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Blue Bandages

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 Hello, lovely reader!

First of all, I would like to heavily thank you for giving my story a chance, truly! It makes my day that people enjoy what I write, and I do hope you enjoy too!

That being said, I must relay a message from the future (Hey! It's me, fifty chapters down the line!) I wrote this story, or well, a large chunk of it when I was a young little thing, and from there on I haven't got around to actually editing it since. I kind of just, let the inspiration from my brain flow until I created... well... something. I will get around to rewriting this one day, as it is in need of MAJOR reviewing and editing. 

So be warned! This is a first draft, and while I did (Or, I hope I did?) take good care to make sure there are no mistakes and the dialogue is easily flowing, there may be a mistake or fifty here and there! 

Phew. Well, that being said, I do hope you enjoy this story! It's the first ever fanfiction I've ever written (And am still writing as I write this little note)! 

WARNINGS

Fluff that would probably make your teeth ache, suicidal idiots that we have all fallen in love with at this point, a troubled protagonist, the Port Mafia meddling in anything they can and many, many dumb scenarios with the Armed Detective Agency. 

Enjoy!


"Yes, yes! Deploy all your left flanks to the location I just gave you immediately. These are direct orders from Mori, and well, if you aren't going to listen to me then see that you deal with him yourself." Ango spoke directly from the other line, sounding pretty frazzled, stressed beyond a point any man shouldn't exceed and undoubtedly nervous due to his high cracking tones and desperate speech. Believe me, Dazai Osamu could tell, as he almost took the high octaves of the man's voice for a woman's the first time he answered the call.

And God forbid, the very last thing the port Mafia executive needed right now was a clingy female that he got just a little too friendly from the bar calling his phone. Not in this situation anyway.

The rain poured immensely heavier, falling all around him with a pounding rhythmic melody while puddles of water sloshed about under the young mans heavy yet certain strides. Through the phone currently positioned at his right ear slick with precipitation and tendrils of thick sodden chocolate brown, he listened to his colleague rant about "You need to deploy them now!" this and "Why are you such a nuisance!?" that, yadda yadda yadda, clearly riddled with undying nerves. A slow sly smile crept up on Dazai's face.

'I had already told both my flanks to rush to the designated area not ten minutes ago..'

But of course, Dazai being Dazai, he wasn't about to tell Ango such a thing.

Where's the fun in that?

The alleyway which the young executive was currently making his way down was nothing next to a red carpet or pretty little street in Paris. Oh no, this is Yokohama we're talking about, and if there was one thing Dazai knew and knew well, was each dark dingy and undoubtedly secluded areas of his beloved city inside and out for, of course, jobs like this where he simply can't be seen under any circumstances whatsoever.

That and, because areas like these were always the best place to commit undisturbed suicide.

"Are you listening to me Dazai!?" Ango the poor man practically yelled through seven damn megaphones and maybe even a speaker too from the other line. It was so loud in fact, that even when Dazai practically yanked the handset away and held the be-damned thing at arm's length from his now throbbing ear, he could still hear perfectly well every single word his colleague was spouting. Even if it was thunder and lightning outside, believe me, Ango's voice can outshine all when that man is angry.

"Man" Dazai hissed under his breath, silently thanking the rain for shielding his cursing from Ango on the other line who was still physically com-busting. "He's even louder than Chuuya, and I don't think that's anything to be proud of..."

Within bringing the device back to his now probably, no... certainly broken ringing eardrum, the executive winced slightly when he found out that Ango was still, in fact, yelling his spectacles off. "Yes. YES! Ango yes! My flanks are dispersed please could you stop making my young eardrums bleed! I would love to keep them for just a bit longer!"

Ango huffed in annoyance from the other side of the call, the sound of a chair scrapping floorboards probably indicated that the man was standing up, while Dazai began moving swiftly again into the dark endless abyss of the alleyway. "Says the man who has dedicated his whole young life trying to kill himself.."

"And I'm sure your voice alone could stun a whole crowd Ango.." The young boy mumbled disdainfully, while having to squint his deep brown eyes, or well, should I say, 'eye', as the other was currently hidden under a protective blanket of bandages. The light in the alleyway was dimming, becoming close to null as Dazai silently began kicking himself in the ass for the injury he acquired last week while trying to see if Odasaku would, in fact, shoot a gun to save his life. Of course, his plan worked out well. I mean, what plan of Dazai's usually doesn't work out well?

Only that right now, having a bandaged eye was providing the Mafia executive with no use at all!

"I can try, well. If you want." Ango's sudden speech grounded Dazai back to earth, the platter of rain becoming more clear cutting the cold air like glass. Sarcasm, and oh boy was there a lot of it, was laced and practically embedded in Ango's words. "Death by stunning sound. You know, with my voice being so loud. Maybe I could try it on you?"

Dazai threw such a thought around in that brilliant yet crazy and definitely close to the alluded mind of his, faintly humming in thought through the phone.

Then, of course, those thoughts came to a screeching halt.

"No, but thank you. It's true, I do like suicide, but I don't enjoy any means of suffering or pain..." But his words grew faint in his mouth, something catching the boy's "good eye" over his head. Something an ordinary person wouldn't take a second glance to. But of course, this is Dazai Osamu we're talking about, and if there's one thing this eighteen-year-old executive isn't, it's normal.

"How in the hell can that even work logically?" Ango questioned, and from the sound of a sloshing thick liquid and clicking of glass, it sounded as if the Mafia Secretary was pouring himself a much-earned drink. "You want to die, but without pain? How in the world would that happen?"

"Oh, snapping my neck, drowning, poison... the list goes on, and for a while." Dazai clicked his tongue, aggravated and probably frustrated too at poor Ango who literally had no idea just how complicated and simply beautiful suicide could be. Or well, for Dazai in any way. Two hundred and fifty-three ways to be exact, if he refers back to his "Complete Guide To Suicide" handbook, which he didn't need to. The general already had that book memorized cover to cover and probably backward at this point. If that's a good thing or a bad thing, I'll leave that up to you.

"I'm sure there is. Anyway, so you said your flanks have dispersed? Good good good. Okay, next I need you to-" Ango began spilling out along a new line of tasks for Dazai to complete if this mission was to be anywhere near successful. But Dazai, for one, wasn't even listening. All the boy's focus was fixed directly above him at what seemed to look like a wooden support beam.

'That's a nice beam..'

"Dazai? Dazai? DAZAI!?" Another, loud signature yell from yours truly dragged Dazai out of his starstruck trance the executive was currently submerged in. With this, he decided to give a whopping and clearly generous thirty percent of his definitely not undivided attention to his colleague while the other seventy was completely focused on searching around him. Even if he was riding on 10/20 vision here.

'A rope. Or..wire? Something I can tie a knot with...'

"And when you get there you'll..." Ango began spitting again, taking another swig of his stress-induced drink, while Dazai began lifting a heavy object clearly made from some form of metal shadowed by the night swallowing him, supporting the phone on his shoulder.

"Hmm?"

Ango, being the quick-witted bastard he was, picked up on all of the rummagings and bashing about sounding from his end of the line, quickly bringing the fact into the limelight that his so-called beloved friend and partner for this special investigation was up to no good. Again.

It wasn't a surprise to him, in any way.

Again, this is the pride and prejudice Dazai Osamu we're talking about.

"Dazai, are you listening to me?"

"Uh-huh," The suicidal maniac's rope-search had now maneuvered itself to the right side of the dark alley, which was probably only about four meters wide. The executive's numb fingers slid across something cold to the touch currently lying on the flooded ground.

"And, uhm. Tell me. Are you going to complete this mission?" Ango hissed in a venomous whisper barely audible through the pounding rain.. or well. Something like that. Not that Dazai could even tell, with only thirty percent of his attention focusing on Ango and what not.

"Yes?"

He let his pale, wrapped-in-cloth palm slip underneath the cool metal hosting millions of tiny races each harboring many drops of rainwater. Ango wasn't even near convinced, he's dealt with Dazai's suicide antics way too many times to know when the man is lying and when he isn't. "You're, not doing anything besides the mission, are you?"

Dazai's triumphant fingertips grasped and got hold of something soft and cloth-like. Soaked to the brim with Yokohama rainwater, sure. But cloth none the less. He yanked it out of its' hiding place.

"Sure."

The cloth was moldy and undoubtedly old as the dawn of time in the executive's hands from what he could see through the dim lit alley and only one working eyeball. Jesus, scratch that, looking at it closely the old rag probably harbors some freaking undiscovered diseases at this point in it's sad, sad life. Dazai, however, had some other ludicrous ideas for the fabric.

"Dazai?" Ango spoke again, now only clinging onto the last probably twenty percent of his colleague's attention. "What's two plus two?"

"Definitely!" The young boy sounded absentmindedly, of course. I mean, he's definitely got other things on his mind than satisfying his easily stressed co-worker and the mission that was whimsically now forgotten. Dazai found himself craning his neck up again at the sturdy beam over his head of shaggy hair, and then back down at the long rope-like cloth.

"Ango?"

"What."

"How would you feel if I were to die right now?"

"What?"

"If I were to die, miraculously of course right here right now..." The executive's tone was as light as a feather making him probably sound crazy if anyone were to catch him. I mean, he is talking about his death, yet making it sound like the most pleasant thing in the world.

Then again, Dazai Osamu.

Ango breathed a very, very, slow steady, let's-calm-myself-down-kind of breath. "Are you thinking of flinging yourself into a river or something?"

"No. Not quite anyway." Dazai's now soaked with rainwater hand began padding at his back, also soaked to the skin, in search of something. More than likely the dagger he keeps in there for obvious.. 'safety reasons' "There's a nice beam above me and luckily, I found something of a rope on the ground!" The pure glint in his eye was conveyed like sparkling glitter against the darkness of night in the city, giving probably any diamond or gem a run for their money when his hand finally grasped the item he was looking for.

"Well.. That's up to you. All I'm going to say is, if you do something irrational like that right now all enemy troops will advance.-"The glint in Dazai's eyes dimmed out completely, as he drew he soaked eyebrows together. "-Meaning all of us will suffer and presumably die. Completely up to you though. Do as you please.."

Dazai clicked his tongue, again.

'Dammit!'

'If I were to die now.. the flanks won't receive directions which will result in their defeat. Which will them lead to the Port Mafia suffering a loss... which mean..'

'My suicide will not be clean.'

The pretty scowl was deep and etched on Dazai's impassive young features, as he straightened up and retracted that hand away from its search for the dagger in his trench coat. The executive, an angry one at the moment, threw the sodden and disease infested cloth to the ground, making it land with a loud slosh.

If there's one thing Dazai hates more than being delayed his suicide, is when people are right above him.

Especially if that person is Ango.

"Well, are you going to advance or die?" Ango began pressing, slipping with his cool, blatant, criteria and beginning to sound just the slightest bit impatient. Dazai's long legs began leading him forward again, splashing a lot harder and more demanding this time around.

"I'm heading towards the enemy building, I'll arrive in around ten minutes."

Ango, even though the man was probably stressed to a point of busting a nerve or something, decided to let out a slight chuckle at Dazai's royally pissed off tone. This of course, only aggravated Dazai a lot further, that was evident from even more splashing about.

"So the suicide maniac lives another day! Splendid, take a right at the nearest exit and you'll see it, it's difficult to miss. I need to take care of something for Odasaku. He needs me to search for a second copy of a book or something.. I'll call you with more instructions when you reach there." And on that closing line, the executives colleague cut the line, the ironically silent and quiet depressing bleeping of the 'you just got hung up on' was the only sound keeping Dazai company.

'Well now, that was rude.' Dazai mentally chided at nothing. Maybe the cat sitting across from him, judging the young man silently with its pale blue eyes. Not that it did anything to him to get chided for.

The general snapped the device shut with a tight click, before slipping it into the dark heavy fabric of his trench coat, while he found his thoughts wandering back to what could have been if Ango hadn't interfered.

'Maybe. Maybe another day.'


Enemy Headquarters, a seemingly large... wait no. Scratch that. A freaking gigantic Victorian Style mansion. Beautiful, beyond breathtaking, lancet stained windows, some shattered, some harboring elegant glass covered the perimeter whilst the walls of the building were washed out from weathering and old age. The vines which found their way up the building only added to Dazai's suspicion that this place hasn't been inhabited in for years.

The flanks stood idly, awaiting some form of instruction from their general when he arrived following Ango's - as Dazai loves to put it - choppy directions. Not only was the man hysterical when it came to big missions, but he's absolutely horrific at giving directions too. 'Take your first right and you'll be there?' More like, take the first right you can see, follow a freaking maze of other different streets and have to stop a pedestrian to ask her where the executive could find a large Victorian Style building in the area.

Of course, the woman kicked a run when Dazai asked her if she would do the honors of strangling him with her pretty hands.

Honestly. The general didn't understand! Was it the hair? The way he looks? The waistcoat? He'll never know.

As he swiftly approached, each Port Mafia soldier stood in solute, watching their leader shake most of the rainwater water from his long locks in all directions - like glistening balls of water.

Dazai made a mental note to ask Kouyou for another haircut once he gets this damn mission over with already because, to be honest - this mop of his was resembling more of a brown bush than anything else on the executives head.

"Advance swiftly, yet quietly. And don't any of you dare go in front of me." Dazai snapped in his 'Authoritative Voice', the one he decided to switch on while commanding to make his importance in the organization known to others, and of course to make sure they obey for their benefit and of course his own.

'Too bad such a voice doesn't work on the Hat Rack.' Dazai clicked his tongue for the third time tonight. And believe me, that's a record.

The inside of the building was strangely quiet, an eery atmosphere enveloped the general and his trusted soldiers as they all followed closely behind, guns at the ready.

'If I'm not mistaken, Ango specifically told me to be at my ready, as there will be enemy troops at arms when I first enter the building'

So why is there nobody here? That was the real question Dazai was tossing with at the moment.

'Strange. For an enemy headquarters..'

The marching of boots behind his swiftly advancing form only informed the young boy that the troops were indeed still following close behind, and no casualties have been suffered yet. However, no matter how calm the executive looked, his sharp mind was racing, spinning with inquiries as for the walls, completely veiled in torn wallpapers and dampening patches from the heavy storm outside taunted him.

'Is it a trap?'

Those thoughts came to an abrupt halt by a dull vibration in the pocket of his trench coat. Fumbling for the mobile device, and slightly being relieved that this was probably Ango about to tell him he sent Dazai to the wrong location knowing him and his horrendous GPS skills, the young man came to a stop in the middle of the hallway. The phone screen flashed up in his face, portraying a short message from Ango's contact.

Ango; I'm sorry. (Received at 10:33 pm)

Lightning, followed by booming thunder rattled the building to its very core, as the storm began to pick up outside. Dazai stared at his message, transfixed, and undoubtedly confused as all hell.

'Could he mean, he's sorry for sending me to the wrong location?'

'If so, why doesn't he tell me the correct direction and get this over with?'

Another message suddenly flashed a bright myriad of letters on the screen, a message which made the executive's stomach churn with unsettling nerves.

Ango; I wish we could go to Lupin's one more time. (Received at 10:34 pm)

'Something is wrong'. The thought spun in ungodly circles in Dazai's brain. Without a second thought, he dialed Ango's number quite harshly, tapping the screen on the poor phone with hard pads and lifting the device to his still ringing ear. The sound of the number dialing filled those unsettled senses with dread, as the general stood there and listened to the howling wind outside.

'Pick up. Pick up. Pick up!'

A sudden sound made Dazai's stomach fall behind me. A sound he wouldn't even think to hear at this time, right here. Right now.

Ringing. Not just ringing, Ango's ringtone, filled the vacant hallways, bouncing and echoing off of each wall. The crack of a barrel soon followed, making Dazai lower the phone slowly from his ear.

"I don't think you know what position I'm in, but I think this is the best way out. For everyone." The familiar voice resonated in the boy's bones, as he mustered up enough courage to turn around and was met with the last scene expected to see tonight. By anyone that is.

The troops, all of them, had completely disappeared into thin air. Not a speck of blood, not a gun shell to their name. A shadowed figure stood about twenty meters away from Dazai's rigid body and was slowly making an advance. His steps echoed in slow motion, cutting through the sound of the rain.

Suddenly, his form came to an abrupt stop, about ten meters away, an extended arm which harbored a gun was pointed directly at his colleague, aiming for a fatal blow. Even with 10/20 vision, Dazai's left eye couldn't distinguish who in fact could be leading him to his end, or exactly what he was doing with Ango's phone. No no. All he could think about at this moment was that he has indeed, been led into a trap.

He's been tricked.

Another loud clap of thunder accompanied by lightning illuminated the dark hallway for a fraction of a second. However, a fraction of a second is all Dazai's eye needed to finally depict the supposed grim reaper.

The round glasses, the deep brown locks, the permanent set line on his features. Everything pieced together as the executive connected the stranger to another well-known man in his brain.

Ango.

"What are you doing, Ango?" Dazai asked, genuinely confused at such an unexpected turn of events through the shadows. He could hear him sigh his signature, defeated sigh.

"I need to do this." Angos voice shook, and so did the gun in his hold.

"Why?"

