In the middle of the day, maybe half an hour before he’d allow himself to break for lunch, Enji’s eyes began to cross. After several hours of reading a stack of police reports, parsing out messy handwriting, and glancing at his phone waiting for Shoto to text him back, the words were all blending together. He realized he’d read the same page three times before, admitting defeat, he flicked on the radio sat atop his desk, hoping the background noise would put him in a different headspace. It was a fairly popular radio station, known for oddball quizzes and celebrity guests. Enji had himself ignored a number of invitations to be interviewed, but he knew other heroes were not so reticent about being ‘pranked’ by a radio host who went by a ridiculous stage name. His public persona was... well, he hardly understood it himself. He passed a hand over the scar crossing his eye. He’d tried following Hawks’s advice, that day... being more ‘personable’. That child, “Can’t Ya See”, as the media called him, had been less than impressed with his efforts to soften his image. It felt like he just couldn’t win. Advice he got from All Might, the former Number One, and from Hawks, the current Number Two, weren’t helping him to find his place after this recent shake-up. Worse, it seemed the public, his ‘fans’ such as they were, wanted him to stay the same person he’d always been, like he was a character on a show which had simply gotten a new writer. But. Things were too different. All Might’s retirement, the capture of All for One, these new Nomu unlike any they’d seen before... he would have to be a fool to continue in the way he had, to act like nothing had changed. Furthermore, he didn’t want to be that same person. He could see, in his own children, that something had to give. He turned the radio up louder.
“Alright alright alright!” the host cajoled, sounding... not unlike Present Mic. “We’ve got a guest in the studio today, who, well, he’s been here before, but that was... when was that anyway? You’d just started your hero agency back then, right?”
A light chuckle came through the speakers. “Give or take a year, yeah. Congrats on not getting cancelled in that time, by the way.”
Ah. Hawks. Seemed as though Enji could hardly get away from him of late.
The radio host laughed obnoxiously loudly. “I know, I know, right? We’re as shocked as anyone! Anyway, anyway. For those listeners currently thinking ‘oh my god, I know that voice but I can’t place it and it’s driving me crazy’, I’ll give you a helping hand. We’re pleased as heck to have the Number Two hero, Hawks, on the show! Thanks for coming in!”
“Thanks for having me.”
Enji could hear the lazy smile. What a bizarre hero Hawks was. He insulted Enji to his face at the ranking ceremony, and then came to him about the Nomu. He carried Enji away from the scene of the battle, on his own shoulder, even after having lost all of his feathers. He thrived in the limelight, but didn’t seem to crave it like some heroes. And, for all his seeming nonchalance, he’d distinguished himself more at 22 than most heroes did in a lifelong career. Enji felt as though he didn’t understand the other man, which could be problematic if they were supposed to be communicating about this new Nomu threat. Maybe this radio interview would help.
“Okay okay okay,” the host brayed. “Since you’ve been here before, we thought we’d do something a little different this time.”
“Do tell,” Hawks murmured, unperturbed.
“Well, well, well... you know your approval ratings have always been pretty good. And, following that recent fight alongside Endeavor, I think it’s safe to say your popularity is at an all-time high!”
Frowning, Enji wondered if his inclusion in that statement meant he’d helped Hawks’s climb in public approval of late by virtue of being Number One, or if he’d simply made Hawks look better by comparison.
“Maybe so,” Hawks answered easily, as if he didn’t know down to the decimal what his approval ratings were.
“So then, so then, it stands to reason there’s a significant social media buzz around your name. You were a trending hashtag after the battle!”
Enji hadn’t checked to see if the same was true of him. He supposed he could ask one of the kids. Fuyumi might know. He wasn’t sure Natsuo was currently speaking to him, and Shoto STILL hadn’t texted him back.
“We’ve taken the liberty of collecting a selection of particularly memorable tweets mentioning you,” the radio host went on, “and we thought it would be fun to have you read them on air!”
Enji clicked his tongue. As if Hawks needed another ego trip.
“Okay then, let’s take a look— oh. /that/ kind of memorable. Well. You sure /this/ won’t finally get your show cancelled?” There was a teasing lilt in Hawks’s voice.
“You let us worry about that!” the host replied cheerfully.
Hawks cleared his throat. “This one says, ‘Hawks can f-ing get it. I want him to lift me up in the sky with those f-ing wings and drop me directly into Hell please thanks’. Is that okay? I’m gonna censor the language in these. Hm, directly into Hell, huh? Might have to ask Endeavor for help with that one.”
The host laughed, but Enji’s brows furrowed. It pulled on his scar, a sensation he wasn’t yet used to. What was that tweet even supposed to mean? Hawks could get /what/?
“Oh, wow. This next one is spicy,” Hawks noted into the microphone. “‘I would slather Hawks in smoky maple barbecue sauce and suck his ribs like yakitori’.” There was a pause. “Do you suck yakitori? I guess, off the skewers, right? Like, they’re gonna suck the flesh off my ribs? That’s intense. One might even say kinky.”
“Young people have such a strange sense of humor,” Enji muttered. He’d forgotten the police reports entirely and was instead trying to picture Hawks, sitting in a recording booth, reading the unusual things the internet had to say about him. He’d probably sit with his head propped up on one hand, carelessly leafing through the printed tweets with the other.
“‘I cannot stop thinking about Hawks stirring up all of my organs—‘ uh. How do I pronounce a keysmash? ‘Fuhnahhgusmecchh’. You know, I’m not a trained surgeon, but. Hey, sounds like a party. An elective surgery party. That’s the title of my new metal album, by the way.”
“Good God,” Enji murmured. Hawks sounded totally unaffected by all these... were they even fantasies? Did people talk like this to him often? Was Hawks’s fan mail like this?
“Oh hey here’s one that doesn’t involve grievous bodily harm! What a rarity. ‘Does Hawks know I love him? Does he know how good my strap game is? I pray.’” Hawks laughed. “I mean, now I do, Eri N., wherever you are. I wanted to say /oh I’m kinda into that/ but that might be a bit much, don’t you think?”
“People do say you move too fast,” the host cut in, before laughing at his own joke.
Enji could feel his face flushing. Typing a sentence like that for the whole world to see online was one thing, but Hawks just brazenly saying ‘I’m kinda into that’ like it was nothing was... what would the Commission say?! Strap game?! Enji was embarrassed to know what that even /meant/, and here was Hawks saying he’d happily take a strap-on from a stranger? The lurid mental image was /invasive/, to say the least.
“‘@WingedHeroHawks...’ oh. There’s a printed photo of New York from Flavor of Love here, saying ‘I know his dick is big. I know it. I know it’s big. Oh God, my heart hurts.’ Wait, should I have censored the word dick?”
