Chapter 1: A new challenge hits the Aizawa-Yamada family
- Zuku, you tossed the ball too far away!! Now we have to go look out for it before night comes.
- I'm so sorry, Toshi-nii! I'll fetch it, don't worry, I know which direction it went. I won't take long.
- Be quick, and call me if you need my help. I'll wait for you on that bench, all right?
- Okay!! I'll be right back!
And so little Izuku went searching for the red ball, which had ended up getting stuck in the middle of the forest that surrounded his house. His big brother, Hitoshi, had suggested going out to play with it after school, once he saw that his little brother was a little bit anxious that day.
Why was he anxious, you may ask? Well, it was because their parents would be coming back from their trip to Tokyo (which was made because of a secret mission, or so they said), and Izuku had been really nervous about them having trouble coming back (like missing the plane, or their passports, or their bags; basically anything that could -and would- go wrong if they were not careful).
The brothers were rarely left by themselves, and when they were it was under the careful watch of their Uncle Toshinori, but this time he was coming along in the trip, and so their only adult supervision came from the nice old lady that lived next door, who, kindly, made sure the kids were fed and safe.
Hitoshi wasn't afraid of having to take care of Izuku, not by a long shot, but he was, admittedly, a bit stressed-out by not having their parents around, which was understandable all things considered (he was still young, after all).
Izuku, thankfully, was a kind and sweet child, very well behaved for his shortage, and so he didn't put much pressure in his older brother's shoulders, a thing that only made Hitoshi love and value him even more.
That's what Hitoshi was thinking of, among other idle things, when he heard a yell coming from the direction Izuku went to retrieve the ball. A little bit worried -but not much, because his little brother had the tendency to scream for a lot of regular things- he made his way toward the sound.
He found Izuku hunched over himself, with an arm wrapped around his middle zone. He seemed to be in pain, by the way, his face was contorting, and his lips were pursed. The red ball was nowhere to be seen.
- Zuku!! What happened?! Are you feeling okay? Do you feel sick?
The little boy smiled a little, trying to adopt a more relaxed body posture (and failing miserably).
- I'm okay, Toshi-nii. I just feel a little off, that's all. I'll be okay once we get dinner, though!!
He didn't convince Hitoshi, but since he did agree on the idea of taking the little boy back home, he didn't see the point in fighting his little brother's proposition.
- All right, bud. Let's get back, then. I'm sure Dad and Papa are about to arrive from their trip too, anyway.
He put his back toward Izuku and hunched over, gesturing for the little boy to hop-on so he could give him a piggyback ride back home. The kid, grateful, got a firm grip on his big brother's neck and got comfortable against Hitoshi's warm body, which felt nice against Izuku's aching stomach.
(They forgot to look for the red ball, Hitoshi realized later that day).
They made their way back at a nice, slow pace, with Hitoshi occasionally checking in on Izuku to make sure he didn't fall asleep before having dinner.
What a great surprise it was when he got to their house and saw their fathers getting out of a taxi right at that moment. Shouta -Dad- and Hizashi -Papa- even though both looked worn out and ready to go to sleep right then and there, had their faces lighted up once they saw their boys coming their way.
- Toshi!! Zuku!! Our beautiful boys, we missed you so much!!
Said Hizashi, before hugging them -awkwardly, with Izuku still in Hitoshi's back and everything- and giving them forehead kisses (Hitoshi was kind of embarrassed, but he tried to put his love for his father before his shame).
Shouta, who had been watching patiently, got near the kids and took Izuku into his arms, hugging him close, so Hitoshi could be free to be put into a hug too.
- Missed you, problem children. How was everything while we were gone?
The family got into the house while they were chatting their hearts away (well, mostly Hizashi and a tired Izuku were talking, but still), sharing their experiences and little adventures that transcurred while they were separated.
Shouta, who still had Izuku in his arms, noted the weird behavior his youngest was expressing, though, and so got a bit concerned toward Izuku.
- Zuku, you feel kind of feverish: are you feeling okay? Does anything hurt?
The young boy shook his head, giving his father a timid smile.
- I'm just a little tired, Dad. But I wanna spend some time with you guys before going to bed, so I promise I won't fall asleep.
- Mm, okay, but if you feel bad you will tell us, won't you?
-Yes, I swear Dad!
And so they had dinner together, sharing quality time as a family. A couple of hours later, both fathers deemed it time for their children to go to bed (they had school the next day), and so they all parted ways: kids to their shared room (which was actually only Izuku's, but since the little kid insisted on having Hitoshi sleep with him -and the older boy didn't mind- they ended up putting his bed there, too, [although Hitoshi did have his own room, for whenever he wished to spend some time alone]), and parents to the master bedroom.
Lights soon went out, and silence reigned in the happy house.
Until, at around two in the morning, Hitoshi was woken up by distressed sounds coming from his brother's bed.
-Zuku? - he asked, with a bit of drowsiness from sleep. - Hey, bud, are you okay?
- T-Toshi-nii, I'm not feeling so g-good - came the weak answer from the child's bed. Once Hitoshi got close, he could see the bad state his brother was in: he was pale as a sheet, with droplets of sweat all over his body, blue lips, and limbs trembling uncontrollably.
- Zuku! It'll be okay, all right? I'll go get Papa, just wait for a bit, I'll be right back!
And so he hurried to wake up his father, who was more than a little confused but went along anyway once he saw how distressed his eldest looked.
And with good reason, too. Izuku, logically, had been sick before. His sicknesses tended to be worse than Hitoshi's because he had a rather weak immune system from birth. But, even considering that, they had never seen him look so bad. And, because of that, Hizashi got worried to the point where he had to ask Hitoshi to wake up Shouta (which, in the rare occasions were the man had the chance to sleep at night -he worked night shifts- was something akin to a sin).
- What is it, Zashi? What happened? - asked the man, before taking a look at their youngest.
And, to the surprise of no one, he looked shocked.
- We have to take him to the hospital, right now! He can barely breathe!
And that was true: Izuku's chest was going up and down violently, making an erratic and worrisome movement. He was gasping and clinging tightly to Hizashi's hand, who had given it to him upon arriving by the child's side.
To put it short, it was a rather tiresome and stressful night. The family ended up in the emergency room of the nearest hospital, waiting for someone to tell them what had happened to the child. The answer was blood-freezing.
- We had to run a toxicological exam to check for any anomalies in his system, and we found out that he was, well, he was put under the effects of a rather dangerous drug.
A heavy silence fell upon them until Hitoshi broke it by asking what all of them were thinking.
- So, he was poisoned?
- Yes, exactly, that's what we think. The chemicals that compone the drug have to be processed in a lab, and most of them are not things you find in drugstores.
- My poor baby - said Hizashi, crying in silence. - Thank you, doctor, for telling us as soon as you found out. Do you think we'll be able to see our son soon?
- Nothing to thank me for, sir, is just my job. And you should be able to go see him in about an hour, once we make sure that there are no other complications where it comes to Izuku's health.
- Thanks, doctor. Please let us know if anything else comes up. - Said Shouta, bowing a little bit, before taking both his husband and his son into a tight hug, where everyone shed a couple of tears.
Who could have done such a thing? To Izuku, of all people, who was so kind, sweet and selfless. It clearly was a way of attacking the pro-heroes but, it was an extreme thing to do, considering that Hizashi and Shouta didn't have enemies, not really.
So, why poison their ray of sunshine?
- He will have problems with eating regular meals for a while because his body is struggling to go back to its previous state. He has a weak immune system, as you know, so his recovery will take more time than it would in a regular situation. With that said, you don't have to worry about anything else: Izuku is stable and will be free to go with you once you fill the discharging papers. Please, come back should any weird symptom come up, though. It's highly improbable, but we cannot take any risks.
Papers filled and other matters taken care of, the family made their way back home in humble silence, processing everything that had happened that day.
- Toshi, son, you don’t know who could have done this, do you?
- No, Papa, if I knew I’d have told you from the start. Izuku looked healthy most of yesterday; he only complained about a stomachache a little while before you guys got home, and that happened when he went searching for his red ball in the forest.
- You didn’t accompany him?
- I didn’t think it was necessary, he wasn’t going far away and I was paying attention should anything happen to him.
- Okay, son, we understand. Nothing else happened? Nothing suspicious?
- Well, the only thing that comes to mind is Izuku screaming out of nowhere. I never think much of it, because he tends to yell for a lot of things, but I still went to check on him after that, and I found him doubled over himself, looking kind of sick. He dismissed me, though, when I asked him if he was okay, and I could only think of taking him home if he was feeling a little under the weather, so I did just that.
- So, you didn’t notice if there was someone suspicious near there, did you?
- No, Dad, I did not. – Said Hitoshi, looking down and clenching his fists, feeling ashamed of himself - I’m sorry.
Both fathers shared a look, deciding to keep on discussing the matter when they were alone; Hitoshi was too stressed out by everything that had happened, and it would have been unfair to keep on pressing him to respond questions he did not know the answers to.
They gave their son a big hug, assuring him that they were not mad at him, that he was not the one to blame for what had happened, and also telling him that they all would have to be more careful from then on, because Hitoshi himself could be the next target, considering they could only assume that whoever poisoned Izuku was trying to get to the heroes by hurting their children.
- Izuku is going to spend the night with us, but it will only be because we need to keep an eye on his symptoms, okay? He will go back to your room once we know for sure that he is up and about again.
- Okay, Dad. Will you let me know if anything happens to him?
- Of course. I’ll be asking Nedzu for a couple of days off, so I can keep an eye on him during the day, and Hizashi will be taking care of him through the night. So, if anything comes up, we will notify us, and that includes you, son.
That left Hitoshi feeling lighter, reassured. So, after giving Izuku one final squeeze in the hand, he went to his room, grabbed his school uniform and went to one of the two bathrooms to take a shower. His fathers offered to let him stay home for the day, but the boy had an important exam in the morning, and he didn’t want to fail by not going.
He wanted to get into UA next year, after all. So, he needed great grades.
He took a quick glance at himself in the mirror the next morning and, to his utter disappointment, his eye bags were more prominent than ever. Which honestly was not surprising, considering how little sleep he got that night.
In the kitchen he found his Dad making breakfast, while his Papa was already sitting at the table, with Izuku on his lap. He was trying to coerce the child into taking a bite of the porridge he had made him, to no avail. Izuku was pale and trembling, and he clearly didn’t want to have anything to do with food at the moment.
- Come on, honey. Just one bite and I’ll take you to bed, okay? How does that sound?
He got no verbal response, but Izuku did have that one bite of porridge, for the sake of his father’s anxiety.
- All right, hand him to me, Zashi. I’ll put him to bed while you get ready for work. – Said Shouta, taking the little boy into his arms and getting him out of the room, toward the master bedroom.
- Papa? Why is Zuku still looking so bad? They got the poison out of his body, didn’t they?
- I’m asking myself the same thing, Toshi. If this keeps up, we’ll have to ask Recovery Girl to take a look at him.
- Why not do that right away?
- Because she’ll be very busy at school since UA’s physical exams take place this week. Maybe we could take Izuku to her tomorrow if she gives us the okay. I’ll ask her this afternoon.
- Sounds like a plan, then.
After that little chat, both father and son had a quick breakfast, brushed their teeth and got into the family’s car, first toward Hitoshi’s middle school to drop him off. Quite convenient for the parents to have their son going to a school that was in the way to UA, really.
- Hey, hey bud, It’s okay, you’ll be okay, try taking deep breaths.
Shouta had been repeating the same words like a mantra, all day long. Izuku had been sick more times than he cared to count, and so the trips to the bathroom had been going on non-stop.
To say that Shouta was worried would be the understanding of the century. He tried to coax his child into eating soft, bland meals, but the kid couldn’t keep them down. That afternoon, though, things got even worse, because Izuku –who had been having a restless sleep- woke up asking for water, only to end up throwing it up a couple of minutes later.
That’s where they were at the moment, with Shouta holding his son up while he dry-heaved into the toilet. The boy kept going at it for a while, but eventually, he passed out into his father’s arms, feverish and miserable.
Shouta, trying to convince himself that he was not overreacting, flushed the toilet and got the kid to bed, putting a wet towel against the boy’s forehead. After that, he called Hizashi, who was in the middle of getting ready to go home, gathering his belongings.
- Hey, love, how is our little boy holding up?
- Hizashi, look, I don’t know if I’m overreacting, but I’m pretty worried…
- Why? What happened?!
- He’s been throwing up all day, to the point where he even cannot keep water down. He’s running a fever, he’s unresponsive, and he cannot stop shivering. And I don’t understand why; didn’t they clean up his stomach? His entire system? He should at most be tired, but not to this extreme. Zashi, I called you because I don’t know what to do.
Hizashi took a few deep breaths, quickly taking everything he owned and speed walking through UA’s alleys, toward the infirmary.
- All right, babe, I’m on my way to the nursery, to tell Shuzenji-san we need medical advice. If she cannot come with us, we’ll take Izuku back to the hospital.
- Okay, Zashi, we’ll wait here. I sent a message to Hitoshi, so he should be here at the same time as you do, so don’t worry about that.
- That’s really good, babe. I’ll see you all in a bit, then.
- See you, love.
Hizashi quickly entered the room once he reached it, hurriedly explaining to a surprised Recovery Girl the basics of Izuku’s condition. The woman, out of the goodness of her heart, said that it was not a problem to go check on the boy, even though she –not knowing the gravity of the situation- suspected that he only had the flu.
They both made their way to the house in fifteen minutes, give or take, and hurried inside the moment they got there (which coincided with the arrival of Hitoshi, who rapidly saluted them before following them inside the house), calling out for Shouta.
- In here – came his voice from the master bedroom. He was holding Izuku against his chest, reciting soothing words to the boy, who was clinging to him fervently. Izuku had recovered conscience a little while ago, and he was so shacked up by everything that was happening that he begged his father to give him a hug (as if Shouta needed the begging).
- Hey, bud, look, it’s Recovery Girl. She’s here to take a look at you; isn’t that great?
- Y-yes. T-thank you, ma’am.
- Oh, it’s okay sweetie, don’t thank me. Now, if you could lay him flat on the bed, Shouta dear, I’ll start right away.
- Of course.
Easier said than done because Izuku didn’t want to let go of his father. Shouta had to lay beside him for the kid to calm down because he started crying when he attempted to get away from the boy, and they could not have him getting even more dehydrated.
Recovery Girl took note of all of the symptoms the boy was showing, and also took note of the ones he wasn’t. They made no sense, though, because if they were from poisoning they should have been dealt with when they took the boy to the hospital.
So, what was going on?
Testing out a theory, Recovery Girl gave the boy one of her healing kisses.
And the boy got better, she could feel it. What she could also feel, though, was that the thing making him sick did not go away; it only got dismissed for a while. The boy’s body could not eradicate it on his own.
- Oh my, oh my, we have a bit of a problem, dearies. My quirk isn’t making lasting effects, and that might mean that Izuku cannot be cured of this apparent sickness.
Three pairs of utterly worried eyes met hers, and she steeled herself for what she was in the obligation of telling them.
- I’m afraid this might be the result of a quirk messing with the boy’s body. I can’t be sure, of course, but it could explain the oddness of the situation. It may have something to do with some kind of infection that cannot be healed nor removed, because it isn’t known by nowadays science, and so it cannot be identified in his blood or some other kind of test.
- Wait, Chiyo, the doctor said it was poisoning. – Said Shouta, trying to calm the kid beside him, who looked at the woman like his world was crashing down. And it kind of was.
- I don’t doubt that Izuku was, indeed, under the effects of something like pharmacological drugs when you took him to the hospital yesterday. I believe that, whoever it was, the person who gave that to him needed to actually put a substance to poison into his body, and then they mutated the drug – using their quirk- so it no longer had its original chemical structure, making it impossible for us to detect or purge.
She let her words sink in, before giving them the –more or less- bright side of the news.
- The only good side of this is that we can give Izuku some medicine and treatments so he can make a normal life again. He’ll have to live taking pills and getting medical appointments, but that way we’ll make sure to be constantly fighting the lethal symptoms this unknown substance will, for sure, keep on putting upon the dearie’s body.
- What would happen if he doesn’t follow said treatments? If he were to spend a long amount of time without taking his medicine, for example? – asked Hizashi, taking the boy's hand, while his free one went to Hitoshi’s shoulder, who was on the verge of tears.
- Look at him now, Hizashi, and tell me what do you think will happen if I don’t do anything and simply let him try to fight this sickness alone. His body won’t be able to recover, I assure you. He will only get worse until his immune system ends up giving up on him, or even worse, it could end up going against the boy’s body, like when a person has allergies. I’m trying to tell you that, should my theory be correct, this is the only way that comes to my mind to help Izuku live a relatively normal life, from now on.
The silence that followed was so tense that it could be cut with scissors. The fathers and the boys were confused and frustrated because they could only hope that Recovery Girl’s theory was correct and that they wouldn’t be missing their youngest family member due to some external factors they could not fight.
- Hey, bud, hey… Don’t cry, it’s going to be okay. We’ll have you healthy again in no time, you’ll see.
- W-what she said i-is true, Dad – wailed Izuku, hugging his father with all his might.
- Are you sure? Did you by chance use your quirk on who did this to you, honey? – asked Hizashi, after understanding what the boy meant.
He received a nod from the kid.
- Then… why didn’t you say anything before? Zuku? Hey, no, please don’t cry, I’m not mad at you!
Hitoshi found himself the prey of his brother’s arms, who –between sobs- said that he couldn’t see the person, because they attacked him from behind. His quirk was one that was turned on all the time, so he naturally had sensed the unknown person’s meta ability.
He told them what had happened; how he had started feeling funny once he touched his red ball, how a person put a knife against his throat to get him to keep quiet, and then stabbed him with a syringe right in the side, putting a dark liquid into his body. He told them that it was all so fast that he barely got the chance to understand the quirk of the said person; the ability to manipulate chemical structures of any compound in existence. After that he yelled, knowing that his brother would come looking for him, and Izuku tossed the ball as far as he could, so Hitoshi wouldn´t be affected by whatever was in it. (He was even careful not to directly touch anyone before cleaning his hands, by pulling his sleeves over them).
They would have to take all that information and verify it as true with Naomasa’s help (a friend of the family who was a detective with a lie-detector quirk), but so far they didn´t have a reason to doubt Izuku’s word.
- T-they s-said that they w-would hurt you i-if I told y-you, Toshi-nii. I’m s-so sorry! I-I didn’t w-want them to hurt y-you!
And so Hitoshi’s heart was broken because everything had happened under his watch. “What a hero you’ll be”, he thought bitterly, realizing he could have protected his brother by coming along with him.
(Or they could both be in the same circumstances, to say the truth, but Hitoshi wasn’t able to see that side of the coin yet).
Recovery Girl gave both parents a lot of indications, such as prescribing a considerable amount of meds, and instructing them to find a nutritionist so they could give them a special diet that went along with the new lifestyle Izuku would have to adopt.
- I’m also going to have you come to see me once a month to check on you, all right dearie? You shouldn’t necessarily need me to heal you, but as long as I’m alive I’ll help you out by giving you one of my healing kisses when you come to your appointments. Sounds good, honey?
Izuku nodded and thanked her, all while clinging to Hizashi, who had become his new hug-victim. The family saw her out, thanking her profusely while they tried to digest the news.
That sure was life-changing, huh?
The fathers would have to take care of everything Izuku would now need, and they would also have to take Hitoshi to an appointment with his therapist because he was definitely putting himself at fault for something that was beyond him.
They spent that night’s dinner in utter silence, with only the soft sound of cutlery against dishes, and the occasional sorb from Izuku who, thanks to Chiyo’s kiss, had been feeling better for a while and could actually have his soup without any inconvenience.
- Okay, boys, this is what we’ll do tomorrow: Hitoshi and I will go shopping to get everything we’ll need from now on. We’ll also get you an appointment with Mrs. Otonashi, son, and don’t give me that look because we have discussed in many occasions the importance of not taking a burden that isn’t yours.
Hitoshi didn’t say anything, opting to look at his soba and only nodding his head to acknowledge Shouta.
- Then I will stay with my sunshine boy for the day, doesn’t that sound like fun, honey?
- Yes Papa!!
- It is decided, then. Let’s go to bed so we can take care of everything early in the morning.
As they had decided upon arriving from the hospital, Izuku went to sleep with their fathers, while Hitoshi went to his own room –the one he barely used- so he could clear his mind from everything.
He fell asleep a little while after getting into bed, but his sleep was interrupted when he felt something warm wrap tightly around his body. And he knew perfectly well who it was.
- Zuku, they are going to be really sulky if they wake up to find you here instead of there.
- I wanted to be with you, just for a bit. I promise I’ll go back before they wake up.
- Oh no, now you are stuck here, don’t you dare leave me after waking me up.
That got Izuku to giggle softly and wasn’t that a nice sound to hear, after the shitty day the boy had.
- Zuku. You know that I love you, don’t you?
- Yes, Toshi-nii, and I love you too, lots!
Hitoshi pulled his little brother closer, after that. He could feel Izuku’s heart beating beneath his t-shirt and the soft rise and fall of his chest. For that moment, the older boy let himself forget about everything that had happened, concentrating only on the good old brotherly love that he shared with the kid.
Nothing was better.
Izuku, true to his word, had gotten back to his fathers’ bedroom a little while after Hitoshi fell asleep. He got himself between the two adults, hugging an arm of each one, waiting for sleep to claim him.
It did not. Izuku started feeling bad again at around three in the morning but, since it was a simple stomachache, he decided to let his parents sleep for a while longer, and so he waited for them to wake up with the alarm.
(He got himself slightly scolded for not “bothering” his parents, but he also got a hug and the reassurance of them never being bothered by his needs, so it didn’t actually feel like a scold).
They did what they had decided the day before, and so Hizashi stood by Izuku’s side all day, playing with him, and comforting him when the boy’s discomfort was much too evident for the child to suppress it. While he did that (having called Nedzu to inform of the situation in the house, and so getting permission for him to skip work, and also having called Hitoshi’s school to excuse him from class that day), Shouta and Hitoshi went shopping to buy the mix of pills Izuku would have to take, made the appointment with the therapist, and also got the green-haired boy an hour with the nutritionist.
And that’s how their lives got into a totally new direction, which was a little hard to bear at the beginning (because there was a time where Izuku threw up blood, and they hadn’t been so afraid in all their lives), but that they ended up dominating, more or less. (Izuku became sick-buds with his Uncle Toshinori, which was a dark thing to say, but they got their happiness where they could, so nobody said anything to them).
All in all, life kept its course, and so did the Aizawa-Yamada family.
So, who poisoned Izuku?
Somebody who was entrusted to do so, and too afraid to refuse the job.
