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Birds of a Feather Collection

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This was supposed to be a professional interview. Emphasis on the ‘professional’ part.

And despite that, Hawks leisurely sat across from her with a wide smirk spread across his face and light brown locked on her own, his whole expression and attitude telling her exactly where his mind was. Certainly not with her and her questions.Tap, tap, tap went her pen every time she hit it against her notepad. Louder the last few times to finally get the winged hero’s attention back.

“I’m sorry, angel, I was just lost in your eyes.”

“Need a map out of there?” she offered, raising an eyebrow.

“Only if you guide me through every step of the way.”

Heaving a deep sigh, the tapping stopped as she straightened in her chair. “Hawks—”

“Yes?” he replied smugly.

“You promised to take this seriously.”

“And I am!” he called out somewhat offended, his wings spreading a little bit behind him to stress his words. “But I can’t help getting lost in those lovely eyes of yours. More beautiful than any sunset I’ve seen for sure.”

“Flattery’s never gotten you anywhere—”

He swooned, one wing sweeping across exaggerated. “A guy can dream.”

“Then be ready to slip into a coma, pidge, because it’s not going to work today either.” Especially while I’m working.

That mere fact crawling back into her head almost caused a migraine. How had she gotten into this mess again? Oh, yeah. Her publication wanted a piece on the new No.2 hero and knowing the kind of bias there’d be if she took on the job, she let it be so others could take it. But according to their editor, no one could take it seriously enough to made a proper article. Especially her other female coworkers. And because her boss knew that she wrote that article a couple of years ago on Hawks when he barely started rising into the limelight of hero society, he made the brilliant decision to put her on the job. Of course, the fact that Hawks had long ago sought her out to learn more about the then 'newbie journalist’ that skyrocketed his reputation as 'the man who goes to fast for his own good’ was still very much unknown to those she worked with. Mostly her choice since she didn’t want the hassle of dealing with the media; though not part of the frenzy that was the paparazzi, she knew very well how journalism’s nasty counterpart twisted facts to please a fictitious narrative of their making.

She liked her life how it was, thank you very much. But ever since Hawks found her out, he’d been a constant in her life. Random encounters at first then finding one another at certain events. At times even during altercations with villains. Then what could’ve possibly been the worst—or best—decision of her life: giving him her number.

Their relationship barely bordered friends, honestly. More like mutual business acquaintances. At least that’s what they agreed it’d be like whenever she would meet him as the journalist after a story from the No.2 hero. But Hawks tended to slip more often than she’d like him to. Sure, he was charismatic and she’d even admit that some of his modeling spreads did get her mind wondering about…certain things—but things weren’t that easy. They never were. So she spared herself both the head- and heartache and not involve herself any further than she already was.

Besides, she would hold herself steadfast to her policy even if it killed her: no dating heroes.

She tapped the her pen against her notepad and clicked it twice to get his attention back. “Focus, bird brain. I’m here on business.”

“You always are,” he said with a childish pout. Leaning back against his chair, he let his head hand over the back of it to stare at the ceiling. His voice then turned a slight pitch higher that sounded vaguely nasally. “ 'No small talk, no dancing, no dinner, no zoo trips—’ ”

“I’m allergic to most damn animals, Hawks.”

“But you’re fine right now, aren’t you?!” His hands shot out in the air before pointing back at her. “You’re usually all sniveling and sneezing around me.”

Yeah, and she utterly hated how her birds allergies instantly flared up whenever he came too close. Which is why it became routine to take some allergy pills every morning and keep some handy just in case. “I learned my lesson." Her eyes blinked a couple of times and she sighed, frustrated more with herself that he’d once more diverged the conversation elsewhere. "Can we please focus? I still have the damn article to write.”

“Not much of a task, really, considering your work.”

That caught her by surprise. “My what?”

“Your work,” he repeated, instantly perking up.

“You read my articles?”

“Why, of course I do! They’re pretty interesting if I do say so myself, and that’s saying a lot when I don’t read often. I see why you’re treasured so much at your publication too. You have a way with words, angel.” Tilting his head slightly down, Hawks lowered his visor and looked at her through thick eyelashes. “Very enticing one could even say.”

Heart fluttering at his words—no, don’t!—her head suddenly had little to no control over her composure. All at once, the stoicism she fought to maintain in front of him fell at those few words and warmth crept onto her cheeks and ears. Even turning away and trying not to look at him was pretty useless when she could still feel his gaze bearing onto her. Always on her.

Willing her heart to start up again and get her blood flowing properly—and please, away from my goddamn face—she cleared her throat and tapped harder on her notepad, this time to distract herself from his searing gaze and words that still swirled ceaselessly in her brain.

“C-Can we please?”

“Can we please what?”

This time it was her time to pout as she muttered, utterly defeated and resorting to her options for dire measures. Doing as he did and like she often did to get her way, she tilted her head slightly and batted her eyes. “C'mon, pigeon.”

Hawks kept eye contact and despite how unnerving it was, and how warm her cheeks were getting again, she didn’t deter either. Two could play that game. In the end, he caved—though, had it lasted much longer, she easily would’ve lost first.

“Okay, okay.” Gloved hands went up in surrender, his wings following suit and extending skyward. Eyeing them as the office light hit them and made them gleam a faint ruby, her attention followed the extravagant line of his wings as they folded back towards his back. “I can’t ever say no to that look and sweet words from you, can I?”

Thank goodness for that.

Taking a deep breath and clearing her throat once more to refocus on the work at hand took a moment too long and have him enough time to jut a finger up to stop her from even starting. Noticing that, she raised an eyebrow and dreaded asking, “What now?”

“I’ll answer your questions if you promise to go out with me.”

“Really?” she asked, all of the previous sentimentality he’d managed out of her gone into thin air. He’d hit her with that tons of times before and her answer always remained the same. By this point, it just astounded her how he kept trying despite always getting the same result. Guess what they say about insanity’s true after all. “Hawks, I’ve told you already, I don’t date he—”

“Nuh-uh, I never said anything about a date.”

That blatant contradiction knitted her brow together. “But you said to go out with you?” Why am I even debating this with him?

“Exactly. Go out as in accompany me. Not as my date but just as, well, friends.” He gave a languid shrug of his shoulders as he said this, his wings shifting a bit and the crimson feathers quivering in anticipation. “We are friends, right?”

“Mm…” It took her a moment to think over how long they’ve known each to shrug and nod. “Yeah, I guess so.”

“…you guess…” His wings fell a little at hearing that but instantly came back up as he shook himself and continued where he left off. “And since we’re friends—well, friends can go on a leisure trip together, can’t they?”

So much preamble from him never ended well for her. “Where are you going with this, Hawks?”

“Well, I just happen to have gotten my hands on a couple of tickets to a very magical place that’s holding a very special event for its 60th anniversary next week. And I was told by a very reliable, little birdie that you’re just dying to go.”

Her pen almost broke from how hard she gripped it at simply hearing 'magical place’. No way. “Makoto told you?”

“Mayhaps.”

“You’re pulling my leg.”

Hawks let out a chuckle before standing from his chair to make his way behind his desk, her attention rapped on his every step after the bomb he dropped on her. Deft hands then took the pair of tickets from the drawer and flaunted them to her from across the desk. The loud gasp she gave didn’t compare in volume to the ruckus of her chair screeching when she shot out of her chair and smacked her hands against the sleek top. Warm and bright sunset-colored eyes stared in absolute awe at what he held in his hands.

“H-How?!”

“I’ve got my ways,” he assured her, parading the tickets this way and that and getting her to follow them like a hungry dog starved for its meal. “So, what do you say? You say yes, and you get your interview and a trip to TDL’s 60th Anniversary Spectacular this weekend, and I get to spend time with my favorite, lovely lady. It’s win-win.”

It took every ounce of restraint to not say 'yes’ immediately. A part of her hated that Makoto was cohorts with the over-sized Thanksgiving dinner-to-be against her, but then seeing those priceless tickets to an event that she’d missed buying months ago, made her love her best friend all the more. 

Say yes. For goodness sake, say yes! 

No. Instantly, to restrain herself from giving in so easily, she bent over and sunk her face into her hands, smacking her forehead against the desk. 

“You alright there?”

She didn’t answer. Instead she let out a groan as she seriously thought things through. Hawks wasn’t wrong. Not in the least. If she said yes, she’d get two birds with one stone. Three, I guess. The moment that thought struck her, she almost forgot to breathe. For as much as Hawks kidded about this being just 'an outing between friends,’ she knew better than to believe him. But then again, the mere thought of going out with him—regardless of the fact that it was something she desperately wanted to go to—did sound nice. For the past few months, she’d desperately tried to bury the feeling that had been growing and growing with each passing day for the sake of her livelihood but now when the chance showed itself, it didn’t sound half-bad. 

It actually sounded like it’d be a delightful time. 

Things won’t go anywhere you don’t want them to go, she reminded herself. So long as you go as friends, things won’t change between you. Right? 

Right.

Taking a deep breath, she stood up straight and looked at Hawks expectant gaze and dashing grin before saying, “Okay, I’ll do it.”

Hawks blinked a couple of times before the grin broadened from cheek to cheek and the feathers on his wings bristled eagerly. A boisterous laughter escaped him as she stepped onto his desk, wings flapping fervently behind him which burst him over the desk. Startled by the sudden rush of loose feathers, she stepped back only to get scooped into Hawks arms. The giddiness overtook him and he lifted her a bit over the floor with a spin before landing them both back on the floor. 

Chuckling through the storm of red he let loose in his office, he called them back to his wings when he noticed her waving any of the falling feathers from coming near her nose. “My bad,” he said, the feathers bristling and preening themselves back into their rightful place. “Got carried away there.”

“Never would’ve noticed,” she replied with a teasing scoff of her own. 

Grin wide still, Hawks shoved his hands into his pockets to keep from holding her again. “So, what time do you want me to pick you up on Saturday?”

This time it was her turn to chuckle at his eagerness. “How about we get through this interview first and then talk about that?”

“Deal.”

Chapter Text

You knew that it was normal for couples to not be lovey-dovey all the time. You’ve had previous relationships were most of the time speaking sweet nothings on one hand and shouting obscenities at each other on the other was the norm. You had your temper and you had your buttons that weren’t to be pushed. But you thought the years and finally meeting someone who took you and your somewhat abrasive personality in stride had mellowed you out for the better.

Or so you had thought. Yes, ever since you and Hawks started dating a good year ago, things had been far from perfect, but you were happy. Hawks told you he was happy, too; that he would never change anything about you or your relationship even if he could. So it was normal when you guys would sometimes bicker over nonsensical things for the hell of it. You both knew neither of you meant what you said in anger or in annoyance, but these past few weeks had been different. You couldn’t quite say what by name but you knew something was terribly amiss.

It all started after All Might’s retirement, Endeavor’s rise to the top, and Hawks’ placement into second seat. You knew he hated hero politics and avoided them altogether like the plague he saw them as. Though he never was one to keep to himself when things seriously irked him, that he would announce his displeasure with the world and its view on hero society as things stood after having lost such pillar, in live television no less, struck you as odd. Not so much by what he said but by the way he said it. Almost like he was pining to make his views heard loud and clear, and to not be easily forgotten.

You asked him what that whole thing was about after he got home from the event but Hawks simply shrugged it off as something normal. “You know I don’t keep my mouth shut when I should.”

True but that he was admitting something like that only added more to what you were already worried about. You set the feeling aside though knowing it could very well just be your imagination overreacting from the upheaval of the very foundation of your society. That certainly sounded like it could mess with your head if you let it too much.

But after the announcement of the new top ten, you began noticing Hawks acting weirder than usual still. At times you would find him missing from bed either ridiculously early or late with no word or note left in regards to his sudden absence.

Chalking it up to his hero duties worked at first but not for long.

More and more often than not, Hawks would come home irritated about something he wouldn’t say. It didn’t matter how much you asked. And boy, did you ask until he finally snapped. And when he did when all you wanted to do was figure out why he wasn’t acting like his usual self, you couldn’t help but snap back at him too. Never had your fights gotten so bad that he took off from your apartment, using the balcony to take flight where he knew you couldn’t follow.

Fine, you thought to yourself, if he was going to be like that then you wouldn’t bother.

The day after, though, a sense of regret sunk into your stomach, twisting your gut and making you sick. As mad as you were, it didn’t warrant such behavior. You knew this. By the end of the day, all you wanted to do was get home and hopefully find Hawks to apologize. You hurried through traffic and angered drivers in vain: Hawks was nowhere in sight. It didn’t even seem like he came home after he flew away the night before. So you waited all night in the hopes to find him coming home ridiculously late as he did as of late.

Sleep beat you around the time 5am came around. But you weren’t at the couch where you had fallen asleep, you were in your bed. Alone. Crimson feathers scattered around you and on the floor. Your heart broke a little at having had missed him.

One day, out of desperation, you did what you thought youd never do. You followed him out of work. You swore you never would do something as despicable but as things stood you didn’t know what else to do. Hawks took longer and longer to reply to texts, and those replies were monosyllabic at best. Any calls would be sent straight to voicemail. At this point, she supposed that the idea of him cheating on you wasn’t far-fetched but if that was so, you wanted to verify it with your own eyes.

It’d be easier to part with him and forget about him then.

But tailing him proved an utter failure too. Hawks was too sneaky for her. She didn’t know how though taking into account how conspicuous his wings were. Yet you had and he was gone. Exhausted both mentally, physically, and emotionally over the past few weeks, you chose to give up for the day. Maybe for good. This was simply too draining on your mind and heart.

Finding a small cafe nearby, you took a table for yourself and ordered a coffee to swallow down the bitterness you tasted in your mouth. The rain pelleted the pane glass wall just behind you, a lulling sound to you ears, and the entrance being so nearby let the scent of dew waft into your nostrils. It was somewhat relaxing for all that it was worth. The coffee you ordered came in a colorful, ceramic mug, steam of the freshly brewed drink coming off into the air and mixing with the smell of fresh rain. It was a nice change of scenery after so much heartbreak.

“Falling in love at a Coffee Shop” came from the cafe’s speakers in a low hum and you strained your ears to listen to the melancholic tune. So focused were you that you didn’t hear the bell of the door ring, though you smelled the rain again, and you certainly didn’t hear someone taking the chair across from you until a deep, raspy voice spoke up.

“You must be y/n.”

Hearing your name coming from a stranger’s mouth snapped you out of your stupor and you lifted your gaze to meet a strangely dressed man seating across from you. The first thing that caught your attention about him were his stark icy blue eyes and then the stitches around his mouth and burnt skin on his jawline. A hood hid that well enough from the crowd and seeing as there weren’t that many others in the cafe, nobody seemed to noticed such an odd looking man. Those icy blues stared straight at you making your blood run cold from the mere gaze. He knew your name, so there was no mistaking that he’d been there to find you.

“Do I know you?” you dared ask feeling a tiny bit safe in a public space.

“Not particularly, that is unless you’ve seen the news lately.” The comment startled you and did jog your memory somewhat but he didn’t allow you enough time to make out exactly from where. “But that’s not why I’m here. You see, a little bird’s been flying around our nest and we’d like to let him know where he stands.” His hand reached out to the coffee that you held tightly now in yours hands and wrapped over them. His were warm. Too warm. Extremely warm. By the time you tried prying your hands away from the heat coming off of his, he reached out with his other hand and held your hands in place.

“Your face is too cute though. So your hands will have to do this time.”

Certainly panicked but not daring words to come out of you throat, your widened gaze turned up to his face again. Oddly enough, his cold stare wasn’t on you anymore and instead looked out through the pane glass wall behind you. Ice blue locked outside onto something, attention rapt on whatever was there for a minute longer before a crooked smile came to their stitched up lips and he turned back to you.

“Don’t take this personally, princess,” he said, hands getting hotter by the word. “This is just a warning. And if the bird behaves, it’ll be the first and last.” The heat turned unbearable and it seared your skin making you yelp in pain and pull your hands away from his as strongly as you could. The coffee came with you and the liquid spilled all over the table, floor, and your hands. But the coffee held no candle to the throbbing pain from the heat that had come from his hands.

All the attention came onto you and the stranger for a moment, said stranger holding a napkin to your hands trying to clean off the liquid and you feel the low heat still lingering on his palms. No seems to notice or recognize him. As he finished cleaning your hands, he leaned over near your ear and softly spoke into it. “Tell him next time it won’t be just your hands.”

The threat chilled your blood and didn’t let you move or speak even as the man left the cafe. A waitress came over and offered to help but before she could accept or deny it, the door’s bell rang again and heavy footsteps carried over the air stopping near you. You couldn’t help jumping at the strong grip on yours arms but the panic that rushed through you quickly left when you met a pair of warm, amber eyes on a familiar face adorned by windswept locks.

Hawks expression was frenzied in a way you’ve never seen it before. Distress and panic wasn’t a look he fancied showing but now he didn’t bother hiding it. His hands took yours instinctively and you flinched from his touch, the skin raw from the burns. Hawks didn’t wait nor asked and took you straight home and said nothing all the way there.

You had many questions. But after the encounter that left you injured and utterly perplexed and frightened, all you wanted was to get home too. Once there, Hawks flocked over you like he used to, but instead of love and fondness smoothing his expression, stress and apprehension furrowed his brow. He spoke in rapid mutters as he led you around the house to soothe the burns om the back of your hands. Skin raw, it hurt immensely to even have cold water running against them but it also felt somewhat soothing.

Once properly treated and bandaged, Hawks brought you to your bed and simply sat there with you and held you close from behind, soft apologies muttered under his breath near your ear. You didn’t know what to say. Or how to ask what had been in your mind the whole way back.

Finally, after minutes of silence, you mustered the words.

“Why are you apologizing like this is your fault?”

“Because it is,” he whispered, lips so close to your neck that you felt the warmth of his breath on your skin. Heat made you feel sick. “I should’ve been more careful. I should’ve left you live your life in peace when this started. I know I should’ve but I couldn’t. I didn’t want to.” He was making no sense whatsoever. And when you told him this, Hawks tried to explain.

It took sometime and much assurance that you were alright until he finally told you what little bit he felt comfortable with. About how the police has asked him to work with them in a mission, how, it involved him delving into things he’d rather stay away from for your sake, and how it brought him to interact with people like the man from the cafe.

Finally, after he told you vaguely what he could, your mind put two and two together. Finally you realized why that man had appeared so familiar. You had seem him on TV when the news had been broadcasting Yuuei’s attack during their summer camp. A man who’s Quirk allowed him to control blue fire, a man with burnt, stitched-together skin. A man in alliance with the infamous League of Villains. Things slowly fell into place after that. Why his personality had changed so drastically overtime. Why he kept leaving early, getting home late. Why he reserved his text replies to simple and answers and didn’t answer her calls. Why he seldom wanted to be seen in your company.

“You were trying to distance yourself to keep them away from me?”

“I couldn’t tell you,” Hawks explained, turning your body slightly sideways so he could lay his forehead on your chest. “I didn’t think there was a need to if I was careful. But I’m a fucking idiot for thinking I could keep you out of this.”

The rustling behind you caught your attention and you noticed at last how his wings had been cradling you in place, the soft feathers touching your legs and arms tenderly, protectively.

“I agree,” you say at last, his head jerking somewhat at your words. Bringing your arms up to wrap them around his neck, you held him close and felt his hands trail up her back and hold her close, red wings curling around them. “But you won’t have to worry anymore. I’ll leave and stay with my folks for how long this takes; they won’t mind. I won’t walk home or go out without someone going with me if I can help it. I won’t say a word about what you’re doing either. You know your secret’s safe with me.” His shoulders visibly relax and you feel the deep sigh he releases. “You have to promise me something in return though.”

“Anything, my angel.”

Ignoring the pain from your burnt hands, you reach down to cup his face in them. His stubble pricks at the tips of your fingers and a little through your bandaged hands. Amber eyes meet your own with the most adoring gaze you’d ever seen him give you. Gently you leaned your forehead against his and close your eyes to savor what you missed for the last weeks. His hold around you tightened and he, in turn, inhaled deeply taking everything about you in that would soon be missing from his life.

“Be careful.” Your lips brush against his briefly as you speak. “And please, don’t die. I want to come back home to you after all this is over.”

Your bluntness drew out a dry chuckle from him and you heard it rumble through his throat. “For you, my love, I’d come back from hell if it meant I’d get to spend the rest of my life with you.”

“Let’s keep you away from there for as long as we can.”

For once after such a long time, you felt the air around you lighter and it lifted some of the weight from your shoulders. What weighed down your heart wouldn’t disappear that easily though. Not until this mission of his ended and Hawks returned to you unharmed.

Chapter Text

You would’ve never thought the kind of family man Hawks could be but after you’re little angel was born, you fell in love with him all the more. 

Your little girl inherited her father’s Quirk and came into the world with tiny, featherless nubs on her back. The early months before she could turn herself over were spent soothing her with how uncomfortable her little growing wings were for her. During those nights, that Hawks was there was nothing short of a blessing. He knew first hand how to deal with aches and issues that you otherwise were learning for the first time. You learned fast enough and eventually months passed with your little girl growing healthy. 

It was around the time that she was barely learning how to keep her head up that tiny fluffs of feathers sprouted from her wings. They were a faint reddish brown mixed with white. Hawks joked around saying that he remembered his being the same, an rather ugly mixture of colors before they molted. He assured you that once those downy ones fell a year or so in later, they’re actual color would come out. You teased that they better be the same vibrant red like his so you’d be able to spot her easily if he ever lost her. Hawks agreed, adding that the biggest concern for the two of you would be to look out in case your little angel learned to fly early like he had. The way he told it, his folks had a mountain of troubles with him when he was that age because he’d somehow managed to figure out how to work his growing wings. You thought it cute how he described those stories his parents told him of him being able to hover moments at a time only to crash face first onto the floor. 

“Sounds about right for you,” you said, taking your little girl into your arms and cooing as you talked. “But you won’t be like your trouble making daddy, huh?”

But you might’ve just jinxed yourself on that one. When the six month milestone rolled around, you started catching your baby flapping their little wings while laying down on their stomach. And with those wings now almost the size of their own arm, you found it worrisome that she could lift part of her upper body with great effort. She was learning how to use them all right and it only got worse from there. And around the time her first birthday came around, your little girl learned how to fly for a couple seconds before she learned how to walk a few steps. 

You found that out after you heard giggling and a thud through the baby monitor one night. You went to check on her but found the crib empty and panicked immediately, but before you could shout for Hawks to come help you look for her, you found her playing around with her toys with downy feathers scattered around. That was the first times of many that she pulled a jailbreak by flying out of her crib.

“Maybe we should consider getting her a bed early,” Hawks suggested. You couldn’t agree faster. By the time she turned three, though, she’d forgone her bed completely and would simply fly out, tumbling precariously onto carpeted floor and running/hovering into your room to crash land between the two of you. 

After that and for some months, you got used to the sight of fluffy, auburn feathers mingling with the vibrant crimson ones on your mattress and to the sound of their soft snoring filling the room throughout the night. Like father, like daughter, you supposed. And frankly, you wouldn’t want it any other way.

Chapter Text

Six times.

You’d noticed Hawks meet your gaze six times now over the course of half an hour. And since you arrived at the gala in celebration of the announcement of the new top ten heroes of Japan two hours ago, it’d been a total of fifty-seven. At this point, you didn’t know who was crazier; him for staring that long or you for having kept count.

Taking a full swig of your champagne glass, effectively chugging your fifth glass of the night, you leave it on a table before turning on your heels towards the ladies’ room. Surely some cold water would help rid your head of unnecessary, and rather vulgar, thoughts. Closing the door behind you once there and you thanking the heavens for it being empty, you quickly turned the faucet on, moistened some paper towels, and dabbed them against your skin. Whatever part of your upper skin your dress left uncovered felt warm to the touch, and the cool, wet towels soothed the heat coming off from it. They did little to quell the craving tearing her sensible mind asunder.

It’d been a couple of weeks since you last saw or talked to him. After that incident at another party that he coincidentally also attended where you two spent a rather salacious night at your place in a half-drunken stupor, you never thought to hear from him again. You expected to see him–how couldn’t you, he was the number two hero now–but not this soon. Not when even days after you could still feel his large hands roaming every inch of your body, still see through your drunken haze the way he took in every part of you with his gaze, and still tasted the bitter-sweetness of his lips on yours as he devoured you whole. One night with him had been enough to ingrain the hero into your mind much more effectively and permanently than any lousy advertisement ever hoped to accomplish. Hawks had seared himself onto every bit of you that night, and promptly left the next morning without saying a word. It hit hard, a damn jackhammer’s worth actually, but you convinced yourself that surely that was the norm in his life; to have any woman he wanted turn to putty with his charm and have them anyway he wanted. You’d been the fool for falling for it and then twice as much of an idiot for thinking the night would amount to anything more.

Hawks was a hero. You were nothing but a plain little nobody that just happened to be at the right place on the right time. Tonight was no different. Letting that settle into your head took a couple minutes but once done, you left, intent on getting through the night without thinking much of it. With your mind so focused on that and with the hallways as dim lit as they were, you failed to notice that there had been someone waiting around the corner for you until a vast wing spread fully across effectively blocking you from moving forward. It took you longer to remember to breathe than it did to recognize that gorgeously sleek, crimson wing.

Spinning on your heels to see him then though proved a terrible, not-at-all thought out idea when you lost your balance on your six inch heels. Your ankle twisted a bit at the sudden turn but before you could completely fall and make an utter fool of yourself, a strong pair of arms broke your fall. One held firmly onto your forearm while the other caught you by your waist, bringing you a little closer to him as his wings folded inward to safely embrace you against him.

“Whoa there.” His voice was quieter than you remembered it, like he wanted to force you to lean closer to hear him better. His chuckle–raspy, frisky, and just a tad bit haughty–tickled your ear and you only just felt it rumble through his chest where your hand now laid sprawled against the silk of his dress shirt. “Don’t go falling for me that hard.”

The cheekiness of his words reminded you of the bitter, sobering thought you had at the restroom.

He’s a hero, and I’m nothing but a one night stand.

Pulling away from him worked only up to where his wings allowed it as they encased you in a cocoon of nothing but Hawks. A small space full to the brim with his musky cologne and enticing warmth. No, you told yourself, I can’t fall for this again. You mustered what mental strength you could to turn the edges of your lips into a smile. Not a personal one, but a cordial one at best.

“Thank you,” you said, your voice soft in fear that anything higher would betray you. Reaching up to a few strands of your hair that tickled at your cheek meaning to brush them behind your ear proved the wrong move when you felt his fingers brush against yours. Hawks took the strands of your hair and did what you meant to, his eyes fixed on your face as a whole even when you lifted yours to meet his gaze.

Even after he settled the strands in their proper place, his hand remained aloft near your face, his fingers lightly brushing against your cheek. For a moment when he touched you, you forgot to breathe. A little half smile ghosted his lips–one of the few parts of him that you knew was so soft and tender and sweet–before he spoke, his voice breathy.

“You look beautiful.”

‘Thanks’ you screamed in your mind so it would make your lips say those words. But the two ignored, listening instead to what beat furiously fast in your chest and threatening to burst out of it.

“You do too.” For a second you didn’t think about what you said. When you finally did your cheeks flushed and you stuttered to correct yourself. “H-Handsome, I mean. You l-l-look handsome too.”

“Didn’t know you’d be here,” he said after letting out a breezy chuckle at your attempt to fix your mix up. He brushed his own hair back but all that did was let ashen blond locks fall wildly around his face, finely framing it. But not even how damn hot he looked in his black suit and red silk dress shirt let what he said go by unnoticed. To you, Hawks sounded disappointed, like he hadn’t wanted to see you there at all. But that dark cloud of thoughts brewing over your head cleared a little at what he said next. “I would’ve brought you myself had I known.”

Utterly perplexed, you lifted your head to blinked owlishly at him with only a single word escaping your lips, “What?”

Before he even could think of something to say, you found yourself stepping back, head tilted somewhat to one side, and finding more to say.

“But…I thought what happened–well, that night, I thought it’d be just, you know…a one time thing.”

Hawks groaned a little his wings shifting to return behind him as he rubbed the back of his head like a guilty child after they broke something. “Well, I’ll be frank with you. That’s what it was supposed to be. I was a little gone when we hooked up and I know it was dickish of me to leave like that without saying anything, but I didn’t want to get caught in a mess if people saw me there.”

Hearing that felt like a punch to the gut. You hadn’t been to far off with what you thought at first. Of course Hawks would care more about his image. It was only natural.

“But…”

The way he dragged the word made you heart beat come to a painfully slow crawl as you clung to every word. Suddenly his amber gaze turned to you and what you saw in them, though you couldnt quite describe it, was breathtaking. Not because it was him but because of the way he took you in so intensely, as if wanting to recall every little part of you.

