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Despicable

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“They know where we are, the best thing for us is to go into hiding for now.”

Tomura Shigaraki leaned his head against the car window, idly watching the road pass by as Kurogiri drove.

He was exhausted. The League of Villains had always been on the run, but the pressure had never been more severe to hide. Just a few days ago, a rogue villain group had bombed a UA graduation ceremony. Izuku Midoriya's graduation ceremony. Children were killed, Tomura wasn't sure who since he had no touch with the news. But the anger from civilians and heroes alike was unbelievable. All fingers immediately pointed to the League of Villains.

The attacking villain group was smart about it. The League of Villains was the most prominent organization of villains, so every bad thing assumed to be them. But the rogues took it further. Someone had a copy Quirk and made a duplicate of Dabi. It was the perfect thing to get them on the League of Villains scent instead of the rogue operation.

It was inconvenient, but not too sloppy. It was a perfect move for another organization to actually make headway in their evildoing. It made Tomura want to punch through the car window.

And Toga running her mouth next to him in wasn’t helping his mood.

“I honestly cannot wait to hang out with you guys for the rest of this month. It’s going to be like camp! We can stay up late and watch movies--”

“Ah, pipe down, you’re way too excited about this,” Dabi muttered from the seat next to Toga.

“I can’t help it! I get to spend time with my favorite boys!” Toga giggled, leaning over to hug Dabi’s arm.

Tomura rolled his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose to try to rub away the headache that was slowly beginning to throb. How the hell did he get stuck with these idiots? A teenager who had a crush on everyone she laid eyes on and the stitched together jerk who couldn't drop the 'cool guy' routine. 

“Tomura Shigaraki,” Kurogiri said from the front seat of the car, “It will only be a few more minutes before we arrive.”

It was about damn time. They’d been driving since sunrise and it was now in the late hours of the night. And before then, they had taken a plane across the ocean from Japan to the States. It had been one irritation after another on the journey. He had to sit through Toga singing loudly to songs on her iPhone, then stopping for fast food only to have Dabi steal a handful of his fries, then Kurogiri reminding him repeatedly not to kill his team mates.

It was harder than he could ever imagine. All he had to do was reach over a few inches and he could decay Toga, shut her mouth for good. 

“Yay! We’re almost there!” Toga squealed so high that even Dabi flinched.

Tomura grit his teeth, finally turning his attention to her. He eyed her through the fingers of his mask and snarled, “You will be lucky if you make it the final stretch. Do you have any idea how close I’ve been to taking your life all day?”

Toga giggled, reaching up to ruffle Tomura’s hair, “You are so grumpy! I love it.”

Shigaraki’s hand twitched, ready to grasp her thin wrist to break off her hand, but he caught Kurogiri’s gaze in the rearview mirror.

“I find it unwise,” Kurogiri murmured simply.

Tomura huffed, leaning back in his seat. He crossed his arms, shutting his eyes to will away the time.

“You better get used to us, Shig, we are going to be with each other for the next couple weeks. Might as well make the best of it,” Dabi said in a flat tone.

Tomura balled his fists, quivering in anger as he grit out, “Yeah. I’ll make the best of it.”

Kurogiri finally pulled the car into a garage of a small, industrial type house. 

“Where are we?” Toga asked, practically crawling on Tomura’s lap to look out the window.

Tomura elbowed her in the side to get her off of him and opened the door. He got out, stretched, and dusted his clothes off as if he were trying to rid himself of the feeling of being around Toga and Dabi so long. 

Kurogiri was closing the garage door behind the car as Tomura walked up to the door that led into the house. 

“Are we sure no one will find us here?” he asked as he opened the door.

“Yes, as long as we are smart. It was set aside by All for One, he gave it to us a couple of safe houses if we needed to go into hiding in situations like the one we are currently in,” Kurogiri answered.

Tomura went inside, glancing around the dark, simple home. He flipped on the light switch and immediately saw the place was extremely dusty. He stepped forward, bumping into a lamp. A cloud of dust flew off, puffing into his mouth and up his nose. Tomura hacked in disgust, pulling off his mask to rub the dust off his face as he choked.

“Get a little more than you can handle?” Dabi’s annoyingly relaxed voice came from behind him.

“Shut up, staple-face” Tomura coughed, lifting the bottom of his shirt up to mop the dirt off his face.

He noticed Dabi lingering next to him, his crystalline eyes trained on him without shame. 

“Why don’t you get the bags instead of standing there gawking?” Tomura snarled at him, knowing Dabi was probably staring at his haggard face.

It wasn’t often he took his mask off, but he did tend to get second glances when he did. His eyes were frighteningly red, lips chapped and skin dry. His nervous habit of scratching at his own skin left it cracked and broken around his throat.

Dabi didn’t return with his usual sass, but instead turned to obey Tomura. That was a first. 

Tomura shook his head and went deeper into the house, looking at the sitting room that was off of the kitchen.

“I have some bad news, Tomura Shigaraki,” Kurogiri said as he walked up next to him.

“That's okay, I doubt anything could make this day worse,” Tomura grunted, crossing his arms.

“There’s only two bedrooms upstairs, so you and Dabi are going to have to sleep in the living room,” Kurogiri said slowly.

Tomura growled in irritation, his hands lifting to grate his nails into the scarred skin on his neck.

He began picking and scratching at the already mottled skin, “Why the fuck should I sleep in there with him? Why can’t you?”

“I can’t fit on the couch, unfortunately,” Kurogiri answered, “Please calm yourself.”

Tomura paused, his nails wet from breaking through old scabs and scars. He lowered his hands and looked over at the door as Dabi brought in the rest of the bags, closing the door behind him.

“It could be worse, I suppose. At least he won’t talk my ear off the entire night,” Tomura said in a low voice.

Tomura instantly tensed when he heard Toga sneeze loudly and announce, “Wow, there sure is a lot of dust in here!”

“We will clean the place tomorrow. For now I suggest everyone rest after the long drive,” Kurogiri replied, picking up Tomura’s bag to hand to him.

Tomura took it and claimed a couch, pulling a blanket out of the bag to curl up with.

“You’re not even going to brush your teeth before you sleep? That’s gross,” Toga said, taking a step towards him, but Kurogiri wisely intercepted her.

“Let me show you where your room will be, Himiko Toga,” he said, ushering her away.

Dabi watched them leave, hands in his pockets. 

“Sometimes I wonder if one of us will wake up and she’ll be sitting on our chest with a knife to our throat, but still talking about how much she loves us,” Dabi muttered, a wry smile quirking his lips as he sauntered over to the living room.

“Just go to bed, I don’t want to hear anything else,” Tomura said more as a confession than a threat.

“Yeah, no pr--oh,” Dabi said, lingering in a standing position next to Tomura’s couch.

“Please, sit the-- what the fuck?!” Tomura yelped as Dabi looped an arm around his chest and yanked him off the couch.

“Do you have a death wish, I'm going to--” Tomura stopped when he realized Dabi was already standing again, holding a book like a weapon. 

He struck the couch with the book, then relaxed. 

Tomura got up onto his knees to see a small, squashed yellow spider near his pillow.

“A spider? You could have just told me,” Tomura snarled, turning to glare at Dabi.

“That was a yellow sac spider. If it bit you, we'd have to take you to the hospital,” Dabi said, leaning in and pointing.

Tomura leaned in as well, peering at the dead spider. He wrinkled his nose at the pest as Dabi got on his knees, " I’m going to check the room for any more, don’t want either of us to die in our sleep due to a spider bite. That would be such a lame way to go."

"I seriously doubt that spider would kill you. You're a grown man," Tomura sighed, plopping back down on the couch.

He wondered why Dabi would go to such a dramatic move to save him from a spider bite. If anyone asked him, he would tell them with all certainty that Dabi would run to save his own skin before thinking of anyone else. Maybe he was just having a small spell of humanity from being in the car for so long. 

“You could at least say thank you, handyman,” Dabi muttered as he crawled around, peering at the baseboards.

Tomura scowled. There was the Dabi he was familiar with. 

He was too tired to gripe about being called that horrible nickname, so he merely took his mask off and sat it on the coffee table. He then laid back on the couch and pulled the blanket over himself. Dabi scratched around in the room for a little longer, then finally settled on his couch. He stretched his arms up over his head, groaning. 

Tomura made the mistake of twisting around slightly to look at him, finding that he’d taken off his shirt. It had been the first time he’d seen him shirtless and he was a little surprised to see how far down the horrendous scarring went, covering most of half of his back and his sides.

Tomura gaped only for a moment before becoming indignant. 

“Do you mind?” Tomura grunted, flipping back around to cover his face with a pillow, “I don’t really feel like sharing a room with a half naked voodoo doll.”

Tomura didn’t hear Dabi say anything, so he lifted the pillow off his face to look at him again. Dabi was still shirtless, sitting back on the couch while eating a bag of potato chips, crunching each one loudly. 

Tomura’s tried to ignore it at first but his blood quickly began to boil with irritation, his hand lifting to his gullet to scratch at his skin.

“That’s a nasty habit. You should take up chewing gum instead,” Dabi muttered. 

“Shut up!” Tomura snapped, sitting up sharply to glare at Dabi, “We are going to have a few ground rules if we are going to be sharing a room. I will quite possibly kill myself if I have to live with you like this. You will not crunch on chips this late in the night when I’m trying to sleep.”

Tomura stood, snatching the bag of chips out of Dabi’s hand and threw them to the floor.

“You will not refer to me as ‘handyman’ or whatever stupid nicknames you and Toga come up with. You will not sleep naked half or full, and…” Shigaraki leaned over Dabi in attempt to intimidate him, narrowing his red eyes, “You will not tell me what to do. Got it?”

Dabi’s expression didn’t change as he looked up at Tomura. The only movement he made was a small flash in his eyes, something that looked like mirth.

“Sure. Don't be so dramatic,” Dabi responded simply, keeping eye contact as he leaned over to grab his shirt off the floor. 

Tomura scowled as Dabi made a show of stretching his very fit, muscular body before wriggling into his white undershirt.

Tomura shuddered, turning towards his couch and crawled in. He nestled his head against his pillow, allowing his eyes to shut as he finally was able to ignore the nuisance in the couch across from him.

He drifted to sleep within minutes, snoozing solidly for a few hours when something made him bolt upright from the couch.

He twisted around to look behind him, seeing nothing in the darkness. He glanced at Dabi curled up on his side, holding his pillow close as he slept, illuminated by the moonlight streaming through the window.

Tomura stood up, pushing the blankets off himself and quietly walked to the kitchen. He had no idea what woke him up, but now that he was up, he knew that it would be a unable to go back to sleep for a while. 

He went to the back door, unlatching it and sliding it open. He went out onto the fire escape in the back, sitting down on the grated flooring. The night air was pleasantly cool as the months were approaching the fall quickly. 

Tomura looked up at the moon, his heart burdened with the failure so far of the League of Villains. They were separated into small groups, being sent all over the globe to hide while the intense search for them went on in Japan. He felt sure this was the time they’d finally take All Might down, but that damned rogue group thwarted their plans.

Tomura slowly lifted his right hand, scratching his neck as he ground his teeth together. That stupid, deflated All Might. He should have been easy to take down now without his power but he had the protection of all his little brats from UA. Hiding behind children and teachers like a fucking coward.

Tomura groaned in irritation as he mindlessly raked his nails over the skin on his neck again and again. 

He stopped when he heard Dabi's voice from behind him, "You keep that up and you’ll look like me soon."

Tomura almost growled, wishing for once, just once, that he could just get a damn moment to himself.

Chapter Text

Dabi knew he had chosen correctly when accepting the invitation into the League of Villains. If anyone was to follow Stain’s lead, it was him. And as long as he terrorized and took down heroes in his role in the League, he could keep that ideal.

Initially, he’d wondered if he’d made a mistake when the League’s difficult leader threatened to kill Dabi and Toga upon arrival. The blue-haired freak acted like a petulant child and Dabi knew that he couldn’t get behind someone like that. 

Shigaraki seemed to be forming into a decent villain, though. He had changed a lot in the years after Dabi first joined. Shigaraki seemed less unstable, able to stay his hand when irritated or angered. He was smart, but it took awhile for his immaturity to lessen and make his intelligence more apparent. Dabi decided to stay with the League, knowing that being on Shigaraki’s side was the wisest thing to do.

From this place, he could take a stand against heroes and fulfill his ultimate dream to take the Pro-Hero Endeavor down. 

Dabi was curled up with his pillow on the couch, eyes opening when he heard the back door open and then shut. He glanced over at the opposite couch, seeing Shigaraki had disappeared. 

Dabi rolled off the couch, standing up to stretch. He walked to the sliding door, peering out to see Shigaraki sitting on the fire escape, pale face tilted towards the sky. 

A small smile lifted Dabi’s lips. It was very seldom that Shigaraki actually looked relaxed and soft. It was almost endearing. Almost . Even with a face that he insisted on covering up most of the time, he had the ability to look surprisingly pleasant.

Dabi turned when he heard footsteps and saw Toga run by out of the corner of his eye, jump onto the couch where he’d been sleeping, curling up to sleep. Dabi rolled his eyes and reached over to the coffee table, picking up his pack of cigarettes before opened the sliding door to the crisp night air. 

He saw Shigaraki’s hands were drawn up to his neck, scratching as he always did when he was having anxiety. 

“You keep that up and you’ll look like me soon,” Dabi said quietly, tapping the carton against his hand to dislodge a cigarette. 

Shigaraki stiffened and turned to glare at him, “Can I get a moment’s peace? I was having a halfway decent time out here away from you fools. You’re pissing me off.”

“Jeez, relax. Did you wake up on the wrong side of the couch?” Dabi scoffed, leaning against the door frame as he lit the cigarette with the tip of his finger, “You don’t look like you were having a nice time out here. Got your mind on something?”

Shigaraki narrowed his eyes, “There isn’t a chance in hell that I’d ever tell you what is on my mind.” 

Shigaraki was like a feral cat, clawing and hissing whenever anyone even looked his direction. 

“I’m just trying to be a decent person,” Dabi answered honestly, shrugging as he took a drag of his cigarette, tilting his head back to exhale it into the cold air above.

“Is it something new you’re trying out?” Shigaraki snarled, turning away from Dabi.

“Not really,” Dabi said as he sat next to him, “I’m just trying to keep from fighting with you the entire time I’m here, it’s too bothersome.”

“That doesn’t mean you follow me all over the goddamn house,” Shigaraki hissed, wrapping his arms around his legs, squeezing them to his chest.

It was very insecure posturing, which somewhat surprised Dabi. There was something on on his mind...

“I’m not following you, I needed a smoke and Toga is in my bed,” Dabi responded, tilting his head towards the house.

“What?” Shigaraki turned to look through the door.

“When you got up, it woke me and suddenly Toga was in my bed,” Dabi muttered, rubbing his sleepy eyes.

Shigaraki muttered something comparing Toga to gum stuck on the bottom of a shoe.

“She’s a little much, but she’s been a loyal ally to me for a long time. I couldn’t throw her out of my bed like that, it’s the only time she doesn’t look like she wants to slit anyone's throat,” Dabi replied and he took another drag, turning his head away to blow the smoke away from Shigaraki.

Shigaraki said nothing and the two sat in silence for a while, looking at the moon. Dabi wondered if he was stressed about not being in a position to take down heroes at the time or if it was just the aggravation of being stuck in a house in close quarters with others.

“We’re going to get them,” Dabi murmured, “We’re going to take them all down, including All Might.”

Shigaraki remained silent, looking down at his knees. Dabi watched him out of the corner of his eye, seeing the man’s shoulders droop as he exhaled slowly.

“We are going to reach our goal, there's just a hitch in the road right now. You don’t have to scratch yourself all up,” Dabi said.

Shigaraki looked over his shoulder at Dabi, studying him. Dabi was fairly certain this was the first time Shigaraki had looked at him fully without his mask on. The moonlight made his normally pinpoint red eyes look rounder, more innocent. His expression open, dry lips slightly parted as he gazed at him. 

Dabi was reminded how young Shigaraki actually was, not even twenty-three yet. He had so much settled on his shoulders by All For One… it was little wonder why he acted so unhinged sometimes. 

Shigaraki’s features shifted after a moment to be more calculating, his lips pressed in a straight line.

“Speaking of nasty habits, where do you get off smoking?” Shigaraki asked finally, arching an eyebrow.

Dabi almost laughed at the sudden question. He took the opportunity to mess with Shigaraki, reaching out to tousle his blue hair, “I don’t really think this habit is going to do much more to me than smoke and fire already have.”

Shigaraki slapped his hand away viciously, “Then you are getting far too comfortable with me, you need to back the fuck off.”

Dabi held up his hands in defense before stubbing out his smoke on the grate, then stood up, “All right, all right. Enjoy your solitude in the dark, Shig.”

“Idiot,” he heard Shigaraki mutter as Dabi slipped back inside to head to bed.

A smile was pulling at his lips again. Shigaraki was so easy to tease, he had such thin skin about everything. He would get this low, growly sound to his voice to make himself sound intimidating that was pretty humorous. Maybe Dabi should pick on him more often?

 

-x-

 

Tomura eventually went back into the house and fell asleep on the couch again, sleeping until late morning when he was awakened by people’s voices in the kitchen. He lifted his head off the pillow, looking over with blurry vision to see his three housemates all in the kitchen area eating breakfast.

“Tomura, sweetheart! Your pancakes are going to get cold!” Toga trilled in a sing-song voice, jumping off her chair and racing into the living room. 

She reached for his arm to pull on him, but Tomura pulled away sharply, “Don’t touch me!”

Toga was unfazed, giggling as she looked Shigaraki up and down, “You look so cute in the morning, your clothes all rumpled and your hair a mess!”

Tomura practically yelped when Toga poked at his sleep-puffy cheeks.

“Get away from me or I’ll use my quirk, I swear!” he growled at her.

“Isn’t he just the cutest, Dabi?” Toga squealed as she ran back into the kitchen.

Shigaraki stood and stumbled into the kitchen after her, seeing Dabi looked up at him briefly. 

“Come on, Toga, let the man wake up. He’s obviously not a morning person,” Dabi sighed, shoving a large bite of pancakes into his mouth.

“He’s not any time of day person. Are you, Tomura?” Toga giggled, reaching out to run her hand through Shigaraki’s mop of hair to tame it.

“Enough!” Tomura snarled, grabbing Toga’s wrist, keeping his pinky up to keep from killing her.

“I’ve been awake for two minutes and you’re already pissing me off,” Tomura said in a low voice, “Now get out of my face before I end you.”

Toga pouted, wrenching her arm away from Tomura and skulked back to the kitchen.

Tomura slid into a chair across the table from Dabi, who ignored him as he read the newspaper. Tomura tilted his head slightly, watching Dabi squint at the paper, pulling it closer so that it was less than a foot away from his face. Did Dabi have trouble seeing? Tomura had never noticed before, it must have been one of the grand things that someone learned living with another person.

Before he could say anything, he grunted in pain when Toga flung her arms around his neck, exclaiming loudly, "What should we do today, Tomura?!"

