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From the Ashes

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The whole place is tired. Every face Hawks sees has that same exhausted look to it, apathetic, grey-eyed stares sinking right through him the moment they register he’s not a threat. The people go back to their dreary tasks, uncaring about his existence, too bothered by their own troubles to spare much thought for yet another traveler making their way through town.

Hawks watches them, wondering. Threadbare, over-mended clothes cling to figures who will clearly fail if this year’s harvest does. They’re one misfortune away from starvation, and even though they’re only twenty-three leagues from the Capital, they might as well be a world away. Hawks could see it the further from the Guild Hall he traveled: tired citizens, weary land, the roughshod houses cobbled together to form a town, villages here and there strung together out of necessity, dwellings that would be uninhabited if it weren’t for the fact that their occupants had anywhere else to go. The Capital has all but abandoned the places it was supposed to govern, leaving them to their fate unless the Fates intervened and offer up something of worth.

And even then, Hawks thinks dryly, finding an inn and slinking into it, it’s not as if the people get anything in return. Moderators take. Ore here, cattle there, grain and timber, children… He wonders if he came from a village like this. He wonders if, should he ever find his way back home, at least one of those sullen faces would light up to see him. Is his mother still living? His father? Does he have any siblings or cousins? Grandparents? He doesn’t know. He knows nothing of who he was before he was taken. He doesn’t even know where he was taken from. He could come from this very village, and not even know it. His memories are too hazy to be of any use, and to try and touch them now is like sinking his hands into mist.

It’s a wound he knows he has to stop prodding, but one he’s been unable leave alone of late.

At the bar, he peruses the inn’s menu for barely three seconds, and then stares at it for a minute more. It’s the same food found everywhere else in the countryside, bland and uninspiring. There’s only so much can be done with the staple crop that grows out here, and Hawks has seen it all in the last few days. Less than three leagues from the Capital it’s as if the earth has been stripped of life, capable of nurturing only the hardiest of seeds that produce the coarsest of foods. The stew Hawks orders is more vegetable than meat, thickened with rye, and the bread is a plain sourdough, sourer than he’d like. He tries not to taste the food in too much detail as he eats alone in a corner overlooking the rest of the room, washing it down with kvass and longing for a flagon of water. Of all the things he thought he’d miss while on his mission, water – pure, fresh, blessed-by-one-of-the-Magi water – wasn’t one of them. He thought he’d miss his bed, the baths, the bustle of the city, the shops, the sights and sounds of thousands of people passing by. He though, and feared, that distance from the Guild would only strengthen a resolve to return to it, but with each step he’d taken towards the border, something had loosened.

He washes down another earthen mouthful, grimacing at his own situation. His mission was tenuous to start with – go where the Seers can no longer reach, report any findings – but now it feels less like he’s trying to fill in the blanks on their map and more like he’s trying to understand his own existence, as if the withering towns and villages he passes through hold a secret. He didn’t need to travel this far; the road called him on, his feet walking ahead and his mind simply following, trying to work out what it was behind and around him that felt so wrong it couldn’t help but draw him onward. He wonders now at the strange sense of comfort he finds in being adrift, as if he’s nothing more than a leaf on the breeze. He’s always felt trapped both inside the Capital and in the shadows of its presence – revealing his true self out here would be unwise – but the absence of the Guild Hall, the City walls, the Overseers, the Watchers, the Keepers and the Enforcers… it’s a weight off his chest. He can stand up taller, breathe freer, even when it’s clear the world around him is struggling for breath. He can’t answer the itch crawling impatiently beneath his skin, but he can walk towards a goal of his own devising, even if he’s not sure what it is yet.

The border is another four leagues away. This close to it, Hawks thinks he can sense something different. After days of making his way through the stale, sickly air clinging to the country it’s almost as if, just a few steps along the road, he’ll find a breath of fresh air.