“I couldn’t forget about you. It’s strange, really, 'cause that hasn’t ever happened before. Anytime I tried, you’d just come back full force into my mind.” Leaning back and pocketing his hands, he gave you a smile that actually reached his eyes. How odd, you thought, that you could tell a real smile from a fake one just from the slight tinge of forlorn his real one gave off. “It took me a few days but I can’t help but think that…maybe you’re more than just a one night stand.”

When all you did was stare completely dumbfounded at his words. his demeanor changed. Out of the blue, Hawks’ face turned a darker shade, a slight red that you managed to somehow make out in the dim lighting, and the feathers of his wings bristled somewhat as he averted his gaze from yours while tugging at the collar of his suit jacket to hide his face in vain. A flustered Hawks was cute, you admitted to yourself, but knowing you’d have to correct the misunderstand soon lest he die of embarrassment first, you reached out to one of his wings. The closest to you was his right that had slowly crept outwards from behind him to hover just over your side. Your fingers touched the downy feathers, something you vaguely recall sweeping tortuously slow across your bare skin, and toyed with them between your fingers.

“I’m glad,” you said softly while smiling, “At least I know now I wasn’t the only crazy one with that feeling.”

Now his turn to blink in confusion, he let go of his jacket’s collar to fully look at you. “Wait. You too?”

You nod and you feel his wing come closer to your hand and further behind you, gingerly touching you back. “I kept trying to tell myself to let it go because, hey, it’d never happen anyways. Right? You’re a hero, the second best and beloved by all of Japan, and I’m…me.”

All of a sudden, the gentle touch behind you pushes you forward into Hawks waiting arms and he holds you tenderly if a little tight against him.

“You make it sound like I’m settling for something I shouldn’t be settling for.”

You return his honesty in kind. “I am.”

He let out a chuckle again and this time, when he pulled backs, he does so briefly before leaning down to meet your lips with his. He parts just long enough to whisper against you lips, “You couldn’t be more wrong.” Hawks didn’t let you say anything and captured your lips again to continue were he left off. The kiss is tender at first, his lips warm and soft like you remember them being, but then he becomes a bit more forceful. He bites it lightly at your lower lip a few times until you give him what he’s asking for and part your lips slightly. That’s all he needs.

His tongue slid into your mouth and the warmth of it against yours is heavenly. You can taste the champagne you both have drunk during the night and it intoxicates you further. As you kiss, his hands lower from your back to your waist and he slowly walks you to the nearest wall around the corner. Pressing you against it as he continued to ravage your mouth, you feel the warmth of his body flush against you. Hawks’ hands don’t stay on your waist for much longer once he has you pinned where he wants you. They roam freely down to your thighs where they’re exposed from the dress you’re wearing and you feel his fingers graze the edge of your panties. Suddenly taken aback from the advance, you push him enough to catch your breath and for him to do the same. And though you’re close enough to simply breathe in each other’s place, neither of you pull further than that.

“What are you doing?” you asked breathlessly.

“Sorry.” His apology is as breathless as your question, and the tug at the corner of his lips betrays what looks like the beginning of a feral grin. “It’s just that having you here after thinking about nothing else kinda has me on edge right now.” Hawks takes a deep breath before he lets his head fall onto your bear shoulder, “Sorry I got carried away.” But just as he was about to pull away, you stopped him, crumpling his dress shirt in your grip and holding him in place.

His head jerked attentively but didn’t move from your shoulder. Even his hands that held onto your thighs and not moving any further than where they stopped, tightened their hold ever so lightly. 

You struggled with your thoughts a bit. What did you think about this whole thing. At this point, nothing much. You wanted to drown in him again like you did that night weeks ago. No, after what he said, you had the feeling that this time would be much better than then. The sensible part of you that peeked its nosy head through thought that perhaps this wasn’t the best place to get so hot and frisky. The other part that had ignited the moment his lips touched yours though didn’t really care about any of that. 

“Just for a little while…here,” you whispered near his ear. 

Against your skin, you felt him smirk before he kissed your shoulder and bit it gently. “Just a little then.”

With your okay, his hands finally move from their place and play with the hem of your panties again. But it’s hard to concentrate on what he’s doing with them when he kept nipping and nibbling at the skin near your collar bone and traveling lower near the edge of your dress just above your breast. You could feel your heart beating out of control as your breathing hitched more and more with every small ministration. It wasn’t until he moved your panties aside and slicked a finger across your entrance that you shuddered and moaned a little too loudly. 

Immediately, Hawks lifted his head to hush you, his hot breath hitting your ear and eliciting another moan from you. “Be quiet, love. I’d hate for anybody else to see you like this.” 

“W-What…?” You barely managed to whimper out words between your moans as he continued to graze his fingers or knuckles against your clit. “Mmm…why…?” 

“’Cause,” he said slowly and dragged the word out. You were so fixated on what he said that you were taken by surprise the moment he inserted a couple of his fingers deep inside you. Before any of your voice could escape your lips in a sweet mewl, he captured your mouth and deepened the kiss to quiet you as he slowly took them out to slip them back in as deep as before. This time when he pulls back away from you, you manage to quiet your cries of pleasure to the back of your throat and let them rumble through in a more subdued and hoarse groan. “I’m the only one who gets to see you like this.” Taking your mouth again with his, he added a third finger inside of you and let you moan into the kiss. “Right?”

As he pulled away to ask that, you repeated ‘yes’ over and over as he plunged his fingers inside of you again and again. You feel yourself drip down the inside of yours thighs the more he does this but you simply don’t want it to stop. Soon enough your legs start going weak from standing a bit on your tip toes to allow him easier access and you reach up to wrap your arms around his neck for support. With this you’re flush against him and you feel his own arousal through the cool silk of his slacks. 

Your mind lost and high on lust as it was, you reach down while still holding onto his neck with one hand and run your fingers along the length of it. He instantly stops his ministrations and swallows. With your head against his chest, the throaty chuckle he lets out is mixed with the slight moan that you feel under your ear. “Don’t tempt me, y/n. It’s already hard enough as it is to hold back.”

“Then don’t.” You don’t know what possessed you to say that but at this point you didn’t care anymore. To hell if there were people just around another corner celebrating some mundane event. Right now, all you wanted was Hawks. Lifting your head, you kissed him tenderly before pulling back to stare at his astonished amber eyes. “Don’t hold back. No one’s gonna turn this corner either, so…”

That feral smirk from before returned fully this time as he slid his fingers out of you and captured your lips to ravage you once more to leave you breathless. 

“Alright, but we’ve gotta be real quiet. Okay?”

“Quiet,” you repeated with a coy grin of your own. 

You heard his wings move silently to block yourselves from view, you guessed in case of the worst scenario. Their movement caught you a little off guard and you didn’t even notice when he released his shaft from his slacks until you felt it against your exposed thigh. Helping him, you took the skirts of your dress and parted them to let him get to you easier. When his hands reached behind your thighs and he bent slight downwards though, you furrowed your brow at his smug smirk. 

“Don’t freak out, ‘kay?” 

Freak o— You almost did let out a squeal of surprise when he suddenly hauled you off the floor and held you up in his arms. Before you could even ask what he meant to do, he let you down slowly to plunge himself into you as deep as he could go. This moan, you couldn’t keep in and your hands shot instantly to your mouth to cover it when you realized it. Hawks was just so deep inside you that you felt the pressure of him touching your very core. That he leaned you against the wall while still hoisting you up by your thighs only made him fill you all the more. As you wrapped your legs around his waist, you felt him throbbing inside you as he leaned in to bite your shoulder a bit too hard. Pressing your hands against your mouth did little to quiet your voice anymore but you did it anyway. After a moment, he slid out and bucked his waist shallowly forward once, then again. He took to a gentle rocking his hips back and forth to get you accustomed to him after the time you’d been apart but you didn’t want it gentle. 

Gentle would satiate the weeks you spent thinking of him with you. Of him kissing you. Of him devouring you. Of him inside you. 

H-Hawks…faster…” you said through muffled breathes that escaped your fingers. 

Hee doesn’t answer. Only smirks against your neck.

Almost immediately he picked up the pace, thrusting into you faster and harder. Each time he did a sound between a squeal and a groan escaped your lips. It was when he started hitting the spot that just sent electricity running through every nerve in your body that you wrapped your arms around his neck to bring him closer to you as you started calling his name—his actual name—over and over and over in his ear. His grip on your thighs tightened and he bit down on your shoulder harder than before wrenching from your throat another moan. 

The pressure building up too quickly for you to keep up with it, you could only mumble incoherent words into his ear that he somehow understood as he moaned his reply against your sleek neck. 

“Cum for me, y/n.” 

That’s all you needed. Hawks only plunged himself a few more times when you finally felt your release and your vision went white. Clamping down on him, Hawks groaned against you and held you close as he came a moment after. His warmth filled you and heightened your orgasm as you wrung every last drop from him. 

Heavy breathing clung between you when you finished and it took him a moment to lower you down and hold you in place just in case you were weak on your legs. Taking a second more to collect yourselves, you two busied afterwards with putting your attire back together. Just as you were smoothing out your skirts, Hawks called your name. Turning to face him, you met his lips as you did and he took you in for another haze as you devoured you for a minute. Hawks pulled back, a cheeky grin on his lips as he laid his forehead against yours. 

“Say, want to ditch this boring ass party?” he asked as his hands moved up and down her arms. 

Chuckling, though not disliking the idea at all, you brushed a few strands of hair behind your ear before saying, “Your place or mine?”

“Oh no, love,” he said, his smirk turning hungry and eyes shining avariciously. “Your bed is way too small for what I want to do with you.” All lust left his expression for a brief second and the quick change surprised you. “Besides, cooking breakfast will be easier in my place for me. So, what do ya say?” 

Your nose scrunched up mischievously before you took his hand in yours, your fingers intertwining together. 

“Let’s get outta here already.”

Chapter Text

You love flowers. And Hawks made sure to always bring you some.

No matter the day, time, or occasion, he would always bring flowers to you. It’s always a different one everyday too. Hawks guessed that being gifted the same old, cliche rose would get tiring and meaningless after the first time. So when he discovered you were actually a big fan of flora and knew a bunch of random facts about them, he jumped on the train. His plan: give you a different one everyday and learn something from you.

Red roses were your least favorite–bad start on his part–but you nonetheless knew that red ones were for romantic love. Enduring passion. Certainly what he felt for you, Hawks thought. When he asked you what your favorite rose would be, you said orange ones. He learned that day that you loved them because they meant enthusiasm and passion. How fitting, he remembered thinking, since he loved those things about you as well.

So he started to pick out bouquets everyday in the hopes to bond with you.

From you, he learned pink carnations meant ‘love of a woman’ and, you teasingly added, to never give a woman striped carnations. Never, he replied, keeping to himself that you would be the only one he would ever bother gifting any to.

From you, he learned hydrangeas meant heartfelt emotions and gratitude to the recipient from the gifter for being understood. Hawks found it strangely fitting that he picked those out in a whim; he certainly felt grateful to you for accepting him as he was. Both the hero, and the lonesome man he couldn’t help but be without you.

And from you, he learned tulips–especially the reds one he chose–meant a declaration of love. Alright, maybe Hawks looked that one up on his own meaning to both surprise you and confess.

He had never seen you happier. You told him that you felt the same ever since the first time you met. If Hawks never believed in love at first sight or even the notion of soulmates, he certainly did now. He wanted nothing but to be with you for the rest of your lives.

Hawks had to learn the significance of poppies for himself. Red hadn’t been your favorite but you told him that as you spent more and more time together that it became a color you found comfort in.

“It’s the color of your wings,” you said, “how could I not love something that’s a part of you?”

The fondness that surged through him at your words almost brought him to tears. It never quite did though. Days with you were filled to the brim with happiness and laughter and love.

And that's all he wanted to remember you by.

Gently, Hawks laid the single bouquet of poppies before the tombstone. Beautiful a day as it was, he brought a long a beer for himself and a small bottled pop for you. You never liked liquor.

Hawks went on to talk about how things had been since the last time you two spoke. All Might retired, so he became the new No.2 hero by default. Endeavor became number one though the populace doubted he could amount to the legacy All Might left behind.

“He ain’t bad, though.” Swirling the can in his hand a few times, Hawks dipped back his head to drink it all in one swig. “And I’m in trouble again, angel. The higher ups have me doing some real bad stuff. It’s despicable. You wouldn’t be the least bit proud of me.” A sigh left him, his shoulders slumping down in defeat. “But it’s for the good of ending a far worse evil.”

Hawks knew you would understand. His hand reached up to the golden ring hanging from a necklace on his chest , finger fiddling with the band.

It’s matching set laid with you.

“Wish me luck, angel. I’ll come back tomorrow. Hopefully with a better story to tell you.” He moved the bouquet closer to your tombstone, some of the crimson petals falling from the flower as the breeze blew.

Maybe next time he’d bring a more uplifting one.

You love flowers, after all. And Hawks would make sure to always bring you some.

Chapter Text

Winter.

Not exactly your favorite month. It brought clustered streets and either satisfied or disgruntled people due to the holiday rush. Then again, it wasn't your least favorite either. Winter set a good weather for idling around and drinking a nice warm beverage.

And tonight, just like every other night since the nights became cooler, you sat outside in the balcony just over your room. Having the attic-turned-bedroom as your main abode had its perks. The added space outside being one of them. You made it your own not much longer after you moved it and with it having an outlet, it gave you the liberty to do whatever you wanted up there. Like watching a movie on your laptop out in the open with only a light blanket for cover.

Though you're sure it'd be better with company.

The thought brought a heavy sigh out of you as you snuggled further into the soft fleece for comfort. True, you weren't the most social of butterflies but that didn't mean you completely hated interacting with others. It was kind of a bummer that you rarely got invites from coworkers to go to outings; even rarer the times when your few close friends would go out. Most if not all were shuts-in like you, so those times seldom came.

Which, in the end, left you alone on your balcony, out in the open, to watch the first movie you found streaming: a scary one. Not your first choice, but since you knew that if you decided to search for another, you'd most likely spend the rest of the night doing that. So you just let it play.

Perhaps not the best of ideas when you started hearings things out of nowhere. At first you thought them to be from the movie until you paused it and realized they weren't. They weren't even from below. They were coming from above. It was just as you looked skyward that something big and brightly colored crashed onto your balcony. A petrified screech escaped you as you dashed out of your seat and scurried down the skylight into the haven of your room, laptop and fleece blanket forgotten. Heart beating a mile a second, you let it calm down and tried to assess exactly what happened.

Something fucking crashed on my balcony.

Something big. Something brightly colored. And it was still scurrying overhead. Braving a peek through your skylight while being at the ready if things went south, you spotted it. Whatever it was.

No, not whatever. Whoever. A person had crash landed on your balcony and laid there, moaning and groaning in apparent discomfort, in a heap of limbs...and what looked like wings.

Bright red wings.

Recognition struck you like a ton of bricks but what spurn you to action and back out into the open space of your balcony was that, aside from the red of his wings, the vibrant color also marred his face and parts of his clothes. Running out, tripping a little and catching yourself as you went, you reached the Winged Hero, Hawks, and skidded to a stop next to him. He groaned under his breath as you turned him to see his injuries better. It was then that you finally saw his amber eyes gazing shocked back at you.

For a moment neither of you spoke, bewilderment rushing through you at the ridiculous circumstances. That quickly went away, though, when you saw him holding his side as the spot darkened, what looked to be blood seepeing through his undershirt. Blinking away your disbelief, you instantly ran back to the blanket you'd been using and brought it back to wrap around him.

Hawks let out a cough that choked him a little as his amber eyes searched you for a moment. "What are you--"

"Don't talk. And don't move either."

First aid--thinking for a second, you remember seeing it in the kitchen. You quicky let him know you'll be back before storming down the skylight again. Through a rush, you pick up the kit, some clean bandages, and a bag of ice before coming back up. He thankfully listened to you, if because he actually minded your words or because he couldnt move was up in the air. Frankly, you didn't care to knwo.

Before you even tried reaching out to him, you looked him straight in the eye to make sure he was okay with it. "I'm going to see to your wounds now, alright?"

Leaving no room for him to say no, Hawks simply nodded and let you take his hand away from the biggest wound on his side. Something had cut through fabric and skin. Something thin and small that seemed to just graze him. Bullet or knife were your best bets. As you prepared a gauze with alcohol, you talked him through what you were doing just so he wouldn't freak out. You knew it was likely not needed--him being a hero and all, he surely got many injuries every other week--but you could't help it. As a nurse working in the ER, appeasing patients was something that came as naturally as breathing did. This wasn't quite Kyushu's hospital but a patient was a patient all the same.

Thankfully, it didn't look too deep. Doubted stitches would be necessady. really. While disinfecting it though, you hear him hiss a little and turned up to make sure everything was alright with him. Hawks only let out a nervous chuckle that he tried hiding behind a mildly dirty collar.

"It's okay to tell me if it hurts." The wound was quite large after all. More than what a single bandaid would cover anyway. And guessing by the rest of his injuries, he had plenty to be complaining about.

"The alcohol stung is all." Amber eyes stayed on your hands as you pressed several pieces of gauze onto his side to cover the wound after daubing it with some antiseptic. It's after asking him to hold his shirt up so you can wrap some bandages over it that he perks up more. "You're awfully calm for someone who just saw me fall onto your balcony. Things crash land on you often?"

The way he put it gets a chuckle out of you but you quickly clear your throat to focus back on the task at hand. "No, they don't, but I've seen stranger things in the ER."

"You a doctor?"

"Nurse."

"That's why you're so gentle."

The comment, despite being said so low under his breath, is loud enough for you to hear, and it throws you off for a good moment. "Excuse me?"

"I didn't mean it in a bad way," he immediately retorted.

"In what way then?"

"Well." His voice drawls on muffled by the collar of his jacket as he averts his gaze. "Most doctors here are just kinda dicks and your beeing gentle kinda gave me a hint that you weren't one."

You didn't fault him on that. Though you couldn't speak for other hospitals or clinics in Kyushu, your workplace was rather filled to the brim with stuck-up doctors. There were exceptions but the fact that there were any at all spoke to the problem itself. Usually, they would shove their work onto the nurses and spent their shift goodness knew what; you'd certainly seen more patients alone than when accompanied by a doctor, though, that was for sure.

"I suppose so," you muttered under your breath. Seeing as you were done with what looked to be the most pressing of injuries, you gave him one last look over before meeting his gaze that hadn't torn away from you the whole time you thought of a reply. "Where you chasing a villain?"

"Late night chase." His hand reached down to touch the bandages but you quickly smack it away, telling him not to. "It didn't last long though. I was on my way to the hospital, actually, but I guess I fell asleep on my way there."

"You guess? Isn't that dangerous?"

"Very," it amazed you that he somehow managed to say that with a toothy, lopsided grin. "Guess I'm lucky that my guardian angel knows how to treat injuries."

Though too cheesy for your liking, you couldn't help the bubbly chuckle it brought out of you. "You say that to every girl whose balcony you crash on?"

"You're lucky number one, sweatheart!"

It simply amazed you how nonchalant he was about just having crashed landed from exhaustion, especaly with those injuries.

"Your injuries aren't so bad aside from the one on your side, so you should be okay. Maybe you should hang the wings for the night, though, and consider going home on foot, Mr. No.2 hero. Wouldn't want you crashing again."

"Nah, I'm good. Flying's faster, anyway." He stood with a flourish, his massive crimson wings spreading out as he turned to the ledge of your balcony and readied to take flight.

Unable to believe just how stubborn he was, you instinctively snatched onto his wings and saw his whole body jerk in reponse to the aggressive touch. "Let me give you a ride then. I'd hate to hear in the morning news that you crashed again and hurt yourself more or, godforbid, you hurt others."

"How little confidence you have in me," he countered with a mild pout.

"With good reason," you readily replied. "Now stop being such a stubborn parrot and accept the damn lift."

Hawks mulled over the offer for a few minutes before his wings finally folded back to neatly tuck behind him. He flashed you a grin before nodding. "Alright, you win, angel. You get to take me home from our first date. How romantic, huh?"

"Very," you couldn't have said that with anymore sarcasm lacing your voice had you actually tried. "I'll get my car from out back so just wait out front. You think you can do that without hurting yourself?"

Hawks gave off a silly two finger salute with that shit-eating grin on his face. "Aye, aye, cap'n." His wings unfurled before you could notice, though, and he jumped off before you had a chance to stop him. Instead of the graceful drop you hoped for, Hawks barely landed on his feet, slipping a bit on the slightly iced sidewalks.

When he turned up to give you a thumbs up you couldn't help but heave a sigh of mixed relieve and exasperation. "I meant wait out front through the door, you bird brain!"

"Too slow! And if you don't hurry, I might just take off home too!

Feeling he wasn't kidding around, you rushed down into your apartment, taking your keys as you put on some slip on shoes, and hurried down the flight of stairs to get to your car in the garage. But as you waited for the garage door to open, you couldn't help but lightly slam your forehead against your steering wheel.

Your quiet movie night had turned to such craziness so fast that you could hardly believe it. But as you saw Hawks waving at you from your rearview mirror, one single thought formed along with the amused, lopsided smile on your lips.

Well, at least this is better than a dumb, scary movie.

Chapter Text

The ambient music flooded over the speakers mounted on the entrance gates and it mixed with the enthused cries of children as families entered through with tickets in hand into one of the few places you never tired of visiting. Absurd as it had been to come to this so-called ‘friend’s outing’, you didn’t regret it one bit. You’d missed the deadline for getting those anniversary tickets for Tokyo Disneyland but thanks to that blabbering pigeon at least you’d get to enjoy this little reprieve, even if it meant going out with him for the day—suppose I should at least call him by his name today as thanks. It wasn’t all bad, you supposed. You did sort of fancy him despite your personal policy being a 'no heroes allowed’ kind. As a journalist you knew they held a two-faced job that often involved putting up a facade when working that wasn’t precisely the same one they used on the everyday wringer outside of it. Some were nice people in and out of the job, while some others had a thing or two that they hid from the rest of the world. A rather unsavory thing more often than not. That notion itself kept you at arms-length from Hawks, especially considering your already rather close relationship. Sure, he could be charming and charismatic now but you dreaded what could possibly be hidden behind that wolfish grin and amber eyes of his.

No, not today. You weren’t going to think about that today. This was just an outing among friends, enjoying the best place to freaking forget about work and life in general. This was the happiest place on earth and you’d be damned if you weren’t going to relish being here on such occasion. Clicking your heels as you waited by a bench, you checked your wristwatch a couple of more times when the time came to be so close to 8. You’d agreed on meeting here by then and no way were you going to miss a thing because this bird wasn’t an early riser. The loud fluttering and slight huffing took you by surprise as it came so close to you. Not far away, you caught a glimpse of those red wings as Hawks stopped near the bench you waited by, chuckling as he tried to nonchalantly catch his breath. Your brow knitted together but he interrupted you before you could even ask a single thing.

“Sorry about that.” He flashed you a lopsided grin that seemed more boyish than anything. “Got caught up at my place.”

One of your eyebrows raised as a smug smirk ghosted onto your lips. “You mean you overslept?”

“No,” he cleared his throat before standing straight, his wings folding themselves against his back. “I just got caught up getting ready.”

“Uh-huh.” Good thing you texted him eight times to wake him up that morning. Like hell were you gonna miss anything because of his late ass. That reminder washed all traces of annoyance away though as you hopped between your feet, grasping at the air in front of you. “Forget it! Let’s go already!" 

Grasping the open lapel of his brown leather jacket, you dragged him up to the entrance to go through. Almost instantly at crossing the overpass, a genuine smile spread across your lips at entering Main Street, U.S.A. Despite being a weekend, it wasn’t as crowded as you expected it to be. You let go of his jacket to trot up to the end of the square where the street led down to the castle. Goodness, it’d been far too long since you last came here. I missed this. 

"Am I gonna need a child leash for you, love?” Hawks asked as he strolled up to catch up to you.

“Maybe.” Right now, you didn’t mind playing along with his jokes. Here, you weren’t on the job, or dealing with life, or having people breathing down your neck for one thing or another. Here, you could just be free for one day and be what you never got to be when you were little: a happy kid. Overhearing the Dapper Dans so close by, you bounced on your feet a couple of times, the skirt of your dress flouncing with you as you snagged his wrist and took Hawks to watch barbershop quartet. A crowd was already gathered there around them and clapped as they finished the set they’d been midway through singing. Bouncing on you feet as they started 'Mr. Sandman’ you sang along under your breath as Hawks looked over a map.

“This place is huge.”

“Not even—'make her the cutest that I’ve ever seen’—and lose the map. I’ve got it memorized."  

He let out an amused whistle and gave her a sidelong glance, "You do?”

Before you could answer, one of the Dapper Dans gave you a look and walked over to you as the rest joined in to sing the next verse. As you sang along pleased as could be, Hawks didn’t appear to like what he was seeing despite the small grin on his lips. You didn’t notice his wing having curled behind you until the quartet retreated back to their spot and finished their song. You gave it a raised eyebrow before turning it to him with a smug smirk of your own.

“Are we two children looking out for each other? Is that what this is going to be?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Offering a tight-lipped smile her way and zipping it shut, Hawks shrugged his shoulder lightly. 

Sure thing, bud. Well, there was definitely more to see than this so you quickly took him away to the rest of the park.


“You know, I’d appreciate this whole 'getting wet’ situation better if it weren’t in this kind of circumstance.” Scrunching your nose at his innuendo, you smacked his chest lightly getting a gruff chuckle from him as you stepped forward, your turn for Splash Mountain coming ever closer. His dark sunglasses raised over his head, Hawks scratched at the spot you hit before leaning in to be heard better over the noise in the cluttered tunnel. “What’s a guy to think after an hour of standing so close to such a beauty as yourself, angel?”

“We were on my phone playing games most of that time.” Said phone was in your hand as you exited out of every game you downloaded for this very occasion. You had a hunch that Hawks wouldn’t be too keen about waiting in long lines so you prepared yourself as well as you could with every type of game imaginable. Not to mention extra batteries for charging your phone. It amazed you how even those only kept his attention for so long. “Even that didn’t last longer than what, 45 minutes before you started texting Endeavor-san?" 

Scoffing at the mention of the No.1 hero and his own personal favorite one, Hawks checked his phone one last time to see if Endeavor had responded to that last dumb text he’d sent. "What can I say? It’s easy and fun to rile up the old man."  

"I’d imagine he would be when you’re bothering him on his day off,” you reminded him. 

“He likes me too much to ignore me.”

“Tolerates you is more like it.”

“You hurt me, sweetheart. Right here, like a knife twisting in my poor, poor heart.” Exaggerating his pout, Hawks patted at his chest not much higher of where you’d smacked him a few moments ago. Rolling your eyes at his flamboyance, you moved up the line more and meant to turn to talk to him about that when he surprised you, leaning forward and wrapping his arms around you from behind.

There wasn’t any denying how much your heart skipped at having him so ridiculously close to you. He was leaning over in a way that let him press his whiskered cheek against yours and easily wrap his arms over your shoulders. “W-What are you doing?" 

Hawks lifted his phone and held it a little bit away from you, the front camera showing the picture about to be taken if he pressed the button his thumb hovered over. 

"Say cheese, my love.” A soft click went off and he lowered the phone to look at the picture but didn’t move away an inch, his breath brushing against your exposed collarbone as he inspected the photo. “I don’t think I told you but you look cute in your outfit.”

“T-Thanks." 

Even as you moved forward—with the few people in front of you, you guessed that the next log would be yours—he didn’t move away from you. Instead he easily fell in tandem with your steps and followed right behind you. It wasn’t hard to admit that having him so close, the warmth of his body practically permeating onto you, felt rather nice. 

Knowing your mind would go places you didn’t want it to if you left it to its own devices, you kept going at the topic he’d brought up. "Mako chose this for me.”

“Well, she surely knows what looks good on you then, because you look lovely.”

“She said the same thing. Also said something about me dressing my age instead of like some old secretary.”

“Well, that’s just mean,” he pouted, his wings coming to huddle on either side of you as you moved into the small partitioned area you had to wait at. 

“Ditto." 

You couldn’t say much more as the log approached and you were told to enter it. Because of Hawks’ wings, you were assigned the back end of the log. Policy, they said. Apparently those people with cumbersome Quirks rode on the back. Thank goodness too because the front was just not the best place to be if you wanted to stay relatively dry. Not like the back was any better. Though double seated, you had to scoot a little bit more because of his massive wings. But as the log moved forward you tapped his shoulder and leaned over to whisper in his ear, "Mind losing some feathers, pidge? I’m a little cramped over here.”

His cheeks inflated a little as he frowned down at you. “I left most of them at home, mind you, and you’re still calling me fat?”

“What? No, I’d never—how did you even come to that stupid conclusion.”

Snorting at your reaction, he lost the frown pretty quickly and let out a boisterous laugh just as the log took its first big dive. Though knowing it was there, you still were taken by surprise, more so because of Hawks’ sudden joyous cry as he raised his arms on the way down. The waves splashed around, jumping onto you and wringing a surprised squeak out as your skirts dampened a little. Moving your leg over his to avoid the worst of it, you felt Hawks’ arm come around from behind you to grab your waist and hold you in place.