Tomura slapped his hands down on the table in anger, pulling them away before his quirk could do any damage. He shrugged Toga off his back as Dabi looked up at him in confusion.

“I can’t take this, I have to go out,” Tomura said, grabbing his black hoodie out of his bag to throw on.

"It's not even been a day since you've been here," Dabi snorted.

“Be careful, Tomura Shigaraki, keep your head down,” Kurogiri warned as he shrugged on his hoodie, flipping the hood over his hair. 

“I’ll get us some food while I’m out,” Shigaraki said as he went towards the door.

“Ohh! Get us some sweets! Ice cream!” Toga exclaimed, almost running at him, but Dabi grabbed the back of her sweater to hold her back.

“You never learn,” Dabi sighed.

Tomura closed the door behind him, thrilled to be getting some actual space from them. He didn’t know the neighborhood, but he knew if he walked enough that he’d find somewhere that sold food. He knew they were in New York, Kurogiri had mentioned something about All For One saying this place would be safe in numbers. 

After walking down a couple roads, he came to a stop, staring at the street before him. It was packed out, cars stuck in traffic, people rushing around to and fro. It was Americans from all walks of life, young and old. They were carrying everything between briefcases and shopping bags, looking between happy and angry. He’d never seen so many people in one spot before.

He tugged his hood farther over his face, walking with his head tilted downward. He finally spotted a corner grocery and veered inside. 

Tomura picked up a basket and started going down the aisles, putting basic items in it. Bread, eggs, lunch meat, condiments, some snacks. 

“Do you need help finding anything, sir?” a voice came from the side. 

He saw an employee out of the corner of his eye and Tomura quickly turned away, muttering, “Uh, no. Thank you, I’ve almost found everything I need.”

He ducked away from the person and hurried towards the counter.

“I hope you’re planning on paying for that,” the employee called after him.

He knew it was because of the hoodie, he looked suspicious. Honestly, without his mask or villain costume, he probably wouldn’t be recognized. Shigaraki lifted his hand to pull down his hood, looking behind him to the employee. He forced a smile, “I do. I’m sorry, I have a terrible cold so I’m just trying to keep away from others to avoid spreading it.”

The employees face changed from anger to fear when he saw Tomura’s freakish face.

“I’m sorry, sir, forgive me!” the employee said nervously, stepping back carefully. 

“Don’t give it another thought,” Tomura grinned widely, causing the man to shudder and run off.

Tomura rolled his eyes. Typical. With a world filled with people who had quirks, it seemed like appearance would not be off putting. There was a kid in Midoriya's class who had a damned crow head! Why was his dry skin a problem?

He went to the counter and put his basket on the counter, fishing out his money from his hoodie pocket.

He noted that the cashier didn’t speak to him, just hurried to ring up his stuff. Tomura sighed, glancing at the price that the quaking cashier refused to say out loud and handed her a wad of cash. He grabbed his bags and said gruffly, “Keep the change for your trouble.”

He flipped his hood back up as he went outside and considered going back home after his bad experience, but saw a small coffee house a couple of doors down and chose to get a warm drink before heading back. 

Tomura stepped inside, setting his grocery bags on the table, then stepped up to the counter. He waited in line for a couple moments before something caught his eye outside. A familiar face?

Tomura stepped out of line and went to the window, seeing the familiar twin buns of golden hair bouncing down the street.

Toga.

“Shit,” Tomura snarled, picking up his bags and ran out the door. 

He stalked after Toga for a couple of minutes to avoid making a scene, then quickened his pace to catch up with her.

“What the hell are you doing out here?” Tomura snapped, reaching out to grab her arm, making sure not to place all of his fingers on her.

The girl whipped around and Tomura stumbled back when he realized the girl wasn’t Toga.

“Get off me!” the girl screamed, her fist hardening as she swung at him.

Of course she had a dangerous quirk, just his luck. This was a major fuck up, if he had accidentally used his quirk on her, his location was at risk. He had to backpedal. 

“I’m sorry, I thought you were my sister!” Tomura said, ducking away from her swings.

“Like hell, you creep!” she squawked, hitting him in the side with her rock hard fist.

Shigaraki cried out in pain as he fell back on his ass. His side felt like it was on fire. He pressed his palm to the bruise, inhaling sharply.

“I said it was a mistake! I thought you were someone else!” Tomura yelled at her, flinching as she brought her fist up to hit him again.

But the blow didn't land. He looked up to see the girl stopped in her tracks, arm caught by a familiar face.

“He told you it was a mistake, I think you need to move on,” Dabi’s cool tone washed over Tomura, calming him down. 

He was only seconds from retaliating. He was getting better with his self control, but one could only be pushed so far.

“Fuck off!” the girl snarled, yanking her arm away from him.

Dabi moved around her, reaching a hand out to help Tomura up. He hesitated. It would be extremely hard to take the hand without touching Dabi with all five fingers. The thought of decaying Dabi seemed imprudent at that moment. 

He looked up at Dabi, who after gazing back at him for a beat, seemed to understand his predicament. Dabi reached down and grasped Tomura by the arm instead, helping him rise. 

“You can’t go around and grab people, you freaks. Watch yourself next time,” the girl snapped at them, turning on her heel to storm away.

“Scary lady,” Dabi muttered with a smirk, shoving his hands in his pockets.

Tomura eyed him, looking at his features up and down, before growling in disapproval, “You stick out like a sore thumb, what the hell are you doing walking around?”

“You really need to work on your 'thank you',” Dabi tilted his head, blue eyes sliding over to return Tomura’s glare.

“Thank you for what? Coming out of the house a day after we’ve gone in hiding, not even bothering to cover…” Tomura gestured to Dabi’s purplish scarring on his neck and face, “...All that.”

“That’s very kind of you," Dabi retorted sarcastically, turning away from Tomura, heading back towards their house, "It’s not like you’re the poster boy of beauty.” 

“People are already frightened enough of me, they don’t need to see your scary mug,” Tomura snapped back, picking up his dropped bags and skulked behind him.

“Too bad the only normal looking one of us can’t be trusted around anyone,” Dabi sighed as Tomura fell into step with him, "Otherwise we could send her to shop."

They walked in silence together for a bit. Tomura wasn’t a fan of Dabi any more than he was a fan of anyone. He found Dabi to be annoying with his cool attitude and general disrespect. But he did get Tomura out of a jam. Almost like he’d sensed there would be danger and came after him. It was difficult to even defend himself from the angry girl without touching her. He might have accidently decayed a bit of her, which would give away their location if she reported it. His quirk was very unique and telling.

Maybe… Tomura judged Dabi too soon? Perhaps he wasn’t completely useless? 

Tomura glanced at Dabi again, studying him. He was realized Dabi was definitely one of the more attractive men from the League of Villains. Even Tomura couldn’t deny that. Despite the scarring under his eyes and his mouth line below, he had a handsome face. He definitely fit into the ‘cool guy’ category with his black spiky hair and piercings. 

Tomura blinked. He never thought of anyone as attractive or not. He always gauged people on their usefulness. Maybe it was because his own face was so hard to look at in the mirror that he tried not to look at anyone else closely. This was probably the first time it occurred to him that someone was actually good looking.

“You’re not saying anything, but I honestly hear the gears turning,” Dabi grunted.

“You want me to talk to you? You really want me to fill the silence with my voice when I know you can’t stand me?” Tomura replied with a huff.

“I can stand you, it’s you that can’t stand me,” Dabi responded, putting his arms behind his head to stretch as they walked, “I can put up with a lot though. You saw my leech, right? Also known as Toga.”

Tomura tilted his head as Dabi let out a small huff that sounded like a laugh. 

“You and Toga… you’re…?” Tomura’s voice trailed off.

“Together? Hell, are you kidding me? That girl would drive me nuts if I were her love interest. She develops strong feelings for almost anyone she looks at. I was lucky enough not to catch her eye, as were you,” Dabi said, looking down at Tomura, “Maybe she can sense we wouldn’t be interested in her.”

“I don’t get the feeling at all she senses that about anyone, including us.”

“Oh, trust me. There’s a definite line between her being aggressive and non-aggressive about her interests.”

“She climbs into your bed in the middle of the night,” Tomura pointed out.

“She’s never once done anything to me though. I think if she were interested in you sexually, she’d probably get under the covers and start licking you up and down,” Dabi said, arching an eyebrow at the shorter man.

For some reason, that made Tomura’s anxiety spike. He was probably too ugly for Toga to ever have an interest in him, but what if she developed feelings for him while they were in hiding? She could easily hop in his bed and do things that he never wanted to be a part of with her. Tomura winced, hands lifting to scratch roughly at his neck as he thought about the ‘what ifs’.

“Hey…” Dabi slowed, reaching out to gently put a hand on the back of Tomura’s, “I’m sorry, I was just joking. I didn’t mean to get you worked up.”

Normally, when anyone attempted to touch him he would jerk away and say something harsh. But he was shocked how gently Dabi touched him. More than shocked, he was floored. He never had anyone touch him that way before. Everyone, including All For One, avoided touching him in fear of getting turned to dust. Tomura had learned to hold fingers up since his quirk only activated when he had contact with all five fingers, but people generally felt safer staying away from him.

Yet here Dabi was touching his hand with absolutely no fear.

His hand was so warm, and Tomura could feel his gentle pulse as Dabi’s fingers slightly curled around his wrist. He was trying to calm Tomura’s anxiety, keeping him from self mutilating. 

No one had ever done that before, no one had ever cared.

He stared at Dabi, who didn’t seem to realize the weight of his small action. His hands were already back in his pockets, eyes drawn down the street.

“I wouldn’t worry too much about her. I’ll keep her in line,” Dabi continued.

“I’ll hold you accountable then,” Tomura answered distantly, mind still on the simple touch he’d received. 

As he watched Dabi start walking again, he found himself instantly wishing that he would turn to touch him again. 

It was the nicest thing he'd ever experienced and he didn't ever want to let go of that feeling.

Chapter Text

It had been three days. Three days of absolute hell. 

Tomura sat at the island bar in the center of the kitchen, poking a spoon around in a bowl of cereal. He yawned, combing his fingers through his hair as he stared at his food in a sleepy fog.

Apparently Toga needed to be exercised like a dog to get her energy out because she practically bounced off the walls during the day. The only peace was the morning after she’d stayed up late playing video games or when she was distracted while pestering Dabi. 

Kurogiri holed himself up in his room, no doubt hiding from Toga’s antics. 

Tomura pulled at a strand of his hair as he slowly looked over to the couches to see Dabi sleeping soundly. 

This had to be the most bored that Tomura had ever been. The days crawled by and he could only watch tv for so long before wanting to rip his own hair out.

“Good morning!” a shrill voice cut through the silence, giving Tomura a start and caused him to drop his spoon into his cereal bowl.

So much for the morning silence.

From the couch, Dabi jolted from his slumber, awkwardly rolling and thumping onto the ground. Tomura only had time to glance at him before Toga dashed in the room wearing nothing but a bra and panties. Shigaraki’s eyes widened in horror as Toga veered straight towards him, tackling him with her half naked body.

She threw him off balance, tipping his chair over. It wobbled precariously and started to fall, but suddenly Dabi was behind them, being a counterweight to Toga’s exuberance.

“What the hell are you dressed as, crazy?” Dabi snorted, pressing a warm hand against Tomura’s back as he steadied the chair.

“Get the fuck off me!” Tomura squawked, holding his arms away from Toga so he didn’t accidentally touch her with his deadly fingers.

“C’mon,” Dabi reached out to pull Toga off Tomura, who slapped his hand away.

“No! I wanna know somethin'. We all know you train hard, so you aren’t as sickly as you look in the face, right? I jus’ wanted to see,” Toga’s speech was slurred as she reached out and lifted up the hem of Tomura’s shirt, shoving it up to collarbone.

She did it so quickly, he barely had time to react. He used the butt of his palm to push her hand off, yanking his black shirt back over his exposed stomach.

A low whistle from Dabi made a blush creep up his neck.

“Damn,” Toga giggled, sliding her hand underneath his shirt, walking her fingers up his abs, “You're hot!”

Tomura flushed, squirming out from under her to get away from the awkward situation. He straightened his clothes, growling, “I see you brought in your own way to pass time. Where’s the alcohol?”

Toga snapped her fingers, ignoring Tomura’s question, “Hey! I have an idea! Why don’t we see if Kurogiri will let us go out to a club tonight?!”

“We have to stay in hiding. And clubs check IDs at the door,” Dabi told her, crossing his arms.

“I know that. I was saying we could sneak in,” Toga grinned, holding her finger up to her lips, “I could give you two makeovers too that would help hide your identities!”

Tomura and Dabi exchanged glances. For all her craziness, her makeup did always look all right. 

“C’mon, give me something to do! It's stupidly boring around here. Puh-leeassseee,” Toga whined, bouncing on her toes.

Tomura pinched the bridge of his nose, sighing, “Fine, go pester Kurogiri about it.”

Toga squealed and skittered off down the hall. Dabi looked over at Tomura and said, “This is really stupid, you know, we could get caught."

“I’m the fucking leader of the League of Villains, I can do whatever I want. If Crazy can really touch us up, we won’t have any issue. I can just figure out the coordinates so Kurogiri can warp us into the bathroom or something so we can avoid IDs,” Tomura said, waving him off.

“Wait, do you actually want to do this? It doesn’t seem like your style,” Dabi said, crossing his arms.

“I want to get out of this place, even if it means having to go to a club. Don’t you want a change of scenery?” Tomura asked, tilting his head back to look up at Dabi.

“Not if it means we go to jail,” Dabi groused, crossing his arms. 

“I doubt that will happen, America and Japan are very disjointed. The heroes here are completely different from ours. Unless we came here and started causing problems, I doubt we’d get recognized,” Tomura hummed.

 

-x-

 

This was a bad idea. As Toga worked to cover up Dabi’s horrendous scarring on his face and neck, he couldn’t stop thinking about every way this could go wrong. Something was going to happen, he couldn’t shake that feeling.

“All done! You look like a new man!” Toga said, poking Dabi in one of his little metal binders on his cheek, “But I obviously couldn't do anything about these.”

Toga picked up a mirror and handed it to Dabi so he could look at himself. He glanced at his reflection, his breath catching in his throat. Toga had done a good job blending away a lot of the scarring so that his skin almost looked smooth. He looked… almost like he had when he was a young teen. 

He could almost see his hair red again, his skin pale like his father's, his body free of any piercings. But it was his own father who had made him like this, forcing him to push himself too far at a young age. 

His father's voice echoed in his mind, “Get up. Now! You’re worthless! Weak! Just like your goddamn mother!”

His own young voice had screamed in rebuttal, "I hate you. I hate you!"

“You’re so sexy, Dabi!” Toga giggled, patting his spiky black hair, pulling him out of his dark memories. 

“Once upon a time, maybe,” Dabi muttered, standing up and asked as nonchalantly as possible, “Are you doing Shigaraki’s face too?”

Toga nodded, pointing to the doorway, “I already did him!”

Dabi blinked at Shigaraki, who stood in the doorway. He was wearing a brick-red henley, black jacket, grey pants and black boots. His face was almost the same, just some blending in around the eyes and lips to make him look less frightening. Dabi still could see his little scar on his eye and lip. 

Dabi had never minded the way Shigaraki looked, he didn’t know why the man insisted on always hiding his face. 

In the way Dabi was looking at Shigaraki, the man was regarding him. 

“Well, that’s going to take some getting used to,” Shigaraki finally said after a couple seconds. 

“I think you both look adorable! I can't wait to have you two take me out. I’ll go get on a dress! Dabi, get in your outfit too!” Toga exclaimed, bouncing off.

Dabi was wearing a white t-shirt, grey pants and black boots already. He simply put on a black leather jacket that sat on the back of his chair and announced, "Done."

“Is that getup different enough to be inconspicuous?” Shigaraki asked sourly.

Dabi looked at the League leader up and down, noting that he went with his usual color scheme of blacks and reds, “Is yours?”

“Shut up,” Shigaraki snarled, crossing his arms.

Dabi smirked, suddenly feeling somewhat excited for the night. Somehow seeing Shigaraki dressed in clothes fit for a club made him more interested in going.

He still had that nagging feeling that something bad was going to happen, but he supposed it would be nice to spend time out of the house. If nothing else, it would also be amusing to Shigaraki in a normal, human setting. 

“Are you ready?” Kurogiri’s ominous voice came from the doorway, Toga standing by his side. 

Toga was dressed in a smart little black dress, coming down a little too low in the front. Dabi tilted his head, eyeing her disapprovingly.

“Isn’t that a little much?” Dabi inquired, lower lip jutting out slightly.

“Oh, don’t be such a prude!” Toga giggled, spinning around to show off the dress, “I don’t ever get any chances to dress up anymore.”

“Are you sure this is wise, Tomura Shigaraki?” Kurogiri inquired, looking at their leader.

“We’ll find out soon enough, I suppose,” Shigaraki sighed, walking forward as Kurogiri created a warp gate for them.

“This will drop you in the bathroom stall of the club, make sure to close the door as soon as you get there to ensure no one will see you,” Kurogiri said as Shigaraki started forward, but Dabi stepped in front of him.

“What are you doing?” Shigaraki demanded, giving Dabi an annoyed glare.

“Let me go through first to make sure it’s safe,” Dabi said, not waiting for permission as he stuck his hand into the black hole of the warp gate.

It felt like pushing through a curtain, though the passage through was pure darkness. It felt short and endless at the same time. Dabi pulled himself out of the warp, hearing the sound of pounding bass. His eyes adjusted to the light and he recognized the sight of a tile of the foul smelling bathroom. He stepped out of the warp and shut the door to the stall to avoid anyone seeing them. 

Dabi put his hand back in the warp point, waving Shigaraki and Toga on. 

Within seconds, Toga bounced through, obviously having pushed Shigaraki out of the way because he stumbled through behind her looking pissed off. 

“You little--” Shigaraki started, but Dabi heard the bathroom door open and he zoomed forward to press his hand against Shigaraki’s mouth to shut him up.

This was honestly the closest Dabi had been to Shigaraki for an extended period of time. His body was braced firmly against the smaller man to keep him still and quiet. Dabi was somewhat surprised Shigaraki smelled minty fresh. For someone whose face and hair would make someone think he had poor hygiene, he didn’t smell badly at all. 

“Mmfrr,” Shigaraki growled against Dabi's palm.

Dabi was pretty sure he’d just been called a motherfucker. For some reason, this caused him to smile.  He looked down at the Shigaraki, seeing his fuming red-eyed gaze on him. Dabi felt an unexpected thrill tickle at his stomach at the feisty glare.

Dabi heard a toilet flush, the squeak of a faucet being turned on and off, then the door to the club open and shut.

“Get the fuck off me!” Shigaraki snarled, pushing Dabi away roughly, “You couldn’t think of any other way to tell me to be quiet?”

“None that wouldn’t have earned me backtalk,” Dabi replied with a shrug.

“You have no manners.” 

“Says the man who just called me a motherfucker.” 

Shigaraki threw him another glare as Toga pushed between them, “Come on, boys! You can flirt more after a couple drinks.”

