It was Giran who offered him the job. The two men were ‘friends’ in a purely business sense - Giran found Dabi less-than-savoury work to do and Dabi took care of any people that the info-broker might need intimidated. It was easy to intimidate people with a handful of fire and faceful of metal. The latest job was for a shady guy who issued drivers to private clients. The car was provided, Dabi could drive, he had a few scraps of cash to buy a nice black suit - why not? The pay was exceptionally good for what seemed like an easy job, so he readily accepted the position. The clients, all of them Yakuza or high-level criminals, paid by the hour or by the day and over the first few months he rarely saw the same person twice. It was an interesting business, he overheard some fascinating conversations. Most of them ignored his odd appearance, though some of them pissed him off with comments about his scars, so in those situations he slid up the soundproof window that separated him from the clients who sat in the back.
Everything went smoothly until the day he was called to Musutafu.
The client wanted to be picked up from outside his home, an enormous, expensive-looking high-rise in the centre of the prefecture. Dabi parked the car by the main entrance and sent a text to the client to let him know that he had arrived. The man had a strangely recognisable name, he thought, as he flicked the cigarette he had been smoking out of the window. Most of the clients didn’t mind if he smoked, it was one of the perks of the job. Despite this, the young man only sparked up a cigarette when the car was empty, he had a sliver of manners left.
A sudden sound from the passenger side made him jump and he turned his head to see a man of around the same ages around his age peering in through the window. The man’s face was covered with a black medical mask and from what he could see his hands were covered with latex gloves. There was no way that could be the guy he was picking up, the majority of his clients were much older and a lot more formally dressed than a fluffy jacket and a pair of trainers. He made a motion to get Dabi to roll down the window and furrowed his brow as the glass slid down.
“What?” Dabi snapped, irritably. The man glared at him and yanked on the handle to open the door. Before Dabi could stop him, he was sitting in the passenger seat. Dabi flushed with anger and growled aggressively at the strange man who was now buckling himself in, a few flames dancing on the back of his hand. “What the fuck do you think you’re do-?”
“Is that any way to speak to your client?” the man asked, raising a brow.
Dabi’s anger turned quickly to embarrassment and his face turned bright red, much to irritation of the man. “Shit, sorry. I, uh- you’re younger than most of the people I drive around. And most of them sit in the back.”
“Just don’t let it happen again,” the man snapped, waving a hand carelessly. “Chisaki.”
The driver nodded and pursed his lips at Chisaki’s blunt tone. What an stuck up asshole. His response was drawled with the utmost sarcasm. “ Pleasure .”
Chisaki stared at him for a moment, gaze lingering for an uncomfortably long time on the stitches running along Dabi’s cheekbone. Sure, he looked weird but there was no reason to stare, damn it. Dabi found himself fidgeting uncomfortably under the harsh golden glare from the strange man.
“Dabi,” he replied, dampening down the flames on the back of his hand. He pressed the buttons to close the windows and turned the key in the dashboard. “Where are we going?”
“Bar Moon,” Chisaki answered. “I will need a pick up again later tonight.”
The night progressed easily - he dropped Chisaki off at some fancy-looking bar and got a call to pick him up two hours later. The man was quieter on the way back, a little more subdued it seemed. When they arrived back outside his apartment building, he slipped Dabi a could of extra bills and slammed the door shut behind him without a further word. The driver shook his head in disbelief and headed back home. Eventually he sighed and cast Chisaki out of his mind. There was no point troubling himself about it - it was only one ride, he doubted he’d ever see the man again.
That was how it was supposed to be. But the next afternoon, just after his first cup of instant coffee, Dabi received a message from the guy who sorted out his clients.
‘Hey freakshow. That Chisaki guy from last night has booked you out for the entire week. Requested you specifically and paid everything in advance. Don’t fuck it up.’
The paper cup burst into flames beneath the pressure of his hand and hot coffee splattered across the kitchen counter. Dabi took in a deep breath to try and calm himself but found that it did no good at all.
Dabi winced at the sound of the grating voice that called through the passenger side window. The door clicked open and the man threw himself down into the seat, slamming it carelessly shut behind him.
“Could you not slam the fuckin’ door so hard?” Dabi grumbled, looking at Chisaki with disdain. The other man rolled his eyes, only further pissing him off. “Also, my name is Dabi. Not ‘driver’. Where are we going?”