Hawks laughed again, but Enji’s beard burst into flame and then died. It had been uneven, and felt odd, ever since he’d gotten the scar on his face, and he put his palms to his cheeks without thinking about it, feeling the residual heat, struggling with an odd sense of shock. He was incredibly glad he’d never agreed to go on this radio show! Saying these things... deplorable!
“What can I say, I’m flattered!” Hawks jeered, miles away and totally unaware of the crisis he was putting Enji through. “I’m flattered. That one’s actually pretty nice. Okay.”
The sound of shuffling paper indicated Hawks was readying the next tweet. How many of these were there?!
“‘Good morning Twitter I’m sitting in this McDonald’s thinking about sucking down Hawks’s j’— uh, BLEEP,— ‘instead of this purple shake. I bet’— oh, wow— ‘I bet it’s thicker.’ Listen.” Hawks seemed to struggle for a moment, fighting giggles. “I don’t. Listen... is thickness a goal for that... fluid? If it’s thicker than a McDonald’s McShake or an erection persists for more than four hours, please seek medical attention. I mean... maybe. Maybe it is. But it’s not as sweet.”
Enji stood from his desk, his chair rolling noisily against his ergonomic floor mat. He paced in a small circle. He didn’t know how to feel about this. Was this how Hawks maintained his approval ratings? By these... absurd innuendos?
Shaking his head, Enji forced himself to take several deep breaths. No, he knew Hawks was a talented and dedicated hero. He’d fought alongside him for god’s sake! Hawks... well, he might have saved Enji’s life, not to mention all those people in the building when they’d been attacked by those Nomu. While convalescing in the hospital, after Recovery Girl had left, Enji had realized he’d been pretty rude to Hawks, demanding he pay for their meal. All things considered, he probably owed Hawks dinner. He clicked the radio off, and dialed Hawks’s agency. This was a perfect time to call; with Hawks on the radio show, Enji knew he was in no danger of reaching the man himself. He could leave his message with a sidekick, and put the ball in Hawks’s court.
“Hero agency,” the voice on the phone said. How arrogant, not even saying /which/ agency.
“This is Endeavor,” Enji said, and smiled to himself when the bored voice stuttered suddenly to attention.
“O-oh! Yes, Endeavor sir! What can we do for you today?”
“I want to request a meeting with Hawks. What’s his availability?”
“Oh, he’s, uh, he’s at an appointment right now, can I have him return?”
Enji could hear pages being flipped— a phone log or a calendar, perhaps.
“I know he is. Do you have access to his calendar?” This honestly was taking longer than he’d hoped.
“Ye-es,” the voice answered hesitantly.
“Alright, is he available...” Enji thought about his own calendar. “Thursday night after 7? Tell him it’s a dinner meeting.”
“Thursday, Thursday... here. Um, yes, Thursday night is open. Could I, erm. What’s the best number to reach you? For the appointment book?”
Enji rattled off his personal number, and was informed that someone would call him if there were any changes. So. That was that done then.
He leaned back in his desk chair and passed his hands over his face. ‘Thicker than a McDonald’s shake’... good god. The internet could be truly disgusting.
The next morning he was called to the scene of a fire, which soon became a string of arsons. He was able to control the fires, one by one, but it felt like he was being led through a morbid game of tag trying to catch up to the culprit. Part of him wondered if it would be the man from after the Nomu attack, the one he hadn’t been able to get a good look at. In the end though, it was just another nutjob, a nobody with a fairly low-power fire quirk and delusions of grandeur. Enji regretted that it had taken three days to pin the guy down, and before he knew it it was 6:00 on Thursday and his phone was ringing.
“This is Endeavor,” he answered automatically, despite the fact that it wasn’t his work phone. He grimaced a little. He hadn’t even checked the caller ID. If it was one of his kids, they’d tease him for answering his personal phone like that.
“Yeah I figured,” the voice said. Hawks.
Enji had almost forgotten about their dinner meeting, and he absolutely reeked of the chemical accelerant the villain had been using.
“So I wondered, where are we meeting tonight? Are you coming to my agency, am I going to yours, what’s the deal?” Hawks asked. Fair question. Enji thought about the last time they’d been seen in public together, however.
“I thought it might be safer to meet at my home,” Enji stated, and Hawks hummed a low note on the other end.
“Oh yeah? The Todoroki estate? I’m honored.”
Hawks was probably messing with him, but Enji ignored it. He gave the address, and began heading home, hoping for a thorough shower before Hawks arrived.
He wore a comfortable yukata to greet Hawks, as he usually did at home. Hawks glanced at it and grinned.
“I feel like I’m being welcomed to an onsen,” Hawks joked. “If this whole Number One Hero thing doesn’t work out, you could consider opening a hot spring, huh? Heat the water with your Hellfire.” Hawks toed out of his boots a little clumsily, tucked his visor into the breast pocket of his coat. Enji led him into the dining room.
He’d taken the liberty of ordering in, remembering Hawks’s preference for chicken dishes, and hoped Hawks liked curry.
“Wow, this is quite a spread, but I guess that’s to be expected. This is a hell of a house you’ve got here. Hey, can I hang up my coat somewhere?”
Enji took it from him, and moved to hang it in the hall closet along with his ear guards. Hawks must have come directly from work to still be dressed in his complete hero costume. He wondered what Hawks’s agency had been up to while he was busy with the slippery arsonist, and also, whether or not Hawks was really too busy to even be there and was just humoring him.
He found Hawks patiently waiting at the table when he returned, as if in a show of good manners.
“You sure ordered a lot of chicken options,” Hawks said, as Enji knelt to take his place opposite Hawks. “Stewed chicken, chicken cutlet, spicy wings. Are you trying to... curry my favor?” He grinned at Enji, who snorted a laugh. Hawks certainly was as quick with his wit as he was with everything else.
“I wanted to be sure to order something you’d eat,” Enji explained, pulling his own mackerel curry close to himself.
“Mackerel curry, huh? You a fan of those regional dishes?” Hawks asked, selecting the crispy chicken cutlet to start with. “I always thought mackerel had too strong a fishy flavor. It’s the fishiest fish I can think of. Itadakimasu!”
Ordinarily, Enji would regard this kind of talk as /idle chatter/, but he swallowed his impulses and vowed to make an effort. “When you breathe fire, subtler flavors begin to escape you,” he admitted, delicately separating sections of the baked fish in his curry sauce with his chopsticks.
“That so? I guess you used to do that more, years back, when I was a kid. Not much anymore, huh? Seems you favor attacking from your hands, nowadays.” Hawks talked with his mouth full, despite his earlier pretenses of etiquette. He hadn’t realized Hawks would be that familiar with the evolution of Enji’s fighting style.
“I get more precision that way,” Enji explained. “The Hell’s Breath technique was better for when I was starting out.”
“Flashier?” Hawks cajoled, fluttering his wing tips.
