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Dead Things

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Hawks didn't have many friends.


When Hawks was a child, he was very lonely.  Normally the bright red wings on his back were enough to make the other kids think he was strange, and if it didn't his awkward social skills did the job.


He was an only child and quickly taken to train as a hero as soon as his quirk manifested.  He didn't have a lot of time to make friends.


He did have one friend.  They were both lonely, Hawks could see that, they both couldn't fit into their own skin or the world they were pulled into.


He met Touya on a sunny spring afternoon, at a calm lake tucked away within the peaceful company of woods and brush.  Warm solitude and calm waters. The smell of fresh wild flowers and everything natural.


Touya reminded him of a ghost.


Touya was a quiet, timid boy with hair the color of snow and electric blue eyes.  He around the same age as him, but noticeably smaller and frail. Hawks often wondered if he was sickly, but never asked. He also was always covered in bandages and bruises, Hawks never saw the other boy without them, they were like a second skin.


He looked like a ghost.


When he was eight, Hawks learned something was similar between him and Touya, yet different.


"What's your family like, Touya?" He asked one day as they skipped rocks on the lake.


Touya shrugged, "why do you want to know?"


Hawks nervously looked down at his hands, turning the stone in his fingers, "im curious… i don't really get to see my parents.  I dont have siblings either… you've never talked about your home, i just was wondering."


"I have two parents, and three younger siblings.  But I don't know any of them but my Father."




Touya shrugged again, that same blank expression and empty voice he always had. "Father says I'm different from my siblings, special, at least until the baby's quirk manifests.  And my Father does not like me being around my Mother, he claims i will only inherent more of her weakness. So I don't know my Mother or my siblings. I never have."


The whitehaired boy always spoke in a monotone voice, and rarely expressed emotions.  Hawks often wondered about that as well… Touya didn't seem alive, and with his empty voice, haunting eyes, and pale skin and hair, sometimes Hawks imagined him as a Ghost.


"What is your Father like then?"


"He is strong.  Powerful. He's larger than life.  Hes my life. He loves me."


Something about his words struck the winged boy the wrong way.  He couldn't explain it, why that fely odd to hear, but it did. He didn't ask any further questions and they kept meeting at the lake.


When hawks was ten, his training had become promising.  He was showered with praise, told what an amazing hero he would be when he grew up.  His path was laid out for him, set in stone, unable to be changed and out of his control.


"Sometimes i wish i was normal, Touya.  Im so lonely... I wish I didn't have my quirk."


"I wish I didn't either."


Again, it was something they related on, but was totally different.  Hawks had an amazing quirk, one so good it was all that defined him. It stole away his life, any chance of a normal one and made him nothing more than fated to be what everyone else wanted, nothing more, nothing less.


Touya was different.  His quirk, as Hawks learned, was not compatible with his body.  He had a brilliant fire quirk, bright blue and beautiful. So hot they heated the air.  But his body was built for ice, as Touya told him. And his fire burned him. Still because his fire was so amazing, his Father insisted on training, even when it hurt him, even when it made him ill.  Touya still swore his Father loved him. It stole away his life, any chance of a normal one and made him nothing more than fated to be what everyone else wanted, nothing more, nothing less.

When he was thirteen, he began harbouring feelings for the other boy.  He knew it was hormones, and Touya was the only kid his age he interacted with.  But the feelings were strong, deep… 


Touya had no feelings to return.  His mind was constantly fixated on his Father and how much his Father loved him.


"Touya, Do you ever… think about kissing anyone?" Hawks asked, "wonder what it's like?"


The whitehaired boy gave him the same haunting expression with those void, bottomless blue eyes, "its very nice," he said, "very warm."


Hawks wondered, with a touch of jealousy, who Touya has kissed.  Touya was a pretty, pretty boy, but he was too quiet and distant to make many friends.  Apparently, his Father didn't like him making friends, wanted him "all to himself," so Touya referred to Hawks as his bird friend.  Hawks still considered him a friend though.


He was going to ask who Touya had kissed, but he was caught off guard by the other boy leaning over and putting his lips against Hawks'.  


His eyes widened in shock, then Touya slid his tongue into his mouth, deepened the kiss, and Hawks melted away.


