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Under Your Skin

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“I need a favor.” 

Dabi could already feel his blood pressure rising as soon as the woman stepped in front of his bar — yes, his bar. He was the owner of this damn place and no matter how often Kurogiri tried to convince him that he was the main bartender of this place, Dabi only had to play the “ yeah, but I am the owner of this club so fuck off ” card and he got queit. — He just knew that whatever favour Rumi needed would annoy the ever living shit out of him.

“What do you want, Miruko?”


His employee and friend didn’t seem to notice the tension in his shoulders, or simply didn’t care , because her smirk grew even bigger as it had been just a few seconds before. “So, you know that I have this one friend , right? The one I tell you a lot about? The one who works way too much and is in dire need of a distraction?”


Dabi put down the by now dry glass, setting it aside, only for him to reach for the next one — drying it with a towel, his bored eyes never leaving what he was doing with his hands. 


“Yeah, I remember him, though you never really told me his name. What do you want? Don’t you have clients to go to?”


“Well, you see — I promised him to find someone who would dom him. He is kind of a brat and super cocky at times so I know that not everyone would be fit for him. I was thinking about maybe asking Kai if he was up for a new sub, but then again I don’t think that my friend would be that much into masochism to get along well with him. Besides, Kai doesn’t do bratty, untrained subs very well as we all know, but prefers obedience and—”


“Are you going to continue listing his preferences, or are you finally coming to an end?”


“Please be his Dominant.” — That made Dabi finally look up. He raised one suspicious eyebrow at her, but then went back to drying glasses. Setting aside the next dry one, before picking up the next one. Where the hell was Kurogiri if you needed him?

 

“You know fully well that I don’t actively participate with clients anymore and no amount of begging and pleading from you will get me to say yes. — I won’t be anyone’s Dominant ever again—” Dabi could already see Rumi opening her mouth, trying to make him change his mind, but he refused to let this be another of their tedious discussions. “—and that’s final!”

 

If Rumi’s bunny ears she always wore at the club were real they would have probably dropped in disappointment right now. Dabi had to snort at that thought as he placed the last glass on the counter, ready to put them all away.

“Okay, then what about just showing him the basics then? You always teach classes and you do not need any previous knowledge for that, can you teach him stuff that way?”

 

“If he wants to learn, he can always sign up to one of the classes — you know when they are, why bother me with it? Just because he is a friend of yours?” He really needed to get everything done — they would open up the club in two more hours and he still had to check the inventory and if they had stacked up enough alcohol for today’s event. Obviously, they had more than enough, but Dabi always liked to check everything twice, before opening up the club. Another thing he also did before opening was check every play room — making sure none of their toys were broken. He had taught the doms in his club to always check before starting a scene if the furniture or other toys they wanted to use was ready to go and stable enough to hold them and most of them did anyways, but still. Dabi just needed to make sure they were all safe and secure. It put his mind to ease. 

 

“Pretty please? — He always works so much and he really needs to get out of his head a little and he has shown interest before in the whole BDSM community and all that, it’s just that you often hold these lessons on the weekend during the day when the club is empty, right? Well, he often has to work on the weekend so he can’t just come here for the classes since he is the executive assistant of where he works and he doesn’t get much free time, and he doesn’t really have someone to go to these lessons with who would assist him.”

 

“Why don’t you teach him? Wouldn’t it be logical for you to teach him the basics and everything since you guys are already close friends and all? — It would be easiest that way, wouldn’t it?” — Then he also needed to make sure the security was set up and ready to go; two bouncers at the entrance of the club and various security men spread around the club. Tonight was a big event after all and mixing BDSM with alcohol rarely was a good idea, but having someone to step in in case things got out of hand was always good. Besides, not everyone who went to a BDSM club had good intentions. Sometimes assholes would just go to these types of clubs, because they thought it would mean easy sex and that it would be okay for them to be total dicks to subs and even abuse them. Simple safety precaution. Besides, there was a reason why his club ‘ The Hideout’ was one, if not the best, BDSM club in the city. He had even achieved a little bit of international fame thanks to the various events he held over the year — sometimes artists traveled all across the globe just to perform at his club. It always made him feel proud, even a little bit smug, when he thought about it.