“It got villains’ attention, drew them away from glory-hunting rookies who were just going to get themselves killed,” Enji corrected.
“I thought you were really badass, back then, you know? People used to talk about my potential, when I was still in primary school, and I was pretty much pushed toward being a hero since then. Because of that, people used to give me All Might merch for every birthday. One year the store ran out of some new All Might figurine, and so my aunt bought me a plush Endeavor instead. That thing was my favorite. I used to carry it around everywhere.” Hawks stirred rice into his curry, as nonchalant with his humble-bragging and confession of boyhood fandom as he had been on that radio show reading salacious tweets. “I wonder what you were like as a kid, Endeavor. Did you have a favorite hero?” Hawks gave him one of his sleepy smiles. He always looked like he was sitting on a secret and it made Enji’s hair prickle.
“There was less merchandising back then. It’s really picked up in the last twenty or thirty years.”
“I guess that’s true. Of course, you’re talking about before I was born, so I don’t really know.” He soaked his chicken cutlet in curry sauce before eating each piece. “Hey, what’s this about, anyway? I thought you’d bring it up yourself by now, but you’re keeping me in suspense, and I’m not well known for being a patient kind of guy. Are you gonna announce your retirement and pass the Number One spot to me?”
Enji’s face flamed before he consciously put the fire out again. “You’re trying to muscle me out that quickly?” he demanded, shocked at Hawks’s cheek.
Hawks put up one placating hand, spreading his wings out in a gesture of surrender.
“The opposite, actually. I thought maybe you were really discouraged because of that scar you got fighting the talking Nomu, and that I’d have to convince you to keep being Number One for a while.” He returned to his food with a shrug. “Besides, UA doesn’t need you /and/ All Might on staff. Talk about unfair to other schools.”
“You think I’d retire to... teach?” Enji had never even considered such a notion.
“Hmm, maybe not. I can’t really picture that, now that I think about it.” Hawks rubbed the scruff at the point of his chin. “Though you’d probably look good in a suit.”
Enji shrugged. “Well, that’s not why I invited you, anyway. I thought I’d been... somewhat hasty, in our last conversation, before the Nomu attacked.”
Hawks blinked at him. “Oh, so this is /apology/ torikatsu?” He snickered.
“Take it or leave it, that’s what it is,” Enji replied, crossing his arms. He realized this wasn’t the usual way people apologized, but he was reluctant to bow to Hawks, who was, among other things, half his age.
“Well, it’s certainly unexpected,” Hawks said, “but I’ll take it. Can’t say no to a free meal.” He grabbed for a few of the spicy wings. “What brought this on, anyway?”
“I heard you on the radio the other day, and thought I should reach out.”
“Radio? Oh... oh, Christ. You mean that goofy thirst tweets thing? I don’t know how I should feel knowing you heard all that.” Hawks’s wings folded behind him. “Please don’t take it personally that I read those ones about you. It wasn’t my idea.”
Enji’s brows shot up. “About me?”
“You didn’t listen to the whole show?” Hawks pushed rice around on his plate. “Well I guess I’ve painted myself into a corner, haven’t I? Alright, so after they had me read a bunch of tweets about myself, they threw in a few about other pro heroes, as a bonus I guess. You, All Might, Miruko, Best Jeanist. You know, for ratings or something.”
“And?” Enji wondered if something insulting had been said about him on the air.
“Oh come on, it was just more of the same! ‘Miruko please punch me into the sun,’ ‘Best Jeanist can wrap me up in his Canadian tuxedo any day of the week and twice on Fridays,’ that kind of thing.”
Enji pushed again. “And people post that kind of thing about me?”
Hawks boggled at him. “You seriously don’t know? Oh my god, ALL THE TIME!” Laughing so hard he had to push his food away, Hawks struggled to find the words. “The ones they had me read about you were pretty tame by comparison to stuff I’ve seen online. Just, ‘My ideal weight is however heavy I would be with Endeavor on top of me,’ and something like ‘Endeavor could slap my ass in front of all my grandparents and I’d still say /thank you Daddy/‘. I was joking with Swordfish, the host of the show, like, ‘oh, how’d you find my private twitter,’ but it was just for laughs.”
Blinking rapidly, Enji fought the blush threatening to embarrass him further. That was... a lot to take in. Firstly, that tweets like /that/ were ‘tame’ by comparison to things Hawks had personally seen, and second, that Hawks himself would even /joke/ about having written those things himself.
“How have you been a hero this long and you don’t know there’s people nationwide, possibly even internationally, who are jonesin’ for your jock?” Hawks went on. “This explains /so much/ oh my god.” He buried his face in his hands, shoulders shaking with laughter. It made his wings fluff up.
“I don’t... seek out such things,” Enji insisted, making Hawks laugh harder. “How can you even joke about that, don’t you worry what the hero commission will think?”
Hawks fought to get his face under control. “Not really. It’s the public’s opinion that matters to me,” he retorted, wiping tears from his eyes. “That’s why I keep up with what’s being said about us top ten heroes. Lots of people were really excited to see us team up, by the way.”
“Is that so?” Enji asked. He tried to think of it from a ‘fan’s perspective. He supposed having the top two heroes together, both fighting their hardest against a real threat, would be exciting to watch, if you weren’t in the middle of it, fearing for your life.
“There’s a conspiracy theory that we’re secretly dating, and that we were having a romantic dinner when that Nomu attacked,” Hawks said bluntly. “If anyone saw me arrive here, I guess that’d really fuel those rumors, huh?”
“Dating?!” Enji dropped his chopsticks, smoke rising out of the corners of his mouth. “What, why would they—?! I have children older than you!”
Hawks had the nerve to look a bit put-out at that.
“So? I’m still an adult, you know. I really don’t think you’re in any position to treat me like a child, after that last battle. You could barely stand, but I carried you out of there.” He glared across the table, and Enji was reminded of how little he understood Hawks. It felt like they were speaking different languages.
“I know,” Enji conceded. “I know you’re not a child, and I know you are... an incredibly strong hero. One day, you /will/ be Number One, and you’ll deserve it.”
Hawks stilled, a strange expression on his face for just a moment, before he wiped it away with one of his trademark grins.
“Sure,” he agreed, “until that kid of yours steals the spot from me.” He returned to his food as if nothing happened, and, deciding not to press the issue, Enji did the same.
“I’d be willing to bet you get more of that kind of tweet than I do,” Enji said, changing the subject.
“Well, you don’t have any social media, as far as I know, so that’s part of it,” Hawks answered. “These hot wings are actually really spicy.” He gulped down water, and Enji stood to refill his glass.
“I’m too old for that kind of thing. And my hands are too big for all those little screens. You should see me trying to text my kids. You’d laugh for a year.”
Hawks drained his glass halfway again, and Enji cast an uncertain glance toward the kitchen.