“Don’t think we’re allowed to have lap seats, sweetheart, but I won’t tell if you don’t.”

“Quiet, you—oh, look!” Patting his leg a couple of times, you pointed out at the animals that popped in and out as the log went along its due course. You hummed the tune under your breath, stopping only long enough to fill in the gaps that Hawks didn’t know about this particular story. Apparently this was his first time coming here and he knew close to nothing about the place. Surprising, really, with how wealthy he was.  

Though I guess only some grown ups are as obsessed with this place as I am.

Shaking that thought away, you did your best to enjoy the ride as it went along. Not hard really, as you tapped your feet to the song you hummed along to. The next dive took you for an even bigger drop and had you screaming a little as the water crashed against you, wetting your side. Hawks squawked beside you, his wings curling flush against you both as he tried to spare them from getting too wet. As the jovial song changed to its darker counterpart, Hawks bent his head down closer to you to be heard over the animatronics. Instinctively, you leaned in to hear him better, not minding him so close to your face now that you were lost elsewhere. 

“Quite grim for a child’s ride, no?”

Chuckling at his comment, you cupped your hand over his ear as the log began climbing up the inclined slope for the big final dive. “I don’t think they like the story as much as they do the splashing.” When he raised an eyebrow at you, you only raised a finger for him to listen beyond the singing voices to hear the shrieks of the people ahead of them as they fell down. 

“How likely are we to get wet?”

“No idea!" 

Shaking his head at how you could be so happy about this, he clutched onto your waist as you got to the top of the incline and finally tipped over. The splash came in a flash and it had you both laughing your hearts out by the end of it. Hawks carded his fingers through somewhat wet hair as the animals started singing 'Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah’ making you forget completely about your damp legs. You started whistling along to the tune almost instantly, your head bobbing side to side as you did so. The chuckle that you heard from him made you turn to catch him as he leaned in close to your face. Doing that at the same time, his lips brushed against your jaw as he whispered against your ear, "Gotta say, if this is what it takes for me to see your smiling face more often, they might as well just sign us up for that annual pass already.”

You felt your cheeks flush at the comment and his close proximity but forgetting that for a bit, you simply chuckled and brought his head closer to yours to nuzzle against as thanks for the suggestion. The instant you did that, you felt his wings stiffen behind you and glanced over your shoulder to peek at them as the log came to a stop, your hand still cupping the other side of his face. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong with them, but you asked him anyway after you two got off and out of the attraction’s waiting area. 

“ ’s nothing, love. They’re just a little wet is all.” Giving himself some space, Hawks spread out his wings behind him and ruffled each individual feather all at the same time, spraying droplets all over the place. You covered your face instantly as he did this to spare yourself the second splash and giggled as he took one wing into his hands to card his fingers through them to smooth them over. “A little 'you might get soaked’ would’ve been greatly 'preciated, though.”

“Hey, there was a warning at the start of the ride’s line remember?” As you say this, you walked up and took his other wing in hand, sparing a glance at what he was doing to do the same yourself on the other. 

The feathers gently moved as your fingers carded through it as if caressing your hand, or simply relishing in the sensation. You were so focused on the task that you didn’t realize when Hawks had come up so close to you, his head bending down slightly to whisper in your ear, “You’ve got such gentle hands.”

Swallowing down the lump that got so suddenly stuck in your throat, you tried your best to concentrate on what you were doing instead of his haughty, low voice next to you. But your mind, for some reason, didn’t get the memo in time and let slip what it was thinking instead. “You feel that?”

“Yeah.” His other wing curled around you, hiding you from the rest of the oncoming crowd as his hand fell over yours, his fingers delicately twining through yours through his crimson plumage. “It’s rather nice and comforting…your touch.”

The way he said that flushed your face so much that you swore it matched the dark shade of his crimson wings. Clearing your throat to get those thoughts away from your mind, you patted his wing with your other free hand before taking a couple of steps away to give you space to breathe. And think. 

“W-We should get going.”

“Sure thing, love,” he gave a small tug to your hands that were still clasped together, fingers entwined between each other. “Where to next?" 

Hawks wasn’t holding it tight enough for your hands to be locked together. You could tell that they would easily fall apart if you simply pulled away. Thing was you didn’t like that idea. Of him letting go of you. Not one bit.  

So don’t. 

It wasn’t wrong. Whatever happened here didn’t concern the outside, after all. This was your happy place. Your safe haven away from a world that you just…didn’t like in the least. And if just for today, that happiness came from spending it with this man then who were you to deny yourself that little piece of heaven? 

Mind made up, you tightened your hold on your joined hands and shared a small genuine smile with him. "It’s not far. But I’m sure there’s a long line so we should hurry there, Haw—”

Before you could finish your sentence, his lips brushed gently against yours keeping you from saying his hero name aloud. Though utterly taken aback by the gesture, you didn’t dislike it at all. His wings covered for you pretty well and it was just a small kiss. A little tiny kiss on the lips that sent your heart soaring. Hawks didn’t force you beyond that and instead took a few steps away to give you some space while his hand still held onto yours.  

“Sorry about that but…we agreed on no hero names today, remember?”

Though you felt your cheeks ready to burst from how warm they were, you pouted at him for the cheeky ass move he made. “You could’ve just reminded me like a normal person, you over sized pigeon.”

That wolfish grin you knew so well came to his lips at your words, “Aw, but where’s the fun in that?” When you didn’t chastise him any further, he let his wings fall and tucked them against his back once more before tugging at your hand for you to lead the way. 

Sighing a little while shaking your head at his antics, you smiled all the same, leading him away while still walking right by his side. Boy, this was going to be a long day. Hopefully, one you’d never forget. 

Chapter Text

“Come on, relax. Try to enjoy this!”

“I can’t, Mako.”

“Girl, it’s your wedding day and I’m the one who’s starting to freak simply by looking at how stressed you are.”

Though you’re sure it’s meant to be reassuring, that Makoto kept trying to brush back the one unruly strand of your hair that never wants to cooperate only to fail adds to your wrecked nerves. She must’ve noticed your annoyance though, as she stops altogether and gives you one of her bright signature smiles. Simply seeing it makes you return the gesture, but she’d have to make do with your lopsided excuse for a smile instead. ‘Cause as things stood, you weren’t up for much more.

Makoto would have to correct her bs-o-meter though, because you weren’t a complete nervous wreck. A good part of you is actually happy–ecstatic more like it–about the mere fact of finally getting married. You had never thought the idea as surreal and magnificent as many of your relatives and friends made it out to sound like at first. Weddings were enjoyable to you because they gave an excuse to leave the boring routine of life and allow you fun with plenty of drinks involved. Now that it’s finally your day, you realized what all the big fuzz was about. And you came to realize that it isn’t so much the day itself as with whom you chose to be with on that day. And your man of choice certainly had been a doozy of a ride.

Even with Hawks being the No.2 hero in all of Japan, your relationship with him over the years had truly been grand. Sure, it hasn’t been without its wonderful highs and super ridiculous lows, but the fact that even after all that transpired, you two remained a part of each other’s lives was testament of what your love meant. You loved him, no question about it. You loved the way he woke you up with tender kisses every morning, and gingerly wrapped his arms around you at night to soothe you to sleep. How he wasn’t at all deterred by what slander got thrown his way but fought heaven and earth if anyone even said anything remotely horrible about you. The little ways he said 'I love you’ without doing so; waking up early when he could to make breakfast for you two, pulling you out of work when he knew you just weren’t up to it anymore, saying sweet nothings only for you to hear exactly when you needed to hear them. Every little thing he did told you so much about what he felt that you swore your heart was always ready to burst from how much he adored you, and you welcomed it with open arms.

Now, after years of being together and him asking for your hand felt surreal. But not in the way everybody said it’d be though. No. This is way more than that. Hawks is much more than that to you.

Which brings you back to the predicament of just why the hell your mind is so at odds with itself, simultaneously elated and terrified as could be. You want to walk down that aisle. You want say yes so, so badly. And yet your stomach turns on itself, threatening to expel absolutely everything you had for breakfast that morning. 

Finally noticing that something isn’t all that right after all, Makoto kneels before you, sincere concern etched on her sweet features. “You need a minute, sweetie?” You swear your head would’ve popped off from how hard you nodded had it not been attached to your shoulders. Giving a small pat to your shoulder as she stands and heads to the door, Makoto only holds off briefly to look back at you. “I’ll stall for as long as I can. And also, I don’t know if it’s what you’d want but it may do you well to remember that you’re not them.”

Even the mere insinuation of that hits you like a truck going at 100 miles the hour. Mako has always seen right through you—most of the times, about things you don’t want to see about yourself—and she’d done it again. This time on a matter you hadn’t even realized you were thinking about until now. 

She’s right, I’m not them. I’m not my father, I’m not mother, and I’m certainly not the dirt bag she remarried and that hurt—

Just thinking about it makes bile rise up your throat. Swallowing before you somehow mess up your gown isn’t enough to keep the distaste out of your mouth or the claustrophobia out of your mind. All at once, the walls start caving in on you and as you start hyperventilating, all you can think of is air. You need fresh air. Now. 

Without a second thought, you haul the trail of your gown and head opposite of where Makoto left to the other exit that led out to—honestly, you have no idea where but at this point anywhere was better than being in this tiny room. Running in high heels proves too much after awhile though. Thankfully, a small garden at the church you are in is empty. You suppose it’s a private one since it’s completely vacant too. That no other soul’s in sight actually made breathing in the cold morning air much easier. Not caring where your feet take you for now, you come to sit at one of the stone benches scattered across the gardens which faced the small pond a few feet away. Thinking about nothing did you good and you let your mind empty of every thought it could as you busy yourself with smoothing the imaginary creases on your dress skirt.

But none of that does any good. Emptying your mind only served to chase the good and random thoughts out, leaving the harrowing ones that kept nagging at the back of it in. Before they can completely swallow you and tear you down into a mess of tears, a familiar voice calls out from behind you.

“Hey… everything alright?” You can’t fathom how such simply words could harbor so much love and concern in them. Glancing over you shoulder, you can’t help the small chuckle that escapes you—even through the tears pricking at your eyes—at seeing Hawks all dressed up like he’s never been before. Those crimson wings, however, stuck out all the same, just like they always did, as they spread to either side of him to curl around you as he steps closer. Not wanting for him to see you like this on what was supposed to be such a joyous occasion for the two of you, you hang your head to wipe at your eyes. 

“Don’t.” Gingerly, he takes your hands in his and away from your face prompting you to lift your gaze to meets his. Though perplexed, you can clearly see the worry in his eyes as well. “You can cry if you want. But would you mind telling me what you’re so sad about that it’d make you want to do that?”

Hawks has never treated you like a child. He knew you preferred to deal with your problems on your own pace and terms and he let you do that. But through the years together, he also came to realize just how much of a double-edged sword that could be. It became pretty evident to Hawks just to what extremes you would push yourself to without saying anything to anybody—not even him—and how dangerous that was for you. You’d gotten better at talking things out—with him at first and then little things with others—but you still had a long way to go too. And you recognized his way of asking for permission to be let in, wanting to help carry whatever burdens you.

So you let him.

“…I’m scared…” 

His head tilts to one side as his brow knits down at your words. That windswept hair of his comes a little undone at the simple motion which takes a dry chuckle from your throat. Reaching up, you card your fingers through it trying to mend what must’ve taken so long for him to do. But as your eyes drift downward to meet his, it’s useless disregarding what you just said for much longer than that. “…I’ve stayed up for nights on end thinking about how happy I am, about how happy you make me, about how much of a dream come true this is for me. And the more I thought about that, the more I couldn’t help think that maybe…it might just be that. A dream.”

“y/n…”

“I think…what I’m truly scared of is this being too real to be true. Just like how it was back then. It’ll be amazing and beautiful until it’s not and I’m left…hurting again.”

Without warning, Hawks leans down and wraps his arms around you, holding on like his life depended on it. His wings cradle you tenderly like a small piece of heaven it is. Everything about him soothes you out of the horrid memory that rose in your mind and you settle in, head resting on the crook of his neck and you hands coming to grasp at his back just between his shoulder blades and wings. 

“I know that my words do little to comfort you sometimes. That what happened won’t go away completely and every so often I can’t do much to assure you of anything.” His embrace tightens even more but you don’t mind it. Having him close has always been better than his absence. “But I’ll do it anyway because it’s what I’ve set myself out to do.”

What? “…what do you mean?”

Letting go of you to better meet your gaze, one of his hands comes to cradle your cheek and you welcome it graciously, leaning in to savor his warm touch. It’s real. Closing your eyes to take a deep breath and let your nerves settle further, you open them to meet his amber gaze as it locks on yours. 

“I love you, y/n. I’ve said it a thousand times and I’ll say it a thousand more until all you can ever think about is that. Until you don’t ever think about this being a dream ever again. It’s not, love. This is real. You’re my everything and have given me everything I’ve ever wanted. That’s a dream I never thought I’d see come true. But it has. It came true with you, because of you. So trust me when I say that if you think yours is true too, then it is. No ifs or buts about it.” 

Your heart soars with every word he says and your lips turn upwards into a smile that, albeit small, couldn’t be any more true. At seeing this, Hawks finally smiles again. This time it’s his signature smirk that you love and simply that melts you. Finally, he leans in and brushes his lips against yours. The gesture is gentle and soft and your left breathless because of it. He leans forward again, this time to lay his forehead against yours as he says, “And I’ll be damned before I ever hurt you, y/n. Of that, you can be sure as hell about.”

“Much confidence,” you mutter under your breath. 

Hawks chuckles, catching your inadvertent reference that lightens both your moods. “Such wow.”

Actual laughter bursts from you at him joking along and you hold onto your stomach a little from how hard that takes you by surprise. You pull a little away to wipe at your eyes one last time before reaching out and embracing him as tight as you can to whisper at his ear.

“Thank you for loving me.”

“I’m the one who should be thankful, y/n.” His arms come around you once more and return the gesture, “For letting me love you.” Once you pull away and he gives you a little time to recover, Hawks nods over his shoulder at the cathedral. “Heard there’s a wedding going on. Some second-rate hero and a gorgeous, topnotch journalist.”

“Yeah,” you say, scrunching your nose at his descriptions, “I also heard they’re always late to everything though, so I don’t think there’s much of a hurry.”

“True enough.” Hawks offers his arm and you take it to help yourself off from the stone bench. As you make your way back into the cathedral, you stop in your tracks, stopping Hawks as well as he turns to you. “Something wrong?”

You shake your head but before taking another step, you lean in and kiss him, this time much more deeply than the tender kiss he gave you before. Hawks isn’t taken aback for too long before he reciprocates deepening it even further. It lasts a long wile that ends with you two a tad bit breathless in the end. A wolfish grin spreads across his face, his amber eyes glinting as he looks at you.

“You know, that sort of kissing happens after the reverend says ‘you may kiss the bride’.”

“Really?” You play along with a mischievous grin of your own. “I always thought those types of kisses were for the wedding night.”

Hearing this makes one of his eyebrows raise and his smirk spreads even broader from cheek to cheek. “Is that a suggestion to skip the ceremony and reception I;m hearing?”

Putting a finger to your pursed lips, you pretend to give his idea some thought before shaking your head as you chuckle. “Don’t think our guests would appreciate that too much.”

The only response Hawks gives is a dismissive shrug of his shoulders, the grin never leaving his lips. “Not like they paid for any of it, anyway.”

“True. But Makoto promised me the fluffiest cake in existence and several people, myself included, have bets on that.” Just as he opens his mouth to interrupt, you raise a finger and put it against his lips to quiet him with a grin that mimics his. “I also bet that she wouldn’t find me the most delicious yakitori in Japan for the reception and since I’m no expert on the matter, I might need someone who is on my side.”

Letting a laugh out at that one, Hawks takes your hand in his to kiss the inside of your palm before entwining your hands together. “For you, love, I’ll gladly eat the whole coop of chickens it came from.”

“You’d eat it regardless.” Pulling him along to continue heading back to the ceremony, you tuck your arm back under his without letting go of his hand and give him a big smile. “First, though, we’ve gotta go do the whole ‘I do’ thing.”

“Ah, yes. Technicalities.”

“Technicalities?”

“Yep.” Those amber eyes stare down at you as you two slow down at finally reaching the door that leads to the main part of the cathedral. On the other side, you cant hear a light chorus starting up, muffled by the closed doors but clearly signaling your arrival. Thought it’ll surely be a surprise for all your guests to see both the groom and bride to walk side by side.

“Cause, at the end of the day, no matter what you ask of me, I’ll always say ‘I do’.”

“Funny.” A genuine smile comes to you then as you squeeze his hand and he tightens his hold back ever so tenderly in response. “I was just thinking the same exact thing.” 

Chapter Text

This had been an utter shock to you. Before the day had even started you’d gone out of your way to convince yourself, thoroughly and absolutely, that this outing was only between friends. ‘Friends’ as in 'a pair of grown adults with more or less particularly dubious intentions towards one another’ but friends all the same. But as the day had gone by and you enjoyed the rest of Tokyo Disneyland with Hawks, you admitted that this stopped being a plain outing between friends a long time ago.

It had ever since that small tender kiss at the start of your day together. And as it went by, though he hadn’t tried again anything so brazen so far and was still his talkative self, Hawks’ usual cheesy one liners that you were so used to deflecting turned subtler and more tasteful. Things like small words or touches here and there that you couldn’t make yourself dismiss as easily as before. Maybe this whole trip had just turned your brain completely upside down, but a part of you didn’t see much wrong with that now. Frankly, after having that little taste and him being just that bit more tactful, it was kind of endearing you to him much more than anything else had before.

But thinking too much about that didn’t let you have any fun. So instead you set it aside, basking in the joy of spending time with him in your favorite place on earth instead. Both of you stumbled out of the Mad Hatter’s tea cups unsteady on your feet. Sparing the hero beside you a glance and seeing his face a tad bit on the green side, you feared that this ride might be the one to finally break him. Though Hawks tried to laugh it off as nothing, you knew better by the way he looked and went to buy him some water at the nearest vendor. Passing through the crowd on your way back, you searched for the massive red wings that wee way easier to spot than the man himself but you stop in your tracks, not finsing him as alone as you left him.

“Oh my goodness, my friends are gonna freak when they see this!” 

The high-pitched shriek of a highschooler came to your ears as you saw said girl standing near Hawks who apparently was well enough to take a picture with them. And it didn’t stop at her despite how much you hopelessly prayed it would. No, with their single ‘thanks, Hawks’ that easily spread through, a crowd quickly formed around him with incoherent babble being sent his way. It got to the point where they were even pushing you back, and despite how much you wanted to shove them out of your way, you knew that wouldn’t be the wisest idea. 

So you stayed on the sidelines instead, watching from afar as he pleased the people he protected and that admired him in return throughout Japan. Though you knew this might as well be normal for him, you couldn’t help but feel a little part of you break at being quite literally shoved to the side. It wasn’t like you didn’t know this could happen either. Although it wouldn’t be hard to miss him if one cared to look hard enough, Hawks and you had decided to not use his hero name for a reason. It would just attract unwanted attention when all you wanted for the day was to have a good day together. And seeing him mobbed so easily in a public place only reminded you about another reason why you adhered so tightly to your personal ‘no heroes’ rule. There simply was no way to have a ‘private life’. They were a public figure and as such were expected to stand at the ready for the limelight that came with such a title as pro hero. And that was a place that you wanted no part in whatsoever. 

Opting to let him deal with his crowd, you headed on your own towards the shops nearby. Since he was technically accompanying you for the day, you supposed that waiting for him would be the civil thing to do. Eyeing the rows upon rows of headbands and hats, you peered each one looking for one to your liking. Picking the new gold rose ears you’d seen online, the color reminded you of an ashy blond head that was outside the store. The thought alone soured your mood a little. 

“Those’d look cute on you." 

Though you would have rather not answer, the bitterness piling up in you—with no good damn reason to be there, mind you—beat you to the punch.

"I don’t know. Don’t you think it’d look cuter on that girl from back there?”

“What?”

Catching yourself with how petty and stupid what you said just sounded, you shook your head to deviate from your previous words. “Nevermind. I’m going to pay, so you can just wait outside if you want.”

“…sure.”

Truth was you didn’t really want to buy anything. You just wanted some excuse to stay at bay while you composed yourself. What you saw hit much harder than you expected it to. Hawks was a famous, young, and prominent hero. Of course there’d be people out there who idolized him. And the 'young’ part obviously meant there’d be women out there with their eye on him. You’d seen it plenty of times before but they never pained you like they did now and you couldn’t help but wonder why.

Just forget about it. You’re just torturing yourself over petty things. Besides it’s not like you two are a thing or anything.

That bitter reminder dealt the worst blow. You really had no right to be even remotely jealous about anything and the mere thought of that hurt. 

And that it was starting to ruin your most favorite place—your little haven away from the rest of the world—was just the worst of it all. So you decided to not let it do that. You came here to have fun and that would be what you’d do. You took a deep breath as you exited the shop wearing the ears, vowing to just forget what happened earlier in the day and enjoy what time you had left there. Finding Hawks outside by himself, you notice the crimson feathers of his wings preen as you approached. His boyish smile shone through but it did little against your renewed resolve. 

“Told you they’d be cute on you,” he said nonchalantly.

“Mm.”

Almost immediately, the smile vanished as confusion replaced it and his lips became a taut line. “Everything okay?”

No. “Everything’s fine. I’m just tired.”

“Want to head home early?”

Shake your head is all you did before you headed onward through the park with Hawks, understandably, perplexed. He seems to shove that aside though and you both continue on…but with one notable difference between you. Anytime he tried to make any kind of move, you diverted it. Anytime he tried to reach for your hand, you took it away to do mindless things like brush back your hair or point out to where you wanted to go. Anytime he tried to cradle you closer to him with his wings, you would take a few steps away or simply keep your distance. 

It might be petty but it was the only way to feel safe anymore. Safe from being hurt like you had just a few hours ago. Safe from falling for him anymore than you already had. 

Hawks, though clearly aware of what you were doing, didn’t mention any of it. A part of you thanked him for that. Pretty soon, the atmosphere between you returned to what it had been before that kiss, just friends out having fun though that awkward air never quite left you. Nighttime soon came and the whole park lighted up beautifully, the glow shinning in your eyes as you headed back to the area near the castle. The fireworks were the best thing about staying late at the park and would be a wonderful way to end your trip. But as you neared the plaza you pouted at seeing it much fuller than you expected it to be.

You couldn’t even make your way through to get to a good viewing spot.

Hawks whistled audibly even through the ruckus of thousands of people talking to one another. “Looks packed.”

“I knew we should’ve gotten here earlier,” you muttered to yourself, peeved. Knowing that this was going to be a big event should’ve hinted at you that the fireworks show would be more crowded than usual. Heaving a sigh, you stood on your tiptoes trying to look over the crowd which consisted mostly of people that easily towered over you. “Guess we can just watch from here.”

“We could, but I think I’ve got a better idea." 

Before you could ask him what he meant, you felt his hands slip onto your waist to hold on tightly. Clearing away from the crowd, you couldn’t do much except hold on when Hawks took off haphazardly into the air. Thankfully you didn’t go far. With practiced ease, he lowered the two of you onto one of the rooftops of Main Street perfectly in view of the castle as a whole. 

Awed by such perfect spot, you turned to look at him, "Is this even allowed?”

“Called beforehand to make sure it would be, so don’t worry.” You were so giddy about having such a perfect place that you didn’t mind Hawks as he took your hand to lower you down to a sit on the flat top of the roof. “Just said that we should be seated throughout the whole show.”

As the announcer came claiming the show would begin in a few minutes, you stared down at the people in awe until a thought came to you. Turning to Hawks quizzically and with a raised eyebrow, you asked, “Why bother?”

He gave a nonchalant shrug, a smile forming on those lips of his. “You looked pretty excited about this, so I wanted to make sure you wouldn’t miss anything.”

A tinge of guilt hit you at hearing this, especially after having been so cold to him when things had been going so well up until your pettiness struck. Unable to make heads or tails of your own mind, you decided to ask instead, “What I don’t get is why bother so much for me?”

“I don’t think there’s anything to get.”

“That’s because you get why you do what you do. I don’t. No matter how much I think about it, I can’t figure out what you’re thinking. Ever. Much less why. So, I’m going to ask you again and I want you to answer me with the truth this time—no jokes, no sarcasm. Why are you always doing so much for me. Not just this either. All the little things from before too. When there’s so many others out there that you could easily have and are better suited, why come after me?”

“Quite the loaded question,” he said with a lopsided smirk. A frown instantly came to your face at him defaulting to his smugness. A stern 'Hawks’ sobered him out of it as the smirk vanished and was then replaced by a taut line of his lips instead. "I guess it can be boiled down to one reason.“

Curious at his honesty, your head tilted to listen to him better. "What’s that?”

“You’re everything I’m not. You’re everything I wish I could be. Everything I admire in others in one very small packet.”

“What do you mean?”

“That you’re beautiful and conscientious barely scratch the surface of it. Though they don’t matter as much as you being caring, hopeful, and—by the looks of it—quite the believer.” His arm swept out at the brightly lit castle and the magical place below us. “And I’m not just talking about your charming childishness either. No matter how much you claim to not like how crude and nonsensical everything about this world and its people is, you never stop believing that it can be better if we try to change it. You believe there’s something beyond all the senseless evil in people and what they do. You believe there’s good. And you have no idea how much I would like to believe that too." 

"That’s why?”

Giving a simple nod, Hawks turned back to you with a much more sincere smile than before. “That’s why. And frankly, that makes you quite easy and worthwhile to love.”

Hearing that word from his lips flushed your cheeks almost instantly. And though you tried hiding it, there wasn’t much that could hide the warmth that spread quickly across your face. A low chuckle came from him as he reached for one of your hands that was desperately trying to hide your face and took it in his. This time you didn’t take it back and watched as he brought it up to his lips to lay a gentle kiss to the back of it. 

“Now it’s your turn to tell the truth, love. After what happened to today, can you honestly tell me to my face that you feel nothing for me?”

Though you don’t think it possible, you felt your face heat up more at his assumption. Not so much because it was wrong but because of how blunt he was being. Averting your eyes was the only way you could even begin to tell him the truth. “I-I won’t lie and say I don’t feel nothing but…wouldn’t it be hard?”

“Hard?”

“Being with you, I mean.” The hold you had on his hand tightened, not wanting to let go anytime soon. “You’re the No.2 hero for crying out loud. So many things could happen that just thinking about them makes my head spin. I don’t know if I could take all that. I don’t know if I am the best person to stand by your side with everybody else already relying on you to protect them.”

“I could think of no other woman strong or brave enough to be with. But I won’t force you, love. It’s as much my choice as it is yours." 

You didn’t miss the subtle question in his words. "Really? You’re asking me out now? Here?”

Though small, you were sure that his smile wanted so badly to turn into a grin. “Well, since neither of our offices is good for that, nor are interviews, I thought that maybe this would be the best place I’d get the chance to.” Instantly, it disappeared becoming a much more sincere smile. “So what do you say, y/n? Want to make this our first real date?”

Your eyes wandered off as the lights all across the park began to dim. Though many things contradicted your feelings telling you not to take the risk, one thought rose above it all and spoke louder than the rest. 

But what if he makes you happy? Isn’t that reason enough to say yes.

Yeah. Yeah, it was.

Dark as it was and with the music starting to play through the loudspeakers in the plaza, you found one way to tell him this. Reaching out to take his cheek and jaw in your hand, you turned his attention away from the castle to capture his lips with yours. Just as you did this, you jumped in your skin, taken by surprise by the firework that exploded in the sky. Thankfully, Hawks was fast enough to hold you by the waist, securing you in place and deepening the kiss you started.

Savoring the taste of him for the brief moment it lasted, you couldn’t peel your eyes away from his as the lights of the fireworks illuminated his face. But you couldn’t keep the small chuckle that escaped you either at seeing his own face darkened in red. Conscious about it at last, he tried hiding it behind the short collar of his jacket but when he couldn’t, it burst another chuckle out of you. Shuffling to sit closer, you leaned your head on his shoulder to watch the fireworks show. Hawks, finally snapping out of his stupor after another moment or two, did the same, leaning his cheek against the top of your head to watch it with you. With your hands held together between you two and his wings cradling you close so that you wouldn’t leave his side now that you were willingly there, you watched the fireworks come and go, dying down as the show ended. And though it signaled the end of the day and your trip together, you knew this was just the first of many more dates to come.


 

Though the park was just closing, you knew that Downtown Disney wouldn’t close for another hour. And frankly, you wanted to get something to remember this day by. Besides, what was one more souvenir gonna do to the stash you already had from all the times you visited? As you looked through the plush section trying to decide whether a Stitch or Winnie the Pooh one would be better, you felt something brush against your back as hands came down over your head to put a headband on. Whirling about, you breathed an air of relief at finding Hawks behind you with a cheeky smirk on his face.