Said person tried (hard) to fulfill the job, but didn’t count on the boy having a quirk that told him what other people’s quirks were, so she didn’t believe her eyes when she saw him all dandy playing in the forest, with only a subtle paleness to prove that he was, indeed, under her quirk effects.
She was okay with that, though. If her boss thought the brat was dead, and nothing proved him wrong, everything would be okay. So, she decided that if life didn’t want to let the brat die, why should she insist on the matter?
She got put to jell a couple of years after that, for minor robbery. Soon she entered the system, and out of so, Naomasa was able to relate her to what had happened to Izuku, adding those charges to her final sentence. Life imprisonment (well, she had it coming).
She couldn’t help them, though, because she did not remember how she had mutated the infection in the boy’s body (she made it in a rush, right at that moment). It was more muscle memory than anything, and if she were to play around with the chemical structure of the deathly agent she could easily make things worse before they got better (she could even kill the boy, so, it was not worth a shot, really).
Chapter 2: Where Izuku becomes a savior (without meaning to)
Izuku was really happy that day.
Izuku was really happy because his parents told him he would be accompanying them to UA; that was like a dream come true for the kid, who admired the academy for multiple reasons (the most important being the fact that all his family members went there on a regular basis).
Seeing how Papa had to finish grading some tests, and Dad had a field-trip with Toshi’s class that day, the kid had been left on the teacher’s lounge under the caring eye of his Aunt Nemuri, who was in the process of sharing some stories of his parents when they were teenagers. The boy giggled a lot at her antics, enjoying the way she made everything sound comical, even when it was a not-exactly funny thing, like falling asleep in class (and whoa, his Dad did that a lot).
- Anyway, honey, do you know what was the reason behind your beautiful presence here? Your parents didn’t say a thing to me.
- Oh! That’s because there was a villain attack near the school that managed to slightly damage the property; they gave us the week off so they may fix the place.
- I see… What a strange thing to happen, huh… Well, the bright side is I get to see you here all week! I feel so blessed, Zuku!
Izuku felt immense happiness by hearing her say that; it made his heart feel full of love.
He hugged Midnight tightly, to show her just how much joy he felt from her loving words. They stayed like that for a while, until it was time for her to go to her morning classes.
- I’m afraid I have to go see my brats now, dear, but luckily for you, your Uncle Toshinori had a few difficulties that led to him staying here on campus, so go ahead and pay him a visit! He should be on principal Nedzu’s office!
- All right, I’ll go then! See you later, Aunty! Love you!
- Aww! Love you too, honey, see you soon!
And so they parted ways. Izuku hurried through the corridors in hope of avoiding too many people catching him (his parents told him not to talk to anyone who was a stranger, and that included alumni). Because he did so, he ended up being in front of the principal’s office on record time.
He hesitated before knocking –after all, while he obviously did know Uncle Toshi, he hadn’t met principal Nedzu many times before, and so he didn’t want to intrude- but eventually got enough courage and softly thumped on the door, receiving a cheery “come in” from inside the room.
- Good morning, Nedzu-san and Uncle Toshi– politely saluted Izuku, before closing the door behind him. – Aunt Nemuri told me I could come to see you, but I can go back to the teacher’s lounge if I’m interrupting!
- My boy! What a pleasant surprise! Come here, dear child, you are not interrupting anything; now is he, principal?
- Of course not! Come, Aizawa-kun, please get comfortable. Would you like to have a cup of tea?
Izuku, who had approached is Uncle in hopes of getting a hug, was currently sitting on the man’s lap, embraced by him loosely to make the kid feel more at ease.
- I would like that very much, thank you, sir.
- My, such a polite young man you are, Aizawa-kun! – stated Nedzu, while handing the kid a cup of green tea. - And you are also pretty eloquent for a child; how old are you, exactly, if you don’t mind me asking?
- Oh, t-thank you, sir! I’m five years old, and I’ll turn six in July.
- That’s impressive, young man! Your speech truly is remarkable for such a young age. Now, why don’t you tell me a little more about yourself?
And so they started a nice conversation, were Toshinori helped the kid out when Izuku didn’t know how to respond to Nedzu’s questions. The principal, naturally, had known the kid would be coming to UA that day and all week (Hizashi had asked for his permission, after all), though he hadn’t expected to get the opportunity to actually see him.
Really, the child was such a nice person to talk to it would have been a shame, had he not gotten the chance to chat with the boy.
Everything was going smoothly, having the conversation turned around the kid’s hobby of making hero analysis (if you wish to, please let me take a look at one of your books, Aizawa-kun!) when, all of a sudden, the kid went stiff between his Uncle’s arms. He stopped responding altogether, looking lost and confused.
- My boy? What’s wrong? Are you feeling okay?
He howled inconsolably, trying to calm his rapidly beating heart, in vain. Toshinori was hugging him tightly, trying to comfort the weeping child, who was clutching the man’s t-shirt vehemently.
A few gasps later, Izuku tried to explain what had happened.
- S-something’s w-wrong, p-people are s-suffering. – The boy took another shaky breath, managing to somewhat stabilize his erratic breathing (Toshinori’s hands carding through the child’s hair certainly did help). - They a-are crying out for help. They are so afraid!
- Who, Aizawa-kun? Who are you referring to?
- I-I don’t know exactly who, sir, I’m s-sorry. But there are many people feeling fear right now, and it comes f-from that direction.
Izuku pointed with one shaky finger in the way the USJ was located (but of course he couldn’t have known that), making both adults freeze. Nedzu, considering it a precaution, tried to contact Thirteen (the hero who was accompanying Shouta on class 1A’s trip that day) only to find himself unable to do so. He couldn’t contact Aizawa, either.
And that rang many red flags on the mammal’s head.
- All Might, I can’t contact our resident heroes at the USJ; all communication has been blocked. Following Aizawa-kun’s description of people on distress, we should take action and send some teachers on their aid. It’s better to be safe than sorry, after all.
- All right, I’ll come along with them, too.
- Are you sure?
- Of course; I should have been there in the first place, anyway.
He received a short nod from the principal, who then quickly contacted a considerable amount of teachers and instructed them to go toward the Unforeseen Simulation Joint, warning them of the possible danger they might find there.
Toshinori then excused himself, rushing out of the office and leaving Izuku under the care of Nedzu.
- Come here, Aizawa-kun. You do not have to worry anymore, all right? Do you still feel this other people’s fear?
- Y-yes, sir -Izuku shortly answered, unable to move fluidly toward the creature; the emotions were so strong they had the kid almost completely unable to understand what was going on around him. Pretty soon he would get a nosebleed, he knew it.
Nedzu contemplated the state the kid was in momentarily, finally deciding to confirm what he had been thinking from a while ago and so asking the child:
- Are you by any chance an empath, Aizawa-kun?
A small nod was the only response to that. The kid started looking seconds away from passing out, so Nedzu gently guided him to the sofa in the room, instructing him to lay down.
- I’m sorry I cannot give you something to help with your ability, Aizawa-kun. Try to rest now, okay? Take deep breaths, and if you feel the need to sleep, please don’t refrain from doing so, dear child.
- O-okay. T-thank you, s-sir.
The animal gently patted the boy’s hand, assuring him there was nothing to thank him for. He then fetched a blanket he had stored on a closet, gently tucking the child with it.
He also got the kid napkins to try and recede his sudden nosebleed (which the boy had, as you can tell, correctly predicted).
Izuku, pained and tired, passed out a few minutes after that, under the worried watch of the principal.
- Thank you again for looking after him, sir.
- It was no problem, Yamada-kun! I hope he feels better when he wakes up; dear child looked pretty bad a little while ago. Also, please let me know how he and your other boys are holding up; I heard Aizawa-kun and Hitoshi-kun suffered concerning injuries from the attack.
Hizashi sighed, lifting Izuku into his arms. – Of course, Sir. They… they should be okay, at least. I’ll let you know.
With a quick farewell, Hizashi left the office and tried to hurry toward the family’s car, making quick work of accommodating his beloved son on the backseat.
The hospital awaited them.
- Izuku, baby, hey… please wake up, son.
Izuku groggily opened his eyes, coming face to face with the exhausted face of his Papa.
- P-papa? What happened?
- I’ll explain everything to you, baby, but first I need you to take this pill for me, okay? We have to go inside a hospital, so we better take some precautions.
The little boy complied easily, although it was a little hard to swallow a pill when his throat was hurting so much.
- Thank you, honey. Now, before we go inside, I should warn you about what we might find.
And so the blonde man explained the USJ accident to his five-year-old son, feeling more and more guilty as he saw how his dear kid’s expression transformed from a peaceful one to one filled to the brim with horror.
- S-so, there was a villain attack? How? UA is supposed to be safe! Papa was hurt! Toshi was hurt too! Even Uncle Toshinori!
The kid was starting to panic, his breathing getting more and more agitated as he spoke. Hizashi hugged him, trying to calm down the boy, and it worked to an extent; Izuku seemed to relax a little on the warm embrace of his father.
- They were hurt in a place that was supposed to be safe, Papa… They hurt Thirteen-san, they hurt Hitoshi’s classmates… - tears appeared on the boy’s eyes, quietly sliding through his cheeks. – Why did they do that, Papa? What did they want?
- I don’t know, baby. Maybe our boys do, though; we should ask them when they wake up.
Hizashi rocked the child for a while, right there on the hospital’s parking lot, muttering soft words of reassurance to the crying kid, who ended up falling asleep on his Papa’s arms.
The blonde man dried Izuku’s cheeks with the sleeve of his hand, and after doing the same thing with his own face, gathered enough courage and entered the place where their family awaited them.
- Zashi? Is that you?
- Hey, love. Yes, it’s me; how are you feeling?
- Tired. And I have a nasty headache too, but all in all, I think I’m good. How are my students? Do you know anything?
- Most of your kids are okay, honey. Toshi was the only one actually hurt, but I’d assume that’s not the case when it comes to trauma. Other than you, Toshinori and Thirteen were also badly injured, if we talk about heroes. Most villains were apprehended by the police, save for a pair that used a quirk to disappear from the scene, according to witnesses. That’s all I know, for now, babe, I’m sorry.
- No, it’s okay, Zashi. It was what I needed to know right now. Where’s Toshi, though?
- Right beside you; I asked for you two to be placed in the same room, seeing you’re related and all. He’s sleeping right now.
- That’s good to hear. –Shouta exhaled, trying to avoid thinking about Hitoshi’s screams when the hand-villain grabbed his armpit, making it disintegrate a little until Shouta managed to stop the quirk from functioning.
That would plague his nightmares for months, it was a given.
– Where’s Izuku? Is he at home?
- No, honey, he’s right here. I was in a rush; I didn’t even think about leaving him under Nemuri’s care. I’m-
- Don’t say “sorry”, Zashi. I’m actually happy he’s here with us; I was worried about Izuku, thought he might have felt some strong emotions coming from the USJ, seeing we were not that far away from campus.
- Nedzu told me he was the one who alerted him of the attack, actually. Said our little kid started crying about people been afraid and then pointed toward where you guys where. The principal took action as a precaution, and well, we’re all glad he did considerate Izuku’s warnings.
- Oh dear… Zashi; this means we might have to look into his quirk more, see what it’s limits are, what it’s range radius is. It seems like his ability has gotten even stronger over the years.
- You’re right, Shou, really, but please let’s not talk about that with him yet, okay? He’s pretty stressed-out as it is; I don’t believe he’ll take more deep conversations well right now.
- Of course, love, don’t worry.
Hizashi –after laying Izuku at the feet of Shouta’s bed, with a blanket covering his body- gently sat on the bed and hugged his husband, unable to do much more since the man was practically a mummy with how many bandages were covering him.
They fell asleep like that.
- Papa, you’re squishing Daddy.
Hizashi lazily opened his eyes, quickly realizing just how right Izuku was; poor Shouta had practically all of his husband’s weight over him.
That couldn’t be comfortable, seeing how injured the black-haired man was.
- Oh dear! Thanks for waking me up, baby. – Hizashi sat on the bed and then opened his arms after noticing how Izuku wished to get a hug, soon getting the kid nestled between them. - How are you this morning, Zuku? Are you feeling better?
- Yes, Papa; I’m still tired, but I don’t hurt anymore. Did Dad wake up while I was asleep?
- Yes, baby, we chatted for a while last night. He was happy to have you here.
- Papa? Zuku? – interrupted Hitoshi’s voice, revealing a tired-looking boy who clearly didn’t understand a thing. – What’s going on?
- Hey, honey! It’s so good to see you awake! – Hizashi gently sat Izuku besides his brother, embracing his eldest with fervor after asking the kid if he’d let him hug him (the blonde feared he might hurt even more his poor son). – We were so worried! I’m so sorry you all had to go through that so soon in your hero-path…
- It’s okay, Papa. I’m just a little itchy from the bandages, anyway, nothing too bad. Is everyone else all right, though?
- Well, your father is right beside you, as you noticed. Thirteen was pretty injured, but they were healed just fine and should be resting right now. All Might suffered some concerning wounds, too, but he’s also been taken care of by doctors and is currently here in this hospital slumbering, so I’m sure he’s gonna be okay. Nobody else was hurt, or well, not physically, at least. That more or less sums it up, Toshi.
- All in all, I’m glad that everyone’s relatively safe; this could have been way worse than how it turned out… - responded Hitoshi, gently stroking his fingers through Izuku’s mess of green hair. The kid had gotten comfortable under his brother’s bedsheets while he chatted with their Papa, letting his head rest against the teen’s left shoulder, reminiscing on his warmness.
- Zuku, baby, would you like to accompany me to visit Uncle Toshinori? Or would you rather stay here, with your brother?
- Can I stay here and go visit him later, Papa?
- Of course, pumpkin. I’ll bring us some food when I come back, then. – Hizashi kissed both his sons on the forehead, then turned toward the door. – Before I go; Toshi, please call a nurse so they can do a quick check-up on you. We might get to leave this afternoon if they deem you well enough, so let’s hope for the best!
- Yes, Papa; see you in a bit!
- Bye-bye Papa!
The man smiled softly to his dear children and then got out of the room.
A nurse came to do a quick check-up on Toshi after he called them, professionally assessing his injuries with vertiginous speed. He deemed the teen good enough to leave the hospital after his parents gave the okay and then turned to do the same procedure with Shouta, who had awakened a little after Hizashi had left the room.
(The man had assaulted Hitoshi with questions about the teen’s wellbeing, only relenting once the boy assured him that yes, he felt fine and that he promised he’ll avoid doing anything as reckless again, honestly).
- Your injuries are quite concerning, sir, so I’d recommend you take it easy for a while, all right? We’ll let you leave the hospital if you feel like it, anyway, seeing that it won’t really make a difference to keep you here or to let you go; it’s all a matter of resting from here-on-out.
Shouta thanked the nurse politely, promising to not strain himself unnecessarily (yeah sure). It was all a white lie to get the nurse to give him the okay to go home, which would allow Shouta to get rid of the darn smell of antiseptic that had impregnated on him.
- Daddy? A-are you going to be okay?
A tiny body climbed Shouta’s bed until it was –oh so carefully- wrapped around his left arm.
- Yes, bud, don’t worry. – assured the father, giving his son a kiss to the temple (or so he tried). - Granny Chiyo said she’ll give me a hand if I go visit her at school, so I’m sure I’ll be back to normal by the end of the week.
- I’m so glad, Daddy. I was scared…
Shouta couldn’t see anything from the bandages on his eyes, but he imagined Izuku wearing the sadness he had seen oh so many times on his boy’s face before.
- I can only imagine, Zuku. You were so brave, though; you really did save us, my little hero.
The little boy shed a couple of tears at that, silently hugging his father after muttering a soft “thank you, Dad”.
Hitoshi only stored the exchanged information for later, when he could ask exactly what his Dad had meant by the “saving us” part. Right at the time, though, he stayed quiet to let those two have their special moment.
- Uncle Toshi! Are you okay?!
- Izuku, my boy! Yes, dear child, I’m nothing short of all right! Even better now that I saw you!
- I’m so glad! I was so worried! – the kid practically flew into his Uncle’s arms, hugging the man as hard as he dared, careful of the hero’s battered body. The blonde laughed softly, patting the kid’s head tenderly.
- You know, Zuku? You saved a lot of people, yesterday. As a hero, I must thank you for your help, my boy, but as your Uncle? I couldn’t be prouder of you and your amazing abilities that suite your big heart so well, my dear child. You’re always going to be amazing no matter what you choose to do in the future; I only wanted you to have that in mind.
- Aww, now you made my son cry, Toshinori! –reprimanded Hizashi, who had been watching the interaction from a corner of the other man’s room.
- Ah, maybe I should be sorry about that, but honestly? I meant every word.
Izuku cried louder, only calming down after Toshi gently caressed the green curls on the kid’s head.
- When can I speak to young Hitoshi, Yamada-kun?
- Oh! He should be coming here in a bit; they gave him the okay to leave, so he said he’ll pass by before doing so.
- All right! I have many things to say to him, too. He has grown so much; these three years I’ve been knowing him… I hope you don’t mind me saying so, Yamada-kun, but your boys really make me feel proud.
- Not at all, All Might… I know what you mean. I’m grateful for how much you’ve supported us as a family, both as a hero and as a person; thank you very much, Toshinori-san.
The other blonde smiled, assuring the younger man there was no need for formalities; they were family, after all, and family supported each other.
- Well! Let’s go home, my boys. Shouta, love, take my hand before you crush against the door again. Such a stubborn man!
If he could, the black-haired man would have – unfairly, if we’re being honest – rolled his eyes.
- … okay, Zashi.
- I’ll meet up with you at the parking lot!
- All right, Toshi! Take as long as you need, honey, we do not have any hurry. Have a nice chat with your Uncle!
- Thank you, Papa. See you!
And so the teen went to visit his mentor, exchanging quick words of encouragement and care between each other. He then made his way back toward his family, and they all went to their home, craving the feeling of comfort they would find there.
Chapter 3: Origins
Shinso Hitoshi was, honestly, a good kid with an undeserved bad life. His father mistreated his mother, and the woman –even though she thought she loved her son- took her frustrations out on the kid, ignoring him constantly on his needs (and sometimes getting physical, when she was too stressed out by life), only to later apologize and make empty promises of never doing so again, because it hurt her when the boy cried (out of how she treated him, she knew).
The family lived in a small apartment in a nice part of Musutafu City. They made it there before Hitoshi was born, and had decided that they liked the place enough for it to be their definitive home almost right away.
Hitoshi’s father was a businessman; he directed his own father’s cellphone industry, and even though he was not happy doing so, it must be said that the man did a good job as headmaster. His life, in turn, ended up being bland and monotone, been the only good thing in it his family. Yet, he mistreated his wife when he got mad for business reasons (but he always got her something nice in return, so the man thought “it ain’t that big of a thing, at the end of the day, as long as she remembers that I love her”), and sometimes (quite frequently) drowned his misery on alcohol, forgetting what he did while drunk. The man had many problems, yes, but he honestly believed that as long as he provided for his wife and son, everything was solved.
His wife had a humbler life-story. She had been a middle-class woman who lived with her parents up until she was eighteen and only stopped doing so because she willingly decided to leave her house to go live by herself, forgetting about going to college and choosing instead to get as many jobs as she could. Her parents tried to coax her out of such choice, but ultimately didn’t have a say in her life (she was an adult now) and, honestly, they knew they wouldn’t be able to pay for her studies had she decided to study (they would have indebted themselves right away if she asked, though, but their daughter didn’t want to make her parents go through that).
Husband and wife met at a café where the woman worked (when she was nineteen and he was thirty), where –after chatting for a while- he asked for her phone number (which she gave him happily, astounded at the prospect of having the chance of going out on a date after so long). They went out a couple of times and found out that yeah, they kind of worked together.
A year later he asked for her hand, and she said yes without thinking much about it (she did love the man, but she was also seduced by the idea of having a secure life, where the money wouldn’t be a problem).
She got pregnant two months after marrying, and the man was quite happy about the announcement. They even made a small party, bringing together their families to share their happiness with everyone.
It was a month after Hitoshi’s birth that the problems started. The father got angry often at his wife since she couldn’t make the kid stay quiet at night, and he had to work the next day. The woman got mad at him, too, for he didn’t help her with the boy at all, thinking that his work was harder than hers only because it brought food to the table and paid the debts.
When Hitoshi was ten months, his father started drinking. When he was two, he started beating his mother for reasons that had nothing to do with the child (taxes, food, jealousy, home chores, etc.). And, simultaneously, the woman grew more and sourer until she started doing bad things, too. She didn’t get drunk, but she left her son alone more and more regularly, going out with her friends while her husband was not home (the couple cheated on each other frequently, to be honest, but never admitted it out loud). This brought up more fights that were solved with sex and money, giving the marriage the fake sense of “still being in love”. That was the main reason they stayed with each other. They really believed that they were a couple that worked together.
Their kid was more of an extra in their life. The father loved him when he did things to make him proud, then again, the kid didn’t have many chances to do so (the father was out of the house almost all of the time). The mother, as pointed up before, did love her son, but she didn’t love him more than herself, and so she didn’t think twice when she had the chance to leave him with their neighbor.
It was fine, though, because Hitoshi liked Aunty Inko a lot.
Midoriya Inko was a nice lady that lived alone at the end of the alley, on the same floor of the Shinso’s. Her husband worked overseas, and she only saw him once every three months, but she seemed happy enough with her marriage.
She kindly offered to take care of Hitoshi when she found said boy’s mother crying in the alleyway after a particularly bad fight with her husband (Hitoshi was only eleven months when the women met). She invited the other into her house and, after hearing a bunch of lies (Inko was lead to believe that the marriage next door had economic problems, and the mother needed to get a job to help her husband out), decided to land the woman a hand by looking after the baby.
Hitoshi -after having visited the green-haired woman sporadically a bunch of times before- was around four years old when he started practically living with Inko, who was a housewife and didn’t have much to do with her free time anyway.
Inko treated Hitoshi as if he was her own; she bought him toys, read him to sleep, bathed him, fed him, treated his wounds (the boy told her they were from playing too hard with other kids, and she made him think she believed him, when she was actually starting to take notice of the abuse the child suffered), took him to the park and, well, did all the stuff she believed a mother would do for her son.
(She wanted to be a mother badly, but Hisashi didn’t feel ready… And she almost didn’t see him, anyway, so there wasn’t much to do).
She raised the kid until he turned ten years old, and they were happy. But one horrible day, everything went wrong. Inko had started a denounce against the boy’s parents as discreetly as she could, but they found out anyway about her involvement in the case after police officers turned up on their door asking questions.