“Do you want a beer or something? I wasn’t sure if you’d be going back to the office after this. I’ve heard you tend to keep some pretty late hours.”
“Hm?” Hawks looked up at him, toweling hot sauce off of his face with a handful of napkins. “Oh, yeah, that would be good. Thanks.”
Retreating to the kitchen, Enji thought about Hawks’s strange reaction earlier. He’d not been offended that people thought they were romantically involved; instead, he was more concerned that Enji might think of him as a child. He supposed that was understandable. There was nothing anyone could do about rumors like that, but considering Hawks’s meteoric rise, he’d probably struggled quite a bit to be taken seriously. He grabbed a six pack of Sapporo and headed back out into the dining room, finding Hawks heaping more rice onto his plate.
“Goddamn, this spice is /persistent/,” Hawks complained, taking a huge bite of plain rice. “My mouth is /on fire/.” He glanced up as Enji held out a cold bottle. “Not literally of course. You hold the title on that. Thanks.” He flicked the top off with one of his feathers, and Enji watched curiously. Those feathers sure were multi-purpose. “Something on my face?” Hawks asked, after a long pull from his bottle, noticing Enji was still standing there, staring at him.
“Eh? No,” Enji replied, coming back to himself. “I was just thinking about your feathers. They can lift people into the air, you can sharpen them to blades, you can sense vibrations with them, and you can control them telepathically. You have enough precision with them to flip a bottle top off with one feather. It’s a very unusual quirk. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.” He knelt opposite Hawks again, leveraged the top of his own bottle off by sheer brute force.
“Is that... are you /complimenting me/?” Hawks laughed.
Enji furrowed his brows again. “Yes?” Not that Hawks needed to get an even bigger head about his abilities. “I was just thinking, extra limbs and animal attributes aren’t that uncommon, but to have both, and as well-developed as yours, I can see why your potential was lauded from an early age. Look at my son’s classmates for example. Two of the boys have extra limbs, but they’re not particularly flashy quirks. Another boy has a bird-like head, but it doesn’t seem to be related to his quirk at all.”
“Oh, yeah, Tokoyami-kun. He did his internship and work-study with me. Good kid,” Hawks commented.
“Yes. What I’m saying is, I can understand how you got to Number Two at your age. You’re very skilled, and very lucky.” Enji nodded at Hawks, in a show of respect, but Hawks made a strange face.
“That’s very like you, to say that. I understand you had a quirk marriage, to try to produce a kid who would surpass you, fill in any weak spots you might have. I take it you can overheat if you overextend your fire, am I right? That’s why you chose a wife with an ice quirk, so your kids would be able to temper the heat in their own bodies.” Hawks fiddled with his chopsticks, twirling them in one hand. “You’ve trained yourself enough that you can basically have your quirk engaged at a low level /most/ of the time without overexerting yourself, but you wanted to make it easier for your kids to regulate their temperature. You wanted to create a stronger next generation of heroes.”
Enji hesitated, the beer bottle sweating onto his hand.
“I went about it all wrong,” he admitted. “And it took All Might’s retirement for me to see that.”
Hawks stood, moved to stand behind Enji, and put a hand on Enji’s shoulder.
“I respected you, because you wanted to challenge All Might’s dominion over the hero rankings. Because you didn’t want the fame, or the money, or the glory. You just wanted to be stronger, to prove it to yourself. You wanted a different /class/ of heroes.” Hawks rubbed Enji’s shoulder soothingly. It was unexpected, but Enji enjoyed it more than he would have expected.
“Watch it, you’re starting to sound like the Hero Killer,” Enji said, closing his eyes and relaxing into the motions of Hawks’s hand.
“You would know, you fought the guy,” Hawks replied, lifting his other hand to rub both of Enji’s shoulders at once.
“Hardly,” Enji snorted. “Can you keep a secret?”
“Obviously,” Hawks answered, digging into the base of Enji’s neck with his thumbs.
“I wasn’t really responsible for Stain’s capture. The bulk of the fighting was done by my son, Shoto, and his classmate, Izuku Midoriya. They didn’t have their provisional licenses yet, though, so to keep them out of trouble, the police agreed to credit me with the Hero Killer’s defeat.”
Hawks uttered a low whistle. “I bet that really steamed your buns, huh? You hate it when you get an honor you don’t feel like you’ve earned.”
Enji grunted as Hawks’s fingers dug hard into his shoulders. “It did bother me,” he agreed.
“Bothered that kid of yours too, I’d wager. I don’t know all the details, but I watched most of the sports festival.” Enji tensed, and Hawks smacked his shoulders, wordlessly reminding him to relax. “He seems just as stubborn as you are. And as disciplined.” Letting out a hot breath, Enji allowed his shoulders to sag, giving into Hawks’s treatment.
“That may be the extent of what Shoto and I have in common,” Enji groused. “As you said, it was always my goal to train him enough that he would surpass me. I didn’t think this is how he’d do it though.”
“Without you, you mean?” Hawks needled, and Enji’s eyes snapped open. He hadn’t really considered it that way, but it was true. “You can’t have it both ways, Endeavor. You know that.” Hawks leaned into a painful knot near Enji’s spine, making Enji hiss.
“I know,” he mumbled. He sighed into Hawks’s massage.
“You’d better not show this side of yourself to your fans. God knows what the thirst tweets would look like then,” Hawks jokes, moving his fingers up Enji’s neck and into his close-cropped hair.
“They might dry up,” Enji stated blandly, tilting his head forward to allow Hawks greater access.
“I don’t think so. There’s probably nothing you could do to dam the flood on that, mister Number One. They’d just be less ‘please crush my rib cage to powder with your thicc thighs Endeavor’ and more ‘I want Endeavor to hold me close and make me feel safe and warm with his penis’.” Hawks scratched Enji’s scalp, and gave him goosebumps. “That kind of thing.”
“That’s not something my penis is known for doing, historically,” Enji murmured. Outside of paying for a massage he couldn’t remember the last time he’d felt this relaxed.
“No safe and warm feeling, only punishment,” Hawks commented, playing along. He rubbed behind Enji’s ears, and Enji groaned softly. He’d forgotten how sensitive he was there.
“Something like that,” Enji said, still thinking about his family, and the mistakes he’d made... driving his wife into an institution.
“Ooh, Daddy likes it rough,” Hawks teased, and Enji immediately broke out in a hot sweat, shocked. Hawks probably didn’t mean anything by it, was probably just talking shit as usual, but Enji’s body didn’t seem to get the memo on that, as his heart was suddenly pounding. It wasn’t helped by the way Hawks pulled his hair, just a little, not even enough to tilt his head, but enough to sting at the roots and make Enji gasp. “Oh shit,” Hawks said, reading Enji like a book. “I guess I hit the nail on the head there, huh?”