Dabi blinked, surprised by the comment. He was even more shocked that Shigaraki didn’t respond to the accusation, just baring his teeth slightly and followed Toga out of the stall. 

They weren’t flirting, it was just banter. Just a playful thing they did instead of outright fighting constantly. 

Right?

Dabi hated Shigaraki’s guts. He could be such a child, someone who got mad when things didn’t go his way. He scratched at his neck instead of talking out his issues or just hiding them. He thought everyone should do exactly what he said. It was annoying.

Shigaraki had changed recently though. It was about damn time. A twenty-three year old man had no business throwing tantrums. He was still hard to deal with and nasty most of the time, but he seemed to lose his cool a lot less. 

“Come on, Dabi!” Toga called again and he finally walked out of the stall, seeing them standing by the door.

“Ready to loosen up?” Toga giggled, pulling the door open to the hot, loud room of drunk, writhing bodies.

Dabi gave Shigaraki a cursory glance, seeing the man's arms folded, his gaze cast out into the club. There was look of apprehension and shyness in his eyes that made Dabi's heart warm. He wasn't used to their leader being so transparent, it was unsettling, but not in a bad way.

"Yeah, let's go," Dabi said, putting a hand on Shigaraki's shoulder briefly before passing him to enter.

He still felt uneasy, like something were going to go terribly wrong that night. His common sense screamed at him to turn back, but that was overpowered by his desire to let Shigaraki have a night out.

Chapter Text

The bass was deafening, the ground was practically shaking  from the music. Tomura was tempted to clamp his hands over his ears, but no one else seemed to be having an issue, so he decided to just deal with it. 

He didn’t want to admit it to Dabi or Toga, but he’d never been to a club before. He wasn’t used to the smell of alcohol and sweat heavy in the air or the music so loud it made his ears ache. He didn’t even know how to act a place like this, so he fell behind Dabi and Toga to observe them. 

They veered towards the bar and Dabi yelled something to the bartender. Within a couple minutes, Dabi was pushing a shot glass full of some type of alcohol toward Tomura. He hesitantly took it, glancing over to see Dabi knocking his back, adam’s apple bobbing as he tilted his head to swallow the potent liquid.

Perhaps it was a fact that Tomura had never had hard liquor, but he felt a little embarrassed. He’d tried beer before but didn’t like the taste much, but besides that he was inexperienced.

Dabi seemed to notice his hesitation because he scooted closer to him, shouting over the music, “Relax. Take a breath in, swallow it all at once, and then breathe out.”

If it wasn’t so loud, Tomura would have lied to him, saying that he knew how to take a shot. Instead, he did what Dabi said, throwing his head back as he tossed the drink into the back of his throat. It instantly burned and Tomura’s eyes watered as he tried not to choke.

When Tomura looked back at Dabi, the man was indicating to the bartender for more. The bartender pushed two more shots down for them. Tomura scowled at the thought of taking another, turning around to scan the place for Toga since she’d already disappeared.

“She’s dancing,” Dabi said loudly, tilting his head towards the dance floor.

Sure enough, Toga was dancing with wildly with another girl, grinding up on her. Tomura’s nose wrinkled as Dabi picked up his shot glass, nudging it against his hand. 

Tomura took it from him, keeping his pinky up in the air to keep himself from turning the glass to dust. He copied Dabi, taking the shot, handling it better this time around. 

He put the glass down, feeling strange. His head was starting to swim, thoughts beginning to muddle. His ears were also very warm. 

“Do you dance, Shig?” Dabi asked, getting two beers for them next. 

Tomura took the beer bottle, looking at Dabi suspiciously. 

“Relax, it’s just a question. You don’t have to dance. You can sit over at those tables like the other losers,” Dabi teased with a lazy smirk, jabbing his thumb towards a cluster of tables with mostly single people peppered around. 

“I think that’s your spot, if the losers are sitting there,” Tomura retorted harshly, though the intensity was lost in the pounding stereo.

Dabi snorted, then tilted his chin towards the dance floor, "Come on, let’s go out there with Toga,” 

“I’ll pass,” Tomura finally decided, trying to sound as irritable as possible.

“Suit yourself, handyman,” Dabi hummed, leaving his side to walk out to the floor.

Tomura grit his teeth, fuming. He angrily took his beer over to one of the tables, sitting down heavily in the booth. It was nice being out of the cramped house, but this was a sensory overload. People were everywhere. They were screaming, laughing, yelling. The music was far too loud and driving, hammering a headache into Tomura’s skull. He was starting to regret the decision to come to the club.

Tomura ran a hand through his hair, eyes drifting to the dance floor where Dabi was holding Toga close while they danced together.

Tomura huffed. Dabi said they weren't a couple, but apparently they had no problem acting like one. Fucking disgusting.

His eyes focused on Dabi, watching the lanky man’s body move to the music. His hips rocked steadily to the beat, appearing far more natural than like the rest of the young, horny people on the floor. 

Despite his pierced and stapled face, he looked somewhat normal among the other, but yet he still stood out in the crowd. He was tall, self-assured, and far more handsome than any of the other men around him.

Tomura couldn't take his eyes off Dabi. He was mesmerized with his movements, looking completely comfortable swaying alongside Toga. 

He watched as Dabi put his hands on Toga's hips, doing a more sensual move that made Tomura's jaw clench. His hand wrapped around one of the coasters next to him, gripping it tightly until it turned to dust in his hand. Where was this anger was coming from?

This was stupid. 

He took another swig of his beer before sliding out of the booth to hesitantly walk towards the dance floor. 

As Tomura approached, Dabi saw him and he was surprised to see intensity in his piercing blue eyes. He abandoned Toga, prowling towards Tomura in such a way that made him wish he’d taken another shot. It made Dabi’s eyes locked onto him as he reached out slowly, causing Tomura's heart to hammer in his chest. 

Tomura stood stock still, feeling uneasy, apprehensive as Dabi’s hand rested on his hip, pulling him closer. 

“Relax,” Dabi murmured just loud enough to hear over the music.

“You say that a lot,” Tomura snipped back anxiously, his left hand rising to start scratching at his neck. 

Tomura blinked in surprise when Dabi caught his wrist of the offending hand, putting it on his shoulder like they were about to embrace. Alarms went off in Tomura’s mind, eyes widening as Dabi pulled him flush against his body. 

It was too much. Dabi smelled strongly like campfire, his electric eyes boring down at Tomura. And he was so warm, like a heated blanket.

Tomura’s mouth hung open in shock as Dabi smiled down at him, answering his comment from earlier, “I’ll stop saying it when you actually relax, creep.”

How could he relax? He was pressed up against the body of a man that was almost a head taller than he and very muscular. A man he claimed that he couldn't stand. He couldn’t help but feel like he was about to panic.

“Stop thinking for a few minutes, just feel the music and dance,” Dabi instructed, starting to sway more aggressively to the music, forcing Tomura to move along with him.

Tomura was having a hard time ignoring the raunchy lyrics of the song playing overhead. It wasn't helping the heated thoughts that were invading his mind. Between the music, the alcohol, and Dabi acting so loose, it was impossible not to think dirty. After all, he was only human. 

Tomura inhaled sharply when Dabi suddenly leaned in towards his ear, purring out as he stroked a couple of fingers down the length of Shigaraki’s spine, “Just breathe, listen to the music, move.”

Tomura yanked himself away from Dabi. There were so many mixed feelings he was experiencing, he was getting overwhelmed. He wasn’t seductive, he wasn’t sure of himself, he wasn’t ready for this. 

So he ran.

Tomura spun around and took off towards the bathrooms. His hands were shaking, his muddled mind spinning as he yanked the door open. He pressed his back up against it, chest heaving as he tried to get in control of the oncoming panic attack. 

“Kurogiri, open the warp, I want to come back,” Tomura said almost desperately, walking towards the stall they’d come in from and pushed it open.

The warp wasn’t there. 

“Kurogiri? I know you can hear me, let me come back!” Tomura said loudly.

Nothing happened. 

Tomura heard the door of the bathroom open and he sighed as he turned, fully expecting to see Dabi.

He was surprised to see someone he instantly knew was a threat. It wasn’t a hero, but an ominous villain type dressed all in black. He was tall, but hunched over with his arms low, claws protruding from each finger. His teeth were bared, incisors sharp and gleaming in the dim lighting of the bathroom. The whites of his eyes were black with yellow irises and his blood red hair fell over his head without covering his pointed ears. He had a thin tail with a barbed tip that snapped back and forth dangerously.

“What the hell are you looking at?” Tomura asked in an aloof tone, but the alarms in his mind were going crazy. 

“Nothing much,” the villain’s gravelly voice sent a shiver of fear down Tomura’s spine.

“I’m afraid you’ll have to try harder than that to scare me, then,” Tomura retorted, despite knowing that he needed to get away as soon as possible.

Tomura slowly moved to a defensive stance, cautiously removing his partial gloves so that he could combat an attack, “I work with uglier people than you so just standing in the doorway and making a loose threat isn't going--”

Tomura yelped, stumbling back when the villain’s tail whipped, slashing across his throat. He put a hand up to it, feeling blood seeping out of a cut that was so precise it missed his jugular and didn’t harm his trachea. But it was deep.

“Hey now, what the fuck?!” Tomura whined, pressing his hand against the wound to stop the bleeding. 

“Tomura Shigaraki, the so called villain. You're even weaker looking than I thought!” the villain lurched forward, grabbing Tomura to slam him against the wall, pinning his wrists so he couldn’t use his quirk. 

Tomura was terrified, though he was trained to not show it. He looked at the man with a deadpan expression.

What would instigate such a random attack? If the villain were looking for him specifically, how would he even know they were there?  Unless…

“What have you done to Kurogiri?” Tomura asked as the villain’s tail came up to be level with his eye.

“Your warping friend? Don't worry, we took care of him,” the villain smiled viciously, looking closely at Tomura’s face.

“You’re not half bad looking with all this makeup on,” the villain said, licking his lips with his pointed tongue.

Tomura gasped, shocked when the villain leaned forward, swiping his long tongue against the fresh blood on his neck. He dragged his tongue across his skin until he reached Tomura's lips. 

Tomura grimaced, trying to squirm as he felt the villain’s tongue split through his lips, sliding down into his mouth.  He tried to bite down, but the tongue was so big that he could barely move his jaw as it threatened to gag him the closer it got to the back of his mouth.

Tomura couldn’t do anything. The man was powerful. He even moved to hold both of his wrists with one hand, taking his free one to slide it down Tomura’s side, then slipped it under his shirt, digging his claws into his skin.

He was helpless. He hadn’t felt that way in a long time. He always had his followers with him, ones that would protect him because they believed in their cause. But he was utterly alone and unable to use his quirk. 

Tears streamed down Tomura’s cheeks in a mixture of fear and choking.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?!” a voice bellowed from the doorway of the bathroom. 

Shigaraki’s eyes rolled weakly to look over the villain’s shoulder, seeing Dabi standing the handle of the door melted away.

“Let him go! Now!” Dabi growled in a dangerously low voice, shutting the door behind him. 

He moved his hands to his sides, fingers curled, blue fire swirling around the burnt flesh of his scars. 

The villain finally pulled his tongue out of Tomura’s mouth, looking over his shoulder at Dabi. He only regarded him for a second before turning back to Tomura, smiling widely, “Excellent. He'll be so pleased...”

Before Tomura could even wonder what the villain meant, he moved sharply, slamming his fist into Tomura’s temple.

He saw stars for a moment, then fell to the floor as the world went dark.

Chapter Text

Dabi knew he had taken it too far.

Dabi had been feeling especially good, having a few drinks in him and dancing with Toga. Even if she was more like an obnoxious little sister than a interest for him. He was just wanting to dance, even if it wasn't with the partner he wanted.

While Dabi danced with Toga, his eyes drifted over to Shigaraki sitting at the booth. The man looked completely out of his element, absolutely uncomfortable. It was pretty damn cute. 

Dabi mentally reprimanded himself for the thought. Honestly, he didn't know where his mind was at recently. He would kept catching himself looking too long at the grumpy, hot-tempered leader of the League of Villains. Their constant banter was starting to make his stomach twist instead of just being amusing to him. He would find himself longing for those moments when Shigaraki would lower his guard, letting his expression soften.

He watched Shigaraki glance off to the side, running a hand through his messy sky-blue hair, pulling the bangs off his forehead for just a moment. Dabi realized that when he wasn’t trying to act tough or smiling like a creep, Shigaraki looked so incredibly endearing.

“Whatcha lookin’ at?” Toga asked, throwing her hands up to slide them down Dabi’s chest.

“Just checking in on the creep,” Dabi answered honestly as he went back to dancing with her for a moment.

“That man could use some tender lovin’,” Toga laughed, throwing in a Southern accent, “I know you. You’re interested.”

“I’m not,” Dabi scoffed, feeling a little warmer than he normally did.

“He’s cute in a creepy way! But then again, so are you. You’d make a perfect couple,” Toga inquired, tickling at Dabi’s sides.

Dabi swatted her hand away, shaking her head, “I have eyes, I can tell he’s cute. I’m not interested in being a couple.”

“I’m sure he’d never want that either, but we have nothing to do in witness protection. Wouldn’t hurt to have a little action going on,” Toga winked, making her hand into a circle and miming a blowjob, “You share a room, I know you’ve thought about it.”

"You're so crass," Dabi snorted, shaking his head.

Of course he’d thought of getting off while they were in the house. He’d never directly thought of Shigaraki doing it though. Dabi’s mind was plagued by the image of Toga's suggestion. He thought of Shigaraki's ruby red eyes looking up at him while he…

Dabi tilted his head back slightly, groaning, “Ugh, fuck me.”

“Oops, did I put some dirty thoughts in your brain?” Toga grinned, grabbing Dabi’s hand and danced around behind him, then gave him a shove towards Shigaraki, “Get in there, Dabi, go get some!”

Dabi flushed and looked in Shigaraki's direction, but he wasn’t at the booth anymore. In confusion, Dabi scanned the room and saw their leader standing hesitantly on the edge of the dance floor. He looked so uncertain that everything lost importance to Dabi in that moment. He eased past a few people and held a reassuring hand out to Shigaraki.

“Relax.”

“You say that a lot.”

Shigaraki was always seemed hesitant to touch anyone, though the partially fingerless gloves helped out a lot with his fear of hurting people without meaning to. He didn’t move towards Dabi, just reached up with one of his hands and started raking his exposed nails into his neck. 

Dabi moved closer, taking a leap of faith as he put a hand on Shigaraki’s wrist and put his arm around his shoulder. 

Shigaraki’s face was nothing but surprised. Dabi knew that no one ever touched him like this, so every kind contact was probably a new experience. His red eyes went wide with that familiar touch of innocence that made Dabi almost melt as he drew Shigaraki up against his body. He gave Shigaraki a cocky smile as he said over the music, “I’ll stop saying it when you actually relax.”

Dabi slid his hands down the shorter man’s sides, dancing against him, “Stop thinking for a few minutes, just feel the music. Relax and just let yourself go.”

Dabi took a shaky breath as he touched Shigaraki, barely able to believe how intoxicating it was. He didn’t know if it were just the alcohol or if something were actually happening. He moved his head closer and nosed against Shigaraki’s hair, inhaling the smell of him, which was the faint smell of berry shampoo. He didn’t wear any type of cologne, so there was a distinct scent that was specifically Shigaraki. 

Dabi tilted his head down, lips brushing the shell of Shigaraki’s soft ear as he whispered, “Just breathe, listen to the music, move.”

Dabi was definitely tipsy and he was being too forward, he could feel it. Before he could dial it back, Tomura jerked away from him. 

“Hey, I'm sorry. Don’t--” Dabi started as Shigaraki pulled away, reaching out to try to grab the man's hand before he darted away towards the restrooms. 

“Strike,” Toga laughed, sidling up to him, “Tomura is so flighty.”

“I scared him off,” Dabi sighed, dejectedly turning to dance with Toga again.

“He’ll be back, just you watch,” Toga said, waving Dabi off as she danced up against him.

Perhaps she was right. Maybe Shigaraki just needed a moment to clear his head? 

Minutes ticked by and Dabi kept glancing at the bathroom door, but Shigaraki didn’t emerge. Dread started to fill Dabi’s chest, something telling him that he needed to go see if Shigaraki warped back home or if he were just lingering in the bathroom.

“I’ll be back,” Dabi called over the music to Toga before walking to the bathroom.

Dabi pulled at the door, surprised to find it locked. He grit his teeth, his worry spiking. He heated his hand up to an ungodly level, digging his fingers into the metal of the latch, melting and bending it to pull it free.

He stumbled in to see a demonic human pressing Shigaraki against the wall by the sinks. Dabi’s eyes widened to see the man with his tongue shoved into Shigaraki’s mouth, clawed hand roving under the man's shirt.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?!” Dabi roared at the demon, extending his arms to ignite them in blue fire that licked across his scars and melted part of his jacket sleeves.

“Let him go! Now!” Dabi's teeth bared as his blue fire brightened, the smell of his own sizzling flesh filling the air.

To Dabi’s horror, Shigaraki gagged as the demon reluctantly pulled its long tongue out of his mouth. Tears stained Shigaraki's cheeks, probably from choking, but the sight was still enough to make Dabi’s anger rage. The demon looked seconds away from going to far with Shigaraki… and Dabi almost didn’t arrive in time.

Dabi practically snarled when the demon turned away, saying something quietly to Shigaraki before smashing him in the temple brutally with his fist.

“No!” Dabi yelled before rushing the demon as Shigaraki fell to the ground.

The demon man bared his teeth in an psychotic smile, lunging at Dabi. His tail slashed forward, swiping the air in front of Dabi’s eyes. 

Dabi pulled back, then ducked under the demon’s swinging arm to maneuver him away from Shigaraki so that he was out of the line of fire. Once he was standing protectively between the demon and Shigaraki, he threw his hands up, blue fire torrenting out of his arms towards the villain. 

The villain seemed thrown by the intensity of the fire, skittering back to safety, holding his arms up to block the extreme heat. 

Once the fire subsided, the demon looked up, smile still plastered on his face, "That's quite a Quirk. One should never underestimate the power of a Todoroki.

Dabi's eyes snapped up to look at the demon, taking a step back. How did he know? Not even the League of Villains knew his true heritage.

"Poor little Touya, trying to make a name for himself and getting mixed up with..." the demon looked at Shigaraki's lifeless body on the ground, "These useless, weak brats."

Dabi's jaw clenched and he replied hotly, "I don't know what you're talking about!"

"Oh, please. You gave yourself away with that stupid, surprised expression. Your little secret is out, Touya," the demon responded, licking his own teeth.

As if he were physically trying to protect his identity, Dabi moved forward and threw another unbearable wall of blue fire at the villain to drive him backwards.

When the fire faded, the man had disappeared. Dabi lowered his hands, looking around warily. He looked up and saw one of the drop ceiling tiles had been pushed aside. He would have pursued, but Shigaraki was in need of medical attention. 

Dabi spun around, going on his knees next to the motionless man. Blood trickled out of the cut on his neck and his temple bled from the impact. 

