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The first thing Hawks does when he gets home, is going for a shower.

His mind is still going back to the moment when he has walked Endeavor to the train station and the hero waved him goodbye. It's silly thing to dwell on but every time Hawks thinks about it, he can't stop smiling.

Ever since his and Endeavor's first meeting outside the Hero Billboard Chart JP, he feels like his stupid teenager with a crush on a prom queen… or prom king in his case.

He shakes his head, ignoring the knots in his stomach. Technically, everything he said to Endeavor was true but he still feels like a dirty liar.

Hawks sighs and tilts his head backwards, letting the stream of cold water wash his face and down his neck. It's calming. He forces himself to focus on the shower instead of the image of Endeavor's big hand waving.

In the end, Hawks washes the remains of the conditioner from his hair and walks out. His feathers haven't fully grown back and they will probably take some more time, it's why he was forced to take a day off tomorrow. As he's drying himself off, he decides to use the opportunity to do something stupid.

He lives in a flat. It's in the better part of the city, spacious enough for him not to bump into things when his wings are in its full size. The living room is connected to kitchen where Hawks spends little to no time, usually only to use toaster and or make himself some coffee. His bedroom is in the second floor. The apartment is on the top floor and because the building is taller than any others around, nobody can see into the space even though there are only windows in the walls of the bedroom. There is also a balcony which is why Hawks rarely uses the front door.

One of Hawks' favorite activities is to stand on the balcony in the middle of the night and stare at the stars.

Hawks walks to the kitchen and takes a bottle of Jack Daniel's from the top shelf.

He rarely drinks, especially when alone, despises the habit and usually even the taste, but he supposes today is a special case. He needs to drown the butterflies and untie the knots in his stomach.

The hero pours himself some into a glass and then searches his freezer for ice.

Just as he's taking the first sip, the liquer burning on its way down his throat, making the man shiver violently, he hears his doorbell ring.

His whole body tenses and he puts the glass down. He rarely gets visits. And even more so this late in the evening but when he does, it's not pleasant.

Gulping nervously, he walks to the front door. Familiar face is on the camera at the entrance to the building, one that actually makes him roll his eyes in relief, thinking that he's getting paranoid.

With a sigh, he speaks into the intercom: "Rumi, what the hell are you doing here at this hour?"

"Dancing in the moonlight," the woman grins and quickly adds. "What the hell do you think I'm doing here? Just let me inside."

Hawks does. He quickly puts on some clothes and then waits for the woman outside the door to his apartment. Rumi takes the stairs, as she always does, instead of the elevator.

Tonight, she's wearing tight jeans, sneakers and sport jacket, her hair tied in a ponytail.

"What's up?" he asks her when she finally reaches his apartment.

"Can't a woman visit her best friend?"

“You mean her only friend?" Hawks smirks and Rumi just returns it.

"Asshole," she tells him with no meaning behind the words.

She doesn't wait for the invite, simply walks inside of Hawks' apartment. It's not the first time she's here after all.

The man closes the door and follows her.

"So, why are you really here?" he asks. It's not like Rumi to come here unannounced, even more so in the middle of the night anyway so he's not upset.

She doesn't reply straight away. Instead, she takes the glass of whiskey Hawks has put on the coffee table in front of the couch in her hand. She raises it up and turns to Hawks with suspicious glare.

“What's this?”

“A shot of Jack Daniel's?” Hawks offers, knowing fully well that's not what she's looking for.

And she knows that he knows. "You don't drink. You hate drinking."

"And tonight I felt like drinking," Hawks puts hands into his pockets and just shrugs with a smile on his face.

Rumi is not amused. She puts the glass down and sits on the couch. It makes Hawks nervous. She looks like a mother about to scold her child calmly. It's even more nerve-wrecking that Hawks only knows the concept, never really lived it through with his own mom. Also Rumi looking clam just feels wrong.

“I came because it doesn't happen often that your best friend, after years of admiring, gets to not only team-up with his crush, but he also fights by his side against villain and almost watches him die. And don't let me even mention that you visited him in the hospital and walked him to the train station.”

“How the hell do you know all that?” Hawks frowns. “Are you spying on me or… wait! You have a snitch, don't you?!” he gasps at the end.

“Ayane told me, you asshole!”

Hawks runs his hand through his wet hair. “A traitor in my own house, my own agency. I'm going to have to take care of her.”

“Nobody is going to take care of anyone before we take care of your problem right here, Hawks!” Rumi growls.

“I don't have a problem.”

“You are a walking problem!”

Hawks sighs. “Listen, I honestly don't think I've done anything wrong. Like what's wrong with me meeting up with Endeavor.”

To his terror, Rumi looks just worried. It's much worse than if she's been angry.

“Hawks-”

He can't let her continue, doesn't want to make her say it. “Listen, I know that it might have not been smart. But it's just a crush. Like a celebrity crush! Who doesn't want to meet up with their celebrity crush. It's that and nothing else, like I'm not stupid, he's as straight as a fucking arrow and I'm fully aware of that. But a man can't help himself with having a little fantasy.”

“Ugh, that's gross.”

“You can't understand it, you are lesbian. Now, just imagine his-”

“Oh god, shut the fuck up before I throw up all over your couch!” Rumi makes a gagging sound and when Hawks laughs at her, she just shakes her head continuing: “Seriously, Hawks, I'm telling you there is something about this guy. Like... I don't like him. At all. The way he looks at people around him.”

“As I said, you can't understand,” Hawks tells her with a smile.

“Well, what I understand is that I'm getting really weird vibes of the guy. He just rubs me the wrong way,” Rumi retorts, leaning backwards and crossing her arms across her chest.

Hawks rolls his eyes and makes sure that Rumi sees it. She tries to throw a cushion on him that Hawks easily dodges.

“Do you want me to get you something to drink?” he asks, walking closer to her.

“Nah, don't bother,” she waves her hand and then takes Hawks‘ glass of whiskey and downs in one go without as much as a flinch.

Hawks makes disgusted face. “You know this is whiskey right? Not a shot of some cheap vodka that you are supposed to swallow without trying to taste it.”

“And yet it went down as easily as cheap vodka,” Rumi grins.

“You are a fucking prick, Rumi.”

“That's why you and I get along together so well,” she winks. “That rum was good, do you have more?”

Dramatically, Hawks squeezes his shirt above his heart. “That's whiskey you uncultured swine!“

“Are you calling me a pig, birdbrain?!”

“And here I'd thought that ears of yours would help you hear better.”

Rumi's face twists in anger but there is a playful spark in her eyes and she throws another cushion at Hawks and, once more, the hero dodges easily.

“Stop demolishing my place! You're making a mess!”

Rumi widely throws her arms around. “Look at the place. It's already a mess, a cushion or two on the ground won't make it any worse.”

It's true. Hawks is indeed a messy person, there are piles of his clothes around, used dishes and mugs all over the place. He doesn't care much, especially not in front of Rumi.

“Hawks,” Rumi's voice pulls him away from his thoughts. She stands up, taller and broader than him and steps closer but not so much that it'd make Hawks uncomfortable. “I'm telling you to be careful. Like celebrity crushes are fun and shit but it stops being fun when you start thinking it's real or you got a chance. You don't have a chance with him.”

Hawks knows that. He knows that when he fantasies about Endeavor it will forever be just that – a fantasy. Somehow, that doesn't dull the ache of her words by much. Still, he puts on a grin and chuckles. “You don't have to tell me. I know that.”

“And I know you,” she points at him. “And you are a gay disaster.”

Hawks just shrugs. Honestly, she is not wrong.

Rumi just sighs again as if she saw right through Hawks but the man knows she doesn't – she would never admit it out loud but she is worried about him. She tucks her hair behind her ear, something she does only when she is extremely nervous. “Anyway I gotta go. I just wanted to see how you are doing. I have a date.”

Hawks raises his eyebrow, for a second his own miserable feelings suppressed by the joy of Rumi's words. “Did you finally ask Ayane out?”

Rumi's cheeks turn just a tiny shade of red and Hawks wishes he could take a picture because it's probably the first and the last time he sees something like that. “She asked me out. And don't act like it was obvious, you idiot!”

“Oh, thank god for that!” Hawks raises his hands in thanking gesture. “I thought you'd be dancing around each other forever. Fun fact, that's a proof that sometimes celebrity crushes becomes your real partner!”

“This doesn't prove any- wait! Did Ayane have a crush on me?” Rumi grabs the other hero by his shoulders, her grip strong enough to make him feel like there might be a bruise, her eyes are shining with joy and she‘s grinning.

Hawks bursts out laughing. “Dude, she asked you for a date! Would she do that if she didn't have a crush? Fuck, and you call me a disaster gay!”

The woman laughs too, hers much louder than Hawks. “I suppose we are both disasters. Well, anyway, gotta go. Don't get drunk.”

“I don't promise anything,” Hawks tells her.

Rumi just rolls her eyes but a smile is playing on her lips. She waves at him and then leaves his apartment without another word, kicking one of the cushions on the ground on her way.

After she leaves, Hawks‘ mood is slightly improved. When he returns to the kitchen with now empty glass, he puts into the pile in the sink instead of filling it again. He returns the bottle of whiskey back to its spot with no intentions on continuing drinking tonight.

Hawks settles on watching TV for the rest of today and is careful not to put on any tooth-rotting romantic movie, instead watching an action movie instead.

His thoughts don't return back to Endeavor, fortunately. Unfortunately, they wander to another man whose quirk has a lot to do with fire.

He still has their first meeting in living memory, making his stomach squeeze uncomfortably. When the Hero Public Safety Commission approached him about infiltrating the League, they didn't exactly give him a manual. Hawks felt guilty just thinking about that way, but it was more like throwing a kid into a puddle to teach them how to swim. Become a spy for us. Get inside the League. Find out their plans. Without any mentions as to how.

And of course, nobody can know about this. The Commission members that knew about him could be counted on the fingers of one hand. As far as Hawks knew it was only the President and two more members.

Hawks doesn't like it one bit but if this is what they need him to do and be, he will do it gladly. The opportunity to approach the League found itself two weeks after he's been assigned this mission. He was following a villain, on his own, in the middle of the night. She wasn't very strong but capable enough to keep running and hiding from him for several minutes. She was a murderer. She killed a person before Hawks got the chance to catch her. It probably wasn't an order from the League, more like a hit-and-run, but she was on the list of the League members.

Letting her go was hard, Hawks felt dirty just remembering it. The way her expression turned from hateful into excitement when he told her what he needed. That he would let her go. Her, a murderer, a villain. If she tells the League that he is interested in cooperation. The memory of that smug smirk, as if she's been just proved right about everything that she's done is burned into Hawks' memory, forever.

She didn't dare to say anything smug. Hawks, though, can remember her words, the pleased tone of her voice, the admiration in it. “Of course, I could never keep Number 2 being on our side secret.”

And while Hawks likes his privacy, he knows he can be easily found. Especially when he knew he had to keep high profile so he would contacted by the League of Villains. Hawks didn't know who would contact him. He half-expected the girl to be the one but when he was walking home on one late night (a trend he did a lot when he waited for the League to contact him) instead of flying, he felt a presence behind him.

He still remembers turning around and see a hooded figure of Dabi. The villain didn't bother trying to hide his presence or pretend not to be following him. After Hawks look at him, the man simply smiled, his teeth sharp and almost scary.

"I've heard you wanted to talk to us."

Hawks knows Dabi could have been hardly alone back, he definitely had back-up that Hawks wasn't aware of but their reveal never happened because Hawks and Dabi had a friendly little chat.

And that was the beginning. That's how Hawks has gotten in touch with the League.

Hawks sighs, the memories fresh in his mind even though it's been several weeks now. He's never been one to wait for something. He always tried to help for the something to happen, always driven by the result and wanting it as soon as possible.

He thinks that's maybe his laziness, the urge to do what needed to be done so he'd get to rest. Sometimes he just feels tired.

But he wouldn't rest until his mission was completed. And that's why the fact that he can't contact Dabi himself pisses him to no end. He just has to sit here and wait and can't do anything to complete his mission faster.

Hawks chuckles. He honestly doesn't know what's worse - thinking about his crush on Endeavor or about the maniacal villain.

Running a hand through his hair, he decides that it's way too late for this bullshit and turns off the TV. The action movie changed to some horror and the quirkless girl is currently screaming in terror - nothing original and definitely not worth of watching anyway.
He goes to his bedroom and turns off the light.

For few more hours, he just stares outside the window.


And the life keep going as if nothing is extraordinary, as if nothing happened. As if there's been no Nomu. As if Hawks' isn't waiting for the League of Villains to contact him.

He goes to the agency. He defeats and arrests the villains. He goes to interviews. He gives autographs to his fans.

Nothing special, nothing new and yet Hawks feels weird doing all of these things. Like he's holding a ticking bomb waiting for it to blow in his face and doing nothing about it.

The only new thing is that he sees Rumi more often. All because she visits Ayane, her now-girlfriend, is working for her agency as a forensic psychologist. She easily provides the Hawks' agency profiles about villains that are too dangerous.

Hawks is glad to spend more time with Rumi even if she absolutely hates calling their meetings a team-ups (Hawks may or may not call their meetings that just to piss her off) but her presence is loud and confident and she always keeps him busy from thinking about League or Endeavor.

That, however, doesn't mean that Hawks goes completely lazy. He has to think about League. Dabi hasn't contacted him for weeks and the group has been silent for too long, hence why Hawks is waiting for something to happen.

There aren't any more big battles. Neither for him, and neither for Endeavor if the news are anything to go by.

And then, after the weeks of waiting and silence, there is a call from unknown number on his Hawks phone. There are only two options on who that could be. The Hero Public Safety Commission or Dabi.

“Yes?” Hawks asks into the phone.

“Hero.”

Hawks feels his stomach tie into knots but also thrill familiar to one of a fight when he recognizes Dabi's voice.

“Dabi,” Hawks speaks much more quietly than the villain does - he's currently at the agency and the last thing he needs is his subordinates knowing he's talking to the man.

“Do you have time or are you too busy saving the world?”

Hawks grits his teeth. “I can speak, yes,” he says, going to his office. It's on the top floor of his agency building, with see-through but soundproof walls, simple desk with a laptop, chair behind it without backrest so Hawks can sit comfortably there with his wings, and two chairs in front of it in case he has visits here. On the wall that's not the one with the hallway, he keeps a chart on one of the walls where he keeps track of more serious villains.

He gets inside then closes the blinds. He doesn't do that often but he thinks the situation calls for it.

“We need to meet,” Dabi tells him, his voice neutral as if he's not very interested. “Kyoto 100-8994. I'll meet you there at midnight Don't be late, hero.”

Before Hawks can reply, the villain hangs up. The hero is standing there with the phone on his ear for a few more seconds before he repeats the address in his head.

Writing the address down would be too risky but he makes sure to remember it.

Hawks walks to the laptop, turns it on and then on incognito tab. It's not exactly the safest thing and if someone was trying to dig on him, they would find the address easily however Hawks doubts anyone is stalking his movement at the moment.

He searches for the address Dabi told him. It's one of the worst parts of the city. The location makes Hawks glad - he won't have to explain his presence there in case someone notices him. He can always say he's just following track of some villain or that he's keeping patrol. The location is technically part of the district he patrols.

Even though he managed to go through the weeks waiting for Dabi to contact him, the few following hours are agony.

When Hawks heads for the destination, he knows he will be there at least half an hour sooner but he honestly doesn't care.

Hawks flies there, putting on the darker version of his hero outfit. It's harder to stay on track where he is, especially since he's left his phone at home and doesn't have any means to know his exact occasion. The fact that in this part of the city, the street lights are rarely working is not helping either.

Still, Hawks manages to find the building where he is supposed to meet Dabi easily enough. Unsurprisingly, it's abandoned, old and looking like it's going to crumble any day. There is a tall fence around it but there are holes in it, the iron lock on the main gate is rusty and Hawks thinks if he jerked at it hard enough, it would break.

Upon walking closer he notices that most of the windows are trashed or nonexistent whatsoever. The building looks like a former factory, big enough for Hawks to get lost inside. He walks to what looks as the main door if he can judge by its size and opens it. It makes loud, shriek sound. Hawks feels like in a horror movie.

Inside, there are old rusty machines that he has no idea what they were used for. Everything around him is covered in a thick layer of dust.

“You're early.”

The voice startles Hawks slightly, sending shivers down his spine. He turns around and thanks to the moonlight coming inside through the broken windows, he sees Dabi walking from behind one of the machines. He's wearing his usual clothes – the sleeves and the pants leg too short for someone like him. It makes Hawks wonder, briefly, why is he keeping his clothes like that. It honestly looks like he's been through a growth spurts and didn't bother buying anything new. It also supports Hawks theory that Dabi is actually around his age. That can be hardly determined, though, because of the scars on his face.

His eyes look older though despite the age, tired even.

It's probably the only two aspects they both share – youth and tiredness, and Hawks tries not to think about it.

“Do you ever wear anything else than this?” he can't help himself but as, mostly so he can drown out his thoughts with his voice.

“Do you always wear something new?“” Dabi retorts easily with a soft smirk on his lips.

Hawks frowns. “There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good. Especially if you are in public's eye.”

“Yeah, well,” Dabi fully grins now but it doesn't reach his eyes, it's cold and aloof. “I think even if I wore something nicer it wouldn't do much difference about my appearance, would it?”

Hawks shifts his weight on his feet, uncomfortably. Dabi notices the discomfort and the smirk on his lips widens. It looks more mischievous than cold now.

“You wanted to meet up,” Hawks says, quickly and rather harshly changing the conversation subject.

“I did,” Dabi purred, putting his hands into his pockets.

The way he's always stooping reminds Hawks of a feline predator. Trying to make itself smaller, less of a threat, just before it attacks. The way his eyes are always tired but also always strangely alive, always watching carefully, makes Hawks feel like a sparrow near a cat that's pretending to be relaxing, almost taunting him to get closer, waiting for the right moment to jump.

“We're looking for someone,” Dabi says. “He's been caught by the heroes, arrested. We want to get him out.”

“Who is it?” Hawks asks.

“His name is Hirano Seison,” Dabi says. “He was caught a few weeks ago.”

Hawks feels his heart sink. The villain managed to kill two sidekicks before he was arrested. His quirk was energy manipulation - he is able to absorb energy coming on his body and later use it himself.

“That's going to be hard,” Hawks admits, instinctively hiding his face into the high collar of his jacket - something he always does when thinking. “He took down two heroes. They will be watching him in his cell.”

“I'm sure you will be able to find a way,” Dabi says in a tone so sweet that it makes Hawks sick to his stomach.

“And if I don't?”

“I mean you are the one trying to prove us the loyalty to our cause,” Dabi said. “If you can't do anything like this then what use are you?”

“If I do this, I may end up getting discovered,” Hawks reasons. “And then what use will I be as your spy. Our deal was to give you information about the heroes, not saving assholes who are too weak not to get caught.”

“Well, then don't get discovered,” there was a hint of impatience in Dabi's voice now. “Like sure, it's nice that you can tell us things but this man is important to us.”

“Why?”

Dabi smiles again. “I'm sorry but I don't think our relationship is on such a good term that I'm ready to tell you that.”

Hawks sighs. He thinks about the two heroes who were killed getting the villain arrested. Their deaths. Only for Hawks to erase the result of the work they've paid for with their lives. Making them die for nothing.

The words that are leaving his mouth afterwards taste bitter on his tongue: “I suppose I will find a way.”

None of Hawks' sour mood makes it into his voice.

“Good,” Dabi's smile widens. For a second, it looks like he wants to add something else, call Hawks ‘good boy,' or some dumb shit like that, but thankfully he doesn't. Hawks doesn't think he could stay so calm if he did.

“Is that all?” the hero asks, his voice cold.

For a second, there is the hint of a predator in Dabi's eyes but he hides it immediately and says: “Well, since we didn't actually have the chance to talk that much... I must ask. Why do I get the feeling that you don't like me?”

Hawks grins but it doesn't reach his eyes - of course, he doesn't really bother trying for it to look real. “Oh, I don't know... Maybe because I don't?”

“Ouch!” Dabi gasps and grabs the shirt above his chest.  “That hurt a lot. You do know that I'm your ticket to the League, right?'”

“I don't have to like a ticket, do I?” Hawks cocks his eyebrows. “I contacted League because I wanted to help it. Not because I wanted to get familiar with ya specifically.”

“Such harsh words,” Dabi licks his lips. “So much different than the persona you put on when you're playing a hero.”

“I don't have to play anything when I'm with you.”

“So, this is the real you?” it's the villain who raises his eyebrows now, stepping closer towards the other man, tilting his head slightly to the side.

“Yes,” Hawks lies. And usually, he is a good liar. If he wasn't, he wouldn't be standing here right now.

Dabi chuckles, it's loud sound that sends shivers down Hawks' spine, and he takes one more step. He's in the hero's personal space now but Hawks doesn't back away, instead he stares right into Dabi's turquoise, burning eyes.

“Don't think so,” Dabi purrs at. “And I can't wait to discover what's under the layers and layers that you are hiding under, little bird.”

Hawks' heart beats loud in his own ears.

“Well,” he says, his mouth feeling dry. “If you want to get to know me it's probably only fair if I find out something about you as well.”

“Oh, how sweet of you” Dabi smiles. “What would you like to know?”

“What's your name, for starters?” Hawks asks, knowing fully well that Dabi will not give him an answer.

“I don't think we are on name basis just yet,” Dabi says. “That would be moving way too fast, don't you think?”

Hawks understands the implications and he recognizes the smirk Dabi is giving him.

The hero takes a good look at Dabi. He knows it may be his fucked up side, but he doesn't find Dabi completely unappealing. The villain is taller than Hawks and just a bit more muscular, he seems to be leaner because of how thin the layer of fat between his skin and the muscles is. It makes Hawks wonder if the man is eating properly. Probably not. He doesn't look very healthy, physically or mentally.

The scars are ugly but they don't make Dabi look hideous, at least not in Hawks' eyes. And the villain's are undoubtedly beautiful.

Even without the sudden urge to help this man, Hawks finds himself drawn to the other man for the strange attractiveness. But neither of those things erase the horrible things Dabi has done. The man probably doesn't want to be saved.

Hawks wonders as he gazes into Dabi's eyes what made the villain into the man he is today. And Dabi is still staring at him intensively. Hawks quickly collects himself. “I think we are moving too fast only depending what we expect from our relationship.”

“It makes me so warm to know that you think we have a relationship," Dabi tilts his head to the side again, his voice sweet.

“A working relationship,” Hawks corrects.

“Doesn't have to be,” Dabi purrs.

For just a second, Hawks doesn't manage to keep his imagination at bay. And boy, it runs wild. Dabi's' body on his, his long fingers, his mouth and the piercing turquoise eyes. Hawks wonders if his body is warmer because of his quirk, if his long fingers would be warm as he'd squeeze his hips teasingly.

God, Hawks thinks, I really need to get laid.

“Sorry, but I would prefer to keep it that way,” Hawks puts his hand on Dabi's chest and pushes him away, not too gently.

Dabi chuckles again but leaves Hawks' space without a fight. The hero appreciates it because he knows some guys just don't know how to take a hint.

“If you ever change your mind, the offer is still here,” Dabi winks before his expresion grows more serious. “I will contact you after you get our good man out of the jail. See you then, hero.”

Dabi puts his hands into his pockets again and then, with a smile, walks past Hawks and heads for the exit. The main door makes a shrieking sound as Dabi opens it and he shots Hawks one last look with a smile on his lips, his figure illuminated by the moon. He looks eerie with the silver in his hair.

The smile is fixed in Hawks' memory and the hero finally realizes what's been bothering him so much about the way Dabi's smile.

It's sad.

Hawks pushes the feeling of empathy and wanting to help deep down. He knows much too well that some people can't be helped.


 Hawks contacts the Safety Commission. He is to inform their about his every time the League contacts him, present them all the information he manages to get from them.

Most heroes don't even get to meet them in person. Hawks wouldn't be where he is right now if he didn't.

He's only met them in person a twice. Once, when he was brought before them as a child. He was lucky that the man investigating the child neglect was friend of a hero who was a number Four hero back then. The hero presented him, told him about his talent and wanted to give him scholarship for him to study to become a hero but also wanted the Commission to support him as well. Mostly because Hawks' mother won the trial about the child neglect and didn't want him to become a hero… unless they would give for some of her demands.

There were exactly the same men Hawks remembered from childhood. He can't remember ever meeting the President herself but the other members… Not even a single one member has been replaced or went into retirement. Hawks tries desperately not to think that's a bad thing. They are the one paying his and his mother's bills after all.

But for so many years for them not to change a thing feels like a wrong way. All Might is gone and while Hawks doesn't consider himself exactly his fan, he can't deny the influence his retirement means for the heroes, the villains and the normal citizens. He knows he's helping the Commission. Whether it will make a difference will show later.

And so, Hawks contacts them. It's the only thing they told him how to actually do. Remember this number. Get a disposable phone. Call the number from a location you don't usually go to and say six-digit code after the secretary picks up. Tell us what you need, be strict. Listen to our orders and then get rid of the phone.

Hawks does just that. Goes to the district in the south and contacts them. The lady on the phone doesn't say anything except for the “Hello, Hero Public Safety Commission, how can I help you?” and after Hawks gives her the code, she only passes him through to the Commission member without another word.

“Do you have any news, Hawks?” the man on the other end asks immediately.

Neither he nor Hawks are very interested in the small talk, and so the hero simply says: “I've been contacted by the League again. They asked me to set one of their man free.”

“Have they let you meet their leader yet?” the man asks in a strange, expecting tone that makes Hawks‘ feel like he's failing.

“No,” Hawks admits. “They want me to prove my loyalty first.”

“What a shame,” the man murmurs, making Hawks grit his teeth in frustration, not at the man but himself. “Anyway, if they want you to set this criminal free, you're going to have to do it.”

“The man murdered two sidekicks,” Hawks says and even though he's trying his best to sound neutral, it still sounds like a protest. So, he adds: “He's still waiting for the trial and as far as I know doesn't speak to anyone, not even his lawyer. The bail money isn't even set.”

“Of course it isn't,” the man on the phone scuffs – it's the first emotion that doesn't feel lofty but straightly arrogant. “Villains who commit murders are very rarely let out on bails. You're going to have to come up with something else Hawks.”

If there is one thing Hawks hates, it's asking for help. Especially from these men who have already done so much for him. “What else am I supposed to do then? I can't exactly walk inside and tell them to let him free, can I?”

“We don't have time for this, Hawks,“ the man says, hint of impatience in his voice. “The infiltration of the League is taking you too long as it is. I can't tell you how to do your mission. We give you the permission to get that man out of the jail, that's all we can do for you at this moment. Don't disappoint us, Hawks.”

“I never do,” Hawks forces lightness into his tone.

“Let's keep it that way.”

And then the call is cut.

Hawks stands there for a few more seconds. It's late evening and he's hanging around on a roof of a tall building, alone with only wind playing with his hair. He sighs and looks at the sky, running his hand through his hair. The clouds are moving fast, chased by the wind.

It's going to rain tonight.

He sighs loudly and looks down. There's a group of dumpsters right below him. In sour mood, he extends his hand and lets go of the phone. When it lands in the dumpster it creates a small smile to his lips but it's not nearly enough to make his mood better.

Just when he spreads his wings, getting ready for the flight, his own phone vibrates in his pocket. He doesn't feel like talking to anyone but still, when he sees Rumi's name on the display, it only widens the smile on his face.

“Hello?” he answers immediately.

“Birb, where the fuck are you?!” Rumi asks harshly.

“What the hell do you mean where am I, tiny bunny?” Hawks retorts enjoying the sound of Rumi gritting her teeth at the nickname she hates so much.

“I'm standing in front of your apartment building, ringing like a knobhead but nobody is answering me. Where the hell are you at this time? Do you have a date you didn't tell me about? Because unless you are dying or you have a date, I will accept no excuse. I brought some booze!”

“Why are you bringing booze when we have work tomorrow?”

“Because I'm full of new experiences with my new girlfriend and I need to share them with someone,” Rumi says, the joy clear in her voice now.

Hawks groans but feels a smile growing on his lips anyway. “I really hate that I became that gay friend you come to talk about your girl problems.”

“I'm fucking gay as well, you shithead!”

“And didn't you tell me the other day that booze is bad for me? You know I hate drinking!”

“Drinking is bad and pathetic when you are doing it by yourself. I'll be there to keep an eye on you.”

“I'll be there soon,” Hawks laughs before hanging up. He supposes after the way the events are taking, he's going to need all the booze in the world.


 The next day, Hawks regrets everything. It's something he counted on when he was drinking with Rumi, neither of them really bothering with getting as much as glasses, drinking straight from the bottle.

The following day, Ayane at the agency just smirks when she sees him wearing sunglasses despite the rain outside.

She makes him tea even though it's not her job and makes sure he eats his breakfast. After the initial sickness it brings to his stomach, he feels better. He spends the noon going through the files about the man Dabi wants him to get out, Hirano Seison.

The man is rather violent but that's the least of Hawks‘ problems. The district in which the man was caught is way outside Hawks‘ agency's boundaries. That's troublesome because technically, Hawks can't make any move towards the villain. If he had history with fighting the man, he could talk to the agency and request transfer of the villain into Hawks‘ territory but because he doesn't, his hands are tied.

Hawks frowns.

The man is classified as a C-rank villain, extremely aggressive but that's all. Usually, only from B-rank up, the villains are given a profile by a forensic psychologists. Hawks wishes he could offer Ayane to do the profiling, she is good and he knows for sure that the agency that caught the villain doesn't have their own – they simply hire from outside, only when they have to.

To be fair, usually, it's very rare for B-rank villains to be in the district.

Ayane could get inside. For a very short second, Hawks considers telling her about his mission but he quickly dismisses the idea. The orders were clear. Nobody is supposed to know about this. Plus, even if Ayane agreed to help, she is no hero. Seison is known to prefer female victims and Hawks wouldn't want to get her in danger. And not just because Rumi would beat him to the ground.

After a while of looking into Seison's files, he moves to the other villains that are held in the district. There isn't many of them – the place is known to be rather calm and uneventful but when Hawks notices that a villain that calls herself Phoenix has been caught just yesterday, he pauses.

This villain is not associated with the League, usually working on her own. She is not interested in the big game but she does like to kill people, usually men, who she deems evil. She also likes all the kind of jewelry that she can get. Not legally, of course. That's her main area.

Hawks goes through the arrest report. He's managed to catch her twice, both of those times she surrendered without a fight, saying that if it's Hawks she is facing, fighting would be rather pointless. Hawks would never admit it out loud but out of all the villains he's faced, she isn't the worst. She doesn't put up useless fights.

Neither did she, when the hero Cleanser caught her.

Hawks, technically, could request a meeting with her since she was more in Hawks‘ gallery of rogues. Hopefully, Cleanser wouldn't mind.

The winged hero smile at the thought. Usually, he would prefer not to be Num. 2, but right now he's glad. Who in their right state of mind would refuse a personal meeting with him, right?

Chapter Text

There is a knock on Hawks' door. The blinds on the walls of it are open but the hero was too busy going through the files in his desktop about Cleanser to actually pay attention to what was going on outside.

It's one, simple knock before the door open.

Ayane is a short woman, even shorter than Hawks himself. She never bothered to name her own quirk, nobody really did, but it gave her purple skin, tail coming from her spine, round horns coming from her forehead and glowing red eyes seemingly without pupils.

"Kenki said you're going to visit Phoenix in the Shiodome district," she says, closing the door behind her, using the tail.

"Yeah," Hawks confirms, darting his look to the corner of the screen.

"Should I come too?" Ayane asks, smiling gently. "I felt like I was breaking through the last time I was visiting Phoenix in prison."

Hawks raises his eyebrows. "Is that why she murdered two more men before Cleanser caught her?"

Ayane's tail twitches but other than that she doesn't show any irritation. "You gotta admit it was much less brutal than she used to be before we brought her in. Also, I managed to get her talk about her childhood, that was the first one, wasn't it?"

Hawks knows himself, he knows that he's naïve with his desire to help as many people as he can and not just so he could have more free time. He is naïve in considering villains to be people as well. It's something Ayane does, too, but in even more dedicated way than he does.

Of course, he also knows for sure that she incredibly enjoys interrogating especially dangerous individuals simply because it's thrilling to be close to such dangerous person, and she loves to unreveal the ways their minds work. Even though she knows these people can't be helped.

"Come on, Hawks," Ayane smiles when the hero takes too long with answering. "You know she will be more likely to talk to me rather than you because, no offense, you're a man."

"I'm really not interested in talking to her," Hawks shrugs because it's true. "I just wants to convince Cleanser to move her into our district so you can continue playing your little game with her mind."

"You make psychology sound like witchcraft rather than a science!" Ayane accuses Hawks but her smile gives her away. "Anyway, if you do this just for me, I'm honestly touched."

But then Ayane's expression turns serious and she stares into Hawks' eyes. "But something tells me you are not doing this just for me."

Hawks bears her look without fidgeting. He knows Ayane is trying to analyse his behaviour, always does this, and while it's not necessarily bad thing especially with Ayane who is his friend, the idea of someone seeing into him, undercovering his behaviour patterns… it makes him feel like a guinea pig.

To be fair, Ayane sees everyone as her guinea pigs.

Mostly to get rid of her, he shrugs and says: "Does it matter, I mean you are gonna get to meet Phoenix again."

Ayane's lips curl in mischievous smile, her tail twitching in excitement. Hawks is running away from the subject and she knows it but the psychologist accepts his retreat and excitedly asks: "Does it mean I get to go with you?"

"Of course. Damn, I thought I'd have to give you a written invite," Hawks shrugs and before the woman can get mad, he continues: "I mean I want to ask Cleanser to have her moved into our district so you can continue including her in your program."

Ayane beams. "Great. When are you going?"

"Well, Cleanser told me that I could drop any time I want."

Ayane snorts – it's an ugly, funny sound. "Of course he did. People tend to be your fans until they get to know you."

"Hey!" Hawks pretends to be mad. "Do you want to go with me or not? Because if you, go pack your stuff, we are going."

Ayane sticks out her forked tongue before getting on her feet and leaving Hawks alone in the office. The hero just sighs and leans backwards, holding on the desk so he doesn't fall down and stares at Seison's picture in the database. He's an old man with black hair and wrinkled face. He looks almost kind but Hawks nowadays knows better than to judge anyone by their looks.

This man is dangerous. He's not on Hawks' level but he is dangerous.

The hero stares at the villain a few more seconds before he closes the database and turns off the laptop. He gets up, grabs his jacket and goggles and walks out of his office, locking the door behind. Ayane's office is on the other end of the hallway, also on the top floor. When Hawks walks there, she's locking it as well. She's put her hair into ponytail, put on glasses and buttoned up her blouse, making her look slightly more serious.

When she notices him, she asks: "Shall we take a cab or…" a smirk grows on her lips.

Ayane absolutely hates flying. Because of her own quirk, Hawks finds slightly ironic.

"Just get us there," Hawks murmurs. He is technically not supposed to let her do that. Technically, he also isn't supposed to be in contact with the League of Villains.

Ayane grins. It's not often she gets to use her own quirk for long distance.

She pulls out her phone and searches the address of Cleanser's agency, then selects the street view. The only warning Hawks gets is when she grabs his elbow. Then, he just feels like he's sinking through the space itself, shrinking into his stomach, and then his insides jump in his throat and suddenly, he's standing in a dark alley.

It's been a while since he's been teleported with Ayane. She always does it when she goes to work and then home unless she has to drop somewhere but Hawks rarely gets to do it with her. He visits her, yes, but his schedule is pretty much full.

There's a sweat on her forehead but she wears happy expression so Hawks lets her clear tiredness slip. Together, they move out of the alley. Immediately, a group of young teens shrieks when they see Hawks. He just waves at them. Usually, he would make the time to give them his autograph but if he did it to them, more strangers would swarm on him and he wouldn't get away easily.

And so he apologizes, saying he's on business here, and walks to the building. Cleanser's Hero Office is half as big as Hawks'. Usually, they are supposed to be situated close to the police stations. It's rare or only the small ones that are in the same building. Cleanser's is.

It has only four floors and probably a jail in the cellarage. It honestly doesn't look very escape-proof and Hawks, for the first time, truly considers requesting Phoenix to move into the jail nearer his agency. She is smart and charming, that's how she managed to get out of the jail and later prison before. Honestly, when he looks at the building, he considers it a small miracle that Pheonix didn't escape already.

With Ayane in his tow, they enter the building. There are only few citizens, probably handing in compliance about small issues, the waiting area almost empty. When they notice Hawks, they openly stare, some of them even stop talking.

With a smile on his lips, Hawks walks to the reception. It's a booth, or more like a simple desk with a man behind it. It doesn't even have bars to provide at least small protection for the person behind it.

"Hi," Hawks greets the man that's just standing there and staring at the hero with wide eyes and open mouth. "I'm hero Hawks, this is behavioral profiler of my agency Ayane Haruna, we have a meeting with hero Cleanser. Could you tell him that we arrived, please?"

"Of course, sir," the man quickly grabs the phone on his right side and makes the call.

As they are waiting, the receptionist nervously fidgets in his seat, rubbing his hands nervously.

"My daughter is huge fan of yours," the man says eventually. "She wants to become a hero because of you."

"That's so sweet," Hawks smiles. "How old is she?"

"Eight," the man's tone changes into frankly enthusiastic. "Um, would you be so kind to give me an autograph."

Hawks' smile only widens.

Cleanser steps out of the elevator just when Hawks is finished with taking a picture with a group of policemen. The man's huge, taller by at least a head and his shoulders are much broader than Hawks'. To be honest, the winged hero didn't do his research about this man quirk but he still thinks the white tight spandex fits the man.

The group around Hawks makes some space for the man to come closer.

"Hawks," his voice is deep as he extends his hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you."

"Same to you!" Hawks says with a smile.

As he is introducing Ayane, he watches the group of policemen that's slowly dispersing away from him. One of them stays near them. He has a type of card attached to his belt. Hawks doesn't need to be a genius to realize that this is the man with the key-card for the cells.

"You did amazing job catching Phoenix," Hawks praises Cleanser easily.

The man blushes. "It wasn't exactly hard. She surrendered without a fight."

"Maybe, but she is a slippery like a snake. Don't cut yourself short."

The man practically beams under the praise. "Thank you, sir. It means a lot coming from you. Let me take you to the cells."

Hawks will never get used to being called a sir by people who are so much older than him. He knows it makes sense. But it still feels weird.

The officer is going to the elevator with them.

"Thank you for providing me and my boss a meeting with Phoenix," Ayane says, her voice more charming than she bothers to be when she is with Hawks alone. "I thought I was doing a good job with her before she broke free from the jailhouse."

"That reminds me," Hawks says before Cleanser can form an answer. "Why hasn't she been sent to the local jailhouse yet?"

Cleanser frowns. Hawks knows why, of course. Somehow, the criminality rate has gone up in the last few weeks. Hawks certainly can't say his dream of having time to kill is closer – on the contrary. He barely has time to catch a breath. And high criminality rate comes hand in hand with Magistrate being too busy and taking longer with ordering Judicial Custody on criminals and villains. Hawks knows about at least three police station that has the lock-up cells full.

Almost all of the lock-up cells in this building are taken as well. They are in two lines, one at each side, separated from the building with a bulletproof wall and another receptionist. There are several lawyers sitting in the waiting area. Only so many interrogation rooms are available and they are all probably full. All of them have visitor labels. Technically, even Hawks and Ayane should have those.

When the police officers uses the card to open heavily looking door for them, Hawks pay close attention. He wonders whether the card can be used everywhere. It would be smart not to but he isn't sure if in this small station it works like that.

As he's following Cleanser through, he watches the surrounding cells carefully. The inner wall leading to the hallway between looks rather strong but the small windows in them, through which he can see the street, look fragile. A person couldn't fit through unless they'd have a quirk that would allow them to but small objects are a different matter. Like his feathers.

When they are in the middle, Cleanser stops in front of a cell. The walls are see-through and everything in the cells is on the display except for the toilets that are hidden behind curtains. Phoenix is a fragile-looking woman but taller than even Hawks with blonde hair and blue eyes. Usually, she wears expensive looking clothes, especially jewelry, but right now, she wears jeans and a shirt. She is sitting on the bed, her back straight, reading a book in her hands, one of her long, sharp nails broken.

When she notices the movement outside of her cell, she looks up. A small smile forms on her lips. "Well, hello there, Hawks, doctor Haruna."

"Hi Phoenix," Ayane asks politely and cheerfully. "Couldn't have stayed out of trouble?"

"It's more like trouble is always finding me," the villain says. When dealing with her, Hawks always tried to let the talking on a woman if he had any on his side because Phoenix hates men. Hawks feels like he's doing rather well on the villainesses' scale of evil men but he's trying not to provoke her very much.

Hawks feels the urge to ask where Seison is because he didn't see him in the cells around but knows he shouldn't. Suspicion would rise.

Fortunately, Ayane seems to be as interested. She looks at the Cleanser and asks: "I've heard that you are holding a guy from the League around here as well."

Phoenix looks disgusted and answers before Cleanser has the chance. "That animal? He's two cells down from here."

Ayane licks her lips and smiles. "He may be an animal but I've never had the chance to speak to anyone with the League."

"Am I not enough for your scientific mind?" Phoenix asks playfully.

"Oh, don't worry, I would never find anyone more interesting than you," Ayane smiles and looks at Cleanser. "Would it be possible for us to meet in one of the conference rooms, please?"

Cleanser smiles. "Yes, of course."

Getting Phoenix out isn't dangerous because her quirk isn't that strong. Hawks watches carefully as one of the guards takes out his card and opens the cell. This will be a problem since the access lock is, logically, outside the cell. Hawks frowns.

As Ayane chats with Phoenix, he's trying to form a plan of letting Seison escape. He knows that the only way from here is the front door but that doesn't ease his mind. He has to come up with a plan that will not only allow the villain to escape but also endanger the workers of the station and the agency as little as possible.

Hawks only pretends to be listening to what Ayane and Phoenix are talking about in the conference rooms, he knows he can trust Ayane to handle herself right now. Cleanser has a conversation with him but Hawks is only paying attention he has to. The hero seems to be kind and nice, but Hawks' mind is going through the possibilities of setting Seison free.

He could steal the cards from the guard in the cell block and the guard who have let them into the cell block. But then, the villain would be most likely hurt the guards - they would hardly just let him go free. The other option is to somehow set off the fire alarms. The criminals would have to evacuated just like everyone else. If Hawks could help him disappear quickly maybe nobody got hurt.

After an hour, when Ayane is done, she talks to Cleanser about the possibility of transferring Phoenix.

Hawks lets her, and watches as the two of them speak.

"When we get to the office tomorrow, I'm gonna write official request," Ayane says as they are walking down the street.

"Sounds great."

Ayane stops and when Hawks takes a look at her, she cocks her eyebrows. "Are you going to tell me what this all was about?"

"Whatcha talking about?" Hawks asks, his tone curious.

"You didn't go there for Phoenix," she says seriously but when Hawks opens his mouth she rolls her eyes at herself. "Okay, yeah, maybe you went there for her because you know she is part of my project but it wasn't all there was to it."

Hawks looks at her, she seems to be worried rather than angry which is more calming that she probably knows… or maybe she does, she is smart like that. Somehow, her knowing instantly that he is up to something makes him feel like a bad liar. What if he manages to infiltrate the League and then it will all fail because he won't be convincing.

"Ayane, do you think I'm a bad liar?" he asks, changing the subject not very smoothly.

"You are way too good at lying," she doesn't miss a beat. "Most heroes are but you are way too good."

Hawks shrugs then. Ayane doesn't ask him for answers again but the worried expression doesn't leave her face.


 

Hawks waits four days which is only as much as he can wait. According to the database, Seison's case will be on Magistrate's desk any day now.

He comes up with a plan there. It's not very smart but he has limited options. He can't get better equipment and he's determined to success. He can't let the Commission down.

And that's how Hawks finds himself walking on the street in front of the station. He's wearing long black coat with a hood covering his head and most importantly face. He's tied his hair into a messy bun and left most of the feathers of his wings back home. The little wings are growing on his back again, hidden by the coat right now. By the time they will grow back, he will be long gone from here.

It's drizzling slightly, giving him a good excuse for wearing the coat. There aren't many people around here and most of the buildings around are just shops. That'll make what he's about to do easier as the civilians won't be as likely to get hurt during what's he about to do.

His heart is pounding. It's weird. He's done battles with villains, got himself out of almost unreal situations, and yet, right here and now, he feels more nervous. Maybe because he knows what he's doing is wrong.

The hero looks around. He only has some feathers under his coat, the ones that he knows he will need. He researched where the security cameras are around the street. Carefully, he walks outside the view, to another street and then sends few of his feathers to blind the view of the all of them on the street. He's used color to disguise his feathers as black, just in case one of the cams would see clearly that it's feathers that's blinding them.

When the area is clear of any surveillance, Hawks gets closer again but stay outside of it still. The whole street is empty and there aren't many residents in the buildings but that doesn't mean nobody can be looking from their windows. Quickly, he crosses the street to the building on the opposite side of the agency. He takes off the coat, then puts the feathers he's been keeping under the coat back on his back. The wings are small but they are just big enough for him to fly up at the building.

When he's up there, he puts the coat back on and sits on the edge of the building, looking down at the agency. It doesn't look like many people are there, he's pretty sure none of the heroes is in as he saw them several minutes ago go to a patrol. He hides behind the edge and takes out a lighter and two small flasks made of glass filled with gasoline from his pocket. Still hiding, he sets few of his feathers on fire. It doesn't hurt but he can always feel his feathers unless they are completely destroyed. Sort of like hair or nails.

When the flames start to swallow the soft feathers, he quickly steps closer to the edge again, trying to keep his body as hidden from the streetview as possible. He still has to look over it, though.

The hero has good sight that allows him to see the details of the building bellow him, even in the dark. He picks few windows behind which there aren't any lights on, one on the ground floor and one on the third along with the flasks.

He breaks the flasks on table and a filing cabinet then gets the burning feathers to them. The effect is prompt, the wood material quickly catching on fire, covering the surface with flames. There doesn't seem to be any fire alarms in the rooms which will allow the fire to spread at least a bit before they manage to put it off.

Hawks never stops wonder about how quickly fire goes through things. It feels like one second, the fire is only on the table and the cabinets and in the next, he can see the flames dancing all over the room, licking at the door. After just a minute, he hears the heat cracking the window.

The alarms go off, the sound loud even on the street. Hawks knows the procedure – the fire-suppression systems are to go off and cover the floor with water or foam. That's how it would work in Hawks' own office but as he watches the fire spreading, the receptionist in the building calling firemen and the police officers running down the stairs to the lock-up cells, he feels uneasy.

What kind of building doesn't have fire-suppression systems? A quiet, dark voice inside his head provides the answer – old one, in the neighborhood where rarely anything bad happens, where villain rate is low. One that doesn't get much funds from the government.

Hawks feels the urge to go there, to help the officers that grabbed the fire extinguishers to fight the flames he stays put.

He feels like everything is happening too fast and too slow at the same time. The guards are taking the villains and criminals out of their cells, lining them on the street. They all are handcuffed and watched. Few policemen then proceed to stop the traffic in the street. Hawks hears the sirens in the distance and the street that seemed to be so empty just half an hour ago is filled with bystanders, curious about the fire.

Fire engine finally arrives at the scene, the firemen trying to make the civilians back down as they are getting ready to put off the fire.

Finally, Hawks sees Seison being taken out of the building, two policemen on his sides as they are directing him to stand in the line. Hawks is getting ready to send in his feathers to the villain, hopefully without being noticed, when his plans are blown out the window. Literally.

There is an explosion inside the building that breaks the window on the ground floor and part of the wall. The force of the blast knocks over the guards that are taking Seison, sends them flying, the pieces of bricks from the wall hit several people – bystanders, policemen, firemen; all alike.

Hawks hears screaming from the building and he's standing up to jump down to help before he manages to stop himself. His heart is pounding inside his chest and he grits his teeth, crouching again to watch the scene from his cover.

Seison, though, is standing in the same spot the whole time. He's seemingly kind face, one that would easily fool anyone who wouldn't know better, is twisted in a smirk. His quirk isn't visible but Hawks knows he's using it. He breaks the handcuffs on his wrists as if they are made of straws.

One of the police officers that has been watching the scene but wasn't injured quickly jumps to the villain and hits him several times with it. Hawks watches with frown knowing fully what result this is going to have. It's taking all of his willpower to stay where he is, hidden, on the rooftop, as he watches Seison take the hits with no reaction at all except for the creepy smile on his lips. Until the officer stops, his eyes wide in shock that his hits have no effect whatsoever.

And then, it's the villain's turn. He moves fast, clenching his fists and then hitting the officer into his head. Hawks swears he can hear the skull crack even though he knows that he is too far away to actually do. The man is basically flying away and when his body hits the ground, he's not moving anymore.

Hawks has fought villains before. He knows fear, for himself and for civilians… for Endeavor. But nothing really compares to the desperation that takes root in his stomach in the moment, spreading like sickness through his body into limbs as he can do nothing but stay there and hope that nobody else will try to stop the villain.


 

"Hiroshi Seison, a 36 years old male, has managed to escape from the police station that's in the same building as Cleanser Hero Office, and is currently on the run."

Hawks is sitting on his bed. He disregarded the coat on the floor on his way to the bedroom but he didn't take off the rest of his black clothes. His usually beautiful hair is lank around his face, falling into his eyes but he doesn't bother brushing it aside. He's staring at the big TV in his apartment, the sun rising behind the windows. The smell of smoke still lingers on his clothes and will probably rub off on the bed as well but Hawks doesn't find in himself the power to take it off and take it to the laundry basket.

Of course, the events of the night made it to the morning news. It's everywhere.

"There are no confirmed casualties," the woman in the TV says. "But one police officer who was trying to redetain the villain is in critical condition with the doctors performing surgery at this very moment. Two more officers are in critical condition as well with third-degree burns, one officer with second-degree burns. Several other officers and civilians suffered mild injuries but their lives are not threatened.

"There have been rumors that the street cameras didn't catch any of the incident, indicating that this may have actually been help for the villain from the outside but we are still waiting for the official report."

During her speech, the shots move to the scene, the building on fire but the flames are under control of the firemen already. Another shot is on an ambulance and the unmoving body of the officer that has his skull cracked as he is moved inside the vehicle.

Then, they show some interviews with the civilians that were present during the event. Once, Ayane explained to him that the least reliable evidence during investigation is witness's testimony because normal human's memory can be easily manipulated - even by themselves and especially in bigger groups.

Hawks finds out that it is indeed true as the news show three witnesses, all of which swear they saw Seison running away from the scene with a large man.

It's almost unreal but Hawks knows the TV news chose the most interesting interviews rather than people who actually recalled what happened.

Somehow, instead of feeling relieved, it only intensifies the dark feeling that's been spreading through his guts, his limbs has been growing heavy ever since he's left the place.

He turns off the TV. The room falls into silence that falls harshly upon Hawks' shoulders. He runs a hand through his hair, then lets the hand rest on his lower face, closing his eyes tiredly. And it has nothing to do with the lack of rest he's had tonight.

Eventually, he gets up from the bed. It's his day off unless something happens but he doesn't want to go to bed. Sleeping is the last thing on his mind. Hawks drags himself into the shower, dropping as many feathers as he can on the ground on his way there.

He has never been one for self-loathing but right now, he avoids looking into the mirror. With his limbs still heavy, he undresses himself. As he's pulling the shirt over his head, he inhales the smoke. It makes him sick to his stomach but it probably has little to do with the smell itself.

Hawks steps into the shower and turns on the hot water hoping it will wash away the guilt.

It doesn't, the feeling rooted too deep within him. Every time he closes his eyes, he sees Seison hitting the officer and hears the crack of the skull he didn't actually hear.

He saw all of that before and he probably will again in his career. Today was different though. He didn't intervene. He just stayed there, on the rooftop and did nothing.

The need for reassurance suddenly rises inside him even though he knows nobody, not even Rumi, would be able to soothe him at this moment. He just knows there isn't anything or anyone that would make him feel better. Three people in critical condition at the hospital. Because of him.

And he did nothing.

A quiet voice in his mind that reminds Hawks of the Commission member whispers to him about greater good, about the right. But the voice only makes him even more sick. How many villains has he encountered told him they did nothing wrong. People always seem to find a way to justify their actions, especially to themselves. Hawks doesn't want to be one of those.

The hero rubs his skin with the shower gel - rubs and rubs, trying to make the smell of smoke go away. He only stops when he realizes that the smell is only in his head and that his skin is brightly red.

Rubbing his eyes, Hawks turns off the water and steps out of the shower. Then, he dries himself off with the towel.

He doesn't turn on the TV again, knowing fully well it would only show him more news of last night. Instead, he opens the drawer next to his bed. There's a false bottom which he uncovers and takes out one of the disposable phones he keeps there.

The hero knows he is technically not supposed to make calls from his apartment but in this moment, he doesn't care.

"Hello, Hero Public Safety Commission, how can I help you?"

He says the code and is put through.

"Hawks," the man sounds tired as well as bothered. "Are you calling about the fire at the Cleanswer Hero Office?"

"Yes, sir."

"Why?"

The question takes the hero by surprise though he supposes he should have expected it. He gulps. He forces his tone to be easy because he can't let the man see him as a failure. "Well, I set a Hero Office on fire to help the villain to escape, sir. I just wanna know if it's in the boundary of my remits."

The man stays silent for a second. "As we told you, you are to do everything necessary to gain the League's trust, Hawks, but we can't officially treat you somehow better. If we just let the villain leave, the League could suspect something. The way you did it was your own, believable, authentic. You did what had to be done."

Before Hawks can stop the question, it's already out of his mouth: "And what if the police officers die?"

The man on the line pauses again before he says, calmly: "I'm very sorry to say this but this was necessary thing. After all is done and settled, we will of course take full responsibility and provide compensation to the brave men or the bereaved."

Money can't replace a person. "Of course, sir. Thank you. Do you have any orders for me?"

"No, Hawks. Just wait till the League contacts you and keep us updated."

The call ends. For several seconds, Hawks is standing there, the sun outside washing over him, warm and completely different from his mood. Then, he puts the phone down and leaves it on his bedside table. He's going to have to dispose of it when he leaves the house.

The man puts on some clothes, his mind keeps going back to the events of the night. He doesn't think anyone is suspecting him of anything. The ‚witnesses' who swear they saw some big, muscular guy helping Seison, his feathers burned to ashes inside the station and the black feathers that were covering the cameras, he sent to the sewers without being in the shot. He collected them later a few blocks away from the scene.

Nothing should leave him as a suspect.

Hawks feels his stomach rumble in hunger but he ignores it. He wouldn't be able to eat even if he wanted to right now. And so he just sits on his bed doing nothing except for thinking about the officers in the hospital. The thrill and agitation of the night is gone, leaving him tired and sleepy but every time he closes his eyes, he sees a body covered with burns or hears a skull crack.