That idea, the thought of something crisp and pure filling his lungs, makes Hawks determined to see the border. Just to look, just to check, to see…

…to see if the weariness all around him and the drained earth beneath his feet extends beyond Aegaria’s reach. Is the City a light in the darkness, needing to reach out, or does it’s devouring of resources drain the surrounding land? Is the—

His thoughts are stopped dead in their tracks.

Something shifts in the air around him, touching him. Hawks look up, startled. The power beneath his skin ripples with excitement, answering what he’s feeling, and his heart races as he recognises the clear, familiar tang of power. There’s no question as to who it radiates from, and Hawks’ attention is fixated on the tall, hooded figure just entering the bar, their thin, darkly clad frame crackling with energy. Hawks hasn’t felt anything like this since he left the Guild, and even then he doesn’t think he’s ever felt such raw power – at least, not since… Not since meeting him.

There’s no question as to what the stranger is. Hawks never thought the Libertarians would be so confident in revealing their presence on Aegarian soil, and yet here one of them stands, bold as anything. They don’t even care to hide their power as Hawks and all the Magi he knows were trained to do, using it as and when it’s needed. No, this stranger unashamedly lets their power be felt, to the point where even untrained commonfolk are starting to turn and notice.

Or maybe they’re turning to look because the stranger, dressed in black, is pushing their hood back, revealing piercing sky blue eyes, jet black hair, and deep, vivid scars that cover more than half his face, fragments of metal holding him together.

A shock runs through Hawks, those intense eyes connecting with him the moment he registers the damage done to this man’s body. He can’t tell if his reaction is one of horror at the extent of the scar tissue and metal sutures, or if it’s thanks to the jarring realisation that the powerful young man is dangerously handsome. Hawks’ heart, already racing, refuses to come under his control as the unrestrained Magi smirks, his gaze lingering a moment before he turns towards the innkeep. If anyone else were looking at him Hawks would stop staring, but they’re all staring at the stranger, so he doesn’t tear his gaze away.

A Libertarian. This far over the border. The whole thing screams trouble, and Hawks knows he must send word to the Enforcers and do what he can to stop the stranger before he fulfills whatever mission he’s on, but knowing what he should do and doing it are like day and night in that moment. The stranger is new, something bright and refreshing, something… breathtaking. Hawks can’t help feeling drawn to him, compelled to watch his actions and drink in the easy, fluid movements the stranger makes as he orders a flagon of kvass and a plate of food. 

It surprises him when the scarred stranger leaves the bar, walking directly towards him with a soft, feline-like confidence. The flagon bumps against the table, the stool screeching against the flagstones as its dragged from beneath the table.

“Mind if I sit here?”

Hawks’ mouth falls open. The stranger takes a seat anyway. Hawks’ answer clearly wouldn’t have made a difference.

“You’re not from around here,” the stranger states, still smirking.

“What gave it away?” Hawks wonders.

Taking a swig of his drink, the Libertarian fighter – he has to be a fighter with that much power, looking like that, and with enough confidence to leave his back to the room – pauses a moment before answering, holding Hawks’ gaze as he leans forward. “Your eyes.”

Hawks bristles at that, pulling back. He forgot… Even reigning in his power, the magic within him can’t help reacting to the powerful presence of another Magi, showing through the cracks. It makes finding hidden Potentials easy for powerful Overseers, and now he realises it makes it harder for him to hide what he is. It’s not a problem he anticipated encountering. The Seers should be aware of someone even half as powerful as the Libertarian sitting comfortably across from Hawks, even if they were several leagues over the border.

The gold in Hawks’ irises betrays him, even if this stranger has no idea of the true extent of his ability.

“Relax,” the stranger purrs, that smirk refusing to fade. “I’m not gonna hurt you.”

The idea of him being able to hurt Hawks is an interesting one, and the statement proves that, powerful as he is, the stranger is poorly trained. He’s brimming with raw power, but unable to control it or to realise when someone around him is controlling theirs. Few can see past Hawks’ defences, but nearly every Magi he’s ever met has recognised when another is masking their strength.

Unless, of course, this is a bluff, but there’s something naïve about this young man that makes Hawks believe that what he sees was what he gets.

