Shouta doesnt look up when the door opens. He’s too busy cutting lemons to bother. It’s only when a throat clears that he even speaks, still without looking, “Beer or whiskey?”
“Um…” the hesitating response is what has him glancing upward. Outwardly he remains calm. Inside he feels his heart skip a beat. It’s a Hero. A man dressed in brightly colored blues and greens. His eyes are covered by some sort of visor. He’s wearing a backpack with hoses but Shouta can’t even begin to guess what those are for.
Shouta puts down his knife and says, “If you aren't going to buy a drink than you should leave.”
The Hero’s expression goes from awkward to serious, “I’m here on official business.”
“Good for you.” Shouta turns away and moves down the bar. To all outward appearances he just starts in on some dirty mugs. But his favorite knife is stashed under this counter. He hopes he won’t need it. Heroes can be tricky and he doesn't want to damage the bar tonight.
The Hero frowns and follows from the other side of the dark wood, “I’m investigating claims that this establishment has ties to a certain individual.”
“Oh?” Shouta doesn't bother to look up this time, “Who told you that?”
“That is none of your concern.” The Hero says in that same stern tone
As Shouta makes a metal note to pay a few weak links a visit the front door bangs open. That can only mean Hizashi has returned from the store. Sure enough the familiar loud voice starts calling out from across the room as the other man takes off his coat, “I’m back Boss! Lines were nuts for a Wednesday afternoon. But I got the limes and cherries so…” Hizashi finally enters the main bar area and freezes. The look on his face was not what Shouta had expected. Normally Hizashi would maintain a tight grin in the presence of strangers. This time he goes very pale.
The Hero gasps and Shouta takes notice that the man has his own shocked look, “Mic?” the Hero asks
Hizashi visibly pulls himself together, lips set in a thin frown as he approaches the bar, “Thrower, fancy seeing you here.”
“You two know each other?” Shouta asks, trying not to sound as interested as he really is
“We worked for Endeavor’s agency together once upon a time.” Hizashi says as he passes the Hero, Thrower, without pausing, “Apparently he didn't learn from my example.”
Now Thrower looks mildly angry, “Your example was nothing to be proud of.”
“If you say so.” Hizashi finishes putting away the fruit for later before turning to Shouta, “Anything else I can do Boss?”
“Boss?” Thrower asks in shock, “You work at a bar?”
Shouta and Hizashi both ignore the man, “It seems your old employer thinks we’re involved in something fishy. So he sent a clueless idiot to test the waters.”
Hizashi snickers while Thrower grows a bit redder in the cheeks, “How dare you insult me like that!”
“It’s not an insult.” Shouta bothers to explain, “It’s an observation. If we were these bad men you think we are we probably would have plans to end you already.”
Thrower goes pale and starts to look around, “What are you talking about?”
Hizashi laughs a bit louder, “Chill out Thrower. He’s just saying it’s stupid to walk into a suspected hive of criminal activity without back up and start asking questions.” he leans in to Shouta’s space and loudly whispers, “He never was the smartest one on the team I was with.”
“A murderer has no right to speak to me that way!” Thrower snaps. Right after he looks regretful, probably feeling guilty for prodding what he assumed was a sore spot. His face at Hizashi’s response was priceless.
“I am a murderer.” Hizashi admits with a tight grin, “And it’s all Endeavor’s fault. You know that as well as I. Unless you fell for all of Endeavor’s doublespeak just like the media. I bet he’s got you on the front by now. Literally adding fuel to his fires. How long will it be before it goes too far? How long will it be before you end up thrown out on the street with no one to back you up?”
Thrower took a deep gulp, “You have no right to speak of things like that Mic.”
“My name is Yamada.” Hizashi half snaps, “Now ask this humble bar tender your questions so we can get on with our lives.”
The questioning is short and holds nothing unexpected. The moment Thrower closes the door behind him Hizashi falls to the floor. He is staring angrily at the ground. Shouta considered what to do now. With a sigh he just sits down next to the blond and asks, “What are you thinking about?”
Shouta expects a stroll down memory lane. He expects pain and sorrow, perhaps even a tear for lost dreams. Maybe Hizashi would even start to question their relationship. But as always the Voice user surprises him, “How did they get so close?” Hizashi taps his fingers on the wood floor, “I’ve been using my knowledge of Endeavor’s tactics to keep him away from here. At this point he should think you’re based somewhere closer to the docks. Did I make a mistake? If I did I need to fix it.” he pins Shouta with a serious look, “I can’t let you be in danger like that.”
“I’m in danger all the time.” Shouta replies simply
“Yeah. But that stuff you can handle. And when you can’t you bring me!” Hizashi puts a hand on his own chest, “Endeavor is something I don’t know if we can avoid now. If it comes to an actual fight we’ll be burned to ashes. How am I supposed to protect you!”
“Like you always do.” Shouta puts a firm hand on Hizashi’s shoulder as that rare warmth climbs up the inside of his chest, “With everything you have and no hesitation. And if anything happens then it will be my turn to protect you. As we’ve agreed.”
“Boss.” Hizashi looks up at him with renewed hope in his eyes, “You always know how to break things down to what’s important.”
“I know.” Shouta stands and offers his bodyguard a hand up, “I also know where we need to start to plug these leaks. I’ve suspected Squid for a few weeks now. This really just confirms it.”
“I’m at your disposal.” Hizashi’s grin is sharp once more
“DAMNIT!” the whole building shakes with the force of the yell. All who hear it shiver, knowing what it means. Endeavor is furious.
Thrower starts to back up slowly. On the desk between him and the Number Two are crime scene photos. A man by the alias Squid was in every one. As was a great deal of blood and viscera. Thrower took another step back when Endeavor’s hands come crashing down on top of the pictures which instantly burst into flame.
“This is your fault!”
“What?” Thrower blinks wildly
“You were supposed to be watching him and getting information out of him! That idiot was our first lead in over a year! Now because of your incompetence we lost everything!”
“But I only did what you told me.” Thrower managed to squeak out
“You were obviously too aggressive with your tactics.”
The words make Thrower freeze in place. They echo in his memory from an incident 18 months ago. Another voice joins from just a few days before.
“How long will it be before you end up thrown out on the street with no one to back you up?”
“Please sir, I can do better.” Thrower doesn't even notice he’s begging
Hizashi laughs as he reads the paper. Shouta raises an eyebrow when he sees the story over the man’s shoulder, “You don’t usually enjoy your kills this much.”
“This one had special consequences.” Hizashi is beaming, “Endeavor is publicly humiliated and someone too big for his boots was disgraced. It’s so familiar it’s hilarious!”
“He won’t come back here will he?” Shouta asked only half sarcastically, “I’m not a shelter for Endeavor’s bad decisions.”
“I very much doubt he’ll want to ever see me again.” Hizashi chuckles, “But he’s going to.”
Shouta grins slightly. He likes when Hizashi gets like this. Though normally this sort of blood thirsty talk only applies to those who hurt Shouta somehow. It’s good to see Hizashi finally standing up for himself. He’ll encourage it, “How can I help?”