Smacking him lightly with the other pair you had already bought before, you tried reaching back to see what he’d gotten but was stopped rather quickly by him. 

“Nuh-uh. You gotta look at yourself with them on, angel.”

“Oh, come on.”

“Trust me, you look amazing.” Grabbing you by the shoulders, Hawks easily took you to the nearest mirror and the moment you looked at yourself, you felt and saw your cheeks fluster as your heart flipped. The ears he’d gotten were the bride Minnie ones, veil and all shimmering gorgeously in the light. “See? Charming.” Eyeing him through the reflection on the mirror, his smirk widened at noticing the color of your face. “Though I’ll say that an actual veil and pretty white gown would make you look simply breathtaking.”

Not thinking it possible, you felt your face warm even further as you took the veil to try and hide your face with it, only managing to obscure your mouth as you mumbled, “You’re rather blunt about this, aren’t you?”

“What can I say?” Hawks leaned in to rest his cheek against yours as you both looked at each other through the mirror once more. “Once I’ve set my mind on something, I just can’t hold myself back.”

Chapter Text

Hawks had to admit that, in certain situations, having such mighty Quirk didn’t always equal to power that let him do anything. Truly, ‘control’ and 'power’ were more of an illusion than anything. And that illusion translated into another, one of a hero who, because he was made from such a young age to fulfill his role given by society, could do anything.

Save everybody.

Things Hawks knew where nothing but lies.

Though he was aware of this, the reality and gravity of such thought didn’t sink into him until one particular night–the night he spotted you just sitting atop one of the highest buildings around his neighborhood. He’d gone out to take a leisure fly around and visit some convenience store after hours of tossing and turning in his bed when he found you just sitting around staring skyward into the darkness overhead that obscured the starlit sky. Curious, Hawks landed and approached you, startling you somewhat.

“Sorry,” he frankly apologized while the rubbing the back of his neck and giving you smile. “Didn’t mean to scare you.”

“It’s alright,” you said, the faint trace of a smile upturning yours lips as you gripped your shoes tightly in your hands. Hawks noticed then that you were barefoot, sitting very near the edge of the building. “I didn’t think anybody flew around this late at night.”

Feigning disconcern about your rather obviously concerning state, his smile broadened. “Everybody needs a break every now and then.”

“Truly, that they do.”

Though he found it somewhat overbearing, it was that exact heaviness that clung in the air that forced him to step closer and keep the conversation going. “You seem like you could use one too.”

Swiftly, he took out one of the beers he got and passed it along to one of his feathers to take the beverage closer to you. Somehow it felt rather intrusive to approach as you were now. Something told him that that just wasn’t what you needed right now. His feather left the beer just by your side and you eyed the can curiously for a moment before taking it gingerly in your hands. Though you didn’t open it right away, your hands gripped the cold can tightly. Like an anchor of sorts. A strange, cold anchor in an already gelid night. Taking a few tentative steps closer, he only walked as close as you allowed it–the subtle glance over your shoulder signal enough for him to stay where he was–before his vibrant wings cradled around you to keep the cold breeze away as you finally cracked open the can and took a sip. Hawks followed suit, the cracking of his own can reverberating just as much as yours had. In serene silence, you two drank, and while you could not take away your eyes from the sky, Hawks couldn’t keep his away from you.

A foreboding feeling sank in his stomach, like something was twisting his gut and pleading him to act. To do something. About what, he could honestly imagine, but he didn’t want to jump to such outrageous conclusions. Not without any evidence at least.

That in mind, his mouth moved on its own as he tried talking to you, hoping not to find any sustenance for his foreboding ideas. “Were you expecting someone?”

Qauntily, you shook your head. When that was all the reply you provided, Hawks prodded further.

“It’s kinda of dangerous for a woman to be out in the open like this so close to 3 in the morning, wouldn’t you say?”

“I don’t have to walk far,” you intervened, for once in the conversation sparing a glance downwards beyond the roof you sat on to the city below. “I live on the floor below.”

“Couldn’t sleep either then?”

“Most nights can’t.”

“Ah, an insomniac.”

“No. Just don’t feel like sleeping.” Your gaze went skyward for a brief second before turning back over your shoulder at Hawks. “And pardon or not the crudeness but what does a hero care?”

“Many reasons,” he exaggerated. Which made sense, because if asked, Hawks knew he wouldnt be able to name more than the one that stuck out like a sore thumb in his mind. “Mostly that it’s rare to see a night owl so high up. It got me curious.”

“Curiosity kills cats.”

“Good thing I’m not one then,” he said with a gentle movement of his wings outward towards you. When the conversation died down again, Hawks tried slowly prying his way in again, wanting to prove his highly imaginative mind wrong. “But people don’t come to look up at the skies when they can’t catch a wink of sleep. Most stay in bed and listen to something, or count sheep or what have you, or even drink something warm. Being here, in the chilly night, seems kinda like…the opposite of wanting to sleep.”

Just barely, Hawks caught the spare glance over your shoulder before you turned to face straight ahead into the city before you both once more. “Many have found peace in high places. Or so I’ve seen.”

“High places are dangerous.”

“Maybe take your own advice.”

Hawks pursed his lips and stopped mid drink to look at you over the rim of the can. “I have wings though.”

You don’t.

“Must be nice then to just fly away whenever you want to.”

“Not exactly.” Now it was his turn to gaze skyward. For a moment he didn’t care to elaborate but when he caught your glance rapt on you just the smallest of bits, he thought it best to. His wings rustled as he moved them for emphasis, “Wings don’t mean much when I’m always needed down there.”

You let out a low pensive hum as you stared down at the city below. “You’re forcibly grounded by us–the ones you’re sworn to protect.”

“Sounds like I’m shackled when you put it that way.”

“Aren’t you though?” How deadpanned you were made Hawks lower his beer and place it down on the floor close to yours, an almost half finished can beside a mostly full one. “Bound by others, I mean; by mostly society. By people who expect you to do something, to be someone they themselves constructed, and where they push their own expectancies onto. You rise to their expectations and all they do is ask for more and when you fail to meet them, it’s you who’s at fault. Not them for placing such absurd goals in the first place. In the end, you lose either way.”

Whoa. Pretty intense. Not wrong though. Especially when considering his background. But that statement seemed just inclusive enough to apply to others aside from him.

“You do have a choice though,” he countered, his fingers turning the can in his hands. “Whether you do it or not, whether you even begin–that’s a choice you make of your own accord. Isn’t it?”

“An illusory one. We all exist to fulfill a role, and whether we fit into that role and how well we do it has always been part of how society judges us.”

“Good has come out of those roles though, thanks to those who fulfill them.”

“For society, yes,” you agreed. “But for those like you, hardly.”

Not finding any way to drive your pessimism away, Hawks frowned and walked up to plop down a few feet beside you, his wings now protecting the two of you from the freezing breeze.

“We do good.” Hawks didn’t know to who he was being so adamant to reassure. “We bring safety and goodwill along with it. Something sorely gone from people nowadays.”

“A legacy is what you find driving?” This being your first question, he didn’t shy away from answering.

“Not really,” he replied, “I want to live that peace in my lifetime. There’s no point in fighting for something you don’t get to experience.”

“Merit then.”

Tired of your over-analyzing, Hawks waved his hand dismissively at you and looked out at the bright lights of the city. “Call it whatever you want. If it’s what I want, then it is my choice. And if its my choice, then its worth pursuing no matter what society has against me.”

For a moment you stopped and Hawks barely heard what sounded like “it’s my choice no matter what, huh.” He didn’t have time to ask about them though as your gaze fell and you grasped the rim of the can between your fingers as you stood, motioning it to him with a faint, forlorn smile coming to your lips. “I’ll give you that one,” she said under her breath before making her way towards the door that surely led into the building.

Hawks zaid nothing, just stood up and watched your back as you left, hearing the loud thud of the door closing behind you. Not trusting that you wouldn’t come back to do what what he guessed you were there to do in the first place, he waited out the dawn there by drinking the hours away and watching the gold and orange hue paint the sky overhead before leaving.

The rest of his day went along like normal with work, catching villains, and going to interviews and shoots, but throughout it, Hawks couldn’t keep the idea of you out of his mind. About how complex your mind was–how your short yet cluttered sentences spoke volumes–keeping him intrigued and wanting to hear more. To know more. Or at the very least learn your name.

Settled on that idea, Hawks left straight out of work and hurried to the only thing he knew for certain about you: your building. But as he approached a couple of things caught him off guard. The crowd of chattering people surrounding the entrance to the foyer of your building and the flashing lights of the police cars and ambulance. A sick feeling, much alike the one he got last night but worse, hit him and lowered him to the ground over the corded section laid out by the police. Coming to the first one he spotted–a lad looking too young for the job–the police officer tipped his hat at seeing him, though his furrowed brow wondered why he was there at all.

“What happened here?” Hawks instantly asked, cutting to the chase.

“Oh, quite the tragic thing, sir.” When he tipped his hat in respect and looked over to where a coroner carried away a body bag with the EMTs’ help, Hawks felt everything stop. “Young lady jumped off her rooftop. Passersby who witnessed it said it all happened too fast for anybody to do anything to stop it.”

God. Let me be wrong.

“Did she–by any chance was she…” Hawks described you as well as he could from what he recalled from the night before.

“That would be her, yes. And excuse my asking but were you two acquainted maybe?”

The question made Hawks pause. No, you weren’t. He didn’t even know your name, for crying out loud. Even calling you acquaintances was too far-fetched. You had been nothing more than strangers who happened to find each other and talk about existential bullshit. That was the truth.

“No.” His answer was concise and curt, as if distancing himself would help the news not hit as hard. Vibrant red wings fanned out only to come back to cocoon himself, as if they could somehow guard him the ravaging emotions hitting him.

It was odd to be this affected by someone’s passing. Especially yours–someone he knew nothing off. Not even a name. But knowing you for those few hours only that one night, reinforced an idea in his mind that he had heard off but hadn’t experienced to such 'personal’ level.

Despite the signs that he clearly saw, he failed to save you from yourself. And in your passing–that of a complete and utter stranger’s–he found more truth in his own words that he ever wanted to.

It’d been your choice to do what you had done. Your choice to not walk away when he decided to perch on your roof. Yours to talk to him when he started the conversation. And ultimately yours to jump the day after.

Over the years as a hero, Hawks learned that his choices could affect so much in this world. But that night with you, he learned that those same choices changed nothing. In the end, he failed you. He saw the signs–he’d been aware to some degree–but even then, he couldn't rightly react to your loudest yet wordless cries for help atop a lonesome rooftop.

The biggest thing Hawks learned after that day was that no matter how fast he was and regardless of the talent he was praised for, he was only human. And that was something not even the most powerful of Quirks would ever change.

Chapter Text

Surreal didn’t begin to describe it. Months on end, you and Hawks flirted like birds during mating season, exchanging quips here and there during work hours. Being the new intern at his office had its perks, you supposed, seeing you got much attention from everybody. But you never thought that your quick-witted yet subtle flirting would ever get you anywhere. That was until Hawks asked you out on a date. In the midst of processing the whole thing, you mindlessly said yes and when asked what you would like to do, you said the first thing that came to mind.

And you guessed an aquarium was an okay place for a first date. That most of the inside exhibits were dark was a definite plus. Helped hide the furious blush that you hoped wouldn’t leave your cheeks a permanent crimson. Wishful thinking, you know? But as you traversed through the dimly lit corridors, pointing out a few interesting exhibits as you went, you couldn’t help feel a little claustrophobic. That it was a weekend made it a little worse too; way too many people crowded the small corridors making it hard to move an inch in any direction. Or even breathe fresh air for that matter.

Soon enough, you found yourself lost in the dark with only the light of the exhibits to light your way but Hawks was nowhere in sight. Not even his ridiculously flashy wings could be seen among the crowd. Gosh. Getting lost was definitely not a good start to your day.

Before you could even head back to wait outside for him, you felt a hand wrap around yours. Warm and tightly gripping your hand, it pulled you out ahead if the crowd into a more open area. It wasn’t until you saw downy feathers falling to the floor that you realized whom it’d been.

A cheeky grin spread across his face now that the two of you were much less sardined in that hall. “Caught myself a cute one here.”

“Thanks for the safe,” you tell him somewhat out of breath and trying to hide your face in your hand.

It’s when you try to pull your hand away but find that you can’t that prompts you too meet his amber eyes that seem to almost glow in the dim lighting.

“Let’s try to keep together, okay?” As Hawks says this, he somehow sneaks his fingers through yours. Not like your protesting much about it though.

A simple nod from you gets that charming smile out of him as he guides you both down the corridor to keep watching.

The next closest exhibit was sea lions and seals. As you exited the dark hall and into a tunnel of clear glass underneath their tank, that became more than clear. The giggling of of children caught your attention and walked over to one particular sea lion that kept playing with the kids by making faces through the glass anytime they got too close. Chuckling at it, you felt a pair of arms slither their way around your waist as Hawks leaned in to watch from the comfort of your shoulder. You seriously hoped he could not hear just how furiously hard your heart was beating at the moment.

Hawks’s features contort into a makeshift grimace, too exaggerated to be a real one but one nonetheless. 

“Sea animals are so weird.”

“They’re adorable,“ you retort, shuffling closer to where the sea lion was after the kids moved on. 

"They’re also the saddest,” he further added to make his point. 

“How so?” Though paying attention to the conversation, you entertained yourself by drawing circles near the glass. It was quite amusing to see the sea lion chasing after your hand, jaw agape and eyes somewhat bulged out. 

“Poor things are trapped in tanks most of their lives.”

“There’s some that live in the ocean too, you know.”

“Same thing,” he clarified, “Just because you can’t see the walls doesn’t make it any less of a prison.”

Pursing yours lips as you thought more about it finally got you to lower your hand and leave the sea lion be. “I didn’t take you for such a downer.”

“Sorry, love. Sometimes my midlife existential crisis pop out unexpectedly.”

Though you knew he was joking, a part of you had an inkling he might have been more truthful than he led on. Hawks quickly diverts the subject away though as he takes you out of the tunnel and into the fresh outside, or at least an open area. More like the kids’ interactive section; Hawks pointed out the petting tanks that instantly had you dragging him to the nearest one. 

Manta rays were cute when they weren’t humongous ass beasts that could kill you. Sitting on the ledge, you carefully stuck your hand in to touch the nearest baby manta ray that laid serenely buried in the sand. 

Turning up to Hawks, you smiled and said, “Touch it.”

“Oh no,” he dismissively waved one hand at you, his smile never leaving despite how suddenly squeamish he became. “No, I’m good. You enjoy that.”

“There’s nothing wrong with it.”

As you try assuring him of this, you see that one ray in particular keeps making rounds around the tank, lifting its light brown flipper up to receive the petting of the many lined up to give it. Finding it the perfect chance, you get Hawks by grabbing him by the hand and getting him to bend over to reach down at the water. Though he protests and his wings flutter a bit coinciding with his struggle, you’re fast enough to hold his fingers in place for long enough. Just as the ray passes by, your fingers and his touch the smooth albeit a little slimy back of its flipper. It amazes you almost instantly how you felt Hawks shudder in your hold. The mere sound of it makes you chortle before bursting out laughing. Hawks simply wipes his hand on his pants, rolling his eyes at you despite a smile coming onto his own lips.

“Laugh it off, go on. It’s the last time that’ll happen.”

“Whatever you say.” Having your fill of the petting area after a few minutes, you both washed your hands and before you know it, hook your arm around his without batting an eye and take him away. “Come on, I think the penguin show is starting soon!” 

Chapter Text

Hawks readily knew two things the moment he got home and crossed his door. 

First was that his girlfriend was still holed up in the study—a room he emptied out in his own apartment after she moved in for her to work in—probably still working on the article her publisher had outlandishly told her to write about. An in-depth article about the past, current, and possible branching futures of hero society after it’s foundation got dismantled. Or something to that effect. Hawks stopped paying attention the moment he caught the hint of politics in it. He just encouraged her the same way he always did, by standing by and giving her space to work the same way she did for him. Though he missed having her around after days of her being cooped up, Hawks had to admit that her stubbornness was something he admired about her. 

It was cute to watch her slowly lose her mind in every sense of the word. Peeking into the small study, he tried his best to do as little noise as possible while opening the door. On the brightly lit room, there she was, staring onto a wall where she’d pinned numerous pictures written notes and other pieces of important information. Looking at those made his head hurt a little, but he could grasp her train of thought after a few minutes of studying her ‘wall of red herrings.’ Red herrings that she somehow managed to uncover with concrete evidence in her finished product. Seriously, with how much work she put into some of her articles, Hawks wondered why she hadn’t become a detective or something. 

Leaving her to herself, Hawks went on to prepare for what he knew well enough would inevitably come in a few hours. A routine he knew all too well.

Entering their bedroom to change out of his hero costume was where he found the other thing he’d known from entering their house. There, on its lavishly plush bed, laid her girlfriend’s Alaskan Malamute that she’d brought in with her when she moved in. Junji was a nasty Mally who didn’t like Hawks at first. When they first began going out and he would often visit her apartment, Junji would tackle him down as soon as the door opened and did so the first couple of times. Even after Hawks learned to expect it, Junji would continue to bark incessantly at the Winged Hero despite being floated in mid air by Hawks feathers. Mangy mutt was fearless, that was for sure. So after a while, and especially after she moved in with him, he and the mutt came to an implicit agreement to tolerate each other for her sake. Didn’t mean that the asshole mongrel broke that silent treaty when it was convenient for him, like the one damn time he got on the table and ate most of Hawks’ breakfast and got away with a mild scolding from her when he wanted to do so much worse. Had it not been for her, he’d already have a new carpet. 

But after months of coexisting in each others’ space made their relationship mildly better. Just a tiny bit. Junji growled at Hawks a little as he passed by and huffed once he crossed the room to the walk-in closet. Once done changing, Hawks took one of the treats from the jar next to her nightstand and waved it in front of Junji. The Mally perked up, its tail wagging like crazy at the sight of his treat. 

“You want it, you mangy idiot,” Hawks muttered, baiting the dog longer and longer until he had him hooked. “Then go get it.” Just then he tossed the treat into the walk-in closet and watched gleefully as he chased after it only to smashed into the dead-end with a loud thud. Chuckling as he went out, he left the door ajar for the mutt and went along to the kitchen. 

Step one of that routine: make dinner. Usually, he’d order take-out but with this being close to her deadline, Hawks knew that she’d need a better meal than that once she eventually burnt out. So he did his best to make his specialty, yakitori chicken. Though she chided him sometimes about the utter paradox that it was for him to eat chicken, she never once denied him his cooked meals. And knowing what would come in some hours, Hawks knew she’d have close to little energy to complain. Heavy footsteps trotted over to the kitchen before Junji jumped to lean onto the counter top and inspect just what smelled so good. 

“No, you mongrel,” he groaned, swiping at him with one of his wings. It worked to get him off the counter and away from the burning stove but not to deter the humongous Mal. The sudden bite that ripped a few of his feathers off his wing got him to jump and cry out a little. Thankfully, his grip on the knife didn’t falter. Or perhaps regrettably. Hawks was ready to murder the mutt when he turned to find him with his red feathers sticking out of his mouth, slobber drooling all over them. More than angry about it, he swept the feathers out of his mouth and shook the drool out of them before chasing the mutt around the house to distract it. It barked when chasing after them and whined when they’d chase after him; the merry-go-round far enough from both the study and kitchen to not be a problem. 

Dinner done with, Hawks checked the clock as he wiped his hands clean on a washcloth. Mm, just shy of twenty minutes left. It’d be enough surely. Sending his crimson feathers out on various directions, Hawks started putting the finishing touches to what’d be a long night. A few feathers stayed in the kitchen with him, bringing plates that he easily took to plate the yakitori which he then deftly gave back to be taken to the living room’s coffee table along with a tall glass of tea for her and a beer or two for him. While he plated their dinner, the feathers chasing after Junji veered him towards the yard door where a few others opened the glass sliding door to let it out and close it quickly after he ran out. His feathers triumphantly ‘high-fived’ before returning to his wings. A whole bunch took to the room where they brought back a blanket and a pillow or two and laid it haphazardly onto the couch right across from the coffee table and the wide-screen tv, the pillow almost rolling off the couch onto the table but caught expertly by his feathers and put in place. One in particular went back to their room and snatched an over sized, knitted sweater of hers from the closet to leave it on the couch as well.

With five minutes left over, Hawks stretched his arms over his head letting some steam out of his sore muscles and headed to the tv to turn it on and set it on a preset list that he saved for days like these. Walking over to the study, he quietly turned to the knob only to leave the door open before heading over to the door that led out to the yard. Eyeing the clock one last time, he let his hand hang on the handle ready to pull the door open. 

Hawks took a deep breath and smiled as he counted down. “Three, two, one.”

On cue, a defeated shout came from the study and at hearing it, Hawks yanked the door open letting Junji dashed across the living room and make his way straight into the study where a subsequent, heavy thud resounded follow by an audible ‘ow’. Hawks felt relieve wash over him at hearing her still alive and well before making his way after the mutt. By the time he got near the door, Junji was already pulling her out of the study by the leg of her leggings. Though she didn’t protest, her groans of utter defeat told him exactly why. 

“Fuck it,” she called through her hands as they dragged across her face begrudgingly. “I’m never finishing this thing in time.”

Junji brought her only as far as he could before he started lapping at her face happily and tearing her a little out of her own self-loathing. Hawks stood over the two with a lopsided smile. “You always say that but you always do.” Bending down, he threaded his arms beneath her legs and behind her back to pick her up. “All you need’s a break.”

Junji followed along just fine since his owner was now out in the open. Sitting her down on top of the couch’s back, he busied himself with taking off her stuffy shirt and putting on the knitted sweater. She easily let him do as he pleased with how crushed her mind and soul where at the moment. Hawks didn’t mind babying her either. He lived for it, really. Once done, he brought her to a proper sit on the couch and molted most of his feathers to easily cover them both with the blanket. His red feathers fell around them and onto the floor, Junji even huffing at some that fell on his face or near his nose as he laid at the feet of the couch near her where he could easily just lift his head and lay it on the other side of her. As she busied herself with petting Junji, Hawks reached forward to grab one of his beers and crack it open while his feathers took the plate and brought it to her. Gingerly, she took it and set it on her lap, taking one and munching on it as Junji tried to slowly make his way to snatch one from the plate. The feathers near him smacked him on the snout and got him to back off as Hawks busied himself with the control, browsing through the list. 

“What you feel like tonight, baby? Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or 500 Days of Summer?” As he swept through the list, he landed on one. “Or how does some good old Princess Bride sound?”

“Princess Bride.”

“The Princess Bride it is.” Hawks started the movie and let it play as he took one yakitori for himself. When he saw that she suddenly stopped mid bite, he stopped in tandem and turned down to look at her. “You alright?”

Her head nodded vehemently before she turned up with one of those sweet smiles that he loved so much. “Thank you for doing all this for me. I really appreciate it.” 

Chuckling a little, Hawks leaned forward to kiss her forehead. “I do it gladly, sweetheart. So don’t worry your pretty little head about it.” 

Leaning forward herself, she pecked him on the lips swiftly before turning back to take another bite of the yakitori just as the movie started. “You eating chicken is still weird.” 

With another chuckle, Hawks wrapped one arm around her shoulders and brought his hand to the other side of her head to bring her closer so he could kiss the top of it. With how often they were both engrossed in their jobs, it made cherishing times like these where they could just spend it in each other’s company quite easy. 

Truly, to him, their time spent unwinding after a long day was the best.

Chapter Text

Hawks hated winter. 

Wintertime got him debating at times whether to go in for work or just call in sick. He doubted there’d be a shortage of heroes this time of year anyway. Which is why Hawks thanked goodness that he was off during one of the busiest days of the season, especially when the weather was this hideous. His wings and snowfall didn’t go well together after all.

But as he waited around his kitchen for water for a nice cup of coffee to boil, amber eyes caught the sight of something rather odd outside. The snowflakes that fell coated everything in white, but through that whiteness Hawks spotted a small spot of color running around in the already inch-thick snow. He didn’t recognize you. Maybe not from here? Regardless of that, he could easily tell what you were doing out in the quiet snowfall the more he watched you from the warm coziness of his kitchen. Hawks tilted his head to one side as he watched you jump around rolling snow out in the street and stacking it on another snowball you had already made. 

A snowman?

Curious. Especially since you seemed much too old to be doing that by yourself. But seeing you so giddily leaping out of mounds you’ve made to pick up more snow got a chuckle out of him. 

Then he noticed what you were wearing. And why you were shaking so much. Hawks shook his head. It’d started snowing only five minutes ago but even he could tell that it was freezing outside. And watching you shaking in your colorful leggings, a rather thin-looking cardigan, and barehanded left him feeling cold as hell. It certainly didn’t deter you. If anything, it seemed to encourage you to work harder on the funny looking snowman that was slowly starting to take shape before you. 

How cute.

The whistling of his kettle brought him back to what he’d been doing in the first place and got Hawks to wrench away his attention from you to his coffee. But as he poured the hot water in his mug and watched the steam rise out of it, a thought came to him. Sending a couple of his feathers to his room, Hawks busied himself with taking another cup out and pouring another cup of coffee. Leaving it aside, he strode to his front door where he met his feathers now carrying one of his coats and pair of gloves. Hawks decked himself to withstand the coldness from outside before taking the coat and gloves and sauntering out of his home. Though he made his way straight to you, you weren’t any the wiser of his presence busy as you were with your pirated Frosty there. It took him clearing his throat a couple of times before you finally whirled around to meet him. 

Hawks was taken aback for a moment at the rather innocent and adulterated sense of joy you exulted in. Everything from your broad smile to the glint of wonder in your beautiful eyes brought a senseless smile to his face that he couldn’t explain. 

“You’re looking a little cold there, miss.”

“Me?” Though you said that, Hawks could tell just how badly the weather got to you after being out for at least ten minutes in that attire. Not only were you shaking but your cheeks and nose were a bright red and your hands more than raw from touching snow so carelessly. 

He gave a swift nod to your hands which made you look down briefly before raising your head to see him offering the gloves in his hands. “They’ll help keep your hands warm while you finish Frosty over there." 

You blinked owlishly. Once. Then again. And then your smile brightened. Hawks was amazed it could even get any bigger than it already was. You thanked him, gladly accepting the offer and while you put on the gloves, he offered the coat as well. His wings curled behind him to preen before raising over the two of them to shield you mostly from the falling snow. 

"You’re most welcome,” he said. You look at his coat briefly like you had the gloves before taking it as well with a breathed ‘thank you.’ For some reason, it warmed him to see such a small you engulfed by his coat. Certainly more than the coffee had. Remembering the second cup he’d prepared, he thumbed over at his house behind him before grinning. “If you’d like to better warm yourself, I could get you a cup of coffee. Freshly made.”

A soft chuckle came out of you and you bounced a little in place, you reddened cheeks accentuating your smile. “Thanks but I’ll be alright. I just got a little carried away when I saw that it started snowing is all.” You turn halfway to point down the road to one of the nearby houses where a moving truck was parked. “That’s actually my house. Just moved in today so warming up won’t be a problem.”

“Well, welcome to the neighborhood then.”

"Thank you.” Folding the coat over yourself, you nod, hiding your face under the collar of his over-sized coat before peeking out to say. “But if you give me a few minutes to go change, I’d gladly take you on that cup of coffee.”

This time it was Hawks’ turn to let out a chuckle at your unexpected turnabout. “You’ve got it then.”

Smiling, you pivot and start off on a run back to your house but stop rather abruptly almost falling face first on the snow when you turn back. At first Hawks thought you’d forgotten to say something but the thought escaped him when you instead, bend down to fix your snowman. Not wanting to leave you there by yourself, he stood watching over you with his wings blocking off the falling snow. You didn’t seem to mind that much though as preoccupied with your masterpiece as you were. Soon enough, you were pretty much done and stood back up to take a look at your art. The body was more or less spherical now, and the few twigs and rocks you found lying around went put to good use as the eyes and smile of the snowman. 

You let out a small, breathy 'there’ as you cleaned off your gloved hands off any residual snow. Once done, you turned to Hawks with a smile again and said, “I’ll see you in a few then,” before running off to your house. 

Hawks kept an eye on your receding back as you practically trotted your way home and only let out a curious chortle when you kicked out snow from out of your front door before you went in. Glad to have your rather eccentric yet joyful person to accompany him for a chat over a cup of coffee, Hawks shook the small amount of snow covering his wings away before making his way back home. 

And as he made his way back, he took a wild guess, thinking you weren’t as much of a coffee person as you were a hot chocolate with marshmallows and cinnamon kind of girl. 

Chapter Text

One of your eyebrows raised at what was before you. 

“Do I dare ask?”

At the threshold of your home was none other than the current No.1 hero, Endeavor, with a winged child in his arms that appeared way too familiar. Said hero simply sighed in frustration, his brow furrowing with blatant annoyance and that large scar on the side of his face scrunching down alongside it. 