That's when he hears his phone ring. Without rush, he reaches for it. It's unknown number. Immediately, he feels his heartbeat fasten and sweat on his hands. He already has an idea who is calling him from this number.

He picks up and places the phone to his ear. "Hello?"

"I must say I'm impressed, hero," Dabi's voice sounds amused, even dazzled. "You work pretty fast and effectively."

"Is that really surprising?" he forces smile into the words and hears Dabi chuckle.

"I suppose not," Dabi admits. "Anyway, good job, well done. I didn't expect you to set the guy free so soon. Now, we can get to the real business."

The praise from the villain is like salt in Hawks' wound but the tiniest part of him is feeling proud. This part makes him sick.

"What real business?" Hawks demands. Then, something clicks in his brain. "This was a test, wasn't it?"

"So, it's not just the looks you've got, it's also a brain," Dabi purrs. "We are going to have to meet for this one. Should we do it in the same warehouse or do you want me to take you somewhere nicer?"

"The old, ugly warehouse will do," Hawks retorts. "It fits your personality."

Dabi laughs loudly and for once, it doesn't send shivers down Hawks' spine. It sounds almost genuine. "It's flattering that you think that's the place that fits my personality."

Here it is again – Dabi talking bad about himself, or at least hingting. It's not exactly that he is recognizing his faults but this is the first time Hawks has met a villain that implies that he's, at least partly, a bad person and honestly, the hero doesn't know what to do with the information. He feels like he should ask Ayane, she is after all his employee and more capable of telling him what it could mean but he knows he can't.

Ayane is dangerously smart and though he would trust her with his life, he can't get her involved. She probably already has a suspicion of her own because of his interest in the Cleanser's agency a few days prior.

He just hopes that she will dismiss the thought of his involvement with the case. She knows or she thinks she knows that he would never expose civilians to danger. His stomach squeezes again uncomfortably. He feels like he's betraying her.

"Whatever you say, Dabi," Hawks murmurs. "When should I be there?"

"Around 10 tonight?" Dabi suggests.

"Okay," Hawks ends the call without waiting for the other man to reply. His heart is pounding in his chest for some reason. He knows his face is pale and this time it's not because of guilt, at least not completely.

He realizes, though that despite he has let out his anger on the villain just few seconds ago, he's not angry at him. The hot, burning ball of fury inside him is at himself. He should have come up with better plan. But as much as he thinks about it, he can't figure out what he could have done differently in his position and his resources. The only other solution would be somehow get the card inside the cell but then Seison would have to fight the guards anyway.

Somehow, the logic doesn't help to ease his feelings.


 

He would welcome a call into action today even though it's his day off. But he isn't called anywhere. The city is surprisingly calm after last night but the story of the escaped villain is still big. Which Hawks turns the news on without a proper thought-out. The theories about how the fire started. They found the gasoline but not the remains of the feathers… even if there are any after the fire. They speak about how Cleanser should have his anti-fire equipment in the building on better levels.

When Hawks watches the evening news before he goes out, the officers are already giving statement, confirming that the help for the villain was from the outside and that Cleanser's hero office has been temporarily closed, all of the members put on a leave and there will be inner investigation if they did everything to prevent this event.

The only good news during the whole day is that the doctors managed to stabilize the condition of the three officers that have been injured.

They'll live, is what the news say. And while Hawks feels relief washing over him in the moment, it doesn't chase away the guilt.

This time, when Hawks arrives at the warehouse, Dabi is waiting for him. Maybe because the hero didn't come early for the meeting.

Dabi is sitting on one of the big, dusty machines, staring outside the roof window. The stars burn brightly tonight and the villain seems to be fascinated by them. He doesn't even look down when Hawks enters the building. The moonlight makes Dabi's hair look silver.

Hawks doesn't say anything. He simply walks closer, under the machine Dabi is sitting on and looks expectedly at the other man. It would have been easier if Dabi bothered to look down at him.

"Tonight on time?" Dabi asks after a while, finally breaking his eyes away from the sky.

"No reason to be early," Hawks says and puts his hands into his pockets. "What did you want to discuss?"

Dabi doesn't reply straight away. Instead, his turquoise eyes lock with Hawks' golden ones and then, lazily, he stretches out. It's in the moment he looks as dangerous as he truly is – he may be malnourished but he is agile like a predator. Gracefully, he holds one of the pipes and slides down the round surface before letting go and jumping down. If Hawks didn't know better, he would be worried the jump would injure the man. But Dabi is not as weak as he looks and definitely not as weak as he pretends to be.

And Hawks would be lying if he said he didn't find Dabi's dexterity admirable. He always did like to watch dangerous things.

"I wasn't sure about the honesty of your… interest in working with us," Dabi admits, stooping again, making himself fragile-looking again. It's completely different from the man that was on the rooftop with Hawks and Endeavor, tall, proud, dangerous.

An approaching beast.

"Why?" Hawks asks, narrowing his eyes.

Dabi smiles, all sharp teeth. "I did a bit of digging, ya see?"

He walks closer and it takes all of Hawks' will not to move when Dabi gets within arm-reach of Hawks and straightens his back. He's not that taller than him but, in that moment, it feels like he is towering above him, the turquoise eyes sinking into Hawk's, baring his soul.

And the hero's heart is pounding so loud that he has the irrational fear of Dabi hearing it.

It's not just fear Hawks is feeling in the moment, though. He pushes the unwanted, warm feeling deep inside of him away.

"You're 22 years old and number 2 hero," Dabi comments. "Of course I got a bit curious. Especially since you didn't go to U.A." Hawks frowns upon hearing that – he most definitely isn't the only hero in the Top Ten to not attend the school and it's strange for Dabi to dwell on something like that. "And then I found out you were special ever since you were a kid. All the scholarships. So many people being shocked and fascinated by your talent. You are their perfect hero, little bird."

A badly hidden bitterness colors Dabi's last few words.

Hawks is patient. He is waiting for the point Dabi is slowly getting to. His heartbeat is loud in his own ears.

"And yet, you chose to become ally to the League," Dabi finishes. "Why?"

"Why did you?" Hawks retorts angrily because he knows he is pushed into a corner. They are not in the same position in this moment, he needs something from Dabi and Dabi knows it which gives him power above the hero. But Hawks can't stop himself from asking it.

And, of course, he knows Dabi's reply before the man even opens his mouth. "We are not talking about myself right now, are we? Now, let me repeat the question… why?"

Hawks can hear Ayane's words in his head, the best lie is the closest thing to truth you can say. He still feels uneasy, like he's undressing himself, exposing his bare flesh while Dabi remains clothed… and not in the good way. "I never really had a choice. I got noticed for my talents and my family needed money. And they offered my family a scholarship if I studied to become a hero. Great, expensive schools, dormitory, coming back home only every second weekend. Grand-skipping and before I even knew it, I became a hero."

"Oh, so you hate heroes because you got money for your fam," Dabi chuckles loudly in mockery.

"No," Hawks grits his teeth. "I hate them because, because of the money, the heroes or the ones ordering them held my family by the balls. Because they won't let go of a system that allows them to decide a fate and a job for a seven years old kid who can't fucking know what they want to do in their life."

Hawks would lie if he said he doesn't enjoy helping the others but sometimes he feels… so tired. This is as close as he can get to telling the truth.

There's a spark in Dabi's eyes in the moment and he smiles and, for the first time, it doesn't actually look… corrupted. He still says: "Why won't you quit?"

"I have the contracts that state that I'm gonna work as a hero until I… repay my debt."

Dabi nods. "Fair enough. I'm glad you're finally opening up to me, Hawks."

It's the first time he calls the hero by something that's not one of his mocking nicknames.

"So what was the reason you wanted to meet up again?" Hawks asks, trying not to think about it. "I assume it wasn't just for a friendly chat."

Now, the grin on Dabi's lips turns dangerous. "Of course not. Since you gained some experience with breaking the villains out of jail, I thought we'd use that."

The hero frowns. "What do you mean?"

Dabi's lips twist into a wicked grin. "We are going to free Kurogiri, of course."

Chapter Text

Hawks stares for several seconds. "We are going to free Kurogiri."

The sentence is more a question.

He must have a baffled look on his face, one that Dabi truly enjoys as the man's smile only widens. It's a toothy grin, truly amused and despite the scars mutilating his face, he looks young. It almost makes Hawks want to smile in return. "Yes."

Instead, he frowns – he feels just as he's felt when the Commission told him to set Seison free on his own, not exactly hopeless but… almost lost. He looks Dabi in the eye. "So, just because I could get out a C-rank villain who was only in a lock-up not even in a jailhouse or a prison you think I'm able to get B-rank villain out of heavily-guarded prison?"

"Of course not," Dabi says nonchalantly as if it's the clearest thing in the world and honestly, it doesn't put Hawks at ease. However, the villain's next words are different matter. "I'm not stupid enough to think that even you could do that alone without being noticed. I'll help you. That's why I said ‚we,‘ birdbrain."

A mixture of strange feelings rises inside of Hawks. The nervousness is still there because he's heard Kurogiri is kept in one of the most guarded prisons but the nervousness easies at the thought that he will not face the problem alone. Hawks has never really looked for guidance, never minded doing things on his own or be proactive. But being undercover, a spy, is a strange territory for him. He doesn't have trouble lying but… it's completely different than being a hero.

"You want to help me?" Hawks asks suspiciously and without thinking, he steps further away from Dabi. It's not an act of doubt but he wants to have a better look at the other man's face and somehow, with them standing so close, he can't do it.

Dabi doesn't look like he takes the question personally. He just shrugs again. "I thought it would be easier for you and better for me if I just got the credit for breaking a man like that free."

Hawks stares at Dabi curiously. The man is scratching his head behind his ear, looking at the floor at the moment before he notices the hero watching him and looks up, turning his head slightly to the side and smiling curiously. "What?"

"Why are you trying to set Kurogiri free?" Hawks asks. "Why him and not your big boss?"

Dabi's expression doesn't change, he still looks like he's half-smiling but his jittery is given away when he shifts his weight from one feet to another. "Even with you, I don't think it would be possible."

It's not a lie – Hawks doubts even if they had Endeavor and Rumi on their side they would be able to pull something like that off. However, it's not the reason and they both know it. For the first time, though, Hawks feels like they are on the same level, if it's not Hawks who has the upper hand.

At this moment, he can make demands, they can have a true discussion… if Dabi is capable of something as civilized as that.

"That's not the real reason, though, is it?"

For several seconds, the two men are just staring each other in the eyes. It's like a wordless fight of wills, both of them waiting for the other to dart his eyes and give in. Eventually, Dabi closes his eyes and puts his hands into the pockets. "Let's just say the boss wasn't happy when you and Endeavor killed High-End."

For the first time while interacting with the villain, Hawks feels his lips curl into a small smile. "You need to make up things with your boss and you think that setting Kurogiri free will help you do that."

It's Dabi's turn to frown. "I know it will."

"Did you even tell them about me?"

Dabi's jaw moves slightly as he grits his teeth and Hawks tries to ignore how hot that makes him look. When he speaks, it's in calm voice though: "I thought it would be better if I did after we'd free Kurogiri together. You will prove that despite being hero you are valuable resource for us."

"And you will earn back your grace," Hawks finishes.

The villain doesn't say anything but the agreement is evident in his eyes. Hawks scratches the back of his head. This sort of complicates things but on the other hand it gives him some kind of power over his and Dabi's… negotiations. Dabi needs him so he himself will be able to stay in League and maintain his position. And he needs Dabi to get him into the League's heart.

It's as if something in the air between them shifts and Hawks relaxes. A perfect symbiosis of a hero and a villain.

Still, the hero holds his deck close to his chest. He puts on relaxed smile and tilts his head slightly, teasingly. "You know I could easily try to contact some other member of the League."

Dabi sees through him or at least pretends to. He snickers. "Hardly. Not everyone in the League is willing to make friends with heroes."

"Aw, you think we are friends? How touching."

"Anyway, hero," Dabi's voice is dripping with impatience. "I assume you want something."

"I want to be able to contact you as well, not just the other way around," Hawks says. He didn't like the loss of control he faced when Dabi was the one who had to initiate the contact. "Just in case I've got some question, y'know?"

A frown forms between Dabi's eyebrows but he forces a smile on his lips. "You wanted to get my number that bad?"

Hawks rolls his eyes. "There's no need to be an asshole, you know?"

"And yet, here you are."

It's a good joke and without meaning to, Hawks hears himself laugh. He keeps it short and stops himself but it already escaped. The sound seems to please Dabi as well as the man smiles. It's the toothy grin, the young one, and Dabi looks less… horrid.

Then, Dabi extends his arm, opening his palm. "Gimme your phone, birb."

"If you keep calling me any bird-related nicknames, I'mma have to come up with something as well," Hawks teases and immediately hates himself for letting the words slip. Dabi is dangerous. He shouldn't be trying to be friendly with him.

But isn't it kind of his goal? To earn Dabi's and the League's trust? Warming up their relationship won't hurt anyone, right?

Well, maybe it will hurt Dabi once Hawks‘ mission is over but he's the villain, it's inevitable.

Hawks reaches into one of his pockets and pulls out his phone.

Dabi takes it with a smile. Hawks ignores the shiver that goes down his spine when Dabi's hot fingers brush against his own and pretends not to notice that Dabi's hands are actually much bigger than his own, and Hawks stares as Dabi's putting the number into Hawks‘ phone.

"Now, you got me curious," Dabi murmurs as he's looking at the phone screen. "What your nicknames for me are going to be… little bird."

Dabi's smile turns into a smirk at the last few words and he looks at Hawks with challenge in his eyes, a teasing spark.

It's a dare and Hawks knows it. Before he can actually forma an answer, Dabi throws the phone at him. Hawks barely catches it in time and frowns at the reckless behaviour.

"I'm there under the name ‚Hot Stuff.'"

Hawks snickers. "Really? ‘Hot Stuff?'"

Dabi licks his lips and smiles. It's a dangerous smile. As if Hawks just did something Dabi wanted him to do and Hawks can't shake away the feeling one has when they get stuck in a bear trap and can't get out. He says: "Well I wanted to save it under ‘Fireball' but it turns out the name is already taken."

The hero feels his heartbeat fasten at Dabi's words. He has the phone numbers for most of the Top Ten or at least their Offices. But he's bothered to give nicknames only to Rumi and Endeavor.

Trying to quickly come up with something, he digs his own grave even further: "Yeah, well, you're not the only person in my life that brings out the fire you know," and then he winks, grabbing the phone from Dabi's hands.

The villain's smile grows wider and the spark in his eyes turns into almost mad flames. "But a week ago, you said in the interview that you are not seeing anyone. Also, isn't it saved up on your work SIM card?"

"I mean-"

Dabi steps closer, tall, broad and dangerous, his eyes wide in what looks like insane expression. For the first time while dealing with the villain other than when he came to him and injured Endeavor back on the rooftop, Hawks feels the cold stab of fear in his guts. It only digs deeper inside of him when Dabi speaks, leaning even closer: "Don't tell me, little bird, that you have a little crush on a certain hero with fire quirk."

The hero feels long fingers wrapping around his elbow, squeezing surprisingly hard for someone who looks like Dabi. There's most definitely going to be a bruise.

Hawks narrows his eyes but keeps calm. When he speaks, his words are slow, calculated, and his cold anger is dripping from them: "And someone will get his face crushed, if he doesn't stop fucking touching me."

Dabi blinks surprisingly and the beast behind his eyes is gone. He lets go of Hawks elbow and puts his hands into his pockets. He looks down, avoiding Hawks‘ eyes suddenly and his shoulders stoop again but the hero sees tension in them that weren't there before.

"Sorry about that," Dabi murmurs, rubbing the back of his neck.

Hawks is watching Dabi. This was a good reminder of what Dabi is and who is Hawks. The question that remains, however, is what set Dabi off so much. Usually, the villain is one of the more cool-headed people from the League, at least that's what the reports say. But the way he acted on the rooftop and now… Hawks feels cold sweat on his back. He knows that behind the frail appearance, there's strength and peril and menace. Hawks wonders what lies under those calm turquoise eyes, in the depths of Dabi's mind.

For the first time, he truly understands Ayane's desire to know how a villain's mind works.

"No problem," Hawks says eventually, resisting the urge to rub at the already forming bruise. "Just don't do it again."

Dabi is still looking at the ground, avoiding Hawks gaze but he speaks again. The easiness doesn't return to his voice but he doesn't sound awkward as he did when he apologized: "Alright, so, try not to call me often, alright, birb? Also, we're gonna have to come up with a plan how to save the unlucky bastard so it'd be nice of you to actually find out more about his imprisonment and where it actually is."

For B-rank villains and up, the place in which they are imprisoned is kept a secret because of security and Kurogiri is not an exception. Even Hawks himself doesn't know where they keep him because he didn't really bother digging around the case.

"That won't be a problem," Hawks says. In his position, he has access to a lot of the Hero Public Safety's database.

"Good," Dabi says, finally going back to his usual self. "You can contact me me when you've got the info and then we can form some kind of plan."

"So, you'll just wait until I contact you?" Hawks somehow doubts that.

Dabi nods: "Unless something unexpected comes up."

Hawks gives him a half-smile. "Are you sure you will be able to resist contacting me sooner?"

The villain chuckles and turns around, walking away slowly. He waves his right hand at him as he's leaving.

"We'll see about that, hero."

Hawks just stands right there, with strange mixture of feelings inside of him at the strangely familiar look of the man leaving.

He stays there several more minutes, listening to the silence of the night, before he squeezes the phone in his hands and puts it back into his pocket.


 "No."

Hawks blinks several times. "Pardon, sir?"

The Commission member falls silent for several seconds during which the tensions builds up in Hawks' shoulders. Then, the man continues, his voice calm from the phone: "Kurorigi is a B-rank villain. Arresting him was complicated, keeping him locked up is complicated. It took too much effort. You cannot free him."

Hawks gulps. "But that's what the League told me to do? If I don't manage to break him free they won't let me in. They don't trust me yet."

"Then make them trust you, Hawks. This is your mission. We can't lose Kurogiri. You just must find another way inside."

"They won't let me," Hawks says through gritted teeth. "You are right, sir, of course, this is big but if I don't manage to do something this big for them, they won't-"

"Hawks!"

The hero shuts up and the call falls into another silence, this time the tension isn't just in Hawks' shoulders but also in the air. Then, the man continues again: "I truly don't like it when you question your orders.

"I'm sorry sir," Hawks says closing his eyes and shaking his head. It's been stupid, to think that he would be able to do something as dangerous as setting Kurogiri free. Just when the heroes were starting to go up in the public opinion - of course the Commission wouldn't want to lose that, wouldn't want to lose the face. Especially not after Seison broke free. If another villain escaped, the public's opinion would go low.

"Listen, I will try to talk about this to the rest of the Commission but right now, you can't participate in helping the villain, is that clear."

"Yes, sir," Hawks nodded even though the man is not in the room.

"I'll let you know once the President comes to a decision," and with that, the call is cut off.

It's the middle of the night and Hawks is still going back home to his apartment. He hasn't slept last night and he doubts he will get a proper sleep tonight as well. It's already two in the morning already and he is supposed to be at his office early.

The hero throws the disposable phone into the dumpster and then flies away. People probably won't notice him in the middle of the night using his quirk when he's not supposed to.

Flying, he gets to his home fast enough and then lands on the balcony.  His eyelids are heavy and he doesn't even bother undressing himself. He just opens the door to his flat, locks it behind himself against and falls on his bed, face down in the pillow.

The sleep takes him immediately and despite his tiredness, it takes him back to the burning building. This time there is more of the screams, cries in the air for help but the moment Hawks jumps down from the rooftop to go help the men inside, his alarm clock starts beeping.

His heart is beating loud in his chest and for several seconds he stares at the ceiling. It might be childish but he has several glowing stars at the ceiling. Rumi laughed at him when she noticed them after he got them but she also laughed when she found out he got himself headphones with cat-ears, called him a pretender and a traitor of his (bird) kind. Deep down, Hawks thinks that he got these useless, childish things simply because he never really got them when he was a kid.

The alarm in his phone is still beeping and so he grabs it and turns it off.

It honestly feels like he's only slept several seconds. He knows he managed to sleep at least four though.

He feels like he's been hit by a truck when he's getting out of bed, broken and with eyelids heavier than he did when he went to bed. Hawks will never understand how he can, even after some sleep, feel worse than before.

The hero drags himself out of the bed and goes to take a quick, cold shower hoping it'll wake him up some more. It helps, if only slightly.

He puts on his hero costume and goes to the office. He can spend the morning there. In the afternoon, he's going on patrol if nothing unusual happens.

Most of his employees are already there, working on the reports or just getting ready for their own patrols. Ayane is waiting for him when he gets there, right in the entrance hall, wearing black and white dress, her hair braided up in what looks absolutely complicated hairstyle. When she sees him enter, she gives him a toothy grin.

"I don't like this," Hawks says immediately but an easy smile curls his lips.

"You are going to," Ayane licks her lips. "You know, I actually contacted some officials, asking what'll happen to the villains since Cleanser and his office are, hopefully temporarily, closed and I requested Phoenix's transfer into our district so I can continue working with her. And it's been approved."

"You always get what you want, I'm not surprised," Hawks tells her.

Ayane gives him the cutest smile she can make, it's charming but usually, it means bad news. "Thank you for thinking so. I came to ask you about a little something."

"Shoot."

Ayane joins him on his way through the building up. "I would rather talk about it in your office."

Bad, bad news. Hawks smiles and nods.

Ayane closes the door behind them when they get there and Hawks lowers the blinds. The woman sits in front of his desk, her gaze turning from cute and sweet to sharp and curious.

"What's been eating you lately?"

"Huh?" Hawks tilts his head to the side, pretending that he doesn't know. A part of him wants to sit down but he doesn't. He needs to be in control right now or at least pretend to be and standing taller than Ayane will help.

"Please, don't act stupid, Hawks, it doesn't suit you," Ayane's tone is accusing almost. "You are pensive, lost in thoughts lately, and come to work tired-looking and exhausted. So, let me ask you again, what's going on with you lately?"

"Nothing much," Hawks shrugs easily. "Fighting the villains and their crimes, making appearances, the usual stuff."

Ayane rises her eyebrows, not impressed with Hawks' life even though the hero is sure he said it convincingly. He fights off  the urge to fidget in his seat.

Then the woman asks: "Do you know what's a celebrity worship syndrome?"

Hawks stares at her, waiting for the woman to crack a smile but when she doesn't, he laughs nervously and asks: "What the fuck?"

Ayane's expression doesn't change. "Ever since you've met Endeavor, you are acting very strange Hawks. Have you tried to contact him since you visited him in the hospital?"

"No," Hawks says determinately. "What do you I look like? Some kind of guy with zero self-control who is just going to jump at the man any time now?"

"You had traumatic childhood and the only one you really got to look up is Endeavor and-"

"Wow, we are so not having this conversation!" Hawks rises his hands, his tone for the first time really growing irritated. "Don't you have some villain to study?"

Ayane frowns. "It's not uncommon to form an unreal attachment to someone they see as a role-model. That's not abnormal or dangerous but I think when you met Endeavor after so many years, you might have developed a-"

"Ayane!" Hawks yells without meaning to. The woman immediately stops talking and watches him. She doesn't seem to be angry but Hawks still pinches the bridge of his nose in shame - he's never raised his voice at her and while the subject is truly uncomfortable with him and he indeed didn't sleep well lately, it's not an excuse to yell at her. "I swear to you that I haven't thought that much about Endeavor lately. It's something else that I would love to tell you about but I can't at the moment."

The woman stares at him and Hawks can almost hear her brain working, studying him and analysing. Hawks knows she comes to a realization when she sighs and nods. "I believe you but if you ever need to talk about something, I'm here for you."

"To study how my brain works, hey?" Hawks grins.

"You know that's not the main reason why I do this!" her lips curl slightly which means she doesn't take what Hawks has said seriously. Then, her expression grows serious. "Just one more question. Have you been contacted by your mother?"

Hawks feels his heart sink. Of course, she would think this has something to do with his mom.

"No."

Ayane stares some more. Then, she just smiles and says: "Okay, I'll talk to you later then," and Hawks watches her get up and leave.

When she's gone, Hawks doesn't bother opening up the blinds. He leans back in his seat and rubs his eyes tiredly. Then, he calls his secretary to bring him coffee and gets to work. Going through reports, emails and when he can, gets into the database about Kurogiri.


 The next few days are calm and quiet. No reports about League, Commission doesn't call and Dabi stays quiet as well.

It gives Hawks to calm down slightly. He still has dreams about the fire at the Cleanser's office which is absolutely ridiculous because he's seen worse, he's fought worse and yet when he closes his eyes, he always sees the flames, the explosion, the crack of the skull.

Thankfully, Hawks manages to find some information about Kurogiri and his imprisonment.

A special container had to be made for him, one that he wouldn't be able to escape from with his quirk. Hawks' no scientist, he doesn't know how the container works but the vibrations or something like that, keep Kurogiri from opening the portals to any place outside his container. Another thing Hawks understood is that it's been terribly expensive.

Kurogiri is kept in Nishi, an island prison, far away from the city actually. It's almost two hours long ride on the train and that's the first obstacle. Hawks doesn't know how fast he could get there flying but that honestly couldn't be done. If someone noticed him, it would be trouble. And two hours long ride there and then back again, four hours of time and that's without the actual ‘getting Kurogiri out.' He hasn't had a proper vacation in a few years and he certainly can't now. It would be suspicious that he took one and just at the same time one of the greatest prison breaks (if not greatest) happens. Unfortunately, he doubts that Dabi would allow him to stay safely in the city and for the villain to do all the work. And while Hawks doesn't mind, it makes everything harder.

Now, that's just the time problem. Another problem are the guards. They all are highly trained in special department, much like heroes, and they can use their quirks. Hawks doesn't have the access to the database of the guards, unfortunately.

As far as he looks at it, this is action that, even if he gets the permission to do so from the President of the Hero Public Safety Commission, is worth several months of planning.

The realization sudden, and maybe late realization, that the infiltration of the League will take months if not for years hits Hawks like a bus. Months having to do deal with Dabi and then more within the League.

Hawks doesn't like the idea at all.

The hero is at his home, in the kitchen for once and cooking… or, well, making himself a sandwich with peanut butter, when he hears his phone ringing. He puts the sandwich down and goes to the living room, searching for his disregarded costume on the floor and then through the pockets for the phone.

"Hawks."

The hero feels actually disappointed when he hears the voice of the Commission member.

"Good evening!" Hawks says excitedly.

There is a pause that makes him smile. It's nervous and tense and when the man on the other end of the call speaks, it's with heavy voice and so slow - it's clear the man is irritated. "The president finally voiced her decision for your situation. She agrees for you to free Kurogiri but!" the man pauses for effect. "After that you have to help us take down one of the villains. So, far your mission is a failure." Those words make Hawks' heart sink and for a second, he can't breathe before he collects himself and forces his lungs take in a breath. His heart is still beating hard in his chest. "The villains are just taking and you are stopping if not reversing our progress so far. You need to give us some results of your work."

"I always do, don't I?" Hawks says cheerfully but his chest is aching and he's fighting for each breath with himself. The President is on his side, he tells himself. The President is on his side.

The Commission guy doesn't comment and continues: "If you think we can help you somehow without the League and the public noticing, let us know."

The man probably thinks that's it but he waits for Hawks to say something. For a few seconds, Hawks is still collecting himself until finally, the pain on his chest is gone and he can formulate words now. He hides behind smugness in his voice when he makes his request: "I need to have access to the plans of the the Nishi prison and the list of the guards and their quirks. In details preferably."

"Anything else?" the man asks through gritted teeth.

"Nope, that's all, thanks!"

The call is cut off and somehow, Hawks feels better but not perfect. He grabs his sandwich again and stares at it for several seconds, his stomach rumbling in hunger.

He opens the trash bin and throws the sandwich inside.


 The next day, Hawks has a package at the reception of his agency. It's nothing new, Hawks gets a lot of packages from his fans as well as written letters but this one stands out as it's black package with red strip over it. When he opens it in his office, the hero finds a USB flash drive inside with the note ‘The information you requested.'

Hawks doesn't get any call about the USB drive and he honestly doesn't know what to do with it. Is it one of those Hawks always sees in the action movies self-destruct after someone opens them? He even considers getting a new laptop and just open it for the first time when he's with Dabi but then he dismisses the idea.

He decides to plug the drive into his laptop in the office simply because he knows the firewalls in there are better than on his laptop back at home. Fortunately, there isn't any message about self-destruction of the device and honestly, Hawks is a tiny bit disappointed at that. There is a very detailed map of the prison that Hawks doesn't understand at the first sight but he's not trying very hard. The list of the guards working in the prison is long and even though Hawks goes only through a couple of them, he knows that's going to be a problem. They seem to be strong, well-organised and very capable. Almost heroes material.

He pulls out the flash drive and puts it into the hidden pocket inside his costume. Even though he trusts everyone in his office, he isn't about to leave it in here.

What follows is a tiring day. He isn't called into any action but instead he goes to two interviews and goes through the reports of his sidekicks. When he gets home, he's tired and hungry, but his day is far from over.

His blood pressure spikes with something like a thrill as he takes one of his disposable phones and dials Dabi's phone number. He waits and stares at the screen for a while. It's strange that he feels nervous about calling the villain as well as excited. This is the first time he is contacting him. There is the feeling of guiltiness because, despite doing all of this for the right reasons, he knows it's bad. Yet, he sort of wants to meet Dabi. Wants to find out how his brain works and what the man is hiding.

Hawks presses the call button and puts the phone to his ear.

It takes Dabi only few rings before he picks up.

"Hero," there's a badly hidden delight in the villain's voice. One that actually makes Hawks smile as well.

"How do you know it's me?" Hawks asks and curses at himself innerly when he realizes his voice doesn't sound irritated but rather amused.

"You think I give my number to just anyone?" Dabi mirrors the amusement. "Who do you think I am?"

"I have no idea of the places you've been at," the hero says. "Should we meet up at the warehouse again?"

"No," Dabi refuses. "I'll sent you an address on this number. Remember it before you throw this phone away. Meet me here."

On the way, Hawks feels hungry – he hasn't eaten since breakfast. After thinking about what he wants to eat, he settles on grabbing an KFC meal simply because it's one of the few fast foods he's passing on his way.

The address Dabi sends him takes Hawks to one of the worst parts of the city. It's mostly industrial block, one where the lower classes lives in not too far away from the warehouse where Dabi and Hawks met before. The address is of the apartment building and when Hawks stands in front of it, the street is mostly empty except for a group of people standing further away from Hawks and smoking.

The hero doubts they recognizes him (what would Num. 2 hero do here?) and even if they did, this is a part of city where they would just try to stay out of his way, a part where people make sure to mind their own business because it's better for them.

It's not unlike the place he used to live with his parents before his talent was discovered.

The apartment building is tall and when he looks at the name tags of the doorbells there is only few names. Unsurprisingly, none of them is Dabi or anything similar. Feeling a bit awkward and also pissed that Dabi didn't tell him which bell to ring, he pulls out his phone. He didn't bother taking another disposable which means he's stuck with his own.

Before he can call Dabi, though, there's the buzzing sound coming from the door. Hawks rises his eyebrow and tentatively, he opens the door. The light in the hallway flashes on. The place looks dirty, like nobody wiped the floor and the stairs in the last few months, the walls are covered with graffiti and nasty images.

Home, sweet home, Hawks thinks darkly - just like the building he's lived in when he was a kid.

The hero takes the first step towards the stair, staring up. He sees a figure on what looks like the last floor leaning against the fragile looking banisters and staring at him down.

Hawks climbs the stairs as quickly as he can. There's a lot of yelling coming from one of the flats he's passing as well as loud crashing. The hero almost wants to go knock at the door to see if he can help but he knows, in long term, he wouldn't solve anything even if this was part of his jurisdiction. It's pissing him off and he grits his teeth, the guilt taking roots inside of him again. Exactly the same way it did on the rooftop as he watched the fire.

When he gets to the top floor, the guilt is temporarily pushed into the back of his mind as he takes in Dabi's appearance. For once, the man is not wearing the pants that are too short for him. Instead, he has sweatpants on that are actually loose, black shirt with short sleeves but a hood that Dabi puts on.

He looks… surprisingly good, or at least not as bad, in the leisure clothing.

"Let's go," Dabi says, pointing towards slightly open door. Hawks follows him through, curiosity taking over him.

The blinds are closed and the only source of light in the whole place is a small lamp standing next to the couch. As far as Hawks can see in the dark, the place is… bland. Empty, barren. The only piece of furniture in the living room, which is connected with the kitchen, is the kitchen itself, couch with coffee table and a small table with one chair under a window with its blinds lowered. No bookshelf, no TV, no plants. Another thing that only emphasizes the overall feeling of the place is the cleaness. There aren't any empty dishes in the sink, the floor seems to be clean. As if nobody lived here until now. Somehow, Hawks expected Dabi to be messy person like himself.

Melancholy screams at Hawks from the white, blank walls. He considers that Dabi might have actually gotten this flat only to meet up with Hawks but something tells the hero that's not the case. As he's passing another door that are open, his theory is proven true. He takes a short glance at the bed there which shows the first indication of human being living here. It's not made up.

"It's a different standard than you are used to, I bet, so sorry if it feels claustrophobic to ya," Dabi tells him, closing the door behind Hawks.

"It's fine," the hero assures him with a smile and without thinking about it, he continues: "This reminds me of my childhood home."

Dabi gives him a curious look but if he has any question, he doesn't voice them. Instead, he turns on the light. The room doesn't look any better with the lights on. It could really use at least a plant, a painting, a freaking poster would do actually, anything.

"This is where you live?" Hawks asks.

The villain just shrugs. "Yeah. For the moment. A place as good as any."

Hawks can't say he's surprised at the impersonal tone. If his place looked like this, he probably wouldn't build any attachment to it either.

"Nice of you to bring me a dinner," Dabi grins.

For a short moment, Hawks has no idea what he's talking about. Dabi's smirk grows wider at his confusion, then he points to the KFC bag Hawks is holding. Immediately, the hero pulls the item to his chest. "This is mine. I haven't eaten anything since the morning and nothing and no one will keep it from me."

Dabi chuckles. "I haven't eaten for two days. Also, isn't eating KFC cannibalism in your case, little bird?"

Hawks ignores the remark about Dabi not eating and, before the hero can stop himself, his lips curl into a small smile. "Wow, what original joke. Never heard it before and don't think I'll ever do again."

Dabi narrows his eyes but the smile stays on his lips. "Sarcasm looks good on you."

"My dude," Hawks tilts his head and cocks his eyebrows, not really thinking about what he's saying. "Everything looks good on me."

Dabi makes disgusted face but the spark of amusement doesn't leave his eyes. "Too bad arrogance doesn't look good even on you."

"Is that why you are so ugly?"

Hawks doesn't mean to say that but the years of being friends with Rumi, and the constant, friendly dragging of each other, makes his mouth run faster than his brain. Immediately, Hawks feels his ears heating up in shame for saying something like that. Of all the things he could mock Dabi for, making fun of his appearance feels… unfair.

To the hero's utter shock, though, Dabi laughs out loud and it's not the cold, pretending laughter he always pulls off.

"While I think I have way too many flaws that make me a horrible person, I don't think it's the arrogance that makes me ugly. Also, you can sit down, you know."

Hawks didn't realize he was standing the whole time. He sits down on the couch and puts his bag on the coffee table.

"You said you have the information we needed," Dabi's voice changes to carefully neutral – it's business time.

The hero pulls out the USB drive and places it next to his bag. For a short moment, Dabi disappears into his bedroom before returning with a black, old looking laptop. As they are waiting for it to start up, Hawks takes opens up the box and loses a fight to Dabi over few of his hot wings and half of his fries. He decides to let the other man have it – he looks like he could actually use meal with lots of calories.

However, Hawks refuses to share his Pepsi, Dabi eventually gives up (Coke is better anyway, he says) and pours himself a glass of water instead. When they are both finished eating and Dabi takes the empty box and bag, throwing it into the trash bin. The laptop is long turned on.

Hawks tells himself that it's simply because both of them were hungry.

The couch is small but both of them seem to be careful about their space, making sure they are not touching one another. Once Dabi has the detailed map of the prison on the screen, he pulls the laptop closer to the point that Hawks almost can't see the screen. He lets Dabi stare at it, the villain's eyes are full of hunger as if he's taking in every detail of the map.

It's amazing really, because Hawks himself can't really make out anything from the labyrinthine lines and dots. Unreadable and incomprehensible to Hawks' own eyes.

Yet, Dabi's eyes move fast as he's clicking with the mouse putting the map into place he wants. His other hands moves to his mouth and his thumb rests on his lips which are moving in soundless whispers that only Dabi himself can understand.

Hawks‘ can't help but stare at the man rather than the screen of the laptop.

"This is the Nishi Island, isn't it?" Dabi asks, turning his turquoise eyes from the screen to lock them with Hawks‘ golden ones.

"Yes," Hawks tells him. "It's pretty far away from here, isn't it?"

Dabi nods. "Getting you there'll be a problem without anyone noticing your absence even if Kurogiri will be able to teleport us back here because who knows what state he'll be in. And if this," Dabi points to a spot on the screen that Hawks doesn't see anything at. "Really is the place where Kurogiri is kept at, we have a problem. It's too deep inside. We won't be able to just destroy it or break through the container on spot without anyone noticing us. We will have to do it from distance."

Finally feeling like he's getting it, Hawks continues where Dabi left of: "Which means we will have to cut off the power that fuels the container. But not only the power but also-"

"The operating reserve," Dabi finishes for him and with few clicks, he shows Hawks a spot that even the hero recognizes is further away from the rest of the island. "The main generator is in protected area on the Island. The power is lead through the ground which means, since neither of us has the right quirk, we are going to have to go right to the source inside this building to turn it off.

"The operating reserve is inside the prison itself," Hawks gets lost again as Dabi shows him the inside of the prison. "It's easily accessible and with less security measures but since it's inside it'll be actually harder to get there unless we get help from one of the inmates or you manage to get yourself inside. Of course, both of those need to be shut off in a short time so Kurogiri's cell actually loses its effect. And then-"

"We have to find a way to contact Kurogiri so he can get us out of here. Of course, as you said, on the condition that he's actually in state he has enough power to use his quirk."

Dabi gives him a strange look, his eyes locking with Hawks‘, and the hero can't read the expression. They stare each other for several, too long, seconds.

Then, Dabi breaks the spell by looking away. "You're going to have to find that out. Also the shifts of the guards. It would be better to able to decide the breakout whenever guards with weaker quirks are there."

Hawks nods. "I'll see what I can do. By the way, do you really think I'll really be able to get inside? Like, the only possible way for me would be to pretend to be visiting one of my villains there but if we breakout Kurogiri when I'm there and I do nothing it'll bruise my reputation and-"

"Oh, I'm sure you will be able to do it without anyone noticing," Dabi says, waving his hand confidently. "Don't tell me you've got no one who could get you inside. But, in case you won't be able to, I think I have the right person to get inside without anyone noticing. I would really prefer to keep her out of this thing, though."

"Why?" Hawks narrows his eyes. It's the first time Dabi seems to be considering to tell anyone about Hawks being a spy.

"Because I don't trust her to keep her mouth shut about you."

As always, Hawks can't stop himself from talking: "Aw, am I your dirty little secret?"

Dabi chuckles. "Is that a bad thing I wanna keep you to myself, little bird?"

"You don't own me~" Hawks says in singy voice. Dabi actually laughs.

Eventually, the villain looks back to the laptop screen before saying: "These data, you did a good job getting those."

Hawks isn't stranger to being praised. Usually, he's always been praised for his talent by the Commission, and then his looks and action by his fans but those actually felt strangely impersonal. Right now, when it's just him and the villain, Hawks feels unfamiliar warmth spreading through his belly. It's a nice feeling but not very welcome. Dabi is a villain, Hawks tells himself, and he needs to remember it. When this all is over, Dabi will be behind bars. If, he's lucky.

When Hawks imagines the unlucky version, he gulps and looks away from the man but refuses to feel guilty.

"I'll try to find out the shift schedules of the prison," Hawks changes the subject, getting up in reaction to the sudden need to put some space between him and the other man.

"You do that, Hawks," Dabi nods getting up as well, standing on the other end of the couch. "Also, see if there is a way for you to infiltrate the place near the operating reserve. If you can't, I'll just get our friend to help us."

It's so strange. Dabi is talking as if all of this doesn't really matter to him, he's laid back and calm, almost soothing. Then, Hawks realizes this is not Dabi not caring, it's him being cool, almost serene. And, most importantly, he is not putting pressure on the hero‘s shoulders.

It's different, completely different, from how the Commission is treating Hawks and his mission.

Hawks doesn't know if he's supposed to feel this way but when he leaves Dabi's apartment, he feels strangely calm.

Chapter Text

When Hawks calls the Commission member, the man doesn't even bother to hide his annoyance. He promises Hawks the schedules of the prison guards but he warns Hawks that they might change as the director of the prison sometimes gets requests for exchanging the shifts between guards.

Hawks stays polite – thanks the man for his help.

He starts to study the guards' quirks, trying to figure out who, in case of fight would have the least chance of winning against Dabi and of course the guards with dangerous quirks. He couldn't fight against them, they would recognize Hawks' wings straight away.

Yet, Hawks recognizes the greatest threat to be one guard that sees through objects and has enhanced hearing.

The hero doesn't contact Dabi and the villain doesn't contact him but the scarred man is on his mind often. Hawks tells himself it's because of his mission. He's sure the other man is also going through the database of the guards, trying to figure out who is the least of a threat.

During the days, Hawks pretends he doesn't notice the way Ayane looks at him with worry in her eyes or that Rumi is dropping by more often, to drag him for lunch outside when they are on break. They don't talk about Hawks‘ strange behaviour anymore and honestly, it's both touching and annoying. Hawks wishes they'd just let him be. This is his mission and he doesn't want them to sniff around him too much.

Hawks doesn't ask the Commission to get him inside the facility straight away. He knows that if he asked for too much at once, they wouldn't help him at all. And, in a way, they are right to do so. This is Hawks‘ mission, not theirs and yet he can't do this on his own. Every time Hawks remembers this, he remembers how the man called his mission a failure so far. He's determined to prove him wrong, though.

One day, Hawks grabs his phone and dials the Commission. It's been days since he's last talked to his man there. His stomach is tied in knots and he's nervously walking from one side of the room to another. Which is ridiculous. Hawks doesn't get nervous just because he needs to talk to someone, even if the someone is his absolutely insufferable bastard.

"Hawks," the man sounds tired when he picks up but it's not general tired – it is tired with Hawks.

"I have a request, sir," Hawks says, formal and directly to point. "I need to be able to get inside the Nishi prison."

"Hawks-"

"All I'm asking for is the access card and the uniform, sir," Hawks forgets himself and interrupts the man. But what is done is done so he continues: "If me and Dabi work from the inside it will be less likely innocent people will get hurt."

The last sentence seems to work as the man pauses, not replying straight away. "Alright, we will get you those. But remember Hawks – nobody except for Kurogiri is to escape that place. You better make sure of that. Is that clear?"

The hero bites his lips. He's thought about it before. It's one of the greatest obstacles Hawks sees. He doesn't want more villains to escape. It would lead to riot and, most certainly, to the guards losing their lives. The villains who are kept there are violent, dangerous and deadly. If Hawks and Dabi cut off the power Kurogiri surely won't be the only one to escape.

The only option Hawks sees is to cut off the power for only a couple of seconds, giving Kurogiri enough time to escape from his cell and then turn it back on. But even so, he knows couple of seconds will be just enough for the villains who are perceptive.

"I always make it worth it, don't I?" Hawks says the words taste like ashes in his mouth. He always promises this to the man, sells himself as much as he can and he starts to doubt his confident tone and careless attitude is enough to keep the Commission assured.

"Expect the package at your place in about an hour. Leave it behind when you leave the place, is that clear?"

"Of course, sir," Hawks says and even more officially adds: "Many thanks for your help.

The man hangs up and Hawks grins but it doesn't quite reach his eyes.

He puts the phone next to the sink and grabs kettle. He fills it with water, turns it on and then search for a tea bag and clean mug in his kitchen when his phone starts ringing. He grabs it and his heartbeat fastens when he sees familiar name of a villain.

He gulps, feeling not prepared for this, but picks up anyway. "Dabi."

"Hawks."

The hair on the back of Hawks‘ neck goes up in confusion and, although he would never admit this, worry. The man's sounds different, strange. Nothing like Hawks has ever heard him speak – tired, breathless. Maybe it's the part of him that actually loves being the hero, maybe it's the instinct to help deep inside of him. Anyway, he doesn't think twice before asking: "What's wrong?"

"I may have a little, tiny problem," Dabi says breathlessly. "Can you meet me up?"

All of Hawks instincts tell him this is bad, more than bad, this is something disastrous but instead of refusing, he says: "Yeah, sure, where are you, hot stuff?"

There's a pause. "I have no idea actually. I usually don't come to this part of the city. It's in the area you live in and there's this big fucking hotel called-"

"Haneda Excel," Hawks finishes for him, deciding to ignore the fact that Dabi is around the freaking area he lives in. "Are you in front of the hotel or…?"

The hero asks, already grabbing his jacket, letting all his feathers fall before he puts it on, one sleeve after another, the phone never leaving one of his ears.

"Of fucking course not," Dabi growls as if it's the clearest things in the world. "I'm walking on the street or at least trying to. I wanted to pretend to be a homeless guy but it turns out there aren't any in this area. What a place to live in."

Hawks goes to his balcone. It's late in the evening and hopefully, nobody will notice if he uses his quirk. Usually, people don't mind anyway – they know who he is. And so, he jumps down. The hotel Dabi was talking about is only few blocks away. When he gets there, he recognizes Dabi straight away. He just doesn't fit. He's wearing casual clothes, the tight jeans fit for once, white shirt and long coat with a hood that doesn't look like Dabi picked it up from a dumpster.

The hood is covering most of his head but even so – Dabi doesn't fit into the neighborhood. He stands out like a sore thumb and Hawks needs to get him off this street as soon as possible. It wouldn't do him any good if people started saying they saw a B-rank villain near the place he lives.

The hero looks around the street. He doesn't see any danger that might have caused Dabi's strange behaviour but that doesn't mean there is none. Fighting, in the street, with Dabi here, would be even worse. Fast, he walks to the villain. The first thing he does, is checking for any visible wounds. He can see Dabi's right forearm bleeding, the drops of blood falling on the ground, but other than that, the man looks to be fine.

"So fast to the rescue, hero," Dabi tells him after Hawks grabs his elbow to turn him around and take a better look at him.

No major injury. Which allows Hawks‘ mind to break loose. He wants to do so many things – he wants to yell at Dabi for being here, wants to ask who injured him, what happened and where the attackers are. Then, he decides that first things first

"Are there any enemies around?" Hawks asks.

"Nope, I think I lost them," Dabi's voice sounds amused which boils the anger inside Hawks even more.

Alright, first thing has been taken care of. Hawks moves to another thing on his imaginary list. "We need to get you out of here."

He doesn't let go of Dabi's elbow and practically drags him behind himself as he's going back to his apartment. Dabi, surprisingly, goes without protests. Hawks keeps looking around for anyone who might be looking at them but fortunately, there aren't many people this late in the evening.

Trying to be less suspicious, Hawks lets his arm slide around Dabi's waist, ignoring how nice the warmth body felt next to his. He knew that Dabi is skinny to the point of being malnourished but his build is still broader than Hawks‘ which the hero feels especially now that their bodies are touching.

He seriously needed to get laid. Soon.

"Getting handsy, aren't we?" Dabi chuckles but he doesn't pull away.

"Couples are less conspicuous," the hero reasons. "I don't want anyone knowing I took a villain to my home."

"You're taking me home?" Dabi gasps in false shock. He honestly sounds better than he did over the phone call. "I thought we are not there yet. Maybe after three or four dates. But after only one?"

Hawks has never been good at staying angry for long. Maybe, it's because he knows what it feels like when someone gets angry and stays like that for days, ignoring, overlooking and rejecting all his attempts to make things better. It's his childhood he blames when he replies playfully: "Are you calling me a slut?"

Dabi laughs. It's loud, shameless noise that makes him sound young. He wraps his arm around Hawks‘ shoulders, more dangerously pleasant warmth spreading from him into Hawks‘ body which the hero accepts and savors like a sweet poison.

"Well, you said it, not me," Dabi purrs in the end, playful.

Hawks pinches his side, making the other man hiss in pain.

Then, he reminds himself not to take this teasing of one another seriously. This is just his way of earning Dabi's trust. The way he lets the villain lean on him, the two of them walking side on side, their bodies touching, the way their bodies seem to fit as they walk through the street like a couple would do. None of it is real. These are just means to accomplish Hawks‘ mission. Nothing more.

Yet, how long has it been since Hawks actually felt warm body against his? It's a nice feeling, one Hawks can't not enjoy and crave.

When they manage to get close to Hawks‘ building, the hero considers what to do. He doesn't want Dabi to walk through the front door, not only there's the security camera inside but he also doesn't want to explain drops of blood on the white, clean floor.

"Get ready to be swept off your feet," Hawks warns him tightening the grip around his waist before he spreading his wings.

"If you try to carry me in your arms, I'll burn your face off."

Hawks laughs at the threat and murmurs: "Don't think I'd be able to carry you anyway."

Before Dabi can form an answer, Hawks swings his wings, the movement powerful but not exactly necessary since Hawks can control his wings even without them moving. Dabi lets out a surprised ‘oh,' at the sudden movement and despite the fact that the man is skinny, he is actually heavy. To be fair, physical power isn't one of Hawks‘ strengths. His wings is a different story, however, and he doesn't have any troubles with them carrying both his and Dabi's weights up, to Hawks‘ balcony.

Dabi lets out a breath when his feet are firmly on the ground again but he doesn't move right away, his arm rests around Hawks a second longer than it has to. Then, he pulls away, tentatively. Hawks feels suddenly cold without the hot body near his. He ignores the feeling.

"Are you calling me fat?" Dabi asks, his voice fake-offended.

"You know what, yeah, actually I am," Hawks confirms with no real meaning behind his words. "Come on, let me get a medkit."

"Wow," Dabi sneers. "I'll have to lose some weight then."

"Please, don't," Hawks says, turning on the lights in the bedroom. "I'd hate to have you on my conscience. Go to the living room, I'll be right back."

Hawks disappears into the bathroom, searching for the medkit he knows Ayane insisted on him getting when he was moving in.

"Holy shit, Hawks, your place is a mess!" he hears from the living room.

It's useless for Hawks to fight the smirk that grows on his lips. "I like to say my place has personality."

"Well, I like to say that your place is a shit hole," Dabi replies. "How are you capable of being an adult?"

"Jokes on you, I'm barely functional," Hawks yells, finally finding the box he was looking for. He comes back to the living room. Dabi is currently sitting down on his couch. He's holding his arm close to his chest, making sure he leaves as little blood as he can. Hawks is going to have to clean the blood up because some of it ended up on his floor. And also, find out how to get rid off the blood thoroughly. He can't have Dabi's DNA hanging around his apartment.

"You know, I thought it'd be harder to find out where you live," Dabi tells him.

"Well, since I know where you live, it's only fair for you to know where my place is," Hawks tells him and adds: "Roll up your sleeve."

Dabi complies silently. The skin on his arm is scared already. Fortunately, when Hawks takes a look at the wound, he realizes it's shallow, nothing more than a scratch. The fact makes him frown and he looks at Dabi's left hand. Most people are right handed so it would make sense for the wound to be on his left side instead of right. Dabi, however, is left handed.

I thought it'd be harder to find out where you live. The fact that no enemies were around.

Hawks frowns but he isn't angry even though he makes sure his voice sounds like he is. Because it's better than to sound worried. "Don't fucking tell me you did this to yourself."

He lets his eyes sink into Dabi's turquoise. The villain doesn't even bother denying it, he smiles immediately. It doesn't look evil but rather mischievous and even if Hawks was angry, he's sure that smile would chase all the anger away.

"You could've just asked!" Hawks says anyway, dragging Dabi's arm into his lap and, not very gently, and puts disinfectant wipes over the wound. He knows from experience they burn as hell but Dabi doesn't even flinch.

"Would you tell me, honestly?" Dabi cocks his eyebrows in doubt.

Hawks surprises even himself when he says: "I would tell you."

Dabi stares at him, his eyes analysing, searching Hawks‘ face for any indication of a lie and when he doesn't find any, he smiles. "You are a fool, Hawks."

"And you are my ally… a very idiotic ally," the hero retorts. "Why would I even not tell you where I live? Like, don't get me wrong. I'm not happy to have you here but if we are working together, I know better than keep things from you."

Liar, liar, pants on fire, rings through Hawks‘ head. Its intensity only strengthens when Dabi smiles, softly.

"I suppose," the villain murmurs and his lips curl slightly in meant-to-be-hidden smile.

Hawks ignores the stab of guilt in his belly. In the end, someone else in the room is the fool for trusting too much, isn't he?

He takes out the bandage from the medkit but instead of applying it to Dabi's forearm. "If you could injure yourself like this, then you can fix it."

"How utterly cruel," Dabi says sarcastically but takes the bandage and starts to tend to his own wound.

Hawks watches him for several seconds, remembering the man's statement from a few days before about not eating for days. Indeed, the villain doesn't look like a very healthy individual.

The hero heads to the kitchen because Dabi may be a villain but Hawks needs to at least pretend to be hospitable. "Are you hungry?"

"Not really," Dabi says but asks anyway: "Whatcha got?"

Hawks quickly goes through his things. He only has instant food at home, some sandwiches and pack of chips. When he stares into his fridge he also sees several cans of Coke. There isn't any booze – Hawks rarely drinks and not just because he's lightweight.

"I've got tuna sandwiches," he says in the end, grabbing the packages as well as the Coke.

"That'll do, I guess," Dabi shrugs but Hawks hears his stomach grumble. The hero smiles but doesn't comment on it.

Miraculously, he finds two clean plates on which he puts the sandwiches and takes them to the living room. Dabi's right forearm is covered with the bandage, already. He takes the plate and the can with quiet: "Thanks," and bites right into it, not waiting for Hawks to even sit down.

Before Hawks can do, however, there his doorbell rings. For a second, both the hero and the villain freeze, exchanging looks. Dabi is just in the middle of another bite and the look on his face as he's holding the sandwich in front of his mouth is priceless.

The tension only lasts a second as Hawks remembers he was to expect a visit.

"It's fine," he assures Dabi with a smile, out of habit. "Gimme a sec."

Dabi relaxes and takes the bite. He stays at the couch and watches Hawks curiously as the man walks to his front door. As he's peeking from behind the couch, chewing, he reminds the hero of a cat.