“So, was it your mother? Your father?” the stranger presses.

Hawks stutters for a moment, taken aback by the bold question. In the Capital, people generally don’t interrogate others about their Magi hereditary – the Enforcers do that. “I-I don’t know…” he admits.

“Orphan, huh?”

Despite the apparent dismissal of the topic, Hawks can see the intrigue in the LIbertarian’s eyes. He wonders if this is the man’s aim – seek out anyone with potential and recruit them. Drifters and orphans are the best recruits. No one misses them. How many have crossed the border, stolen away by the other side? The prospect of Potentials being missed by Overseers and finding themselves instead absorbed into Libertarian ranks is something Hawks knows the Capital needs to be made aware of – for years now they have assumed that their own control is absolute, and that the Libertarians are all but extinct, a dying remnant of the last war.

“I’m Dabi.”

But, then again, Hawks notices the way this guy – Dabi – is looking at him, and he knows that look. Dabi doesn’t seem in the slightest bit interested in any untapped potential that might lie within Hawks; he’s wanted for something else. Maybe his eyes are just a bonus. Dabi, powerful and confident, seems to only be interested in Hawks’ body.

And Hawks finds he doesn’t care. Something within him shifts, falling away as he makes up his mind. He’s almost untouchable. This guy can’t hurt him, and he certainly can’t recruit him. He could be a useful source of information, and If bedding him is an option…

Hawks lets his voice soften, warmth seeping into it as he rests his elbows on the table. “It’s nice to meet you, Dabi,” he says slowly, tasting the stranger’s name and watching the shift in Dabi’s eyes as he realises he’s getting somewhere. “What are you doing here though? You’re a Magi, right? Don’t you all live in the capital?”

Dabi laughs at that, a bright, crackling sound like logs shifting on a fire. “I’m just passing through.”

The innkeep chooses that moment to bring a bowl of stew over. It’s the same vegetable concoction Hawks had, and Hawks leans back, taking the opportunity to appraise Dabi even further, studying scars and pale skin, the loose, lithe way Dabi moves. Dabi holds his gaze for a moment, smirking, before he starts to eat steadily, those clear blue eyes on Hawks, his interest clear. He seems in no rush, like a cat that knows it will be well-fed, and a flutter of warmth ripples through Hawks as he realises he’s the focus of Dabi’s hunger.

“So,” Dabi says, taking his time to speak around a mouthful, “aren’t you gonna to tell me your name?”

Hawks gives a light shrug, keeping his posture relaxed. “Do you need it?”

Dabi hesitates for the briefest of moments, taken aback, before that self-satisfied smirk is returns. “Guess not. You’re the one that’s gonna be screaming my name later, after all.”

The cheap, confident line affects Hawks in a way he never knew it could – perhaps because he’d never wanted something like that from anyone before. The implication, and the promise of pleasure, causes heat to pool low in his gut, keen interest stirring and unfurling within him. Part of him wonders why it had be to someone like Dabi that caught his eye, while the rational part of his mind is relieved that his unwillingness to give his name hasn’t come across as suspicious. A thrill runs through him as he realises that he can do this: he can have a taste of true freedom with no repercussion, no strings attached. He could, of course, lie if pressed about his name, but doesn’t want to. There’s no way he can give his Guild name and not expect the Libertarian to at least have some idea of who he is, but he’s equally reluctant to offer up any other name – especially the one he remembers from long ago and part of him wants to hear again, a fragile echo of a past he otherwise can’t recall. It feels like if he heard it now he would be crossing a line he couldn’t come back from, something about that name holding raw power.

So he keeps quiet, waiting as Dabi eats, appraising him. “Where are you staying?” he asks at length.

Dabi shrugs in answer, washing down his last mouthful. “Dunno. Here, I guess. It’s where you’re staying, right?”

“And you’re staying with me?” Hawks checks.

Dabi leans forward, his elbows on the table as he grins at Hawks. The expression pulls at scar tissue and staples, and should be repulsive, not intriguing. “Why not? We can split the bill, have some fun, and tomorrow morning be on our separate ways.”