“Tomura,” Dabi whispered the man’s given name, pulling him up off the grimy floor to pillow his head on his lap.

The slit in Shigaraki’s neck was surprisingly deep. He probably needed stitches, but they were in no position to do that.

“Dabi! What the hell happened here? Did you melt the door?” Toga’s voice chirped from the doorway, then she gasped, “Oh no! Tomura!”

“He was attacked,” Dabi said, a tinge of desperation in his voice.

Toga dutifully came to his side, “His neck…”

"I'm going to bind it up the best I can, but we need to get him out of here and get actual medical supplies to help stop the bleeding," Dabi said hurriedly as he shrugged off his jacket, "Watch the door while I bandage him and clean up."

Toga ran to the door, bracing herself against it as Dabi pulled his thin white shirt undershirt off over his head, tearing that to strips. He tilted Shigaraki's head up, winding the material around his neck. Hopefully they could get him out of the club without being seen.  Dabi paused when he saw Shigaraki's eyes flutter open.

"What... what happened?" Shigaraki's voice sounded raw and tired.

"I walked in on some asshole attacking you, I got rid of him," Dabi replied so softly that he heard Toga make an adoring squeal from across the room.

Dabi shot her a warning glare, but quickly looked back down when Shigaraki’s head lolled in his lap, eyes glazed over. He looked completely exhausted. 

“We need to get out of here,” Dabi said, smoothing Shigaraki’s hair before leaning back. 

“Kurogiri isn’t here anymore. If he was, he would have probably stepped in sooner to save Tomura," Toga said, nodding towards the bathroom stall. 

“We’re going to have to walk home, then,” Dabi said, pulling on his partially burnt jacket to somewhat cover his bare upper body, “Help me get him on my back.”

Toga nodded and started to help Shigaraki’s sit up, but he choked out, “My gloves… don’t want to accidentally use my Quirk.”

It was probably safer, but the look on Shigaraki’s face made Dabi want to refuse. He knew all about having a nearly uncontrollable Quirk. He knew about being afraid of being close to people in fear of accidentally unleashing dangerous power.  

Dabi reached for the gloves that were discarded on the ground and helped Shigaraki put them back on. He crouched down and Toga assisted getting Shigaraki get to his feet and collapse over his back. 

His arms draped over Dabi’s shoulder, head nestling against his neck. His blue hair tickled at Dabi’s cheek as he hoisted him up, tucking his arms under the crooks of Shigaraki's legs. 

Shigaraki always seemed so sharp, his eyes always calculating and aware of everything. It was so odd to feel the man so limp and still against him. Dabi could see his eyes heavily lidded, mouth slightly agape. 

“You with us, handyman?” Dabi asked him, trying to tease him to get a rise out of him.

“Shut up,” Shigaraki rasped, no fire behind his words.

They needed to get him to safety. Dabi walked after Toga, who opened the door for him. They went towards the exit, getting strange looks from a few people. 

“Doing all right, there?” one of the employees asked as they passed by.

“Yeah, it’s my friend’s twenty-first and he had a little more than he could handle,” Toga laughed it off.

She was insane, but at times Dabi wondered if it was an act, being able to think so quickly. 

They stepped outside and Dabi felt the chilly wind hit his bare skin and he hissed in discomfort. He activated his Quirk just enough to let heat roam over him to raise his body temperature. In doing so, he supposed he became like a heated car seat because he felt Shigaraki physically snuggle closer. 

Dabi saw Toga shiver as they walked farther away from the club and he said with a sigh, “Come here…”

Toga looked at Dabi in confusion and he awkwardly indicated to his coat, “Lean into me and you’ll be warm.”

Toga happily zoomed to his side, tucking herself against his side, "Mmm, you're toasty!"

Dabi huffed. He wondered if it were odd to see an alternative type like himself with a skinny man on his back and an inappropriately dressed young woman glued to his side. It didn't really matter, as long as everyone was warm and safe.

Dabi's lips pressed together in thought. How did he get to this point of taking care of people again? 

He was the oldest boy of his four siblings: Fuyumi, Natsuo, and Shouto. When he was younger, he tended to take on the leadership role way with his siblings. Especially with Shouto. The child with the hybrid Quirk needed all the love he could get… he definitely wasn’t getting any from their father, Enji. 

He heard the words from the past in his mind, Let him rest, you can only take your quirk so far. Do you really want him to start looking like me?”

Enji...

Dabi glanced at his reflection in the windowpane of a store they passed, seeing his scarring partially hidden by makeup. He used to have a smooth face, his only burn scars around his forearms and legs. It was all Enji's fault he looked like this. 

Would the word get back to his father about Dabi's true identity? Dabi could only imagine the problems that would ensue if Enji was aware that the villain Dabi was his son, Touya.

Dabi suddenly noticed a car pacing their walk on the road. He paused, ready to put Shigaraki down if it was a threat. The window of the car rolled down a bit and Dabi sighed with relief when he saw Kurogiri’s glowing eyes staring at him.

“Get in,” Kurogiri’s deep voice ordered and Dabi wasn’t about to ask any questions.

Toga opened the door for them and Dabi gently eased Shigaraki into the car. He buckled him in and then followed Toga to the other side to get in. Dabi slid into the middle seat next to Shigaraki even though he was normally more comfortable in the seat with more leg room. He was worried about Shigaraki, though. The man seemed so incredibly small and weak. His head was tilted back against the headrest, eyes dark and lifeless. 

Something Dabi that made him tempted to just pull Shigaraki close. Perhaps that alcohol was still affecting him… 

Yeah, that was definitely it.

Kurogiri quickly pulled out onto the road once they were all in.

“Tomura Shigaraki…” Kurogiri said, looking in the rearview mirror, “What happened to you?”

Shigaraki said nothing, tongue darting out to lick his dry lips. Dabi watched him, seeing his lips pulling back off his teeth as if he were trying to hold back a sob. 

“Tomura,” Toga started, but Dabi put his hand out, not wanting to upset him further. 

Shigaraki had been taken advantage of, a different kind of assault that he was used to. As a Villain, they were all used to pain. Shigaraki had been shot in all his limbs before, he’d been stabbed, he’d been beaten. Dabi had seen him shirtless a couple times when he’d walk out of the showers, a towel around his thin waist. His pale skin was completely mottled with scars. 

But being touched like that… that was a completely different situation. 

They drove in silence for a while and Dabi hesitantly looked over at Shigaraki again, just in time to see the man slumping over. Dabi took a sharp breath in when Shigaraki’s head lolled to the side, shifting over the seat until his head rested against Dabi’s shoulder.

Dabi glanced up at Kurogiri, seeing that his eyes were on the road. He looked over at Toga, who was gazing out her window, paying no attention.

Dabi turned his attention to the head that rested on his arm, nuzzling his face into the hair slightly. He greedily inhaled the berry scent of Shigaraki’s hair. He pursed his lips slightly, feeling the blue hairs ghosting against his lips. He couldn’t help but shut his eyes, relieved that his leader was safe now. 

Dabi knew he’d been in this position for too long, so he reluctantly tried to pull his head back. His breath caught in his throat when he felt an awkward tug on his chin. 

“Fuck,” Dabi cursed under his breath, reaching up to feel one of his chin staples had gotten tangled with Shigaraki’s hair. 

He tried to pull the hair out, but he was in danger of yanking Shigaraki’s scalp.

“Toga,” Dabi hissed, trying to be subtle.

He strained to see her without turning his head too much. She was still turned towards the window.

“Toga!” Dabi said through his teeth, just a little louder.

She snapped out of her trance, turning towards him. It only took her a couple beats to figure out what was happening. She giggled quietly, covering her mouth as she leaned forward to untangle Dabi and Shigaraki.

“This is too cute,” she whispered, winking at Dabi.

Dabi sighed, not looking at her as she unwound the hair from the staple. It was embarrassing enough that he got caught like this, he didn’t want to talk to her about it. 

When he was finally free, he leaned back in his seat. He still let Shigaraki lean on his shoulder, but he wouldn’t allow himself to look at him. He’d already gotten himself in enough trouble with that. 

But he wasn't against letting his hand rest on the seat but subtly touching Shigaraki's thigh. Where was the harm in that?

Chapter Text

Tomura’s eyes fluttered open, finding himself staring at the white ceiling of their safe house once again. He was confused momentarily, looking at the moonlight peaking through the window, making patterns on the wall through the shutters. It took him a moment to remember everything that had happened and he slowly became aware of his pained body.

His head was pounding and his body was sore in odd places from being thrown around by the villain. He realized his neck hurt worst of all as he reached up to touch it, feeling it wrapped in gauze and tape. 

“Easy, you wanna leave that on for now,” a cool, aloof voice said.

Tomura slowly turned his head, wincing slightly. Dabi sat on the couch next to his, eyes focused on him. He looked almost concerned as he scooted forward, taking a washcloth off of Tomura’s forehead that he hadn’t even realized was there.

“W-why are we back here?” Tomura asked, voice raspier than usual, “The enemy knows where this is! Kurogiri--”

“Kurogiri never encountered them, that was a lie. The demon villain must have had a counterpart who jammed his Quirk. Kurogiri got concerned when he was unable to open a warp gate and he drove out here to get us. Thank god he did, I didn’t want to have to carry your sorry ass all the way home,” Dabi teased, smirking at Tomura. 

Tomura’s head was hurting too much to feel like fighting with anyone, so he just sighed and shut his eyes, “So we are safe?”

“For the time being, yes. This place has safeguards that didn't extend to the club, that's why the enemy was able to track us there.”

"Do we know who he was or what his motive might have been? He said something about someone being pleased before he knocked me out," Tomura asked.

Dabi paused before replying, "We don't know for sure. There was a motive, it's just not clear what that was yet."

Tomura took a shaky breath, reaching up to press his fingers into his temples to rub away the pain but hissed when he touched the bruise on his left. 

He heard Dabi stand and walk away. Tomura opened an eye to see the man bringing him a glass of water and pain medication, squatting down next to the couch to offer it.

Tomura hesitated for just a moment, eyeing Dabi, who gazed down at him with an unreadable expression. He had no idea why the freak was being so nice to him.

“Do I have to force feed you, creep? Take it,” Dabi said after a moment without any bite to his harsh words.

Tomura took the medication and struggled to sit up. He groaned in pain, eyes snapping open in surprise when he felt a hand press against the back of his head to support him.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Tomura snarled at Dabi, who was holding out the glass of water with the other hand. 

Dabi blinked slowly at him, turning his head to check around the room. Tomura became tense, wondering what was going on. Dabi didn’t say anything further as he assisted him with taking the medicine. He gently helped Tomura settle his head back on the pillow, eyes dark.

“Dabi, wh--”

“I thought you were going to die. When I walked in, I just…” Dabi murmured, pausing to take a shaky breath, “I went a little overboard with the alcohol and allowed myself to be freer that I normally would. I made you uncomfortable and you were put in that situation. I’m sorry.”

Tomura blankly stared at him, surprised by Dabi’s remorse for a situation he couldn’t have prevented. Dabi sat on his haunches, eyes hooded by his black hair, mouth tight. Was he really that concerned with his well being?

“Hey, what is this?” Tomura asked in confusion, uncomfortable with this side of Dabi.

“Just…” Dabi moved forward and put a hand on top of Tomura’s head.

Tomura’s breath caught in his throat as Dabi leaned forward a bit to murmur, “...Don’t do that to me again, creep. Don’t make me worry.”

Tomura was at a loss for words as he stared almost cross eyed at Dabi’s unbelievably blue eyes. The smell of Dabi’s smoky breath filled his senses, warmth radiating off his body like a space heater. His scent was so similar to a campfire on an autumn night.

“I almost had to waste that guy. Don’t want to put me out, do you?” Dabi asked in a more playful tone, pulling back with a lop-sided smile.

“Why the fuck would you be worried about me?” Tomura asked, voice wavering just a bit.

“You’re our leader, you stupid asshole,” Dabi said, sitting back on his haunches again, then added with a wink, “What are we supposed to do without your divine guidance?”

Tomura scoffed, tearing his eyes off of Dabi to look out the window, “Whatever.”

Dabi chuckled lowly, pushing himself to stand, fishing his carton of cigarettes out of his pocket. Tomura slowly looked back over to see Dabi put the smoke into his mouth, holding his palm to it to light it with his own body heat. He took a drag and exhaled a puff of smoke lazily, gaze settling on Tomura. 

“Don’t smoke that in here, go outside,” Tomura groused, but stopped when Dabi leaned over him once again.

He didn't invade Tomura’s space, but it was still unnerving to see his face right in front of him. His eyes were half lidded, a casual smile pulling at the staples in his face as he said in his signature lazy tone, “I couldn’t take my eyes off you tonight, Tomura. Try not to inconvenience me again.”

Dabi turned and walked away, going out the sliding door, leaving Tomura staring at the place he’d been standing. 

What the hell was that all about?

Tomura reached up to touch his head where Dabi's hand had been, feeling a blush tinge his cheeks. Was it really the fact that Tomura was almost killed that made Dabi have a change of heart regarding him? Or was it at the club when they were dancing? Or possibly something that happened before that night?

Tomura’s face reddened as he thought of their bodies pressed together on the dance floor. He wished that he’d taken advantage of their moment, run his fingers over Dabi’s hard muscles instead of being scared to reciprocate. 

His heart was fluttering at Dabi’s final words before he left. Did he mean that he was irritated that he had to rescue him? Or did he mean he mean something else? 

No, there was no way. They were both freaks but at least Dabi had that alternative, bad boy quality going for him. Tomura was thin and gangling, face haggard and ugly. 

Perhaps that’s what it was, Dabi was acting this way because Tomura didn't look as terrible with makeup on. There was no other explanation.

Tomura gazed out the window next to the couch, looking up at the starry night, wishing things could could back to normal before they got any more complicated. 

 

-x-

 

Outside, Dabi leaned against the fire escape railing, looking at the alleyway below. He brought a shaking hand to his mouth and took a generous drag from his cigarette, exhaling through his nose as the thought of Tomura laying bleeding on the floor raced through his mind again. 

He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to get rid of the image, but it remained. 

He almost wasn't able to intercept. The demon was most likely trying to lure him in, but Dabi didn't want to think about what would have happened if he hadn't arrived when he did.

Once again the long reach of his bastard father caught up to him, this time hurting his comrade. 

“No…no, I can’t let this happen again…” he said to himself, pinching the cigarette between his fingers.

 

“Get up now! You’re worthless! Weak! Just like your goddamn mother!” 

Seven year old Touya Todoroki trembled as he tried to push himself up off the floor, sobbing, “I can’t, Daddy, it hurts my skin! Please don’t make me--”

Touya was thrown to the side as Enji Todoroki smacked him hard across the face.

“You will learn to use your Quirk, I don’t care if it consumes your entire body. I invested a lot to make you, you will try again!” 

Tears streamed from Touya’s eyes as he put his hand up, red fire crackling against his skin. He bit his lip as the flames grew hotter until the amber flames morphed to blue, causing him to scream in agony.

He halted his Quirk, falling to his knees as the smell of burning flesh rose in the air. 

“This isn’t the answer. I should have known that an enhanced fire Quirk could not be handled by someone with such a weak constitution. I'm fortunate that you're not the only one I have. Get out of my sight and come back when you actually learn how to control your Quirk,” Enji snarled, turning to leave his son in the dojo.

Touya sat up, lips quivering as he looked down at his arms to see bloody, blistered stripes up and down his forearms.

“I hate you…” Touya whimpered, looking up at the doorway where Enji had disappeared and screamed, “I hate you!”

 

Dabi felt tears burning his eyes as he sank down to squat in front of the railing. He grasped one of the iron rods of the rail, leaning his forehead against the cool metal. He didn’t want to remember his past. If he could burn it out of his mind, he would. His life had been nothing but turmoil and strife. He’d gone from a tortured child, to a repressed teenager, to a villainous adult. 

He’d stepped away from his family for his own safety, but he also couldn’t watch his siblings get hurt anymore. He couldn’t protect them or Tomura from the wrath of his father. He couldn't protect anyone.

 

“Get up! Get up, Shouto. Do the exercise again!”

“He’s only five, please, he’s had enough!”

“Leave, woman!” 

Touya heard the familiar sound of Enji striking his wife and young Shouto crying. Touya was glad it wasn’t him anymore that was the focus of his father’s rage, but his heart still ached for “perfect creation”.

But that had been every Todoroki child at one point.

Touya peeked his head into the dojo and saw the little body of Shouto laying on the ground, heaving with sobs. Beside him was a puddle of vomit, probably from overwork.

Touya’s eyes widened when Enji leaned down, grasping Shouto by the hair to pull him in the upright position.

“Do the forms again,” Enji snapped, shoving the boy forward.

Shouto stumbled, falling to his knees against the tatami mat. Touya's teeth grit as rage boiled inside him.

Enji was preparing to kick Shouto and Touya felt his feet move on their own.

He reached out and shoved Enji hard in the back, making his father stumble off his balance. Enji righted himself, turning to glower at Touya.

“Let him rest, you know you only push a Quirk so far. Do you really want him looking like me?” Touya asked, gesturing to the bandages he wore on his arms to cover the scarring.

Enji regarded him for a moment before he backhanded Touya across the face. Touya took it, only reeling slightly before glaring back at his father, “Hitting us over and over again isn’t going to get you what you want. Someday I hope you realize that.”

He walked past Enji, ignoring him as he picked up Shouto. The little boy instantly curled into his embrace, wrapping his arms around Touya’s neck. Touya turned, defiantly looking at Enji again, “I hate you more and more with every passing day. I can’t wait to get out of his hellhole.”

Touya marched by him, carrying Shouto out of the dojo and back into the house.

“Please don’t leave, Touya…” Shouto whimpered against him, little fists balled into his shirt.

It made Touya’s heart break because he knew that after that display of defiance, Enji would most likely send him away whether he wanted to stay or not.

Touya carried Shouto to his room, sitting down on the bed with him. Shouto leaned back to look up at his older brother, eyes round and watery. Touya gave him a sad smile, “We all need to get away as soon as we can, okay? Don’t become what he wants you to be. He calls you a creation, but you’re your own person.”

Shouto blinked owlishly at him, “What do you mean?”

Touya used his fingers to brush through the two-tone hair of his younger brother, “Someday you will understand.”

Shouto looked clueless as Touya leaned forward, kissing the top of his little brother's head, "No matter what happens, even if I'm gone tomorrow, remember that I love you. Don't forget that, okay?"

"I won't forget. I love you too."

 

Tears flowed steadily from Dabi’s eyes as he remained on the fire escape. He was having a hard time catching his breath, his lungs felt incredibly tight. He didn’t save his little brother, he just left him to fend for himself. In the same way he'd failed Tomura. He'd gotten hurt and almost killed.

Why was he so fucking weak?

Dabi choked on a sob, covering his face with his hands as he tried to get control but he felt himself spiraling. He was useless and everything was out of his control. His father had been right about him, his constitution was weak, he'd never amount to anything.

He clamped his teeth down on the back of his hand to keep himself from crying loudly, but gasped when he felt a hand grab his shoulder.