“You might want to.”

You had pleaded with Hawks not to work for the next few days. To at least take a day off so he could relax—so you could celebrate his birthday together tomorrow. To give him his gift.

But no. 

Your damn pigeon of a husband had decided to work instead saying he’d at least try to get out early to be with you if that’s what you wanted. You tried not to be mad. Now you were practically seething at his stupidity. Endeavor took to explaining what happened quite fast. Apparently while out on patrol with him, Hawks engaged some villain on his own. And like the precocious idiot you knew him to be he’d gotten himself struck by their Quirk. What Endeavor and the rest of the heroes found when chasing after them to back him up afterwards was what he deftly passed to your arms: a young child version of your husband. With the memory of one to boot. According to what Endeavor told you, the doctors said this wouldn’t last long. At most the effects would span one or two days before at most. 

But until then you faced a dilemma. How do you console a rather apathetic child Hawks that did not seem at all comfortable with his surroundings? 

Certainly the question of the century. He’d been fine with Endeavor but you understood why. Knowing how much Hawks adored the hero even as an adult, you could only imagine what it’d been like for the young boy to meet his hero so up close. 

Wait. Endeavor.  

That’s it.

“Hey, Taka-kun?” Small red wings tucked closer to his back. His hands clutched the edges of his somewhat over-sized shirt and his bare feet fidgeted beneath him as his eyes veered up to you. “Do you like Endeavor?”

Almost instantly and to your excitement, his amber eyes brightened in a manner you’d never seen them before. It almost seemed like they grew two sizes by the mere mention of his hero. A broad smile came to him and it warmed your heart seeing it after he’d appeared so uncomfortable in your home. Hawks nodded jovially. Hooking him with that, you took him to your room and to the walk-in closet that you shared where you knew he kept a stash of paraphernalia. Though you two kept your house mostly clean, the closet was an exception mostly due to him. Because of that, the floor was littered with his red feathers, something this young version of him found rather curious when he realized he could control them too. While he entertained himself with that, you busied yourself with bringing out all the neat collectibles you never had any particular interest in till today for him. 

It was simply amazing to see how his face lit up at each item you brought out. You found it ironic how that childish innocence seemed to appear because of that. At least, he wasn’t backing away from you anymore. At least now he seemed a little bit more at ease with you after bringing so many new shiny toys for him. 

Some though you worried about opening. They seemed really vintage. And though you tried keeping the ones that were marked as collector’s editions away from his sight, you couldn’t say no that angelic face of his expecting to see what you had in your hands. 

You’ll find it in you to forgive me.

Out of the box he had stashed away, you noticed one thing in particular more worn out than the rest. A small plush of the said hero tattered by the years. 

“That’s mine!" 

You glanced down at the chirpy voice that called to you to find tiny Hawks stretching out his arms your way. More specifically to get his hands on the plush by the looks of it. Crouching before him, you gave him plush which he hugged adoringly.

"Who got it for you, Taka-kun?" 

"I…I-um…” It was strange how he stammered at such simply question. But when he couldn’t bring himself to say it, he quickly changed the subject. “L-Look!” He pressed the stomach and a ‘whoosh’ came out, the voice box that was inside practically beaten where the sound came out choppy. “Isn’t it cool?”

“It is,” you humored him, a broad grin on your lips. Reaching out, you asked if you could press it too. It took him a moment before letting you press the plush’s chest down. The 'whoosh’ came out a little more broken but he didn’t mind it much. 

“Right!?” he exclaimed, holding it so tight in his gasp that he pushed the button again. “He’s my favorite!”

The way he fawned over that toy made you remember something you forgot about. A topic you had talked about in passing with Hawks that he effortlessly deviated from. So elusive about the subject. Almost like he didn’t want to give an answer to it. Now that you had such a forthcoming little Hawks before you, that question came back up again. This time because you couldn’t help think that perhaps you’d get an actual and truthful answer this time around from his younger self.

“Say, Taka-kun, you like Endeavor, right?”

“Yeah!”

“Do you want to be a hero like him?”

Hawks quietly mulled over the question for a minute or two before smiling and shaking his head. 

You’d known the answer—at least what you surmised was the answer from the way he wouldn’t say anything at all when you asked that same question to him. You always had the feeling, an inkling of something not being right. Of him not being right. It had nothing to do with his precociousness or his straightforwardness. No relation whatsoever to his odd way of obsessing over work in a way he never noticed himself doing. But it did remind you of the way he sometimes lost himself. It reminded you of the times you found him vacantly observing the horizon atop the roof of your home, wings tucked behind him yet twitching eagerly. Almost as if wanting to take flight and travel as far as they would take him. To somehow touch that horizon. 

But he never would. 

Hawks never left. And those beautiful amber eyes of his would just longingly watch what he could never have—what he was never allowed to chase after.  

“I’m needed here. So this is where I’ll stay.”

Hearing him say that with such heaviness in his voice tore your heart apart. Almost like he found little reason to stay and only did because he felt obligated to. So you never spoke of it again. You never asked because knowing wasn’t worth hurting him. It wasn’t worth seeing that painstaking longing in his eyes to sate your curiosity. But hearing this young Hawks deny what he would become without any pain or forlorn in his voice made you wonder just what had turned one into the other. 

What made him so ambivalent for something he hadn’t a care for before?
The sudden rumble that came from him snapped you out of your solemn thoughts and forced you to look down at him. Almost immediately, he hid his face behind his plush but even that didn’t hide the darkening of his cheeks. 

“Are you hungry?”

He held himself back and fidgeted in place as if not wanting to answer. It’s something you found odd until you remembered long ago what Hawks told you about his past. About how he’d find himself often going days without eating much aside from some candy he stashed away. How if he ever found anything edible around the house, he’d have to ask for permission to eat lest he got in trouble with his mother. It made since why he wouldn’t want to admit his hunger.  

“Say,” you started as you crouched down to his level and smiled, “I was thinking of maybe going out to get something to eat. Maybe some chicken.”

“Chicken?” he repeated, his eyes peeking from behind his plush. 

You nod, glad to have his attention back. “Would you like to eat with me, Taka-kun?”

It took him a moment to relax, at least enough to give a feeble reply. “…y-yeah." 

"Then let’s go get some food." 

But as you two left the house and he kept fiddling with the sleeves of his long shirt, you couldn’t help but think that perhaps there was something that needed to be done about those baggy clothes of his before you went to eat. Knowing it wouldn’t take long, you decided it best to go buy a few change of clothes for him before heading out to eat. Nothing much, just a couple of outfits. Enough to last him the few days he’d be like that. It worried you that he was so small even despite being a child. The clothes you bought him were little; a size and a half smaller than he should’ve been wearing for his age. You never doubted the few times he told you about his lackluster childhood. You just never thought it had been this bad. Indulging him a little, you bought him a few other things that had caught his attention but that he didn’t raise his voice about. It lightened your heart a little from those dark clouds to see how his eyes brightened at seeing all the things you’d gotten just for him. 

Boy, you deserve that and more.

Outfitted with better suited clothes for him—thank goodness the clothing stores adjusted for any kind of Quirk—made it much easier for his younger self to enjoy the chicken nuggets you’d gotten him. Fast food wasn’t exactly what you had in mind when you said 'chicken’ but he’d seem to like them all the same. Plus, it was one of the few things open still. As he ate away at his nuggets, you stared down at your phone’s calendar where tomorrow’s date was brightly bookmarked by the device—December 28th. 

You tapped in and out of the day to stare at the title you used for the day: his birthday. 

"What’re you looking at?" 

Little Hawks tilted his head to stare at your phone from where he sat beside you. You showed him the screen and tapped on the day once more to bring it up. 

"Nothing much. Just thinking about tomorrow.”

“What’s tomorrow?”

Your nose scrunched at the answer that popped into your head. “The birthday of someone I love very much."  

Curious as could be, Hawks bombarded you with more questions until he came to ask what day tomorrow was. It was when you told him that his eyes widened before narrowing and his energy simply left without a trace. 

"Something wrong?” you asked.

“No.” Finding his demureness disquieting, you asked again. It took him finishing his food before he mumbled out an answer, almost soft enough to not be heard. Or more like he didn’t want to be heard. “My birthday’s tomorrow too.”

“Really?” You wanted to sound excited and surprised. It came out halfway between that and a snort. It wasn’t until you realized that he wasn’t coming back to the bright little boy he’d been for the past few hours that you tilted your head down to look at him and ask. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.”

You couldn’t get a peep out of him after that. At least not about his birthday. He talked about anything else aside from that on your way back home though. It was almost like he didn’t like the idea of it. Like he didn’t want to think about it at all. Thankfully, he’d forgotten about all that after you’d given him a bath—something that you had trouble with considering how much his wings splashed around in the tub—and dressed him in the Endeavor onesie he hadn’t once taken his eyes off of after spotting it at the clothing store. 

“Alright, Takahiro. Time for bed." 

You clapped your hands to call for his attention. Hawks readily gave it, running to you and letting you pick him up for you to take him to your room. For once you were glad for the humongous bed that Hawks had even before you got together. Something about it being much more comfortable for his wings. And though it certainly was barely enough space for you two with his wings included, there certainly was space to spare with him having shrunk ten sizes. Tucking him in alongside his beloved plush, you laid beside him as he started succumbing to his tiredness with a yawn. 

Though you didn’t want to say anything to remind him of it, you couldn’t help but bring it up. Especially after the way he’d reacted during dinner.
"You don’t like your birthday, do you, Takahiro?” His eyes widened a little but since he was more asleep than awake by then, he didn’t bother hiding much of anything. Hawks shook his head slowly as he rubbed one of his eyes. “Why not?”

“'Cause…” He yawned again, longer and louder this time. “…my birthday…makes mommy sad…”

Hawks passed out without another word. Though that told you very little, you couldn’t help but think of the many things that it could possibly mean. Hawks never talked about his mother. Not even to you. You very rarely found pictures of the woman and when you did, he would simply take them and you’d never see them again. And with no word or pictures of his father, your mind immediately assumed the worst.  

Taking him in your arms, you held the little boy tightly with an aching heart for what he had to endure. For the mindfulness he was forced to have for others. For having to grow up far too young to survive.

Maybe his mother hadn’t appreciated him for the treasure he was, but you wouldn’t let him think any less of his own existence any longer. At least for these few days and especially tomorrow—even if he ended up not remembering any of it by the end—you would show him what it meant to be cherished for simply being born. 


Hawks made you promise the next morning that you wouldn’t do anything for his birthday. He was adamant about it and even made you cross your heart and pinky promise to satisfy himself that you wouldn’t. But for as much as that was clear, you didn’t think that taking him out and doing things he found fun was any different from anything you’d do any other weekend. Or at least that was the excuse you gave him. And though he seemed a little skeptical at first, he eventually lost himself in his fun. So you celebrated a little with him without really letting him know you were celebrating. Not like he had much complains about going out to playgrounds and arcades, or eating ice cream and yakitori.

You thought that this would be good enough. That him having fun and seeing him smiling would be enough. And it would have been. It would have had you not gotten a call from Miruko to meet you at Hawks’ agency. She didn’t tell you for what. You thought it’d be something about the incident that had put you in this situation in the first place. But had you known what they had planned, you wouldn’t have taken him there.

“What’s all this?" 

The question left your lips almost immediately after the poppers exploded so close to your face that it left your ears ringing. Miruko grinned wildly, brandishing out her arm at the small gathering she’d gotten. And by small you meant small. It was just his sidekicks, a couple of your own mutual friends, and her. That didn’t stop her from making it as boisterous as she could though. Food was everywhere in the meeting room with bright colored balloons and streamers decorating every square inch of it.   

"What’s it look like!” she called out. “It’s a birthday party for the birthday boy!”

Hawks buried his face against your leg, not liking this more and more by the second. You held him close and a little bit away from Miruko who you smelled a tiny bit of alcohol from. 

“You should’ve told me,” you mumbled but it was kind of hard to hear you over all the noise the handful of people were making. 

Little Hawks covered his ears but when he couldn’t handle it anymore, he pried himself off from your leg and hovered away. Before you or anybody could say anything, he ran off, his wings propelling him forward and flying him a few inches off the ground in his hurry to escape the room. You wanted to yell at Miruko and the rest of them. But you held your tongue despite the annoyance you felt boiling inside you. 

They didn’t know any better. 

Just like you hadn’t. 

Still you couldn’t help shake your head at her and hissed, “You really should have warned me,” before running off while calling out for him. 

It took you a while but you eventually found his hiding spot. It hadn’t been too hard after finding the small trail of red downs that led you to his office and beneath his desk. He wasn’t glum like he’d been before though. No, this time he seemed annoyed if his tinted cheeks and ears said anything. And those amber eyes glaring up at you only added to that.

“May I join you?" 

That he didn’t answer you wasn’t much of anything but that he didn’t shoo you away either was enough for you. Scooting closer inside, you sat beside him and waited for him to calm down a little. His emotions were brimming over too much for him to give himself time to do that though.

"You said we wouldn’t.”

“I didn’t know, Taka-kun. I swear I didn’t.” He didn’t seemed at all convinced.

“Those people said it was a birthday party!”

You let him shout for once, mostly because it shocked you that he had. Not even Hawks as an adult did anything remotely close to raising his voice. But seeing as he felt betrayed, you could understand where he was coming from. All the same, you couldn’t let him continue hating his own birth for something that wasn’t his fault to begin with. 

“That’s because that is exactly what it is,” you admitted, “And you know why those people are doing that? Because they appreciate you.”

That glare of his looked less menacing when his amber eyes began to tear up. His feathers ruffled themselves though in an attempt to make himself look mad.  

“That’s not true.”

“It is." 

Gently, you approached him. To your surprise, he let you and you picked him up to sit him on your lap. Though he still looked peeved, Hawks wrapped his arms around your neck and buried his face against you. Soothingly, you stroked his back wanting him to calm down further. It took a few minutes but when he finally did, you let yourself continue what had been on your mind since before all this happened. 

Something you had wanted to tell him for a long time already.

"They care about you and are happy that they know you. I care about you too. That’s why we want you to be happy today when it’s your birthday.”

“But it’s not a happy day,” Hawks mumbled against you, “Mommy doesn’t like it.”

“I know,” you said and held him tighter. “But even if she doesn’t, we do. We cherish you and love you, Takahiro. And nothing and nobody will ever make us think that you’re not worth treasuring. You’re a wonderful little boy that deserves every bit of love we can give. And don’t let anybody make you think any different.”

For a moment there was nothing but silence until Hawks spoke up again.

“…you really like me?”

“I don’t just like you, Takahiro. I love you very, very much. And I always will.”

At this point, he started sniffling and wiping at his face. Almost as if not wanting to be heard, he buried his face further to hide it. You simply held him as his weeping became louder and louder until he couldn’t stop himself from crying freely, letting out emotions that must’ve been cooped up for the whole of his young life. And all you did was hold him, whispering soothing words to him and assuring him that what had been his biggest fear wasn’t true. 

He was loved. Very much and by so many people.

Eventually his weeping calmed down and he wiped the last tears from his face. Hawks looked at the door where everybody else was at before staring down at his hands. Sniffling one last time, he looked up to you with his query.

“Is it okay…is it okay to go out there again?”

“Of course. You want to leave?”

Hawks shook his head and rubbed at his cheek. “I wanna say thank you…and, I guess, have a party.”

“Let’s go then,” you said with a smile, holding his hand tightly in yours.

Taken by the hand, you and Hawks walked out of the office and came to the meeting room Miruko and the rest had been at. Curiously enough, Miruko and Hawks’ sidekicks were getting a thorough scolding by someone that hadn’t been there when you two got there. Certainly the last person you expected to see.

“Endeavor-san?”

The No.1 hero turned at hearing you call him and his eyes went from you to the little boy that stood beside you. A tiny gasp brought your attention to said boy whose eyes sparkled brightly at the sight of his hero. All woe from before completely forgotten. 

Thank goodness. 

The box Endeavor held in one hand caught your attention and when you asked about it, he set it down on the table before lifting the cover off of it. Both yours and Hawks’ eyes went wide as saucers at the beautiful cake he’d brought. As you stood Hawks on the chair right before the cake for him to gawk at it, you turned to the hero with a raised eyebrow.

The way Endeavor hesitated to say anything at first was odd. But the wait was definitely worth it. 

“Thought he’d like it.”

“Is this for me!?” Hawks exclaimed, amber eyes shinning almost gold as he looked between you and Endeavor. 

Before you could respond, Endeavor did for you, telling him that he guessed a birthday needed to be celebrated with a cake. Hawks was mesmerized by the exquisite desert and pursed his lips as his cheeks reddened before turning up and looking at each of the people there. Grabbing at the hem of his shirt, he mumbled something under his breath that you all heard by how quiet you got at his sudden change in demeanor.

“…thank you…”

Smiles spread across the room at his meek show of gratitude before all at once a jovial mood spread across everybody.

“Well, what are we waiting for!” Miruko placed cups of pop for you, Hawks, and Endeavor on the table before lifting her own cup of beer in the air. “Let’s celebrate baby bird’s birthday!”


Poor thing got home exhausted beyond believe but with a smile on his face all the while he slept. It wasn’t hard to change him out of his clothes and tuck him into bed. But as you were rising from the bed wanting to shower after the long day out, a small hand gripped the sleeve of your shirt.

Turning down you found Hawks’ sleepy eyes blinking slowly as they focused on you. His parted lips turned into a small, sweet smile that warmed your heart.

“…love you, mommy…”

You felt your chest tighten, happiness and heartache flooding you in equal parts at what he thought he saw in his tiredness. Nevertheless, you went along with it, whispering your answer to not wake him up any more.

“I love you too, my little bird.” You bent over and placed a soft kiss on his forehead. “Now go to sleep.”

Almost like magic, he fell back asleep and his grip lessened easily for you to get off from the bed. You took that shower afterwards, taking your time to indulge in the lightheartedness that soothed you after the long day you’d had. A good half hour later, though, as you stepped into the bedroom while drying your hair off with a towel, something felt amiss. It wasn’t until you glanced at the bed to find it empty that you realized why.

Frantic, you searched the room and closet before heading out to search the rest of the house. Outside of it, you found a trail of feathers that led you to the living room and to the open balcony door. Your heart dropped to your stomach, your mind going to the worse of places as you rushed to the balcony railing to look over it in search of the little boy.

But instead the loud flapping of wings took your attention and you whirled around to find Hawks as he lowered himself onto the balcony—as a fully grown man in a long sleeved shirt and pants. A half grin came across his lips as you stared at him in disbelief and he brushed his hand through his messy windswept hair and averted his eyes. 

“Sorry, love, didn’t mean to scare you.” He chuckled as if trying to dismiss the little bit of awkwardness between you. “Kind forgot what it was like to not be able to fly and well, just needed some fresh air—”

You didn’t let him finish and threw yourself at him, wrapping your arms around him and holding him tight as you laughed. 

“It’s alright. Just don’t scare me like that—” But suddenly, something about what he said clicked in your head. You pulled away from your embrace and looked up at your husband. “Wait. You remember?”

“Some of it,” he chuckled before a broader grin spread across his face. “Gotta say, you’re quite the loving caretaker, y/n.”

It was hard to not fall for his teasing after the last couple of days of missing him. “Someone had to after the trouble you got yourself into, you bird brain.”

“True.” Hawks swept one of his wings around you, covering you from the cold that came with the sudden breeze and walking you back inside your home. “I’ll have to apologize to the others for the trouble I put them through too. Especially you.”

“No apologies,” you said, burying your face into his chest and inhaling deeply. “I’m just glad you’re back.”

“Oh, come on. I wasn’t that bad of a brat.” You snickered which only made him mock pain from your disbelief. “I’ll have you know I was always a good little boy.”

Yes, you were.

But instead of giving him the luxury of being right, you pulled him towards your bedroom. 

“Let’s go to bed already. It’s been a long day.”


Bonus|

Hawks snickered at the folded onesie in his hands. You’d really gone all out taking care of him after his little mishap. Though according to you, you only did what anybody else would’ve done. But your actions spoke louder that you would’ve wanted them to. Hawks knew as much simply from all the clothes and toys you bought for him during his little regression into childhood. 

He found it odd how despite recalling very little, he did recall feeling happy and warm and loved. Something that he sorely missed in his childhood. But that was neither here nor there. All of that was in the past already. 

And well, he guessed all this clothes would need to be returned or at least donated. He wouldn’t be needing it anytime soon after all. But as he held onto the onesie in his hands, he tucked it away with the rest of his collectibles before closing the box with the rest of the clothes. It was as he headed out of the closet that he bumped into you.

“Whoops, my bad.”

“What are you doing with that?”

Hawks stared at the half-opened boxed that you stared at before lifting it for emphasis. “Gotta donate all this.”

“Donate?” You stepped forward and opened the flaps, gasping at the clothes inside that he was planning to give away. “Why are you giving this away?”

“Don’t know if you noticed but I’m not a kid anymore.” Hawks spread out one of his wings to give you a better view and remind you just how large those by themselves were. “Doubt any of this will fit even a wing.”

“They’re not for you though.”

That confused him, especially because you said it under your breath. As if mulling over something in your mind that happened to slip. 

“Who’re they for then?”

Snapping out of your stupor, your cheeks tinted a little as you turned thoughtful, this time over something that seemed a bit more interesting to him. But he didn’t get a straightforward answer. Instead, you headed deeper into the closet to your side of it and searched through a cranny hidden by your winter coats and jackets. From it you produced a tiny red box decorated with glitter and with a bow on the lid.

“I was going to give you this yesterday but so much happened that it kind of went over my head."  

You took a deep breath as if preparing yourself for his reaction. That worried him a little. All the same, Hawks put the box he was carrying down by his feet before taking the small gift from your hands. 

” ’s okay if I open it?“

You nodded.

The lid came off rather easily. Bright gold and red tissue paper poked out from the box and made him dig through it to find what was inside. At first, he didn’t know what he was looking at. It was a black photo with white blotches spread around. He couldn’t quite discern anything from it, really. But it didn’t take him long to decipher what it was. 

His heart stopped once he did. Amber eyes wide, he lifted his gaze to you. You stood there expectantly—both in the figurative and literal sense—hands resting on your belly. 

"Wait…are you serious?”

You chuckled at his confusion and how it slowly started to clear as his mind started working again. Reaching out, you took his hand and placed it on your belly. There wasn’t much difference in it, at least not anything that he could tell at first. But he could feel it just a little more rounded than usual. 

Suddenly his heart started beating again. This time like crazy as excitement rushed through his mind and a wild grin spread across his lips.

"How long?”

“A little over three months already.”

“So you’re telling me that I'm—that we’re gonna…”

“We’re going to have a baby.” Hawks let out a breathy laugh from disbelief and glee. And you couldn’t help but add and finish what he had meant to say before. “You’re going to be a father.”

Unable to keep his joy quiet anymore, Hawks took you in his arms and held you tightly against him as he twirled around and shouted in glee. He even took you out of the closet and into the room to hover the both of you briefly in the air with a few flap of his wings. Gently Hawks let himself lower the two of you onto the bed as feathers spread out like red snowflakes around you. He gently kissed your lips, the joy unmistakable on his face. 

“I’ll be the best father you’ve ever seen, y/n. Just you wait and see!”

“I know you will.”

His grin suddenly turned into a smaller smile as he pressed his forehead against yours.  

“And you’ll be the most wonderful mother ever.”

“Thank you.”

“And thank you, y/n. You couldn’t have given me a better gift.” 

Chapter Text

Music.

The idea of something so simple sounding and yet so foreign to his own ears fascinated Hawks for a couple of reasons. First, because it was what all those lovebirds that found one another heard whenever they were with each other. Stories he'd heard made them sound quite like the magical experience. Surreal and rather mystical to a fault. 

And second because he hadn't heard any such thing he could define as 'music'. Though he supposed that with no real gauge to compare it to, he wouldn't really know what it was even if he happened to hear it. "You'll know," was what those he knew who had told him, "You'll feel it and you'll know."

But even twenty two years of hearing nothing but white noise didn't bother Hawks. Hearing that fantastical sound that everybody described and finding that 'right' person was never his priority. He had other things to worry about being the No.2 hero; people to save, crimes to stop, people to capture. Hero stuff. And it never bothered him once in those twenty two years that all he ever heard was the monotonous noise of his life. 

That changed one day when the softest of chimes reached his ears. He'd been flying over Kyushu doing his routine patrols when he heard it. At first he thought they were wind chimes. They sounded like it anyway. But something about them had been different. The gentle sound of them for that brief moment stopped in his tracks to listen, and the chime reached him again. 

Soft. Light. Sweet. 

There wasn't another way to describe it. But as fast as it came it was gone. Like the ring of a bell or the flash of a light, it disappeared. As soon as he realized it was gone, his heart sunk. Hawks clutched at his chest puzzled. What the hell made him feel so empty all of a sudden?

Curious, he lowered himself to the ground, his massive crimson wings gently grounding him. The sun was barely setting and it bathed the streets of his town a hue of red orange that he had to ignore for once. Right then what was most on his mind was finding the source of that lilting chime. 

Then it rang. His head whirled in its direction, hair sweeping with him as he took flight as close to the floor as he could while chasing that sound. It grew and grew in volume and as it did it sent chills down his spine the like he'd never felt before. They were warm, gentle. Unlike anything he'd ever felt. 

But he was so fixated on getting to that sound that when he turned a sharp corner onto the next street he crashed right into someone else. Expected with how low he'd been to the ground but Hawks hadn't thought much about it. He hadn't given thought to much of anything when thinking about those chimes. Chimes that were now oddly louder than they had been before. 

"I'm so sorry!" he called out, instantly springing to his feet and helping round up the things the person had dropped because of his carelessness. 
When you didn't respond that brought his attention to you as you hurriedly tried collecting all your belongings. When you finally met eyes with him, you flustered at recognizing one of the top heroes in the country. But you didn't speak. Instead you bowed seemingly trying to apologize for what happened. 

"It wasn't your fault."

Not wanting to make this any worse, Hawks calmed you down and helped you while apologizing all the while for crashing into you. All you could do was try and be understood. 

"Sorry, really. I didn't mean to crash into you."

Realizing that nothing of what you did would get your point across, you simply smiled. Hawks' brow knitted down—not just because he could hear the chimes louder than ever now but because they started forming a pattern. One that he could only describe as beautiful. 

Like you.

You motion with your hands at yourself and bow. Fixating on that oddity, he finds himself blurting out. "Hey, can you speak?"

Your lips purse as if thinking how to respond. Suddenly you point at your ears instead and open your mouth to let a garble noise out, dissonant and unlike those chimes that he could still here. 

" 'an't 'ear."

Oh. 

His wings fell almost touching the street, belying the emotions that had built up in him and tried to hide. "I'm really sorry."

You shake your head and smile, genuinely seeming like it didn't bother you that you had to do that just then. It wasn't until a full moment later that Hawks realized he was still holding onto something of yours and passed it swiftly back to you. 

"Um," he rubbed the back of his head and gave you a small smile to return the ones you'd given. "Are you heading home?" You nod. "Train or car?" You point to the sign that leads to the station. Without missing a beat, he asked, "Mind if I walk you to the station?"

Your eyes widen but then you smile and nod. Hawks takes his time falling in stride with you as the two of you head there. It's not until he runs over what had just happen in his head—chimes still loudly ringing and lulling him into a calm he couldn't explain—that he realizes something. 

Tapping your shoulder to get your attention, he said, "How do you understand if you can't hear me?"

She chuckles, maybe because it took him that long to notice that, but she didn't do much chiding aside from that. Instead she pointed first to her eyes and then tapped her lush full lips with her finger. Brow furrowed, Hawks thought about it for a second before figuring it out.

"Lips—oh, you can read them." You nod enthused at his understanding. Hawks chuckles at how long that took him and rubbed the back of his neck again out of habit. "My bad. The hit must've knocked my brains around a bit."

You chuckle. What sounded like one at least. Hawks found it charming and light. Like those bells he could still hear chiming in her wake. He followed behind you, enjoying the quiet that let the chimes be heard. 

Hawks didn't know what to think of what he heard, in reality. He'd never heard that kind of sound before but he knew what it was when he heard it. Weird how all those people were right all along. There wasn't a need to know what it was. Just what it made them feel. 

And he felt at ease. 

He liked that feeling.  

The station came into view far too soon and Hawks pursed his lips, sorry that he hadn't started any idle chatter with you for as much as that'd be worth. When you both reached the entrance, you stop with him skipping a step at the abrupt stop. You turn on your heels and share a smile with him, apparently grateful from the look you gave him.

"Well," he let out a long breath, readying himself for you departure. "Guess this is where you and I part."

You gave him a tight lipped smile and the look on your eyes seemed thoughtful. Almost as if you were trying to think of something to say...ironically enough. Eventually you nod and turn to leave. Hawks watched your receding back, feeling his chest tighten as the sound of chimes started to quiet down.