 

Rumi was still in front of him, her arms crossed in front of her chest and a pout on her lips. “He and I have been friends since the cradle, it would feel weird for him to be my sub — he is like a brother to me! Besides, he is also gay as one can be and he said he would feel more comfortable with a man. Plus, I showed him a picture of you and he said that you’re hot! I also showed him our other Dominants from the club, but he still picked you! Come on, Dabs, please? — Besides, I trust you! You are always so careful and always teach everyone how important consent is and that you have to take close attention to your sub and—”


“I said enough!” His patience was running out. He slammed a glass against the counter, nearly breaking it under the pressure of his hand as he tried to keep himself calm. — Careful. He could only laugh bitterly — what a joke.

There was a reason why he no longer performed professionally as a Dom —hell not even for personal pleasure — there was a reason why he was so strict about consent, there was a reason why he made sure that there was always enough security around to check in on Subs and Doms to see if everything was consensual. He had sworn himself that after what he had done he would never touch a Submissive again — he had learned from his mistakes, still felt fucking guilty about it, too. And he had told himself he would work hard to make the BDSM scene a safer place for everyone involved — that the shit he had done would never happen to anyone else. He still carried that guilt deeply inside of him and he definitely would not just get back into doming just because Rumi asked nicely . — But then again, this was not about being someone’s Dominant, but about teaching them the basics and the etiquette of BDSM, and that would also involve picking a good Dominant for them. He felt a familiar tugging in his chest. He wanted to teach Subs and Doms so they would know as soon as their partner crossed a line that was not part of the BDSM scene, but abusive. It was important that everyone who participated knew the difference. He had it too many times how inexperienced people ended up in emotionally and physically abusive relationships, because they thought that was what BDSM was supposed to be, but it really was not . — and hearing that this person was a dear friend of Rumi made Dabi feel soft. He didn’t want anyone to be in pain, especially not if they were people someone he liked was close to. He never admitted it out loud, but he saw Rumi as one of his friends. Hell, everyone of his Doms was a friend if not family to him by now — even Kai, and that had taken ages. So if someone they were close to and got hurt and he could have prevented that from happening he just knew he would feel guilty. — Damn Rumi and damn her for knowing that Dabi would give in.


Dabi sighed heavily as he threw the slightly cracked glass into the garbage bin under the bar. — “Okay listen,” his hands had stopped shaking by now “I won’t take him in as a Submissive,” Rumi’s shoulders slumped again “—but, I will teach him everything I know and how to pick a decent Dominant. You know my schedule and when I am free — give him a copy of our house rules as well so he can already get a feel of what all of this will be like. Tell him to pick a nickname he wants to be addressed with and then just let me know whenever I have a lesson with him, but please stop bothering me with it. Deal?”

 

“Deal!” — Rumi’s smile lit up so much Dabi felt something inside of him die. Oh god, what had he just signed up for? He just hoped that her friend, whoever that person was, would not cause him too much trouble and would be easy to train. — But then again she had said something about that person being kind of a brat and cocky? — If this man really was Rumi’s best friend since the cradle, who was like a brother to her and he had those attributes, Dabi could only imagine what that man was like and that he would definitely be a handful to handle. — No wonder she didn’t want to ask Kai about this; she had a point. The other Dom really did like his Subs to be trained well and to be of service, and not some newbie who was still wet behind their ears and was a bratty little shit on top of that. 

 

Plus, Rumi knew his taste and she knew that he had a thing for someone bratty and since her friend wanted a male Dominant to teach him that meant that Nemuri was out of the game too and only left him or Shouto and Shouto was really picky about his clientele so really, he was the only one left to teach that brat about BDSM. Dabi watched as the other Dominant excitedly ran out of the room, while pulling out her phone — probably calling her friend and letting him know about the finer details of how this was about to go down. 

 

Whatever, he could worry about that later. For now he had to check everything again and make sure everything was set and ready to go. — He quickly wiped down the bar one more time, before he stepped out from behind it and made his way down to the basement to check their supply. It was time to get to work. 

 


 

Things were going smoothly — or as smoothly as it could. There had been the typical rush before the show — artists and performers not finding some props, last touch-ups on make-up, setting everything up and going through the procedure quickly once more with their partners and checking if everyone was in the right mindset to perform. There was a small emergency with the technicians, but thanks to Kurogiri it was sorted out quickly and the show started as scheduled. 