“Same as last night,” Chisaki huffed, impatiently. He leaned back in his seat and clipped the belt neatly around his waist. “Have you ever been there?”
Dabi shook his head and he started the car and pulled out onto the road. It was a ten minute ride but due to Musutafu’s traffic it took around twenty-five - twenty-five irritating minutes with the asshole in the passenger seat.
“I didn’t think so, it’s quite an expensive place,” Chisaki continued. Dabi clenched the wheel tighter at the obvious implication of his comment. “Do you live in Musutafu?”
“No. S’too expensive,” he answered, stoically. He kept his eyes on the road and tried to quash his rising temper. He was too fucking talkative tonight. There was something off about him too, the way his fingers kept twitching and his pupils were dilated to an absurd extent. He looked high.
“Ah,” the man hummed, fiddling with the hem of his shirt. “Should’ve guessed.”
Dabi sighed as they pulled into another traffic jam and his fingers itched to grab a cigarette. He was pissed off, his body started heating up and warmed the interior of the car. Chisaki crossed one of his legs over a knee and hummed again, tapping his fingers rhythmically against his knee. They spent the rest of the journey in silence.
This was torture, absolute torture. It was the fourth day, he had a stonking hangover and Chisaki was ten minutes late. Dabi was stood outside of the car, leaning against the driver side window with a cigarette hanging out of this mouth. His temples throbbed painfully and the other man’s nasal, snotty voice was appreciated less than ever. At least he didn’t appear to be ‘on anything’ that day, perhaps he’d just sit down and shut up. He took in a sharp drag as the man approached and flicked the smoking butt into the gutter.
“Alright,” he said, giving Chisaki a nod. “Where to?”
“Same place, obviously. I’ll tell you if otherwise,” Chisaki replied, rounding the back of the car. He ducked down and slid into the passenger’s seat out of sight.
Dabi took in a calming breath before joining him inside and starting the car. “What’s so special ‘bout this bar?”
“A bit intrusive, don’t you think?” Chisaki turned his head to the side to flash him a disdainful look. “I have some business meetings there, if you must know.”
Dabi raised a brow. “Business meetings in a bar? The fuck are you, Yakuza?”
Chisaki laughed softly. “What if I was? Would that scare you?”
“Pfft,” the driver scoffed, wrinkling his nose. The traffic started moving again so he turned his gaze back onto the road. “Course not.”
“You seem pretty confident in yourself.”
“Yeah, well you would be too if you could-” he was about to say ‘ burn through metal ’ but stopped himself. He didn’t want the bastard to know too much about him, nor did he want it to come across like bragging. “Never mind. You don’t scare me.”
Chisaki laced his hands together in his lap, causing the latex covering his fingers to squeak. “You’re quite an intimidating looking creature , driver. I bet the people around you keep their distance.”
Dabi didn’t comment on the way the man compared him to an animal and tried to focus on the road.
Two days passed and the final night of his contract arrived. Chisaki only grew more annoying by the day. He continued in the front seat and often bitched about the state of the car, or Dabi’s clothes, or the disgusting look of his scars. His gaze always lingered too long on Dabi, it felt like he was trying to burn a hole through his head. Bar Benfiddich was their destination each night. Chisaki always called for pick up from his apartment at the same time but the journey home fluctuated - sometimes he would only be gone for thirty minutes, other times Dabi would be waiting until the early hours of the morning. Those nights he would often crash at an apartment owned by a couple of contacts who lived nearby, too tired to drive all the way back to his apartment on the other side of the city.
By the time the final night arrived, the driver was biting his tongue to stop himself from snapping at his passenger. Dabi could feel the other man staring at him and he began to feel a little unsettled. He halted the car at a red light and watched the high-volume of traffic pass the intersection. After bearing two long minutes with Chisaki’s eyes burning a hole in the side of his head, he couldn’t bear it anymore and turned to look back at him.
“What?” he asked, voice a little gruffer than intended.
Chisaki hummed and pointed to the top pocket of his suit jacket. “Can I have a cigarette?”
“Uh, sure,” Dabi replied. Before he could take his hands off the wheel, the other man slipped his hand into the pocket and removed the box of smokes. Dabi stiffened, annoyed by his forward behaviour tonight.
