Hawks didn’t know what he was expecting when he was finally invited to stay with the League, but it wasn’t this.
He clutched the warm mug of Magne’s famous hot cocoa in his hands, his brain working overtime about the fact that, a few minutes ago, an exhausted-looking Shigaraki stumbled down the stairs and plopped himself at his side to use his wings as a blanket.
What was he plotting? Why was he so close? Was he even asleep, or just pretending? He couldn’t tear his eyes away from those deadly hands, even though they were tucked up close to Shigaraki’s body as if he were afraid of destroying as much as Hawks feared being destroyed.
He sent a desperate look Dabi’s way.
The man snorted, a hand flying up to his stapled mouth to stifle his laughter - why, Hawks wondered, his plight momentarily forgotten in a wave of affection, do you try to hide how beautiful your smile is?
“He probably had a nightmare,” Dabi choked out between his laughs.
Hawks' brow furrowed in confusion. Nightmares? And what was so funny about it? “What.”
Dabi just shrugged and said, “League policy,” as if that explained everything.
“What,” Hawks repeated.
His heart nearly stopped when he lifted one wing slightly and a four-fingered grip pulled it back down.
He stared, frozen, at the hovering thumb that could end him with a twitch.
At some point, Dabi had come closer. He gently worked Shigaraki’s fingers off of his wing. “Don’t worry. He’s more careful than you’d think,” he said as he sat down at Hawks other side.
Hawks’ head whipped around to face him. “Why is he here?” he hissed.
“... Dude. You do realize your wings are comfy as shit, right? You’re like a human blanket.”
“He’s got a perfectly good blanket and bed of his own!”
“Yeah.” Dabi stretched his hands back behind his head. “Hard to fall asleep in an empty room after you’ve had a bad dream, though.”
“You keep saying that.”
“‘Cuz it’s true.”
“... I still don’t get it.”
Dabi snorted again. His hands dropped back to his sides, and he leaned his head against a wing.
“The League’s one big, fucked-up family. Mophead here may be an ass, but if you came to him after a nightmare, he’d let you in. Any of us would. That’s how it is.”
His burning blue eyes fixed on Hawks’ like he was trying to communicate something through his gaze alone.
“No questions, no teasing, just someone else to help you feel safe.”
A light tap tap tap on the door roused Kurogiri from his slumber. A thin ray of light glimmered in the dark room as it creaked open.
Mr. Compress stirred and mumbled something as the light passed his face, but he did not wake.
“Come in,” Kurogiri said softly.
That was all the encouragement needed.
Toga hopped onto the bed between the two men, along with the small army of stuffed animals she brought with her.
“Thanks, ‘Giri,” she mumbled as she squished her face against his side.
A misty hand patted her on the shoulder. “Any time, Himiko.”
Her fangs shone in her smile, and she closed her eyes.
Spinner lounged in his hammock, watching dumb youtube videos and waiting for morning to come.
He perch swung side to side as Twice tumbled onto it in a mess of limbs.
“Dude,” Spinner said, trying to rearrange himself without knocking either of them off. “Warn me first; I coulda dropped my phone.”
“Sorry. Woulda served you right, asshole.” He ran his fingers across Spinner’s scales. The texture was soothing.
“Yeah, yeah.” He squirmed around some more, and eventually ended up in a position that… wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Twice had him in sort of a bear hug and was stroking his arms (he liked that more than he would ever admit) which was awkward, but the warmth was welcome and Twice was already drifting off again.
His own eyelids were beginning to feel heavy.
Maybe he would sleep tonight after all.
Dabi was not a delicate knocker. It was more of an insistent boom boom boom that made Shigaraki want to bury his head in his pillow.
“It’s unlocked, asshole,” he whisper-hissed at the closed door.
It opened with surprising slowness, considering the beating Dabi was giving it earlier.
“‘S not my fault you usually lock yourself in here, creep,” he muttered.
Dabi’s eyes practically glowed in the dark. It was pretty.
Hawks was a lucky man.
Shigaraki sighed and lifted the covers. “Don’t just stand there, fuckhead. Get in.”
And there was Dabi’s heat, pressed against his bony body. The quiet hssss of his sizzling tears. He let the covers drop over them both.
“Fuck yourself, mophead,” came the inevitable murmur. Thick with sniffles instead of anger.
Shigaraki rolled his eyes, “Sweet dreams, patchwork,” and placed three cold fingers against Dabi’s burning cheek.
“Um.” Hawks stood in the hallway, rubbing at his eyes.
Shigaraki was sitting up in his bed, running a few fingers through Dabi’s hair. “You too? Must be a cursed night.” He laughed, once, without humor.
Hawks’ gaze flicked between the two of them.
“Don’t think about it too hard, birdbrain.” He shuffled over, to the very edge of the mattress. “There’s room for one more.”
Hawks approached in a daze. “Why-”
“Why me?” Again, that joyless laugh. “Fuck if I know. You gonna come sleep with your boyfriend or what?”
“I… It was cold. Without him. And I… dreamt…” A strange parade of emotions crossed his face.
“You don’t have to tell me, you know.” Shigaraki patted the bed on the other side of Dabi meaningfully. “Stop looking so sad, birdbrain. He’s right here.”
Hawks nodded, slowly, and accepted the invitation.
“... Why are you doing this?” he asked after a moment.
Red eyes glimmered in the dark. “League policy,” he answered. “It’s open-door.”