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A Song Away

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Shouta was confident in many aspects of his life. Not in a vain egotistical way but more in a practical necessary way. 

As a Pro-hero and as a teacher to the world’s hero hopefuls he had to be confident that the decisions he made were the best ones. That they would ensure the safety of civilians and his students. That he was adequately preparing his students for the dangers that came with being a hero. 

He knew first hand the consequences of things going wrong. 

Yet all this confidence vanished completely when he thought about his kid. More specifically when he thought about parenting his son. His precious son, Shinsou Hitoshi.

There were just so many things that could go wrong. So many things that Shouta could do that could unintentionally scar his son for life.  

That was just - it was just horrible to think about. For any harm to be inflicted on one of the most precious people in Shouta’s life. 

And right now, here in their home, sitting glumly at the dining table was Hitoshi. He was supposed to be doing homework but instead was resting his head and forearms on the dining room table.

Shouta should have probably expected this. Yet he hadn’t. He was too used to Hitoshi hiding his emotions away in his room. Where Shouta had to gently usher him away from his solitude and with Shouta. Where Shouta could provide some comfort even if he couldn’t directly talk about what was troubling Hitoshi.

A small part of Shouta was thrilled, his son trusted them, trusted him! Enough to be visibly upset in their presence. 

A larger part of Shouta also really didn’t want to screw this up. 

“Hitoshi?” Shouta said, trying to use his most gentle tone. 

Hitoshi still jolted upwards though and Shouta stomped down on his reflex to scan the area for a threat. Instead, Shouta tries for a comforting smile and awkwardly leans against the doorframe. 

“Are..What- uh Do you want to talk about it?” Shouta mentally kicked himself as he stumbled through his question. 

Hitoshi furrowed his eyebrows and shook his head before tucking his head back into his forearms on the table. 

“It’s just dumb English homework,” he grumbled mostly to his arms but Shouta was still able to hear it.

Shouta paused. So they were just going to ignore it. Perhaps he had been too hopeful earlier. 

“You can save it for tomorrow if you want. Hizashi can help you with it much better than I can,” Shouta reasons, trying to alleviate at least some of the stress on his son. 

Hitoshi sighs out an “okay” and pulls all his papers and notebooks to his chest before standing up and heading out of the room. 

Shouta was not the most emotionally intelligent, he knew this. He admitted it to Nedzu when applying to be a teacher at UA. He didn’t mind sharing this with any heroes he was working with. Shouta perfectly accepted this part of himself. 

But right now, at this moment, all Shouta could feel was undeniable failure.

Instead of allowing himself to wallow and sulk (much like his own child) Shouta took a deep breath massaging at his temples with his palms. 

He just had to think. He just had to ask himself, “What would Hizashi do?”. 

So, if Shouta told Hizashi about this then...there’s no doubt that Hizashi would come straight home. Somehow finding people to take over his responsibilities for the remainder of his show. 

So - perhaps that’s what Shouta should do!

Shouta hurried up the stairs towards Hitoshi’s room. He knocked a few times before opening the door, catching Hitoshi lying down on his bedroom rug. 

“Get a jacket, we’re going out,” Shouta said before hurrying to his own room to grab his own.

“Question!” Hitoshi called out and Shouta quickly threw one of his (or Hizashi’s) hoodies before coming out. 

“Yes?” Shouta asked gently as Hitoshi awkwardly began to shrug on a jean jacket they had recently gotten him. 

“Where are we going?” 

“The radio station,” Shouta answered before hurrying down the stairs. They had to get to the radio station rather quickly if they wanted to catch Hizashi during his break. 

“Question,” Hitoshi said again, following at a much much slower pace. 

“Hn?” Shouta hummed looking back up the stairs where his son was nervously clutching at the fabric of his pants. Shouta narrowed his eyes at the action. 

“Do I...uh have to go? I can stay behind!”

“You...don’t want to go?” Shouta says slowly.

Hitoshi was sulking in the dining room for all of Shouta to see. Hitoshi was greatly upset about Hizashi not being here. Hitoshi missed Hizashi. So why wouldn’t he want to go see him?

Hitoshi cast his eyes downward not looking at Shouta. Obviously trying to hide his expression and his true feelings, though it didn’t hide Hitoshi’s nervousness. Nervous because he didn’t want to say no to Shouta 

“That’s fine,” Shouta says, trying to be reassuring. He didn't want Hitoshi to think he was upset with him. “That’s perfectly fine, Hitoshi,” Shouta repeats, trying his best to be comforting through his tone alone. 

He's not sure if Hitoshi understands him. But Hitoshi raises his eyes to meet Shouta's and nods slowly before turning around to go back to his room. Probably to go and sulk until Hizashi got home or until he fell asleep.  

“Cookies!” Shouta blurts out slightly, surprising himself with his outburst. “We need to make cookies! If uh you want to help me?” 

