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The Arcane Quirks

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I watch as a figure emerges from behind the previously locked door, the ghost of a mischievous grin on his face. I lean against the counter, ignoring the rough wood that pokes into me.

“You are one suspicious bastard,” I mutter, watching as the tall figure smirks. “Oh, by the way, how the hell did you get in my house?”

“Would you believe me if I said I have a key?”

I glance at the door, and stare disappointedly at him.

“Well, yes, because there’s no other way to get in my house,” I reply, and cross my arms. He smiles and swings an ornate key on a ring around his finger. I quickly snatch the key and inspect it, the curious male’s key much more decorative than mine. The key itself is covered in gold, and it has two glinting rubies in the shape of a heart. “Huh. How cheesy. Still think you’re suspicious,” I say, and hand the key back to the now mildly amused man.

I glance at his jacket and see a telltale gemstone pinned there, a rhodochrosite. He’s part of the Todoroki family. Though, he has a very different style compared to the other people in his family. Touya, perhaps?

“Would it ease your mind to search me?” he suggests, and smirks playfully, obviously expecting me to decline, flustered. You think I’m too shy, bitch?

“You know what? It would,” I reply, eyes narrowing. The Todoroki is obviously startled, yet shrugs as though this was to be expected. The height difference makes this mildly weird, but that’s fine. He shucks off the heavy, dark blue overcoat and his scarf, and opens his arms in a ‘here I am’ gesture. He’s left to a loose white shirt and black pants, and I’m slightly regretting my decision.

Inspect
Back Out

I ponder the two options for a half of a second, and start gingerly patting down the intruder, figuring that this was the better of the two options. Am I doing this out of spite? Yeah. I vaguely feel a rapidly beating heart, and immediately move my hand away, not wanting to make this even more awkward. There’s several sets of decorative and real knives, each probably worth a ton. I subtly snatch one, without alerting him. “God fucking dammit why did I agree to this…” I catch myself muttering, and I look up quickly, expecting an amused reaction from him. Instead, he’s looking away, in fact, he’s looking anywhere besides where I am, and I don’t miss the furious red tainting his pale face.

I step back abruptly, offering back his jacket, the fabric heavier than I initially expected. When the male grabs his jacket and shrugs it on, I comment, “Damn, that thing’s pretty heavy, how do you wear it all day?”

He doesn’t answer, and I frown slightly, but drop that pointless question.

“If I may ask, what do I call you?”

“Dabi,” he replies, and I see him about to leave. Dabi? Well, I can get behind the alias. “Wait. Can you do me a favor? One of those readings, I mean. I’m curious.”

I eye the bag I carry, full of my master’s cards. “Alright, please, have a seat at the table,” I say, gesturing to the small circular table with a green silk draped over it. Dabi hesitantly sits at the table, and I notice for once that he has purple gloves that are thin and made of a foreign material. The same material makes up the scarf that is now smoothly wrapped back around his neck.

Speaking of which, my familiar, which was cruelly chosen to be a snake, drops from the ceiling and falls on my shoulder, slithering around my neck. The glittering fiery scales of Faia, the sassy but incredibly intelligent cobra, appear in the corner of my eyes. Dabi’s eyebrows shoot up when he sees the snake.

“Huh, nice pet you’ve got there,” he comments, and I scoff, shuffling the tarot cards, getting passing glimpses of the different arcana within it.

I lay flat three of the cards, randomly selected from the deck. I vaguely break out of the trance I usually get into when working with Tomura’s cards. There’s something off about them. Like they have emotions. Course that creepy bastard would have sentient cards.

Dabi looks expectantly, and I flip up the card closest to me, and stare at the reversed Devil. The voice comes to me, easily, after so many years of practice. Even though there’s so much I can say, I decide to keep things short, out of habit.
 
“Purge the things that harm you from your life. Take back your power.”

After a bout of silence, I realize this seems to strike a cord in Dabi, because he stands up abruptly. I stand up as well, but a lot swifter.

“What is it? What’s wrong?” I ask instead, and the man, not so much storms, but walks with an ill-intended purpose, towards the door. “Dabi!” I say louder, and extend my arm towards the entrance, creating a weak, but still present barrier between the son of the royals and the door.

“Let me leave. I have something to do,” he commands, and I scoff, but release the barrier, letting him go. I notice that, as he leaves, a lick of blue flame appears at his neck, and there’s smoke following his footsteps.

