“Sir! You can’t go back there!”
“The fuck I can’t!” The logical part of his brain realized he was clearly violating hospital policy. Katsuki more or less ‘bumped’ a security guard out of the way at the entrance before running back into the emergency room. “My goddamn kid is in there.”
“We understand,” the nurse explained patiently as several security guards approached behind him.
This was exactly what he needed. To get arrested for disorderly conduct, maybe assault, at two o’clock in the morning during his patrol shift in his hero costume. He couldn’t wait to explain this to Best Jeanist. “I am fucking sorry okay,” he barked, turning to the security guard he’d bumped minutes ago. “My son is here.”
He’d checked his phone somewhere around one in the morning to see a mass of missed calls and voicemails from Ochako.
“My wife called and said-” Katsuki hadn’t been able to make sense of what she was trying to say, only frantic pieces.
“I don’t know what the hell happened,” he confessed as he was trying to keep himself from imagining the worst possible scenario. “Believe me when I say, I’m trying my fucking best to calm the fuck down but-” This was a different level of fear. It buzzed through his entire body, leaving him out of control.
Katsuki knew better.
He knew he shouldn’t react this way.
Kyo had been to the emergency room before.
Right before he turned one, Kyo swallowed a coin while Ochako was working. It had been nerve-wracking. Even as Kyo laughed happily in his lap the entire time, Katsuki was paranoid that any second his son would stop breathing or the coin would cause a blockage in his stomach. Looking back on it, he should have realized the coin wasn’t a threat to his airway, but being a parent seemed to make even the most rational minds spin out.
The nurse sighed as a small smile crept on her lips. She looked to the security guards standing behind him. “I’ve got this,” she told them, dismissing them from the situation. “It’s fine.”
Clearly, this wasn’t the first frantic parent she’d dealt with.
“What’s your son’s name?” she asked him gently.
“Bakugo Kyo,” he answered, feeling his body relax a little. “I don’t know if he’s a patient. My wife-” What if something had happened to Ochako? “My wife is pregnant.” What if she went into labor? “She said they were on the way to the hospital. I don’t even know what happened-”
“That’s okay,” she assured, dropping the charts sitting on the desk. “We’re gonna figure this out.”
This woman was a saint.
“Give me your wife’s name too.”
“Okay. We’re gonna look at admittance logs to see who has been admitted.” She stepped behind the counter, moving toward one of the computers.
His hands went to the counter, taking a slow deep breath as his head dropped between his shoulders. More likely than not, it was minor.
Kids got hurt.
There had been no major incidents in their neighborhood.
If any hero had responded to their house, he would have been alerted.
“Alright, Bakugo Kyo,” she started, reading the information from the screen, “he’s been admitted to the pediatric burn unit. He’s on the third floor, room 402.”
What? “What the hell happened?” Katsuki felt his stomach drop beneath the souls of his feet.
“I’m sorry,” she shook her head with a sad smile. “I don’t know. I can only tell you that he came into the ER a couple of hours ago and then he was admitted to the burn unit.” She stood up, walking toward him. “I’ll take you up there.”
“I can find it.”
“You wanna take the main elevators to the third floor. The burn unit is to the right when you get off the elevator, you can’t miss it,” she instructed, pointing to the elevators in the atrium outside of the ER.
He nodded. “Thanks.”
“You’re very welcome.”
Katsuki raced back toward the entrance, ignoring the disapproving glances from the security guards as he entered the elevator. The few seconds it took to reach the third floor seemed to take hours. He could smell the burn unit as soon as the doors opened.
It smelled like cold metal and disinfectant.
Katsuki flinched, blinking as he looked frantically around him. He didn’t remember walking through the double doors to the main desk. The sounds of ventilators and monitors clicked around him as he looked at the nurse in front of him.
“Visiting hours are over,” she commented with a disapproving smile. “You’ll have to come back in the morning at eight.”
“My son was admitted a few hours ago from the ER,” Katsuki explained, working to keep his temper in check. “I don’t know what happened, and I can’t get a hold of my wife. Some lady downstairs said he was in room 402. I just-” he paused, feeling a pang of adrenaline surge through his body. He ran his hands over his face. “I just need to make sure he’s okay.”
Her demeanor softened. “Your son’s name?”
“Yep,” she confirmed, pointing behind her, “down the hall and to the right.”
He nodded, walking down the hall. Katsuki kept his eyes in front of him, willing himself not to look at the patient rooms on either side of him. He could see small children covered in bandages some hooked to machines and covered in a sea of wires.
He’d pulled half-burned bodies from fires and stood over remains that were rendered unrecognizable by fire. Being a hero forced him to see how damaging the elements could be on the human body.
Sometimes he’d forget that the people he loved weren’t immune to the horrors he’d witnessed.
