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sometimes I can’t believe it

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“What.” Shigaraki unenthusiastically answered his phone.

“Aw, don’t be like that Tomu!” Toga practically sang as she looked up from her laptop.

“Kinda busy.” She could barely hear him over the sound of him mashing the buttons to his controller.

“Well, that’s what I was calling you about!” She rolled her eyes. Quickly, she clicked through the web forum. “You’ll never guess what happened!” Tomura’s only response was a disinterested hum. “So I was looking on the internet, you know on the supernatural blog pages, and I just read that the Demon Stain has been sighted again!“ Toga couldn’t help but squeal and pause for his reaction.

“Pass.” Tomura huffed out.

“You’re so stupid.” She groaned.

“No, the legend is stupid.” He retorted childishly. “How can a demon have morals? That isn’t possible, and if it is, then he sounds boring as hell.”

“Stain’s not boring! He literally hunts and kills people who corrupt or--”

“Yeah, yeah. Sounds like a real asshole to me, I wouldn’t even want to meet him.”

“Come on!” Toga signed as she closed her laptop. “You know Dabi would love this!” She pointed out. Dabi was never really interested in the supernatural, but for some reason, the Demon Stain really resonated with him. One of the many ‘fights’ Dabi and Tomura have revolved around Stain. Toga supposed they are less of ‘fights’ and more like a weird type of foreplay or flirting.

“Then why don’t you ask him to go with you yourself.”

“Because he wouldn’t wanna come unless you come.” She frowned.

“What? That’s just not true.” Tomura muttered out, but Toga could practically hear the blush on his cheeks.

“Yeah it so is!” She couldn’t help but raise her voice as she was on the verge of laughing. “And you know it! I can hear it in your voice!” She teased.

“Shut up, you’re gonna blow my ears out.”

“If you don’t believe me, then ask him if he wants to come with us, and if he asks you if you’re going then you have to come and you owe me one of those cute gamer girl chairs--”

“You don’t even play games!” Tomura protested.

“Whatever! Just ask! Buh bye!” She hung up before he could say anything else.

“Who was it, Toga?” Dabi asked, not bothering to look up from his phone. They were on Tomura’s couch, enjoying being alone with each other. Though both Dabi and Tomura liked their friend group, it’s nice for it to be just them. Away from all the noise and the crowd, and with the bonus of being able to kiss and cuddle without giggles and woops.

Tomura couldn’t help but study Dabi for a moment.

To anyone, Dabi would be seen as uncaring or aloof, but right now Tomura knew that Dabi was completely at ease. Does he really like hanging around with me that much? The thought was something Tomura was sure he’d never experience. This whole relationship between them was something he never thought he would experience. It was like a weird but welcomed dance around each other.

When he first moved out of his foster father’s mansion, both AFO and Kurogiri worried that he would become isolated. Without either one of them around him, the chance of Tomura talking to another human being was practically zero. Little did anyone know, that the day he moved in was the same day he found Toga, or rather the day Toga found him.

”Tomura Shigaraki, right? You’re like a celebrity around here!” Was one of the first things Toga ever said to him. That and some weird comment about his red eyes. It was unexpected to say the least. All his life, other children saw his eyes as proof of his unnatural existence. And, he absolutely loathed the idea of being a ‘celebrity’, which he wasn’t. Being the adoptive son of the town’s boogie man and being a celebrity were two vastly different career paths. Even though he moved out to try and crawl out of AFO’s shadow, his name followed him. Well, Shigaraki was technically paying his rent, but still.

Tomura was avoided because he was adopted by the infamous Shigaraki, but that’s also how he made his friends.

It was strange how outcasts seem to recognize and congregate around each other.

First it was Toga, who’s creepy obsessed personality pushed everyone away. She latched onto him, banging on his door and dragging him around the city whenever she could. She wasn’t even his neighbor too, it was a complete coincidence that she saw him moving into his apartment. She was annoying, but Tomura guessed that’s how siblings felt about each other.

Then it was Twice, Magne, and Spinner, meeting in rapid succession, one after the other. It left Tomura dumbfounded when he walked into the diner and saw a table filled with his friends. Kurogiri seemed proud, when he introduced his friends to his guardian. Wordlessly, they both decided to skip the introductions to AFO.

And then it was Dabi.

Dabi, who pushed himself away from others like he was burned. If they were outsiders because of what the town thought, then Dabi was an outsider because of what he thought. Tomura had seen him around once or twice, their eyes meeting each other in recognition and interest, but nothing more. Dabi was the hardest one to recruit into their little group. Still, no one can stop the inevitable, especially when the ‘inevitable’ was Toga.

Tomura could still remember the air of uncertainty that surrounded them when they first began talking. That soon melted into annoyance and pettiness at their naturally clashing personalities. Now it seemd so stupid and embarassing how they acted around each other in the beginning.

