It's the day before the sports festival. Everything is prepared, everything is done. Hizashi has latched onto my arm and chest. He won't move, even if I push. I guess this is my life now. Eri is sitting on my other side, leaned against me. Hitoshi is in his dorm. We're watching some Disney movie together. Why do the characters always feel the need to sing for no reason? I mean, Hizashi does that too, but he just sings. He doesn't start dancing a- nevermind, he does that too. Am I living in a Disney movie?
Someone is banging on the door. I wake up from my slumber and stand up.
"Wait here, I'll check who it is."
I pry Hizashi from my arms and walk up to the front door.
"Move move move!"
I do as he says and move to the side, letting him in. He's completely drenched.
"I thought you were in your dorm?"
"Well I sneaked out."
"Why are you wet? It hasn't been raining."
He opens his jacket and reveals a tiny, soaking wet kitten.
"It was stuck in a well. I had to get it out."
"There are no wells at UA."
"We left campus."
I sigh and grab the kitten.
"I'll go give it a bath. You go get warm."
The cat is shaking in my arms. It doesn't look like it's gotten any food for a while. I hold the poor thing against my chest as I make my way to the bathroom. I turn on the tap, making sure the water isn't too hot. I carefully put down the cat in the sink and start cleaning it. It looks up at me with it's big eyes. All I can think of is the night I found Hitoshi. In that box, skinny, cold, weak, not even able to stand up by himself. And his cat, Tamotsu. His protector. I wouldn't have a son if it weren't for that cat. My eyes fill with tears. I see the same pain I saw in my boy that day as I see in this cat. I pick the cat back up and hold it against my chest.
"I'm so sorry…"
The cat meows and leans it's head against my shoulder.
"I'm so sorry this happened to you…"
I turn around. Hitoshi is standing in the door frame, wearing warm clothes and drying his hair with a towel. I quickly wipe my cheeks and put the cat down.
"Sorry, I got a little… emotional…"
I put special cat shampoo in it's fur, removing any dirt. I slowly increase the temperature of the water so it can actually get warm.
"What are we gonna name it?"
He walks up to me with another towel, ready to dry it off or catch it if it panics.
"Is it a girl or a boy?"
"A girl. I think."
"We should let Eri decide. She never got to pick any names for the cats."
I wash off the last of the shampoo and pick her up from the sink, handing her to Hitoshi. He wraps her up in the towel, drying her off.
"I'll go fill another bowl of cat food."
I leave the bathroom, praying that he didn't see me cry. I take out a new bowl and fill it with cat food, placing it next to the other two. The other two cats roam free on campus, but they usually sleep in our dorm room and eat here. If they can't get in there's food bowls in the lounge area and outside. But there's usually someone there to help them use the elevator. They're quite smart. One of the cats has fallen asleep on the couch, next to Eri. She's carefully petting it while watching the movie. God, I love my family so much. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Hitoshi comes out of the bathroom, still holding the kitten. He puts it down in front of the bowl. I'm relieved to see that she's eating the dry food we have.
"Thank you, Hitoshi, but you should go to sleep. It's getting late and it's the sports festival tomorrow."
I flick Hizashi's forehead, trying to wake him up.
"Are you back to normal yet? If you aren't, I won't let you commentate the festival."
I flick him again and he finally wakes up.
"Mmngh… what happened?"
"You were hit by a love quirk. You've been clinging onto me for over a week."
"What day is it?"
"Sports festival day. Come on, get up, get ready. We gotta be at the stadium in an hour and a half."
"Wait, it's sports festival day? WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME?"
"Do you not have any memory from the last week?"
"I remember… vacation…"
"Okay so no memory. Come on, hurry. Your hair takes forever to style."
"Okay okay okay, calm down!"
I make my way out of the bed and start getting dressed. All teachers must be in their hero costumes and all students must wear their P.E. uniforms. Like a normal school day. I check on the kitten before making breakfast for myself. She's sleeping with our other female cat. She's had kittens herself before, I think she can sense that the kitten needs a mother. I smile at them and refill their bowls.
I knock on Eri's door before opening it.
"Eri? Are you awake?"
She's still in bed, tightly hugging her pink teddy bear.
"Eri, wake up. We gotta get ready for the sports festival."
We've requested to let Eri take the day off. She wanted to see Hitoshi fight, so Recovery Girl and Toshinori get to take care of her during the day. I put a hand behind her back and help her get up. She yawns and rubs her eyes before letting go of her teddy bear.
"Can I wear my dress?"
"Absolutely, as long as you don't get it dirty."
I make my way over to her wardrobe and take out her red dress.
"Have you ever wanted… a mom?"
She looks up at me, surprised by the question. She does have a biological mother out there somewhere, but we don't know her name or where she is. I don't know how much Eri remembers of her.
"Well… I don't really care."
She looks up at me with a big smile.
"I have two dads and a brother and that's great! I wouldn't want anything else in the world!"
She stands up and walks over to me, wrapping her arms around my waist. I pick her up and kiss her forehead.
"Come on, get ready and we'll have breakfast before the festival. Are you ready to see 'Toshi kick some ass?"
"Daddy! Don't say that word!"
I laugh and put her down.