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The words of a mourner

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The pain was incomprehensible

He was feeling too many sensations at once, a sharp stabbing pain that radiated from his chest with every breath he desperately sucked in, a numbness stealing the sensation from his fingertips and the tips of his toes, his skin was burning but a chilling coldness was starting to set in his bones. He could hear his breath rattle as he tried to breath in air through a punctured chest and blood spewed from his lips at every attempt, choking him and making his desperate attempts to live even harder.

So, this was what death felt like.

For a long time Jin had been terrified of dying. His mind had been shattered years ago, separated into multiple pieces and multiple personalities, making him question whether he was a real person or the last remaining clone created by Jin Bubaigawara before he was slaughtered by his own quirk. He did everything to avoid getting hurt enough to destroy his clones and he refused to create a copy of himself in fear it would spark another war and snuff out the existence of Jin Bubaigawara, clone or not, for good. For a while, he hid behind others, creating clones of them to fight in his place, to protect him because he couldn't. But then everything changed in a matter of day.

Toga almost died, almost killed by a group of puppets wearing his face. Nothing could top the fear and horror for her safety he felt that day. Not even his fear of disappearing for good.

That day Jin Bubaigawara was reborn once again. His arms were broken but he still remained. The pain was incomparable (or so he thought) but he was alive. He was real. And for once he could protect his friends as himself.

On that day, Jin Bubaigawara became a one-man army. On that day, he became a target.

And he should have known that Hawks never misses his targets.

They say hindsight was twenty/twenty but Jin didn't have time to focus on that, on his mistakes and on Hawks betrayal. He needed to focus all of his energy on staying alive, to keep breathing, just so his last clone could reach Toga in time and return the gift (or at least an imitation of it) to her before he faded for her life for good. It was the least he could do for her, the one person to show him a kindness that he had never experienced from another person before. She understood him better then he understood himself, had protected him when he needed protection the most and now it was his turn to protect her, at least one last time, in order to try and return that kindness (though it would be a debt he could never repay and now will never have the chance to try). He hoped he could reach her in time, though he'll never know himself if his clone did, so all he could was stay alive for as long as could and pray to the god who had forsaken him one too many times to show him at least one act of mercy before he died.

Around him, he could barely make out the fighting that still continued. The screams of his comrades were dull roars compared to the blood rushing in his ears but still Twice tried to concentrate on them, anything to keep himself alive just a little while longer. He was tired and his strength gone. He couldn't even open his eyes.

But he could still hear.

A sudden burst of heat behind him chased away some of the chill that had spread through his body, searing his skin, and evaporating the cold sweat that drenched him. The heat was followed by an enraged scream, one filled with pure emotion and Twice could barely believe that it was coming from Dabi, one of the most apathetic members of their family.

"You killed him! You really killed him!"

He sounded unhinged, anger leaking into the usual dull tones of Dabi's voice leaving it gravelly with rage. The heat continued to intensify and Twice feared for a moment that his body would be burned to ashes (not now! He needed to stay alive for Toga!) but then the unbearable heat lessened, the wild flames that had been burning everything unforgivingly had seemed to disappear or find another target.

"How dare you kill Twice like that!" Dabi continued to scream, piercing through the fogginess that was clouding Twice's mind.

Twice wanted to speak up, to tell Dabi he isn't dead yet. To sooth the pain he's feeling, at least for a moment as he clings to life for a couple moments longer, but it was taking everything in Twice to concentrate on Dabi's words. He doubts he would speak another word again (he hoped the same couldn't be said for his clone, he still needed to say thank you to Toga!)

He could hear Hawks huff not far away from him, the sound pained and bringing Twice a deep satisfaction, “...Is that the face of a man who just watched a friend die?!" Hawks rasped out, sounding desperate and disgusted (it was a tone he had never heard from the man before, even when he had confronted Twice and betrayed them all).

If his heart hadn't already been skipping multiple beats as it desperately tried to continue pumping, Twice was sure those words would have caused it to pause and send a chill through his body. How dare he? How could Hawks judge the face of a man whose friend he had just murdered before his eyes?!

"Hey now! That was rude! I haven't cried since my tear ducts got burned!" He heard Dabi retort and his tone of voice unsettled Twice, it sounded... jovial, though in a mocking way. He must be hearing him wrong; his hearing was going in and out of focus as it came harder and harder to concentrate on breathing.

Still Dabi continued to speak, unaware of Twice's growing distress, "With Twice around, my dream had a way better chance of coming true! Of course I'm sad he's gone!"

The unease he felt faded immediately though it was replaced with a growing sense of despair as the reality of what had happened hit him once again and reminded him of his fading morality. He was dying and soon he would be dead. He was already gone in the eyes of his dear friend and he could only pray that his clone was still alive and had reached Toga to say his last goodbye to her in his place. But at least Twice could die with some peace, he had died protecting his friends and his friends would mourn him when he's gone-

"So, so sad!"

The sarcasm cut through Twice's thoughts just like Hawks feather had done to his chest. Why? Why was Dabi being sarcastic? Was he not upset about Twice? But he had just tried to save him! He had rushed to his side to aid him and fought with Hawks despite the threat the man proposed! ...No, Twice shouldn't doubt him, Dabi cares, Twice knows he does! Hawks just didn't deserve to hear his true feelings, not after everything he had just done. Dabi cared... He did!

He could hear Hawks murmur something else but the blood rushing through his ears and the growing pounding in his head deafened what he had said.

There was a moment of silence where all he could hear was the crackle of blue flames that burned around him and then Dabi replied, his voice too low for Twice to hear (or maybe it was because Twice's consciousness was slowly fading). His words obviously meant for Hawks and Hawks alone.

"More than Twice, more than anyone... you should have been keeping both eyes on me," Dabi's voice was low and serious, missing the hysterical edge that he had earlier. The deathly calm that had overtaken the man had spread a chill through Twice's body that not even his impending death had managed to accomplish.

Twice was fading fast now, the murmur of sounds and sensations becoming dull and numb. He couldn't cling on much longer, his every breath was a death rattle while every heartbeat felt like the chime of a clock tower, loud in his ears and the last beat signalling the end of his life. His mind too sluggish to even think, he instead focused on Dabi's words, the words of one of his only friends and the only sound he could hear over the beat of his dying heart.


"The league?"




"I never gave a crap about them."