But speaking of Dabi--

“Yeah.” Tomura finally answered and tried to focus back on his game. In all honesty, the only thing he could focus on was Dabi’s warm hand on him. Tomura was laying down on the couch, his legs resting across Dabi’s lap. Dabi sat there facing forward, his feet resting on the coffee table. The offending hand was wrapped around his calve, not in a tight possessive way, but in a grounding touch.

“What did the gremlin want?” Dabi smirked to his phone.

“Apparently Stain has been sighted in the area.” Tomura sighed.

“No shit, really?” Dabi quickly snapped his head away from his phone, those blue eyes blazing with mischief.

“Yeah. Toga wanted to know if you’re interested in going hunting.” His red eyes tore away from him and rested back on his game, trying to act disinterested.

“Really where?”

“I’m guessing by city hall again.” Tomura shrugged. Seriously, how boring was this town to make up stories about city hall. The strange and sudden resignation of their old mayor also added fuel to the fire. But Tomura knew it wasn’t something supernatural that made All Might leave. No, the cruel smile on Shigaraki’s face when he heard the news made him realize it was something very much human.

“That’s the only trash left in the city to be taken care of.” Dabi laughed at his own joke.

“So? Are you going?” Tomura rolled his eyes. He knew Dabi would want to go because it’s stain, but it was by city hall, a place Dabi avoided like death ever since Enji Fucking Todoroki became the new mayor.

“Uhhh… I dunno, are you gonna go?” Dabi’s lips tugged into a grimace.

“Well, I wasn’t planning to. It’s by city hall and that part of town makes me breakout in hives.” Tomura frowned, over exaggerating for Dabi’s comfort. “If you wanna go, I’ll go though.”

“Aw, babe--”

“Fuck off. You know why we stay away from that place.” Tomura growled.

“I’m not gonna let that asshole ruin anymore of my fun.” Dabi grinned. “We can do whatever we want, whenever we want.”

“So you wanna go later tonight?”

“Are you gonna go?” Dabi asked honestly.

“Yeah.”

“Then I guess I’ll go.”

Oh, fuck off Toga.

 

 

“I can’t believe we’re doing this.” Tomura muttered with narrowed eyes.

“What’s wrong, scared?” Twice teased.

“No I’m pissed.” Tomura hissed over the found of Dabi picking the lock. “This is literally the most boring place we’re breaking into.”

“Well… the old library is here so that should be fun?” Magne shrugged as she glanced over her shoulder. “Will you hurry it up, Dabi!” She hissed out. “The longer we’re out here the more of a chance will get caught.”

“What will they do? Tell my mommy?” Dabi joked darkly to himself, his voice so low that Tomura could barely distinguish it between the metal clinks of the key.

“Well, I doubt they would expect this.” Spinner tried to lighten the mood.

“We’ve done a lot of stupid things.” Magne couldn’t help but cheer internally as the door creaked open.

“Some of us more than others.” Tomura rolled his red eyes and brushed past everyone and pulled the door open enough for him to squeeze through. Immediately, he was hit with the suffocating office air.

Their city hall was cold and built from stone and marble.

The insides were just as boring as the outside, as if it was trying too hard to look like a normal but formal building. It was just as empty as Tomura remembered. His first time coming here was when Shigaraki adopted him. He walked hand in hand with him up the stone steps to some department he can’t remember. Looking back on it, he knew that once the city employees caught wind the terrible ‘All For One’ was coming, they probably left.

Only a terrified worker was left in the whole department.

Tomura tsked at the memory before turning around to see everyone gathering in the lobby.

“Are you sure they are no cameras?” Spinner asked, toying with his hood.

“Yeah.” Dabi grinned wickedly. “Trust me, I would know.”

“So? Where do we go from now? How do we catch a demon?” Toga hummed as she tapped her chin.

“I’m going to the Old Library.” Tomura crossed his arms decidedly.

Boring!” Twice laughed out loudly before smacking a hand over his mouth.

“Yeah, I second that.” Despite his words, Dabi moved to stand next to the white haired man. “What’s in the boring Old Library anyway? It’s just a bunch of old censuses and documents. Let’s at least vandalize the mayor's office. I know you said no burning but there's a million other things to do.”

“Shigaraki’s records could be there.” Tomura answered honestly.

“Are you sure?” Magne spoke softly as she reached out to him, placing a hand on his shoulders. “I mean, you have a right to know about the man who adopted you, but maybe you might not find something you like?”

“I for one, am totally down for uncovering Shigaraki Secrets. Even yours, Tomura.” Toga winked as she slung her arm over his shoulder.

“You’re choosing a nasty moldy library over Stain?” Spinner sputtered and for once, Dabi nodded in agreement.

“Who says we can’t be nerds and supernatural hunters at the same time?” The blonde girl smirked proudly. “We could summon Stain, so there's no need to go searching around for him. Besides, Shigaraki is infamous there’s no way Stain wouldn’t come by and say hi to his foster son.”

“Thanks…?” Tomura’s face twisted with confusion.

