The scream raised the hairs behind his neck. Shouta jumped out of his shared bed with Hizashi, who had also woken up.
His eyes glowed bright red as he whipped opened the door, his weapon ready. Hizashi stood behind him, chest out and fists readily aimed.
In the middle of the room, on a big bed, sat Eri, their new guest. She was donned in new pajamas that Shouta bought himself for her. Once realizing that there was no intruder, Hizashi turned on the lights to reveal a tear streaked face, lip quivering and swollen eyes.
Immediately, the two pro heroes rushed to her side, weapons dropped to the side.
“Eri? What’s wrong?” Shouta asked, taking a seat on the bed, creating a good space between the child and himself.
Hizashi had done the same and awaited her answer.
Eri dropped her head and mumbled something. The two adults shared a glance before turning their attention once more to the girl.
“What was that, Eri?” Hizashi asked this time.
The girl lifted her head, tears strolling down her face. She jumped into Shouta, crying into his shirt, clutching at him.
While Shouta was taken aback, he was familiar to dealing with children, especially crying ones. So, it was only natural for him to carefully coax her into his lap as he found a more comfortable position on her bed. Hizashi carefully sat next to him, rubbing small circles on the child’s back.
“I thought... he was...here.” Her words were spoken through small hiccups.
Eri pulled away from Shouta to look up sadly at the hero. Hizashi felt his heart shatter. It has been at least a week since UA was in charge of her; Hizashi had immediately offered solace in his home with Shouta. In the meantime, Eri was to live with the couple until where she would go.
“Eri, sweetie”, Hizashi started, catching her attention. He opened his arms for her.
Sniffling and rubbing her eyes, she made her way to let herself be scooped by the loud man.
“He will no longer hurt you. We’re here now, it’s over”, his words were calm and quiet, completely different from his usual demeanor.
“He’s right Eri. We will protect you from now on.”
Eri nodded softly as she hugged back the blond haired hero. Hizashi almost fawns over the child but Shouta gives him a look. With a pout and his puppy eyes, Shouta soon joined in the hug. The three stayed like that for a few minutes.
Realizing how late it was, Shouta motioned for Hizashi to let her sleep. Gently, Hizashi set her under the blankets. Eri seemed rather reluctant to let him go.
“Come on, darling, you need to sleep”, he coaxes.
“Can I sleep with you for the night?” she asks, her red eyes filled with nervousness.
Hizashi turns to Shouta who was taken aback. The raven haired man saw the look his husband was giving him. They had managed through the years they have known each other to communicate with one another with just their faces.
Please! She really needs us!
Zashi no. You’re going to get attached. She’s here only temporary.
Even so! I want to help her.
You comforted her first as if she was your own. We’re heroes, Sho.
Shouta rolled his eyes and he cocked his head towards the door. Hizashi had a sullen look on his face. Eri slumped and let her head fall, her hair covering her watering eyes.
“What? We’re all sleeping in the other room. This bed is too tiny”, Shouta said. Almost instantly, Hizashi and Eri had warm smiles on their faces. Shouta watched his husband scoop up Eri and carried her towards their bedroom.
When the pro hero arrived to his room, he couldn’t help but feel relaxed. He stood by the door as he saw Hizashi get comfortable with Eri in the middle. Both were giggling and had the covers up to their noses. It felt like..
Shouta knew, however, this was going to be just temporary. Soon the child will be going somewhere else.
“Come on Sho! Time for bed!”, Hizashi shouts. Eri has hope in her eyes, the tears gone.
“Yea, time for bed Mr. Shouta.”
A grin formed on his face as he walked over the two. He hopped in and the three slowly but surely, fell asleep.
That is how the three usually ended up for the upcoming weeks. Shouta had grown, dare he say, attached to the girl. She was adorable!
When she wasn’t following Hizashi, she was a little duckling trailing Shouta, even donning a scarf to copy him. He found it endearing. He soon found himself looking forward to arriving home and expecting Eri at the window of their apartment, waving with excitement as she saw him near the entrance. Hizashi worked from home in the meantime to watch over Eri.