“I’ve already paid,” Hawks points out.

With a shrug, Dabi sits back and takes out his purse, upending several Pesa onto the table. “Here,” he offers, but Hawks’ hand has already closed over the clattering silver, silencing it as he pushes it back.

“Keep it,” he breathes, not wanting money between them.

Dabi raises an eyebrow. “You don’t want a bigger room?”

Hawks hesitates for a moment, seeing Dabi’s point. “I’ll pay.”

“Smart,” Dabi chuckles. “So you can kick me out if I’m not good enough, huh? Well, I’ll just have to make it really worth your while, won’t I?”

Again, the warmth rises in Hawks’ blood, his cheeks flushing at the way Dabi is looking at him. Those piercing blue eyes pin him with a keen hunger he’s never known before, and his own reaction leaves him breathless.

He’s barely managed to steady himself before Dabi shifts, leaving his seat and moving closer, sitting next to him. A hand comes up to touch Hawks’ jaw, cool, rough fingers encouraging him to tilt his head with the barest whisper of a touch. This close, there’s no way Hawks can escape the attraction he feels towards Dabi, beauty and power coinciding with twisted scars and the knowledge that the two of them are worlds apart.

“Such beautiful eyes,” Dabi murmurs, and the softness of his voice has Hawks almost shivering at the praise. He thinks for a moment that Dabi will close the distance between them and kiss him, and realises that he would be more than okay with that. The world around him is grey and ashen, barely alive, but Dabi is light and life and power personified, burning brightly in the twilight.

Dabi speaks, though, his words caressing Hawks’ lips. “So, do you want to have a drink, or do you want to get out of here?”

Hawks’ hand comes up, curling around a thin, heavily scarred wrist, steadying himself as he leans in and closes the distance between them. Dabi lets him, giving a warm murmur of approval as Hawks kisses him, tasting in the touch of Dabi’s cool lips all he wants and needs so badly. The simple contact is enough to leave every nerve ending singing, the form hidden beneath his skin shifting and rippling with longing to break free as he confirms for himself that he truly wants this.

When he pulls back, Hawks gives no thought to anything but what he has right before him. “Let’s go,” he answers, his voice little more than a whisper.

The confident smirk pulls at Dabi’s scarred skin, somehow beautiful despite how grotesque it ought to be. The thought of having this man all to himself, to be able to explore those scars and kiss him freely, to feel what he’s always been denied, makes it easy for Hawks to grin in return, making his way to find the innkeep and request a bigger room.

Close to the border, beyond the Seers’ Sight and with the rules and rigidity of the Capital so far away, Hawks can at last have something he wants, and that he never dared to hope he’d ever find.

Artwork by SEESpr


The bed is the same as every other bed in all the inns Hawks has stayed in, the smell of straw rising up as his back hits it. Dabi’s weight follows him, muted warmth seeping through his clothing as his fingers pluck confidently at Hawks’ shirt. The fastenings are undone, the hem lifted, pushed up, and a rough hand caresses Hawks’ stomach.

“Mm,” Dabi murmurs, biting at Hawks’ lip. “Fuck, you’re so beautiful.”

Unsure of what to do with the praise, or the way he finds himself melting at Dabi’s touch, Hawks decides he prefers it when Dabi isn’t speaking, He tangles his fingers in the other man’s hair, pulling him closer for a kiss he has no intention of allowing to end until Dabi is clear on what Hawks wants: less talk, more action. He rocks his hips, grinding instinctually against Dabi, and a thick, honeyed moan drips onto his tongue.