Once the officers went away, the got drunk and took their rage out on the kid. They hurt him so badly the child couldn’t even stand on his own, but even if he felt like dying, he got out and warned Inko about the situation, with his mad parents on his tale (clearly, they weren’t in top conditions to run after him). The woman slammed the door on the face of the father, gathering the kid on her arms and making a mad rush toward the fire escape.
And she run right toward the only people she knew could help them.
How Inko and Aizawa Shouta had met was such a casualty it could even be considered funny. He was making one of his night’s patrols when, out of nowhere, he heard a yell and hurried steps quickly approaching his position. He tensed, turning around ready to fight whoever was pursuing him, only to found himself in front of an out of breath tiny woman. She looked around her thirties and had long, straight green hair. Once he focused a little more, he noted that she was handing out to him something utterly familiar.
- Is that my phone?
Inko nodded her head. – You dropped it a couple of blocks back, and I thought you might need it. So, I chased you. You’re quite the agile man, though; it was really hard to catch you, and I’m pretty sure I would have lost you if you hadn’t stopped here. Oh- sorry dear, I have this habit of rambling, please, take it and don’t let me waste more of your time.
Shouta did so, eyeing the woman curiously. She seemed kind, maybe a little naive (who else would have run after a stranger so eagerly, only to give back a phone?), and a little shy. But she had a nice feeling around her like it happens when you meet someone who’s good at heart, even though you have no proof of that, not really.
What a curious encounter.
- Thank you, ma’am. – It felt wrong to live it just at that, so Shouta decided to return the favor a little. – This part of town is quite dangerous, though; would you like me to escort you home?
- Oh no! Don’t worry, honey; I’ll be quick on my way back home. Have a nice night!
And so the woman turned around and got out of Shouta’s sight, turning around a corner.
What a weird meeting, really.
It kept on happening, though. For one reason or another, Inko and Shouta kept bumping on each other. It was more than anything because she liked to buy groceries next town (they had more variety), and always spent more time than necessary in doing so (really, three hours was too much, but Hitoshi liked –anything that you can think of- so much… Maybe she should add that to the cart?) which meant she ended her shopping past eleven in the night, most times (she went to the shop-store at around nine because that was the time Hitoshi fell asleep most nights). And well, Shouta seemed to have a tragic spell that made him drop things right on her sight (one time he even lost his license, and oh how ashamed he was to have it handed back by her because that tiny woman sure scolded him for being “such a reckless young hero”).
After that, he decided to keep in touch with the woman. Well, she asked him first, actually; said he better give her a way of contacting him so he could pick up his stuff himself because she was tired of running after the man all the time.
(Hizashi laughed so hard when Shouta shared with him the story of this new friend he had made).
But it was nice. He did go to her house a couple of times to retrieve his keys (the darn things wouldn’t stay put, could you blame him?) and Inko, ever the kind spirit, invited him to get dinner with her one of those chances (bring along your husband, Aizawa-kun, I want to meet the person who has to keep on opening the door for you).
Aizawa, after Hizashi begged him for a week to accept and let him meet the “super nice lady who saved your ass many times, dear”, accepted and texted Inko to ask her which day would be okay.
She said anytime they wanted, as long as they were okay with her having her little neighbor around.
And so they chose a date and got together to have dinner. It was a nice reunion, full of warm food and enjoyable company. The kid, albeit shy, was well mannered and kind, and pretty soon they were talking to him too, answering his questions about what it felt to be an actual hero (he had done his research, so yes, he discovered Aizawa’s secret identity, because when Inko shared the names of their soon-to-be visitors, he thought “Aizawa Shouta” sounded familiar from a hero he had found by accident one time while surfing the web; Eraserhead).
They shared dinner a couple of times more, after that. They couldn’t see each other much, because of their work and Hitoshi’s school time, but they did keep in touch (Shouta kept losing things, so they couldn’t lose contact even if they had wanted to).
There was one time, although, where he had gone to Inko’s to retrieve his wallet, and the warm feeling around the house seemed a little… somber.
- Hey, Inko-san, is something wrong?
She looked at him for a while, apparently meditating about something. She must have deemed him trustful enough, though, because she silently led him toward the guest room, letting him take a look at the little boy sleeping on the bed.
The kid was badly injured, with a purple eye and several bandages, Aizawa assumed Inko had applied. She took a glance at the kid, a sad look in her eyes, and turned around, going back to the living room with Shouta hot on her tail.
- What happened to him?
- I cannot know for sure, because he won’t tell me.
- … but you have an idea, don’t you?
- As I said, I can’t know for sure, honey. And I want you to know that I don’t wish to make unfounded accusations, but… I’m under the impression that Toshi-kun’s parents are… abusing him.
She explained why she believed so; how his mother was never around, how the kid was so afraid all the time, how she had only met the father a couple of times and she always smelled alcohol on the man’s clothes. How the kid seemed to be coming to her care more and more often battered on injures he just couldn’t only be getting from playing too rough on the park, like the kid always told her.
- Have you told the police?
- I haven’t. I was collecting evidence first, and it is kind of hard to do so with Hitoshi being so reluctant to let me know what exactly is happening.
- … I see your point. Okay, so, this is what we can do…
- Shouta, dear, I’m so sorry for troubling you, but they found out, and I didn’t know where else to go.
Aizawa was… surprised, to say the least. Inko knew his direction because it had been a safety precaution they took only in case Hitoshi’s parents turned violent when the police went to ask them questions, but they shouldn’t have known who had made the complaint against them.
(Their plan was simple; take as much evidence as possible in what was left of the year, and then make the complaint using Eraserhead’s name instead of Inko’s. It clearly didn’t fulfill the purpose of protecting the woman, much less so the kid, who was taken away by Hizashi immediately to cure his injuries, after the blonde man landed eyes on him).
- They must have figured it out because you are the only one who spends so much time with the boy. Nevertheless, I’m glad we took this precaution, so please feel at home whilst we make some calls to take the required measures, Inko-san.
Shouta handed her a cup of tea, and placed a warm hand on her shoulder, trying to reassure her.
- Everything’s going to turn up all right, don’t worry, you have us to help you both now.
With that he left, entering another room to notify the situation to the nearest police station.
(It was a hard process, but Shouta had said the truth; everything turned up been kay).
- But- No, I know, dear, it’s just- maybe if you met him, he’s so swee- Okay, y-yes, I understand. I’m- No, sorry, honey. Okay… Talk to you later.
Hizashi went near Inko, gently placing his hand on her shoulder. The woman was shaking with, what he realized, was pure anger. She was so mad she even started crying out of rage.
After Hitoshi’s parents had been arrested, the heroes had decided to let Inko and the kid stay with them until the woman’s door was put back into place (Hitoshi’s father had torn it from the doorframe) and Inko was able to fill the paperwork required to become Hitoshi’s legal guardian.
What they didn’t take into account was what Hisashi –Inko’s husband- had to say on the matter. He didn’t want to let the woman become anyone’s guardian. He refused to pay for the kid’s necessities (oh dear, if only he knew that he had been doing so for the last five years), and he also declined Inko’s offer of getting a job to help him with finances if that was really the problem.
He just didn’t want anything to do with kids, and he told her wife so harshly.
- He’s so selfish! Oh, my poor boy… What can I do? He’ll be treated so badly if he enters the system; there are so many ignorant people who won’t like him because they might fear his quirk… What do I do? Will Hisashi notice if I take him in any way? Oh dear, I only w-wanted to help him, and instead, it seems that I made everything worse!
- Stop right there, Midoriya-san. This was definitely not your fault, okay? You’ve been amazing to Hitoshi-kun, I assure you, that kid adores you. You made his life so, so much better. And, if your husband really isn’t going to let you keep on helping him, then we sure as hell will. Isn’t that right, Shouta dear?
- Indeed. Look, we thought that maybe we could give you a hand if the remote possibility of your husband denying you the possibility of guardianship occurred; what do you think about us taking the kid in?
Inko froze, looking at them with tears on her eyes.
- W-Would you? Really?
A nod from both husbands.
- We thought about it for a while, and yes, we’ll gladly take Hitoshi-kun under our care if that means both of you can keep on being happy. He’s a really good kid, so we’d be happy to help him, and he can go see you or you can come over as much as you want. Does that sound okay?
The woman simply hugged both men, thanking them profusely, and thanking life for giving Hitoshi a chance at being happy again with such wonderful people.
(Of course, they decided that the most important opinion was the kid’s one. He, after hearing the adults explain how life may go from then on -if the boy decided it was okay for him- and, after being reassured that no, Aunty Inko wouldn’t disappear from his life, was honestly thrilled at the prospect of living with the young couple; they were kind, nice and always tried to help him ease his worries. The kid like them a lot, and if they were sure they liked him too, well, Toshi couldn’t be more grateful to be on their care from that point on).
- I’m home.
- Hisashi? Dear, is that you?
- Yes, love. How have you been? There are so many things we have to discuss.
- Well, yes, but, couldn’t we do that with the lights on? You scared me, was it really necessary to turn them off?
A soft laugh was heard, and Inko –used to the subtle somber tone to it- felt attracted to the sound like a moth to a flame.
- Let me have this, my dear. I think we’ll enjoy ourselves much more if we keep this ambiance, don’t you agree? People are more honest when they’re surrounded by darkness.
- You say such weird things sometimes, honey. But, okay, let’s play your game. Come here, I haven’t hugged you in ages.
- Oh, my beloved Inko; we’ll do more than hug today. Let me repay you for all the lost time.
- Hey, Inko-san! It’s so good to see you! Are you here to see Toshi? I’ll call him right away!
- No, Hizashi dear, please wait; I’ve something I need to share with you first. It’d be better if Shouta was present, too.
- All right, I’ll wake him up, but he’s going to be grumpy, I’m warning you.
- It’s okay, dear, I’m interrupting his nap, after all.
- Such an understanding heart, Inko-san; he doesn’t deserve your kindness. Please, wait for us in the living room while I go fetch you a cup of tea and a grumpy man.
A little while later the trio was facing each other, Inko in one sofa and the other two in the one right in front of her. The air was tense, and the men wondered what could be causing such a feeling.
Inko knew, though, and so they waited until she was ready to speak.
- A couple of weeks ago I started feeling ill. I first thought it was the flu, but then time went on and on, and I decided it best to go to the doctor in case it was something else. And oh dear, something else it was.
Shouta looked lost on what to say, but Hizashi, ever the perceptive one, got an idea of where the conversation was heading, respectfully waiting for Inko to finish speaking.
- They run some tests and… Well, it turns out I’m… pregnant.
Aizawa stared open-mouthed, while Hizashi rapidly went to hug the woman, congratulating her vigorously.
- I’m really happy too, dear, but I’m afraid of what Hisashi will say… He really doesn’t want to be a father.
- Hey, Inko-san… Look, we understand that you wish to keep on going with your marriage, and we respect that, but if you fear that he might hurt you or the child…
- Oh no! Well, I’m afraid he might want me to… get rid of our baby… but if I don’t tell him and have the boy, I’m sure he’ll love him, too. I just- he needs to see him so he can understand. I actually came here because I wanted to share my happy news with my beloved people. And that means the three of you. Yes, Hitoshi dear, you can come out now, I know you’ve been hearing us the whole time.
A mess of purple hair entered the living room, shyly approaching the woman. She simply extended her arms to the boy, hugging him tightly once he nestled into her.
- I hope you two will be very good brethren, once this baby is born. I’m certain that they’ll love you as much as I do!
The kid laughed when the woman tickled him to make the boy ease up, and just like that Inko’s bizarre idea of giving birth to a child without his husband knowing was forgotten for the rest of the day.
The woman made it, somehow. It coincided with a lot of random things, being the most important factor that Hisashi –for business reasons- had told his wife that he wouldn’t be able to make the trip home until next year.
Inko was so happy she could explode.
Her pregnancy was hard, but since she had the heroes' support and her dear Hitoshi’s company, everything turned out all right and, exactly nine months later, Midoriya Izuku was born to the world.
The baby was as cute as he could be, with a tuft of green hair adorning his tiny head. He was pretty small but was deemed healthy, and so they made their way back home three days after his birth.
Hisashi, even though he should have noticed the sudden increment on money Inko had spent, hadn’t said a word to her about the matter. Not even when she paid for the hospital bill (and boy wasn’t that a lot of money). Not a pip.
(Oh well, she would share the news with him when he called her next time).
(On other news, now there were many pictures of baby Izuku being held by a crying Hizashi, an embarrassed Shouta, and a smiling Hitoshi –with Inko’s help).
And so the mother took care of her baby alone, still waiting for Hisashi to call her when he had the time.
(Said call wouldn’t be made, ever. But she couldn’t have known).
One day, little Hitoshi (who was now –proudly- an Aizawa-Yamada, and had turned ten some time ago) was spending the night with his Aunty Inko. He had been afraid of her not loving him anymore once the baby was born, if he was honest, but everything had kept on being just like before (with the addition of having a very noisy newborn around now, but Hitoshi forgot how annoying all the crying was every time little Izuku looked at him with his big, bright emerald eyes), and that made the kid immensely happy.
That night, Hitoshi was drying his hands in the bathroom when he heard an unusual noise coming from outside the door. Someone was trying to… break-in? Afraid, the kid went into Inko’s bedroom and found the woman gently swinging Izuku, who was on her arms.
- Everything okay, baby?
- There’s someone at the door, Aunty.
- That so? How weird. Well, could you sit here and hold Izuku while I go see who is it?
- Sure, Aunty, give him to me.
Inko carefully handed Hitoshi the baby, hurrying toward the door because the sounds coming from there had gotten quite worrying.
She, out of precaution, decided to take a look through the peephole. And immediately ran to where the kids waited for her.
- Hitoshi! Listen to me carefully, okay? Please, baby, you have to do what I tell you, okay?
The banging on the door got louder.
The kid nodded, scared.
- Here, I’m putting my cellphone in your pocket, okay? You will get to the fire escape, go all the way down, and run as fast as you can until you find a place where you can hide. Then you will call your Dad because he’s probably making his night shift right now. If he doesn’t respond, call your Papa. If none respond, call the police. Either way, you wait for them in your hiding spot. You’ll also take Izuku with you, okay?
The door made one terrifying cracking sound, and then another, and another.
- I love you a lot baby, I love you both. I’ll go search for you once I deal with this person, okay?
A wobbly nod was made by Hitoshi, who was too scared to understand everything that could go wrong in their situation. Inko kissed his forehead hurriedly, then kissed Izuku’s, and finally…
- Now go! Hurry, baby!
Hitoshi had never run so fast in all his life.
He tried to be careful (he was carrying a baby, after all, his not-official baby brother), but there’s only so much a little kid like him could do. He ran until he couldn’t feel his legs, and then hid inside one of those playhouses parks have, trembling so badly he barely could dial his Dad, who thankfully answered almost instantly.
- D-Daddy! Help! A-Aunty, I- Izuku, we’re hi-ding!
- Hey, bud, take a deep breath, please, and repeat what you just said, okay?
And so Hitoshi explained as well as he could, ending his recount by telling his father they were in a park, but he didn’t know where (Shouta had to search on every playhouse he knew of on the sector, and darn was there many). He gently lifted Izuku into his arms when he arrived, and then also took his son’s hand, to try and ease the child’s anxiety. He had alerted the police and asked them to go to Inko’s house, clarifying the situation to them beforehand (right after Hitoshi had called him).
Midoriya Inko; beloved friend, dear Aunt and caring mother, was found dead on her apartment at ten forty-two, the eighteenth of November.
The news were like a punch to the gut for the Aizawa-Yamada family.
They adopted Izuku after deeming Hisashi unreachable (the man disappeared into thin air, not figuring in any kind of registration), got into family therapy, and moved to a different house, far, far away from the old one (because it hurt too much to be on a place that had her memories all over the residence, putting on evidence how much colder it had grown once Inko had stopped being there to provide her warmth).
They never found the person who took her life. After the sudden disappearance of Hisashi, it was logical to assume he was somewhat responsible, but no one could know: the man disappeared into thin air, without leaving traces behind.
Nothing had frustrated Shouta as much as that fact, making him add a feeling of impotence to his strong grieve. Nothing had hurt Hizashi as much as losing such a dear and kind friend as Inko was. And nothing had ever left Hitoshi feeling emptier as much as not getting justice for his dear Aunty did, who had been something akin to a mother to him (and who Hitoshi had loved so much her lost left a scar right across his heart, that never really faded away).
Izuku would, eventually, learn about Inko and what a beautiful person she was in the eyes of his family, and how much he took after her, in every sense.
And that’s the origin story of the Aizawa-Yamada family we know nowadays.
Chapter 4: Hitoshi’s back, and his family couldn’t be more relieved
- Your brother is going to be okay, honey. He’s a little beaten up, but the doctor said he’ll be back on track in no time, and we don’t have any reason to think otherwise.
- Your father is right, bud. Don’t worry so much; we got Hitoshi back just in time, so he wasn’t too badly injured. He’ll probably wake up in a couple of hours, tops.
Izuku simply nodded, not really listening to his parents. His eyes couldn’t stop looking at his older brother’s injuries. He had a cast on his right arm, a purple eye and a lot of scratches all over his body. Yes, he could have been worse, but he could also have been better if the heroes had found him sooner.
Izuku worried his brother would be different from the one he knew, once he woke up.
(Later on, he would feel relieved, knowing that was not the case).
- Come on, baby. Let’s go home for the night; your Dad will stay here to keep your bother company in case he wakes up.
Seeing the anxiety quickly appearing over his kid’s features, Hizashi assured him some more and promised they would be back in the morning, just when visitor hours started.
(It didn’t ease the child’s fears much, but he didn’t put resistance when his father took his hand and led him out of the room, only giving a quick hug to his Dad before that).
- Night-night, Zuku. I hope you have sweet dreams, honey.
Hizashi left his son in the boy’s room, going back to his own to get ready for bed. He was worried sick about Hitoshi, don’t get him wrong, but being a parent of two children implied taking care of the both of them in what they could need, and in this case it required bringing Izuku home for the night; the kid did not fare well in hospitals, since he spent a lot of time in them when he got his chronic illness (he wasn’t scared of them, per se, he simply didn’t like them much because he got a little anxious in the too-sterile ambiance. To word it differently, they made the kid feel too much, making his quirk go berserk).
Going back to what was being said, Izuku didn’t have a good night that day. He had been unable to sleep more than a couple of hours since Hitoshi’s kidnapping, and so his body wasn’t working right. That’s why that night his corps, seeing that he at least knew his brother was safe (finally), gave up on him and developed a mild illness (which was, thankfully, a slight fever and some shivers, nothing like the nights were his sickness was in its worst).
(Hizashi woke up with the kid by his side at around four in the morning and, seeing his status, decided to put a cold towel in his forehead and see how he woke up later that day).
- No Shouta, he’s not okay, although not so bad either; it’s a mild fever. It might be a bad idea to bring him there, though, because he, for one, should rest while ill, and two, may get Hitoshi sick too, and he’s bad enough as it is.
- He’s not going to be happy, Zashi. I see your point, but Hitoshi just woke up, and one of the first things he asked for was to see his little brother.
- This sucks, honey. Believe me, it’s no problem taking him there, but I’m scared about making things worse for everyone.
- Listen, why don’t you make him wear a medical mask? It should be enough to protect Toshi in case Izuku has something contagious. Also, give our boy a suppressant pill; we don’t know how bad he might react to other’s emotions here, so it might be a good idea to prevent that.
- Mm… Yeah, I see your point honey; that should work. Okay then, we’ll see you in a bit. Love you, send my son my love, too.
- You’re such a sap… But we love you too. I will. See you.
Hizashi ended the call with a slim smile on his face. He then proceeded to wake up his child, explaining to him what they were going to do in order to stick to the plan of visiting Hitoshi. Izuku nodded, a little out of it, but willing to follow his father’s instructions if that meant he could go see his older brother.
- Hey, Zuku. It’s so good to see you.
Izuku was conflicted; he wanted to go hug his brother like his life depended on it so, so badly, but his parents had told him, before entering the room, to be careful with how he treated Hitoshi, and so he didn’t know what to do.
Hitoshi, sensing his brother’s dilemma, opened his arms (well, the good one) and smiled at him, softly. It was enough to make the child rush into him, embracing his older brother with all the care he could muster.
He soon started crying in silence, trying to keep his composure but failing miserably. And let’s be honest here; Hitoshi didn’t normally cry along with his little brother (the kid cried way too much, anyway), but he couldn’t help himself at that moment; he really got to believe that he wouldn’t see Izuku anymore, and that had crushed his heart. So, sue him, he was going to cry at the relief and joy he felt when he saw the little mop of green shyly get into the hospital room, behind his father’s leg.
Damn, the kid would be his downfall, definitely.
- Hey, it’s okay, bud. I’m okay, I’m here, I’m safe.
- Shh… Everything is just fine, okay? Don´t worry anymore; the heroes found me right on time.
The boy kept hugging him, without saying a word. His soft sobs were the only thing you could hear in the hospital room. Shouta and Hizashi were quietly watching their children, savoring the bittersweet reunion. They had been so afraid of losing Hitoshi (and so scared for Izuku, fearing how he would deal with the news of his brother’s kidnapping), that this moment, as sad as it was, was a huge relief for the couple. They felt like they could finally breathe again.
Ten minutes later, Izuku broke the hug and simply stared at his brother in the eyes, memorizing his features as best as he could. Suddenly, though, he felt overwhelmed; he couldn’t breathe right because of the mask, but he needed to take a gulp of air so badly…
- Papa, may we go out really quick, please?
- Sure honey, come, give me your hand.
- I’ll be right back, Toshi-nii. Will you let me have a hug again when I come back? Please?
Hitoshi could die of love, really. It’d be a happy death.
- Of course, Zuku, it will be my pleasure.
The kid nodded, quickly taking his father’s hand and going out of the room.
Shouta, mildly curious about his kid’s request, exchanged a look with Hizashi, silently asking him to share the reasons behind the child’s actions. The other man nodded in silence, following the little boy out of the room.
- Are you sure you feel okay, son? We can call a nurse and ask for some painkillers if you’d like.
- Nah, I’m good, honest. I’m… not exactly one hundred percent good, but it doesn’t have much to do with the little pain I’m in.
- I think I see where you’re going. Would an appointment with Mrs. Otonashi help?
- I… Yes, Dad. It may.
Shouta put his hand on the boy’s shoulder, squeezing slightly, trying to comfort him without saying anything else (and it worked).
They stayed like that for a while, relishing into the other’s presence, until their beloved green-haired boy got back into the room.
- We’re back! Look, Toshi-nii! We went and got yourself stuff from a… ohm, venting machine?
- Not quite, bud. Do you mean a vending machine?
- Yes! That! Here, Papa said you can have anything you want!
- Why thank you, both of you.