Shouta wasn’t really sure if they even had enough ingredients to make cookies. It didn’t matter though he just couldn’t let Hitoshi go and wallow in his feelings in his room. Hitoshi tilted and nodded and began making his way down the stairs.

Shouta shrugged off his hoodie, dropping it on one of the dining rooms’ chairs. Shouta didn’t particularly enjoy baking, he really only knew how to make cookies. (Which he had learned how to make for Hizashi for Valentine’s Day back in high school.)

But, Shouta knew the good that a simple repetitive task could bring to a troubled mind. 

Shouta quickly began pulling out the ingredients while taking stock of what they had. It would no doubt be only a small batch and they didn't have chocolate chips so perhaps they’ll make these cinnamon sugar cookies instead. 

“Do you like cinnamon?” Shouta asks when he hears Hitoshi stumble into the kitchen. 

“It’s cool,” Hitoshi murmurs quietly before he goes to wash his hands in the sink. 

Within a few minutes, perhaps a bit longer than that if Shouta was being objective, Shouta's plan is yielding results. Hitoshi seemed to finally be able to relax as he focused on the task in front of him. Even engaging in some easy conversation with Shouta. Everything seemed to be going well until Shouta flicked on the kitchen radio. 

Shouta usually listened to part of Hizashi’s radio show or he at least put it on for background noise. And Hitoshi had been content if not happy to listen to it with him before. 

Now though Hitoshi’s expression pinched into a scowl and his eyes narrowed. Shouta took this all in quietly before changing the radio station and lowering the volume. 

Hitoshi looked up at the sudden change, his eyes wide and panicky and Shouta felt a pit of dread begin to build up in his stomach. 

He really wishes Hizashi was here to help guide Shouta through this.

“You didn’t seem to be enjoying Present Mic’s radio show,” Shouta supplies gently, watching as Hitoshi ducked his head. “I think it might do you some good to talk about it...if you want to that is with uh me,” 

Hitoshi looked away from Shouta and started stirring the already mixed cookie dough. 

“I don’t like...present mic,” Hitoshi murmured so softly that Shouta wouldn’t have believed his ears if he hadn’t overheard the exact same statement just two weeks prior in an Esuha city music festival tent. 

It didn’t make the statement any less jarring, however. 

Shouta pretended it didn’t though and nodded encouragingly, while letting Hitoshi continue to over mix the cookie dough. 

“I think I know why but can you explain it to me yourself?” Shouta said after a moment of silence passed between them.

“...Yamada acts too different when he’s being Present Mic. I don’t...I don’t like it and when he has to be Present Mic he can’t be here and it’s...it makes me feel - it’s just,” Hitoshi took a deep breath, “annoying”. 

Shouta blinked, not expecting Hitoshi to be so painfully honest. He was overcome by a sense of pride for a moment. His son was so good with his words. So much better with his words than Shouta had ever been at that age.

“I think I understand,” Shouta says leaning on one of the kitchen counters by Hitoshi. Hitoshi lets out a strangled noise of disbelief in the back of his throat.

“Drink some water,” Shouta chides before he can stop himself. “Back when Hizashi first started the show, it was...troublesome.” 

Hitoshi didn’t stop his aggressive attack on the cookie dough but he did glance towards Shouta. Shouta took that as a sign to continue. 

“While we were both busy pro-heroes we lived together by that point and worked for the same agency so our shifts overlapped regularly. It was easy to find time to see each other. But when Hizashi got the opportunity to be a radio host it meant a massive shift in his hours. It was a big change for both of us and I may have been a bit...upset,” Shouta confessed. 

It all seemed so...humourous now. Because while Shouta was miserable, so was Hizashi. And yet Shouta hadn’t noticed.

Shouta let out a content sigh. It was humorous now but he’d really rather not go through that again. 

“How did you deal with it?” 

For a second Shouta froze. Not because of any quirk or any fear but because his son asked a question without warning him. His poor anxious son felt comfortable enough to ask Shouta a question. Shouta’s arm twitched, wanting to reach out towards Hitoshi but he kept himself in check. He shouldn’t make this a big deal, he has to let Hitoshi know that this was okay, that this was more than okay. 

Oh, Shouta couldn’t wait to formally adopt his son. 

“I started listening to his radio show when I could,” Shouta admits, smiling softly to himself. He loved his little family so very much, it felt like it could burst out of him. 

“You’re right that it’s not Yamada necessarily but Present Mic on the “beat” but it’s still Yamada. Just a different part of him that I like very much. Plus - well don’t tell him this but I like listening to his voice, it's soothing.” 

Hitoshi snorted at that, making the tension Shouta held in shoulders loosen slightly. 

“Sorry it’s just...you like him - like a lot,” Hitoshi said, finally relenting on his attack on the cookie dough. 

“I do like him a lot but I guess I’m only his second biggest fan,” Shouta teased gently. Hitoshi pouted at Shouta, his ears flushing a deep scarlet. Shouta grinned back at him. 

