Hisashi's and Inko's marriage was a happy one, but not a very sexually active one.
Neither of them minded. They loved eachother, and while it was nice now and then, they were both busy people. Hisashi was a self-employed inventor of support items for Pro-Heroes, and Inko wrote children's novels and the odd poetry bundle. In their free time they would watch a movie, or dance, or dine out, or just be together. Sex was never really required.
However, one day, when Hisashi woke up to Inko's face with a smile as bright as the sun itself, her green eyes twinkling like emeralds, he for the first time felt like he understood why it was so great. It's not like last night had been special. Okay, one of Inko's books had been nominated for the children's book of the year, but beside that it hadn't been anything special. They'd celebrated a little, drunk a little wine, gotten a little tipsy, and... you know.
They had made life. Hisashi had the slightest urge to start crowing and cackling like a mad scientist out of a Mary Shelley novel.
They were going to be parent's. Maybe that's not exactly what every other hormonal teen during his teenage years had been talking about when they bragged or fantasized about women, but screw that. They made a life, because they had been drunk and excited, and now they were going to start a family. They were both so happy.
So yeah. Sex was really a fantastic thing.
When the initial wave of joy and excitement and anticipation had passed, slight fear and panic came.
"We're going to have to make a baby room and tell our friends and arrange a doctor's appointment and-"
"Hisashi," Inko said, still smiling, "calm down, dear. It'll all be fine. Let's go to the doctor first, and we'll go from there.
That- Yeah, that made sense. Calming down. He could do that.
(He was going to be a father)
"I'm going to be a father!" he yelled, and dropped back in their bed. Inko let out an exasparated yet amused sigh, before cuddling up next to him.
"You'll do great, dear. We'll both do. I just know it."
Yeah. They'd be great.
Hisashi hadn't talked to his family in years, and the last time he had had not been cordial. They hadn't even shown up on his wedding. Then again, he hadn't invited them, considering how they had talked about Inko. Still, this felt... bigger than that.
He didn't have his parent's phone number. He had his elder brother's though, so he sent him a text, after much consideration.
My wife is pregnant.
It was the first time he said anything to him in years. His brother left him on read. Hisashi wasn't surprised.
Mitsuki looked at her friend with thinly veiled suspicion. Inko had come over for a cup of tea and they had been chattering amicably, until she winced as the little one in her stomach started kicking. After taking a deep breath and rubbing her stomach, she almost missed the way Inko's smile widened with excitement, or how her hand drifted to her own belly.
"Inko, did something happen?" she asked, although it seemed quite clear that yes, something did, and it wasn't hard to guess what. Maybe she should just let Inko keep it a secret until she was ready to tell her.
Or maybe not, she amended herself as Inko blurted out that she was pregnant.
"I mean, if I hadn't said it you would probably find out anyway when Hisashi comes home today and yells it down the street, so-"
"That's great, dear!" Mitsuki cut into the rambling, a habit Inko had picked up from her husband. She smiled. "If you ever need help, just ask. Although, I might be busy with my own little brat. At least now mine won't be all alone, because if your kid is going to be as soft as you that won't be a friendship he can escape from. I know my attempts at getting you to bugger of were futile. When are you done?"
Inko rolled her eyes at her friends words. "I've still got around nine months to go, but I'm sure our kids will be great friends."
They then continued to talk about preparations for the future, such as names, toys, clothes, and how they might reign in their over-excited husbands.
"Thank you, Midoriya," the Pro-Hero Thorne said, after testing his new Thornthrower. "You do good work. I will endeavour to keep the streets safe using your inventions."
"You're welcome," Hisashi said. "I'm gonna be a father," he added.
Thorne blinked. "What?"
"I'm going to be a father. I mean, we haven't settled on a name yet, and we don't know if it'll be a boy or a girl, and we still need a baby room. There's so much to do, and we've only got nine months!"
"Uhm," Thorne scratched his chin. This was not his area of expertise. Still, he should say something, right? "Congratulations! I'm sure you'll be a great father!"
But Hisashi's mind was already somewhere else, noting down potential names and designing possible babyrooms.
Inko didn't stop working while she was pregnant. If anything, she worked more.
Hisashi was aware writing wasn't as simple as sitting down and fantasizing, so he had to wonder why Inko was doing this. "Dear," he said one day, "shouldn't you rest a little?"
I will, 'Sashi. But I need to finish this one," she replied. Hisashi frowned. Inko said that sometimes she just got into the right headspace, and if she didn't start writing then she'd lose her inspiration. But this sounded different.
"Why? What's so special?"
"I just-" she sighed. "It'll be fine. I'm almost done." She sounded tired, but determined. If she wasn't stopping in an hour, Hisashi would ask her again, he decided. He didn't need to. She continued writing the next day.
Hisashi had never understood why people coo'ed and ooh'ed and aah'ed over babies. They weren't cute, or pretty. They were quite ugly, loud, and they stank. That didn't mean he didn't like babies, but he was a man of science, and as a man of science you had to face the facts. Babies were, objectively, some of the uglier things on Earth. Except for Izuku. If anybody said that about Izuku he would melt their face off.
"Ooh yes, look at you, so pretty, you have your mother's eyes don't you, look Inko, he has-"
A nurse interupted him. "I'm sorry sir, we need to make sure your wife is okay. Could you please leave the room?"
Hisashi glanced at Inko and saw how tired she was. Sweat coated her forehead, her hands were shaking, and her eyes shut. There was also a lot of blood, but she had just given birth, so that was normal. Right? Hisashi glanced between the nurse and his wife hesitantly. The latter simply nodded encouragingly. "I'm sure it will be fine," she said, and later Hisashi would tell himself something in the atmosphere had changed then, that there had been uncertainty in the woman's eyes, just something. Something he could and should have noticed.