They experimented with each other, or moreso Hawks experimented with Touya.  Touya seemed very experienced, too experienced for a boy his age. Before they were fourteen, kissing quickly became touching while kissing, then Touya began putting Hawks' privates into his mouth, which quickly lead to sex before the winged boy even knew what sex was.  Touya was skilled at it. Too skilled. But Hawks never thought to ask why the other boy did it like second nature. 


When he was fifteen, everything changed.  Touya showed up less and less, and when he did he had more bruises and burns and bandages covering his body.


"I don't think my Father really loves me…" Touya said one day, his broken wrist in a splint, his left eye bandaged and right eye with a pink, fresh burn under it, also on the left side of his jaw.  His arms were blotted in bruises and burns, some bandaged some not, some old, some new.


"Ever since Shouto began training with him, he doesn't love me like he used to.  He doesn't train me anymore… he just hurts me for being weak."


Hawks let his eyes roam over the discolored skin, the angry bruises, bite marks all over his neck, hideous scars and burns.  Still, that ghostly expression on his face. "I'm sorry."


"His love hurts now too, he isn't gentle anymore.  He hurts me… i want him to love me again."


Hawks rolled the stone in his hands, his fingers rubbing the smooth surface. "Touya… do you and your Father do… what me and you do together?"  


He was scared to ask, scared to know… but he began wondering recently, if that was the "love" Touya spoke of, if that was why Touya was so good, too good, at the sexual things they did together, as if he had been doing them for years.


"That's how my Father loves me… or it was… but he doesn't kiss me anymore.  He just holds me down and makes me bleed and calls me names."


His breath hitched, "Touya, that's…"


"He doesn't love Shouto like that though… so he still loves me, but im scared Shouto will replace me completely, and he won't even love me in hurtful ways anymore." Touyas eyes filled with tears for the first time in all the years they knew each other. They slide down his ghostly face.


Hawks couldn't breathe.  The realization of what Touya and his Father were doing together, what Touya's Father was doing to him sinking in. "Touya… he cant… he isn't supposed to…"


It was wrong, right?  Didnt he hear that it was wrong for adults to have sex with children?  Wasn't that wrong? 


He didn't get time to think more before a crying Touya was pushing his pants down, wrapping his lips around him, and bobbing his head as tears rolled down his cheeks.


Hawks lost himself in the moment, in teenaged lust and heat pooling in his stomach.  He laid there, frozen and cold as Touya's body as the other boy took him inside, moved slowly and skillfully on top of him, panting, crying softly, whispering over and over.


"Am i good, bird? Am i good enough?  Please, please tell me im good. Please tell me im good."


Hawks' eyes filled with tears, reaching up to cradle the unbandaged part of his face, "you're perfect, Touya.  You're good. You're beautiful. You're so good."


He didn't see Touya for a while after that, almost two months and he worried.  He thought about telling someone, but he didn't know if he would get in trouble or get Touya in trouble, or even know Touya's full name.


Finally, the boy came one day to find Touya sitting at the usual spot, his entire arms covered in white bandages and the lower half of his face.  The burns around his eyes had become dark, painful to look at.


"I think my Father hates me," he said slowly as Hawks sat beside him, "I think im beginning to hate him.  Hate everyone. My mother hates me too, she looks at me like a monster when I visit her in the hospital. My siblings are strange… everything is strange… I don't understand."


"What don't you understand?"


"The world… it's so… boring, meaningless.  There's no love, no pain, no passion… there's just these strange people, doing nothing… Father has given up on me, he still shows me love but it doesnt like love anymore… I wonder if it ever was."


"Touya, Fathers aren't supposed to… love their sons like that.  They aren't supposed to beat their children, and make them hurt themselves.  That isn't normal."


Touya was looking at him strangely, confused, "it isn't?"


"No, Touya, it isn't.  He's abusing you."


"I want to be good enough… I want him to love me again and it not to hurt."


"Love should never hurt, Touya… i… I don't think he loves you if he's hurting you… I love you though… you're good enough for me."


That was the last time Hawks saw the ghostly boy with snowhite hair and static electric blue eyes. He went to the lake often, but Touya never returned. 


After a while, he wondered if the boy ever existed in the first place.  If he was even real… or if the bandaged, pale void of a boy was really there…


Or just a ghost passing through…