Unable to answer in words, Enji heaved a shuddering breath, and racked his mind trying to figure out how he’d regain control of this situation.
“So am I assessing this vibe in here correctly?” Hawks asked, fingertips skating over the shells of Enji’s ears and down his neck muscles to the hollow of his throat. “Are you actually DTF, or am I crossing a line?”
Of course Hawks would make him admit to it.
“It’s... been a long time,” Enji warned him.
“Hey, no worries big guy. I’m basically good with whatever. I don’t think I’ve made a big secret out of my attraction to you, so. Whatever you’re comfortable with, I’m here for it.” He soothed Enji’s nerves with gentle strokes down his back, wings curling around them protectively.
“What do you— oh, you mean all those jokes about having written those tweets, and whatever else,” Enji replied. “I hadn’t thought there was any truth to that. I thought it was, I don’t know...”
“Fanservice?” Hawks offered, squeezing Enji’s large deltoid caps.
“Something like that.” As one of Hawks’s hands slid down his collar bone, into the open V of his yukata, Enji reached up, clasped Hawks’s hand in his. It looked... very small by comparison, and he kissed each of Hawks’s fingertips gently.
“Oh my god, holy shit,” Hawks moaned behind him, leaning into his back. “You’re... you have no idea what just that is doing to me. I mean I know I said I’m down for whatever but you have to understand that you were the cause of my teenage sexual awakening, so I might not last that long.” His fingers tensed around Enji’s, holding his hand tight. “And don’t you dare make any ‘too quick’ jokes because I’ve heard them all before.”
Enji huffed a quiet laugh, impossibly flattered. “Well, alright. We’ll just have to see. Come on.” He made to stand, but didn’t let go of Hawks’s hand, instead using it to pull him towards the bedroom. “I don’t have any condoms,” he noted, “so if you’d rather not be penetrated—“
Hawks made a choked sound in his throat. “Oh Jesus. Barebacking for Endeavor. That was like, ninety percent of my masturbatory fantasies from age 15 to now, I’d say.”
“Even now?” Enji pressed, flicking the lights on in his bedroom and tugging Hawks to the bed.
“Oh, shit, yeah. Nothing makes me thirsty like seeing new pics of you online or on TV or whatever. Here, undo the snaps in the back of my shirt, will you?”
Enji sat on the bed, and allowed Hawks to back into the space between his knees, wings spreading out to their widest extension. He felt along Hawks’s back, found the snaps that closed his shirt around his wings, and popped them open, one by one. Hawks easily ducked out of the shirt afterwards, and folded his wings so he could turn to face Enji. His lazy smirk had a different connotation in this space. It made him look hazy and sex-drunk already, and Enji couldn’t resist stroking down Hawks’s chest, seeing how much of Hawks’s body he could span with just one hand.
“Your fingers are so big,” Hawks said. “I think I’ve taken dicks smaller than just one of your fingers.” He slipped his hands into the front of Enji’s yukata, pushed it insistently off his shoulders so it hung around his waist where the tie kept it stubbornly closed. “Goddamn,” he breathed. “Okay.”
With the trademark speed for which he was best known, Hawks climbed into Enji’s lap. Knees on the bed and arms looped around Enji’s neck, he leaned in close. Enji studied his face, and rested his hands on Hawks’s narrow hips, realizing he could enclose Hawks’s middle entirely within the grip of his hands, his thumbs and middle fingers touching. He was about to comment on it, when Hawks’s forehead touched his.
“Endeavor,” Hawks said quietly, and Enji wondered if he should tell him to use his given name, because the next thing Hawks said was, “I’m going to kiss you.”
Then he did. His hands tangled in Enji’s hair and he pressed his mouth to Enji’s with a quiet moan, his eyes falling shut and his whole body leaning into Enji’s as he moved his lips hungrily against Enji’s mouth. Enji gripped his hips harder, sucked Hawks’s lower lip between his own, dragged his teeth against it gently. Hawks groaned aloud.
“Oh /fuck/, Endeavor!” Hawks gasped into his mouth. His hips began to grind into Enji’s abs, and he could feel Hawks getting hard through his trousers.
“Yeah? You just gonna rub off on my stomach like that, come in your pants like a teenager?” Enji growled, pushing one hand into Hawks’s hair to turn his head to the side and speak directly into his ear. “Is that the culmination of your seven years of stroking off to thoughts of me?”
“Fuck...” Hawks whined again, hips stuttering. “I fuckin’ /might/, if you keep talking like that. Goddamn.”
Enji laughed. Maybe it had been a long time since he was intimate with anyone, even in the time he’d been separated from his wife. Maybe it had been even longer since he’d been with a man. None of that seemed to matter with Hawks writhing on his lap, reawakening old urges with each roll of his hips.
“I want to fuck you into this mattress,” Enji said, teeth scraping down Hawks’s neck. “You’re gonna have to fly everywhere tomorrow, because I’m telling you right now, you won’t be able to walk.”
“Fuckin’, yeah. Tell me about it, Daddy,” Hawks groaned. One of his hands dropped between them, gripped Enji’s cock through the loose layers of his clothing. “Oh shit, this feels about as thick as I always imagined it. God fucking damn it, I don’t even know what I want first.”
“Meaning?” Enji asked. Hawks leaned forward to kiss his scar from the thin point at his jaw all the way up to his hairline.
“Meaning, part of me wants to drop to my knees and suck you off under your yukata, and part of me wants to roll over and beg to be speared on your fingers.” He cupped Enji’s jaw, brushed his thumb over his cheekbone. “I’m spoiled for choice.”
Enji smirked, turned his face into Hawks’s hand so he could kiss the heart of it. “I think I’d like to watch you finger your own hole while you stretch your lips around my cock,” he said, staring Hawks down.
Hawks shivered all the way to his wing tips, his feathers fluffing up and a blush coloring his cheeks. “Oh... yeah I think I’d like that, too,” Hawks answered, carefully backing off of Enji’s lap to kick off his socks and trousers, and to drop his underwear to the ground. Enji looked him up and down, his wiry muscles, his lean limbs, his rosy uncut cock straining away from his body.
“All of this, for me, Hawks? All those thirsty fans, and you want to sit on /my/ dick?” Enji untied the sash holding his yukata closed, brushed it away from his body. Hawks practically purred, staring openly at the obvious line of Enji’s erection straining the front of his boxer briefs. He got to his knees, and began sliding his hands up Enji’s thighs, over the fabric, until he could cup and stroke him with both hands.
“Are you kidding? This is a wet dream come true. Shit, Endeavor, your cock is so hot, I can feel it through your underwear. It’s gonna feel like I’m being roasted from the inside when you fuck me open.”
Enji growled, pushing the waistband of his underwear down under his balls to expose his cock. “That right? Never thought I’d hear you talk like that, Hawks. I’ll start to believe you really did write all those tweets.”