Katsuki blinked, breath stuttering at the back of his throat as Kyo came into view. He was sleeping soundly in the child-sized hospital bed, completely unharmed in a yellow hospital gown. “What the hell happened?” he whispered, stepping into the room. He took his place behind Ochako as he reached out to touch his son’s forehead.
He was fine.
Katsuki’s fingers caressed from his forehead to the tips of his son’s soft blonde spikes.
His hair was singed.
“His quirk,” Ochako smiled tiredly, shaking her head as she sat up her chair. “Your son sweats nitroglycerin and can ignite it.”
“From his hands?”
“His entire body.”
“The doctors think he had a nightmare,” Ochako sighed, shaking her head as she clasped her palm to her forehead, “and he set the bed on fire.”
Katsuki looked at his son in awe.“Is he immune to the flames he produces?” Overall, Kyo looked fine. His skin was a little red, and the ends of his hair were singed.
“More or less. The doctors aren’t really sure at the moment,” Ochako yawned, adjusting herself in the chair as she stretched her back. “Right now, he can’t control the temperature of the flames. They don’t think the flames were too hot, but the sheets were probably soaked with sweat cause he’s been running so warm and they’re cotton so-”
“They burned.” Like a roman candle.
“Yeah,” she sighed, pushing a couple of fingers at the side of her belly, “The specialist is gonna come by in the morning before they release him to go over some details for how to manage this.”
“Okay.” It was weird being on the other side of this. “Did you get burned?” Katsuki questioned, turning his attention to his wife as a pang of worry hit him.
“No.” Ochako stretched out her arms to show him. She was a little over eight months pregnant with her due date quickly approaching. “It would be nice to have a pregnancy without a trip to the ER,” she smiled weakly before her lips dropped back into a stressed frown.
“With Kyo we had two,” he reminded her, pressing a kiss to the top of her head before placing his hands on her shoulders. “Just think, the third time will be a breeze.”
“You’ve already jinxed it,” Ochako snorted, relaxing under his touch. “At least, I remembered shoes this time.” She lifted her foot, showing him a raggedy house slipper.
“Those aren’t shoes.” He kissed the top of her head, leaning down to pat the top of her stomach. “Baby brat okay?”
“Yeah, knocking around a lot from all the excitement.” She groaned, dropping her head back between her shoulders to look up at him. “I thought the house was on fire.”
“I know.” Katsuki couldn’t blame her. He didn’t know what he’d do if he’d found his son’s bed engulfed in flames. “It’s okay.”
“You didn’t see it,” she murmured with a groan as she dragged her hands down her face. “The carpet, the wall-” They’d just moved Kyo into his new freshly painted ‘big boy’ room. They’d gotten him a new mattress, bed, sheets, and furniture. Kyo had wanted an All Might themed room. “Oh god, Kuma-chan…”
Kyo was going to freak out about the loss of his beloved bear.
“Whatever it is,” he started, “All that crap can be replaced.”
“I know that, but-” Ochako stopped, eyes squeezed shut as she held her breath for a moment. “He set his room on fire.”
“We knew there was a good chance he’d inherit a quirk similar to mine-”
“I know, but-” A frustrated sigh blew past her lips as she shook her head.
Katsuki slowly removed his hands from her shoulders.
“I wasn’t expecting this, ” she whispered, voice cracking a bit as tears flooded her vision.
“Hey, hey,” Katsuki told her softly, pulling his gloves off his hands. He grabbed a tissue from the little table next to bed. “It’s okay. Kyo is fine.”
“I know, but my son was on fire,” Ochako cried as he wiped her face.
“And he’s fine.” He pulled another tissue from the box, turning to Kyo sleeping in the bed behind him. “He’s okay.”
“But what about school, or, or-” She hiccuped, sobbing quietly as the stress of the evening caught up with her. “Karate? What is he gonna do in summer when it’s hot?”
“Our son could have burned himself alive.”
“That wouldn’t happen.” Not this time, but it was possible. Katsuki, himself, had quite a few close calls in his youth.
“You didn’t see his room, Katsuki.”
“But I have a similar quirk,” he reminded her, showing her his palms with a crooked smile. “My guess is that the brat sweating so much made a barrier between his skin and the flames.”
“One of the doctors mentioned that.” She shook her head. “I thought they were gonna have to intubate him because of the smoke but his airway was clear, thank gods.” Even if his skin was immune to the flames, smoke inhalation and other hazards were a risk.
He nodded, “It was like that with me too when I was younger. If I didn’t have a little build up of sweat on my hands when I set off a blast, it would burn my skin.”
“That doesn’t make me feel better,” she told him, wiping her eyes.
The next few years were probably gonna be filled with trips to the emergency room for burns and related injuries. “What will?”
“I don’t know,” she confessed. “What are we supposed to do about this?”
“We’ll see what the doctor says tomorrow,” he told her patiently. “That’s all we can do.”
“How are you so calm about this?!” Ochako’s head whipped back to make sure their son was still sleeping. “He could have been severely injured.”
