Not Enough

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The schoolyard buzzed with the laughter children skipping along the sidewalk to meet their waiting parents and guardians on the other side of the fence. Others held hands to walk home together in safety if no one was there to pick them up.

Bakugou had been called in for an emergency villain attack downtown while Kirishima wouldn't be home from his own patrol until later that night, so you stood alone next to the other adults and waited for Hatsuki to exit her kindergarten class. Bakugou said he "owed you one" but it was no trouble at all; you didn't mind. She only started school a few weeks ago but Hatsuki seemed to adjust to her classmates and new schedule without much fuss.

Among the slimming crowd of children, Hatsuki walked at an oddly slow pace, alone with her purple backpack dragging behind her. Normally full of laughter and smiles, her downtrodden demeanor put you on edge as she walked closer.

It was only then you noticed the snot bubble under her nose and puffy red eyes that put you on high alert. "Hatsuki! Honey, what's wrong? Are you OK?" you asked with a tone of urgency as you bent down to her level.

She said nothing, her head down and lip quivering. Your heart clenched at the sight of this little firecracker of a girl on the verge of tears. "Your daddy had an emergency at work, so I'm here to pick you up...c'mon. Let's go get some ice cream, OK? Just keep it a secret." Something to distract her. Picking her up under the arms, Hatsuki buried her face in your neck as you slung her backpack over your shoulder before you walked quickly to your car. Bakugou hated driving but people on public transit often got on your nerves, so you were one of the few people he knew who drove regularly.

After making sure she was buckled in safely to her car seat, you slid into the driver's seat and headed towards the nearest ice cream stand. Bakugou had tried to pay you and Kirishima back for the car seat but you refused to take his money. The ice cream parlor was out of the way from your normal route home, but this seemed like an emergency.

"What flavor do you want, Hatsuki? You can have whatever you want." She stood next to you in line, her own tiny hand gripping your fingers as she looked up at the sign above the window. Despite her quick learning pace, she could only read a few words so you listed off the flavors for her to pick from.

"...Mochi flavor," she finally said in a small voice. It was the first time she'd spoken since you picked her up. A small win in your book.

You ordered for her and yourself before she tugged on your hand. "Chocolate sprinkles?" It truly was difficult to say "no" to that adorable face of hers. Bakugou really did have his hands full.

Once you grabbed the frozen treat from the man behind the window - you got a cone while Hatsuki got a cup and spoon - you led her to a nearby bench. Hatsuki handed you her cup while she jumped and crawled up on the bench, adamant that she didn't need help. A streak of stubbornness inherited from her father, no doubt.

"Here," you said, handing her back her cup. Hatsuki gripped the spoon and stuffed the mochi-flavored ice cream into her mouth, a chocolate sprinkle already stuck to her cheek.

You waited a minute to see if she'd bring up on her own whatever had bothered her earlier, but when she seemed wholly focused on her ice cream you swallowed a bite of your own before asking what needed to be asked. "Hatsuki?"

"Mmhm?" She didn't look up but acknowledged her name.

"Can you tell me why you were sad earlier?"

She held the plastic spoon in her mouth before sliding it out slowly, her ruddy cheeks puffed out with the conclusion that if she didn't swallow her ice cream she couldn't talk. Too bad for her ice cream always melted.

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