Your hand was engulfed by his as you walked through back alleys and narrow passageways. The streets were barely illuminated by the few streetlights that still worked—no one really cared about this part of Kamino, after all.
“Are you cold?” Dabi asked, glancing behind him. You shook your head and smiled as you pulled his jacket tighter around yourself. He didn’t say anything but held your hand a little firmer as you continued to walk, making turns that made no sense through routes you normally wouldn’t even think of travelling on your own especially so late at night.
For the rest of your seemingly mindless wandering, your mind itself started to wander as well. You thought about little things like what you could make for breakfast tomorrow or whether you’d turned off all the lights before you left your apartment but eventually, you found yourself thinking of one thing—or person—in particular: Eri.
“Hello,” you said as gently as you could while you stood by her bedside. You smiled but you could tell even she knew it was forced. How could you truly smile in a situation like this?
She was a small girl with beautiful red eyes but they were so scared, they looked at you as though you were about to hit her there and then. Her hands clutched at the thin blanket on top of her so tightly her trembling knuckles were pale. Underneath her long grey hair, you noticed a tiny horn on the side of her forehead.
“May I sit down beside you?” you asked and she flinched before her body relaxed ever so slightly, her eyes widening in surprise—she wasn’t expecting you to ask. Slowly, she nodded.
You sat down beside her, the mattress dipping towards your end due to your weight. She leaned away from you.
“What’s your name?”
She didn’t reply and yet it seemed that her own lack of response caused herself to grow even more fearful. Watching her felt like you were looking in a mirror that reflected yourself as a young child.
“My name is (L/N) (Y/N) but you can call me whatever you’d like,” you said, consciously ensuring not to make any sudden gestures.
“…Really?” she asked so softly you almost didn’t catch it despite how quiet the room was. You nodded.
“Oneesan, my name is Eri,” she said, her small hands reaching out to grab a hand you’d rested on your knee. It was then you’d noticed how both her arms were completely bandaged from wrist to elbow and you felt your stomach drop.
“Do your arms hurt?” you asked, trying to ignore the sound of your own rapid heartbeat.
“A tiny bit,” Eri replied, head hanging down.
“Can oneesan use her Quirk to help you feel better?” you removed your hand from underneath hers and held it facing upward before activating your Quirk. Your palm glowed a bright red and you waited for Eri to hold your hand.
“Who’re we waiting for again?” you asked, releasing a yawn that turned into a groan as you stretched your back.
“I didn’t say you have to follow me,” Dabi scoffed from beside you. His shoulder was pressed against yours as you sat side-by-side against a wall of the dingy warehouse he’d brought you to. The lights were on but they did only so much to light up the place.
“You didn’t answer my question,” you shot back with a pout that you shoved into his smug face. Dabi said nothing but quickly leaned forward and captured your lips with his. It was a brief and chaste kiss but it made your heart flutter nonetheless. “You still didn’t answer my question,” you repeated, now with a hot face and racing heart, after he pulled away.
“You’ll know him when you see him,” Dabi shrugged. You hummed in response before leaning your head back against the wall behind you. Your knees were bent and pressed against your chest while Dabi sat with his long legs stretched out in front of him. He was ridiculously tall.
A few minutes passed by in which neither of you spoke, simply listening to the distant sound of traffic while you waited for his mystery friend to arrive. Despite the heat radiating off of his body, you still found yourself gradually getting colder and colder due to the night air. You grabbed the hems of his jacket and pulled the piece of tattered clothing tighter around your body. You felt your face instinctively scrunch up when the collar tickled your nose in the process.
“Is my old jacket really that nice?” Dabi asked. You realised then he’d been watching you the entire time. Glancing up at him, you simply pulled the collar over your nose and inhaled noisily.
“Yeah,” you replied, voice muffled, “because it smells like you.”
Dabi pushed your face away as he clicked his tongue.
“Gross,” he scoffed. You felt yourself tilting too far to the side so you grabbed his arm and leaned against him. You pressed your cheek against his shoulder and smiled when you felt his muscles relax.