Hitoshi saw, at the corner of his eye, how his parents exchanged some rushed words between each other. Trying to ignore their slightly concerned faces, he focused on his little brother, making room for him so he could sit by his side while they ate their junk food (well, Hitoshi ate while Izuku, looking a little pale –but incredibly happy- hugged the older boy’s torso and chatted wildly about anything he could think of).
- Zuku, son, I think we should go home for the day. We can come back tomorrow, early in the morning, just like you did today.
- B-but Dad, I don’t wanna go yet.
- Bud, you’re not feeling good right now, are you? You know we all have to take care of ourselves if we aren’t at our one hundred percent, don’t you?
- Y-yes… But I wanted to be with Toshi a little while longer…
- Hey, hey Zuku, look at me… I will be here tomorrow, waiting for you, okay? I’d rather you go home and rest for a bit, not because I don’t want you here anymore, but because I would feel relieved to know you are taking care of yourself too. Would you do that for me?
- Can you promise me you’ll be here tomorrow, Nii-san? Can you really?
Hitoshi felt suddenly guilty, for no judicious reason. It was just that… Izuku looked so afraid while asking that. And he knew, deep down, that making promises was something really dangerous when you are trying to become a hero since most times you couldn’t keep them.
But, he told himself, this could be an acceptable (and quite secure) exception.
- Yes. I’ll be here, I promise. Now go with Dad, and rest a lot so you can feel better soon, all right?
- Okay. Love you, lots! See you tomorrow!
- See you, bud. Love you too.
Shouta gave his eldest child a grateful look, just before he took the little boy into his arms so they could get out of the room.
After they left, Hitoshi turned toward his father, who was sitting in a plastic chair next to his bed, apparently waiting for the kid to say something.
- What happened to Zuku? Is he okay?
Hizashi let out a huff, taking the boy’s hand just so he could have a little bit of contact with him, too.
- Well, he’s a little under the weather. These past few days… Son, I’d never wish for you to feel guilty about something like what happened, okay? I’m just trying to share with you what went on while you were out, but I won’t if it’d make you feel bad.
- Don’t worry Papa, it won’t, trust me.
- …okay. But, if you want me to stop, just say so, all right?
A nod from Hitoshi.
- Well, the days after you got kidnapped were not… the easiest. Your father got in a lot of tense situations with the press, as you may imagine, and I got a little too anxious about everything that was going on. We were in a… edgy situation. Izuku, though, might be the one who had it the worst. He... we just didn´t know how to break the news to him, and we got ourselves in a rather difficult situation once he saw that your father was back in the house from the camp, but you were not. He just… he wouldn’t believe us. He didn’t even cry once he understood the magnitude of the situation; he got into shock, and we fear it was partly out fault, with how stressed we were at the time. Not even suppressants helped him, and we were pretty reluctant to give him those because we didn’t want him to take more pills than necessary.
He went to your personal room, got your purple pillow, and hugged it for the rest of the day. Toshi… We just didn’t know what we should do… Izuku didn’t talk to us in those three days. Not a single word. It is such a relief that he spoke to you, here… And well, he didn’t sleep, either. Couldn’t, actually. We even coaxed him into going to our bed, so we could be together, but it didn’t work. So, last night, after he saw you here, safe and sound, his body, out of relief I guess, rebelled against him and he got a slight fever. When he asked to leave the room, it was because he couldn’t breathe with the mask after all the crying. He got pretty worked up once we were out, and we had to rush to the bathroom because he felt sick pretty soon after that. The food was his idea, though; he said he knew we’d make him go home soon, and so he wanted to give you something nice before that.
- He… Oh god, Papa… I-I tried so hard, not to think like this while I was there, b-but… I’m just so glad I got to see you all again… To see Izuku again… I-I…
- Shh… It’s okay honey, you are okay, and he’ll be okay too. I’m so glad to have you back, son, so, so glad….
They hugged each other tightly.
There wasn’t a need to say anything else at that moment, really.
- Shh… Zuku, it’s okay, you are okay. Here, take this, all right? This pill will help ease your nausea. It will pass, don’t cry, son, it’s okay… Would you feel better if we called Toshi?
A nod from the trembling child in Shouta’s lap. The man sighed, running a hand through the mess of curls on his child’s head. The kid was okay, really, it was just a bad night. They had a lot of those since… Well, for a considerable time now.
- Okay, we’ll see if he’s up…
Hizashi, fortunately, picked up the phone almost right away, passing it on to Hitoshi once Shouta explained the situation.
(- Hey bud… Hey, I’m okay. Not much occurred since you left, I assure you… I actually got good news; I’ll be coming home tomorrow if nothing else happens. I’ll have to take it slow for a while, but I’ll be there with you again… I’m glad to hear you so happy about that… Yeah, I’ll be sure to have you as my personal butler and all… Don’t get mad, I’m only being sixty percent serious… Ha, of course, don’t worry… Okay, see you tomorrow… Love you too, bud. Now rest, please… Okay, night-night, Zuku).
- Feeling better, kiddo?
A nod, and a yawn.
- Time to put you to bed, then. Would you rather sleep alone, or with me?
Izuku hugged Shouta tighter.
- Guess that answers the question. Come on, then, let’s go rest for a bit. If you feel bad, please tell me, okay bud? Can you promise me that?
A shaky nod. Well, it was good enough for the father.
After brushing their teeth, both father and son got into the main bedroom so they could call it a night and catch up on their sleep. Izuku, after assuring Shouta that he felt just fine, hopped into the bed and got himself covered up to the ears with the quilt. The man, amused, gave him a kiss to the forehead and proceeded to turn out the lights. He then got into the bed himself, and when his kid wrapped him in a tight hug, well, Shouta didn’t say anything and simply returned the gesture, enveloping his child protectively.
Contrary to Izuku, who got into a deep sleep rather soon after that, Shouta couldn’t get into dreamland, because his mind wouldn’t shut up. You see… he never thought he would be where he was at the moment. Heck, he didn’t think that he would become a father so soon into his life (he was only twenty-four when they adopted Hitoshi, after all), and least of all had he ever imagined he would have not one, but two kids when he turned thirty.
Fatherhood was… not something he necessarily wanted when he was younger and trying to map out what would be of his life. Don’t get him wrong, though. Yes, being a dad was hard, and stressful, and carried along a lot of big responsibilities. But, did he regret becoming a parent? Not even a little bit. Honestly, his kids where the light of his life. And he knew Hizashi felt the same way. Was it hard when things got out of control, and the children got hurt? Yes, it was the worst feeling ever. The guilt and the shame were too much, at times. But, seeing them happy, and healthy, and fulfilling their dreams? Getting a hug, a letter, a draw, seeing them being proud of themselves? There was nothing better in the whole world.
- D-Dad? - A soft voice interrupted Shouta’s train of thought, redirecting his attention toward the kid between his arms. How long was the kid asleep? An hour, at most. The man grimaced at the poor sleep his son was getting.
- Hey, Zuku. Can you tell me what’s wrong, son?
- W-Water, can I have s-some water, p-please?
- Sure, just give me a sec and I’ll go fetch a glass of water for you. Do you want it cold?
- N-No, thank y-you.
- Okay, I’ll be right back.
A nod was the simple response he got to that. True to his word, Shouta soon returned with the kid’s drink on an anti-spill glass. Izuku was running a fever, he realized once he got back, so the father gave him medicine to deal with that while Izuku sipped on the water. Maybe, he thought, it would be better to wait for Hitoshi to come back home instead of making the kid go back to the hospital…
- Son? What’s wrong? Why are you crying, Zuku?
- Hey… come on, you can tell me, you know that, don’t you?
- I… I’m sorry, D-Dad. You should b-be with brother –said the child between hiccups, hiding under the duvet once again, ashamed of himself. – He… He w-was hurt, really bad, it m-must have been so s-scary. A-and yet you have t-to stay with m-me, because I’m a-always giving p-problems. I’m sorry!
Shouta didn’t have a heart of steel; you know? He was pretty sure it had been broken a bunch of times these past few days.
- Oh no, son, please don’t say that. You know your Papa and I would never get mad at you for this, don’t you? It isn’t your fault, and also, we are your parents, bud. I’m your Dad, it’s my pleasure and joy to care about you, all right? Your brother understands the situation, you can ask him, he isn’t mad about us not being able to be with him at the same time at night. We’re a family; we take care of every member and make things work out for all of us, without leaving any left behind. I love you so much, Izuku, you are… You just don’t realize how much we care about you. How much I care about you. Yes, you are sick, and yes, that requires us to protect you more than the media of kids, but do you sincerely believe that it’s a burden to us? That you are a burden?
Izuku simply cried more, not letting Shouta take away the duvet so he could see his son to the eyes.
- Oh, Izuku… I’m so sorry. We thought you knew- we messed up, now didn’t we? Son, you have never been, and will never be a burden, you are… you are a blessing. You make us so, so happy… You are such an amazing kid; you’re so kind, loving, smart, funny, caring and selfless. You bring us so much joy, Zuku… We are so proud of being your parents. So, please don’t think so low of yourself, okay? My dear son, I love you so, so much.
At this point, Shouta didn’t know what else to say. He was trying to give his son an honest speech, and he was, but his style was more “only facts” than “putting your feelings on the table”. He worried he made everything worse.
This was something silly because, well, Izuku almost choked his father with how hard he hugged him. The kid was wailing, thanking him over and over again, and apologizing for his silliness.
- You are not silly, son, it’s normal to need some reassurance from time to time. Now, try taking deep breaths, please. I’m afraid you’ll pass out with how much you are crying.
- O-Okay, Daddy. I l-love you!
- Love you too, Zuku. Do you feel better now?
A strong nod, a pause, then a slight shake of the head.
- Let me guess; your head hurts?
- That’s fine, nothing a little more sleep cannot ease. We’ll rest as much as we can tonight, all right? Your brother comes home tomorrow, so we can reunite here instead of at the hospital. I’ll text your Papa.
- A-Are you sure?
Shouta hugged the child close to his chest, after quickly texting Hizashi what they would be doing the next day.
- Of course, don’t worry. And, if anything does happen, we’ll change our plans and go, it won’t be much of an effort.
- Okay. Night-night, Dad.
- Night, Zuku. Have sweet dreams.
- Hey, Dad, wake up, come on, Papa made breakfast and by this point, it must be cold as heck.
Shouta slowly opened his eyes, catching sight of a pair of purple ones watching him closely.
- I guess I should get up, then. Hey, Zuku, look who’s here, buddy.
The bundle under the quilt slowly rose up, until a pair of fogged green eyes met the figure of Hitoshi.
- Toshi-nii! You’re home! I’m so happy! Do you really feel okay?
Hitoshi, now enveloped in a tight hug, gave a soft laugh and reassured the child (“I’m okay, I only have to wear this cast until Granny Chiyo has time to help me heal my arm”). The trio then went to the kitchen, where Hizashi was waiting for them with the table set and a big smile adorning his face.
- Hey there! My, how I missed seeing all my favorite people reunited. Let’s start eating, shall we?
Shouta mumbled something along the lines of “too bright”, but ultimately got close to his husband and gave him a soft kiss, relishing in the feeling of being together again. They had been so stressed out, the sense of normalcy was almost foreign.
The kids seated together, chatting happily with each other. Hitoshi shared his camp experience (the happy part, of course) with a little more impetus than he normally would, but it was worth it, seeing how happy Izuku was by hearing his brother speak like everything was more than fine.
- Zuku, honey, would you like to have cereal or porridge today?
- Porridge, Papa! Please!
- All righty! Give me a sec and I’ll have it done!
- Thank you, Papa!
Hizashi, having gotten close to the child, hugged him quickly, placing a kiss against the kid’s temple. He knew (everybody in the family knew) that the boy was feeling bad that day; he never passed the opportunity to take cereal (“Look, Daddy! It has Uncle Toshi’s face in it!”) unless he felt ill.
- You’re very welcome, sweetheart!
He looked so happy, though… It was incredible, seeing how quickly the boy got used to being sick, making it something that he had to deal with, but that didn’t affect his mood nor his day to day life. The kid had told them, when they’d asked, that he didn’t wish for his life to revolve around something as sad as that; he wished to live to his fullest, enjoying everything he was given as much as he could (“because I never know when my time will be up”, was the part left unsaid). Knowing that, the parents couldn’t help their hearts breaking a little bit; their son had the right resolve, actually pretty mature for someone his age, but… It just hurt so much, thinking about what could potentially happen…
Well, they would have to follow his example and enjoy what they were given.
- There you go! Everything ready, people, let’s dig in!
While they ate, the parents shared with the kids the news that had come from UA; Principal Nedzu, after a lot of meditation, had come to the decision of taking extreme measures to provide the alumni with the security they deserved. The decision involved creating a system of dorms within the campus, where the children would be taking residence, with the possibility of going away on weekends and vacation days.
- Is he sure about that? I mean, I see the logic and all, but I don’t imagine parents being too willing to let their kids go live at a school which villains have attacked not once, but twice already.
- We told him that, but he insisted on us being “extra convincing” when we go inform the parents of this new development; I swear, he enjoys making our lives harder than they need to be.
- I hope we’ll be successful, though, because I kinda like my kids; it would be really sad to have them drop-out of the academy at this point of the year!
- I’m sure they’ll stay, Papa! They must love you!
- Oh my, you’re such a darling boy, Zuku! It might be why I love you so much.
Peals of laughter followed that, coming from the mop of green sitting at the table. The family kept discussing the situation (“of course Izuku will go with us; we already discussed matters with the Principal, and we’ll have him staying either with your father or with me, periodically.” “No, we cannot live together: every homeroom teacher must stay at their class’s building for safety reasons, so, Zashi will be living at the top floor of his class’ edifice, and I’ll be living at the top floor of ours, Toshi.” “Izuku will stay with your Dad, mostly, unless something comes up. In that case, he will come to stay with me”) until breakfast was finished and the plates were being cleaned.
All in all, their kids didn’t take the news badly; Izuku was actually pretty excited at the prospect of spending so much time in the school of his family.
- You’ll keep on going to your kindergarten, don’t worry baby. Your father or I will make sure to go fetch you, and if we can’t, we’ll send Uncle Toshi or Aunt Nemuri for you, how does that sound?
- Good! I’m so glad I won’t have to stop seeing Shou-chan; I would miss him a lot… And Ten-chan, too! They are so kind to me…
- We know bud, so we’ll avoid that as much as we can, all right?
Chapter 5: The beginning of their residence at the dorms
- This place is weird, Dad.
- You’ll get used to it before you know it, Zuku, don’t worry.
- When can I see Toshi-nii again?
Aizawa crouched in front of the boy, making sure the kid was looking him straight in the eye.
- Izuku, son, I know you wish to see him as much as you did before, but things won’t be the same while we are here… Hitoshi will come to see you at least once per day, but we no longer will spend meals together most weekdays, nor will you two sleep in the same room anymore; he’s going to be living more or less by his own now, and he’ll share most of his time with his classmates, from this point on.
The kid got teary-eyed but did not cry. Honestly, his parents had told him all of that a bunch of times before they made the move from their house to this new place, but one thing was hearing it, and another completely different was living it.
- Hey… Come here, son.
Said child got lifted up into his father’s arms (it was a good thing he was pretty small) and immediately felt a bit better. He could do this, he just needed to adjust.
Shouta rocked him for a while until he decided to have them both explore the apartment. It was a nice space, all in all, with a kitchen that had a barstool (which served as a dining table) connected to the living room. Between those was a hall that leads to two bedrooms on each side of it, with a bathroom at the end.
Yeah, they would make do just fine.
- Would you like to watch TV while I make us dinner?
- Yes, please!
- All right, let me go fetch you a blanket while you make yourself comfortable on the sofa.
- Yes, Dad!
- Come on, babe, don’t be so down! I know it must suck to have your family so close yet so far, but look at it this way; you can go see them anytime, and now you’ll also have us whenever! It sounds like a win-win to me!
Hitoshi smiled softly, enjoying the comfort Kaminari was providing. Really, he was so grateful for having him and his other friends; they made everything feel… easier.
- Yeah, you’re right. Thanks, Denki, I needed to hear that.
The blonde boy gave him a soft peck on the lips as an answer to that.
- Go see your baby brother while you can, though, because classes start again tomorrow and I seriously doubt your father will go easy on any of us, not even you.
- Especially not me, you mean.
Kaminari laughed softly, squeezing the purple-haired boy’s hand one last time before making his way toward his room. The others had already gone to sleep since it was almost curfew, so Hitoshi new he’d have to make his visit as quick as possible (his father would definitely reprimand him for breaking the rules the first day, he knew, so he would rather… not).
Rushing among corridors, he quickly got to the top floor and used his spare key to enter the apartment. Once inside, he noted the dull light coming from the bedroom to the right of the hall, and so made his way there, knocking on the door. After getting permission from –what he recognized- as his brother’s voice, he made his way inside the chamber, where he found Izuku sitting on the bed.
- Hey there, buddy! Where’s Dad? And have you seen Papa, by chance?
He got closer to the kid, side hugging him while the child happily explained to him that Dad was in the bathroom brushing his teeth and that Papa had just left them to go put order in his own building.
- You missed him, Toshi-nii! That’s too bad, he wanted to tell you good night…
- Nah, it’s not the end of the world, Zuku, I’ll see him tomorrow anyway, and then we’ll probably establish an hour to come to see you together.
- I’m so glad! I don’t want us to be separated too much…
Hitoshi flicked the kid’s forehead, which earned him an undignified yelp from the mop of green hair under his armpit.
- You’re mean, Nii-san!
- You were being silly, I needed to get you out of that train of thought; I’m not sorry.
Izuku stuck out his tongue and Hitoshi, ever the mature one, replicated the gesture, adding a tickling attack as an after-thought.
And that’s how Shouta found them when he entered the room.
- Okay, I don’t want to know why you’re trying to tickle your brother to death, but I must remind you that curfew will start in about five minutes, Hitoshi.
- Oh darn! I’m sorry Dad, I didn’t realize. See you tomorrow then, both of you.
Hitoshi ran out of the bedroom (after hurriedly hugging Shouta, who barely had time to react and reciprocate), leaving both father and little brother shocked, and amused.
- Ow, I already miss him, Dad.
- Of course, you do. Now, make room so we can go to sleep once and for all, problem child.
- Before you get into dreamland, is anything feeling off?
- No, Dad! I’m feeling okay!
- That’s good to hear; good night then, Zuku, sleep well.
- Night, Dad! Love you!
Shouta murmured a soft “love you too, kiddo”, before turning out the lights.
And so the duo fell asleep.
- Hey there, if it isn’t my beautiful nephew! Hi darling, it’s so good to see you again!
- Indeed! Hello there, my boy! How have you been?
Izuku tugged on Shouta’s hand, asking permission to go greet his Aunt and Uncle. The man, too tired to deal with the brightness of the other two, simply let go of the hold he had in the boy’s hand, which allowed the kid to run toward them.
- Aunt Nemuri! Uncle Toshi! I’m so happy to see you! I’m okay, how are you both?! How is your injury Uncle?
- We’re just peachy now that we saw our little ray of sunshine, aren’t we, Mr. All Might?
- But of course! I’m glad you’re doing fine, my boy! I’m looking forward to having you here from now on, and also, don’t worry; I’ve healed just fine!
They kept on chatting, rapidly and happily. That is until the tired voice of certain underground hero broke their little bubble:
- I’m so happy for all of you, really, but the kid has to go to kindergarten, so unless one of you wishes to take my place, we must get going; we only came here to drop my things.
Both adults looked heartbroken, and Shouta had to suppress a sigh from escaping him; so dramatic, the kid would be gone for a couple of hours, not the rest of the week.
- Ow, such a shame; guess I’ll have to hug you some more once you’re back, don’t you think sunshine?
- Please, Aunty! See you both later, love you!
All Might chuckled, ruffling the boy’s hair, while Midnight squeaked how she was going to die from how pure the kid was.
- Actually, I’ll go pick you up, my boy, so expect to see me there, okay?
- Really?! Yes! Thank you, Uncle Toshi! See you later, then!
- All right, enough farewells in five minutes, come on, son, let’s go.
- ‘kay! Bye-bye!
The adults waved as the child was led away by his father, who had a poorly suppressed grin on his face while looking at his boy. Honestly, seeing Aizawa while he was on “dad mode” was such a heartwarming thing to witness; he always got a softer air around himself while talking to/about his children. It suited him nicely.
- How come Izuku looked so surprised to see you, Yagi? Didn’t you go see Hitoshi once you were cleared from the hospital?
- Oh, I for sure did, but Izuku was having one of his bad days, so he slept through all of my visit.
- The poor sweetheart…
- Yeah, I know, it hurts a lot, seeing him like that... Did you go see Hitoshi after… well, after that happened?
- Why, of course, I did! I was there by the third day after they released the boy. It was such a relief seeing him okay…
- That’s a given, certainly.
One of the teachers in the kindergarten was startled by a pair of yells coming from two of her students. When she turned around, she found herself assaulted by one young Todoroki and one young Iida holding up a very pale Aizawa-Yamada.
- Oh dear! Is everything okay, boys? Is little Aizawa-kun feeling bad today?
A regular nod from Todoroki, an assertive one followed by a “Yes Miss!” from Iida. Izuku simply gave her an apologetic smile.
- It’s not much, Miss, I’m just a little tired.
- He’s lying, Miss, he coughed up blood.
- Just a tiny bit-
- Any amount of blood coming out of your mouth is concerning, Izu-chan! Please do not downplay your state!
- Sorry, Ten-chan…
The woman shook her head, partly amused, partly concerned (it was such a curious trio of friends); she would never get used to having a sick kid in her class, not because she didn’t like him (she couldn’t dislike such a kind child), but because she always worried a lot, even when the child said that he was okay compared to how he got some days.
- I’ll call your parents, okay, Aizawa-kun? Would you two like to help me? – She got affirmative nods. – Then, could you please go fetch Aizawa-kun’s belongings?
“Yes, Miss”. “We’ll be right back!”
- Come, honey, let’s have you take a seat while I make the call.
- ‘kay, thank you, Miss Hinata.
- Of course, sweetie.
- Sorry to interrupt, Aizawa! Can I have a word with you?
Shouta shot Hizashi an unimpressed look, but conceded, telling the kids not to make a ruckus while he was away.
- What happened, Zashi? You look concerned.
- They called from the kindergarten; Izuku coughed up blood, so we might assume he’s having one of his bad days.
(A bad day, as everyone kept on calling them, wasn’t necessarily a dangerous situation; it was more like a day where Izuku couldn’t function normally. When these days happened he had to rest a lot and take things easy because his body needed to recharge. So, they could occur at any time, with or without precedent).
Shouta gave out a sigh, a melancholic look taking place on his face.
