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.