On the weekend, Shouta decided to make lunch for everyone to which Hizashi cheered, Eri following his lead as they danced around Shouta.
When the two were kicked out of the kitchen, Hizashi and Eri sat together on the couch where the adult decided to play some of his podcasts.
“Alright, little future listener, tell me what you think!” He laughed a little before playing the podcast. Eri wasn’t sure what the podcast was saying but the energy sent a smile on her face.
“I love it Pa!”, she shouts with glee, raising her hands up towards the ceiling. Hizashi smiles before he freezes.
Did he hear that correctly? His green eyes soon focused on the girl who was confused as to why he stopped smiling. He sees recognition in her own red eyes, before they widen and she hides her face with her hands.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to-” The poor girl was cut off as she was pulled into a hug by the tall blond. He nuzzles into her hair; he wanted to cry.
“It’s okay, Eri, you can call me Pa if ya want”, he sighs, sad that he knows this won’t last forever. The small girl nods and hugs him back. They stay like that for the remainder of the time while dinner is prepared.
In the kitchen, Shouta receives a call from Nedzu. The principal doesn’t usually call him after work hours, maybe it is something important? Regardless, the hero answers the call with ease, putting the phone to his ear and holding it in place as he continues cooking.
“Ah, hello Aizawa. Sorry for the intrusion”, Nedzu starts off.
Shouta sighs. “It is alright. Now what is it you want to discuss? It has to be something crucial if you’re calling me on the weekend.”
Shuffling is heard on the other end. “Yes of course. It is about the child, Eri.”
Shouta has his complete attention. “What about her?”
“Well, officials have notified me that she is to be relocated to a facility to help with her quirk”, it sounded like it hurt for Nedzu to be telling Aizawa the news.
Shouta stopped what he was doing and as a result, dropped the metal spoon, sending clashing to the floor. He quickly turned off the pan and moved it to the side. He leaned on the counter to process what Nedzu was telling him.
They want to send Eri somewhere else? To help with her quirk? He couldn’t fathom the anger he was feeling. After everything she has been through, the young girl deserved to be a part of a family, not part of another experiment.
He continued his conversation with Nedzu. apparently, the chances of doing something that could have good use was slim to none. He was devastated. How could he not?
He had also grown attached to the child.
“Alright. We will talk later.” Shouta ended the call and set his phone aside.
With his senses, he turned towards the opening of the kitchen and saw Eri standing there, Hizashi standing behind her, a sullen look on his face.
Her eyes were watery and she was clutching at her dress.
“Am I leaving?” Her voice was small and meek.
Shouta sighed. He wished he could tell her otherwise.
He walked over to the two and kneeled down to Eri’s level. He raised his hand to gently rid of her tears.
“Shh, everything is alright.” Shouta couldn’t really find more words of comfort. Hizashi suddenly had an idea.
He kneeled down as well. “Say, Eri. You wanna know a secret?”
This caught the girl’s attention. She gave him a puzzled look. The blond smiled and whispered, “I can sing. But only special people get to hear me sing. Want to hear a song?”
She nodded as she rubbed her eyes, softly grabbing Shouta’s hand as they are all lead into the living room. They all sit on the couch; Shouta is to the side, with Eri close by. Hizashi leans in closer to the two and he begins.
“Short steps, deep breath, everything is alright”, Hizashi began the song and immediately, Eri stared awestruck at the blond man. There was still so much she didn’t know about either of them. Yet, she felt she knew them well too. Eri was fully aware that Shouta loved cats and Hizashi hated bugs; she knows that they love each other very much as they are always together, even at work.
Shouta smiled at the song; it was one of his favorite’s that Hizashi sang.
“ Chin up”, the blonde used his finger to lift up Eri’s head, in return, she smiled. “I can’t..step into the spotlight.”
“She said, ‘I’m sad’ーsomehow without any words. I just stood there, searching for an answer”
Eri loved his voice. The glow of the green eyes as he sang the lullaby made her feel sleepy. She leaned back, onto Shouta, who did not mind in the slightest. Her crimson eyes stayed focused on Hizashi, half lidded.