Dabi turned sharply, seeing Shigaraki standing behind him. The man looked taken aback, like he couldn’t believe that Dabi was crying. In fact, he looked like he’d never encountered someone crying before in his life.

Dabi didn’t care about the strain between them. He didn’t care if it seemed clingy or too emotional. He felt like he was slipping off of Earth, so he stood up and pulled Shigaraki’s thin frame to his body.

Dabi practically whimpered in relief to have a body so close to his. He needed to feel something, the touch of a human. He buried his face against Shigaraki’s mop of hair, relishing in the scent.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Shigaraki’s raspy voice lacked all bite, though he didn’t return the embrace.

“Please, just shut the fuck up for once,” Dabi choked out, fingers sifting up into Shigaraki’s hair, clinging to the feeling of the soft strands tickling his hand.

Surprisingly, Shigaraki remained quiet. He stood stiffly in Dabi’s arms, as if he were afraid to move. They stood together for what seemed like forever before Dabi’s tears slowly subsided and he reluctantly released him. He took a step back and was about to apologize to Shigaraki, but the man's expression made him stop.

Shigaraki’s eyes were round, lips parted slightly. Dabi held his breath when he saw Shigaraki’s hand move towards his face. He wasn’t afraid, he knew that Shigaraki wouldn’t do anything with his Quirk, but he still was unsure of what to expect.

Shigaraki’s hand hovered by his cheek for a moment before gently using his thumb to wipe away tears. 

The gesture was so tender and sympathetic that if Dabi wasn’t looking directly at Shigaraki, he would have believed it was someone else who had touched him. 

Dabi was at a loss for words, but he had a strange desire to close the space between them and press his lips to Shigaraki’s. He smelled like berries, did he taste like it? How would his tongue feel against his own? 

Where the fuck did those thoughts come from? 

He was vulnerable at the moment, he knew he was just in need of comfort through contact. But the thought of kissing Shigaraki scared and excited him.

“Don’t ever touch me again,” Shigaraki said in a hiss, but his gloved hand clutched at the front of Dabi’s shirt.

“Not a problem,” Dabi said in almost a whisper, his eyes meeting Shigaraki’s.

They held each other’s gaze for a moment longer before Shigaraki shrank away like a scared animal. He left the fire escape, leaving Dabi alone. 

The exchange left Dabi confused and lightheaded. He sighed, rubbing his tear stained eyes. That creepy little bastard, how did he suddenly have the power to make his heart flutter so much?

Shigaraki had unknowingly pulled him back from an attack. He barely even had to say a thing, just the mere sight of him brought Dabi out of his spiral.

 

-x-

 

Tomura scrambled back inside, veering towards the bathroom. His heart pounded as he zipped inside, locking the door behind him to have some kind of privacy. He checked the shower to make sure Toga wasn’t hiding out in there like she tended to do sometimes as a joke. 

Once he made sure he was absolutely alone, he slapped his hands down on the sink to collect himself. His chest heaved with a mixture of anxiety and something else… perhaps thrill?

He ran trembling fingers through the light blue strands of his hair, looking at his reflection in the mirror.

What had just happened? He had forced himself off the couch to go outside to get a breath of fresh air, even if that meant he had to breathe in some of Dabi’s cigarette smoke. It wasn’t so bad, it was something so familiarly Dabi that Tomura was growing accustomed to it.

He was shocked to have seen Dabi crouched on the fire escape, shoulders shaking with sobs.

Tomura had been dumbfounded, but his body seemed to move on its own. He’d reached out with a gloved hand and grasped Dabi's shoulder.

He didn’t know if he were trying to get his attention or trying to comfort him. Either way, he had been unprepared for the lurch in his heart when Dabi had turned around, crystalline eyes blurred by hot tears, his scarred chin trembling with emotion. 

It was so unlike Dabi, being the epitome of laid back. He rarely got riled, his persona reserved. Ever since Tomura had known him, Dabi had remained relaxed and unemotional outside an occasional playful smirk.

Something had happened to cause upset, something besides Tomura getting attacked. 

Tomura remembered the demon saying something right before knocking him out, “Excellent. He’ll be so pleased.”

Did it have something to do with that? Was the demon trying to lure Dabi for some reason? What could have happened to put Dabi in a state like that, practically sobbing and scrambling for embrace.

Tomura grit his teeth as his hands gripped the edge of the ceramic sink, his gloves keeping him from breaking it. 

Where did Dabi get off hugging and holding him like that anyway? And why hadn’t Tomura fought harder to get away? 

Maybe it was because Dabi had been so warm and his hug felt desperate? For some reason Tomura didn’t want to step away, instead allowing himself to be what Dabi needed. He had stood there in his embrace, simply wondering what shattered Dabi's cool exterior.

The thought made his fist clench in anger. Whatever the demon might have said to Dabi to make him cry, Tomura would find them and wrap his bare fingers around its throat. 

But what made him feel that way? Perhaps it was the same thing that made him feel like he needed to thumb away a rolling tear from Dabi’s cheek? Some sappy weakness that made him somewhat vulnerable to seeing someone so distraught. But not just anyone, he felt like he was only affected by seeing this particular man in distress. 

Tomura groaned, turning to sit on the closed toilet, mind spinning. So felt so unsure of the thoughts that were swirling around inside him, so many feelings new and unknown. His heart was still hammering and he felt short of breath as he tried to calm himself. 

He knew he couldn’t stay in the bathroom forever, he had to go back outside someday. 

But what if Dabi got close again, would he react the same way? Would he just stand still like a mannequin or would he actually venture to put his own arms around him? What if Dabi asked him to help him reapply a staple to his back like he occasionally did? What if they accidentally brushed against each other going down the hallway? What would Tomura even say the next time they spoke?

There were so many silly questions swirling in his mind, Tomura couldn’t help but scratching at his neck above the bandages. The more he thought about it, the more anxious he became about coexisting with Dabi. 

There was no point in delaying the inevitable, though. He had to bite the bullet and walk out of the bathroom. 

Tomura slowly stood, creeping towards the door to unlatch it, walking out in the common area once more.

He paused in the hallway, looking towards the kitchen to see Dabi standing in at the island table. He seemed normal again, no signs that he'd just been crying recently. He was reading the newspaper under a dim light, eyes squinting in that way that always made Tomura wonder if he were nearsighted. He plopped the newspaper down onto the table, yawning with a stretch, exposing his muscled stomach as his shirt slithered upwards.

Tomura’s cheeks flushed as he ducked his head down, skittering towards his couch. He eased himself down, careful of his injuries, then practically buried himself under a blanket. 

He heard Dabi turn off the light, then move in to lay down on his own couch. Tomura waited for a moment before lowering the blanket from his head, peeking over at Dabi in the moonlight. He was laying back, one arm behind his head, his vibrant eyes distant and cast towards the ceiling.

Electric blue eyes that were aloof but piercings at the same time, dark and wild hair, a strong jawline with rugged piercings...

All of Tomura’s confused, jumbled thoughts and feelings finally seemed to converge and agree on a certain point.

It made Tomura give in and accept, "Fuck. He’s hot.”

Chapter Text

“He’s holed up in New York with the hand guy, the warp villain, and the teenage girl that loves blood.”

“And you’re sure it’s him?”

“I’m positive that the villain Dabi is Touya, just as you suspected. He reacted perfectly when I called him by his true name. It was a dead giveaway.”

“Good. I think it’s time for us to make our move, then.”

“It would be opportune timing while they’re split up from all the other villains.”

“What about their current location? You only intercepted them because they were out of their cloaked hiding spot.”

“It shouldn’t be a problem, just give me a little time. The real question is, can you handle the four of them? Touya is very strong and I’m sure if he were properly backed up by the others he’d be a formidable enemy.”

“I’m sure that if Touya is apprehended, I can easily take them out.”

“I think you can easily control him by attacking skinny kid with the blue hair first. Touya seems to be particularly fond of him.”

“Is he now… well, we will just have to put that to the test.”

 

Dabi gasped, bolting upright from sleep. His heart was racing as he floundered on the couch for a moment before putting his feet on the floor, dropping his head into his hands as he caught his breath. 

He hadn’t had such a bad nightmare since he had been a teenager. He couldn’t remember what transpired in the dream, but the image of his father’s disappointed, hateful eyes boring down on him shook Dabi to core. Hearing his true name from that demon villain wasn’t setting right with him at all. 

Dabi ran his fingers through his hair as his pounding heart slowed. He knew he had to face his past at some point, but he was terrified. As his father always said, he was weak. He’d never be anything but weak.

Dabi lifted his head, seeing the room bathed in the early sunlight. It was finally morning after what seemed like the longest night ever. It had been a terrible night, but even so…

Dabi slowly glanced over at Shigaraki, who was curled up on his side on the couch. His cheek was squished against the fluffy pillow, gloved hands drawn up close to his face as he slept. 

Shigaraki was so much stronger than he, taking everything that had happened in the past twelve hours in stride. He had endured assault, humiliation, even being there to comfort Dabi during a breakdown. Dabi hadn’t even asked if Shigaraki was doing all right, all he could think about was himself.

Dabi pressed his lips together, heart aching with guilt. He hesitantly reached out, settling a hand against Shigaraki’s blue hair to stroke it gently. 

He had to stop failing people. Anyone he cared for, they slipped through his fingers with his constant mistakes. 

“Worthless! Weak!”  

"I know I am," Dabi thought as he slowly rose from the couch, grabbing his cigarette carton as he shuffled towards the kitchen.

He opened the window before lighting a smoke, bringing it to his lips as he gazed out at the crisp fall morning.

 

-x-

 

Tomura awoke to the the feeling of a hand rubbing his head, but something told him to keep his eyes shut. The hand pet his hair for a matter of minutes before disappearing. He peeked an eye open to see Dabi leaving the living room with his cigarettes.

Tomura swallowed, grimacing when he felt his throat raw and his jaw sore as his muscles flexed. What the hell?

He laid still for a moment, testing his jaw to find a tearing pain there. What had happened--

Tomura’s eyes snapped open as an onslaught of memories rushed back into his mind from the night before. The tongue, the roaming clawed fingers, the unwanted body pushed up against him. Tomura sat up, feeling an overwhelming wave of nausea wash over him. 

He nearly fell off the couch in attempt to get up when the nausea did nothing but rise in his throat. He made a gasp of pain as his sore body protested when his feet got tangled up in blankets, slightly tripping him.

“Shigaraki, are you--” Dabi’s voice called from across the room, but Tomura had already passed him to get to the bathroom.

He fell to his knees next to the toilet, dry heaving with nothing on his stomach. Involuntary tears welled in his eyes as he gagged and heaved again. His throat ached inside and out, making the experience even more unpleasant.

How had he forgotten what happened? Was it the blow to the head or was he simply blocking it out? 

He had been through so much in his life, but this was the first time that he'd dealt with anything similar to that type of attack. He wasn’t exactly alluring, any attention he got was disgusted glances or blind fear. 

Tomura had been rendered helpless, unable to move or think. He hadn’t thought through the situation as he normally did at all in order to get away, he just let it happen. If Dabi hadn’t stepped in, it would have been game over.

Tomura’s stomach lurched and he retched again, sputtering into the toilet. He took a shaky breath and looked over sharply when he saw Dabi crouch down next to him, holding out a box of tissues.

Tomura gaped at him for a moment before reached out to take a couple, dabbing at his eyes and mouth before discarding it into the toilet.

“You all right?” Dabi asked, his voice low and rumbling as it always was in the morning.

Tomura’s knee-jerk reaction was to be nasty to him, but the realization last night made him unsure of how to act. He searched for words as Dabi's eyes remained locked onto him unerringly as if he were trying to analyze the situation.

“What are you staring at, staple-face?” Tomura finally snarled, falling back on name-calling to deal with his own discomfort.

Dabi didn’t react, making Tomura even more uncomfortable. 

“You didn’t answer my question,” Dabi replied, settling down on the floor to sit with his back against the sink cabinet, closing the bathroom door with his foot.

Now that they were closed in the small room together, Tomura changed from uncomfortable to anxious. He reflexively scooted away from Dabi, moving to flush to toilet to make it look less obvious.

“Shigaraki,” Dabi urged.

“I’m fine, what the hell else do you want me to say?” Shigaraki snapped, his fists clenching, “I just woke up feeling sick.”

“...Tomura.” 

He lifted his head at his given name, never having heard Dabi say it before. It softened him a bit. Tomura looked down at his hands, his deadly fingers partially shielded with his gloves that he wore so often now. He picked at a loose thread on one of the gloves, muttering, “I didn’t even have these on and I couldn’t stop him.”

Dabi said nothing, just tilted his head slightly in question.

“I’m supposed to be leader of the League of Villains, Master chose me to take up his mantle. But I almost was taken down by an inferior. What would he say if he knew?” Tomura said, moving to sit across from Dabi with his back against the tub.

Dabi hummed in thought, leaning his head back against the sink. He propped his arms up on his bent knees as he said in a low voice, “Sexual assault isn’t an easy thing to fend off. Nothing is as jarring as sexual acts done without your consent. It’s difficult to think in situations like that, especially if you haven’t prepared for that type of attack. Your master should have nothing to say.”

“I could have warded him off, I could have stopped him. He grabbed my hands, I didn’t know he was going to touch me until he had me restrained.”

“You did have alcohol, it could have put your timing off. I wouldn’t stress too much about what he'd think or say about the situation,” Dabi murmured.

Tomura reached up to scratch at his neck as he stared at the floor, shuddering as he thought of the villain shoving its fat tongue in his mouth. He raked his fingernails deeper into his skin as a cold sweat came over his body.

Dabi suddenly stood up, moving over to sit on the edge of the bathtub so that his legs were next to Tomura. Dabi reached over, putting a hand on the top of Tomura’s head like he did earlier, saying, “You know that I’m not going to say anything to anyone if you want to talk about it.”

Tomura bit his lip, drawing his legs up in front of him. He was ashamed about what happened, ashamed that he was unable to stop it. He knew Dabi wouldn’t say anything, he wasn’t the type to go blabbing to Toga. But the words were so difficult to say.

“I’m fast, you know that. But I can’t explain how he was on me so quickly. I didn’t have time to react,” Tomura rasped, feeling his eyes prickling with tears of embarrassment, “He didn’t seem to have an objective at first, at least I don’t remember if he did. I don’t even think he came in there with a desire to take me, it was as if he decided in the moment. That’s when…”

Tomura didn’t know why the words were so hard to choke out. Nothing happened, it was stupid to even make an ordeal about it, yet here he was. He pressed the heels of his palms into his eyes as they finally started leaking tears. He finally forced out in a shaky voice, “That’s when he… he put his tongue in my mouth and tried to choke me while touching my body. I couldn’t do anything, he had my wrists, I…”

Tomura felt Dabi’s hand brace tighter against the side of his head as if he were trying to protect him from the bad memories. Tomura shook as he tried to stop his tears, shoulders shaking.

Dabi let him cry for a few moments, then said, “It’s not your fault that it happened, you know. You were tipsy, he was out of line, you were caught off guard. This was all him for being an evil prick.”

Tomura shut his eyes, wanting to melt against Dabi, let his calming personality quiet his nerves.

“I’m going to make that son of a bitch pay,” Dabi said under his breath, making Tomura’s brow furrow as he looked up at him.

There was a mixture of emotions ranging between anger and hurt on Dabi's face as he stared hard at the wall across from him.

“We’ll probably never see him again,” Tomura said quietly, knowing that wasn’t true. 

The attack wasn’t random, there was some strange reason why the demon villain chose to attack him. Only time would tell why he chose to assault him.

“We can only hope,” Dabi sighed, flinching when there was a loud knock on the door.

“Dabi, are you and Tomura in there alone together?” Toga’s voice came from outside, a suggestive note in her tone.

Tomura’s ears burned in embarrassment as he jerked away from Dabi, pushing himself to stand. 

“I got a little bit of a hangover, Shigaraki just came in to check on me,” Dabi called out as a cover and Tomura could have sworn he saw a tinge of redness on his cheeks as well.

“Sure, whatever you say!” Toga laughed, walking away from the door.

Tomura rolled his eyes, opening the door before throwing a look over his shoulder. Dabi sat on the edge of the tub still and slowly looked up at him.

Tomura appreciated Dabi coming to check on him, he needed to talk through what happened. He was by no standard over what happened, but acknowledging it helped.

“Thank you,” Tomura murmured before turning away to head back to the living room.

 

-x-

 

The soft thank you hung in the air as Dabi remained seated, watching Tomura disappear through the doorway. Dabi sighed, lacing his fingers as he hung his head. He had even more rage for Shigaraki's sake, so much so that he could feel his fiery Quirk boiling under his skin. 

Dabi clenched his teeth, that all too familiar smell of flesh sizzling raising off his forearms as his temperature spiked with his anger. 

“Ugh, trying to barbecue yourself in here or something?” Toga’s voice came from the doorway.

Dabi looked up to see her leaning against the door frame, her hand covering her nose. 

Dabi didn’t respond, just stood up and walked past her. He ambled to the living room, seeing Shigaraki curled up on the couch watching the news. He looked so small, still shaken.

What if that demon villain came after them again? Would it try to get Shigaraki or would it focus on Dabi this time? 

Dabi’s jaw clenched. Why was his father so desperate to locate him? He’d all but ignored his existence for the past few years, why hunt him down now? 

Dabi was yanked out of his thoughts when he heard a voice from the tv that made his skin crawl. He looked up sharply to see Enji’s talking to a couple of reporters on the screen. 

Dabi gaped at his father’s signature scowl, looking down haughtily at the reporter like he deserved to be a hero. Dabi hadn't seen his father's face in years, the sight had him rooted to his spot as he watched reporter was congratulate him on rescuing some of the children from the explosion at UA. 

“It was lucky you were there! We are so fortunate to have heroes like you around!” the reported gushed.

Dabi felt sick to his stomach as his father easily accepted the thanks, like it was owed to him. This man who had physically abused his four children, sent his own wife to a mental institution, sent his oldest son out on the streets at a young age. This man who hunted down that same child and had no limits with how that was accomplished. This man, someone who acted like a villain in every way, was on tv as the current Number One Hero. 

Enji deserved to have his powers stripped, not All Might. Enji needed to walk around shriveled and powerless, have his flames stolen from him so he could never feel strong again. 

Shigaraki must have noticed him lingering, because he murmured, “Dabi, wh--”

Before he could finish the sentence, Dabi had enough of looking at his Enji’s disdainful expression. He balled his fist and slung a punch at his father's face on the screen. The plasma screen glitched and sparked with the impact, as the television to the floor.

“What the hell!” Shigaraki squawked as Dabi pulled back his fist.

“That guy makes me want to throw up,” Dabi muttered, turning away from the mess, “I’m going outside.”

Dabi went out to the fire escape again, putting another cigarette between his lips and lit it. He was shaking with anger, knowing this pain wasn’t going to stop on its own.

He was good at running away from his problems, coping with in whatever manner he wished. He was a heavy smoker, drank whenever he could, pierced anything on his body just to relish in the pain. He would burn his own body as a release, he would grin as he stapled his loose skin back together whenever he ruined another part of his body. 