"Because." Ango took another step forward. "If I don't, they'll - they'll kill me-" Another step.

"Who?" 'At least tell me whatever the hell is going on before I meet my end-!' Ango stopped his advance, plunging both of both colleagues, both friends into a deafening silence, the rain knocking on the lancet windows above.

"I'm sorry, Dazai."

They were his departing words, the words Dazai would hear on his deathbed. The last message he was given before depart. The loud, sudden gunshot rang out, deafening both the two men for a split second. At first, Dazai felt nothing. Numbness, emptiness, absolutely nothing. However, after those brief seconds of shock, pain erupted in the right side of the executive's torso, right under the rib-cage. Horrific, excruciating, agonizing pain. The burning sensation of the gunshot caused the young man to fall to his very knees, clutching one hand over the wound, feeling the blood pumping through the veins and spilling out into his clothed palm.

Dazai gasped for air, but it felt as if that oxygen wasn't entering his lungs. At all. Moreover, it felt as if the oxygen was passing through the gunshot wound and out. He couldn't breathe, couldn't even tell what was happening. The drowning sensation was beginning to lull him into the sweet melody of death, as the 10/20 vision of his blurred due to blood loss.

'So...I'm dying?'

'This is what it's like to die?'

The executive's limbs and arms grew limp, weak, totally ceasing up as he lay down on the cold floor and spluttered for that same oxygen again. With each intake of air, the pain shot through his body, through every nerve. But through it all, he could make out Ango's retreating footsteps.

"So long, Dazai."

Dazai's vision was beginning to spot black, inking with the swallowing darkness as be could feel himself lapsing in and out of consciousness.

'I don't understand'

'If this is what it's like to die,'

'Why am I so unsatisfied?'

The storm thrashed about behind the slim panes, the very sound that will accompany the young ended life through his departure.

 

(Edited)

Chapter Text

"Get out!"

"Disgusting demon!"

"Evil wench!"

"There's nowhere you'll belong!"

The dark thoughts boomed, like screeching phantoms in your own ears. The memory, or well, the only memory of your own family, stuck with you and plagiarized each thought every day of your now lonely life. You know, most people remember their family as a loving sanctuary, a place where one could feel safe and seek refuge when they ever needed it. A place where - no matter what absolutely catastrophic chaos you find yourself in - you'll always have a place to come back to. Always have somewhere you could call home.

That would be the case in more than most of the situations in relatively 'normal' lives.

But that case, however, was well and truly definitely not yours.

"There's nowhere you will belong!"

'Well, you got that right. Mother.'

The memories of being thrown out of the home you grew up in and were so fond of enveloped you with a toxic suffocating substance like you didn't have enough of that already with this be-damned rain. You were neglected, thrown out like a sick castaway, rejected by the only people you love.

Rejected by the world.

"You're right.." You found yourself mumbling in disdain, every nerve in your body felt numb to feel. "There is no place I'll belong.."

The storm of this dark evening was currently ripping with immense velocity through the branches of the dancing trees, making you pull the thin shawl more tightly around your torso. Jesus, you knew this city of Yokohama had pretty bad forecasts at this time of year, but who knew the day you would enter here, God decided to play some sick prank on you and have the heavens open their pipes on his accord?

Nice, not even God was with you now.

How long have you been walking for? Days? Weeks? You didn't even know, to be honest, and now that you think about it, jeez you didn't even know what day it was, never mind the date. But a sign you passed a few yards back displayed a bright obnoxious myriad of black letters portraying the name "Yokohama City", so thank God you were still in Japan, because if you had to be clean with yourself, you could've honestly thought you walked all the way to China at this point your feet ached so bad pleading for rest.

You found your dulled out (e/c) eyes flitting and slowly taking in the surroundings, which was hard mind you, through a thick sheet of Japanese rainwater. But from what you could barely make out, it looked as if there was absolutely no town life whatsoever within a twenty-mile radius from your body, and if there was, the storm was too great to see it. Your clothes were sodden right to their seems to a point where it looked as if you just crawled your way out of a pond or something like that, while your thick, soaked (h/c) hair stuck to your face like hard cement. Ironically, the bottom half of your torso was burning like a bright branded iron, against the cool air and even colder - to a point where it could freeze - rainwater bashing and abusing every inch of your body, maybe from walking so far. Away from them. Away from your family, from all the people you knew and loved.

'For their sake.'

It then occurred to you that maybe you should find some form of shelter because it looked as if this stupid storm wasn't thinking of ceasing anytime soon. Maybe there would be a tree, or if you're lucky, maybe a house nearby that you could hopefully seek some sort of shelter in because if you were to keep going in this Arctic-like rain, you knew you would probably freeze over like an icicle. Or worse, maybe die of exhaustion, you didn't really know which one you would prefer.

'Or maybe I could just die..' The thought came and went as quickly as a shooting star. 'Die, right here? Against my will? Like the person at home? Like all those helpless animals?'

'Having their lives ripped right from under them. Unwilling. Pleading.'

'All at the hands of my wretched ability'

The voice was hissing right in your ears, overpowering your thrumming heartbeat and the sound of the storm. Thoughts like this, voices like this were tainted black with only one motive; to break down one's soul, poison their personality and destroy their will - and you knew that best of all. And you weren't going to lie to yourself, the more you listened and let the inky black voice taint your heart - it was beginning to work.

'Maybe I should just lie down here and die..'

But you didn't, moreover, you found your legs moving accordingly, heading north into the bottomless black hole of whipping wind and rain. No, you weren't going to stop. You wouldn't stop.

Dying would be the easy way out.

'But the world would be a better place without a murder like me'

Would it?

Your furious thinking was halted abruptly when something began to form and morph into shape in front of you - blurry, yes - but a large shape none the less. Behind the large pelting droplets of rain, you began to see it. A structure. A seemingly large structure at that, obviously you've suddenly found some form of house or building in this forgotten place. Through the thick sheet, you tried to squint those (e/c) eyes of yours in attempt to peer closer.

'A house?'

'And a big one at that'

You found your feet deciding to stop dead in their tracks, allowing the now somehow heavier rain pour in bucket-like quantities soak deep into your (h/l) locks atop of that head of yours. Droplets skidded down your slick forehead and found themselves to your eyelashes - blurring your vision in their wake. Like you needed to be more blinded in this Japanese rain than you already were!

'What do you think you're doing?' The taunting voice hissed again.

You began advancing, swiftly.

'You don't deserve to go in there..'

'You don't deserve to go anywhere..!'

Your power walk began to take a turn for the quicker pace, moving faster, and faster, and faster-

You broke out into a run.

Where did this unseen adrenaline shaking each crack of your bones come from? You couldn't even say. Every single muscle moved in unison, carrying your body forward through a mixture of aching pain and spastic panting. The water-logged grass splashed and sloshed about under your heavy paved steps, while mud, or well you hoped it was mud.. licked up and stuck to your bare ankles. But you didn't care. You couldn't care at this time and real moment, as your thoughts were a whirlwind of fogged voices all screaming one objective.

'I need to get to that house!'

You didn't know why, but you needed to reach that building, you needed to get out of this rain... you needed... to live another day.

No.

You wanted to live another day.

Truth be told, if you were going to be honest, you didn't have the courage to kill yourself, or potentially even try to end your life. The heinous acts your body, no your ability reeked upon the people back home definitely don't deserve to go unpunished - you of all people knew that. You knew you couldn't escape your murders, your sins, and you didn't think the image of his pale face slowly draining of life will ever leave the back of your eyeballs. Ever. There was no way out.

There never will be a way out.

Yet. Why are you running so fast?

You weren't just running, God you were dashing - like there was absolutely no hope for tomorrow. Running and reaching for something, anything! Everything was sweeping past your vision in thick blotches of shadows and rain, while you kept on bolting. Was someone chasing you? You definitely felt as if someone was chasing you, even though you and me both know that there was literally no one sane enough to be out in a storm like this.

Your lungs burned in response to overworking, while your legs still pumped forward with every ounce of energy you had left as you neared the house. Red blotches of determination bubbled your vision and thankfully, before you flopped onto the logged ground, your body came to a much needed screeching halt at the rustic old door of the Manor House. You didn't even stop to consider giving this any second thought, at all. You were scared, of course, probably to a point where you could have pissed yourself right there from fear of the unknown.

Hastily, you pushed the doors open.


'This place is ... beautiful'

Was the first thought that came to mind when you stepped into the old decrepit building. Sure, you were expecting a worn old house, maybe a few families of rats and rotting floorboards that caved in with every step. But no, you got none of that to your downright astonishment. Old, of course - you'd give it that, but when you looked passed the walls old aging, the place really was a work of art. The beautiful spindly filigree danced and twirled around the metal rusted frames around each frayed painting, while the ceilings were high and damp. Walls stretched as far as your muddled vision could see and was absolutely veiled with lancet windows and elegant stain glass. Even the soft patter of rain you could hear from outside was also something to adore.

Blood rushed down right to your fingertips with an exhilarating heartbeat, while your head still pounded but you soldiered on through the barren halls none the less, which honestly looked as if they hadn't harbored any form of human guests in years. Each doorway of every room was either tilted slightly in a rotted kind of way - as if this was some act of the ghostly houseguest inside warning you to not disturb them, and you had no intention to. You were quite satisfied with listening to the squelching sloshes your soles made every time you took a single step and the quiet hum of faint breathing echoing in the hallways.

Wait.

You stopped dead in your pacing.

Breathing?

Your ears pricked up, suddenly becoming hyper-aware of every sound resonating around you.. breathing? Surely not, because if one thing was for certain, you had practically stopped breathing so that sound definitely could not have been you. Oh god, a thought reoccurring around in your sharp mind sent every muscle of your stomach into a tailspin.

'Is someone here with me?'

Then an even more frightening one followed.

'Oh no.. what if it's the owner of this place?!'

Your body practically froze over, stilled like an icicle just like your breathing. Completely halting, and rendering itself null. You listened, or more realistically strained to your hardest ability against the raging storm for that same sound you heard moments prior.

Silence.

You strained even more.

Then, and only then, did you pick up on the sound. The horrible sound of harsh, ragged intakes of air from someone down the long hallway. Pained, shallow like breaths swimming with only one word poisoning the very motives in whatever little will you had left.

You didn't even have to think. Immediately, as if a magic trick - your bodies' stoic ice shell melted away as you took off down the hallway to the entity.

That sound was a sound you knew all too well.

Caught up in reckless thinking, you rounded a corner a tad bit too swiftly for your balances' liking and stumbled almost straight to the ground, but luckily, you caught your equilibrium and quickened the pace.

'The sound of death. The sound of someone meeting their end.'

'Someone is hurt. And by the sound of it, gravely so!'

Your ears could now pick up the dark sound even better at the point you pulled yourself to, hearing it more vividly which was obviously a positive heads up that you were heading in the correct direction. You couldn't piece together a coherent thought in right now as every single brain cell as yours seemed to be on fire, spinning in a muffled frenzy as you neared the injured person.

You absolutely wouldn't let it happen.

Not again.

Never again.

'Nobody will die in front of me ever again!'

You rounded another corner with an immense speed you didn't know you even had in you, suddenly tearing your (e/c) gaze up from the blurred floorboards and-

That's when you saw him.

Well, you could tell his gender right off the bat, as his breathing wasn't exactly what you'd call feminine and his lean built figure lay still as if he was in a deep sleep of some sorts. But you knew, you knew it was way worse. You stumbled, and being you managed to even fumble too before you collapsed by the young boys' side.

You didn't think he could even understand you were here due to the very detached response he gave your shaking and tapping of his shoulders. The mysterious boys' face was sickly pale, ghostly pale even under the iridescent moonlit windowpanes which wasn't giving him much justice. A bush of unruly, messy soaked-to-their-very-roots brown locks lay in a sprawled mess across his head, while the boys' lips were parted slightly and taking in little to probably no oxygen whatsoever.

That can hardly be good, at all.

Your bold eyes widening to sizes of golf balls scanned down his immobile torso, which was dressed in dark colors of sophistication as if to impress at a dinner party or something along those lines. You didn't feel the need to linger, and darted your view down south, until it landed upon a clutched, bandaged hand soaked in crimson across the side of his stomach - right under the left rib cage. Presumably, putting two and two together, that's where the wound is.

"Hey.. hey! Can you hear me?" You tried, not willing to ignore the cracking tones in your voice from severe under use. He didn't respond.

'Dammit!'

"Okay, ok... shit! Okay.. okayokayokay.." Words didn't even co-operate with you at all - not that you even cared - because you decided to give up all hope of communication and instead, focused all your divided attention on his hand. Good Jesus, it was soaked, and unfortunately not with rainwater! Crimson blood was seeping through his fingertips and forming a scarlet puddle on the floor, contrasting with the dark boards. On reflex, you took both your (hand/size) hands -and silently praying your little knowledge of stopping blood flow comes to some little use now - you placed them both atop of the injury to apply pressure right above his own bandaged one.

You pressed, and pressed, and pressed some more, not really knowing what you were essentially doing, but silently hoped it was doing something helpful. You would have kept going, really, if it wasn't for the soft groan of what seems to be exhausted pain cutting through the air. You whipped, and when I say whipped, I mean whipped your head around back to his pale features. It harbored a look of agony, while you pushed down deeper, applying more force to the fatality.

You found yourself observing again - as his face contorted, shifted and screwed up.

He was alive.

"Hey!" You tried to gain his slowly fading attention, while new warm fresh blood pumped under your hand sending tingles up your wrist. "Can you hear me? Hey!"

It wasn't much, but the boy's eyes rolled lifelessly in his skull, and staggeringly slowly made their way to fixate on you. They were such a beautiful shade of brown, deep dark chocolate molten colored brown - only they were lifeless, glazed over and barely focusing on you whatsoever.

"I'm going to help you, okay?" Who were you even reassuring? This boy could barely hear you from the looks of it, so the statement was directed more at yourself than anything else. 'I'm going to save him. No, I must save him! No matter what!'

You pressed down again on his wound, earning another strangled moan from his voice box, except this time it sounded more distant and kind of lifeless. Like he was on the verge of giving up.

'No!'

"Sorry!" It's not working, the endless bleeding just didn't seem to stop. Shit, you were going to lose him, you knew it! He won't make it anyway, even if you did seem to magically make this fountain of crimson life source cease suddenly - he's lost too much blood for him to probably pull through. You were panicking, and you didn't even know it, judging by your shaking hands and blurring vision. The boys breathing was becoming further apart, slowing itself down and begging to still all together.

'Crap!' You were mentally having a war with yourself, and probably border lining a breakdown too. 'Crap. Crap. Crap!'

You swore you would never let another person die in front of you ever again, by every hair on your body! Even if it cost you your own life, you would have been more than willing to give it up for someone else's in a heartbeat. You tried applying more pressure on his hand to reach another response, another movement, another sign that he was alive.

But you got nothing.

'You need to use it..' The voice from before decided to kick its feet up and relax in your brain like this was hardly the time!

Deciding to ignore with every extant the moody subconscious rapping at your brain cells, you lifted both hands and, oh god, what a sight. It was evident, the boy's state was pretty fatal, but you couldn't have expected it to be this bad. Both palms were drenched in red dye that was dripping thickly, causing a trail down your wrist and onto the floorboards, staining the skin in its wake. You stilled in horror, suddenly to realize that his breathing had indeed, rendered itself null.

'There's no other choice! You need to use it!'

"I can't!" You visibly cursed your own thoughts, as those wide (e/c) eyes of your searched for any life in the boy's pale features whatsoever, but found nothing.

'You need to try! The guy is at death's door!'

"I think I get that, thanks!" You brooded again, that persistence of your mind giving you more of a headache than the conundrum at hand. But maybe it was right, maybe you did need to use it...

'But, how can I use something I can't control?'

You took the time to carefully lift up his own ice cold, bandaged hand and trying not to cringe at the way it hung limply in your own up off of his body just to examine indeed what type of injury this boy had obtained. The blood-shod area seemed to still be bleeding profusely, and focused on the epicenter of one area.

A gunshot.

Aimed for a fatal blow too.

There was no other choice at hand here.

You needed to use it. You needed to use your ability.

Your damned, cursed, disgusting ability.

You softly, as if afraid to break glass or something as fragile, placed both hands on his spilling puncture and closed your eyes. And focused, oh boy did you focus. Screwing your eyes shut in hope that it would help you focus more, type of focus - to a point where all you could see was stars behind your eyelids. 'Think, think!' 'Focus! Focus on healing the wound! Focus focus focus!'

Silence.

You tried even harder this time, even to a point where you were pushing down slightly with white knuckles to help your be-damned ability to work. 'Focus, (y/n), focus!'

Pregnant silence.

You exhausted with exhaling, turns out you haven't been breathing for the past five minutes you were occupied. You felt nothing, nothing. His blood was still warm and pumping in your hands as well as the wind and rain whipping mercilessly outside.

It didn't work.

Slowly, ever so slowly and hesitant, you pried your screwed like vices shut eyes open and was met with the same image as before. The same young man was still laying lifelessly on the ground, limp and rag doll-like, while your hands were still clasped tightly around the burning hot wound as if to initiate some form of self-comfort when deep down - you knew he was gone.

