It was raining when Shizuo received the call from Izaya.
Ever since Izaya started dating Shun, the information broker hadn’t been around Ikebukuro as much.
It had been natural for Shizuo to think Izaya was up to something, but all his conspiracies were erased by the fact that Izaya was dating Shun –
– Which Izaya had told Shizuo himself.
Some time ago
“IZAYA SO YOU FINALLY SHOW YOURSELF YOU FUCKING FLEA –“
“I’m dating Shun-chan.”
The signpost fell from Shizuo’s hand.
“…You’re dating Shun?”
“Why are you so surprised? We were on a date when you found us. Now we’re officially a couple. We’re in a relationship now.”
Shizuo was still staring.
“Aren’t idols…forbidden from being in relationships…?”
“While I’m surprised you know that, it’s only for female idols, Shizu-chan. Shun-chan is male. Although he’s cuter than any girl.”
There was a fond smile on Izaya’s face, the likes of which Shizuo had never seen before.
It took time for Shizuo to get his mouth to work –
Time which Izaya generously gave him as he thought fondly of his lover.
“So…you’re in a relationship.”
“I’m in a relationship.”
Izaya confirmed for him as if he realized Shizuo needed to hear it from the man himself.
“…You…Orihara Izaya, are in a relationship.”
“I, Orihara Izaya, am in a relationship.”
Izaya said with all the confidence of the man he was.
“…Is this a dream?”
Izaya laughed at him for that.
“Dream? You would dream of me, Shizu-chan? I never knew you felt that way.”
Shizuo felt embarrassment creep up in him but Izaya didn’t seem to notice.
“That’s right, it feels like a dream, doesn’t it? I’m still in awe of it myself. Honestly, it feels surreal. To think that me, Orihara Izaya, could fall in love with a human...”
Izaya smiled like a man in love.
He spoke Izaya’s name.
He didn’t know for what, or what he was even trying to say.
He spoke, because he felt if he didn’t, he would gradually lose the one person who had never been afraid of him.
“What is it, Shizuo?”
“You’ve always wanted me to drop that ‘stupid nickname’ right? So, Shizuo. What is it?”
“…Why are you dropping that after years?”
“Isn’t it obvious? Because I have Shun-chan now. I have an angel to pleasantly occupy my time with, so I don’t need to bother a monster like ‘Shizu-chan’ anymore.”
For the first time, Shizuo fought to quell the anger rising in him as he faced Izaya.
“Also, I’d like us to be on civil terms so that you’ll leave Shun-chan and me in peace on our dates –”
“Is that it?”
Izaya stared at him as if the thoughts Shizuo was having hadn’t even crossed his mind.
“Just like that, you’re in a relationship?”
Just like that, you’re leaving me behind?
Just like that, you’re breaking our relationship?
But Izaya was not a mind reader like people seemed to think he was, and he didn’t hear Shizuo’s thoughts.
Shizuo wished he had, for he didn’t even understand his own thoughts himself.
“What’s it to you? It’s my own business if I decide to be in a relationship or not. After all, we’re enemies, right? Why should you care?”
The anger burst from him before he even knew.
“AH? IF IT’S NONE OF MY BUSINESS WHETHER YOU’RE IN A FUCKING RELATIONSHIP WHY THE FUCK DID YOU TELL ME HUUUUUH?!”
“…And here I thought we could be on civil terms. What’s your problem, Shizuo? Didn’t I already say it? I told you so you’d leave my angel and me in peace on our dates –“
“I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR FUCKING ANGEL IF I SEE HIM I’LL SMASH HIS PRETTY FACE –“
If Shizuo had been a normal person, the slash of Izaya’s switchblade would have caused a fatal wound.
Izaya had used so much force the blade had made it past the five millimeter mark and caused a cut in Shizuo’s skin, as ribbons of Shizuo’s bartender suit scattered in the air.
Shizuo stepped back. Izaya was trembling, his hand literally shaking with anger as he pointed the switchblade straight at Shizuo’s heart.
“I don’t fucking care how much you badmouth or hurt me with your fucking violence, but if you dare lay a hand on Shimotsuki Shun I will make you such a monster you can never show your face to society for the rest of your fucking life.”
Izaya spat, his usually taunting eyes flashing with livid anger as he gritted his teeth, inhaling and exhaling to calm his anger.
“Do you fucking hear me, you fucking monster? Lay a hand on my angel and you’ll wish you could die.”
Shizuo was staring silently for once, having never seen his mortal enemy so furious in the ten years of their lives.
And then the fury consumed him and he ground his teeth, reaching out for the vending machine –
Izaya dodged, and the chase was on.
But this time there was no taunting smile on Izaya’s face. He was returning Shizuo’s ferocious glare as he used every opportunity he could to stab and slash at Shizuo and ruin his bartender suit, which made the blond even angrier.
They flew across the concrete jungle, aggressively attacking each other any chance they got as the people of Ikebukuro gasped and murmured at the sight.
The signpost narrowly missed Izaya’s face when the ringtone cut through the air.
tokeai nagara futari dake no kotae wo mitsukeyou
As we melt together, let's find the answer that belongs only to us
Izaya blinked in surprise, the anger in his expression fading away for a moment.
somaranai boku wa sono mama no kimi dakara
I can remain untainted because you stay the way you are
Shizuo paused in surprise at the sudden voice, and Izaya took the opportunity to take his phone out of his pocket.
shiroku kagayaku ari no mama no kokoro wo kasaneyou
Let's pile our heart, that shines in white, the way they are
Shizuo snapped back to his senses and lunged for Izaya, who backflipped neatly away.
hibikiaeru yo sono mama no bokutachi wa KIREI da
Resonating, as we are beautiful the way we are
He caught a glimpse of a smile on Izaya’s face which made his breath catch.
Anger rose stronger than ever in Shizuo at that name and his punch missed Izaya by a hair’s breadth.
“Sorry. I’m a bit caught up in business right now. Did you finish your job early?”
All the anger in the atmosphere had returned to Shizuo, as Izaya looked like he hadn’t been angry at all, as he listened to his lover’s voice on the phone with a fond smile on his face.
“Of course not. You’re never disturbing me, my angel –“
The black haired man leapt away from the guardrail that came slamming at him, still speaking and smiling like he wasn’t in a fight with his mortal enemy.
“– I’m just in a bit of a tight spot. Hm? Well, negotiations failed…”
Izaya threw three knives and the signpost broke off, collapsing onto Shizuo’s head.
“There’s no need for that. Anyway, is it time? Are you waiting for me?”
Izaya spoke in a teasing voice and Shizuo sent the signpost flying towards Izaya with his head alone.
“…Ah? You wanted to hear my voice? Haha! You’re the only one who would say that, Shun-chan.”
Still smiling and not smirking, Izaya jumped in time so that the signpost flew beneath him, using it as leverage to leap up onto the billboard which showcased his lover and his idol group.
“That’s why you’re my angel.”
He could only spare a fond glance at his lover’s beautiful face before it was pierced by a stop sign.
Izaya frowned for the first time since picking up the phone, evaded Shizuo’s blow, and sliced off his black bowtie for that.
“It’s nothing. Well if I get injured, Shun-chan will heal me right?”
Shizuo was throwing punches that could break bones if they hit, but Izaya was still smiling as he dodged the deadly blows on top of his idol lover’s billboard.
“I was joking. Of course I’ll stay safe. I wouldn’t want to worry my angel after all –“
The information broker sprung away from the billboard onto a signpost lodged in a building nearby.
“ – or I would, because Shun-chan is cute when he’s worried.”
Izaya smirked, but it was not at Shizuo, and hopped away onto the next signpost before the first one broke off from Shizuo’s strength.
He flipped over and under signposts, leapt and swung himself across with the telephone pole wires with a mischievous grin as Shizuo roared behind him.
He ducked swiftly around buildings in an attempt to lose Shizuo, just like he did when he had business deals and had unfortunately encountered him.
The furious yells were soon getting distant behind him, and Izaya smirked and continued speaking on his phone to his concerned lover as he dropped down from the building, using windowsills as footholds.
“That’s right. Seeing Shun-chan worried over me is one of my favorite expressions of Shun-chan’s human being. Well, I love every expression on Shun-chan’s lovely face though. Especially the face you make when you –“
Izaya had made it into another part of the city and he blinked as his gaze met lime green.
Shun exclaimed, his hand still holding his phone to his ear.
“If it isn’t my angel. Did you sense my presence?”
Shun blinked, before a playful smile spread across his face as he giggled slightly, smiling fondly up at Izaya who was perched on a windowsill.
“Ehehe. That’s right. You look like you’re having fun, my devil.”
“Does that mean you finally accept that you’re my angel?”
Izaya smirked and Shun pouted at him, saying petulantly.
“Really, I’m the Demon Lord! I’m the great Maou-sama. It’s only Izaya-kun who calls me an angel.”
“Really? All I see is a pretty angel. Then, since it’s only me who sees you’re an angel, that means you’re only mine.”
Shun flushed lightly, but chuckled as he gazed up at Izaya with amusement in his eyes.
“Yes yes, my charming devil, I’m all yours. Anyway, you were being chased by Shizuo-kun? No wonder Izaya-kun was moving so fast. I was confused, because you said negotiations had failed. I thought you were dealing with aggressive clients.”