“Some of them are really filthy, Endeavor. You ought to do a search for yourself sometime,” Hawks replied, wrapping a hand around Enji’s base. One of his feathers shot out, wedged itself in the drawer of the night stand, and rummaged around. “Hmm, I can’t tell if you actually have lube in here or not. Feels pretty cluttered.”
“Hmph,” Enji huffed, reaching under his bed for an unassuming tool box. “In here.” Honestly, his side table wasn’t that cluttered. It was just that a jar of earplugs had spilled in there, and he hadn’t gotten around to picking them all up. Plus there was a collection of pens and pencils in there, for sudoku—
“I guess it really has been a while since you got laid, if you don’t even have lube handy,” Hawks observed, reaching for the box with one hand while the other stroked Enji from base to tip at a leisurely pace.
“Handy enough, isn’t it?” Enji retorted, frowning. Hawks only laughed through his nose and pressed a cheeky kiss just under Enji’s tip.
“Don’t worry so much,” Hawks said, flipping open the latches on the box while still sliding his hand slowly up and down Enji’s cock. The lube was in the top compartment, but Hawks had to go digging underneath. “Hello, what’s this? Is this all just restraints? Do you keep your other toys in your closet or something?”
“Never needed anything else,” Enji stated, lifting his hips as if to illustrate. Hawks gave him a squeeze.
“You think this is the only tool someone could want you to use on them?” He rubbed his thumb into Enji’s slit, making his hips buck. “Oh, lord. Maybe sometime I’ll have to bring you some of my toys, and then we’ll find out if you /can/ teach an old dog new tricks.” He let go of Enji to uncap the lube, and warm it between his fingers. “I bet you’d be an absolute pro at hot wax play,” he noted, almost offhandedly, as he braced one hand on Enji’s knee and began rubbing over his own hole with the other. “I’d be down for that, as long as you didn’t get any wax in my feathers.” Enji watched Hawks’s face as he pushed a finger inside himself, the way his unruly eyebrows pinched, and his breath came harder and faster. When he had two fingers inside, pushing in and out at a steady pace, he finally leaned forward and began kissing up Enji’s cock. He suckled the tip into his mouth and Enji grunted softly, both hands fisting in the duvet as Hawks began to slide down. His thumbs dug into Enji’s inner thighs as he worked his way to Enji’s base, dipping down and sucking back up, down a little further, and back up again. Enji’s toes curled against the floor. Hawks was... very good at that, and the way he looked, jaw open, lips pulling around him, eyes half-lidded as he took it all in, fucking himself on his fingers, was making Enji want to grab Hawks by the hair and fuck his throat. He restrained himself, breathing out a cloud of steam.
“Nothing to say?” Hawks asked as he pulled up. His shoulder moved rhythmically against Enji’s leg as he continued to finger himself.
“You talk like you’re an old pro at all of this, but you’re half my age,” Enji said. That was Hawks all over: always just a little too big for his britches.
“Well, you know I’ve made a trademark out of getting a lot done in a short amount of time.” Hawks quirked his brows up at Enji, before ducking down to lick a hot stripe up him, from the seam of his balls to his leaking tip. “You sure are gripping those blankets tight, though. Everything alright?”
“It’s that or your hair, babydoll,” Enji shot back.
Hawks snorted, smiling around the tip of Enji’s cock and slurping loudly. “Right, I forgot how us pro heroes are known for being such delicate little flowers,” he drawled, lips smeared with spit and precome. “You’re being ridiculous.”
Enji shoved a hand into Hawks’s hair, forced him halfway down his cock to shut him up. Hawks moaned so loud and so deep Enji felt it in his toes. His tongue rubbed insistently at Enji’s underside until Enji began hauling him back up by the fist in his hair, and Hawks even gasped when he was pulled off completely, tongue reaching for Enji’s tip. He smiled dreamily as Enji pushed him down again, taking it without complaint when Enji’s hips thrust up, shoving his thick cock to the back of Hawks’s throat, and groaned all the way back up again.
“You taste fuckin’ good, Endeavor. I kinda thought you’d taste like a campfire but goddamn,” he slurred, the next time Enji let him up. “You wanna come in my mouth, or do I have to be patient?”
Enji chuckled, finally catching on to the game. “I think I’m going to make you be patient, babydoll, or else, what are you working so hard stretching your hole for?” He petted through Hawks’s unruly hair, and pinched his ear.
“I’ve got four fingers goin’ right now, Daddy, do you wanna see?” He kissed distractedly at Enji’s cock, belly, thighs, anything he could reach.
“Can’t see past your wings, honey,” Enji rumbled, scratching over Hawks’s scalp in a mirror of Hawks’s earlier ministrations. Hawks mumbled wordlessly and spread his wings out. They really filled the space, Enji thought, absentmindedly moving his hands to stroke over the top of them, where he could feel the bones underneath. He felt Hawks’s sharp intake of breath, and the way his feathers stood up under his palms. “That’s right, your wings are pretty sensitive, aren’t they?” Enji mused aloud. “You like being touched like this?”
He reached for the base of each wing, rubbing the place where they joined Hawks’s body.
“Mm, yeah,” Hawks sighed. “The feathers, too.”
“Here, get up on the bed so I can reach,” Enji instructed, and, a little shakily, Hawks obeyed. He wiped his lube slick fingers on his thigh, and got on his hands and knees while Enji finally kicked his underwear all the way off. Moving around to the foot of the bed, he got a good look at Hawks’s stretched hole, and couldn’t resist the urge to rub his thumb over it, dip inside just a little. It was soft, and accepted his thumb easily, and Enji murmured a little sound of appreciation while Hawks whined. He was so warm inside. Giving into temptation again, Enji bent to lick teasingly at Hawks’s hole, pressing his tongue into the yielding muscle and drinking in Hawks’s shocked moan.
“Oh /shit/, Endeavor!” he rasped, thighs quivering, “I didn’t think you’d— fuck!” He fell to his elbows, pushed his face into a pillow, and let out a shuddering moan. Enji huffed a quiet laugh, and held Hawks open for his tongue. “Ohh, goddamn it, Endeavor, I’m leaking all over your bed, gonna come so much,” Hawks wheezed, muffled by the pillowcase in his mouth.
“Good,” Enji said, before fucking his tongue in and out of Hawks’s hole. He wanted Hawks screaming, losing his mind completely.
“Fucking hell,” Hawks gasped, “I wish I could go back in time and tell my teenage self that this would happen. Oh fuck, I just wanted your hands on me so bad, I used to fantasize about you leaving fingerprint burns on my hips, pulling my wings...”
Enji’s cock twitched. “Pulling?” He straightened up, running his palms up Hawks’s body until he could wrap one around the base of one large wing. “Like this?” He gave it a tug and Hawks practically yowled, back arching, thighs spreading.