 

Dabi let his eyes wander through the crowd as they all marveled at the play happening on the stage — it was something different, something they had not shown at the club before. The couple that was performing originally came from Europe and had taken inspiration in ancient, pagan rituals and had integrated them into their plays. There was something fascinating about one part being seen as an ancient deity, while the other one was seen as their sacrifice and at the mercy of their new found god — they used thick ropes and sharp knives for their plays and it really was intriguing to watch, especially with the chanting-like music playing in the back. While Dabi wasn’t much into knife play and the whole blood kink, he certainly understood the appeal of having a Sub kneel at your feet, tied up and begging for your mercy. It was a feeling unlike any other and in moments like these he missed being someone’s Dominant dearly — but not enough for him to give in and scratch that itch  underneath his skin he always felt whenever he watched scenes unfold or when Subs tried their luck to win him over, talked sweet nothings to him and tried to lure him in.

 

It had become kind of a thing in his club. People often hit on him or Kurogiri while they were tending the bar. While Kurogiri loved working at Dabi’s club, he himself was more a vanilla type of person and therefore always denied any approaches with a kind smile. Besides, he was married and very devoted to his partner and people quickly seemed to accept that. — But with Dabi being the owner of the club and teaching BDSM lessons it was more than clear that he was very much into BDSM and also very knowledgeable so there was no way he could play the “ I am vanilla ” card and he was painfully single. Plus he somehow knew that he was kind of attractive — not everyone dug the pierced and tattooed look, but surprisingly many in his club did. They didn’t even seem to mind the big two scars that slashed over his left eye, down his cheek — or the various other scars on his left shoulder and down his arm. — Which was weird, but Dabi really was the last person to judge someone for what they were into and what not. He had seen enough weird fetishes and kinks unfold in his club and one of the most valued rules in his establishment was to respect and not judge. He wanted people to feel comfortable and safe in his space — no matter if they liked licking the dirt off boots, or got their rocks off from being peed on. 

 

His eyes slowly wandered from the stage to the crowd again — there were so many people here tonight they had to refuse entry to the stage room to some, simply because the club was getting too packed. Especially because there were more people in the other part of the club; there were open play rooms, where people could either openly play with their partner(s) or were invited to enjoy the public display of a scene. — then there were also the private playrooms that were mostly used by the professional Dominants and the Staff of the Club, but occasionally some of the regulars were allowed to use those rooms, too.

 

Dabi didn’t know what it was, but something suddenly caught his attention. — It was a man who was actively watching the performance on stage. From the distance and how dark the rest of the club was right now it was kinda hard to tell, but it looked like the young man had blonde hair and bright eyes. Dabi couldn’t quite tell their color though — it looked like gold? Whatever — Dabi looked back to the stage, but felt his gaze shift back to the man. He was sitting at the far end of the club, back at the bar, so he could only see most of the back of the man’s head and part of his face when he turned around a little bit to talk to someone next to him. — He just couldn’t tear his eyes away. This man was fucking beatiful and dropdead gourgeos. Dabi could feel how his breath hitched as the man smiled brilliantly and laughed at whatever the person next to him had said — fuck, what was happening? 

 

He quickly averted his gaze — now was no time for him to oggly customers. He had work to do! — Just as his eyes were about to drift back to the mysterious man he felt a hand on his shoulders, making him snap back to reality; his eyes landing on Kai who was now standing next to him with a smirk on his lips. Well, you couldn’t really see the smirk on his lips due to the face masks covering the lower half of the other man’s face, but Dabi knew his friend well enough by now that he could tell from the faint lines under his eyes that he was smirking at him. “Enjoying the view, Dabi?” — Oh, what a little shit .

 

“Oh, shut up. What do you want? Don’t you have some poor Subs to torment?” — Kai had the nerve to actually snort at that. 

 

“Not yet, but actually I was hoping you could help me check the Shibari Dojo one last time? I have a pretty intense session planned for a little bit later and I want to check in on the new suspension frame we set up a few days ago, just to make sure. You in?” 

 

Dabi rolled his eyes. “Fine, but only because I know that you made Kurogiri nearly cry the last time you asked him to help you out, alright? Don’t think I do this because I like you or something.” — he flicked one of the napkins that were close to the bar at Kai, who just chuckled loudly now, already on his way to the Dojo. 