“If I was, I wouldn’t have picked up the phone. After all, if I was in such a dangerous situation, I wouldn’t want my angel to get involved.”
Izaya smiled down at Shun from the windowsill, before letting himself fall.
He landed on top of the vending machine, and bent, leaning down to kiss his lover’s cheek with a smirk.
Shun’s eyes widened. He blushed when Izaya withdrew, his pretty face turning pink.
“Izaya-kun, that’s dangerous! You’ll fall!”
“You know I was parkouring while being chased by Shizu-chan and you’re worried about me falling from a vending machine? You’re adorable, Shun-chan.”
Izaya smiled, an amused look in his eyes as he took in his lover’s embarrassed expression.
“Ehhh but I am worried! It’s true that I want Izaya-kun to be free above all else but when you do such dangerous stunts I can’t help but get worried! What if you fall?”
Shun said with genuine concern over Izaya in his eyes, and Izaya felt a warmth in his heart.
The black haired man leaned forward and touched his forehead fondly to the white haired man’s, cupping his cheek.
“Don’t worry. I’m a parkour master, that won’t happen. And even if it does, I just have to call for Shun-chan and my angel will be there with his magic right?”
Shun smiled softly at the affectionate gesture as he raised his hand to Izaya’s glossy black hair.
“Well of course since I’m tracking Izaya-kun with my magic I can appear whenever you need me but still –“
Izaya smirked sneakily, taking the opportunity to lean forward and kiss Shun.
Shun’s hand fell from his hair in surprise. It was a light kiss, and Izaya let their lips be connected for a few seconds before he drew back with a smug smirk.
Izaya watched Shun’s expression in amusement, as the white haired man’s pale face slowly turned a ravishing red in increasing shades.
The information broker leaned his cheek on his hand like he was watching his favorite show, smirking as Shun touched his lips with delicate fingers.
Izaya counted to three in his mind, and grinned when Shun seemed to snap back to his senses.
“…Izaya-kun! Don’t just interrupt me with a kiss! I was totally caught off guard!”
Shun whined petulantly, and Izaya’s grin turned into an amused smirk.
“Oh really? Because that was exactly my intention.”
“…Uwah…Izaya-kun you sly devil!”
His angelic lover who didn’t even know how to glare stared at him with a hard look which seemed more petulant than threatening, especially with the blush on his cheeks.
Smirking, Izaya spread out his hands, shrugging from where he was comfortably situated on top of the vending machine and took back the thread of their conversation as he met Shun’s eyes in amusement.
“So, if I fall, I’d fall into Shun-chan’s arms –“
“I-ZAAA-YAAAAA! FUCKING FLIRTING IN BROAD DAYLIGHT I’M GONNA KILL YOU BASTAARDDDDDD!”
The smirk slipped slightly off Izaya’s face. He drew back from Shun, flicking his gaze to the side.
“Ah, now’s not a good time. And I thought I lost him. Stay to the side Shun-chan, or you’ll get hurt.”
The black haired man leapt off the vending machine just as a blond man in a bartender suit landed and dented it, as the white haired man said.
Shizuo turned his death glare towards Shun.
Shizuo was interrupted by the knife that stayed in his shoulder for a few seconds before it fell.
“Your opponent is me, Shizu-chan.”
Izaya glared with narrowed eyes, knives between his fingers.
Shizuo scoffed in Shun’s direction before he jumped off the vending machine.
“Get the fuck out of the way.”
Shizuo spat out at Shun, who stepped to the side in surprise.
But Shizuo had already lifted the vending machine and thrown it at Izaya, who dodged it, causing it to crash into a lamp post which toppled over onto Izaya.
Shun shouted, but Izaya didn’t miss a beat as he sprung swiftly out of the way, waving his hand with knives in between his fingers at Shun with a smirk on his face.
“I’ll talk to you on the phone, Shun-chan!”
And then he was gone, springing from the signpost to leap onto a lamppost then a building, returning his phone to his ear.
“Hahaha! It’s fine. I didn’t have a single scratch on me, right?”
“GET BACK HERE YOU FUCKING FLEA!”
Shizuo was catching up to him on the building and Izaya glanced at him as he spoke to Shun on the phone.
“Well, I’d much rather hear the voice of an angel than the voice of a beast.”
He travelled a few more metres while throwing knives at Shizuo who caught and broke them with his snarling teeth, then used his free hand to push himself off the window sill and into the air, dropping down onto the building with practiced grace.
“Right, right. Whatever you want, my angel.”
Spinning around just in time to avoid Shizuo’s blow, Izaya used one hand to propel himself, somersaulting backwards until he was a distance away from Shizuo.
“…Yeah. I love you, Shun-chan.”
A rare, genuine smile spread across Izaya’s face as his soft gaze shifted slightly like he was imagining the expression of the human he had fallen in love with, who could love him in return.
It was such an unusual expression for the black haired man that the blond man who always chased him was frozen in place as he struggled to comprehend those words of love from the man he had not considered human.
He stood there, still in time, as Izaya ended the call and kept his phone in his pocket, bringing out his switchblade when his hand emerged.
“Thanks for waiting. You have an hour, Shizu-chan.”
The loving look was gone from his face as he spoke mockingly to his arch rival, who was brought back to reality by the words from his arch enemy who had not been speaking to him throughout their chase.
“…An hour huh…”
Shizuo growled, his eyes flashing with anger derived from hurt.
Izaya had never set a time limit on their chases before.
For Izaya had never had a lover before, someone he wanted to spend his time with.
Someone he had scheduled his time to be together with.
“…AN HOUR’S MORE THAN ENOUGH TO KILL YOU, YOU FLEA BASTARAARRRD!”
Izaya smirked at him like it was the past, when it was not –
– As he stared fearlessly at Shizuo’s furious eyes.
“Sorry, but I have zero intention of dying before my date…Shizuo.”
Shizuo threw his every emotion into every piece of public property he threw at Izaya in the hour he had, as they parkoured across the city and the sun began to set, painting the sky in pastel pink and soft orange.
Izaya entertained him, dodging and leaping and occasionally flinging knives with his taunting smirk on, as if nothing had changed between them.
“Your aim is as pathetic as ever, Shizu-chan!”
“SHUT UP I’LL KILL YOUUUUUU!”
“I’d like to see you try. Ah wait, you’re already trying, aren’t you? Are you trying hard enough? Time’s just going to pass this way, you know? 20 minutes have passed already.”
“STOP LOOKING AT YOUR FUCKING PHONE YOU FUCKING FLEAAAAA!”
“Really, can’t a man check the time without getting yelled at? Maybe if you stopped yelling and channeled all that energy into your fists you would actually be able to kill me.”
“I’LL KILL YOU ANY WAY I WANT I-ZAAA-YAAAAAA!”
The familiar banter drove the dark cloud away, as Shizuo focused on flinging everything he could get his hands on at the flea.
They ran across the buildings in the city, using anything that could serve as a surface for their parkour chase as people looked at them in fear and awe.
The two most dangerous men of Ikebukuro flew across buildings above the people of the city, seeming in a whole other league with their parkour skills as they taunted and attacked each other, the information broker with a smirk on his face and the man in a bartender suit with a crazy grin, almost looking like they were enjoying their chase –
For the last time.
Shizuo could almost believe their chase would last, when suddenly Izaya stopped in the middle of a building and spoke under the setting sun.
“Are you done?”
His calm voice startled Shizuo, who skidded to a stop as his arch enemy turned around to face him.
Izaya had a wry smile on his face, looking at Shizuo as if he expected Shizuo to remember something.
“It’s been an hour.”
There seemed to be some unsaid consensus between them.
Shizuo hadn’t hurt Shun like he said he would when he had seen him, and Izaya was willing to try another attempt at being civil with his enemy for that.
Instead of responding, Izaya walked to the edge of the building and looked out over their city.
Shizuo said as he turned to look at the expanse of buildings, his voice hoarse from yelling.
“That’s right. Ikebukuro.”
Shizuo watched Izaya silently, as the black haired man extended his hand with his palm facing the evening sky.
“This place is special to us. To me. Not only was I born here, it’s where I met Shun-chan.”
Izaya was smiling so softly that Shizuo couldn’t even muster up the energy to be angry.
“On that fateful day…even I didn’t know the human I deceived would be the one to accept me and love me just as I am.”
Izaya lowered his gaze as if he was recounting those fond memories of his lover, that genuine smile on his unnaturally handsome face.
Shizuo didn’t know what to feel.
He wanted to call Izaya’s name, wanted to point out Ikebukuro was where they had met and become the two most dangerous men of Ikebukuro together, but his voice was stuck in his throat.
“That’s why I’m telling you.”
Unlike him, Izaya had no trouble speaking as he turned around and met Shizuo’s eyes, his sharp eyes holding an unusually serious look.
Shizuo finally managed to call out to Izaya, in a voice that was for once not loud.
But the only human who had never been afraid of him was walking past him.
Their shoulders brushed and Shizuo felt an electric-like jolt in his heart.
He whirled, but Izaya seemed unaffected as he shrugged his shoulders, holding out his hands.
“Now if you would excuse me, I have an appointment to attend to in this lovely city. Which is a date with Shun-chan of course. I’d appreciate it if you don’t wreck the diner we’re in just because you don’t like to see my face. I’ve already let you know why I’m here, so…”
Shizuo held out a hand as if he was reaching towards Izaya –
– But Izaya had already turned away from him.