“Fuck, yeah, Daddy,” Hawks panted. “You can give me a bit more than that.”
Enji yanked harder, and Hawks yelped and bucked his hips in the air.
“You’re kind-of a freak,” Enji said. “I should’ve guessed from that radio show.”
“You’re gonna tell me you’re more vanilla than I always assumed? I imagined you’d give me the roughest dicking of my life.”
Enji pulled his hand back and slapped Hawks’s ass loudly, making Hawks cry out. “Such a mouthy brat,” he mumbled, more or less to himself, though Hawks still whined.
“Gimme your dick already, fuck,” Hawks begged, lifting his hips. Enji rubbed his palm over the red imprint of his hand. Hawks’s skin was so soft, his back bowed so sweetly. Enji had to kneel up on the bed and give him what he wanted.
Hawks’s long, appreciative moan when Enji held him open with one hand, gripped himself with the other, and began to push in was enough to send a shiver down Enji’s back. He thrust in slowly, watching Hawks’s wings flutter, watching his fingers grip hard at the pillow, watching him roll back into it.
“Deep, deep, deep, please,” Hawks begged into the pillowcase, like he had an itch to scratch. Enji raised his eyebrows, though he supposed he shouldn’t be surprised.
“You want it all at once, babydoll?” Enji asked, pausing with both hands on Hawks’s hips, not even halfway in yet. It took great effort to stay still, but it was worth it for the way Hawks whined and writhed and tried to press himself back into Enji’s cock. /Fuck/, it really /had/ been a while. Hawks felt incredible around him, and he looked... shit, looking down as Hawks’s body strained for it, he was shockingly beautiful. His wild hair wet with sweat, his hole pink and stretched around Enji’s cock, he looked so wanton and /fuckable/. Enji wanted... he didn’t know how to express the sudden consuming urge to /possess/ Hawks, to be /needed/ by him.
“Yeah, show me how strong you really are, Number One.”
Enji shook his head, wrapped his hands around the base of each wing, and pulled Hawks back onto his dick, forcing himself in to the hilt. The deep grunt Hawks let out was garbled by his mouthful of pillow, but the way he reached down with one hand, squeezed his own cock, spoke volumes. Petting down the wings, combing his fingers between the feathers, Enji allowed Hawks to adjust. Almost immediately Hawks was twisting and shaking again, urging Enji to move with his body alone. His arm wasn’t moving, so Enji could tell he wasn’t stroking himself. When Enji slid a hand around Hawks’s hip to grip him, laying his large hand over Hawks’s smaller one, it seemed Hawks was just holding himself, thrusting shallowly against his own palm as he worked to get Enji pounding into him. Enji’s fingers teased Hawks’s balls and Hawks keened a high, frustrated note.
“Come /on/, Endeavor, I thought we were getting somewhere!” He groaned, his hand sliding out from under Enji’s so he could prop himself up on both arms and push back harder against Enji’s hips. His cock leaked into Enji’s palm, twitched with need. “You close already or something?”
Enji removed his hand from Hawks’s cock and wrapped it around Hawks’s throat instead.
“I thought I told you I was going to make you be patient,” he said, squeezing the sides of Hawks’s neck, cutting off his air. When he eased up, Hawks gasped, and moaned, and his wings stretched back to stroke his feathers down Enji’s torso. They were soft and cool, and a little ticklish, and Enji pulled his hips back and snapped back in again. Hawks was warm, and tight, and slick, and so, so willing, and each time Enji pushed in, Hawks’s wings flapped, and he breathed a choked-off moan. Each time Enji squeezed Hawks’s throat, his hole tightened around him. He grabbed a wing with the other hand, jerked Hawks’s body back into each thrust.
“Fuck, yes!” Hawks rasped, when he could speak. He panted hard, choking off when Enji increased the pressure on his throat, whined when he eased off. Enji could feel Hawks’s thighs quivering, his wings seizing, even as Enji pulled one of them roughly. The touches to his wings seemed to really set him off. His body was flushed and damp, and Enji had hardly touched his cock. “Oh, Daddy...” Hawks moaned. His hole got even tighter and he shook all over. “So good, you’re right on it, oh my god... and it’s so /hot/ Daddy! Feels like I’m fucking a hot iron, but in the best fucking way...”
Enji grunted loudly, working steadily to keep nailing Hawks’s prostate, to keep wrenching those sweet desperate moans out of him, watching the sweat roll down Hawks’s back, between his wings. Enji always ran hot, but during sex, he tended to heat the room, and Hawks was showing it. Enji let a little extra heat flow into his right hand, the one around Hawks’s throat. Not enough to burn, but enough to sting, and Hawks howled a mangled curse and came suddenly and loudly, bucking wildly against Enji’s hips.
“Oh, oh my god, fuck! Daddy, I’m coming— Endeavor!” He dropped a hand between his legs to stroke himself through it. “Endeavor!” He tightened impossibly harder around Enji, making him hiss and groan. “Fuck, tell me it’s good, Endeavor, tell me you love being inside me!”
Enji bent over Hawks’s back, pressed his lips to Hawks’s ear. “It’s so good, Hawks. Your hole sucks me down like it was made for my cock. I bet this isn’t the first time you’ve come shouting my name, am I right?” Licking the shell of Hawks’s ear, he felt the shudder that went through Hawks’s body.
“Fuck, no, it’s not the first time, not by a long shot. Shit, I keep thinking I’m finished and then you just fuckin’ drill my prostate and I keep just... leaking come all over your sheets.” His breath was an aching wheeze, but he still rolled his hips back, tried to make it good for Enji.
Enji squeezed Hawks’s throat again, gently, almost fondly. “When was the first time you finished with my name on your lips?” he asked, hips picking up speed. He wrapped his arms around Hawks’s chest, pinned him to the bed with his body weight.
“Oh! Oh shit, ah...” He struggled to answer. “I think... I was probably in high school. I used to race home from class so I’d have like, a 45 minute window before either of my parents got home from work, and I’d, fuck, I’d watch footage of your fights and fuck my fist. I was like, sixteen or seventeen before I started f-fingering myself, imagining it was you, fucking, god DAMMIT you’re filling me up so much and I’m so, so fucking sensitive, SHIT!”
“Haven’t even begun to fill you, baby,” Enji murmured, grinding in, feeling the friction of Hawks’s muscles around him. “What do you think all those fans of yours on twitter would say if they saw you like this? Do you think they’d be rushing home from school, fingering their holes like you did?”
“Oh, Jesus,” Hawks gasped, shoving his face back into the pillow, like he actually possessed some modicum of shame.
“What would you have done, back then, if you saw me fight in person? Would you have been hard in your pants, out in public, hands in your pockets to try and touch yourself without anyone seeing?”
