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.