“Well, that was our last chase. It was nice knowing you, Shizu-chan.”
Before Shizuo could respond, Izaya corrected as he walked away –
“…Ah, no. Shizuo.”
– And just like that, Orihara Izaya walked out of Heiwajima Shizuo’s life.
Shizuo had made his angry way to Shinra after that, but was met with the second surprise of the day.
“Izaya-kun in a relationship? Yeah. I knew.”
“…You’re not surprised?”
“Well of course I’m surprised! To think the bastard Orihara Izaya could be in a relationship! A romantic relationship which isn’t with all of humanity but a single human! To think that a human could love that rotten man! If Izaya hadn’t come and told me himself, I wouldn’t have believed it!”
“…He told you?”
Shinra seemed to realize Shizuo was being unusually calm, and faced him with a serious look in his eyes.
“Yeah. Izaya came and told me personally a week ago. He even brought his lover along. Although I don’t think he’s an angel. To me, the only angel is Celty – owowowow –“
“…Celty you knew?”
Shizuo turned to Celty, in hopes of something he didn’t even know, and she held up her PDA while her shadows kept Shinra’s hands away.
[I was surprised. But Izaya looked serious about it. He didn’t have the expression he does when he’s dealing with humans. And for him to come and tell Shinra, and me…]
Shizuo was silent as Celty seemed to be thinking as well, before showing him –
[And now he’s even told you. Izaya really has changed, hasn’t he? I’m glad for him. Shun is a guy like Izaya, but he seems really nice…I’ve seen him on TV. He’s the leader of that popular idol group, right? I never thought I’d meet him in real life.]
“Eh, what’s with that?! Celty you noticed that?! I thought the only man you had eyes for was me – I’m jealous enough you’re friends with Shizuo already but now you like Shun too?! And he’s a popular, good-looking guy in a male idol group! Are you his fan like Izaya Celty – ow ow ow ow!”
[Don’t be stupid! My lover is you!]
Celty didn’t even bother to tell Shinra that Shun was already with Izaya as she turned back to Shizuo as Shinra’s eyes widened.
“D-Don’t hug me!”
Shizuo was still silent with his own thoughts as Celty subdued a happily grinning Shinra with her shadows and turned back to him.
[It’s kind of a shock, isn’t it? But Ikebukuro seems to be more peaceful now that Izaya is in a relationship. Honestly, I think Shun is too nice for someone like Izaya, but maybe that’s why Izaya likes him? I don’t know, but he seems to be a good influence on Izaya. I still don’t like Izaya but…he seems happy.]
Shizuo said. He turned as if to walk away but Celty called out to him.
Shizuo blinked at the PDA in front of his face.
[I don’t know what you’re troubled about…but you know you can talk to me if you ever need to, right?]
Shizuo managed a smile for his friend.
“Yeah. Thanks, Celty.”
Celty seemed to hesitate, before further communicating to him.
[I know it’s a shock, but you’ll get used to it. Since he even brought Shun along and was holding his hand, I think Izaya is serious. So I think it’s a good thing. And it’s a good thing for you too right? If Izaya is occupied with a relationship he won’t have time to mess with you anymore.]
[Shun wouldn’t allow that, Shun is too nice. Izaya is right, for once I agree with him. Shun is like an angel. I think he’d discourage Izaya from ruining your peace. I never thought Izaya would find someone to love like the rest of us. But anyway now that he has, you’ll get your peace, Shizuo. I’m glad.]
“That’s right Shizuo-kun! Please don’t go and bang down Izaya’s door in the middle of the night and try to kill him just because you’re jealous even Izaya is in a relationship! I don’t care about Izaya but Celty likes Shun and I like who Celty likes! I still can’t see why Izaya calls him an angel because Celty is the only angel to me even if she just called Shun an angel – wait Celty did you just call another man an angel –!“
“Huh? Do you seriously believe I’ll do that?”
Shinra paused from his wailing to turn to Shizuo with a wry smile.
“Oh, you won’t? That’s good then!”
As if sensing Shizuo’s emotions, Shinra smiled sympathetically at him.
“Don’t worry. You’ll move on, Shizuo. Time heals all wounds. Even the ones Izaya has left on you.”
Shinra seemed to be able to see his own feelings better than he himself could.
Shizuo wanted to ask him about it, but he was in no mood.
He scoffed and made his way out of Shinra’s apartment, as his childhood friend called after him.
“Don’t worry, Shizuo-kun! You’ll find someone too! Even if it’s a guy! I don’t mind at all if one day you come and bring your boyfriend along like Izaya –“
Shizuo slammed the door behind him so hard it broke off.
“ – My door! Shizuo-kun, I just repaired it from the last time you came! What, are you angry I implied you could be attracted to men? But you never seemed interested in women! I mean, you’re close to Celty but you’re not attracted to her lovely body – owowow and you didn’t even know she was a woman – owowow Celty that hurts yes that’s true! Can you believe that man? Ah Shizuo! If not a boyfriend, then I don’t mind if one day you bring your girlfriend along –“
But Shizuo was already gone.
And then he had met Kadota on his way to Russia Sushi, and found out he knew as well.
“Yeah, I was surprised too. But I saw him on a date with his boyfriend. He didn’t come and tell me, but he told me when I called out to him.”
“…Is that so.”
“I’ve seen his boyfriend around. Well it’s the first time I’ve seen the guy in real life, but I’ve seen him on TV. He and his idol group are all over the city. Erika’s been fangirling over him too, saying he’s the prettiest of that idol group – what was it – Procell…?”
“Procella! It’s Procella, Dotachin! Hi, Shizu-chan!”
Shizuo stilled at the name while Kadota muttered to himself.
“…Procella? Sounds like the name of a girl idol group.”
“Fufufu. It’s short form for Procellarum!”
“What’s with that laugh? It’s creepy.”
“It’s Shun-chan’s special laugh! Kyaa the Demon Lord is so cool, Izaya is so lucky!”
“No, I’m sure Shun doesn’t laugh like that…or he would scare all his fangirls away.”
Erika just grinned.
“Anyway! To think Izaya is in a relationship! With a guy!”
“Yeah I don’t know which one to be more surprised at. That he’s in a relationship, or that it’s with a guy.”
“Silly Dotachin! It isn’t so surprising that it’s with a guy! After all, Iza-chan is an uke! Eh but Shun-chan seems like an uke too even though he’s tall…I only knew his idol personality before but when he’s with Izaya – he’s uke! Definitely uke! An angelic uke! The Demon Lord is an angel! Or does his personality switch with Izaya? If it’s with Shun-chan, I don’t mind if Izaya is seme! Shun-chan is so cute! Especially when he blushes when Izaya kisses him – does he blush like that in bed I wonder –?!”
Kadota grimaced with a disgusted face as Erika had no shame in saying her perverted thoughts about the pretty boy out loud.
“Stop it with the BL stuff already…and how can he be a Demon Lord and an angel? Though he seems more like an ‘Angel Lord’ to me. Is there even such a thing…?”
“But this is BL in real life, Dotachin!”
“…Don’t remind me. Anyway Shizuo -?”
“Eh? Shizu-chan already left?”
“That’s why I say not to talk about BL, you must have scared him away – no, it’s Shizuo, so he probably left before he hit a woman.”
“Maybe he left because he’s jealous Izaya is in a relationship with another guy!”
“And maybe you’re delusional…IzayaShun is enough…please don’t add more BL to my mundane life.”
Kadota muttered, before he seemed to realize something –
“Wait, don’t you ‘ship’ IzayaShun?”
“I do! Shizaya was my OTP but when I see Izaya and Shun and it’s real they’re my new OTP! But! Shizaya! I’ve shipped Shizu-Shizu and Iza-Iza for so long! Ah Shizu-chan! If only you had made your move sooner, Iza-chan could have been yours! Alas he’s with Shun-chan now and I’m conflicted! What should I do, Dotachin?!”
“…I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”
“Mm…guess I’ll just ship both! But IzayaShun is BL in real life KYAAAAAAAA –“
Shizuo plugged his ears to drown out Erika’s squeals from a distance away.
He ended up not going to Russia Sushi, for he could hear voices from outside.
“O – I-za-ya! And the boy-friend!”
“Hey, Simon. And ‘the boyfriend’ has a name you know.”
“Y-es. Name is Sh-un. Like fast speed Sh-uuuuuun! Love too Sh-un for even Iza-ya!”
“Ahaha! You’re as funny as ever, Simon~”
“That’s right, it’s like I fell in love with Shun-chan in a moment.”
And then Shizuo didn’t understand the next part for it was in Russian.
It was Shun who spoke first, smoothly switching language like it was his second language, and Simon responded fluently in his home tongue, sounding even more cheerful than before.
Then Izaya entered the conversation in Russian, and Shizuo realized it was the first time he had heard Izaya speak in Russian. He didn’t know what Izaya was saying, but Izaya’s silver tongue seemed to roll off even smoother in the foreign language.
He was about to leave when the conversation returned to Japanese when Dennis’s voice sounded.
“Don’t just let our customers stand there. Lead them to their seat.”
“Y-es! Come, Iza-ya and lo-v-er Sh-un! Sit and have sushi! Sushi is love! Sushi brings love! Eat more sushi and you will be more lovey-dovey! Love bring peaceful city!”