“No problem!” She chirped. Just as soon as she could, she pulled out her dubiously called ‘trusty’ spirit box. The group groaned as loud static noise echoed throughout the halls. “Now come on! Everyone walk as a group to the old library.” She mimicked a teacher’s voice. “And Tomura, sweetie, remind the class who’s your daddy?”

“Gross.” The white haired man turned slightly green.

“What the fuck, Toga.” Dabi hissed equally disgusted.

“Daddy!” Twice cracked up.

“Shigaraki.” Despite all of them being fully grown, a shiver crawled down their spines. Each of them had heard their own fair share of gossip from the town about All For One. Magne and Twice grew up hearing about him as a ruthless businessman, while Dabi had grown up hearing him as a political manipulator. Toga and Spinner saw him more of a mystery than a man.

“It would’ve been cooler if you called him by his full name.” Spinner muttered as he stepped closer to their little group.

“Why else do you think I wanna go to the old library.” Tomura rolled his eyes. “To find out who Shigaraki really is.” He raised his voice a little, letting it echo off the walls.

“Shhhhh!!!” Spinner added with panic.

“Don’t you wanna meet Stain?” Dabi teased him.

“Shut up, I thought I heard something!” Spinner snapped, making everyone quiet down. He motioned for them to stop, and from the last steps, another pair of footsteps stopped just a little slow for them. “See! Did you hear that? It sounds like footsteps!”

“Yeah, ‘cause we’re walking.” Tomura spoke bluntly.

“No, you--”

“Come on guys, let’s keep moving.” Magne pleaded.

The rest of the walk towards the old library was quiet, Spinner’s comment in all of their minds, except Tomura and Dabi. Tomura was still talking aloud about Shigaraki, while Dabi couldn’t help but tease the red eyed man every chance he could.

The old library was towards the back of the city hall building, where the oldest part of their little town was. It was called ‘old’ because no one really used it anymore. It was just a glorified storage room for useless information that had been transferred to computers.

Both Tomura and Dabi led the group down long dark hallways.

“I think it’s--”

Near.” The robotic voice interrupted Tomura. All six of them halted to a stop.

“Oh my god--”

“That doesn’t mean anything.” Tomura crossed his arms.

“Oh, come on Tomura--”

You.” Spinner’s mouth snapped shut as his eyes bulged out of his head, staring at the spirit box that interrupted him. Everyone around Tomura except Dabi immediately moved away. The taller black haired male simply raised a brow, not as convinced as the others. “Here.” It spoke again.

“Stain! Is that you, my beloved?!” Toga shouted excitedly as she clutched the box in her hands. What followed was a tense moment of silence. Neither them nor the radio said another word.

“See? There’s nothing there--”

Here.

“It did it again!” Toga cheered.

“If this fucking thing keeps interrupting me I’m turning it off.” Tomura hissed, turning away deeper into the library.

“I’m scared.” Twice confessed as he shuffled after Tomura. “Don’t you guys smell that? It smells like metal in here.”

“Or blood! That’s totally a sign of Stain!”

“We’re in an old place, it could just be metal pipes.” Tomura argued and began to search around, clearly not afraid to leave the group. On the other hand, Twice stopped following Tomura and instead stayed with the rest of the group.

“Hey Stain, do me a favor, there’s this guy who works here called Enji Todoroki--”

“Dabi! Don’t talk to him!” Magne worried. “You should never talk to… demons… directly.”

“Well what else am I gonna do all night?” Dabi frowned.

“Makeout with Tomura.” Magne, Spinner, Toga, and Twice all spoke up at the same time, some (Toga) louder than others.

“Oh yeah, hey Tomura let’s go to the mayor’s office after this. You know… for investigating… by ourselves.” Dabi called out as he made his way deeper into the library, trying to seek out Tomura.

“Oh my god… Shut up…” The raspy voice called out to his left. Immediately, Dabi moved to follow the sound. A grin spread on the black haired man’s lips as he saw a flash of white. Still, even when he’s trying to hide his red cheeks, Tomura didn’t deny him. “Get over here, idiot. Help me look.”

“Heh, okay, I’ll help you look.” Dabi’s voice was dripping with a suggestive tone. The first thing he did was wrap his arms around Tomura, pulling him in towards his chest. “Come on, they’re too busy pissing themselves to see us.” He whispered into his ear before he turned him around so they were facing each other. Dabi could see Tomura’s lips curve upwards in a smile under the dim lighting. Without giving it much thought, he gently pushed Tomura against the book shelf and kissed him.

“You’re gonna distract me.” Tomura stopped it before they really even began.

“What’s so bad about that?” Dabi whispered as he mouthed across his chin.

“What? You don’t want me to find out about Shigaraki?” For a moment, there was a look of hurt on his face.

Find.” The robotic voice chimed in from somewhere unimportant in the room.

“I don’t care about Shigaraki.” Dabi frowned. “I only care about you. It’s just… Ever since that night, all you could think about was finding out about Shigaraki. You said you were fine, but don’t fucking lie to me. I saw you scratching the other night.”

