She wasn't getting paid for this overtime though and No.2 Hero or not he had to go.
"Hey look, I'm really sorry but the bar's closed... I'm gonna have to ask you to leave so I can close up shop." She said trying to hide the nervous tinge in her voice.
Hawk's golden eyes were bloodshot as he looked up at her, slowly registering her words. He sighed dramatically but didn't argue; he simply tossed the last of his drink back and settled his tab.
Wordlessly, he stumbled out of the bar, whacking his shoulder against the doorframe as he tried to leave. The bartender stared at his retreating figure for a moment, wondering whether it was okay to let him leave like that. "He's a pro, I'm sure he'll be fine" she reasoned.
By some miracle, Keigo managed to avoid wandering onto the street or bumping into the few pedestrians left on the sidewalk. There were some close calls though- his wings were heavy and especially difficult to control when he was drunk- resulting in the man slamming himself against a wall and a streetlight pole. In addition to a massive hangover, he would definitely be waking up with a few bruises and sore spots. He couldn't care any less about that though. His mind was a complete mess as he stumbled towards his apartment building. He felt sick in every sense of the word- not from the drinks he'd had- from what he'd experienced at work that day. Working as a double agent for the League of Villains was sapping at his emotional strength; he didn't know whether he should cry, throw up, or go into a fit of rage. He'd gone to the bar thinking that getting drunk would make him forget- for a little while at least- about the horrors he'd been forced to witness; it didn't work though. In fact, it only made him feel more ill. As soon as he got to his building, his stomach simply couldn't take it anymore. He threw up all the drinks he had into the bushes decorating the front side of the building.
He almost hadn't noticed someone holding a water bottle out to him and that the person was his neighbor- the woman that lived directly across the hall from himself. Still hunched over, he drank the water hoping it would help settle his stomach at least a little bit.
Mariko could smell the alcohol coming off him. It was obvious that the male was intoxicated. Despite being a nurse, half of her was tempted to leave him outside. She'd only interacted with him a handful of times since moving into the apartment four years ago, but she knew Hawks to be immensely annoying and flirtatious and didn't want to subject herself to the same displeasure at 3 a.m. "Even if he is annoying, I can't just leave him out here," she thought.
"You alright there?" she asked.
"Doin' just fine thanks," the blonde slurred. He was still staring down at the bushes, wondering whether he would throw up again.
"Do you need help getting into your apartment?" She asked.
"Thanks for our concern miss, but I'm doin' just fine," he repeated.
Mariko nodded, not believing him at all, and stayed beside him. She decided to wait for him to walk himself to his apartment; it was right across the hall from hers anyway, so she wasn't going out of her way for him. Besides, she doubted it would be good for anyone to see the No. 2 Pro-Hero passed out drunk on the sidewalk. Not when there was so much unrest due to All Might's retirement.
The brunette pursed her lips as Hawks handed the bottle back to her and heaved into the bushes again. After another twenty minutes of freezing her ass off outside, the blonde pushed himself off the wall and made his way towards the entrance. For a moment she thought he'd be able to walk by himself... but then he tripped over his own wings and face planted right into the building's revolving door. Mariko cringed seeing his miserable state slide down the glass. "Yeah there's no way he's making it inside" she realized.
"Come on," she said taking his arm and helping him up. He leaned on her completely, throwing her balance off for a moment before she readjusted and practically dragged him through the normal door a few feet away. She carefully guided the bumbling man into the elevator and spent most of the ride trying not to let him collapse onto the ground. Once the doors rolled open, she threw his arm around her shoulders and walked him into the hallway until they stood right in front of their apartment doors.
"You've got your keys right?" she asked.
Mariko sighed in relief and pulled her keys out of her purse. She unlocked her apartment door but didn't go inside; she had gotten him this far the least she could do was make sure he went inside. The familiar "click" never came though. Unamused, she watched as the blonde patted his pockets, coat, and even hair looking for his keys. "He probably left them someplace," she thought. She looked at him for a moment and cursed herself. Sighing in resignation, she opened the door completely.
"Hawks," she called.
The hero immediately turned towards her, swaying a bit as he did so.
"You can stay here tonight."
He looked at her surprised, not even moving at first from the shock. Even in his drunken stupor, he knew her behavior was out of character. The few times they'd spoken she'd always given off a cold and reserved vibe. He would've never pegged her to be so generous.
Seeing him motionless, Mariko's patience began to wear thin. "If you're not gonna come in I'm closing the door and you can sleep in the hallway instead," she said irritably. She hadn't meant to snap at him, but she had just finished working a 12-hour shift at the hospital and was completely exhausted.
Immediately, the man scrambled into her home.
She was thankful he hadn't forgotten to take his shoes off before entering.
Tiredly, the brunette dropped her purse on the kitchen counter, poured a glass of water, and took out a bottle of Aspirin.
"Take these," she said, handing him the glass and the pills. He'd thank her for it in the morning.
Hawks downed the pills and the water, nodding at her in thanks and looking at her like a lost child waiting for instructions.
"You can stay in the guest room," she told him and helped him stand. She led him down the hallway into a nicely decorated bedroom. For whatever reason, Hawks struggled to get into the bed and tried a few times before frustratedly giving up and glaring at the bed.
"Here," she said, pulling back the comforter so he could get inside.
Pouting like a small child, he crawled under the covers, spreading his wings out slightly as he tried to get comfortable.
Marikomight've found the behavior cute if she hadn't been worrying about how thesituation would play out in the morning. "I just hope he doesn't think weslept together, or I abducted him or anything," she thought.
"Mind telling me why you're so drunk?" she asked. Hawks looked up at her and her expression softened. She recognized the look in his eyes. They were filled with pain, regret, and confusion.
"I... don't know if I'm doing the right think," he slurred. "I'm working undercover for the League of Villains. I didn't want to... they made me but still... I thought... it'd be easier."
She stared down at him expressionlessly. Months ago, an old colleague at the Hero Public Safety Committee had hinted that they had a hero working as a double agent for the League. She had no idea they had chosen Hawks to do it though. "I'm supposed to protect people. Make sure they're at ease. If I'm helping the people who are doing the opposite... How can I be a hero?" he asked.
She felt a pang of sympathy for him. Now that she was looking at him, he looked tired, on the verge of breaking. It was a feeling she understood all too well.
"It may be out of line for me to say this," she started, "But for what it's worth I think you're still a hero. You're not working for the League because you stand for what those psychos believe in or because you want to do bad things. You're doing it because it's been asked of you as a hero; because it's the best way to save as many people as possible."
Hawks stared at her, his eyes wide as tears welled up in them. A flood of relief rushed through him- hearing that from a civilian had an incredible impact on him. He was genuinely touched by both her words and how nice she was being to him.
Mariko pulled an extra blanket off from the chair next to her and draped it over him. The gentle gesture caused a few tears to finally spill from his eyes.
"Go to sleep, you need to rest," she said walking to the door.
The blonde watched as she closed the door behind her, and the sound of her footsteps retreated into silence