Hawks knows he no one else will ever compare to this. He knew it the moment they kissed; it’s not just that this is his first taste of real intimacy, it’s that it’s Dabi. As he feels Dabi’s hand slide up even higher, exploring his body, he somehow knows he will never felt anyone this intense again. There’s a burning, consuming need about Dabi, his touch both gentle and desperate, giving and frantic. He kisses like a man starved, in urgent need of something only Hawks can give. He’s no fool – he could be anyone to Dabi – but Dabi isn’t just anyone to him. He should be the enemy, his mission, but instead…

Instead, Hawks wraps his thighs around Dabi’s hips, looping his arms around Dabi’s neck and letting the satisfaction of each moan and gasp he causes roll through him. He feels alive in a way nothing and no one else has ever made him feel before, freed by the weight of the powerful man above him. He’s far from quiet himself, breathless moans coaxed from his body as Dabi rolls his hips against him, teasing Hawks with the warmth of his still-clothed body. As lips move from his mouth to his neck, Hawks’ back arches, robbed of the ability to breathe. His eyes go wide as the sensitive, unmarred skin of his neck is kissed and sweetly bitten with clear, reverent hunger, and his fingers threading through Dabi’s hair, holding him there.

“Dabi…” he shudders, and feels an approving murmur against his skin.

Lips that felt cool when they first kissed are warm as they caress his jaw, sharp teeth teasing his earlobe. “I wanna to mark you,” Dabi murmurs, his voice rough with longing.

“Y-yeah,” is all the fluttering answer Hawks can muster, his grip tightening in Dabi’s hair as he tilts his head, offering his neck up. “Go on,” he encourages.

He’s kissed again before he can draw breath, the touch raw and full of desperate need. His lower lip is bitten and teased, soothed by the gentleness of Dabi’s tongue, before Dabi kisses his way down Hawks’ throat, teeth grazing against sensitive skin. Fingers bite into his hip as an arm curls around his shoulder, Dabi somehow finding the spot on his neck that makes him weakest and leaves him moaning as pleasure tears through his body. Hawks can barely think about anything beyond the man above him, his world reduced to where their bodies touch, expanded beyond his wildest dreams. He feels each bite and bruise as it forms, magic rippling beneath his skin ready to heal, but he pushes it away. He lets the bruises and bitemarks Dabi gives him blossom, a catalogue of touches on his skin that will prove this night was real long after Dabi is gone.

The flickering awareness that this is the one chance he has to be here, in this moment, with Dabi is what makes Hawks shift, no longer content to be passive. He feels a need both unknown and familiar, a hunger only Dabi’s lips and touch can satisfy, and he rolls them over, pinning Dabi beneath him.

Dabi goes easily, only the brief widening of his eyes betraying his surprise before he smirks up at Hawks. “Was I going too slow for you, hm?”

“Sh,” Hawks urges, his fingers trailing over Dabi’s cheek, feeling the metal beneath his fingers, scarred and soft skin warm beneath his touch as he kisses the other man, filling his own senses with the smell and touch and taste of him. He feels hands run over his back, fingers pressing into the soft muscle of his ass as he rolls his hips against Dabi, and he lets his body move of its own accord, finding its own rhythm.

Even with Dabi’s earlier actions as a reference, Hawks can’t follow them exactly. The skin at Dabi’s throat is too scarred, the kisses Hawks leaves there garnering next to no response. Instead of dwelling on why, or surrendering, Hawks shifts lower, his hands creating a pathway. He pushes Dabi’s loose shirt lower, exposing undamaged skin that he tastes with an open-mouthed kiss, his lips pressing against the warmth of Dabi’s skin and the racing of his heart. He hears the hitch of Dabi’s breath and feels the way those fingers that have moved to his back grasp a fistful of his shirt, vulnerability offered up like a precious, fleeting gift. Hawks takes it, following the seam of staples and listening with growing longing to the breathless sounds Dabi makes beneath him, each shift and shiver as Hawks lips caress, his teeth adding an edge his tongue is quick to soothe.

To Hawks, Dabi tastes like warmth and a faint, somehow sweet tang of sweat. He smells of rich, rain-soaked earth and autumn skies, something metallic that’s neither rooted in taste nor scent tugging at Hawks’ senses. The wealth of energy beneath his skin calls to Hawks, pulling him in, and with no walls or boundaries to hold him back, Hawks lets himself fall.