“It’s just… Shimura.” Tomura blurted out. From the depths of his mind, something stirred. The same urge to itch began to bubble up from his skin. “Doesn’t that name sound familiar?”

“The name Yagi said?” Dabi frowned. “Uh… I don’t think there’s anyone in the town with that name… maybe you know it from the internet or something? It’s probably common.”

One for All.”

“I think this piece of crap is broken.” Twice added in exasperation. “What the fuck does that mean?”

“Then stop talking to the stupid radio and help me look for the stupid records--”

Red.

“I’m getting real sick and tired of that fucking box interrupting me.” Tomura hissed out. “Whoever made it is a piece of shit scam artist. It probably has a sensor that picks up when someone is talking to it and randomizes an output signal.”

“Woah, calm down there, nerd.” Dabi couldn’t help laugh at Tomura’s annoyance.

“I for one, would love to see Stain materialize and kick Tomura’s ass.” Toga smirked.

“Stain wouldn’t kick Tomura’s ass, Stain specifically doesn’t go after defenseless outcasts.” Spinner added with a shit eating smile.

“There’s no such thing as Stain.”

Red.

“Toga if you don’t turn that thing off I’m smashing it into a million pieces.” The white haired man threatened.

“Noooo! I did not go through all the trouble of stealing someone’s credit card for you to break it!”

“Uh… guys…?” Magne called out.

“Well, at least you didn’t waste your own money on a glorified radio.”

“The science behind spirit boxes is actually really interesting--”

“God we have two nerds around us. It’s like it’s contagious or something.” Dabi cut off Spinner.

“Guys!” Magne got louder, her voice more insistent. Suddenly, they all stopped their bickering and turned to face her. The redhead said nothing while she pointed in the middle of the room, toward what looked like the librarian’s desk. A chill blew into the room, despite having no windows, as they circled around the desk. On top, was a conveniently placed red book, waiting for someone to read.

“It’s red.” Twice shivered.

“God fucking damn it.” Tomura sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.

“See! See!”

“Come on Tomura, you have to admit that’s crazy.” Spinner gushed out. On the other hand, Tomura was silent. He was hesitant as his fingers trailed across the book cover. It was a cold and flaky leather, a book that up until recently wasn’t well taken care of. The wording on the book was completely faded, Tomura only knew there was supposed to be something written because of the letters left indents on the book. “Are you gonna open it?” Spinner asked, losing all confidence in his voice.

“‘S just a book.” Tomura muttered as he flipped open the book. “UA Academy?” He read aloud. “Wait, is this a yearbook?”

“From about 30 years ago.” Dabi grunted as he flipped towards the other page.

“UA Academy? What kind of place was that?” Toga tilted her head reaching over to flip the pages.

“It was a school that used to be open around here.” Dabi answered as he flipped through the pages, trying to find something interesting. “It closed down a long way back, probably just after our parents graduated.”

“Only if they were rich.” Magne muttered. “Wait, go back!” She ordered and Dabi flipped backwards. “Founded-- what the hell?! We had a school that old! How could they shut it down? It should’ve been preserved as a landmark or something!” Everyone turned to glance at Dabi.

“How the hell should I know?” He frowned. “I just know it existed ‘cause my Mom used to talk about it. She said if it didn’t close down we probably would’ve gone there too. God, could you imagine being in a dorm during highschool and in the middle of the woods? The snobbery of that school would’ve suffocated the best of them. I would’ve burned that place down the first night I was there.”

Eat the rich.” Twice muttered under his breath.

“You guys are acting like this is just on me. Shigaraki totally went there and Tomura would’ve gone too.” Dabi chuckled. “Hey, us away from our parents… probably living on the same floor in the dorms together… doesn’t sound too bad.”

“Shigaraki didn’t grow up around there.” Tomura ignored the last part of Dabi’s sentence. “He told me he grew up in the capital.”

“Really? I feel like Shigaraki’s been here… for forever.”

“Yeah, I thought he was born here.”

“Let’s find out.” Dabi grinned. “If you’re right, I’ll do whatever you want for the night… and if I’m right--”

“Oh just flip through the pages already!” Toga whined as she grabbed the book from them. “Wait, is that a picture of it! That’s so cute!” She pointed at the black and white picture.

“You mean creepy.” Spinner grimaced.

“With a place like that, there has to be ghosts.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Mysterious and sudden closing, no one in the town mentioning or acknowledging it publicly, not even in the main records. And the fact that the librarian of the old library had right there on their desk waiting for us to find it. Basic horror movie 101! We have to go.” She gushed out.

“Or that they’re hiding something from us.” Tomura muttered.

“Here we go again, conspiracy theory Tomura.”

“Flip through and try to find an address.” Dabi suggested.

“We probably passed it in the beginning.” Magne added. Sure enough, when they flipped back, the address was on the second page. “What… I don’t recognize that street… And I’ve been driving the longest.” Tomura stepped forward too, with his curiosity now piqued. Before he gave it too much thought, he brought his phone up and snapped a picture of it.

