deer and watch movies and and and Daddy and Papa and ‘Toshi-nii are going to DISNEY! ” She cheered. Papa winced, and she wondered if it had been too loud. Oops. Well, if his ears were hurt, he was speaking awfully fast and loud himself as soon as she’d finished.
“Speaking of, your dad’s just about done and we still gotta catch the cats in the carriers before we leave, princess. Have fun on break, kids!”
As Papa whisked her back to the dorms she’d come to know as her first proper home, she saw that the students looked very confused, and Izuku repeated “‘Daddy and Papa?!’”