How quickly he abandons his mission, he thinks, to follow his heart.

As he slides his hand beneath the hem of Dabi’s shirt, pushing it up and feeling the contours of Dabi’s thin stomach, the patchwork of scars and staples, Hawks can’t bring himself to care. His own shirt is pulled unceremoniously over his head, Dabi making it clear he wants to kiss him. As their hips align, Hawks rocking forward, they both moan into the kiss, panting into it just long enough to share a breath that fills Hawks’ chest with heavy light.

This time, when Dabi takes the lead again, Hawks lets him. With their positions reversed, Dabi holds himself above Hawks, a knee either side of his hips and denying him contact as he appraises him. A warm hand runs over Hawks’ chest, fingers meandering over to a nipple and teasing it, before sliding lower and cupping the swell of Hawks’ trapped cock.

The touch, so simple and so casual, has him rocking into Dabi’s palm. Even through the fabric of his trousers he’s aware of the contours of Dabi’s hand, the ridges of metal at the heel of his palm.

Knowing he has him exactly where he wants him, Dabi smiles down at him. It takes Hawks a moment to realise it’s a smile, not a smirk, and then all semblance of rational thought leaves him as Dabi undoes the fastenings on his trousers and slides his hand beneath Hawks’ clothes, wrapping long, slender fingers around his length.

Hawks can barely breathe as he stroked, his vision fracturing and his sky filled with those piercing blue eyes, that smile…

“So, first time?” Dabi asks teasingly. “Or am I just that good?”

Hawks bites his already tender lip, shivering as Dabi’s fingers tighten around the head of his cock. “Both,” he shudders, aware of the murmur of approval Dabi gives as he lets go of Hawks and rests his hand against the pillow next to Hawks’ head, leaning in close.

“Are you sure about this?” he whispers, his lips almost grazing Hawks’ lips.

Arching up, pleading for a kiss and the warmth of Dabi’s body, Hawks gives a faint semblance of a nod. “I’m sure.”

The kiss he’s given is almost bruising, fleeting and intense. “Good,” Dabi breathes, before reaching for the jacket he’d dropped earlier, discarded before they’d even hit the bed, and takes something from the pocket. As he moves back towards Hawks he loosens his own trousers, shoving the dark fabric down to reveal the full extent of his scars, but it’s not the contrast of damaged and pale skin that holds Hawks’ attention.

No, Hawks’ attention falls where it naturally wants to, to where Dabi’s cock juts proudly from his lithe body, the length and curve of it inviting him to imagine so much more than touching it or feeling it within him. He is almost tempted to kiss it, to taste.

There’s that smirk again, Dabi looking satisfied as he takes himself in one hand, drawing his thumb over the ruddy head of his cock, knowing exactly where Hawks is looking. Hawks can’t help watching the slow, confident action, his own cock twitching in painful longing. Almost dizzily, he reaches for Dabi, his hand wrapping around the other man’s wrist, pulling him closer. “Come here,” he hears himself murmur, before he pushing the last of his own clothes off with far less grace than he can ever remember.

“Like what you see?” Dabi asks, doing as Hawks bids, kissing him as the relieving warmth of his body once again presses against Hawks. With no clothing between them, the friction of skin against skin and the flushed hardness of Dabi’s arousal against his own, Hawks is left breathless. He feels himself falling even further, gravitating towards Dabi, holding on as tightly as he dares.

“Give me the oil,” Hawks breathes as the kiss, for a moment, breaks.

He hears the denial, Dabi murmuring into the kiss before pulling back. “I’ll do it.”

Hawks wants to point out that he might lack experience with a partner but that doesn’t mean he lacks all experience or understanding, but the protest dies the moment he considers what Dabi’s hand might feel like between his thighs, slick fingers moving inside him. He flushes as precome smears against his stomach and Dabi’s, his cock twitching and aching with longing. “Okay,” he agrees, feeling Dabi’s lips catch his jaw, coaxing him to tilt his head back to expose his neck again. “Okay…”

“Just relax,” Dabi whispers, teeth grazing over sensitive skin as his hand busies itself with the oil. “It’s gonna feel good.”