“Come on, Tomu already got the picture let’s see if we can find an embarrassing picture of Enji.”

“Pass.” Dabi grimaced.

“Aren’t you curious?”

“No.”

“Just start flipping.” Twice piped up. Without waiting for further encouragement, Toga started flipping through the pages. There was nothing of note, just a couple of torn and creased pages. “Woah, half the page is missing from the faculty section… guessed they really hated the teachers there.”

“Must be a universal thing.” Dabi mused.

“Oh! Here we are! The student section!” As they flipped through the alphabet, Toga suddenly stopped. “There’s… a page torn out.” She didn’t bother to hide the surprise in her voice. Tomura’s red eyes widened when he realized that the pages torn out just happened to include last names starting with S. “Why would someone do that?”

“Maybe they were mad?” Magne’s words floated over Tomura. All he could focus on was his white hair brushing against his sensitive… no… itchy neck.

“Or maybe they wanted to keep it?” Twice added.

“Shigaraki or Shimura…?” Tomura muttered to himself. And call it paranoia, but he felt like the two were connected.

“Hmmm?” Dabi lazily tilted his head, knowing Tomura spoke but not what he said.

“UA can’t be that far.” The white haired man spoke as he shook his head. “It’s probably closer than Kamino.”

“It better be.” Dabi groaned.

“Wait, you’re saying we’re going?!” Toga gasped.

“That’s a first.” Spinner raised a brow. “We usually have to drag you along for supernatural stuff.”

“I’m curious.” He grunted. “Dabi has his arson and I like breaking and entering. Whatever, let’s just go already.”

“What? We haven’t even pranked the mayor’s office yet.” Dabi frowned.

“I feel like we’re pushing it, it’s getting boring.” Tomura turned away from the group towards the exit of the library.

“Hey! I just realized the spirit box has been quiet this entire time! Aw, don’t tell me the battery died already!” Toga frowned as she shook the box.

“Let’s just trash the mayor’s office on our way out.” Dabi nudged Tomura.

“I’m with Tomura on this one.” Magne frowned as she followed after them. Once Tomura had a destination in mind, it was like his pace became robotic. It wasn’t too often, but sometimes he had his friends trailing after him like ducklings. Of course Dabi was more nonchalant about it, taking his time and snooping around more, but inevitably, the black haired would follow too. Sometimes, when Dabi was overly excited, or overly clingy in Toga’s opinion, he would be right beside Tomura, keeping up with his pacing and murmurings.

“The people around city hall have never been nice to us.” Spinner added. “What if we get caught?”

“We scatter like the rats in Ratatouille.” Twice laughed out.

“That’s the plan.” Tomura addeded.

“Tomura. Are we seriously leaving already?” Dabi frowned.

“Dabi.” The white haired man shot back. “Yes we are. I have a bad feeling.”

“You don’t believe in ghosts but you believe in ‘bad feelings’?”

“Mommy and Daddy are fighting.” Toga whispered to Twice who nodded eagerly.

“Because that’s me. I know that I’m right.” Their conversation died out, everyone knowing Tomura’s words were final. Even Dabi, who is always reluctant to follow someone else’s lead, was quiet. His lips were still pulled downwards in a frown, and his blue eyes were blazing with annoyance, but he didn’t audibly protest. Tomura sometimes wondered how on earth he became the leader of this group. Don’t get him wrong, he’d rather be the leader than follow others, but the group wasn’t even his idea, it was Toga’s.

Maybe it was just because of his uncaring confidence.

Whether it be a good thing or not, Tomura didn’t wait for anyone’s opinion or approval before he made his move. And usually, no one stopped him. One of the perks of being a Shigaraki, he supposed.

The rest of the group was lost on conversation, talking softly to each other as they roamed around the empty halls. Just as they were about to turn down the hallway to the back exit, a light flashed from one of the windows.

“Shit.” Dabi cursed as they all froze. “That’s definitely a car pulling up.” He peaked out and turned back to his friends who stared at each other wide eyed.

“Fuck… why am I always right.” Tomura hissed in annoyance.

“Uh, what do we do?” Spinner’s voice raised with alarm.

“Front entrance?” Toga suggested.

“If they’re at the back, they’ll most likely be in the front too.” Tomura frowned.

“Hide?” Twice added.

“There’s a utility exit in the storage room, I think.” Dabi frowned. “But we’d have to go towards the front entrance. It’s right there between the entrance and the old library. It’d be risky, but if we’re quick and quiet, we could make it.” His blue eyes fell on Tomura who nodded. They all shot up, following Dabi as he led them back down the same hallways they came down from.

“Something tells me we can’t out run them this time.” Spinner frowned.

“We’ll be fine.” Tomura snapped, but not in a mean way.

“What if we get caught?” Twice’s voice dipped with worry. “I ain’t goin’ back to jail!

“You won’t.” Tomura argued. “Just trust me, okay? Dabi knows where he’s going.”