Hawks takes a look at the screen and there is actually a man, a courier, in front of the building, holding a package and impatiently shifting his weight from one foot to another. Hawks takes the phone to tell him to come up and opens the door for him. He meets him at the elevator. The man doesn't even require a signature which kind of makes sense considering what he's carrying. He gives the gray, plastic bag to Hawks without any words.

When he's back in the apartment, Dabi is still sitting on the couch, eating and watching him curiously.

"Do you often get visits in the middle of the night?" the villain asks with cocked eyebrows.

Hawks grins. "Apart from you? Nah, not really."

"That's strange," Dabi murmurs, taking a sip of the coke.

"What is?"

"No offense," Dabi smiles, clearly not actually caring if he causes the offence or not. "But you stroke me like the type of guy that would go to bed with different girl every night. Of course, nothing wrong with that, by the way."

"Well, then you are wrong at several different levels at once," Hawks laughs. "First and foremost, in assuming I like girls. Wait, I said that wrong! I do like girls but not… like like. Second, I don't sleep around much, don't have enough time."

Dabi hums in acknowledgement and takes another, greater sip before pointing towards the package in Hawks‘ hands. "What's that?"

Hawks grins and waits until Dabi puts the can on the coffee table before he throws the package on him. "Why don't you take a look?"

Dabi raises his eyebrows curiously but his hands start to open the package, ripping the resilient plastic as if it's no bother at all, the muscles on his arm flexing, showing Dabi's hidden power. Suddenly thirsty, Hawks opens his can and takes a sip.

Hawks ignores the warmth spreading through him at the first surprised, then pleased expression that shifts Dabi's features as he realizes that uniform of the Nishi prison is inside the bag along with the access card.

"Where did ya get this?" Dabi asks curiously, holding the uniform in front of him, taking in the better view.

From the Hero Public Safety Commission because they approved to let Kurogiri go free.

"I have my resources," Hawks winks.

Dabi gives him a toothy grin. "Well, shit, Hawks. I thought you couldn't do it at first but… this is really good."

It's weird. Dabi just told him he thought he wouldn't be able to do it, that Hawks wasn't expected to do it. Many people would probably be offended by that statement but Hawks actually feels relieved. He always just… lives out to the expectations. To have the expectations lowered or non-existent at all and then surprising someone by being able to do it anyway, get actually praise it's… dangerously nice feeling. The warmth is spreading through Hawks and he just craves more of it.

The logical part of Hawks‘ brain tells him that this might just be the villain playing with him, manipulating him, to get him where he wants him but the hero doesn't believe this. Dabi doesn't seem to be manipulative, not in this kind of way. It's not his style.

The villain is still staring at him, Hawks realizes. Before his mind can come up with something better, the hero looks away from the turquoise eyes and murmurs: "Thanks."

As an excuse, or maybe because he really needs to do something with his hands, the hero grabs his sandwich and bites into it. Dabi doesn't say anything, instead he finishes his own.

For the first time in weeks, the food doesn't taste like ashes on Hawks' tongue.


 Dabi leaves his apartment in the middle of the night when the streets are already mostly empty. He tells Hawks they will have to meet up again soon to discuss Kurogiri's breakout and that he'll contact Hawks.

When Hawks goes to the office the next day, he's just as tired as he's been through the several days but when he goes out for lunch with Ayane, she is smiling more than usual. When he asks her about it, she just grins more and tells him he looks better than he did in weeks and she's glad that he's doing better.

A strange mixture of emotions rises inside Hawks when she says that. It's true, the original hate he's felt towards Dabi is almost gone and he found out he often has to remind himself that this is the man who sent High End on him and Endeavor, that Dabi is dangerous villain who got the rank B despite never committing serious crimes before.

He's not just the guy who fought with Hawks for his KFC and who hanged out with him on his couch, eating sandwiches. The guy who told him he did a good job.

Hawks wonders what Ayane would have told him if she knew who is responsible for his better mood – because there is no good in denying it to himself, he knows it's Dabi. It's like Dabi is the very definition of duality of a man. Cruel, mad, dangerous and then calm and the source of the warmth inside Hawks‘ belly.

Hawks just knows that both Ayane and Rumi would be so pissed at him. Golden those times where his biggest problem was unreciprocated feelings towards Endeavor and not hanging out with a villain.

Hawks laughs out loud and Ayane frowns at him, giving him a look as if he's just grown a second head. When she asks what brought that laugh up, he just shakes his head and takes a bite from his yakitori. Ayane doesn't seem to be assured by that.

The next few days, it's just a waiting game. He's waiting for Dabi to contact him. He gave him the schedules of the guards and went through them on his own as well, making sure to remember all the quirks of the guards and preparing. At one point, Hawks even tries the uniform on. It fits him and when he lets his feathers fall, it can easily cover the remains of his wings.

A week after Dabi arrived at his place, when he's laying on his couch, listening to music while reading, his phone rings and the villain's name is on the display.

"Finally calling?" Hawks asks smugly

"Don't tell me you missed my terrible company, little bird," Dabi retorts.

He doesn't give Hawks time to reply for which the hero is grateful – he wouldn't be able to come up with anything smart anyway: "We need to come up with a plan. Should we meet at your place or mine?"

"Yours is safer," Hawks says immediately. "I'll be there soon."

"See ya, birb."

Hawks gets dressed quickly, all of his clothes black and ties his hair in a loose bun. As he's going to his balcony, escaping quickly. On his way, he stops at a fast food restaurant. He tells himself it's only for him but he picks up two menus with burgers and fries.

Once again, he doesn't even have to know the name on the bells to ring, but the door open to him in the moment he steps in front of it. The place is as dirty as Hawks remembers, the only change he notices is that there is even more graffiti on the walls. This time, though, there isn't any yelling coming out from the apartments around him. It's surprisingly quiet except for the sounds of TVs from few of the apartments.

Dabi is waiting for him at his floor just like he did the other day. When he sees Hawks, his lips curl in a grin that Hawks mindlessly returns. He waits till the hero walks inside and then closes the door behind them.

Hawks almost hoped the place would look messier now but it looks exactly like it did the first time he was here. Intact and empty. Hawks still sits down on the couch without asking. And Dabi, without asking, grabs one of the bags Hawks has brought and searches inside of it curiously.

"Usually, someone asks before they take food from someone's hands," Hawks murmurs in complain.

Dabi grins. „Usually, I don't give a fuck."

He takes out the burger and takes a giant bite.

"Do you even eat when I'm not around?" Hawks asks, surprisingly angry.

Dabi doesn't chew much and swallows almost straight away. "Sometimes," he admits but doesn't sound apologetic at all.

Hawks just shakes his head and reaches into his own bag to grab some fries.

"Don't tell me you are worried," Dabi teases

"Well, I've never had an ally who would starve themselves to death but there is a first time for everything I guess."

Hawks is barely through half of his meal when Dabi finishes his last fry. The hero isn't in a hurry to finish his own and for a minute, Dabi leaves him alone in the room. When he comes back, Hawks is just wiping his hands into a napkin when, suddenly, paper money appears in front of his face.

"What?" he asks stupidly. Dabi is standing above him, wallet in one hand, money in other.

Dabi smiles. "Don't wanna have you saying that crime doesn't pay off."

"Haha," Hawks gives him fake laugh. "Shove the money up your ass, whatever, I don't need it."

Dabi doesn't need to be told twice, he puts the money back into the wallet and then leaves it on the coffee table before he turns on his laptop. "Does it mean this is a date?"

Hawks is glad he's currently drinking. He doesn't spit out the drink, however shocking Dabi's question is, and it gives him time to think about the answer. He feels his heartbeat speed up, sweat on his palms but it's not a bad feeling. He still doesn't show any indication of interest – because he isn't interested – and says: "More like a business dinner."

"Fair enough," Dabi shrugs and sits down. Hawks is careful not to let their bodies touch.

"So, you figured out a genius plan to break into and out of the prison?" Hawks asks.

"Well, I figured a plan," Dabi chuckles. "I'm pretty sure if there is a genius in this room right now, it's not me. I actually think I'm not that big of a capacity to come up with a good plan. But I came up with something decent. Lemme explain it and then you can tell me if it's good."

Hawks nods and watches the man curiously as he opens up the map of the prison on one half of the screen and the guards list on the other.

When Dabi speaks again, his voice is serious, no traces of fun or the smile that has been there before. "As I went through the schedule, I think the only time when we actually have a chance of success is only a week from now. There will be no guards with better senses quirks that could easily discover us."

"A week?" Hawks repeats in shock. That's way too soon.

"Unfortunately, yeah. The only other time the guards would be perfect for us to go there is in three months time. I don't wanna wait that long."

"Okay," Hawks somehow understands. He would love to have more time to prepare for this, maybe even the three months would still be short but he gets that Dabi wants to get this over with. He would also prefer for his mission to be short. Before he can get attached, his mind adds but he pushes the thought into the back of his mind. He isn't getting attached.

Dabi continues, the light of the screen illuminating his face and his each word, he sounds incredibly smart: "I think we should get to the main generator first. It's not as well protected as the inside of the facility. There will just the maintenance officer. According to your information, the guards rarely even go there, the man inside is only replaced by another officer. The guards in the whole building are exchanging every three hours. I will take the place shortly before they switch and we will get rid of both of the officers. After that, when it's shortly after the guards in the prison exchanged, you are going to have to go on your own into the facility itself, infiltrate it. Now… I've got two questions, do you know someone who can hack the cameras outside so you'll get into the prison itself without anyone noticing and do you think you will be able to sneak some of your feathers with you?"

Hawks stares at Dabi for a second before he remembers he's supposed to reply to that. "I'll see about the hacking. I honestly can't contact just anyone about this but I'm pretty sure with my money, I can get someone from the deep web to do that. About the feathers… yea, sure, some of them but if I want to be discreet I'll leave lots of them and lose most of my power and mobility."

Dabi seems to take in the information. "Okay. The card you've got will get you to the operating reserve, right?" Hawks nods, shortly. "Cool. Will you be able to have enough feathers to damage it, though?"

"I mean… even a big hammer would be enough to damage it once you get to the reserve," Hawks smiles.

Dabi laughs at the thought. "I'm aware but I would prefer for you not to. Don't want you to end up like fried chicken, electrocuted."

Hawks immediately feels stupid for the comment. Dabi doesn't laugh at him, for which Hawks is grateful, and instead continues: "Anyway. We are going to have to destroy both the power sources at the same time. And, also, let Kurogiri know about this plan so he's ready to create the portal."

"Are we sure he will be able to?" Hawks asks curiously.

"I took a look at the container," Dabi says with patience Hawks didn't think he'd be capable of. "It doesn't affect Kurogiri in any way, he's just unable to use his quirk so the moment we break the walls, he's free. Also, for the container to work smoothly, the guards can't actually get inside. The time they give him meals has to be short as well because it's technically a breach and if it was longer, he would actually be able to form a portal.

"Which actually brings me to another point. I think you should send him a note or something like that with the meal so he's ready for the moment of blackout."

Hawks takes a deep breath and Dabi grins. "Don't tell me it's too much on you, little bird."

"Of course not," Hawks denies immediately. "It's just… isn't there going to be a person who usually takes the meal to Kurogiri? I'm going to have to find a way to put the note without anyone noticing – the people in the kitchen or the guards. All while you comfortably sit at the other generator."

The last accusation isn't fair and Hawks knows it. Dabi can't be the one to go to the prison itself. Not only because he's wanted villain but also because his scars make him way too noticeable.

What if someone recognizes Hawks, though? What if someone notices the guard that doesn't belong to the place? What if they catch him putting the note on Kurogiri's tray with meal? What if he fails? Dabi will have to end up being arrested and everyone will know about Hawks‘ failed mission.

He gulps, trying to take in a breath but there's a stab of pain in his chest which is like a wall, keeping him from breathing.

"Hawks."

The breath the man finally takes is more surprised than voluntary and he looks at the other man. Dabi is watching him with narrowed eyes, curious. Hawks immediately flashes a smile. "Sorry, got a bit lost in the thought."

Dabi doesn't seem to buy it but thankfully, Hawks manages not to fall into panic again.

"‘Is fine," Dabi doesn't seem to be convinced. "I said that you're thinking about it too much. We are going to be ready for it and it'll go nice and smooth."

Hawks sincerely hopes the villain is right.


 Hawks almost misses the times when the time would pass by agonizingly slowly because the following few days are gone before the hero really has any idea what's going on. His usual days don't change much – he catches villains, he makes public appearances, he meets up with Rumi. And then during his free time, he learns about the Nishi guards‘ quirks but not only that. Commission gives him details about them – about their families, their hobbies so when Hawks actually gets inside the prison, he can pretend to know them. They also agree to freeze the cameras in the prison at a specific time.

The hero meets Dabi several times during the week. Most of them take place at Dabi's place but at the last evening, Dabi appears in front of Hawks‘ apartment building. Which causes Hawks to panic, sort of. He gets the other man inside as soon as possible and then asks him what the fuck is he doing here – in the middle of the night. He's mostly angry because when the bell ringed, he was enjoying long, hot shower. When Dabi sees him, his hair still wet and wearing only a bathrobe and a pair of trousers, he whistles. Hawks feels heat in his ears but he ignores it.

"Shut up," Hawks orders him before the villain can say anything which only makes Dabi grin more. "What the hell are you doing here?"

"I brought you a little something," Dabi tells him, rising the bag he's holding.

"What is that?" Hawks wrinkles his nose suspiciously.

Dabi offers no reply. Instead, he just shoves the bag into Hawks‘ hands. The hero takes it and looks inside. A chuckle escapes him as he pulls out a wig with brown short hair.

"Really?" he raises his eyebrows.

Dabi has already made himself comfortable and sat down on Hawks‘ couch. "What? As much as I love the blonde halo of your hair, you gotta be unrecognizable, birb. Also, get rid of that stubble will you?"

"What's wrong with my looks?" Hawks asks, almost offended, despite knowing exactly what the other man means. He immediately tries to put the wig on. He's not very successful, his own hair are sticking from under it even though he's trying to push them underneath.

"Nothing, but everyone knows your pretty face, little bird," Dabi purrs.

Hawks struggles some more before staring into the other man's eyes. They are slightly narrowed, a small smirk playing on his lips. It takes Hawks a second to realize that Dabi is flirting with him. His heart beats loudly in his ears and his fingers tremble as he's still trying to tuck his hair under the wig.

"Are you trying to get into my pants?" he asks.

Dabi sighs and, not able to look at Hawks‘ struggling any longer, he steps closer, deep into Hawks‘ personal space. The hero doesn't step back, instead watches the other man. Once again, it feels like Dabi is towering over Hawks, standing in his full height. Hawks stares at him openly.

The villain stays silent. Instead, he raises his hands the level of Hawks‘ head and as he's just remembered himself, he locks his turquoise eyes with Hawks‘. The hero's brain screams at him – danger, danger, move away. Dabi gives him enough time to move. But Hawks is drowning in his eyes, the hero‘s limbs heavy and they don't want to move. Hawks doesn't want them to move.

The first touch of Dabi's fingers gives Hawks goosebumps and he barely fights of the shake that goes through his body. It's nothing more than the fingertips but they are hot and Hawks' skin is cold after the shower. Feeling almost like a baby, Hawks lets Dabi tuck the loose hair under the wig. His eyes are not leaving Hawks‘, he's studying him, analysing and it's so frustrating because the only thing Hawks can think of is how fast his heart beats in his chest, how sweaty his palms are and how nice Dabi's fingers feel when they are lightly brushing his skin.

The hero has no idea what Dabi sees and finds in his eyes but whatever it is, it makes his lips curl slightly. As he tucks the last stray hair, he blinks slowly the smile never leaving his face. When he speaks, his voice is dangerously low, a purr, luring Hawks, tying around him like a rope and pulling him closer: "There you go, little bird. Unrecognizable and still pretty."

Hawks doesn't need to ask the same question twice.

"I bet you tell that to all your heroes," he retorts but he sounds more breathless than funny.

"Never would've thought you'd want to be exclusive," Dabi smirks, moving a bit closer. Their chests are almost touching now. Hawks feels Dabi's hot breath on his cheek. Dabi's hot hand touches Hawks‘ fingers, light touch, not intimate. Curious, asking.

Hawks takes in a sharp breath. Danger, danger. But the touch feels so good. Too late, he realizes that he really should have gotten laid. In the back of his mind, he wonders if the same thing made Dabi flirt with him of  all people - the loneliness, the need to be with someone close, even if just physically, even if just for a little while. His voice sound strange to his own ears. "I don't."

He's never been so… passive. But with Dabi it feels natural. Maybe it's the voice in his head that screams at him that this is dumb, that he's going to regret this deeply. He needs to do this, for the mission, he tells himself to silence the voice.

"One time thing?" Dabi suggest, his tone playful, seductive. He's still touching Hawks hand as his other moves to Hawks‘ hip, simply putting it there, letting Hawks feel the weight of it.

Hawks nods, still not returning any of the touches but there's fire burning under his skin. He only adds: "No strings attached?"

Dabi returns the nod, bowing his head slightly down. The smirk on his lips widens. "A good luck fuck?"

Maybe it's the nervousness, the uneasy feeling that Hawks is doing something wrong yet irresistible, Hawks laughs, some of the tension leaving his shoulders. With a grin, he concurs: "A good luck fuck."

And then, Dabi leans down and kisses Hawks. Just like the fingers, his lips are hot, soft and rough at the same time, sensation completely unfamiliar and incomparable to anything and anyone else, but one that turns the blood in Hawks‘ veins into hot magna. He feels Dabi's fingers digging into the skin on his hip as he's pulling him closer, his other hand touches Hawks‘ other hip and then runs up, hot, even through the layer of Hawks‘ bathrobe, over his chest to cup his face. It's rough and warm and Hawks practically leans into the touch.

The first touch of their lips soft, experimental. Then, Hawks tilts his head back, giving Dabi better access and the villain becomes brave. He surpasses the distance between them, pressing his body against Hawks and bites at Hawks‘ lower lip. It's a gentle nip, curious, exploratory. And with the combination of the hot, surprisingly firm and tough body on his, Hawks melts into it, a moan escaping his lips.

Dabi, rightfully, takes that as an encouragement. He moves his arm from Hawks‘ hip, wrapping it around the shorter man's waist, bringing them even closer as he slides his hand more up to remove the thing off Hawks‘ head, the fingers curling into Hawks‘ hair. He's not pulling at it but as Hawks feels them tight up in his wet hair, a shiver goes down his spine, one that actually makes him tremble.

Hawks feels Dabi smile into the kiss before the man's tongue is pressing on his lips, asking for entrance. And god, does Hawks give it to him. As Dabi deepens the kiss, Hawks wraps his arms around his neck, groaning loudly. Dabi tastes like smoke and the undertone of some hot spice. He feels Dabi's tongue eagerly exploring, taking and taking and Hawks lets him, the feeling of guilt drowned in the sensation of having the control taken from him.

When Hawks' fingers find Dabi's hair, he's surprised at the softness of them.

Dabi's body presses more into Hawks, pushing him, without breaking the kiss. Their tongues make wet, obscene sounds and from time to time they bump into things on their way to the stairs. Both of them chuckle into the kiss caressly.

When they are at the bottom of the stairs, they have to stop kissing for a while. Hawks feels his lips being swollen, his cheeks flushed with heat. Dabi looks as messy as Hawks feels, which is somehow reassuring. His hair is all over the place, even more than usually, and one side of his coat half-fell from his shoulder.

They climb the stairs quickly, both of them eager to get to the main thing. There isn't any awkwardness which first intercourse usually brings, even with one night stands. There's no point.

Hawks undoes the knot on his bathrobe, letting it slip down in front of his bed. When he feels the back of his knees hit the bed, he lies down. Dabi smiles at him, sharp teeth, a predator, a cat finally having a sparrow exactly where it wants. And in that moment, Hawks wants nothing more than to be savor by this man.

The villain's way to the bed is slow, more for the show, so Hawks knows that this is how he wants it. Without removing his clothes, Dabi puts one knee on the bed, right between Hawks' spread legs. The corner of Dabi's lips goes up in a hot smirk; he watches the hero's expression as he pushes Hawks' leg up with knee, spreading his legs even more.

Dabi's look is moving all across Hawks' naked body, studying him with that smile on his lips and the hero feels bare and exposed but it has nothing to do with the nakedness.

Dabi looks up and meets Hawks' eyes and the grin widens. He leans down, putting his hand next to Hawks' head, and climbs to the bed. He kisses Hawks again, deep and rather than curious, he's aggressive, all teeth, nipping on Hawks' lips and the hero can only whimper at the feeling.

"Aren't you going to take off your clothes?" he gasps after Dabi grabs him by the hair again and tilts his head backwards to bite on his neck, just enough not to leave any marks.

"Is that a problem?" Dabi asks, his lips moving against Hawks' sensitive skin. His tone is curious and somehow, Hawks knows he would take off his clothes if he asked him to. He doesn't. It's going to be… less personal like this.

"No," he murmurs.

"Good," Dabi purrs, his hand now roaming Hawks' side, up to his chest, hot and rough.

Hawks buries his fingers into Dabi's hair, pulling the man for another kiss. This time, he makes his tongue dance Dabi's. The villain seems to like the sudden initiative as he growls into the kiss and sucks on Hawks‘ tongue eagerly.

Lying on his back with his wings is usually too uncomfortable for Hawks but right now the discomfort is almost nonexistent; he loves the way Dabi presses his body into the mattress with his own. For someone as skinny, he is surprisingly heavy, pinning him down. Hawks loves the sensation.

Dabi then grabs him by the hair and tilts his head back, making Hawks gasp on the sudden bit of pain.

"Sorry," Dabi murmurs into the skin of Hawks' neck, licking and kissing but careful not to leave any visible marks. That is, until he moves further down, to the hero's collar bone and bites down harshly. Hawks hisses in pain but rolls his hips up against Dabi's, showing just how much he enjoys it.

He feels Dabi's hard cock pressing against his own through Dabi's pants, the smirk on his lips as he's sucking the spot he's just bitten.

"Hmm, I suppose I should have known you would like it a bit rough," Dabi murmurs into his skin. "Too bad we are going through the thing tomorrow. Would've taken my time with ya, would've made ya feel me for days."

His fingers dig into Hawks‘ hips roughly, moving down to bite at Hawks‘ nipple. Hawks closes his eyes. Maybe it's Dabi's action, maybe it's the image of him fucking into Hawks roughly, holding him down, he lets out a loud moan.

"You would like that, wouldn't you?" Dabi whispers into Hawks‘ skin.

The hero opens his eyes. Dabi is resting on his belly, staring at him with flaming, turquoise eyes, a smirk on his lips. He opens his mouth and then, slowly, licks on Hawks‘ nipple, teasing, the tongue hot and obscene. The hero bites his lip to keep himself from moaning again.

The reaction entertains Dabi and the man chuckled darkly. "You can try to be quiet, Hawks. I take it as a challenge."

Hawks doesn't say anything, doesn't believe himself to be able to form an actual sentence.

With one swift movement, Dabi leans on his hand and pushes himself back up to kiss Hawks. It can hardly be called a kiss though, it's wild, dangerous, Dabi sucking on Hawks‘ lips and then biting them in the next moment. Then, Dabi moves across Hawks‘ jawline, licking and teasing.

When he bites down on Hawks‘ earlobe, tugging slightly, the hero feels his eyes rolling back, his body trembling. He's always been weak for this and Dabi is fucking good. A whimper escapes his throat.

"Good," Dabi whispers into his ear smuggly and when he kisses Hawks‘ neck again, it feels like a reward. "Do you have lube, little bird?"

It takes a few seconds for the question to actually registrate into Hawks‘ brain. "Yeah, the top drawer," he points to the bedside table. Dabi lifts his weight from Hawks‘ and reaches for the drawer. The bed is too big, his body completely moving from Hawks and the hero already misses the heat and the weight atop of him.

It also gives him a moment to think clearly. He sits down. This is such a bad idea. He shouldn't do this. One night stands can end up horrible if the two parties actually keep in touch and he knows he and Dabi will most definitely stay in contact. He's about to sleep with a villain. He can almost hear Rumi's voice in his head ‘Can't you keep it in your pants, you idiot?! Tell him you changed your mind!'

It's in that moment that Dabi puts his hand on Hawks‘ shoulders and the touch disperses those thoughts away. He lets the villain push him down into the bed again, into the center this time, Hawks‘ head and back resting on the pillows.

Dabi moves back into his spot between Hawks‘ spread legs. He is staring at him intently, still smirking. Hawks‘ heart is beating loudly in his chest. Dabi's look flickers slightly to the side, behind Hawks and before the hero can guess what he's thinking about, Dabi orders: "Spread the wings."

Hawks blinks several times. "What?" he asks dumbly.

There's a softness to Dabi's smile now, one that Hawks‘ thinks shouldn't be there for the sake of both of them. "I wanna see them, little bird."

Hawks has never been self-conscious but this request makes him squirm, not in a bad way, but it does. If any of his previous partners wanted to see the wings, they never really voiced the request. If anything, Hawks often felt like his wings stood in the way and unless he removed the feathers, some positions are pretty much impossible.

Tentatively, he spreads the wings. He moves them more up than to the sides so he doesn't knocks something down. Dabi stares, his eyes devouring every single details about them, fascination written all over his face. The feathers make shuffling sound as they move across the bedsheets, it sounds loud in the quiet room.

Dabi extends his hand as if he wants to touch but then remembers himself and looks Hawks in the eye. "Can I?"

The question sounds strange to Hawks‘ ears, making him shy. Typically, nobody, not even his fans, asked if they can touch his wings. They just did. They were what made him the hero. It was almost like they were the public property ever since Commission decided he would become a great hero. Dabi's question awakens something deep inside of him, soft and warm, and Hawks pushes it away immediately because even in his state – with a dick so hard it's almost painful, he acknowledges the danger of the feeling that he refuses to name.

Dabi is still waiting for an answer and even though Hawks doesn't mean to sound like that, when he speaks, his voice sounds weak, almost fragile, and quiet: "Yeah."

In contrast to the roughness with which Dabi has kissed him before, his touch is gentle, experimental, and Hawks feels a shiver go through him at the feeling of the fingers caressing the feathers, running across them, feeling the strange texture. Hawks can't feel the feathers, they don't hurt when he loses them, but he would swear he can feel the warmth of Dabi's fingers, that the way he touches him brings pleasure into Hawks.

Dabi just stares at the wings as if they are the most fascinating thing in the world, his hands roaming. If he wanted, Hawks realizes, he could burn those feathers to ashes but the thought doesn't strike fear inside. It's a simple realization.

He shoots Dabi a grin, the initial nervousness gone. "You like?"

Dabi returns the smile, locking his eyes with Hawks‘ again. "Fishing for compliments?"

"I'm always a slut for compliments," Hawks says shamelessly.

Dabi chuckles, his fingers leaving the feathers and Hawks misses the touch already. Fortunately, the man leans down, his free hand cupping Hawks‘ face as he whispers: "You are fucking pretty, little bird," and then kisses away any reply Hawks could've come up with.

The hero returns the kiss eagerly, tilting his head to give Dabi better access when he deepens the kiss.

After the villain moves down again his neck, again, he says, playfully, without real meaning behind the words: "Always knew you were a slut."

Hawks laughs, rolling his hips teasingly up. A grin grows on his lips when Dabi gasps in surprise. "Always knew you were a bitch."

They both laugh and Dabi kisses him again, nipping at his bottom lip, making Hawks moan again.

Then, Dabi pulls away. Hawks is disappointed at the lost of contact. That is, until he notices the man grabbed the tube of lube and is currently pouring it on his hand. A smile is still playing on his lips, his gaze fixed upon Hawks.

"Keep the wings up," he tells him and Hawks‘ feels his body tremble in excitement.

Then, without any other warning, Dabi takes Hawks‘ cock, and the smaller man feels his wings flicker immediately, as he lets out a soft moan. Dabi's hand is rough, his fingers hot and the the touch is like sweet agony.

His reaction makes Dabi grin widely, and then he strokes Hawks dick, drawing more whimpers out of the man. When he speaks, his voice is smug and low with seduction: "We barely started and you are already losing control. Under different circumstances, I'd have so much fun with you, little bird."

His fingers tighten experimentally. Hawks gasps, grabbing the Dabi's wrist but he doesn't try to pull the hand away from his cock. Dabi must take that as encouragement, as he should, and strokes him some more, slowly moving his fingers up and down.

"Oh, it'd be so much fun," he repeats. "I'd take my time, y'know? Teasing you for hours, making you squirm under me until you'd beg me for me to fuck you. You'd do that, wouldn't you? And then, I'd let you ride my cock while you'd have those pretty wings of yours open. Can you imagine? What a sight you'd make, hero. I would fuck you for hours until you'd be able to think about nothing but me."

Hawks bites down on his lip again, his eyes shut tight, his grip on Dabi's grip tightens but the villain doesn't stop stroking Hawks‘ cock. If anything, Hawks‘ reaction, the way he trembles under him only makes him quicken the pace. Hawks thinks he is going mad from pleasure… and then, he feels Dabi's fingers at his entrance, pushing inside.

"Fuck!" he screams when he feels Dabi's two fingers immediately inside of him. It burns only slightly but the pain is easily overcome with the pleasure as Dabi doesn't stop jerking him off. The villain doesn't start scissoring immediately, for which Hawks is thankful.

"Such sweet song you're singing, little bird," Dabi purrs.

"Fuck you!" Hawks grunts, the sensation too much. "Just…" He doesn't finish the sentence, doesn't really know what he's asking for.

Dabi only chuckles some more. Hawks would curse some more but before he can, Dabi leans down and lets go of his cock just before he wraps his lips around it, immediately bobbing his head down, swallowing him to the rim. Hawks can't silence the moan that's ripped from his throat, he tilts his head back, closing his eyes again and he feels whole body shivering, his wings tensing.

Then, Hawks feels the fingers inside him moving, Dabi pulls them out just a bit before pushing back inside, scissoring him harshly. When Hawks opens his eyes, he's met with probably the hottest image, he's ever seen. Dabi, between his legs, his lips wrapped around Hawks‘ cock and he's looking at him with the turquoise eyes that seem to glow with amusement and arousal.

Dabi lowers his head even further down and Hawks whines when he feels the tip of his cock hit the back of Dabi's throat. Hawks rolls his hips, involuntarily, and of fucking course Dabi doesn't have a gag reflex. He simply blinks and then sucks on Hawks‘ member some more, his fingers moving inside Hawks, spreading him, while he uses the other hand to hold his hips down.

Before Hawks even realizes, he's a panting mess, his breathing loud in the room and he's desperately trying not to whimper. Dabi licks him, sucks him, moves his head up and down, and when Hawks feels his fingers brush against the spot inside him, he can't swallow the loud whimper that's ripped from his throat.

Dabi lets Hawks‘ member go with a low pop. His lips are swollen and the part of his cheeks which isn't scared has a nice shade of pink. He looks almost cute. What he says, however, is far from cute – his voice harsh with his own arousal: "Do you want something, little bird?"

He has a smirk on his lips again, all tease and play. Hawks wants to hit him with a pillow because Dabi knows very well what the man wants. But he would lie if he said the way Dabi looks at him doesn't make him squirm… in a very good way. He also knows that the villain will not do anything until he asks him to.

He gulps, swallowing his pride and closing his eyes, he whispers: "Fuck me."

Thankfully, Dabi doesn't ask him to repeat, louder - Hawks thinks he wouldn't be able to. Instead, Dabi pulls out his fingers and sits up. Hawks watches him, agitation and arousal mingling in his veins. The villain pulls out his cock from his pants, putting on a condom he grabbed with the tube of lube and Hawks stares. Seems like hands aren't the only thing that's bigger than Hawks expected. He can practically feel his mouth drool at the sight. So much, he almost doesn't notice that Dabi's pubic hair is growing back.

Hawks raises his eyebrows, the shock making him forget where he is for a second. "You're redhead?!"

Tension takes Dabi's body, the man freezing in the middle of a movement as if he's caught doing something horrible but before Hawks can read more into his body language, Dabi relaxes again and flashes a smirk at him: "Is that a problem?"

Hawks grins as well. "Of course not. Do you get freckles when you sunbathe?"

Something predatory sneaks into Dabi's smirk and he leans down just inches above Hawks, leaning against the hand next to the hero's head. When he whispers, Hawks can feel hot breath tickling his skin: "If you have time to think about shit like that, clearly, I'm doing something wrong."

Hawks closes his eyes again, trembling. He feels hot lips on his, kissing him slowly but firmly. He moans into the kiss and buries his fingers into Dabi's black hair.

Dabi pushes Hawks' legs further apart surprisingly gently, lining his member at the smaller man's entrance. Hawks didn't even notice when, but he moved his wings closer to them, half closing them around himself and Dabi, like a shelter around them, covering them and separating them from the rest of the world.

The first push is agonizingly slow and Dabi's big cock is filling him so good. He moves his hands from Dabi's hair and digs his nails into his shoulders. The villain only grunts in pleasure as he's slowly pushing deeper and deeper until he's inside Hawks to the rim.

Both of them are breathing heavily, Hawks feels sweat on his forehead. Dabi kisses him again, aggressive in a way he wasn't even before, and it feels more like conquering, exploring his mouth and sucking on Hawks' lower lip.

The hero can only whine in pleasure. And when Dabi pulls out slightly, only to rock his hips and fill him again, he tilts his head back and groan loudly. He immediately feels Dabi running his teeth across his sensitive throat.

Despite his rough kissing, Dabi keeps to his word and fucks him slowly. Out and in, out and in, a steady rhythm, deep and gentle. Almost too gentle for Hawks' liking. The hero squirms under him, trying to roll his hips to make him go deeper, despite the fact that with every move, Dabi hits the spot, drawing more and more moans from inside of him. Distantly Hawks realizes he's murmuring encouragements: "Please, harder. Yes, it feels so good."

It's mostly babbling but he knows Dabi hears him. Yet, he doesn't give in and keeps his pace, his cock filling Hawks so good and his lips and teeth playing with Hawks' jaw, his neck and his collarbone.

The orgasm builds in Hawks' belly slowly. It's not like one of those orgasms that's ripped from him violently. Dabi plays him like a piano, getting him slowly where he wants him to be, taking him closer and closer to the climax with each roll of his hips. And as if he knows Hawks is seconds away from reaching the orgasm, he wraps his hot fingers around Hawks' cock and strokes him rhythm with his thrusts.

Even Hawks' orgasm feels slow but it only makes it better and the hero rides on the waves of it with loud moans.

"Such a good boy," Hawks hears Dabi speak, not recognizing the tone, hot breath tickling the skin on Hawks' ear.

His movements grow more erratic afterwards, his breathing labored and loud. He doesn't moan or groan in the same way Hawks did but the hero can say exactly when he comes - his body tenses and he takes in a sharp breath.

For a few minutes, nothing except for loud breathing can be heard in Hawks' bedroom. Neither of them knows when, but Dabi leaned down during the time to let his forehead rest on Hawks'. The gesture feels strangely intimate, their noses are gently brushing against each other, they are breathing each other's breaths, all while Dabi is still inside of Hawks and Hawks' wings wrapped tightly around the two of them like a cocoon, hiding them from the rest of the world.

He briefly wonders how nice it'd feel if Dabi came inside him, filling him, marking him as his own.

Hawks spreads the wings more to the side, exposing the two of them to the light. The logic side of his mind is slowly coming back to itself as it informs him that would be a very bad idea.

Then, Dabi pulls away making the other man jerk slightly. He knees between Hawks' legs, smirking smugly, and then he runs his hand through his hair. Despite what they has just done, Hawks feels his cheeks redden. Dabi looks incredibly sexy like that.

"That was great, Hawks," he says, taking off the condom.

"I'm glad you had fun," Hawks tells him, smiling despite himself.

Dabi blinks for a second, the smirk on his lips fading. When he speaks, there's a hint of self-conscious in his voice: "You didn't?" he asks.

Hawks suddenly remembers all the times Dabi seems to have put himself down and he can't help but want to at least boost his confidence a bit. He grins and truthfully says: "Sorry man, I feel like I'm so well-fucked that I can't form the right compliment of your fucking skills."

Dabi laughs, sitting down on his feet. "And yet your mouth still runs so fucking fast."

Hawks just shrugs with a smile.

The villain shakes his head unbelievably before crawling from the bed.

Hawks does not feel sad that he's already leaving.

"I'll meet you tomorrow," Dabi tells him, his voice suddenly more business.

Hawks doesn't bother walking him to the door, he honestly doesn't want to leave the bed. Yet, there is an ache in his heart as he watches Dabi's back.

At the stairs, Dabi stops in his tracks. He doesn't turn around, instead he just says: "About your question… I do get freckles."

Hawks stares at him as he leaves.

When he hears the front door closed, Hawks pulls the blanket atop of himself as a stupid smile grows on his lips.

Chapter Text

Despite feeling strangely content, which is something Hawks blames on being so well-fucked for the first time in months, he can't fall asleep. And the more he waits for the sleep to take him, the farther away he recedes from it. While he can't deny the physical pleasure Dabi made him feel, can't deny that he's still feeling the hand on his hips, the fingers in his hair and the lips and teeth on his neck, he feels like the ghosts that are left of the touches also burn him. He knows they both agreed on this being a one-time thing. That no feelings were included. Yet, Hawks feels dirty and it's not because of Dabi.

Hawks is essentially lying to Dabi. Dabi doesn't know his true intentions and it's safe to assume he would never sleep with Hawks if he knew the truth. The thought makes Hawks‘ head spin and he feels his stomach up in his throat. The memory of the cracking skull of the police officer awakens in his mind again. Desperately, he runs his hand into his hair, his heart pounding hard in his chest.

The silence in the room is loud and heavy, pushing down on his shoulders and chest, suffocating him. He desperately needs to talk to someone but doesn't know whom. He can't tell the Commission he's slept with Dabi yet because, essentially, he didn't gain anything from it except for a good fuck and guilt stabbing him in his stomach. He can't call Rumi because, even without him telling her what exactly happened, she would come here and would be probably able to smell the sex, would be incredibly curious. And he certainly can't call Dabi.

But he hates the silence, it's killing him and sends him into memories where he is much smaller, locked in a tiny dark room, hearing noises of a household outside but every time he cries, begging to be let out, he is met with nothing but silence. Even though he knows his voice is heard.

He grabs his phone. He doesn't even know when it's become one in the morning. He hesitates because he knows nobody likes to being called at this hour and he honestly has no right to do so. It's selfish. Still, he dials the number and with the anxiety clenching on his heart, he listens to the tone as he's waiting for the person to pick up.

The first thing Ayane says is: "Are you alright?"

There's sleepiness in her voice but it's drowned out in the worry.

But the moment he hears her voice, he feels some relief washing over him. It doesn't erase the guilt but the traces of panic are gone and the weight of silence is removed from his chest. He can breathe again.

Unfortunately, Hawks also doesn't know what to say in the moment. He curses himself – he calls her, in the middle of the night with absolutely no idea what to say.

"No," he confirms in the end because he can't lie to her in that moment. "I-" he gasps but leaves off, still not sure what to say. What the fuck was he thinking?

Ayane waits for him to say anything else and when he doesn't, she speaks again. The sleepiness is gone from her voice now and although the hint of worry is still there, she sounds calm. And more importantly calming. "Are you in any danger, Hawks?"

"No," Hawks admits.

"Are you home?"

"Yes."

"Are you alone?"

"Yes."

She is asking short, simple question, slowly and somehow, it helps to calm him some more. Finally, she asks more complicated question: "What happened, Hawks?"

And, fuck, Hawks wants to tell her everything. He knows she would give him advice, she would know what to do and how to put his demons at leash. But he can't, he can't tell her about his mission, about the League, about what he'll do later today or about Dabi.

He also can't lie to her in the moment, though. "I can't tell you right now."

There is a moment of silence. It's short, Ayane and Rumi are the only ones who know about his hatred towards dark and silence.

Ayane seems to understand the situation. "Okay. You don't have to go into details if you can't. Can you at least tell me what you think upset you?"

"Well," Hawks tugs nervously at his hair. "I slept with someone after I lied to them."

Another moment of silence and Hawks feels anxiety creeping on him again. That is, until Ayane's voice chases it away. "Did you lie to him in order to sleep with him?"

"Well, not technically but-"

"Are you planning on dating him?"

"Definitely not."

"Were you the one to initiate it?"

Ayane's voice is still calm, soothing and without any judging. It may sound like a professional examination of Hawks but the man knows better. She's not asking him because she wants to validate his mental state but because she cares and wants to help him.

"No."

Another beat of silence and then Ayane speaks again with more worry this time. "You consented, right?"

"Yeah, of course I did but-"

"Alright," the woman interrupts him gently. "So, and correct me if I'm wrong… but it sounds like you both wanted this." Hawks opens his mouth but before he can speak, she continues: "Now, before you come to me and tell me about your lies or whatever, listen what I have to say. You both were in it for the sex, nothing more. No relationship behind, just two adults blowing up the steam, so to speak. Do you feel like a one night stand with complete stranger would be any different? With complete stranger, would you even bother telling them details about yourself?"

"No," Hawks admits. "I would prefer to just stay strangers."

"Exactly," Ayane says. "The two of you were in it for each other's body, no personality or any personal stuff. Just sex, nothing more, nothing less." Her voice grows softer. "I'm not going to tell you that you've done nothing wrong, Hawks, especially if you know this guy. But you didn't lie to him in order to sleep with him and it was just one time thing. If you were to continue relation with him I would advise you to be honest with him and tell him the truth… but as long as it's just sex and you both know it's just that, it's fine."

With each her word, she silences his demons some more. There's still doubt and guilt throbbing through Hawks body but Ayane managed to help. A lot. His heart is no longer pounding and he doesn't feel like fainting.

"Okay," his voice sounds incredibly weak and only now he realizes how tired he is.

"Hawks," she sounds incredibly, almost unbearably soft. "I know you and you are a good guy. Don't hate yourself or trap yourself in guilt. You'll never break free."

"Alright," Hawks can't do much but promise himself to try that at least. "Thanks Ayane."

There's a hint of joy in her voice. "That's what I'm here for – phone calls from my friends in the middle of the night."

"Yeah, sorry about that.."

"It's really no problem," she says kindly. "Now go and try to get some sleep, okay?"

"Okay. Goodnight."

"Goodnight, Hawks."

Hawks‘ world falls into silence again. It's not suffocating him anymore but it's still uncomfortable. He grabs earphones and plugs them into his phone to listen to music before he falls asleep.


 

The next day when he comes to the office, nothing seems to be different. Ayane doesn't treat him different. She says hi to him when they meet in the hallway and exchanges small talk with him when they meet at the coffee machine. She doesn't say anything when Hawks goes out of the office to catch a villain.

It's only ten minutes before he can go home… or more like go to Dabi's apartment and start their little big breakout of Kurogiri, when Ayane knocks at the door of his office.

Hawks grows nervous. It's different to talk about secrets and dark feelings growing inside of him in the middle of the night, into the silence, hidden by the blanket of darkness while the other person isn't really in the room with him, and it's different to talk to them in person, in the bright beams of light.

"Hey," she says hesitatingly.

"Hi, what's up?" he asks

Ayane sighs. "I know you don't wanna talk about it anymore and I'm not going to make you. But I need to ask you something. Did you have a panic attack last night?"

Of course she is asking that. Hawks gulps and rubs the back of his neck nervously. Ayane has access to his medical record.

"No," he says truthfully. "But… in the last few weeks I've felt too close for liking to it."

Ayane frowns and steps closer. "If you ever have one, I'd like you to tell me, okay?"

"Okay," Hawks promises. He takes a look at his phone. "I gotta go now."

Ayane, however, steps into the way. When Hawks looks up at her, she's frowning in worry. "Hawks, whatever is the thing you are working on right now… I know you heroes don't think about it like that but by the end of the day, it is just a job. And jobs can be quit. You do not owe the world your kindness and nobody has the right to require it from you. It's your decision. Don't set yourself on fire to keep others warm… that shit, you know?"

She tries to lighten up the mood with those her words but her tone is far too serious for it to work. Hawks simply nods. If Ayane has any doubts left, she doesn't voice them. Instead, the two of them leave the office and Hawks locks it behind himself.

He has left all his equipment at Dabi's a few days ago, except for the wig Dabi has brought him. The uniform, the card, the written note for Kurogiri. Everything is with the villain. Dabi also said he would be getting them a car so Hawks didn't have to worry about anything except for getting his ass to Dabi's place.

The hero finds himself too soon standing in front of the apartment building. It's raining and he has his hood on. As always, he is waiting for Dabi to open the door but nothing happens this time. The hero grows slightly nervous. He's never been here in the plain daylight but even though the people on the street are simply ignoring him, he feels insecure.

And then a black car with blackened windows pulls over to the sidewalk. It looks old but in good condition and Hawks stares, openly, as the side window of the driver seat rolls down. When he sees Dabi's face, he's not surprised at all but slightly nervous after last night. However, the nervousness is chased away when he sees the sunglasses the man he's wearing. He barely manages to stop the laugh.

Dabi flashes him a smile, leaning outside the window. „Well, hi there pretty bird, need a ride?"

Hawks loses the fight and bursts out laughing, the smile on Dabi's lips grows bigger but he nods his head to the side. "Get in."

Despite his better judgement, Hawks says jokingly: "I'm sorry but my mama taught me not to go with strangers."

Dabi looks at him over the edge of his glasses. "I've got candy."

"Yay!" Hawks walks around the car and both of them laugh.

The hero sits down on the passenger seat, letting his feathers rest in the back. Dabi immediately takes the sunglasses off, the smile never leaving his lips. The air between them is surprisingly relaxed given what they are about to do and, more importantly, what happened yesterday.

Dabi doesn't seem too nervous which means that yesterday didn't mean to him much. Which should be relieving. Instead, there is something that makes Hawks‘ inside twists uncomfortably. He ignores it and raises the bag he's holding.

"I've brought dinner."

Dabi makes a disgusted face but takes the bag and looks inside. "I'm starting to think you want me to get fat."

There isn't any rush. The shift that they are waiting for will be there at night and they will have to break in only in the morning anyway. Kurogiri gets his breakfast at half past five in the morning. It only shows how utterly fucked they are if things go wrong. Hawks needs to be at his office at eight and if something happens during the night and he isn't available things can get… complicated.

The hero's thoughts are interrupted as Dabi takes out a box of curry rice with chicken and starts eating.

Hawks patiently waits for him to finish the meal.

"Thanks," Dabi murmurs giving Hawks the empty box. The hero takes it and puts it into the bag.

"No problem, dude," he answers.

Dabi's driving is surprisingly smooth. Hawks usually gets sick in cars, even in the front seat, but Dabi is skilled with the pressure he puts on the breaks and the gas, and the movements of his hands are smooth. Hawks looks at the hands, suddenly remembering the hot grip on his cock and the long fingers inside him. He feels a blush growing on his face.

When he feels the blush go away, he dares to look at the other man. He's wearing the black coat with short sleeves exposing his scarred arms, with dangerously low cleavage. However, Hawks feels sudden need to run Dabi's shirt up, wants to see how far the scars go, wants to feel the skin under his fingers. Hawks feels like in that moment, he feels the bite marks on his collarbone which Dabi has left there yesterday, throbbing.

He realizes there's something truly fucked up with him if he finds Dabi attractive. But god, he does. And not just because he knows the man is incredible in bed.

He stops ogling Dabi's chest and his look returns to his arms. There's something different about them now than Hawks remembers them the first time they met. He glances up as well. Dabi's cheeks are definitely not as hollow as they used to be. The hero immediately feels his lips smiling in delight.

"Did you put on some weight?" he can't keep himself from asking curiously.

Dabi glances at him, cocking his eyebrows. "Are you calling me fat again?"

"Nah, you look pretty good." Hawks immediately regrets those words. He told himself he would stay away from Dabi, at least in this area. He's already had the sex, he got laid. Why is he still being pulled towards the other man like he's a fucking sun?

Dabi's lips curl into a smile but he doesn't take his eyes off the road. "I thought you're supposed to flatter me before you get into my pants, not afterwards."

Hawks gulps, his heart beating faster again but he just smiles. "I thought it was the other way around. You seduced my sorry ass."

Dabi raises his eyebrows again and turns his head to stare at the other man. He doesn't stop driving through the city just as smoothly as he did when he was looking at the road. It's dangerous and nobody should do it, yet Hawks doesn't have it in him to tell him to mind the driving. He feels his breathing laboring and he licks his lips.

"Is that how it is?" Dabi purrs. "A little beauty and the beast story?"

Hawks tries not to remember that one version of the fairy tale which ends with the beauty being eaten alive by the beast because of the wicked sisters of hers. Or perhaps it's best for him to remember that rather than lose himself in the sea of Dabi's eyes.

Only now the hero notices they are somehow familiar, despite the color being so unique.

Dabi is still looking at him without it affecting his driving at all. Hawks finally remembers himself.

"Wait," he says. "Are we still flirting?"

There's realization on Dabi's face, he blinks as if he, too, only now becomes aware of what he's doing. He doesn't even reply, his lips purses into a thin line. While it's relieving to know that Dabi also doesn't want to flirt and yet can't help himself in the same way Hawks does, it also makes the hero more nervous. If neither of them are will be able to control themselves, this could lead into a very dangerous place.

The tension in the air grows. Hawks hates the silence. He considers turning on the radio but doesn't want to reach that deep into Dabi's space (even though it's not that deep) and so he rather runs his mouth: "Where did you get the car?"

"Where did you get the access card and the hacking for the security cameras at the place?" Dabi retorts.

"I have my resources," Hawks says.

When Dabi tells him the same thing, he is not surprised at all. He is surprised, however, when Dabi smiles and adds: "I lend it."

The hero frowns, immediately tensing up. "From a service?"

Dabi grins knowingly. "Relax, little bird. I blocked the GPS signal. They are not tracking us."

Hawks does relax. He lets his legs rest against the dashboard of the car. Dabi gives him a glance but rather than disapproving he looks entertained, as if this is exactly what he expected of Hawks. To be honest, Hawks would also expect Dabi to do the same thing

"Did your mother not teach you some manners?" the villain asks. "What if I push at the brakes out of sudden?"

"My ma was too busy reaching the bottom of a bottle," Hawks laughs a little too late realizing what he's just said.

For the first time, Dabi's driving seems to waver as the man takes a sharp look at Hawks. It's only a glance, he's raising his eyebrows, and then he's back at looking at the road in front of him. He can imagine Ayane's disapproving look – she often told him that making fun of his childhood as the copying mechanism, making it sound funny, wasn't healthy for him and it could give him some trouble one day.

The thing was, Hawks can't talk about it while being serious. It's almost impossible for him.

But he also doesn't want Dabi to dawdle in this and so he continues with light voice: "Also, don't worry, I'm pretty flexible."

There is a ghost of a smile on Dabi's lips. "I bet you are."

The car falls into silence again. One that is too loud to Hawks' ears. He's just about to say something, anything, when Dabi moves. He reaches to the dashboard cabinet at Hawks side and opens it, pulling out a pack of cigarettes.

"Open it for me, yeah?" he asks Hawks.

"You're gonna die," Hawks warns him but he opens the pack. He isn't exactly fond of them - the memories of the stubs everywhere across the tiny, dirty apartment burned into his mind, but he recognizes the pack is a good quality one. He also knows Dabi isn't a smoker either. There weren't any ashtrays at his apartment. Also, his kisses didn't taste like cigarettes, Hawks' minds adds, unhelpfully.

"Thanks," Dabi murmurs and then rolls down the window before grabbing one and putting the pack back inside the cabinet. Hawks watches him with his mouth slightly open as he creates a tiny, blue flame on his thumb and lights the cigarette and breathes the smoke inside of his lungs, letting the slow poison in.

Dabi isn't looking at Hawks but Hawks is staring at him. There's something about him right now, hanging his arm on the open window, one of his hands on the wheel, the other one holding the cigarette as he inhales the smoke, lets it out and then breathes it right back through his nose.

"My dad is abusive piece of shit," Dabi says out of sudden before taking another smoke.

Hawks stares. Dabi refuses to meet his eyes, too focused right in front of himself.

The hero believes him. For the way Dabi's eyes are so stubbornly fixed on the road ahead. For the way his hand is gripping the wheel so painfully tight. For the way he doesn't blink.

Hawks doesn't say anything for once. He doesn't say he's sorry. He doesn't ask Dabi to tell him more.

Instead, he reaches for the cigarette between Dabi's fingers, his fingers brushing against the villain's. Finally, the villain watches him again with those aqua eyes. He lets go of the cigarette.

The moment Hawks breathes in the smoke, he's starting to cough.

Dabi laughs at him loudly as Hawks is trying to get the smoke out of his lungs, his face heating up. In few seconds, he feels Dabi smacking his back not too gently but it helps.

"Was that your first one?" Dabi asks, taking the cigarette back.

"Fuck you!" Hawks retorts but when he doesn't feel like suffocating, he flashes him a smirk.

Dabi just snorts. Not a grin, not a laugh. A snort.

And Hawks smiles.

For the truly first time, Hawks doesn't wish anything more than to save Dabi.


 

Something shifts. Hawks doesn't notice straight away but it's noticeable. The tension in the air between them has cracked and blew out like a popped balloon. They don't speak again for an hour but for the first time in a while, Hawks is completely comfortable in the silence.

He even relaxes enough to actually close his eyes when they finally drive out of the city. He opens up the window slightly even though the weather outside is getting colder and enjoys the feeling of wind playing with his hair.

Under different circumstances, this would feel a lot like road trip. Just the two of them, Dabi eventually turning on the radio and they argue about just every song that starts to play but it's more like a friendly banter. They have a short stop at a gas station during which Hawks buys both of them a coffee and a hot dog and they eat it outside. Neither tastes really good but they eat it anyway.

"It's pretty big. Can you even eat it, little bird?" Dabi asks teasingly before taking a bite of his own. It's lewd, disgusting joke that makes Hawks choke on the hotdog with snort. It only makes Dabi laugh.

When Hawks finally swallows the bite, he frowns at the other man but he probably can't hide the smile that's growing on his lips. "You'd be surprised what else I can fit in my mouth."

Dabi looks like he's about to splutter the coffee he's just drinking but when he puts the cup down, he is smiling as much as Hawks is.

Just one night thing, Hawks reminds himself. That's what Dabi wanted anyway. Flirting doesn't mean they are going to fuck again. They shouldn't fuck again.

Inconveniently, Dabi's words from yesterday ring in his head. The dark promises of Dabi playing with him, of making Hawks ride his dick. For hours. Before Hawks can stop himself, his imagination runs wild. He imagines the big hot hands on his hips, digging into the skin and leaving bruises. The soft and rough lips on his. The sharp teeth nipping at his neck.

He imagines Dabi fucking him rough and deep into the mattress instead of the slow way he did yesterday.

Hawks chases the thoughts away and finishes his coffee. The last thing he needs right now is to get a boner when they are standing at the gas station, in the countryside.