“Weak…” Dabi repeated his father’s words before taking a drag.

He blew the smoke out of his lungs slowly. He was so weak, running away from his problems and leaving destruction in his wake. His siblings fell one by one as he walked away, reaching out to him as he closed the door behind him. He ignored his past like the piece of shit he was, taking on a new persona and brought pain on his comrades that accepted him for what he was.

He acted as if he were more than happy to turn a blind eye to the past as long as he was getting what he wanted from his current situation. Shigaraki had been assaulted because of Dabi’s weakness. It wasn’t going to stop there.

“You’re worthless! Weak!”

Dabi took another pull of his cigarette. This needed to stop. Enji’s words would never quit running through his mind unless he did something to change it. He would never be strong if he didn’t stand up to his own demons. Enji would never stop chasing him, never stop trying to hurt those close to him. 

Dabi stubbed out his cigarette and leaned on the railing. He couldn’t just sit here and wait for his father to find him. Not with Shigaraki and Toga close by. Enji wasn’t the sympathetic kind, he would easily take down anyone that was in the way of his goals. Whether he planned on capturing or killing Dabi, it wouldn’t be safe for anyone around. 

Dabi looked over his shoulder, seeing Kurogiri and Shigaraki through the window trying to fix the broken tv. Shigaraki looked pissed, his teeth bared as he complained to Kurogiri. Dabi smirked, watching those ruby eyes full of fire and life. The distraction must have taken his mind off the assault, because there wasn’t a hint of fear there at the moment.

Dabi needed to stand up to Enji once and for all. If nothing else for Shigaraki’s sake, so that he would never feel so fearful again.

Chapter Text

No one asked what his outburst was about, much to Dabi’s relief. He spent the rest of the day lingering outside. No one bothered him, as if they knew that he needed to think on things alone.

He finally came inside after the house when the sky grew dark and the house became quiet. He stepped inside, seeing most of the lights turned off and Shigaraki sleeping on the couch. 

Dabi moved to sit on his own couch, gazing down at the leader of the League of Villains. Dabi had no idea what his father had in mind for him if they were to face off, but there was a good chance he wouldn’t make it through. There was a possibility he'd never see Shigaraki again…

Dabi murmured the man’s given name in a low tone, “Tomura…”

Shigaraki remained still, his breath slow and even with sleep. Dabi smiled sadly, scooting onto his knees in front of him. He prayed Shigaraki wouldn’t wake up as he leaned in, pressing his lips against his cheek. His skin was surprisingly soft there and so warm. Dabi felt himself sighing against the contact before easing back again. Shigaraki slightly shifted in his sleep but didn’t awaken. 

“Goodbye, Tomura…” Dabi whispered before standing up.

Dabi went to his bags and pulled out his signature black overcoat, slipping it on over his white shirt and black pants. It was a simple costume, but it made him feel more prepared for his fight. 

Dabi knelt to lace his combat boots on before taking one last look at Shigaraki. 

In a different life, perhaps they could have gotten to know each other better. With all the skeletons in Dabi’s closet, he doubted that would ever happen in this lifetime. Shigaraki had already been through enough strife, the last thing he needed was to be with someone wasn't as despicable and weak as Dabi.

Dabi went to the fire escape, latching the door shut behind him before jumping down to the ground. He didn’t know where to start looking for his father, but he knew that they found him before because he’d left the house’s cloak. If he went out in public, it was only a matter of time before the demon villain located him. All he had to do was get far away from the house and play the waiting game. 

He walked the streets until he stopped at a small bar. He went inside and sat down on a stool, asking for a beer when the bartender inquired.

He took a sip from the bottle, thinking of facing his father. He had no idea if he could defeat him in a fight. He doubted it, Endeavor was the current Number One Hero, he wouldn’t be taken down by a similar Quirk. 

There was no way to get through this without giving up or giving his life in the fight. 

Dabi’s hands started to tremble as he asked the bartender for a shot of vodka. He needed something a little stronger if he were going to do this. 

He took it, then another after. On his third, he started feeling very foggy. He stared at the clock on the wall across from, wondering how long it would take for his father to show up. 

“Wow, those are some amazing piercings,” a voice said from his right and he glanced over to see a young, handsome man with a sweet smile, “You don’t see triple nostril piercings too often.”

Dabi was flattered the man was pointing out his piercings instead of his horrendous scarring. It was difficult for people to get over that aspect of his appearance. 

“Thanks,” Dabi muttered, giving him a nod.

The man scooted over to the stool next to Dabi, asking, “What are you drinking?”

Dabi looked down at the shot glasses in front of him and shrugged, “Vodka.”

He looked back up at the guy, noticing he was more attractive than he first realized. He had brown hair, light freckles sprinkling his nose, and glittering green eyes. He wore alternative type clothes and had a well executed tattoo sleeve on his left arm. He had quiet a few piercings, which even more so made Dabi drink in his appearance with appreciation. 

“I’m a pierce people professionally, so unique one piercings catch my eye,” the man said with a wink, putting out his hand, “I’m Jesse.”

Dabi paused, swimming mind trying to come up with something besides his well known villain alias. He shook Jesse’s hand and answered, “Touya.”

No, that was wrong. As soon as the name left his mouth, he cringed as if he were poison. 

“Touya... that’s an interesting name,” Jesse said, waving at the bartender for another round.

Dabi hated the name his father gave him. He didn’t want to hear it on anyone’s lips, especially a stranger.

“So you’re a piercer?” Dabi said, changing the subject as he took his next shot.

Their conversation shifted as they exchanged personal stories between a couple more drinks. The more drunk Dabi got, the more he started losing track of what they were talking about. He started picking up on little things like ‘ divorce ’ and ‘ home ’ and ‘ sex ’. He wasn’t even fully aware of what was happening as he stumbled out of the bar with Jesse, getting into a cab with him. 

Jesse was beautiful and his voice deep and sweet. It didn’t take much coaxing to start making out with him in the back of the cab. 

Dabi, though fairly drunk, he relished in the smaller man practically crawling on top of him, tongue flicking against his own. If he closed his eyes, he could almost imagine Tomura acting similarly. He wondered how Tomura was when made hot and bothered? Would he blush all over and act shy or was he pushy and dominant?

The notion had Dabi moaning against Jesse’s mouth, getting an angry comment from the cab driver. 

The driver dropped them off at what was probably Jesse’s home and the two staggered up to the door. As soon as Jesse unlocked it and stepped inside, Dabi was on him again. Jesse eagerly pulled him towards the stairway that led to the bedroom. 

In a flash, Dabi was laying on his back in the bed, Jesse sprawled on top of him. 

Dabi gasped as Jesse palmed him through his pants, which triggered both men to start frantically pulling their clothes off.

Dabi shrugged out of his coat, ripping his shirt off over his head and then started fumbling with his belt. He got it undone just in time to be pounced on by Jesse. The man sat in his lap, licking into his mouth and nipping at his lower lip. The pain made Dabi gasp with pleasure, making him purr out, “God, do that again…”

Jesse bit his lip harder and Dabi moaned again, looking up at the man in his lap. He took his tongue and licked up the length of Jesse’s beautiful neck until his reached his mouth.

“Oh my god,” Jesse breathed, looking down at Dabi, running his fingers through his hair, “You should get a tongue piercing, you’d be so hot with one.”

Dabi laughed drunkenly, “I wouldn’t mind one. I love to get piercings, I usually do my own.”

“You pierced your own nose?” Jesse said in shock.

Dabi shrugged and smiled stupidly as Jesse said something about him needing a professional to pierce him.

Dabi blinked and he was suddenly in the bathroom, Jesse had a clamp on his tongue and was pushing a needle through. It didn’t hurt much, which was disappointing. What was the point if the piercing if he couldn’t enjoy in that sharp sting? 

Shortly after, Dabi was laying in Jesse’s bed, staring at the ceiling fan above while Jesse was puking in the bathroom.

What the hell was he doing? He was supposed to be finding his father, but here he was screwing around with a random guy. He had gotten fearful and let himself become drunk to deal with it.

Weak.

Dabi squeezed his eyes shut. He would never change. He would never stop making stupid mistakes. He couldn’t stick to his resolve for more than a couple hours, what was wrong with him? Tomura’s safety was at stake and he was fucking around in a bedroom with a stranger. 

Worthless.

Dabi pressed the heels of his hands against his eyes, groaning with self-loathing. He couldn’t let anything go farther, he needed to leave.

Dabi clicked his new piercing against his teeth as he sat up, the room spinning. The night had been nothing but a whirlwind. He had no idea what time it was or how long he’d been at Jesse’s house. 

He slid out of the bed and collected his clothes, fumbling back into them. He ambled over to the bathroom and knocked on the door. When he didn’t hear an answer, he pushed the door open to check in and saw Jesse laying passed out on the floor.

Jesse had done nothing wrong. He was a incredibly nice, good-looking guy and if Dabi didn’t have a certain blue-haired man invading his thoughts, the evening probably would have ended in sex. 

Dabi leaned down, scooping Jesse up to carry him into the bedroom, laying him down on the bed. He pulled the blankets over Jesse and switched off the light before leaving, locking the front door behind him.

The cold air sobered him a bit and he wandered the streets, trying to figure out where he was. He didn’t know how long they were in the car, so he had very little sense of direction. 

Dabi pulled his phone from his pocket, bringing up the map to help guide him back. Once he realized where he was, he began walking back to the safe house. He would have to get his bearings before attempting to go back out again, perhaps sleep off a hangover. His resolve was coming back slowly, though he still felt horribly that he diverted from his plans. He walked with his hands in his pockets, breathing the cool air and wishing he had a cigarette.

Once he was a couple blocks away from the house, he stopped at a corner when he heard the sound of sirens. He watched as a couple of fire trucks flew by, heading down the street the house was on. 

His mind slowly became concerned and he looked up towards the sky, seeing smoke billowing into the atmosphere.

His legs started to move without thinking and he ran down the road towards the safe house, praying that it wasn't his house that was on fire.

He turned onto their road and his heart dropped to see the industrial home ablaze. Fire plumed out of every window as multiple firemen worked to tame it with their hoses.

Dabi knew he couldn’t approach the house with all the police cars that were around, so he slowly backed up. What had happened? Had Shigaraki and the others escaped safely? 

Dabi felt sick to his stomach as he ran his hands through his hair in desperation.

He didn't know what to do. Did he wait to see if anyone brought out any body bags or just take off? 

Before his thoughts could wander anymore, Dabi noticed movement out of the corner of his eye. He looked over to see the demon villain he’d fought at the club crouching on top of a parked car, grinning devilishly at him.

Dabi’s mind was still spinning from the alcohol, but he reacted quickly as soon as he laid eyes on the enemy. This villain was the one who laid his hands on Shigaraki and he probably started the fire as well. He wouldn't get away this time.

Dabi sprang forward towards the villain, but as soon as he moved, the demon jumped off the car and went tearing down the street.

With alcohol inhibiting his accuracy, Dabi kept up with the villain the best he could. It ran on all fours, making it a great deal faster than he. Dabi found himself wishing he were as quick as Shigaraki, who could move so quickly in battle, it was as if he teleported.

Dabi weaved in and out of cars in pursuit, jumping over fences and dashing through yards. The more he ran through the cool night, the more sober he felt. He started gaining on his enemy, following him into an old, abandoned warehouse. Once he was close enough, Dabi leaped forward to tackle the villain.

The demon villain cried out in pain as Dabi pinned him to the ground, grasping him by the back of the head to shove his face against the concrete.

The villain’s tail whipped around, slicing Dabi across the chin. Dabi flinched, shifting his body to pin down the tail with his leg.

“Where are the people who were in that house?!” Dabi demanded, heating his fingers up so they would burn against the villain’s scalp.

The demon villain did nothing but gurgle out a chuckle and Dabi grit his teeth, pulling the villain’s head up a bit to growl, “Tell me!”

Blood leaked out from the villain’s mouth as he replied, “Go fuck yourself.”

“Where the hell is Shigaraki?!” Dabi roared, slamming his enemy’s head down on the concrete hard enough to break his nose.

“Enough, Touya,” a deep voice echoed through the warehouse, making Dabi's heart skip a beat. 

The voice that was all too familiar. He heard it so many times in his nightmares.

Dabi looked up, fire illuminating the darkness of the warehouse. He tensed as his father’s face came into view, icy stare glowing under the amber light of his flame beard and mustache. 

Looking at Enji for the first time since he was a teenager, Dabi was frozen in fear. All the memories of being abused physically and mentally for years by him came flooding back. He started to tremble again, being overwhelmed with his childhood terror.

You’re worthless! Weak! Just like your goddamn mother!

His breath started coming faster as panic filled his chest.

Weak!

All the horrible memories in his mind came to a grinding halt when he got a better view of Enji, seeing that he had someone with him. Dabi inhaled sharply when he saw Shigaraki stumbling next to Enji, chained by the hands. Enji grasped the chain in one hand and in the other he had squeezed around Shigaraki’s neck.

“Tomura...” Dabi breathed, fear morphing into anger when he saw blood trickling down from Shigaraki’s hairline and out of the corner of his mouth.

“So Tatsuo was correct, you are fond of this boy,” Enji’s voice boomed from across the warehouse.

Enji looked down at his prisoner, muttering with disgust, “Tomura Shigaraki, the leader of the League of Villains. He was so easily captured, he’s practically Quirkless.”

With those words, Shigaraki angrily started thrashing against his restraints. Enji growled in irritation, yanking the chains and squeezed his fingers tighter around Shigaraki’s neck.

Shigaraki gasped for breath and Dabi bared his teeth, holding his arms out as he ignited them in blue flames, snarling, “Let him go or there will be hell to pay!”

“Such a temper. In that way you do take after me,” Enji smirked.

“I’m nothing like you,” Dabi spat, taking a wary step closer.

“Yes… though you look exactly like I did when I was your age and your Quirk is the most similar to mine....” Enji said, tightening his hand even more around Shigaraki’s neck, “Yet I’m powerful and you are the weakest of all my creations. You got my power, but your mother’s weak constitution. Look what it's done to you. You belong in the cell right next to her at the hospital.”

Dabi felt his body quaking, but he held his ground as he stood in the midst of the insults.

“You must feel better about your weaknesses surrounding yourself with worthless creatures like this,” Enji said, looking down at Shigaraki.

Before Dabi could react, Enji placed a hand against Shigaraki's back blasting him with fire. The tremendous force threw him across the room and he collided hard with the cement wall.

“Tomura!” Dabi exclaimed, not hesitating to run towards Shigaraki’s still body on the ground. 

He went to his knees next to Shigaraki, seeing a burn that melted the back of his black trenchcoat, leaving blisters on his upper back. 

“Shit…” Dabi whispered as he pushed Shigaraki’s hair away from his face to see his eyes closed and jaw slack.

Dabi felt his pulse and felt it beating steadily, he must have just been knocked out when he hit the wall. He breathed a sigh of relief, then leaned over to loosen the chains on his hands. He removed his gloves as well so that he could protect himself if he were to wake up.

“He’s not going to come back from that anytime soon to help you. Releasing him is pointless, Touya. You’re facing me on your own.”

Dabi took a steadying breath as he tenderly stroked his fingers over Shigaraki’s soft hair, then turned around. Enji was stalking towards him and Dabi activated his Quirk again, this time defensively. 

“You’re even weaker than before, putting your guard down so easily to check on that piece of garbage you fraternize with,” Enji said as he stretched his arms out in the same way that Dabi did, encircling them in orange fire, "I thought I taught you better than that."

“He’s a better man than you,” Dabi snapped, sending out a torrent of blue fire at his father.

Enji parried with his own rush of flames that was much larger than the amount Dabi shot at him. Dabi flung his arms out to both sides, putting a protective wall of blue around Shigaraki. 

It was a flurry of blue and red flames as father and son exchanged blows. Dabi knew that even though they both specialized in long range attacks, he needed to get in close to get the upper hand. 

Dabi gathered all his strength, putting the heels of his hands together to make the flames emit forcefully. He charged forward to drive Enji backwards. 

Enji only took a few steps back, as Dabi expected. He wouldn’t allow anyone to push him too far, so Dabi took that opportunity to leap closer.

He was so much smaller than Enji. His head up only came to the middle of his father’s chest, but he glared up at him with determination nonetheless. He reached up with curled fingers to strike at Enji’s face. 

Enji reacted quickly, grabbing Dabi by the wrist and yanked him to the side to redirect the blow. Blue fire sputtered out of Dabi’s fingers and he stumbled. Enji brought his knee up as Dabi fell, catching him right in his ribs and stomach. 

Dabi’s grimaced as tasted blood and bile in his mouth, pain blasting through his body. He fell gasping to the ground and Enji was on him again, pressing his boot into Dabi’s back. 

“You’re a thorn in my side. I’ve been ashamed of you since you first discovered your Quirk. But I never thought I’d have to hunt you down, a villain, and bring an end to this myself. I won’t have you sullying Todoroki name any longer,” Enji said, pushing his heel harder into Dabi’s back, making his spine scream in pain.

Dabi was afraid to move with all the pressure on his spinal cord. He looked at Enji out of the corner of his eye, snarling, “If anyone tainted the family name, it was you. Believe me, I wish every day that I wasn't related to you!”

“Don't worry, once I've ended you, I'll make sure no one remembers your wretched existence!” Enji yelled, reaching down to grab Dabi’s arm, pulling it behind him.

Dabi screamed in pain as his bone snapped under the pressure, his ribs close to breaking as well as Enji leaned against him.

Enji grabbed his other arm, stretching it back to break it too. Dabi flinched, waiting for the pain, but it never came. 

“Hey now, I’m sorry. I can’t allow you hurt him anymore,” a familiar, raspy voice made Dabi's eyes widen with surprise.

The angled his head back as much as he could, seeing Shigaraki holding onto Enji's right arm with his bare hands. A wicked smile was on Shigaraki's bruised face as Enji's arms started to chip and shatter.

"Poor Endeavor. I hope you're not going to miss that arm. But honestly, you're an asshole, so you deserve every bit of pain it causes you."

 

Chapter Text

He had been so incredibly tired. 

Tomura’s body was sore and his spirit bruised, the last thing he wanted to do was get up from the couch. Even if Dabi destroyed the television, making it utterly boring to lay there all day.

Tomura slept on and off all day, not sure if he just needed it or if he'd rather be unconscious than deal with his own thoughts about what transpired the night before.

He turned down the food Kurogiri offered to him near dinnertime, content just to watch the natural light gradually dim in the room. 

Kurogiri and Toga eventually disappeared to their own rooms, leaving Tomura alone in the dark. He stared at the ceiling, listening to the soft sounds of cars in the distant city.

He idly wondered why Dabi had kept his distance all day. He wasn’t one to embarrass easily, so the television incident probably wasn’t the reason he was hiding. 

Tomura swallowed, hoping it wasn’t their heart-to-heart in the bathroom. Had he shared too much? No, Dabi had wanted him to talk.

Tomura sighed, muscles protesting as he sat up. He leaned towards the window, looking towards the fire escape. Dabi was sitting out there, eyes fixated on the horizon, face softly glowing under the light at the tip of his cigarette.

