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Why do children have to be so small?

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“Teach me how to dance.”
I slam my hand against her table. The staff room is empty apart from us.
“Teach you how to… what? Shota Aizawa wants to dance?”
“Yes, he does. For his and his husbands wedding. Come on.”
She laughs at me.
“Okay, okay, calm down! I will teach you.”
She stands up.
“Are you doing girl steps or boy steps?”
“There’s different steps?”
“Girl steps it is. Hizashi is probably gonna lead. So I’ll lead now, and you’ll be… you.”
“Great, I can do that.”
“So, the girl, or in this case, the shorter man, puts his hand on the taller man’s shoulder. That’ll be me.”
“But you’re shorter than me.”
“Just do as I say.”
I put my hand on her shoulder.
“And then I, or the taller man, will put his hand on your waist.”
She puts her hand on my waist and takes a step closer. It’s so weird to be this close to a woman, even if it’s a woman that I’ve known since high school.
“And then we hold the other hands. But, you have to put your hand in mine, like you’re a delicate little princess who can’t walk on her own.”
“That’s right, I’m a princess.”
I put my hand in hers.
“Now what?”
“Now, you follow my steps. When I step forwards, you step backwards with the same foot. Or, the opposite foot. Does that make sense?”
“No.”
“Good. Let’s go!”
“Wai-”
It hasn’t even been a second before I step on her toes.
“Sorry. Can we take it… slower?”
“You’re gonna step on my toes even if we take it slower. Just look at my feet, okay?”
I nod and look down. She slowly takes a step forwards, and I take one back. Another step backwards. Okay, sure, I can do that. And now a step forwards instead. Sure thing. Not that hard.
“Ready to go faster?”
“Uh… sure.”
“I’ll count to four and then we’ll dance to that tempo, okay?”
“Okay, yeah, sure.”
“One, two, three, four!”
She counts way faster than I anticipated. I almost step on her toes again, but I manage to avoid it in the last second. After a couple of steps, I get the hang of it. It takes a good two minutes before I step on her toes again and we both stop, laughing.
“What if i trip over Hizashi’s toes on the wedding?”
“Then we’ll all laugh at you.”
“I’d beat you all if you did.”
“Oh no! The big, strong Eraserhead is gonna beat me up! I’m shaking!”
“Hey! I’m strong!”
“And I can make you fall asleep in less than a second, Aizawa.”
“Only if I let you.”
We’re interrupted by someone walking in. I let go of Nemuri and turn around. It’s Toshinori. He must be done with class 2-A’s hero training for the day.
“How is Hitoshi doing?”
“Oh he’s doing great! Even if he’s a bit behind his classmates, he’s catching up quickly!”
I nod.
“Good to hear.”

The wedding is getting closer and closer, it’s only a month away. The invitations have been sent out and I got the suits. The only thing left is getting formal clothes for the kids. Eri is in the changing room, trying on a purple dress in the same shade as the shirt Hitoshi picked out.
“Daddy?”
“Yes?”
“Help me zip!”
I open the door to the changing room. She’s standing with her back against me, waiting for me to zip the dress for her. I move her hair and zip the dress.
“You look beautiful, princess.”
I kiss her cheek.
“Let’s check on Hitoshi, shall we?”
I pick her up and walk over to the changing room right beside hers, and knock on his door.
“Are you done?”
“I don’t know how to tie a bowtie!”
“Oh my god…”
I put down Eri on the floor and open the door. The bowtie is tied up in a knot. I sigh and untie it.
“Did Hizashi never teach you how to do this?”
“He did but I didn’t understand.”
“Well, you’ll have to learn it in time for the wedding, I’m not gonna be there to help you.”
I tie his bowtie for him and drag him outside. I put him next to Eri, who is still waiting for us.
“There.”
Eri is practically beaming. I think she’d appreciate getting a new dress. Hitoshi looks… bored. I’m not surprised.
“You both look great.”
I give them a kiss each.
“Now you better change back so I can pay for this stuff. And remember to not show your new clothes to Hizashi, okay?”

“Daddy?”
“Mmhmmm…?”
“Can I sleep with you tonight?”
“Did you have another nightmare?”
I sit up in the bed, prying myself from Hizashi’s arms. Eri runs inside and climbs up on the bed.
“What was it about? Overhaul?”
She nods and sits down, wrapping her arms around herself. I hate seeing my girl like this, stressed and scared.
“H-he took me and kept hurting me, over and over…”
“Hey.”
I carefully grab her hand and pull up the arm of her pajamas, looking at her scars. I show her my own arm, the scar on my elbow I got from Nomu.
“See? We’re the same.”
I don’t think I’ve ever shown her the scar on my elbow. It’s not very pretty, and I rarely wear short sleeves.
“All heroes have scars. Even All Might does. My students have scars already. It only shows how far they’ve come on their way to become heroes. And you already have more scars than Midoriya, which means that you’re already more of a hero than him.”
It’s not really true, but if she can look at her scars and think of being a hero, it’s worth it.
“I will never let anyone harm my princess ever again, okay? I’m gonna keep you safe until you can keep yourself safe.”
I wrap my arms around her small, frail body.
“Does papa have scars too?”
“Of course he does! You know those plastic things he have in his ears?”
“Yeah, they’re there so he can hear better!”
“They are a proof of an injury he got, because of me and his quirk, when we were in Hitoshi’s age. He yelled too high, so he damaged his ears and broke his glasses. It isn’t very visible, but he has scars in his face from that.”
“Does Hitoshi have scars?”
“I’m… not sure actually. Why don’t you ask him tomorrow?”
She nods, obviously getting tired again.
“Go back to sleep now, princess.”
Another nod. I put my head on my pillow and put my arm out. Eri leans her head against my arm, using me as her head rest.
“Good night, daddy…”
“Good night, princess.”
It only takes a couple of minutes for her to fall asleep again. My little princess. I don’t even want to think about what would happen if anyone did anything to her. If I wouldn’t be able to protect her.