“You want one too?” Chisaki said, moving the mask off his face and sliding the filter into his mouth. He swiftly lit the end with a zippo he pulled out of his pocket. It was a fancy looking accessory, plated in gold with something engraved on the side. Dabi only caught sight of ‘Shie Has-’ before the man tucked it back into his coat. He stole a glance at Chisaki’s face and was unsurprised to see his mouth twisted into a nasty smirk. Despite this, he was handsome, if one liked refined and haughty - which Dabi did.
“No,” he answered, curtly. Chisaki shrugged and pressed the button to open the window before the smoke could fill the small area. Dabi was growing more and more irritated by the man in the passenger seat and he gripped the wheel tightly, praying that the lights would turn green soon. The less time spent with Chisaki, the better.
“You looked stressed,” the Yakuza commented, placing the box of cigarettes back into Dabi’s pocket. He took in a deep drag and smoke curled around his lips. A thin stream of it plumed from his mouth and he breathed it again to pull it up his nose. Dabi blinked, finding the action drew his attention straight to Chisaki’s lips. “Long day?”
The light turned green and Dabi looked away from Chisaki to head across the intersection. “Yeah.”
“Not feeling talkative?” Chisaki said, letting the smoke leave his lungs. “Come to think of it, you’ve barely send a full sentence this entire week.”
“I prefer to just drive.” Only two more streets to go before they arrived. Damn the fucking traffic.
“I’m the one hiring you, aren’t I?” he purred, tapping the ash out of the window. “I was going to book you for another week and I’d prefer a little conversation if your brain can manage it.”
Dabi scowled and turned the wheel smoothly between his hands. Another traffic jam greeted them on the next street, much to his annoyance. Stubbornly, he remained silent but that only seemed to amuse the man beside him further. Just as Chisaki opened his mouth to speak, a motorcycle sped past the passenger side window. The sudden sound made Dabi flinch and a few flames burst from the back of the hands gripping the wheel, casting an eerie blue grin around the car.
“Fucking idiot,” Dabi commented, watching the bike speed into the distance. He forced the flames to die down as the skin along the seams of his knuckles began to sizzle. “Ah, shit.”
“Your quirk?” Chisaki observed, leaning against the window frame. “Seems a bit powerful for a simple driver.”
Dabi raised a brow. “Huh?”
“Your quirk,” Chisaki repeated, gesturing to the driver with a flick of his fingers. Smoke curled out of this mouth and lingered in the space between them. “I saw it the first time we met. It looks rather powerful.”
“It’s- nothing,” Dabi said, looking back at the road. “It’s just fire.”
Chisaki laughed and Dabi found the noise unpleasant. The traffic started moving much to his relief. “‘ Just fire ’? I’m sure the current number one hero would have words to say about such a statement.”
The driver tensed up at the mention of Endeavour and tried to ignore the hazy, well-contained memories that threatened to break through the careful walls he’d placed around them. But before he can stop himself he muttered, “The number one hero can shove his words up his ass.”
“Charming,” Chisaki replied, flicking the cigarette butt out of the window. He pulled his mask back into place. “Well, I think you’re understating your quirk. It seems powerful, you should find better uses for it.”
It was a statement, rather than a question so the driver remained silent and the car rolled to a halt outside of their destination. Chisaki rolled his eyes and reached into the pocket of his fur-lined jacket to fish out his wallet. He removed a couple of bills and slapped them on the dashboard as he opened the door with his other hand.
“You don’t need to pay cash you know, the boss takes payment by card,” Dabi pointed out. It was a lot of money and though he needed the cash, it felt like his passenger was doing it to humiliate him.
Chisaki’s mask crinkled around a smirk. “I know. That’s for you. The quality of your suit tells me you need the money.”
The driver began to protest but the door was slammed in his face. He let out an angry growl under his breath as Chisaki ducked and motioned for him to roll down the window.
“I’ll give you a call when I need picking up,” he said, tone thick with amusement. “Might be a late one.”
Dabi scowled at him. “How late?”
“Oh,” Chisaki raised a brow, clearly trying to annoy the other man. “Isn’t this a 24 hour service?”
He grit his teeth together and his glare intensified. “Yes, it is.”