Hawks moaned, over-stimulated but incapable of pulling away. His arms broke out in goosebumps. “Yeah, maybe... would’ve watched you move, tried to hide in a crowd, would’ve creamed my jeans and had to walk home like that, wishing it was your come staining my underwear.”
“Shit!” Enji barked, coming so hard he saw spots, hammering into Hawks’s ass, thinking about him walking home /now/, as the nation’s Number Two hero, with Enji’s come sliding out of him. “Hawks...”
It seemed to go on forever, and Hawks crooned as Enji fucked his release into him. His wings had spread out and rested on the bed, as if to cool himself down. Enji realized his temperature had probably spiked, but he couldn’t do anything about it, not while Hawks’s hole milked spurt after spurt out of him.
“Jesus you... you’ve been saving up, huh? Feels like... like so much!” Hawks panted. Enji petted down Hawks’s front blindly, stroking his sweat-slick skin until his hips started to slow. He let out the breath he’d been holding without realizing it, nuzzled into Hawks’s shoulder, and kissed the slope of it, just once.
Slowly, carefully, he pulled out, Hawks groaning tiredly at the friction.
“Here,” Hawks mumbled, folding one of his wings so there was room on the bed for Enji to lie down. “Shit,” he sighed, reaching behind himself to touch his stretched, puffy rim. “You were not kidding. I am going to be /ridiculously/ sore in the morning. Gonna need an Epsom salt bath, at the very least.”
The room had begun to cool, but Enji forced himself to grope for his yukata at the side of the bed and fish his phone out of the sleeve so he could open his thermostat app and turn up the AC. He used to spend a fortune on his electricity bill when all of his kids were living at home, since none of them, nor Rei, could handle living at the temperature Enji typically did. He assumed Hawks, and basically anyone else who didn’t have a fire quirk, would be the same way. Almost comically, Hawks stretched his wings up into the air to catch the cool air, while his body lay prone and motionless on the bed. Enji huffed a laugh.
“I hope you don’t have anything important scheduled tomorrow,” Enji teased, and Hawks grunted into the duvet. He was probably lying in the wet spot.
“You’d better hope there’s not another Nomu or League attack in the morning. If I die because my ass hurts too much to fight, and a city is destroyed, it’ll be your fault,” Hawks shot back.
Enji reached over to run a finger up one of Hawks’s wings. “Not if I’m there to save you,” he replied.
Hawks snorted. “Stop it, you’ll start to sound like All Might. ‘Fear Not for your Fucked Out Ass, because I AM HERE!’” he brayed, in his best impersonation of the former Number One. It was not a very good imitation.
Enji smirked. “We can’t have that,” he commented. “You won’t like me anymore.”
At last, Hawks lifted his head, propped himself up on his elbows to look at Enji. He looked like he wanted to ask something, but then, he thought better of it, rolling to sit up. He winced as he sat, and hissed as he stood, but then stretched his arms up over his head, and his wings to their fullest extension.
“I’m hungry again, after all that. Mind if I go eat some more of those hot wings?” He used a small feather to pick up his pants and bring them over, so he wouldn’t have to bend with his aching ass.
“I’ll join you,” Enji answered, shaking out his yukata and shrugging it on. Hawks, at the door, grinned at him.
“Darn, I was gonna go on twitter and post from my stealth account about the dicking of my life I just got from the Number One hero. But if you’re gonna be sitting right there...”
“Very funny. Your account wouldn’t stay stealth for long if you did.”
They made their way out to the dining room again, and Hawks grimaced as he moved to sit on the floor.
“You think people saw me arrive here, and they’d put two and two together?” Hawks asked, reaching for his half-eaten chicken cutlet.
“More like Two and One,” Enji mused, indicating Hawks and himself. “You said yourself there are already conspiracy theories about us.” Hawks laughed and tucked into his torikatsu curry, even though it was cold.
Enji assumed that meant everything would just go back to normal, and that, maybe, when he had free time, Hawks might like to hook up again. He relaxed a little, pulled his container of curry towards himself with his chopsticks.
Suddenly, Hawks looked up from his plate, and met Enji’s eyes. “You know, I’ve been thinking about what you said a little bit ago, about how if you were too much like All Might, I wouldn’t like you anymore.”
Enji pressed his lips together. He didn’t know what to say to that. He’d meant it as a joke at the time, but it was also a little true.
“Like when we were on patrol together, before the Nomu attacked, and that little kid totally freaked out,” Hawks went on. “I understand you’re in a difficult situation. And I also realize I might’ve kinda made it worse at the ranking ceremony by highlighting the difference between your public image and mine, and by inference, All Might’s.” He twirled his chopsticks. “That was kinda fucked up of me.”
Enji raised his eyebrows.
“Don’t give me that look. It’s the year of your lord 2179. We’re owning up to our bad behavior up in here.”
Shrugging, Enji decided not to argue with him. Hawks had likely made some assumptions about him prior to the ranking ceremony, but it was pointless to hold a grudge. “So where’s my apology torikatsu?” he replied instead, and Hawks flashed him a grin.
“You like mackerel better,” he said. “But instead of buying you a fish curry, I’ll do you one better. Teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for the rest of his days, they say.”
“What do you mean?” He was certain Hawks didn’t mean an /actual/ fishing trip.
Hawks shook his head, pushing a piece of chicken cutlet around in the curry sauce. “Look, you don’t need to be Miss Congeniality to connect with people as the new Number One,” he stated. “There are lots of people who are popular, based only upon a fabricated persona, and if you really got to know them, you’d find they’re rotten to the core.” His eyes flashed with some indecipherable emotion, but he continued anyway. “Not you, though. You’re 100% authentic. Fuck what the Hero Killer said... you’re the most genuine person around. You’ve never pretended you were someone you aren’t.”
He’d wondered if people put any stock in the fact that the Hero Killer had called him ‘false’. Obviously the man was a lunatic, but there were plenty of people who thought his message had merit... especially since he’d respected All Might, and claimed /he/ was worthy. Enji didn’t know what the man had seen, or /not/ seen, in him, but it was enough. How different would it have been if /he’d/ been Number One instead, back then?
“Here, I’ll show you how to do an AMA on Reddit,” Hawks said, pulling his phone out of his pocket. “It’ll help people feel closer to you.” He paused for a beat and then smiled. “I mean, for people who haven’t been as blessed as I have, to find out what being close to you is /really/ like.”
“I think you’re just trying to make me react to horny fans,” Enji replied.
“Absolutely not!” Hawks insisted, still smiling in his devil may care way, “I’m the only horny fan you’re allowed to react to, from now on.” He winked. “Just kidding.”
“My reactions to you thus far have been fairly positive, I’d say.” He fixed Hawks with a neutral stare. “Should I tell the internet that? ‘Hawks is a thirst trap, in my house R N, hornt, ten out of ten, would bang’?”
Hawks laughed so hard he choked.