Faia wraps tightly around my neck, staring at the door, now slightly ajar. When she nearly kills me like that, it means I’ve either done something wrong or something bad is near in the future. I stand up and head towards the door, with the intent to close it, like any normal person.

Instead, I see a curious face outside. Someone, about my age, standing idly outside my door, a dark shawl creating a shadow for the person to hide in. What I can see, however, is dual-colored hair, one side a fiery red—a very distinct hereditary hair color in the Todoroki family—and the other side a pale white—still just as distinct. You’d expect in the very middle it’d be a soft rose color, but the blending is nonexistent.

I realize I’m staring and open the door wider, which gets the guest’s attention. I immediately panic when I see his face more clearly. It’s fucking Shouto Todoroki you better not fuck this up.

He’s the most famous of the Todoroki sons, revered locally as one of the more powerful out of all of them. Of course, he’s begun to be more rebellious, but if you hear the rumors about his family, well, you wouldn’t blame him.

Faia loosens slightly, and I wave the guest in, watching as he practically glides through the room. He stops when he spots the table and turns to me.

“Hello,” I say, quietly. Shouto gently lowers his shawl, letting the sunlight from the window spill onto his face.

“Hello, Izuku,” he replies, his voice sounding deeper than I thought it would be. I also note the use of my more formal—and, well, correct, I suppose—name, instead of the usual alias everyone knows me as, Deku. “I’m assuming I don’t need to make an introduction?”

“No sir,” I mutter, slightly intimidated by the…prince? Can I call him that? It sounds too fairytale-esk.

“You can relax on the formality, if you want,” Shouto suggests, the edge of his lips quirked up into a smile.

I vaguely remember that I am, in fact, still holding the door open. I shut the door quickly, my ears burning. “Of course.” I walk over to the source of my current anxieties and wait for his explanation of why the fuck he’s here. He silently shrugs off his fancy coat, the color of which is a deep crimson, almost nearing on the color of blood, and I reach out to take it, but instead he drapes it over the back of the chair at the table.

“I want you to do a reading. For me, of course,” he says, as though this was the most obvious thing ever. Faia raises her head curiously and looks at me like ‘are you gonna do it?’.

“And why are you coming to me? There’s a billion fortune tellers here,” I reply, and cross my arms, subtly scratching at my arms. A nervous tic.

Shouto scrunches his nose, before stating, “Those liars and con artists are distasteful. I’d much prefer an unfortunate but real reading than one done solely in the interest to please me.”

“How noble.”

“I am nobility, though” he reminds me, a slight grin on his face. I return back to the silk-covered table and start reshuffling the cards, watching Shouto’s eyes subtly gleam with interest.

“So. How’d you find me, anyway?”

“Your reputation. And perhaps a dream, but mostly your reputation,” he admits, and I nod, ignoring the ‘maybe a dream’ thing. I lay flat three of the cards, and pick the one on my right, his left.

The Hierophant stares up at me, and I see Shouto look over with immense interest. “You may find yourself seeking instruction in new areas of life. Place your faith in long-trusted methods.”

Shouto scoffs, but not in an ‘I don’t believe you’ sort of way. He mutters something about ‘if I have to rely on old methods, then I’ll be killing anyone who annoys me’, which mildly concerns me, but I don’t say anything.

“Anything else you want?” I ask, after cleaning back up the cards and gently placing them back in my bag. Shouto doesn’t respond, but stands up and shrugs on his coat lazily, ignoring the sleeves and just letting the fabric rest on his shoulders and act like a cape of sorts. He heads towards the door as I stand up clumsily, nearly knocking over my chair.

“Come to our—I mean, the Todoroki estate, tomorrow at 10 AM.” This wasn’t phrased as a question, though I suppose it shouldn’t be, coming from him at least.

Estate,” I mutter, amused. He means castle, like something out of Disney world. It’s pretty obvious, the huge ‘estate’ that towers over the town, sometimes impressive, sometimes creepy.

“Yes, estate,” he says, wrapping the shawl back up, and we make it to the door that isn’t that far away. It takes me a moment, but I end up stumbling over myself to open the door for the son of the royal, and I watch as he laughs slightly and leaves swiftly, disappearing into the crowd like a professional.

Fuck. Did fucking nobility just invite me to a date? A sleepover? What does the bastard want?