“When this world is no more..the moon is all we’ll see. I’ll ask you to fly away with me.” Hizashi emphasizes this line with stretching out his hand, letting Eri hold it, her small hand intertwining with his own hand. He almost stops to “aww”.
“Until the stars all fall down, they empty from the sky.” Shouta smiles as Hizashi raises his other hand to the ceiling. He couldn’t help the small smile that formed on his face.
“But I don’t mindーif you’re with me, then everything’s alright.”
By the end of the lullaby, Eri is fast asleep.
Hizashi smiles at the sight and suddenly his eyes are determined.
His husband was fully aware of what he was about to say. Shouta carefully carried Eri in his arms. They could always eat lunch in an hour or so.
By the next day, Shouta was dressed in his pro hero costume. Hizashi pulled him into a hug and let go to peck him on the lips.
“We’ll be here, waiting for you.”
Shouta nodded, grabbing his husband’s hand and laying a chaste kiss on it. The man was not usually this affectionate but he needed to alleviate Hizashi.
This was an important mission after all.
Eri awoke to only herself in bed. She sat up and yawned. The young girl sat there, contemplating everything that has happened. She was far away from Kai now; she was safe. She knew that Shouta and Pa weren’t lying.
She loved the warm feeling of calling Hizashi Pa; it felt right. He was so nice to her! She wished he was her real dad. She was relieved to hear that she can call him that but even she knew, it won’t last forever. She had heard it with Shouta’s conversation. She was going to have to go soon.
Her train of thought was interrupted by Pa, who walked into the bedroom carrying a tray of breakfast.
“Morning, sunshine! Made you a special Present Mic breakfast, yeah!” His smile was contagious. Eri jumped up and clapped her hands. She bowed and thanked him for the food. As the two ate their meal together, she couldn’t help but wonder where Shouta was.
Pa noticed this. “Sho will be back soon. Don’t worry.”
This set her nerves to ease.
That night, they sat together as they watched a cartoon. Hizashi had not heard from his raven haired husband and he missed him dearly.
Eri was paying attention elsewhere when she heard something from the window. She quickly hopped off the couch, ignoring her Pa’s protests and looks out the window.
She recognized that fluff of black hair anywhere.
Eri runs to the front door, opening it to meet Shouta. Hizashi also runs, more worried for Eri running out into the street when he sees his dear Sho.
His own green eyes bore into his husband’s dark ones.
Like usually, they communicated through their facial expressions.
Sho? What happened? Please tell me.
Almost instantly, Hizashi cries out, jumping into his husband’s arms, tears burning to escape. Both adults feel their hearts at ease; they did it.
Eri was confused. What had happened?
Noticing the confusion of the child, Shouta let go of Hizashi who turned away to wipe away his tears.
He kneeled down to the girl’s level.
“Eri, I have an important question to ask you.”
Eri stood straight and nodded.
“If you call Hizashi Pa, what would you call me?”
Eri’s eyes widen in surprise and she fiddled with her fingers before looking up, putting up a brave face.
Hizashi chokes out a sob. This was getting so emotional and it was so surreal.
Shouta smiled. “How would you like to call us that officially?”
The question took a few seconds for it to register in her head. Wait, does that mean…?
Her red eyes were wide open as they began to brim with tears. In her own way, she was able to communicate with Shouta.
Does that mean..?
You’re officially part of our family, Eri.
Eri lets the tears stream down her face as she jumps into her Dad’s arms. He pulls her close, his hand over her hair. Pa kneels down with them and he joins in the hug as well. Shouta didn’t cry except for some small tears that escaped his eye. Eri laid her head on her Dad’s chest as she was carried inside. They all sit on the couch, huddled together.
She does wonder how they did it.
How can they allow her to live there with them?
Apparently, Shouta was able to convince very important people that a child is a child, regardless of what quick they have; what they need is a home with loving parents. Aizawa Shouta was able to prove that he and his husband will be more than willing to provide that love and place in their lives.
Eri couldn’t be happier.
She finally found a family, eccentric because of her Pa but it was evened out with her Dad. Life was fun in the household from that day on.
Turns out her Pa was right; everything’s alright.