You couldn't save him.

'Because I'm useless... my ability is useless, my whole life... I'm just..'

'Useless'

The sounds all around you grew still as if the trees lowing outside seemed to mourn the stranger's death - while you began to silently bow your head too. Hot, frustrated liquid began pouring in one, two drops down your face before the dam broke and your mental state began deteriorating right before the boy - who couldn't see nor hear at all. The trails of saline burned against the cold numb rainwater as you began sobbing and uncontrollably shaking in your lonesome.

"Useless.." You managed between chokes and splutters, speaking to the deafening silence in the hall. "Useless, useless useless useless!"

'There's nowhere you will belong!'

'You're useless!'

'Go die in a hole you demon from hell!'

They were right, you began prying your hands away from the lost boy, shaking each tendon in your wake. You were completely and utterly...

Useless.

Your hands shook even more, before you willed your body to stand up, stiff joints squeezing and ceasing up with un-wanting, wanting to get out of here. Wanting to run away, like you always do-

And you were going to. You were going to do it - going to rid yourself of the world once and for all. A fool - you were a fool to even begin to think you could have somewhere in this world, a damn fool for thinking you could go as far as existing.

Someone like you didn't deserve to exist - didn't deserve to have such hopeful thoughts. Yes, you were content with this - and was ready to join him in the afterlife. To go find the peace that darkness offers you once and for all.

But, such an act would have to wait - apparently. Because before you could even stretch a single muscle, or take a single step - you felt it.

'Wait, what the hell?!' Something was happening, that probably definitely wasn't supposed to be, like an unknown thing was beginning to rise up inside you. Like a beast roaring and clawing at the walls of your stomach in desperate need to escape that you began to feel woozy. Your insides mushed and compressed together, jumping and jolting about so harshly that it almost took all your breath away. Your heart rate began hammering again, while an unknown voice shouted inside that brain of yours to lean both tingling hands back onto the man's body.

Jeez, this pressure was overwhelming, and it left you with the undying need to know what in the living hell is happening right now? You honestly felt as if you were going to die, and that was well under an overstatement. Well perhaps, now that you thought about it, maybe you could meet that boy up in whatever afterlife you go to and apologize for not saving him? The skin which skated across every inch of your body began tingling, prickling with a strange, unknown feeling. 'What the -"

The pressure built and built, became equally as mind-numbing while your skin started becoming hotter by the second. The next thing, however, happened so fast and so quickly, that you honestly could have mistaken it for your crazy delusional imagination.

Blue lines, as if someone injected iridescent bright blue ink into your veins began running in snake-like tongues under your skin, sliding down your forearms and then to both your stacked (hand/size) hands, leaving trails of hot pricking sensations behind them.

You couldn't breathe, heck you couldn't even think! All you knew was that this strange change happening inside of you was doing something, and you hoped it was somewhere good. Blinding jasmine light began to shine like a headlight out from the scorching area of your hands, so bright in fact that you had to screw your (e/c) orbs shut and turn away.

'What the heck is happening to me?'

Moments of hot light burned into the minutes you had before the temperature at your fingertips began to slowly fade away, until you felt as if your body temperament had retreated back to its normal state. The wind picked up just like it had beforehand while your heart rate slowed down back to a brisk, normal pace. You opened your eyes, that was after you had a little debate with yourself to do so. Your arms, well, they had gone back to the normal color of your skin just moments prior, those inky blue tattoos had supposedly vanished into thin air. The heat was still pricking in your arms, and especially your palms where you felt as if you just got branded. Woah,'- what was that just now?' You didn't even know. And to be quite honest, you were probably too transfixed on what in the world just shot out of your body that the actual main problem was still lying right in front of you!

'Oh yeah! Shoot!'

But the really baffling thing about it all was when you glanced down at his body lying in front of you.

There was no blood.

Not a single speck. On his clothes, nor the ground.

Your heart decided to test out some new gymnastics and jump straight to your throat, before you began scanning the area more closely to clarify that you were indeed, not seeing things. The gunshot wound, you know, the hole that is made when a bullet enters the body? It was gone, the only thing left in its place was some blood-shod ripped fabric and an area of milk-white skin, completely untouched and healed to perfection.

Wait...

'So if the gunshot wound is gone, does.. does that mean?'

His body wasn't moving, his chest was still stationary. Damn, was he even breathing? Your hands went to check, first, they were placed on his chest, no movement. You next craned that spinning head down and listened for a heartbeat, no avail.

He's not breathing.

'Give him CPR, stupid!' Your subconscious was livid at your idiocy, then again, when is a subconscious not giving you backtalk?

"I don't know how!" You snapped frustratedly, but knowing this was either life or death, you needed to do something. Your body absentmindedly found its way behind his mess of hair, so as the vision of his face was upside-down.

Here goes nothing.

Taking one of your hands, you tilted the chin of the boys face up slightly while parting his immobile lips apart. Breathing deeply and holding your breath with as much might as you could muster, you placed both lips on his.

Not that this is the time, but you couldn't pass up the fact that they were soft as hell, probably the softest things you've ever put your damn mouth on. You exhaled into his airway and breathed in again while repeating the process another five times before pressing in sharp bursts down on his sternum. It was on the sixth attempt to give the boy the kiss of life when a cough erupted from his trachea. Startling you - yes. A lot actually - but none the less the fact dawned on you that he was alive.

'Yes!'

He coughed, choked, and spluttered all over the place. Seeing him this mobile had you paralyzed in shock for a brief few moments - seeming as though you've literally been staring at him next to dead. Shamelessly, you stared down in a so not creepy way at his face, suddenly starstruck. He was alive. You had helped him. You had saved him. You used your weird now probably upgraded ability to save someone.

The thought made your heart swell with happiness.

'I'm... not useless!'

Once the boy was done coughing up a storm, he lay his head back down on the hard pavement and opened those chocolate brown eyes slowly, this time, full of heated life. And the first thing those eyes held was you, in a confused, probably weirded out stare, mixed with extreme exhaustion.

'He's pretty. He's a damn pretty boy..'

That's the state you both sat in, staring at each other in completely comfortable silence, as weird as it sounds, for such a stretch of time - before it was interrupted. His eyes grew hazy, lazy and sleepy, as they dropped shut and rendered his body still. He had lapsed out of consciousness, completely exhausted, lying beneath you upside-down. You couldn't help but smile to yourself as the storm began to subside and grow dimmer outside the beautiful lancet windows.

You stared down at his peaceful face for a little while longer, finally feeling at peace with yourself in a long, long time. For the first time in forever, you actually felt of use to the world. Felt of use to yourself, and you so greatly wanted to tell him that. Wanted to stay with him and help him when he wakes, heck you didn't even get his name.

But as much as you would love to, as much as your spirit has been lifted on this dark stormy night. The images of calamity, bloodshed, terror stuck to the back of your mind like a poisonous snake. Biting at you with caution as his soft face took in a few soft breaths.

A small frown dragged your expression down, as you gave him one last longing look - before sighing deeply.

You couldn't.

 

(Edited)  

Chapter Text


Present Day, Yokohama City


'Pain... Blood... a lot of it... Gunshot. Death….. Huh... Am I dying? Wait… A sudden. Muffled. Call…'

'But from who?'

'A.. woman? No.. a young woman… her voice is undoubtedly shrill and somewhat... Panicked…?'

'Why..?'

The mystery voice was simply unrecognizable to the wounded brunette, and to be quite frank, the Mafia general couldn't even distinguish what the woman was saying through his muffled hearing. It almost sounded, as if she harbored a foreign tongue. Like he had been submerged underwater and was straining to listen to her voice above.

'What is she saying?'

Dazai's conscious was slowly slipping into a peaceful detachment, and he could tell. Slowly deteriorating, painstakingly fading into nothing but the call of death. Every sharp intake of pain was slowly becoming less and less agonizing by the fading seconds, every sound was becoming depressingly mute to the young boy's ears. He could feel his breathing… slowing down…. So much in fact, until it got to a height where he… he couldn't breathe.

'I can't breathe..'

'Huh... I can't.. ' His body began convulsing in a desperate attempt to fill he starved lungs. However, it was as if the air his natural instinct did manage to take in slipped right out in harsh pants and hitching. 'I can't... I can't...'

"Hey?! Hey! Help!….Save! You!"

The dying boy heard the strange voice ring out through high octaves once again, and a lot louder at that. Almost as if, this person was now right beside him. But.. but why?

'Just…...who…?'

Then, all of a sudden and out of complete random blueness, the executive felt pain. Probably even worse than the pain he felt the very first time he had the bullet pass through his body. All Dazai's questions, his suspicions about this imaginary woman completely left his mindset in one fellow swoop. All of his slowly malfunctioning brain cells all focused on this now explosive burst of hot branding fire right under his rib cage, like his life depended on it. It was unbearable, pressurizing and sharp.. Was it her doing? And if it was, then she definitely wasn't an angel sent from heaven to bring him to an everlasting salvation, no.. she was probably a sick twisted demon from hell who came here to torture the general for his sins mercilessly before he could meet his end. Yes.. yes that had to be it.

'Open your eyes..dammit!' Even in death, the Executive found some way of scorning himself. Regardless if his body would listen to him or not.

'I...can't ..Ng..Agh! Pain..Pain..Pain. -in!'

"It's okay. I'm... going...save….you!'

Save him?

But how can someone causing so much unbearable pain possibly have the motive to save someone? Why did he feel worse than he already did before his death had even greeted him? What was she even doing to him? Why wouldn't his body listen to him?

'Open your eyes! Move! Something! Let her know that what she's doing….Agh! ….Makes...me want death… even more..!'

It wasn't much, but all Dazai could seem to muster was a soft, groan of pain - even if it was low and inaudible. But, as quiet and soft the sound was, it didn't seem to go unnoticed, as the explosive pain seemed to ease and the hard, heavy pressure on his fatality ceased. 'Thank God…'

'Please…'

'Please just let me die…'

"Hey! Can...Hear...Me?!"

Even if the Mafia executive couldn't essentially hear the girl's voice very well, he simply couldn't pass up the fact to admit that it was nice. More than nice. Some voices sound as if you are listening to shattered glass or nails scratching off of a chalkboard.. but not hers. Her voice was strangely beautiful, that is if a voice could even be beautiful in the first place, even if it was in a panicked state. It was soft, genuine and gentle on the general's ears, full of broken emotions and concern. Something that could...fort…..his dying moments.

The pressure picked up again.

A strong sound of despair was wrenched from the dying boys' throat once again - while he cursed his body to open both eyes even if it was the literal last thing he could do.

Finally, after what seemed to be honest to God ions, Dazai's body finally cooperated with him as he heavily opened his eyes. Blurry, mismatched images greeted the executive's dulled-out senses. Images that it took his fading brain a short second to configure while the sound of his strained breathing and slowing heartbeat thrummed against his ears.

'Where am I?'

'A roof..?'

'Oh yeah...I'm at the supposed 'enemy headquarters' where Ango shot me...the…the….bastard..'

'Pain..pain...pain…'

"Hey! I…..Sorry! Can...Hear...Me?"

Dazai finally willed his head to move, with every dripping ounce of strength he had left deep in his bones, not having the intention to ignore the fiery numbing pain shooting down his spine and rendering him paralyzed. A blurry feminine build came into focus, crouched down by his side and, from the looks of things, she seemed to be trying to...press down...on his wound. For a reason that was unknown to him.

'Please, let me die..'

The woman's posterity blurred together while he couldn't make out a lot about her, whoever she was. Why was a female in the same place that was meant to be an enemy HQ? The General couldn't tell. Why was the woman trying to help him? He also... couldn't tell.

By the way his ears began ringing and his dulling dark eye which wasn't wrapped in bandages simply started burning for a closer - did he deem the woman's desperate help wouldn't be enough to help save his life. He was familiar with death in more ways than one, judging from how many times he had watched the life slip from peoples eyes before. But what he also was very familiar with, was a certain stage someone would pass which meant that they couldn't escape death, no matter how hard they tried.

'Just..please.'

The dying Mafia General tried to keep the mystery woman in his vision, silently slipping into natural instinct and holding, grasping, pouncing at simply an opportunity to stay alive, despite his condition. And, at that very moment, simply just trying to will himself to focus on her crouched stance and wide, (e/c) eyes staring back at him in utter fear and concern. But, no matter how hard he tried, Dazai Osamu couldn't help but notice the inky black splotches creeping into his vision, tunneling and be spiraling into a blurred yet warm mess. The blinding white-hot pain from before was beginning to fade, his breathing...stilling. The mystery girl seemed to kick up into a panic as the sweet melody of death was becoming evident in the brunette's features.

'So...I'm dying'

'My vision… seems to be blurring...into a deep void of black. Death... Peace. Darkness. The woman... Seems to be in a fit of hysteria..'

'It's okay..'

'Thank you. For making these last moments more enjoyable..'

Darkness...

"Hey!"

Silence.

"Hey! Please….Stay...With me!" Her glittering eyes began to glaze with tears before the General closed both eyes willingly and rendered himself to the floating abyss that was death.

Peace.


*Buzz* *Buzz*

Dazai's eyes snapped open at the sudden obnoxious sound, so violently in fact that the horrifically blinding light of the morning rays practically burned into the very retinas in his sockets. 'Wha-'

*Buzz* *Buzz*

Wait, what time was it even? Dazai didn't even know, heck the boy didn't even know what day it was at this current point. But, there was one of two things that the Armed Detective Agency member did know. 1) That, his eyeballs were practically non-functional right now, 'Damn Sun'... and 2) -

'What in God's name is that sound…?'

The brunette sat upright with creaking bones, while the sheets followed suit in his movement, wrapping and pooling around his curled legs. With tired, and quite limp bandaged arms, Dazai brought both his hands up to his face and dug them into his burning eyes. He hadn't realized he had actually fallen asleep, - as he likes to avoid doing that as much as he can - but judging from the clothes he had come home in last night and the books littering the sheets below - his body must have given in at some point.

'I wish I was nocturnal.'

*Buzz* *Buzz*

'Oh….yeah.'

Prying one hand away from his attempt to bring his blurred and blinded vision back to life, he felt around for the buzzing-like-crazy device. When said hand passed over the cold smooth metal of a cell-phone, he brought it to his ear. That was after he attempted to press the 'Accept' button through his temporary blindness.

"Hell-"

"YOU IDIOT WHERE ARE YOU!?"

Wait, there was only one person in the whole universe and maybe beyond that would address Dazai so formally first thing in the morning. A simple yet stoic man with glasses...blonde hair...and maybe the motive to kill-

'Ah...'

'The blonde terror, Kunikida..'

'His voice is such a delight first thing in the morning.'

"Uhm. I'm in my bed." The brunette replied to his beloved colleague monotonously, before swinging both essentially dead-from-sleep bandaged legs over his bedside and dangled them just above the floor. "Why? Do you miss me?"

"Shut up, you bandage wasting device-" 'Owch..' "It's almost nine, and you're late, by exactly thirty-four minutes and twenty-three seconds...twenty four….twenty five..twenty si-"

"Okay, I get it I get it…" Dazai had now proceeded to pull his body up and was somehow, currently managing to stretch his whole lean form upright while resting the blaring blonde's phone call with his shoulder. "I had a bad dream. Actually."

"Awh.." Kunikada's voice lacked any form of empathy, painfully so that it edged on the border towards the more sarcastic and graveside. Well, then again, this was Kunikida we're talking about, and if there's one thing that the man lacks, especially when talking to Dazai, it's empathy. "That's not an excuse, you bastard, would you like me to hug you close and tell you it was only a nightmare?"

No, yeah… definitely sarcasm.

The ADA executive stared at his reflection in the full-body length mirror as his bandaged hands traveled swiftly, fastening each button on the semi-open pinstriped shirt and choosing perfectly wisely to ignore Kunikida's last statement. "Speaking of the last statement with hugs, have you heard the new phenomenon about hugs recently sweeping the internet?"

"What? No. What is it?" The angry blondes' fiery tones eased off a bit and morphed softly into one of interest. 'Got him'

"Oh.. Oh my God!?" He put his obviously great acting skills to the test, I mean, no wonder Atsushi mistook his former profession as an actor. The crafty ADA member feigned the most convincing shock-horror he could, as he switched the phone to the opposite ear so he could slip on his shoe. "That recent studies show that hugs lasting longer than two minutes can reduce certain major illnesses?"

"What? N-no?"

"Seriously?! Write that down! Quick! Quick!"

Dazai switched the phone back to it's original position as he slipped on the remaining shoe, while silently smiling wryly to himself while Kunikida absolutely fell into his trap so easily. Pen scratching rashly against the infamous ideal book echoed from the other line. "Hugs...for…..more…..than….two….minutes…"

'Okay, Dazai, unless you don't want to be strangled when you go into the Agency, I'd say we should put him out of his misery…'

The brunette inhaled deeply, before exhaling with a long-awaited-

"I'm messing with you-"

*Snap*

To be honest, Dazai could permanently swear on the Bible itself that after the all-knowing horrific Kunikida-is-frustrated-snap-of-his-fourth-ideal-pen-this-week sound, the blonde Agency member's voice was so full of anger, you could probably catch the sheer dripping hostility in a glass. Well, Dazai, for one, would simply love to keep his hearing for a little while longer. So, before his dearest Kunikida could permanently deafen the detective for life, and probably crack his new phonemic in the process, his lean finger swiftly slid over the 'Hang Up' button.