Hawks almost laughs, wondering if anything with this man can feel bad. Every touch, every kiss, is freeing, the warmth that radiates from Dabi’s scarred, patchwork, stapled-together skin loosening tension Hawks never knew he was carrying. He parts his thighs without hesitation, allowing Dabi to make himself at home there, those fingers sliding and rubbing over sensitive skin, teasing, pressing firmly…

Hawks whimpers at the sensation of Dabi’s finger easing into him, his body still for a moment before, with a shudder, he moves his hips to meet him. Slowly, Dabi pushes in further, still kissing Hawks’ neck, licking a cool, distracting stripe over his collarbone. Nothing about his actions or the steadiness of his body, the confident way he moves or the surety of his touch, could be considered particularly gentle, but that’s the only way Hawks can think to describe Dabi’s actions. He thought they’d just fuck, that it would be quick, rough and cathartic, not that Dabi would care to do this. The other man seems to enjoy it, humming softly and murmuring in answer to Hawks’ moans as another finger is added, more oil easing the stretch and making the ache warm and quickly forgotten rather than painful. It would be so easy for Hawks to forget himself, to lose himself for hours in the simple, wonderful pleasure of being worked open.

It would be so easy, but not enough.

His own cock, lying neglected, twitches sharply as Dabi’s hand curls around it, stroking loosely. Realising how passive he’s become, his fingers doing no more than loop lazily in Dabi’s hair as a form of encouragement, he tugs Dabi up for a kiss, already feeling his mind floating on a haze of pleasure.

“I’m ready,” he insists. “Come on.”

Dabi is no longer smirking or smiling, the heaviness of his longing reflected in his gaze. His cock smears precome against Hawk’s thigh as he shifts, withdrawing his fingers and leaving Hawks feeling empty.

With one hand at his neck, pulling him closer, and the other biting into his hip, Hawks whisper softly against Dabi’s ear: “I’m all yours.”

He hears the faltering breath crushed from Dabi’s lungs at his words, and feels the way his body trembles as he holds himself just above Hawks, taking himself in hand to line up. “All mine,” he echoes, “and yet you won’t tell me your name.”

Hawks opens his mouth – to say what, he isn’t sure: an excuse, the long-denied truth – only to whimper and then keen as Dabi pushes against him, slipping past the last remaining resistance. All at once he feels split open, filled, make whole, and as Dabi stops, pausing to either catch his breath or to let Hawks catch his, he reaches up with a trembling hand, pulling Dabi down for a kiss.

Definitely made whole, he decides.

The discomfort melts away, his body trying to catalogue the new, exhilarating sensations as his muscles flutter and gently tighten around Dabi. He dares to move his hips, the angle shifting the smallest, most profound of fractions, and Dabi groans into the kiss, pushing a little deeper. Hawks tenses for a moment, breath catching in his throat, before he relaxes, trusting the stranger above him he feels he knows so well.

By the time Dabi’s hips are flush with his, the full length of his cock filling Hawks to perfection, Hawks is breathless. He’s barely able to shudder as Dabi pulls back slowly and eases forward again, giving Hawks a taste of what’s to come. “Fuck!” he mouths, eyes falling shut and then opening again as he realises he doesn’t want to miss even the tiniest detail. Dabi is so beautiful above him, handsome and dangerous, whole and torn, and Hawks reaches up to cup his cheek, feeling so much more than just skin. For a moment, Dabi turns into the touch, pressing his cheek to Hawks’ palm as his eyes start to fall closed, and then he pulls away, almost shaking his head.

Whatever he’s dismissed, Hawks is unable and unwilling to dwell on it. He lets it go, instead answering Dabi’s kiss, holding him close as the other man builds up a steady rhythm, moving so sweetly within him Hawks can’t imagine a world beyond Dabi’s touch. He holds on, letting go, freed and soaring.