Damned white noise never sounded more dull than now that you were gone. Funny since he'd just met you by accident. 

Yeah. Accident.

Resigning to the idea of never hearing that sweet sound again, Hawks spun around himself and stepped out of the station before stretching out his wings to prep to take flight. But just as he was about to give a massive flap of his wings his body stiffened at the sharp sound of chimes a second before a body crashed into his back. The moment he peered over his shoulder amber eyes widened at the sight of you rubbing your nose that'd been squished at you smashing into him. 

"Hey," Hawks couldn't help the hopeful tinge in his voice as his heart skipped a beat to the rhythm of the chimes. "You're gonna miss your train."

Your mouth opened and closed a couple of times as if trying speak but eventually, you gave up, opting instead to take his hand to press a folded piece of ripped paper into it. Seemingly curious, Hawks opened the folded paper to find your name jotted down on it along with a number.

His eyes opened wide as saucers at the straight forward approach of yours but a cheeky grin came to his lips and his feathers preened.

"You the type to give your number to strangers?" 

He was joking but he found the tinted hue that bloomed on your cheeks as you shake your head adorable. Hawks twirled the piece of paper between his fingers pensively. One question rose above all else in his head and unable to stop himself, he asked it aloud. 

"Why?"

Your eyes go askance for a moment as if debating whether to tell him. But a sweet smile comes to your lips just when the chimes seem loudest. Even those quiet down though when she meets your gaze again. 

You pointed at yourself, to your chest above your heart, to your ear, to him, and finally motioned your hand up from the base of your throat out towards your mouth. And with you mouthing each word as clearly as you could, it didn't take Hawks anytime at all to figure out what you meant. 

"I like the sound of your voice."

Hawks chuckled under his breath and palmed your number into his pocket where his phone was. 

"That being the case, may I text you later? You know, just to make sure you made it home alright."

You chuckled at the attempt to brush such thing of as suave. But you nodded in the end and jogged into the station when the two of you noticed you'd miss your train if you didn't hurry.  

With you gone, Hawks went home. Once there and comfortable, he sat back against the railing of his balcony phone open to your contact that he'd saved as soon as he got home. He wondered about texting you. Of whether it was alright to do so. Remembering the sound of those sweet chimes though made his mind up for him, and his fingers went to work. 

He found the one melody only he could hear.

And apparently, so had you. 

Chapter Text

Having close relationships wasn’t your thing. You liked having your space, your privacy your own time to be alone. You were never the kind that liked to go out to parties or mixers, to school dances, or work outings. Spending time along was always your thing. It was peaceful, simpler.

It did get lonely from time to time. You’d admit that much. Having no one to trust and to talk to about your worries or your acconplishments or simply your day was kind of dull. No one to celebrate with, to cry with, share pains or frustrations with. It boring. Lonely. And it sometimes hurt you to realize just how alone you’d become by choice.

Which is why Hawks’ sudden intrusion into your life was so unexpected. Forceful even. But also welcomed.

You liked it, having Hawks as a friend. He didn’t care what you said about work or life, or how much you complained about this or that. Honestly he did the same though he was a little less conspicuous about it. Overtime you two shared a space in each other’s mind. Nothing romantic–god knows you never imagined him like that–but it was oddly assuring to have him by your side.

His presence gave you a sense of security you seldom felt anywhere. Like you could talk to him abouy anything and he wouldn’t judge, only try to give you advice or feedback to the best of his abilities. And you tried to do the same for him. But it was hard sometimes. The times he shared about himself it sounded rather superficial; something only shared to have something contribute to the conversation. You’d poke at him for more, wanting to know more about him. Most of the times Hawks brushed of those comments like only he could.

He did cave once. About uow he felt on being a hero. Hawks told you things you never knew about him, hinted at others you could only imagine from what you got. But you felt proud and most of all special. Proud to have his trust. Special to know that he acknowledged this trust enough to confide in you such feelings.

You liked having Hawks as a friend. It was a special kind of bond that you loved having. You loved having him around.

And then one day you realized you wanted more than just friendship. You wanted him to love. But for as strong as those feelings were, you couldn’t say anything. You could tell how much he valued your friendship. You didn’t have the guts to risk losing him or the bond you had.

But it slipped sometimes.

“Y/n?”

It took you a moment to realize he was calling you. Humming in response after a moment, you distracted yourself by carding your fingers through the feathers of his wing closest to you. Hawks didn’t mind. He said it was calming to feel your hands through them. Because of that, you had no qualm in doing it.

“You spaced out on me there.”

“I did?”

“Yeah. Said you needed to tell me something and just…didn’t.”

“Oh, sorry about that.”

“So?”

“So what?”

“What was it?”

You wouldn’t tell him. You didn’t want to lose him as the close friend he’d become. The only one you had that was close to you.

“Was gonna say that you won’t believe what they told me do to at work.”

So you didn’t.

Chapter Text

You stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, ignoring the sneers and chides from the crowd that passed you, and stared at one particular store.

A toy store.

One that looked quite festive with all the colorful decorations and bright lights. It was hard to forget about it. You’d seen it when you were little, back during your homeless days. Barely a child, your parents hadn’t done much for themselves or for you. And with those harsh winter months, their weak, malnourished bodies succumbed to the cold. Yours barely managed to live through it since they focused more on feeding you that themselves. That kept you alive to live on alone, to fend for yourself.

And through hunger pangs and cold, hard ground to sleep on, this bright toy store was the only solace you had. It showed you a world bright and warm that you never got to live. One you yearned for.

It was there that you met a young boy with red wings. He was older but it wasn’t something anybody would’ve noticed from the way he looked. He was just as small as you had been back then; skinny, but a little cleaner. Like he actually had someplace to sleep, to rest, to clean up, unlike you. Your eyes met the day that the store owner came out with a box he’d intended for donations. The owner knew you from the many times you stared through the window of his shop, but he also seemed to know the boy. 

The owner offered to let you both sift through the box and grab something you liked. You two scoured through the box trying to find something that you would love. Every toy looked more fun than the last to you, something you chalked up now to being a kid that seldom had toys to play with and found them all curious and entertaining. But the one you saw that caught your eye most was the plush doll of a hero. One you remembered seeing in the display TVs through shop windows. 

Liking its colors and the odd noise it made you pushed its belly, you took it, and when you did, you heard the boy next to you pout. 

“Oh shoot.” 

Just from the sound of his voice you understood. You’ve heard it too many times from yourself when you passed food stands that smelled like heaven. He wanted the toy. 

You don’t know what compelled you to do it, but without thinking you extended your hands forward to him with the plush in hand. 

“Here.”

His amber eyes strayed to the toy and then to you. “Are you sure?”

You nodded. “I don’t know who’s it is really. I just liked the noise it made.”

Those eyes turned gold from how bright they became as he took the plush gingerly in his hands and smiled at you.

“Thank you!” 

You smiled back and intended to go back to looking through the box when your stomach churned. At first, it growling that loudly struck you as odd but that the red-winged boy was also embarrassed, cheeks flushing, that you understood what the noise had been so loud. It hadn’t just been your stomach that growled. 

“How about I get you two something to eat?”

You knew you liked the store owner for a reason. He ordered up something from the nearby deli and gave it to you both but since you didn’t want to bother him anymore than you already had, you decided to take the food out with you. It had been one big sandwich for the two of you but you were at a loss as to where you’d eat it. You had nowhere to after all.

“Hey, wanna go eat at my house?”

More elated than shocked, you accepted, and he took you down the streets of town. He bounced from time to time as he talked on and on, almost as if wanting to avoid the awkward silence that would settle otherwise. You didn’t mind. It was nice having someone to talk to after being alone for so long. But the further you followed him home the odder it felt. Not odd, familiar. These streets—slums. You’d lived in a place like this before with your parents. 

Finally, he led you inside his home, the creaking door that he opened into the small abode being the only noise made. He made a point to hush you, putting a finger against his lips and leading you inside. You copied his movements as he tiptoed past the first door and led you to the farthest part of the small apartment where a couple of blankets were laid on top of each other. Once past the door, he hovered over to the blankets and plopped down there, patting the space next to him for you. Gladly taking it, both of you took to eating giggling as you played together with the toys you’d gotten. 

When dark came and you had to leave though, you were hesitant to do that. You didn’t want to leave. It was cold outside. Lonely. Here, you had warmth. You had him. 

“Takahiro?” 

“Mm?”

“You think…I could stay here. Just for tonight?”

His eyes widened for a moment before he got to thinking. He was clearly hesitating, thinking his answer through. It was clear by the look on his face that he was scared of something. Maybe of the person you could hear rummaging in the only room of the small apartment and never came out, you thought. Finally, though, he turned up and nodded.

“But we’ll have to be real careful. Mom will be real angry if she sees you here.”

“I’ll be gone by morning.”

“Alright.”

So you stayed there with him, sleeping again in relative warmth next to him. And liked promised, you were gone the next morning before his mother ever noticed you were there. And that next day you met again at that same toy store. That became your norm.

You would meet at the toy store, spend time outside playing or getting something to eat wherever and however you could, coming to his home to sleep, and leaving before the sun came out. It wasn’t perfect. You were still without a home. And he was still in an awful place where the one that was supposed to take care of him didn’t care about him at all. But at least you had each other. 

Until one day he never came to meet you at the toy store. You waited for days on end for him to come but he never did. You cried every night after that first one, thinking that you’d been abandoned again. And even after government officials found you in the streets, took you away and put in a foster home, you never knew what happened to that boy you met at this very toy store.

Well, not until recently. 

“Hey, stranger.”

At first, it took you a moment to draw away from your recollection of the past, but when the voice that had just called your way sank in, you smiled. Turning, you met a pair of amber eyes with a smug smirked on his handsome face, red wings curling closer to you to keep away the nippy breeze. 

“Hey, you. Running late for dinner again?”

“Sorry,” he said with a light chuckle. Hawks motioned down the street with a nod of his head. “Got held up at work but was flying there when I spotted you just standing here.”

That perplexed you after giving it some thought. “Why did you go this way?”

“Like I said, I was heading to the restaurant for dinner—”

“No, I mean, this is out of the way of the restaurant. Why would this be on your way?”

Hawks pursed his lips, the smug smirk disappearing to be replaced by a much smaller and more sincere smile. “I got worried when you weren’t at the restaurant when on time.”

Your brow furrowed. You checked you wristwatch and grimaced at noticing the time. Shit, you were more than an hour late already yourself. 

“S-Sorry, I didn’t realize.”

“I know,” he said. “You’re very air headed like that.”

“Gee thanks.”

“It’s cute though.”

You chuckled at his definition of ‘cute’ but was distracted when you saw the owner of the shop walking through the windowpane of the shop, turning the sign from ‘open’ to ‘closed’. 

“Brings back memories, huh.”

“Yeah,” you murmured. Taking one last look at the toy store and one last breath, you turn to Hawks. “Should we go get dinner?”

“Only if you want to.”

Just as you were leaving though a surprised gasp took your attention as both of you turned to face the owner that had come out of the shop and spotted you. He was certainly older than you remembered. Then again so were the both of you. Which is why you found it surprising that he seemed to remember you.

“Well, if it isn’t those two children from way back then.”

You smiled and bowed your head when he called you by name after taking a couple of seconds to recall it. Hawks only grinned and nodded when he easily remembered his.

“Pretty amazing that you still remember us after all this time,” Hawks pointed out. “Especially by name.”

“Hers was a struggle for sure.” He emphasized this with a nod at at which got a chuckle out of you. “But I couldn’t forget yours if I wanted, young man. Kind of hard when your face is plastered every, Mister No.2 hero.”

“Isn’t it?” You played along which only flustered Hawks a bit more than the owner’s teasing alone.

“What brings you young folk around here?” he asked.

“Nostalgia,” you freely admitted. “He and I met here. That time you came out to donate toys, remember?”

“Ah, yes. I believe I do.”

“Thanks again for the meal, mister,” Hawks added. “Gotta say that I’ve liked chicken ever since.”

The owner let out a hearty laugh. “Good to know that you too know better lives now. You kids out for a friendly lunch?”

One could say so. But before you could even tell him, Hawks got ahead of you. He took your hand in his, interlacing your fingers with his, and hoisting your hands up together. The silver bands on your ring fingers glimmered in the afternoon light and were clear for the him to see.

You could only smile at his antics and Hawks only grinned as he held tightly onto you.

“Little more like our anniversary dinner.” 

Chapter Text

Miryoku shuddered, the thundering bass of EDM already thrumming in her ears despite her still being outside of the venue. She tucked her arms around herself to keep herself warm. Her thin coat had been a terrible choice. It did nothing to protect her against the chill that engulfed Tokyo this late at night. Or morning, she supposed. A deep grimace set on Miryoku’s lips at the reminder of how ridiculously late it was and why exactly she was there.

Being the designated driver sucked. Very much so when she wasn’t even in the damn club partying.

Wanting to get it over with, Miryoku made her way to the back alley, squeezing through the bunch of people cued up to enter. Some glared daggers at her, others shouted at her to get in line, she minded neither and made a beeline for the bouncer instead. The hulk of a man was about to tell her off when he realized who she was and a grin spread across his face.

“Miryoku-chan!”

“Hey, Touma.” She shared a thin smile with him, her breath coming out as a puff of white.

Touma raised a curious eyebrow. “You don’t look like your dressed for a good time.”

“I’m here to pick someone up, actually.”

A gruff chuckle burst from him. “Ah, yes, Usagiyama-san. No wonder she came alone.”

“Didn’t feel like clubbing tonight.”

He nodded before reaching back and opening the door into the club. Now the music really tore at her ears. Geez, I’m not awake enough for this. Resigned, she thanked Touma before descending the stairs into the larger area of the club. A handful of chandeliers hung from the ceiling and reflected the prismatical stage lights that strobed to the music playing on every speaker perched on the walls across the club. As she descended the spiral staircase that led down into the bar, she could see how packed the dance floor was. Neon lights strobed on the floor from each step taken on it, adding to the energetic vibe she loved to have when she came. Not today though. Today she just wanted to find Rumi, get her home, and get herself back home to sleep.

Doing that, though, would be trying to find the needle in a bunch of neon haystack. Good thing, Miryoku had some kind of clue of where she was.

Once off the stairs, she bypassed the way to the dance floor and headed straight for the bar. Bodies smashed against her, adding to her ire, but she shoved them aside little by little and eventually made it. A thick, soundproof curtain that stretched from the ceiling all the way to the floor separated the bar from dance floor. The added soundproofing from its walls made the area relatively calmer and quieter when compared to the rest of the club but the muffled bass could still be heard beyond. Miryoku liked this part of the club. It was a good place to unwind once she got tired of dancing and needed a drink to mellow down. And this was exactly where she found Rumi on the brink of passing out with a drink in hand.

“Snow bunny!” The Rabbit Hero was quick to spot her despite her inebriated state and cried out at the top of her lungs as she got closer. “What are ya doing here?”

Miryoku shushed her, sprinting the rest of the way to her to catch her before she fell from trying to stand up. A feat in itself considering her physique when compared to Miryoku’s tiny frame. Somehow putting her back on the barstool she’d been using, Miryoku blew exhausted lip bubbles.

“What do you mean—You called me, Ru.”

“D-Did I?”

“Yes,” she drawled for emphasis. “And I’m taking you home now, you’re drunk.”

“Oh, this ain’t nothing!” She squinted at her half-full glass for a moment before lifting her gaze. Miryoku was about to chide her, determined to somehow drag her out of the club, when Rumi’s eyes widened, glinting with a mischievous shine before she raised her glass at someone behind her. “Lookit, the whole gang’s here!”

Gang?

“Well, this is certainly unexpected.”

Great. Just…fantastic.

Her face scrunched at the familiar voice but sighed through her nose before turning to catch sight of amber eyes. They swept her from head to toes before that devilish grin upturned Hawks’ lips.

“Hello, Ryoku-san—”

“It’s Miryoku,” she corrected, begrudgingly.

“Fancy meeting you here.” His grin grew and his crimson feathers puffed out jestfully. “Didn’t know you liked clubbing.”

“Not tonight I don’t.” She turned to Rumi, dogged on getting her home before this could escalate into anything she would later regret. “C’mon, Ru, we’re leaving.”

“But I want another!” Rumi cried out and stood to make her point clear but quickly started staggering on her feet. Before Miryoku could do anything, Hawks sprinted forward catching Rumi before she could fall with her full weight against Miryoku.

“Whoa there, jackrabbit. Don’t wanna squish Ryoku-san now, do you?”

Her crimson eyes narrowed on Hawks before she pointed at him, glass of liquor still in hand splashing everywhere with the gesture.

“You stay away from Snow Bunny, damn hawk.”

Hawks chortled and Miryoku couldn’t help the rush of blood that came to her face when he repeated that nickname under his breath.  

“Where’s that coming from?” he laughed.

“I’m warning ya.”

“Alright, Rumi!” Both jerked to attention from raising her voice. Ignoring the heat flushing her cheeks, Miryoku took Rumi’s wrist intent on taking her away. “We are leaving. Now.”

“Hold your horses.” Miryoku got pulled back when neither of them moved and glared back at Hawks who’d purposefully stopped Rumi from going anywhere. He flashed her a crooked smile, different from his usual wolfish one. “Usagi called me here to take her home.”

Her brow knitted down instantly. “She called me to come and take her home.”

Out of the blue, Rumi threw her arms up triumphantly, sloshing around what was left of her drink in the air before plopping her arms around both Miryoku and Hawks and locking their necks.

“My best drink buddies!”

Unbelievable.

Miryoku let out an exasperated groan while Hawks laughed his heart out. Just when she was about to chastise the two of them for that—especially him when Rumi was this far gone—she stopped in her tracks when a soft touch brushed against her arm. Behind her, a couple crimson feathers caught her attention before hovering up to point at the glass. Miryoku eyed Hawks briefly and met his amber eyes for a second. He gave the glass in Rumi’s hand a pointed look and offered her a knowing smile before turning broad as he went back to chatting with Rumi. Catching his drift, Miryoku busied herself taking Rumi’s drink and placing it on the bar’s countertop while Hawks distracted her with idle chatter. She gathered the few of Rumi’s belongings and chased after them as Hawks coaxed her out of the club.

Once on the sidewalk, Miryoku pointed at her car from behind Rumi’s back. Without stopping their chatter, he gave her a slight nod before stumbling around with Rumi over to it. Miryoku wasted no time opening the backseat door where he easily sat her down with the help of his feathers.

“Alright, Ru,” Miryoku said softly, taking in Rumi’s mellowed down and suddenly groggy expression. “We’ll be home soon.”

“Are you staying the night?”

“No, Ru, I’m not.”

Tears sprouted from her crimson eyes and she pouted. “But—aren’t we going out?”

“Ho?” Hawks immediately perked up at that, eyebrow quirking up at the same time his wings curled outward.

Heat rushed up her neck but she quieted down her embarrassment before giving Rumi a tender smile. Miryoku reached out and patted her head right between her ears.

“No, Rumi. Not anymore.”

Rumi locked eyes with Miryoku for a bit, sniffling for a moment before nodding. Out of the blue, she scooted in before lying down on her backseat with her legs partially still out of the car. Her shoulders slumped as she sighed and pushed her legs inside and closed the door. A quick lock to reassure herself Rumi wouldn’t suddenly run out of her car gave her enough time to turn up to Hawks as he leaned on the car’s side.

“Thanks for the help.”

“Don’t mention it.” He gave her backseat window a rap with his knuckles. “I’m guessing you’re gonna need help bringing her into her house with her knocked out like that.”

Her mouth fell open intent on sending him on his way home, assuring him she’d be fine with that much, until a kick from inside her car rocked it. Closing her mouth almost immediately, she nonchalantly nodded.

“Meet you at her place?”

Hawks didn’t answer. Instead he simple held her gaze for a moment before smiling. Not the flirtatious smile or easy-going one you were use to seeing from him out in public. This one seemed softer, gentler even.

“Mind if I hitch a ride with you?”

Miryoku couldn’t help the way her heart stirred at the way he said that. Shaking her head, she smiled before unlocking her car once more, her smile turning to a small grin. “You’re gonna have to lose some feathers though. My car’s not really made for fancy wings like yours.”

He scoffed and shook his head but as he entered the car, almost the entirety of his feathers dissolved from his wings, turning them more compact on his back as he took the passenger’s seat, and settled on the back seat giving Rumi a more comfortable bed. Miryoku chuckled as she looked over her seat, eyeing him one last time before starting their way to the Rabbit Hero’s home.

Unease encroached over Miryoku, the blush on her cheeks never leaving as she took in the situation at hand. She and Hawks met during an interview earlier that year. What really brought them into each other’s radar had been the incident that occurred at the gala for the Hero Billboards. Coincidentally or not, they had stumbled unto each other just like tonight far more times than she dared consider. At first she hadn’t been fond of the encounters. He was just one of many heroes that she worked alongside as a journalist. Yeah, keep telling yourself that, Miryoku. Maybe one day you’ll believe it. True to form, the mere thought of what had starting bubbling over the past months got her heart racing.

“So.” His sudden interjection brought her back from her scattered head and drew a sidelong glance from her between the times that she watched the road. “You and Rumi were a thing?”

Damnit, Ru. Why’d you go and open your mouth about that?

“Back in the day.”

“How long exactly is back in the day?”

“Why do you ask?” she asked.

A small, crooked small came to his lips as he leaned his elbow against the car door and his face against his hand to properly face her as she drove. “Curiosity mostly.”

“And the bit that isn’t from curiosity?”

“Self-interest.”

Her grip tightened on the steering wheel, fearing she’d swerve if she didn’t concentrate on the road after that direct hit. Easy there, she reminded herself, easy.

“The summer before I entered university if I’m recalling right.” Miryoku shrugged her shoulders to dispel some of her jitters. “We dated for a couple months before I broke it off. Frankly, we’re much better friends than we were girlfriends.”

Hawks gave the backseat a brief glance before cracking a grin. “Doesn’t seem like she got fully over it?”

“Ru took it hard when I told her I wanted to break things off.”

“Don’t blame her.”

“C-Can we stop talking about this, please?”

“Why?” he asked, a teasing smile spreading across his handsome face. “Uncomfortable?”

“Very much so, yeah,” she replied with a chuckle.

“That’s alright. Looks like we’re here anyhow.”

Just as he said this, Miryoku rounded the block and spotted Rumi’s condo. She let out a hefty sigh as she parked and rummaged through her wallet for a spare key.  “Let’s get her inside.”

Hawks leaned over with a furrowed brow. “You have a key?”

“Emergencies.”

“Drunken ones?”

“Yep.”

With Hawks’ help, the whole endeavor of getting Rumi inside her condo was made a thousand times easier. Regrettably, said Rabbit Hero only made it halfway across her living room before deciding that the sofa would be as good a place to pass out as any. Miryoku shook her head at Rumi’s questionable carelessness but smiled all the same, running off to the spare closet to grab a spare blanket to cover her with. She came back to Hawks snickering and her brow scrunched up at the sight, phone out and camera audibly shuttering as one of his feathers lightly prodded Rumi’s face.

Manchild.

“Oh, come on.”

Hawks chased after his phone the moment Miryoku snatched it from his hands. Deftly, she erased the photos he’d taken before locking it and pocketing it in her jeans’ back pocket. She glowered at him, unamused at his antics, and effectively stopped him in his tracks. He feigned innocence with a light whistle before Miryoku shook her head at him.

“Ryoku-san,” he whined exaggeratedly, hovering a little off the floor as she went about covering Rumi with the blanket. “Can I have my phone back, plase?”

“You’ll get it once we’re out of here.”

He pouted and landed on the floor with an audible thud. Chuckling, Miryoku patted his arm, hushed him with a finger to her lips and led him outside of the condo’s gate. Once at her car, she let out a long yawn, tears brimming in her eyes. Hawks turned over to the sky and his wings shuddered behind him as they tucked closer to him.

“The sun’s gonna rise soon.”

“Damn, and I’ve got work early tomorrow to boot.”

He chuckled, leaning over to open the driver’s seat and giving it a pointed nod. “Here, let’s get you home.”

“What,” she said with an amused chuckle. “Are you going to drive?”

“Hardly.” Miryoku felt the soft touch of feathers behind her as his wing nudged her closer to the door. “But I’d like to see that you get home safe and sound for one.”

Not up for arguing with how early it was, Miryoku nodded lazily before getting inside. His feathers swarmed her back seat again as he took the passenger’s and allowed her to head to her house. It was closeby thankfully and once she parked beside the small, cozy-looking house she breathed a sigh of relief. Exiting her car, she couldn’t help but stare as Hawks did the same and gawk at the way his feathers so painlessly returned to form his massive wings. The yellow hue of the porch light she left on tinted them in an off hue of orange red, though soon, she supposed the sunlight would show their true crimson color.

What a beautiful color too.

His sudden facing her with those amber eyes and that affable smile got her to turn away quickly, heat rising again all the way up to her ears. Veering off to the side, she headed straight to the few steps that led up to her front door with Hawks trailing behind her at a safe distance. Once on the top of the steps she turned sideways to meet him as he still stood at the bottom of the stairs.

“Thank you for helping me with Rumi, Hawks.”

Hawks shrugged his shoulders, a half grin lazily plastered on his face. “Tag team for the win, am I right?”

A bubbly chuckle came from her before a smile took its place. “And thank you for accompanying me home as well, though you really didn’t have to.”

“Of course, Ryoku-san.”

Just as she searched for her house key and was to turn towards the door, Hawks stepped forward and called out, “Miryoku-san, you think I could ask you something?”

“Now?” She wasn’t so taken aback by the sudden question as much as by the timing.

“It’s quick I promise.”

“Um, sure, I guess.”

This time he didn’t so much as move for a solid second. It struck Miryoku as odd, this stillness, but a large part of her preferred it better to his sudden climb up the stairs to stand at the top of them and a few feet away from her. All at once, Miryoku felt her heart fluttering at the sudden closeness, not so much from the usual apprehension of having another person bursting her personal space but simply from him being so close to her in particular.

“W-What is it?”

“Would you consider going on a date with me?”

Oh.

“H-Hawks, I’ve—” She chuckled, her voice cracking slightly from the previous shock. “I’ve told you before that I don’t really—”

“Date heroes?” He nodded as his gaze fell to stare derisively at something she couldn’t make out. The disconcert was short lived, though, and he quickly lifted his face to give her a bitter smile. Her heart tore at the sight of it. “Yeah, I thought that’d still be the case. Sorry for asking.”

Hawks turned on his heel, jumping the three steps down the porch and giving himself space as his wings unfurled to ready himself to take flight. All at once, Miryoku felt her own heart ache at the sight of his broad back.

He had asked her the same question many times before, all rather snide or jestful in some manner, and Miryoku had dismissed him just the same as she had now. And Hawks would always dismiss the rejection with a smile, obviously adamant to not let that bring him down. Never before had that laid-back attitude or easygoing smile disappeared like they did just now. Seeing them go away tightened her chest and made it hard to breathe. And it was just that much worse to know that she caused it.

Before, she would’ve said no and it wouldn’t have been like this. Before, she would’ve meant her rejection and not be affected by his reaction. Now, after so many things that had transpired between them, she couldn’t keep her heart aching from how much it pained her to say words she mostly didn’t mean.

Miryoku didn’t date heroes for a reason. She didn’t date at all right now for a very good reason. The genuity with which Hawks asked her though, spurred something from inside her. It urged her to be truthful.

You can’t be afraid of something that hasn’t happened yet—something that can only ever happen again if you let it.

It urged her to act.

“Hawks, wait—ah!”

The rush with which she ran down the steps, few as they might’ve been, made her lose her balance and stumble down them. Her shrieked muffled against warm cotton instead of cold, hard asphalt as arms took ahold of her arms to help steady her. Getting her footing back, Miryoku raised her face to meet amber eyes wide as could with surprise.

“Are you alright?”

“I’m—yeah.” Taking a few steps back, she cleared her throat, her hands fiddling with the strands of her hair that fell forward and brushing them behind her ear only to have them fall back again. “It’s just…that…your—your phone!”

Hawks’ lips fell open for a split moment before the ghost of a smile upturned the edges. She fumbled with the phone as she took it from her back pocket and presented it to him. Without much preamble, Hawks went to take it but when Miryoku refused to let go of it, he raised his gaze to her.

“Ryoku-san?”

C’mon, Miryoku. Just…give it try.

“I know…that I said before that I don’t go out with heroes. A-And I still stand by that,” her grip tightened on the smartphone as she mustered the courage to say what was on her mind. “But I don’t see anything wrong with just accompanying you somewhere to have a good time. So I wouldn’t necessarily be saying yes to a date with you but yes to just hanging out, you know. If that turns into a date or not, well, that’d be beyond me to know, right? So, if you’re okay with that being the case, then I don’t see why we couldn’t…”

The warmth of his hand suddenly folded over her own but didn’t so much as move it. He simply held it tenderly in his as his wings came to surround them both. Daring to lift her gaze, she met his and almost felt her heart stop completely at the adoring gaze he set on her. The most sincere smile came to him as he kept their eyes locked.

