"You know, all of this was actually because of you. My hero stuff, I mean."
Words, barely a whisper, are caressing Dabi's ears. Dabi's blinking. What the actual--
"I wanted, no, I want to be a hero because of you."
Shouto's eyes are calm and in some unpleasant way tired. It doesn't suits him -- to be that tired at such young age.
"You know, it's not--"
"It's right about time."
Now, Shouto's eyes are not that tired. They're burning with a fire Dabi could remember he saw in a mirror when he was trying to start a new day he knew he was going to spend in such horrible pain he'll be hoping to die by the end of it.
It seems to be a kind of family thing.
"It's right about time to say you were one of the first heroes I actually believe in. You were."
Shouto paused, visibly trying to find exactly those words he wanted to say. It was really hard and unbelievable important.
It's not like Dabi should have any concern to help him.
"You want to say I'm your greatest disappointment, too?"
He tried to be looking smug, but it was strangely difficult. And, maybe, his voice sounded slightly cracked, slightly shattered, slightly--
"No, that's not what I wanted to say. It may be useless, because you tried to kill me, obviously, but. I wanted to be a hero because of you, I want to. And right now I want it even more. Again, because of you. You're still my favourite, after all."
Dabi heard a trembling breath coming from his own lips. Pitifully, but unmistakable his.
"You know, if not Fuyumi's photos, I'd not recognised you, but you're still my favourite hero. And that's what made me to actually want to be one of them. I mean, a proper one."
Shouto offered Dabi a fragile smile.
It was too sharp for him, too dangerous to let this smile to get under his skin, but sometimes Dabi's a weak person. He wants to. He lets.
And if he could cry, he cried.
"I don't care about what father says and wants from me, no more, I've had enough, but even if I still can't forgive him, his name, his wealth, his reputation... I can use it. It's a good start for me. And I'll use it. I'll be a hero and nobody can stop me, not anymore, and even if I'm not going to be the best, number one, I'll be a good hero. So no more Reis and Toyuas."
Dabi's trembling a bit, but that's okay.
Shouto's crying a bit, but that's okay.
"And even if it means nothing to you, it means a lot to me. So. I still love you, pretty much actually, but even you can't stand between me and my choice, okay? You're my favourite hero. Always will be. But I'm not going to let you win without any struggles."
He's kind of proud right now.
And even if he's hesitating a second before summoning his flames, that's okay. It's worth it.
Dabi hesitated and that's enough.