- Let me guess; neither of us is free to go get him right now.
- Honey, I’ll go anyway if we don’t have another option, but I was hoping you’d be done with your class, so we didn’t break protocol…
- I’m afraid not, I have another class to impart right after this… What about Nemuri? Or Toshinori? I’m sure they won’t mind going to pick him up.
- That might work! I only have thirty minutes left of class as of right now, so I’ll be able to look after him until you are free!
- Sounds like a plan, then; I’ll ask Toshinori first, though, because he might be free right now… I mean, he did volunteer to go fetch Zuku in the afternoon…
- All right! Let me know what he says! I must go back to my kids; they for sure are not making the homework I left them, so I better go quiet them down before our colleagues end up wanting to kill me.
- You go do that, I’ll call All Might.
- Hey, my boy! Come, up you go!
Izuku got a firm grip around Toshinori’s neck, gently nestling his head against his collarbone. He was a little out of himself, so Yagi opted to bring him to his father’s apartment (after thanking the nice teacher that explained the situation to him) without trying to engage the kid into their usual conversations, believing it would bring more harm than good to bombard the child with too many information at once.
When he got into UA, he went straight toward 1A’s building, going to the top floor and entering the apartment with the spare key Shouta had given him in case of emergencies. He got the child into the bedroom and posed him on the mattress, assuring him he would be right back. Then, the man got out of the chamber and gave Hizashi a call, in which the boy’s father promised he would arrive in five minutes at most.
He went back to the kid’s side and gently carded his hands through his curls, hoping to make him feel at least accompanied.
- Hey, Toshi, thank you so much for going to get him! I’ll take care of him from here, don’t worry.
- It was my pleasure; please let me know how he is by the end of the day, though… Young Izuku certainly doesn’t look good… And Kayama-san also asked me to tell her how the boy was doing, since she couldn’t go pick him up herself…
- Sure thing! But, don’t worry too much, okay? This is not good, but also probably not really the worst Zuku has been, so it’s likely he’ll be back to being his usual self in no time.
Giving Hizashi a curt nod and a slim smile Toshinori exited the apartment, and so the father got to work and started by redressing his kid into soft pajamas. Then, he got him a glass of water and a pill that was reserved solely for when the kid started to lose blood (Recovery Girl knew what exactly it was, but Hizashi couldn’t remember for the life of him).
- Hey, honey, can you please take this for me? It’s only a precaution, but we should not risk it by not taking it, all right?
The kid, albeit dazed, gave his father a look that clearly said: “please not that one pill”. Hizashi even felt guilty once, after insisting a bit more, the kid swallowed the pill only to immediately gag a little out of how horrid the darn thing tasted.
- Shh… I’m so sorry, baby… I’ll bring you some juice to get rid of the taste, would that work?
A slight nod.
- Okay, feel free to get under the covers while I’m gone; get comfy, son.
- ‘kay Papa.
Would strawberry juice be fine? Or would it make Zuku’s stomach hurt? Oh dear, that’s exactly why Hizashi wasn’t usually on charge of seeing after Izuku when he got sick; Shouta knew all the meds the kid took, how they worked and what to avoid mixing, but Hizashi (even though he gave his best at trying to get the names and all to memory, and always had a notebook with all of the information at hands reach), simply seemed unable to understand how the drugs worked, and so was very afraid of messing up the child’s health.
(Since Shouta spent so much time looking after the boy, he also knew better what the kid preferred to drink or eat when he got sick, and that was what had Hizashi in a dilemma at the moment).
If you asked Shouta, though, he would tell you that his husband did pretty good in those situations; the man had more of instinct when it came to giving care. So, Hizashi was afraid of messing up something that he, honestly, was doing just fine. But since his insecurities wouldn’t go away, Shouta decided to put a rest on his worries and volunteered to be the first option when it came to watching after their youngest.
- Baby? I’ve got your juice; can you sit by yourself? Or would you like my help?
- It’s Okay Papa, I can do it.
Izuku gave Hizashi a timid smile, which was followed by his intent on sitting upright. His body though, ever the traitor, decided to mess with him a little and got the child into a nasty coughing fit.
After it passed the kid, a little out of breath and with his hands now covered on specks of red, made eye contact with a rather distressed Hizashi. The father just didn’t know what to do; didn’t know how to make things better for his son. He felt rather ashamed of himself.
But, it was not the moment to deal with his insecurities; he could meditate about them when he was alone.
He handed the kid the juice (after cleaning Izuku’s blood-stained hands with a wet cloth) and, when the boy gave it back half-empty, gently placed the glass on the nightstand.
- Are you good, honey? Does your chest hurt?
- Not really, I just had a funny feeling in my throat. But it’s better now!
- I’m glad, Zuku… So, would you like to do something? Or are you ready to take a nap?
- Could you tell me a story? Please?
- Why, of course, I can! Let me get a chair and I’ll start right away!
The boy looked a little down at that.
- Why the sad face, son?
- It’s just… Ohm… Could you maybe lay down with me?
- Of course, Zuku… but I’ll have to go once your Dad comes back; is that okay?
- Y-yeah! Thank you, Papa.
- It’s my pleasure, pumpkin.
- Zashi… Hey, love, lunchtime is about to end; you have to go back to the academy…
- Ugh… there’s nothing I want to do less right now.
- I know… we can call Nedzu and ask for someone to cover up for you if you wish.
- Nah, it’s fine, I’d rather go and not owe him any more favors. Come, love, take my place; Izuku feels rather cold, so it might do him well to keep having human heat.
Shouta did as he was told, gently embracing the kid whilst Hizashi got out of the bed and headed to the drawer to retrieve a blanket, which he then threw over his husband and son.
- I’ll come by later to check up on both of you; is that okay?
- Of course, don’t be silly. We’ll be waiting for you.
Hizashi gave Shouta a peck on the lips, which earned him a soft smile in return.
- Oh, before I forget, bring Hitoshi along when you come; he wants to check on Izuku too, and he promised him you both would come together, yesterday before any of this happened.
- All righty! See you, honey.
- Izuku, you need to eat something. You haven’t eaten anything since this morning, and it’s almost five in the afternoon.
- I’m not hungry, Dad. My tummy hurts. Everything hurts.
- I know, bud, but I don’t want to give you more pills without having you eat something first.
The child hugged him stronger, refusing to let go.
- I’ll make yourself food even if I have to carry you everywhere, son. Don’t test me.
- S-sorry, Dad. - Izuku’s voice broke, and Shouta feared what would come next. –I’m j-just t-tired of feeling t-this w-way. I-I don’t want to h-hurt…
The kid cried. He broke down into soft sobs, clutching Shouta’s t-shirt with vehemence. He wouldn’t hear his father’s words of consolation, nor did he react when he was picked up and brought into the living room.
- Izuku, baby, please don’t cry… Come on bud, I’m so sorry you have to deal with this, but we can make it work… I’m not trying to make you suffer, I’m only trying to help you, son… Please, please stop crying...
Sometimes, when the kid was particularly stressed, he lost his calm and collected demeanor to turn into a mess of tears. Don’t get it wrong; Izuku was honest when he said that he was okay with living life as best as he could, even with his –relatively- recently acquired disease. He was not faking his happiness nor his positive attitude. It’s just that, sometimes, he got scared of what was happening to him. He feared he would not be able to see his family again, feared he would not be able to age, feared that one of these particularly bad days he would go to sleep to never wake up.
He was a little kid, and he was going through something traumatic even for an adult; could you blame him for being scared?
- My sweet child, please, everything’s going to be okay… Would you like to go see Granny Chiyo? Might that make you feel better?
A shake of the head.
- What about going to the balcony? We can always put a bunch of sweaters on you and go take a look outside.
A pair of green eyes peeked at him.
- … okay, how about the rooftop? Same deal, the only difference being we’ll have to make a longer trip if we go there.
The smallest of smiles appeared on the boy’s face, and that was enough for the man to understand. He got Izuku a pair of his own warmest pullovers, laughing a little at how big they were on the kid’s body, and then grabbed a pillow and the blanket Hizashi had taken out earlier that day.
(He also took his phone and some pomace pouches that he had bought last weekend –fortunately- to see if he could coax the kid into sipping them once they were on the roof).
- All right, come, Zuku, up we go.
They were on the rooftop in less than five minutes, but we won’t say anything about the rather dangerous (fun) way Shouta selected to get them there (“only this time, don’t get used to it, Zuku”).
- Daddy, look! We can see all campus from here!
- So I see, bud. Do you like the view?
- Yes! Thank you, Dad! And sorry about earlier…
- Don’t worry, Zuku, it’s perfectly fine, I understand.
- Thank you... Can I have a kiss? Here? – asked the child, pointing to his forehead.
Shouta’s response was peppering the boy with kisses all over his face, which earned him peals of laughter from the kid between his arms.
- Hey! Don’t eat my son, babe! What will Papa do without his sunshine boy?!
- Papa! – said Izuku, turning around and meeting both his father and brother with a big smile- I’m okay! See? Dad was just being super nice!
- Oh well, then I don’t have to worry anymore! Why don’t you come to give me a hug, baby?
- Of course! Just gimme a second!
The kid gently got out of Shouta’s grip, wobbling a little, but finally managing to walk right into his Papa’s arms. Hizashi lifted the child, squeezing him a little just to make sure the kid was right there and all right.
- Don’t I get a hug, too?
- Oh right, I’m sorry, Toshi-nii! Catch me!
Right on cue, Hitoshi managed to catch his brother once the kid (crazy boy, really) jumped from his position on Hizashi’s arms (he was pretty tall, so, face-planting on the floor would have hurt at least a little) toward the teen.
- Izuku! Don’t be so reckless! If you feel good enough to ambush your brother, then come here and sip on this.
Shouta showed the boy the pomace pouch. Izuku, too happy to remember his upset stomach, gently took his brother’s and Papa’s hands and led them toward the verge of the rooftop, where his father handed each of them a pouch.
- So sweet, Dad; never would have thought you’d bring us food too.
- It was just an afterthought; don’t get used to it.
Hitoshi smirked. – Sure, whatever you say, old man.
- Did you just--
- Hey! Look! We can see your classmates from here, Toshi-nii!
- You’re right, buddy. Do you remember who they are?
- Mm… Well, I remember which ones are your friends, but there are many I’d never seen before!
- That’s fine; you’ll find out their names and quirks pretty soon, I know you.
- Can I really? Daddy?
- I don’t see why not, as long as you don’t forget to write your observations on code.
- Sure! Thank you!
Shouta nodded, opening his arms for the child to nest between them once more; it was late afternoon, so now more than ever was it convenient for the kid to be warm. Hitoshi opted to sit by his father’s right, while Hizashi did so by the man’s left. The family then quietly sipped on their pouches while they watched the horizon, enjoying being close to each other after the wild weeks they’d had lately.
- Chamomile tea for you, mister, just as you asked. Take a seat at the center table in the living room while Papa and I make dinner. Don’t distract your brother from doing his homework, though, he’s to finish it for tomorrow. Am I clear?
- Crystal, Dad! I’ll write on my notebook, then. I’ll go fetch it.
- Put the cup on the table first; I don’t want you running around while you’re holding boiled water.
The kid nodded, following his father’s instructions without complaint.
- Love, can you pass me the salt, please?
Shouta did so, watching his husband quietly. Hizashi had a little tremor to his hands while handling the pan on the stove, and his eyes were subtly glassed over.
- Are you okay, Zashi? You look tired…
- I’m sorry, it’s just… It’s been a long day, in every sense of the way. Do you feel me?
The man embraced the blonde from behind, placing his chin on the other man’s shoulder.
- Yes, I do. Of course, I do.
- Hey buddy, what you got in there?
- My notebook, Toshi. Dad said not to interrupt you, so I won’t.
- Aww, such a shame. And here I wanted to tell you about my first day back on heroics; did you know that they’ll have us take an exam to get a provisional hero license?
- Really?! – Poor Izuku immediately got engaged into the conversation, forgetting that was exactly what he was trying to avoid. – Whoa! Brother, you’ll be just like our Dad’s! You’ll officially be a hero!
- Not quite, bud, because it’s only a temporary license, but yeah, I’ll be able to take down bad guys if I pass the exam.
- You will! Of course you will! I’m so happy, Toshi-nii! You’re achieving your dream!
- Aww, how can you be such a pure thing? I’m pretty sure that’s not humanly possible.
- Mm, if you say so… I want to be like you when I’m older, though, because you’re so cool, Nii-san!
- Oh no, you don’t know what you’re saying. But, I guess we’ll see how you turn out to be, baby bro.
- Hitoshi, are you ready with your homework? Because I don’t want to think that you’re tricking your brother into talking to you just to avoid it, now are you?
- Of course not, Dad! We got a little sidetracked, is all. I’ll be ready in a few, anyway, you went pretty easy on us today.
- I had other things on my mind; but don’t you dare get used to it. And stop chatting once and for all, problem child.
- I tricked you too, now didn’t I?
- Don’t test me.
- I wouldn’t dare to, old man.
- You little--
- Papa! Dad is going to use a bad word!
- Shouta don’t YOU DARE!
Chapter 6: Izuku’s quirk(s)
- Tonight you’re going to stay with Papa while I go and make a weekly night patrol, Zuku. We’ll prepare your bag and put inside anything you may need or want for the day, okay?
- Yes, Dad! I already put it in my notebook and my All Might! And my toothbrush! That good?
- Very much so, son. Then we just need to add your pajamas to the lot, since Papa has some of your clothes there and he got a spare of all your meds last weekend.
- Good! I’ll miss you, Daddy. Please take care, okay?
- Sure, bud, don’t worry. I’ll be back in the morning.
- All right. Can I give you a good luck smooch before we go, please?
Shouta crouched in front of the kid, and so got a big kiss to the forehead. And the cheeks. And the top of his nose. Really, Izuku went crazy with how much love he gave the man in just a minute.
- I love you, son, and I feel much better now thanks to you – he said, ruffling his son’s hair- but we really have to get going before curfew finds us.
- Yes! Let’s go see Papa!
- Oh! Isn’t that your baby bro, Toshi? It’s been a long time since I last saw him! – said Kaminari, squeezing the other boy's hand to gain his attention, which was previously focused on the notebook in front of him.
- Oh yes! My, he hasn’t changed a bit, now has he, Aizawa? – added Jirou, who had joined the couple (along with the rest of the group of friends) to study for their math test next Friday.
- Hey! He’s grown, you jerk. Well, at least his mind has.
- Don’t get mad, Aizawa-san. I, for one, believe his small size makes him pretty cute!
- You’re so kind, Yaoyorozu-nee-san! Thank you!
Said girl jumped on her place, startled. Izuku had sneaked up on the teens, appearing seemingly out of nowhere.
Hitoshi laughed at the shocked expressions of his friends, while he simultaneously hugged the child, who had thrown himself into his brother’s arms as soon as he’d spotted the teen.
- Hey, Izuku-kun! It’s so good to see you!
- Kaminari-nii-san! Hi!
The kid jiggled out of Hitoshi’s arms to hug the blonde teen’s legs.
Denki liked Izuku a lot, just so you know. The kid was sweet and genuine, and his hugs were one of the best things Kaminari had ever received (they rivaled his grandma’s, and that was saying a lot).
The boy then released his hold and happily saluted the rest of the teens, not hugging them (they’d feel uncomfortable with the physical interaction, since the kid had only met them a couple of times before), bumping Shoji’s fist when the teen offered his own, waving at Jirou (who gave him a smile and a peace sign), and nodding to Tokoyami, who had let Dark Shadow come out so the entity could hug the little boy (those two had an instant connection that was quite terrifying, the first time they met), which earned the group chimes of laugh from the kid.
Who, out of nowhere, got silent and stiff.
- Izuku. How, exactly, did you get here? I had to come all the way back because, suddenly, you were nowhere in sight.
The annoyed tone of voice of one Aizawa Shouta made the nice ambiance shatter, leaving only a tense feeling in the air.
- I- I wasn’t trying to be bad, Dad. I just wanted to see Toshi-nii before we went to Papa’s--
- And decided to leave without at least telling me? That’s not like you, son. Why did you run away?
- I… I didn’t?
Now Shouta was starting to look a little mad. And that worried Hitoshi, who was making a plan to take the two to a more private place if things got too heated up.
- Explain yourself, son.
- I don’t really know what happened; I just thought that I wanted to see brother, and then I-I was here…
At least the mad semblance turned into something more like confusion. And Hitoshi could relate; what was Izuku saying?
- … so you, what, teleported?
- I know that’s not my quirk, but I can’t explain it better, Dad…
Shouta hummed, with a troubled look on his face.
After a minute of silence –with all the teenagers exchanging worried glances between them- the man sighed, nodded, and then simply gestured for the kid to come closer.
Izuku did so, slowly. The child didn’t want his father to be mad at him, least of all for something that he couldn’t really understand himself.
- We’ll look into this later, okay? I’m sorry if I made you feel bad, son, I worried when you disappeared, but I shouldn’t have made you feel guilty because of it. So, I apologize, bud.
- It’s okay, Daddy. We’re okay. Can we hug now?
- Sure, kiddo. – The man lifted the kid, embracing him close. - Come, I’ll carry you to your Papa’s; just as a precaution, please avoid thinking about wanting to go see anyone else. Can you do that for me?
- Yes, Dad! Bye-bye, everyone!
The teens waved the pair goodbye, getting a nod from their teacher and a smile from the kid before father and son left the room.
- Toshi, is it normal for them to argue like that? What happened there?
- No, not at all; they spend a lot of time together with one on one precisely because they understand each other pretty well… This almost never happens.
- I don’t believe I have ever seen Mr. Aizawa so tense. Do you have any idea what’s going on?
- Not really, Momo-san. It’s… Izuku’s quirk is the ability to know what other people meta-abilities are, and how they work. That’s all his official record reads.
- … but it’s not everything, now is it?
- No, Tokoyami-kun. I trust you guys, so that’s why I’ll share this with you, but you must promise me not to let this be known by anybody else. Can you do that?
The teens looked at each other and then nodded, firmly.
- Okay then. Well, to understand I must start by stating the obvious; my little brother is a really… sensitive kid. He cries easily, smiles openly, and is particularly empathetic for his shortage. You see, at first, we thought it was just part of his nature, something that runs into his DNA. But… we started to wonder if there was more to it when he was two.
He started acting weird by that time, and it was pretty obvious that something was not right once we put more attention into his demeanor. It was the little things, first; if Papa laughed, the kid, even if he was in another room, followed along. If Dad was mad, Izuku got grumpy. If someone in the house cried, he also shed tears. But, if that wasn’t enough, there was one time where I broke my arm while he was watching me, in the park. And yes, it was really painful for me, but Izuku… He crumbled to the floor, crying his heart out. Our parents were there, too, so one took me to the hospital while the other stayed put, to see what was wrong with Zuku.
Turns out, my baby brother was an empath. Only, that wasn’t all. A couple of months after that, at a time where Zuku had his quirk registered and everything, he surprised us again. He had another quirk; the ability that I mentioned you all before. We discovered that once a friend of the family went home, and the kid bombarded the man with questions about his quirk, which he shouldn’t have been able to make.
It could have been a simple coincidence; Izuku knows many people we don’t, so maybe he heard of the quirk beforehand. But then, one day, someone else with a meta ability known only by seven people back then (for real) went to our house. And the kid instantly babbled about how complex the quirk was, almost making the said person faint.
(Hitoshi avoided telling them what really happened, which was Izuku rambling –as much as a three-year-old could- about how Toshinori’s quirk felt exactly the same as his brother’s did. It definitely would have been giving too much information, with OFA being a secret and all).
Papa took him to the doctor then, and effectively, the kid had another quirk. Or a mutation of the original one; the doctor didn’t know. So, for the sake of being more precise, he decided to change the registry on Izuku’s ability to the one they had suddenly discovered, for he thought that the previous verdict may have been imprecise; it’s not usual, but quirks may change sometimes after revealing themselves.
We decided to leave it at that. Yet, our doubts were there still; we wondered if maybe he actually could hold more than one meta ability on his body. We never stopped treating Izuku as if he were an empath since really, we know he is. That’s why he’s so polite when interacting with other people (to avoid bothering them), and why he seems to know how to treat most everyone he meets (as much as a little kid can, naturally). For the same reason, we got him a suppressant made for empaths, but he doesn’t take the pills unless he shuts down,… Well, he already takes too many meds, anyway.
This… Might mean we were right all along. If this is another quirk, then it might mean my brother has even more abilities we don’t know of. And that requires special treatment.
- Wow… That little boy sure is a box of surprises. – Said Shoji, looking at some point in the far distance. – It must be hard, though. I have heard empaths suffer a lot….
- They do, but all in all, Izuku seems happy. He has the unhealthy habit of suppressing his reactions to other people's feelings, to avoid letting us know how much they affect them, but we’ve been working on that, too.
- Babe… I’m, this is a lot to think about. Are you okay, though?
- Yeah, I just got a little tired by recalling all that all of a sudden.
- Your family is amazing, though; you all are something else, I’m telling you. What were the odds that both Izuku and you would have more than one quirk? –said Jirou, not noticing the slightly panicked look the purple-haired adopted at that.
(Only Denki knew about OFA, and it had to stay that way for as much time as possible).
- Amazing, indeed. Dark Shadow and I admire your singularity sincerely.
- And we are here if any of you ever need us, you know that, Aizawa-kun?
Hitoshi looked at his friends, who were giving him different looks that transmitted the same feeling; you can count on us.
- Yes, you guys. Thank you, it means a lot.
- Papa! Papa! Hi!
- Hey there, my baby listener! Are you ready to have fun with me?
- Yes! Of course!
- No, you won’t. The kid has to rest, Zashi, you know that. I expect you two to be responsible while I’m gone; clear?
- Yeah, yeah, don’t be such a boomer, love; we’ll be good!
- Yes, Dad! We’ll behave!
Shouta smiled slightly, fondly looking at the grinning duo.
- All right you two, see you tomorrow.
- See ya, babe! We love you!
- Bye-bye Daddy! Take care!
Shouta waved before getting out of the room.
Really, if his husband managed to remotely stick to their son’s chronogram it’d be a miracle, more so considering they hadn’t had alone time since Izuku was sick, and that had been a couple of weeks ago.
A long time for the doting blonde man, Shouta knew.
Chapter 7: Izuku spends a day with his parents at their work
- Stop looking at the kid and pay attention, or I promise I’ll make you write a report of thirty pages about hero regulations.
Class 1A had the nerve of ignoring the threat of their homeroom teacher, opting to keep on awe-watching how the man had a tiny, green-haired, freckled and smiling boy tightly wrapped around his torso like it was a common thing.
It certainly wasn’t.
