Ochako Bakugou knew the consequences of becoming a parent as a pro-hero: added guilt for taking maternity leave, hours spent pumping while filing reports, and missed bedtimes when criminals and villains put up a fight. She knew the cost, and she paid it anyway, knowing that her husband always had her back.
Coming home particularly late one evening, she was surprised to find the light to Hanabi’s room still on, glowing softly under the door. Activating her quirk, she floated herself over, hearing Katsuki inside.
“The cats nestled close to their kittens. The lambs have laid down with the sheep. You’re cozy and warm in your bed, my dear. Please, go the fuck to sleep.”
She smiled to herself, listening to their daughter kick restlessly in her bed as Katsuki read to her.
“The windows are dark in the town, child. The whales huddle down in the deep. I’ll read you one very last book if you swear, you’ll to go the fuck to sleep.”
“No!” Hanabi squealed gleefully.
“The eagles who soar through the sky are at rest. And the creatures who crawl, run, and creep. I know you’re not thirsty. That’s bullshit. Stop lying. Lay the fuck down, my darling, and sleep.”
“Hush now,” Katsuki shushed her. “The wind whispers soft through the grass, hun. The field mice they make not a peep. It’s been thirty-eight minutes already. Jesus Christ. What the fuck? Go. To. Sleep.”
Ochako released her quirk, settling down gently on the hallway runner.
“All the kids from daycare are in dreamland. The froggy has made his last leap. Hell no, you can’t go to the bathroom! You know where you can go? The fuck to sleep.”
Hanabi blew a raspberry at Katsuki, causing Ochako to suppress her own giggle.
“The owls fly forth from the treetops. Through the air, they soar, and they sweep. A hot crimson rage fills my heart, love. For real, shut the fuck up and sleep.”
“You said a naughty word,” Hanabi giggled with a sleepy yawn.
“The cubs and the lions are snoring, wrapped in a big snuggly heap. How come you can do all this other great shit, but you can’t lie the fuck down and sleep?”
Ochako sat beside the door, quietly pulling her boots off as she listened to Katsuki continue the story.
“The seeds slumber beneath the earth now, in the crops the farmers will reap. No more questions. This interview is over. I’ve got two words for you, kid. Fucking sleep.”
Katsuki lowered his voice, the deep tenor barely a whisper.
“The tiger reclines in the simmering jungle. The sparrow has silenced her cheep. Fuck your stuffed bear, I’m not getting you shit. Close your eyes. Cut the crap. Sleep.”
“Can I have my uncle Deku stuftie?” Hanabi asked sleepily, Ochako biting her lip to keep from laughing. Inside she heard Katsuki stand, undoubtedly fetching their daughter’s favorite toy.
“The flowers doze low in the meadows. And high on the mountains so steep. My life is a failure. I’m a shitty-ass parent. Stop fucking with me, please, and sleep.”
“You’re not a shitty-ass parent, daddy.”
“Sorry,” she giggled.
Katsuki cleared his throat. “The giant pangolins of Madagascar are snoozing as I lie here and openly weep. Sure, fine, whatever, I’ll bring you some milk. Who the fuck cares? You’re not gonna sleep.”
“I promise I will,” Hanabi said in a quiet voice, making Ochako’s heart melt.
“I know you will, princess.” He continued on. “This room is all I can remember—the furniture, crappy and cheap. You win. You escape. You can run down the hall as I nod the fuck off and sleep.”
“But you have to stay up for mommy.”
“Don’t worry. Mommy will be home soon. Then we can all go to sleep.”
Hanabi hummed, the sound of her blankets shuffling, telling Ochako that she was snuggling down in her bed.
Katsuki finished the story, his voice dropping to a whisper again. “Bleary and dazed, I awaken to find your eyes shut. So I keep my fingers crossed tight as I tiptoe away and pray that you’re fucking asleep.”
Ochako pulled herself to her feet as she heard him nearing the door, the light in the room flicking off save a small nightlight by Hanabi’s bed. He slipped out, leaving the door cracked open before turning to find his wife.
“Hey, you.” He smiled, yawning before pulling her in for a hug.
“How many books tonight?” she asked, wrapping herself around him.
“Four.” He answered with a growl. “Made me read Deku Saves The Day twice.” Ochako buried her face into her husband’s chest, giggling. “Laugh it up, chuckles. Just because she’ll go to bed for you—”
“That’s because I read fairy tales. You make the mistake of reading her books about heroes.”
Katsuki scoffed, kissing the top of her head. Pulling a piece of rubble out, he leaned away, brow-raising. “Long day?”
“Guy didn’t wanna go down without a fight,” she said, making a face. “Made me give the press conference.”
“Yeah? News should be on in a few. Wanna watch?”
“You want to know if I want to watch myself?” she asked, laughing quietly so as to not wake Hanabi.
Katsuki shrugged. “I’ll make popcorn.”
Leaning up, she kissed his cheek before disappearing to steal his sweatpants and gym shirt, stopping to kiss a sleeping Hanabi. Curling up on the couch, she covered up with her DynaMight throw, Katsuki turning on the television before tossing the popcorn in the microwave.
The news flashed images of the bank heist Ochako had stopped as Katsuki grabbed her an ice pack and ibuprofen, the microwave beeping before he could catch it.
Katsuki and Ochako both froze, aware of how loud the sound was.
“Daddy?” Hanabi called from her room, Ochako biting back a laugh.
Katsuki sighed, shaking his head. “Fuck.”