'Hmm'

This was strange, however, if Dazai was quite honest with himself. Through all his years as an Armed Detective Agency member, he was next to almost never late. Usually, the bandaged brunette simply loved the option to arrive right before Kunikida every morning to set some form of diabolical plan on how to ruin the poor man's day, so he was always there early, and if not early, at least on time. And now, with a new half-boy, half-tiger subordinate under his wing at the minute, the man couldn't even afford to miss a day. He was never usually late, let alone this late.

It was strange.

'Quite strange.'

Fastening the last button on the shirt, the executive glanced up and into the reflective surface. His reflection stood proudly and uniform something that Dazai couldn't even recognize anymore. It was as if, this simply perfect resembling twin staring right back at him was a completely different person, waving at him from the alternate dimension inside the old charity shop mirror. The member's hair was as shaggy as it always was, messy, and a deep shade of brown lying unruly as if it had a completely independent mind of it's own on his head. A slim, tall build supported the reflections head, dressed in an attire of tan trousers as well as a muted blue pin-striped shirt. A waistcoat hugged that same torso while an emerald-turquoise jewel stood proudly in the same place you would probably expect a tie would usually be. The strange reflection's eyes stared right back at him, a dark, guarded chocolate brown.

"I wonder.. what secrets you're hiding…"

His question was mimicked right back at him and was answered with nothing but blissful silence.

Dazai decided to waste a couple more minutes of his borrowed time staring right back at himself in the mirror. He didn't understand, everything a human needed was here. Two eyes, a nose, a mouth, a relatively healthy body. Everything a person needed to live a normal life, a life the man yearned for, was right here. So, why..?

Why did he feel so….so empty?

'Hollow, empty, lacking in something.'

'….Something….'

Then again, Dazai Osamu had felt this way for as long as his infamous brain could remember. Always feeling a sense of lacking, being lost in a place where he couldn't be found, like all of his painted emotions were a sad facade and deep down, in his dark twisted demented soul, he hid who he truly was. There was no escape from one's past, that was inevitable. The past, like any other, was a time set in stone which cannot be erased, cannot be forgotten or altered.. so that's why the detective always tried to have the insight to move forward-

But, how can someone move forward when an unknown lacking piece of them is always dragging them back?

"Something…" Dazai mumbled incoherently to himself, or maybe to his reflection, either one meant the same. 'Maybe one day, I'll find that something..'

'Maybe..'

Then, the agent reminded himself how many times he has asked himself the same question. A question his mind shot down immediately and discarded somewhere in his brain.

'Because people who have committed grave sin don't have the will to move on..'

Dazai brushed a stray tendril of brown hair away from tickling his eye, silently hoping it will distract him from the dark voices in his head.

'It's their past…. that holds them back..'

The ADA member was numb to any pushing voices in his head at this point, as he heard it all before. Dazai's lungs heaved a deep, defeated sigh, slowly closing his eyes in the process.

'Something…'

'I had that dream again..'

'That same dream again… the very same one..'

'The dream…about..'

'Her.'

Ever so slowly, the brunette opened his eyes.

'Why… why does 'she' keep springing up in my subconscious every single goddamn night?'

Then, he snapped back to reality. 'Shoot- I'll be even later than I already am.."'

And God have mercy that his blonde-haired temper-whipped partner is in a dandy mood when he arrives at the Agency just so the bandaged boy can keep another few hours of his life to himself.

'Coat… coat?..'

Dazai began fumbling around the small bedroom, in search for his trusted trenchcoat he probably tossed off during whatever drunk shenanigans he had last night and now is playing a fantastic game of hide-and-seek. 'Under here-? No. There…? No..? Where in the hell is-'

Then, his lazy vision spotted it, lying in a worn crinkled mess beside one of the bedside lamps, taunting him and gesturing to just how good it is at playing hide-and-seek in the worst possible scenarios.

"Found you.."

And so easily too.

'Too bad finding my 'something' isn't as simple...'


Armed Detective Agency, at exactly 9:01 am


"Look who decided to stroll in, at long last-" Was the warm welcome Dazai was greeted with when he waltzed in through the doors of the office. Now, to be real, Kunikida was hardly standing there waiting with loving open arms for his co-worker.. believe me. The man would rather watch his precious ideal burn than hug Dazai any day of the week. But, Dazai was equally surprised when all he received was a sarcastic clipped tone. He had honestly thought the angry blonde was going to throttle him and choke the man out after his gaze landed on him walking through the door for that phone call, and his ideal pen...

This didn't stop Dazai from pushing his luck though.

"And, good morning to you Kunikida-kun.," Dazai emphasized the formal term in his name to make it sound like he was talking to a child, making poor Kunikida's eyebrow twitch slightly. "My my.. why the depressed mood all of a sudden?"

The aggravated idealist said nothing to Dazai's taunting, but instead tapped his foot impatiently with knotted eyebrows. Actually, come to think of it, the partners in crime were literally the only two people here at the moment, as there was literally no sign of the ADA… anywhere. Dazai took his time to shift his brown orbs behind the stoic statue in front of him as if to see if all the members were hiding behind the man or something. 'Now there's an idea..'

But there was no one, at all. No Ranpo boasting about how great he is and that no one will ever amount to his potential, no Atsushi running up to serve his superior first thing in the morning, no Yosano trying to scheme ways to get him injured just so she can perform her 'treatment'. Hell, there was even no sign of Tanizaki or Naomi running amuck after each other….either.

'Hm'

Dazai cocked an eyebrow at his livid colleague, who, by the looks of it, was testing to see if he could use the force and draw daggers into his chest right there and then.

"You're late.." Was all Kunikida decided to hiss.

"Yes, I know."

"You picked a fantastic day to decide to be late…" The man pinched the bridge of his nose while screwing his eyes shut. Those glasses of his were pushed all the way up into his neatly kept head of hair. They glinted magically in the warm morning sun as if they had the intent to blind the bandage wearing brunette for life.

He wouldn't be surprised if that was his motive, either.

"That's hardly fair Kunikida-kun.." Dazai pouted. "I can't choose what days my body wakes up at. Besides, I think I would love to know.. just where is everyone?"

Kunikida didn't answer straight away, but instead, heaved a very deep and stress-induced sigh, before glancing up at him. Those ice-blue eyes of his swirled with a foreign emotion. Like, a mixture of anxiety, fear, and stress merged into one, and Dazai, in all the years of working alongside the man had never, seen him look so un-composed and out of control. The very gesture made it quite clear to the detective that something was well and truly, definitely wrong.

"We have a situation.." Kunikida stated, fixing those glinting glasses onto the bridge of his nose once again. "And it's bad".

 

(Edited)

Chapter Text

"So, as you all know, a series of attacks have hit straight under the Bay Bridge-"

"You mean, the place where I met Atsushi-kun?"

"Yes. Don't interrupt me. Anyway, a series of serious incidents-"

"Now, how serious are we talking? Kunikida-kun is tied to a railway and could be blown up in the next seven seconds type serious…..or, something as minor as Kunikida-kun's ideal being ripped apart type serious?"

"You bastard- That situation is the most-! er….*ahem*-. Anyway, a very high level of seriousness. The population of Yokohama could be in danger, level seriousness. Now, shut up and listen to me blockhead!"

"Okay, okay.."

"As I was saying, the situation at hand-"

"On your hand, Kunikida-kun? Forgive my eyesight if I'm mistaken, but the only thing I see in your hands is a marker that you're currently coming towards me a bit too fastly with.."

"You-!"

"Enough, both of you!"

The President of the ADA barked out at the two polar opposites currently at each other's necks, while the rest of the Agency sighed contently at their behavior. Not that anyone would blame them, however, they were unfortunately used to the blonde and brunette turning the office into their personal hell-zone every day. Kunikida paused midway in his attempt to absolutely ransack his mortal enemies face with the trusted black marker, one leg propped up on top of the chair while he had Dazai's tan trench-coat punched up in his strong grip. Atsushi looked mildly uncomfortable as he tried to scoot his chair out of their line of fire, while President Fukuzawa glared testing daggers at the two.

"Excuse me, I apologize for losing my temper." Kunikida addressed politely, releasing Dazai from his grip and stalking back over to the board. Dazai, being him, silently scowled at his partner but decided to listen in to the supposed 'meeting' nonetheless, because let's be real if all the people died in Yokohama because the ADA, then how could the executive ever commit a clean, perfect suicide?

'I can't, that's what. My suicide has to be clean, and not a burden or disturbance to others. Because, if it is, it defeats every morale I've ever lived by.'

"Proceed.." The graying president nodded, while Atsushi visibly relaxed at the sudden tension billowing out of the room, his purple-yellow eyes softened slightly as they had been alert and sharp-as-a-cat's moments prior. Well, then again, the boy is half tiger. Kunikida straightened up like a pin-straight statue all of a sudden, probably to try to make an impression for being in the company of someone superior to him. Dazai took a mental note to tease him about it later.

'Just..not now.' Because, believe me, the suicidal maniac had a wide range of ways he would be happy to kill himself, but being impaled by a marker in the hands of his co-worker was definitely not one of them.

The whole Armed Detective Agency was currently gathered in the meeting room for this important and supposedly emergent and urgent situation, including the almighty President Fukuzawa and his secretaries. The infamous detective Edogawa Ranpo was barely listening to what his colleague was saying, and was a lot more interested in a marble-stuck-in-a-glass game currently filling the room with silent clinks of glass on glass, his feet propped up lazily on the desk. The Doctor of the Agency was also here, Yosano Akiko, and was listening pretty intently to what the idealist had to say, her pin-straight violet hair glistened elegantly in the morning Japanese sunlight. The siblings, Naomi and Tanizaki Junichirou both were staring up at Kunikida anxiously, sitting so close to each other that you couldn't even fit a hair in between them. The youngest in the Agency, Miyazawa Kenji was twiddling his thumbs in the corner, and probably, no, definitely not listening to all this negative news about the beloved town at all. He's more of a….'Everything'll be okay!' type of person. And lastly, the newest member of the Armed Detective Agency, Nakajima Atsushi, sat staring with so much enthusiasm in his eyes at the whiteboard Kunikida was currently drawing a map of Yokohama on….

And, if his partner could offer some input, it was beginning to look like a poor drawing of a child's dollhouse at the minute than anything else. 'I'm surprised anyone can even understand where he's pointing..'

But that's why Dazai chose him, Atsushi, not Kunikida. An orphan with a soul striving to live, a burning passion in his hunger-pained body and let's not forget his powerful ability. But that's not why Dazai decided to take him under his wing. No, but in a way, the executive saw a portion of himself in the young boy's eyes, strangely. Someone who was desperately trying to survive in this world, but unlike him, the orphan looked like he was fighting with every ounce, every fur on his other bodies back, to stay alive and live a fulfilled life. That's why Dazai chose him.

'He has the sole thing I lack'

'A will to live on'

'A burning passion to make another day count in this world.'

" - and here is where Team B will enter. Hey, blockh- *ahem*. I mean, Dazai did you hear me?"

The brunette dragged his pondering gaze from his subordinate up to Kunikida, who honestly looked too perfectly composed yet on the verge of erupting like a molten volcano or a strained balloon on the verge of exploding, but nobody could tell when. He knew, he just knew that he wouldn't snap at him again right in front of his beloved president and teacher, so Dazai being Dazai, he decided to utilize this situation to his utmost advantage.

"I'm sorry, Kunikida-kun, but from all your strange pointing and spastically drawn map that I can't really read at the moment with my obviously great eyesight-" The very close to strangling the brunette Kunikida's jaw began to work, while Yosano rolled her eyes beside him. "- could you explain the whole thing again, please?"

A breached silence enveloped the two, before Kunikida sighed a long, deep sigh, probably in an attempt to calm the ablaze fire in his eyes, before whirling around to the map and began reciting what he had just said again. Atsushi could have honestly sworn he was muttering a low prayer under his breath too, but maybe he was mistaken.

"The military has given this case to us-" The livid blonde stated in frustrated letters. "Because we're dealing with an ability user or supernatural entity, we don't know-"

"Uhm, Kunikida-san?" A wavery voice interrupted the two.

"What is it, brat?"

"Could it not have been the Port Mafia? You know with all their ability users on their side?"

"No." Dazai was the one to answer, even though he was 'Not supposed to know what's going on because he wasn't listening'. Atsushi turned to him in surprise, and so did the rest of the table. Heck, even Ranpo had tilted his head up in mild interest at the bandage-wrapped member. "If the Port Mafia were to do something as extraordinary as going on a killing spree, the least they would do is clean up their own mess. The last thing an illegal organization would want is to bring undeclared attention to themselves."

"Exactly." For once, Kunikida had agreed with his partner, wheeling back around to his drawing and deciding to continue. "As that idi- ...er….my partner, just said, it can't be the Port Mafia. And, of course, the only other organization with ability users in this town is us, the Armed Detective Agency so we're dealing with something out of our hands here."

Dazai found himself humming faintly in thought, an old habit of his. 'Another ability user?'

'Well, that doesn't sound as bad as I thought it would. Sure, Atsushi-kun was a lost orphan unaware of his ability before we found him..'

"What's the casualties then?" Dazai spoke up in mild interest, his thoughts spilling out over his tongue. "For all we know, this person could be lost and confused about what they have and just need someone to guide them-" Atsushi visibly shifted in his seat, suddenly feeling uncomfortable at the attention drawing to him.

The room fell silent.

"There have been seventeen casualties in total so far. All seventeen have been pronounced dead. So, if you want to label someone who is currently hitching a killing spree as a lost young boy who doesn't know what they are, be my guest." Kunikida spat, the very statement looked as if it left a sour taste in his mouth, while Atsushi squirmed slightly again.

Yosano clicked her tongue, knitting her eyebrows deeply. "How? What type of injuries did they obtain? Were they stabbed? Shot?"

"None, that's the problem. The forensics came back saying that each person who died suffered no other injuries or evidence that they passed externally."

The doctor fell silent, staring at a seemingly interesting spot on the table as if she was trying to configure a calculus maths equation of some sort. "So you're meaning to tell me, they all died of heart-attacks?"

"We don't know, the lab is still running tests on the deceased."

Quiet murmurs filled the room, while Kenji sighed inwardly and proceeded to pick straws out from his hat, an old habit of comfort the boy has had since he left home. "Sounds like something from a manga.."

"Anyway…" Kunikida decided to continue, shifting those calculating steel eyes around the table landing on each member individually. "After talking with the President, we've decided to go to the site head on in teams of two. Team A, will be me and Tanizaki. We will enter the site first and see if there is still any sort of danger present."

Tanizaki nodded firmly up at his superior before his sibling decided to latch onto his arm with a protective yet gleeful stare in those grey eyes of hers. "Wherever brother goes Naomi will go too!"

"N-n-Naomi! Not here!"

"Huh? What's with that tone you're taking with me~?"

"Anyway, So that's Team A. Team B will be the brat here and you over there-" He nodded to Dazai. "You will both enter around the back perimeter and scour the area there. Team C, will be Yosano and Kenji, you will deal with any more wounded and get them out of there as fast as you can. Ranpo?"

"Hm?" The detective hummed with his eyes closed, tapping the table in a rhythmic beat. Supposedly he had solved his little game and now was highly bored again, as the glass jar and the (your eye color, you'll see why) marble glowed iridescently in the sunlight beside it. Something that Dazai was currently paying too much attention to.

He looked up, and in the midst of doing so, he could see someone. The woman, who the voice belonged to, was staring down at him with the most worry-filled eyes he could ever lay his gaze on. Even through his muddle gaze, still, one word echoed in the walls of his brain.

'Beautiful…'

Your eyes. They were entrancing, captivating, and a simply beautiful shade of (e/c). They seemed to glow behind the dim twilight hue of the setting sun, completely dazzling and pooling with glittering specks of light that made the executive feel completely at ease altogether.

'They're beautiful. Her eyes are beautiful.'

'Huh.. such a sight I got to see... is a privilege..'

"You already know what your job is I'm sure?" Dazai had zoned back into the voices again, flitting his daydreaming gaze away from the glittering marble rolling beside the man Kunikida was currently still inquiring.

"Mhm. I'm staying here and helping the President with security because I'm the only one that can do it and nobody could take on a job so great! It will take a long time before any of you match up to my greatness…. Especially you Kunikida-san."

"You're right there. I will never amount to someone like you... Great, so everyone else clear?"

'Wait for a second..' A sudden inquiry sprung is Dazai's quick-witted mind.

"What does this user look like?"

Atsushi had now taken his place beside his superior, as Kunikida suddenly looked taken aback but gained posture immediately.

"It's not confirmed yet.. but many witnesses have said that they have spotted a young woman in the area all matching the same description. So, look out for any females at the site that look disheveled and out of order."

"Yessir!" Atsushi remarked with a spike in the back of his voice, while Dazai took one last glance at the glittering marble still sitting on the table. It was as if it was coaxing him, taunting him for an unknown reason, maybe for knowing a meaning that he did not.

