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Where do we draw the line?

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Dabi was in a bad mood.

It had been a shitty night and an even shittier day and now here he was, lying on his shitty couch waiting for the weed to finally kick in properly so he could have at least some peace in the last few hours of the day.

He knew he hadn’t by far taken enough to get a proper trip out of it, but his storage was dangerously empty and as much as he wanted to blow it all off right here and now, he knew he would need at least some of it for the next few days. They were going to be shitty. And he would not go through them sober.

And alcohol was fun and all that, but he wasn’t really able to function when he was lying face down in his bedroom, passed out from too much whiskey. Didn’t mean that he didn’t do that the majority of his evenings. Or mornings. Depending on how he was feeling.

Maybe he should put some music on to drown out the car sounds from outside.

He turned his head to stare at his phone lying on the ground next to the couch, then at his jacket with his headphones which was thrown into the corner at the door. Yeah no, he wasn’t going to get up just so he could listen to music right now. And he definitely wouldn’t listen to it on speaker.

TV also wasn’t an option. That fucking thing had been broken for two weeks now and he neither had the money nor the energy to walk to the shop and buy a new one. Also… news stressed him.  

He yawned and closed his eyes, feeling his thoughts gradually slow down to a state where they were just a jumbled mess, but at least not a racing jumbled mess anymore. He was tired, hungry and thirsty. A small smile tugged at his ripped lips but he didn’t move to satisfy either of those needs. He wanted to stay here and in the best-case scenario… sleep and not wake up for at least a few years.

He wasn’t sure how much time had passed when his phone slowly pulled him back into reality. Blinking confused, he opened his eyes and turned his head. He hadn’t fallen asleep, just spaced out. But since he had no idea which time it had been once he had started doing so, he also couldn’t really win anything from the time which was now flashing across his screen. Together with a number he didn’t know.

Dabi frowned and didn’t move for a long moment, but when the ringing didn’t stop, he let out a pained grown and rolled onto his side to hit the green button. Which took him three or four tries, but who gives a shit.

“Yeah. What?” He mumbled into the pillow which was now below his cheek. Whether or not the person on the other end heard and understood him… he couldn’t care less.

For a long moment no reply came and he was about to cancel the call with the belief it had been a prank or butt-call, but then there was a sound like a door slamming and distant yelling. It sounded familiar. Dabi blinked. He had no idea why it sounded familiar. God, he was out of it. And definitely not because of the drugs but because it had been a shitty fucking exhausting day.

“What?” He repeated, yelling it this time.

He really didn’t have the patience for shit like this.

When he raised his hand to cancel the call however, a voice replied. Thin. Quiet. Whispering. But so, so damn familiar.

“Yeah. Hi.” Then nothing for a long moment and Dabi stayed frozen in place, his chin pressed into a pillow and his hand raised above the phone.

He knew that voice. But he also didn’t? He was confused.

“Who the fuck’s this?” He asked and he was sure there was this distant slamming again, like… something hitting a wall? Or wood? He wasn’t sure, it was all pretty muffled. Like the world usually was for him now.


Dabi froze. His body froze, his breathing froze, his thoughts froze.

Nope. Nope. Nope. Misunderstanding. Prank call. Hallucination. Those happen. Happened before. Way too often. You’re used to this. Just close your eyes and wait. Will be over soon. Nope. Nope. Nope.

“Sorry, Fuyumi gave me this number. For emergencies. Touya. Right?” There was hesitation in his voice, but it was his voice. And even though Dabi hadn’t heard it in year he still knew it was his voice.

He was still frozen. He still couldn’t move and his lungs were screaming at him to finally fucking breathe again, but he couldn’t. He didn’t even really realize he was holding his breath. That his body was screaming in phantom pain on top of the chronic one.

He didn’t answer.

The muffled noises in the background got louder, clearer, still muffled though.

“Listen. I… I don’t give a shit if you want to see me or know me or what the fuck your problem is, but Fuyumi is in the hospital because father finally completely lost it. I’m in my room. My door is locked. And Natsuo isn’t picking up. Neither are my teacher or my boyfriend. Fuyumi gave me this number for emergencies and I really think this defines as emergency,” Shouto continued and rushed through his words, fear, anger and apathy all audible in his voice and Dabi felt like someone had violently slapped him in the face.

He shot upwards on the couch, his breath going too fast and too deep and it hurt his lungs, stretched his patchwork skin uncomfortably around the staples and his body was trembling so badly his muscles hurt.

But now he was moving. Now his brain was racing. And he wasn’t able to feel his fear, his panic. He felt numb. In pain. But numb.

“Where are you?” He asked, his voice sounding rough and pressed and he heard a shaky intake of breath on the other side. Then the muffled yelling again. His tense body became even stiffer.

“At home. Still the same one.”

Dabi focused his attention on the background sounds and it was hard to make anything proper out of it, the sounds mixing into each other and it was as if a barrier of water was between him and the sounds. But then he heard this one sentence he had branded into his brain…

“…gonna kill you!”

And he made a split-second decision. One lining up perfectly with his already shitty day.

“On my way. Stay where you are. I’m getting you out of there.” He said, his voice icy cold and at the same time panicked, while he jumped off the couch, picked his phone up and raced towards the door.