“Fuck yeah I do.” The black haired man smirked. “I better get a good reward for this.”

“Adrenaline junkie.” Tomura bit his lip when Dabi’s eyes fell onto them.

“Oh my god.” Magne muttered to herself. From over the sound of their footsteps, they heard a couple of car doors slam close.

“What are the chances it’s Mr. Todoroki that finds us.” Tomura asked honestly.

“Dunno.” Dabi could only laugh bitterly. “If it is him, that’s good for you guys. He’s the type of guy to focus his anger on one person.” Even though that should’ve relieved some of the tension, the group felt their hearts sink in their chest.

Toga, who had never met Dabi’s father, couldn’t help but feel on edge. Usually nothing scared her, but she was anxious about how Dabi would react. She heard grim stories from Spinner and Magne about how fiery and explosive Todoroki fights could get. Just from seeing the fall out from them, seeing how jaded and defensive Dabi would get, she knew it was bad news.

The whole group was like her family, and she hated seeing them be hurt. But Toga had to admit she did have a soft spot for Dabi especially. He was like the big brother she never knew she wanted. Sure he was annoying and an asshole most of the time, but that’s just Dabi. They would tease each other relentlessly but then turn around and go for Tomura within the same minute. The thought of him disappearing or pushing her away made her heart ache.

“Come on Toga.” Tomura’s voice urged her, his own way of being supportive.

“Tomu.” She whispered back. Her eyes flashed from Dabi back to him, trying to talk without words.

“It’ll be okay.” He muttered but his eyes lingered on Dabi too.

“It should be right here-- Fuck.” Just as they turned the corner, Dabi skidded to a halt.

“You know this is not what I meant when I told you as a Todoroki you should be in city hall.” Enji’s Todoroki, the mayor of their town, stood in front of them, blocking the exit. Even though Toga hated to admit it, he was imposing. He was one of the tallest people in the city, and definitely the fittest. Compared to Dabi, he was a bodybuilder. Toga really didn’t see how they were related. The only thing that was somewhat similar was the burning gaze they both regarded each other with.

“Did you really think I would come to this place any other way?” Dabi sneered.

“I used to have to drag you in here when you were younger, I guess now I will have to drag you out of here in handcuffs. How the times change.” The redhead added harshly.

“Aw, don’t get sentimental on my account.” Toga could hear the exact moment Dabi started to get fired up.

“I’m only sentimental of the times when you didn’t soil the Todoroki name. I can’t remember the last time I looked at you and didn’t feel regret and disappointment. If I knew you’d be such a problem, I would’ve just sent you abroad. At least you’d be out of my sight.” Something in the room snapped, and Toga guessed it had to be the tension.

“Yeah, that’s what you do, huh. Just send people away. Why don’t you tell your little friends over there where you sent your wife?” Dabi’s face stretched in an uncomfortable grin. It was then that Toga looked beyond Enji to see two cops watching the scene warily. Everyone in the town knew better than to get in between a Todoroki fight.

“I did it to help us.”

“No. You did it to help you. You only cared about your image. That’s why you didn’t want me around. Well, dear ol’ Dad, the feelings are mutual. I fucking hated growing up as a Todoroki. Mom deserves the fucking Nobel Peace Prize for sticking around you for so long.”

“That’s enough. Don’t you dare speak about her like that. You did nothing but trouble her in her delicate state.”

“‘Delicate state’?” The younger one practically cackled out. “Who are you to talk about that? All you do is break everyone around you.”

“You break laws, so I guess we aren’t that different after all.”

Everyone snapped their head back to Dabi, waiting for him to retort. It was like a tennis match, everyone looking at one opponent then to the other as they fired back at each other. This time, the ball went straight past Dabi, who stood there frozen.

Toga watched helplessly as Dabi’s eyes started to smolder with a darker emotion. She wanted to reach out, or to at least do something to take the attention off Dabi.

“What’s wrong? No more fire?” Enji raised a brow as he smirked at Dabi. “I’m surprised. We haven’t had an argument this short since you were 10.”

“I would say I’m surprised you remember something from his childhood, but you remembering yelling at a child isn’t too out of character. Makes me wonder what kind of mayor this town elected.” Tomura growled out from beside Toga, making her tense up in surprise. Immediately, everyone’s eyes fell on Tomura, who took a step forward, in front of Dabi to stand toe-to-toe with Enji Todoroki. The vicious grin on Tomura’s face made her shiver, but it was his signature ‘I have a plan, I’ll get us out of this’ grin.

“Excuse me.” Enji’s eyes flickered away from Dabi to Tomura.

“I mean, it wasn’t really an election, was it? The old mayor just suddenly stepped down due to health reasons and you just swooped in less than an hour later.” Tomura tilted his head. “When you ran for re-election, you didn’t really have any opponents too. Just a couple of NPC’s who you invited to the City Hall Party… almost like you were friends with them.”

“That’s enough.”

