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The Warmth of the Sun

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Dave should have known from the start that something had gone wrong, that he and his lab partner had miscalculated. The smell should have tipped him off but he’d been too focused on his work, as close to a breakthrough as he was. Whatever the reason, he doesn’t notice the fire until it has erupted into full-blown flames, surrounding him and his partner, backing them up against the wall with no escape readily available.

He looks over at his partner and sees his own panic reflected back at him. Dave is smart, both of them are, and his mind races, running through possible escape routes. It doesn’t take him long to come to the conclusion that they truly are completely trapped, and a glance at his partner’s face- pale and panicked in the firelight- tells him that he’s not alone in this. As it stands, they are well and truly fucked unless help arrives before it’s too late.

Dave reaches into his back pocket, hoping against hope that he’d left his phone there, but when he finds his pocket empty, he recalls that he’d left it to charge back in his dorm room.

“Stupid,” he spits under his breath. The room gets hotter as the flames get closer and Dave closes his eyes, “I’m sorry,” he whispers to his partner. He can’t even bring himself to look at him, to face the reality that if someone doesn’t save them, he’s to blame for his partner’s death.

It’s when the heat becomes unbearable and the smoke in his lungs begins to truly burn that the door slams open.

“HAVE NO FEAR,” a voice booms and Dave’s eyes snap open in response, “FOR I,” Dave’s eyes fight against the smoke to focus on the absurdly large figure standing in the doorway, “AM HERE”.

The figure rushes towards Dave, leaping over the furniture and flames as if they aren't even there. As they get closer, Dave makes out a familiar grin, one that shines brighter than any of the flames surrounding them.

“Toshi?”

Toshinori’s grin widens.