“Good,” he murmured, a nasty smile sliding beneath the mask. “See you later.”
It took every drop of self control Dabi possessed not to burst into flames.
Dabi waited for hours for the stuck up little shit, driving round the city aimlessly, taking in the sights. He met up with Giran for a couple of hours and they sat in the park; Dabi smoking, Giran lazily talking about his recent exploits, clearly off his tits on coke. The info-broker was a weird guy to hang out with but he was easy to talk to and always willing to provide distraction or restraint when Dabi was blinded by his temper. When he asked him about Chisaki and who exactly the little shit was, Giran cocked his head to the side and chuckling under his breath.
“He’s not a very nice man. A young Yakuza boss with quite the reputation for splattering his enemies and friends across the pavement if they dare to talk back to him. I’m surprised you’re still in one piece, knowing your mouth.”
Said Yakuza boss called at around midnight, just when Dabi was debating driving home and blowing off the job. Instead he clambered back in his car, bid farewell to his not-quite friend and headed back toward the bar where he’d dropped the other man. Giran told him to come back to his plush apartment after he was done, tempting him with the offer of something dizzying to shove up his nose. Both of them worked on a fairly nocturnal schedule which was good for the driver as it meant he got the chance to see Giran after his shifts were over. Nights at his apartment often ended in long drinking and smoking sessions that lasted well into the early hours of the morning at which point Dabi would drag himself to Giran’s spare room and pass out.
Dabi decided he was just going to ignore Chisaki and pretend he didn't exist. Hopefully he’d be easier to deal with that way. It was the last night, he thought, as he pulled up to the entrance of the bar. He could see the slim silhouette of the Yakuza boss leaning against a wall beneath a streetlight and twitched. Just get through the last night.
“Driver,” Chisaki greeted as he moved hastily into the passenger seat. He hissed loudly as he sat down but Dabi nodded silently and kept his eyes focused on the city outside the windscreen. “I do hope - agh - I didn't keep you waiting.”
The driver grit his teeth together. Part of him suspected the other man stayed in the bar for longer than he intended just to piss him off but he couldn't prove it. He turned the key in the ignition and made to pull away from the curb. “I-”
“But I guess it is your job isn't it?” Chisaki slurred, leaning back in his seat. He wrapped a hand around his side and closed his eyes with a sigh.
Dabi’s head snapped to the side, anger immediately flaring inside him. That petulant tone made his fucking skin crawl. When he finally got a look at the other man he frowned and found that his rage dimmed a little. For once, the Yakuza wasn’t wearing a mask. Chisaki’s usually neat hair was mussed and his face was dirty on one side. His bottom lip had split and blood was beginning to crust on his chin. One of his eyes was swollen and Dabi could detect bruises blossoming around the socket. By the look of it, he'd been beaten up.
“Someone punch you?” Dabi asked, curiously. He shifted the car into gear but didn't pull out just yet.
“I think so,” Chisaki replied, opening his eyes. He raised a hand and touched his busted lip, cringing in disgust when he drew his fingers back and saw blood staining the tips. “And-”
“You think so?” the driver repeated, scathingly. He shook his head and moved the car to the centre of the road. “Are we going to the same place as I picked you up?”
He just wanted to get the guy back to his house so he could get to Giran’s for a drink.
“Mmm,” Chisaki hummed, slumping down in the seat. He drew in a sharp breath due to the movement and when Dabi glanced over at him he could see that he was clutching his side, face was twisted in pain.
“What’s- shit ,” Dabi exclaimed. When Chisaki drew his hand away from his torso it was saturated in blood. Both the car and his clothing were too dark to see much but from the little that was visible the driver could tell that there was a large open wound across his torso. “What the fuck?”
“I’ve been stabbed,” the Yakuza groaned, pressing his hand back over the wound. “And someone smacked a bottle over my head. F-fucker had a quirk that temporarily nullifies others for a p-period of time. I need to - ah, fuck - I need to see Hari.”
Dabi blinked, trying to keep himself calm. Part of him wanted to dump Chisaki at the side of the road but instead, he nodded and pushed his foot down harder on the accelerator. Even if the guy was an asshole, he didn’t deserve to bleed out on the pavement. The driver sighed angrily and sharply turned a corner. Leaving Chisaki to die wouldn’t sit well on his conscience, even if he did deserve it. The streets were not as busy as before, so he began to weave in and out of the few cars on the road.