“Is it? You like to drag people down because of their image, but when we put the spotlight on you, you’re not so clean after all. You’re just a piece of shit trying to pass for gold. God you’re lucky this town is a bunch of idiots because if they had any brain cells left you’d be thrown out in the trash where you belong.”

“And what would you know about this town?” Enji frowned. “You’re an outsider who thinks they're entitled to this town because of their last name. You Shigaraki’s think you guys run the world. If you wanna talk about images, then clean up your own before you try coming for the Todoroki name.”

“I’m not coming for the Todoroki name. I don’t give a fuck about the Todoroki’s. I’m only coming after you, Enji.” Tomura hissed as he took a step forward. Even though he was much smaller than the redhead, he didn’t seem too afraid. In fact, Toga felt like it was Enji who should be afraid. Tomura rarely got angry. Sure, he would be pissy and bitchy, but never angry. Toga had heard stories of Tomura’s famously righteous anger, but she never experienced it first hand. “And I wasn’t coming at you as a ‘Shigaraki’. But if you want me to be one so bad, I’ll be one. You think you’re so different from us? Don’t forget I’m supposed to be handling the family business too, and I have proof of how close you and AFO are.”

“Are you threatening me?” Enji took a step forward.

“Shigaraki’s don’t threaten, or warn.” Tomura lifted his chin higher. “We just do what we want.”

“Not for long. My patience is running thin, with you especially. Every single problem with this town leads back to the Shigaraki’s. If it’s not the other one, it’s you. This little gang of criminals and outsiders started getting into more trouble when you became their leader.” Tomura stood there, still defiant. “And you wanna know why?”

“Oh please tell me, I’m dying to know.” Tomura shot back sarcastically.

“It’s because you’re smart, Tomura. You know how to control people. Your father raised you to be exactly like him. Even though you’re adopted, it’s like Shigaraki knew you were meant to be his perfect successor. But there’s one thing you have that he doesn’t.”

“Spite?”

“Brazen arrogance.” Enji answered.

“You call it arrogance, I call it a backbone.” Tomura shrugged. “I’m not one to take punches. If you wanna fight, I’ll fight back. Don’t call it arrogance when I win the round.”

“You think you’ve won?” Enji laughed. “You know what, you just won yourself a night in jail. Arrest Shigaraki.” He turned back to the cops, motioning them forward. Toga froze, her eyes snapping between the guards and Tomura rapidly, almost like she couldn’t believe it. Magne, noticing her distress, stepped closer and held her hand.

The cops seemed equally hesitant about Enji’s order, not daring to move from their spot behind the mayor.

“What are you waiting for?” Enji hissed as he glared at them. “He’s not going to arrest himself!”

“Are you sure?” One of them whispered, almost as if he was afraid to say it out loud. “You know Shigaraki is a powerful man… He… He wouldn’t like this.” The other one nodded eagerly, his eyes fearfully looking at Tomura. It was like they were scared as soon as they touched the white haired boy, the boogey man would appear from the shadows.

“If Shigaraki was truly as powerful as you make him out to be, then he’d been able to keep this unruly boy under control.”

“What’s up with you and keeping people under control? You’ll just look like a fool when we inevitably breakfree.”

That seemed to be the final straw, as Enji closed the distance between them. His hand shot out to yank Tomura by the arm, pulling him away from his group and shoving him up against the wall. Tomura let out a grunt as he was pushed face first into the wall, his wrists pulled behind his back.

“Give me your handcuffs.” Enji ordered the cop, who fumbled to obey him. “Looks like if you want things done right you gotta do it yourself.”

“Fuck you!” Tomura snapped but didn’t fight as he was handcuffed.

“What!” Toga yelled as she watched Enji practically manhandle Tomura. “You can’t! Dabi--” She tried to get him to say something, to stop this, to protect Tomura, but Dabi was gone. His face was completely expressionless as he just stood there and watched Tomura get dragged down the hall. “Dabi, Tomura.” She shook him, but he didn’t respond. His eyes were locked in the distance, watching his boyfriend in his father’s grasp.

“Let’s go.” Magne urged the group, seeing that the cops were too stunned and scared to do anything else except watch.

“But, Tomura--”

“We have to trust him.” Magne cut her off. “He wouldn’t do this if he didn’t have a plan… right?” Her voice raised with uncertainty. She looked to Spinner for support.

“R-Right.” He nodded. “Tomura would want us to leave before we end up like him. Let’s go.” His eyes slid over to Dabi, who still stood frozen, as if he was waiting for Tomura. “Dabi, come on.” He pleaded and Dabi reluctantly followed them.

 

 

Toga never felt so close to crying. Usually, a strawberry milkshake from Kurogiri’s diner would be the ultimate pick me up, but it wasn’t doing the trick today. Maybe it was because she wasn’t in the mood, or maybe it was because Kurogiri wasn’t in the right mood. As soon as they stepped foot into the diner, they explained everything, well, except Dabi. The black haired man was uncharacterstically silent, his brows furrowed.