“You’re as incomprehensible as ever, Simon.”
“Fufufu. You really know some interesting people, Izaya-kun!”
“You could say that. Anyway I’m craving for some ootoro, but today I also want to eat what Shun-chan eats.”
Shun sounded too innocent – too innocent for someone like Izaya. Shizuo wasn’t seeing Izaya, but he could already tell from Izaya’s voice the flea was planning something sneaky.
Shun sounded as if he hadn’t even considered the thought.
He could pick an innocent girl off the street, place her in front of Izaya, and even she would be more wary of the silver-tongued man than Shun was.
Why the hell is someone like that with Izaya?
The thought made him angry. But Izaya was speaking again and Shizuo struggled to tune in.
By the time he could listen, Izaya was speaking in Russian again. But unlike the casual conversation earlier, Izaya’s voice was lower with a beguiling tone, yet pitched one volume higher. Shizuo didn’t have to understand the language to know he was saying something meant for his lover’s ears, yet broadcasting it to the people around them.
His deduction was right when he heard Shun’s voice, high in embarrassment.
“I-Izaya-kun! I-I know I asked but – I didn’t need to hear something so embarrassing! And you said it so loudly too!”
“Why? I was speaking in Russian. It’s not like anybody understood.”
“It’s still embarrassing when Izaya-kun says such things out loud! And Simon and Dennis understand!”
“Oops. Simon you didn’t hear anything right?”
“No-pe. No-thing. I hear no-thing! My ears no hear anything! I Ja-pa-nese!”
“That’s English, Simon.”
“Ahhh why did I tell Izaya-kun I can speak Russian?! It’s just more material for Izaya-kun to tease me with! Even if I’m the Demon Lord and I usually tease people why am I always the one teased with Izaya-kun?! Really...!”
“I won’t deny that, but it’s also because I want everyone to know this angel is mine.”
“Ehhh…I thought nobody understood…?”
Shun’s voice was frustratingly innocent. Shizuo still didn’t dare to look, but he could almost tell what Izaya was going to say before he spoke.
“They understand your body language, Shun-chan. Your face is really red you know?”
The next words from Shun were in a rush of Russian, and Izaya laughed like he was happy, the sound striking a chord in Shizuo’s heart.
“...Hey, that guy looks familiar…”
“Isn’t he the leader of that idol group…?”
“He has white hair…”
Shizuo heard murmurs, and then Shun spoke from where he and Izaya sat near the entrance.
“You just broke my spell, Izaya-kun…”
“You’re not sorry at all –”
There was silence. Shizuo’s heart clenched painfully in his chest.
The scene he had seen during their chase flashed in his mind and he gritted his teeth.
He didn’t have to look to know Izaya was kissing his lover again.
“That’s right. I’m not sorry at all.”
Izaya spoke with a fondness Shizuo had never heard directed towards him before.
Shizuo stomped away before he wrecked Simon and Dennis’s restaurant, as Shinra’s words echoed in his mind –
–But they didn’t cut through Izaya’s words to the entire restaurant.
“Hey. The scene you lovely humans – though not as lovely as my angel – just witnessed should remain in this place, and this place only. If I hear one whiff of this going out to the press whom I have connections with…well…I won’t show any mercy.”
“Izaya-kun, you don’t have to threaten them like that. I’m sure they’ll keep it a secret out of their love for me, right~?☆”
The signpost in Shizuo’s hand dented at the murmurs and several squeals from girls, before Izaya spoke.
“Is that so? Well, I’m the one who’s your lov –“
Shizuo broke the signpost against the ground to drown out Izaya’s response.
Celty was right.
With Izaya being in a relationship, Shizuo got his peace.
The man whom seemed like a pathological liar kept true to his word. Even when Shizuo provoked him, he would refuse to engage in their chase.
The man Izaya called his angel had cast a spell so he and Izaya could remain unseen –
But no amount of magic could hide his flea from him.
He saw Izaya and his lover around the city.
He saw them walking side by side, saw them smiling at each other while holding hands.
He saw them through the glass in cafes, in Russia sushi, glimpsed them in shopping malls, at the aquarium at Sunshine 60.
He saw them when he had parkoured to the observation deck of Sunshine 60 to clear his head.
It was the first time Izaya and Shizuo had eye contact in weeks.
Shizuo’s heart had accelerated, and it was not from the running.
Shun had seen him, and waved at him like he was an old friend with a gentle smile on his face.
Izaya’s lover acted as if seeing a man parkour to the top of the 60-storey tall building was something normal.
He was clearly not normal.
But he couldn’t parkour like Shizuo and Izaya could.
“Hey, Shizuo-kun! Did you come here to enjoy the scenery too?”
“…I came here to clear my head.”
Shizuo had muttered in reply, unable to tear his gaze away from Izaya.
“Is there something troubling you? But indeed, looking out over the city like this from a high point really makes you feel like you’re on top of the world.”
Shun smiled profoundly, and Shizuo turned to meet Izaya’s lover’s searching gaze.
“That’s right, we’re on top of the world Shun-chan. Because I have my angel, of course I feel like I’m on top of the world.”
The confidence which Shizuo had not expected from Shun at that statement faded as a blush rose to his cheeks.
“I-Izaya-kun! Don’t flirt with me in front of Shizuo-kun!”
“Why? Also, does that mean I can flirt with you if it’s not in front of Shizuo?”
“Isn’t flirting in front of someone we know embarrassing…?”
Shun asked shyly, his sleeves raised to cover his blushing cheeks.
To Shizuo’s eyes, he looked like an innocent maiden – too innocent for someone like Izaya.
“Is that so? That’s useful information, Shun-chan.”
Izaya smirked slyly, taking Shun’s hand away from his face to kiss it.
“After all, thanks to Shun-chan’s magic, we’ll only be noticed by people we know. That’s why I have to do everything in my power to flirt as much as possible in front of people we know, so I can see Shun-chan’s lovely expression of embarrassment.”
Shun’s face turned even redder as Izaya kissed his hand, and Shizuo felt himself heat up in anger.
“What the fuck?! That doesn’t even sound like you.”
He spat out, and Izaya finally turned to look at him.
“Maybe you never really knew me.”
Izaya said to Shizuo with a simple smile.
Shizuo would reflect later on that it was Izaya’s acceptance which caused his anger to subside as if in defeat.
But at that moment frustration still burned in his heart, and he whirled towards Shun.
Izaya’s hand tensed and his eyes narrowed, but he didn’t have to protect Shun.
Shun was looking at him with something in his eyes very few people had when they looked at Shizuo.
Izaya’s acceptance towards his anger and Shun’s trust in him made Shizuo feel as if he had been defeated.
In one last bid effort for something he couldn’t understand himself, Shizuo said to Shun –
“I don’t like you.”
They were the same words he had said to Izaya at their first meeting.
But at the same time, they were different. For Shun had been nothing but kind to him and yet Shizuo still held a dislike towards him.
Perhaps had they met at a different time, the gentle person would have been someone Shizuo could have liked.
Shun took a step back, his eyes wide as if in hurt.
Shizuo thought he didn’t have the right to feel hurt.
But a grim satisfaction rose in him at that, along with something dark.
With the innocence Shun portrayed, Shizuo couldn’t help but feel physically hurting him would be like hurting an innocent girl.
But he wanted to shatter that trust in Shun’s eyes.
He was a monster, and if Izaya wouldn’t pay attention to him, he wanted to make Izaya’s angel cry.
– Something told him he was going too far, that even Izaya hadn’t hurt the people close to him to get his attention.
But it was all Shizuo had.
Shun said, smiling wryly with acceptance in his eyes.
“But, I don’t dislike you, Shizuo-kun.”
Shun stared straight into Shizuo’s eyes with that searching gaze that seemed to suggest he knew what Shizuo was feeling better than Shizuo did himself.
Shizuo wanted to say he hated Shun, but that word was reserved for Izaya.
“…You really are a beast.”
Izaya finally spoke, and something in his voice made Shizuo feel almost ashamed of himself.
He turned that feeling into anger, in the only way he knew, but Izaya was already turning away.
“I don’t care what you say to me. But I won’t let you hurt Shun-chan.”
“It’s alright, Izaya-kun. I was just…surprised at Shizuo-kun’s bluntness. If Shizuo-kun honestly feels that way, it’s alright with me. I’ll accept his honest feelings.”
Shun smiled like Izaya’s angel. Izaya grasped his hand in his, and finally turned to look at Shizuo.
“I’d appreciate it if you didn't appear in front of me and my lover again, Heiwajima Shizuo.”
Without waiting for Shizuo’s response as if it hadn’t been a taunt but the honest truth, Izaya led his lover away by the hand, leaving Shizuo alone on the observation deck of Sunshine 60.
Izaya had just left.
No knives, no taunting words, not even anger like the last time.
Just the honest truth, with that look in his eyes and that tone in his voice.
As if he was disappointed in Shizuo.
All of Shizuo’s energy drained out of him.
This time, he couldn’t even reach out his hand.
He made his way to the metal bars, looking through them like a man trapped in prison.
The view was the same – the buildings of the city laid out before him.
But his perception had changed.
Now those buildings no longer hid the flea.
Izaya was no longer hiding. He was in plain sight, had been standing on the observation deck together with Shizuo but while holding his lover’s hand.