You parted your lips but before you could shoot back some sarcastic response, your eyes caught a movement in a shadowy corner of the warehouse. Gasping, you unknowingly pulled Dabi’s arm closer to your chest as your head whipped towards the direction of the intruder. Almost immediately, his free hand shot up in front of him, his palm igniting in blue flames.
Slowly, a man walked out, his hands held behind his head with a smug look slapped on his face. Under the light, you could make out his appearance better and you gasped once again when you realised who it was.
“You’re late,” Dabi hissed as he slowly released his arm from your iron grip before rising to his feet.
“Sorry,” Hawks replied with a sigh, “I got sidetracked on my way here. Y’know, Hero stuff.” He shrugged nonchalantly as his eyes slowly trailed over to you. You swallowed thickly, feeling yourself grow self-conscious under his gaze.
“Whatever,” Dabi responded, taking a step to the side causing your view of the No. 3—No. 2?—Hero to be partially obscured. “Let’s get this over with.”
“Hey now, I came all the way here to Kamino for you,” Hawks smirked, “you can at least introduce me to your friend, right?” He shot you a charming smile and you cursed inwardly when you felt your cheeks heat up instantly.
You stood up—perhaps a little too enthusiastically—but was prevented from stepping forward by Dabi’s arm. He held it in front of you although his eyes remained trained on the casually-dressed Hero standing before him.
“Don’t get any ideas,” Dabi warned before slowly letting his arm fall back to his side when Hawks nodded, the smile falling off his face.
They spoke on the other end of the warehouse and you tried not to fall asleep as you waited while sitting on a large crate. Even though you could tell they were talking, you couldn’t quite make out exactly what they said so eavesdropping was completely out of the question.
Just as you felt your eyelids falling shut, you jolted awake in surprise when you felt your phone vibrate. Pulling it out of your pocket, you squinted at the bright screen.
Eri wants to see you. Chrono is coming to pick you up.
The identity of who had texted you was the least of your concerns—considering it was fairly obvious. You reread the message over and over as questions ran through your head. Why was Overhaul contacting you at 5 in the morning? Who’s Chrono? How did either of them even know you’re here?
“—hey. (Y/N). Did something happen?” Dabi’s voice grew gradually louder. You only noticed his presence when his face entered your field of vision. Thanks to the height of the crate you were sat upon, his eyes were lined up perfectly with yours. He rested his hand on your knee as the other reached out to cradle your cheek.
“Yeah,” you spluttered, “I think… someone from Shie Hassaikai’s coming over to pick me up?” you said in a tone so unsure it sounded as if you were seeking some form of confirmation from the man. Dabi furrowed his eyebrows.
“They’re tracking you?” he asked.
“That’s the only explanation I can think of. I haven’t said anything to them, I s—”
“I know,” he leaned forward and pressed his lips against your forehead. “I know you didn’t.” You felt his fingers caress the side of your face.
After pulling away, Dabi turned around and hurried over to Hawks. They spoke briefly and you watched as he spread his wings. He shot you a wink and took off before Dabi’s fist could land a hit on him. Just as the sounds of his flying faded away, you heard the faint noise of a car stopping coming from outside the building.
Two distinct pairs of footsteps could be heard gradually getting louder. You hopped off the crate and stood beside Dabi, your arm brushing against his. As the entrance of the warehouse opened up, you felt him intertwine his fingers with yours.
Overhaul walked in with a masked figure trailing behind him. The former glanced at Dabi briefly but made no more effort to acknowledge his presence.
“I thought you said only one person was picking me up,” you said. Overhaul rolled his eyes.
“Godmother insisted I come along, too,” he replied, “she doesn’t trust the others to keep you safe.”
You felt Dabi’s grip on your hand tighten.
“Well, let’s go.” He held out a gloved hand in your direction. “Eri’s insistence on seeing you was giving my men and me a headache. She’s gotten bolder after just meeting you once.”