Dabi doesn't seem to notice his strange behaviour. He simply finishes his hot dog and then sips his coffee as he waits for Hawks to finish as well. It's almost funny to Hawks that despite Dabi being the one that's more malnourished, he always finishes the meals first. Like someone who really does forget to eat or doesn't care for it when he's alone.

Hawks asks if he should be the one to drive right now. Dabi just laughs and tells him to sit down.

With the full stomach, despite the dose of caffeine, Hawks almost feels sleepy. However, while he may be a fool, he's not fool enough to risk falling asleep with Dabi next to him. Even though the ride is smooth and calming.

Fortunately, all his worries about falling asleep leave him when, after a while, Dabi announces: "We're almost there."

Sudden wave of adrenaline rushes through Hawks. They are currently on the road by the sea. The view would probably be great if the wind wasn't strong and it didn't feel like there was a storm coming, the smell of salt and water in the air. They can see clearly the Nishi prison, an island on the horizon in the sea, it has an lighthouse that glows in the growing, and Hawks can see the waves hitting the island with incredible strength.

He hides his face into the collar of his jacket. He doesn't like flying in this kind of weather. Especially not above the sea.

Dabi turns the wheel and drives to the cart track. The uneven ground makes Hawks sick in his stomach for the first time during his ride with the man. Dabi then stops the engine once they reach small bushes and parks the car near a small ring of bushes. Both men climb out of the car. There isn't any other car on the road they came from. It makes sense as they are far from the nearest town and there aren't any rest areas. Just a tall railing cutting the road from the cliff of the sea.

Dabi opens the trunk and takes out camouflaging tarp and puts it on the car.

They still have enough time.


 

When it's time for them to make a move, Hawks could count the cars that drove past them on the fingers of one hand. That hopefully means nobody paid them attention. He's already wearing the uniform but it can't keep him warm. He rubs his hands together to reduce some of the cold but it doesn't help much despite the gloves he's wearing.

It's deep into the night, the sky long dark and the rain pouring.

"Do you preen your feathers?" Dabi asks suddenly when Hawks is collecting them from inside the car.

"What?" Hawks asks dumbly.

Dabi smiles. "Birds have to preen their feathers to be able to fly, especially in rain. You do it? You have the preen gland?"

The hero feels heat in his ears. "I do sometimes, yeah."

"That's pretty cool," Dabi tells him.

Teasingly, and for no reason at all, Hawks lets some of his feathers smack him across the face, enjoying the way Dabi yelps. It helps to keep Hawks‘ mind away from the problems ahead of him. Literally.

"You wouldn't understand cool if it hit you right in the face, hot stuff," Hawks sneers.

They are both grinning.

Together, they walk to the railing. Hawks simply flies over it but helping Dabi is somehow awkward. The man has unsure expression before Hawks‘ feathers even touch him and when Hawks puts them under him, he looks frankly uncomfortable.

"Don't tell me you are afraid of flying," Hawks teases.

"I just prefer to stand on solid ground," Dabi murmurs.

Hawks tries to be gentle when he lets his feathers surround the man and lifts him up. It's completely different from the time he felt Dabi's weight on him as the man had an arm around his shoulders. His feathers don't have any troubles holding him up at all.

With Dabi, he moves careful as he flies him above the sea. With himself, he simply jumps down the cliff, enjoying the wind in his hair and hating the way the raindrops are digging into the skin that's not covered with clothes and his goggles. He spreads the wings only several feet above the sea surface, gliding easily just above it.

Okay, maybe he is showing off a bit but it feels nice to fly above the sea, the waves almost brushing him and the smell of salt and rain in the air. It's completely different than flying in the city where he is always in the rush to save someone, where he can smell the smog in the air. Suddenly, Hawks wishes he could do this more often.

However, Hawks doesn't have time to enjoy the flight much. Dabi is still squirming in his feathers. He keeps as low as he can in this kind of weather, wary of the high waves, as he's taking them to the Nishi shore.

The prison is big but not tall building. Hawks can't see the details very well but he sees fence, sparking with electricity from time to time. The main generator is in the lighthouse which is towering over the island. There are several watch towers around the prison but Hawks doubts the people there are looking anywhere away from the monitors. And right now, the monitors only show them the loop. The next watch from the towers won't go around the island in more than thirty minutes.

The surface of the place is completely bare, there isn't any tree or bush or even grass. The land is only dirt and occasionally rocks and concrete. The island doesn't look anything like Tartarus. After all, there is a huge gap between ordinary villains and the villains of rank A and S which are kept at Tartarus.

When they are near, Hawks makes himself and Dabi fly more up. It's natural instinct for humans to watch the threats on the ground, around them, not from above. He makes them land right in front of the door to the lighthouse. Hawks quickly takes of the coat, wrapping it around as many feathers of his as he can and then hides the rest under Dabi's. He puts on the uniform jacket, the wig already on his head and the green contact lenses on his eyes.

Hawks heart is pounding in his chest, nervousness, excitement and a tiny bit of worry mingling in his stomach. He exchanges looks with Dabi who simply nods. The hero pulls out the access card and puts it to the lock. It gloves in green as it lets him inside.

He feels like he's just walked into a steampunk factory. Just one big, complicated machinery, nothing except for the desk. A man with a maintenance uniform is sitting behind the desk, currently too busy working on his phone. There is humming in the air of the generator, loud to Hawks‘ ears. The place is not very well lit, there are stairs leading up and down the lighthouse and Hawks sees the complicated mechanism of the building everywhere around them under the iron plates.

When he hears the door hisses open, the maintenance officer looks up from his phone. He looks incredibly confused at Hawks‘ presence. The confusion changes into annoyance in the matter of second.

"What?" he asks rudely.

His name is Amai Sharaku, age 41, father of two kids. He has good relationship with a guard that's currently working in the prison and often meet him up for a few drinks.

Hawks just flashes him a smile. He wonders if he still looks charming with brown hair and green eyes.

"Sorry to bother you, man," he says, the lie easily slipping off his tongue and with relaxed posture, he walks to him, taking out a small box from under his jacket. "But Toshi sent me to give you this."

The man's eyes lit up when he sees the soba noodles. Hawks walks towards him, smoothly reaching to the inside of his jacket.

He and Dabi had long discussion about this. The man was all for just killing the people who would get in their way. Something Hawks tried to argue. Eventually, Dabi told him that as long as he dealt with it efficiently, he didn't care. Hawks still feels like it's a small victory for him.

As he hands the guard the box, he stands slightly from the side and unnoticeably takes out the needle and then smashes is into the man's shoulder.

It's not like in the movies where the person falls into unconsciousness. The man stands up and pushes Hawks away but already that is weak and the hero only stumbles backwards a step or two. When the man tries to reach the alarm button on the desk, Hawks quickly grabs him by the forearm and pulls him away. It's scary how easy it is as the officer is at least a head taller than him.

Then, the officer stares at him, his eyes wide, the expression full of shock and horror as if Hawks is the most horrible demon he's ever seen, the primal fear the last thing the man feels before his eyes close and Hawks barely manages to catch him in his arms.

God, the man is heavy as fuck.

He tries to let the man down on the floor gently. Before he walks to the door to open it for Dabi, he checks if the officer's tongue didn't fall back to the throat. Dabi gets inside and shakes off all the raindrops he can. His black hair is wet but strangely keeps its shape. He looks a bit like a wet cat.

It makes Hawks grin.

Immediately, Dabi walks to the desk and sits down behind the desktop, grabbing the box of noodles.

"Why are you eating it?" Hawks asks. "I bought it on the way here! It's fucking cold."

Dabi looks at him with raised eyebrows. "So is my heart."

"You know what, just eat it!" Hawks rolls his eyes. "How are you still so skinny? You eat all the time when you are with me!"

"Jealous?" Dabi winks but before Hawks can roll his eyes again, he continues, unapologetically: "I forget to eat sometimes."

"You are gonna leave all your DNA here."

The smile on Dabi's lips turns dark. "Good."

Hawks stares confused and tiny bit worried but he doesn't say anything. Instead, he stands next to Dabi's chair, careful not to step on the man on the floor. "How much time do you have till the shifts change?"

Dabi takes a look at the corner of the screen. "Around twenty minutes. Calm down, little bird. All is gonna go smoothly as long as you do what I say."

"How reassuring," Hawks says dryly.

Dabi just gives him a toothy grin. He takes off his coat and Hawks stares at the screen of the desktop. He doesn't understand how the security can be so low in a place like this. Though, he supposes, the guards don't count on anyone trying to get inside of the prison or here.

Most people just want to get out.

Dabi takes out earpieces from his pockets and gets up on his feet. Hawks knows better than to let him get close, knows better than to let him put the earpiece into his ear. Yet, he doesn't do anything to stop the man. He feels the now familiar feeling of desire rushing through his veins, spreading into his limbs like a poison as Dabi towers above him, his turquoise look fixed on his ear as his fingers brush the fake hair and the bare skin before the earpiece is set in Hawks‘ ear.

"Thanks," Hawks tells him, his voice distant to his own ears.

Dabi just smirks and sits back down.

Five minutes before the end of the shift, Hawks stands next to the door. Five minutes after the exchange of the shifts, the door opens and Hawks knocks down the maintenance officer that came to replace the one on the ground. He makes sure the man is alive and well and then looks at Dabi.

The man is sitting behind the desk looking back at him with intensity, his aqua eyes flaming with something like adoration - with lust but Hawks pushes the thought away. They don't exchange a single word and Hawks leaves the generator.

It's still raining outside and despite the dawn being near, the sky is dark. Hawks doesn't see any guards on the property. He walks down the rock stairs and then proceeds to go to the entrance of the building on pathway next to the fence.

The door is behind two walls of fence, both of which open for him after he puts his card to the scanner, opening with a hiss.  Two men are standing next to the door, both leaning on the dark brick wall of the prison, one talking and the other one looking at the screen of his phone.

The one on the left has liquid manipulation quirk, the other one can multiply himself.

The one on the left has liquid manipulation quirk, the other one can multiply himself.

"Hi!" Hawks gives them a bright smile.

"Sup," they give him one look but after they see his uniform and that he has the access card, they are not paying him any attention.

Hawks‘ heart beats loudly in his ears.

Hawks learned the plan of the place. He didn't understand the map and lineout of the prison he gave to Dabi but fortunately, the villain explained it to him, described the prison in detail, told him where everything was and Hawks repeated it in his mind, making sure to remember everything.

The inside of the building is how he imagined – the walls are cold and there are no windows at all. The hallways are mostly empty at the moment. Most of the cells are divided into several blocks, there is prison court in the middle of the buildings and the west side is dedicated to the common area – kitchen, canteen, library, recreating room and the others.

Kurogiri is situated in the block A. It's near the common area where prisoners who are not too dangerous or too likely to escape are allowed to spend time. Kurogiri is not one of those, of course, the Block A is specially made for criminals who are at least B-rank villains or criminals whose quirk would allow to escape. Kurogiri is both.

The halls are empty except for the occasional guards going around or hanging at the corners, smoking and chatting. Which is definitely against regulations. He greets them all and they all greet them back. At one occasion, he overhears the duo talking about him and agreeing that he must be a newbie. It's disturbingly easy. Just uniform with false name, a card in his pocket and he can do whatever he wants.

To avoid going outside when it's pouring, he walks through two blocks looking inside the cells. They are small with bunk beds, toilets and one bedside table. Occasionally, the inmates are allowed books or magazines. Most of the are asleep.

Surprisingly, Hawks actually recognizes some of the faces. One, especially. It's a big looking man whose real name Hawks can't remember but he knows he called himself Slasher in his villain days. It was first major villain Hawks‘ caught. He was sixteen at the time, already having the license and exclusive rights to become a pro-hero immediately rather than a sidekick.

The villain is sitting on the bed calmly and when Hawks looks at him, he looks right back.

It feels like eternity passes by them as they are staring at one another, even though Hawks knows it's only a couple of seconds. The hero feels his insides twist in panic and he looks away and continues walking. His heart is pounding in his chest. After a few steps, he looks over his shoulder.

Slashes is leaning through the bars outside the cell, watching him go.

He couldn't have recognized him… could he? It's been six years, he's changed, he has the wig and the eye lances.

Hawks finds the nearest restroom. He makes sure nobody else is following him and he's also away from the look of the villain. He presses the earpiece in his ear.

„Dabi."

The answer is immediate.  „You're already there?" the villain asks in surprise.

„No," Hawks gulps and nervously takes a look at the door. „But I just passed a cell where is a villain I helped to defeat. I think he might have recognized me."

„Well," Dabi lets out a breath. „Shit."

„Yeah," Hawks wants to continue to low-key panic but Dabi cuts him off.

„It doesn't matter now. We have to finish this. Even if he did recognize you, do you think the guards will believe him? How many inmates do you think want to get out? And how many excuses they come up with? The guards won't believe him. At least not right now. Maybe after it's too late but right now, we have an inmate to break free. So calm down, little bird and go. They are gonna be sending Kurogiri breakfast in fifteen minutes."

Despite the rather harsh words, Dabi does calm down Hawks‘ nerves. He's right. They have to finish this and if Slasher did see him, who is going to believe him? That the Num. 2 hero would be helping the League? Something like that could never happen.

„Alright, I'll talk to you soon," he tells Dabi and, after a moment of hesitation, he adds before he can change his mind: „Thanks."

„No problem."

There's a smile in Dabi's voice and Hawks ignores the warmth feeling that goes through him because this time, he can't blame it on desire.

His shoulders are still tense when he walks out of the bathroom but he feels calmer. The canteen is a huge place with many empty tables and chairs. It looks old and unkempt and Hawks would be scared to eat her efor the hygiene reasons. The kitchen is behind a see through window, the counter from which the inmates are given food is empty at the moment.

Hawks has to walk around to the side door. The inside of the kitchen is a bit cleaner but he would not consider cooking here very hygienic either. There are five of inmates, working at a big pots and pans. One of them looks at Hawks immediately.

He looks like he is in charge here as the others are working and he's simply looking at them. But he is still wearing the inmate uniform.

„Hi there, friend," Hawks flashes him a smile. „Come here, will ya?"

He doesn't dare to take the man's elbow but he does hint at him to follow behind the shelves with stored food, away from the rest of the inmates. The inmate does but he looks rather wary of Hawks. As he should be.

„I have a deal for you," Hawks tells him, quietly. „Do you have the meal for inmate number 961 ready?"

The man nervously looks around. „We do, yeah."

„I want you and your friends to look away," Hawks tells him with a smile and pulls out a pile of money from his pocket. It's his own but as long as it gets the job done, he doesn't care. It's not like he's exactly poor.

Hawks watches with amusement as the man's eyes lit up. Then, he feels ashamed of himself for enjoying this – nothing about setting a criminal free should be fun or amusing.

The man eagerly nods and then takes the money, shoving it into his own pocket. He also reaches into the other one, avoiding Hawks‘ gaze, making sure not to look at him at all, and then he walks back to the kitchen. „Let's go for a cigarette, boys."

The men look confused but they do as the man tells them to, cutting the heating under the pots and leaving through the big back door. On his way, their leader brushes his hand against a tray with food on the table, looking pointly over his shoulder.

Hawks nods in silent thanks. When they are gone, the hero takes a look at the camera in the corner. The loop tape must be going there, making him slightly nervous. Won't it be weird if there is a loop of people working in the kitchen when clearly there is supposed to be a line of inmates for the meal? He quickly reasons with himself that it won't be an issue. The guards might have a special training but with repeating of the same experience over and over again, people become lazy. Nobody ever escaped from the Nishi prison. Why should it happen now?

He quickly walks towards the tray with food, removing it on the table from the tray. He has a small, simply letter on special, thin paper in a plastic pocket. There is everything Kurogiri needs to know - their locations and where to take them as soon as he can use the warp gate.

Hawks considers putting the message into a very colorless orange juice but dismisses the idea. The paper is so thin that even in the plastic pocket, it would flow. And so, he ignores his conscience that screams at him that it's gross and lifts one of the pancakes that look like they are from some kind of mix and puts it between them.

He looks around. There is still nobody there. And then he leaves the kitchen. He has ten minutes before the guard is coming back to collect the tray.

„Did you put it in?"

A voice comes into his ear and Hawks almost has a heart attack. He definitely jerks himself. Before he answers, he looks around again, making sure nobody is there. Then, he pretends to scratch the side of his head as he reaches for the earpiece.

„What?" he asks, more to calm himself down rather than because he didn't understand the question.

„Did you put it in?" Dabi repeats, snorting at a joke which Hawks doesn't get.

„Yeah, between the pancakes."

„I wanna be between your pancakes."

It's so out of sudden, out of place and Hawks can't do anything to stop the burst of laughter coming from his throat. The weeks-building tension escapes from his shoulders and despite the place he is at, he is laughing quietly. He hears Dabi on the other end giggles, fucking giggles, sounding like a twelve years old girl.

It's so youthful, reminding Hawks of stupid vines and bad puns. He's smitten with the sound and hopes it will stay in his memory forever.

With the stupid smile still on his face, Hawks leaves teh kitchen. After a several seconds, Dabi speaks again, this time calmly: „Alright. Are you at the gen yet?"

„Not yet," Hawks tells him looking at the small building behind a standalone fence next to the football field. Two guards are in front of the entrance, making Hawks gulp. „There are two guards in front of the building."

Dabi is quiet for a second. „There weren't supposed to be any guards."

„You tell me," Hawks murmurs. „They probably won't let me in."

„Hm." Dabi pauses again, thinking. Hawks slows down but not to be too obvious. „Is there any other way?"

„I mean," Hawks stops talking for a moment, taking in the surrounding. The fence leads to one side of the block B building. He has some feathers on himself. Not enough to fly but enough to jump over the fence. That doesn't change the fact that the main door to the is close to the guards.

„I have a way…" he says in the end. „Hopefully, the rain will silence the sound of the door."

„Don't worry, little bird," Dabi assures him. „If there are any troubles I'll-"

„What, come to my rescue?" Hawks smirks playfully, walking towards the brick wall. The guards are still talking to one another.

„I was gonna say jump over the fence, leaving you to death but I guess resque could also work."

„You are a bitch," Hawks informs him. The conversation is like a bubble around him, protecting him from the heavy situation going around.

"We all have our moments," Dabi purrs.

"You have them all the fucking time, dude!"

The villain doesn't reply but Hawks can imagine the smirk on his lips. The hero walks towards the building. The wind is getting stronger now, the raindrops digging into his face like needles, the wig and his clothes are wet but he doesn't care much. When he's near the wall, he takes a look at the guards. They are not paying him any attention.

Hawks runs to the wall, runs up as much as he can, using the feathers under his clothes to push himself up. Their support and his leg work is enough to send him up and over the fence without any part of him brushing against it.

He also uses the feathers to lower the impact, not because he's worried about his joints but because this way he makes less noise when his feet hit the mug. The guards are still not looking at him, one of them is currently laughing at whatever the other said. Hawks is a bit envious of their long coats protecting them from the rain.

His footsteps are hushed by the raindrops hitting the ground and the building and he walks towards the heavy door to the operating reserve. It looks more like door for nuclear shelter than anything – big, heavy.

Hawks, staring at the guards, puts the card on the scanner. There is a low beep and the scanner lights in green and the door opens in a low hiss. The guards are still talking and Hawks quickly gets inside.

It looks similar to the generator outside, in the lighthouse, cuboid in iron plates. It's silent, unlike the one outside.

Hawks waits for the door to lock before he touches the earpiece.

"I'm in."

Okay, maybe he is dramatic on that one but he's always wanted to say that.

"Well done, agent Pigeon," Dabi tells him, ruining and improving the moment at the same time. "Now, we wait."

"I copy, agent Dickhead."

Both of their tones are light, keeping Hawks‘ attention from the silent, cold, empty and bare space around him.

It reminds Hawks of Dabi's apartment. There is only low light from the bulb on the ceiling. Hawks gulps. It also reminds him of much smaller room, with shelves full of emptiness, which smelled like alcohol and cigarettes and was equally dark.

He opens the small door inside the generator. He can see many wires leading to a big metal box that is playing with lights. The best thing will probably be just smash his feathers into the thing and hope he will not get fried in here alive.

At least, that's what he thinks until he sees it.

"You know there is actually turn off switch?" he asks.

There is a moment of silence. "You are fucking kidding me right?"

"Yeah," Hawks grins. "There are two turn off switches."

"That's so fucking stupid, what the hell?" Dabi laughs loudly. "Why do they have a fucking turn off button on back up gen?"

"I mean, I ain't complaining," Hawks laughs.

"I ain't either but… why?"

"I don't know, man," Hawks shrugs. "Maintenance I guess? It makes sense, right? All machines has to have switch off. They are not bombs."

"Yeah, whatever," Dabi sighs, then Hawks can hear strange, shuffling sound and Dabi letting out a deep, loud breath. He's stretching, Hawks realizes, ignoring the way his heart speeds up.

The silence doesn't sound as loud and the room isn't as overwhelming as it was before. He doesn't even flinch. Nobody comes to the place and Hawks just sits down on the ground and it's like Dabi is there with him, quiet but the presence brings serenity to Hawks' livid mind. He can't believe it's only been a half an hour tops since he's seen the other man. It feels like he's been in the prison for hours and yet it feels like Dabi never really left.

In the dim light, he dares to touch his collarbone. He can still feel Dabi's teeth, the tongue asking for permission on his lips, the hands on him, pushing, digging. The dirty, lewd words falling from his mouth.

And then he remembers his words about his father. Was he the reason why Dabi is so fucked up? Hawks knows that being kind is always a choice, that some people just refuse to heal or maybe they simply can't. Hawks knows everything about how hard it is to let go. He's still struggling with it to this day. And he has help from Ayane who is professional. Did Dabi ever get the help he needed? Does he wants the help? Or does he like what he's doing? Or he simply doesn't see any other way?

Can Hawks save him?

The question heavies the silence around Hawks again. He wants to help Dabi so hopelessly but he knows better than to dedicate himself to it right now. If he gets too close, Dabi could burn him to the core.

Then, Dabi's voice breaks the silence. "Alright, birb. Are you ready for the fireworks?"

Hawks feels rush in his veins and he gets up to go to the generator. "Yeah."

"Okay, ready up now," the villain gives him a couple of seconds. Hawks' heart is pounding. "Five, four, three.. Two… one."

Hawks hears a loud noise from the outside, an explosion and the bulb above Hawks' head blacks out for less than a second, then comes back to live and so does the humming of the gen in front of Hawks.

After that, Hawks turns both switches off, turning the gen back to dark.

For a couple of seconds, Hawks breathes in the darkness. He hears yelling outside but other than that nothing.

"Good job," comes Dabi's voice in his ear.

There is terrifying peace in the darkness, in the way the guards outside are yelling. He knows the other man can feel it as well.

There is a loud bang on the door and Hawks turns his head towards it. The guards are trying to break in, banging loudly but neither of them seems to have a quirk that would allow them to break through. Electricity is not running through all of the facility which means not even the card scanner and the door would have to be open manually.

Still, the rain hitting the roof, the darkness, the yelling and banging at the door. It's scary in its unfamiliarity, the unknown of what's actually inside the darkness.

And then, the ground under his feet turns into a fog and he falls.

The next second, he's standing in the dirty alley street. It's much different than teleporting with Ayane, less messy and it simply feels like he's falling until he lands on his feet and then on his ass.

Dabi is standing right next to him and Kurogiri is facing them.

Hawks' first instinct is to take the feathers that were teleported with Dabi and attack the villain but he wins over the instinct, staring at him not really sure what to do. The air around him heavy with awkwardness and tension.

"See," Dabi grins at Hawks, cracking the tension unintentionally. "Smooth as fucking silk."

Kurogiri is still staring at Hawks, wearing orange, inmate clothes. Finally, he says: "I appreciate this from you. I never could have thought Dabi could get us such a powerful ally."

"You are welcome," the words taste bitter as they fall from Hawks' lips, the smile he puts on is burning him.

"Thank you again," Kurogiri says, honest gratefulness coloring his voice, and Hawks' stomach is twisting. The villain turns towards Dabi. "I will speak to you later after I regain some strength. I need to see Shigaraki right now. I will make sure he knows what you've done."

Dabi only shrugs and then, Kurogiri is gone and it's just Dabi and Hawks again.

The city around them is coming back to life. It's not loud yet but the sun is getting up, its beams washing away the remains of the night.

The rush leaves Hawks now, leaving behind only tiredness all over him. His legs feel wobbly and weak. He hasn't been sleeping good in the last few weeks and even though there were moments when this sleepiness fell over him, never quite like this.

He's in the middle of the street, with Dabi, after they basically caused a breakout and all he wants to do is curl up in his bed and sleep for days.

He took a day off at his office but he knows after the breakout he'll have to come there later. Just to show that he cares. It would be too suspicious if something as serious as Kurogiri breaking out has happened and he wouldn't even show up. Hawks wonders if it's in the news yet.

"Let's get rid of these clothes," Dabi interrupts Hawks‘ thoughts, stepping closer to Hawks.

He's still wearing the uniform. The villain is right, he should get rid of it soon. He takes off at least the jacket with the name on it but keeps it close. He doesn't want to risk getting rid of it here.

Dabi gives him a short nod and then turns around. "Let's go."

Hawks obediently follows.

Chapter Text

Both, Hawks and Dabi, agreed upon being teleported here – it is less noticeable for the two of them to be here. There are no city cameras here. Also, Hawks doesn't want to share where he lives with Kurogiri.

He is still feeling tired. So much he just wants to go back to his apartment and sleep for at least a few hours before he has to arrive at the office.

They don't meet anyone on their way to Dabi's apartment, the few people on the street are not paying the men any attention. Inside the building, Dabi unlocks his door and then holds it open for the hero. Hawks murmurs a thanks before stepping inside. Dabi has the blinds lowered, the inside of the apartment dim. The clothes Hawks is supposed to change into are neatly set on the kitchen counter.

"You can go take a shower if you want," Dabi tells him, walking into the kitchen and opening the fridge. "I left the towels there."

The idea of getting naked with Dabi in the next room is not as upsetting as it probably should be. Especially, considering the deeply rooted desire inside Hawks. But as always, the hero doesn't listen to his own reason and nods.

"Thanks," he says, grabbing the clothes. He is sensible enough not to brush against Dabi even though they stand close in the small kitchen and he can almost feel the heat of the other man's body.

Even though Dabi already saw him naked, Hawks takes the pile of clothes with him to the bathroom, trying not to think about what it'd be like to go there with Dabi in tow.

Just like the rest of the apartment, the bathroom is not spacious but it is clean and tidy. He and Dabi would barely fit in here together. Dabi would have to press against Hawks, their bodies brushing against one another‘s until Hawks would give in and let Dabi push him inside the shower corner, against the wall, and he would hiss at the feeling of being trapped between the hotness of Dabi's body and the cold pile, until Dabi would kiss the sound from his lips away.

Hawks closes his eyes, rubbing his face with his hands, hiding in his palms for a moment. It was a one night thing, he tells himself, and no matter how good Dabi was, he shouldn't do it, shouldn't think about it. Shouldn't desire it.

He shakes his head as if that could help him shake those thoughts off himself. It doesn't. When he looks at his own reflection, he sees a mess. His hair is all over the place, there are dark circles under his eyes and his cheeks look more hollow than they used to be.

It's almost funny. Within the time they know each other, Dabi have gained some weight and Hawks lost some. But while Hawks is the reason Dabi looks better now, for the change of Hawks', Dabi is not the responsible one. A dark, suggestive voice in Hawks‘ head tells him that Dabi is in fact the only reason he looks as well as he still does. Which is a dangerous thought. It's suggesting that Dabi cares about Hawks and Hawks cares about Dabi. Which he does. But he shouldn't. Definitely not so much.

Because Hawks knows that even if he manages to save him, Dabi will still face the punishment for his crimes. And Dabi will blame Hawks because he will be the traitor who will deliver him to justice on a silver plate.

The image makes Hawks guts twist. He desperately wants to save Dabi. At the same time, there is a fear of Dabi's hatred, desperation of Dabi never speaking to him in the same way he does again. He wants to crush the feeling, chase it away from his mind but when he can't come up with anything to chase it away with. And so, he pushes the fear deep inside of him, planning to deal with it when he knows how.

It will be better for Dabi to hate him and be saved than for him to be dead and like him. And yet, it still sits unsettling on Hawks‘ shoulders and he can't help but hate himself for it a little bit, for being so selfish.

He takes off his clothes and glances at the mirror again, there are visible bite marks on his collarbone that were hidden by the clothes. Hawks wishes they would never fade away and that they would disappear at the same time.

The hero shakes violently, feeling suddenly cold, and drops the dirty, wet clothes on the ground, climbing into the shower. He's so tired he should take a cold shower that would wake him up. Yet, he turns on the water to be as hot as his body can handle.

It doesn't remove the burdens on his shoulders but the water washes a small part of them away along with the dirt and sweat. For some time, Hawks just stands there, his head tilted back, exposing his face and neck to the hot stream. He enjoys the way the hot water warms his body but it makes his eyelids heavier than they were before.

He is there for several minutes, enough for him to be already done if he wanted.

He doesn't and Dabi doesn't call for him to hurry up so Hawks takes his time. He looks at the shampoo and shower gel Dabi is using. They are both simple, cheap things that Hawks would never touch on his own, especially the shampoo - he loves his hair too much for that. Right now, though, he grabs it and pours the shampoo on his hand. It smells just like Dabi's hair – peppermint and some kind of other herbs but while it's strong and spicy, it's not a bad smell. Just intense… like Dabi.

Hawks washes his hair and then his body with the shower gel. He's quick now, turning the water off and then drying himself with the towel that was waiting for him.

He puts on the clothes Dabi had prepared for him here. It's the villain's clothes and they are a bit big on him. Hawks is surprised at that until he realizes that while Dabi is skinny, his build is still bigger than Hawks. As he's sniffing the clothes, he regrets not bring his own in advance – the white shirt smells exactly like the villain. Hawks finally realizes what the smoke reminds him of. It's the same as if he walked into a tea shop in the downtown where it always smells after incense sticks and candles.

Hawks doesn't even try to look for hairdryer, he doesn't have the energy and he's pretty sure Dabi doesn't even know what it is.

When he returns to the living room, Dabi is not there but Hawks hears his muffled voice coming from the bedroom. For the first time, the door to the bedroom is closed.

The voice of the Commission member rings through Hawks‘ head. You have to give us something, Hawks.

And so, the hero quietly walks over to the door and presses his ear against it, hoping to catch the glimpses of the conversation.

"I'm glad you finally realized my value, Shigaraki," he hears Dabi purr but it's different tone than he uses when he speaks to Hawks. This one is dangerous rather than playful. "You can send me the address for the meeting you're holding and I'll come to ya."

Hawks has no chance of hearing what the League villain is saying.

"Sure," Dabi replies and then there's silence.

Hawks just so manages to jump quietly over the couch and sit down. There's a glass of water on the coffee table along with omurice on the plate, looking rather sloppily done but Hawks‘ mouth still waters the second he sees it. He hasn't eaten anything since the hot dog he's had the previous day at the gas station with Dabi.

Then, he realizes that Dabi made actual food for him.

The man walks from the bedroom. He looks at Hawks then at the omurice the hero is staring at and smirks. "Don't worry, poison is not my style."

Hawks fights the grin off his face and looks at Dabi in all seriousness. "I'm surprise you didn't… burn it."

Dabi rolls his eyes at the pun. "Oh, god, that's horrible. Please don't ever speak again."

Hawks just laughs and the villain, still shaking his head, disappears into the bathroom. Hawks waits for a second and then with fast but quiet steps walks into Dabi's bedroom. His heart is pounding louder than it did when he was walking alone in the prison ward. The guilt sits at the pit of his stomach, burning and freezing him at the same time from the inside.

Dabi's bedroom is small, most of the space is taken by the bed which now has made covers. There's a small wardrobe and a bedside table. The window has its blinds lowered.

The phone Dabi was using is still glowing in the dark on the bedside table, like fire luring a moth. Hawks is still hesitating. Then, he hears the stream of water and it's like a push into his back. Before the light can die from the phone, Hawks quickly closes the distance between the door and the bedside table and grabs it.

It's simple, old phone, one that Hawks would never use. There isn't any background on the main screen, no useless apps or games. Just like Dabi's apartment, it's impersonal.

Hawks saves the thought for later because he knows his brain will not be able to let go off it anyway. But for once, he manages to get a hold of himself and, even though he feels like disgusting human being, he looks through Dabi's contacts. There is only couples of them. It's easy for Hawks' to spot his own without really reading the number and he chuckles, almost sadly, at the nickname ‘Pigeon' but the sound doesn't sound amusing even to his own ears. Besides his own, there is only a couple of other contacts and all of them are saved just under capital letters.

When Hawks clicks on the call records. His own number is the most used and called. The last call is saved under an ‘S.' Hawks clicks on it and stares at the number till he is sure he's got it memorized. Another one is ‘T,' it's not nearly as common as Hawks' own record but it seems like they are mostly messaging while the one with Shigaraki are just calls.

Hawks makes sure to remember the number for T as well and then stares at it.

He should probably read the messages. It's his mission. He should read the messages to learn what people are in contact with Dabi. Should get into all the things he's hiding from him, try to learn everything.

And yet, he doesn't want to open the messages. It feels like utterly, disgusting wrong thing to do, and Hawks eyes are just staring at the screen. He knows what he should do, what needs to be done and he can't make himself do it.

He closes his eyes tight and he clenches his teeth so much his jaw hurts.

He feels the phone vibrate in his hands, forcing his eyes open. There is a new message. From S.

The shower is still running.

Hawks can't open the message but he does sweep the top panel down and then the message without clicking on it. It's an address, a place and a time.

Hawks memorizes it, making sure to bury every single letter and number into his memory. Tonight. At night. An address he has no idea where it is.

The shower keeps running.

Without reading the messages from the T, Hawks shuts off the screen. It's a no win situation - he would feel disgusting if he looked and now he feels guilty for not looking because he knows it's something he should have done. There is no doubt Dabi has it on lock and there is no way for him to look back into it even if he wanted to.

He tries not to think about the fact that Dabi didn't lock it himself, just left it here.

As if he trusted him.

Hawks' stomach sinks again. He puts the phone exactly in the spot he has found it before and leaves the room in quiet steps.

 His stomach is still full of guilt and he doesn't think he will be able to eat the omurice Dabi has made for them. Until Dabi is finally back.

The man's hair is as wet as Hawks but it still looks strangely wild, like he doesn't even have to do anything for them to be in shape. He's wearing simple white shirt and black sweatpants. They don't look that big on him anymore.

"Not eating?" Dabi asks and there is a hint of worry.

"I was waiting for you," Hawks lies and smiles.

Dabi looks at him and can't hide the shock from his expression in time. Neither can he help with the nervous rubbing of the back of his neck but then he collects himself but there is no cockiness in the way he smirks. "Thanks."

He sits down next to Hawks, relaxed. Not suspicious of anything. He starts eating the omurice first.

Dabi's presence doesn't remove the weight from Hawks' shoulders, doesn't remove the heaviness in his stomach but it does brings back the tiredness and the hunger.

He takes a bite of of his own. It tastes better than it looks but that doesn't mean much since it honestly looked horrible. Hawks still enjoys the taste. He tells himself it's not because Dabi made it for him.

When they finish, Dabi takes both plates and takes them to the sink. He pours Hawks a glass of water and the hero drinks all of it in one breath. Now, he feels tired.

There's ringing coming from Dabi's room. He looks at Hawks and says: "I'll be right back," and then goes to his bedroom. He closes the door behind himself.

Hawks is left on the couch, half lying, his back resting against the armrest and his eyelids heavy. He thinks he should go listen on again, but in that moment his chin falls on his chest. He closes his eyes, their weight unbearable and he slowly breathes in the luring smell of Dabi on the shirt.


 

He dreams of the fire, the crack of the skull, the eyes of the maintenance officer, full of horror.

When he comes back to, he's sweating and his heart is beating so hard in his chest he feels like it's going to burst out.

For a second, he thinks the nightmare has woken him up. Then he feels his phone vibrating in his pocket, the soft melody coming out. There's a blanket atop of him, the fabric rough and cheap. Just like the shirt Hawks‘ wearing, it also smells like a certain villain.

He reaches for the phone. It's Rumi.

"Yeah?" he doesn't bother hiding the sleepiness from his voice because he already knows why she's calling and sleep sounds like a good excuse.

"Don't 'yeah‘ me, pigeon!" Rumi tells him. "Why aren't you at the office?"

"I have a day off," he puts an edge to his tone as he continues: "Did something happen? Are you in trouble?"

Rumi snorts. "As if I ever needed help. I'm calling you because someone broke into Nishi prison."

It's surprisingly easy to pretend with Rumi as he jokes: "What, I thought people were trying to get out."

"Not funny, birb," she growls. "Apparently, two men got inside, one of them matching Dabi's description, and together they broke in, shut the gens down and Kurogiri broke free."

Hawks lets a beat pass, them, he asks, dumbly. "What?"

"You heard me! Kurogiri is out. They are still trying to see who Dabi's accomplice is but, somehow, they managed to hack the cameras so none of it was actually caught in action. The fact that nobody saw the man use his quirk isn't helping either."

There is a motion Hawks catches with the corner of his eye. Dabi walks from his bedroom, his hair more messy than usual, his eyes half closed. He's rubbing his head with one hand and yawns.

Hawks thinks he's never think anyone look so cute.

"I'm going to my office right now," Hawks assures her. Neither he, nor Rumi will be able to do anything about the situation right now. It's more for the show that they are to be seen, to be present. They are public figures and it's important that people know the heroes are still here in situation like this.

"You better," Rumi tells him, then her voice grows softer. "Wanna meet up this evening at my place? We haven't talked in a long time."

Irrational fear grows inside Hawks. Did Ayane tell Rumi about his… anxiety? He immediately dismisses the thought – Ayane would never betray his trust like that.

"Yeah, sure, if you wanna."

"Sweet, meet you at eight?"

"Eight is good," Hawks confirms.

"Alright, take care."

It's just Hawks and Dabi again. The hero feels more guilt on his shoulder for lying to Rumi.

"Back to work?" Dabi speaks first, his voice rough from the sleep.

The other man lowers his gaze. It falls upon the blanket on his hips. The bitterness of guilt in him mingles with sudden, warm feeling that he doesn't dare to name. He shouldn't have fallen asleep here, in Dabi's apartment. It was too dangerous. And instead of using the opportunity for… whatever evil plan Dabi has, he just put blanket on him.

"Yeah," he says, rubbing his eyes. "Did you take care of the car?"

He looks at the phone. It's few minutes past noon. The few hours of sleep didn't help much, to be honest. Hawks feels like he could go for a whole day and night.

"Yes, I went there with Kurogiri when you were playing sleeping beauty," Dabi confirms. "It's taken care of."

Hawks chuckles but it doesn't sound as amused as he intended it to. "Why are you always comparing me to princesses? What is your deal?"

"I dunno," Dabi shrugs. "You're pretty and tiny birb."

Hawks feels heat in his ears. It's the first time Dabi actually pays him a compliment – it's not sarcastic, it's not teasing and even though the villain states it more like a fact, it awakens butterflies in Hawks‘ stomach.

"Does that make you a prince dashing?" Hawks offers, teasingly.

Dabi chuckles. "Hmm, maybe more a dragon."

"True," Hawks admits with a smile and then gets up. "I'll talk to you later. I really hope you will let me meet the boss now that I've proved my worth."

"We‘ll see," Dabi says shadily.

To Hawks' surprise, he doesn't mind postponing meeting of Shigaraki for a week or two.

He stops by his apartment to change into his costume before arriving at the office.

When his sidekicks see him, they are not even surprised. Nobody asks him why he's there when it's his day off. Everybody knows. When there are crimes reported in his district, Hawks himself arrives there, even though it's mostly stuff the sidekicks could do without any troubles.

Publicity. People need to see him.

And so he defeats the evil, he smiles and he gives several autographs and takes pictures with his fans. When Hawks manages to catch his breath at the office, he sits down behind his laptop and goes through the news. Of course, Kurogiri's escape is the main topic. It's everywhere – the articles, all the news stations, in one instance, a newspaper even came out with special printing about the case.

'Huge Win for the Villains, a Huge Blow to the Heroes‘ Face‘ is called one article.

Many people debate on the TV about how this could happen. The director of the prison called a press conference where he said that two guards were injured but luckily no other inmates other than Kurogiri himself were able to escape. The investigation is still going and the director will take full responsibility for this.

Hawks hides his face in his hands, the guilt washing over him, building up on his shoulders like unbearable blanket that will bury him alive. The words so far, your mission is a failure, ring through his head like death bells. More injured people. A man losing his job just because Hawks couldn't find a better way into the League of Villains.

He tries to tell himself that it's not complete true, that he's got himself the address and time of the next League meeting. But that only brings back the memory of Dabi, leaving the phone turned on while Hawks was still in his apartment.

The apartment that looks so empty. The phone in which he is the only contact with a nickname, the most active contact on the list being Hawks.

Suddenly, Hawks sees everything clear, the realization hitting him like a truck. Dabi has nobody else. Nobody except for the League of Villains with which, if this says anything, he isn't on the best terms with. Hawks is no psychologist but if Dabi's father was abusive, wouldn't it make sense for Dabi to distance himself from the family.

Dabi, whether willingly or not (probably not, though) fell into friendship with Hawks. Literally. He is talking to him, teasing, joking because Hawks is the only person in his life. Because he has nobody else. Because he is lonely, whether he realizes this or not.

This realization should make Hawks feel relieved. Glad. Happy. It means Dabi will only be more so likely to get manipulated by Hawks, that he will trust him more than anybody else. It will make Hawks‘ mission easier. Dabi is the villain, he is a bad guy. A murderer.

And yet, when he thinks about using Dabi's emotions against him, he remembers the way Dabi calls him little bird, the way Dabi calmed him inside the prison with friendly banter, The way he fastly fell from open hostility into sort of… familiarity? Hawks doesn't dare to name it anything else than that. The way his hands felt on Hawks‘ body. The warmth of his lips, the heat of his tongue against Hawks‘ as he was fucking him.

Instead of being ready to exploit the weakness Dabi holds for him, Hawks feels the jaws of shame and guilt around his heart. Is he the first person Dabi has this close to a friend in a long time?

Why did nobody tell him that feelings would be involved in the infiltration. He knows, rationally, that he has only himself to blame with taking liking to the villain, with growing sort of soft spot for him. The hurt he feels is his own doing and he can't blame anything on the Commission.

He still wants to save Dabi. More than anything. But the idea of crushing the trust between them at the inevitable end… it crushes a piece of Hawks as well.

There's a knock on his door. He collects the pieces of his mind and his conscience and puts himself back together. At least the facade.

"Yes?"

To his surprise, it's not Ayane but Rumi. She's wearing her costume.

"Get up, birb, we're going for a lunch," she tells him in a tone that leaves no space for arguments.

For once, Hawks is glad that someone else takes the wheel. He gets up and follows her.

Meeting with Rumi while they are both in their costumes, working, is rare for the two of them. Rumi hates team ups and this essentially is one. When they sit down at a cafe near Hawks‘ office, he asks: "Why did we meet up now?"

Rumi is, unsurprisingly blunt: "Because Ayane told me she's worried about you and feels awkward about always trying to snooping around you."

Hawks sighs. He can't be really mad at Ayane for sharing this with Rumi – if it was some stranger, yes, maybe, but not with Rumi. And the woman stares at him intensively.

"Why did you have the blinds lowered, Hawks?" she asks.

Hawks blinks several times, not realizing what she's talking about. It must be clear on his face as the rabbit woman continues: "You always leave the blinds raised but lately, you've kept them lowered. Why?"

"It's nothing. I just felt like it," he lies.

Lies, lies, lies. Hawks feels like that's all he can say recently. Like he's burying himself with them and when everything will be done and said, they will be so heavy on him he won't be able to move.

Rumi tilts her head slightly to the side, staring at him. The stare is enough to make him squirm in his seat even before she asks: "Really? Are you trying to do that bullshit with me?"

Hawks knows Rumi. She is as stubborn as he is but right now, he knows who would crack first, who would give in to the pressure and spill all the secrets if she continued. And so, Hawks lies again: "I'm meeting someone but… it's complicated."

Technically, it's not a lie but it feels like one. And Rumi blinks at him several times, taking in a sharp breath. Then, she repeats: "Complicated," without it being really a question.

"Yeah," Hawks confirms and buries himself in the lies some more "I would like to tell you everything about him… but I don't wanna break his trust and hurt him so I can't tell you more."

He will inevitable break the trust, will hurt him. Rumi doesn't need to know that.

Rumi is still staring at him. "Oh… man, that sounds rough," she pauses, sipping her coffee. "If you ever need anything, you know I'm here for you right?"

"Yeah, of course," Hawks smiles and even though it doesn't quite reaches his eyes, it's one of the more honest smiles he gave today.

They finish their coffee in relaxed, at least on Rumi‘s side, conversation. The rabbit woman then accompanies him back to the office.

Hawks then manages to catch one villain before he calls it a day and heads home.

He didn't even bother to get some dinner for himself, his stomach is tied in knots and he just wants to get to his bed and lie there forever, doing nothing at all, even i fit would mean he'd stay alone with his thoughts.

Then, his phone rings. It's an unknown number. The hero immediately feels anxiety breathing down on his neck. For once, he hopes it's the Commission calling and not certain villain. He takes the phone and accepts the call.

"Yes?"

"Hawks," comes the serious tone of the Commission member. "As I saw, your breakout has been a success."

Hawks shakes the anxiety from his neck, fighting for his ability to speak. "Yes, sir, that's correct."

He remembers the way the man told him they wanted results. Finally feeling at least a bit like winning, he spills out what he's read on Dabi's phone without thinking about it for a second – tomorrow, at 22:30, a warehouse in the old town and then he tells him the phone numbers. The part of him that feels so… nervous about lying to Dabi, about hurting him, hopes for something similar to praise, assurance that what he does is for a good thing because he feels like he telling himself is not enough anymore.

What he gets is a question, instead: "Is that their current hideout?"

Hawks laughs but it's more nervous sound than anything else. "I'm not sure, sir," he hears the man click his tongue, unsatisfied – Hawks immediately continues, hoping the desperation doesn't sink through his voice. "I don't think it is. It would make sense for them to sort of lay out across the city, not make the same mistake of being all of them in one place. I think this is just a meeting, not a place they regularly visit."

A moment of silence, no longer than a breath of time. "I suppose. We will tip the police forces and certain heroes of the location. It would be better for you not to be involved with this to keep your cover. If we manage to catch Shigaraki, we are sure the League will fall. Finally something, Hawks."

"Thank you, sir," Hawks says before he can stop himself. He's sure the man will tell him something in the lines it was not meant to be a compliment.

"Keep us updated," is all the man says and then ends the call.

And Hawks is alone. He finally realizes being alone is better than speaking with the other man.

He climbs the stairs to his bedroom, trying not to think about Dabi, about his mission or how it would make sense for him to inform the Commission of the trust Dabi seems to have for him and their night together.

As always as of lately, he doesn't sleep well. The next morning, he follows his routine of taking a shower, dresses himself and goes on patrol during which he grabs breakfast that he doesn't finish. Patrolling helps him keep his mind off Dabi at least on more emotional level.

However, he does think about how he needs to make sure Dabi won't be one of the arrested tomorrow. He is his contact in the League, his ticket in so to say. And if they arrest him, Hawks will be back where he started. Maybe, not completely, since Kurogiri knows about him, but trying to contact Kurogiri could be highly difficult.

And he has no idea, how to make Dabi meet him during the time of the League's meeting without it being suspicious, especially since the meeting is done because of Dabi. He doesn't have any new info for the man, Dabi didn't request anything and Hawks doesn't know if there is something worth it.

That's a lie. He knows what he could offer, what Dabi would probably take but Hawks doesn't want to give it to him not because of himself but for Dabi's sake.

He hopes he will figure something out, leaving that option as the last one.

During the day, Hawks sees glimpses of newspapers and TV news – everyone is still talking about the Nishi prison. There are many talks on the TV, heroes giving the public their opinions. They are trying to reason with the press, saying that this is not heroes‘ fault, this is not under their jurisdiction. But Hawks knows the opinion of heroes will be affect just as much as the imprisonment systems. Are we safe? What good is catching a villain if we are not able to keep him under control?

It's almost depressing. But it seems like Hawks is not under the more affected group as people are still smiling when they meet him, waving and genuinely happy. Hawks always makes sure to keep up appearance – it's more important now than ever.

In the afternoon, when he's at his office, ready to call it a day unless some critical situation happens. He's just about to turn off his laptop when there is one single knock on his door and then it swings open. Ayane gets inside, her eyes wide with shock, frowning.

Before Hawks can ask what's wrong, she tells him: "Look at the news, channel 5."

The hero doesn't even notice that the people passing by his office are staring inside as well. Without requiring more information from Ayane, he opens up the internet tab and finds the channel. It's running news, unsurprisingly, the moderator is on the left side of the screen while another reporter is on the other. The man is standing on the shore, the Nishi prison is visible in the distance, and it's drizzling there.

The moderator, woman in her thirties, from the studio is currently talking: "-refused to speak with him?"

The reporter at the Nishi prison nods. "That is correct. According to the villain Ike Shuko, formerly known as the Slasher, when he reported to the authorities who he saw, nobody paid him any special attention. Now, I'm not saying him claiming the second culprit was Hawks is true, however if the guards have listened to the claims of a stranger guard roaming the prison, perhaps yesterday‘s the occurrence could have turned out differently, may I say even avoided."

Hawks feels a cold sweat running down his back, his heart pounding loudly in his ears and he wants to shut down the laptop immediately.

He doesn't. Instead, he stares as the moderator continues: "So, this criminal claims that he saw Hawks, the famous Num. 2 hero at the scene. Do you think it's credible?"

"That's very hard to say," the reporter replies, clearly going by some kind of script between them. "Hawks, unlike Dabi, doesn't have any clear motives to do such crime. I believe we will have to leave the investigation to the professionals. However, the fact that they refused a witness, if not a key witness, to give a statement until our news were contacted by the Slasher himself, is highly disturbing and leaves us no choice but question their methods."

Hawks doesn't know why – he certainly hopes she can't see the tension in his shoulders or how his hands are trembling under his desk – but Ayane closes the laptop, cutting the video off.

The room falls into silence.

As quickly as he can, Hawks puts himself together. It takes him a few long seconds but he eventually puts on a smile on his face and looks at the woman. "Well what the fuck?"

He expected a lot of things, her to be worried and voice those worries, he expected her to see right through him, to accuse him of this being the reason why he's being so secretive lately. He didn't expect the reaction he gets, though.

She throws her hands into the air in frustration and growls: "This is ridiculous."

She starts marching from one end of the office to the other. "Why are people still so stupid to trust witnesses like this. It's unreliable source of information, especially if suggestion takes place. Now, if they had the camera record, that one is unquestionable but to listen to this man… it's ridiculous.

Hawks grins, ignoring how it uncomfortable it feels on his lips. "I mean you can't blame them for jumping on it, right? Like this is the sensation and what would be cooler and more dangerous than a hero from the top 10 to be involved with the League of Villains."

"You know where I think the news can shove their sensations and cool stuff!" Ayane says harshly.

The grin on Hawks‘ face is not as fake anymore.

Ayane just sighs, shaking her head. "Let me take you home real quick, fuck the news.

Hawks doesn't get up, his expression growing more serious. "Maybe I should give a public statement before-"

The phone on Hawks‘ desk starts to ring. Ayane exchanges a look with him. It's his secretary. Hawks picks it up, already feeling bad news.

"Yeah?"

"Hawks, Chief of the Police Force, Kenji Tsuragamae, is calling you."

Ayane clearly hears it. She steps closes and leans on the desk looking Hawks‘ in the eyes.

"Patch him through."

There is a tone and then Hawks speaks, making his tone light and cheerful: "Dear Tsuragamae, sir, have you reveal my evil master plan? When should I expect my arrest? I'll make sure to wear something pretty and villainous."

He pretends his heart isn't pounding in his chest.

Ayane's lips curl slightly but she manages to fight off the smile.

"That's not very funny, Hawks-san," Tsuragamae murmurs into the phone, his tone complete opposite of Hawks‘. "Because of the claim of the Slasher, I need you to come to the station for questioning."

"Oh," Hawks pretends to be surprised. "Sure, sir, when should I arrive? Should I make it all flossy and scream about my innocence in the streets?"

"This is not a light matter, Hawks," Tsuragamae growls, unamused.

"And neither do I think it is, sir," the hero mimics the serious tone the police chief was using before. "So, when?"

"Could you come to the station right now?" Tsuragamae asks. "I want to get this over with as soon as possible.

"Of course, sir, no problem," Hawks nods even though the man can't see it. "I'll be there in no time."

"Don't attract much attention, Hawks," the chief warns him. "You've got enough allegation against you as it is."

Hawks grins and lies easily. "Wouldn't think of it."

He hangs up and looks at Ayane. She's not smiling anymore. She sighs and then says: "Well, shit."

Hawks leans backwards, forcing his shoulders and spine to relax and bend slightly as he opens his arms in easy gesture. "Don't worry, they've got nothing on me. I know Tsuragamae, he's a good man."

Ayane frowns. "I don't worry about a good man. I worry about people Hawks and so should you… You are lucky you are so popular. If you were someone else, people would jump to conclusions because it's more interesting than the truth. Don't fuck it up."

Hawks looks at her. "Have you ever thought about changing jobs?"

"What?" Ayane snorts.

"You would be great celebrity manager."

Ayane starts laughing and jokingly kicks him in the leg. "Shut up. I don't know who of us is doing modeling as the secondary job!"

"See, why don't we ditch our jobs? I'll be celebrity and you'll be my manager and together we'll conquer the world with with my dashing looks."

Ayane is smiling brightly. "Nobody will be able to stop us. Together you and I can rule the galaxy."

They both laugh. Then Hawks looks at his laptop and the sound falls into silence. He sighs, tired.

"Alright. I better get going."

Ayane pushes herself off her desk, giving Hawks a soft smile: "Good luck there, birb."

And then she disappears into dark purple smoke that disperses into thin air with a soft puff and he's all alone again.

He gets up and leaves the office.

The city is busy at this time but flying is as easy as ever and within several minutes, he's standing in front of the Police station. It's the biggest one in the city, tall and big, and while the building is old and has certain old-fashioned features, the security is as close to unbreakable as it can be. The first thing anyone can notice is the All Might's statue in front of it.

Hawks still has it in vivid memory when the statue was revealed many years ago. He was sitting on the couch, alone, hugging the plushie of Endeavor while his mother was sitting on the kitchen floor, bottle of vodka in one hand and a picture of Hawks‘ father in the other.

He remembers the sound of her loud, desperate sobbing as All Might smiled brightly on the screen as he was revealing the statue.

Hawks doesn't like the statue very much.

He looks away from it, the sight burning his eyes and he hides his chin into the high collar on his neck. He only climbs a few steps before someone calls at him.

"Hawks-san!"

He turns around and see a middle aged man in a trench coat running towards him with a tablet in his hand.