- Mr. Aizawa? Ohm… may I, as the class representative, ask what’s going on?
- Yeah, who is the little guy?
- Is he your son? Wait, that’d mean he’s your brother, Aizawa-kun. That so?
- He’s so cute! I wanna squeeze his cheeks! Can I?
Aizawa activated his quirk, effectively intimidating the kids and soothing the ruckus his students started.
- You may conclude whatever you want, I don’t care, but don’t be so noisy; you’re making the child uncomfortable.
He, kids, is Izuku. He’ll be coming to the classroom from time to time from now on. He will be the one taking notes of your meta abilities, as we conversed yesterday. That’s all you need to hear from me. If you wish to theorize about this development, please wait until your free time. Also, the report’s curfew is next Friday; I’ll email you the details. Now let’s start today’s class, once and for all.
Some complaints were heard, but in the end all the teens got out their notebooks and tried to pay attention to what their teacher was saying.
(Keyword: tried. The child was just too much of an unexpected addition to the classroom, they couldn’t help glancing that way when they got distracted).
Aizawa had placed Izuku on his desk, gently encouraging the child to take notes on the older kid’s quirks, assuring him it was fine because he had asked the class for permission beforehand (he hadn’t told the children about his assistant being a little boy, but oh well, life was nicer with innocent surprises here and there every now and then, he supposed).
An hour and a half later the bell rang and the teenagers could finally let out a relieved sigh; Aizawa had given them a lot of information in one go, as a punishment of sorts for their previous disobedience.
The class, just so you know, consisted of twelve alumni who managed to avoid getting expelled (there were originally twenty kids assigned to 1A, but Aizawa deemed them unprepared for heroics along the semester, for multiple reasons, and so they had been expulsed from UA), and all of them shared a kind connection as classmates; they got along pretty well.
- Come on, get out of here if you wish to do anything with your free-time; English starts in ten minutes.
They rushed out of the classroom. Well, all except Hitoshi, who stayed behind to talk to the pair (and oh boy, wasn’t that a good motivation for his classmates to further feed their “family theory”. Fun fact was, they didn’t have a clue about Hizashi also being related to them; nobody knew the full last-name of Hitoshi, and so the marriage between Aizawa and the blonde was a barely alive rumor and nothing more).
Shouta started collecting his things, after nodding to his eldest, so the teen focused his attention on the little boy that had rushed to hug him from the teacher´s desk.
- Hey there, Zuku. How come I got to see you in class today?
- My school was closed because there was a huge leak of water on the bathrooms this morning. Simultaneously. It’s weird, don’t you think, Toshi-nii?
- Pretty much… Well, the bright side is now you get to see a little more of campus on active hours. Did you take a lot of notes today?
- Yes! Your classmates have all such amazing abilities! I like them a lot!
- Aww, you’re so cute, baby bro. We have little time to chat more right now, but I’ll go see you to the teacher lounge at lunch-time; would you like that?
- Very! See you, have a nice time with Papa!
- I will. Bye Zuku, bye old man.
The father grunted in response, quickly ruffling Hitoshi’s mess of hair (which earned him a little laugh from the teen) before taking Izuku’s hand on his own and leading the way outside the classroom.
The duo got some curious glances on their way to the teacher’s lounge. It was such a… bizarre thing, watching the cold and dark-themed teacher holding hands with a smiling, tiny kid, who was happily chatting non-stop with the adult, while he gave him his utmost attention. It was weird -but nice, all in all- to see such a different aspect of the man’s demeanor.
In the lounge, Shouta –after putting his things on his desk- crouched in front of the boy. The kid looked like always; cheerful, bright-eyed and excited about life itself. Yet, when one had been raising him since he was a tiny-bubbling-thing like the man had, you acquired the ability to tell Izuku was acting weird. The boy was fidgeting subtly, and he couldn’t hold eye contact at all. Also, the child was rambling what seemed like a thousand words per minute, and that only happened when he got anxious.
So, the father decided to investigate.
- Zuku, are you okay? Was it painful to bear with so much information at once?
The boy shook his head.
- Was it not the information? What about the sensations? Did they overwhelm you?
- Tell you what; we’ll go see if Granny Chiyo is free right now. You must go to your monthly check-up anyway, but maybe she can also help us with this, and our most recent discovery on your –apparently- new quirk. Does that sound good?
- Yes, Dad! Thank you.
- Sure thing, Zuku.
And so they went to the infirmary for a quick visit to Recovery Girl, hoping maybe she’d be able to assist them in figuring out how to help Izuku a little more.
- Well, if it isn’t my sunshine boy; how are you, sonny? Are you feeling okay?
- Yes, Ma’am! I’m okay, thank you! We’re here because Dad says we need your help.
- Is that so? And how can I help you, Shouta dear?
- Well… we’ve had some… developments, lately, that may be in need of your professional evaluation.
And so the man explained everything, from Izuku’s need of a new way to soften his empathetic nature, to this new quirk they had found the other day (Izuku had tried really hard not to miss anyone, but failed miserably and so started appearing in front of his Papa, Hitoshi, Uncle Toshi, Aunt Nemuri and even Recovery Girl herself, who at the time had assumed the little kid had walked through the door when she was not looking).
Izuku, who was silently hearing the adults chat between each other, decided he was tired of standing and, like it was the most normal thing in the world, climbed his father until he was comfortably posed on the man’s shoulders. Shouta, who was actually getting used to this sudden development on the boy’s occurrences, didn’t even stop talking and simply adjusted his arms so he was holding the kid’s legs.
Chiyo didn’t stop talking either, though she couldn’t help the amusement the situation provoked her; it was such an easy-going relationship, the one those two shared.
- Well, this is what we’ll do. I’ll make the quirk exam to the little dear after classes, today, so come see me then, honey. As for the sensations, it’s a common occurrence for empaths to start feeling other’s emotions with more intensity as they grow, so we should take measurements now that Izuku is old enough, but not too much for it to become a problem toward his health.
I’ll order a regulating-necklace created specifically for people with similar quirks, which gives the user the ability to willingly moderate how much they feel others emotions. It should arrive by the end of the week, so come see me then unless I call you before that.
That should be all, sonnies. Do you agree to take this course of action?
- Of course, Chiyo-san; you have helped us a lot. Thank you so much.
- Don’t bow, honey, it’s a pleasure for me to give you a hand. Now, Izuku dear, please get down here and let me run a quick medical check so we can make sure everything’s going okay.
The boy complied, carefully landing in front of the kind woman. She checked his vitals, measured his height and weighed him, asked the child to do some breathing exercises, took a blood sample and also made a fast radiography of his stomach-zone, to watch out for any damage there might be on the organ from all the pills the boy took (they were not supposed to hurt the boy; it was a simple precaution).
The blood sample would be ready in the afternoon, but everything else was immediately evaluated by Recovery Girl.
- All right; your lungs are working just fine, but we should prescribe you an inhalator in case you have an attack that leaves you incapable of breathing correctly. Also, we should try another medication for nausea, because this one might start hurting your stomach with how regularly you have to take it. Don’t worry, though; the one I have here works just as good, and it even doesn’t have any kind of taste. It was developed last month and was deemed safe, so I’ll give you a prescription for it, too.
As for the rest, everything is working just fine, sunny child. You’re pretty healthy and you have grown as much as expected, given your conditions. You’re a little underweight, but I’m sure it’s just a thing that came from your last “bad day”, so just try to eat a little more this month and you’ll be perfectly fine. Of course, if you have any problems with food come see me and we’ll find a solution, darling; you don’t need to suffer uselessly.
And then Shuzenji kissed Izuku on the forehead, making the kid giggle, and then yawn. Shouta nodded to the woman, thanking her again before taking his very sleepy son on his arms, and then also accepting the bag she handed him, where the new meds and prescriptions laid.
She then waved them off, stating she should get back to work and that the pair should also go rest for a bit before lunch started.
Shouta walked throughout the empty alleyways of the school, thinking. His son was okay, for the most part, and it was such a relief he felt the need to nap away the stress with the kid securely held between his arms.
(And he did just that, once he reached the empty sofa at the teacher’s lounge).
- Daddy, wake up, its lunch-time.
- Five more minutes, bud.
- Come on, Dad; Papa and Toshi-nii came so we could eat together!
- Ugh… well, I guess I must get out of here, then. Such a sham--
- Come on, Dad, stop complaining and let go of my baby brother! You’re squelching him!
Shouta immediately released the little child between his arms.
- Oh heck, sorry kiddo, my bad.
- Not a problem, Dad! Now, let’s go!
Izuku got up and hurried to his Papa’s side, happily taking his hand. Meanwhile, Hitoshi silently watched as his other father tried to get out of his yellow sleeping-bag. He was smiling at the mess the man was, and that earned him a hair-ruffle from said man, who then lightly scolded him for laughing at his disgrace.
While they were at that, Hizashi and Izuku were already walking to go get the four of them food from the cafeteria, since the other two would rather wait for them to come back than actually tag along to a place in where too many noisy kids were reunited.
- Hey, baby, what would you like to eat today?
- I think I’d like to have katsudon, Papa! Can I?
- But of course, my baby listener! As long as you feel like it, you can have whatever you want!
- Thank you, Papa! I’ll be careful, don’t worry!
People watched the pair curiously on the hallways. It was less weird than seeing the kid with Aizawa, but it still was such an unusual situation it made many alumni stare good-naturedly at the duo. (And well, if any of the students disliked the presence of the child for any reason, they still were not dumb enough to demonstrate it in front of the teachers, and that was good enough).
Lunch passed quietly, with the family enjoying the easy feeling they were deprived of since moving to campus. Afterward everyone parted ways, with Izuku staying on the lounge to take a nap under the careful eye of Uncle Toshi, who was free for the rest of the day.
The kid took a corner of the sofa and quietly nestled there, wrapped in a thick blanket for extra comfort (he was always a little cold, so he appreciated the feeling of coziness the soft material granted).
Seeing nothing else to do, Toshinori sat beside the kid, who decided to rest his head on the man’s lap for more comfort.
They were woken up by Shouta a couple of hours later when the classes were finalized for the day.
- Thanks for looking after him, Toshi. – Said man only nodded, carefully handing the father the little boy, who took him to Chiyo’s infirmary for the quirk test.
It was such a relief for Shouta to walk through empty halls, with no one to stare at them.
- Okay, let’s wake him up and get this started. I’ll run a complete test to discard any more possible abilities the kid might not be aware of; is that okay?
-Sure, we have a lot of free time, anyway.
- Oh dear! This is certainly unexpected; I have never heard of anything like this before. What a fascinating ability, indeed.
Well, boys, I have pretty interesting news for you; as you know, you, little Izuku, are an empath. From that, you also developed the ability to identify other people quirk’s, since those are strongly related to their personality. But, you didn’t stop there, sonny; you also managed to develop not one, but two more variations to your quirk.
The first one is some kind of teleportation that is heavily linked to your connection to others, which means you can appear right where your dearest people are just by thinking about it. The second new addition is your apparent ability to heal your beloved ones from any emotional or physical pain by using your stamina, but that has two implications; first, if you do not have a link to the person injured, you won’t be able to heal them. And second, the amount of healing you may impart is directly related to the strength of the bond you share with them.
As you can see, all these abilities are born from your empathetic nature, my sunshine boy. There’s no obvious drawback besides an expected feeling of tiredness, which implies you’ll need to rest if you use the quirks too much, but that’s nothing to worry about much.
I wonder, though, why is it that you keep on developing new abilities since the original one appeared; it is an honest mystery, considering how unusual it is for this to happen.
All in all, this just means your heart is so big, dear boy, that it transformed into your strongest source of power, and quite literally. You should be proud of that, honey, it’s an invaluable asset to have, this one of yours.
Ah! I almost forgot: I got your blood-test results. You’ll have to take some iron-tablets to fight your slight anemia, darling. It’s not much of a deal since it is easily fixable, but I know how much you dislike them; I’m really sorry, dear boy. We’ll see if we can suspend them or reduce the number of pills in our next monthly check-up.
Now, Shouta dear, take this little sweetheart home and let him rest; it has been one fairly busy day for him, after all.
- So, she said our son has another two quirks? How is that possible?
- I don’t really know, but since they can be considered mutations, it might just be an unusual, but justifiable occurrence.
Hizashi stayed quiet, silently carding his hands through the soft curls of the sleeping boy on his lap; after arriving home with Shouta, Izuku had quickly been taken by his Papa (who was waiting for them on the apartment), who then had sat on the sofa and started interrogating his husband.
- Our little boy, honey, is certainly a box full of surprises.
- Don’t tell me, Zashi, believe it when I say I know. And I worry.
- Yeah, me too. I hope we’re doing a good job, as his parents, but sometimes… sometimes I fear I may not be giving him all he needs, and that scares me so much…
- I understand that feeling, love, but I humbly believe we have been doing a fair job on raising our kids, this far. I honestly think that, even if we make mistakes, we’ll manage to keep on taking care of them just as good in the future; it’s a matter of patience and communication, and we have plenty of those, all in all.
The couple shared a soft smile toward one another, and then they hugged, sitting side by side with their youngest cuddled between them.
(Hitoshi was on the kitchen with his friends, cooking dinner, and his family decided it best to tell him the news the next day, considering they were not exactly bad, nor urgent).
Chapter 8: Shouto’s disappearance
- Has Izuku talked to you at all today, Shou?
- No Zashi, not really. So, you noticed it too?
- Yes; he’s acting pretty weird. I wonder if something happened at school…
- We can always ask him after dinner.
Hizashi nodded, concentrating once more on his duty of chopping vegetables. Shouta, seeing how the conversation came to an end, went back to stirring the miso soup (which honestly felt like the most boring thing to do in the world for the sleep-deprived man).
- Zuku? Hey, buddy, come on, get out of there; you’ll make yourself trigger a panic attack by staying in such a small place.
There was no verbal response from his little brother, and Hitoshi was ready to open the closet himself, really, but thankfully Izuku took action first and –painfully slow- opened the door of the wardrobe.
The kid was a mess; trembling body, blood-shot eyes, and tears all over his face. Yet, he didn’t utter a single sound.
- Ow, Zuku. Come here.
The boy carefully embraced his brother, letting the child rest his head against his shoulder. They stayed like that for a long while, only little sniffs could be heard from time to time. The soft rocking motion Hitoshi started slowly calming down the tiny kid between his arms.
Until a weak voice interrupted the silence.
- S-Shou-chan is g-gone, T-Toshi.
- What? What do you mean, Zuku?
- His f-father t-took him from s-school. The t-teacher said s-so. – Izuku started weeping again. – He’s not c-coming b-back! A-and I c-couldn’t even say g-goodbye!
- Oh no, Zuku… We should ask our parents, maybe they can figure a way for you two to keep on seeing each other, hmm? – Hitoshi petted Izuku’s head, meeting bright, glazed over eyes with his own, and giving his little brother a warm smile. – And look, even if you cannot see him at school anymore, you’ll both meet again when you enter UA, now won’t you?
That made the child smile slimly, the sadness on his face dissolving a little bit.
- Guess y-you’re right, Toshi-nii. I m-must enter UA at a-all costs, now! So I can see Shou-chan again!
- That’s the spirit, little bro. Now, we should go talk to our parents, okay? They’ve been pretty worried about you looking so down today… No, don’t make that face; they’re not mad, trust me.
- Y-you sure?
- Of course; they just want you to be genuinely all right, Zuku.
The kid nodded, wiggling out of his big brother’s arms and taking the teen’s hand, leading him to the living room.
- Hey! If it isn’t our dear sons! We were just about to call you for dinner. – Greeted them Hizashi from the kitchen, looking at them with soft eyes tinted with a hint of concern, brought by the obviously red-from-crying face of his youngest.
“He’ll talk to you later” mouthed Hitoshi, and Hizashi nodded subtly, lifting Izuku so they could go clean his hands.
(The man wailed about how much he had missed his little sunshine boy all the way to the bathroom, which earnt him happy giggles from the child between his arms).
The purple-haired boy then went in search of his other father, who was finishing setting-up the table.
- Endeavor took Todoroki-kun out of the school.
Shouta almost dropped the plate he was holding, startled by the sudden apparition Hitoshi made.
- Don’t startle me like that, you little menace. – A snort from the teenager was heard. – What was that of that… man, taking away little Todoroki?
- Izuku didn’t say much, but he told me he took his son out of the school all of a sudden. Said he couldn’t even say goodbye to his friend.
- So that’s why he’s been so sad today… Guess we’ll have to try and convince Endeavor to let our children meet at least to say goodbye.
- You look conflicted about that, Dad.
- It’s just… We don’t have a way of contacting him since he never let Todoroki-kun meet with Zuku. And even if we did, I doubt he’ll be willing to listen to us.
- All Might may convince him, perhaps.
- … I’ll talk to him. I hope Izuku isn’t too hopeful, though… Toshinori doesn’t exactly get along with the number two hero.
- You said it.
They took a seat while waiting for the other two to come back. Shouta looked pensive, and so Hitoshi quietly watched the different expressions the man’s face made. Not that his father demonstrated many emotions, though; you had to acquire a clinical eye to read the slight changes on Shouta’s face.
That was his sole source of fun, until light and rapid footsteps announced the arrival of Izuku to the common area.
- Izuku, I’ve told you many times you shouldn’t run when you’re inside unless you want to trip and fall face-first into the floor.
- Right, sorry, Dad. – Although a little ashamed at the light chastisement, the kid’s face sported a genuine smile that hid something akin to excitement behind it.
Hitoshi thanked the stars for the happy aura Papa inflicted upon everyone on the house; nobody like the blonde man to make tight chests feel lighter, and problems much less worrisome.
- Izuku, can we ask you something?
A nod from the kid perched on the sofa. Hitoshi raised an eyebrow to his Papa, getting a slight wink as a response to the “can I stay?” the teen implied.
- Has something been bothering you today? – started Shouta, to which Hizashi added – We’re under the impression that something’s making you feel down, baby. And we’d like to help you make it better.
Izuku watched his parents quietly, not letting much show on his face (the kid only expressed what he chose to, and boy wasn’t it unnerving considering his quirk was always turned on). He then directed his gaze at his older brother, who was nodding his head encouragingly.
Then, he spoke – Shou-chan is not coming to school anymore. His Dad won’t let him, or that’s what Miss Hinata told the class. I was pretty sad at first, I-I still am – a soft sniff was heard, but no tears showed up – but then Toshi-nii told me I could see him again at UA, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do!
Just how could the kid be so positive after a rather simple speech from Hitoshi was a mystery which would forever remain unsolved, decided the trio as a blinding smile filled to the brim with determination showed on the little boy’s features.
- W-well, are you sure everything’s okay then? You sure you don’t want us to see if we can contact Todoroki-kun’s father?
- N-no, don’t call him. I was happy at the idea at first, b-but I don’t wanna pressure Shou-chan. I’m s-sure I’ll see him around, anyway!
That made the rest of the family squint their eyes with suspicion, yet they left it at that for the sake of not dampening the boy’s resolution.
All in all, the problem felt solved and the family moved on. If little Tenya was suddenly almost a constant on their house, nobody said anything, understanding Izuku’s fear of losing yet another dear friend of his (besides, that gave them a chance to meet Tensei every time he was up to visiting and so had the time to pick up his little brother, so they wouldn’t dare complain; the parents missed their high school friend too, after all).
Izuku’s best friend kept on visiting even when they had to move onto the UA dorms system, thankfully, and so their friendship continued to grow alongside them.
They never knew the reason for Todoroki’s disappearance, though. And they wouldn’t find out until many years later when they were teenagers coursing UA themselves.
Chapter 9: Izuku goes to live with his Papa
- I’ll be gone for a while, Zuku. You’ll see me around at campus on school hours, but you’ll have to go stay with your Papa for the time being.
- W-Why Dad? Was it something I did? Have I been b-bad?
- Oh no, bud… You’re a really good kid, all right? I’m going on a secret mission that requires me to be away for a couple of months, but I assure you it has nothing to do with you.
Tiny tears trailed down the kid’s face, who wouldn’t meet Shouta’s eyes.
- Do you believe me, son?
A hesitant nod was the only response he got, but it was better than nothing.
The man –like it was second nature at that point- took his child between his arms, rocking him gently while he waited for the boy to calm down.
He knew it’d be hard on Izuku when he was preparing himself to tell him the news. The doctors at Eri’s hospital had asked for his particular help to get the little girl to warm up to her quirk without fear, and he couldn’t do that while staying on campus, since the mission was a secret.
Nedzu told him to go stay at his house with the girl for as long as was needed, easing his reluctance by assuring him he would put All Might to watch after 1A’s class at the dorms.
Shouta couldn’t deny the mission when he didn’t have any valid excuses. He did want to help Eri, of course, it was just that… well, he worried about his sons, and he worried about his students, too. They were his children; he feared for their safety, after the events that had transpired that year.
Anyway, he’d only be gone for three months at most; there was actually a kind woman at the hospital (Otonashi ring any bells?) who had been caring about the girl as a therapist, and she said she’d gladly take the little girl under her care after the required trial time Eri had to spend under the careful watch of Aizawa.
(The Aizawa-Yamada’s couldn’t care about another child; they didn’t have a bad life, but Izuku’s treatments, their own hero-expenses, the house, the kids, all other kinds of bills… you may understand that all the love in the world can’t really pay for expenditures they couldn’t afford at the long term: it’d be irresponsible on their part. Besides, Mrs. Otonashi was a kind woman with a quirk that allowed her to calm down people –instantly- by talking to them, so she’d be a really good guardian for the scarred girl; nothing to worry about there).
- Come on, kiddo. Let’s go see Papa.
- O-Okay, Daddy. I-I love you.
If Shouta’s eyes got a little wet, there was no one to testify on the fact.
(He’d miss seeing his tiny child 24/7 okay? So, sue him, he was going to get a little sad at their separation).
- Love you too, bud. A lot, actually.
The kid’s giggles warmed him down to his chore.
- Izuku? Baby? Can you please come out of there? I fear you might get a panic attack, honey.
The kid slowly got out of under the bed, meeting his tired eyes with his father’s. Shouta had left around an hour ago, and the little boy had decided to camp there in hopes of getting rid of his sadness quietly.
Papa had other plans, though.
- Ow, my poor boy… Come, let’s go wipe your face, pumpkin. Then we’ll do something fun, I promise.
Hizashi got the kid clean at the bathroom, and while he was drying his own hands on a towel, Izuku spoke:
- D-Dad is going to be okay, Papa?
A curious question, all in all. Not unexpected, though, if one knew how Izuku’s mind worked.
- Yes, honey, he’ll be just peachy. He’s on a very mild mission, all in all, and it’s with the sole purpose of protecting, not attacking.
- Yes, baby. I can’t tell you more, but try to trust us, okay? Everything’s all right.