“Hanging out with you sounds like a splendid time.” With her grip on his phone loosened, he easily brought it out from under her grip and held it up to tap at his chin. “I’ll be texting you to iron out the details then.”

“S-Sure.”

Hawks gave a nod behind her to her house. “You better go get some rest. I’m sure you don’t want to be totally sleep deprived at work today.”

Heeding his advice, she carefully climbed the stairs to her front door but before going through the door turned back to glance over her shoulder. Hawks hadn’t left yet, waiting for her to enter with his hands in his pockets and a content expression on his face. The sight of it brought a genuine smile to her and a swell to her chest that she couldn’t describe.

“Goodnight, Hawks.”

His wings spread behind him as he took a light bow and not tearing his eyes from her for one instant. “Goodnight, Miryoku.”

Miryoku entered and closed the door behind her. Her legs quaking beneath her gave way almost instantly and she slid against her front door to break her fall. The whistling of air outside was indication enough of Hawks leaving, but in spite of his absence, the giddiness that filled her to the brink of bursting remained.

The boisterous barks of her dog, Junji, echoed through her small home at her arrival. The Akita skidded from the hall that led to the main bedroom and bounded straight to her, leaping onto her and licking at her face with reckless abandon. Bubbling laughter escaped her lips as she pushed the Akita away and vigorously petted at his head to calm him down. The dog wasn’t having any of it though, and frankly, she didn’t feel like she could sleep either with how elated she was.

It’s not a date, she reminded herself, don’t be too happy.

Miryoku couldn’t help herself though, burying her face against the Akita’s fur as she hugged him tightly and squealing into him as he barked out enthused at her happiness. Date or not, she had taken that first step. She allowed herself to start over. That more than anything set her heart fluttering. And it being Hawks made it all that much better.

She squealed against her dog’s fur again at the mere thought of him. Junji simply barked again and let his tongue stick out through his goofy grin.

Chapter Text

Hawks couldn't believe the awful dilemma he was in.

Ever since you came to work at his agency as recent two-year PR graduate, you'd swept everyone off their feet with your charm. It wasn't like you were trying to either. Hawks could spot a liar and superficial ass when he saw one, and after spending hours on end at work with you, he could tell you weren't that kind of person. Young and sweet, more like it, and quite the space cadet at times. It always amazed him how kind you could be and that it came from a genuine desire to help others. You should've been a hero—one that, unlike many he knew and heard of, would care more about the people that about herself. And he liked that about you.

You were easy to talk to, easy and a pleasure to just be around with, and the way you worried in a way that wasn't pushy but sincerely caring was endearing. It seriously took less than the short months of you working at his agency for Hawks to fall for you.

But that wasn't the problem. Fraternizing wasn't something prohibited in his agency per se. All that he asked was that it didn't happen at the office and that it didn't interfere with their work. Otherwise it was a-okay with him. No, that wasn't the problem.

What actually was…

"That's sweet." Hawks perked up at hearing one of his sidekick's words as they walked through the agency while heading out.

Amber eyes caught sight of the large bouquet in your hands just freshly delivered by the look of things. Bright, colorful flowers brushed against your skin as you leaned in to take a deep inhale of their scent. The light tint of rose on your cheeks and the chirpy compliments and comments from the receptionists that must've gotten the gossip told him exactly who those were from. Your boyfriend.

"Ladies," Hawks couldn't keep from speaking up as they passed the PR office. All of them, yourself included, jumped a little at being busted fanning over the bouquet.

"B-Boss?!"

Giving them all a tight-lipped smile, he eyed each and every one chidingly until he came to you. Though flustered, you couldn't quite put into a words any sort of excuse.

"Lovely flowers, y/n," he complimented. "They'll need a vase if you want them to live long. I'd do that fast if I were you."

"A-Ah, yes, of course!"

You scamper off your seat, rounding your desk and dashing out of the office with the rest of the women. The smile left him as he watched your receding back and turned back to glare at the bouquet.

"Boss, we're gonna be late for patrol!"

"Coming."

Hawks met the lucky bastard once. You had stayed behind at the office doing damage control on an absurdly and obviously fake tabloid. He'd done the same, needing to finish paperwork that he'd let pile up after weeks. Coincidentally both of you finished at the same time and met at the lobby. Hawks praised his good luck, fully intending to use the chance to the fullest. You were talking like nothing, settling into a calm that he loved, when he asked if he could take or walk you home. Like always, you grew a little flustered and stumbled on yours words.

For some reason, Hawks thought that you'd say yes.

"A-Actually, I'm getting picked-"

"Y/n!"

But hearing another man's voice call your name as he approached quickly shot that down and his hopes with it. Hawks' expression turned nonchalant at the way he'd so clumsily gotten to you and rubbed the back of his head.

"Sorry about the wait. Got out late from work too."

"It's alright," you interjected, a smiling coming to your lovely lips as you turned towards Hawks. "Hawks-san, this is my boyfriend. He's taking me home."

"Oh." Not wanting for you to see the way those words pained him, Hawks feigned a grin, shaking his hand when he offered it. "Well, guess you'll be fine getting home then. See you tomorrow."

It'd been the punch in the gut of a lifetime. He was in love with someone who already had somebody else. Fuck… What shit luck he had. Despite knowing this though, he couldn't help feeling the way he did about you. He knew how stupid it was to be in love for someone who couldn't reciprocate back. Being that what it may, Hawks wasn't one to just let go of things. He wouldn't interfere, but it would certainly take a while for him to fall out of love. Especially when you saw each other on the daily.

Hawks was out on a walk—pouting about this exact thing after being reminded when your boyfriend sent you yet another bouquet to the office—when he saw it. It was a restaurant that he frequented because he liked their food and also because they kept a low profile regarding who they served. Hawks was on the other side of the street when he saw them come out. Your boyfriend—but it wasn't you who walked by his side. It wasn't you who he was chatting with a little too amicably. And it definitely wasn't you who he was kissing.

He promised himself he wouldn't interfere. It was your love life. Not something he had any say in. But this?

Fucker's got something coming.

Blood boiling, Hawks swooped down before the couple of them, his wings brandished off as he smirked lopsidedly at him. At recognizing him, your shit-excuse of a boyfriend blanched while the woman with him gawked in awe at the No.2 hero. Feigning a smile that he knew got through quite menacingly depending on who saw it, Hawks tilted his head to the side.

"Well, hello there. Fancy meeting you here. On a date."

Fucker tried every excuse on the book, taking his arm off from the woman even. But it was all too little, too late. Hawks knew what he'd seen. And he knew exactly what he was.

"This isn't what it looks like."

"No?" Hawks chuckled, turning to the lady that had been accompanying the bastard with a candid smile. "Sweetheart, did you know that the man who just took you to dinner has a girlfriend?"

She exploded almost instantly. "What?!"

"Yep!" Amber eyes glinted with mischief and delight at seeing him squirm. "If I'm not wrong, they've been dating for five months already."

"You!" She spun livid, red-faced at the news before hitting him a couple of times. "I fucking knew it! You've been cheating on me!"

Hawks felt that sink in heavily and saw red for a moment. You weren't his actual girlfriend. You were the ass's bit on the side. Fucking idiot. Though he enjoyed how pathetic the guy was trying to excuse himself when the lady left, Hawks' business wasn't with her. All he wanted was to leave one thing very clear.

"Look here, buddy," Hawks drawled, emphasizing acerbically the last word to make himself clear. "I don't care what you do with your life. You could go jump off a cliff and I'd be glad to watch. What I won't stand for is you two-timing y/n."

"Y/n? This is about her?"

"Yes, dumbass, it is. Now," Hawks unfurled his wings to their full span, stepping closer and grabbing the guy by the collar of his shirt. "You're going to go see her, tell her the truth, and fucking pray that I don't feel like hunting you down after you hurt her 'cause be-lieve-me," his feathers tensed, sharpening at the rabid rage coursing through him, "there won't be shit left of you when I do."

Hawks swore he blew a gasket the moment he saw the bouquet of roses on your desk the next day. By the content expression on your face it was than clear that the coward hadn't said a thing. Bastard.Hawks didn't know why he trusted he would. He didn't understand how the threat of obvious bodily harm by his hand didn't do the trick. But it hadn't. And you were still none the wiser of what the bastard was doing to you.

Hawks avoided you the rest of the day. What he knew wasn't something for him to divulge, no matter how much he wanted to. No, this wasn't his place despite how much he wished it were. He almost went the whole day without talking to you—a torture in and of itself—when you caught him as he was just leaving his office.

"Hawks-san, can I have a moment to speak to you?" He almost declined. He'd been this close from saying no to you. "Please?" That utterly broke him.

He took you in to his office, offering you a seat which you deftly declined yourself with a wave of your hand and a smile. For once, he felt nervous. He couldn't tell what you wanted to talk about and that set his panic off. But when that usually cheerful demeanor of yours changed to a rather solemn one behind a tight-lipped smile, Hawks could tell what this was about almost instantly.

"You ran into h/n yesterday, didn't you?"

It didn't really sound like a question. More like a suspicion that she wanted verified. And because Hawks wasn't one to hold back, he answered her truthfully.

"I did."

"You saw him coming out of a restaurant…with another woman?"

"Yeah."

"I see." You took a deep breath and wiped your face and tears away with the back of your hands. "Thank you for being honest with me."

"It's the least I can do," he replied. Silenced for a moment, Hawks tried to reach out to touch your shoulder, "Are you—"

"I knew he was cheating on me."

His fingers and feathers twitched at the sudden declaration and he stared at you befuddled. "You did?" You nodded still wiping tears that streamed down your face.

"I-I guess I kind of suspected it—ever since we started dating, actually—that I wasn't really the only one he was seeing." A weird smile came to her lips even though her tears were still rolling down her reddened cheeks. "But I let it be. I told myself not to mind it. Because, really, he was the first to ask me out. I…I hadn't really gone out with anybody before that, not really. And he asked me out, you know? He's made me feel real special and I-I'm happy…" The moment you choked on your words as a sob broke from you lips, you trembled obviously not believing the blatant lie spilling from your lips.

"Y/n," Hawks spoke softly, and gently took your arm to lead you to seat down as he crouched before you to better look at you. "You can't tell me that like this and expect me to believe that you're really happy with someone who doesn't love you?"

"But he does love me. He always sends me flowers. He always texts me that he loves me. He always makes dinner for us at home."

Hawks didn't know who you were trying to convince anymore.

"I don't want to be a downer but have you ever asked yourself why he never brings the flowers himself? Does he call you to say it too? Does he ever take you out in public anywhere?"

The questions seemed to only prove what they both already knew for a fact. And yet…

"I thought it'd be fine if I just ignored it." She chuckled, but it sounded muffled behind her sobs. "Because I didn't want to confront him. I didn't want to lose him. No one's gonna love me like that—I don't deserve it."

Not true.

"That's not true." He didn't know what spurred him to speak. It didn't matter though. He wasn't going to keep quiet any longer. "I love you."

You scoffed at his response, the incredulous gesture sounding rather off putting coming from you. "No, you don't. You just feel bad for having been the one to unearth all this."

"You don't get to laugh at what I feel, much less tell me what it is." Hawks reached his hands up and held yours in his gently as his thumbs soothingly stroked the back of your hands. For once, those teary eyes gazed at your joined hands before lifting it up to meet amber eyes. "I love you, y/n. And I have ever since I met you." Finally, realization settled in your eyes. You shook your head over and over again despite the tint of red starting to color your cheeks. Hawks nodded his head trying to get it through yours. "But it doesn't matter who loves you and who doesn't. Not if you don't love yourself first."

"…w-what?"

"Don't ever think you don't deserve to be loved or to be happy. You do. Everybody does. Regardless of what shit life hits them with or what you think of yourself. Because none of it is true. You deserve more than that bastard or anybody can give you. Hell, I don't even know if I can give you what you deserve, but I'll be damned if I don't at least try." Hawks squeezed yours hands and you could feel just how true his words were from the intense yet adoring look he gave you. "But none of it will matter unless you care about yourself first, y/n. And you have to care enough to realize when something doesn't make you happy. Enough to kick that shit that doesn't make you happy out on the curb and care about yourself first. 'Cause I don't think anybody will love you as deeply or as sincerely as you will ever love yourself."

Your eyes wandered as his words sunk in. Hawks felt your fingers grip his hand tightly then. A smile came to your lips, a more sincere one than before as you broke his hold on your hands to wipe your face clean of dried tears.

"Thank you, Hawks. I…I think I get what you mean to say."

"That's great to hear." A small, cautious smile spread across his face at hearing that. "Are you going home?" You nodded while still wiping away. "Let me walk you then. It's kind of late."

Hawks didn't know what to expect when he walked you home. You thanked him when you got to the front gate, bouquet of roses in your arms, before telling him you'd see him tomorrow. Giving you a wry smile, he dismissed himself and took flight but stopped only feet above where you wouldn't see him. Hawks waited with bated breath as you walked the length to your front steps and stopped. It was obvious how petrified you were to walk through that door and meet the one who obviously parked his car on the curb. Hawks was too. But relief settled through him and he smiled at you when you walked to the trash can, lifted the lid, and dumped the roses inside before walking into the house.

Seeing you do that gave him hope. After that, he trusted that you would do what was right for yourself.

You called in sick the next day. Worried, Hawks called your home just in case but was relieved to here that you were fine, just taking the day off, and the weekend following that, to move out and get a small apartment. It gladdened him to hear that and joked around with you for a bit, saying that if you needed help to just give him a call and he'd go flying.

After that and as the days rolled by, Hawks could tell how you slowly returned to your former, cheery self. It was hard at first. No more flowers coming almost every other day got the receptionists at the front desk gossiping but it wasn't nothing he couldn't stop with a stern look and a mild offhand comment. You thanked him with a smile anytime that happened. As you took your time, Hawks did his best to simply go back to the way things used to be between you two. Just a simply employer-employee relationship. It was hard for him, to say the least. He'd confessed—poorly timed, yes, but did so all the same. And though he would've loved an answer, he knew that you came first. It didn't seem like that fact went over your head though. Hawks noticed from time to time just how flustered you would get around him, and that gave him a little bit of hope. Enough to wait around for as long as needed.

Days became weeks which became months. Soon the end of the year came and Hawks threw a little party for all the employs of the agency. It wasn't anything much, just a little potluck for everyone where all those who went could bring something. Though you weren't up to it at first, he and some others, those who eventually found out about your break up, convinced you to join and spend the night having a little fun.

It was barely ten when Hawks decided that it'd be a good time to go for the seventh beer. Though he wasn't much a drinker, he supposed that celebrating once a year like that wasn't too bad. You caught him mid-sip when you called out his name after having followed behind him. Choking a little from the startle, Hawks chuckled in an attempt to hide the clearing of his throat.

"Y/n? What's up?"

"Nothing, just wanted a little fresh air," you said, cupping your hands and covering your mouth a little to blow warm air into them. Puffs of white floated away each time and Hawks grinned before going back to drinking his beer.

"Fresh is an understatement," he added. His wings unfurled behind him before one settle back and the other curled around you to keep the cold breeze from crashing too hard against your back. "Too much party for you?"

"Hardly." You chuckle taking a peek over your shoulder and through his feathers at the party still going on behind closed doors. "I'm having fun, actually. Just that they wanted to play some drinking game and I kind of have to drive home."

"Could always get a cab," he offered as he lowered the can from his lips and held it out before him for emphasis.

"Okay, maybe I don't want to drink that much."

Coyly, you reached out and took the can of beer before Hawks knew it. Bringing it to your lips, you took a gulp of the bitter beverage and your face scrunched up a little at the taste before you gave it back.

Hawks raised an eyebrow, sloshing the remaining beer around in the can. "What happened to 'I don't want to drink'?"

"I said 'much'. I don't want to drink much," you reiterated.

That brought a chuckle out of him and you returned to the blissful quiet that he enjoyed about being with you, even now after a year of what happened. The calming talks, the chill silence, and just your presence was enough to put him completely at ease. And though it still ached a little, Hawks never could forget about you nor about the way you made him feel.

"Um…Hawks-san?"

"Yeah?"

"I know it's been a long time and you probably don't remember but I want to thank you again. For what you did when I joined your agency."

Hawks knew perfectly well what you meant. Not a day went by that he didn't think of that and how strong you've been to let go and put yourself first.

He raised his can, toasting to that. "No need to thank me. You did all the work, after all. I was just the cute cheerleader on the sidelines."

"No, you were more than that." Heavy as you were breathing, bigger and bigger puffs of white, cool air escaped your mouth. The nip in the air got reddened your face too, nipping at your cheekbones, ears, and tip of your nose. "You're the reason my life's been so much better. And I've been wanting to thank you everyday for that."

"You're a great PR agent, y/n," he chuckled, his own face starting to go a little numb from the cold. "That you keep outta trouble is more than enough."

"I don't mean as your PR agent, Hawks-san. I mean—oh, boy, how do I put this? I…think that what I want to say is…I like you, Hawks-san."

Hawks almost dropped the can of beer but held it tightly to avoid that travesty, denting the aluminum a bit. Laughing a little and feeling the warmth crawling over his face, Hawks instantly crouched down and wrapped his wings around him like a safety cocoon. Worried out of your mind, you kneel closer, crying out that you were sorry about surprising him like that. That just made him laugh a little more but he refused to unravel himself yet.

It wasn't until your fingers poked deep enough through the feathery curtain and parted it that his amber eyes met yours.

"Are you okay?" you asked timidly.

"Yeah," he mumbled, running his hand over and over through his hair and messing it up worse each time. In the end, his wings unfurled to reveal him as he crouched down and looked at you with a simple turn of his head. "It's just that I've been waiting such a long time to hear that that it took me by surprise."

"Really?" you perked up, curious. "Since when?"

"Since the day I confessed to you."

Your face turned bright red, this time it surely wasn't from the cold. Scooting to be as close as you could be to him, you waited as he sat back on the cold concrete before speaking.

"I'm sorry for making you wait so long for an answer."

"Don't be." Hawks chuckled before reaching his hand to cup your cheek. You didn't pull away as the warmth of it pooled against your cheek. Instead you savored it with a smile. "Not unless you intend to say that and leave it me hanging."

"What do you mean?"

"What I mean is if that confession means anything else. Like you wanting me to be your boyfriend, for example."

"I-I—yes," you replied, after a momentary stumble, your eyes glinting briefly. "I-I'd love to be your girlfriend…Hawks. If you'd be okay with me."

Hawks chuckled before leaning in and bringing you closer by his hold on your cheek. Before you knew it, his lips brushed against yours. Barely even a whisper. But as he began to pull away you jumped forward again, stumbling into him and deepening the kiss at the same time. He laughed into your kiss but followed suit with your approach until you pulled back. Snorting a little, he kissed the tip of your cold nose before brushing his thumb over your cheek.

"Believe me, there's no one I'd rather be with than you."

Chapter Text

Crimson.

You had always loved the vibrant color. To you, it was the color of the most beautiful tulips, or gorgeous sunsets, of the precious thing you called life.

And most dearly to you, it was the color of those wonderful wings on your beloved's back. A man you met as Hawks, the No.2 hero of Tokyo. A man who became known to you as Keigo, the man you loved with every fiber of your being.

But now…now you couldn't take the horrid sight of red out of your head. The sight of those gorgeous wings–wings that had saved you, saved so many people so many times over the years–gone.

It all happened too fast. That man's deadly touch brushing against his wings, his powers spreading too quickly for you to see. But not for him.

And now they were conpletely gone.

Ripped from Keigo's back mercilessly by his own hand with one last feather before they could completely disintegrate him whole.

The warmth of his blood spilled through your fingers as you struggled to haul him through the villains' liar, your hand splayed across his now bare back on the open wounds left behind by his wings.

Lighter…but so, so much heavier.

You didn't know who was on your back, but that mattered very little. You just knew you had to run. The cacophony of all the fighting was still bouncing through the place. Heroes vs villains, the former outnumbering the latter, and the situation was looking grimmer by the minute. Casualties were cropping up all over the place, and Keigo almost joined them. The thought alone made your blood run cold almost as horridly as another thought did.

The No.2 hero–the Winged Hero had fallen.

A sudden yelp escaped you when suddenly your foot got caught on an uneven edge, your leg buckling underneath you from the imbalance and added weight on your shoulders. You fell to one knee, grunting as you went down, but held tight to Keigo as he barely held onto his consciousness.

He shuffled over you, his amber eyes dull and dazed over as they looked over to you.

"Leave, y/n…" His voice was raspy and weak, but it was there. He was still there. He's alive.

"Shut up, please," you replied. You wanted for it to sound stern, but you were too panicked by his injuries and the feud happening behind you for it to come out as anything other than shaky.

All those things finally gave you the strength to pull yourself up and keep dragging yourselves along the path ahead, regardless of where it took you. So long as it was away from the fighting and to safety, to somewhere you could treat his bleeding wounds.

"Where do you think you're going with him, princess?"

The scorching azure flames entered your vision as they ran by your side, leaping bounds in circles to surround you. To encage you in a prison of fire.

Somewhere in him Keigo found the strength to push you behind him, but you couldn't keep from noticing how his back tensed noticeably. If to brace himself to protect you or in a innate reflex to brace his missings wings, you weren't sure.

Vibrant, turquoise eyes shone in the dark menacingly, his aloof stare seemingly nonchalant as he met eyes with you, but you could see deep in those eyes the thick sense of danger and raw killing intent.

Dabi wanted your heads.

Keigo somehow cracked a smug grin, part of his lips upturned despite the cuts and bruises marring his face.

"Your fight's with me."

"Not anymore." He nodded your way, that death stare pinning you in place a d making you jump in your skin. "Princess over here interfered just like you did. And well, after all that's happened, I'm taking this personal now." His hand set abalzed, Dabi sent a pillar of blue flames your way.

You didn't know what came over you. All you knew was that you couldn't let him die. You couldn't let Keigo do what he always did: martyr himself. Before you knew what happened, your Quirk came to life–

And all stopped.

The flames that shot your way flickered and stilled feet from your faces. The rumbling and screaming from outside quieted. All but what you touched stopped in its tracks. Keigo couldn't help but stare dumbfounded at what you'd done, something you never had before.

You urged him to move between bated breaths. This wouldn't last and you knew it. Renewed with strength from adrenaline, Keigo drew you by the hand as far away as possible as you helped him balance himself. A tiny timer in your head ticked, ticked, ticked the more time passed until it finally stopped d you felt your body exhaust itself.

Unable to carry both of you, you turned a corner and into the nearest room. Once inside you lowered him to the ground and searched for a a hiding spot, finding one in the small study connected to the room. Hauling him over, you carefully sat him against the wall, red painting the back as it slowly rolled down the wall. Your tears choked you at the sight of his missing wings, but you wiped away at them not wanting for him to see. Just as you did though, his hand reached up and cradled your cheek in it.

The gesture made you look up and meet his amber gaze that, despite all his injuries and massive wound, smiled at you along with his lips.

"You never told me you had such an amazing Quirk."

"It's not," you wept, unable to contain it anymore. "I can only stop time. I can't turn it back."

I can't change the past.

Keigo chuckled lightly but groaned when thatwracked pain across his back. Wanting to soothe him, you scooted closer to him to embrace him and hide the tears that rolled down your cheeks now. Keigo held you close, relishing on the sensation of having you in his arms to keep from his mind what he'd lost.

"Y'know, I never gave much thought to the future, not until I met you," he said quietly. "And recently, I'd been thinking of how I wanted to get a little house back in Fukuoka. A nice place where we'd move in together, maybe even after getting married. Somewhere we could be in peace with a kid or two running around."

Your tears stopped as you listened to him talk. Taken a ack by his words, you tried to get up to see him but he held you tightly in place.

"Kei, what are you–"

"It would've been nice. I think that's the kind of life that…would've suited me…"

His voice was weaker and quieter now and your heart almost stopped as it trailed off at the end. Pulling away now without much effort, you held his head close to your chest, dreading how slow and shallow his breathing was turning.

"We'll get a house there," you whisper back, brushing your fingers through his blonde windstruck tresses. "And we'll go live there and marry and have as many kids as you want but please, please, you've gotta stay with me, Keigo."

"Whatever happens to me is fine," he said, one of hands weakly rubbing your arm. "So long as your safe."

All above you the place shook as whatever was happening came to an abrupt end. Dust fell from cracks on the cieling but the underground room stayed. Now eerie silence took over and left the two of you in that dark room. You held your breath though as quiet voices managed to somehow ring throught he corridos. They were indistinguishable but they were there–and they were closing in.

Holding Keigo tighter than before, you whispered prayers to yourself, wanting nothing more than to come out alive.

Closer and closer the noises became and you held tighter not knowing what else to do. You were too exhausted from your Quirk, from watching you beloved so defeated, and from this entire situation that had put him in harm's way because of what others wanted.

It had never been a choice. Not for him. And it cost him everything.

Tears finally sprang from your eyes as the door to the room you were opened. The light spilled through as you hid in your corner, a d becuase of its incandescence, it was hard to see. Waiting with bated breath, you aimply looked down at Keigo wishing that if anything, he'd be the one to get out alive.

"Hawks?"

Never in your life were you happier to hear Enveador's voice calling out. Your voice barely came ove a whisper but you did your best to shout out for them to find you. Just then you turned down your head to assure him in quiet whispers that everything was fine, it'd all be alright now that the others were here.

But he didn't answer. His breathing was barely there. His chest was barely moving anymore.

All that was left was the tight grip he had of you.

This time when you screamed, it snuffed out with the light that you loved so much.

The one that with no more wings had fallen.

Chapter Text

"…fuuuuckkk…"

The word lingered long after you stopped saying it and it mingled with darkness that now engulfed your apartment. An outage. It was just your luck too. You hadn't planned on going out despite the many invites that had been sent your way—Christmas parties, dinners, etc. Sure, it was Christmas Eve but with no family close by nor any friends you were super close to that you would spend the night with, you decided that the best way to spend the night would be alone. Mind made up, you had just changed into something comfortable to watch movies and play video games when the lights went out. Grumbling under your breath, you put on a jacket and venture out of the haven that is your apartment onto the hallway with only the light of your phone to guide the way.

Your place was a luxury you could afford to have. One of the few honestly. You liked living in comfort even when it meant working a bit harder than others for it. It was well worth it though. Great security, amazing neighbors (that weren't nosy as hell, by the by) and unbelievable service. Though you supposed that that wasn't really applicable right at this very moment.

"Is that you, tweetie?"

The familiar name caught you off guard and you turn only to have the bright light of a flashlight beam right in your face.

"God, could you lower that?" you grumbled.

Your neighbor chuckled before clicking off the light he had and letting only your phone light the hallway that you two now stood in. Now that you could actually see him, you glared peeved at the No.2 hero that just so happened to share a floor with you in your complex. His enormous wings, too big for the hall, linger behind him, tucked away for safety, but bristled as he laughed.

"Bit grumpy there, tweetie." Hawks asked while lowering his flashlight and clicking it on for the light to hit the floor instead of blinding you like before. "What? Did the power go out before you could save?"

Your cheeks puffed in irritation at the reminder. Hawks instantly chortled at your reaction and you felt oh so tempted to throw you phone at him. But before you can even try, a chill runs down your spine as the temperature from outside finally seems to catch onto you. Oh right. The whole building, including your apartment, had been heated because of how cold it was outside. Without power, the heater was off. And your pjs and light jacket weren't doing you any favors.

"It's kinda cold out here." Suddenly, a small push from your back makes you jump a bit until Hawks carefully extends his wing forward as if to coax her forward. Pointing his thumb towards his apartment, Hawks grinned, "Luckily, I had some coffee made just before it went dark. Want a cup?"

It was sensible to decline, but the next chill that made you shiver told you otherwise.

"F-F-Fine."

Without much more prompting you led the way into his place and followed afterwards after him as he led you into living room. Motioning with one of his wings to the sofa, he made his way to the kitchen while some of his feathers, sparkling in the moonlight that poured through the windows, flew away to god knew where.

"Make yourself comfortable. I'll get you that coffee on the double."

"I-I-Is my cup you borrowed still here?"

"Serving you on it as we speak." As you snuggled into the corner of the sofa, you could hear him pouring the coffee into two mugs. "You still like your coffee with honey?"

"Yes, please!"

By then, you had begun to blow hot air into your cupped hands as the cold began to seep into your body. Just as you were about to huddle closer to yourself, you felt soft cotton fall over your shoulders. Glancing behind you was enough to catch the feathers that had dropped the blanket on you. You thank them under your breath and smile when you hear Hawks coming back from the kitchen with a couple of mugs in his hand while his feathers helped him light the way.

He stopped in front you and bent forward with the light angled for you to see what he was doing as he passed you your mug. As you reach for it with both hands, he smiles and say, "Careful, tweetie. It's hot."