 

“Sure if it makes you sleep better at night.”

 

God, his friends were assholes. All of them — but then again, Dabi wouldn’t have it any other way.

 


 

The night was over in a blur and before he knew it Dabi was at home at — 4.45am in the morning. He just shrugged at that — the club usually closed at 3am which meant he was home about twenty minutes later. The cleaning services usually arrived around 7am in the morning and Dabi just had to make sure that everyone had left the club and that nothing was about to catch on fire or break down completely. — The check up for all the rooms always happened the next day, because there was no way in hell he would check up on everything after his shift had ended. He just did not have that energy. 

 

But things were different whenever there was a big performance at the club — he had to make sure that all the performers were safe and sound and that the stage was secure and that none of the props were still laying around. Check in with the technicians if anything was off, make sure the changing rooms were all secure and ready for the performer and make sure they felt welcomed and got home or to their hotel savely — the list went on and on. Whenever he was working he was the last one to leave the Club, which also meant setting the alarm and locking up the whole place. Today, things had taken a bit longer — one of the performers had needed a longer downtime from the scene they had played out on the stage and Dabi was the last person to just kick a Sub out when they were still in dire need of aftercare. — So he had stayed behind with them, brought them some coffee and a few snacks and talked a bit about their performance. It was not something he hated per se, it was way more fun to talk to them than to a bunch of drunk assholes who always tried to get into his pants. Sometimes he really wondered why he had picked a job where he had to be around people so much all the damn time — he was introverted and couldn't handle people very well and often felt irritated when things didn’t go his way, bust still. He would never trade his job — never. 

 

He quickly got out of his clothes, took a quick shower and changed into an old band shirt and boxer briefs, feeding the black furball of death or she would claw him apart, and slipping into bed. — His cat, Pretzel, curling up on his side within a moment, purring softly as he plucked the charger into his phone. He vaguely registered that an unknown number had sent him a message, but he really was way too fucking tired to really bother with that now and just set aside his phone and instead, plopped back into his soft bed and cuddled some more with his cat. — Dabi hated to leave his girl alone for too long, he had even thought about getting another cat, but the thing with Pretzel was that she was a diva. Which was kinda contradicting to the way she looked — crooked tail and whiskers, only three legs and a scar across her left eye. — Much like him. 

 

Kai had actually been the one who had gotten him the cat — a stray on top of it. Things had been tough about four years ago — some family drama that ended with him breaking up with his almost boyfriend, who had been his best friend for over a decade at that time, and a lot of other issues that plagued him up until now. — His mental health had taken a toll during that time and he had been extremely stressed out about his newly opened club and it had gotten so bad that one evening he had gotten absolutely blistered , asking Kai why he even bothered with anything anymore, why he even existed. — Kai being Kai didn’t really have any idea how he was supposed to cheer up his friend, but apparently getting a stray cat from one of the shelters had been the solution to the problem.

 

“Now you have someone who you have to take care of and who depends on you. I never ever want you to hear you say shit like you did last night again, you hear me? If being my friend is not enough for keeping you alive, I want you to look at that little fucked up fur ball and whenever those fucking voices in your head get too loud think about saying those things to that little thing — you would never do that, right? You would never tell this cat that it’s broken for how it looks and shit like that — so don’t say that shit about yourself either.”

 

It probably had been the weirdest way someone had ever tried to cheer him up or to get him out of a depressive episode, but it had worked. Dabi started to take care of Pretzel who was maybe half a year old back then. Whenever he would feed the cat, he would also make himself a cup of coffee at least and eat some toast. Whenever he would clean the cat’s toilet, he would also clean some parts of his flat and then take a shower — it was small stuff, really. But those small things helped centering him and all those small things became a routine he stuck to and it eventually helped him back on his feet. 

Dabi’s eyes were already heavy with sleep. 

 

He still had to thank Kai for that someday. — and then tell him to fuck off, because that was how their friendship worked. Equally roasting each other like there was no tomorrow, but being there whenever it was necessary.

 

His phone lit up — a new message. But Dabi was already asleep. 