'Hmm, a female ability user.. huh?'

The bandaged brunette walked briskly out of the meeting room now enveloped in the sound of scraping chairs and tapping feet. Atsushi followed close behind as a wry smile slipped its way onto his lips, and a ballet of excited butterflies erupted in the pit of his stomach.

'I wonder if she will commit double suicide with me?'


You didn't know what had happened.

Oh God, what had you just done?

You stared down at your shaking hands, breathing heavy and erratic in your ears as your (e/c) eyes began blurring the very color of your skin into a mass of merging blobs and white splotches.

You couldn't recall what had happened, one minute you had been walking to the nearest train station on the way to leave the very town of Yokohama when you remember feeling distant. The next thing you knew, you had people rushing over to you asking a myriad of fumbled words like "Are you okay?" and "Do you need an ambulance?". You were clutching the railing of the nearest bench, while you remember someone rushing to try and help you sit down.

A boy, through blurring vision and rushing blood, you could make out a boy. And you're going to say 'boy' because he was young, maybe sixteen years old young, as a uniform hugged his body and a satchel slung over his shoulders. He had taken time out of his morning to help you get down on the bench, while he reached into his bag to reveal a bottle of water to hand it to you. You could remember his face, oh and his eyes. They were so kind, so young, warm and innocent. Your vision blurred even more violently as you remembered the kind, loving hazel eyes with the sole will to help you no matter what it took.

Then you had blacked out.

And now you're standing at a bank under a large bridge, beside a long stretch of river and some summer dew grass sticking to your ankles. The boy, the same young schoolboy who had helped you get down on the bench and held you firmly upright when nobody would lay before you. Still. Unmoving. Completely lifeless and rag-doll like against the soft damp grass the soaked through his blazer. His hazel eyes didn't hold nearly as much warmth as before, as they were glazed over and darkened, completely zapped from before as if someone had sucked the soul right out of his body,

He lay here before you. Not breathing or moving.

Completely and utterly.

Dead.

You couldn't breathe, nevermind being able to think. Your head had been pounding with rushing liquid while you took in the sight before you. 'He's dead. ha….He's dead! I killed him…. I ….I killed…'

The wind picked up, rushing past your cheeks and making your senses hyper-aware of everything happening around you. In a panic, or in a daze, you spun around frantically as if you sensed a dark presence about to pat you appraisingly on the back when.

'Oh…..Hah… ha'

You would have rathered Death itself to be behind you to tap you on the shoulder and appraise you for doing his work than the sight that had greeted you vision right there and then.

There was more.

You didn't just have the liberty of taking the young boy's life, taking his very future from him. You counted, ever so painstakingly slowly, the number of lifeless souls lying behind your shaking form.

'One…'

A woman, a young woman who looked just like she had graduated from high school, lay upright on the grass. Her styled ginger locks shone elegantly in the morning sun, and by the looks of it, they were the only elements full of life in her still, peaceful body. Her attire looked like it was dressed to impress, and you had to choke down a sob thinking that the young girl was probably dressed up to go for her first job interview or her first day of college. Such bright, enthusiastic eyes, were now nothing but dull and lost soulless gems, staring at nothing up in the sky above,

'...T-Two….'

A suited man lay behind her, not far off. His deep brown yet graying hair was sticking to the grass full of moisture, and you silently thanked the stars that the tendrils hid his eyes that were glazed unfairly against his will. He probably had a wife, had kids and a successful job too, earning his keep for another day to support his loving family. You couldn't bear to take any more, facing away from the two souls you had just ripped away in a blacked out blur.

The wind kicked up again, ruffling the blonde locks of the school boy's hair on his limp head. You couldn't think, or comprehend what had happened. But if there was one thing that your sick, twisted, dark and demented soul could count on, was that;

You're a monster.

A rueful, demonic, disgusting monster.

'I should have never come back.'

'I should have never come back to this town. I should have stayed away. I should have stayed well... Well away..!'

Tears were slipping down your face now as you collapsed to your knees, feeling the soft damp grass soak mildew through your clothes. The boy, this young, loving boy, had his future taken away right from him. He was probably an amazing son, and an even better brother. His family would probably be waiting for him to arrive home today, his plate and spot at the dinner table saved, his sister eagerly waiting for her big brother to help her with her homework. But he won't return. The seat will now always be empty, the sister will grow up always waiting for her brother to walk in through the door.

But he never will.

He will always be gone.

You ran a shaking hand over the boy's face, and then his hair, Christ even his skin felt like rock cold stone to the touch.

"I'm sorry…" You managed to whimper ever so slowly, trying to reassure yourself that he could hear you. "I'm sorry….I'm so..so sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry….I'm s-sorry….I-"

'I'm sorry for taking you away…'

'I'm sorry that you tried to be a good person…'

'I'm sorry…'

'I'm sorry….for being…..me'

"Just around here! Come on and keep up with me!"

"Sorry….Kunikida-san! Hah…..You have…..long legs!"

The sharp voice cut through your pity party, making your stomach drop and tears completely dry up. They were close, both of them were. Dangerously close, and to be honest, you were surprised they couldn't even see the sins you have committed at all with how clear their octaves were.

'You don't deserve to run!'

'Stay! Attone for what you have done!'

You began to feel the burst of adrenaline in your veins once again, each part of your body felt as if a liquid fire was running through your veins. You were torn, standing on a knife's edge, between running away from your sins like you always do and staying, being caught in your dirty act and going to the secluded place you belong.

Secluded. If you were locked up, you couldn't hurt anybody anymore.

'If I let myself be caught I could rid myself of this world..'

"Kunikida-sa...hah….-n! W-wait!"

Closer. Closer. They were so very close.

Stay.

Run.

Stay!

Run!

You found yourself glancing back down at the boy, his hazel eyes seemed to be bottomless as you run one more long, lingering stroke across his head.

"Around here, come on quickly Tanizaki.."

You began to straighten, picking up every muscle fiber in your body and willing it with burning passion to work. Work with you one last time.

"Hey...Hey Miss! Are you okay?" A voice boomed at a short distance from behind you.

"I'm sorry…"

"Miss! Please stay there! Are you hurt in any way?"

You straightened up, and in a split second, you were moving. In a blur, you were dashing. Where? You didn't know. Why? Because you were a coward.

You were afraid.

You were fearful.

Because you were a coward.

"Miss! Hey! We order you to stop right there!" A harsher, strict voice rang out after you, sounding more distant and blurred by the fading minute.

You bounded. Ran. Dashed into a fading nothingness. A mess of grass and water was the only thing you could make out in the short trek you were performing.

"I'm sorry…"

"So..very sorry…"


"Hey, Ow...Watch it!"

"...Ng...Hey!"

Passerby after passerby, you knocked into them dead on. And with sour looks, and maybe a few sly remarks, you still bounded on. Nothing mattered anymore, and quite frankly, you didn't have the will to even care anymore. Somehow, after quite a length of time, you managed to lose the two voices that were behind you, you didn't even know how. Everyone on this street was giving you strange looks, and you wouldn't blame them. A disheveled looking girl with burning tears and crazy wild (e/c) eyes running rancid in the street? Who wouldn't look at someone with such disgust and strangeness?

That was a good thing.

'Please don't approach me.'

'Please.'

'I don't want to hurt anyone else!'

"Gah! What the hell?!"

'Just keep running,'

"Hey! Get back here!"

'No more!'

You needed to get inside, and you knew that more than anybody else. Away from people, away from everything else! You just couldn't bear to hurt another person. The young boy's image, his warm eyes and smiling face burned back into your eyes, and you let the now overflowing tears fall freely down your face, dropping in droplets past your swift posture and glinting in the sunlight.

A tight hold grabbed you by the arm, stopping you dead in your tracks.

"Hey! What the hell's wrong with you, who gave you the right to bash into me!? Huh?! Speak up, you bitch!"

'Please….no'.

The whole street had cleared a little circle of seclusion around the two of you, while you felt every tingling cell in your tainted body prickle with cold undying fear.

You whipped around towards your capture, breathing feeling as if it was through straw and heart rate going so fast you honestly were surprised it didn't jump out of your own chest. The man was slightly elderly, but only bordering the line. His hair as almost all gray, with a receding hairline, while those dark blue tired eyes lit up with fury. But, when he saw you, you swear to god the man would have looked equally as frightened if he saw a ghost or dog with seven heads.

Your features were pale and some sickly looking hues of white scrunched and contorted in sheer utter fear. Your (e/c) eyes were wide and bulging, glittering tears pooling like waterfalls out of them. You were shaking, visibly and mentally. Everything was collapsing, closing in and you couldn't breathe. The man's eyes went wide, while he gripped your arm tighter for a slight moment. Maybe he was too scared to let go?

"Please….." You wavered, every single syllable shook, making a few curious heads turn in your direction. " For the sake of your life… please...let me go…"

The man's grip didn't cease, however, probably because he doesn't look like the type that likes to be ordered around.

"I don't want to hurt you too…"

The old man assessed you, a look that looked as if he was speaking to an insane patient before he completely snatched his arm away and backed away very...very...slowly. All eyes were on you now, all the murmurs, the shouts, the walls… were closing in.

'Run! Run! Run!'

And you did.

You stumbled. Legs burning and feet actually pounding with pain through every stride, passed all the stares. All the shouts. Away. 'Get away!'

You ran for so long, honestly, you couldn't keep up as the streets became narrower, and the people became less dense after some time. But when you did manage to stop, it was in a building. Wait, when the hell did you get inside a building? When did you run through a pair of doors in a blur, and end up in an actual building?

You whipped around, scanning for any type of life, but, to your utmost relief, you found out that the large area was barren. You allowed everything to come back into focus, doubling over and taking a deep breath….in…..and out…

'There's nowhere you will belong!'

In…...and out….

'Just die!'

In…..out….in

'Die! Die! DIE! DIE!'

You straighten up, heck you couldn't even cry anymore. You didn't deserve to cry anymore. The open area was cozy and secluded, with a stairway and a little sign above, which you had to squint your blurring vision to see.

"Armed Detective Agency" It read in glittering gold, and underneath, "Agency for Specially Gifted,"

"Agency…. For specially….gifted…?'

As in, they're the famous organization with each member harboring an ability? You had heard about such a mysterious group, but by god, you never even thought they existed. Let alone right in this very town too?

'Could….they help...me?...'

 

(Edited)

Chapter Text

"Yes, a female, a female… for sure. Long (h/c) hair, mainly disheveled and thrown up in an updo…. Yes, yes. No, we couldn't get a visual of her features… no. Uhm… her clothing? Uh.. From what I recall, she was dressed in a ripped shirt, with a darkly hooded shawl covering her body that reached the ankles. If the police caught her first, we could question her if needed there - Hey. Ranpo?...Are you listening-? What? NoWith my utmost respect, I can simply not stop by the market in a situation such as this to pick you up a french vanilla cak-! Oh….Uhm. Certainly yes. My apologies. Thank you, give my regards to the President. Yes. Okay… Bye-"

The soft summer breeze swept across the dewed grass as Kunikida clipped his phone shut, a little harder than he normally would - maybe due to a biting frustration creeping up the back of his neck. The blonde clicked his tongue loudly, making the rookie police officer beside him shake slightly with intimidation.

He had let her get away!

"Did you get all of that?" He had snapped at the young officer, making him fumble his pen slightly in his grasp, before scratching another word hastily down on the clipboard. "Y-yes! Yes, sir!"

Poor guy.

After the two colleagues had practically run a marathon and a half to try to catch the suspected female - and inevitably lost her in the process -Kunikida's mood was very, very far from being chirpy. Being behind on his schedule was one thing, but losing a particular danger who could potentially bring some more undeserving lives down to their end was on a whole different caliber by itself. It also definitely didn't help Tanizaki's case that the reason they didn't get their hands on the culprit was that he had stumbled slightly over a rock and went crashing headfirst into the damp grass, so he had chosen - and chosen quite wisely on his part - to stay away from his superior for as long as he could at the moment, pretending to help another officer with description check a few meters away.

Kunikida's sharp molten steel eyes scanned the scene where the incidents had occurred, a familiar tugging annoyance knotting deep in the member's stomach. Pray, when he had returned to the site after losing his destination, (That was, after kicking a few undeserving trashcans on his way, while cussing out Tanizaki the following rest), he was almost never prepared to see the undeserved life taken away from them. Ever. He would never get used to the sight of lifeless people, lying peaceful and still as if they were just in a deep sleep of their own when really they will never use any muscle or cell in their body ever again. Especially when one of the victims were only a schoolboy and one woman may be being the age of himself. It was utterly disgusting to the agent and went against every ideal the man had ever believed in. No person should ever have to die such an undeserving death, and everyone in the Agency knew this about him.

He simply couldn't forgive whatever person had done this, and the blonde will simply not rest until he has found, bound, and locked up such a horrific soul. Even if he has to go to such drastic measures as altering his ideal for the next week, or even month, he will do it.

And when Kunikida Doppo makes up his mind about something, then nothing but probably God could ever stop him from following through with it until the very end.

 

"Listen, Kunikida.." His slowly graying teacher had placed his hand on the teenager's shoulder, who was currently scribbling down notes about the recent events taken place in downtown Yokohama city, practically copying and pasting every single word the young news reporter was blaring through the T.V set into a notebook. When he felt his superior address his name, he froze stoic inattention.

"Yes, sir?"

His teacher was silent for a couple of moments, those intelligent eyes glued with mild interest mixed with dripping distaste at the television. His grip on his student's shoulder, however, didn't falter.

"You do, understand, that there is a lot of evil in this city?"

Kunikida was quiet for a while, probably astounded at such a strange statement that he had already been taught, from his teacher. And, had experienced first hand as well.

"Yes, sir."

"How does that make you feel?"

The young student was silent for a few moments, contemplating his next answer to be a seemingly correct one for his superior, but his mind drew black while his pen dripped a slight, dark drop of ink onto the page, creating an ugly splotch of dark pigment. His soft innocent eyes glanced back up at the news report, displaying a bright and obnoxious headline of "Yokohama Terror! Twelve Dead, Fifteen Wounded in Downtown Massacre!" in a blurring mess of white letters.

"...Frustrated…"

"Frustrated?" His marveled teacher answered with intrigued tones, tightening his firm grip on his students grip a slight bit further. "And why does it make you feel so?

Again, it took a while for Kunikida's young mind to answer, as the T.V displayed rather extreme images of an absolutely ransacked area downtown. A once elegant park filled to the brim with cherry blossoms that sparkled in an evening glow, crystal clear lakes once thriving with fish of all colors and wildlife was now unrecognizable. Each trunk of the trees was veiled with bullet holes, as the leaves even looked duller. The once transparent lake was clouded with a murky red color, while a brighter crimson liquid formed puddles along the walkway. The place that was once somewhere the young man loved to visit was now a barren wasteland.

"Because….. I want… to protect it.."

"Protect whom?" The people?" A wind had swept up through the set and Kunikida watched as a clump of the brilliant blossoms were torn right from their limp branches. "Or.. the city?"

"Both."

His teacher hummed in agreement, and a sense of pride bloomed in the young boy's stomach - completely brimming with satisfaction that his teacher had rendered his answer a good one.

The two, teacher and student, sat in some more heavy silence. The dark ink splotch was getting bigger and bigger by the minute on his page full with notes as more ink began to drip onto the previously made spot.

"Kunikida Doppo.." A sudden stern statement had made Kunikida's stomach grow a pair of wings and fly right out into his throat. He had snapped his head up to a pair of dark gray eyes staring right down at him, and a grip full of some promise on his shoulder still not faltering.

The young yet retired teacher regarded his disciple with an assessing gaze, full of pride and serenity. His student, even at a young age of nineteen, had turned out to have learned much more and blossomed into a better young man that he had ever hoped for.

"Will you, do the honor of joining me in an act to protect this town and it's citizens?"

Kunikida's eyes crossed, puzzled, while a look of nervousness mirrored what he was feeling deep inside on his features. "Sir I don't underst-"

"Would you be willing to join me, in an organization that dedicates itself to protecting the people of this town?"

The young blonde stared up in bafflement at his superior. His teacher. His idol. And more of a damn Father than his biological one could ever be to him. His stone-grey eyes widened slowly at such a proposal, while his lips opened partially ready to give an answer that was like an automatic switch in his brain.

"Yes, Fukuzawa-sensei!"

His teacher smiled down at his formal address, a soft yet proud smile that warmed the glow spreading across his wise face.

"Well then.." He had removed his grip on his, now member's shoulder before straightening up slightly. "I welcome you, Kunikida Doppo, as the second member of the Armed Detective Agency. An organization that I hope will devote its heart and soul to protecting the people and city of Yokohama. Are you sure you're up for it?"

"Yes, Sir!"

 

Kunikida scowled inwardly at himself as he watched as the last body was hauled up on a stretcher and carted away as if it held no meaning at all.

''I'm sorry, Sensei…'

'I couldn't protect them.'

"Hey, uhm…. Kunikida Doppo. Right?"

The executive whirled around at the sudden address of his full name, when he was met with a slightly tired and stressed out middle-aged police officer, and judging by his badge, he was more than likely the chief of the group.