"I'm from Patron Time, my name is-"

"Takai Masujiro!" Hawks says, pretty loudly, giving the man one of his brightest smiles and blessing quietly his good memory. Patron Time is one of the… better newspapers and he remembers the man from one of the press conferences - he is the best reporter Patron Time has. "It's so nice to see you!"

Hawks offers his hand and the man shakes it, a smile spreading upon his lips on the recognition.

"Yes, sir, likewise!" he says. "Are you here about allegation against you?"

Hawks just grins. "I'm here to confess about my malicious plan to take down the hero from the inside."

The man takes the joke for what it is and laughs. Hawks continues, a bit more serious but the smile never leaving his face. "No, I'm here because the good Chief invited me here to question me about the Nishi breakout I assume and if I'm honest, I wouldn't expect anything less from our police force. It is their duty to listen to every witness, whoever they think they saw."

"So, you are saying that you weren't there," the reporter says but it isn't accussive. He probably has a recorder turned on somewhere. "Is that why you are so relaxed about all of this?"

Hawks doesn't let the smile fall from his face. "I mean, I believe that the truth will always come up in the end," that is not a lie. "And since I wasn't there, I don't really anything to be afraid of, do I?" that is a lie.

He dashes the reporter a bright smile, one the man returns with eagerness.

The reporter nods eagerly but says: "I suppose, sir, but it was the Slasher and according to the information we have on him, he was known to have photographic memory. Would he be able to recognize you?"

Hawks pretends not to be nervous. "I mean, everyone can make a mistake right? Plus, I was sixteen, seventeen when I caught him?"

"Do you think it was good for the pros to accept you among themselves when you were so young?" the reporter asks, his eye prying, searching Hawks face for any crack on his facade.

Despite Patron Time being one of the better sheet, it's still a sheet. And this man is reporter. They just want a good show, something that will make the readers happy.

Hawks doesn't let his expression crack. He keeps the smile on his face. "I mean, I proved that was a good decision, didn't I?" he opens his arms in confident gesture and then, before the man can say anything he tells him: "I'm very sorry but I really have to go now, the Chief is waiting for me."

"Of course, sir," the reporter smiles and there's something in the way he does it that makes Hawks wary but before he can read the expression some more, the other man extends his hand for a shake.

They wish each other goodbye and then Hawks is back to climbing the stairs. An uneasy feeling grows inside of him when he steps into the shadow All Might's statue casts over the stairs.

When he enters the building, it's very different from Cleanser's Office and the police station that's been situated there. Nobody is fussed about Hawks‘ presence. The entrance hall is huge, the ceiling tall with glass chandelier that is modern but somehow doesn't fit into the old-fashioned building.

He walks to the receptionist behind the security glass. "Hi there, I'm Hawks, here to see the Chief Tsuragamae."

The woman only nods. "Hello. He is waiting for you in his office. Third floor, turn left and the door on the right side. You will see the name tag."

Hawks thanks the woman and gets on his way. Tsuragamae's office door are open. Hawks knocks three time at the door, already peeking inside. Tsuragamae's office doesn't look very spacious but that might just be how it looks since most of the walls are hidden behind bookshelves with old fashioned binders. The chief has all he needs inside, desk with the desktop, chair behind and two in front of the desk, all of these made of oak. Hawks sees two picture frames but he can only see the back of them.

The Chief immediately looks up and when he sees Hawks‘ movement. After he realizes it's the hero, he raises to his feet, grabbing a file from the desk before he walks towards the smaller man to shake his hand.

"Welcome, Hawks," he tells him. "Thank you for coming at such short notice."

"No problem," Hawks smiles. "I just want to get this over with."

Tsuragamae eagerly nods. "I hope you won't mind if we take you to the interrogation room. It's the standard procedure."

Hawks laughs. "Of course not! I wouldn't expect any special treatment."

"Good, let me show you the way."

Hawks follows the man to the lower floor. The interrogation room reminds the hero of Dabi's apartment – bare, clean and empty. The only things inside are the chairs and the table, all pieces of furniture chained to the floor. Hawks grows slightly nervous when he sees the spot where handcuffs can be chained to the table.

"Please, sit down, Hawks," Tsuragamae tells him, waving his hand towards the chair further away from the door.

The hero walks past the mirror, looking at it curiously and wondering if there's someone at the other end.

As if he knows what Hawks is thinking about, the Chief speaks: "It'll be just the two of us for now. But I do have to turn on the recording."

Hawks smiles, hoping it doesn't crack. "Of course, you do what you gotta do!"

The man returns the smile and both of them sit down.

"Will you need some water?" Tsuragamae asks.

Hawks thinks it's pointless to ask now, when they are both seated, growing more nervous. Still, he smiles and tells him: "No, thanks."

"Alright, let's go then," Tsuragamae says, looking into the file.

When he speaks again, his voice is much more serious: "Where were you last night?"

"I was home," Hawks says. He may not have any alibi but he knows this is better than claiming to be outside somewhere with friends. He is pretty sure, if nobody, Ayane would do it for him, but he will not ask her that.

"Were you alone?"

"Yes."

"Have you spend the whole night at home?"

"I did," Hawks says. There is an odd familiarity in the air around him. It's like when Ayane was calming him down in the middle of the night. Now, however, she is not there, and Tsuragamae is asking much different questions than she did.

Tsuragamae stares at him intently. "What were you doing?"

"I was playing video games."

"So, you weren't with Dabi from the League of Villains in the Nishi prison?"

There it goes. Tsuragamae asks the question without any warning, suddenly blunt and staring at Hawks. The hero realizes he must be pretty good at his job, even though it's probably more paperwork nowadays. Hawks‘  mouth runs without any pause: "Nope, the only time I was in prison was when I played a video game with it few weeks ago."

He says it lightly, smile on his face. Tsuragamae doesn't smile, doesn't even move but Hawks is not put off by his behaviour. If he was a bad liar, if he couldn't keep up his calm even if only at the outside, Commission wouldn't pick him for his job.

Tsuragamae opens the file, staring at Hawks dangerously and all the hero does is tilting his head slightly to the side, his lips curling into a cheeky smile. The chief puts picture on the desk between them and Hawks looks down. It's definitely him, done on a tablet, but in the wig and with the green eyes instead of Hawks‘ brown ones. Hawks lets his smile widen some more.

"Is this from the Slasher?"

Tsuragamae can't quite stop the frown in time for Hawks not to notice it. "This is the description provided by the villain formerly known as Slasher, yes."

Hawks tilts his head to the other side, curiously, thankful for his friendship with Ayane and her proficiency and knowledge which she manages to rub off on him by some miracle. "What about the other witnesses. Did all of them describe the same man?"

He sees, and a dark part of him even enjoys, the way the other man clenches his teeth. "No."

"People are unreliable," Hawks shrugs. "Especially with their testimonies, I think you in your position are smart enough to realize this."

It's a soft manipulation – you are smart, you know this. Hawks wonders if Tsuragamae is aware of what Hawks does to him. The man looks taken aback but not angry yet, just cracking and unsure what to say. It's the moment, Hawks decides to play on the truth – Tsuragamae wants assurance to see where the two of them are standing.

He lets the smile disappear and puts on a serious expression: "I wasn't there last night, sir. I was at my home, alone. Do you think I, one of the best heroes, have a reason to join the villains? After everything the Hero Public Safety Commission did for me?"

A shadow of doubt flashes across Tsuragamae's eyes before the man can hide it from Hawks and the hero knows he's won.

"Nothing is impossible," the Chief says but Hawks already knows.

"What if the culprit just slightly looked like me and Slasher mistook him?" Hawks offers. "Or maybe he just saw that he looked similar to me and so he decided to frame me? After all, I caught him those years ago when I was just a kid. Or maybe the man didn't look anything like me at all and he's just coming up with all this."

"We can't rule out any possibility yet," Tsuragamae says but his voice sounds more apologetic than accusing. "We only started the investigation today, Hawks."

"I know," Hawks sighs and leans backwards in his chair. He plays another smile on his lips. "So, am I getting arrested now?"

"You may go, and continue with your work," Tsuragamae dismisses him. "But do try to stay in the city in case we need to question you some more."

"Of course, sir."


 

Before Hawks gets home, he drops by to grab some take away food, choosing salad with chicken for a change. It's already dead outside when he's heating the meal and he turns on the TV. He really shouldn't have.

On Channel 4, the moderators of the news are talking about him. And not in a good way. They managed to get the record of the interview he gave to the news paper earlier today, probably for big money, and are saying how in this crisis he's taking it way too lightly and that being accused of such crime is not something to be laughed at. Which Hawks never done but they don't care about that.

Alright, maybe he shouldn't have joked.

Hawks is going to have to call a conference, probably about this.

He sits down, in front the TV, and forces himself to eat at least some of the salad even though he isn't feeling hungry. As he eats, he goes through some of the channels. When he finds out that more news is making fun of the accusations or just dismissing it entirely, he is somehow relieved. It won't make the matter go away but he will feel better knowing the crowd won't want to stab him in the back.

The greatest joy at all is when the people show the interviews with the citizens and almost all of them think this whole accusation is bullshit. For once, Hawks feels tiny flame of happiness, nowadays it's a rare feeling.

After he finishes his meal, he turns off the TV and plugs earphones into his ears and listens to music while he goes around his flat, desperately thinking, finally having the time. Of how to make sure Dabi won't be at the meeting with Shigaraki and the other villains.

He thinks about any other way he could keep Dabi safe… from arrest, nothing else, he tells himself. He doesn't and his heart is nervously pounding in his chest because he can't figure out the right words to tell Dabi, what to say to keep him away.

Except Hawks knows what to say, doesn't he?

Something tells him that with Shigaraki, Dabi won't be in the rush to be there on time, and so, when it's fifteen minutes until the meeting that will be ambushed, Hawks picks up his phone.

He feels slightly dizzy, like when he flies too high too fast, his stomach is tied in almost painful knots as he listens to the ringing from the phone, waiting and waiting and every second is an eternity of its own.

Then, he hears Dabi's voice: "What's up, little bird?"

Hawks gulps, closing his eyes, it takes him a second before he manages to say the words, and as each, lightly-sounding word falls of his lips, he feels his stomach sinking a bit more.

I know you said it was only one night thing but… maybe you could drop by?"

Hawks has no way to see the sharp, toothy grin forming on Dabi's lips as the villain stops in his tracks.

Chapter Text

After Hawks hangs up, he runs a hand through his hair. His heart is squeezed by anxiety and he feels cold sweat running down his back. He's not scared of Dabi, but he knows sleeping with the man again is a bad idea, and not just because he feels utterly, completely filthy to the very core of his bones.

He tries to tell himself that he would have come up with something different, better, if he could. But it doesn't remove the weight from his shoulders, doesn't ease the grip of anxiety in his guts and doesn't cleanse his skin from the guilt.

And yet, he can't ignore the sick, little part of him, which is excited to have Dabi back, the memories of Dabi's touches on him send waves of desire through his veins. Undeniably connected to the desire, though, the shame runs through his veins, spreading like sickness, adding to the weight he's carrying on his shoulders.

Waiting is a nightmare. Hawks feels like if he listened to music, he would feel better – at least the silence in the room would quiet down. But he doesn't take his phone and not because then he wouldn't hear Dabi ringing at the door. He doesn't deserve to remove the burden he's carrying.

Some higher power takes mercy on Hawks and it starts to rain. Hawks stares at the window, the raindrops turning and shaping into little streams pulled down by gravity and the wind.

Hawks stares at the window, the sight slightly calming his pounding heart but not by much. He's still sitting on the couch when he hears the doorbell. The little serenity the rain brought upon Hawks disappears, dispersing into the thin air around him, leaving behind only Hawks and the storm of conflicted feelings inside him.

As Hawks is walking towards the door, he sort of understands the comfort his mother finds at the bottom of a bottle, drowning until her feelings would go numb. A part of him wishes he would drink at least half of his whiskey but he knows that wouldn't be fair or right to do. The same part wishes he could say no. And he thinks that if he did, Dabi would stop whatever he'd be doing.

But Hawks can't, the hand of Commission is ubiquitous above and around him, nothing comes before his mission.

His hand is shaking when he takes the door phone, watching Dabi on the screen. He makes his tone a purr when he speaks, hating himself some more: "Hey, hot stuff."

Dabi is wearing tight jeans and black hoodie today, the hood covering his face. "Sup, birb, care to let me in?"

The words taste like ash on Hawks mouth despite the light tone he speaks with: "That was fast."

"I am not a very patient guy," Dabi purrs, the sound of his voice making Hawks shiver with lust and then clenches his fists because this is not how he's supposed to feel.

Hawks opens the door for Dabi.

He knows how he must look like – as pale as ghost, sweat running down his spine and his hands are shaking violently as his heart is hammering almost painfully in his chest. If Dabi sees him like this, he will immediately know something is wrong. He will tell him he doesn't have time for this and go for the meeting. And Hawks will fail.

Hawks turns off the lights, not only in the hallway but also in the whole apartment. He waits in the darkness and silence, the anxiety creeping on him until Dabi opens the door. His figure is litten up with the light behind and he looks like heaven-sent.

The hero throws himself at the other man – there isn't any better word for it. He doesn't say anything, no greetings or nod of acknowledgement – Hawks doesn't think he would be able to form a full sentence without breaking under the tight grip of shame around his whole being, without cracking under the weight of guilt.

He throws his arms around Dabi's neck and presses his lips against his. The sensation, the warmth of Dabi's body, the soft and rough lips of his, set Hawks free for a moment, warming him from the inside. For a breath of time, nothing and no one exists except for the two of them.

And then Dabi moves past the shock of Hawks' action and presses into the kiss in return, his arm wrapping around Hawks' waist, pulling him closer, and the dark feelings inside of Hawks return, tighter and heavier.

He doesn't pull away, however, even though he feels like he's suffocating. He presses his body into Dabi's some more, a part of him craving the warmth the villain radiates, the way he now knows Dabi can chase the darkness away, but he doesn't allow himself the easiness.

Thank god, Dabi doesn't speak. Instead, the man pushes Hawks backwards. It's scary that the villain already knows the layout of Hawks' apartment but the hero is more than glad to let him have the control for a bit. He lets Dabi deepen the kiss, lets his hands roam over his body and lets him literally manhandle him backwards, to the stairs. On their way, Hawks doesn't let Dabi break the kiss for more than just a few seconds before he's kissing him again, cleaving, depending on the hot lips and tongue of the other man like a drowning man at a straw. He feels like if he doesn't lose his mind in the sensation, it'll break.

When they reach the top of stairs, Dabi breaks the kiss again but Hawks needs to feel him so desperately that he buries his nose into the crook of his neck, letting Dabi's scent fill his lungs and fog his mind in desire.

"Someone is desperate tonight," Dabi whispers into his ear, purring.

He has no idea how close he is to actual truth.

Hawks then feels sharp teeth on his earlobe. It sends a shiver down his spine. Dabi's hand them slides under the hero's shirt, the nails scratching the lower of his back, making Hawks whimper, before it moves down, under his pants, squeezing his ass.

It feels so good, like a promise of things which are yet to come.

And then Dabi whispers into his ear again: "I knew you'd come again, little bird."

And Hawks did come to Dabi. Except that Dabi has no idea why. He has no idea that Hawks came to him not simply because he wanted him but because he needed him here. He has no idea that Hawks will betray him sooner or later. He has no idea Hawks is tricking him into sleeping with him.

He has no idea Hawks is a dirty fucking liar.

"Hey, something wrong?"

Only when Hawks' stream of thoughts is interrupted by Dabi's voice, he realizes how tense his body is, his shoulder strained. He's sure there is no color in his cheeks, his hands are trembling.

But the worst thing is that Hawks hears real, badly-hidden tone of worry in Dabi's voice. It ties Hawks' stomach in painful knots, and sends a wave of disgust over him.

He repeats the words in his head, it's for good cause, it's for good cause. It doesn't help. His heart is pounding. Cold sweat is running down his back. He can't breath and sharp pain pulses through his chest.

Distantly, he recognizes this feeling. Dizzy, in last desperate attempt to push the panic attack away, he digs his fingers into Dabi's shoulders, staring at his shoulder rather than looking into his eyes, and then he tries to pull the other man close, hoping the feeling of his lips against Hawks' will make him forget again.

He doesn't manage. Dabi doesn't give in for the kiss and instead he holds him at the arm length from his body, his turquoise eyes studying Hawks' pale features with slight frown between his eyebrows and Hawks is sure he knows. That Hawks will betray him. That he's failure. That he's called him here under false pretenses.

Dabi has to hate him.

"What's gotten into you?" he hears Dabi's voice. He can't identify the tone and Hawks' useless mind offers the thought that Dabi is angry with him as undeniable truth. The truth pushes Hawks off, throwing him off the cliff, and he can't breathe.

His breathing is shallow and he feels tears in his eyes. The knees are useless now, giving out under his own weight as well as the guilt, shame and utter, complete terror, and Hawks is falling down.

Dabi catches him, his arms wrapping around his waist, saving him from the fall, and Hawks can't make sense to it. He doesn't deserve this, Dabi shouldn't touch him, why is he saving him. His heart is pounding, the noise so loud he can barely hear anything else but he realizes that he hears Dabi's voice.

"It's alright, everything is alright, birdie," Dabi speaks slowly and calm.

It's almost like Hawks is in his body but isn't really there. He recognizes the sensation of being gently let down on the floor, rather than hitting it. Dabi's arms are warm around him as he moves him to half sit in the other man's lap, handling Hawks' useless, powerless body with surprising strength.

Many people need space when they are going through panic attack. Hawks has always thought he was one of them. But while the arm around his chest is trapping him, it also locks his mind in place, keeping it from scattering all over the place. His whole being is cold and the warmth of Dabi's body behind him, seeping to him through their clothes is assuring. And the hand Dabi presses on his chest as he pulls him closer, lifts some of the weight that was suffocating Hawks.

His breathing is still shallow, he still has to fight for each breath he takes but it's easier. Especially when Dabi continues, voice so steady and calm it's almost soothing: "You're safe. Just focus on breathing, okay?"

Hawks wants to shout that he knows he's safe but his body is not his anymore; he's barely able to take in a shaky breath before the words die on his lips, his tongue tied. His body is still trembling almost violently and he has close to no control. The only thing he can do is give Dabi a shaky nod and closes his eyes, tilting his head backwards, letting it rest against Dabi's shoulder. He's focusing on his breathing, the warmth of Dabi's body on his and the sound of his voice.

Hawks has no idea how long they stay like that, him sitting in Dabi's lap, his back pressing against Dabi's chest, his head resting on his shoulder as the other man whispers low, soft words into Hawks' ear which Hawks doesn't dare to make out. At one point, when Hawks doesn't have to focus all of his attention on breathing anymore, he realizes that Dabi is gently rocking them back and forth. Then he realizes Dabi also has his hand in his hair, the angle awkward but his fingers are tender as they are scratching his scalp. And then he realizes that all his feathers fell on the floor around them like defoliated leaves.

"Are you back, Hawks?" Dabi asks quietly, like he's speaking to a cornered animal.

After the question, embarrassment settles in. The guilt, the fear is still in Hawks, clawing on his insides in now familiar way, but it's not overwhelming anymore. Also, Hawks feels too exhausted to care. His limbs are heavy as are his eyelids, he feels his hair wet with sweat. He feels so weak he doesn't know if he'll be able to stand up anymore even if he wanted to leave the warmth the body behind his provides. Which he doesn't.

"Yeah," he says, his voice rough. Hawks doesn't recognize it himself.

He feels how Dabi wants to ask what happened but instead of pulls Hawks closer and buries his nose into the hero's wet, messy hair. Hawks shivers again but this time, it has nothing to do with panic.

"Do you need me to do something?" Dabi asks. Hawks almost doesn't recognizes his voice either. It sounds just as fragile as Hawks', nervous, scared.

Hawks is cold, his throat is sore and the darkness around them is uncomfortable. But he doesn't want Dabi to move, doesn't want to lose the warmth his body is providing, or the security of the arm around his waist, resting on his chest.

"No," Hawks says.

Dabi doesn't require any explanation. The new found patience for Hawks is reassuring. Hawks will probably feel more guilty for inducing something like that in Dabi but right now, he's too tired.

Time passes by them and they remain unmoving, unaffected. Hawks' breathing eventually steadies. When the panic is all gone, exhaustion takes over him and without much of a choice, he feels his body go completely limp in Dabi's arms, leaning against him, putting all of his weight on the other man. He's even so tired that he doesn't care however dangerous it could be.

Especially since Dabi lets him. He just accepts all of Hawks', supporting him in a way Hawks is too scared to name. He knows he should move, both of them should. Neither of them does straight away. Hawks knows the serenity of the moment would break and all that would be left would be the heavy reality.

An unvolunteer shiver goes through Hawks and it feels like a splash of water thrown in both of their faces. Dabi shifts underneath him and Hawks gulps.

It's Dabi who speaks first: "Let's go," but he doesn't push Hawks off him.

Still, Hawks feels panic breathing down on the back of his neck again. Dabi is going to leave him here. Alone. In the dark.

Hawks can guess what gives him away - he takes in a sharp breath and then grabs the hand Dabi still has resting on his chest in iron grip which will probably leave bruises.

He holds his tongue, doesn't lend his voice to the worries and fears inside his head, that much of control Hawks keeps.

However, Dabi seems to understand. He sounds almost awkward, like he isn't sure what caused the new wave of fear in Hawks but tries anyway: "Easy, I'm not going anywhere. Let's just get you downstairs, alright?"

Downstairs. Outside of bedroom.

Mission. Success. Failure.

What goes through Hawks head is more a concept than actual thoughts and more fear comes from within him, forcing him to open his mouth: "No, sorry 'bout this. We can continue."

Dabi chuckles but it lacks any amusement. "Like hell we can. Let's get you there."

Somehow, they both get up. Hawks' legs still feel wobbly and he is not feeling himself quite yet otherwise he can't explain why he lets Dabi wrap his arm around the villain's shoulders as they slowly walk down the stairs.

Hawks shivers again. He knows the room is in the usual, comfortable temperature but he feels freezing.

He doesn't protest at all when Dabi takes him to the couch. He never stops touching Hawks, however, going from Hawks' shoulder to his thigh but nothing about his touches carries a hint of sensuous. Gentle, tender touches, simply reassuring Hawks of the other man's presence while demanding nothing in return.

It's dangerous. Even more than Dabi's fingers were digging into his hips like claws the other night. It's warm, intoxicating and Hawks is too tired to fight anymore.

"Do you have any blankets here?" Dabi asks, his voice quiet and he is looking everywhere but Hawks' eyes. The hero doesn't know if it's for his sake because Dabi thinks he would be ashamed of being like this or if it's because a question this… caring is not something the villain usually asks.

Either way, Hawks can't help the stupid little smile that grows on his face. "It's in the cupboard, bottom left."

Dabi nods and raises to his feet. Without thinking about it, Hawks grabs his shirt again, his heart racing in his chest.

Finally, the villain looks him in the eye. He looks shocked, not angry, and there is slight frown between his eyebrows. Worry, Hawks' brain supplies but it doesn't have enough control to let the other man go yet. Despite how much Hawks' mind tells him that would be the right, the safe, thing to do.

Instead, he stares at Dabi. The man looks young with the surprise in his face.

Tentatively, Dabi takes Hawks' wrist. It sends another shiver down Hawks' spine. This time, it has nothing to do with the cold.

"I'm just gonna grab that blanket and then I'll be back," Dabi says in slow, soothing voice and once again, it sounds like he is talking to cornered animal.

Just as tentatively, Hawks forces his hand to open and feels the fabric of Dabi's clothes slip from under his fingers. However, even though he lets go, Hawks' eyes never leave Dabi. The man's presence, the soft sound of the steps he takes, the rustling of his clothes, proves to be enough to chase the panic away.

Next to the cupboard, Dabi turns on the switch and the room is filled with light. Hawks relaxes slightly.

Dabi takes out the blanket and returns back to Hawks. Their looks meet again. Without any words at all, Dabi covers Hawks with the blanket and just like a baby, Hawks lets him. He doesn't move at all, except for when he raises his arms to let Dabi tuck the blanket under him, he simply watches as Dabi takes care of him.

He feels hotness in his eyes but sadness is the last thing on his mind. He closes his eyes, gulping, trying to fight the tears.

And then he feels a palm, cupping his cheek. He doesn't dare to open his eyes.

"It's alright now, little bird," Dabi tells him in soft, unfamiliar voice that loses Hawks his fight.

He does not open his eyes despite, or maybe because, of the tears which are flowing down his cheeks, like a river. Dabi doesn't brush them away with his thumb, instead he just accepts them and doesn't move, his presence rock-solid, even when Hawks' grabs him by the wrist again, however, not to pull him away. The solid, flesh and bones, hot life pulsing under Hawks' fingers is a reminder, like a torch in the darkness while his eyes are closed.

"It's alright, Hawks," Dabi repeats, probably not even knowing what he's talking about, what has caused this emotional rollercoaster for both of them, but does it anyway. And even knowing he doesn't deserve it, knowing it's yet another small dose of the poison Dabi so casually offers him. And as always, Hawks takes it, devours it all, not caring at all right now.

He leans into the palm, like a broken animal that's being pet for the first time.

Once more, Hawks doesn't know how long they stay like that. He doesn't want to open his eyes again. They don't kiss, Dabi doesn't lean to press his lips on Hawks' but somehow, that makes the moment only more intimate. The simple feeling of Dabi's palm on his cheek. Nothing else.

Until Dabi speaks again: "I'm going to the kitchen, alright?"

Hawks feels himself enough to nod and actually mean it. When Dabi's hand leaves, however, he can't not open his eyes. He stares at Dabi's back as the other man walks into the kitchen. He turns on the kettles and then searches through several cupboards, clearly looking for something.

If Hawks allowed his brain to think a bit, he might figure out what he's looking for, but he doesn't bother at the moment. Eventually, on third try, Dabi finds a box with cocoa for hot chocolate as well as coffee Hawks' coffee maker.

Hawks realizes he's mostly alright when he watches Dabi seamlessly as he turns on the machine, puts the coffee inside and places the mug underneath it, and the hero wonders how Dabi knows how to attend it. It is not rocket science, however, Dabi's doesn't strike Hawks as the technical type. There is confidence in his movements as he's done this before. Hawks wonders about his background.

"What did your father do?"

It's nothing more than a low, almost unhearable whisper in room illuminated with the soft light of the lamp. He knows Dabi heard him for the way he freezes, bent down in front of the fridge as he's pulling the milk out.

He doesn't say anything straight away, doesn't look up from the fridge. Shock is carved into Dabi's face, then the villain closes his eyes, for a second longer than he usual does. He stands up and closes the fridge with his leg before walking to the cooker.

"What happened to you?" Dabi asks in return.

He doesn't demand anything, again. It's more like testing the waters between them, taking one tentative step towards Hawks, trying to see if he will meet in him in the middle. Like extending his arm to Hawks. There is still the abyss behind him, dark, cold unending. And Hawks has to decide between the dangerously hot flame in front of him and the cold loneliness behind him.

He can feel the core of his mission, his conviction, crumbling. The throne he's sitting on is build on lies which are as flammable as arid straw of grass and Hawks knows when the time comes, he will burn with it. Right now, however, he just wants to feel warm.

What he says is not exactly a lie but Hawks was never one to excuse half-truths. "My mom. She… she used to lock me up inside the lumber room. It was tiny, dark, cold thing. I could always hear her just outside but no matter how hard I banged at the door, how much I… pleaded her to let me out, she didn't until hours, hours later when I was long curled into a ball. Now, I know people have it worse, I know it's stupid bu-"

"It's not," Dabi interrupts him with almost harsh voice and even though Hawks knows the other man is not angry at him, it still makes him shut up.

Dabi who was pouring hot milk into a mug until now, looks at him. He looks as tired as Hawks feels. The hero loses himself in the turquoise of his eyes again but Dabi's voice pulls him out again in the next second: "It's not stupid, Hawks."

Hawks doesn't offer any reply because he has none. For once in his life, he falls into deliberated silence. He sees that the other man finishes pouring the two mugs but he doesn't turn to Hawks yet.

"My father-"

This time it's Hawks who interrupts the other man. "You don't have to talk about it. It's honestly fine."

Hawks can't offer him full trust. He could, but it would not be real, he feels like telling him about his mom is offering a small piece of him because he can't give him anything else, anything more. Like offering a slice of bread to someone who's given you a feast.

For a moment, Dabi stays silent and doesn't move. Hawks watches his shoulders moving slightly as he takes a breath in and then breathes out. Then, he grabs the mugs and walks slowly back to Hawks. The tension between them grows stronger with each step he takes, as if it's cramping as the space that's separating them is smaller and smaller.

"My father," Dabi says, carefully, each of his word one step on the thin ice of the river that's separating them. "Abused my mom, me and my brother. I-" Dabi pauses, staring at the ground before Hawks, pale and already floating in his own memories. "I looked a lot like him. Is why I dyed my hair. Before I did, my mom… you could say she was horrified of me. Even though she tried to hide it pretty hard. When she looked at me, she saw him."

Hawks takes a look at the scars. Dabi told him so much, yet he feels they hold more secrets to them than Dabi is ready to show him. And honestly, it's alright. Hawks feels like he's already given more than he deserves. He's getting something Dabi will eventually regret giving but Hawks will cherish it forever whatever might come.

Dabi offers him the mug of the hot chocolate and Hawks takes it. The sweet warmth spreading through his cold fingers as he wraps them around it but he quickly gives up upon the warmth in order to put the mug on the coffee table. He raises to his feet, ignoring his weak knees. Dabi stares at him, eyes wide with surprise.

However, he doesn't protest when Hawks places his cold hands on both of his cheeks and pulls him down. It's nothing more than a brush of his lips on Dabi's and yet Hawks knows, he will remember this kiss for the rest of eternity. The light touch, the contrast of his lips, soft and rough, how warm and pliant he is as Hawks kisses him, the vulnerability they both place on their lips, like an offering to one another, a promise.

When they break the kiss, Hawks opens his eyes. Dabi is already looking down at him, his eyes half closed. He lets out a soft breath. Hawks feels it mingling with his own and his body trembles slightly. As if scared that Hawks will fall down again, Dabi places his hand on the hero's lip again.

When he speaks, it's a whisper, a brush on Hawks' skin. "You are playing with fire, little bird."

Hawks gulps, closing his eyes again. "Aren't we both?"

Dabi's lips brush his as the villain leans closer and Hawks can more feel than hear him say: "I am ready to get burnt. Are you?"

In that moment, Hawks wouldn't care if the sun itself swallowed him whole. As an answer, he kisses Dabi again.

This time, Dabi really returns the kiss. Pressing closer, craving desperation pulsing from his lips and arms as he wraps it around Hawks' waist. This time, however, he is pliant, docile even when Hawks deepens the kiss. He didn't get a real chance to explore last time, Dabi way too eager for Hawks to even consider anything but taking what Dabi had to give him. And while the last thing on Hawks' mind is complaining, he trembles with want when his tongue enters the radiating heat of Dabi's.

He clings on Dabi in the same way the other man does on him, like he is the only remaining source of warmth in the dark cruel world.

Hawks likes the newly acquired control, he lets his hand wonder up Dabi's back, caressing the skin through the clothes before he curls his fingers into the other man's hair. A low, surprised grunt escapes Dabi when Hawks gently tugs at the hair, tilting Dabi's head backwards and breaking the kiss, however, the villain doesn't complain and doesn't fight him.

Hawks tenderly kisses his jaw, going down to his neck. The purple, burnt skin is rough when he tastes it with his tongue and he feels more than hears Dabi's breath hitch when he does that.

"Can you feel it?" Hawks asks curiously, his lips moving across the skin, taking in deep breath, Dabi's smoky scent and then lets it out.

For a moment, Dabi falls silent. Hawks doesn't dare to move. He simply breathes into the skin.

"Yeah," Dabi says eventually, his voice low, quiet – a secret. "It's just different, more… numb."

Hawks doesn't ask how he got the scars. It's not his place. He knows with each thing Dabi shares with him, each memory Dabi trusts him with will hurt both of them in the end.

Dabi doesn't move at all except for breathing as Hawks kisses the rough skin, when he licks at his collar bone and when he nips at the crook of his neck. He is almost scarily quiet but Hawks already knows his body. After just one night, he knows Dabi's lust is quiet, the only reaction that makes it to the surface is the quickened breathing. It's disturbing and exciting at the same, like petting a tiger that's staring back into you, knowing very well he could snap at you any moment.

"If I knew it would end up like this, I wouldn't bother with the hot chocolate," Dabi murmurs but there is the hint of amusement in his voice.

It's the familiar teasing, meaning things are coming back to normal. Yet, both of them feel the way their relationship is somehow changed, shifted, and it won't go back no matter what they do now. If Hawks was strong, it would have stayed, if he was stronger, they would stay just the familiars who fucked. Now, Hawks isn't sure what they are but he knows putting a name to it is as dangerous as the string that connects them. Just two lost souls, alone together, with no place to go except the one another's arms.

"We could drink it tomorrow morning, you know," Hawks says softly, ignoring the implication of the words that it's safe for Dabi to stay the night.

And Dabi, being just as foolish as Hawks, nods in agreement.

It's like a seal on a contract they both sign with the devil.

Hawks has no idea how he makes up the stairs with his legs still so weak and wobble but he does. Even without putting too much on his weight on the other man, even as he's leaning on him as he kisses him on their way.

Now, instead of being pushed into the bed, Dabi pulls him on himself.

They are both half hard when Hawks pushes his body against Dabi's. He kisses him again and it's like a slow dance of tongue, they are pressing and pushing against one another as if this is not their second time, as if they knew each other for eternity and a bit longer.

Hawks pulls at Dabi's hair and smiles softly when Dabi purrs at the sensation before he takes advantage of the exposed neck and sucks at the skin of his throat again.

Dabi might be pliant under him but his hands are curious, always wandering across Hawks' back, too excited to stop moving.

And while Dabi is quiet except for the labored breathing as Hawks kisses him and suck at his throat, his jaw, his earlobe over and over again, the hero soon realizes that when he does something Dabi especially likes, the man under him digs his fingers into Hawks' skin, scratching and bruising.

It makes Hawks shiver in excitement of his own.

And then Dabi rolls his hips up, the friction making Hawks gasp suddenly.

Dabi chuckles: "Take off your shirt, little bird."

Hawks smiles, his hands are still trembling but he wants to do this. They both do but it's different. More deep. Every movement, every touch, every kiss takes them deeper and deeper down and Hawks feels like even though he doesn't know what is at the bottom, it doesn't matter because Dabi will be there with him.

For the first time, he won't be alone in the dark.

"You are bosy," he tells Dabi but there is joy in his voice.

Something, Dabi mimics in the following second: "Don't pretend you don't like it when I tell you what to do."

Hawks does. Right now, in the darkness, when it's just the two of them, he would love to surrender himself to Dabi like he never did to anyone before, he would sit down at Dabi's feet for hours shall Dabi only desire it or he would tell him the thoughts and secret of the deepest, darkest part of his mind.

He would worship Dabi's perfect imperfect body if only Dabi wanted him to.

Instead, he takes off the shirt. Dabi's turquoise eyes watch him with the same hunger as the first time but there is also something docile in them now. He pushes himself up with one hand and reaches to cup Hawks' face with the other to place soft kiss upon the hero's lips before kissing him for real.

Hawks sobs into the kiss, there is no better way of describing the low, pathetic sound which escapes his throat.

"You are so pretty, Hawks," Dabi says softly when he breaks the kiss.

Hawks feels the praise in his very core, warming him from the inside and spreading to his limbs, making him tremble.

There's another chuckle but it's not mockery. Then, he whispers: "You don't hear that a lot when the spotlights are off, do ya?"

Once again, he doesn't say it like an insult, he states it like a fact. Which it is.

Hawks lets his forehead rests against Dabi's. "Can I take off your shirt?"

A moment passes. Then…

"Yeah."

Hawks kisses Dabi in thanks again, his hands already reaching to the hem of Dabi's shirt. They look into each other into the eyes for a moment and then Hawks pulls it off.

The skin on Dabi's chest is mostly unscarred. He's pale and his waist looks thin. He can still see the shape of Dabi's ribs and the clear line of his muscles but not as much as Hawks thought it would. Then, he remembers that Dabi is actually putting on weight.

He imagines what Dabi would look like if he was healthy.

Sudden anger and a bit of desperation washes over Hawks. He wants to ask if Dabi's father did this to him, even if not directly.

Dabi fidgets under his touch and when Hawks looks him in the eye, the man refuses to meet him, nervous.

Hawks chuckles and pushes Dabi back down. The man yelps in surprise but doesn't fight as the hero presses him down and starts licking and sucking on his chest.

Dabi's breathing gets harsher, more ragged as his turquoise eyes watch him.

When Hawks nips at his nipple, rather rough, Dabi hisses but his voice is light and clouded with desire all the same: "Fuck Hawks, you're gonna be the death of me. Take off the pants, c'mon."

The hero doesn't know if he means his own or Hawks. In the end it doesn't matter. He unbuttons Dabi's pants and the other man helps him take them off.

When he sees Dabi's cock in full view for the first time - because, last time, he was more busy feeling it - he licks his lips, hunger and thirst and burning desire burning inside him. Dabi is hung, there is no better fitting word - it's thick, and long and slightly curved and hard as hell.

"How the hell did you fit it in me?"

Dabi burst out laughing.

"How do you think, birdbrain?" he asks but it sounds more amused than insulting. "Careful prep and nice and slow fucking. I wasn't gonna be a savage when we were going to Nishi."

Hawks smirks. "And if I wanted you to be a savage?"

Dabi returns him a toothy grin. "I see you are mostly back to yourself, birb… If you want savage, I can you show you."

"Next time," Hawks tells him, taking off his pants and throwing them beside the bed. "I wanna fuck you tonight."

The reaction is immediate. The confidence radiating from Dabi's expression and the lines of his smirk disappears and he's leaning backwards, away from Hawks.

And Hawks realizes that the panic is not as distant as he thought it was. His heartbeat fastens, a cold shiver goes down his spine, chasing away the warmth. His body moves without him meaning to and he grabs Dabi by his shoulder, depending on the touch like a man above abyss depends on the last string of rope.

However, before the panic can truly grip on his shoulders, Dabi's hands are on his cheeks again, chasing the coldness away.

"It's fine, it's fine," he tells him, letting his forehead rest on Hawks' again.

Their noses lightly brush on each other's.

"Of course you can fuck me," Dabi tells him, his voice low with seduction and he kisses him again, taking control and making Hawks moan desperately as he explores his mouth. When Dabi breaks the kiss, he sucks on Hawks' lower lip, bring back the heat, making the hero tremble.

"I mean I don't wanna make you do anything you do-"

Before he can continue, Dabi laughs. He leans backwards, laying on the bed but it doesn't send Hawks into panic mode. Dabi's movement is different, not tense, more graceful. Seductive.

He's sprawled on the bed, before Hawks who is kneeling between his legs, spread with confident smirk playing on his lips, offering himself like a gift to be savored.

When he speaks, his voice is dripping with seduction. "Do I look like you are making me do something?"

Hawks gulps, the picture before him too perfect for him to speak.

"That's what I thought, little bird," Dabi bites down on his lower lip for no other reason than to drive Hawks even more crazy. "Now, grab that lube and fuck me senseless, yeah?"

Hawks doesn't need to be told twice. With eagerness and hands still trembling, he reaches into the drawer for the lube and condoms. Dabi watches his every movement with predatory fascination in his eyes. Before Hawks can open the tube, Dabi buries his fingers in his hair and pulls him down for another kiss.

He doesn't bother being gentle, he sinks his teeth into Hawks lower lip at first, making Hawks moan in surprise. Dabi immediately takes advantage and deepens the kiss, the taste of Dabi's lips and tongue sending wild waves of pleasure through Hawks' body, into his member. Hawks already knows he will never have enough of the wild, untamable taste.

When Dabi breaks the kiss, Hawks slowly opens his eyes. He's lying atop of Dabi but he is the one feeling trapped in the way the villain looks at him with soft and yet hungry look. His hand is still holding Hawks' hair, the grip firm, making Hawks shiver when he tugs at them slightly by accident.
With the other hand, Dabi reaches for Hawks' hand, taking the condom out of his hand. The hero lets it go without any protest.

"We won't be needing that, will we?"

And Hawks feels privileged somehow, nodding keenly. He trusts Dabi, more than he wants to admit and definitely more than he should. But he is weak. For the turquoise of his eyes, for the way a smirk is playing with Dabi's lips, for the way Dabi is holding him firmly but tenderly.

Dabi smiles, like unspoken praise that makes Hawks' skin tingle. He kisses Dabi again, softer than the man kissed him but Dabi doesn't protest in any way, lets Hawks bath in the sweet, poisoning taste of his lips.

Hawks doesn't possess the patience Dabi has showed him during their first time, doesn't have the patience to play with Dabi. He wants to make Dabi his.

He pours the lube on his fingers. Nervous and fidgeting under the eager look of want Dabi is giving him. It only makes Dabi smile some more. He looks like a cat who licked all of the cream. When Hawks puts down the lube, Dabi spreads his legs further in invitation, obscene and dirty in his movement, making the hero take in a deep breath. Dabi is not conventionally handsome, let alone attractive, yet, in this moment, when Dabi's head is resting on his hand on the pillow, the other hand lazily scratching Hawks' arm, lewd smile on his lips and his legs spread for the hero, Hawks thinks he looks like seduction embodied.

This is not Hawks' first time, it's not even his first time on top, yet his hands are still shaking when he places his fingers to Dabi's entrance and tentatively presses his fingers inside. He hears Dabi take in a sharp breath and it's almost enough for Hawks to pull backwards but before he can do that, Dabi grabs him by the wrist. The hero looks up and his eyes meet the villain's.

Dabi wears a wild smile. "I'm not of glass, Hawks. Get on with it so you can fuck me up already."

Hawks doesn't need to be told twice. Some of his usual confidence returns suddenly and he pushes not one but two fingers into Dabi. The man underneath him tenses, tilting his head back, exposing the scarred throat as a loud breath is ripped from it.

Hawks falls in love with the reaction, craving more of them, curious to see them all. He pushes the fingers deeper, watching Dabi's chest stop moving as the man holds his breath at the sensation before he lets it out of his lungs, loud. His reactions are still quiet but clear from the way his body is trembling and from the way his chest moves up and down, fast.

Hawks pushes and pulls his fingers, curles them inside Dabi, watching for everything, every drop of sweat on Dabi's unscarred skin, drawing all the reactions from Dabi and hoping to keep them forever. And when his fingers discover the spot inside Dabi, he is rewarded with first, very quiet moan.

Dabi is biting his lower lip, his eyes wide open. He looks at Hawks, teeth sharp in the wild grin: "Fuck, Hawks, you are so fucking good with those fingers. C'mon, baby, gimme more."

The hero feels the praise go straight to his groin, his ears heating up, but he complies, adding another finger. This time, when Dabi tilts his head backwards, Hawks takes the opportunity and leans down to lick his neck, feeling, more than hearing, the purr Dabi rewards him with.

He sucks at the skin, the roughness under his lips unique but nice anyway. Hawks knows he won't leave a visible mark on Dabi's skin but the pleasure from running his teeth across the vulnerable skin is still there.

He plays with Dabi some more, savoring the way the villain's breath hitches or when he lets it out loudly but it's the soft, quiet moans he considers to be true victories.

After especially good push of his fingers, Dabi hisses and grabs Hawks by his hair again, harsher than before but not pulling quite yet.

"You are a tease," he accuses him with grin.

"Am I?" Hawks whispers, teasingly. "I did not know."

Dabi chuckles but the sound is drowned in a moan that escapes from his throat when Hawks presses his fingers against the spot again, the hero smiles at his own foul play.

"You're naughty," Dabi tells him.

Hawks wants to ask if that means he'll get punished but Dabi pulls him by the hair again, down for a rough kiss that is probably meant to be a punishment but Hawks' body melts at the sensation of the Dabi's teeth and tongue playing with him.

Without breaking the kiss, Hawks rubs his slick member against Dabi's hole and feels the man smile into the kiss but he doesn't stop sucking on Hawks' lips. When Hawks presses in with slightly jerky movements, Dabi breathes deeply under him, but the hero almost doesn't hear it, all he can think about is the sweet hot tightness around him.

Dabi is so tight Hawks feels like he could come embarrassingly quickly, any moment.

But Hawks continues sinking into Dabi, losing himself in the man slowly before he is finally fully inside. Both of them are breathing hard now, their breaths mingling together.

"Fuck, Hawks, I love your cock," Dabi puffs out with a hint of laughter.

Hawks chuckles but it sounds more breathless than anything.

"Man, do you ever shut up?" The hero wishes his voice didn't sound as shaky when he speaks.

"Maybe you should make me," Dabi says with confidence but he, too, sounds out of breath.

Instead of an answer, Hawks pulls suddenly out and pushes right back inside of the incredible heat, rough and fast. Dabi makes a strangled noise in the back of his throat and tilts his head backwards.

Hawks loves to look at the exposed throat.

He sinks his teeth into the scarred skin and grunts as he pushes inside the other man again and again, short shallow thrusts which man Dabi breath loudly and occasionally groan in pleasure, his hips rolling and meeting Hawks' in perfect sync.

The hero also soon finds out that while he isn't the whimpering type, he indeed never shuts up.

"Fucking yes, Hawks, that feels amazing," the praises are slipping of Dabi's lips. "Your cock feels so fucking amazing! Harder, c'mon."

And Hawks does. He is sliding inside Dabi, hard and relentless, the hot tightness bringing him closer and closer to pleasure every time. He can tell Dabi is getting close by the way the man throws his arm across his forehead with the shower of praises: "Fuck yeah, feels so good. C'mon, make me come, little bird, c'mon!"

Hawks picks up the force and reaches for Dabi's cock, making the man grunts loudly, finally wordless as Hawks pumps his cock and he comes all over his and Hawks' stomach. A grown of Hawks' own escapes him as he comes inside Dabi in the next second, burying himself as deep into Dabi as he can.

For several minutes, they are just catching their breaths. When Hawks' heartbeat steadies, after everything that has happened tonight, he feels completely, utterly exhausted.

He lets his body fall down on Dabi's, buries his face into the crook of the other man's neck, his eyelids too heavy to keep them up anymore.

"Hey don't get comfy," Dabi tells him but despite his words, Hawks feels an arm around his waist pulling him even closer to the nice heat of his body. "We are a mess, we gotta get you cleaned up."

"Too tired," Hawks murmurs honestly into the rough skin. He braces himself for being pushed off but instead he feels Dabi's fingers in his hair.

"Messy bird," the villain calls him in a tone Hawks can't name. "At least pull out, will ya?"

Hawks groans lazily but does as he is told.

Dabi only chuckles and continues to play with his hair and then he feels gentle, soft pressure on his temple but, by then, the sleep is already taking him.

Chapter Text

For the first time in more than a month, Hawks' doesn't dream of anything in his sleep. The warm body which is pressing against his as the night passes around them chases the nightmares away.

Hawks is not used to anyone sleeping next to him. He half wakes up every time Dabi moves, whether to just shift his legs or to pull him back closer, but he easily slips into the sleep again. When he fully wakes up with the sun beaming on his face, his head is resting on Dabi's shoulder, his nose buried into the soft skin. The other man's scent is filling his lungs, his arm under Hawks' torso, curling up around him so the big palm rests on the hero's side.

Hawks wakes up with a loud sigh. His sound makes the body under him stir slightly in awaking and he understands immediately that waking next to someone isn't anything Dabi does, either. His phone doesn't go off in alarm which means he still has some time.

The hero opens his eyes, the eyelashes moving across Dabi's skin. It feels like an eternity since he's felt this well-rested even though his body is aching. The panic attack and the last few days of exhaustion didn't help.

"Don't you have to go to the office today?" Dabi's voice is raspy from the sleep and he speaks in quiet tone. Hawks feels the hand on his side move but not to pull away. Instead, Dabi mindlessly caresses Hawks' skin with the tip of his fingers. He wonders if Dabi realizes what's he's doing.

It's intimate, tender, and also horrifying reminder of just how dangerous this is, just how dangerous last night was for Hawks' mission. He already feels like a failure and dreads of the moment he'll have to arrest Dabi because he isn't sure there will be no hesitation on his part. And hesitation never ends well.

"I do," Hawks murmurs.

He feels Dabi move under him and looks up to see the man taking his phone and sleepily looking on his screen. Then, tension builds up in his shoulders and his eyes widen.

"Move that pretty ass of yours, yeah," he tells Hawks, lightly tapping his side.

For one second, Hawks wants to protest, wants to press closer and kiss the crook of Dabi's neck again. Wants to climb into Dabi's lap so he could ride his cock as Dabi promised him the first night.

Instead, he rolls away from the other man. Dabi immediately sits up, still staring at his phone.

Hawks' stomach sinks when he realizes what must be there. Dabi has organized the meeting with the rest of the League. And then he didn't attend. Hawks knows exactly how that must look to Shigaraki and the rest of them. He also should go through the news because the police intervention is granted to be on the news, especially if it's been successful.

He can only watch the shock in Dabi's expression as he goes through the messages on his phone and the list of missed calls from yesterday. It's a knock of reality on their door.

And then, there is an actual doorbell ringing.

Hawks feels his body go completely still, his heart pounding so hard in his chest as if it will burst out any second. Dabi's look has left the screen and he is staring at the other man, his eyes wide in the same shock Hawks feels.

And the hero is still naked with a villain in the same state in his bed, both of them reeking of sex with a touch of sweat from last night.

Another ring brings Hawks out of his trance, like a splash of icy cold water. His body jerks and he immediately says: "Get dressed and hide."

"Where?" Dabi asks dummly.

The part of Hawks which is panicking wants to yell at him that whatever is fine but he manages to keep calm. "The bathroom."

Dabi nods and quickly climbs out of the bed, collecting the pieces of clothes from the floor. And despite the situation, Hawks can't help himself but to stare at the other man… namely his crotch, feeling heat in his cheeks and ears.

But Dabi is wearing serious expression, not even looking at Hawks, there is a deep frown between his eyebrows. He looks worried but Hawks knows it is not just because of the unexpected visit. He's so worried that he isn't even paying much attention to Hawks' naked body. Honestly, Hawks doesn't hold it against him.

Another ring of the doorbell, this time, whoever is at the entrance to the building, keeps their finger on it. And Hawks immediately knows who it is.

He feels more tension building up inside him. Of all the times Rumi chooses to come pick him up so they could have a breakfast outside, she picks today.

Hawks grabs his phone while searching for his own pants and shirt, and writes a short text to Rumi that he's up. The ringing stops immediately.

Dabi is already in the bathroom, the door closed, and Hawks is alone with his beating heart. His hair is a mess, one shoulder strap of his shirt down, and he doesn't even put belt in his pants.

He at least tries to put the shoulder strap back up. By the time he is at the door, it's down again already.

"Yeah?" he says into the mic.

"What's up, twink, let me in," Rumi greets and demands immediately. "I've got some news for you before you see it on TV or read on your phone."

"I'll be right do-"

"Nah, let me in, c'mon!"

Hawks gulps, his heart pounding so loud in his ears he thinks he'll go deaf. But he knows arguing with Rumi would be pointless, especially since it's never been an issue to let her inside before and she would grow even more suspicious.

He opens the door and flies back to the living room, grabbing the now cold chocolate drink and coffee but before he can fly into the kitchen and hide it, he hears Rumi's voice from the door: "Hawks, what are you doing?"

The realization that Rumi had to jump up rather than to take the stairs like a normal person is not good. Hawks turns around, slowly, feeling like a thief caught in the middle of stealing, the figure from old cartoons. The rabbit heroine is standing at the door, already wearing her hero costume and staring at him, her eyes twitching confusedly.

She looks at Hawks from head to toe, the gaze stopping at the two mugs Hawks is holding, and then she opens her mouth wide open but it takes her a second to get a single word out of herself: "Oh, you were having a visit and-"

She pauses. Her nose twitches as she is sniffing the air and her expression goes from surprised to absolute, horrifying shock. When she speaks again, it's with voice that he rarely hears from her and the sound of confusion and quiet disappointment stinks deep, deep inside of him: "Hawks… why do you smell like Endeavor?"

And it's Hawks' turn to be confused. Rumi's sense of smell is better than normal human's. He was worried she would recognize Dabi for the smell of him. But reminding her of Endeavor instead? Maybe, since she didn't meet him in person that often? Or because of the incident on the roof where both Dabi and Endeavor were present she confused his smell?

"Hawks," Rumi's voice rips Hawks away from his thoughts, she is frowning now, her voice scarily quiet. "Tell me you didn't do that…"

For a couple of eternally long seconds, Hawks has no idea what she is talking about, what she's thinking. Then, it clicks, very painfully. She must be able to smell the sex on him as well as Dabi's smell which she interprets as Endeavor's. She must be hearing the additional heartbeat from upstairs.

His own voice cracks when he says: "Rumi…"

He doesn't even finish because the voice inside his head which sounds like the Commission tells him to remember his mission is the most important thing.

Rumi just shakes her head, her expression is full disappointment, shock and anger mingling together into one of the most painful expression Hawks has ever seen on her face. "I can't believe this! Is this what you meant when you said it's complicated?!"

Another part of Hawks tells him she is his best friend and he can't help himself, he has to say something that would make her understand and ease the pain: "Rumi, listen, I-"

"No!" she interrupts him, shaking her head. "I told you not to let that crush grow over your head, you dumb pigeon! I can't believe I was so fucking worried you and all this time you were fucking a married man! What is wrong with you?!"

Hawks' hands are trembling and he so desperately wants, craves, to tell Rumi truth, to just spill everything out about his mission. Instead, he chuckles, the sound false even to his own ears, and says: "I'm not the married one, am I?"

He knew it would fuel her anger. The furious expression is somehow relief in comparison to the disappointment from before: "That's bullshit excuse! Like, I'm not even talking about what fucking dickbag Endeavor is but I don't give a shit about him! I give a shit about you, Hawks! And what you are doing is fucked up! Man like him don't leave their families! Wherever this is going, you will be the one getting hurt! You and his family!"

"Rumi-"

Rumi raises her hand. "I don't wanna hear it, Hawks. I couldn't fucking sleep from how I was worried for you and all this time you were-" she shakes her head again, trying to chase away the thoughts. "-I really need to go. Like I still love you, but this is a lot to process. I can't talk to you right now."

Hawks wants to scream at her not to go. Instead, he just stands there in silence, the two mugs still in his hands and watches her leave. After her footsteps, the sound of door closing, and then, the room is covered with the blanket of silence.

Hawks' heart is pounding, he can feel cold sweat running down his back, the wetness in his eyes on the verge of spilling out. It's stupid. He knows he's done the best thing he could for the cause. It's better that Rumi thinks he's sleeping with Endeavor than it would be if she found out he's sleeping with Dabi because then he'd have to tell her about his mission.