He left with a last lingering look at his wife over his shoulder. That was the last time he saw her breathing.
A few moments ago, he was sitting in the hallway, a snoring baby in his arms. Doctors were rushing by. One had moved to enter Inko's room.
"You'll save her, right?" Hisashi had asked that one.
The doctor had nodded gravely in reply. "We'll do our best, sir."
And they were doing their best. It just wasn't enough. He could tell by the way personnel rushing by got more and more frantic, and the pitying glances thrown his way until one nurse showed him to a waiting room. The pressing silence was even worse then the harried energy of the hallway.
So now he sat in a quiet room, a snoring baby in his arms. He didn't know if he could do this alone.
No. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Green eyes danced in his mind.
You'll do great, dear.
Yes. He would. Izuku's eyes opened then, slowly. His emerald green ones found his red ones and widened in wonder and curiosity. It was an expression he'd seen many times on Inko's face.
"Hey there, Izuku. I'm your dad." He wiggled his fingers. Izuku started crying, like only babies did. A long, continous wail, that conveyed many things ranging from 'I'm hungry' to 'I just got born and it was one of the most traumatic experiences in my life'. Hisashi started crying in the way that grown men, who were scared and alone and didn't know what to do because their wife might be dying and they had a newborn child in their arms, did.
Which was quietly, with minimal shaking while softly rocking the baby.
Babies didn't belong at funerals, Hisashi thought. Or rather, babies shouldn't have to belong at funerals. Izuku was in a pram, looked over by Masaru. Mitsuki was sitting with her own child in her arms. Katsuki, he was called. She looked as tired as he felt.
Hisashi was standing behind the lectern. He was supposed to say his piece, but his eyes kept straying to the empty seats in the room.
My wife died, he had texted to his brother. Later he had sent the information for the funeral. Again, he was left on read. Inko didn't have any family left. She'd been an only child and her parents had died years ago. All in all, there were very few people here he knew. The Bakugou's, and some other friends and acquaintances of Inko's he didn't know by their first names.
He felt so alone. Briefly, he wondered where how his high-school friend Maijime was doing in America. Hisashi had tried calling him before, but the man must have gotten a new phone-number because it never connected.
He cleared his throat, glances at his paper and back up. Then he looks down, to where he put a bag near his feet. It held a poetry bundle. The last one his wife had ever written. It was titled For Hisashi.
There had been a note inside, with the simple words Whatever happens, I love you. She had been planning to give them to him after Izuku was born, according to Mitsuki. It would seem she had been more nervous about giving birth than she had admitted to him (and rightfully so).
He took it out. Opened it, flicked through the pages. The entire experience still felt surreal to him, but the sound of rustling paper grounded him. Inko had always enjoyed reading. Then, he found the one he wanted.
"My love," he started, voice dry and cracked, "is eternal, ephemeral. The birds sing beautifully of spring and new dawn, but we haven risen long ago, pulled towards eachother, as your words sparked a flame I didn't know I had. My love is made physical now, in two arms, two legs, the smile of this child we made one night together."
"And when they laugh, they might sound like you, or me, or someone completely new, a new person, a new noise, a new vision watching the stars we wish upon, I wish I'd know, yet I don't. Because my love you can also find in curiosity, a need for the unknown to be just that, undiscovered words and worlds imagined where I will create a palace for you and me and them, forever."
He read the last line and took a breath.
"For while my love is eternal, my life is not, and one day I will live in a palace in that imagined domain, and my love is all of me that will remain."
It wasn't quiet, then. People were sobbing. Hisashi himself had tears streaking down his face. Izuku had woken up, and started crying. But he'd said his piece. The new father took a breath and walked over to calm down his son.
"How're you holding up?" Masaru asked, handing over Izuku.
Hisashi shook his head as he accepted the baby. "Not good. I don't know what to do." Hisashi had never lost anyone before. Not someone who was this close.
Masaru put a calming hand on his shoulder. The man always had a calming presence about him. It had to be something serious that got him to lose that.
(Like becoming a father. Hisashi and Masaru had spent half an hour yelling at one another abouth their respective wife's pregnancy.)
"Thing's will be okay, Hisashi. It'll take awhile, maybe, but things'll be all right, eventually." Hisashi looked up, his eyes shining. "And if you feel like they won't be, we'll be there for you. You're not alone, got that?"
Hisashi nodded once, quietly.
Now, he stands in the living room. He couldn't sleep in their bed for two, and thought he might nap on the couch. It's not a mess here. There are no flipped tables, no broken windows, no shattered porcelain. Still, Hisashi feels like his life has been wrested from his control, shattered to pieces, and dumped back in his hands with a few crucial ones missing and new ones added. He'd never been any good at mosaïc.
Inko was. But Inko's gone.
It really only hits him, after the funeral, after he saw her body in an open casket. His wife is gone. His partner is gone. His best friend is gone. His love-
He breathes. his heart is hammering in his chest. Izuku is in a crib in the corner, asleep. Alive. His son. Inko's son.
Midoriya Hisashi is a father now. He knows that he needs to give himself time to mourn, like everyone had said. But he also knows that he doesn't think he's able to leave Izuku out of his sight for the forseeable future.
His phone beeps. The light in your living room is still on, Masaru says. Take it from a father with two months of experience, you'll want as much sleep as you can get.
Yeah. It might take some time, but things were going to be all right. He wasn't alone, after all. Inko smiled at him from his phone's wallpaper.