“I don’t want you to feel pressured into listening to the show though. It’s okay if you’re not comfortable with listening to it right now actually, I may have something better,” 

 

___

 

“I”M HOMMEEE! HITOSHIII! SHOUTAAA!” 

Shouta grimaced at the volume of his husband from his comfortable position on the couch. Hitoshi, who had been drowsy and nearly falling asleep beside him, jumped up and rushed out to meet Hizashi. Shouta merely settled back into the sofa knowing they’d both be back soon enough. 

The cookies that Shouta and Hitoshi made ended up being rather thin and crispy, almost like a chip., but they weren’t any less tasty. (No doubt due to Hitoshi over mixing the batter but Shouta blamed the cinnamon when asked).  

Next to the plate of cookies they made was a plastic crate filled with cassette tapes. Their boom box was on the floor beside the table playing a rock band that Hizashi used to be obsessed with (and still sort of is) in high school. 

“Hey what’s all this?” Yamada asked cheerfully as he entered the room with Hitoshi in tow. He didn’t waste time in looking over the rather messy appearance of their living room and instead strode over to press a kiss to Shouta’s temple. Shouta leaned into the touch before abruptly yanking at Hizashi’s arm. 

“Waah! Sho!” Hizashi yelped, falling onto the couch beside Shouta. Shouta simply leaned onto Hizashi’s shoulder letting his eyes fall shut. 

“I want a proper kiss later,” Shouta murmured quietly to Hizashi, not wanting to embarrass Hitoshi who had easily sat down on the couch on the other side of Hizashi. 

“Aren’t you demanding Shouta,” Hizashi teased, pinching at Shouta’s nose. Shouta swatted his hand away making Hizashi chuckle. 

“So what mix are we listening to? I love this band!" Hizashi asked, wrapping an arm around Shouta and getting comfortable. With his other hand, he reached out to ruffle Hitoshi’s hair. 

"You'll recognize it soon enough," Shouta answered with a smirk. 

Oh, Hizashi was going to absolutely love this. 

Hizashi seemed to be unperturbed by Shouta’s vague explanation and settled with the cookie that Hitoshi had shyly handed to him. Hizashi went on to describe how it was one of the best cookies that he had ever tried. Hitoshi tried to deflect and say that Shouta did most of the work yet it didn’t deter Hizashi’s praise.. (Shouta would have flushed had it not been for the fact that Hizashi made the same claims every time Shouta baked.) 

Finally, the song came to an end and a bunch of rustling noises came from the boom box. Hizashi paused and turned towards the machine when the rustling cut out and a voice began to speak. 

“Hey Sho! I miss you. I really wish we could hang out all the time. Whenever we’re apart though just keep playing this and remember that I’m only a song away!” the young high school voice of Hizashi rang out from the boombox, his voice cracking slightly. Just as Shouta remembered it being when Hizashi was nervous.

There were more rustling noises before the introduction of the next song started. 

And then Hizashi was screaming. 

“SHO YOU ARE THE WORST WHY ARE YOU PLAYING THIS? MAKE IT STOP!” Hizashi yelped, scrambling to stop the tape. (His face was redder than when Shouta kissed him for the first time). 

“HAVE YOU BEEN LISTENING TO ALLLLL THE TAPES I MADE FOR YOU?” Hizashi cried out digging through Shouta’s box of tapes. “I HAVE AN ACTUAL SHOW THESE AREN’T EVEN SOUND MIXED CORRECTLY” 

“I like them,” Hitoshi murmured quietly. 

Hizashi froze before suddenly whirling around at them in horror. 

“SHOUTA YOU PLAYED THEM FOR TOSHI?! YOUR POOR EARS I'M SO SORRY THIS IS SO CRINGEY AHH You two stop laughing!!” Hizashi pointed at them accusingly. 

It was useless though both Shouta and Hitoshi were laughing too hard to take Hizashi seriously. Hizashi pouted angrily, his face still an adorable shade of red. 

Shouta knew that Hizashi wasn't all that upset but he was a sucker for his husband. Still chuckling, Shouta pinched Hizashi’s flushed cheeks and pulled him into a reassuring hug.  

And as Shouta watched Hitoshi laugh until he fell to the floor and even then kept laughing all the while Hizashi was desperately trying to fuss over him, Shouta knew that it was going to be fine. 

.

.

.

Extra Outtakes!! 

Present Mic: this next song goes out to my son Hitoshi. Please feel free to sing along

Aizawa: It’s karaoke night it's just me and Hitoshi- why are you skipping to the middle of the song I had to sing the whole-

Present Mic: HEY NOW you’re an all-star! Get your game on Go play! Hey now you’re a rock star- 

 

___

*Shinsou and Yamada performing for Aizawa*

Hitoshi screaming into a fake microphone (a hairbrush): I whip my hair back and forth I whip my hair back and forth I whip-

Yamada *the one whipping his hair back and forth*

Aizawa: confused and polite clapping