- ‘kay… What do you want us to do, now?
- Oh! Now we’re going to go to the balcony to do some inside-gardening; how does that sound?
The kid’s eyes shined on anticipation, and that was answer enough for the blonde man, who led the way toward what promised to be a fun afternoon.
Chapter 10: Reunion (kind of)
A pair of cold eyes met Izuku’s, making him feel uncomfortable and insecure. That, and he could –literally- perceive the resentment that runs through his childhood friend’s body.
- Aizawa-san. – That alone felt like a blow to the stomach for the green-haired teen, who remembered the amicable familiarity from their childhood like it had been yesterday. - Objectively speaking, I’ve always been stronger than you, and I don’t believe that has changed now.
- W-What? Why are you telling me this? What’s your point?
- I’ll put it like this; I don’t know what you’ve been doing all these years, but I won’t have mercy on you on the battlefield just because you’re the same… the same weak child I met nine years ago. I’ll prove my worth to myself no matter what, yet I’d rather do it by defeating people who at least try to demonstrate they have some sort of value. I still have you on a decent level of respect; don’t make me regret it.
The amount of begrudging in Todoroki’s voice made Izuku recoil subtly, yet he gave his best effort to do what he had done throughout all of his life; dissimulate how much emotions affected him.
- You have changed quite a bit, huh? – his voice didn’t waver, the tiny smile on his face didn’t disappear; the only thing that betrayed his incommodity was the fact that his eyes were closed, tightly. – I guess I should have expected that. Anyway, rest assured I’ll do my best in this tournament. – Izuku then turned, slowly walking back to where his friends awaited his return. – Good luck, Todoroki-san. May the best of us all win.
If a few tears left his eyes, none of his friends said a word. Not Tenya, who embraced the teen upon seeing his state, having known him the longest. Not Uraraka nor Asui, who gave him gentle smiles and started chatting his ear away to distract him, successfully making him smile. Not Sero, not Kirishima, not even Bakugou (who was harsh to everyone, that just came with his personality). Every other member of his class, aside from a particular few, filled Izuku with excited feelings and warm companionship.
It made him feel secure, safe and warm. The bitter chat with Todoroki couldn’t shadow the kind aura emanating from his other classmates.
However, Izuku still got a little lost on his thoughts at every free-time they had between trials, with Todoroki filling his mind completely.
They hadn’t talked when they encountered each other once again that year, in their classroom at heroics. Izuku had tried to approach the teen, but he always made quick excuses that allowed Todoroki to run away from the green-haired boy.
It had hurt, a lot, but Izuku tried to sympathize with his… friend? They hadn’t seen each other in many years, and Todoroki had never been good with social interactions anyway. He could’ve even forgotten about Izuku, for all he knew.
(The boy refused to adjust his collar only to satisfy his need for answers; that’d be a trespass of the other teen’s privacy, now that he could suppress his quirk).
Now it was clear, though, that Todoroki did remember Izuku; more so, he was extremely resentful toward the boy. He didn’t hate him –yet- but there was something vicious and begrudged growing inside the other teen’s heart, and it was so strong on Izuku it could’ve easily made him sick.
The question was: why? What did Izuku do to the other boy?
Maybe -he pondered- there was something he didn’t do, rather than did. Yet what it was he couldn’t recall.
- Aizawa-san, a word.
Izuku had felt the teen’s cold aura coming toward his position, but he still was startled when he heard the icy tone of voice directed at him.
Swallowing his sadness, he followed along, not saying anything for fear of messing their –dead- relationship more.
Once they were far away from their classmates, hiding in a deserted alleyway, Todoroki started spilling what –unknowingly- answered many of the green-haired boy’s questions.
He spoke about the abuse infringed by his father, of the man’s absurd desire of power that ended up dying many years ago, when All Might had retired from the hero industry, leaving Endeavor hollow and bitter, but with the title of number #1 freshly acquired.
That didn’t last many years, as everyone knew; Hawks soon surpassed his popularity, and Endeavor retired not much later after that, tired and ready to try to pull together the broken pieces left of his family.
The abuse was never forgiven, but they did not stop living together for the sake of moving on.
(Shouto was seven at the time).
- My mother threw boiling water at my face when I was five, on an impulse, after one of her mental breakdowns. The old man made her go insane; many years of putting her through emotional abuse have that effect. He only allowed me to see her again four years ago, when his remorse got the best of him and made the old man want to amend our father-son relationship. I can only be grateful for that; I don’t know what I’d do without my mother’s support.
I’m not telling you this in seek of your pity, Aizawa-san. You were part of my life back then, yet you didn’t know a thing of what was going on with my home life. Or, that’s what I believed for many years, while I waited for you to reach me again, to come and take me away from my pain.
Irrational, of course, but I was a little kid without many people in my life. Even so, I never blamed you.
You’re an empath; your father said so. You were born with your quirk functioning, Aizawa-san. Tell me, then, why didn’t you say anything when you felt my pain? I’m trying to understand, but I cannot reach the answer by myself, so I’m asking you. Please, be honest with me.
- I – Izuku tried to digest the information thrown at him, feeling his hands trembling slightly by how much he was feeling. – Would you believe me if I told you I didn’t know?
- No, if you don’t elaborate on your answer.
- Look, Todoroki-san; my quirk was wrong-diagnosed many times throughout my childhood, which meant I only was deemed a proper empath when I was six, not long after you disappeared. I’m telling you this just so you don’t get the wild idea that I tried to lie to you in any sense, okay?
Did I feel your emotions still? Yes, of course, I did. Did I ever sense something wrong? A couple of times, yet by then I assumed everyone had dark days; my parents, my brother, all the people in my life did.
Add the fact that I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what kind of hurt it was; I barely understood my quirk –wrongly, by the way- by then, so I didn’t consider yours to be much different from theirs, and so only tried to help you as much as I could when we were together at school.
However, don’t lie to yourself, Todoroki-san. Most of our shared time was filled with warm, positive feelings, not with darkness. I can tell, and you can too. It’s not a stupid statement made of blind hope; it is a fact I can recall confidently. How was I supposed to know you were suffering at home if what I perceived at school was so different from it? You never said anything, either, and I don’t blame you for that, okay? It’s just that I couldn’t have known if you never told me, Todoroki-san.
I’m sorry if that’s worth something; you meant- mean, a lot to me, and finding out how much you were hurting – tears trailed down Izuku’s eyes – it makes me feel guilty, for not trying harder to find you again. I stupidly thought that seeing you here would make do for that. I was so, so wrong. So, I apologize for all the damage I naively put upon you. I’m really sorry.
Izuku bowed his head deeply, for what felt like a long while.
When he straightened himself up, Todoroki was gone.
With newly acquired culpability, the green-haired boy went back to his class’s room, silently hugging Tenya once he spotted him. The other teen returned the embrace in silence, wondering if Izuku would tell him what had him so down that day.
(He did, when the festival was over and they were heading to the dorms. Izuku avoided the more private part of the conversation with Todoroki, but Iida understood the situation anyway.
He didn’t hold his own relationship with the youngest Todoroki that close to his heart, seeing how the main reason they interacted was principally their mutual green-haired friend. Even so, he felt sympathy for Izuku, understanding more or less how much the situation wounded him, and so Tenya simply petted the mess of curls under his chin, muttering words of solace in the quiet of Izuku’s bedroom).
Chapter 11: Sick Day
- Izuku? Something the matter, son? The class is about to depart, where are you?
- D-Dad. – Came the tired response from the other side of the phone, followed by labored breathing that sounded quite painful. – C-Can I skip our class trip today? I don't feel s-so good.
Shouta pondered how much time would it take for him to go check on his son and come back to the classroom. – Of course, Zuku; take the day off. Do you want me to go there? Or would you rather me go see you on the break?
- D-Don’t worry, Dad. I just need to sleep. You don’t need to c-come.
- I wasn’t asking for permission, bud. – He got a snort from the other end of the line. - Go to sleep, son; I’ll see you when my free period comes. – A sudden thought struck through Shouta’s head. – Oh, and if you feel like it, go to the apartment and sleep on my bed. It may be more comfortable for you.
He got a hum as a response before Izuku said goodbye and ended the phone call.
Shouta was a little worried for his child, but he knew that his son could take care of himself quite all right when his episodes struck; the man just liked to tend to him for the sake of reminding Izuku that he didn’t have a need to bear with his sickness alone.
At least he had peace of mind by knowing his son had a spare key to his apartment; yes, Izuku was also his student now, and so Shouta shouldn’t give him what one may consider “privileges” such as that, but honestly? Nedzu approved the notion when the man asked for permission for Hitoshi to have a key (when he was studying still) since his reasons then were the same as now for Izuku; his youngest child required people around or at least a safe environment that could help him deal with his illness when it struck at worst. If Shouta, or any other teacher for that case, had another student with a condition similar to the one of his son’s, the same treatment would apply to the kid.
(There were more sick-kids throughout campus, after all. Izuku wasn’t the only one who had special necessities; UA had even implemented a special menu for the many different requirements the alumni presented, for example).
- Hey, bud. How are you holding up?
- ‘m drowsy.
- That I can see, son. – The father gently caressed Izuku’s curls out of his forehead, sighing at the warm feeling under his hand. – Did you have something to eat yet?
- No, ‘m not hungry.
- Are you sure?
A tiny nod from the kid on the bed.
- Okay then. Do you need anything at all, Zuku?
- A glass of water would be nice, actually.
- Consider it done.
A quick trip to the kitchen was made then, Shouta quickly bringing back a glass of water for his son.
After sipping on it for a while, with the father having taken a seat at the bed’s feet, Izuku placed the glass on the nightstand and gestured for Shouta to come closer.
The man did, snorting when the boy practically squished the man on a tight embrace.
- You’ll never get over your clinginess, now will you, midget? – there was no malice behind Shouta’s words, only an innocent desire to tease his son.
- Sorry to disappoint, Dad. – Answered Izuku gleefully, squeezing Shouta tighter.
The adult grinned, burying his face on the mess of curls that adorned Izuku’s unruly hair. They stayed like that for a while, enjoying the warm feeling of hugging each other for a long time (they hadn’t done so since the start of the school year, and that was many months ago).
- I have the rest of the day free since the class went to that visit to the museum with your father, so if you need anything go ahead and ask, all right? I’ll be in the living room grading some papers.
The kid reluctantly let go of his father, nodding.
- Sleep a little more, Zuku. I’ll wake you up when lunch’s ready.
- D-Dad, I-I c-can’t b-breathe. – Izuku struggled through every word, taking ragged gulps of air frantically.
- Here, try using your inhalator, Zuku – responded the man, handing the boy the item with trembling hands.
The boy did as he was told, recovering a normal pattern of breathing after some painful minutes, where Shouta felt his nerves rising to the roof.
Everything was going fine that afternoon, until the man was interrupted from his duty by distressed sounds coming from the bathroom.
Upon approaching he realized the rather pitiful state his son was in; covered on perspiration, trembling uncontrollably, feverish and pale. The boy had woken up by the need to throw up (and what an awful experience that was; Izuku never managed to get used to it), bringing up specks of blood along with bile and spit (because well, the teen –irresponsibly- hadn’t eaten anything the night before nor that day).
The abrupt awakening made the kid get into a panic attack, which then developed on his inability to breathe properly and cry out for his father to come on his aid.
(Shouta did so hurriedly, seeing how Izuku very rarely asked for help so frantically).
And that’s how they ended up in their current situation, with Shouta carefully cleaning Izuku’s face with a damp cloth, intending to alleviate the boy’s distressed state.
- You’re okay, bud. Let’s get you back to bed, so I can give you your medication while you get comfortable once more.
The teen didn’t respond, still out of it and trying to get back to a stable state.
Shouta led the boy carefully, holding him up partially with one arm under the armpit of the child. It came on handy for the kid to be so light if one wanted to see the bright side of the rather painful situation.
You may wonder how was it possible for Izuku to try and achieve a job on the hero business, considering his poor health. Well, it was all a matter of circumstances; the kid had a big heart and a big resolution that fed his sharp mind, so in that sense he had the aptitude and the makings of a hero. However, he did have that undisputable problem of his sickness.
He made do through meds, mostly, that helped to reduce the number of attacks to five per year at most. He also had special equipment to regulate his body temperature and his level of perception of outside stimuli, making them go wider or smaller according to the situation.
Yes, it was hard, and not everyone would be able to endure everything and keep going, but Izuku had what it was needed for his dream to be fulfilled.
- Dad? – asked a timid voice, muffled by the bed covers.
- Can you lay beside me?
- Are you sure? You’re still running a fever. – The man turned on his chair, paying attention to the boy talking from under the quilt.
- Yes; I’d like you to if you’re okay with that.
- All right then.
If you asked Shouta if he ever pondered the idea of cuddling a teenager ever crossed his mind (before becoming a parent, of course), he would have called you delusional and given you his back.
For his sons, however, he would do anything (and enjoy it, but he would never admit that aloud). Hitoshi wasn’t a boy who liked to cuddle much, though, so he mostly did so with his youngest.
Izuku gently hugged his father’s arm, nestling his head against the man’s chest and sighing contentedly when Shouta started carding his fingers through the boy’s hair.
- I love you, Dad. – Murmured Izuku, falling asleep almost right after saying that.
Shouta sighed, a tiny grin appearing on his face before falling asleep himself, not without kissing his child’s temple tenderly.
They woke up a couple of hours later, a little while before the class had arrived from the trip and went back to the dorms, where a smiling Hizashi left them so he could go check on his boys.
He found them in the kitchen, with Izuku sipping on chicken broth while Shouta finished the grading he had been doing throughout the day.
- Hey there, beautiful people! How are you both doing?
Shouta simply responded by pecking his husband’s lips curtly while he made his way toward the pot, so he could serve Hizashi and himself a portion of the broth.
- Better, Papa. – Answered Izuku, resting his head on his arms which were settled on the table. – How was the trip?
- Honestly? – Hizashi kissed the kid’s forehead – kinda boring, but you did not hear that from me, okay?
- What are you talking about, Papa? I didn’t hear anything.
Hizashi laughed heartily, quickly hugging his child before taking a seat beside him. – That’s my sunshine boy!
Shouta placed a steaming bowl in front of the blonde man, which earnt him a smile and a thank you. – I must say, though, that your friends were pretty worried about you, honey. You should text them or something, let them know how you’re doing.
- I will. I should head back to my room, anyway.
- Are you sure? – interrupted Shouta, concern mildly recognizable on his eyes. – You can spend the night here if you want to, Zuku. I’m pretty sure you’re not at one hundred percent yet.
- I’m good, Dad, don’t worry. Besides, if anything happens I’ll let you know.
His parents sighed, defeated. The boy was so stubborn sometimes.
- Okay. Go ahead, then. There are still some hours left of the day.
- All right! See you both tomorrow; love you!
Hugs were quickly exchanged, and Izuku was out of the apartment and –slowly- making his way to his room.
Hizashi gave Shouta a fond look, gently taking his hands on his own so he could ease the other man’s worries.
- He’ll be okay, love.
- You don’t know that, Zashi. He was pretty bad a couple of hours ago.
- But he’s our baby boy, honey. Our good and honest child. He did tell you he was feeling under the weather today, now didn’t he? Trust him a little more. He has come a long way from those days where he kept everything to himself.
- He still does, though.
- Of course, but he’s trying to change that, and we should give him the credit he deserves.
- … guess you have a point. I just worry, remembering how bad he was when he was little… r.
- He has grown, Shou. He still makes mistakes, naturally, but he has made progress on developing his emotional intelligence.
- … that’s… very true. Our little problem child.
- Indeed. – Said Hizashi, warm smile plastered on his face.
Chapter 12: Kidnapped
- I don’t know why Master was so fixated on you, brat. I can’t see anything remarkable in your pathetic existence.
Izuku remained quiet, focusing his concentration solely on the linoleum floor under his feet. The boy knew perfectly well how dangerous it’d be to play the man’s game, and that included showing his reactions to Shigaraki’s provocations.
The man, after realizing the teenager’s reluctance to let him have his fun, gave a crooked smile, red eyes shining maniacally under the darkness of the room.
Why had he kidnapped the kid, again?
- I just don’t get it; Master could have chosen any of the brats in your class for me to play with, yet he picked the least interesting one. He was obsessed with the idea of bringing you here, of twisting you so badly you won’t ever be the same again. But, honestly? I can’t see the appeal.
The villain’s hands got dangerously close to Izuku’s face, tapping his chin, his ears and his mouth in a threatening display of how easy it’d be for him to end the kid’s life right then and there.
However, Izuku didn’t even blink in response. He had trained many years to suppress his reactions; he could keep his act for a little longer if that meant he could at least say he didn’t give the man the satisfaction of making him lose his sanity.
- I’ll do as he asked for the sake of honoring his memory, or whatever. Not like he gains anything from this, after all; he died a long time ago, as you may recall.
Izuku was barely breathing by that point; his lungs were filled with water from Shigaraki’s previous round of torture, and so every exhale of air was wet and ragged, dangerously close to making him start one of his coughing fits. His body was so cold he could barely feel his limbs, and his head pounded painfully from incoming sickness (which had been repressed vehemently up to that point).
Yet, the teen didn’t utter a single sound of discomfort. Shigaraki enjoyed toying with his victims, even more, when they pled for their lives; Izuku was trying to make it alive another day by staying quiet.
- You aren’t even fun. Really, how can a person be so boring? So plain? So tasteless? Ugh, this is such a pain in the ass. I’ll finish you off tomorrow, as was Master’s request before passing. Can you believe it? He was so fixated with making you suffer, brat, one would think you did something to make him so mad. It’s curious, at the least.
And that was something Izuku had to agree with; from what Shigaraki had been saying on his never-ending monologue, All for One had desperately tried to find Izuku’s location for years. The man had sent people to kill him many times throughout his life, intending to make the boy disappear with what one could call mad perseverance.
Then, one day, All for One desisted on his murder intents. He, as Shigaraki had proclaimed, got bored of his failed attempts and so instructed his successor on the course of action he was going to take if he were to pass away; find Izuku, kidnap the boy, torture him for a week if possible (or until the heroes found them) and, if by then the kid had not lost his mind irreversibly, kill him in the most painful way possible.
He never told the boy why he wished for that to happen, but the menacing tone his voice acquired while talking about the topic with Shigaraki made the man believe his Sensei had some kind of fixation on the kid he just couldn’t relate correctly, because it was remounted to a time of All for One’s life he was not told about.
- Well, let’s get things started, shall we? I was thinking about some messing around with your head, for now. Maybe then I’ll get you to open up a little more, huh?
Izuku swallowed dryly, feeling his heart beating erratically against his ribcage.
Nothing could have prepared him for what he had to suffer after that.
Hitoshi stood in front of his little brother, astonished at the sight before him. The boy was bleeding from many open wounds throughout his body, some looking more concerning than others. What little clean skin was still visible was sickly pale. His breath (thank heavens he was breathing) was erratic, and it sounded wet and hurtful.
(The most notorious thing besides the ones mentioned, though, was the kid’s newly acquired lock of white hair between his green curls, which Hitoshi pointedly ignored thinking about for the sake of not losing what little composure he had left).
The young man took the teen between his arms, easily cradling him toward the exit, meeting halfway with the paramedics, who took the boy from him as gently as they could manage, seeing how Hitoshi was reluctant to hand over his brother.
He only relented and obliged when his Dad forced him to, by taking a firm hold of his shoulder and giving him a look of warning.
- You can go with him in the ambulance, so long as you don’t interfere with the paramedic’s work. If you cannot hold your ground, then go home and wait until your father or I call you.
- I’ll go. – Hitoshi didn’t even have time to think, his need to watch after Izuku too strong for him to get a hold of his impulses.
- Then what are you waiting for? Go, we’ll see you there.
Shouta got away from his son, hurriedly going toward the police and heroes surrounding the area in hopes of finishing any urgent report quickly and, after doing so, climbing after Hizashi into the car so they both could make their way to the hospital.
Hitoshi’s friends (the ones involved in the case), went back to their respective homes trusting the purple-haired man would fill them in on what was the status of Izuku when he had the time.
Izuku’s kidnaping had brought lots of media attention, and with good reason; not only was he a first-year UA student, but he also had gotten second place on the Sports Festival, was rumored to be a multi-quirk user, and had his own father –a hero- as his homeroom teacher that year (how they got that information wasn’t surprising –Aizawa was Izuku’s last name, after all- but all in all, it would have been a nice consideration if they hadn’t broadcasted the fact all over the news on repeat).
- Zuku? Are you there, bud?
It was so painful for the boy to open his eyes.
At first, his vision was so blurry he couldn’t even discern Hitoshi’s body correctly, giving the kid a scare. However, his eyes – that never ceased to throb- quickly accustomed to the bright lighting in the white room, and so Izuku was able to lock his gaze with the very concerned one of his older brother.
- H-Hi, T-Toshi.
The young man felt his eyes getting wet, yet he did nothing to dry his tears, instead hugging –carefully- Izuku with so much relief it made him get lightheaded.
- Oh, Zuku… I’m so glad you’re back, bud. I was s-so worried.
The teenager (“It’s okay, Toshi’s real, this is not one of Shigaraki’s games”), albeit a little scared by his brother’s sudden outburst, gently embraced the man across his waist, lamenting how his arms hurt too much for him to put much pressure on the gesture.
(Hitoshi couldn’t care less about that, though; Izuku was alive, he wouldn’t ask for more).
- Our parents are on their way here; they should be arriving any moment now. - Informed then Hitoshi, reluctantly putting some space between the two of them so he could watch Izuku’s face while he talked. He did not, however, let go of his brother’s hands. - Do you need anything, Zuku? A nurse came by to give you some painkillers via IV, but she told me to call in case you still were hurting too badly upon awakening, so she could give you a stronger dose. They also gave you suppressants, but if you need another brand I can always go buy yours to the nearest drugstore, or ask if they have something similar to your collar.
- N-no, I feel okay, T-Toshi, don’t worry. I’m just tired.
- Understandable, all things considered. Go ahead and sleep, then. I’ll go make some calls.
- W-Wait, Toshi. D-Don’t go yet, please.
Izuku couldn’t cry; his body was too dehydrated for even thinking about that. But, if he’d been able to, he’d have started wailing right then and there at the prospect of being left alone so soon after waking up.
Hitoshi noticed, though.
- Would you rather have me stay here until you fall asleep, Zuku?
- P-Please, brother.
- All right then. Is it okay if I sit beside you?
- Y-Yes, Toshi.
The hero did as he had asked permission for, lightly side-hugging Izuku in hopes of bringing some warmth to the kid’s cold body.
(He would have to ask the nurse for an extra blanket when they saw her).
