“That blonde guy came through again,” Shigaraki says with a scowl.
“Yeah, I know. That’s like the tenth time. Do you think he’s a spy for Overhaul or for MLA?” Touya asks, leaning back in his chair.
(He’s not sure which would be worse.
Overhaul’s operation is annoying of course; he’s got some really creepy actors there, but on the other hand, they’re probably going down since people have actually filed assault charges against them and he hears Overhaul himself is wrapped up in some kind of nasty child abuse case.
Piece of shit, would suck if the hot blonde guy worked for him.
On the other hand, MLA has tons of money and has been trying to buy out their operation for the last year, and the one thing Touya can agree on with Shigaraki is that they both despise MLA and its efforts to dominate the haunted house business.
It—would still suck if hot blonde guy worked for them, but Touya thinks he can leverage that. Maybe.)
“You guys are both dumb, he’s not here for that,” Toga declares, placing her palms on the table.
They both turn to look at her.
“Then—he’s an adrenaline/horror junkie with too much money?” Shigaraki suggests with a furrowed brow.
Toga rolls her eyes, “He’s been through the whole haunted house like ten times now and hasn’t even screamed once. He has to have a crush on someone here.”
“No, he’s always crashing into me when I show up,” Touya interjects.
(The first time he hadn’t, he had just stared at him, but every time after that, the guy would promptly let out a little yelp and then for some reason, fling himself dramatically in his direction.
Touya has dodged every single time because you get all sorts of people in a haunted house, from punchers to weepers to slappers, but that guy just sheepishly grins at him and keeps walking.)
Toga’s eyes widen as she points at him, “Then it’s you he’s interested in!”
“Awwwww,” Mr. Compress coos, leaning forward on the table, “When’s the wedding?”
Magne sighs and clasps her hands together, “A whirlwind romance!” she says dreamily.
“You should invite us! Or not—we might be busy,” Twice says.
Touya rolls his eyes, “ Or maybe he’s just not scared of any of your guys’ pansy-assed acts.”
“That’s just rude, Dabi!” Twice complains, “Toga usually scares everyone the most out of all our acts!”
“Hey, a lot of people get scared by me too!” Spinner calls out.
“Yeah, but you leap out of the wall. Toga just stands there and giggles, and everyone’s on edge,” Mr. Compress points out. “But Twice does have a point. If he’s not screaming in Toga’s room, why should he be screaming in yours?”
Toga smirks at Touya, “Because he wants to be screaming with Dabi—”
“Well, even if he does have a crush on Dabi, he could still be a spy,” Shigaraki cuts in before turning to Touya, “Keep an eye on him. Don’t really care what you do, but make sure he doesn’t go running off with any trade secrets or storylines.”
“Wow boss, thanks, I love being pimped out like this,” Touya says dryly.
Shigaraki snorts, “Like you haven’t been eyeing him already.”
(In Touya’s defense, blondie is very hot, with golden eyes, perfect eyeliner, studs in his ears, and arms that are surprisingly toned.
Plus, he thinks he’s seen hints of some kind of red feathered wing tattoo poking out from the edges of blondie’s tank top, and that’s—
Look, he has eyes, okay?)
“If you guys start flirting during work hours though, I’m still docking your pay,” Shigaraki continues.
Touya rolls his eyes, and just to spite him, the next time the guy arrives and lets out a tiny shriek and throws himself in Touya’s direction, this time he doesn’t move away, and the guy slams directly into his chest.
“Oh god, I’m so sorry!” the guy says, looking up at him. “It’s just—this place is so scary, you know?”
Touya wheezes (damn, this guy was a lot heavier than he looked), “It’s still that scary on your 12 th time here?” he asks disbelievingly.
The guy’s mouth quirks upwards, “Well, yeah, and—you kept track of how many times I’ve been through here?”
Touya inwardly curses (shit—no, he can still recover from this), “We don’t get that many repeat visitors. Especially those that come multiple times in a week,” he manages.
The guy shrugs, “What can I say? I really like haunted houses.”
“Sure,” Touya says dryly, stepping back, “You good to proceed now?”
“Well—I don’t know, you showing up among the flames gave me such a scare. Could you show me the way out?” the guy asks, looking up at him through his eyelashes.
Touya snorts, staring at the guy, but—well, he’s supposed to keep an eye on him, and it’s a slow night and near the end of his shift anyway (and it’s not like blondie’s not easy on the eyes).
“Fine,” he sighs, turning around and gesturing for him to follow, “I’ll show you out.”
The guy beams at him, following closely behind, “Thanks! Um—I’m Takami Keigo, by the way. Should I just call you Dabi?”