Kurogiri’s expression was frustratingly neutral. Toga could tell he was worried, but he didn’t say much. He quickly excused himself to the back room, asking Mr. Compress to look after them for a while. Mister did what he could, gave them water and some food to calm them down, but they barely even touched the food. All Toga could do was stare out the window and hope Tomura would magically walk in and sit at their table like every other night.

“What do you think he’s doing now?” Toga frowned.

“I dunno.” Magne whispered, checking her phone every minute.

“What time is he going to be back?” It had to have been hours.

“I dunno.” Magne shook her head, this time her voice was softer. “If he doesn’t show up soon… We may have to call it a night… It’s getting late and it’s unfair to make Kurogiri keep the diner open for us.” The group hummed in agreement. Even though none of them wanted to leave, Kurogiri didn’t deserve to worry about the diner and Tomura at the same time. Toga was starting to think about camping outside Tomura’s apartment door when a sleek black car pulled into the parking lot. It was a type of car Toga had never seen before, but it screamed wealth. The windows were tinted black, so you couldn’t even see if someone was driving the car.

As soon as the car rolled to a stop, the back car door swung open.

When she blinked, the tears in her eyes finally over flowed.

Tomura didn’t even bother looking back as he clambered out the car and jogged to the front door of the diner.

“Tomura!” Toga cried out as she bolted up from the table. Kurogiri was the first one to react, walking from the back towards the counter as he watched Tomura tear the door open.

“Tomura.” Kurogiri greeted warmly.

“Kurogiri. I--” Tomura’s red eyes flashed from him to the car out front. Before he could say anything else Toga threw herself into his chest, her arms wrapping around his torso tightly.

“You’re… crushing… me.” Tomura wheezed out. She quickly let go of him, before hugging him again, this time much softer. “I was only gone for a couple hours.” He sighed and awkwardly patted her head. The rest of the group rushed up from the table and surrounded him. His nervous expression came back when he looked up from her and met Dabi’s eyes.

“Woah dude! You got out fast! Who bailed you out?!” Twice moved to wrap his arms around Tomura as well. Then, both Magne and Spinner joined in. No one mentioned how Dabi stood back, not moving closer to Tomura.

“My uh… foster father.” Tomura never took his eyes off Dabi.

The Shigaraki?” Magne gasped. “AFO?”

“He’s in town?!” Spinner whispered.

“Yeah… he’s the one who drove me...” He confessed, his red eyes snapping to Kurogiri for a moment before returning to Dabi. It was like he wanted to say something, but couldn’t. The way he tried to get Dabi to react to his expressions was like something out of a hostage movie. If Toga didn’t miss Tomura so much, she would’ve convinced everyone to give the boys some alone time, but they didn’t have time for that.

“Well, isn’t this cute?” Everyone froze at the unfamiliar voice. It was like nothing they had ever heard before. It was deep and almost playful, but there was a hint of something darker, something that made them shiver as they slowly turned away from their friend. “Are these your friends, Tomura?” For once in her life, Toga felt… intimidation.

Shigaraki stood just a foot inside, his calculating eyes taking in everything around him. From the theme of the diner, to each of their individual faces. His white hair matched Tomura’s, but instead of frizzy waves, it was kept neat and short. His eyes were sharp like Tomura’s, but they were much more cold and standoffish, but they also held amusement in them. It was like he was the only one in on a joke.

“Tomura is so protective with his friends, he didn’t even tell me your names!” Shigaraki’s deep laugh boomed in their ears. “But we will have plenty of time for introductions. I have to know the people who won Tomura’s heart, right?”

Tomura couldn’t help but stare directly at Dabi, something Shigaraki noticed.

“I can’t help but be protective over my little Tomura, he is like a son to me.” Shigaraki took a step closer and rested his hand on top of Tomura’s head. It was then that Toga realized just how tall, how imposing he could be. “It would be nice to get to know the people he hangs out with. I’ll invite you all to dinner at our mansion.”

“Your mansion?” Dabi’s rough voice cut in. And Shigaraki seemed absolutely delighted that Dabi spoke to him, a smile spreading on his lips as his pearly teeth showed.

“Yes! Of course! All this time away from Tomura made me realize how much I missed him at the mansion. I will still pay Tomura’s rent, but he will be living with me again until further notice.” Toga could tell it took all of Dabi’s strength not to react. “Ah, which reminds me of the reason why we stopped by.” Shigaraki turned his attention behind the group, to the man at the counter. “Kurogiri, it’s nice to see you again. Such a lovely little place you have here. Say, how much would it cost to get you back as Tomura’s caretaker? It’ll be just like old times again.”

“I… I enjoyed being Tomura’s caretaker… I will come back for my original salary.” Kurogiri’s attention was solely on Tomura.

“Wonderful!” Shigaraki grinned. “We will wait for you in the car. Come along, Tomura, we have a long night ahead of us.”

Toga watched as Tomura gave them one last look, before he followed Shigaraki out the door.