It is good. He knows he's done well.

And, yet, his insides are squeezing with anxiety because Rumi, his best friend, thinks he is a damn homewrecker. And worse, she thinks Endeavor is a cheating bastard. Because of Hawks, the subject of his admiration, the man who's not directly got him through few rough times in his life, had to lie about him.

The guilt is almost crippling at this point. He has to put down the two mugs he's been trying to hide because they are heavy in his trembling hands. His knees are wobbly again but he doesn't feel like the panic attack is approaching. He feels in control of himself but he also wishes he didn't. He wants to go upstairs and lie down and sleep until everything is over.

His mind runs wild before he can stop it and suddenly, Dabi is also in the little fantasy of his, sitting at the edge of the bed and running his fingers through Hawks' hair, not really saying anything, but his company grounding.

He tries to chase the image away but it only brings back the memories of yesterday. It's somehow hazy but how scarily safe it felt to be in Dabi's lap after the panic attack faded away, the fingers in his hair and the breath that was brushing his hair as Dabi's whispers filled his ear.

He wants more of it. It's as if with the knowledge of comfort Dabi can offer (because there is no denying it has been comfort), he craves it more than he ever did before.

He hears a click of a metal against metal, tearing him from his thoughts. He looks up and sees Dabi, fully clothed now, leaning on the handrail, looking down at Hawks with strange, hard expression. The hero didn't see it on him since they grew closer. It makes his heart sink uncontrollably.

When Dabi speaks, he can't hide the venom even though he tries to: "Framing a famous hero, aren't we?"

Hawks doesn't know what Dabi's deal is but it is clear the other man is angry. There's a deep frown between his eyebrows and fire in his eyes. Not one that's mean to warm, the one Hawks likes, but one that burns. The hero's mind is quickly going through things that could've made the man angry – was he planning to be exclusive with Hawks and was it simple jealousy because he liked Endeavor? But that didn't make any sense, Dabi is smart, he knows it's better for Rumi to think that he's sleeping with Endeavor than for her to suspect he sleeps with Dabi? Plus, it was just a lie, no reason to be angry about it.

Or was he angry that Hawks had a friend like Rumi and she cared? That also didn't make any sense, Dabi had to know he was supposed to keep up his appearance and friendship with other heroes was a part of it.

Dabi is still waiting for an answer; he shifts his weight from one foot to another, his turquoise eyes piercing through Hawks but he is not angry. At least not with Hawks and not yet.

"Is that a problem?" Hawks asks in the end because he doesn't know what else to say.

He doesn't miss the way Dabi's jaw clenches in irritation, however what the man says is: "Nope, nothing wrong."

The air between them is tense, the apartment too tight around them, and it doesn't help Hawks' pounding heart.

"Did something happened?" Hawks asks, pretending to be clueless. It's a test, most and foremost. Dabi doesn't… or shouldn't know about Hawks being aware of the assault on League of Villains. Hawks wants to know whether the man will tell him about it or not.

Dabi narrows his eyes and he shows no emotion as he lies: "No, everything's fine."

The villain is tapping the handrail slowly, the clamps on his hand filling the room with metallic sound.

Click. Click. Click.

"I better go now, hero, before someone else comes and sees the dirty little villain inside your flat."

And Hawks is Hawks. He hates the tension in the air, the fear of someone he likes being mad at him. So, even though he knows it will only make matters worse, he tries to self-destructively ease the tension with a joke: "I think we both know you are not little."

It hurts when Dabi, for the first time, doesn't laugh at his joke. The smile he puts on is almost a mockery of his usual, ironically mocking, smirk. If someone, several months ago, told Hawks he would miss that smirk, he would laugh them in the face.

"Yeah," Dabi says and finally lets go of the handrail, going down the stairs, putting on the cape of his hoodie. "I better go."

Hawks doesn't say the goodbye and neither does Dabi. The hero stands on his spot, watching Dabi leave. After the door clicks shut, he waits for a couple of more seconds. His realizes that his hands are still shaking but he gulps, puts himself together and climbs the stairs up again.

The alarm on his phone goes off before he even reaches his bedside table. He turns it off and forces himself to go into familiar routine where he doesn't have to think – he takes a shower, puts on his uniform and skips the breakfast.

After all, feeling like shit or not, he has another day of pretending ahead of him.

 

Dabi has never considered himself to be a special man. Maybe, it's partly Enji's fault for always reminding him and the others just how ordinary they were for someone like him, how they were never really worth his time.

Failures. Especially Dabi because he almost was stronger than him. Only if it weren't for his traitorous body.

And while many things in Dabi's life changed over the past several months, this feeling hasn't. He still knows he's ordinary. There is no difference between him and the lady he sees in the playground with her child, he knows there is no difference between him and the man selling cabbage stand he passes as he's walking through the market.

Well, actually, he thinks, there might be one difference. While he is ordinary, weak and pathetic human, ordinary like the rest of them, he did something out of ordinary. Not something special because by the end of the day anyone could do it. Anyone could use their quirk to do what Dabi has done. Anyone could murder, steal and cause mayhem. It's only a simple choice, to cross the line of ordinary and find themselves on the other side.

Stepping out of the comfort circle, the acceptable circle. He stopped being a part of a proper society.

And these normal, ordinary people are scared. They don't know what lies behind the line. That was why nobody dared to cross it. They are scared of the normality of their days shattering, they are scared of the unknown that could happen. And so, they repeat everything – day after day. Go to work or to school, eat, meet with friends, sleep. And then start all over. It's an order of things. As the society tells them it should be.

Dabi knows all of this. It makes anger boil inside of him. The normality is what destroyed his mother… People want to see that everything is in the proper state. A hero is a hero, a good guy who can't do no wrong. Who can't be seen no wrong. Because people need to believe in something. It's more important for people to have hope than to have truth and justice.

If someone bothered with truth and justice, they would see what kind of person Enji is. Instead, they preferred having a hero. Someone to shield them from harm as well as truth. And so, without being forced to take responsibility for any of his actions, Enji destroyed her. Every single hit taking away a piece of her until she was nothing but a ghost of herself.

Dabi is trying to push them away but the memories still return. He remembers her better days, just briefly. Enji mostly ignored the two of them during the day. During the night, however, he didn't ignore Dabi's mother.

At that time, Touya didn't understand. The bruises on his mother's arms, the dark circles under her eyes in the morning.

The way she sometimes jerked when Touya touched her without warning.

And Touya thought things wouldn't get any worse. Until he presented his quirk.

His phone going off in Dabi's pocket is sweet salvation but only until he notices the S on the screen. He doesn't know what he's hoped for – it couldn't have been Hawks as they spoke only several minutes before and even if it was him, the memory of the winged man just boils the anger in his guts again.

He doesn't understand the feeling which shouldn't be surprising. He doesn't understand anything that even slightly concerns Hawks. He suspected Hawks' adoration of Enji ever since their confrontation in the warehouse. Today, it's been only confirmed. And while Dabi knows his concern should be only for their cause. Because Hawks having a crush on Enji could mean his dedication may waver if they were on the opposites of the battlefield one day. However, Dabi knows that is not the main reason why he is angry.

He also knows, rationally, his anger is not justified. It was a good excuse Hawks used with the rabbit hero, to pretend it was another hero and not villain hidden in his bathroom. Dabi only hopes Hawks doesn't suspect Dabi's relation to Enji. It wouldn't change anything for the birb to know about it. And yet, the idea of him finding out is not a pleasant one. Dabi can't quite put a finger on why. It's not a shame and definitely not because he cares about Enji's appearance.

Dabi wants Hawks to like him or hate him for who he is, he doesn't want the pity that would come with the knowledge. Whatever the hero feels towards him, he wants to be the one to deserve it.

The anger from the morning is still there, however. It makes Dabi sick because he knows it's unjustified. It reminds him just how much he is like his father. But at least he knows that blood of a monster is running through his veins. He's long accepted who he is.

Touya is dead. Touya was loved by his mother and liked to play tag with Fuyumi and Natsuo.

Dabi is the true son of Endeavor. After all, an apple doesn't fall far from the tree. He will always be a monster but at least he can use it to get rid of the other monsters.

He wonders if Hawks realizes what he is, if he can see it. Then, he remembers yesterday and he knows Hawks doesn't. He sees Dabi as not complete monster. And Dabi wishes he would have the strength to tell him the truth.

But just one thought back to the previous night, to Hawks nuzzling into his neck, ignoring or maybe not perceiving the scares, and Dabi's dedication and hot anger gives away to the nicely cool feeling inside him. The last time he's felt like this with anyone was when there was no Dabi. There's only been Touya, hidden in his mother's arms. When there were only soft whispers that promised protection from the world and the prettiest, soft smile in the world. A cool hand in Touya's hair.

He doesn't even notice when the screen on his phone goes black. By this point, Dabi is standing on the corner of the street, simply staring at the screen. It lights up again but it's Kurogiri this time.

It's easier to pick up than when it's been Shigaraki. He knows hearing that manchild's voice would only be like pouring gasoline at his anger.

"What's up?" he asks.

"Shigaraki tried to call you."

Kurogiri sounds tired. He always sounds tired nowadays, the time when his quirk was suppressed was too long and using it immediately after the effect of his prison cell was taking its toll on the man. Dabi assumes last evening didn't bring him rest, either.

"I know, I didn't pick up," Dabi says, matter-of-factly.

Kurogiri sighs. Dabi knows the man feels like he's dealing with children. Perhaps rightfully so.

"Could you meet us up, Dabi?" he asks eventually.

"Who is coming?"

Kurogiri doesn't answer. Instead, he tells Dabi the address in a hurry, not waiting for Dabi to acknowledge it, before he ends the call.

Dabi puts the phone into his pocket and takes out a pack of cigarettes. He doesn't smoke often but on his way from Hawks' apartment, he bought the pack. The smoke burns inside his lungs sweetly as he inhales it.

When he looks up at the sky, it's mockingly blue and pretty.

 

Dabi doesn't understand the obsession of the League to always meet up in rusty, old warehouses and abandoned buildings. He knows that they can hardly meet in some conference room in a hotel but still, meeting in a place like this is just… cliché. Something he sneered upon in his teens when he was watching the TV.

Unsurprisingly, he is the last one to arrive. It earns him many frowns from the fellow villains except for Twice and Toga. Toga waves at him excitedly while Twice greets him quietly before murmuring something to himself.

Spinner ignores him which isn't a surprise.

Dabi sees many familiar faces. It doesn't look like anyone important has been captured this evening. It's a relief, even though all of them are freak shows.

"How nice of you to join us, Dabi," Shigaraki tells him.

He is leaning against the wall, his arms crossed as he is staring at Dabi from behind that hilarious hand of his.

"What can I say? I'm a nice fucking person," Dabi replies opening his arms.

He doesn't miss the way Shigaraki's jaw clenches. It brings a smile to his own face.

"Why did you cancel yesterday's meeting with us?" Shigaraki asks him, his voice accusing and poisonous.

Dabi expected this question. He knows what happened last night when he was too busy getting fucked senseless by Hawks. An ambush. Kurogiri almost got caught again but thanks to quick action of Mr. Compress, he was saved and managed to teleport most of the people to safety. The few which got left behind were only D-rank villains.

It is not a big blow to the League, especially since Dabi and Hawks managed to save Kurogiri from the prison, but it still stings, and the media still praises the heroes because even though they've done close to nothing, they have to keep up the good appearances, right? Because society can't see through the curtain of lies and presence. They can't see that heroes are capable of failure. Or what kind of people they are behind their curtains.

The thought makes Dabi angry all over again. It burns him from the inside and a small part of him wants to go back to Hawks. Not to let out his fury but because he knows his cool hands would put out the fury.

Shigaraki is still staring at him. Everyone is. And so he grins widely, dangerously and says: "Why, I was getting laid!"

There is a moment of silence where Shigaraki is simply staring at him, too shocked to say anything. Dabi can't see his expression behind the hand but he is sure there is dumbfoundation in his face and it's so funny it almost wipes out the anger.

"Are you for real?" Shigaraki asks in serious tone.

"Why did you think I've been in such a good mood today?" Dabi retorts, not letting the grin slip off his lips.

Shigaraki stares at him for several more seconds. He doesn't even sigh before he asks: "Is your intel a traitor?"

Dabi expected the question. Has been for a time. After all, even though he did keep the fact that Hawks is his spy hidden from Shigaraki before, he knows that Kurogiri has already told him. And he knows that a hero of Hawks' position will be suspected and questioned by Shigaraki.

"Well, he is a traitor, that's kind of the point, isn't it?" Dabi laughs.

He can practically feel the irritation soothing from the pale man, he doesn't even have to see his face.

The leader quickly adds: "I meant traitor of us, obviously."

"Don't you think he's very bad at it in that case?" Dabi states in very obvious voice. "I mean who would be the first one to be suspected right now? Me, obviously, because I didn't attend the meeting. And then him because he is our new guy, from the other side. He's not stupid."

"How do you know that?" Shigaraki retorted, the anger was getting better of him.

"Because we managed to get Kurogiri out?" Dabi raises one eyebrows. If there is one thing he loves, it's making angry people even more angrier by being a smartass. It's a trait not even Enji managed to beat out of him.

He sees Shigaraki's jaw set in fury.

Kurogiri steps closer to him. "Losing several of our members is regrettable but it's not a major issue."

The, especially since I'm back, goes without saying.

"That, of course," Kurogiri continues seriously. "Doesn't mean we shouldn't do anything about it."

He pauses, mostly for effect. And it works, everyone seems to be paying attention out of sudden, moving closer to Shigaraki, forming a small circle.

"There is a traitor in our midst. And we need to get rid of them in fast and efficient manner. And I believe I figured quite the perfect plan for that."

He turns his head towards a small person standing next to Dabi.

Toga grins widely. "I don't know what you plan, but I'm in."

Chapter Text

Hawks doesn't make it to the office. He gets a call about a villain leveling down a bridge in his district. The villain's not very strong but Hawks helps with the already done damage, so he's kept busy. As he's getting back, he sees the news about All Might exhibition at the city Museum of Heroes on one of the big screens.

When he gets to his office, surprisingly, Ayane is just her cheerful self. She greets him happily and even brings him coffee. Which means that Rumi didn't tell her. Not yet, anyway. Hawks knows it's only a matter of time.

It's not because Rumi would go around, telling everyone everything about his life behind the blond's back, but Ayane and she are his closest friends. Plus, they are girlfriends. They tell each other everything because they know it's okay, and they trust one another. Or at least they used to. Because now, Hawks broke the trust between them. He knows it's only a matter of time before Rumi tells Ayane, and he can't be even mad at Rumi for it. She means well and wants Ayane to help him too.

Hawks wonders what they'll tell him once all of this is over. When they find out about his mission and they'll know he lied to them because he couldn't tell them the truth. That is, if he survives, of course.

For a brief second, he imagines Rumi having a speech at his funeral and she calling him a fucking moron. Of course, it's not what she would actually do but Hawks laughs at the thought anyway.

Either way, regarding his double agent mission, he's pretty sure he can't imagine Rumi or Ayane being too happy about it. She will probably find some professionally psychological way to tell him why it was wrong. Rumi is most likely going to beat the hell out of him. He can't imagine it ending any other way than with him in the hospital. Or worse, of course.

The real question is where Dabi will be when it's all over. Hawks wishes it will be prison because he can think of only one other alternative.

Then, there is of course the unreal option of them running away together into the sunset. He almost laughs hysterically at the thought. Life is hardly filled with happy endings. His mother always told him life is suffering and pain, especially when she got to the bottom of several bottles or, later, after several doses. No matter what she drunk or what she took, though, her eyes were wet with tears. 

Dabi doesn't contact Hawks all day. Neither does Commission or Rumi. Only Ayane asks him later if he would like to go to a dinner with her. He refuses even though he would do anything not to be by himself tonight. He doesn't feel like being merciful to himself and he doesn't want to face her at the same time.

He's taking a long shower home when he hears his phone ring. He walks out of the shower without a towel, ignoring the wet trail he's leaving behind. His heart skips a beat when he sees Dabi's name on the screen. Whether it's from fear or excitement, he isn't sure.

His hand shakes a little when he reaches for the device and accepts the call.

"Dabi?"

He sounds weaker than he intends to. With everything that happened in the last twenty-four hours, he knows he it's justified but he still feels ashamed and… fragile.

The villain doesn't reply straight away and Hawks involuntarily gulps, trying to shake the feeling that tells him to start apologizing even though he didn't do anything wrong. He wishes he could kick all of his childhood traumas in the fucking ass.

Dabi coughs and when he speaks, his voice is carefully neutral: "I'm calling to let you know that we plan something."

He doesn't sound angry anymore and Hawks can't help but feel relieved. He collapses into his couch and presses his palm into his forehead. He doesn't have any headache but everything is just too much - he needs the couch to support his weight so he can support the weight on his shoulders. He isn't panicking anymore but the tiredness is deep in his bones. He wishes he could sleep for a month in his bed. When his wild imagination also adds a certain villain into the imaginary bed, he pushes the thought away.

"What do we plan?" he asks eventually. His voice is still shaky.

Another pause, this time shorter. "Are you alright?"

No.

"Yeah," Hawks says automatically.

Dabi snorts. "Sure, and I'm wearing pinky bathrobe."

He is not angry but he isn't his usual self either, there is more bite to his words than there used to be: "Don't lie to me. Like, you don't have to tell me everything but don't feed me with bullshit."

Hawks almost laughs at the irony. He closes his eyes and, in momentary feeling of weakness, he honestly says: "Sorry. It's just that's all I've been doing lately. I know what I'm doing is what I wanna do but it's… hard."

For several seconds, Dabi is quiet. "You are having doubts and regrets."

It's not a question.

Hawks gulps again and doesn't say anything. Dabi correctly takes it as a confirmation.

"It's fine," Dabi says carefully in gentle voice, as if he's rusty at talking this way. "Pretty sure that's normal."

For several seconds Hawks stops breathing. And the villain continues: "The things I do, they haunt me sometimes. But I really don't see any other way to do this, any other way to… change anything… or to matter. I tried. It didn't work. But sometimes, I think about the fams of the heroes we fight. Their friends. Sometimes, that's all I can think about. And-"

"Stop," Hawks whispers into the phone so quietly, he thinks Dabi couldn't hear him. But the other man goes quiet immediately.

Why? Why does Dabi has to trust him so much? Why couldn't Hawks pick another villain? It would be so much easier to have another contact, someone who would be cruel, awful person. Someone easy to hate, easy to lie to.

Someone he wouldn't, so despairingly, hopelessly fall for.

Maybe then they would treat each other the same way they used to, back during their meetings in warehouses. Biting, almost hateful tones and angry glares. Now, Hawks knows how hot Dabi's hands are, how sweetly he kisses and how softly he can touch.

The thing under the scarred, ugly skin isn't a monster.

He doesn't explain to Dabi why he stopped him and the villain doesn't ask for explanation.

"I wanted to say sorry," Dabi continues. "You know… for this morning. It wasn't.. um.. cool of me to walk away like that after what happened last night."

Hawks' free hand is resting on his thigh. He digs the fingers into his skin. It hurts even through the fabric of his jeans.

"It's fine," Hawks assures him. "I… ugh… thanks for last night, by the way."

Dabi chuckles and despite it being a nervous sound, there is finally the hint of real amusement. He sounds more like the Dabi Hawks knows, and not the real one that the hero knows is hiding under his skin, hidden under all the pain and anger. The one of which Dabi reveals only glimpses and only sometimes.

"Are you thanking me for playing your cuddly bear or for being the best laid you've ever had?"

Hawks chuckles loudly. "Aren't you a package deal?"

"That's me," Dabi confirms and Hawks can picture the almost mocking yet sweet smirk on his face. "Your friendly villain, the best cuddles and dick in the neighborhood."

 What could they be if Dabi wasn't villain and Hawks wasn't the hero who is standing behind him with a dagger in his hands.

Hawks ignores the guilt, stores it in the back of his mind again. Instead, he smiles and sounds similar like his usual self: "Oh, really. I think I'm gonna need another example to be convinced of that."

"I can show you," Dabi purrs. "The question is whether you can handle it, little bird."

Hawks bites his lip. The warmth spreads through him at the familiar nickname. It hasn't been that long since he's been called that but there's a bliss spreading from his belly into his limbs. He forces himself to shake it away. They already revealed too much about themselves to one another. A small voice in the back of Hawks' mind says it doesn't matter anymore because both of them fell long time ago and all he can do is enjoy the small moments before they become bittersweet memories.

"I'm looking forward to it," Hawks smiles before his tone turns serious. "What was the plan you originally called me about?"

There is a pause. Hawks knows it can't be anything good. "We are planning another attack. I… we need your help this time."

The hero feels adrenaline replacing the warmth in his limbs. "Yeah, what should I do?"

"Shigaraki wants to make a statement, wants to show them our power. You already know about the attack on the meeting, yeah? Well, Shigaraki thinks it was a huge blow and he wants to return the favor."

"He wants to attack heroes?" Hawks asks with surprise in his voice.

He knows Shigaraki is a childish man who would be up for a petty revenge, he's read his files, but to attack like this is beyond childish.

"As many as he can," Dabi confirmed. "You know about the exhibition in the Museum of Heroes?"

Hawks feels a frown forming on his forehead. "Do you mean the All Might exhibition that opens on Friday?"

"Yes, that's it. There will be lots of heroes, won't there? Even All Might himself. Giving interviews and shit like that."

The hero gulps nervously. His voice is slow and even though he is supposed to be the bad guy, he can't stop the words from escaping his lips: "Dabi, on this is kind of a thing where there will be lots of kids, too."

There is a part of Hawks that tells him this is the opportunity. To start hating Dabi again, he should hope the villain proves him he is the monster everyone sees when their faces are lit by the blue flames. Yet, Hawks desperately hopes for the opposite.

And Dabi doesn't reply straight away. When he speaks, his voice is quiet and low: "I know, birb."

The compassion and understanding in his voice brings Hawks some serenity and relief. He licks his lips and asks: "So, what exactly do I need to do? Do you expect me to suddenly switch sides and reveal to be at your side?"

"No," Dabi says in strange tone. "As I said, we want to make a statement. We mostly want you to be there to support us and fake a fight with some of our members and, if necessary, to cover our escape. What kind of heroes will be there?"

Hawks pinches the bridge of his nose. "I'm not sure. Like, usually, on things like this, there is one well-known hero, so people are more interested in coming, but I didn't received any invitation and I doubt anyone from Top Ten got either. It's not big enough for us."

"Well, Shigaraki wants you to get someone big there."

There it is, the tone again. This time, Hawks realizes that this is not something Dabi agreed on with his leader. But Dabi, as much as Hawks has his orders.

The hero groans. "Why isn't All Might enough for him? I mean I could be there during your attack, this isn't something that would be too suspicious. But I don't know if I'll manage to get some other hero to go with me."

"Hm," Dabi thinks. "I would say the rabbit hero would be good but after this morning... she wouldn't be in a mood, would she?"

Hawks laughs bitterly. "Nope, and if I only tried to ask her I think she would stamp me into the ground."

Another pause.

"I read somewhere that she is your good friend," Dabi tells him in the same quiet voice.

Oh god, Hawks is so not ready for this conversation. But they are apparently having it anyway.

"Yeah," he confirms.

"It can be rough to leave everything behind," Dabi tells him. "Especially those you care about."

"What do you know about it?" Hawks growls in defense and immediately regrets it. He doesn't know much about Dabi's past but people like him are rarely born like that. What does he know about Dabi anyway? He knows Dabi's father was abuser but what else.

And Dabi is patiently quiet.

The irritation is immediately gone and Hawks sighs: "Sorry about that."

"It's fine," the villain assures him. "Just, if not her, maybe you could try someone else? Maybe Endeavor?"

The last two words are said carefully slowly but not even that is enough to cover up the anger from Dabi's voice.

And Hawks realizes that maybe Dabi wasn't angry or jealous because he made Rumi think that he was sleeping with someone else. Maybe it was something with Endeavor himself. Was it possible that Dabi has seen them that time when he made High End attack them? The conversation on the roof, from this point of view, wasn't one between a villain and the new number 1 hero. It was personal.

And Hawks tries to think so hard about Endeavor's rogues gallery. He has them all memorized, mostly from when he was only a kid but even now he keeps track of his enemies. He can't think of anyone who would match Dabi's description and powers.

For a brief moment, he wants to ask. If he's correct and Dabi has something against the fire hero. But his guts tells him not to.

And so, Hawks pretends he didn't notice Dabi's careful tone and says confidently: "You know I'm a charming guy, but Endeavor isn't actually fond of me."

"Bullshit, everyone loves Hawks."

"Aw, does that mean you love me?"

And Hawks' heart stops beating. The words are said as nothing more than a joke. Yet, there is a strange weight in them, the cloak of silence covers them, heavy. Then, Hawks' heart is beating loudly in his chest.

He gulps.

"Ha, ha, ha," Dabi says eventually in mocking tone but there is uneasiness soaking through. "Now, can we have actual conversation and focus on what were talking about? We always get  distracted somehow."

"Yeah, sure," Hawks says, relieved to move the conversation elsewhere. "I can try to make a team up with Endeavor but they might get suspicious. Like I team up with Endeavor and suddenly there are villains there?"

"Don't you heroes get anonymous letters with tips that some villains are gonna attack? I mean by law, you have to look into it or forward it to the Commission or some shit like that."

Hawks frowns again. "Dabi, who the fuck came up with a plan like this? I mean I get that we wanna show heroes our power but... tipping off heroes to your own attack just sounds... dumb."

"Trust me Hawks, it will make sense... eventually."

That doesn't help to ease the blond's worry. There is something Dabi isn't telling him and it makes him upset. Hawks already knows and somehow accepts that the emotion doesn't come from the fact that Dabi keeping things from him interferes with his mission. He is upset that the other man doesn't trust him. Which, coming from Hawks, is ironic and hypocritical.

"How dangerous is this actually for you and the League?" Hawks asks. He doesn't give a shit about the League but he doesn't dare to ask only about Dabi.

"Aw, Hawks, don't worry about me, you will not lose your favorite good luck fuck. Speaking of which, what are you doing tonight?" he purrs at the end.

Unbelievable, Hawks thinks as a snort escapes him but there is a smile growing on his lips. He remembers the feeling of Dabi's arms around him and he feels happiness bloom inside him. But, in the rare moment of self-preservation, Hawks says: "Shouldn't you buy me a dinner first?"

"What, I thought you were playing the rich dude and I'm just the tramp you picked up on the road."

Hawks wrinkles his nose. "What is this shit, Pretty Woman? I thought I was the princess here."

Dabi sneers. "I mean it makes sense. You are a the pillow princess."

Hawks laughs, it's light and pure sound. "Wow, okay, good night, asshole."

"Sleep tight, bitch," Dabi says but in low voice and gentle tone. Hawks feels his smile soften. Talking to and or being with Dabi, always ends up making Hawks feel like being let into a warm home after a lifetime of winter.

The call doesn't end after that though. He can still hear Dabi's breathing and he knows the other man can his. The blond bites his lips to keep himself from chuckling out loud. For several seconds, neither of them hangs up, both waiting up for the other one.

Then Hawks, feeling like horrible, awkward teenager, panics and hangs up. There's heat in his ears. In his head, he can imagine Dabi's soft laugh at his action. Or maybe he's feeling heat in his cheeks as well but Hawks has hard time imagining that man feeling awkward about anything.

With a sigh, Hawks leaves for his bedroom.

Now, that he can't hear Dabi's voice that would distract him into a small little world made of their lies, Hawks feels anxious again. It's a circle. Hawks lies and lies, then Dabi makes him feel good for a while. And then he feels worse than before and he lies again. And with every lie that leaves his lips, he expends the debt to the truth. And one day, he'll have to pay it.

There is no hope for the relationship with Dabi, Hawks knows that. He knows that whatever happens, they won't end up together with their happily ever after. The only thing Hawks can hope for, the best scenario he can work towards, is that Dabi lives.

Hawks doesn't care about easy life for him if it came at Dabi's expense. He doesn't even care about his life at all.

He cares about Dabi's life. Whether he will be in it or not.


The next morning, Hawks office receives an anonymous tip about the League of Villains planning to attack exhibition. He calls Commission about it, of course, and tells them about League's plan. He almost hopes that they will say this is too dangerous and cancel the whole event.

For some reason, he doesn't tell them he thinks there is something else the League works on. Hawks doesn't know why. Maybe if he told them, they would actually cancel it.

Instead, they tell him it will be okay, and Hawks wants to yell into the phone that's bullshit because fuck some stupid power-play, there will be kids there! Schools always organize a school trips for exhibition like this.

When he's done, when they tell him they will arrange the official team-up between him and Endeavor, he simply thanks them and when they hang up, he hides his face into the palms of his hands.

After that, his life slows down.

It's not a comfortable pace. The slowness and calm is only interrupted by few minor villains.

These are the days which feel like a calm before storm. Hawks receives and official letter from Endeavor's agency about the team-up. He can imagine Endeavor's grumpy face when the Commission ordered him to be at the event to honor All Might. It brings a smile to his face. Until he remembers Dabi. And Miruko.

Because Rumi is still not talking to him and Hawks knows to give her space, let her calm down and come back from the rage. She will not be happy about everything she thinks she knows but Hawks tells himself she still will be his friend. She's seen him do more stupid shit... okay, that's a lie, she never saw him do anything so stupid but at least she doesn't know the extent of his stupid this time. Yet.

He briefly imagines her reaction when all truth is out there and almost wishes he would be dead.

Oh, what she will think when she sees him on TV with Endeavor. She will call him a fucking homewrecker again.

During the days before the attack, Hawks' only hope is Ayane. She takes him out, sometimes, for lunches and he lets her now. It's a nice change, a little escape where he can do nothing but sit and let her rant about her research with Phoenix or other villains. Still not a word about unhealthy-crush-on-Endeavor thing, which is good. It means at least one person in the world is not angry with him.

Okay, maybe two, because then, there is Dabi whose anger didn't last actually that long. They don't call one another anymore, they try to keep a low profile. But they do exchange texts sometimes. Hawks still remembers when they were using disposable phones. Now it feels like they don't care. And Dabi still sometimes changes his number but Hawks always knows who he's texting with.

There are only two people calling him moronic-pigeon. And the rabbit girl is currently not talking to him.

What he learns about Dabi is that the man never, ever, uses emojis. It's somehow off-putting because Hawks wishes when he sends him a peach, that he would receive a reply with zucchini. When he confronts the villain about it, Dabi tells him he will use stupid emojis when he's dead. The hero replies he would be a sexy zombie because his looks can't get any worse.

After that, Dabi pretends to be angry with him for the whole of two minutes.

When they text, Hawks feels something strong. He wants to be with Dabi so much it almost hurts but at the same time, it's the only moment the anxiety goes away and he feels... serenity.

It's just the two of them. Comfortable in the little web of lies Hawks created. The hero thinks this is what it must be to have a boyfriend. The thought always makes him chuckle gloomily. Maybe in another life.


Hawks doesn't sleep much during the night before Friday. He's just laying in bed, staring at the stupid glowing stars on his ceiling. He thinks maybe he should get rid of them. Maybe he should get rid of everything he doesn't want his friends to have. It would keep them from having to move too many things from his apartment. He could give more money to the charity. He does so regularly but he should probably write down his last will. Rumi doesn't need money because she is a famous hero as well. Maybe he could give something to Ayane and the rest to charity. He knows if he willed something to his mother, she would spend it all on alcohol and drugs.

He blinks at the ceiling and shakes his head. What the hell is wrong with him? He's 22 years old and he's already thinking about things like his last will.

Still, he can't shake the thought away now that it found its way into Hawks' stupid, dysfunctional brain. What will happen if he dies? Except for the funeral of course.

What if he fails his mission so miserably that even the Commission will announce that he's been on the side of the villains the whole time and not their spy? If it will play into their card, he knows they will do it and Hawks knows logically, it would be the correct thing to do.

But he suddenly can't breathe. Rumi, Ayane, they will all think he's betrayed them. And Dabi will know he betrayed him. Nobody will visit his grave, they will delete all pictures of him and Commission will try to pretend he was never a hero to begin with. As if he never even existed.

And he knows that it doesn't matter because he would be dead anyway. But he will be abandoned, even in death.

His lungs are suddenly very empty and he can't force himself to take a breath in. Without thinking, he reaches for his phone on the bedside table and dials a number by memory.

"Birb," Dabi sounds tired but the sound of his voice brings air back into Hawks' lungs. "It's 4 in the morning, what's up?"

He sounds tired but he doesn't sound sleepy.

Hawks blinks several times. What was he thinking? What's he going to tell him? That he had a panic attack because he knows Dabi will never forgive him for what's he's done and for what he has yet to do?

"Hawks," Dabi says carefully. "Are you alright?"

The blond's eyes are hot. "Not really, no."

"What happened?"

"Do you sometimes think about what the people you care about will think of you when you're dead?"

A moment of silence and there it is, invisible force squeezing Hawks' throat again.

"That's heavy shit for 4 in the morning," Dabi says eventually but he doesn't sound mocking or angry.

"I know," Hawks' voice breaks and he regrets calling. "I'm sorry for calling you, good night Dabi... or morning, I gue-"

"Don't hang up," Dabi says hurriedly.

Hawks doesn't, a small wave of relief washing over him. If he was stronger, he would hang up.

Once he's sure Hawks isn't going to end the call, Dabi continues: "It's fine, I couldn't sleep either."

"What's on your mind?" Hawks wonders.

"'Had a nightmare."

Hawks gulps. "Do you wanna talk about it?"

Dabi chuckles. "It's always the same, my dreams. Also shouldn't I be the one to ask you?"

Before the hero can stop himself, he blurts out without answering the other man: "Can you drop by?"

The answer is almost instant, without any hesitation: "Sure, I'll be right there. Is it okay if I hang up?"

Fuck Dabi and his consideration and his kindness. With everything he does, Hawks wants him more and more.

"Yeah."

And even though Dabi lives in far away part of town, he is waiting under Hawks' balcony in a couple of minutes. Hawks sends his feathers for him because there are cameras in the hallway of the apartment building.

He's wearing black hoodie, covering his head and dark jeans. Hawks' heart skips a beat when he sees him.

As soon as the villain enters Hawks' bedroom, the hero wraps his arms around his neck. Dabi's arms pull him closer around Hawks' waist but they don't kiss. Instead, he hides his face in the crook of Dabi's neck, taking in his smell, strong and spicy. He feels as his body melting into the warmth.

He feels Dabi's nose buried in his hair, the arms around Hawks' waist tighten in reassurance.

"Thanks," Hawks says into Dabi's scarred skin.

He feels one of the hands on the small of his back move in small circle and he shivers.

"No problem, little bird," Dabi murmurs into his ear. "Now, tell me. Do you wanna talk about it?"

Hawks pulls back but he doesn't stop touching the other man. His hands are lingering on the back of the villain's neck before they move to his hair.

"Not really," he says honestly, avoiding Dabi's eyes. It's harder to talk about his feelings from face to face, from eyes to eyes. "What about you? I think we both are pretty fucked up."

Dabi chuckles but it's really a amused sound. He gently pushes against Hawks but it's not in demand but in guidance.

Hawks lets the other man lead him to the bed. He doesn't care that Dabi is still wearing his clothes while he is only in his boxers. Even when they sit down on Hawks' bed, Dabi doesn't move in to kiss him. They are still touching - Hawks' back is leaning against the headboard and Dabi is sitting at the edge of the bed, one hand slowly taking Hawks'. But there is nothing that would tell Hawks he demands something.

Just two broken people sitting together. And their broken pieces fit together so well.

"I guess we are," Dabi says eventually.

The dawn is almost upon them, soft light coming from the outside, giving the turquoise eyes strange, tender glow.

Hawks forgets to breathe at the sight. Dabi is utterly, ethereally beautiful. He wants to remember the sight for the rest of his days.

Neither of them breaks the eye contact or the touch when Dabi speaks again in quiet voice: "To your question... About what people will think about me when I'm dead… I think about it all the time. I mean, I'm pretty sure my family thinks I'm dead. They... don't know about what I am now. And I want it to stay that way. At the end, my mom could barely recognize me as it was but I want her to remember the little good of me. I don't really want to be remembered as Dabi. I want her to remember her son. For her own sake."

Hawks lets out breath he didn't even realize he's been holding. He knew Dabi wasn't the villain's real name. And while he doesn't know who Dabi used to be, he cares for the man who is now here with him. The man who came here, in the middle of the night because Hawks called him. The man who comforted him when he had a panic attack few nights ago.

"I will remember you."

Dabi closes his eyes and a sad smile is growing on his lips. He chuckles but it sounds sad and when he opens his eyes again, they are wet. "The dream I had, it's usually the same. When I was a kid, each night I used to sneak out of my bed to go to the kitchen and hide all of the knives from there so he wouldn't kill mom during night. It was so stupid because his quirk is so powerful, he wouldn’t need anything as stupid as a knife but I was like... seven or eight and I probably got that from a movie no reasonable parent would let their kid watch. I would always sneak back in the morning, before anyone else woke up, and I put them back where they were.

One night, though, I didn't wake up fast enough and my parents were wondering where all the knives were. I came up with a stupid excuse, like I was playing or some shit. My little brother laughed at me for being silly. But when my... father looked at me, he was frowning, his fists were clenched, and I know he knew. Then, he just smirked. Because he knew I was too weak to do anything even if he did try to kill her.

And every so often I dream about a night where I didn't hide the knives."

Dabi frustratingly runs his free hand into his hair. "It's so fucking stupid."

"It's not stupid," Hawks shakes his head.

Dabi sneers. "It is stupid because he doesn't need a fucking knife to hurt someone. I don't even know why my nightmares are always about this stupid shit."

Hawks lets go of Dabi's hand, crosses his legs and leans closer to the other man. He puts each hand on Dabi's cheek. He is so close he can feel Dabi's hot breath mingling with his own.

"It's not stupid," he repeats stubbornly.

Dabi's eyes are wet.

He doesn't know who moved first, but they are kissing. Dabi's hands are around Hawks' waist again, hugging and pulling him closer. Hawks whimpers into the kiss, letting Dabi into his mouth while his own hands run into the soft black hair. Dabi's tongue plays with Hawks' and the hero feels as if he is walking on air. It isn't like fireworks or hot desire in his belly. Their lips fit perfectly together in slow dance, like two pieces of puzzle fitting together. It's slow, patient and kind.

And when it's over, they don't pull away. Their noses are touching and they are both lost in the each other's eyes.

A quiet voice. "I... care about you."

A caress on cheek. "I care about you, too."


Hawks falls into short sleep soon after with Dabi's arm around his shoulders and calm, rhythmic heartbeat under his ear. He feels warm and comfortable and with each breath, he takes in Dabi's unique smell.

Too soon, it's over.

He's being shaken awake only after what feels like a few minutes. He groans and opens his eyes.

Dabi is watching him with soft smirk on his lips but his eyes are as tired as Hawks' feels.

"What?" Hawks asks, his voice raspy and irritated, and he hides his face into the crook of Dabi's neck. He's so sleepy he doesn't even care how clingy he is.

He cares though, when he feels arm tightening around him. It's very nice.

When the villain speaks next, Hawks is sure the villain's smirk widens:  "You slept through your alarm."

Hawks' eyes open and for a short second, he stays where he is, staring into nothing as he waits for the words to make their way through the sleep-deprived brain. Then, he tries to push away.

Dabi laughs but doesn't let him go. "It's fine, Hawks, it literally went off only a couple of minutes ago."

"Oh," Hawks relaxes again and lies back down. "That's fine."

"Oi, that's not a reason to start sleeping again though."

"‘am not sleeping. Just resting my eyes," Hawks moans in sleepy voice.

Dabi laughs and leans down to kiss Hawks' head. "Not a morning person, are you?"

"Whoever invented mornings should go to jail. Those are the real villains," the hero murmurs against the warm skin.

He feels the villain's hand move to his hair and he does nothing to stop the pleased moan that escapes his lips. It just feels so... lovely to be held, and having his hair played with, and being kissed on the head.

Hawks groans again. "Please, call off the attack on the museum. Let's stay in bed all day."

"My, my what would you wanna do in bed all day, I wonder."

"Nothing, just lying in bed all day and have you do everything."

"And that's why you are the pillow princess."

Hawks opens his eyes lazily and looks up. The turquoise eyes are staring at him, they are as sleepy as the hero's. He's watching Hawks with fond expression.

"Well, if I am a princess, I demand all the privileges which go with the title. Serve me, peasant."

Dabi snickers loudly before he smirks, his eyes narrowing slightly as he purrs: "I thought I was the dragon that's gonna eat you up?"

Hawks feels his heart beat faster and Dabi leans down for a kiss. The hero moans in surprise but quickly catches up, moving his lips lazily against Dabi's. The other man runs his fingers through Hawks' hair and lets nails scratch the scalp. Hawks feels a shiver go down his spine and his body instinctively leans closer into Dabi, moving one of his leg over Dabi's.

The villain practically purrs into the kiss and then Hawks feels his tongue, asking for entrance. He gladly obeys. Dabi eagerly deepens the kiss, hot and demanding. Without breaking the kiss, Dabi suddenly presses more into him and pushes Hawks onto his back, underneath him.

Hawks immediately feels his dick twitch.

He allows himself to enjoy the kiss for a couple of seconds. Then, Dabi runs his hand over his hip, on his side in unmistakable way. Hawks gently presses into Dabi's shoulders.

Immediately, Dabi breaks the kiss and looks him in the eye. "Something wrong?"

"No," Hawks says breathlessly. "But today we are gonna be pretending a fight, and I have to be in the agency soon."

Dabi actually looks slightly disappointed but the fond expression and smile are still present on his face. He leans down and when Hawks doesn't resist, he gently nibbles on Hawks' neck, sending more shivers down the hero's spine. The blond has to bite his bottom lip to keep himself from whimpering.

"Can't you be late?" Dabi asks into the skin.

Hawks could. It's so tempting he almost says fuck it. Instead, he opens his eyes. It's a beautiful morning and the sun is starting to properly break. "I'd love to. But I gotta go to the agency and you gotta meet with the others. Plus, you should go while it's still morning."

Dabi pretends to be offended. "Wow, so early into this and you are already ashamed of me. How cruel."

Hawks chuckles and leans closer to Dabi, his eyes half-closed, and lets their breath mingle together as he offers seductively: "Maybe we could hang out tonight, when it's over?"

Dabi smirks. His eyes full of glee and he cups Hawks' cheek. "Only if you promise to make up for now?"

Hawks grins and kisses Dabi again.

The other man pulls away too soon and looks down at him with a slight frown. "I mean if you wanna hang out without a hook-up, that's also cool."

The hero laughs but he feels butterflies in his belly at Dabi's words. He rubs the villain's shoulder, gently. "I know. Now, get your crispy ass off me, so I can get up."

Dabi gives him last, quick kiss on the lips which only spreads the warmth inside Hawks. He's never really dated anyone before. But he's pretty sure this is what dating feels like. Domestic life of a hero and a villain.

He's pretty sure there is a sitcom about it. Or at least a soap opera. However, he feels like his revelation won't be followed by Dabi's shocked, melodramatic gasp, and a fight which would turn into a rough sex.

"Will you let me down?" Dabi asks as he's putting on the shirt.

For a couple of seconds, Hawks stares. In the daylight, he notices that Dabi's stomach is actually pretty well-defined now, less bones, more muscles and a more of fat as well. He’s definitely looking better than he did weeks ago. Hawks also immediately wants to take off Dabi's shirt again, drag him back to bed and not let him go until he sees everything in the broad daylight.

Thankfully, the white shirt hugs Dabi's form nicely and Hawks decides it’ll do.

Realizing the villain is still staring at him with a smirk on his face, Hawks smiles in return and tells him: "Sure, I'm a pro at letting people down."

"Bitch, me too," Dabi replies and Hawks chuckles.

He waits for Dabi to grab his jacket. Just when Hawks opens the door for the other man, he hears his phone ring on his bedside table. Tired but cheerful, he reaches for it. He feels his stomach drop into a pit when he sees the name on the screen.

Hawks gulps and rejects the call quickly. He turns around to face Dabi again with a smile that's not as bright as it was a second ago.

It doesn't help that Dabi gives him a suspicious look. "What happened?"

"Nothing that would be more important than getting you out of my place," Hawks tells him, half as a joke, and walks back to the man.

Instead of stepping out to the balcony, Dabi gets back close to Hawks. "You sure?"

"Yeah, pretty sure," Hawks smiles again and this time, the expression doesn't even feel too forced. "I'll see you later."

He wants to kiss the other man goodbye but he feels his face burn at the thought. Ironic, considering the things they've already done. He uses his feathers to let Dabi down, and when he does he sees the other man's cheeks being just a hint redder as well.

When Dabi is safely on the ground, Hawks brings back his feathers. Or at least, tries to. He watches the other man from his balcony and Dabi watches him in return. He keeps one feather between his fingers. It's a downy feather, small and soft, and its color is so light it's almost white. Hawks stops trying to pull it back and then Dabi runs a finger across it. Hawks feels it and even though it's not intense feeling, he feels goosebumps on his back.

He knows Dabi can't see his expression from the distance but he knows they are both grinning like two idiots they are. Hawks lets the villain put the feather into his pocket before he turns around starts walking away.

Hawks watches him go until the man is gone and then runs back inside. He's definitely late.

He's putting his pants on when his phone rings again. The lightness is immediately replaced by a heavy, wrenching feeling in his guts.

He's not afraid of confrontation. Hawks has never been one to keep his opinions hidden. There are only two confrontations in his life that make his heart beat faster and his palm sweat. One is the one when Dabi will find out the truth behind their relationship.

The second is with the person that's calling him right now.

He takes a deep breath and picks up the phone.

"Hi, mom."

Chapter Text

Dabi reaches into the bag of chips. He is sitting on the couch with Toga next to him, on one side, and a black folder lying on the spot on the other. They are the only ones seated, the others, Shigaraki, Kurogiri and Twice, stand in small circle around the coffee table in front of them. Compress is gone, looking for info.

Toga is smiling widely. Dabi watches her, chewing the handful of the chips. He can tell she is slightly nervous despite her ability to hide the uneasiness. Considering how long she got away with 'normal' behaviour to fit in with people, it's not weird. But Dabi can see the way she sometimes nibbles very lightly on her lower lip.

Shigaraki and Kurogiri are the ones who do most of the talking and explaining. Twice is standing next to the couch from Toga's side, his arms crossed over his chest.

"I don't like it," he says when Kurogiri finally shuts up.

Dabi expected it. He smiles widely and, enjoying the show, he offers the bag of chips to Toga. The girl grins even more and grabs a handful. Dabi would be mad at her for taking nearly half of what's left but he is interested in the shit-show that is inevitably going to happen in front of his eyes.

"It's fine, Twice," Toga says confidently and convincingly after she swallows the chips. "It's a good plan, nobody is gonna suspect a thing."

"It's bullshit," Twice growls but then immediately speaks in calm voice. "I don't think this is something we can pull out of nowhere. He is not exactly famous but he's got colleagues who know him. We don't know anything about him!"

Dabi grins widely and his his fingers, making Toga yell an ew. He takes the folder and opens it. "No kids, no wife, no pets. Lives completely alone. He works from 08:00 to 18:00, unless there is any emergency. Lunch takes only from 11:45 to 12:15, always in the same restaurant. He doesn't have any hobbies except for reading, only in touch with people from work, occasionally calls his mother. I mean this is the very definition of a fucking bore."

Toga nods with everything Dabi says, then cheerfully continues: "Plus, I got the chance to watch him today, I've got all his little fidgets, the little things he does, memorized. He's so boring I don't even need more. We are good to go."

"It's too soon," Twice hissed venomously.

"We gotta act soon," Dabi said. "With Kurogiri on the loose, people are still scared. The fear already started to decay with their little capture of others. We need to do something fast and the first step is finding out who the snitch is."

"We can't move ahead without that," Kurogiri agrees. "Any other step we could do is threatened by the snitch's presence.

Twice doesn't look convinced but, this time, he stays silent.

Toga gets up and bumps her hips into the man, cheerful. "Don't worry, I've done harder things. This will be a piece of cake. Especially since you'll be there to back me up."

Twice sighs. "Alright."

"Now," Kurogiri rubs his hands. "That we've got this over with, we should get into this. We'll only have a couple of minutes before he eats his lunch and gets back to work. Come now, Twice, Toga."

He is about to transfer them when Dabi speaks: "People like him tend to have double password."

"What?" Twice frowns.

Everyone is looking at Dabi.

"For the house and the work," Dabi smiles. "When you are beating the shit out of him to get the info about the security of his office and home. The first code he will tell you will probably only open the door but also notify the security and police at the same time. You know, rich people tend to have both of these so if they are threatened to tell password, they still have  way out. He will tell you the real code after a real beat up."

Shigaraki frowns. "How do you know that?"

Dabi smiles and shrugs lazily. "I have my resources."

"Won't he just give us a code that would set off the alarm in front of us?" Toga asks.

The smile on Dabi's lips turns dark. "Fear does interesting things to people. I promise you, in the moment he won't be anything else than just an old guy who wants to live. If you are rough with him, break a few bones, he won't think about anything else than staying alive."

"That makes sense," Kurogiri admits thoughtfully. Shigaraki makes a tch sound that brings a smile to Dabi's face.

"Good luck to you, guys," Toga says cheerfully before she, Twice and Kurogiri disappear.

Dabi exchanges looks with Shigaraki. They both have sour expressions on their faces.

"Let's join the others," Shigaraki growls leaving the small, dirty room they were in.

Dabi only grins, puts his hands into his pockets and steps to follow him.

Only to stop in his tracks. The dark smile on his lips turns softer and he lets his fingers rub the feather, gently.

The sour mood that's always inevitable when he's in the same room as Shigaraki for too long vanishes, replaced by the warmth that comes from memory of soft lips, eyes that look to be golden under just the right light, and the cheeky, easy smile.

The villain quickly chases the warmth away though. He knows it will end because all good things come to an end in his life, it's only a matter of time before Hawks realizes what he is.

Besides, Dabi's got stuff to burn.


 "Darling," Hawks flinches involuntary at the nickname. "How are you? I haven't heard your voice in so long."

Hawks gulps. He wants to angrily ask what she wants. But instead he feels the little boy, who wanted nothing more than for his mom to unlock the pantry and hug him again, speaks: "I'm alright. You?"

"I'm doing real great, darling," she tells him, her voice is high but somehow muffled as well – Hawks can imagine how she nibbles at her lower lip constantly, her hands twitching. Not from the nervousness but from the tic.

"My rehab is doing great and-"

"Mom," Hawks interrupts her tiredly pinching the bridge of his nose while his heart beating loudly in his chest. "I know you left the center three months ago."

There is a moment of silence. He can hear her breathing. "Oh, my little bird, I-"

"Don't call me that," Hawks snaps immediately. There is a memory in his head, Dabi under him, his hands everywhere. He doesn't want it to be ruined.

Another moment of silence.

"Darling," she says again, making Hawks flinch but it's fine. This one is already destroyed. "I'm doing great, I swear, I'm getting better, I don't need those fools in the center. I can make it… I just need a bit of help from you."

Hawks pinches the bridge of his nose harder, enough to hurt. "Mom, I tried to help you. I paid for Drug Treatment Center three times and you always get out before it's over."

"They don't help! They torture me!" she screams.

When she said it for the first time, Hawks believed her. "Mom, please, just go ba-"

"No!" the pretending nice tone is gone, leaving behind blind rage. "All I'm asking for is a bit of money! How much money do you give to fucking charities every year? I am your own mother and you can't give me anything? I know you are sitting on money in that fancy apartment of yours while I'm living in dirt."

The laugh that escapes Hawks is not a pretty sound. "At least something didn't change, huh?"

There is a gasp that would be funny if Hawks' heart didn't beat so loud, if he didn't have sweat streaming down his temples and his hands didn't shake so much. "How can you say something like that? I am your mother and I need your help."

"I'm trying to help you!" Hawks hates himself when he yells like this at her.

"This is not help," she hisses venomously. "I don't know where I've gone fucking wrong to raise you like this?"

"Maybe if you tried to actually raise me instead of drinking away your hurt and burning it out with drugs, I would turn out okay."

"You know, right now I'm glad your father is dead so he doesn't see what become of you-"

Hawks hangs up. There is a lump in his throat and he feels his eyes burning. His phone starts to ring immediately again. But he already knows what's going to happen if he picks up. She will cry and apologize for being a horrible mother, for saying these things, and promise him she will try to go to the rehab again. If he'd only give her a bit of cash.

But he's not a kid anymore. She can't beg him not to tell police and the lady from social service about the things she's done to him, she can't cry and give him empty promises how everything will get better and they will be family again. If he only gives her another chance.

The blond rubs his eyes with his palms, trying to calm down. He knows better than to pick up the call because he would give in. He always does. No matter what she does, she is still his mom, and he, despite everything, remembers the way she would make pancakes for him and his father when he was still alive. His death broke her.

However, with Rumi's and Ayane's help he's already realized that's not an excuse. He looks at the clock on his bedside table and curses. He can have a mental breakdown later, when he's not late for work.

Still, ignoring the vibrating of his phone as he's getting dressed is hard and on several occasions, he has to pause in front of the balcony to take several deep breaths and fights the panic attack away. He doesn't even take a shower, he thinks he will get dirty fighting the villains anyway, so what's the point of taking one.

By the time he has the goggles on his eyes, he doesn't feel like having a panic attack. His phone doesn't vibrate in his pocket anymore and he briefly wonders, if his mother smashed her phone into the nearest wall as is her habit.

He blinks fast several times until the tears are chased away. When he's on his balcony, the city looks peaceful. He wonders where Dabi is. Probably with the rest of the League, planning the attack.

All Hawks has to do now, is to play his part.

He flies to the agency. There is still some time before he has to leave for the All Might exhibition at the museum and it's his time to organize reports in his laptop. Ayane drops by to wish him a good morning with a sweet smile and a cup of coffee, Hawks only thanks her. When she leaves, he remembers how she asked him some time ago if his mother contacted him in concerned voice. She would try to help him.

God, Hawks wants to talk to someone so much it hurts. He just wants to tell the truth to someone. It can't be Rumi because, even though Hawks would do anything to come clean with his best friend, he knows how bad she would take it. She is not the type to stand by to let her friends be in danger and do nothing.

Ayane is a bit more sensible. She would understand the need to do the dirty work. The dirty fucking awful work. She would help him with the guilty feeling of abandoning his own mother, of sleeping with Dabi like this... Lying to him and deceiving him.

Hawks supposes his mother was right in the end. His dad would be disappointed to see him now.

Still, being with Dabi is like being in a small piece of heaven, only for them, only their own. Hawks will be ready to pay the price when the time of his debt to the truth comes. He won't say any excuses, he will apologize but he will not beg. He refuses to become his mother. Dabi will have every right to be angry and Hawks won't deny him this.

He can still feel the feather Dabi took, but he can't locate it properly because of its size and how far away from him it is.