Blowing a few times on it for it to cool proved futile when you tasted it and it remained hot as it'd been. He shakes his head at your stubbornness but chuckles to himself as he takes a seat on the other side of the sofa you sat on. He picks out his phone as he does and turns it on before turning it over for you to see the screen.

"Looks like the whole of our neighborhood is completely blacked out."

Finally tepid enough, you take a small sip. Though the honey clashed with the coffee it was an acquired taste that you loved. Those big eyes of yours look up at him at the news, "No kidding. Wonder what caused it."

"Probably some nut messing around and getting the electric wires as collateral."

"Sounds too good for a hunch."

Hawks scrolled further down on the feed he was on before turning it back towards you. Clear as day on the page was the news of a villain attack having damaged the electric company's main tower in Kyushu. Great, just your luck.

"What luck, huh?" you say.

"Ain't it?"

Silence came over you both then. As your drank your coffee in silence, you wondered how the No.2 hero could be alone in his apartment on Christmas Eve. Certainly there should be some extravagant party that he got invited to. Goodness knew that you didn't see him that often as it was. Ever since he moved in and introduced himself to you two years ago now, you saw him sparsely. But being quite friendly yourself, despite appearances that made say otherwise, you welcomed him as your neighbor readily. The few hellos and good mornings you exchanged during certain days eased you both into it and after a few times of catching each other in the elevator, you began to notice that he wasn't quite the chatterbox that he seemed to be in TV. Yes, he liked talking but not quite wasting unnecessary breath in idle chatter. And you, being quite down to earth about him being a hero, understood that. It's why you only ever said your pleasantries when you saw it fit. If he seemed in a good mood, you trudged forward with a little conversation. If not, you left it at hello and goodbye.

Hawks seemed to appreciate this. Oftentimes he came to you when he had extra tickets to an event or gifts that had been given to him but weren't quite his taste that he thought you might enjoy better. Little things that brought you closer as neighbors made you thick as thieves after two years of sharing the same floor.

Now it was like having a good friend living next door. You two knew stuff about each other that you surely wouldn't share with other outside of close friends or family. And though it bothered you that somehow couldn't help feel something for him that wasn't neighborly, you decided to not pay it any attention. You knew it'd be better that way. It certainly wasn't easy but once you repeated to yourself that it wouldn't happen for the umpteenth time, you began to believe it. Your feelings finally settled down to what amounted to a mere infatuation.

It was there, you knew it. You acknowledged it. But it wouldn't move past that.

"You weren't planning on going out tonight, tweetie?"

His sudden question caught you off guard, your cup fumbling a bit in your grip, but you held your ground as you replied. "Not really. Christmas isn't really a favorite time of year for me."

"Really?" One of his eyebrows quirked up at that as he leaned a bit forward, curious. "How come?"

"Too many people that like to party and get shitfaced drunk kinda ruin the festivity for me." Your nose scrunched up at the thought, "I enjoy the festive food in the comfort of my home though. That's pretty much what I look forward to this time of year." With another sip of her coffee, she decided to let it sit a while longer between her hands to cool. "And you? No fancy parties to attend?"

"Plenty," he says with mild amusement. Though you can't see his face very in the dark, you do catch a glimpse of his lips upturning to a grin. "But it's too much of a hassle so I don't."

"Isn't that, like, bad press or something?"

Hawks scoffed taking a long swig of his coffee. "Not with the PR team I have, it isn't. They'll deal with the backlash of that. Besides, it's not like heroes can't have holidays anyway. That I use them as they think I do is a whole other story though."

You scoffed back at what you came to know as his usual antics. Finally starting to feel comfortable without that nagging feeling pushing around, you try to take another sip of your mug while at the same time trying to sit up and adjust yourself. Bad idea.

The moment you tried to maneuver yourself without light made you stumble a bit around as you tried not to fall off the couch, but just as you're trying to avoid a sure facepalm onto the floor below, you lose your grip on your mug. It crashed against the tile with a resounding crack and sent your heart spiraling into a frenzy at your clumsiness.

"I-I'll get it!"

"No, don't!"

It was a tangled mess. Hawks, in his attempts to keep you from accidentally cutting yourself with the pieces of ceramic, hauled you properly onto the sofa and lost his own bearings a little. His reflexes didn't fail him completely though, and he somehow managed to keep himself from falling on top of you by bracing himself with his arms.

You were safe. He was fine.

It just so happened that now he had you pinned down beneath him.

For a moment, your breath hitched as you both stared into each other's eyes. Not a sound came out of either of you. Only silence and a hair's breadth separated you two. Those amber eyes seemed to almost devour you in the way they were staring back at you. You simply tried to reason with your mind that this was just an accident. Really, really tried to convince it that this was just a happy little accident that happened at the expense of your favorite mug.

But you couldn't. Your heart raced unbelievably fast. You swore he would be able to hear your heartbeats from how close he was, practically on top of you. And your mind couldn't stop thinking about how beautiful his amber eyes looked in this light.

Wait.

Light?

"…the light's back on."

You had no idea what possessed you to break the silence that had encapsulated the two of you. But you did with those simple words, bringing the matter of his now lit apartment to his attention. Hawks slowly back away from you and took his seat back on the sofa. Oddly enough, though, he remained still as could be as his expression remained pensive for a moment. As is snapping himself out of his own thoughts a second later though, Hawks blinked a couple of times before the realization dawned on him. Wings you hadn't noticed had been sprawled out behind him drooped a little as a sad smile came to his lips.

"That it is."

Everything went a little too fast for your liking after that. He carefully got you over the sofa so as to avoid your broken mug all the while telling you that he'd replace it with another one some other time, before guiding out of his apartment, down the hall and to your front door.

"Well," he said with a meek grin, hands shoved into the pockets of his sweatpants. "Guess you can go back to playing now." Hawks turned his body sideways, wings neatly tucked behind him. "Good luck beating those levels, tweetie."

Something had to be wrong with you that night. There had to be. Otherwise you wouldn't have let the words that escape you do so when you saw his receding back.

"Want to spend the night with me?"

A loud smack startled you into your mind again when Hawks' wings suddenly spread out without warning. He quickly smacked them back into place as if forgetting her could control them, and when it didn't work all that well, he simply burrowed a little hole between his bristled feathers to peak from behind them.

"I didn't know you were that forward, tweetie."

All at once, embarrassment rained down on you turning your cheeks crimson. But you quickly swallowed that down and corrected your words. "N-N-N-Not like that, you big dodo!" Clearing your throat and glaring a bit at him, you pointed back to your apartment door with your thumb, cheeks still flushed as could be. "I was gonna order some take-out and binge the sweets I have. What I meant to say is…wanna play video games and watch sappy Christmas movies with me?" With a nonchalant shrug, you ended it with, "It's not like you have anything better to do, right?"

That statement took him by surprise and got him cackling. Once his laughter died down, his wings seemed to settle down as he tucked them back behind him as he turned towards you.

"You know what? That actually sounds like my kind of night." Hawks gave you one of his signature smirks, yet somehow it was more genuine that you'd ever seen it. "Can I pick the movie?"

You chuckled a little before opening your door and leaving it open for him to follow. "Only if it's a Christmas movie."

Hawks laughed as he followed behind you and closed the door.

"Die Hard it is."

Chapter Text

|Alright. Meet me tomorrow at 9am at the station.|

Hawks reread the text on his phone for the tenth time as he patiently waited at said location for ten minutes now. It wasn’t yet time for your meeting with him but he had wanted to get there early to mentally prepare himself. You two had been dating for the better part of six months. Much longer than he expected any relationship with anybody to last. But he knew there was something different about you. It was why he had been so adamant despite your obvious disinterest at first. Sure, he might’ve come off as a tad bit overbearing but it was only because he was interested about what he saw in you that he couldn’t quite describe. 

You weren’t big on dates. Neither was he for that matter since there was no such thing as privacy in his life. But he knew you enjoyed spending time together no matter where that might be. So after months of trying to convince you, you finally accepted with one condition: you chose where you would go, no questions asked. He complied if only for the opportunity. Needless to say, he was somewhat anxious about what you had in store for the day. 

I just hope it’s not where people will bother us too much.

“Big Bird!" 

The sound of your voice calling out to him made Hawks spin on his heels to meet your gaze as you caught up to him. He stared for a good minute as you caught your breath. Seldom did you two see each other outside of work and seeing you now in normal clothes took him aback. 

You looked adorable in that summer dress. Even more so with how cute you looked with that little scowl while calling him that name—whoops.

"My bad,” he chuckled, “I wasn’t paying attention.”

“Obviously.” You don’t regard that as anything unusual. He always seemed to daydream in front of you. It made getting him to do his work all that much harder but at least he wasn’t an awful boss and boyfriend aside from that. Losing the edge from an awful morning, you give him a small smile before pointing towards the station. “Come on, our train is leaving soon.”

The two of you boarded the train. Hawks noted the stations it would hit and wondered which one would be your stop as you took a seat beside each other in a mostly empty car. You said little of where you were headed even now. All you told him was that it was a place you frequented and that you enjoyed being at very much. That was enough for him for the duration of the train ride. It got him to wonder just what kind of place it was that made you wear such a loving smile.  

Of everything that he had come up with, this was certainly not even on the list.
“Y/n-sensei!" 

"Hello, everybody!”

All the preschoolers rushed your way the moment you entered the door, the faster ones clinging to your skirts and legs and the rest clamoring around you for attention. Hawks stared with mouth agape as all of them—he counted at least…30!?—bombarded you with questions that you patiently answered. Hawks couldn’t help but stand stiffly when one of them, a little blonde girl with huge green eyes, spotted him. They stared at each other, one curiously and the other quite awkwardly for what seemed the longest time. 

Finally, she grinned and pointed enthusiastically at him. “Birdy!”

Almost like a war cry, the rest of the children turned together and burst into shouts and laughter as they rushed to Hawks. Some appeared to recognize him while others simply were interested in the new face that had ‘pretty wings.' Looking up, he couldn’t help feeling used when you simply chuckle mischievously before sauntering off to meet with who he assumed was the actual person in charge of the bunch of children. She was an older lady. One that seemed to readily recognize you when you came to her. 

“Ah, darling. It’s so nice to see you again.”

“Glad to be back, Yui-san.”

“And you brought your friend—everybody! How do we introduce ourselves to a new friend?” With a clap of her hands, the children dispersed like well trained animals to give themselves space as they bowed a little and chorused a 'it’s very nice to meet you!’. Pleasantries over with, she readily instructed the children to go prepare for morning activities. They did so after a grand chorused 'awe’ and scattered out into the adjacent room where another, younger, teacher waited for them. Turning to Hawks, Yui smiled tenderly. 

“Welcome to our little school. I’m Yui, the director.”

“N-Nice to meet you. I'm—” The small laughter from the old woman made Hawks stop midsentence. 

“I know who you are, young man. It’s not everyday that a hero comes to visit us, much less the No.2 hero in Japan. But that’s alright, y/n told us beforehand you would come.”

Hawks eyed you briefly before the other teacher called out to the director. The moment you two were left by yourselves, his amber eyes gave you a sidelong glance and a raised eyebrow that you replied to with a sweet smile. 

This is your idea of a date?”

“It’s my idea of a good time. And at least the ones who’ll bother us here won’t do so with ill intentions.”

Touché. Setting that aside for the time being, you took him around on a tour of the small building that made up the school. For once, Hawks listened intently to what you said. You liked coming here and helping around once a week when time permitted it. You knew both the director and the rest of the staff personally and you came often to give music appreciation classes. You chuckled at the thought of that. “I call them classes but it’s really nothing more than me playing and singing in front of the kids and them singing along with me.”

“Sounds amazing to me,” he replied sincerely.

“It really is,” you said. “You’ll get to see it this afternoon. But until then!" 

To say that he wasn’t confused and taken aback by all the stuff that you got him to do would be an understatement. While you were a natural with the children that you saw on a weekly basis, Hawks couldn’t say that he had that kind of expertise. For all that he did outside with the citizens and media, he was somewhat puzzled as to how to act with children that expected nothing of him except for him to play with them. They were as ecstatic about his presence as he was baffled by theirs. You lasted a half an hour laughing on the sidelines while watching him struggle until you came to help with the tough crowd he’d gathered. 

When one of the kids tugged at your skirts—the same one that had been bugging him about getting airplined around for the fifteenth time—you bent to his height before lifting him up in yours arms. The boy giggled before he placed a sweet kiss on your cheek. Once he was done, you placed him down. Unlike how he acted with Hawks, the boy trotted off to play elsewhere, satisfied with the pick up. 

"How do you do this?” he asked tiredly, his wings drooping dejectedly.  

“It took some getting used to,” you assured him as you helped a few girls tie together flower crowns before leaving them to run around the playground. “First thing I learned about was boundaries.”

“Boundaries?”

You nod and step back behind him. Hawks barely had time to follow you with his gaze when he felt the prick that came from your plucking one of his smaller feathers from one of his wings. With a teasing smile, you brushed it against your lips with a giggle from his reaction. Bending down to help one of the boys, you place it on the band he wore around his head to help with his costume as they played heroes. They thanked you before dashing past the two of you without a bother.

“They have their needs, mentally and physically, and I help them meet them. But I can’t give them all the answers. If all I do is give them what they want, they’ll grow spoiled without understanding what it means to grow and learn. I listen to them, work with them, and keep my distance when I have to.” Rolling your eyes, you glance at Hawks as he stands beside you, “It’s a little like how heroes work with interns to teach them the ropes.”

“Well, maybe that’s the problem,” he pointed out. “I don’t take interns in my office.”

“Well, maybe you should give it a try." 

There wasn’t much time for Hawks to rest. You made him help out during the daily activities and lessons which though not hard were draining in a whole different sense. 

Children made him feel awkward. You could tell at least that much from the way he dejectedly sat outside on the grass once naptime for the kids came around. You watched him from afar as he spread his wings behind him, letting them rest from all the tugging and plucking that the kids had undoubtedly and unconsciously done. His back had become a familiar scene nowadays. But gazing at him from behind always gave you the worst kind of feeling. Like he was in such faraway place that you couldn’t reach him. No one could. It was why you brought him here. You wanted for him to let go of his responsibilities and burdens of a hero and see the world outside that. 

A world where he needn’t be Hawks, the hero Japan had created. 

A world where he could just be Keigo Takami, the man you loved.

You made your way out there with the small bento you’d prepared and sat beside him soundlessly. Not even when you felt his feathers bristle beside your leg did he say a thing. He merely watched you with an intense gaze—one you often felt watching over you during work—as you unpacked the lunch you’d pack for the both of you. Hawks thanked you under his breath when you passed him a rice ball and ate it without a word, simply gazing skyward. You did the same watching the clouds as they floated by in the soft breeze that blew by. 

"You know…” he spoke softly, not taking his gaze away from the sky. “Even when it’s so loud and cramped in there, it gives off the feeling of being peaceful somehow.”

“It’s strange, huh?” you say, agreeing implicitly.

“Very.” He looks down long enough to grab another rice ball before turning to you and smiling warmly your way. “I can see why you like being here with them. Compared to everything we see everyday, this is heaven.”

“It’s a very pleasant way to unwind.” You admit this as you finish your second rice ball. Deciding that was enough for you, you gently push the rest his way. He thanks you for the meal before taking what was left. “It reminds me why we do what we do. Why we’re out there fighting, even when there are times when we question ourselves and the society we live in. When those thoughts come into my head, I think of these kids and all the others out there who have so much to live for. So much to see and experience. And then I think about how we’re the ones keeping that future taut. We keep their dreams alive by giving them a future to look forward to.”

“It’s a hard thing to think of,” he confessed. “Especially for someone like me who was robbed of a choice at all.”

Your gaze fell, saddened by the strain in his voice. You were well aware of what he meant. Hawks had told you before how it was that he became a hero. Unlike you, it hadn’t been by choice. Destiny had given him one of the best Quirks out there and by doing so, forced his hand in this society. He needed to become a hero…because if he didn’t, what else could he possibly be without people out there comparing what could be with what was. 

“And that’s why we have to work hard,” you retorted calmly. “To make that dream of yours a reality.”

“I want a world where we have more free time than we know what to do with." 

So that everybody out there has the chance of a choice. 

"Y/n! Hawks-san!" Hawks and you look over your shoulders to one of the staff members who waved at you from inside the building. "Nap time is over." 

Hawks saw a small smile appear on your lips as you raised to your feet. He followed suit and helped you gather the bento box you brought with you. As you made your way to the classroom, he spoke up, "Is it time for the live concert?”

“It is." 

A few minutes later, he found himself standing at the back of the room before a crowd of 30 more or less awake children along with the teacher in charge and the director as you took your place before a small upright piano that stood against the opposite wall. Sitting with your back perfectly straight, you turned on your bench to half face the children around you. "Now, what should we sing together today?”

Hands shot up so quickly that Hawks let out a chortle at their enthusiasm. He watched immersed and entranced with the scene of you picking a hand and choosing a song before turning back. Claiming you would need help, they all cheered and quieted to mere murmurs as you began to stroke the keys of the piano. You ask the girl that you chose the song from to start the song and for others to follow after. 

“We’re small but we’re strong.” The little girl started with a squeaky voice. The one next to her, one who Hawks recognized as the girl’s friend who’d been playing together with her stood alongside her friend while grabbing her hand to sing along. 

“We’re cool but we’re kind, and…”

“We deserve to shine!” they sing together, completely out of harmony but completely fine by them.

“We’re gritty and tough,” one of the boys chimed in.

“We’re smooth and refined, and,” another girl called out.

“We deserve to shine,” they sang along.

“We’ll figure it out,  there’s plenty of time.”

The small voices of the teacher and director join in with a few of the children as the song continues. 

“For everybody and every mind
and every facet to finally find that…”

Your voice gently echoed through the air along with the quiet voices of the children as they sang low to hear you better, joining you only when you got to the chorus again. 

“We deserve to shine.We deserve to shine.”

A smile came to Hawks as he listened to you and the children chorus along to different songs. The director, noticing his attention taken by you, took the moment to explain to him why she appreciated what you did for the children.

“Take a moment to think of just  Flexibility, love, and trust.

“They are children at a very critical point in their lives,” the old woman said just loud enough so that he would hear her without taking the children’s attention away from the quiet and soothing song that you sang to them next. 

“Take a moment, remind yourself to
Take a moment to find yourself
Take a moment and ask yourself if
This is how we fall apart?”

“They are aware of themselves as individuals and are just learning about others. She teaches them through song how to accept themselves and others as they are. They also learn to love the world they live in, despite it not being perfect. I suppose they love her so much because she doesn’t shelter them from reality or sugarcoat it as others do.”

“But it’s not.
It’s okay.
I’ve got nothing to fear
I’m here.”

“She simply tells it to them in a way that they can understand.”

“And it was just a thought
It’s okay
We can watch them go by
From here.”

Curiously watching from the background, Hawks couldn’t help but be taken by your performance. You took your time to explain to the children what they didn’t understand and just like the director said, you didn’t shy away from the bad things either. You found a way to explain it to them in a way that they clearly understood. He recognized that way of thinking immediately. It’s what attracted him to you in the first place. Your optimism, it was never from a place of falsehood. It came from a place of learning, earned experiences, and surpassed pain. 

And it’s the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

The day ended quickly thereafter when the last child was picked up from school. Hawks went and found you in the music room alone sitting on the bench in front of the piano and playing a couple of notes. Cautiously, he took a seat beside you and leaned his head against your shoulder.

“Greatest date ever or what,” you mumbled.

He chuckled as you stroke away at random keys making a makeshift melody. “I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical at first. It was quite a surprise in the end, though, I’ll give you that.”

“What can I say?” You say as he reached out with his hand and struck one of the keys repeatedly and slowly. Though dissonant, you quickly changed the ones you were playing to harmonize with his missed stroke. “I’m full of surprises.”

“That you are.” Carefully taking back his hand, he lifted his head to look directly at you. You, however, don’t take your eyes away from the alabaster keys as your fingers graze them without making a sound now. “ I’ll say…you’re definitely the better hero out of the two of us.”

This time you chortled at his joke. “Doubtful. You actually save lives.”

“I’m not the only one,” he assured you. “I may save them from danger, but you’re saving them in a way I could never.”

“Saving them from what, pray tell?”

“The society that will eventually try to crush them into neat little molds for their own purpose.”

A brief sidelong glance was all he got from you before you retracted your hand and smiled tenderly. "They’re treasures, those kids. I want them to live the lives they want to live. Differently from us. Freely.“

"And we can make that happen,” Hawks said confidently. You felt how one of his wings moved to cradle you closer to him. Feeling this, you reached back with one hand to run your fingers against the soft feathers that graze your skin. “The two of us, in our way.”

Finally smiling that smile he fell in love with, you leaned against his shoulder this time, bringing the tail end of his wing over you. 

“I like the sound of that.”

“Yeah.” Hawks smiled, his chest swelling with the love he had for you as he let his head fall on top of yours. “So do I.”

Chapter Text

For a child, it's a wondrous thought the one of knowing you would one day find a soulmate. Even more so when you constantly saw it everywhere you went. People going about their lives with cute tiny versions of that one person that belonged with them and whom they were to spend the rest of their lives with. It was a fairytale on its own. One that became yours to live once you turned eighteen and that little piece of them came to you. It was a strange thing to see it happen, but just as great as you thought it'd be when a tiny version of your soulmate hatched from its egg. It had been born alongside you, a reminder that you, too, had someone waiting for you once you grew. You took care of that egg when young knowing how precious it was after hearing so many stories of happily ever afters. And now you finally had it. Alive. 

The first thing that came out of the shell when it broke was red feathers. They poked out somewhat matted and ruffled as it finally emerged and huge amber eyes met yours. His tiny hands ruffled his dark blonde hair back. Chills ran down him as he shook himself out of his stupor and traveled from his head all the way to his toes and tiny wings, sprouting at the end like a blown-up balloon. He was adorable. And the first and only thing he said was his name: Keigo. Finally, you had your very own soulmate! 

But...the experience of having a soulmate was tiring, to say the least. 

You didn't know if it was just Keigo, but taking care of this particular red bird was a full-time job. Quirks were already a problem to deal with in and of themselves. But that the small part of your soulmate's soul could readily use those wings of his to fly all around your house was a bigger problem in itself. When you got him at first you thought about keeping him in a cage whenever you had to go out and couldn't take him with you. The first few times, though, you noted how sad he was when you came home. The way he clung to you every time you let him out and how those massive tears welled up in his eyes broke you inside. You threw that cage away after a week of having it. Having no place to keep him, however, meant that you needed to teach him to be careful. If Keigo wanted to be free, he needed to be careful lest he be taken away or hurt. Little Keigo didn't take that lesson fully to heart until after a little incident with a cat. After that, he would stay close to you whenever you took him outside with you. It took almost a full year to get used to him, but once you did, it was like you two had been together for your whole life. 

Little Keigo was fun to be around with, always enjoying the things you did with him. His taste for chicken got you to learn plenty of new recipes. He slept soundly with you, his little hands always cradling your thumb when he slept in the palm of your hand. And those feathers. You kind of figured what his Quirk was simply by the way he would control all those feathers on his crimson wings. Thing was that he would try to help you at times with things a little too heavy for him which was both worrying and sweet in equal measures. 

Sadly not everything was nice. Not long after he was born did you notice that he began showing signs of pain. Always different places but very visibly hurting. Like someone was hitting or hurting him somehow. You knew the wounds wouldn't show, but seeing him always tired and in pain for days on end would cause your heart to ache to no end. There were also times when his feathers would simply fall with no explanation. It wasn't him controlling them either. They would simply fall and turn a dark brown like petals falling from flowers. And in a way, it was, because when that happened, it would take several days for new ones to grow. Although you were saddened that he was grumpy and glum from being unable to fly, a part of you was also glad. Only when his feathers fell like that did he ever seem to take any breaks and rest. 

'It's your soulmate,' your mother said when you asked her. 'He's reacting to the soul bond between them. There's nothing you can do except wait it out with him.'

And it's exactly what you did. You never questioned it nor chastised him. You knew it wouldn't serve any purpose. Instead, you took care that Keigo wouldn't suffer anymore from your end than his counterpart was already going through. It still hurt though, seeing him hurting. But what stung your heart the most was the way that sometimes tears would just spring from him out of the blue. It happened during the middle of the night almost always and when that crying woke you up, it tore at your heart that you could do nothing more than hold him close and soothe that tiny part of his soul. 

A couple more years went by like that—sometimes painfully, most rather joyfully—until you figured it out. 

It was during dinnertime. Now that you were out of home and living by yourselves in a little apartment close to campus, it was usually spent doing exactly that, eating. But that particular day, Keigo wanted to watch TV. It's not something you did often. You were what they called a country bumpkin through and through. Though you had the resources, you seldom were on the web unless necessary for a task. You had a TV when you lived with your folks but aside from watching cartoons every now and then you never really paid it any attention. The one you had in your tiny apartment was one that had been left behind by the previous tenant. Just a small box with antennas that worked only when it wanted. Complying with his request, you somehow made it work, having it close enough for him to watch while you both ate. And it was while chewing through a serving of yakitori, you saw him.

Keigo. A much, much bigger version. And he was saving people and beating villains on network television. To say you almost choked to death would be an understatement. Keigo—your cute, little Keigo—was the Number Three Hero in all of Japan. The hero known as Hawks. Disbelief was what struck you first and hard. But the more your little Keigo, that little piece of him that resembled the hero to a T, pointed at the flickering screen with a larger than life smile on his face, the more you knew there was no denying the truth. But how? How had you missed such a huge thing for so long? Sure your upbringing explained it a bit. That your parents weren't big hero fans in general also added to it. But that could only hide everything for a little while. Maybe in the first year. But for the last four?

God, you seriously needed to see an eye doctor from how damn blind you were. 

You were still baffled as could be when you and Kei went out to the convenience store if only to get your mind out of things. But there was no time for you to space out when, out of the blue, Keigo suddenly perked up and flew away from his perch on your shoulder. Utterly freaking out when it was this late at night, you chased after the fast little pigeon, turning corner after corner and getting more lost the longer you did. You dodged some random people who were on their late-night stroll or going back home from work apologizing all the way as you chased after that little red fluff of feathers as quickly as you could. Finally, when he was getting too far, you shouted his name in an attempt to get him to slow down. He turned a corner, you did too—and crashed right into someone.

A hand firmly grasped your arm to stop you from falling back almost instantly. You hurriedly apologized not wanting to lose Keigo. But when the person spoke up, you froze in your tracks.

"Y/n?"

Almost instantly, your head snapped upward and met amber eyes. Rather familiar ones at that with those delineations on those eyes. The name spilled from little lips almost instantly without you even noticing.  

"Keigo?"

A soft glow took both of your attention and made you face to the side were a couple of little things were floating in midair. It was your little Keigo and in his arms...a tiny version of you. Both were giddily giggling as he spun them in midair with his wings. The glow that caught your sight had been the one they were emanating as they danced. A glow that, like you'd been told by your mother long ago, meant that you and your soulmate had finally found one another and were truly bonded. Out of breath as you were, it took you a second to finally turn back to the man before you. 'Keigo,' you reminded yourself. Before you could say anything, he let out a burst of hearty laughter that reached his eyes as he took off the baseball cap he had on letting windswept blonde tresses fall over his face. Curious how on him it was a rather handsome look instead of cute. 

"Who would've thought, huh?" As he laughed again, he reached out his hand to the two tiny versions of yourselves. Your little Keigo brought themselves back to the palm of his hand, the two holding hands and bumping their foreheads against each other like little doves. "Y'know, I always thought the little you was cute. Never thought you'd be this lovely in real life."

"T-Thank you." Dumb, yes, but you had no idea what else to say. Your brain was fried after all these surprises in less than 24 hours! The No.3 hero—your soulmate—was before you, and it was far more than you could take at the moment. When you noticed him staring, it finally brought back some of that notorious self-consciousness of yours as you fidgeted in your own shoes. "S-Sorry! It's a bit of a shock to find you, well, here. Now. And god, I can't believe this is happening now when I just found out about you."

Those amber eyes grew a bit quizzical at her statement. "What do you mean?" You were embarrassed to admit that you barely had put two and two together about his identity which got another laugh from him. "Honestly, not surprising." He reached up to ruffle the little you's head lovingly as a tender smile came to his face. "You never liked watching TV or playing on my phone. I always carry a book with me because you like to read so much. I never thought it'd take this long to find each other."

"How long have you been a hero?" you asked, curiously.

"Since I was eighteen."

Oh. That explained so much. Yet nothing at all at the same time. Wanting to start things again, you cleared your throat and stood in front of him as your little Keigo returned to your side, sitting on your shoulder with a proud grin. "H-How about we start again? I'm y/n, it's nice to meet you, Kiego-san."

Keigo chuckled as the little you returned to the safety of his shirt pocket, peeking out from under the flap with as wide a smile as his. "It's nice to meet you, too, y/n."