All I can do is roll the marble between my fingers. I don't know what's inside, but I know it isn't Eri or Hitoshi. I haven't slept in days. Maybe weeks. I don't even know what day it is anymore. All I know is that my children are gone and I need them back. The League of Villains have them somewhere, probably torturing and using them for their own winning.
I jump up, ready attack. But it's just Hizashi.
"You need to sleep. It's almost 2 am."
"I know you can't, but you have to try. And I don't want to see you so… alone."
"I am alone."
"Not correct. I'm still here."
"But my kids are gone, kidnapped by psychopathic villains, and we don't know where they are."
"Sho, my love. I know you're upset but we have to keep it together. We're heroes, remember?"
"Heroes can be sad. And I'm still injured."
"Please come to bed, Sho. I know you want to be alone but I need you. Here, with me."
He strokes my arms up and down. He's warm.
I grab my crutches and make my way into the elevator, Hizashi holding a hand on my back as we walk.
"I miss them."
"I do too."
"Do you think Eri is having nightmares?"
"Maybe. But we can't think of that right now. We have to keep our heads high and stay positive for as long as possible, until we get a lead."
"And how are we supposed to get a lead?"
"We could make an announcement. It's not hard to ask the media to do something like that. And I can do the same on my radio show."
"And what if no one answers?"
"Then we keep looking."
Hizashi opens the door to our room. Eri's door is still open. I look inside, hoping to see her there, sleeping peacefully under the covers. But no, it's dark, cold and empty. I step inside and quickly turn on the pink nightlight in the corner of the room. At least I can pretend she's there.
"Sho, c'mon. You need to sleep."
Hizashi grabs my hand and drags me out of the room. I quickly rub my eyes, trying to not cry.
"Can we sleep with the nightlight on?"
He turns on the nightlight in the shape of a cat and gently leads me to the bed. I feel like I'm out of my body. I can only move if someone pushes me. I haven't changed out of my pyjamas for two days. I lean my head against his chest.
"I miss them."
"I want them back."
"I do too."
"What if they're already dead?"
He sighs and kisses my head.
"We can't think like that. We need to keep it together, remember?"
I close my eyes and a single tear runs down my cheek. Hizashi quickly wipes it away.
"I don't know if I can take it, 'Zashi. I don't' know what to do."
"Hey, we're gonna push through this. We're gonna get them back before you know it and we'll go back to normal."
"Eri will be back to how she was when we got her. She'll be traumatized."
"She's stronger than ever. She can push through too."
"No she can't! She's just 6! She's helpless! They could easily break her in half like a stick!"
The tears are flooding from my eyes, making Hizashi's shirt drenched.
"Sho. My love. I know this sucks, it does for me too.”
My body is shaking. He wraps his arms tightly around me.
“Just please, get some sleep, okay? It’s almost 3. You haven’t slept since wednesday. I need you to stay here with me, and for that, you need to be healthy. I need you. Your students need you. The teachers need you.”
I let out a weak sob, the sound muffled against his chest.
“Yes you can. Because you’re Shota fucking Aizawa-Yamada. You can push through and I know I will too.”
I must have fallen asleep in class, because when I wake up, I find myself on the classroom floor stuffed inside my bright yellow sleeping bag. Actually, it's not mine. This one seems new, and it's a bit thicker than mine. Probably Yaoyorozu's work. There are no students left inside, the bell must have rang a while ago. I grab my crutches and slowly stand up. I look around the room. The blackboard is not the way I left it. Something's been written on it. No, wait, not something, it's many things. I rub my eyes and walk closer. 21 small messages, all written with different colors of chalk. Again, must be Yaoyorozu. Iida wrote a long paragraph about how he knows I'm going through a tough time but still have to take care about myself. Aoyama somehow got chalk with glitter in it. Is that even possible? Bakugo wrote "take care of yourself, asshat". Thanks, I appreciate it. But my whole class, minus Hitoshi… that makes 19, not 21. Who are the extra two? I recognize Hizashi's large and bubbly letters in the very corner of the blackboard, in bright yellow. Toshinori must have used the same chalk. I smile for the first time since the day and take my phone out. I would keep the messages here if I could, but the board has to be cleaned. I take a picture of the blackboard before picking up the sponge to erase it.
I'm heading over to class 2-A's dorms with my new sleeping bag under my arm. I want to thank them for what they did, since they actually cheered me up a bit. I open the doors and head inside. It seems like most, no, all of them, are in the common area, cheering on each other. I stand behind a corner and look at what they're doing. Asui, Bakugo, Iida and Sero are sitting in the sofa, all holding a Wii control. They're playing some game. I clear my throat and made my presence known to the teens. They pause the game and look at me.
"I just… I just wanted to thank you all, for the messages you wrote on the blackboard. And the new sleeping bag. It… it meant a lot to me. Thank you."
I turn around and am just about to leave before someone stops me.
"Aizawa wait! Do you wanna join us? We're having a Mario Kart competition!"
Kaminari calls for me. Kaminari should be feeling worse than anyone else in the class, he's Hitoshi's boyfriend. He has deep bags under his eyes, but he still smiles. I was so focused on myself I didn't even think of him.
"Uh… yeah, sure. I haven't played in years, though, so I'm a bit rusty."
I walk into the common area and sit down in a chair behind the sofa.
"So, how does it work, are you keeping scores?"
"We're in groups of four. The two who score the highest get to proceed to the next round. We're still in the first round, I'll place you in the same group as me, Koda and Ashido!"
Midoriya writes my name next to his own on the paper he's using to keep the scores. It seems like they're on the second group. Kirishima and Uraraka placed the highest in the first group, so they get to proceed.
"Did you pick groups or were they random?"
"Completely random, we drew lots."
The game starts again and people start cheering on the people who play. Todoroki, who was knocked out in the first group, is cheering on Asui and Iida. Kirishima, Asui and Kaminari are all cheering for Sero and Bakugo.
Okay, my turn. Time to pick a character. Midoriya picks Luigi, Koda picks Toad and Ashido picks Peach. It was almost five years since we played at home, but I still recognize most of them. I used to pick Shy Guy a lot, so I'm picking him now too.
"Wow, Aizawa mains Shy Guy? He's lame."
"Shy Guy is amazing thank you."
A map has been randomized, so no one has a say in which one we play.
"Okay, so, accelerate with 2, brake with 1, steer with the wheel and use items with the cross buttons. Right? I think I remember."
"That is correct, Aizawa-Sensei!"
Iida practically yells in my ear. And before I know it, the race starts. I fall behind but quickly catch up again, placing second after Ashido. Most students are cheering for their friends, but every once in a while I hear someone yell "Go Aizawa!". I end up in second place, passing Midoriya right before the finish line in the third place. I smile a little. I can push through.