 


 

He woke up the next day with a paw being smacked into his face and the pleasant smell of his cat yawning in his face — gross. Dabi growled at his cat in annoyance, but ended up scratching her behind her ear just how he knew she liked it, getting out of bed to feed her. — He couldn’t stop the yawn escaping him as he shuffled from his bedroom to his kitchen, one hand scratching at the back of his head while another yawn escaped him. Damn, he really needed to catch up on some sleep — his tired eyes landed on the electronic clock of the microwave. — 12:59 pm. Time for breakfast. 

 

A claw at his leg woke him up a bit more. — Right. Feeding Pretzel first, then feeding himself. It all happened on autopilot he was still too fucking tired to think straight. — Cat food in the cupboard next to the fridge, fresh bowl for the cat, dumping the food in and putting the old bowl into the dishwasher — then trotting over to his coffee machine and the next twenty minutes becoming one with the couch, while Pretzel curled up in his lap and he slowly became a function member of society — or something akin to that. He really wasn’t a morning person, even if his morning didn’t start until around 1pm. It didn’t change the fact that for the first hour after waking up he was absolutely useless

 

Eventually, he got up from the couch, grabbing an apple from the counter and walked back into his bedroom — still munching on his apple as he looked through his wardrobe and what he would wear today, when his phone on the nightstand went off again. 

 

He took another bite out of it, apple still in his mouth, as he picked it up and quickly checked his messages. — There was one from Kai, two from Rumi and— Dabi frowned. An Unknown Number. — Huh, he never gave his number to any strangers. Who was that? Immediate panic flooded his system as he clicked on the messages he had received — but sighed in relief as he finally connected the dots. — It was from Rumi’s friend. The one he promised to teach about BDSM and everything that involved their community. 



FuckFace Kai [09:45am]
We need new robes — accidentally went
through like 10 last night, because had to
cut through them as part of the scene.
Make sure to order more before next week,
I hate to disappoint my Subs that I cannot
tie them up because the Big Boss was too
stupid to buy new ones. 

 

Rumi Bunny [10:59am]
Good morning sleepy head,
you and Hawks will meet next
week on Thursday at 7.30pm.
Room 7 is all yours for however
long you want it. 

 

Rumi Bunny [11:04am]
Also, please don’t murder him.
He can be a bit ,,,overly excited
whenever he gets to try new stuff
so be prepared and DO NOT say
I didn’t warn you loser LMAO 

 

He completely ignored Kai — the fucker knew damn well that he always made sure to have more than necessary stocked at the club for exactly that reason . Dabi knew all too well how his friend acted as a Dominant and that total power exchanges were definitely a thing for him, which more often than not meant to sacrifice equipment. — Whatever. More ropes it was. — He quickly wrote that down in his notes; he would add that to the list later when he was sitting at his laptop, checking their inventory again. He was way too fucking tired to figure out all the numbers right now and exactly which ropes Kai always used. — Something else he checked was if Rumi had already added his appointment with Hawks to his schedule and — surprise surprise, she had already. Somehow he was not surprised by that. 

 

Dabi finally clicked on the last unread message. 

 

Unknown Number [04:26am]
Hi! I got your number from Rumi, 
She already set up an appointment
for our little date ~ looking forward to it!
— Hawks (that’s gonna be my nickname
for you hot stuff :b)

 

He wasn’t sure what to feel at that moment, but the message alone radiated so much bratty energy that Dabi felt his fingers itch. — Whatever, he would be professional about this. Not like this person was going to be the man of his dreams — for a vague moment he had to think back to the stranger in the crowd last night. His messy, slicked back, blonde hair, brilliant eyes — almost sparking as the stage lights hit them. 

 

Dabi bit his lower lip.

 

To: Hawks [01:18pm]
Rumi told me we will see each
other next Thursday, 7.30pm in Room 7.
That correct?
You can call me Dabi.
Pleasure to meet you. 

 

He didn’t have to wait long to get a reply.

 

Hawks  [01:24pm]
Yess, can’t wait!!
Hope you are as hot in person
as you are in the picture Rumi
showed me ;)

 

Dabi clicked his tongue in annoyance, but couldn’t help the smile tugging at his lips. — He already had the feeling that his was gonna be very different from all the other classes he has taught before — and he wasn’t quite sure if it was a good or bad thing, but he was in too deep already to just cancel this. 

 

To: Hawks [01:25pm]
Pictures don’t do me justice, little bird.
See you next week.