He had shattered Shizuo’s speculations before his eyes with his words alone.
For once, Shizuo wished to go back to the past.
To the time when he had been standing in the same spot, in front of the binoculars, looking through them at the city as if he expected to find the flea hopping from building to building.
To the time when Izaya paid enough attention to him to implicate him.
To the time when there was someone who refused to leave him alone.
The realization struck Shizuo before he knew.
Standing alone on the observation deck of Sunshine 60 because Izaya had left with his lover, Shizuo looked out over his city.
His life was peaceful, no chases with the flea, no gangs attacking him.
But Shizuo couldn’t help but smile bitterly.
The man in a bartender suit’s gaze remained on the expanse of the city which no longer hid his flea.
No one heard his words but him.
“…I’m not at peace.”
He didn’t like Shun.
The white haired idol was too good, too perfect for someone like Izaya.
Shun had even approached him and despite Shizuo’s violence, asked him out for lunch.
Shizuo looked down threateningly at Shun with a vending machine held above his head, but Shun looked up at the 1.2 inches which separated them and smiled at him.
“Yes, lunch. We’ve met before, Shizuo-kun. It seems like you’ve forgotten me, so allow me to introduce myself again. I’m Shimotsuki Shun, White Demon Lord of Procellarum and Izaya-kun’s lover. I’d like to get to know you better, so would you have lunch together with me?”
“AND WHAT IF I SAY NO HUUUUUUUUH?!”
“Well I’ve already reserved the restaurant, so it would be rude to say no~”
“Just kidding~I wouldn’t do that. I want to be free the most of all and so I want the same for other humans too – ah yes, freedom – you have the freedom to choose the place, Shizuo-kun. So…please have lunch with me?”
Shun smiled like the angel Shizuo had been hearing about while asking with all the politeness of a rich young master.
He was still unafraid of the vending machine Shizuo was holding above his head.
The Demon Lord looked like he was talking to any other human on the street, and not the demon of Ikebukuro.
Shizuo was silent for a moment, before he turned and placed the vending machine down with a scoff.
“…Tch! You’re paying.”
“Yes~! Of course. Leave it all to me.”
Shun’s eyes had lighted up at that, and their light didn’t fade throughout the time he had spent with Shizuo.
No matter how rude Shizuo was towards him, he had smiled and accepted everything.
Shizuo had thought Shun was the shy type from the times he had seen and heard him with Izaya.
He had thought Izaya’s precious angel was innocent and too pure for someone like Izaya.
Yet he had stood fearlessly while Shizuo held a vending machine above his head and smiled and asked him out for lunch.
No matter how much Shizuo yelled and threatened him, no fear appeared in Shun’s eyes.
He couldn’t comprehend the change in personality, and it made him even angrier.
Izaya’s lover was just as incomprehensible as him.
Shun had a perpetual smile on his face with no trace of embarrassment on his beautiful features, like the Demon of Ikebukuro’s anger was just an observation for him.
He spoke smoothly with a confidence Shizuo could only dream of possessing, his green eyes seeming to stare into Shizuo’s soul.
Shizuo realized it was not only Izaya who had been changed by their relationship.
Shun had been too.
The realization somehow humbled him.
He had only been thinking of Izaya’s side, angry over how the flea had suddenly entered a relationship and changed before he even knew.
But faced with the change in personality in Shun when he was speaking with someone who wasn’t Izaya, Shizuo realized he had been selfish.
He was no one to judge Izaya’s – someone else’s lover, even if it was the flea.
Shun was not some innocent girl Izaya had picked off the street.
He was a man with a personality of his own, the leader of a popular male idol group –
– A person who had gained the right to be Izaya’s lover.
Shizuo hated Izaya, but he knew the flea wouldn’t choose someone he didn’t consider worthy to be his lover.
He had been angry because he thought the flea had just fallen for a human when he had always declared he loved all humans equally –
– But he could tell that the human in front of him was different.
He was not the same type of person as Izaya, but he wasn’t so different from him.
Unlike Izaya, there was no mockery in his voice, but the calmness and smooth voice reminded him of the flea.
If Izaya was a devil, then Shun was his counterpart –
With his silvery-white hair and soulful green eyes along with his perpetual smile, Shun seemed like an ethereal being.
His musical voice seemed to elevate his appearance.
Shizuo had only heard that voice in embarrassment or in innocence.
But now not only was it smooth, it was mellow, like Shun had all the time in the world to talk to him.
Shun spoke gently to Shizuo in a way no one had ever spoken to him before, flashing a memory of a woman he had thought he had forgotten.
…Is a kind person.
He’s not as innocent as I thought.
In a way I’m not.
Kind enough for the flea to fall for him.
Shizuo remembered how Izaya had stood at the edge of the building at the end of their last chase, looked out over their city, and spoken about how even he hadn’t known how the human he deceived would be the one to accept and love him, with the smile of a man in love.
Shizuo had been right when he had thought if he picked some innocent girl off the street and placed her in front of Izaya, she would be more wary of Izaya than Shun was.
But he had been wrong in the reason why.
Shun had been deceived by Izaya – and had forgiven him for it.
It was not innocence that caused him to lack wariness of Izaya.
It was kindness.
A kindness so accepting and embracing, that the random innocent girl off the street who would care for herself in the face of the suspicious man Izaya was, might not even possess.
Shun’s voice was like music, cascading and flowing. He would raise his voice to be heard over Shizuo’s angry yells, but never louder. He seemed to know exactly the right tone of voice to use at the right moment, smooth and confident one moment, then gentle and soothing the next.
If Shizuo spoke in an uncontrollably fluctuating volume with low growls then angry yells, Shun seemed to balance him out with a constant volume with a smooth tone, lowering his voice to a soft timbre when he wanted to soothe Shizuo’s anger, yet speaking in such a way even his murmurs could be heard, his gentle voice reflecting the softness in his eyes and the kindness in his smile.
Shizuo felt his anger gradually dissipate in the waves of Shun’s soothing tenor.
Probably takes care of people.
He thought of Celty. She had no voice. But if she had, Shizuo imagined her voice would be like Shun’s, catering to the person she was speaking to. He could see why she liked Shun.
But the flea takes care of him.
Izaya was probably Shun’s first relationship.
Shizuo guessed that Shun took care of Izaya’s feelings with his kindness and gentleness, and in turn Izaya handled their relationship with confidence borne from experience.
For though Izaya loved all humans equally, unlike Shizuo he was adept at social situations and handling relationships – the relationships of other people.
He had probably observed relationships from afar and like the adaptable man he was, tailored his observations to suit his own.
He’s the person Izaya is in a relationship with.
He’s the person Izaya is willing to give up our relationship of hatred for.
He’s the person the flea chose.
Shizuo was a monster.
He was a demon.
He couldn’t compete with an angel.
Already, he could feel himself being killed by kindness.
Like Izaya’s monstrosity had been.
“Suddenly you’re quiet. What’s wrong?”
Shizuo shifted his gaze away from the concern in Shun’s eyes.
They were sitting in a simple café which Shizuo had chosen. He was having strawberry shortcake but Shun just smiled as he watched him, his own movements as he consumed his proper lunch elegant in a way Shizuo could never hope to be.
“If you say so, Shizuo-kun.”
Shun said with a gentle smile in his eyes.
He didn’t push Shizuo, as if he was waiting for Shizuo to speak. They ate their lunch in silence, with Shizuo staring out the window and only occasionally feeling Shun’s gaze on him.
Shun’s voice was light-hearted in comparison to Shizuo’s rough voice.
“…Don’t you have any flaws?”
The question came out in a grumble, but Shun tilted his head and responded.
“Flaws? Well according to my Procella members, I’m lazy, irresponsible, too carefree, troublesome, I sleep too much, I should wake up earlier…”
“Is there anything you can’t do?”
“Can’t do? Well, I can’t work when I don’t want to, and I can’t cook at all.”
“…So you don’t have any flaws.”
“I do have flaws, Shizuo-kun. You’re just not seeing them because you’re only seeing your own.”
Shizuo had nothing to say to that, as Shun tried to meet his gaze.
“Why don’t you take off your sunglasses? It’s alright. No one will judge you here. I’ve cast a spell on you, so the only person who is seeing you right now is me.”
It was then that Shizuo realized no one was paying attention to him except Shun.
There were no glances of fear or looks of trepidation every time he entered a place.
It sounded ridiculous to Shizuo, but there was sincerity in Shun’s smile he recognized exactly because he didn’t see it often.
He removed his sunglasses, and saw Shun without the shade of purple.
He saw without a filter Shun’s gentle smile, his green eyes, his ethereal looking silvery-white hair.
“You have nice eyes, Shizuo-kun. You shouldn’t hide them from the world.”
Shizuo didn’t think he had nice eyes, especially when the compliment came from someone whom he had to begrudgingly admit had the prettiest eyes he had ever seen, with a beauty more outstanding than Vorona’s cool sky blue.
For Vorona’s gaze was focused, almost sharp and intense and exuding intelligence, it was her beautiful looks which gave her beauty, her eyes more like the window to her soul of strength and perseverance.
And Shun’s gaze was gentle but with mystery hidden in the depths of unique lime green. They shone with a kind radiance like a precious gem, and Shizuo found it hard to look away.