You sighed and looked up at Dabi whose jaw was tense as he gritted his teeth, his turquoise eyes shooting daggers at the Yakuza leader in front of him. You squeezed his hand, prompting him to look at you instead. His gaze softened as his shoulders relaxed.
“I have to go,” you said, “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be.” Dabi gently held the back of your neck and pulled you closer. He kissed the crown of your head and his lips lingered there for a moment. “Be safe. Love you.”
The ride to Shie Hassaikai’s base was silent the entire way through. The person whom you assumed was Chrono drove while Overhaul sat in the passenger seat. You sat in the back and found yourself falling in and out of sleep.
By the time you’d arrived at the base, the sun was just beginning to rise and you were a little less tired. While you followed behind Chrono whom Overhaul said was going to bring you to Eri while he left to “handle other business”, you decided to check your phone.
I’m sorry you had to return so suddenly. Eri simply wouldn’t stop asking for you. She said she feels safe around you. I’ve always had my suspicions that Kai isn’t treating her right so I hope you can take care of her for me.
FROM: PRETTY BOY
are you coming home yet
FROM: PRETTY BOY
did they kill you? why aren’t you answering
FROM: PRETTY BOY
please let me know if you’re alright, i’m actually concerned now that bird face did in fact kill you
FROM: PRETTY BOY
You resisted the urge to snort out loud upon reading Dabi’s messages. Glancing up briefly to make sure you were still following Chrono, you looked back down at your phone and texted a quick response. The corridors were becoming more familiar, you were almost approaching Eri’s room.
TO: PRETTY BOY
wow you’re so NEEDY :P sorry i didn’t reply, i fell asleep in the car. twas a luxury we can never afford so i made the most of it. the people here aren’t the friendliest but they’ll never lay a finger on me thanks to a certain someone, so don’t worry. i’ll see you soon. love you
Less than a minute after you hit send, your phone vibrated once again.
FROM: PRETTY BOY
i’ll get us a car one day. stay safe. love you, too.
You smiled to yourself as you slid the device into your pocket.
A car, huh?
You were gonna hold him to that.
“We’re here. Overhaul wants you to just keep her happy so she’s more cooperative,” Chrono spoke to you for the first time. You furrowed your eyebrows.
“I’ve spoken more than I should, please enter.” He held the door open for you and closed it behind you the moment you stepped foot inside. Even though you’d only been gone for less than a day, you noticed how there were more unopened boxes of toys strewn on the floor.
“Oneesan!” Eri gasped in what sounded like delight although there wasn’t a hint of a smile on her sweet face. The corners of her mouth twitched upward and it seemed as if it was too difficult for her to smile at all.
“Hey,” you cooed, sitting down by her side as you’d done earlier. “Can oneesan hold your hand?”
She nodded, raising her hands up in front of her. You brought your own larger hand towards them and smiled when she grabbed your fingers. This wasn’t quite what you expected when you asked to hold her hand but it was alright.
“Why don’t you play with any of your toys?” you asked gently, watching as she touched your hand curiously, stopping when she heard your question.
“I… I don’t like them,” Eri sniffled.
“Hey, that’s okay,” you ran the pad of your thumb over the back of her tiny hand. “What do you like then?”
She remained silent for a moment, deep in thought.
“I like… hearing stories.”
“What kind of stories? I can tell you some?”
“R-Really?” Eri’s head shot up, her large red eyes widened in wonder. You nodded with a wide smile that you knew was genuine despite the bitterness that had begun to form in the pit of your stomach. “Does oneesan have any stories about you?”
“Me, huh?” you tilted your head as you thought about it for a moment. “Well, I have one about this friend I met when I was younger.”
“What happened to him?”
[Eldest son of Todoroki Enji reported missing]
“I…” you bit your tongue. “I don’t know. That was the first and last time I really saw him.”
[Missing Todoroki child was last seen at a playground not far from his home, according to eyewitnesses]
“Huh?” Eri furrowed her eyebrows as she snuggled closer to you. “Did you try looking for him?”