"Yes. What is it?"

The police officer extended his hand in a polite yet formal gesture, looking slightly taken aback when Kunikida obliged and shook his hand in a firm grip. "Chief officer here. I'm currently leading the case.."

"Kunikida Doppo, as you already know. An agent of the ADA."

"Ah yes, the Armed Detective Agency, tell me, how's Ranpo-san doing?"

"Fine, fine. Boastful yet quick-witted as always. Anyway, what do you want? I'm on a tight schedule right now and am really not in the mood for small talk if that's what you're here for."

"Oh no, not at all.." The Chief officer shook his head, before retrieving something from his bag and handing it out to the member. Kunikida took, what seemed to look like a file of sorts, out of his hands and inspected it closely. Each photo in the file made his stomach turn once again with the same all-knowing frustrated feeling as the Chief officer stated the very words he had already figured out.

"It's the records of the deceased… so far.." The blonde cringed as he slipped passed the school-students' file, not bearing to read nor look at his smiling, and a quite alive face. "Tch, I know. Anything else?" Kunikida had now folded the enclosed file tightly and stuffed it in is back pocket - he'd examine it in more detail later- before focusing most of his sharp attention span back onto the officer, and a whopping 65% of it at that. And believe me, from Kunikida Doppo, that is a whole lot. Where the other 35% had been, only God could ever know.

"Ah yes.." The Chief piped, a look of recognition flashing across his dull brown eyes. "The description of the female, you said she was pretty (y/height), (h/c) hair that was untidy and pulled up and wearing a dark shawl?"

"Yes.. what about it?"

"Well.. we've got several witness reports that the same female that fits the description pretty well has been spotted running in a frenzy through the inner-city. She was described to be a young woman who was 'out of control' and 'weirdly approached'...according to the reports."

Kunikida almost sprang out of his skin at the sudden breakthrough of information, and to be exactly honest, he would have taken off right there and then - hauling his ginger-haired partner right after him if it weren't for the Chief Officer holding him back. Literally. The man had wrapped an arm around Kunikida's forearm, obviously, he had got the expression that the Agent would try run off the minute he gave him such information.

"Hey- Hn...What? Why are you holding me up when I could literally have the killer's throat through my hands before she gets away?!"

"That's the point!" The Officer was struggling against Kunikida's strong pull, fighting with every ounce of training and adrenaline to fumble out of the Officer's grip on his arm at once. "The- ow! The higher ups have said to bring her in once piece to them. Alive!"

Like hell he was!

'I won't find any form of satisfaction until I see that begotten woman get what she deserves!'

"Fine-fine! Okay! Just- agh!- let me go! The more you hold me here- the m-more the blasted women gets away! Alive or not I'll bring her to justice! And that's a promise!"

The officer regarded the ablaze blonde with some form of confusion, before nodding his head firmly and letting him go immediately. Presumably, the man doesn't really care what happened to the girl himself as long as she is taken off of the streets, he would be satisfied enough. Both males had a mutual agreement with their eyes, before nodding curtly once again and storming off in opposite direction.

"Tanizaki!"

Tanizaki was still so-called 'helping' the officer around at the river bank, so it wasn't a surprise when the poor boy went stark white and almost next to fell into the river of Yokohama when his partner yelled his name so loudly that the ADA over the other side of town probably heard it too.

"Y-y-yes?"

"Come on!" Kunikida boomed over the officers, making Tanizaki bee-line in a shaky manner towards him. "There have been witnesses of the female in the inner-city district, so if we run, we can make it-"

"W-wait!" Tanizaki was struggling to keep up with him again. "Isn't that where the Agency is near?"

"Yes.." Kunikida was already dialing something on his phone and holding it up to his ear through long swift strides. "- that's why I'm telling the others to head back to the Agency. Hopefully one of the idiots bump into the women on their way -"

'Hopefully….'

'No! They have to! They must!'

"Woah.." The ginger-haired agent hummed in awe, now jogging beside his executive. "Kunikida-san, you're so smart!"

"Shut up, you idiot. Count your lucky stars you're not currently face down in the river right now for that stunt you pulled back there!"

Tanizaki visibly sweatdropped but kept storming ahead with his partner nonetheless and silently hoping he'll survive this to see Naomi once again tonight. "Yes sir!"


"Atsushi-kun, how about we at least try it?"

"No, Dazai-san."

"But, it will be fun! I guarantee!"

"No, Dazai-san."

"But-"

"I am not jumping off that bridge with you in order for you to have the perfect suicide, Dazai-san!"

"Awh.." Dazai silently whined beside his subordinate, while Atsushi looked as if he would have rathered he freaking starved all those months ago under the Yokohama bridge, judging by the dead and totally done with life look in his multi-colored, hooded eyes. Dazai stretched both arms above his head, before glancing over at the were-tiger in a fond yet playful way, a wry smirk tugging at one end of his mouth.

"Hm... I wouldn't call it 'perfect'. A perfect suicide for me would have to be committed in the company of a beautiful woman. But, I wouldn't mind dying alongside one of my companions, it would be a…. What word will I use? 'Adequate' suicide..."

Atsushi glared up at his superior in a way that any person would feel dumb if they met the same gaze, although not Dazai. Because Dazai, as Kunikida put it nicely, was a 'special and highly unique type of person'... and Atsushi, at the moment, couldn't agree with such a statement more.

"Yes, well… I don't think I'd be the right person to fulfill your 'adequate' suicide, Dazai-san. Maybe ask Kunikida-san. He might fulfill your wish…"

"Hmm.. let's not.." Dazai clicked his tongue. "I think that wouldn't be a double suicide, but probably a homicide on his part, Atsushi-kun."

"Uh-huh. Oh, look. It's around here-"

The superior and subordinate, yet both agents of the ADA rounded the small street corner and was met with, first, some blinding Japanese setting sunlight. The rays cast a shadowy palette of hues in pink and yellow across the summer sky, and even though beautiful - was not seen by either of the two. For the reason that both the members had to shield their eyes to keep them in working order for the next few hours at least. Atsushi groaned, muttering something about how the 'orphanage was never this bright', while Dazai simply covered one eye with a bandaged laden hand, and peeped up at the twilight sky with the other.

'Truly beautiful..'

The river of Yokohama lay twinkling and dancing with the reflective colors of the sky, while the bridge cast a dark shadow over the majority of the dew riddled grass. Somehow, to both of them, the whole setting felt peaceful, and kind of…. Nostalgic.

"Hey, Atsushi-kun?"

"Ng.Y-yes?" The tiger was still rubbing his sensitive eyes.

"It looks like the same evening when we met each other, doesn't it?"

The were-tiger, after he was finished assaulting his eyes with his fist, glanced up at the blurry picture - and immediately was reminded of the days he had spent there. On the bank, hungry, cold and quite frankly, simply lost in this begotten town. And it was true, it did look just like the evening they had met each other, and let's not forget Kunikida too. The very day when the orphan's life had changed for the better, or maybe worse. He had yet to find out, but for the main part, maybe something good will come out of it.

"Huh… it does.."

*Buzz* *Buzz*

"Hm?" Atsushi's ears picked up the vibration before the supposed phone had time to ring, while he glanced over at his superior.

*Buzz* *Buzz*

"Huh...It's Kunikida.." Dazai mumbled pulling out the flashing device and holding it up against his ear, while Atsushi gazed up at his partner in mild interest, the yellow in his eyes twinkling slightly with the sunlight.

"Hell-?"

"Idiot, listen to me-"

'Ah classic Kunikida, never allowing me to finish my sentence'.

"What? Did you catch the criminal already?"

Kunikida hissed lowly on the other line, 'Hm, maybe I struck a nerve?' "No, she…. She got away from us.."

"Woah.. really? My, my, Kunikida-kun, how inconsiderate of you. How did you let her go so easily?" Dazai had sung in a sing-song voice, slipping into the current routine of annoying his partner to no end, even if it was on an important, life-or-death mission. His thoughts, however, were elsewhere.

'So it is a woman, after all..'

"I swear when I get my- Oh, I'm sorry Miss… please excuse my language - Anyway, Blockh- I mean, Dazai. Yes, she got away from us. And yes, it was inconsiderate, but we need you to do something."

"What is it?"

"Head back to the Agency."

"Wait, what? Why-?"

*Boop* *Boop* *Boop*

The agent slowly took the beeping device away from his ear, a slight displeased scowl buried in that face of his. "He hung up on me.."

"What? Why? What...did he say?" Atsushi was fiddling with the strap of his suspenders, calculating, but failing to do so, the situation eyes searching Dazai lit with sunlight face.

'Hung up. On me? Well, that was rude wasn't it?'

"Dazai-san?"

"He said.." Dazai grumbled disdainfully, pretending to look as composed as he could but really he was plotting ways in which he could make his partner's week a living walking hell zone. Not that he was particularly offended that his co-worker had hung up on him, but more so he liked having a reason to annoy the man by all means possible. "That we should go back to the Agency.."

"Heh!? But we walked all the way here! Do they have the criminal? Why are you-"

"No questions, Atsushi-kun… Dazai-san has to think.." The executive whooshed him off as the began making their way back down the street in which they came, the Yokohama sunlight casting shadows along the ground of their moving bodies.

"Oh… sorry." Atsushi apologized sheepishly, retreating to mute as he let his superior do his thing, obviously thinking he was scheming some 'master plan' on how to catch the culprit in a sneaky yet unique ADA style way. Yes! That had to be what he was pondering so hard.

Boy, if only he knew.

'Huh...' Dazai's eyes sparkled with shimmering brown, lost in deep mischief induced thought. 'Maybe I could start with his ideal?'


*Knock* *Knock* *Knock*

You rapped on the door of this supposed 'Agency' with a soft fist, hoping that you didn't sound too urgent yet, you didn't want to sound too relaxed either. Truth be told, you were desperate, hell you were boarder lining getting down on your knees and begging these people to help you in some way at the moment it was honestly unbelievable. You stared with wide panicked eyes at the clouded glass of the office door, not sensing nor hearing any movements whatsoever on the other side.

'Oh, God… what if they're not here?'

'Or… they could just not hear me…'

Your whole body was shaking as you could even hear every intake of breath through your eardrums, but even so, you lifted another fist to the door. It was shaking like a yard pole in a violent hurricane, sure, but you decided to try again with the knocking one last time.

*Knock* *Knock* *Knock*

Silence.

You waited some more, counting as the seconds dragged on into minutes, and even worse, not to mention your damn heart-beat accelerating into a freaking steam-powered train simultaneously!

No answer.

'Crap-crap-crap-crap!'

What will you do now? You couldn't even extract a measly little thought from your fried-out brain, heck you couldn't even take the liberty to stand without swaying slightly at the moment either. No one was answering, and if these people who specialize in the supernatural turn their backs to you, then who could you go to?

No one.

You were alone again.

Well, come to think of it… haven't you always been alone?

You lowered your (e/c) filled gaze downwards towards the foot of the door in major grief, knowing that the shy shred of hope you had just grasped onto has dissipated right before your very eyes. No one. You had no one, and that's how it will stay. For the rest of your life, you'll continue having no one to guide you.

'Because the world has already rejected you, remember?'

You were about to pivot around on your throbbing heel absolutely ruined because of all the running you had been doing. Where would you go? Maybe...turn yourself into the military and let them do whatever the crazy deluded scientists pleased in there wanted to do to your body.

Or maybe…. You could just die.

'Maybe… I should'.

Maybe you should just…

A loud sound made you jump right out of your reckless pondering. And, maybe even your skin too.

The door was absolutely thrown off of its hinges, with so much force and aggravation that it made you jump and stumble backward, completely forgetting what a composer even was. Nor did you have one at the moment, either.

"Oi! Haven't you read the sign outside!?" A sharp, and quite high voice clipped and trimmed with annoyance sang out in the air before you could even comprehend what the guy was talking about… sign? "We're not open today! So stop rapping on this door like it's your own personal stress wall! It's hurting my ears!"

You whipped your head around, billowing tangles mess of hair following suit. The door of the so-called Agency was indeed, thrown open and a vacant doorway stood in its place. And, in the doorway, was a… person? A guy, you couldn't tell if he was an agent or not, stood only a few meters away from you. He was pretty average in height, with straight, ebony hair hiding mostly under a cap of some sorts. The guy's attire was pretty… something. You could probably classify it as a standardized 'stereotypical detective from a movie' or something, the cut-short murky brown trousers, the high socks, the waistcoat, and oh boy let's not neglect the cape. The boy wore a straight up cape and everything about the persona that he displayed screamed 'intelligent' or 'technicalabout the guy. But, judging by his expression, he didn't really look too pleased with all, to see you.

You were frozen, couldn't even muster the will to speak really, at all. Damn it! You had dragged yourself all the way up here - going through possibly a mental breaking-point too - just to get chewed out by some stereotypical detective and permanently shut up until he says otherwise!?

'I think not!'

Still, he was sort of….intimidating, though.

Your mystery acquaintance rubbed the side of his temple, exaggerating the fact that your constant 'rapping' had given him the biggest headache, even though you didn't even knock that hard at all. After the guy was done massaging his head, he took the liberty to cuss you out even more, before straightening up and regarding you in a firm stare.

Only that, his eyes were closed.

'How does that even work?!'

For a second, the stranger didn't say a word to you. He simply stared - or well, you think he did- at your face. So much, in fact, that after a long period of barren silence… you began to feel relatively uncomfortable with his assessment.

Then, ever so slowly, your acquaintance lifted his eyelids to reveal a set of dazzling, brilliant, jewel-like emerald-green eyes. And you swore, you swore for a second that something flashed across them briefly as he took in your appearance, or maybe you were just imagining things. You were boarding the road of insanity, after all.

"Well, what are you waiting for?!" He suddenly barked in a mocking voice, holding you in a firm stare, yet his eyes were more narrowed now. "Are you just going to stand there like a dumb person outside or are you going to come in?! Huh!?"

"But….b-but you just sai-" You managed to stutter, but was cut off immediately by a sudden grip tightening around you slim wrist and pulling you forward.

"No buts! Your stuttering is annoying! Just come inside and stop wasting my time, now!"

And just like that, no input, not even a question asked, you were pulled into the office of the Armed Detective Agency.

 

 

(Edited)

Chapter Text

How did you get yourself into this?

Okay, yes, you did yearn for some form of desperate aid from the Armed Detective Agency that you had sunk so low to practically arriving on a forbidden day and actually being allowed in, but you could have never believed it would be anything like this.

And by 'this'... Of course, you were referring to a really, really, really freakin' awkward situation.

You sat alone on the, quite comfortable armchair, to say the least, the light grey leather squeaking slightly at your nervous shifting as you switched from sitting on your hands to twiddling both your thumbs. You had expected the famous pride and prejudice 'Armed Detective Agency' to be fancy, maybe a really big space with some beautiful chandeliers cascading from the ceiling, everyone who was employed here was all sophisticatedly dressed in suits and ties - drinking some expensive champagne for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But the space you were ushered into, was most definitely not meeting any of those fantasies.

'Still, it isn't all that bad…. Actually.'

The emerald-eyed guy, after you know, he had yanked you behind him like an obedient dog, had sat you down in this little secluded area without a word before he scurried off somewhere… saying he had an 'important phone call to make.' Well, from the looks of things, it must have been a pretty urgent phone call - otherwise, he wouldn't have run off in such a frenzy.

'He must be busy….' You blew a stray (h/c) hair out of your eyes, cursing yourself out for your ungrateful demeanor 'He's an agent here, isn't he?'

The guest area you were currently sitting in was pretty nice. Small and secluded, yes. Definitely actually. But, it was just right enough to be comfortable. Two small couches sat opposite one another, with a coffee table of sorts separating the two. The area was kept private by the colorful canvases standing on two sides, allowing some light to seep through casing warm rays across the area. Again, not what you had imagined, but still. It was, nice.

You fiddled with your thumbs again, biting your bottom lip with riddling nerves.

'Okay, so now that I'm here, what will I do?'

'What will I say?'

'You're a wanted person, more than likely, dammit! What if they recognize you!?'

Then, your mind contradicted its war with another face flashing across your mind.

'But, that guy who let me in didn't seem to notice who I was…'

Or… did he?

"Hi, Miss?" A small voice cut a flat line through your raging thoughts, before you slowly lifted your head up to the sound. A girl, or … er, woman? You couldn't tell to be honest if she was above the age of forty or as young as the age of twenty-one. She was pretty - really pretty - dressed in a sophisticated outfit of a chocolate-brown pencil skirt and a light grey blouse, some matching stilettoes also in the color of inky black completed the outlook while she seemed to be holding a clipboard tight against her chest. She smiled fondly, her sky-blue eyes twinkling with kindness.

"Would you like anything to drink?" She asked directly, brushing a strand of her perfect-beyond-belief straight hair over her shoulder.

"Oh.. er...uhm.." Good God, why couldn't you form a coherent sentence?!

"No.." You finally managed to get out somehow with a quaking voice, before smiling softly in gratitude as the girl nodded gracefully in return. She seemed to completely disappear once she rounded the corner, her swaying glossy hair was the last trace of her. Well - to you - she didn't really look like an ability user.