Hitoshi was confused about how to proceed, though. His brother had been a victim of abuse for a considerable time, and that definitely had changed the boy- at least temporarily; what was okay for day-to-day Izuku could no longer run fine by the one sitting on that hospital bed.
He didn’t want to wound his brother even further.
- T-Toshi? Can you tell me about your missions?
- I-If it’s not possible I understand; I just… I don’t like silence that much, as of now.
(Shigaraki, the one who loved to make long monologues, got dead silent while hurting Izuku, so the kid developed a sense of fear when ambiances grew quiet).
- Nah, it’s no problem at all, Zuku. Let me think…
And so Hitoshi shared the most constructive, positive, heart-warming missions he had accumulated in his hero-career. It seemed to work, from the tiny giggles Izuku would give him from time to time after hearing his dumbest adventures.
In the end, the teenager managed to fall asleep rather peacefully under the tender care of Hitoshi, who did not move from his spot until he had made sure the kid was on deep slumber.
He then went to the alley, making quick work of calling his friends (or texting them) to share the news on Izuku’s case. He also contacted his agency, where they gave him a couple of days off from work so long as he submitted his report by the end of the week at most.
By then his parents had arrived and, upon giving his son a nod as a way of greeting, entered their green-haired son’s hospital room in silence.
When Hitoshi reentered the space, he found them embracing their kid from both sides, bitterly crying in both relief and pain.
- My baby… Oh, my dear son, I’m so glad you’re okay. – Said Hizashi between sobs, petting the mess of curls on Izuku’s head caringly.
- It’s so good to have you back, bud. We were so afraid… - Shouta admitted, his own fair share of tears trailing down his face while he held his son’s cheeks between his hands.
Izuku had woken up almost instantly when his parents had entered the room; his senses were –understandably- sharper than usual, making him get defensive toward every little thing that happened around him.
- I’m okay, you guys; stop worrying. I’m here.
- Don’t you dare try to comfort us, Zuku. We should be the ones telling you not to worry.
- What your Dad said, honey. Anyway, are you feeling okay right now? Do you need anything?
- Not really; I’m a little sore at most.
- What do you think, Toshi, should we believe him?
The young man snorted, looking directly at Izuku while repeating what the doctors had told him a little while ago – well, you may believe whatever you want to, but consider this: Izuku has a concussion, multiple lacerations that require antibiotics from the infected zones, a broken wrist, two broken ribs, a twisted ankle, and a broken collarbone. He also contracted pneumonia, which is being treated as we speak. Do you want me to continue?
- Stop, Nii-san. You’re incredibly mean to me; did you know that?
- Why of course, midget. I’ll keep on being mean as long as you insist on lying to us about how you’re feeling.
What was meant to be light teasing turned sour rather fast, with Izuku feeling a sense of angriness coming out of nowhere.
- Fine; my entire body aches, I feel like I’m freezing from head to toe and my stomach hurts so bad I’m pretty sure I’ll start coughing up blood any time now. Are you happy?
Three pair of concerned eyes met Izuku’s, making the kid shut up straightway. That was exactly why the boy never was honest about his symptoms; he may be used to them himself, but his family always got worried beyond themselves when something was looking bad on his health side. And it made everything unnecessarily uncomfortable for the teen; they knew he was sick, had been for almost eleven years now. It was time they didn’t make such a big deal out of something that was part of their day to day life.
However, Izuku was bitter and tired, so he could admit how blunt he had been on his response this time. Honestly, which reaction did he expect from such hard statements spilled all at once?
- Well, certainly not, son. Call the nurse, Hizashi. I’ll go fetch Izuku’s medicine from my bag, which I left in the car. I’ll be right back.
- I’ll tag along if you don’t mind, Dad.
Shouta nodded to his eldest son, quietly accepting his company on the little trip.
Hizashi stayed by Izuku’s side, and almost everyone on the alleyway could hear the scolding the father was giving his child about “learning to take care of yourself, Izuku, and that means telling us when you’re feeling bad”.
No one was better at treating such topics, though. Izuku was (but he would never admit it) even enjoying the light chastisement, looking fondly at the vigor his father acquired to make his feelings be known.
It was nice, all in all, getting to see such a familiar sight once again.
- You’re mad.
- Not quite. I’m more on the pensive side, son.
- I call bullshit. You got mad at Izuku but you don’t want to admit it, old man, and I’d want to know why.
- I really am not mad, Hitoshi. I’m frustrated about his coping skills, yes, but I wouldn’t get angry at him for that. If anything I’m disappointed with myself, because I’m his father and it’s my job to erase that habit, of keeping everything to himself, from him.
- You’ve tried to do that for years, Dad. At this point is more of an Izuku’s trait than anything else.
Shouta did not respond to that, only grunting to let Hitoshi know he had heard him.
It wasn’t the place to deal on such matters, anyway. What was the most important thing at the moment was to go back to his son, and help him get better.
Because boy oh boy, it was going to take a lot of time before Izuku was all right again.
(However, they would make it work somehow. They always did).
- Hey boys; the doctor came back and gave him a stronger dose of painkillers, so our green bean is pretty out of it right now.
- ‘m ‘kay Pap’, ’st ‘ired…
Izuku was looking at them through half-lidded eyelids, with a silly grin adorning his face. The kid barely noticed Shouta putting the collar on his neck, nor did he realize how his family took different sits all around his bed.
- You should sleep, bud. We’ll be right here for you when you wake up, okay?
The teen looked at his Dad with tired eyes, closing them for the sake of his beloved’s worries, but unable to fall asleep.
(You do not sleep – willingly – while kidnapped, and his body still had the new non-sleep-configuration deep ingrained from the attitude he had to take for the past few days).
He was really tired, though, so eventually, he couldn’t help it and succumbed to a dreamless rest.
- Do you think he knows why this happened?
It was Hitoshi’s voice, the one that ruptured the silence in the room.
- He might, at least more than we do anyway. – Responded Hizashi, while stroking the green locks of the boy in the bed. – But we should let him rest for now. I’m sure Tsukauchi will come later today, or early tomorrow, to take Izuku’s declaration. There’s no better moment for us to ask him our own questions.
The other two agreed, and so they spent the rest of the visit-hours silently watching over their dear child.
Chapter 13: Together
- Do you mean it, Todoroki?
The green-haired teen simply stared at his friend, unbelief clearly reflected on his emerald eyes.
Todoroki and himself, officially together… what a beautiful, heart-warming idea, that one was.
Izuku, even though his heart was so full it seemed as if it could burst from happiness, slowly felt how his eyes got watery and his smile wobbled from how hard it was to restrain his need to cry.
- Aizawa? W-why are you crying?
Shouto had never been so afraid of Izuku’s tears and what they could mean, ever.
- I’m j-just, really happy, okay, Todoroki? I need you to discern that…
- But those are not happy tears, Izu-chan. I know you. We were apart for a while, but I believe I’ve managed to go back to truly understanding you.
At the mention of his childhood nickname, the other teen started looking at Todoroki like he had suddenly woken up from a very deep sleep, and it was all the bi-colored hair’s doing.
- We’ve known each other for so long… haven’t we, Shou-chan? – Izuku looked up at the sky, and the sunlight made his eyes shine prettily, bringing out their color – Do you think we’ll get to keep on knowing us much longer?
Understanding crossed the other teen’s semblance, who then acquired a troubled expression, tainted with a little bit of inevitable pain.
- Are you okay, Izuku?
- I’m all right, Shouto, but you know how it goes; one day I’m okay, and the next you don’t know what to expect. – A sad smile appeared on the face of the empath, and the other teen’s heart ached at the sight of it.
- That’s not a problem, Zuku. You think I didn’t realize how much work this would need if we were to give it a try?
- I believe you underestimate the situation you’re getting yourself into, Shou. I do have feelings for you, and they allow me to promise you many things that should grant ourselves mutual happiness. – The green-haired boy then took Todoroki’s hands on his own, gently squeezing them for comfort. – Even so, there’s one thing we can’t forget, Shouto; we all have an expiration date, of course, but mine will always be around the corner. And I don’t know if I wish for you to go through the stressful uncertainty of wondering when it may decide to take action and finish the job, once and for all.
You’re going to be dating a time bomb, Shou. Are you sure you want that?
- I do. – The word left his lips before he could think better of his answer, but really, the teen knew it wouldn’t change, no matter how much fear he felt at the idea of losing Izuku all of a sudden. – We’re still young, and neither of us knows a thing about relationships, less so of one as challenging as ours might be. However, I've got a feeling we’ll manage, Zuku, and so I want to give us a try. Of that, I’m completely sure. Still, the final decision is yours; if you say the word, we’ll forget this conversation and move on, keeping our friendship as normal as we c—
Izuku silenced Shouto with a kiss to the cheek and a blinding smile.
- I guess I can’t deny us this, now can I? Let’s give it a try, Shou. We’ll see how we work things through along the way.
- I’m sure we’ll be okay, Zuku; we make a pretty good team, after all.
Smiling to each other, and pushing away their fears and insecurities, both second-years made official their new relationship with a gentle kiss to the lips, blinding smiles adorning their faces right after that.
Chapter 14: The end of a cycle, and a fresh new beginning
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
- Hey there, love. It’s so good to see you awake – Shouto gave Izuku a tiny smile, squeezing the other man’s right hand between his own. – Hitoshi came to give you a visit; would you like me to make him come in?
Izuku nodded curtly, a soft smile adorning his pale face.
- Okay, Zuku. See you in a bit; call me if you need anything. I’ll go tell your brother to come here.
- T-thank you, Shou.
Shouto nodded, kissing Izuku to the temple before leaving their bedroom, silently.
- Izuku, please. Look at you! This is not looking like it may pass! You’ve been bedridden for weeks, and that had never happened before. Can’t you at least let me try to find a way of helping you?! I’m sure that I can manage to do something if you give me permission!
Hitoshi was a mess; he was wailing like a tiny child, with both hands fiercely gripping onto the bedsheets that covered his brother’s body. His sentiments took away his collected demeanor and threw it right out of the window.
- T-Toshi, please, look at me – asked Izuku, with a voice so weak it only made his older brother cry harder. Even so, the purple-haired man lifted his gaze, bloodshot eyes meeting feverish emeralds. - It’s not that I don’t want help, okay? If I could I would try to heal this illness of mine as many times as may be required. However, we both know I’ve tried everything I could think of until this point. There’s nothing else for me to do, there’s no miracle waiting to happen. You know this, Nii-san. And I’m sorry because I’ve come to a state where my body really can’t take much more, so any medical help we may find would only do more harm than good…
Izuku watched how all hope disappeared from Hitoshi’s semblance, feeling his own heart squeeze at his older brother’s expression.
Slowly, Izuku attempted to dissuade a little the melancholy within the room, and so he gently lifted his hand to card his fingers through his brother’s nest of hair, trying to get him to calm down.
It made Hitoshi realize how messed up the situation was getting; was his little brother, the one in critical condition, trying to comfort him? That felt wrong in all possible ways. So, the man carefully got up from his crouching position beside the bed, and then gently wrapped his arms around his little brother, side-hugging him like they had done so many times when they were younger.
However, thinking about those happier times only made his heartache increase, so he stopped that train of thought almost immediately, solely focusing on the warm that emanated from Izuku, who was clutching Hitoshi’s shirt vehemently in order to keep his emotions at check for the sake of his older brother.
(Later that night, and only when Hitoshi –and Denki, who had also gone to visit Izuku- had long gone home, would the green-haired man allow himself to cry within the comforting arms of his beloved husband, who tried to support him as best as he could while he quietly shed his own tears).
- Hey, Zuku, how are you feeling, honey?
Izuku could barely open his eyes, but the sight of his Papa made the effort worth the pain.
He had started feeling body-pains at irregular intervals since the beginning of that week.
- I-I’m happy to s-see you, Papa. S-sorry I couldn’t go have dinner with you all this m-month.
Hizashi smiled a sad smile, lovingly stroking Izuku’s feverish forehead and hair, which got him a happy hum from his son.
- You are such a silly young man sometimes, Zuku. It’s okay, we’re here for you now, all right? Your Dad is making a phone call in the living room, but he should be coming here anytime now.
- And S-Shou?
- He went to get some groceries, but he’ll be back soon, don’t worry.
Just then Shouta entered the room, a strange aura of hope and fear surrounding him.
Izuku didn’t ask what had his father with such a strange mix of emotions, for the sake of letting the man digest them on his own first.
- Hey, bud. It’s so good to see you – said Shouta, taking Izuku’s right hand between his own, his voice carrying so much emotion it made the sick’s eyes well-up with tears. – We missed you so much, these past weeks.
- Very true indeed! That’s why we decided to come to pay you a visit to see how things were going. And well…
- T-they don’t look g-good, I know, Papa. – Izuku lifted his gaze, staring at the white ceiling above his head with a heavy gaze – I guess you b-both talked to Toshi, now didn’t y-you?
His parents nodded, their eyes acquiring a melancholic air to them, wetness also making them shine.
- There’s n-not much else for m-me to say, then. I’m s-sorry, Papa, Dad. I guess I- Izuku swallowed, tears obstructing his throat both from his and his parents grieving. – I g-guess I wasn’t meant to m-make it to twenty o-one.
Waterworks fell, making both fathers hug Izuku between them, a memory of happier times coming back to taunt their minds and make their pain feel stronger.
- C-Call Uncle a-and Auntie, please. It’s t-time.
The couple nodded, squeezing their kid as gently as they could, soft words of love exchanged on the process. Their hearts were crushing under the heavyweight of the situation.
(Shouto found them like that an hour later, the trio having fallen asleep - wrapped around one another - from emotional exhaustion not too long ago).
- Izuku! Hold on, I’ll go get you a towel!
Shouto rushed to their bathroom, grabbing the first towel his gaze landed upon when entering the room, running it under the tap to get it wet.
He then made quick work of returning to his husband’s side, carefully cleaning the blood that he had running at the corner of his mouth, under his chin and on his hands (Izuku -like he always did- had tried to stop the blood by putting his hands against his mouth, so they got completely covered with the red substance).
The man -ashamed and anxious- started crying in silence, apologizing over and over again for making a mess and not being able to clean it up himself.
- Shh, it’s okay, love, it’s no big deal, really. I’m here for you, remember? – Shouto gently dried Izuku’s tears with his thumbs, holding his face to make him lift his gaze, so it could be met with Shouto’s own. – It’s my pleasure and my joy to be by your side; don’t forget that, Zuku.
Izuku shakily grabbed one of the hands in his face, caressing it as if it were the dearest thing he had ever held.
- U-Until the end?
- Until the very end, and beyond that too.
- Shouto, I need to share something with you, but first please make sure Izuku cannot listen to our conversation.
- … okay, Aizawa-san, I’m going to the living room right now, and he’s also sleeping at the moment, so he won’t eavesdrop on us.
- All right, thank you, son. Now, I’m sorry for wording it like this, but I need to make quick work of sorting this up; do you think Izuku would be willing to try one more possible treatment out?
- That depends, sir. If you mean meds or surgeries, I assure you he won’t. He made that very clear when I told him we could give that a try.
- That’s… understandable, I believe. Yet, what I’m proposing is pretty different; you see….
- What do you think, Zuku?
- I-I – the man swallowed, anxiousness reflected upon his face – A-are you sure it’s not going to do more harm?
- Quite sure it won’t, bud. You remember that time, where I had to leave you under your Papa’s care for a couple of months? – Izuku nodded, confused yet listening attentively – Well, it was for a classified mission that involved the mafia, and your brother was involved in that along with a few other people.
On that work -which he got for being under Nighteye’s internship, as you might remember- he found a little girl named Eri, who was being used and abused by one of the headmasters of the respective aggrupation.
This girl had a powerful quirk, which allowed her to revert a person’s present time-lapse to a previous one, almost like rewinding time, just without the de-aging part.
I had to go help look out for her, seeing how she couldn’t control his ability for many reasons, mainly justified by trauma. That was until finally, a caring woman decided to take her under her wing, in hopes of helping the girl overcome her tainted past. And that she did, because they ended up having a great connection.
Since then, from time to time, I go to check up on Eri, who is now your age and working at a hospital in Tokyo, enjoying her job and helping many people every day.
Toshi reminded me of her the other day over the phone, Izuku. He asked if maybe she’d be willing to lend you a hand, and so I called her to see if she may wish to use her quirk on you. And she said yes.
Do you realize what this means, son? Her quirk might not work, of course, but it won’t harm you any more than you already are; it’s completely safe, and it has a good chance of being the solution you needed all this time.
- If you t-trust her, Dad, then I’ll gratefully accept her help. Just… please, don’t be too disappointed if this doesn’t work.
- I can’t promise you that with a clear conscience, son; it’d be a lie. But we’ll be prepared for the worst, should it come; don’t press yourself, okay?
- … all right. Thank you, Dad. –Izuku responded, taking a breath. Afterward, a timid smile appeared on his face, and he directed it toward his father. - I-I kind of wanted to talk to you one on one. This feels really nice.
- Me too, buddy. I’m glad I got to be here today; there’s nothing like spending time with my baby son, after all.
Izuku snorted, happily letting the warmth of his father’s embrace lull him to sleep.
Shouta didn’t leave his side until Hizashi came to take him home by force, reminding him that their son-in-law needed to sleep and he was not going to make the boy do so on the sofa unnecessarily.
- Let me know if it hurts, okay? We’ll stop to give you a stronger painkiller, there’s no real need for you to suffer through this.
- Understood, Eri-san. Do you need me to do anything else? – Izuku’s voice was so small the woman had to ask him two more times to repeat himself, but after discerning what he meant to say she simply shook her head, smiling kindly.
- I shall start the process, then. Would you like to have someone else here with you?
- No, it’s okay; they said their emotions were too much for my empathy right now, and I agree.
- As you prefer, Izuku-san. Let’s get this started.
The young woman took ahold of Izuku’s hand, taking a deep breath before starting to revert the man’s body to the state it was before the incident that made him sick.
It was the only reason her quirk should work, as you may perceive; had it been an illness from birth, a genetic thing, Eri wouldn’t have been able to do anything, for such a sickness would be impregnated on the gen-code of the respective person.
The woman had been surprised to hear Shouta-san’s request; she had kept in contact with him, but they usually met at very specific times of the year, when they both knew they had a free day, and that was months ago.
She understood the situation, though, and seeing how it really was no problem to come help her ex-guardian’s son, well, she quickly assured him it was okay and gave him a date for her visit.
Eri felt relieved her schedule allowed her to come rather soon; Izuku’s state was critical. He wouldn’t have made it through another month.
However, it made her wonder just how had he lasted so long. Eri would ask the man after she was finished.
- Zuku? Love? How are you feeling?
Wasn’t that a good question?
There was no perfect word that described correctly his feelings. He felt healthy, he felt foreign on his own body, he… he kind of missed the pressure on the chest and the constant stomachache his illness implied, having gotten used to it after so long.
He was a mess. And, at the same time, he felt so relieved.
Izuku cried. Happy, afraid, bitter tears.
- Shh, it’s all right, love. We’re here for you; talk to us.
The green-haired man opened his eyes the instant he felt many arms wrap around his body. Everyone that mattered was there (his parents, his brother, his husband), and those who couldn’t be were also waiting for the news in the living room (meaning Denki plus all of Hitoshi/Izuku’s friends).
(Yes, the house was extremely cramped, but it was worth it).
- I-I – Izuku swallowed, trying to compose himself. – I feel so… Different. Good different. Thank you so much, Eri-san! Y-you gave me b-back something I thought I had l-lost, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful.
- It was my pleasure, Izuku-san. I’ll leave you all to have a moment of privacy, but Shouta-san, I’d like to have a word with you when you’re available.
The man nodded, thanking her himself, and so the woman got out of the room to share the good news with everyone else.
(Happy cries could be heard all throughout the house).
Izuku’s family hugged him longingly, some muttering how much they loved him, some petting his head, all of them crying the happiest tears of their entire lives. (Hitoshi was, for example, a hot mess that couldn’t stop his tears, but well, could you blame him? It was his little brother we’re talking about).
- Eri, you’ve done something that I won’t ever be able to repay you; you saved my son’s life. You gave him back hope, you gave us the opportunity to see him grow. For that, I can’t thank you enough.
Eri responded by hugging Shouta, kind and warm, assuring him she was happy to have had the possibility of helping Izuku out.
She was curious, though, and so she asked him all the questions she had pilled while treating the young man.
Shouta explained to her how Recovery Girl (and wow, it still hurt to talk about the kind lady), before passing out last year, had helped Izuku regularly while he grew up.
And well, that solved almost all the questions she had for him. The only other thing she could think of asking was somewhat different but related.
- Aren't people missing, though? Where’s All Might? And Kayama-san? You always talked about them, so I assume they were close to all of you.
- They are, indeed. It was a problem of coordination; All Might’s on a tour back in the States, and Izuku insisted we didn’t tell him anything until two days ago when he finally felt that things were not going to turn back to normal. The man was only able to get plane-tickets to be here next Monday. My son also made the same petition for Nemuri, who is also spending her vacations in another country, though she’s in Paris, not the US. She’ll be here tomorrow.
- I see… - Eri took a breath, and then looked at Shouta in the eyes. – He was right; you know? I don’t understand how, since his quirk isn’t exactly health-related, but Izuku was correct on his prediction; had my healing not worked, he… He wouldn’t have made it another month. His body was in too bad of a shape, Shouta-san.
- I… I see.
There were too many emotions on those black, deep eyes. Apparently, the man decided to bottle them up for later, giving Eri a small, reassuring smile.
- Okay now; all of you kids must go home! We’ve seen Izuku, he’s healthy and happy, so we should let him rest now! – Hizashi’s voice interrupted all conversations, making many cheerful expressions meet his own.
Everyone agreed; it was pretty late anyway, and they had all spoken to the green-haired man for as long as they could manage before being pulled out of the room by another ecstatic friend willing to talk to the –previously- sick young man.
(Eri left with Shouta and Hizashi, seeing how she was spending a couple of days at the couple’s house).
The couple linked their hands, no more words exchanged for a while. Then, after sharing a huge smile, they collided on a loving kiss, which was meddled by the relieved sobbing they couldn’t seem to be able to stop.
They wailed, laughed, kissed, hugged; their emotional journey had them feeling extremely tired by the time it ended.
Yet, there was no better feeling in the world.
They fell asleep like that; legs intertwined and arms wrapped around each other. Slim smiles still noticeable on their tear-marked faces.
And that was it! I hope had a nice time reading this silly thing!
I hope you have a wonderful day/evening/night!
(Ps: Thank you very much for giving this soppy fic a shot, nevermind if you only read the first chapter or whatever! (You won't read this if that's the case, but oh well ':D) It means a lot <3)