Izaya’s fiery russet glory came to him, but Shizuo shoved it away like a bad memory.
“…Are you flirting with me?”
Shun giggled for the first time since he had asked Shizuo out for lunch, his eyes looking at Shizuo amusedly.
“Ehehe. No I’m not flirting with you. I’m complimenting you as a human being. I like humans after all.”
Shizuo almost felt embarrassed, but Shun was smiling acceptingly at him.
He looked away, for he didn’t expose his eyes often.
“Hmm…hazel? Amber? What color are your eyes, Shizuo-kun?”
“Huh? They’re just brown.”
“Mocha? Chocolate brown? Light brown, dark brown?”
Shun asked, green eyes sparkling excitingly now that he had a clear view of Shizuo’s eyes as he leaned forward over the table to get a closer look.
Shizuo snapped his sharp gaze to him, growling as he glared with his brown eyes unhidden by his sunglasses.
“Can’t you see they’re brown...!?”
“Alright alright~I was just curious~”
“Ah?! I don’t want to hear that from someone with fucking green eyes!”
Shun blinked his pretty green eyes and giggled, looking at Shizuo in amusement.
“So you do notice my green eyes~Shizuo-kun was looking away from me so much I didn’t think you would. That means Shizuo-kun has looked at me enough in our conversation. Ehehe~I’m happy.”
Shun said and his lime green eyes shone with the happiness he spoke of and Shizuo couldn’t stay angry.
“Tch! Whatever, you’re weird.”
Shizuo said, looking away again as Shun leaned back, placing his hand on his cheek with a smile.
“Anyway, enough about me. I want to know more about you, Shizuo-kun. Are you a bartender? Why do you always wear that bartender suit?”
“…Because my brother gave it to me.”
“You have a brother?”
“…Yeah. He’s a famous actor and I was a bartender when he gave me this present. It was to tell me he hoped I would keep my job, because I had been fired from so many jobs…”
Shizuo muttered. He didn’t know why he was telling Shun, and wasn’t sure if it was because it was the first time someone was so curious about him.
“You’ve had many jobs?”
Shizuo replied shortly, not expecting Shun’s response.
“Really? That’s amazing.”
“Huh? …You’re mocking me, aren’t you?”
Shun said lowly, but before he could even get angry Shun blinked at him and replied.
“Eh? Not at all. I truly find it amazing that you’ve been in so many jobs. You may have been fired from many jobs, but that means you’ve gained skills from many jobs. As for me, I haven’t had a single job myself before I was scouted as an idol. Ah on the other hand, my partner Kai is a jack of all trades and he can do many things, he’s really good at taking care of people too, even a young master like me. His skills come from taking up many jobs, so you must have gained some skills from your jobs too, right?”
Shizuo ventured and as if realizing Shizuo didn’t dare to believe him, Shun smiled while meeting his eyes.
“Yes. I think you’re amazing, Shizuo-kun. After all, Izaya-kun got you fired from so many jobs but you were able to move on and find a new one, one after another. You possess tenacity even if you can’t see it yet. If it were me, I would have given up after being fired once, I don’t like work after all.”
Shun said and Shizuo didn’t quite know what to say, taking a bite of his strawberry shortcake before he realized –
“…You know it’s Izaya who got me fired?”
Shun said simply. As if he knew Shizuo needed time to react to that unexpected information, he spoke.
“’A great man could be a hero in a war, but when peace comes he might immediately be feared as a monster for being preposterously strong.’”
Shizuo said, as if his brain still had difficulty processing the information.
“Izaya-kun told me that when I asked him about you.”
“…I don’t believe that.”
Shizuo’s voice descended into a growl, but Shun kept his calm.
“I have a super memory, Shizuo-kun. I remember everything I see and hear. Whether you believe it or not, it’s the truth. Izaya-kun told me that when I asked him about you.”
Shun took a delicate sip of his drink, his gaze on Shizuo as he smiled profoundly.
Shizuo muttered under his breath, but Shun heard him.
“This is just a feeling, but perhaps Izaya-kun wanted you to harness your potential.”
Shizuo said again, and almost felt stupid in comparison to Shun’s smoothness.
But Shun retained his profound smile and gazed directly into his brown eyes as he spoke.
“Izaya-kun is a very intelligent man. I have all the skills, yet I wasn’t able to do anything for myself before I became an idol. Izaya-kun is unlike me, he’s independent and he’s an information broker at such a young age, with money he’s earned all on his own. For Izaya-kun to pay so much attention to you, you’re definitely much more intelligent than you think.”
“Izaya-kun loves humans, but he isn’t interested in boring people. He gets bored with boring people. I suppose it’s natural, for a man as accomplished in life as him. Well, sometimes I wonder why he chose me…”
Shun smiled bitterly, lowering his lime green gaze for the first time even as he twirled the pasta around his fork, not dropping a piece as he brought it with an elegant hand to his mouth.
Silently, Shizuo brought the piece of strawberry shortcake to his mouth, consuming it as if the sugar would help him comprehend.
“Isn’t there anything you want to do? Do you have a dream, Shizuo-kun?”
Shun continued the conversation after a minute of silence.
“…What about you? Did you become an idol because it’s your dream?”
If Shizuo had been paying attention, he would have noticed Shun’s smile slip.
“No. I became an idol because it was my dream to form a bond with someone.”
Shun said shortly, and even Shizuo could sense that it was a sensitive topic for the usually carefree man.
“Do you regret it?”
The words were out of the mouth before he even knew. Shun blinked at him in surprise, as if he had been caught off guard.
But he didn’t get angry. The white haired man smiled at him and said simply.
“See? You really are sharper than you think.”
“I don’t regret it. My one-sided feelings were painful, but it allowed me to meet Izaya-kun.”
Shun said, his words true but with sadness in his eyes that seemed to be looking into the past.
What kind of man would hurt him?
Even the flea –
…Even Izaya didn’t.
Shizuo couldn’t help but wonder, not knowing he would meet that man in the future.
Shun was unusually silent, and Shizuo looked at him before muttering.
“…My dream was to be a detective.”
Shun looked at him in surprise, and Shizuo spoke as if he needed to elaborate.
“I wanted to be a detective in elementary school. I wrote it in my elementary school graduation anthology.”
“Huh? I’m not a detective, it’s nothing amazing.”
“Ehehe. But to have a dream in elementary school, I think it’s amazing. I didn’t have any dreams back then.”
Shun said and looked almost melancholic. Shizuo looked at him for a while, before averting his gaze.
It seemed when he was the one who brought up a topic for their conversation, Shun seemed to withdraw.
Shizuo wondered why he was even still trying.
But he recognized that it was his chance to ask about what had plagued his mind for weeks.
Shun looked at him, and Shizuo had to take a breath before saying.
“…You and Izaya…you guys are really serious?”
He said, as if to remind himself he was speaking not to a kind stranger but Izaya’s lover.
Shun’s eyes lit up at that conversation topic, and Shizuo didn’t know what to feel.
“Yes. In fact, we’ve already made plans for the future. Izaya-kun has always wanted to live in Ikebukuro. Now that you aren’t chasing him out of the city anymore, he can finally do so. He asked me to live together with him in Ikebukuro in the future.”
Izaya, living together with someone?
Shizuo thought, then remembered what Izaya had said.
“But right now I live in the Tsukino dorms with my members of Procella, and Six Gravity. So it’ll probably happen after I retire. It’ll be some years down the road, but I’m looking forward to living with Izaya-kun. Izaya-kun takes care of me so well after all~he serves even a young master like me so well. Ah, I would love to be taken care of by Izaya-kun forever, but I don’t want to impose on his busy schedule so I’d probably get a job as well. I don’t like work, but if it’s for Izaya-kun…”
Shun was smiling fondly, what Shizuo could only assume to be love in his eyes as he thought of his lover.
He should have left it there, but Shizuo thought he deserved to know what Izaya had been up to, even if he had to hear it from Izaya’s lover himself.
“Are you going to get a job with Izaya?”
Shun blinked at him in surprise as if he had read Shun’s mind.
Then he smiled as he took another sip of his drink, lips curving around the rim of the glass.
“Izaya-kun suggested I could be a translator.”
“That’s right. I didn’t know it was a job. But Izaya-kun said since I can speak so many languages, I can translate for people. I like the idea. I love humans, and I’m not picky with languages. I’ll learn any language I need to learn to facilitate communication between the humans I love.”
“…How many languages can you speak?”
“Eh…English, German, French. And I can do casual conversations in Mandarin and Russian. So…5? Ah, 6 if you count Japanese.”
“…How old are you?”
“Eh? I’m 22.”
He should have expected it.
It was natural for Izaya’s lover to be as capable as him.
Shizuo hated Izaya, but even he could admit that the flea had a way with words few people had.
It was natural for his lover to possess capability of the spoken word as well.
Izaya was not satisfied with living a normal life.
Not only had he found someone who possessed talents and capabilities that could match his, he had found someone no normal person could hope to have, as if to match his own elusiveness.
Izaya had obtained an unattainable idol.
Shizuo said, but unlike Shun’s pure admiration, it was filled with bitterness and resentment –
“Thank you. But you’re amazing too, Shizuo-kun.”
Shun said reassuringly as if he had sensed Shizuo’s emotions.
“Huh? …I’m not amazing at all, especially not with this monstrous strength…”
That was the last thing Shizuo expected to hear. He stared at Shun.