Then again neither did the detective-guy. It's not as if the ability users in this place have some sort of special badge or nametag saying "Woah, Watch out! I have an ability!" or something, that would kind of defeat the whole purpose of them being undercover agents. Or whatever work they had to do, wouldn't it? Honestly, you shook your head at your profound thoughts. 'Maybe she's just a secretary or something..'

The Yokohama sunlight bounced off the reflective surface of the coffee table, while you decided to stare at a seemingly interesting spot on the table-leg. Not that there was anything remotely, well, interesting on the chunk of wood, it was more so the fact that you haven't actually gotten any form of sleep in the last few days and well - the chair here was just so comfortable and the warm sunlight was just right that you felt your daydreaming eyes growing heavy with sleep.

'Maybe… just for a few…'

No!

'But…..the...sun…..' You had to stifle a yawn with one of your hands, feeling the aching feeling in your legs pleading you to slip into rest from all the running you had previously done.

'…..just….close...your eyes….for…'

"No! (Y/n) (L/n) you wake up right this instant!" Your subconscious was banging a set of pots and pans in your brain, making you groan slightly with annoyance. God, why couldn't it just shut up already?

'Shhh...sleep...time…'

"You're in the ADA! You can sleep later what if someone comes out to actually help you only to discover that you are asleep?!"

…..

Your eyes had just begun to flutter closed and be basked in the warm pool of sleep when-

*Wham*

A door slammed open.

No, to be more on the specific side of things, whatever door on the other side of the colorful canvas you were hiding behind was practically thrown off its undeserving hinges, making you jump completely out of your sleep-induced trance and jolt fully awake. Your spine tingled with nerves of the unknown, while your skin perspired at an authoritative, and…. quite mad voice booming through the air.

"Where?! Where is-" The words were filled to the brim with rage, before being cut off by violent shushing, wait... Where's what? You were clawing at the fabric underneath you and were honestly beyond surprised that the chair hadn't ripped at all with the assault your nails were causing. You strained with high senses, listening to the faint harsh mumbling going on just outside the small area.

'She? Was he talking about me?'

Oh God, the very thought left a ridiculing feeling deep in your knotted stomach, judging by how mad the mysterious voice was, he must not be happy that you're here. Not in the slightest. 'Will I be thrown out?"

The purple in the clothed wall portrayed two - no, three moving shadows on the other side if you really narrowed your eyes to see. One, a man for sure, was a lot taller than the others and seemed to be speaking down to another guy, waving something like a notebook around angrily in the air. The third was a lot shorter from what you could see and stood idly beside, before inclining his head slightly and turned towards you. His shadow got closer and closer becoming bigger and bigger until- 'Oh shi-'

A head popped into your line of vision from behind the screen, startling you so and making you fumble backward in the seat. Abliet thank God you didn't fall off from how far you freaking jumped, not that you needed the feeling of embarrassment piled onto the bountiful of other emotions fighting for dominance in your body. The guy, who was now regarding you with a warm smile, nodded slightly before making his way around to the opposite chair across from you and sitting down without a word. He was a cute boy - to say the least, and on further inspection he looked as if he was young, attending high school maybe. A mop of messy ginger hair lay in lazy soft tendrils that framed his adolescent face, while a set of muted gray eyes looked up at you kindly as a small smile spread across his face.

"Hi, how are you?"

This made you even more uncomfortable, and the fact he was being so unbelievably kind made you narrow your eyes in confusion. You had always been a cautious person, after all.

"...Hi.." You spoke after some time, a small but guarded smile of gratitude ghosted your lips.

The boy's warm eyes spoke a million words, and even though he was treating you in a calm and relaxing aura, his bottomless orbs screamed something else. You knew the look, and boy you knew it well. A stare many strangers have held you in from your few years away from this town, a gaze that not only screamed assessment but also, screamed caution.

He was being wary of you.

'So they do know I'm... 'that' person..'

Or maybe, again, you were being a little too judgemental right off the bat. The thoughts dissipated for the time being as you decided to sit straighter and see where your acquaintance would take you. 'Still, don't let your guard down though..'

"I'm Tanizaki Junichirou, but you can call be Tanizaki, or whatever you want really.." The boy, or well, Tanizaki suddenly spoke after some time - the cautious fire still not ceasing to burn in his steel-eyes. You nodded stiffly, playing with imaginary frays on the edge of your shawl. When he picked up that you probably weren't going to be making any form of an answer in the upcoming few seconds, the young agent decided to push further, "And, what's your name?"

'Cautious. Be careful… he isn't on your side yet.'

"Himari…" You lied the fake name through your teeth, but not showing any sign of it. "Himari Adachi.."

Tanizaki regarded you for a moment, as you felt a bead of cold sweat slip down your spine - regardless of all the fabric you were wearing. No, he couldn't have. 'Had he caught on that I was lying?'

Then all your nerves were forgotten when his face cracked a fond grin your way while wringing his hands together in a relaxed manner. "Nice to meet you, Adachi-san."

"Likewise.."

Another, long stretch of pregnant silence engulfed you two - while you still seemed to be playing with that imaginary strings on your shawl.

"And… why have you decided to come here… Adachi-san?"

'Crap...what do I say?'

Come to think of it, why are you even here.?

Should you tell them about your ability? Spill everything on the table?

'But what will...they do to me?'

Tanizaki must have noticed your furious pondering, as your eyes darted for simply anything to look at while your body was shaking like a tired coat-rack. The ginger-haired agent cocked his head slightly, his eyes softening for a moment at your riddled with nerves state. "Adachi-san? Are you okay? Do you need some water?"

'They know. They know they know they know..'

'They know who I am. They're detectives, of course, they'd catch on to who you are!'

Tanizaki was holding you in another worry-full gaze, but you could tell his calculating eyes knew better. He was trying to read you, solve you like a simple maths equation or worded problem like it was that simple. They were all cautious, all staring, everyone in the damn office was staring, the secretary, the other guy that let you in, the shadows the walls. Everything was trying to figure you out. Everything was trying to break you down.

'I shouldn't be here..'

'I was an idiot to think these people could help me in the first place… they're tied to the government, of course, they would be on the lookout for someone like you!'

'And they've got me. Lured me into a spindling web of hope, hope that someone would be there to help me. Used my one longing weakness against me.'

'But they're just like the rest. They don't want to help me….'

'Nobody….can … help me..'

Your breathing hitched slightly as you felt your stomach begin to knot. Tanizaki was still across from you, frowning slightly. Wait.

An idea suddenly popped into your head.

'If I want to get out of here, there's only one way.'

"Yes!" You suddenly jolted forward and then realized it was probably too intense as Tanizaki jumped back slightly in surprise, his eyes widening. You recoiled back - that was after cursing yourself for doing something so dumb - before trying again. "Uhm … I mean. Yes. I would like a glass of water. If you don't mind."

'Just get up... And walk away. A few seconds of borrowed time. That's all I need..'

"Oh!" The agent's face seemed to light up suddenly - before he placed both his pale hands on his jeans and straightened up into a standing position. You gave him a tight smile of thankfulness, while the young boy made his way around the canvas. When you were almost convinced he was gone, were you about to make some form of movement - however, was stopped dead in your tracks when his flaming head of hair popped back around the canvas once again. You swore, your heart had probably made it all the way to your mouth at the sudden action. 'They really have to stop doing that!'

"Oh, I won't be gone for long, but please don't move from that spot, Adachi-san. A lot of our agents are out at the moment so I don't have anyone to keep you company. But… there are some magazines under the table if you want to take look?"

"I wasn't planning to." You nodded up at him. "And, thank you, Tanizaki-san, for being so kind."

The agent merely smiled back at you before he disappeared completely from behind the clothed wall. You listened. And listened. And listened to some more with strained ears at his soft tapping of shoes as they grew fainter and fainter, and fainter.

Until they stopped.

You exhaled slowly, putting whatever messy gameplay you had into action - that was if you even had one. Frantic instincts caused by an emotion like fear were never precise or thought out. They were desperate, risky, and undoubtedly stupid, but it was now or never, if you wanted to get out of this Agency without much struggle, it would have to be now. Right now. Otherwise, you will probably be restrained and even though that Tanizaki guy looked harmless and frail, he probably was trained to fight. Hell, everyone in this damn building was more than likely put through training, even the secretaries!

You shook your head and focused, standing abruptly from where you had been sitting, not loud enough to attract attention, but just enough to see over the canvas wall. You could see one of two things, and one of them was another guy. 'Damn!' It was the detective who had let you in, and by the looks of it was currently hunched over a laptop on the desk, completely immersed and sucked into whatever he was conducting. 'He will definitely see me if I try and walk out..'

But then again, his back was turned.

You didn't have time to think! Tanizaki was only gone to get you a glass of water and last time you checked, this agency isn't really that big so he would be back any moment now! Holding those warnings like a life-line in your mind, paired with rushing blood and a pounding heartbeat - you stepped out from behind the canvas. Surging adrenaline and some other unknown and instinctive feeling was coursing through every inch of your veins as you trekked forward as fast as you could. As quiet as you could. Blend in, become one with your surroundings. That's how you got around in the alleyways and slums when you had just little to no money and were on the verge of starvation. You put yourself in that mindset, the mindset of a thief, a reckless scoundrel, seeing yourself in the dark and dangerous alleyways other than the office of the ADA.

'Blend in, don't breathe, don't even make a sound..'

'Erase yourself, erase your existence completely..'

Successfully, you had snaked passed the detective guy and was now only a home stretch for the door.

'Don't breathe...don't run...make it out the door first and then-'

"Adachi-san? Adachi-san wait!"

'Run!'

Voices blurred together behind you, angry and urgent as your existence became known. With every nerve in your body zapping to alert mode, you bolted for the door and down the stairs, almost tripping over a few as you felt a presence, no, more than one presence chasing after you. You were nimble and could probably outrun them if you tried hard enough.

'Run…' You absentmindedly thought as you tore down the massive flight of stairs.

You were always… running.

"Adachi-san!"

Always running away.


"Dazai… Dazai-san wait!"

The tiger was practically heaving for oxygen behind his superior as he struggled to keep up with his long and certain strides. They were almost by the agency now, and Dazai could simply not fathom the reason behind Kunikida sending them all the way back to the place, there was no reason behind it. And if it was, it was hardly logical.

"Atsushi-kun?" The agent sang over his shoulder at his subordinate." Come on, or I'll leave you behind!"

"Hah...Ha- You… have longer legs… Dazai-san!"

Both of the agents rounded the corner, Dazai a few strides ahead of Atsushi, who looked as if anything but death sounded reluctant right now. The brunette flitted his gaze around the street, which was bustling with the expected amount of people at this time of the day, maybe a little more than usual. Well, then again, it was a beautiful day after all.

The red-brick design of the agency came into view, and with Atsushi close on his tail, Dazai placed both hands on the clear glass twinkling with sunlight, and hastily pushed it open.

"Atsushi-kun! I'm not holding these doors ope-"

"STOP THAT GIRL!" Dazai's attention span was snapped up just as fast as he had let go of the conjoining door, immediately recognizing his partner's voice. Wait no, his partners raging voice, to say the least, bouncing off of every single wall in the small area. Jumping and trashing could be heard from upstairs, while Atsushi found himself at the side of his superiors, those eyes of his sharpening a fraction to a point of almost alien-like - resembling one of a cat or werewolf. Both the agents scanned the room in alert and more animalistic noises sounded from up the flight of stairs.

'What's going on?' Dazai's brain was working faster than he could keep up with, flinging a myriad of unanswered questions at him one by one and dismissing them equally as fast. 'An attack? Possibly. An attack from the Port Mafia? Not likely. They don't have anything to gain from a war with us. Then... what?'

The trashing sound was growing louder and louder, while Atsushi visibly froze beside the tall bandaged agent. Dazai followed suit, a mutual understanding settling between both of them - a single order hung in the air - unspoken but completely understood.

"Guard the exit. Whoever it is, don't let them escape!"

Dazai watched with sharp eyes, the bottom of the stairs as the sound of someone tearing down became louder and louder, more distinct by the second. Then a figure. No, a woman - undoubtedly from her feminine posture, came into view. She was the first to come hauling down the stairs, a complete foreign stranger to both of them. With her head down in focus, a tight shawl hung draped around her shoulders while her feet lacking in any form of coverage slapped against the cold tiles of the ground floor. Kunikida's voice was echoing after her, and immediately, both the members got ready to restrain the girl obviously not having the permission to leave - when she lifted her head -

Everything stopped.

Between you and the guy that caught your vision in front of you, everything seemed to slow down. Truth be told you were running at the fastest speed you could have possibly brought yourself to do, but it seemed that time itself seemed to come to a halt. Everyone that was present, the people behind you, the young boy with the silver-gray hair and catlike eyes, they all seemed to freeze as you locked gazes with the man in front of you.

Why? Who was he?

Something felt off as you came closer to his hard stance. What was so crucially… odd about him? There was nothing... Special about him... At all. He was just another damn agent!

Your body was staggering forward, as Dazai also felt everything around in merge into nothing but a slow mirror of gravity. The women, or was she a young girl? - Was pushing forward with every ounce of what strength she had left, by the looks of it. But, when she had locked gazes with the agent, something... Something felt out of the ordinary. Who was she? Had he seen her before? Everything was blurring together as she seemed to be getting closer and closer, every defined feature on her face becoming more distinct and clearer. The glittering pools of (e/c) which were wide and frightful, yet burning with determination. The whipping yet ratty (h/c) locks that still seemed to catch the breeze and fly behind her. Dazai's mind raced, reaching for a familiar bell but not being able to ring it, while your brain spoke his known name, but you were unable to hear it. You both held each other with a stare, a single question echoed in both connected minds.

'Who is he?'

'Who is she?'

Then, something clicked in both your minds simultaneously.

'Young face, bandaged eye, a fatal blow.'

Everything began speeding up again around you, the voices seeming more clear and distinct as everyone who was once frozen started to break away from their ice shell.

Dazai blinked in disbelief. 'A women, eyes glittering with tears, a heavy crushing pain under my right rib.'

Atsushi began moving again, his mouth speaking but inaudible against his superior's ears.

'It's her, from the dream. No, from what happened that night in the abandoned warehouse.'

'It's him, the boy. The one I saved that stormy night all those years ago.'

You were only mere millimeters away from his face now, slowly but at the same time - as fast as lightning, your feet bolting you forward as you both passed each other, him standing frozen in place while you were now staring up at him over your shoulder. Two of your slim hands had somehow made it to the door.

Kunikida's voice rung in the air muffled and drowned out, while Atsushi seemed to be screaming out to his partner - but was failing to get through to him. The executive simply watched, frozen and immobile as the girl, that girl, that women, made her way to the door and pushed it open - never breaking their locked gazes once.

'It's him!'

'Its … her..!'

"Dazai-san!"

Everything started to play at normal speed once again, as the sound of a door wrenching open filled the senses of the member while someone was shaking his shoulder from the side.

"Dazai-san! Dazai-san! What's gotten into you!?" It was Atsushi, and with a wide yet complexed stare was he was staring up at his superior - not knowing what had just happened. He had been calling his name for the last few seconds, but he just stood there! And, on top of that, just let the girl walk right past him! Atsushi tried again, shaking the bandaged brunette out of his trance - before finally he blinked both brown eyes a few times and snapped his head down to him.

Atsushi visibly paled and felt his insides churn at the lost, and simply, perplexed look Dazai was giving him - as if he had just seen a ghost walk straight past. What had gotten into him?

"Dazai-san… what..?"

"You idiot!"

Kunikida was now reaching towards him, followed closely by a startled looking Tanizaki as he beelined his way to his partner, a look of sheer anger laced deeply, permanently, in his features. "What's up with you?! You just stood there and stared at her!"

Dazai didn't answer, more so making Kunikida flare up even more. "What the fuck is wrong with you?! Get your shit together, now!"

Again, Dazai didn't answer. Hell, the man wasn't even listening. He just stared at the ground, a mass of calculations fogging up his brain that it became too hard to even think. 'Her, her, her. From my dream. She's real… she's real. How? How how how!?'

"...and for Christ's sake, why-" Dazai had now lifted his head, shutting Kunikida off immediately when the blonde idealist caught a glimpse of what expression the guy had been wearing on his face. It wasn't fear, nor was it reconciliation, not a slight bit of remorse for what he did was evident anywhere at all. No, but there was a look. One stern, honest look of blank determination hung across his face, his brown eyes seemed to burn like melted chocolate with a form of hunger, blazing fire, as he regarded his partner in the best stance he could.

"We need to catch that girl. No." Dazai spoke like a monotonous robot, pivoting swiftly on his heel without a second glance, before pushing the glass on the door harshly and stepping out into the Japanese sunlight. "...I need to catch that girl."

" - you do.. Since you're the reason she got away..." Kunikida's voice had a confused edge to it but still rung with the same authority it had always had, as he followed closely behind Dazai, dragging both rookies along with him. "Everyone disperse! It will be quicker if we find her on our own!"

"Yessir!" Tanizaki and Atsushi confirmed in unison, before breaking off and going their separate ways. Dazai soldiered on, a feeling knitting his intestines together while a voice was screaming in his head, for a reason he didn't know.