He looks at the clock and feels the rush of adrenaline pump through his veins. He takes in a deep breath and leaves his office to fly to the museum.

"Good luck out there!" Ayane wishes him when they pass each other on the hallway, then a bit more quietly but with the same mischievous spark in her eyes: "And don't fall on your ass in before Endeavor."

Hawks puts on a grin. "Please, have you seen me? If anyone will do the falling, it ain't me."

"Whatever you say, birdy boy," Ayane smiles and disappears into her office.

Despite Ayane's words, the friendly banter is like a wave of fresh air. It calms Hawks down just a tiny bit.

He leaves the agency and flies to the museum. A part of him hopes he will see a villain in action which would give him an excuse to arrive to the museum late. Nothing of the sort happens and he arrives on time.

He doesn't go to the museum straight away. He is supposed to meet with the museum workers and the other heroes inside, they all are present during the speech. He's slightly nervous at the prospect of meeting Endeavor again but it's not a bad feeling.

Even though he didn't have time lately to think too much about his crush, it's still there. A part of him can't believe how close he actually gets to be to the man he admires. When he was a kid and his mother agreed to send him into a school for heroes, Endeavor was the only reason he wanted to go. If it weren't for him, Hawks would probably run away from the dormitory the first moment he'd have the chance.

Of course, the years changed Hawks, his views and his motivations. He even likes being a hero and helping people. What didn't change was his admiration for the flame hero. His determination and strength and how he never gave up on overcoming All Might when all others did.

Hawks still can't believe he is enough to stand so close to him.

The museum is a large, old building with modern architecture thanks to the reconstruction that happened few years ago. There are stairs leading to the front. Under them is a large fountain with a sculpture of a group of people. The first official heroes of the country.

There's already a small crowd in front of the entrance. When Hawks sees the whole gathering, he feels uneasy. He expected it, of course. Many people still think All Might, even without his powers, is the true symbol of peace, and this is the first official exhibition since his… retirement. It's also very sunny today, so high attendance makes sense, even if the people will have to way for long before they make it inside.

What scares him most is the number of children and teens. He's about to fly above them to the back entrance where he's supposed to meet with the museum staff and director, when he sees a familiar face in the crowd. Or rather  familiar black head with a beak.

He feels his heart sink as he watches Fumikage Tokoyami talking to his classmates. They are all wearing civilian clothes, smiling and when the girl with brown hair notices Hawks, she points at him. Hawks doubts most of them can actually see his face but he smiles anyway and waves at them. Tokoyami waves back.

Unfortunately, this also means that Endeavor's own son will be here. Come to think of it, the boy that got kidnapped by the League is going to be here as well. None of these information make Hawks any calmer.

He briefly considers landing there , to say hi to his intern but then he suddenly feels one of the feathers being where it definitely wasn't a moment ago. He feels the smile freezing on his lips and looks back into the crowd. He knows Dabi is there somewhere but he can't see him or anyone else from the League. There's too many people.

Quickly, he continues on his way to the back entrance. He lands in the small parking lot and the moment his feet touch the ground, the big blue door into the museum opens. It's a man from security.

"Hawks-san," he says with a relief. "You are a bit late, please come inside."

"Yeah, I'm sorry," Hawks smiles trying to ignore the feather for now. "What is the plan?"

The other man returns the smile. "I think director will want to discuss this with you personally."

Even though the museum looks modern outside, it's the opposite inside, in the part that's not available for public. The hallway looks old, the white color of the walls more yellow now but it's not dirty. There are several paintings and posters stored here, as well as small figures from different heroes franchisees. The days of these heroes are gone and Hawks doesn't even recognize many of them. Truth to be told, he's never been one for history but he wonders what people will think about him, years from  now.

The idea that one day he should have his own exhibition is funny. But one never knows – if he dies soon, when he's still young, people are more likely to mourn him. He can already imagine his fangirls weeping on his funeral as they'd lower his coffin into the ground. He fights the urge to laugh out loud, he doesn't know why but it's hilarious image.

The security guy leads Hawks into a bigger room with many chairs around a big table. There is a TV screen on one of its ends but it's turned off at the moment. The chairs are occupied by many heroes, Hawks personally knows most of them. He feels himself smile when he sees Endeavor.

Then, he sees All Might. The tall man is crouched, even when sitting in one of the chairs. He is seated next to Endeavor. Hawks' arrival clearly interrupted anything the former hero was saying.

And, although this is the first time he's meeting All Might outside of Hero Billboard Chart... or rather, the first time meeting Toshinori Yagi, Hawks can't help but to focus more on the flame hero.

The man doesn't look happy to be here. His arms are crossed over his chest but the fire is gone (probably because he doesn't want to set fire to many priceless items in the museum) and he's scowling deeply which only makes the scar on his face look uglier.

Something changed, though. Hawks doesn't feel as lightheaded as he used to feel. There aren't any pleasant shivers going down his spine when big man looks at him with the intense turquoise eyes, he doesn't sweat with anticipation. Most notably though, he doesn't feel the urge to be as close to the man as he used to.

There's a different man with fire quirk Hawks would prefer to be close to at the moment. And as if Dabi senses his thoughts, he feels fingers running down the feather. Only then, Hawks feels the thingle going down his spine and a soft smile growing on his lips.

The warmth feeling is short-lived.

"Finally here, Hawks-san," the director is a short, chubby man and he eagerly takes Hawks' glowed hand to shake even before Hawks can offer it himself. "It's an honor, really!"

"The pleasure is all mine," Hawks smiles. "Now, what is the plan?"

"I'm so happy you found a place in your busy schedule for today," the director licks his lips. "All you have to do is be there while the others-" he waves his arm towards the other heroes seated by the table. "-have a small speech. After they are done, just reply to some reporters, give interviews and look pretty."

Hawks winks. "The last part is what I'm best at."

Laughter resounds around the table at his words, even All Might has a smile on his face. Except for Endeavor. If it was possible Hawks would say the man looks even angrier at his remark. True, he isn't known for nice treatment when it comes to public. When he can, he refuses to give interviews with reporters. He must be angry that the Commission ordered him to be a part of this. Having to be there for grand opening of the exhibition dedicated for his great rival, the one people always insist he will never surpass... must be hard.

Even though Hawks is more concerned of the safety of other heroes and a certain man with dark hair and piercings, he feels a wave of sympathy. He doesn't regret his decision, however. Endeavor is strong and Hawks wouldn't want anyone else to be here to protect the civilians and watch his back. The only alternative is Rumi and while she can hold her ground just fine, Hawks doesn't want to expose her to unnecessary risks. The idea that Rumi and Dabi could potentially fight one another is too much. He thinks, even under normal circumstances, he would be nervous should they ever meet. Considering how much Rumi is all about everyone for themselves on the battlefield, she is very protective of Hawks.

The reminder of what's ahead of them all, what the others have no idea about, brings him back to the ground.

Soon, they follow the security men outside the room. Hawks stays behind, waiting for Endeavor to catch up. Hawks smiles at the man. "How is it going?"

Endeavor only growls "Good," in a tone that is the opposite of good.

Hawks always feels so ridiculously small when he stands next to this man. He doesn't blame people for feeling a bit intimated by him. His vibe is the complete opposite of All Might. But Hawks considers him a good hero who means well for people. Hawks wishes more of them could see what's actually behind the appearance and look what's underneath.

"It caught me by surprise when I've been called to this," Hawks lies smoothly. To his own surprise, he realizes it's easier to lie to him than to lie to Dabi.

"It's a waste of time," Endeavor murmurs, clearly annoyed. "We both could be somewhere else, saving people and doing something that's actually useful."

Oh, you have no idea how much useful you'll be here, Hawks thinks. He almost laughs. This definitely will not be a boring noon.

The museum director and the security go through the front door first, leaving the heroes behind. Hawks doesn't know anyone of the other heroes, there is several of them and he only briefly remembers seeing one of them on a TV, flying.

The blond can see their excitement and nervousness. He sees the stealthy glances they all shoot at All Might. However, before any of them can get brave enough to say anything, the legend himself speaks.

"I believe we've never had a chance to talk before."

It takes a moment for Hawks' brain to click and he realizes that he is the one All Might talks to.

He blinks several times but he's never been one to have his tongue tied for too long: "Yes, um, sir… All Might-san. I should probably say it's an honor."

The skinny man laughs. "Now, now, I'm not exactly All Might anymore. You can call me Toshinori."

Hawks laughs which may not be the most considerate reaction but it's an honest one: "I'm sorry All Might-san but that would just feel wrong."

He's never counted himself as the greatest fan of the Symbol of Peace. But that doesn't mean he would overlook all the things All Might achieved, all the things he's done and what he meant and still means for society. It might be cruel, in a way, but Hawks will probably never see anyone else than All Might when he looks at the tall, crouched, skinny man.

The other blond smiles but it's only a ghost of the wide grin everyone knows. "All I wanted to say was that I've watched yours and Endeavor's fight with the Nomu. For someone so young, you are a fierce fighter, Hawks-san. I feel well knowing after my retirement you and Endeavor are the ones to look after people."

A small part of Hawks feels pride at the words. The bigger part wonders what All Might would think if he knew all the people that are in front of the museum will be in deadly danger in just a few minutes. And while Hawks didn't exactly help the villains to do this, he feels that doing nothing to stop it the same as if was.

"Wow," he grins, though, as if nothing was bothering him. "Those are some big words, sir. I really don't think I'm the one deserving them."

Before All Might can argue with him over this – which would be an argument All Might would never win – the security man standing next to the door tells them it's time.

They exit the museum through the front door and stand on the top of the stairs. There is a small podium with microphone. The director walks over there while Hawks and the rest of the heroes stand behind and wave to the crowd.

Hawks isn't surprised when he realizes that most of these screams are All Might's name, followed by his own. And while he makes sure his smile is believable, his eyes are searching the crowd. He spots at least eight big groups of kids, all presumably at school trip.

The bad news is they are all over the place and wherever the attack will come from, not only from the direction he knows Dabi's in, they will be caught in the crossfire. Then, there is just so many people, Hawks' doesn't have enough feathers to push them all out of the way of danger. And Endeavor might be strong but he won't be able to use his quirk to the full extent with so many civilians here.

Adrenaline is flooding through Hawks' veins but he doesn't feel like panicking. This is what he was made for. When it comes to his emotions and his conscience, he feels so miserable, he doesn't want to get up from bed. But a fight? That's something he can do.

He doesn't pay attention to anything the director or the hero that takes his spot, when the director is done, says. All he knows is they are praising All Might.

People cheer them and Hawks hears Endeavor huff out in frustration when they do. The blond feels almost bad for bringing Endeavor here instead of Rumi. Thankfully, he knows soon Endeavor will have bigger things to worry about than his rivalry.

There is a moment when one of the heroes asks All Might to make a speech himself, something clearly going by the script. It's in that moment that, Hawks feels a finger running over the the one feather he doesn't have on his person.

The blond immediately tenses and sees the threat before the first person from the crowd screams.

Without thinking, he sends some of his feathers towards All Might, quickly pushing the man away from the stage. The ground under them shakes when a Nomu, twice Endeavor's size, lands in the spot All Might was only a second ago, creating a small crater in the stage and stairs.

Several things happen at once.

First, the crowd starts to panic. There are screams of horror and the people start to run. Everyone, at the same time in different directions, crashing into one another and collapsing on the ground, under the feet of the others.

At the same time, two heroes rush towards All Might to help him get up and to get him away. The Nomu jumps after All Might again but a stream of flames hits into its massive body, pushing the creature away. The air around Hawks immediately turns so hot, he can barely breathe any air in.

The heroes split into three groups, the smallest group of the flying hero and his friend is trying to get All Might out of the way. Endeavor and two of the heroes try to surround the Nomu while Hawks flies to be between the monster and the crowd. The hair on the back of his neck stands up because he knows the League is somewhere behind his back. The last group moves around the soon-to-be battlefield, closer to the crowd. They try to instruct people to stay calm and evacuate them.

But Hawks knows from experience it's hard with a crowd this big. The more people there is the likely it is to lose their rational mind to mass hysteria.

Hawks finally has a chance to look at the Nomu properly. It's bigger than the one he and Endeavor fought, the High-End. But, at least this one has a face or something resembling one. Its eyes are big, black,  jaw is pointy and its sharp teeth are sticking out, too many of them. Its hands only have four fingers but with claws on each of them. There are scales covering its body and long, sharp prickles all over its arms to the shoulders and continuing down its back. It has a long tail with a stinger at the end.

High-End looked almost human in comparison to this thing. Hawks glances to the stinger again. It doesn't look like anything from the movies and there definitely isn't a poison dripping down from it but Hawks knows to stay away from it.

Despite its appearance, though, there are two truly scary things about it. First, the monster looks barely touched by Endeavor's flames. Second, it doesn't pay attention to Endeavor or Hawks or any of the other heroes. Its black eyes are fixated on only one target.

The Nomu proves to be fast. It jumps towards the retreating heroes and All Might almost instantly. One of the heroes by Endeavor tries to stop it,  her shadow shapes into several limbs and they move towards the monster but the Nomu easily dodges all of them. Endeavor sends another stream of flames but with so many heroes in close proximity, he can't use the quirk's full power. The Nomu doesn't even flinch when it's hit this time.

Hawks sends some of his primary feathers at the Nomu. It is fast but even it can't outrun his wings. The scales on its back look sturdy but Hawks doesn't go for stabbing the creature, instead he simply pushes the feathers onto the creature and sends it to the ground with enough force that the stairs cracks under its power.

"Get him out of here!" Endeavor shouts at the heroes.

The flying one hooks his arms under All Might's shoulders and starts to fly away.

The heroine with shadow quirk moves them to the Nomu again, and Hawks lets out a sigh of relief – the strength of the Nomu is extraordinary, it was hard to keep him down by himself.

"Hawks-san!"

The blond doesn't turn his head. He knows better than to stop focusing on the Nomu, who is already struggling against his feathers with surprising strength and the shadow hold. He knows he could send more of his feathers but he doesn't want to risk all of them and lose his ability to fight.

Without hesitation, though, Hawks tells the boy: "Tokoyami-kun, go back to your teacher! We'll take care of this!"

"But-"

Another boyish voice comes from behind Hawks: "Tokoyami-kun, wait for us!"

Hawks curses internally. He doesn't have a time to play babysitter and neither do any other heroes. Even though he knows how dangerous it is, he looks over his shoulder at the kids. To his utter horror, there is a group of teenagers separating from the panicking crowd and running towards the group of heroes and Nomu. He also sees Eraser Head in the background, clearly yelling something at his students. Hawks feels himself momentarily freeze when he sees a tall boy with white and red hair being part of the group.

He doesn't have time to send the kids home second time because in that very moment, blue colors his face and the temperature of the air rises again.

Hawks stops staring at the teens and quickly turns his attention back to the enemy. All of the feathers on the Nomu are being consumed by flames. He looks around for black hair and finally spots Dabi. He's standing at the roof of the museum with Kurogiri next to him. His turquoise eyes, slightly narrowed, are staring into Hawks', his coat is waving in the wind and there is a small smile playing on his lips.

Hawks has to remind himself that he's in the middle of a battle and, no matter how hot Dabi is, this is not a moment to jump him.

"You!" he hears Endeavor growl next to him.

Kurogiri is standing next to Dabi but only for a moment before he warps away again, leaving only the other man behind. It's unnerving because Hawks knows Shigaraki himself is here somewhere.

Sickening smell of feathers burning fills up the air, and the flames around the Nomu chase away the shadows as well. The reaction from Nomu is almost instant. As the shadow heroine hisses, pulling back her shadow limbs, the Nomu gets up and jumps after the hero carrying All Might away.

Hawks stops staring at Dabi and flies closer. He doesn't get into the range of the stinger but he sends more feathers after the Nomu in attempt to stop it. Before they can reach the creature, Hawks sees another flow of blue from his side and he quickly withdrawals most of his feathers back from the flames and the few he leaves are fast enough to avoid the destruction and continue in its way. He flies even more to the side to put distance between himself and the villain.

Dabi probably wouldn't attack him in a way he wouldn't be able to avoid but Hawks doesn't want to give the other heroes reasons to doubt his loyalty.

He doesn't have time to do anything much more, though. The Nomu grabs the flying hero and All Might, each by their ankle. The monster moves its stinger towards All Might but Hawks uses the feathers he left flying to stop it from reaching the former hero. However, it's not enough to stop the Nomu from pulling them back into the ground.

At the same time, Endeavor uses his own fire to jump to the roo. By the time he gets there, Dabi is already at the other end, closer to Hawks and the Nomu. Endeavor sends his flames over to the villain, his orange flames lick the roof tiles but Dabi is quick to return the favor.

Hawks feels his heart skip a beat as he watches the fight from the corner of his eye. He expected the one kind of flames to go through the other. Instead, the two stream of flames merge. For a very short instant, it's a beautiful dance of blue and orange as they mingle. Then, the flames burst into several turbulent flows going in all directions and Hawks hears the roof tiles cracking under the heat.

While Endeavor doesn't dodge the orange fire and lets it run into him, Dabi barely has time to dodge the stream heading for him.

Hawks doesn't have time to pay attention to their fight and worry about Dabi's safety, though. All Might and the hero are on the ground. The Nomu lets go of the hero, the other hand still holding All Might in place, while he swipes its claws after him.

The winged hero barely makes it in time when his feathers get in the way of attack.

The Nomu growls, first sound it makes. It's a deep, scary sound. Hawks ignores it and sends more feathers towards it, slamming it into the ground. It growls some more and tries to swing its stinger but to no use. More heroes are already at with them, dragging All Might and the wounded hero away from the creature.

And then, the Nomu is swallowed by ice.

"Todoroki, I told you to stand back!" Hawks hears Eraser Head's loud rumble over the chaos and he can't help but be reminded of a mother hen.

"Actually, that was pretty cool!" Hawks grins at the young Todoroki who separated from his group and now stands closer to Hawks and the Nomu, between them and the Erasure Hero.

Meanwhile, the teacher is standing in front of the group of teens. The kids are looking around, clearly for opportunity to take a part in the fight as well but Eraser Head doesn't look like he's kidding around about not letting them fight.

He keeps staring at the Nomu, his eyes bright red. Hawks supposes that explains why the Nomu is still stuck in the ice.

Fortunately, Dabi seems to have moved to the other end of the roof meaning Eraser Head can't get him since both, Dabi and Endeavor are out of his field of vision. Less fortunately, Hawks can still see the glow of blue and orange from over the roof.

He can hear Endeavor shouting something but it's muffled and Hawks can't make out the words. He keeps one of his feathers on All Might and is about to fly over to the fire when he notices a flash of purple and black.

Some of the students yell in warning and Eraser Head turns around just in time to dodge a blade coming for his neck.

Spinner doesn't get another chance to strike, one of Eraser's kids, tall blonde boy, roars loudly strikes at the villain. The only thing Hawks has time to notice before a loud explosion and cloud of dust from the ground comes up is that Spinner is not alone. He sees Mr. Compress and Shigaraki as well as some other villains who didn't have chance to make themselves known. Yet.

Hawks's heart sinks when he sees them but he doesn't have time to think about them or help the teacher and his students. The moment Eraser's eyes leave the Nomu, the ice cracks ominously.

"All Might!!" he hears the student with dark hair shout but he is being held by his classmates before he can head towards the monster.

The winged hero is glad he's kept the feathers on All Might and the hero. Only thanks to that, he has enough time to move them out of the way of the monster's next attack. It jumps after them again and lands a hit to the ground they were at only a second ago.

Hawks looks over the Nomu's body again, looking for any part that wouldn't be covered with the scales. He knows he has to finish this fast – even with the help of his students, Eraser and the others will need help (especially if he keeps yelling at his students to fall back).

The Nomu doesn't give him much time before he has to send it back to the ground with his feathers, now desperate enough to actually use more of them. It growls at him and tries to break free. His feathers are digging into the monster but they can't break through the scales and Hawks curses internally. It struggles with strength that, even given its great size, shouldn't be possible.

Before it can break free, though, Hawks grabs two primary feathers, and quickly flies closer. The Nomu tries to swing its stinger after Hawks but the hero parries the attack and, now close enough, stabs the Nomu through the eye. The beast screams in pain as the attack goes through its skull.

The monster collapses on the ground and Hawks withdrawals his feathers back to his wings.

Somehow, over the sound of the battle of the heroes and the villains, he still hears a roar of pain behind him. His blood runs cold and he turns around. The former hero doesn't look injured except for the bruises from falling down. The same, however, can't be said for the flying hero.

He is standing in front of All Might the stinger that Hawks dodged is in his shoulder. The thing is not that big, especially in comparison to the rest of the Nomu's body, but the dreadful feeling spreads through Hawks.

The blond has seen worse injuries, more gruesome. But what's truly putting weight down on him in the moment, trying to send him down to his knees, is the little voice in the back of his mind.

He could have prevented this.

After the second which feels like an eternity, the man collapses. All Might catches him in the air and makes the fall to the ground easier. Hawks immediately sets into motion, coming closer.

"I will take care of him," All Might says. Now that Hawks thinks about it, he can hear sirens.

The former hero then points towards the other side of the museum. "Go help Endeavor!"

Hawks isn't usually one to listen to other people's orders when he doesn't have to but in that moment everything he feels is pushed into the back of his mind, replaced by one single thought.

Dabi.

When he flies to the backdoor of the museum, he sees both the villain and the hero, they jumped on the ground. The roof of the museum is on fire, the heat palpable, especially in comparison of the chilly air that was outside just several minutes ago.

He quickly takes off and flies to the burning roof of the museum. He knows that he can't be help in actual fight between two heroes with fire quirks but he doesn't care in the moment.

The two men are standing several meters from one another, the distance enough for neither of them to be in any immediate danger. A wide grin is twisting Dabi's lips while Endeavor's face is twisted into raw rage.

A part of Hawks want to get between the man and Dabi.

Dabi locks his eyes with Hawks' and for a second, the hero forgets to breathe. Then, the moment is broken as Endeavor roars in rage. Hawks immediately realizes his intentions and sends his feathers to Dabi and just hopes that Dabi will know.

The villain raises both of his hands, he directs two streams of fire, one at Endeavor and the other at Hawks. Two flames mingle again, dancing for a long second. Meanwhile Dabi's flames directed towards him lick at the red feathers and swallow them whole. Some feathers, though, are left alone and they make it to the man and end up under his coat. They are not big but they are enough for Hawks to move Dabi around or give his movement momentum.

It shouldn't be surprising that they click so well on battlefield but it still is. More importantly, it brings soft, sparking feeling through him.

Then, the feeling is pushed away as the flames explode. Hawks evades them. Dabi moves to evade as well, Hawks senses it through his feathers, and he helps him with the motion. Once the newly created flames die out, he hears strange sizzle sound from where Dabi is standing.

Before he can realize what it is, Endeavor roars: "Get behind him!"

Hawks almost laughs. Endeavor doesn't know the extent of how much he would like to do that, though probably in different way than Endeavor has in mind. Dabi gives him a quick look and the blond can see the way his lips are curled and Hawks knows he knows too. It's such a stupid, almost soft thing in the chaos around them, smiling at one another and it only last a very short moment but the sparks in Hawks are back.

However, the blonde hero doesn't get the chance to position himself where Endeavor ordered him. Behind the flame hero, black and purple fog appears.

"Watch out!" Hawks yells and flies over to the man before he can be swallowed by Kurogiri's attack.

On purpose, Hawks slams his own body into Endeavor's and knocks him to the ground, moving him out of the way of the villains and keeping him from attacking with fire again at the same time. He keeps his eye on Kurogiri who then quickly creates a warp gate near Dabi. He says something to the raven haired boy in hushed voice. Dabi nods and then looks at Hawks.

The smile freezes on his lips, turning into furious expression as he glances between him and Endeavor. Then, two villain disappear together. For a second, Hawks listens. There are no other screams or yells. All he can hear are sirens of ambulances and firefighters, the cracking sound of the fire of the museum building and his and Endeavor's heavy breathing.

Remembering where he is, Hawks gets up from Endeavor's chest, realizing the most probable reason behind fury in Dabi's eyes. He offers his hand to Endeavor. The other hero takes it and rises up, to his feet. Without a word, they move back to where the original battle with Nomu took place.

There are no traces of villains anymore, no arrests being made. Everyone is just pulling themselves together. Right under stairs leading to the entrance, there are three ambulances. All Might is currently trying to brush off a medic who is trying to push him into one of them. Eraser Head is sitting on the stairs while another medic is putting a bandage on his arm, all while his kids are around, each talking over one another and being overall annoying to the hero.

And then, there is the black body bag on a stretcher being loaded into one of the ambulances.

He doesn't need to be told whose body it is, he already knows.

His heart sinks and there is a lump in his throat. He's familiar with death. His mother left him staring at his father's dead body when he was seven years old during the funeral. He's seen other heroes die on a few occasions. It was a heavy, haunting feeling, to be a witness to it.

But he's never felt as if the blood was on his hands.

He knows he should go ask the others what was his name, that it would be respectful. But he can't. Somehow, after that, Hawks is working on autopilot. There are medics asking him if he's feeling okay. He only hears himself reply that yes, he is fine and asking them to take care of the others. He is aware that, until it disappears and drives off with the ambulance, Hawks stares at the body.

They take it away quickly, before civilians are coming back. Public shouldn't be looking at this. They should see the heroes victorious because that's all that maters. The police arrives as well not letting the civilians to get too close to the fire as the firefighters are doing their work. Thankfully, it's soon put out.

Hawks even sees Tsuragamae arrive too but Endeavor does the talking to him. The blonde hero knows he's supposed to drop by the crowd and speak to the reporters but instead, he only announces the police chief he's leaving and, not waiting for an reply, he flies away.

He sends a message into the agency so they know he won't be coming today anymore and heads to his apartment.

When he's opening the door on his balcony, his hands are shaking so much he can't get it open. Each time eyes lose focus on the lock, he sees that black bag disappearing into the ambulance, sees how they quickly close the door shut.

His stomach squeezes and when, after several minutes, he opens the door, he heads straight into his bathroom to throw up into the toilet.

He feels his phone vibrating in his pocket. When he looks at the screen, it's Ayane.

After a moment, Hawks turns the phone to silent and puts it at the sink.

He throws up three more times, and the last one, nothing comes out of his stomach anymore. After that, he steps into the shower and turns on the water. It's cold but Hawks doesn't care enough to change the temperature.

He simply sits down into the corner and stares into nothingness, all of his feathers wet around him.

All he hears is the Commissioner's voice to let the attack happen. All he sees is the black bag. It eventually changes into a pretty black coffin, with its top open and Hawks stares inside. He always looked more like his mother but in the moment all he could think about how his father's golden eyes would never open again.

Still, in contrast of the last few weeks, Hawks feels completely empty. Even though the image doesn't leave his mind, he doesn't feel anything.

The time goes by, the water runs him down, and all Hawks sees, all he can think about it is black plastic bag and a coffin and each time he tries to tear away from these thoughts, Commissioner's voice drags him back in.


 

Hawks doesn't know how long it's been when he comes back from the shock later.

Eventually, his mind comes back from the image of body bag and emptiness, and he realizes that he's sitting in freezing cold shower and he is still wearing his clothes.

His hands are shaking from the cold as he turns off the water. He undresses in the shower and leaves the clothes on the floor because in the moment, he can't be bothered to do anything about them. Quickly, he dries his quivering, aching body with a towel.

His phone is still on the sink. Hawks takes a deep breath before he takes it into his hands.

He has eight missed calls and several messages. Gulping, he looks into the missed call records. Four of them are Ayane, three are Dabi and one is Rumi. With heavy heart, he opens the messages. Almost all of them are from Ayane  - she messaged him right after the battle at the museum and then several times.

Ayane:  Hawks, I saw the attack on TV, are you okay?

Ayane: Police Chief Tsuragamae is here, saying that you left the scene without speaking to police. They want to talk to you.

Ayane: Rumi is asking if you are okay. I told Tsuragamae that you won't be coming back today to the office or the rest of the weekend. He said he will call on Monday.

Ayane: I hope you will feel better soon. When you are ready to talk, please  give me a call xoxoxo.

One message though, is from Dabi.

Hot Stuff: U ok?

Hawks stares at the messages for several minutes. Then, his look moves to the corner of the screen. The time says it's twenty minutes from Dabi's text. He's spent more than four hours sitting in cold water, fully clothed. No wonder he can't stop to shiver and his whole body hurts.

Hawks washes his mouth to get rid of the bitter taste still lingering, then takes the phone and walks into his bedroom. Outside, it's already getting dark. He sits down on bed and lets his spine bend down as he hides his face into his palms. He feels so tired and cold but he doesn't want to go into the bed yet. He knows the slight numbness he feels at the moment is better than the despair he will wake up to.

Not to mention, he made a promise to Dabi this morning, didn’t he?

Hawks takes the phone and dials the first number.

Ayane picks up immediately.

"Hey, Hawks?" she asks in concerned and slightly nervous voice - he can imagine how she presses her lips into a thin line as she always does when she's nervous. "Do you have time to talk?"

Hawks feels his jaws clench, his heart beating fast. He hears himself say: "Yeah, sure," but it's not the automatic response as it was this afternoon when the shock took over.

"I saw the fight on TV today. Did you get injured?"

Instead of replying, Hawks asks: "Did they announce that a hero died?"

A moment of silence is all Hawks needs to hear to know the answer but Ayane still says a soft: "No."

Another image of black plastic bag flashes before Hawks' eyes.

From the other end of the line, he hears Ayane speak again: "They will have to, eventually, because reporters have their noses everywhere, you know them. I, actually, wanted to ask you something else, too."

"Shoot."

"You told me you haven't been thinking about Endeavor lately.

She speaks in calm voice but there is finally the hint of... disapproval.

Hawks sighs and his spine bends some more. "She told you."

"Yes."

Ayane knows him. She knows how hard it is for him to open up during a conversation from eye to eye, and even though she encouraged him to talk directly about it, she is kind enough to ask him about this over the phone.

Hell, Hawks can't even imagine looking at her in this moment.

He hears her taking a deep breath because of course she won't let her anger or her worry take over her rationality. "I know you didn't lie to me when you said that you haven't thought much about Endeavor back then. Now, and I'm begging you to be honest with me, is it Endeavor you are sleeping with?"

Hawks knows what he has to do. It's not a rocket science. He feels a fake smile growing on his lips, putting all his effort into it. He knows it's believable smile, one that could fool anyone. Simple yes is everything he has to do and Ayane will believe him. Because they are friends. And he would never lie to her.

However, the moment he opens his mouth, his stomach squeezes again as if he is going to throw up and he feels his mask cracking. And just like vomit, he can't stop the word: "No."

The word is the first drop of a giant storm - after it, the truth pours from Hawks' lips and he doesn't do anything, can't do anything, to stop it.

Chapter Text

Dabi is staring at his phone. He called Hawks three times already and the birb is not picking up. Irrational worry is tugging at Dabi's mind and he wants to to visit the man in his home but it's only afternoon and he knows better than to wander around Hawks' neighborhood in broad daylight.

He wonders if Hawks could tell how angry he was just before he left the museum with Kurogiri. If Hawks could recognize the rage in his eyes, the rage he felt when he saw Hawks being on top of Enji. Just the memory is enough for him to clench his teeth in anger. He wants to burn that bastard's hands off. Someone like Enji should never touch Hawks.

He forces his jaw to relax and starts typing a text. As he writes a simple ‚U ok?' he stares at it for several seconds. He feels like he's being clingy, like he's bothering Hawks but he eventually pushes the thoughts away for once and presses the send button.

Right after, he calls Kurogiri. The man picks up immediately and knows what Dabi wanted as well. "Everyone is in their position. The second stage of plan can be put to work."

"Great," Dabi smiles. "That's all I wanted to hear."

Another voice. "Is Toga okay?"

Dabi looks over to the kitchen. Toga is standing there in front of the coffee machine.

"Yeah, she's playing with her new toys."

"Good," Twice sounds satisfied.

They say goodbyes again and Toga takes that as her chance to speak.

"I don't know why but I expected this guy to be your typical disgusting rich guy in power with all the best shit. And the most modern thing here is the coffee maker."

Dabi sneers at Toga's words. He is sitting on the couch in big living room.

Toga is only partially right – she doesn't know the big cabinets and most of the other furniture around the room are made of bocote wood and clearly made for measure. Just the coffee table he's currently resting his feet at, is more worth than everything he, Toga and Twice are wearing right now. And he isn't even started on the carpet under him – where Toga already managed to make two stains with coke and wine.

From the outside, the house looked like a small thing in comparison to the rest of neighbourhood – big house with friendly people who are wearing nice suits, beautiful dresses, expensive accessories. And then, after passing one another and greeting each other with fake pleasant voice, they go and hide behind closed doors from the rest of them so they can hide their dirty little secrets.

"How do I make a fucking coffee with this?" Toga asks, chuckling, standing in the clean white kitchen. "This thing is as complicated as nuclear reactor."

Dabi laughs and gets up. For good measure, not caring that his muddy shoes leave behind a trace on the carpet.

Toga watches him with narrowed eyes. "You do know I'mma have to live her for some time right, I ain't cleaning up any of your shit."

"Oh, zip it, you already spilled wine all over it yesterday when you raided his wine cellar," Dabi grins and walks to her. "Now, I'm gonna show you magic. What do you want, freak?"

Toga watches him with suspicion in her eyes but, eventually, says: "I'll have latte."

Dabi finds milk in the fridge. Finding the cup takes him a while since he doesn't know which cupboard to open. Soon enough, though, he places the cup under the coffee machine and with few presses on the screen, puts the machine to work.

Toga watches him the entire time and when the liquid starts pouring, she turns to Dabi. "How do you know shit like that? Were you a millionaire before you fell into criminal ways or something?"

Dabi smiles. "If I told you the truth, you wouldn't believe me."

There is a loud thud somewhere from the hallway and Dabi and Toga exchange looks. The raven haired boy then gives the cup of latte to her. "You better learn how to use it. In case some of your new colleagues drop by."

The girl makes disgusted sound. "Ugh, I can't wait for that. Gathering of rich old dudes."

Dabi laughs and walks away. He looks at her again over his shoulder: "At least you will then tell us all the gossips and stuff they do and we can laugh behind their backs."

"That's basically my mission!" Toga reminds him.

"I know. I'll see how he's doing. Don't forget to give him that shit for blood formation Kurogiri got us. And feed him. He can't grow thin if we want to keep him for a couple of days."

"I'm not dumb." Toga smiles and she sips her coffee. "If I have some problems, I'll call Twice."

Dabi doesn't reply. Instead, he walks into the hallway. There are no pictures on the walls, there are only old paintings and beige carpet on the floor. Dabi walks over it, to the door under stairs to the upper floor. He grabs a key for it is resting on shoe cabinet and spins it around his finger as he lazily walks to the door.

The key slips into the door and Dabi turns it. He opens the basement and turns on the light before he puts his hands into the pockets. The bulb above doors sends a beam down the stairs, through the darkness.

There is a man right under the stairs. He raises his bound hands to protect his eyes from the light before they widen as they see Dabi standing above him. The man’s hair is sticking to the head with cold sweat of fright. He is wearing a t-shirt, and sweatpants, his legs are tied together as well. But the blanket they gave him is left behind in the corner as well as bottle of water, untouched.

Dabi smiles lazily at the man, the turquoise eyes gleaming with spark of danger. He's gently stroking the one small feather in his pocket. "Now, please do try keep yourself dry and hydrated. You don't want us making sure you do these things, don't you, Mr. Commissioner?"


 Ayane doesn't interrupt him. Quietly, she listens and listens and Hawks talks and talks.

From the first meeting he had with Commission, through the first meeting with Dabi in warehouse, setting Kurogiri free... the nights he spent with Dabi, everything. And with each word, he feels the weight on his shoulders getting lighter. By the time he tells her about today, it's not gone, but he feels like he can take in a real breath for the first time in months.

When he's finished, he can hear Ayane's heavy breathing as she's trying to keep herself from speaking.

And for several long seconds, she is quiet, trying to figure out what to say. Then, she speaks in quiet voice: "Holy shit."

Hawks laughs out but it's not a cheerful sound. "Yeah."

"I'm sorry, it's just.. a lot. A lot, lot to take in."

He can hear her moving around and knows she is sitting down. Then, she says again: "Holy shit, Hawks, what the fuck?"

"I know," Hawks shakes his head, already regretting telling her - if Commission knew... god knows what they would do with him. "I fucked up real bad this time."

"Okay, first of all," now, Ayane sounds angry and Hawks feels himself flinch. "Nothing what you did was fucking up. This shit is all Commission's mess and I can't fucking believe... Second... I mean what were they thinking sending you in?"

"I fucked a villain," Hawks lies down on the bed, covering his eyes with the palm of his hand . "I'm pretty sure that counts like fucking up."

Ayane stays quiet for a second before she continues: "Okay, I admit, that is kinda bad but! This is also their fault for putting your in this position."

"You think I was that bad of a choice?" Hawks murmurs, closing his eyes.

"Yes, but that's not your fault!" Ayane shouts in frustration, then follows with fast rant. "I mean that double agents go into mission knowing that he will make connections that, inevitably, they have to cut them off. Do you know who are the best double agents because of that? Psychopaths. There, of course, are different levels of psychopathy and government and police usually pick up the one with low level because high levels usually come hand in hand with narcissism. But the important thing is that most of them have limited capacity to experience the feelings of guilt, shame, and remorse that are the building blocks of mature conscience and moral functioning. They are facile liars and a lot of them take pleasure from lying since it gives them power over others.

"And even when the double agent is not one... Normal people usually can't be double agents, especially without proper training. It's because the difficulties encountered by those who are asked to maintain two sense of self. You are essentially splitting your identity, splinting yourself, which is not mentally healthy.

"Not to mention I know you, Hawks, and you are one of the most brutally honest people I know. And you have some mental health issues as well, which is not your fault but it makes you absolutely unsuitable for the job. Of course this would fuck you up. Shit, this would fuck up anyone with functional moral system and conscience!"

"What was I supposed to do? Tell the Commission to fuck off?" Hawks ask, now as frustrated as Ayane.

The women is having none of it, though: "I told you before and I will repeat this to you until it gets through that thick skull of yours - they don't own you. And you don't owe these fuckers anything. Nothing is worth so much of your mental health. I... how dare these assholes even ask something like this from you?! If I could talk to them right now, I would let them my piece of mind. They fucking sent you to a lion's den and you've only got bare hands to defend yourself."

Hawks chuckles. "You do know that they are technically your superiors too, right? And speaking about them... they specifically told me not to get anyone else involved. You can't tell anyone."

"I hate this!" Ayane groans angrily. "I mean thank you for telling me, it's really important for you to have someone to talk to, but this... I hate being in this position. I don't wanna lie to Rumi."

"I don't want to, either, but she can't know."

"Of course she can't," Ayane snorted. "It's better for you to tell me than to tell her. She would immediately go stomp the Commission to the ground for this. Be warned, though, when this little bubble pops up, I won't come to save from her wrath."

Hawks groans. "She'll kill me!"

"You bet your ass she will! And I will be there cheering her on!"

"Traitor. A snitch."

As he speaks the words, he remembers black hair and hot hands. And before Ayane can reply anything, he asks her in heavy voice: "What about Dabi?"

Ayane takes a deep breath and he can imagine her rubbing her forehead. "I mean, I never thought I would say this but, it would be easier if you just slept with Endeavor. Hawks... that man... I don't even dare to say what will happen when he finds truth about you. Your whole relationship is build on a lie, all I know is that he will be hurt and people... do all sort of things when they are hurt. Including hurting others."

"He's not so bad."

The woman stays quiet for a bit. "You know what I hate about our society? I hate the way it treats villains. I speak to them regularly and most of them are just people who slipped on the wrong way. But once they are there, we don't offer them any way to come back up to what we consider normal ways. So, they repeat the same things again and again because they can't do anything else. Almost none of them are actually evil. But we can't suddenly turn them to be good. In the end, we are responsible for our actions and choices. And Dabi already made his and nothing can undo them."

She pauses mercifully, before she adds: "Hawks, the best thing you can do for your own sake, is to give up on him."

Hawks lips are trembling. He knew she was going to say this but the words still hurt in his very core. "I can't. Would you be able to give up on Rumi?"

A beat of silence.

"No, never," she admits. "I'm a bitch, Hawks. And if I had to leave everything behind for her, I would. But you are not me, Hawks. I would settle down in fucked up world with my perfect girlfriend. You want to settle down in perfect world with your fucked up boyfriend. But the thing is, he could never be a part of that world as he is. And I don't know him the way you do, but from the reports, he doesn't strike me as the type who will stop being a villain just as you will stop being a hero."

Hawks pretends his eyes are not burning. The truth hurts. "So, you think there is no hope?"

He knows he is being awfully, disgustingly sappy. But he needs someone's opinion.

"There is always hope. But I don't want to give you empty promises how everything will surely work out well and everyone will get their happy ending. With what heroes do, what Commission does, I think we are both sick of sugarcoating."

She pauses and then continues. "And even if he did want to change his ways. If he did surrender and let himself get arrested. What do you think would happen? I don't know his full record but… the attack on Endeavor, resisting arrest, destruction of public property, seriously injuries… perhaps, murder. That's twenty years in prison, at the very minimum. You are only twenty-two. It sounds harsh and horrible, but you will move on. You will find new loves."

Hawks replies only with a broken whisper. "What if I don't want to?"

Ayane stays quiet for a second before she replies with voice full of sympathy, the only words being: "Oh, Hawks…"

The blond hates sugarcoating. He hates whoever twisted Dabi into the man he is today. He hates the Commission for keeping things from the public. He hates them for giving him the mission. If he never met Dabi this way, he would still think of him like nothing more than a villain. Everything would be easy.

Hawks is suddenly burning with so much anger that, for a moment, it burns away the despair seated in his belly. For a moment, he doesn't even feel cold.

"Fuck the Commission!" he growls angrily.

"I know," Ayane says in quiet tone. "They seriously fucked you over with this… Who do they even think they are. But I swear Hawks, if something happens to you and they try to cover it to keep their image, I'm telling Rumi and I'm telling the press everything."

"But that would destroy your career."

"Bitch, please, I'm one of the best ones in the field. And I can always become a professor on university."

Suddenly, Hawks hears muffled sound of opening doors and familiar voice. "Is that Hawks?"

The blond's heart aches when he hears Rumi's voice. He wishes he could tell her everything.

He misses her so much.

"Yeah, do you wanna talk to him?" Ayane asks.

For a dreadful moment, there is only silence coming from the phone. Then, Hawks hears Rumi taking the phone. "Hi, birdbrain."

Hearing Rumi's voice is like a gentle touch to the soul and Hawks feels relief washing over him despite her neutral tone.

"Sup, Bugs Bunny."

Rumi laughs nervously. "I saw the fight today on TV, you okay?"

"Please, as if they could do anything to someone as amazing as I am."

"And the fact that you ended up in your lover's arms just makes everything better, huh?"

The dig hurts but Hawks knows it's well deserved. "Well, you'll be happy to find out that Ayane tried to talk some sense into me regarding my new… um… choice of a partner."

"Did it work?" Rumi doesn't sound very convinced – she knows Hawks, and his self-destructive tendencies, too much for that.

"I guess that remains to be seen."

There is a moment of quiet before he hears a quiet hiss of a pain – he can imagine the way Ayane probed her girlfriend with her elbow. A small smile grows on his lips even before Rumi speaks again.

"I just wanted to tell you that while I don't approve of your fuck buddy, we are still friends… and I guess when the shit hits the fan, it'll be us putting you back together. Now, can I go before I puke from all the sap?" the question is definitely directed towards her girlfriend.

"Yes, you may go now."

Rumi snorts and Hawks chuckles.

"I'll see you around, birdbrain."

"Sure thing, Bugs Bunny."

The air around Hawks clears when he hears her warm tone and the smiles stays on his lips.

Ayane takes the phone from Rumi and says more quietly: "Be careful, Hawks, okay? And don't forget about what I told you today... it wasn't your fault. In any way. And if you need anything, just call me and I'll be there in an instant… literally."

"Yeah, I know, bye, Ayane. And thank you."

"No problem. See you on Monday."

When Hawks hangs up, he feels better than he did in so long. Like some of the weight on his shoulders is gone, carried away by the conversation with each word that's passed his lips.

He still feels cold but now he doesn't feel like it's coming from inside him. Damn, sitting in cold water for hours was a bad idea.

The blond crawls under the covers of his bed. It helps only slightly but Hawks ignores the uncomfortable feeling. Instead, he thinks.

Maybe, just maybe, if Dabi falls more for him, there is still hope. If he really does care for Hawks the same way he cares about the villain, they could make this work. Hawks knows he is stubborn enough to wait for him. And maybe it's because he is in the in freshly-in-love phase. But Dabi made him feel something he's never felt before. And he doesn't know if he will ever feel the same way with anyone else.

He doesn't want anyone else to make him feel this way, however stupid or sentimental that makes him.

But, a voice in the back of his mind reminds him, how could he ask something like that of Dabi. How could Hawks want Dabi to give up on everything - his goals, his ambitions and the way he's set himself on. When Hawks himself knows he would never stopped being a hero for Dabi. He knows he will never get to create a perfect world without evil and pain. But he wants to help to get as close to it as he can.

And he knows if it comes it, if he would be truly pushed into the corner with no way out but to become villain by Dabi's side or go over Dabi... he will choose the latter. Even if it kills him inside. Because it's the right thing to do.

He supposes the Commission won in the end. They created him, shaped him into a hero who can't let go of his ideals. However dysfunctional he is.

Hawks grabs his phone and stares at the message from Dabi again.

He quickly writes down a yes and then deletes it again. He thinks about the reply before he writes down ‚I've been better,' and sends it before he can think more about it. He immediately feels guilty because, this is not acting careful as Ayane asked him to be.

The reply comes immediately, and exchanges of text for some times goes on.

Hot stuff: can I come over. ill bring food.

Pigeon: I thought you were ass-poor – that's why you let me pay for everything until now.

Hot stuff: you believe that crime doesnt pay off? cause if you do… you think right. But nobody said ill pay for the food.

It draws a smile on Hawks' face.

Pigeon: Pls don't steal. Just drop by and I'll give you the money.

Hot Stuff: fuck you man, i dont need your charity to bring ya date worthy dish… you like chicken yea... you damn cannibal

Pigeon: Wow, so charming you are. Come to the balcony.

Hot Stuff: will you let down your hair like the princess you are

Pigeon: Nah, but I will let down some feathers for you. Speaking of… you better bring me my feathers back.

Hot Stuff: ah. i thought i could keep them. ive heard they used to use feathers to fill up pillows somewhere... i wanted to make one out of you

Pigeon: ha. ha. Fucking creep you are. You already took out enough my feathers today, dontcha think?

Hot Stuff: i mean… didnt that happen in the HEAT of the moment.

Pigeon: Ugh.

Pigeon: That was so horrible it actually makes me sick.

Pigeon: I don't ever wanna see you again.

Hot Stuff: too bad im already under your balcony. get your pretty ass over here. foods getting cold

Hawks feels his smile widening on his lips. He was so invested in the conversation that he didn't notice the nearing presence of his feathers. He wraps the blanket around his hips and flies to the balcony door. He has to take the happiness while he still can.

Dabi is wearing his black jacket with high collar so the lower half of his face is hidden. The turquoise eyes are seemingly gleaming with something close to admiration. He holds out a big bag of food when Hawks leans over the railing.

Neither of them speaks but they understand each other perfectly. Hawks sends down his feathers to bring him up.

When Dabi jumps over the railing, he grins widely. "I mean, I know I'm irresistible but I thought we would eat first."

Hawks looks down. He's completely forgotten he's naked except for the blanket wrapped around his hips. He feels heat in his cheeks. He curses: "Fuck, I meant to dress up."

Dabi chuckles and winks. "Suure."

Hawks sneers and says: "You literally just arrived and you are already an asshole," then he moves to playfully nudge Dabi's shoulder but the other man, still smiling, grabs his wrist.

The smile then freezes on his lips. "Holy shit, Hawks, you are cold."

Hawks winces but it has nothing to do with the coldness he still feels. He remembers sitting down in the cold water and the plastic bag. His own smile disappears.

Dabi watches him silently for a second before he cracks a soft smile. "Seriously, birdie, go find some clothes before you get sick."

Glad that Dabi let the subject go, for now at least, Hawks replies: "I've never had a cold in my life."

The villain snorts: "That's a fucking lie if I've ever seen one. And even if it's true, it's gonna be something more serious than cold."

Hawks opens the door of his bedroom to him and then draws down the blinds before turning on the light. He takes a look at Dabi as the other man unzipping the jacket. Under it, he's wearing gray undershirt and dark jeans. He's filling both very nicely.

The blond wouldn't go as far as to say he would not recognize the other man few months ago – because honestly, there are not many people who would look like Dabi – but the man changed. When they met in the warehouse for the first time, Dabi was only skin, bones and a bit of lanky muscles. Now, he is more muscles and fat than bones. He's always been of broad build but now he looks… almost large.

Hawks has to take in a deep breath so he is strong enough to fight the urge to run a hand over Dabi's chest and stomach to feel firm muscles. He quickly moves to his closet to grab some clothes. However, Dabi and his eyes see everything. The man steps down on the blanket that Hawks is partially dragging on the floor. The hero barely manages to stop in his tracks before the blanket can be tore down from him and he holds the blanket firmly.

"Going so soon after ogling me so much?" Dabi dashes him a hungry smile.

Hawks wants to pretend to be mad but he already feels a seductive smile tugging at his lips . "Didn't you tell me get dressed to stay warm?"

Dabi's grin glows with mischief and he reaches for the blanket. "I know another way to keep you warm."

Hawks feels sparks of desire going down his spine. He gulps and looses the grip on the blanket. The smile on Dabi's eyes widens and he pulls. The blanket falls on the ground with rustle and Dabi, like the predator he is, moves closer, stepping on the fabric on the ground.

A soft, inviting smile is still on Hawks' lips, when the hero steps back from Dabi. The closet door dig hard into his back and wings but he doesn't dislike the feeling. There is something freeing in the way Dabi steps closer again, still fully clothed – like Hawks finally stops having the upper hand and they are on even ground when he lets Dabi have the power.

The villain looks him in the eyes the whole time, with lust and hunger. The villain places his hands on Hawks' hips and the hero wants to moan just at that. They are big and so hot it almost feels like they will burn the skin. But idea to move away doesn't even cross Hawks' mind, instead he feels his body leaning into the touch. Or at least he tries as Dabi's hands hold him in place.

Slowly, Dabi looks down from Hawks' eyes. His eyes gaze upon his lips for a moment, before he continues down and Hawks suddenly feels more naked than he did before – his breath gets heavy and his heartbeat quickens. The smile on Dabi's lips widens and his rough hands runs over Hawks' smooth skin. The villain looks him in the eye again, smirking, as he draws moan from Hawks' lips when he rubs his thumbs over his nipples.

"You are a pretty bird," Dabi murmurs seductively, looking him in the eyes, and he presses his knee between Hawks'. The blond gasps and, after Dabi raises his eyebrows, he obediently spreads his legs.

The smile on Dabi's lips is almost wolfish and when he moves even closer, he fits between Hawks' legs as if he is meant to be there. The fabric of his jeans is well-worn and rough against soft skin of Hawks' inner thighs. He is hot even through clothes and Hawks' body shivers, soaking in all the heat it can get.

Hawks' mouth is slightly open as he's trying to take control over his heated breathing. His own hands are on Dabi's broad shoulders, gripping the fabric of the black jacket. But the other man is not done yet. He presses closer, fabric on skin, and Hawks can't stop the whimper which escapes him on the contact of his already hard cock with the rough fabric. He can feel Dabi's own member pressing against him and he shivers.

Dabi leans down, so close that his lips are brushing Hawks' ear when he whispers: "You get off on this, don't you, little bird?"

Hawks feels so small, trapped between Dabi's hot body and door behind him, more bare than he's ever been before and yet, he feels so save, shielded from the world.

He digs his fingers into Dabi's shoulders, leaning back against the other man.

"It's hardly my fault you're hot, isn't it?" he murmurs in shaky voice.

Dabi teases Hawks' nipples with his thumbs again, making him groan again. He pulls away just slightly so he can look the blond in the eye. He is still so close, Hawks feels his breath on his skin when the other man cups his cheek and speaks in low rumble: "I guess I should take responsibility, then?"

Hawks gulps and looks up, his eyes half-closed but he still manages a smirk: "If you know what you should do, what are you still waiting for?"

Dabi smiles but the hunger in his eyes increases, almost greedy now. He wraps his arm around Hawks' waist, tightly and then his lips are on Hawks' and the hero feels another shiver through his body. Dabi doesn't bother with gentleness. He moves his hand from Hawks' cheek into his hair, tugging at it to tilt him into the perfect angle to deepen the kiss, almost crushing Hawks' lips. It's dirty, rough, and Hawks wouldn't have it any other way.

Hawks whimpers into the kiss at the sensation and lets Dabi do whatever he wants. Dabi's tongue is hot and consuming as he plays with Hawks. The villain growls into the kiss and Hawks makes a desperate sound of his own when Dabi's fingers dig into his skin, when he feels the grip in his hair tighten. Hawks takes in his scent - spice and smoke and, in that moment, Dabi is everywhere around him, the only one.

Dabi breaks the kiss and nibbles roughly Hawks' lower lip, sending a wave of pleasure through the man. Hawks whines. The sound changes into a surprised whimper when Dabi tugs at his hair again, tilting his head back and bites down on his neck, sucking at the skin.

"Fuck, Dabi!" Hawks hisses but his hips rock against Dabi's, seeking more of the heated pleasure and friction. He hooks one of his legs over Dabi's hip. The other man moves his hand down, placing it on Hawks' thigh to support him, all while still nibbling his neck.

"Dabi," Hawks murmurs again, needy.

Dabi doesn't say anything at first. Instead, he licks the bruised skin on Hawks' neck before he kisses him again. Dabi sucks on his tongue, one hand still tight in his hair, the other digging into Hawks' skin, leaving behind bruises. Pleasure sparks through Hawks' spine.

"Yes?" Dabi purrs teasingly when he breaks the kiss, looking down at him and letting go of Hawks' hair.

It takes the blond a moment to realize he's being spoken to. He blinks and the grin on Dabi's lips widens: "Aw, did Hawks.exe stop working?"

"F-Fuck you," Hawks breaths out with a smile, then smirks in return and teases in return: "As if you could ever fuck me up so good."

Dangerous, playful spark flashes through turquoise eyes. "Is that a challenge?"

Before Hawks can retort anything Dabi moves his hand between them and wraps his fingers around the hero's cock. Hawks gasps, digging his fingers into Dabi's shoulders. He hears Dabi chuckle – his fingers are long, so warm and he puts just the right pleasure.

"Well," he whispers into Hawks' ear with hot breath - Hawks can feel the lips on his ear and he shudders involuntarily. "It doesn't look like it'll be an actual challenge."