“Why the fuck didn’t you tell me earlier, idiot?” he growled, swerving harshly around a corner.
“‘M not exactly thinking straight,” Chisaki drawled, rolling his head back onto the headrest with his teeth grit in pain.
“Keep it together, asshole,” he retorted, sending the wounded man a filthy glare. “I don’t want you bleeding to death in my car.”
Chisaki tried to shift his body but pain shot across his chest and he let out an aggravated cry. “Fuck - hurts. Hurry up.”
“Yeah, yeah. I’m driving as fast as I can without breaking the law,” Dabi replied. He cast another glance at Chisaki, starting to get a little worried about the amount of blood that was seeping into the seat of the car. “In the glove compartment there’s a hand towel. Apply pressure to the wound with that, you need to slow it down before we get to your place.”
The Yakuza followed his directions and retrieved the towel so that he could push it against his side. He gasped at the intense pain and sweat started to bead on his forehead from the exertion of keeping himself together. “You seem to kn-know what you’re talking ‘bout.”
“Yeah, well, I’ve been stabbed a couple of times by guys starting fights,” the driver answered, darkly. “One of ‘em was Yakuza, actually.”
Chisaki began to cough and a large wad of blood flew out of his mouth and dribbled down his chin. He leaned back with a gasp and screwed his eyes shut. “Fuck. Need my fuckin’ quirk-”
The car screeched into the underground car park beneath Chisaki’s apartment building and Dabi threw his phone at Chisaki as he swung into a parking space.
“Ring your guy, tell him to send the lift down to the ground floor,” he ordered, flinging the door open. Before Chisaki could reply the driver was opening the passenger door.
“Ring him!” Dabi ordered. He shoved one arm beneath the Yakuza’s knees and another beneath his shoulders so that he could hoist him out of the car. Chisaki let out a noise of surprise and started to struggle against the other man’s strong hold. His struggles were weakened but still a pain in the ass to hold onto.
“Put me down, I can walk!”
“Put me down or I’ll kill you, you fucking asshole!”
Dabi rolled his eyes and kicked the passenger door shut behind him. He clicked his keys to lock the car as he began to make his way toward the elevators at the other end of the car park. “Are you gonna call your guy, or do you wanna be waiting for the lift for ages until you bleed out?”
“I already text him from my own phone, idiot,” Chisaki scowled, narrowing his eyes.
“There’s no need to be a dickhead. I’m saving your fucking life here.”
The Yakuza coughed a laugh and Dabi felt him shudder from the motion. He could feel the blood from the stab wound seeping into the front of his shirt but tried to ignore the unpleasant sensation and push on as quickly as he could. Up ahead, the elevator doors slid open and a figure stepped out.
“Oi!” Dabi called, grabbing the man’s attention.
“Hari,” Chisaki slurred, eyelids heavy.
The man, Hari, rushed toward them as Dabi carefully lowered Chisaki onto his feet and watched as the man staggered back against the wall. Hari scowled and looped one of the wounded man’s arms around his shoulders so that he could hold him steady.
“Fuck, Kai - what the hell happened to you?” he straightened Chisaki up so that he could look in his eyes. Hari frowned when he saw they were getting hazier by the minute. Loudly, he clicked in front of the Chisaki’s face to get his attention. “Talk to me.”
“I’m fine. Tha’ guy with the quirk I wanted didn’t wanna play ball. Hit me with his quirk then his guys got me,” Chisaki said, words slurring slightly around the edges. “Someone smashed a bottle over my head. Vodka, I think. Then he got me in the side with a knife but it wasn’t very big.”
“You’re not fine ,” the silver-haired man huffed. He continued fussing as he half-dragged Chisaki into the lift and propped him up against the wall so that he could press the button. Realising Dabi was still standing a few feet away, Hari clicked his tongue and jerked his head to the side. “You can go now, driver. Don’t say a fucking word about this.”
Dabi pursed his lips - quite the thank you for saving someone’s life. He turned on his heel and started to walk back to his car, frustrated with how the evening had gone. It would take weeks to get the bloodstains out of his car.