Then he gritted his teeth, feeling the anger rise in him in a long while.
“…Why? Because I fucking hate violence and this monstrous strength makes me a violent monster and I can’t control it and MY FUCKING ANGER!”
His voice escalated into a yell as if to emphasize his words, and he breathed heavily as he felt people’s gazes on them.
Keeping his gaze on him with his perpetual smile, Shun waved a hand and the people looked away.
“…I don’t know what the hell you did but that’s definitely more amazing than my strength…”
Shizuo exhaled heavily as he shoved a piece of strawberry shortcake into his mouth, letting the sweetness soothe his anger.
Shun chuckled like he was bemused, and spoke swiftly before Shizuo could get angry.
“Really? I think it’s a gift. Imagine what you could do with that strength of yours. Instead of using it for violence, you could help people. There are lots of opportunities. For example you could become part of a rescue team for natural disasters, and rescue humans trapped after an earthquake. You could become a fireman, and break windows to save people’s lives. You could become a policeman and catch criminals. You don’t need to use it for fighting. There’s many other possibilities.”
Shizuo just stared at Shun as if he was an angel who had descended onto earth and provided him the answer to his life.
“And with your looks, Shizuo-kun? You could appeal to people. You could become a model with that height and that handsome face. You could become an actor. You could even become an idol like me.”
Shun said, and Shizuo remembered how he had beaten up the talent scout who had tried to scout him for acting, leading to Kasuka getting the role.
“I think your strength is a very fascinating thing, Shizuo-kun. I’ve never seen any human like you.”
“I’m not human. I’m a monster.”
“You’re human, Shizuo-kun.”
Shun said with all the sincerity of someone who was telling the simple truth.
“I think a detective would be the perfect job for that strength and intellect you possess.”
Shizuo wanted to deny his intelligence, but he couldn’t at the confident look in Shun’s eyes.
Shun was more intelligent than he was. If he thought Shizuo was intelligent, then he probably was.
“Hey Shizuo-kun? This is just a suggestion but Izaya-kun has a detective agency. If you’d like, I could ask him about it.”
Izaya has a detective agency?
I didn’t know that.
How much more do I not know about him?
“…It’s fine. I’m not a man who can pursue my dreams. And if I do, I don’t want to rely on that flea.”
I’m not his boyfriend
Or even his friend
We don’t really have any connection
…Yet it feels like what kept us seeing each other was broken
“Alright. It’s your choice, Shizuo-kun.”
Shizuo looked up when he noticed Shun holding a piece of paper to him.
“If you ever change your mind, here’s my number. I’m sure Izaya-kun wouldn’t mind. I see a lot of potential in you Shizuo-kun, and if you’re willing I’ll be happy to help.”
Shun smiled at him with the purity in his heart.
Shizuo could see why Izaya had gotten angry for his lover’s sake.
Had he had a lover who was gentle and accepting and believed in him when he didn’t believe in himself, he would have been protective over them too. He would have beaten up anyone who even so much as spoke badly about them.
To Shizuo, Shun’s only flaw was that he was a man –
Had he been a woman, Izaya could have married him and started a family with him, becoming like a normal Japanese man.
He was perfect for Izaya, in a way Shizuo wasn’t and would never be.
Shizuo hated to admit it, but Izaya’s lover had touched his heart so deeply in just one meeting that he couldn’t bring himself to crush the piece of paper in front of Shun.
When Shizuo didn’t move to take it, Shun reached out towards him, taking hold of his hand as if he wanted to show he wasn’t afraid of Shizuo’s strength.
Shizuo could only think the hand touching his had held Izaya’s hand.
Yet the way Shun took hold of his hand reminded him of the milk lady who had gently grasped his hand.
He couldn’t push Shun’s hand away, and watched silently as Shun placed the piece of paper with his phone number gently in his hand, just like the milk lady had placed a bottle of milk on his hand when he had been a scarred kid.
“I really hope you’ll reconsider, Shizuo-kun. But, if you really don’t even want to consider feel free to crush it in front of my eyes right now.”
Shun said acceptingly even as he spoke lightly of such a hurtful act, and Shizuo could hardly believe he was the same person who had taken a step back in hurt when Shizuo had said he didn’t like him.
Especially as after that he still had the guts to approach Shizuo, stare his violence in the eye, and ask him out for lunch, talking to him like he was a normal person.
Not even an innocent girl would do that with a monster like him.
The man in front of him was really an angel.
“…Tch. As if I can do that.”
Shizuo scoffed as his hand closed carefully around the piece of paper, and Shun blinked and giggled at him, smiling playfully.
“Thank you. Hey, you’re actually a kind person aren’t you, Shizuo-kun?”
“I don’t want to hear that from a fucking angel.”
“Ehehe. I’ll take that as a compliment~”
Shun said, leaning his cheek on his hand and watching Shizuo so fondly that Shizuo almost cracked a smile.
“I’d like to see you smile, Shizuo-kun. I’ve been smiling at you this entire meeting, don’t you think you should return the favor~?”
“Huh? No way.”
Shizuo said and scowled like he wanted to prove his point, and Shun pouted at him.
“Why the hell would you want to see me smile?”
“Because~I love to see humans smile because it means they’re happy and I love to see the humans I love happy~”
“I’m a monster, so forget about it.”
“Well, I like to see monsters smile too! I’m the Demon Lord after all!”
Shizuo’s eyebrow twitched.
“You never give up do you.”
He didn’t expect Shun’s eyes to widen, before his eyelashes fluttered as he smiled sadly.
“Ah, I suppose I don’t.”
It came out more like a statement than a question of concern, but Shun looked surprised all the same.
He met Shizuo’s sharp brown eyes with his soft green eyes, smiling reassuringly at him.
“It’s nothing. Just...you reminded me of someone I know.”
“I think the two of you would get along well…”
Shun trailed off, shifting his gaze away for the first time in their conversation.
Silent, Shizuo briefly wondered if this was how Shun felt the many times he had looked away from him.
It wasn’t a pleasant feeling.
“…That guy is an idiot.”
Shun looked at Shizuo in surprise.
Shizuo didn’t say anything else, but didn’t look away from Shun’s gaze.
Shun blinked as if Shizuo’s gaze was too intense for him.
But then he smiled, looking into Shizuo’s eyes.
“Thank you, Shizuo-kun.”
Shun said softly, and Shizuo felt like he had done something right for once.
“You say so little, but you mean so much. You’re such a fascinating human being, Shizuo-kun.”
Shizuo said, and it was the first time he hadn’t responded that he was a monster.
Shun seemed to notice and his smile widened.
“That’s why if I can see the fascinating human being you are smile, I’ll be really happy~”
“Tch. You’re still going on about that?”
“Yes~don’t you want to make this ‘angel’ happy, Shizuo-kun?”
Shun smiled teasingly as he threw his own words back at him, and Shizuo’s lips twitched.
Shun pouted at that, but Shizuo was unmoved.
“You’re so cold…then, I’ll have to resort to my last resort~!”
Shun declared, and Shizuo scoffed and looked away.
But then Shun was poking his cheek and irritated, Shizuo whirled towards him –
And came face to face with a big nose and glasses.
“…Tch! What the hell is that?”
Shizuo said, for the accessory looked ridiculously comical on Shun’s pretty face. He didn’t even notice he had cracked an amused grin until Shun removed the stage prop so he could look at Shizuo’s expression.
“…You smiled! Yay~I made you smile~!”
Shun’s eyes lighted up like an excited kid who had gotten the reward he had been anticipating.
“To think it could even make Shizuo-kun smile, this is some legendary stage prop indeed!! Ahh, I’m so glad I didn’t lose it!”
He giggled with a happy expression as he cradled the glasses with a big nose to his chest, his green eyes sparkling, and Shizuo snorted at him.
“…Shut up. And finish your pasta already, you fucking ridiculous angel.”
Shun didn’t look insulted at all, humming happily as he twirled the pasta around his fork like it was a game, giggling happily.
Shizuo’s lips curled around the straw of his strawberry milkshake as he slid the piece of paper carefully into his pocket.
They spent the rest of lunch in a peaceful silence.
They stood outside the quiet café, having emerged after their lunch together.
When Shizuo had asked why he had done that, Shun had told him in his musical voice:
“Izaya-kun doesn’t want to admit it, but he probably thought of you as his friend. Since I’m dating Izaya-kun now, I want to get to know his friend better.”
“Yes, friend. I hope we can do this again, Shizuo-kun. I enjoyed our lunch together. You really aren’t as scary as people make you out to be.”
Shun said with a pure smile as he placed a hand on Shizuo’s shoulder, and Shizuo saw for not the first time why Izaya and Celty called him an angel.
Shizuo had been silent, but Shun had just retained his pure smile and removed his hand from Shizuo’s shoulder.
He continued to speak politely in measured tones like the young master he was, a far cry from Shizuo’s brash nature.
“I’ve already paid the bill. Then, I have a job nearby so I have to go. I’ll see you around, Shizuo-kun.”
Shun said with a smile at Shizuo before he walked away.
Shizuo watched him go, before he called out.
Shun turned towards him curiously, his expression as fearless as it had been the whole time he had been with Shizuo.
“I don’t hate you.”
Shun’s lime green eyes widened in genuine surprise at his words, and Shizuo walked towards him.