Before Hawks' brain can even process his words, the other man strokes Hawks' member. The blond squeezes his eyes and pants when Dabi runs thumb over the tip of his dick.

"You are so responsive, little bird," Dabi murmurs into his ear, picking up the pace and drawing another desperate whine from Hawks' lips.

Hawks can't even think to reply, all of him is focusing on the intense, warm pleasure. Especially when Dabi starts to nibble his earlobe and neck, he can feel his hot breath on his neck. He is lost to the feeling. Dabi's pace is agonizingly slow but the grip is tight and the way he sometimes runs fingers over the tip makes Hawks squirm in the best kind of ways.

"I wish you could see yourself right now," Dabi whispers into Hawks' ear before licking it and tightening his fingers around the blond's cock. "You look so pretty. I wanna play with you for hours, watch your pretty reactions and listen to your sweet voice until you sob with pleasure."

Embarrassingly soon, Hawks feels his orgasm building in his belly.

In panicky tone, he says breathlessly: "Dabi, stop."

Immediately, the hand is gone and Dabi pulls away with slight frown of worry between his eyebrows. "What?"

Without the body pressed against his, Hawks suddenly feels cold but he has to take a second to catch his breath. Still, he smiles and reassuringly squeezes Dabi's shoulder to let him know he's fine. He feels Dabi relax under his touch and the villain grins again.

"What's the matter, Hawks?" he asks in too-sweet tone. "Worried about coming too soon?"

Hawks laughs and pinches him. "Fuck you. I'm just catching my breath, is all."

Dabi looks down at him and, fucking hell, how can arrogance look so good on someone. "Does it mean I win?"

"No, I didn--ahh," Hawks chokes when Dabi grabs his cock again, stroking very, very slowly.

"Does it mean I win, pretty bird?" Dabi repeats in quiet, teasing purr, and Hawks wishes it wouldn't be so hot.

"Fuck, fuck, yeah, asshole you win!" Hawks is clenching at Dabi, pulling him closer, pressing his face into Dabi's neck so he doesn't have to look into the smug face.

"Aw, thank you, pretty bird," Dabi mercifully lets go of his cock. "This mean I can get my reward now?"

Before Hawks can reply, Dabi wraps his arm around his waist and pulls him away from the closet door, to the bed. Hawks lets him. When he is spread on the bed before Dabi, he stretches out with a smile on his lips.

Dabi shakes his head but he is grinning like an idiot. "This is what I'm always talking about, see?"

"What, I'm comfy in my own bed, thank you," Hawks tells him innocently.

The other man chuckles. "Pillow princess."

Before Hawks can tell him his demand as the princess, Dabi takes off his jacket and pulls over his undershirt and all of Hawks' attention is on the show. The man then reaches into the bedside table and pulls out a lube.

"I can't believe you already remember where I keep the lube," Hawks tells him.

"Are you complaining, birdie?"

"Not at all, less work for me. I'm a pillow princess after all."

They both laugh. Dabi pours some lube into his hands before leaving the tube on the bed. He kneels between Hawks' legs pushing them apart.  He bends down and licks the inner side of Hawks' thighs before he looks up, the turquoise eyes meeting gold with almost scary intensity, his smile all danger: "Should the evil dragon devour you, Your Highness?"

Hawks grins. "Do your worst."

Dabi doesn't need to be told twice and, before Hawks can realize what's going on, there is intense heat around his member. He groans loudly and runs his fingers into Dabi's hair. The other man sinks down on Hawks' cock, easily swallowing him whole until Hawks is nothing but a moaning mess, his head tilted back on the pillow.

The other man then sucks and Hawks whimpers before biting his lip. Dabi starts bobbing his head up and down, again agonizingly slow. With his other hand, he finds Hawks' entrance and presses inside.

The blond hisses at the sensation but he is in so much pleasure in the moment that he can't complain about Dabi pressing two fingers into him straight away. Besides, Hawks is impatient too.

Thankfully, Dabi can be very distracting as he is working him open. His mouth never leaves Hawks' member, he's always licking sucking, taking him all in and playing with him and soon, there are three fingers inside Hawks. The smaller man realizes that he is sobbing out quiet encouraging words each time Dabi sucks hard. When the villain finds the spot inside Hawks, the blond whines out, completely lost in absolutely pleasure spreading through him in intense waves. He bites into his other hand to keep himself from screaming.

Dabi lets go of his cock with a loud pop and looks at him, his fingers still massaging the sweet spot inside the man under him.

"You squirm so pretty, Hawks," he purrs. "And the little desperate sounds you make are the best music I've ever heard."

The words are almost mocking but Hawks thinks he's never heard a better praise. He wants to drown in Dabi's words, get lost in the pleasure the other provides him so freely.

"Dabi," he complains quietly.

"Yes, pretty bird?" the man asks innocently and presses into the spot inside Hawks again, making the hero cry out in pleasure.

Hawks is breathing hard when he says: "C'mon, fuck me already," he feels his ears heating up but he wants Dabi so much he doesn't mind.

"You're gonna have to try better than that," Dabi purrs, like the tease he is, and sits up to take Hawks' cock into his free hand and strokes slowly, in perfect rhythm with his fingers inside Hawks.

And the hero is all over the bed, sweating, moaning in pleasure, his mind scattered but it's freeing. It's only him and Dabi, after all. He can finally let go.

"Please, Dabi, please, fuck me, already I need it," he doesn't care if he babbles. "I need you, c'mon."

The turquoise eyes sink into the golden ones. The smile on Dabi's lips is the most beautiful thing Hawks' ever seen.

He takes the bottle of lube again and pours some into his hands.

Hawks knows he doesn't need to, knows he is a mess but he continues anyway, his hands finding Dabi’s shoulders again, almost sobbing: "Please, fill me up, hot stuff. I'm begging."

He only stops his desperate rambling when he feels a hot, rough hand pressing into his chest. "Don't worry, birdie, I've got you."

And then, Dabi is everywhere again. He presses into Hawks, spreading the tight ring of muscles as he sinks into Hawks, and the man under him tilts his head back, whining loudly with pure pleasure. He can heard Dabi's labored breathing above him as he's getting deeper and deeper, slowly, inch by inch, not stopping until he is all in.

Both of them are catching their breaths for a moment.

Hawks feels so full as he's never felt before, he's biting down on his lips as their loud breathing fills the air around them. He opens his eyes slightly. Dabi is towering over him. He's leaning on one hand resting on the pillow next to Hawks' head while the other hand is on Hawks' hip, his thumb running small circles in the skin. There's sweat in his hair.

"You're beautiful," Hawks hears himself whisper after he catches his breath.

For a second, he thinks that Dabi didn't hear but then the man above him chuckles, darting his eyes away. Hawks can't know for sure but it looks like his cheeks redden.

The blond cracks a smile and teases: "You are so adorable when you blush."

Dabi laughs breathlessly, squeezing Hawks' hip gently. "If you have time to think about this, I'm probably doing something wrong. Can you shut up before I have to push a pillow on your face?"

It's Hawks' turn to chuckle. "Oooh, kinky."

"Unbelievable," Dabi huffs.

Before the hero can make a remark again, Dabi pulls halfway out of him and thrusts right back in, sending wave of pleasure through Hawks' spine right away. The blond moans loudly, squeezing his eyes shut. His hand finds Dabi's shoulder and he digs the fingers into it.

Dabi groans too and he leans down, pressing his lips into Hawks' jaw, the hero feels his hot breath when the man inside him whispers: "I'm not sure you are ready to hear about my kinks, yet."

Hawks feels his cock twitch at the dark promise but before he can ask Dabi to tell him more, the other man moves again. He pulls out until only tip is inside him and then thrusts right back in, setting the rhythm awfully and perfectly slow, hitting the wonderful spot inside Hawks every time.

And Hawks is squirming under him, whimpering loudly, his legs wrap around Dabi's waist which allows him to go even deeper. He wraps his arms around the raven's shoulders and buries his face into Dabi's neck.

"Tell me, little bird," Dabi's voice is as breathless as Hawks feels, hot breath down Hawks' neck. "Does it feel good, when I fill you up like this?"

Hawks feels the teeth brushing his skin of his neck and Dabi's fingers dig into his ass, but the pain mingles perfectly with pleasure, only making Hawks craving more. He moans.

"Y-Yeah," he nods eagerly, tightening his arms around Dabi.

Dabi rewards him with dark chuckle and fastening of his pace, drawing more whines of pleasure from Hawks' throat.

"You take me so well, little bird," Dabi says in low voice, almost growling. "Such a good boy for me."

It should be embarrassing. Instead, Hawks feels something inside him crack at the praise, like Dabi's words finally fill a spot in his heart that's been empty until now. He sobs into Dabi's neck, glad that he's got a place to hide, and pulls Dabi as close as two bodies and souls can be.

"Such a good boy," Dabi repeats, running his fingers into Hawks' hair, scratching the scalp. "You're doing so good for me, babe, so fucking good."

He fastens his pace again, thrusting into Hawks harder and harder and Hawks sobs again and bites into Dabi's neck. The other man groans. Hawks' whole body is trembling as he's trying to put off the orgasm he feels building in his belly with each of Dabi's hard thrusts. However, he is helpless against the waves of pleasure and, too soon, Dabi sends him over the edge. He comes all over his stomach with a low mewl, clutching on Dabi like a drowning man on a straw and biting into his neck.

Dabi hisses when Hawks' teeth sink into his skin, his breathing shallow. He doesn't last much longer and as Hawks' body goes limp around him, he thrusts few more times before Hawks feels him come inside him. The smaller man moans at the feeling, already falling in love with it.

Only when Hawks' breathing is coming back to normal, his heartbeat slowing down, he realizes that his eyes and cheeks are wet. He hides his face into Dabi's neck some more, groaning in satisfaction when the other mans gently scratches his scalp in comforting gesture. A yelp escapes him when Dabi pulls out.

The blond can feel Dabi's come leaking from him, they are both sweaty, worn-out. Hawks doesn't think he's ever felt as contented.

Dabi's breathing evens out after a few minutes. Then, the man tries pulls away. Hawks whines in complaint – he is not ready to leave the safe spot of the crook of Dabi's neck. The raven stops immediately and Hawks can feel him smile into the blonde hair.

"Clingy, aren't we?" Dabi says but his tone is affectionate, his voice hoarse.

"Whose fault is that?" Hawks groans.

The other man chuckles and he lets all of his weight rest on Hawks, placing his chin on the other man's shoulder. His hand is still in Hawks' hair, playing with them and occasionally scratching his scalp. He puts his other hand under the blond's back and presses it into the spot between Hawks' wings, rubbing and caressing the soft skin – more so when Hawks makes a pleased sound.

Hawks doesn't remember ever coming down from orgasm for so long. His eyes are still wet and he's breathing in Dabi's scent. He wants to stay there forever, warm and hidden.

He doesn't know how long they stay there. Eventually, Hawks' eyes stop weeping and their breathing calms down. Dabi never stops petting and gently scratching him, even though Hawks thinks he must be getting cramps in his arms.

Then, Hawks' traitorous stomach growls. Dabi's body starts to shake and when Hawks realizes the other man is giggling, he pinches his shoulder, but can feel a smile growing on his own lips.

"Let's take a shower, little bird," Dabi says.

A part of Hawks doesn't want to but he knows they both have to return to the real world from this small piece of heaven. He lets go of Dabi's shoulders and the other man pulls away slowly. He sits down at the edge of the bed and, finally, fully takes off his pants.

When he notices that Hawks is watching him with golden eyes, clearly enjoying the show, he smiles and leans back down. The blond moans in surprise but accepts the kiss, and soon, Dabi's tongue is inside his mouth, lazily playing with his own.

When they break the kiss, Dabi stays close, their noses touching and both of them smile.

Dabi eventually, after a few more make out sessions, drags Hawks out of bed. Literally. Hawks teases him that he will never be able to get him out, until the taller man puts one arm under his knees and the other under shoulders. Hawks is surprised when Dabi actually picks him up. He might be used to to flying, but he is not used to being carried.

His ears are red and he's trying to make Dabi drop him and they are laughing. Until Hawks actually breaks free and falls on his ass. Dabi laughs at him and when Hawks tries to slap his leg, he jumps away and heads into the bathroom.

For a moment, Hawks' gazes at him dreamily from the ground.

"Nice ass!" he calls after Dabi eventually.

"Thanks, I know!" the taller man calls back and disappears into the bathroom.

Hawks is grinning like an idiot as he's getting back to his feet. He follows Dabi in.

And then he stops dead in his tracks when he is inside. Dabi is standing in front of Hawks' shower corner, staring at the wet pile of clothes that's supposed to be Hawks uniform inside.

Dabi's turquoise eyes are serious when they look at Hawks and the hero feels embarrassed.

He asks: "Is this why you weren't picking up your phone?" because of course he is smart enough to know what happened.

Hawks crosses his arms over his chest. "Maybe?" he asks in defensive tone.

He doesn't want to talk about it. He doesn't want to return to the desperate feeling or get lost in bad memory.

Dabi watches him for a second with thoughtful expression and Hawks gets ready for more unwanted questions. They never come. Instead, Dabi opens the shower, takes the uniform and then carries it to Hawks' washing machine.

Hawks feels tension leaving his shoulders and he quickly takes towel to wipe the wet stain the clothes left behind. Meanwhile, Dabi is turning on the dryer.

While Dabi is still behind his back, Hawks murmurs a quiet: "Thanks."

He hears the other man pause but the blond knows he is aware that he's thanking for letting the subject go.

Dabis sighs, then, and Hawks hears the steps before a hand runs into his hair again. Hawks looks up with raised eyebrows at the other man and throws the towel to the pile of dirty clothes in  the laundry basket.

"Sometimes," Dabi says with curious expression. "I wonder what's going on in that blonde head of yours."

Hawks snorts. "You don't wanna know," he says honestly.

Dabi laughs too and then gently pushes Hawks into the shower. The hero lets himself to be led and, when they are both standing in, Dabi's arm around his waist, he turns on the water. Hawks sighs loudly when the warm water starts washing away his dry sweat.

"How are you still so cold?" Dabi huffs out, taking Hawks' shower gel without asking.

Hawks realizes how easier it is to talk about what happened before without pressure of having to when he hears himself say: "Yeah well… I sort of forgot to turn on the warm water when I came home."

Dabi snorts but it lacks amusement and, without thinking, he pulls Hawks closer to his warm body. Hawks doesn't even think about complaining.

"Stupid bird, you are gonna get sick, you just wait," Dabi tells him in soft tone.

Hawks laughs before he says in voice full of confidence: "I can't get sick, I'm a hero."

Dabi raises his eyebrows, his expression unimpressed. "Is this what you feed your fangirls these days?"

"What, you jealous I have fangirls and you don't?" Hawks teases.

Dabi leans down and playfully bites Hawks into shoulder, ignoring the hiss of "Hey!"

"Bold of you assuming I don't have fangirls," Dabi grins.

"What?" Hawks ask in confusion, pulling slightly away to look the other one in the eye.

"Have you never been on deep web?" Dabi somehow winks, even with the water washing away shampoo of his hair.

Hawks grimaces. "No, I'm depressed enough, thanks."

Dabi laughs and pours some shampoo on Hawks' hair. "Not all of it is for drugs or illegal stuff, you know? Some people just need a bit of anonymity to vent."

"I'm pretty sure that's what therapists are for."

"Not everyone is in shape or state to go to therapist. Not to mention money," Dabi reminds him.

There is something dark in his tone and Hawks knows he's talking about his personal experience. The memory of Dabi's phone pops up in Hawks' mind, how Hawks was basically the only one Dabi was in contact with. He wonders how lonely Dabi had to be before they met. He wonders if Dabi would still want to be with him if he had a normal life, normal friends. The guilt is twisting in his stomach. He feels like he's using Dabi's loneliness for his gain. Which is exactly what he's supposed to do, the right thing. But it still feels wrong.

Suddenly, there is a burst of water right in his face. He gasps and then pushes into Dabi playfully.

"What was that for?" he asks, trying to move the hair out of his eyes.

"Stop thinking so much, it'll hurt your pretty head."

"I'm pretty sure that's not how it wor-"

Hawks is silenced when he feels another lips pressing against his own. He moans but leans into it, he feels his hair falling back into his eyes in the stream of water but he is too lost in the sensation – Dabi's around him and the way he sucks on his lower lip.

When they part, Hawks only opens his eyes half the way. Dabi looks good, his hair wet and actually longer than it looks, reaching down his neck and turquoise eyes look good behind his dark eyelashes.

"I think I need a bit more to shut off my brain, can you do it again?" Hawks rasps seductively.

Dabi laughs. "Can't spoil you too much. Now move that sweet ass of yours."

They quickly finish the shower. Hawks gives Dabi one of his towels and they dry themselves off before coming back to bedroom. Dabi sends Hawks to bed, something the hero doesn't need to be told twice. While he is getting under the covers, getting warmer, Dabi collects the food he's brought. It's long cold but Dabi walks down the stairs to heat it up.

"Do you wanna watch something?" Hawks yells downstairs, turning on the TV in front of his bed.

"Whatcha got?" he hears from downstairs.

It's a good question – lately, Hawks been so busy he didn't have time to watch anything else than TV news. He feels slightly nervous. Despite that he and Dabi had sex just a few minutes ago, and even before that… this feels like a date. Not meet-up to come up with a plan for something, not like a good luck fuck. A real date.

A part of him wants to ask Dabi how long he'll stay. The other is scared of what he might say.

"Well?" he hears again.

Hawks panics, looking quickly at the screen. "Ugh, Love, Death & Robots?"

"You have the first season?" Dabi is walking the stairs with the food boxes and a bottle of water.

"Yeah, I do, what's your favorite episode?"

"Good Hunting but I'm fine with whatever," Dabi shrugs, placing the food on the bed. Hawks doesn't even care if his bed gets messy at this point.

He grins. "I should've known. It fits you and your soft soul so well."

"Shut up," Dabi tells him with a smile, climbing into the bed next to him.

"Softie!"

Hawks doesn't try to dodge the pillow heading for his head.


 They eat in bed, Hawks practically sprawled across Dabi, sinking into the heat. When they are finished, Hawks lets the dirty dishes rest on the bedside table – he can't be bothered leave the cozy spot next to Dabi.

At first, it feels awkward. Neither of them is too used to lying next to someone – at least not when they are in the right state of mind. Eventually, though, Hawks lets his head rest on Dabi's chest and he puts his arm on Dabi's waist. Dabi tenses only for a second. Then Hawks feels arm on his back.  And later, Dabi presses his chin into Hawks' hair. Hawks feathers are all over the bed but neither of them cares.

The blond smiles and, soon after, he's lost to sleep.

Hawks' learned to cherish when he's got dreamless sleep and tonight is one of them. He's only woken up once. The TV is turned off by then and the apartment is quiet. But he feels Dabi next to him sit up, jerking up from his own sleep and breathing loudly. The blond squints his eyes at him and sits up in much slower manner, still half asleep. He wraps his arms around the other man and presses his forehead into Dabi's shoulder in wordless question.

"It's fine, go back to sleep, birdie," Dabi murmurs into the night and before Hawks can protest and properly wake up, Dabi pulls him closer. He lays them both down again, clinging at Hawks with wordless desperation.

Hawks murmurs it's half pleased, half soothing sound and he runs his fingers into Dabi's hair to pet him until sleep takes him again.

In the morning - very late morning - they eventually wake up but neither of them leave the bed. Hawks' moved to be the big spoon during the night and he has his face pressed into the back of Dabi's neck, one of his legs hooked on Dabi’s waist. His ass is sore from the previous night but Hawks couldn't care less.

They move in bed, lazily stroking one another, kissing and nibbling on each other's skin. They never stop touching and stay in bed for so long, both of them feeling even more tired after they finally had good night's sleep in too long.

"Dabi," Hawks moans eventually, now lying on his stomach with Dabi's arm around his waist and his face resting on smaller man's shoulder, he can feel the hot breath playing with the hair on the back of his neck.

"Hmm?" Dabi murmurs.

"I'm hungry."

"How sad."

"Dabiiiii," Hawks complains again again.

"Whaaaat?"

"Bring me breakfast," Hawks demands.

"I have better idea," Dabi smiles into the skin.

Hawks is grinning into the pillow as well. "No, my ass is still raw, you brute."

Dabi snickers before he starts gently nibbling on Hawks' shoulder, drawing a moan from the other man. "Tempting, but I have even better idea."

"What's that?" Hawks purrs, closing his eyes.

"Why don't you go make breakfast while I'll enjoy the comfort of your bed like the courtesan I am?"

"Nooo, never," Hawks digs his face deeper into the pillow.

Ten minutes, and several hickeys on his shoulders, later, Hawks' yawning in the kitchen as he makes eggs and toasts while Dabi is at the coffee maker. The blond is wearing one of his bigger shirts and nothing else. Dabi laughed at him for a minute when he saw the shirt with the holes on the back and told him to buy shirt without back. Dabi himself is wearing only pants. He tried to put on a shirt as well but Hawks forbid him from wearing anything else, it would be too much clothes and he wouldn't be able to enjoy the show.

They eat breakfast in the kitchen at the table, chatting about movies, half of their words teasing of one another. Later, they move to the couch and watch movies on the TV. Hawks puts his legs into Dabi's lap and Dabi calls him gross.

The whole day passes like this and nobody calls Hawks. There's no emergency, no villain disrupting on Saturday and everything is calm except for report of minor villain storming a restaurant and then retreating very quickly. Nothing breaks their little day-date. It's awfully, disgustingly domestic and Hawks enjoys every single second of it. Just two people cut off from the rest of the world, hiding behind windows with the blinds shut, and enjoying a lazy day.

Hawks knows it's not meant to last. But each time he thinks of the future, of the things he's done, he's doing and he'll have to do, he just presses a little closer to Dabi, kisses him a little harder. He must do it while he still can and if Dabi notices something is wrong, he doesn't say it.

For late lunch, Hawks orders pizza and calls Dabi a monster for wanting one with pineapple and then they play video games.

The evening is upon them when Dabi curses and puts down the controller.

"You are cheating!" he accuses Hawks, only half serious.

"Yeah, keep telling yourself that," Hawks laughs at him. "It's not my fault you are too slow and I'm so fast."

Dabi snorts. "Maybe in bed you are."

Hawks feels his cheeks heating up. "Shut up!"

Dabi grins, knowing very well he's hit a nerve. "Who was begging me last night to stop because he was too close? But don't feel too embarrassed. I know how amazing I am."

Hawks laughs. "You are such an asshole," and then he hits Dabi in the face with cushion.

Dabi chuckles and grabs the cushion before Hawks can hit him again. "Birds of a feather flock together."

The blond laughs again.

Dabi grabs the box from pizza and takes it to the trash bin. Meanwhile, Hawks turns off the console from the TV. It just to whatever program Hawks was at the last time he watched it here. It's news time and Hawks feels a stab of guilt when he hears the reporter finally announcing the hero's death from yesterday.

All the joy Hawks felt yesterday is replaced by coldness spreading through him. He gulps and looks at Dabi who is looking into his fridge.

"Are you gonna tell me what yesterday was about?" Hawks asks, forcing out a light tone.

He sees Dabi's own features turning into serious expression when he looks up at Hawks and then sees the TV. He always looks older like this. With a sigh, he says: "We needed a bit of… distraction."

Hawks frowns. "For what?"

Dabi straightens up, looking at Hawks. "We think we have a spy among us."

Hawks pretends his heartbeat is even. He raises his eyebrows in fake surprise. "Is this about how the dragnet they did on the League the other day?"

Dabi nods and smiles. "Yeah, but don't worry your head about it, little bird. Thanks to our little show yesterday, we managed to put in a spy of our own."

Hawks feels adrenaline coursing through him and he has to focus on his breathing to seem calm. He smiles. "Oh, really? How?"

Dabi sits down next to him with smug smile. "We infiltrated the Hero Public Safety Commission."

It's a miracle that Hawks doesn't forget to breathe, that his palms are not sweating and that he can still keep on the false expression. He gives Dabi surprised but impressed look. "Really?"

"Yeah," Dabi nods, then, he lazily lies down, putting his head into Hawks' lap. The hero has to fight the urge to pull away. He feels dirty and disgusting. But he knows what he has to do.

He's thinking how to approach this. He has to find out who they got but he if is too eager to get this information out of Dabi, it'll be clear who the actual spy is.

And Dabi's turquoise eyes are watching him, intense and searching. Eventually, he smiles slightly: "Listen, I probably shouldn't be telling you this… but Shigaraki already told so many people than he should've… and I trust you."

He takes Hawks' hand, there is softness in his eyes and Hawks wants to scream and pull away, he wants Dabi to stop touching him, his heart beats so hard in his chest he feels like he'll have a panic attack in a second. Instead, he returns the smile and hates himself more than he ever did.

"It's Toyama Shozo," Dabi whispers, his hand gently caressing Hawks'. "We have a pretender in his stead, our spy."

Hawks grins, it’s almost painful on his lips. "What if was the spy and now you are telling me this?" he asks.

Dabi laughs and brings Hawks' hand to his lips. The hero feels like he's being burnt.

"I know you're not," the raven says honestly and Hawks wants to puke.

Instead, he gives Dabi a smile and then leans down to kiss the other man on the forehead.

Somehow, Hawks gets through the evening afterward. He pretends to be okay with Dabi touching him and he pretends to melt into the kiss. Dabi's touch is still sweet, Dabi's lips still taste better than anything else in the world, but Hawks feels like he's corrupting the sweetness and the purity which the other man kisses him with.

When Dabi goes to shower, Hawks pretends to be too lazy and tells him he will shower in the morning. Dabi simply chuckles and goes in.

The moment the other man is in the other room and Hawks hears the water running, Hawks' fingers start to tremble, his eyes are wet but he doesn't spill any tears. He knows what he has to do. He quickly grabs his phone and sends the message. He texts that League kidnapped Toyama Shozo, that he's been replaced by an imposer who is supposed to find out who Commission's member is and they told about it to selected members which means Hawks is covered if something happens to this pretender.

Hawks only hopes they will be smart about this information.

Then, paranoid, he deletes the message from his phone. He gets back under the covers, turning off the light and stares at the ceiling.

Soon, Dabi walks out of the bathroom, still drying his hair. Hawks suddenly feels very anxious the other man will want to have sex. He can manage the light touches. He can kiss Dabi as if nothing was wrong. But to sleep with him… he knows he can't.

But he knows that Dabi can feel his uneasiness when he returns, his hair wet. Even before the other man climbs into bed. The villains stays on the other side, though, while Hawks has his back turned to him. Dabi is awfully respectful of Hawks' personal bubble and the short distance between them feels like a void to Hawks.

"I have to go before morning," Dabi speaks into the night, his voice quiet but still loud.

"Okay," Hawks says.

A moment of silence.

"Are you worried?"

A beat passes. The about me stays unspoken.

"Yeah," Hawks breathes out. At least this isn't a lie.

The hero jerks slightly when he feels a gentle touch on his back, a small bridge in the void. Dabi strokes lightly the skin between his wings with the back of his finger. Hawks wants to sob in desperation. Instead he does what he always wants to do when he's with Dabi. In the darkness, the blond turns around and lies his head on Dabi's shoulder, letting the other man pull him closer, enjoying the warmth of the other man.

He is still awake even when he feels Dabi's breathing evening out as he falls asleep.

Hawks pretends to be sleeping when he feels Dabi wake up several hours later. It's soon before the morning, still dark outside. Dabi leans into Hawks' neck for the last time, runs his hand over Hawks' shoulder softly, and then he gets up. Hawks hears the rustling of the clothes as he's dressing.

He doesn't try to wake Hawks up, instead, he sneaks through the apartment, quietly, to the main door.

When he's gone, Hawks sits up and buries his face into palm. He's breathing hard and he feels like he's going crazy from everything. When he reaches for his phone, there is no reply from the Commission. Hawks supposes it's not weird considering how late he messaged them.

He doesn't try to sleep. His day is already shit and he doesn't want to try to make it better. Each time he remembers Dabi's touch, he feels sick.

Still, even though he wishes he didn't have to ever touch Dabi in the same, corrupt way, he misses the man already. The apartment is empty without him and Hawks feels cold.

The hero gets through the day somehow. He's doing nothing except for sitting down and watching rain turn into snow back to rain outside. He can't force himself to eat anything either.

He eventually gets a call from the Commission and they promise they will take care of the spy.

It's the evening and he considers going to awful empty bed, not to sleep, just to lie there when his phone rings again. His heart skips a beat when he sees it's Dabi but he can't decide whether it's from joy or guilt.

He picks up but for a second, there is only silence.

"Hot stuff?" Hawks asks.

"Hey birb," Dabi replies quietly. He sounds tired.

"Is something wrong?" the blond asks, trying not to sound mother-hen kind of worried.

"No... yes... I don't know," Dabi chuckles sadly. "Kurogiri thinks we three should have a meet-up. He has some big important mission for us two."

Hawks takes in a sharp breath, any last remnants of sleep leaving him. "Okay, where do we meet?"

"Do you remember that old warehouse?"

Hawks laughs. "You're gonna have to be more specific, hot stuff."

Another moment of silence. Then, Dabi chuckles again. "Ah, that. Well, this one is the one with big, dusty machines. You know."

Hawks immediately remembers the way Dabi stretched out like a cat. He was attractive even back then, when his ass was still bony. He smiles: "Oh, yeah... will you send me the address again?"

"Sure, I'll be there waiting," Dabi tells him. "And Hawks..."

"Yeah?"

"I feel this will be big."

"Okay. I'll see you soon, Dabs."

"Sure, see ya."

They end the call and Hawks stares at the screen for a second. Whatever Kurogiri has planned, he doesn't like it. Dabi sounded more serious than he usually does.  He gulps nervously and then goes for his hero uniform. When he is dressed, the address is already in his phone.

Before Hawks walks to his balcony, he messages the Commission again to let them know he will be meeting Kurogiri.

The rain is heavy and its drops are immediately digging into Hawks' hair. He puts on his goggles and flies up. It's still early in the evening and despite the rain, there is many people on the streets. It's a typical Saturday night.

Still, when he gets to the warehouse, the streets in the district are mostly empty. All except one person wearing black jacket who is standing next to the entrance, a big heavy metal door with wheels.

Dabi's face is hidden under the hood, protecting him from the rain, and behind the collar.

Hawks smiles at him. "Hey, hot stuff."

Dabi looks him in the eyes - even though Hawks can't see his lips or chin, he looks incredibly tired. Hawks can also smell strong cigarette smoke around the other man. Hawks wonders how many cigarettes Dabi smoked and what the League is planning it caused Dabi to be so tired and smoke so much.

"Sup, birb," he greets Hawks. "Kurogiri is inside."

Hawks takes off his goggles and puts them on his head. Dabi lets him walk inside first.

There are still holes in the roof and rain is landing on several spots, creating small puddles. The machines Dabi was sitting on when they were here the first time are still here on each side.

Hawks' footsteps are the only sounds in the building besides the rain, though, and Hawks doesn't see anyone.

"Where is Kurogiri?" he asks curiously, trying to ignore the heavy feeling suddenly settling in his guts.

"Oh, don't worry, he's here," Dabi says from behind him.

There is something wrong. Dabi's voice is dark and shaky.

Hawks turns around to look at the villain. Dabi is standing at the exit, his collar pulled down. His lips are twisted, his eyebrows are knitted together, and it comes together into a terrifying grimace of fury.

"Dabi?" Hawks asks, feeling dread spreading through him like a wildfire.

The man doesn't say anything. Instead, Hawks hears footsteps from behind him. He looks over his shoulder. His heart starts beating loud in his ears at the sight of Kurogiri. But not only him. Shigaraki, Twice, Spinner, Mr. Compress.

Hawks' breathing gets heavy.

Dabi speaks again, his voice loud and angry - a promise of violence: "You know, I thought it would be a nice surprise if I introduced you to the rest of the gang, you wanted to meet them after all. See, Kurogiri and Compress here had a great idea how to sniff out the snitch. We sent Toga, to impose as the Commissioner for a while. And then, they selected the people who could possible be the snitch. And, while he had people watching the members of Commission, we told these little suspects different names of which member was kidnapped and replaced.

And, would you believe it... only few hours ago, they saw the good man... the actual good man Toyama Shozo being snatched by police!" Dabi's lips twist into a horrible imitation of smile and he laughs, the staples looking as if they are going to tear the skin apart.

Hawks feels as if his heart is about to burst out out of his chest, his back are sweaty from the dread that's pulsing through him.

"Dabi..." he says but it comes out weak, almost unhearable in the rain bouncing at the rooftop. His hand reaches slowly into his feathers.

Dabi is still chuckling, an ugly sound. His lips are trembling, turquoise eyes wide with frenzy as they lock into the golden ones and Hawks can't look away.

The villain's teeth are clenched: "You played me well, Hawks..." blue flames swallow Dabi's left arm, while his other hand grabs the metal door. "But this is game over!"

The door rattles loudly as it's pushed shut.

Chapter Text

Ayane would never in her life admitted it but she is starting to be nervous.

Police Chief Tsuragamae is sitting in the public room opposite her. There are two more police men standing near the door as their chief stares her down, tapping his fingers on the table. There is an empty cup in front of him - he's already had three cups of coffee while waiting.

Ayane pretends to be relaxed as she looks at her watch. It's almost ten. Hawks is usually late, but never this late.

"I'll try to call him again," she tells the man.

Tsuragamae clenches his teeth but he doesn't say anything as Ayane dials the number. It doesn't even ring, instead it goes straight into voice mail – just like before. When she puts the phone back down, Tsuragamae speaks in calm, yet dangerous tone: "I'm starting to suspect a foul play, Haruna-san. Where is your boss?"

"Probably on his way here," Ayane retorts, and okay, maybe she is a bit harsh. Because of course he would think this is some kind of scam after she told him the same thing four times, but she won't have time to play nice with police. Especially since this man decided that she would wait with him here.

"Haruna-san, are you covering your boss' criminal activity?" Tsuragamae barks.

Ayane narrows her eyes - she knows they look intimidating, glowing in red. "The only criminal thing about Hawks is how good his hair is!"

"Listen, little miss-"

"If you call me again, you will wait outside, I guarantee you that," Ayane growls.

The man frowns and she fights off the urge to laugh in the man's face. She has interviews with the most dangerous, mentally unstable criminals, a policeman could never scare her.

Before their little fight can continue, however, the door between the chief's man bursts open. One of the heroes is looking at her with eyes wide with horror. There are more people behind him - other heroes and agency staff.

"Hoga-san!" he yells. "Turn on the TV! Channel 2!"

Ayane frowns but she turns around in her seat, grabs the remote and turns on the TV.

"-ver, we warn you... viewer discretion is advised," the man on the TV says before the screen turns black.

Only for a second, however. Then, a face appears on the screen and Ayane feels her heart stop.

Shigaraki is staring into the camera with lazy smile and even before he finishes the sentence, Ayane feels dread squeezing her. "League of Villains have a message for Hero Public Safety Commission. We found your little rat."

The camera then switches and Ayane yelps while the heroes in the hallway gasp. Hawks is sitting on what looks like cold, concentrate floor, ankle of his left leg chained to the wall. He's naked except for the trousers. His hands are bound in front of him and there is some kind of harness around his chest, leading to his back, presumably to stop his wings from growing - it looks painful and where the harness is digging into the skin is red in places where it digs into his shoulders and chest. There are bruises all over his body, his lower lip is split and there is horrible swollen bruise on his eye. On some bruises as well as in his hair is dried blood and there is not even a single feather to be seen. His chin is resting on his chest and for a second, Ayane fears he might be dead.

Next to him is standing a lizard villain, Ayane doesn't remember his name but she does remember his face. He is holding yesterday's newspaper, clear into the camera view.

"Kick him so they know he's still alive," Ayane hears Shigaraki's voice.

The other man obeys, his heavy black boot hits Hawks, directly to the floating rib.

Ayane can see he's trying not to make any sound, but the the groan of pain is still laud, even though Hawks' gritted teeth. Several heroes behind Ayane gasp and sob.

"Why don't you say something nice, hero?" Shigaraki asks, his voice mocking.

Hawks' expression is as cold and as dangerous as someone, half naked and beaten can be. He stares at the villain with one eye, the other hidden under the bruise.

"I think I liked it better when your face was covered with hand," Hawks tells him in cold but raspy voice.

Hawks growls in pain again when he is kicked into his ribs again, this time harder and as she watches him trying not to squirm in pain, Ayane flinches.

Then, the screen gets dark.

They show the reporter again. "Our station received the video this morning and we are still waiting for announcement, whether from police or from Hero Public Safety Commission. Hopefully, they won't be too late to help our beloved hero."


Dabi was with the others when the news hit, only the few selected members of the League. Kurogiri's phone started to ring, Shigaraki was talking about their new actions and Dabi has long stopped listening. However, he sat up when Kurogiri suddenly stood up from their little table and raised a hand. Shigaraki immediately stopped talking. Everyone was watching the man on the phone as he quietly listening.

Dabi's eyes narrowed as they waited, Kurogiri's shoulders tensed.

"Understood, thank you Sako. You've been a great help," Kurogiri ends the call.

Dabi stared at the man. He knew the others already told some news to select group of suspects but he didn't think they would discover the snitch so soon.

"Compress called..." Kurogiri's voice was loud in the room even though he spoke quietly. "Our people just witnessed Toyama Shozo being arrested in his apartment."

And, with the words, Dabi felt his world sink down.

He stared at Kurogiri as he felt cold sweat going down his spine and horrible utter pain twisting in his guts as if he's been stabbed. The first thing he wanted to do was to get up and accuse Kurogiri of lying because this couldn't be truth. Hawks would never do this. Hawks, the man who helped him break Kurogiri free. The man whom Dabi comforted just several hours ago.

But at the same time… Hawks, who, more than once voiced his admiration of Endeavor. Hawks, who everyone said was born to being a hero. Hawks who is so popular with not only the other heroes but the public as well.

Hawks, the man who is so outside of Dabi's league that it's a miracle he would want to have anything to do with him.

Dabi took in a breath he didn't realize he's been holding. The air felt like flames in his lungs. He knew all eyes in the room were on him. His mind was on fire, hurt, betrayal and anger burning everything except for the laughing voice in his head. How could he be such a fool? Who in their right mind would like monster like him? How could he fall so easily for this?

It twisted and twisted his insides until all that was left was agony and anger. He was used to being burnt on the outside. Since meeting Hawks, he forgot what it felt like when he was burning with hate and fury.

His hands were trembling, his shoulders tensed. He had to let the anger out somehow or it would swallow him whole.

He didn't remember standing up from his seat so fast that the chair he was sitting on hit the ground, he didn't realize he grabbed the table, he didn't hear the others shout in protest.

It was a relief when the feeling of his skin burning replaced the burning of the anger inside him.

When he came back to it, everything in the room was on fire, his teeth were clenched so much his jaw hurt, the tension in his shoulders was painful, his breathing labored.

The others were standing in safe distance form him, watching his back.

He forced his lips into a grimace of a smile. "So, what's the plan now, Kurogiri?"

Dabi flinches at the memory. He is currently in one the League's hideout, smoking one cigarette after another. Shigaraki and Kurogiri are somewhere in the building, probably discussing their next step. Twice and Mr. Compress are here with him, both waiting for Shigaraki and Kurogiri to come back on the couch. Compress is tapping the couch as he's reading some stupid book. Toga is playing her part as the Commissioner. And Spinner went to give food to their new prisoner.

Dabi trembles with a new wave of rage but doesn't let it out.

He hates when he gets the fits, when he loses control over himself and over his quirk. Finding out about Hawks was a good wakeup call if nothing else. Dabi needed to feel the anger again. He needed to be reminded that he is and always will be a monster. A rotten apple never falls far from the tree.

Still, his eyes feel like burning at the memory. He licks his lips. They are cracked from when he called Hawks, how much he was biting down on them. He scoffs quietly at the memory of being called 'hot stuff' by him. Even though in first moment Dabi didn't want to believe what Kurogiri said, he knows better now. So many pretty lies Dabi's heard from the other man. He wonders if anything he said or did with Dabi was true.

All the times Dabi felt the need to comfort him. What a fucking useless fool!

He growls in anger and hits the wall next to him.

Twice and Compress turn their heads to him and stare.

"Fuck off," Dabi murmurs, stubbing out his cigarette.

They don't say anything. Dabi doesn't even want to think about what they must think of him. How he is pathetic, trusting idiot.

The door at the end of the room opens. Spinner walks in, he's wearing his civilian clothes and there are no blades on his back. Even with his lizard face, Dabi can tell he is frowning. There is a bottle of water in one of his hand and bag with what Dabi knows are two sandwiches.

"What's wrong?" Twice asks.

"He won't eat!" Spinner growls throwing the bag of food and the bottle the on the coffee table before sitting down between the two other man.

Dabi scoffs again, his voice bitter. "Who gives a fuck?"

"I do!" Spinner retorts. "We have to keep him alive. This is his second day without food and water. Shigaraki is not done with him yet."

Dabi knows that. Even though he hasn't spoken with the hero since the night in the warehouse where he wrecked him into the ground, he hasn't seen him, nor does he wants to. Spinner is right, they need him. But if Dabi goes there, into the cell, he thinks he will be blind with rage and just kill Hawks.

He can feel the anger swallowing him again and his eyes are burning with tears.

He hates this. He hates Hawks, he hates the heroes, he hates the anger that's always consuming him, hates that he can never get rid of it. He hates how actually scared he is of his own rage, that he will get lost in it. He hates that a part of him is scared that he would hurt Hawks in blind anger.

"We need to get food and water into him," Compress says from his spot.

Dabi rolls his eyes.

They came up with a plan. Every day, someone goes get a newspaper to take a picture of Hawks with them, and then they sent the picture to one or the other TV station. Dabi has seen the pictures. He never thought that only a couple days of capture could ever change a person, drain them so much. It's true, Hawks hasn't been eating, the cell is not the warmest place ever and Hawks skin also didn't see sun since he got locked there.

Shigaraki made only one demand. The one they all know the Hero Commission will never, ever, meet, even if the League had all the rest of the Top Ten.

He asked them to free All For One. Which they will never do. And if they never do it, Hawks dies. And when Hawks, the darling of the public, dies, public will see his blood on Commission's hands.

It's a good plan, great even, and Dabi knows the uneasiness he feels at the thought is not justified. Hawks betrayed him. Why should he care if he dies.

"Dabi!"

The man looks up. The others are staring at him with the eyes of those who addressed someone a few times already.

"What?" he growls, not bothering to be nice.

"I said," Compress speaks. "That you should go to the cell and talk him into eating."

"He can die for all I care," Dabi lies.

Compress lets out a frustrated huff. "That's not the point! The point is that we need him."

"Then go and force that food down his throat for all I care!" Dabi roars. "What the fuck do you need me for?!"

"I didn't know you were such a coward," Spinner snorts.

It's a cheap try to manipulate him but Dabi already feels the rage firing up in him and, before he knows it, he's halfway across the room. Spinner takes a step back at his sudden approach. Dabi snorts at the display of fear and then grabs the bag of sandwiches and bottle and stomps away.

Their hideout is in a poor neighborhood but in relatively secluded area. It has two exits. Nobody will hear Hawks and even if they do, nobody will care.

He walks from the common room they all are in and when he stands in front of the door to the cellar, he takes in several deep breaths. None of them actually help much, his insides are still twisting painfully and his whole body is trembling from the hurt and anger.

He opens the door. This cellar is a small, smaller than the commissioner's. It was meant to be more a pantry than a holding cell, but they still managed to make it soundproof - not that anyone in the neighborhood would care if Hawks screamed. There's nothing except for the concentrate floor, and a little bucket in the corner.

And then, there is Hawks. The man is sitting on the floor, wearing nothing but his underwear, his knees are pressed to his chest, his whole body trembling from the cold and there is sweat in his hair, the harness fixed into his back painfully digging into his skin. The moment Dabi appears in the door, he stares at him.

And Dabi is tearing apart inside. Between the anger boiling inside him when the golden eyes sink into his own. And between the memory of Hawks saying about his mother, who used to lock him away in pantry until he cried and begged her to let him out. Between the memory of Hawks fighting as they took all his clothes, the humiliation and fear written all over his face.

Dabi clenches his teeth, his shoulder tense. The silence hanging between them is deafening. Dabi eventually reminds himself that everything Hawks said is a lie, everything he's done with him, to him and for him is fake.

Still, something feels wrong when he lets the anger channel through him and he throws the bag and bottle at the other man. He can't tell if the other man flinches when the bottle hits him with the way he is trembling.

"Eat."

Hawks' shoulders tense up even more when Dabi's low growl resounds through the small, empty room.

"No."

The refusal is like a spark which sets another wave of anger through Dabi and, before the villain can stop himself, he's bursting through the door, kicking it shut with unnecessary force. Hawks gets up before Dabi reaches him but he doesn't raise his tied hands to defend himself as the other man shoves him into the wall.

Dabi's jaw hurts from how much he's gritting his teeth, still trying to break free from the fit of rage. He tells himself the reason why he's trying so hard not to hurt Hawks, is because the League still needs him.

Hawks' skin is hot under his palm and his breathing is labored but he still meets Dabi's eyes proudly.

"I. Said. Eat!" Dabi snarls, voice dripping with venom as he leans closer, so much, he knows Hawks can feel his breath on his cheek.

There is a small part of Dabi which feels strange satisfaction when he senses Hawks' body tremble under his touch, when his eyes widen with fear, when he sees his throat move as he gulps. It's the part of Dabi that makes the man sick in his stomach and bitter.

Hawks keeps his chin up and he still looks Dabi in the eyes but the waver in his voice gives him away when he says: "Why would I eat when I know I'll be dead soon?"

Dabi pushes him harder into the wall, ignoring the sick feeling in his guts at the act. His own breathing is heavy as he's still fighting the anger soaking through him.

"It must've been so funny to you," he hisses into Hawks' face. "All this time, thinking how easy it was to gain my trust. You laughed so hard when you were alone, didn't you? What a fool he is, huh?"

"Dabi-"

"Shut up!!" Dabi's shout fills the room and the other immediately stops talking. The villain ignores the way Hawks' eyes began to water. "All this time, everything you've ever told me… I'm done listening to you and your lies!! You! Will listen now! And I'm telling you, you will eat this shit, understand?!"

Dabi ignores the way it hurts in his chest when he sees Hawks' expression twist into hurt that looks so awfully similar to his own, when tears spill out of the golden eyes. A part of him wants to wipe away the tears, kiss Hawks and pull him closer until everything is better. But Dabi knows this is all just an act, just another way to manipulate him. He knows things won't get better.

"I'm so sorr-"

"I told you to shut the fuck up!!" Dabi shouts angrily, he feels his own eyes on the verge of tears. "I don't want to hear any more lies from you! You will eat this, understand?!"

Hawks looks ugly when he cries, his tied hands are grabbing on Dabi's wrists, his hands hot. He's not meeting Dabi's eyes anymore, staring on the ground. He gives him one short nod.

Dabi immediately lets him go and turns around because he knows if he stays too close to him, the need to comfort the other man will be too much and he is done being used. He walks to the door.

"I-I know it doesn't matter what I say," Hawks's voice is muffled and breathless – he sounds like he's suffocating with tears which he wanted to spill for so long. The only reason Dabi doesn't turn around to push him into the wall again, is because the blonde man is interrupted by several short coughs and a part of Dabi wants to let him finish.

But then he continues in high pitched, almost sobbing voice, and Dabi still can't find it in himself to interrupt him, even though he knows it would be better for him not to hear any more words Hawks has to say. He doesn't turn around to face him.

"And I won't lie to you and… and tell you that I wouldn't do it again… because I would," another fit of coughing. "but… I am sorry that you got caught in the crossfire. I'd never want to hurt you. If… If only things were a bit different, Dabi-"

Dabi laughs ignoring the tears on his face and turns around to stare Hawks down before he can continue. The pain is so raw in his chest he feels like dying, not even the boiling anger inside can't burn it away. "You think you are so righteous, don't you?! All of you heroes are the same, feeding everyone with your lies, just to keep face, because the endings justify the means, don't they?! So you lie, that everything will be okay, that you are perfect. All those pretty lies to cover the ugly truth, no matter the cost! And when the truth finally comes out, you think you will flash your pretty eyes and say you are sorry and everything will be okay! It's disgusting! You make me sick!!

Do you want to know the truth?!" Dabi screams now, stepping closer to the other man, not touching him but Hawks curls into the corner, shuddering but bearing Dabi's hateful look. "You once asked why I joined the League, didn't you?! Well, my name is Touya Todoroki!"

Hawks' eyes are bigger than Dabi ever remembers seeing them and part of the villain feels sadistic satisfaction at the shock, the breaking he can see behind Hawks' eyes. Dabi feels weight leaving his shoulders with the words finally leaving his mouth.

"You're l-"

"What?" Dabi snaps out, never letting Hawks finish the question. "Lying?! Which one is the liar?! All you heroes care about is the public opinion and your image and you don't care about what's going on behind the closed door others, the corruption, the lies built upon lies just so you can keep the face, just so the Commission can stay in power and get away with shit! Because what would public think if they knew Commission let abuser be not only a hero but also a top one?!"

When Hawks tries to reach for Dabi, the villain pushes him away. His throat is sore from the yelling, his palms hurt from how hard he is clenching his fists. But most importantly, he feels like his heart is being ripped out when he looks at the hero, shuddering, his eyes red with tears.

Hawks speaks in raspy, trembling voice: "Why didn't you tell someone?"

Dabi doesn't even pretend to laugh anymore, his voice simply cracks when answers, the words slipping past his lips and he is helpless to stop them: "Who would believe a little rebellious boy… and everyone who knew just looked away. And I watched and watched because I wasn't strong enough to protect her, or my little brothers and sister. And you know what? No hero came. No knight in shining armor. Nobody gave my family justice!"

"You can't take justice into your own hands," Hawks croaks.

"That's the only way to take it! Because nobody else will! If I don't kill him… then all of this was for nothing."

"That's not true," Hawks tries to step closer, breathing heavily, but the chains on his ankle cackle. "Let me help you, please!"

Dabi narrows his eyes, his hands are shaking with rage again. "Don't you think I know what you're doing? You are nothing but a fucking liar!" he feels his lips twist into ugly grimace. "Now, tell me, little bird," he says the nickname with dripping venom, "did you think about your great idol, when I fucked you?"

The hurt expression on Hawks' face looks almost real. Dabi thought he would enjoy the look at it but his heart aches. He tells himself that Hawks is only pretending this, that the desperation in the air around him has nothing to do with his feelings for him but with the fear for his life and his admiration crumbling.

"Only you, it's been only you for so long," Hawks tells him, quietly weeping before he coughs again.

"Stop lying!" Dabi roars.

The door opens. Dabi keeps his back to it. He doesn't want anyone to see his wet cheeks and trembling lip.

"Dabi," he hears Kurogiri's calm voice. "Come on."

"Give me a minute," Dabi growls.

There is a pause as Kurogiri hesitates but he closes the door eventually, leaving Dabi alone with Hawks again.

"Eat that fucking food or I'll come to shove it down your throat," Dabi growls before he turns on his heels and walks to the door.

"I love you," he hears a whisper. It’s like a stab straight through his heart. "I know you don't believe me and I… I know you don't care, I know that it doesn’t set anything right... but I do."

Dabi's heart aches in his chest and he feels more tears falling from his eyes. He opens the door with shaky hands and leaves Hawks in the dark, cold room.

He knows Hawks wouldn't actually hear him anyway but he waits a few steps before he presses his palm on the wall and leans on it. He feels big ugly tears rolling down his cheeks, his chest hurts so much. He only lets a few low sobs escape his throat. He presses his palm to his eyes for a moment, just crying silently. Then, he takes in a deep breath and reaches into his pocket for a bag of cigarettes only to realize it's empty. That was the fifth one over since he found out about Hawks.

He curses wipes his eyes into the sleeves and heads to the main door. When he passes the common room where the rest of their team are, now with Toga as well, he murmurs: "I'm going out."

He hears someone say something in disapproval, probably Shigaraki, but he ignores the remark and goes out. It's snowing really hard and he is only wearing light jacket but he doesn't mind. It's already dark outside which narrows the places he can get cigarettes at greatly.

Dabi is not familiar with the neighborhood much, all he knows is that there is a lot of addicts and gangsters are, the places police and public tries not to talk about.

He scoffs bitterly as he's walking the streets, searching for a shop. He tries not to think about Hawks' words. Now that the anger at least partly left him, he feels hurt and misery. He almost misses the anger he's always hated. When his lungs burned with anger, it was sharper. This was dull pain that he couldn't push away.

His mind keeps betraying him, though, and it keeps going back to Hawks' - his hurt similar to Dabi's, the tears in his eyes, the fear, shock and desperation. He should be glad - Hawks the reason Dabi feels the way he does. Instead, it only deepens his wound, the knowledge that he did this to him.

But he does everything he can to push it away. Hawks is a liar, nothing he said was true. He only said it in attempt to manipulate Dabi. Everything is lies, lies. Nothing he's ever told him was true.

Yet, the villain still feels like, today, he's been more like his father than ever before.

He swallows the sobs that try to escape his throat.

He walks to the first convenience store he sees, there is a group of people sitting outside. A woman and two man but he only knows it's a woman because she is telling the man about how amazing her son is, her whole body is hidden under thick jacket and her head is covered with hood.

Dabi walks past them, into the store. He quickly finds the cheapest vodka on the shelf and pack of cigarettes, pays and leaves again. Only this time the woman from before is standing in front him.

"Please, good sir, do you have some money to spare?" the woman asks, her hands shaking.

Dabi wants to tell the junkie to get lost. Instead he stares. The woman has shorter blonde hair and is skinny to the bone but her features are awfully familiar.

"No," he says eventually because his mind must be playing tricks on him.

"Please, my son got kidnapped, I need money to get on bus to find him!" she pleas.

The other two men are laughing. "She keeps thinking that kidnapped hero is her son!"

"He is my son!" the woman yells.

"Then why each time you get money, you just get inside that store and buy booze?" the man shrieks with laughter.

"Because... I gotta get warm!"

Dabi stares at her, his heart pounding. He tells her, eventually: "Sorry, I don't have anything to share with you."

Hawks' mother shoves him but she doesn't have the real power in her arms, and when Dabi sort of moves with it before stepping away, she falls into the snow while her companions laugh.

Dabi ignores the way his hands are shaking as he's lighting up the cigarette. His heart is still pounding but he refuses to look over the shoulder at the woman he left there.

The way back to the hideout is long when he's left on his own with his traitorous thoughts and undying pain in his chest.

When he reaches back the building, he hides in one of the room and drinks the bottle alone, trying to drown the thoughts of the blonde man in the cellar, his tears and his bruises. He tries to drown the pain still lingering in his chest, that just isn't leaving.

But mostly, he tries to drown the thoughts of the blonde woman and that maybe shared bits and fragments of truth with him, in the end.