He could still feel the remnants of panic bubbling through his system. “But he wasn’t.”
“This time! What about the next time he has a nightmare?” she pushed. “Or if he’s at the playground?”
“Would you rather him be quirkless?” He hated himself for asking that question. Katsuki knew neither one of them cared if their kids had quirks or not. “That came out wrong.”
“Yeah. I don’t care if our kids have quirks.”
“I know. I don’t either.” He hated that shameful twinge of relief knowing his son wouldn’t have to endure the torment he’d given Izuku.
“I care if they’re safe,” she told him fiercely. “And I woke up to a house full of smoke, and my son laying in a bed engulfed by flames.”
He couldn’t blame her for being scared.
“How am I supposed to sleep at night?”
Katsuki sighed, crouching in front of her.
He’d been through this hundreds of times.
Katsuki had sustained more injuries than he could count from his quirk. A lot of his early childhood memories centered around hospital trips and visits to quirk specialists.
His quirk was difficult for a child to manage.
Innocent play sessions had the potential to end in fire and sometimes did. Wooden toys were out of the question, and it was a miracle that Kuma-chan had survived his childhood.
He wore gloves for the entire year during first grade, after he’d ignited his palms while clapping. Clothes hadn’t been much of an issue since his parents worked in fashion. His father made sure he had plenty of fashionable, kid friendly, and fireproof clothes and accessories so they looked beyond functional.
No one outside his family saw how much he struggled with his quirk as a child.
Overwhelming success masked the many failures and hardships he’d endured. By the time he’d made it to U.A., Katsuki was focused on increasing his firepower because he already had control.
“Because I’m okay,” Katsuki told her, placing a hand on her knee. “I-” Even now, it was hard to swallow his pride and admit his shortcomings. “I got through it.”
Ochako nodded, wiping her eyes as she looked down at him.
“We’ll get through this.” He squeezed her knee as a crooked smile broke over his lips. “We’ll get some fireproof sheets, and I’ll talk to my old man about making some clothes for the brat.”
“I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I didn’t mean to make you feel like-”
“No.” It took being in the hospital with his son to understand how his parents felt after each incident. “You’re worried. You’re allowed to be upset right now.”
“I’m so worried,” she agreed, chuckling as her tears continued. “I know he’s going to be okay, but god…” Ochako trailed off as she shook her head. “Our son was on fire.”
“Yeah.” He looked at Kyo sleeping soundly.
She sniffled, placing her hand on top of his, “He was so proud of himself.”
“I bet.” Sometimes it was scary how much his son was like him.
Ochako quickly turned her head, pulling the bottom of her shirt up to wipe her face.
Katsuki got up and walked toward the side of the bed. “Hey brat,” he greeted quietly, kissing his forehead. “How you feeling?”
“Tired,” Kyo yawned, snuggling deeper into his blankets as his eyes went to his mother. “Mama, do you have hormones again?”
Katsuki snickered, smothering his amusement in a cough.
“Yes, sweetheart, I have hormones. I was worried about you,” Ochako explained as she leaned over to stroke his little hand.
Kyo looked at his father. “I have a quirk.”
“I heard,” Katsuki smirked as he looked at his son in adoration.
“I can i-i-ig-” Kyo frowned as he struggled to recall the word, “Mama, what word did the doctor use?”
“Ignite,” Ochako supplied.
“Ignite,” he repeated. “I can ignite the sweat on my body and make fire.” Kyo gave his father a proud smile as he tipped his chin up.
“That’s impressive,” Katsuki praised his son.
“I have a good quirk?” Kyo’s eyes were wide as he looked at his parents for approval.
“There’s no such thing as a good quirk or a bad quirk, Kyo,” Ochako reminded him gently, giving his hand a little squeeze.
“But I want to be a hero like you guys, like papa, when I grow up, so I need a good quirk.”
“Remember what we talked about a few weeks ago? To be a hero,” Katsuki started, sitting on the edge of the bed, “you need to work hard and treat other people with respect.” These were the things he needed to hear when his quirk first appeared. “A quirk doesn’t make you a good hero.”
“No.” Before Kyo was born, he promised that he would do everything in his power to make sure his son was better than him. “Your mom is right. Quirks don’t make you good or bad, your actions do that.”
“Oh,” Kyo muttered thoughtfully. “I burned my bed though.” He looked at them shamefully. “I didn’t mean it. I was dreaming!”
“We know,” Ochako soothed. “No one’s mad. I was just worried you were hurt.”
Kyo nodded, little face still guilty.
“Did your Baba tell you about the time I accidentally set her curtains on fire?” Katsuki asked his son with a smile.
Kyo shook his head as a smile took over his face. “You did that?”
“I did.” He couldn’t deny this was a little scary.
There would be ER trips, burns, and many accidents but-
Kyo laughed, “What happened?”
They would be okay.
To be Continued…