Lullaby awoke to half-gentle kicks against her ribs. She reared up, wheezing as Dabi's eyes glinted in the dark room. "Wake up."
"Dabi...what the hell?" she hissed, rubbing her bleary eyes.
"Training. Now." he said, aiming another sharp kick at her side. She flipped him off, staggering to her feet. "It's the middle of the night!"
"So? I can't be bothered to deal with you during the day." he snorted, yanking her through the door. "Put on your jacket."
"Worried I'll catch a cold?" she jeered, slipping the hood over her hair.
"I don't give half an ass about you." Dabi scoffed. "I'm only doing this because you're a neurotic child who's fueled by her emotions and barely uses the head she has. I'm not going to let you ruin our chance because you mess up at U.A."
Lullaby arched an eyebrow, growing annoyed. "Don't act all mature. You aren't much older than me, you know."
"Oh really, know-it-all?" Dabi rolled his eyes.
Lullaby grinned, stopping at the stairs. "You aren't that old, or at least you haven't aged that badly, for a Todoroki."
Dabi halted, eyes glinting. "What?"
Lullaby smirked, dropping her voice to a whisper. "I'm not as stupid as you play me as, Dabi. Or should I call you Touya? I do my own research. I know secrets. It's surprising the rest of the League hasn't figured it out yet."
In all truth, it was a guess she had made awhile ago, but judging by his reaction, she knew she was correct. And the leverage made her heart quicken with triumph.
"How'd you guess?" he asked, grabbing her by the front of her shirt and slamming her against the stairwell. She winced, only for a moment.
"It's obvious once you look at everything. The same eyes? All of you have the same eye intensity, shape...hunger." she said condesendenly. "And the seemingly unmotivational hate for Endeavor? I see the way you look at his interviews. You hate him with an ungodly passion only someone close to him could possibly feel if wronged. So what better than a Todoroki?"
"You're making me mad." he sang under his breath, burning a hole through her shirt.
"What are you going to do?" she challenged, giddy. "Burn me alive? Kill me? If you're going to kill me, better make it worthwhile. Make it count. Better make it hurt. Better kill me in one shot. Make dear old daddy proud."
Dabi tensed, so quick she almost thought she imagined it, but she knew she had gotten under his skin.
"Forget it." Dabi dropped her, eyes glinting. "You aren't going to piss me off. Let's just get this cock-and-bull training done with."
"Fine." she said, humming as she followed him down the stairs. "I've got a stop to make first, though."
Deku stretched, rubbing his eyes. Lately, his training had made him extremely tired, but today after a long day of training and regular school classes, he was more tired than usual.
"Izuku! I'm going to get groceries!" his mother called from the kitchen.
"Okay! Be careful!" he called back, pulling his computer from the desk. He heard the door close before he slumped into his beanbag, (green, of course), and began scrolling through the news website. For news of Kage's case, long grown cold, or the new villain attacks, he wasn't sure of.
"Lullaby Doe." he read aloud, frowning. "That's the villain from the attack last month."
"I know, right? I'm old news." he jumped as a voice sliced cleanly through the silence. He turned, stunned, as someone sat on his balcony, swinging their legs back and forth like a bored child. He took in the hooded jacket, the white dress with ribbons, the thick boots. The laced muzzle...and those eyes. They were piercing, not quite blue, not quite yellow. They confused him.
"L-Lullaby Doe." he mumbled, shaking.
"Izuku Midorya." she sang. He felt a pain in his head from each syllable sung. He collapsed to his knees, wincing. "I want something from you."
"What?" he asked, fearful.
"I want you...to listen to a message." she said, cocking her head. "A trade is in order if you choose to listen."
"From Kage." she said, laughing. His heart stopped. ''I can return her to you. For a price."
"What did you do to Kage?" he demanded, finding a sliver of courage.
She shook her finger. "A trade. In return for Kage's life, you are going to give me something I want."
"Which is?" he said, clenching his fists.
"I want a vial of your blood." she said, blinking slowly.
"That's it?" Izuku said, bewildered.
She pulled out a vial, and a syringe. "Now, or Kage won't have to worry about passing the U.A. test exam."
Izuku hesitated. "You have to promise she won't be hurt."
She held up a pinkie finger, chuckling. "Fair enough."
"Swear on it." he warned.
"I swear...on my own life." she said slowly, blinking. He held out his arm, swallowing.