It was a particularly hot day. The kind of day where you wanted nothing more than to strip down to nothing and lay in front of a fan. The kind of day where the air was as dry as your throat, and the only thing that could tame the wild flame was some form of iced drink. The kind of day where even having even just a simple touch from another felt even more sweltering as their body heat radiated from them.
Despite that, Tomura and Dabi sat, facing each other, leaning into each other so that each could play around on their phone behind the others back. Tomura rest his chin on Dabi’s shoulder, adamantly playing a game as Dabi carelessly checked his phone. The low hum of the fan droned on in the comfortable silence of the room, only interrupted by occasional curses from Tomura Shigaraki when something in his game didn’t go the way he had wanted.
“Hey, fire breath,” Tomura mumbled.
Dabi raised an eyebrow. “Hmm?” He smirked. “What is it, Sahara?”
“You ever think about the future?”
“Y-yes, and… and the future in general,” Tomura replied sheepishly, “Where… do we go from here? I mean, it feels like the ending to something, and yet… it’s only just begun, hasn’t it?” Dabi had heard uncertainty in Tomura’s voice before, but this felt more unfamiliar. There was a strange vulnerability in his voice, causing it to shake just barely.
He thought about it a moment before tossing his phone down onto the bed. He wrapped his arms around Tomura and relaxed. “So what if it is? It sounds so profound when you put it like that, but all I want is to be right here with you,” Dabi replied, “Isn’t that enough?”
“Of course, that’s enough.” Tomura sighed and dropped his phone. “That’s not-”
“I know what you meant.” Leaning back, Dabi took Tomura’s chin in his hands and smiled. “I mean, you’re overthinking things again. It’s good to think about the future, but you’re obviously worrying about things that haven’t happened yet.” He moved his hand, shaking Tomura’s head playfully.
Tomura smirked and knocked his hand away. “This is just all new for me, I guess.”
“Hey, same here.”
“But you’ve been with lots of people.”
“Heh, yeah,” Dabi reminisced, drawing a jealous heat to Tomura’s cheeks, “But I’ve never been in a relationship before. Not a real one, anyway. So, it’s all sort of new to me too.”
“Why do I get the feeling you’re avoiding the subject?”
“I’m not,” Dabi replied with a light chuckle, “Look, we’re together.” He leaned in close, smirking as Tomura sucked in a breath and held it as if he expected something. “I’m yours,” Dabi whispered with a hoarse rasp, “Is that what you want to hear? An official declaration?”
Tomura shuttered at the thought. “Not necessarily,” he muttered, though it came out weaker than he had intended.
“So, then what?”
“I guess I don’t know either.”
The two fell silent for a while as Tomura tried to figure it out. He had asked the question, sure, but he wasn’t sure what he had been expecting as an answer. Would they be together forever? Until the cops came? Would they be willing to throw away everything for each other? Was it only convenience? He supposed Dabi was right, Tomura was overthinking things. After all, they had only officially started dating. For now, Tomura was comfortable like this, but it felt too easy and almost unearned.
Everything about their relationship had been easy. Sure, they bickered and fought, even struggled to understand each other, but it had never felt like a burden to Tomura. It had always just felt like a natural step forward, as normal and relaxed as breathing.
Dabi rolled his shoulders back, cracking his back as he pushed his chest forward. “Anyway, I had a stupid idea today,” he started.
“How is that different than any other day?”
Smirking, Dabi grabbed his phone and started messing around on it as if to avoid eye contact. “You know Rie?”
“I brought her here, didn’t I?”
“She…” Dabi seemed to struggle. “She doesn’t really fit in here, huh?”
“She was never meant to.”
“I know, I know, but…”
“She sort of,” Tomura tried, “Fits into our new world, right? So, we should keep her away from Toga and any potential police and hero involvement?” It sounded unsure, but they both knew they were just trying to skirt the subject.
“I mean, we don’t really need her help around here. She’s more like an extra expense than anything else.”
“So, you should fire her,” Dabi said firmly.
“Why not you?”
Tomura groaned. “Because it’s hot.”
Despite his protesting, though, Tomura knew the other was right. She didn’t suit their image, and although she had helped, unknowingly, in their crimes, it really wasn’t worth it. He went to Rie and let her know that they didn’t need the extra help since the place was so slow. Naturally, she took it extremely well. Tomura wasn’t surprised. He got her the rest of her paycheck from the cash register and slipped a little extra in as well.
He handed her the envelope carefully. Tomura seemed to hesitate as Rie thanked him and put the envelope in her bag. “Is it okay if I walk you,” he asked.
“Hm?” Rie chuckled gently. “Of course!”
The two walked in silence. Tomura kept his hands tucked into his pockets, unsure of what he really wanted to say. There were a few things on his mind, but he didn’t really feel like letting them escape. Rie had been kind to them in ways that they weren’t used to, and that alone was too strange to process. Maybe she just really was that stupid.
“Oh! Hey,” Rie said happily, pulling Tomura out of his thoughts. However, she wasn’t talking to him. She waved to a boy standing across the bridge near the station. He was distinct, to say the least, with purple skin, large bat ears that flicked when they heard her call and large wings. When he turned, Tomura could see his pure black eyes and could just barely make out the little fangs sticking out of his smile. Rie waved. “Ekihiko,” she called.
“My boyfriend,” she replied shyly, “He’s going to hero school. Isn’t that cool?”
Tomura tensed momentarily, slowing his steps until he stopped at the edge of the bridge. “Oh, yeah.”
“Well, thanks for walking me to the station.” Rie happily trotted over to Ekihiko and threw her arms around his midsection. She grinned up at him. He smiled, pat her head and looked over to Tomura, who avoided eye contact by pretending to adjust his shoes. The two started to walk toward the station.
“Rie,” Tomura called after her.
Rie paused and turned. “Yeah?”
Tomura looked up to her, meeting her eyes. “Did you know?”
There was a moment that she looked shocked, but it slowly melted into a knowing smile. “Know what? That Dabi was using me for free gas?” She chuckled. “I knew…” Ekihiko seemed annoyed, but he didn’t fully grasp what she had meant.
“So then… why?”
“There’s good in everyone. I truly believe that,” Rie replied, “If it helped him, then I was happy to do it. I never felt used if that’s what you’re worried about.” As the train drew closer, Ekihiko motioned to Rie. She nodded and looked back to Tomura. She smiled and gave him a gentle wave. “I’ll see you around, Tomura.” Tomura stood, eyes wide as he watched after her. He watched the two board the train and disappear off into the distance.
Good? In everyone? Tomura wasn’t sure he believed her, but perhaps people were more than just their outer husks that they pretended to be. Maybe Tomura didn’t need the world to believe he was the true heir of justice. Maybe he only needed one person. And maybe that one person and him could simply learn and grow together. Maybe Tomura didn’t need to worry about the future. He was having a nice time in the present anyway.
Tomura returned home and slipped into Dabi’s room, gently closing the door behind him.