That name sounded—vaguely familiar for some reason.)
“Dabi’s the character name, I’m Hikawa Touya,” Touya replies, unlocking a door and shielding his eyes at the light of the kitchen. “Here—this good?”
“Yes,” Takami says, following him into the kitchen and then peering at him, “Oh wow—your makeup is really good even in full lighting.”
“We don’t half-ass things around here,” Touya says, opening the fridge and taking out a bottle of water to toss at Takami. “Here. For your ‘nerves.’”
“Oh, thank you,” Takami says, catching the bottle and fluttering his eyelashes at him. “My hero.”
Touya snorts, walking over and sitting in one of the chairs (may as well try to get some information out of him now), “So—you’ve got the nerves of a chicken, but you still really like haunted houses?”
Takami laughs, also sitting down across from him, “I’m usually not that easy to scare, but your guys’ house is special.”
“Really,” Touya says flatly. “You’ve been to any others?”
“Oh yeah. Went to MLA’s—flashy but kind of hollow? And I even went to Shie Hassakai—but I really didn’t know about all the creepy shit going down there before I went!” Takami says quickly, holding up his hands.
(He likes hearing shit about their competition, but maybe Takami is just telling him what he wants to hear.)
“And what makes ours so special?” he asks instead, leaning back.
“Well—the house is super cool. Authentic spooky antique—did your boss inherit it or something? And you’ve got cool backstories for all the characters here.”
Touya blinks, “You—you read those?”
Takami grins and nods, “Yeah! Yours was really cool—vengeful assassin, betrayed by his handlers, brought back to life as a revenant from sheer rage with fire powers. And you have multiple chapters for your character’s story! You must be really popular.”
Touya flushes (they had been given the freedom to write whatever they wanted for those online bios, and generally no one ever read them, so he had had some fun embellishing his during his free time). “….yeah,” he blatantly lies. “Dabi’s—really something.”
“Do you know what will happen at the end of his story?” Takami asks, leaning forward.
“You want spoilers?” Touya asks, somewhat amused.
(It’s—kind of endearing that someone else is invested in Dabi’s story.)
“Definitely—unless you guys are planning on putting on the entire story, then I’d want to see the whole thing in person,” Takami says quickly.
Touya sighs, “That would be cool, but we really don’t have the money. Or the cast members for that matter.”
“…I could help out?” Takami suggests, “I have some acting experience. And some money.”
Touya laughs, “Really? How much could you possibly—”
Some acting experience.
…as in the Takami Keigo, the actor who played winged kid-hero Hawks on that show Natsuo loved when they were kids?)
Touya’s mouth clicks shut as he takes out his phone to google the name.
The results that pop up are mostly modeling photos and charity events (and good god does the man look good on the runway and tutoring disadvantaged youth), but most also make mention of Takami Keigo’s former acting career.
“…it says you retired from acting,” Touya says finally, glancing up from his phone.
Takami winces, rubbing the back of his neck, “Yeah—I really liked the role, don’t get me wrong—that’s even what the tattoo is for—but the industry was—being a child actor wasn’t all that great.”
“And now you want to help fund and act in a haunted house?” Touya asks disbelievingly.
“I told you, I like it. And—I wouldn’t mind spending more time with you,” Takami says, propping his head on his hands and grinning at him.
Touya tilts his head, “What if I told you we had an anti-fraternization rule?”
“Well then, I’d be kind of bummed, but I’d still want to help you guys,” Takami says with a shrug.
(He’s—still kind of suspicious but—
Well, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to get a sponsor and another actor.
He even has some ideas about a blonde demon-winged lord that Dabi could associate with and Takami could maybe play.
After all, didn’t Shigaraki tell him to keep an eye on him?)
“I’ll introduce you to the crew tomorrow,” Touya decides (he’ll need a bit of time to come up with Hawks’ backstory and to work it so thoroughly into the plotline of the house that Shigaraki won’t be able to protest). “Wait for me to change, and then take me out someplace to eat so I can tell you more about the plotlines of the house.”
“Sure, but what about those anti-fraternization rules?” Takami asks, quirking an eyebrow.
“I made those up,” Touya says breezily, standing up, “But don’t think you’re in just yet. We’ll have to see how you click with us. And how well you’ll work into the story.”
“Well, I did read it all five times, so I think I have a leg up,” Takami says with a grin.
Touya might feel a little flutter in his heart at that.
Still, he’ll do his job and make sure that Takami Keigo isn’t some kind of spy—and then he’s going to make him ask him out properly.
Dinner at a nice restaurant, discussion of plotlines, getting to know one another, and then—who knows?
Maybe he’ll get a closer look at those tattoos.)