And then, with a sharp cut of panic, Hawks realises he’s in danger of slipping, of shifting form. He reaches for control, holding himself back, and finds gentle fingers caressing his cheek.

“It’s okay,” Dabi soothes, breathless. “It happens to Magi sometimes, don’t be scared of it.”

Hawks isn’t scared – not in the way Dabi thinks. He’s never heard of a Magi slipping and losing control like this. He can imagine it can happen only to the untrained, that it might be frightening to find yourself at the mercy of a power you don’t know you possess or understand how to fully control, but Hawks’ fear isn’t that. No, his fear is that one slip and Dabi will realise who and what he is, that he’ll know where he’s from, and where he has to return to.

He’s not ready to let go, to be seen.

“Just focus on me,” Dabi continues, and he finds Hawks’ hand, lacing their fingers tightly together against the pillow by Hawks’ head. The touch is grounding, the clear-sky blue of Dabi’s eyes an unwavering focal point. “Don’t drift.”

The command is so simple, so easy to follow. Squeezing Dabi’s hand in return, Hawks curls his other arm around Dabi’s back, wanting him closer. “I won’t,” he promises, tilting his jaw and finding Dabi more than willing to answer the silent plea.

If it’s a choice between letting go and drifting, soaring on a solo high, or holding on tight to Dabi, focusing on his every touch and movement and sharing this experience, Hawks knows he wants. He draws his knees up, letting the angle shift, and is rewarded by a blinding flash of pleasure that leaves him gasping, Dabi’s name on his lips.

He’s kissed, his cheek caressed by a rough, scarred lip, and then Dabi’s wrecked voice whispers in his ear just as his hand curls around Hawks’ cock, stroking him. “I’ve got you.”

His words do something to Hawks that he can’t explain, and he keens as he comes, his whole body tensing as wave after wave of white hot pleasure coursing through him. He holds on with everything he has, his fingers biting into Dabi’s skin, the other man’s name on his breathless lips as he shudders and moans with each pulse of release. His come is wet between them, slicking their stomachs and making a mess of Dabi’s hand, but Dabi doesn’t seem to care. His breathing is ragged, the last few thrusts deep before he comes, spilling his load with a moan and a silent pause where Hawks wishes his own name was, where he feels it ought to be.

He’s more exhausted than he thought he could possibly be as Dabi gives a spent sigh, losing some of his strength. Their hands, a few moments ago tightly locked together, slowly unfurl, Hawks’ body giving a twinge of protest as Dabi slips from him. He can feel the oil slicked and smeared between his thighs, his own come across his chest, and a heaviness settling over him and making it almost impossible to move.

“Fuck,” Dabi surmises, rolling to the side and trying to catch his breath.

Hawks notices he hasn’t quite managed to let go of his hand. He hasn’t managed either.

Using a corner of the sheet, Hawks wipes the worst of the mess off, try to roll and tug the sheet over him. He manages, eventually, and finds himself too tired from the effort to bother rearranging it any further.

It moves, tugged as Dabi uses the same dirty corner to clean himself off.

“Kicking me out?” he asks, his voice raw, and cracked with tiredness.

“No,” Hawks decides, rolling towards Dabi and draping an arm over him. The other man is cooler than he remembers, his skin almost chilly but without being clammy and sickly. Frowning, Hawks decides he’s too tired to process what’s going on.

Dabi only hums at his permission to stay, but turns towards him, wrapping his arms around Hawks in return. They end up so close it takes next to nothing for Hawks to change the angle of his jaw, catching Dabi in a tired, lingering kiss.

“Stay ’til morning,” he decides.

There’s another hum, before Hawks is pretty sure Dabi falls fast asleep.

It’s not hard to follow. For the first time in his life, Hawks feels spent in the best of ways, free and alive, somehow more himself. There’s a thread there, a flicker of understanding, but he isn’t ready to pull on it, to follow it and see where he leads.

He decides it can wait for the morning, at the very earliest, and then follows Dabi into a deep, restful sleep.