[Todoroki family expresses grief over missing child]
“For a little while but I gave up after some time.”
[Todoroki Enji to put his Hero work on hold after disappearance of eldest son]
[Todoroki Touya presumed dead by police after 8 months of searching]
“I don’t know,” you slowly wrapped an arm around Eri’s shoulders, feeling your heart relax when she leaned closer towards you. “Should I keep looking for him?”
“If you miss him.” Eri tugged at your shirt and looked up at you with a pensive stare. “Do you miss him, oneesan?”
“Yeah, I do.”
“What was he like?”
For over an hour, that was how you spent your time tougher. Eri asked and you answered. You felt your phone vibrate several times but you never bothered to check it, not wanting to take your attention off the little girl. It seemed like she had a lot to say but no one to say it to, until you arrived, that is. It was a wonderful feeling—being accepted so easily by a child who seemed so lonely and afraid—but yet you could never shake off the feeling that something wasn’t right.
“Eri…” you said, biting your lip. “Do… do they hurt you?”
Her eyes widened in horror as her teeth began to chatter but yet she did not push you away. Instead, she buried her face into your chest and held you close, her fragile hands grabbing onto the hem of your jacket for dear life. You stroked the back of her head gently.
“Oh, Eri,” you murmured, “I—”
The door swung open, slamming into the wall, before you could finish your sentence. Eri’s body jerked in shock but she kept her face hidden in your shirt as you wrapped your arms around her firmly.
Overhaul stood under the open door, his eyebrows furrowed in frustration.
“Eri. (L/N). We need to go, we’re under attack.” he marched in, grabbing Eri’s arm with his gloved hand. She whimpered and you shoved his hand away. His widened eyes glared at you intensely and you felt a shiver run down your spine but yet you held your ground.
“I’ll carry her. Let’s go.”
The hallways were utter chaos, there were blood splatters all over and unconscious bodies littered the floor. You followed behind Overhaul as he ran, holding the back of Eri’s head so that her face rested against your shoulder. Her hands held onto you firmly even when you stumbled here and there.
You yelped when you felt something grab at your ankle out of the blue.
“Overhaul!” you cried, quickly holding Eri out so that he could catch her as you fell. Your chin slammed onto the hard floor and you groaned, head ringing, as you flipped onto your back. Looking up, you watched as Overhaul ran off with Eri, her eyes were looking straight at you. One of her arms reached out as tears began to run down her face.
Before you could get up, a foot stomped down on your torso fiercely and you wheezed in pain, feeling your Quirk activate as your body attempted to repair itself. You clawed at the leg that was holding you down before you felt something wrap around your body and pull you to your feet.
“Don’t resist. You’re under arrest,” said a deep voice that you swore you heard before. You felt the material around you loosen before the man behind you summoned them away.
“Have we met?” you asked in a strained voice as he handcuffed your wrists together. When he didn’t respond, you turned your head around as much as you could and realised who you were dealing with.
“A Yakuza member with no combat skills or Quirk?” he said. “You’d better—” he grunted, interrupted by a bullet shooting past his face. He clicked his tongue and held you in front of him. You turned back around and felt your heart stop.
“Amari-san?” you whispered to yourself, unable to believe your eyes. She stood a distance away from both you and your captor with a gun held steadily in her hand. The old lady gave you a nod before she lowered the weapon and shot three rounds into your torso.
“What the—?!” Eraserhead cursed.
“Transfer, (Y/N)!” Amari-san yelled.
Transfer? you felt blood pour out of your mouth as your heart raced wildly within the confines of your chest.
Transfer… you gasped, choking in the process, feeling Eraserhead’s hands holding onto your handcuffed ones tightly.
Transfer! you grabbed onto Eraserhead’s hands and quickly activated your Quirk.
You felt your body push the bullets out of your abdomen as your wounds started to close up. The Pro Hero behind you grunted in pain, three identical bullet holes tearing themselves open in his own stomach.
You felt your phone in your pocket vibrate one more time before something slammed into the back of your neck.
You blacked out before even hitting the ground.