And odd desire to go sit with him tugged at Tomura’s heart. He wanted to enjoy the cool weather with the soft, crackling sound of Dabi taking pulls of his smoke. 

Tomura turned fully towards the window, taking advantage of the darkness to drink in Dabi’s looks. His appearance was so rugged, alternative, something Tomura never knew he’d appreciate. The piercings, scarring, they did nothing but enhance Dabi’s basic overall beauty. 

Perhaps Tomura’s favorite thing about him were his eyes. They seemed to glow on their own with the vibrancy of the bluest ocean, gaze always sharp and unyielding.

Tomura rested his chin on his palm, wondering how he hadn’t noticed all this until recently. How could he be so blind? 

He supposed it didn’t matter if he noticed that or not. Dabi, though he was being so gentle lately, was out of his reach. 

Tomura grimaced, ghosting his fingers over the skin on his face with disdain. Anyone who would find him attractive would have to be out of their goddamn mind. 

Tomura tore his eyes away from Dabi, curling up on the couch again. He shut his eyes with an unhappy sigh. The realization of his attraction to Dabi surely wasn’t helping his mood. 

He tried to fall asleep, eventually falling into a fitful slumber. His dreamed of trying to get closer to Dabi, but the man would keep running from him in terror.

Tomura awoke with a jolt some time later. He sensed something was out of place, but he was unsure what. He looked over to see that Dabi wasn’t on the couch, nor was he out on the fire escape any longer.

Tomura scowled, pushing his body off the couch. He wrapped a blanket around his shoulders before shuffling into the kitchen.

The kitchen clock read that was in the middle of the night, so there wasn’t a sound in the house. Tomura crept to the bathroom and saw the door partially open and no one inside. 

“Dabi,” Tomura said just above a whisper as he paced the first floor of the house, glancing out each of the windows to see if he had merely decided to smoke from a different spot. 

Dabi was nowhere to be found. 

Dabi wouldn’t leave the house, not with the enemy searching for them now. They could easily have a Quirk that could see them once they were out of the safety of the house’s cloaking effect.

Tomura paused at the door that led to the fire escape, noticing it was unlocked as if Dabi had never come back inside earlier. He always locked it when he came back in.

Tomura hummed in thought, picking his hooded black overcoat to put on to shield him from the cold, then slipped on his red shoes. He opened the back door and stepped out onto the escape, looking around in confusion. 

There were a few cigarette butts lying in the ashtray. Tomura reached forward, feeling them with his two fingers that were exposed by his gloves. None of the smokes felt warm. Dabi had been absent for a while.

Tomura looked off the edge of the fire escape, searching the ground below. His best guess was that Dabi had taken off to go get some more cigarettes. There weren't any signs of struggle, but Tomura still felt himself becoming more and more concerned.

He was about to climb down the ladder to investigate further, but he paused when he noticed something.

The night had suddenly gotten very quiet. 

There wasn’t a noise from the streets, no sound of nature, no wind blowing through the alleyway. 

Tomura suddenly spun around when he heard a creak on the roof above him, flinching when some type of rope wrapped around his neck. He yanked his gloves off, reaching up with bare hand to decay whatever was around his throat. Before he could get his fingers on the cord, it pulled free. 

Tomura looked up and saw the demon villain that attacked him in the club bathroom on the roof. He was pulling back his thin tail to safety away from the dangerous fingertips. Tomura felt a flash of fear by seeing his assailant, taken off guard when the demon leaped off the roof, kicking Tomura backwards. 

Tomura fell awkwardly, his leg became trapped between two of the balusters and got stuck in a painful back-bend on the edge of the railing. 

The villain jumped up to the roof again before pouncing again. His clawed feet were aimed at Tomura’s chest, threatening to snap his spine in half if the attack landed.

Tomura quickly grasped the railing with both of his hands and decayed the iron. The structure caved in underneath him, freeing his legs so that he fell towards the ground before the demon landed on him. He flipped his legs over his head, landing on his feet on the ground below. 

The demon villain lightly landed next to him, making Tomura jump back to safety. 

“You’re a fast one, I think I lucked out finding you tipsy the first time,” the demon cackled at him, slashing at Tomura with his gnarled claws.

Tomura bared his teeth, ducking and pulling away again. Though he was staying out of his reach for now, Tomura was terrified the villain would pin him down again and take advantage of him. 

Tomura glanced up at the house. Where the hell was Kurogiri or Toga? Couldn’t they hear the commotion going on? And where was Dabi? 

“Something got you distracted?” the demon growled, dashing forward to try scratching at Tomura once more.

The demon wrapped his hand around one of Tomura’s wrists, twisting it painfully to the side. Tomura winced but brought his foot up, kicking the villain away from him. 

“Where’s Dabi?” Tomura snarled, holding his hands out at his sides defensively.

The demon looked up at Tomura and grunted, “I think he’s out trying to forget about your ugly face.”

Tomura blinked in confusion, “What… what are you talking about?”

“I don’t blame him. Without that makeup on, you're just a skinny creep. I’d try to find solace in the arms of another too if I had to wake up in the same house as you,” the demon villain sighed.

Dabi had gone out with someone else that night? No, the villain was just lying to get a rise out of him. But where was Dabi if that weren't true? 

Tomura grit his teeth, zooming forward to grab a fistful of the villain’s hair, keeping a finger up as he threatened to press his free hand against the demon’s face.

“I don’t want to hear your lies,” Tomura sneered at him, “Why are you after me?”

“You?” the demon laughed in his face, “We don’t care about you. All we want is Touya.”

“We have no one in our group named Touya,” Tomura responded in a low voice.

“Are you sure about that, little Tenko?” the villain asked, raising an eyebrow, making Tomura release him with a gasp.

The demon shook himself, smoothing his hair as he casually said, “We know who everyone really is. Our intel is greater than any other organization, so don’t you think we would easily be able to figure Dabi’s true identity?” 

Tomura gaped at his enemy. Very few people knew his name given to him at birth. His master renamed him so long ago that his true name was foreign to him. Their informant circle must have been unbelievable. 

Tomura pushed that out of his mind for time being and focused in on the fact that this enemy was after Dabi. 

Shigaraki’s quick mind made connections, thinking back to when he was investigating the children from class 1-A so long ago. The child that was admitted under recommendation, Shouto Todoroki, had three siblings, one of which was named Touya. This child didn’t currently reside in the Todoroki home for unknown reasons and the knowledge of his whereabouts were unknown. With his fiery Quirk, appearance similarities, Tomura concluded out loud, “Touya Todoroki.”

“That’s right, your beloved Dabi is Touya Todoroki. How does it feel to have brought the son of Endeavor into the League of Villains?”

Tomura scowled. All Might was who he hated most, but Endeavor was another issue. Endeavor acted more like a villain than a hero. It was hard to believe that after All Might’s retirement that he was bumped up to the rank of the Number One Hero. Tomura despised Endeavor for keeping the title of hero while acting like anything but that. He was rude, abrasive, off-putting. Tomura couldn’t even imagine what he’d been like as a parent.

“Dabi has proven over and over that he’s loyal to the League of Villains. It doesn’t matter who he is related to!” Tomura exclaimed, racing forward in an attempt to grab onto the demon. 

The demon danced away, but Tomura was unrelenting. He pursued his enemy, throwing punches when he could, trying his hardest to get his killing fingers on him. 

It didn’t matter what Dabi left that night to do. It didn’t matter if he wasn’t romantically interested in Tomura. Dabi was a member of the League of Villains and he repeatedly protected Tomura and the others. He’d proven himself more than useful. Tomura would almost venture to call him a friend. 

There was a reason Dabi was hiding from his father, hiding his identity from the world. What kind of friend would Tomura be in return if he didn’t try to protect Dabi. 

He didn’t know why this villain wanted Dabi or if he was simply working with someone else, but he needed to stop this. He needed to make this the end of the line for the villain.

Tomura threw his arms up to block the villain’s tail for from cutting his face. His fingers brushed the skin on the villain’s elbow, cracking his skin slightly. 

The demon cursed and skittered back, then laughed bitterly as he looked at his elbow, “Those hands of yours are lethal, no wonder you destroyed your whole family in a single day."

Tomura felt like the demon had stabbed him in the heart. He clenched his fists and barked out, “You’ll do everything you can to make me angry  so I'll become reckless, but it’s not going to work!”

“Yet by the mere mention of your murdered family, you are already upset. You’re a child, Tomura Shigaraki, barely in control of your own emotions or Quirk,” the demon chortled, tail flicking dangerously through the air, whizzing by Tomura’s ear.

Tomura dropped to the ground on all fours and used the momentum to spring forward again. The villain was ready for a frontal attack, but stumbled when Tomura dashed to the right, then behind him in the blink of an eye. He reached out, his hand only inches away from connecting with the demon’s flesh. 

Tomura was so close to touching him, he could feel the warmth emanating off his enemy’s body. Time seemed to slow when there was suddenly an explosion rang out from the house. Tomura jerked backward, looking up with wide eyes to see fire plume from the windows of the living room. 

“Kurogiri--” Tomura started, but was cut off when the demon villain used that hesitation to bound up and hit him against the head with a stray brick.

Tomura cried out in pain, falling to the ground as the enemy hopped on top of him, striking him again. 

Tomura’s eyesight dimmed as his stared at the entrance to the alleyway, seeing orange flames nearing. 

“Wh-what is… that…” Tomura’s eyes slowly shut as everything went black.

 

-x-

 

Tomura awoke a while later, head aching terribly. He groaned as he opened his eyes, twisting around to find himself in a cold, empty warehouse. He was sitting on the floor, but his hands were chained above his head to a rusty pipe. He wore gloves again, a smart move by the enemy. He could have easily gotten himself out of the chains if his hands weren’t individually covered. 

What had happened before he’d passed out? There was fire in the streets and it was coming straight for him. 

“You’re finally awake,” a rumbling voice came from behind him. 

Tomura looked over his shoulder, eyes widening to see the flaming face of the hero Endeavor walking around the corner.

His jaw clenched as Endeavor stopped in front of him. He looked down his nose at Tomura as if he were looking at something lower than dirt. Endeavor’s eyes were the same crystalline blue that Dabi’s were, but there was nothing but cold darkness there. Dabi’s eyes could be chilling, but they always seemed to have a spark of warmth there. They could be so kind in certain circumstances, unlike Endeavor’s. He looked as if he’d never been happy in a day in his life.

“You’re Tomura Shigaraki. We've never met, but I’m Endeavor. I was there when All Might captured All For One a few years back,” Endeavor said blankly.

Tomura felt his anger spike, thinking of that day when All Might took down his master and he was powerless to assist. Tomura didn’t remember Endeavor being there, though. It was All Might and a bunch of moon-faced new heroes that were overly popular at the time. Why hadn’t Endeavor been at All Might’s side fighting such a formidable enemy when he was the Number Two Hero? A person like Endeavor seemed like he would want to run the show.

Tomura’s frown turned into a wide grin, saying in an eerily cheerful tone, “Oh yes, I know you. They must not think too much of the Number Two Hero to put him on the sidelines during a fight like that. You weren’t even on the front lines, they sent a bunch of newbies in there to get all the glory with All Might.”

Endeavor’s eyes remained locked onto him, his arms crossed as he regarded Tomura coldly. Tomura held his gaze, unwavering under the withering look. This man thought he was important and intimidating, but there was something about him that Tomura found incredibly unsavory.

“You’re smart, Shigaraki, your analytical skills are impressive. You were trained well by All For One, yet here you are captured so easily. How shameful,” Endeavor said, taking a step towards Tomura.

He grasped one of Tomura’s wrists in his large hand, looking at the glove partially covering his fingers, “What a disgraceful Quirk. You can’t control it so you have to cover your hands to keep from harming those around you. Is that why you have an entourage? So they can protect you with your one dimensional power? I could so easily crush your hand in mine right now and take your Quirk away. That’s how delicate you are. You have no right being the leader of the League of Villains.”

Tomura chuckled softly before jerking himself upward to sink his teeth into the flesh of Endeavor’s hand. 

Endeavor cursed, lurching away to strike Tomura across the face. 

Tomura reeled backwards, surprised by how much the blow hurt. He tasted blood, spitting on the floor to rid himself of the bitter taste. He darted his tongue out of his mouth and felt a split on the side of his lip.

“Touya has always been weak,” Endeavor said, rubbing the bite mark on his hand, “When I was trying to train his siblings, he always had to interfere if he thought they were being mistreated. Just because he couldn’t hold up under strict training didn’t mean they couldn’t. He’s my firstborn son, yet somehow he was the runt of the litter. None are as perfect as Shouto, but at least they are obedient. Touya simply gave up trying.”

Tomura despised how Dabi’s own father talked about him like he was a mongrel pup. Tomura would have hidden from Endeavor as well if he were in Dabi's place. 

Dabi's motives for ending heroes was now clear.

“Only a weakling would do the things he did to his body. He smokes, drinks, he…” Endeavor paused to eye Tomura, “He succumbed to his perverse desires.”

Tomura’s jaw set. Endeavor moved from unsavory to absolutely disgusting. 

Tomura snorted, shaking his head as he looked up at Endeavor, “It’s funny, I would consider Dabi my strongest ally. Consequently, I think you are by far the weakest person I’ve ever met.”

Endeavor frowned and Tomura continued, “I don’t know what your plan is for Dabi or why I'm involved. I do know that if you get close to him, I will cause you every bit of pain you cause him and then some. Dabi supports me and I'll do the same for him.”

Endeavor growled, leaning forward to grasp Tomura’s jaw, forcing him to look up, “Don't threaten me, scum. You disgust me.”

There was a crash on the other side of the warehouse and Tomura tried to look up, but Endeavor put his hand around Tomura’s throat and holding the chain with the other hand. 

“Where the hell is Shigaraki?!” 

Tomura strain to look around Endeavor when he heard Dabi's voice, taken back by the desperation in his usually cool tone.

“Enough, Touya,” Endeavor called out as he dragged Tomura toward the center.

Tomura tilted his head in Endeavor’s grasp to see Dabi pinning the demon villain on the floor. Residual blue flames danced around his arm, making his eyes glow as if they were backlit.

Dabi's lips parted slightly as he breathed out, “Tomura…”

The mixture of shock and relief on his expression made Tomura want to break free of Endeavor and throw his arms around Dabi’s neck like a damsel in distress. 

“So Tatsuo was correct, you are fond of this boy,” Endeavor hummed.

Tomura couldn’t deny that it most definitely looked like Dabi was fond of him. He could practically see Dabi’s resolve change when he was reassured that Tomura was alive. If he’d seen the fire, he was probably worried that Tomura hadn’t made it out.

Tomura briefly wondered if he’d reconnected with Toga and Kurogiri. He hoped they were all right...

“Tomura Shigaraki, the leader of the League of Villains. He was so easily captured, he’s practically Quirkless,” Endeavor sneered, making Tomura angrily strain against his hold.

Tomura gasped in pain when Endeavor tightened his fingers around his throat, putting a crushing pressure around his windpipe.

“Let him go or there will be hell to pay!” Dabi yelled across the warehouse, activating his Quirk aggressively.

Tomura could barely keep track of what was transpiring between the father and son. His throat was taking such a beating the past couple days. Now it felt like he couldn’t breathe at all. Tomura gulped for air until Endeavor lifted him up off his feet, putting even more of a strain on his neck as he said to Dabi, “You must feel better about your weaknesses surrounding yourself with worthless creatures like this.”

With one swift movement, Endeavor threw his free hand to shoot an explosive amount of fire against his back, which sent him flying through the air. The air wooshed out of his lungs when his body hit the concrete wall. He saw stars as he fell to the floor, landing in a heap. The skin on his back screamed in pain from the blast.

He heard Dabi call out his name from across the room, but that’s the last thing Tomura heard before drifting away from consciousness.

His eyes fluttered back open after what only seemed like seconds. Tomura cringed as he lifted himself off the floor to sit up.

Endeavor and Dabi were exchanging blows in the center of the warehouse. Tomura inhaled sharply when he saw Dabi almost gain the upper hand by trying to get a close range attack, but Endeavor grabbed his arm, slamming his knee into his son’s stomach.

Dabi fell face first onto the ground, coughing as his flames fizzled out. Endeavor stomped on Dabi’s back, keeping his boot there, growling, “You’re a thorn in my side. I’ve been ashamed of you ever since you discovered your Quirk. But I never thought I’d have to hunt you down, a villain, and bring an end to this myself. I won’t have you sullying the Todoroki name any longer.”

Tomura grit his teeth in anger, looking down at his hands to see his gloves had been removed by someone.

Tomura moved his wrists and found the chain loosened as well. He staggered to stand up, feeling his back where the fire had hit him. His coat was ruined, but the burn wasn’t as bad as he thought initially. 

“If anyone tainted the family name, it was you. Believe me, I wish every day that I wasn’t related to you!” Dabi yelled at his father.

“Don’t worry, once I’ve ended you, I’ll make sure no one remembers your wretched existence!” Endeavor roared and Tomura lunged forward.

Endeavor grabbed Dabi’s arm, yanking it back and sent a sickening snap echoing through the warehouse. The agonizing cry of pain from Dabi urged Tomura to move faster, desperate to get there before anything worse happened.

Endeavor must have been hell bent on causing Dabi as much pain as possible before killing him, grabbing his opposite arm to break it as well.

No, don't you dare! Don't you dare hurt him any more!

Tomura reached out, digging his fingertips into Endeavor’s right arm, intent on decaying him for what he said. 

“Hey now, I’m sorry. I can’t allow you to hurt him anymore.”

There was a pause as Endeavor slowly looked at him as he realized what was happening. Time seemed to slow down as Endeavor’s arm start to chip and shatter. 

Tomura smiled widely as he watched, “Poor Endeavor. I hope you’re not going to miss that arm. But honestly, you’re an asshole, so you deserve every bit of pain it causes you.”

Endeavor lifted his foot off of Dabi as he staggered back. Everything from the elbow down decayed, the remaining pieces falling to the floor.

“Why you little--” Endeavor started, trying to make another move but Tomura shot forward again.

Tomura grasped Endeavor’s other arm, keeping a few fingers from touching as he growled, “You’ve caught me one too many times and gotten the better of me. I'm not weak and I’m not going to stand idly by while you kill Dabi. I think you’re well aware that with our combined Quirks against yours that we’d be a formidable enemy. So we can fight until we’ve beaten you down and you can answer to your fans why you’re missing so many limbs. Or you can walk away and you can leave your son to travel his own path. I think you know what the wiser choice would be, hopefully you’re not as much as fool as you seem and will make a smart decision.”

Endeavor tried to move, but Tomura put another finger down, only one away from decaying another arm.

“I wouldn’t struggle, if I were you, I could so easily take off your other arm,” Tomura said with a grin.

Next to Tomura, Dabi struggled to stand. His broken arm hung loose, but ignited his intact arm with fire. 

Endeavor’s right arm dripped blood and he trembled in his stance against Tomura. He was weakened and in pain, which made Tomura's smile widen.