As he brushed past Shun, the blond man in a bartender suit reached out and ruffled the idol’s silvery white hair, a genuine smile on his face.
He was about to leave with that, but felt Shun’s gaze on him.
“What? …What the hell are you blushing for?”
Shizuo said, the smile having faded away from his face as he looked confused at the pale pink blush on the idol’s pretty face.
But he was imagining another man with beautiful features in his mind and he felt his face heat up slightly before Shun spoke.
“Is this why you don’t smile often? Because your smile will make girls swoon? I’m an idol and Procellarum’s White Demon Lord who charms all the princesses and my heart is faithful to Izaya-kun but Shizuo-kun’s smile is -! Shizuo-kun is -! Extremely charming~! Shizuo-kun has a manly charm like Ikkun which can sway anyone’s heart and make anyone feel like a maiden! Fan! I’ve become a fan of Shizuo-kun and his smi- owowowowowow owieeeee~”
Shun was still smiling like he was having fun even with Shizuo’s hand wrapped around his head and Shizuo twitched and gripped harder.
“Ow ow ow Shizuo-kun it hurtsss -!”
He let Shun’s head go, and Shun laughed sheepishly as he met Shizuo’s eyes as he rubbed his head delicately.
“Ahaha…it was a surprise, I didn’t feel this way with Ikkun, but Shizuo-kun’s masculine charm made even me feel like a maiden!”
“Hah? Aren’t you already like a maiden.”
Shizuo deadpanned at him and Shun blinked his lime green eyes at him.
“Ehhhhh? Me, a maiden? I’m a man! And a young master!”
Shun said as he straightened to his full height of almost six feet and stared petulantly up at Shizuo.
Shizuo scoffed, but smirked as Shun pouted.
“Tch. Whatever, princess.”
Shun cocked his head as Shizuo ruffled his hair, before he smiled mischievously.
“Princess? First angel then princess could it be Shizuo-kun you secretly like me – owowow owie~”
Shizuo twitched for the umpteenth time since meeting Shun, his once gentle hand crushing silvery-white locks as Shun whined.
“Shizuo-kuuuuun ittt waaaas aaaa jokeeeee!”
Shizuo let him go and Shun cradled his head with two hands, whining even more.
“My heaaaad waaah Shizuo-kun you don’t hold back at all…”
“...Ah? You want a vending machine to your head instead?!”
Shizuo growled threateningly, a vein popping in his forehead.
But Shun just smiled at him with his hands to his head, as he gave a light giggle which melted Shizuo’s anger.
“Ehehe. But I’m happy. You really should smile more, Shizuo-kun.”
He said, raising his gaze to Shizuo with a smile, and Shizuo stared, before smirking.
“Is that Shizuo-kun’s version of a yes~?”
He patted Shun’s head for a fraction of a second, then turned around, sliding his hands into his pockets as he walked away.
“See you around, Shun.”
“…Yes! See you, Shizuo-kun!”
He didn’t need to turn around to know Shun was smiling happily, and smiled fondly at that.
“…What a weird guy.”
Shizuo didn’t smile anymore after that.
But he kept his sunglasses off for the rest of the day.
He couldn’t hate Shun.
He couldn’t hate the man who had a good heart unlike him.
He couldn’t hate the man who could extend his hand in invitation to a monster like him.
He couldn’t hate the man who had looked his violence in the eye firsthand and asked him out for lunch like he was a normal human.
He couldn’t hate the man who talked to him like he genuinely wanted to help him in a way no one had.
He couldn’t hate the man who had made even a monster like him smile.
He couldn’t hate the man who had, for a moment, made him feel human.
He couldn’t hate the man who had probably looked Izaya in his sharp eyes and smiled at him with all the acceptance and love in his pure heart.
He couldn’t hate the human who could embrace and love the monster Izaya had been.
He couldn’t hate the man who made Izaya smile like he had never seen him do before.
Rain began to fall, bringing Shizuo back to the present.
“…He’s really moved on, huh?”
He didn’t blame Izaya.
Had he had someone like Shun, he would have moved on too.
Had he had someone who could love and accept and believe in him, he would have moved away from all the negativity he buried himself in and towards the happiness of being with someone who could love him for all his flaws and strengths he never could see before.
Shizuo didn’t love Shun.
But he could see why Izaya had fallen in love with him.
Shizuo raised his gaze, as if he was seeing the world for the first time.
It hit him like a sudden epiphany.
…I never really realized it until now.
It’s normal for a man to be in a relationship.
Even if it’s not with a woman…
It’s Izaya, so if he’s seriously in a relationship, he has his own reasons.
…Reasons I don’t even know.
The rain continued to fall onto him as Shizuo dissolved his emotions away in his thoughts.
Izaya was still disliked by the city.
But the people he and Shizuo knew still supported him when he had told them he was in a relationship.
Celty had been glad for him.
Shinra had been able to tell he was serious about it.
Kadota had accepted it.
Humans were supportive of other humans in matters of romance.
There were people who would condemn Izaya for being in a relationship with a man, but it was nothing to the man.
He had already been condemned by the city for being who he was.
It was nothing new to him, only now he had an angel by his side.
Nothing had changed.
It felt like everything around him had remained the same.
He still saw Celty going around as the Black Bike, with Shinra sometimes behind her. He saw the Raira kid whom he had told he was quitting the Dollars, and the girl he couldn’t remember the name of. He saw the blond boy who had apologized to him for the Yellow Scarves incident, and a girl who was probably his girlfriend.
He saw the guy who had honestly approached him for a fight, Rokujou Chikage, around with his girlfriends. He saw Izaya’s sisters exploring the city together. He saw Kasuka with Ruri in their disguises.
He himself still went around with Tom and his kouhai Vorona in their debt collecting job.
Vorona would eventually return to Russia, but he would still be going around collecting debts with Tom.
Tom would eventually retire if he found a better job with his qualifications, and Shizuo would be moving onto the next job to earn his keep.
Nothing would change.
It was a realization that would have made him shed tears –
But Shizuo didn’t care about himself enough to cry.
Izaya is normal.
He’s abnormal as a human, but he’s not a monster like me.
Izaya is human.
And humans move on.
He briefly thought of Shun’s words and the paper on his desk, but couldn’t bring himself to contact Izaya’s lover.
Humans have connections to other humans.
Even someone like Izaya.
That’s why everyone is accepting that Izaya is in a relationship.
He just had to find the right person.
Shizuo removed his sunglasses, and looked up into the dark sky.
Raindrops fell on his face, sliding down his bitter smile like the tears he couldn’t cry.
…I just never thought…any human could love the horrible bastard he is.
Maybe that guy really is an angel…
…Unlike a monster like me.
His phone vibrating in his pocket drew him away from his thoughts.
Without looking, without caring, Shizuo took it out and held it to his ear.
The voice he had missed sounded in his ear.
“Hey Shizuo, do me a favor will you?”
Anger brewed in Shizuo. Just as suddenly as Izaya had disappeared from his life, the flea had reappeared in his life again –
Just as sudden as his entrance into Shizuo’s life.
“HUH?! WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT –“
“Give me Mutsuki Hajime’s number.”
“…What the fuck?”
“I said, give me Mutsuki Hajime’s number. You’re friends with him right? I want to talk to him.”
“What the hell? You’re actually calling and asking? Can’t you take it from Shun’s phone?”
“I won’t do that to Shun-chan. I’m not going to invade his privacy. Now are you going to give it or not?”
There’s a coldness in his heart.
Shizuo tightens his grip on his phone, speaking like he doesn’t dare to hear the answer –
“…Are you really Izaya?”
But Izaya replies with no hesitation. He speaks like he always does with Shizuo –
– Always did.
“Right I’m really Izaya, Orihara Izaya at your service – not. Right now I’m in full service to my angel. Really full service, or I wouldn’t be calling you right now and asking for that bastard’s number.”
There was anger in Izaya’s voice. It was a well suppressed anger, and Shizuo wouldn’t have known had the man not cursed.
The man in a bartender suit lowered his gaze to the ground as if in defeat.
“…You really have changed.”
“How enlightening. But it would be even more enlightening if you would give me Mutsuki Hajime’s number, Shizuo.”
“…I’m not even hearing that stupid nickname from you anymore.”
“What, you want to hear it? And you say I have changed. Shizu-chan, give me Mutsuki Hajime’s number.”
His heart had skipped a beat before he even knew but Izaya isn’t missing a beat –
“There, I said the magic word, and you’re not bursting in anger so –“
“I’ll send it to you.”
Shizuo hung up before Izaya could. He stared at his phone for a while, then muttered to himself in the rain.
He hesitated only slightly before sending his friend’s phone number to his ex-enemy.
“It’s the first time I’ve heard his voice in weeks.”
He closed his phone when he had sent Hajime’s number, speaking honestly to himself.
“…I can’t turn him down.”
I probably love him.
The thought didn’t surprise Shizuo, even if it was the first time he had acknowledged it.
It just felt natural, like something that made sense to him and he should have realized all along.
His heart didn’t skip a beat like it had when Izaya had called him the name he used to call him.
The man in a bartender suit shoved his sunglasses back onto his face and returned to his apartment alone.
As he stared out desolately into the rain, as if into memories only he could see –
- As time continued to pass by, without Izaya by his side.