“This isn’t over. You all will pay for your disloyalty to the family. You, Shouto, and your two defective siblings,” Endeavor said, glaring at Dabi, “You can remain here with your disgusting infatuation, but know that you are never safe. As long as I'm living, know that will be hunting you down.”

“I don't think so!” Tomura snarled, placing his last finger down.

Endeavor jerked away, escaping with decay only on his uniform sleeve. Tomura protectively stood in front of Dabi, expecting Endeavor to make another move to attack. 

Instead, the Number One Hero backed away, making a break for the door. Tomura started, ready to pursue, but Dabi grabbed his wrist before he could go anywhere.

“Let him go…” Dabi said, sounding exhausted, “If we follow him outside, there would be no explaining why a couple of villains are chasing down a hero. Besides, we are beat to hell and wouldn’t be able to fight well.”

Tomura had let his anger get the best of him again, otherwise he would have come to the same conclusion. He turned back to Dabi to see him sinking to the floor.

“Hey... are you all right?” Tomura said, going to his knees in front of him worriedly.

“I’m… I’m afraid I’m at my limit,” Dabi murmured bitterly, eyelids drooping.

“You fought hard, I’m not surprised,” Tomura said softly.

“I couldn’t beat him… I couldn’t even stand up to him for more than a couple minutes. He’s always been right about me, I’m a weakling,” Dabi muttered, looking down at his broken arm. 

Tomura snorted, shaking his head, “That’s bullshit, your Quirks are so similar that it would be an exhausting fight for anyone. And he’s your father on top of that. I had a little chat with him earlier and I can’t say he’s the most pleasant person.”

Tomura was attempting to bring a little bit of levity to the dark situation. Dabi usually enjoyed that type of humor, but he merely sat on the floor with his eyes cast down.

“I fucked up tonight, Tomura,” Dabi said just above a whisper, “I fucked up so bad.”

Tomura watched Dabi shudder slightly as his tears started to drip on the concrete floor. 

“This is all my fault. I left the house. I should have stayed close by, but I went to a bar. I wanted to fight my father to keep shit like this from happening, but I freaked out. I got scared and I got myself drunk,” Dabi choked out, lifting his hand to wipe away his rolling tears on his knuckles, “I acted like a completely fucked up idiot with some guy I didn’t know. I'm so sorry, I’m completely worthless.”

Tomura felt his heart ache as Dabi cried. It felt so familiar to night just a couple days prior when Tomura found Dabi having a break down out on the fire escape. His past was terrible and he was so fragile. The rough exterior was shattered the moment Endeavor came back into his life. 

“Shut up,” Tomura growled, making Dabi look up at him with teary eyes.

“You heard me. I said that you need to shut your mouth. You’re in the League of Villains. We accepted you because of your potential. We aren’t born powerful. We are born with Quirks, but we still have to learn how to control them. Inner strength is the same, we have to work to make ourselves formidable,” Tomura said, reaching out to pinch Dabi’s scarred chin between his thumb and forefinger.

“Professionally, you’re a valuable asset to our team,” Tomura said softly, leaning in a bit, “Personally, you’ve made me feel more human than anyone else ever has. I will forever value you for that. You’ll never be worthless, especially in my eyes.”

Dabi’s blue eyes were wide as he stared up at Tomura. 

Part of Tomura wanted to lean in the rest of the way to kiss the surprised expression off of Dabi’s lips. But if he and Dabi were ever to kiss, he wanted it to be when he could remember feeling nothing but good. Every part of his body ached from the fight and his mouth tasted like blood. It wasn't the right time.

Dabi eyes filled with fresh tears and he wrapped his unbroken arm around Tomura’s waist. He pressed against Tomura’s chest, murmuring into the dark fabric, “Thank you, Tomura…”

Tomura’s heart swelled as he allowed himself to rest his cheek against Dabi’s jet black hair, wrapping his arms around his neck. 

He inhaled the smoky smell of Dabi’s hair, sighing as the scent relaxed him. Tomura shut his eyes, and whispered in return, “You're welcome…”

Chapter Text

Being back in Japan was an enormous relief. 

Though it was crawling with heroes still attempting to find the League of Villains to put them away for the explosion, it was home. 

Shortly after the incident in the warehouse, Dabi and Tomura escaped and located Kurogiri and Toga. They’d been unharmed by the fire, Kurogiri quickly warping them elsewhere. They rendezvoused with them at a location at a nearby Waffle House, which was their agreed upon location to go in an event of an emergency.

America was proving to be just as unsafe as Japan could be, so they decided to return home to where they would know their way around. 

A week went by after the encounter with Endeavor and the League all returned back to the headquarters. Their hideout wasn’t huge, each person sharing a room with another League member.

Normalcy was a comforting factor while healing, Dabi realized. Even though he shared a room with the energetic Jin Bubaigawara, he was content sitting in his bed to rest. It was home to him, despite the shabby, prison-like atmosphere and the annoying company. 

Twice had mercy on him and mostly hung out in the common area with the others instead of pestering him with the constant back-and-forth conversations he had with himself. 

Dabi stared at the wall opposite of him, watching a cobweb flicker back and forth in the subtle breeze from the air ducts. 

It seemed like an eternity since he and Tomura had faced off with Enji, though it was just a week to the day. His father’s words, vowing to hunt Dabi down, shook him to the core. He’d been so close to failing before, what would happen the next time? If Tomura hadn’t stepped in, Dabi would probably just be a pile of ash on the floor of the warehouse.

Dabi pinched the bridge of his nose with his unharmed hand, taking a steadying breath. He hadn’t seen much of his leader since they’d arrived back in Japan. He was probably putting all his efforts into keeping their hideout hidden from the outside world.

Dabi tilted his head back against the wall, eyes drawn upwards. Tomura wouldn't be safe until Endeavor's plan to kill Dabi was stopped, that much was clear. Not only was Enji angry for Tomura stepping in, but from his words he seemed to resent the fact that Dabi and he were close. 

But they weren't together, despite Enji's insinuations. As much as Dabi wished that he could call Tomura something more than just a friend, it wasn't meant to be. After all, Tomura had not come to see him since they'd returned home, regardless of the embrace in the warehouse.

They'd only hugged and Dabi was beside himself with emotion at the time. Tomura was probably patronizing him.

Dabi looked at the bedroom door when he heard it open, seeing Toga’s head poke through.

“Hey, Tomura wants you,” Toga said, looking put out that she had to relay the message.

“If only,” Dabi muttered bitterly under his breath, but still swung his legs over the edge of the bed.

Toga lingered in the doorway as Dabi slowly stood, body protesting the movement.

“Need help?” Toga asked, eyeing his sluggish movements.

“I just have a broken arm and sore muscles, I think I’ll survive,” Dabi said sarcastically, slipping past her to go out of the room.

“He’s upstairs in his room,” Toga told him, rolling her eyes.

Dabi frowned, wondering why he wasn't speaking to him in the common room. He didn’t really feel like climbing stairs, but Dabi did so anyway, arriving at Tomura’s room.

He rapped his knuckles against the door before opening it. He’d never been in Tomura’s room before, so he curiously glanced around. It was relatively neat, though it looked like Tomura wasn't a great aim when it came to tossing his clothes in the hamper. There was a gaming computer on a desk with a few video game consoles nearby, a small bed, and a couple of love seats in the center of the room. 

Tomura was sitting on one of the small couches, legs drawn up in front of himself, hand mask covering his face while he looked at a newspaper.

Dabi felt a tug of sadness in his heart. This was Shigaraki, the way he was before they’d gone to America. Shigaraki always hid behind his mask, was always reserved, always distant. He’d gotten to know Tomura in America. Tomura had no mask, was feisty and adorable. Dabi missed Tomura already. 

Everything had gone back to normal.

“Sit down,” Shigaraki said, neither a pleasantry or an order.

Dabi put his cocky personality on as a shield as he flopped down onto the couch across from Shigaraki, “What? Am I in trouble?

He got no reply, only seeing Shigaraki’s exposed ruby eye regarding him. Dabi felt a small flash of uneasiness, wondering if he was about to get banned from the League by acting the way he did while they were in America. He’d behaved outlandishly and put not only Shigaraki in danger, but Kurogiri and Toga as well. Dabi wouldn’t be surprised if he was going to be kicked out.

“We’ve learned some new information regarding Endeavor. Toga and Twice found his lackey that has the tracking Quirk and captured him. The plan is to try to get some information out of him, so perhaps we can be a step ahead of Endeavor if he tries to attack again,” Shigaraki said, folding his arms in front of his chest.

Dabi looked Shigaraki blankly, confused. There was likely more pressing matters at hand, why did Shigaraki send Twice and Toga to go capture the tracker?

As if Shigaraki were reading his mind, he pointed at Dabi, “I can see that you’re already questioning this.”

“No… I just wondered why this is something you decided to pursue as soon as we got back? Shouldn’t we be worrying about staying hidden?” Dabi inquired.

“Mainly, I have a hunch that can only be debunked if this guy knows Endeavor's secrets. We also don’t exactly want Endeavor’s people sniffing around here looking for you, so it makes sense to make the tracker an unplayable character. Otherwise, we'd have to send you away to keep him off our asses."

This was true, it was an option that sounded better than sending Dabi to another place. But taking out just one of Enji's people wouldn't solve the problem. It was only a matter of time before he'd find Dabi.

"Why not send me away, though? My father will find me soon, you and the others need to get out of the blast radius," Dabi murmured.

Dabi was grateful for Shigaraki's efforts, but he was still a realistic man and didn't like to kid himself.

“We don’t tolerate abuse to our members. We all have valuable roles in the League. It's because of that we take care of one another. That way we can become stronger as a group,” Shigaraki said, moving to put his feet on the ground, reaching up to remove his mask.

Dabi looked up at Tomura’s exposed face, drinking in the familiar sight that he'd longed to see that entire week. 

“I want to make Endeavor pay for what he did to you, last week and everything before that,” Tomura said softly, though Dabi could see his face tighten, “I despise him for being the Number One Hero and getting away with treating his own son like trash.”

Dabi felt his heart skip a beat, watching Tomura’s face carefully as he looked up. His expression was so earnest, Dabi knew he actually cared. 

Tomura licked his lips nervously, fiddling with his hands as he murmured, “...I want you to feel safe again.”

This words made Dabi's throat tighten, tears threatening to brim in his eyes. He was crying way too much lately. He needed another way to express his emotions, so he stood and walked over to the other couch.

Tomura looked nervous as he looked up, brows raised in question as Dabi reached out to place his hand against his head. 

“You want to make sure I’m safe?” Dabi asked with a smirk, heart pounding in his chest as Tomura leaned into his touch.

"I want to keep you safe so that you can keep fighting in the League, obviously," Tomura replied hotly, though didn't move away from Dabi's hand.

"I don't know, that sounded awfully heroic of you," Dabi teased, smile only widening.

Tomura shot him an irritated look, growling, “Bite your tongue.”

At those words, Dabi watched Tomura’s eyes drop to look at his mouth. 

Fuck.

He could have countered his comment in a sassy way, but he decided to go out on a limb instead. He was tired of thinking about what was happening between Tomura and himself. He could either test the waters or merely continue to wonder when someone would make a move.

Dabi slid his hand down to gently tilt Tomura’s jaw up, leaning down close. Tomura’s eyes were wide, not angered by the closeness. He seemed terrified, but yet his lips parted welcomingly. 

Dabi finally eased forward, pressing his lips to Tomura’s to find them much softer than he expected. He heard a tiny noise escape Tomura’s throat, one of pleasure. It made Dabi smile into the kiss as he deepened it, parting his lips as he pushed a little closer. 

Despite their equally obtuse personalities, Dabi wanted nothing but to be tender with Tomura in that moment. After all they had been through, he put the rush of his warm feelings into that first kiss. 

He slowly pulled away after a minute, looking down as he straightened a bit. Tomura’s eyes were still closed, as if he were trying to savor the sensation. After a moment, Tomura’s red eyes fluttered open, his expression dazed, cheeks pink. 

Dabi searched his eyes, inhaling sharply when Tomura stood up and grabbed the front of Dabi’s shirt to pull him into a more aggressive embrace. 

A low laugh rumbled out of Dabi as Tomura kissed him clumsily. Dabi was fairly certain he was the first person Tomura ever kissed. He was passionate but he wasn’t coordinated. He needed to learn how to kiss a little better.

Dabi would make the sacrifice, he’d be more than happy teaching him.

He made his kisses languid, not matching the intensity off Tomura. He hoped moving slowly would calm Tomura, the shorter man’s kisses greedy and messy.

After a few moments, Tomura seemed to get the idea, matching his rhythm. Dabi rewarded him by teasing his lips with his tongue. 

Tomura’s head jerked back slightly, brow furrowed as he looked down at Dabi’s mouth. 

“What?” Dabi asked, voice gruff with arousal as he moved his unbroken hand down Tomura's side to feel lean muscle.

“When did you get a tongue piercing?”  Tomura inquired.

Dabi felt a pang of guilt run through him, looking off to the side as he thought of the man how pierced him. God, how he wished that never happened. He’d told Tomura about his encounter with Jesse, but Tomura never said a thing about what happened. Did he resent him for it? They weren’t a couple, so why did Dabi feel so guilty about what happened?

“Got it a week ago,” Dabi muttered, running his hand through Tomura’s hair.

Tomura didn’t react like Dabi thought. He merely paused before smiling in his weird way, moving closer as he ran his fingers down Dabi’s chest, purring, “I like it.”

Dabi was going to internally combust if Tomura kept acting like that. 

“Yeah, well, I like you,” Dabi growled in return, wrapping his arm around Tomura’s waist as he kissed him again.

Tomura hesitated only for a moment before putting his arms around Dabi’s hips in return, melting against his body. Tomura fit so perfectly in Dabi’s embrace, he never wanted to let him go. 

Dabi finally broke the kiss, looking at Tomura’s head that only came up to his chin. 

He never thought someone would make their way into his heart after the childhood he had. He thought he would never need affection, something that was for weaklings. But Tomura made him so much stronger. He never had the strength to stand up to Enji until Tomura became important to him. Dabi owed so much to him, Tomura probably had no clue how much he meant to him.

“Thank you,” Dabi whispered, kissing him chastely on the lips.

“For what?” Tomura inquired, blushing.

“Absolutely everything,” Dabi murmured, leaning his forehead against Tomura’s.

Someday he’d tell Tomura how much he’d helped. Dabi felt like a lost cause until joining the League of Villains. But now, everything had changed. He had a purpose, had someone to keep safe. Though Enji was still out there searching for him, he had to keep fighting to keep Tomura safe. 

Dabi smirked. He was starting to sound like a damn hero too.

Chapter Text

“Despicable...” Enji growled, running his eyes across footage on his computer of his son, Shouto, and that green-haired brat walking hand in hand together through a mall. 

He clicked to a picture of Touya hugging Tomura Shigaraki on the fire escape at the house in America. Enji practically growled with rage.

How did two of his sons end up like this? If they continued on in their current ways, they’d never be able to carry on the Todoroki bloodline.

He switched between the images of Shouto and Touya, flames burning brighter as his anger swelled.

His finest creation versus the son he wished was never born. Both with the same affliction of being attracted to their own gender. Was this their way of rebelling against him even further?

If Shouto refused to strive for the Number One spot or produce further Todoroki children, what was the point of his existence? He may as well just be dead.

Enji ground his teeth together until it hurt, hand clenching around the computer mouse. 

Izuku Midoriya and Tomura Shigaraki. He’d tried and failed to take them both out, his sons always coming to their aid in some manner. 

Shouto had been late to the graduation ceremony because of Izuku, having spent a late evening with him. The blast had been blamed on the League of Villains fortunately, but it was a risk attempting it just to have it fail its purpose.

Several graduate and audience deaths had occurred as a result of the explosion. Enji wasn’t really upset since it was blamed on someone else, though he was put out that Shouto hadn't been a part of casualties.

He'd tried with Touya as well, luring him in by abducting Shigaraki. Enji hoped to take them both out in the warehouse, but Shigaraki was stronger than he anticipated, resulting in the loss of his arm. 

Enji snarled, glancing down at what was left of his arm. His plans kept getting foiled by his sons’ lovers. The thought was enough to make him sick to his stomach. 

He closed out of the picture when he heard a knock at the door.

“What?” he barked.

“Your newest sidekick just arrived, the graduate from UA,” Enji’s secretary said.

What terrible timing. Enji wasn’t in the mood for talking with an underling. He turned in his chair, muttering bitterly, “Send him in.”

A young man with wild, purple hair stepped into his office. He wore a black combat suit, boots, a metal face mask that was loose around his neck, and a long, silvery scarf wrapped around his neck. 

“Hitoshi Shinsou, isn't it?” Enji asked, regarding the boy’s blank expression and the bags under his violet eyes.

“Thank you for having me, sir. I will assist your agency tirelessly,” Shinsou said, bowing at the waist.

“I haven’t hired you yet, kid. Why do you want to work for the Endeavor Hero Agency?”

Shinsou didn’t put much effort into keeping up his respectful stance, putting his hands in his pockets as he slightly tilted his head, “I go beyond, plus ultra style. I don’t shy away from things that seem out of my reach. Your agency is the exact opposite of my comfort zone, so that’s why I applied.”

“You never did any type of work study here, though. Did you apply anywhere else?” Enji inquired.

“No, this is the only option I’m giving myself,” Shinsou said firmly.

Enji had to admit, the one-track mind was impressive. He laced his fingers, leaning forward as he asked, “What can you bring to the table as a hero, one that start out in general studies class?”

“It’s been a couple years since I transferred and I've graduated since then. It’s rather foolish to assume that I am still at the level I was at sixteen,” Shinsou answered, shrugging a shoulder, “But, if I were wanting to really sell myself, I’d say I’m a hero that specializes in stealth and take down. I’m not a one-trick pony though, I’ve trained hard to be a force in frontal attacks as well. Whatever is thrown at me, I can handle. You won’t regret having me in your agency.”

Enji nodded. This kid was honest, didn’t mince words. It made him easier to trust. He could prove to be very useful to have for undercover missions. But even more so, he was one of Shouto’s schoolmates and could have intel that only a friend would know.

“Don’t prove yourself a liar, then,” Enji said, pulling a piece of paper out of his desk and stamped it, handing it to Shinsou, “You’ll start tomorrow.”

Shinsou walked closer, taking the contract.

“Thank you, sir,” Shinsou bowed and turned to walk towards the doorway.

Enji’s lip curled as Shinsou shut the door behind him. UA was eating out of the palm of his hand, sending new hires his way. They had absolutely no idea who killed several of their graduates and civilians in the explosion. 

He chuckled darkly, turning back to his computer to pull up the picture of Touya and Shigaraki. He sneered at the picture, saying under his breath, “Disgusting fools. They’ll discover what I’m capable of soon enough.”

Maybe even the new little hero could help him drag Touya back to hell where he belonged.

 

-x-

 

“Did he hire you?”

“Yes, sir, no issues there. He believed my reasons for joining his agency.”

“That’s the first step, then. Good job, Shinsou.” 

“Don’t congratulate me yet, I still have a long way to go.”

“You’re right. I suppose there’s nothing left to do but play the waiting game.”