'I need to find that girl…'

'I must… find that girl.'


'What...the….hell?'

You had been blindly running for the last five minutes, more with your thoughts than the actual physical action. People were brushing passed you in disdain, but you couldn't bring yourself to care. More so, all of your thoughts were zoning in on one person, and one person entirely.

'Him'

You knew he had been here, it was obvious that he was still apart of the town you met and essentially saved his life in. But, it was so sudden, so fast. You had never hoped to actually run into him again, let alone, in this situation! But when you tore down the stairs, fearful. So very fearful of what was to become of you that you locked gazes, and the images of that night began playing like a movie or tape recorder before your eyes.

And it looked as if, he recognized you too.

Or did he?

To be honest, you didn't really expect he would even know who you were, heck he was half-conscious, and at one point practically dead when you met him all those years ago, so how would he even have the brain capacity to recognize your face? He didn't that's what.

You narrowed your gaze at the small fountain spurting dazzling streams of water into the summer sky, in the small park you had stopped in for some form of a breather.

'Then why does a small part of me, wish he remembers who I am?'

You rubbed your temples with an audible groan, your brain causing more pain then your injured feet where even. The sun was too bright, the streets were too crowded, the people were too loud. Everything, you wished everything would just, stop for a few seconds.

You didn't realize, but you had been backing up slightly with our eyes closed, rubbing a hand over your face slightly to hide the blinding rays from reaching your eyelids. But, when you removed your hands and let them lay loosely at your side, you decided to keep your eyes closed and tilt your neck up slightly. The summer breeze was nice, to say the least, and for a moment. Just a moment, everything was still… peaceful… and of tranquil-

That was until you felt an unwelcome hand clamp over your mouth before you were pulled back into the unknown.

 

 

(Edited)

Chapter Text

Mmmpf!"

The grip your mysterious captor had on your mouth was nothing next to soft. In fact, the clamp down on the opening you essentially use to breathe was so tight that you had to fight against the urge to lapse unconscious due to lack of oxygen.

You couldn't really tell much through a disorientated - were you being kidnapped? It was definitely a possibility, but if that was the case, then… 'Why would someone want to kidnap me? Surely, if this was the police and I was being brought in, I'm more than positive they'd make a large scene for the public embellishing my crime before I was dragged away.'

Well, if not that, then who?

The sunlight was slowly leaving your boxed in vision, as everything around you became dimmer and dimmer, the walls became more enclosed as if you had been dragged off into a little room, or dingy corner. Your neck began screaming with pain as the stranger strained it back, while a strong hand grasped your side harshly until before you knew it, you had bumped back against something. Something…. Something hard, but soft at the same time, and definitely warm. The clamp against your lips softened slightly, enough to allow you to take a short breath, but not near enough to form any speech.

"Don't move.." A voice whispered above you, the thing you were pressed up against shifted slightly at the words.

'Well, it's not like I can, even if I tried...' But hey, at least you could thank the stranger for the heads-up.

Everything began to settle, well, everything but your hammering heartbeat - which you were astounded that it hasn't burst from its confinements of your ribcage. I mean, everything was pitch dark around you; as if you had been pulled into an alley or something. 'Was it a drunk guy or someone ready to assault me?' You furrowed your brows and breathed slightly again, to the best of your ability. 'He doesn't sound drunk…' Nor could you smell any sort of alcohol either.

All of your senses heightened in a quick heartbeat, your stomach jumped with butterflies of the unknown as the person behind you moved all of a sudden - before you felt something hover over your exposed shoulder, his breath hot and making your skin raise in gooseflesh. "I won't hurt you, but believe me, there are people searching for you at the minute that will.."

You didn't believe him right off the bat, you couldn't believe him right away. You had heard it all before, and every single time someone promised they wouldn't hurt you, it always ended in a travesty. It always freaking ended with you getting hurt.

'Not that I didn't deserve it…'

The stranger must have sensed you tense up, even with his loaded promise. You drew in another deep gulp of air, but this time, through your barely parted mouth. Wait, hold on a minute, that's odd. As you went to shift your mouth open slightly, your lips didn't brush passed, anything that felt relatively like skin. Moreover, whatever this stranger had pushed up against your mouth was.. Or it felt like, fabric?

'Or maybe he was wearing gloves?"

No, the cloth was too light to feel anything like cotton of a pair of gloves, or even a scarf or something. No, this felt like… like a bandage or, maybe a resemblance to linen.

Bandage.

Your lungs hitched slightly, while you felt your eyes widen to the size of golfballs in a shock of realization. 'There's only one person I've ever come across who wears their hands wrapped in bandages.'

You kept his image in your head and tried to match it with the person who was behind you. Obviously, the bandage-clad hands were a straight tick in the long line of checklists in your mind, but not enough to convince you otherwise. 'He could just be some other guy with an injury around his hands..'

But then again, you had to be sure. You wanted to be sure...

'I won't hurt you…'

Your hands twitched slightly, like the muscles under your shawl had the apprehension to move of their own, but you had to fight against the urge to do so. His soft whisper rang in your ears, running a smooth shiver through your tense muscles as if serving as a relaxant of sorts. His image from earlier still burned at the back of your eyes, making you squint slightly with aided breathing. You felt as the stranger shifted again behind you, while your hands began moving again, itching to reach up and reveal just who it was holding you captive against him.

'I won't hurt you…'

Your hands began raising, inch by inch, fraction by fraction, while you strained to focus on his blurry image in your head. An image of a boy sitting in his own blood with lifeless eyes.

'I won't hurt you…'

Your shawl draped and fell down as far as your bent elbows - contrasting with your smooth skin that doesn't see much forms of sunlight at all in the past few years you have worn this large fabric. The stranger lost his grip slightly around your mouth allowing you to hold a generous amount of air in your throat before you raised your arms completely over and behind your head. Silent, and maybe to anyone else, it wouldn't be anything big or explosive to meet the eye. I mean, to another curious onlooker, you would just look like any other… semi-what ordinary girl just raising her hands in the air. But not to you. For once, you had it in your demented and tormented will to believe someone, to put some slim fraction of your trust in someone, and to you, that was groundbreaking.

'I won't hurt you…'

His face wasn't exactly clear in your fogged up memory, but it was distinctive enough to check if this strange captor was in fact even close to the person you were guessing they were.

You pulled your hands back further, your long shawl now stopping all the way down at the end of your bare arms. You felt his whole body stiffen slightly behind, but he didn't make any advances to stop you from what you were about to do. So, you continued. Back, and back and back… Until-

Your hands fell, on something soft.

'Hair?'

It was thick, and wiry like strands of hair, but soft and cloud-like as if you had placed your hand deep into a bucket of feathers. It tickled your fingertips as you fluttered your eyes closed, trying to get a better image of the person you bumped into earlier today, and all those years prior to.

 

 

He lay there staring at you softly, with some kind of glittering confusion in his eyes, and you for one stared back. God… you couldn't believe what had actually happened. I mean, one moment you had watched the guy die, and now. Now… he was here. He was here in the flesh, his eyes wide open and staring right into yours.

Alive.

He didn't look uncomfortable, at all. He merely just looked kind of curious. You trained your gaze from his soft look up to his hair, and it came to your attention, that a lot of the stray strands had been hanging in his line of vision, probably blocking you from his view altogether - regardless of the fact that he had one eye. Slowly, you lifted your hand up and began brushing the soft stragglers out of his gaze.

 

 

You softly ran a feather-light touch across the strands -and tried to compare the feelings of the two through your dark vision. 'They feel so similar..'

Still. It wasn't enough to convince you that it was…. Well, him.

'Just any person could have soft hair!'

Then, your hands traveled down.

Across the side of his face, and which, you felt whoever they were stiffening slightly when both your skin made contact with each other. His grip was now totally slack and only sitting across your mouth at the moment, as you screwed your eyes tighter as his picture started coming together in your mind. 'Brown fluffy hair. Soft skin. A key figure, bandages, but. None on the eye this time. Bandages on the hands…'

Your wandering touch stopped dead cold when you came across the same fabric wrapped around his neck. The very thing that brought the whole image together.

'It is him!'

You didn't even have to give it a second thought, glance, or anything in that category. In a flash, your eyes snapped open and in one fellow swoop, you pushed yourself away from him so fast you could have regarded it as a magic trick. Slightly, you had tripped over something on the alleyway floor, but not that it mattered. What did matter was that you were here, and so was he. After all these years he was finally in your reach, right behind you, and you couldn't even bring yourself to turn around.

A pregnant silence enveloped both of you - the distance hum of cars zipping down the roads was the only thing keeping you company.

'Goddammit say something already!'

"I have to say… it's not every day I let a stranger touch me blindly in a dark alleyway. You're something special.."

His voice made your blood run stone cold. You had never heard it before.

'It's … nice.'

Oh god. You began slapping yourself silly in your brain, mentally chiding yourself in the process. 'It's a voice, (y/n), a voice! It's nothing special and there's nothing nice about it! People just use it to communicate get a grip!'

Speaking of voices… why couldn't you find yours?

"Not much of a talker?"

Again, you didn't answer. It wasn't like you didn't want to, it's just. You couldn't.

"Why won't you look at me?"

You felt your slack shoulders jolt up slightly as if you had just been zapped with twenty kilowatts of electricity. You began to focus on a particularly dark patch on the ground, feeling now just a bit too hot underneath all your fabric - even though it was coming close to nighttime.

'Maybe if I stare at the ground for long enough… he'll go away.'

"No… I won't. And yes, you said that aloud.'

'Crap!'

"That too.."

The heat was now rising steadily at the back of your neck, spraying across your shoulders and successfully making it's way to your face. 'Double crap!'

"And that-"

"Okay!" You couldn't hold it in anymore, and luckily your voice had now decided it wants to work again. "Okay, I get it, I get it! I mumble my words out loud, big deal!"

A soft masculine chuckle hit off the small walls of the alleyway, making you knit your eyebrows in frustration. "Okay, point noted. But I really would love to know…" His laughing slowed down fully, his ominous voice dropping down a few octaves into one of serious tones. "Why won't you turn around? I told you I'm not going to hurt you."

The dark patch on the ground was proving to be really interesting at the moment and to be honest, you didn't feel like dragging your lingering gaze away from it anytime soon. Warm heat of embarrassment still clawed at your skin under your clothes, while you listened as the stranger sighed behind you.

"I believe you…" You mumbled lowly after a few moments, more to yourself than him. But, you knew that he could hear you in such an enclosed space. "But… it's embarrassing. I can't bring myself to look at you when I was literally just feeling your hair and face not a few seconds ago!"

'Christ it sounds worse out loud too..'

"Oh, don't worry.." He was laughing at you again. God, you must be pretty damn amusing. "You were just figuring out who I was weren't you?"

Ok, now that caught you off guard. 'How did he-?"

"- don't worry. I'm still me. Still the guy you saw today, and the same one from that night four long years ago…"

'He does. He does remember. He remembers me.'

'He's always... remembered me?'

A pause was what you chose to answer him with, your eyes now wandering from the patch to an even more interesting empty and oxidizing can. "I know. I remember you."

"Well, I'm hard to forget you know.."

"And cocky.." You found yourself hiding an amused tone in your voice. "From what I've just learned."

"Hmm... well, I'm not going to deny such a thing, apparently my co-worker agrees fondly with you." There was a slight skip in his sentence, making your attention snap slightly away from the soft drink and to him.

"That's, partly why I'm with you here too."

You rested your chin on your shoulder, but not enough to see who was standing behind you. Of course, you knew who, but still couldn't bring yourself to look him dead in the eyes just yet. "What…. do you mean?"

"I mean." You could hear him take a heavy breath, or was it a sigh? He seemed to be deep in thought - from the sound of shuffling behind you. "That you are in danger."

You?

'Well. I've known that I've been in deep trouble with the government. And, hell if I'm wrong, the innocent people walking the streets of Yokohama are the ones in danger with a scoundrel like me roaming around.'

'But… surely not the other… way around?'

"I, don't follow you. Sorry." You fixed the shawl that had slipped down to expose your bony shoulder due to malnourishment. You narrowed your eyes again, the sunlight slowly slipping into the crack of the alley and allowing some light to cascade down, even if it was one of the setting sun.

"Danger. Your life, you're in danger." He made sure to accentuate the 'danger' in that sentence to outstand the others. "As I said, people are out currently searching this city upside down looking for you, and when they catch you…. Believe me. The things they'll put you through, won't be fun."

An image of a secluded jail-cell, along with a strap chair and hundreds of different utensils to poke and prod at you came to view. 'I knew as much…'

Your attention was slowly deteriorating away from your little can-friend sitting on the ground, while you were quietly building up the confidence to turn around, just. Not yet. "I know…" You whispered meekly, gripping the area of your shawl that was hanging down again stupidly. "It's not like I don't deserve such a punishment."

"No." A stubborn tone met your ears, but you cut him off and decided to push on. Like, all of your truthful emotions were beginning to finally brim and spill over in the bucket, straining and not being able to take it much longer. You flung your hands out in exasperation, laughing slightly in the process. Only that, it wasn't one out of amusement.

Definitely not.

"-but I do. I really, really do. Experimentation? Let them. Cut me open? Go ahead! Kill me?" You let those last few words hang in the air for a minute, a yellow bunk of bile rising steadily in your throat, while your (e/c) eyes began to burn with unshed tears. "I'm sure the world will be such a better place without a disgusting, wretched, cursed killer like me still living and breathing the same air as the rest of them! So let them! Let them catch me! Torture me… let them break me"

'I don't deserve to be… alive. When all… all of them didn't.."

Your voice had cracked all the way, and anyone could tell while hot trails of tears were beginning to seep over their barrier and slip down your cheeks. Bandage no-name guy didn't answer for a couple of seconds. Which slipped into a couple of minutes, and probably the longest damn few minutes of your life.

"What's your name?" He finally shattered the tense silence, with the softest yet casual manner you have ever heard.

"Wha-?" Roughly, you began using the ratty fabric of your long course shawl to rid your face of any traces of despair. Your voice, however, still wouldn't comply. "What? W-Why?"

"Call it, curiosity. What is it?"

You regarded giving such a strongly guarded part of yourself up so quickly, biting off a large, large chunk of your privacy and giving to a guy you barely even knew. Your caution alarms were ringing in your eyes out of force of habit, while you buried the lower half of your face in the now damp area of your shawl. Pondering sure was fun, and you liked it a lot, thinking and solving was kind of a thing of yours. But, no matter how hard you searched your subconscious and pleaded them to tell you the usual 'Don't trust him!', they wouldn't answer. Desperately, you spun around and sought that wall around yourself that was almost always there, but instead, you found an open field.

Your shawl began to ball up in your clenched, white-knuckled fist because of your racing thoughts. A raging war between two dark voices banging in your blank head space, each shouting back and forth to do one simple thing;

'Trust him!'

'Don't trust him!'

'Trust him!'

'Don't trust him!'

You squeezed your eyes shut tight as vices, hoping you weren't about to regret your decision. And hoping a damn lot.

"(Y/n). (Y/n) (L/n)"

His unique voice hummed in apprehension, before repeating what you had just given out as if to test how it sounds. "(Y/n)...(L/n)? Strange, but… in a good way.."

'Thanks?'

"Well, (Y/n)." The strange mixture of his voice and your name was so foreign to your ears. "Look at me."

You didn't move. Instead, you began to freeze on the spot, all that previously built up confidence from before was nowhere to be found.

"Look at me, please."

Longingly, you gave the luminescent stone's of the dark floor a gloomy reprehensive look, yet a multitude of nerves spun in the pit of your stomach. Lurching, swirling feelings pounded on the walls of your abdomen as his request lay idle in the air. The sunlight danced slowly on the shiny damp rocks, waltzing in a twinkling fashion, coaxing you and egging you on. 'Go! Go!' Each dazzle seemed to twinkle, making you grimace. 'Turn around! Go see him again after all the years you have been away! Go on!'

'Stupid… stupid dazzling sparkly positivity!'

"(Y/n)?"

You gave the damp rocks one last icy glare, one that probably said "I'll get you for this later.", before dropping the clutched shawl in your hands right to your side and frustratedly, tried to smooth out the hard-handed creases rapidly. Okay, not that you could make your appearance any better, so you paused in your actions. 'Why am I trying to make myself look better in the first place?!'

It's a simple action. Quick turn, bam, he's there. It's simple!

'Right!...right…'

A deep breath was your starting point, while you started to question if Bandage-mystery-guy was even still there with how much time you were taking. Mentally, you counted down from three. A slow, painstakingly, count-down from the cursed number three.

'3…'

You pivoted, eyes closed and slowly felt the heat from the sun move from previously the side of your face to the front.

'2…'

Around, and around, sluggishly. God, why is this taking so long?

'2… and a half..'

Two bare feet felt relatively numb across the hard coarse ground as you planted both feet into the small stones, shooting little pinching feelings up the soles. You were facing all the way around now, but with eyes still shut you hung onto the small second from slipping away. You must look so ridiculous right now.

The thought alone, however, didn't stop you from playing with the imaginary stray hems on your shawl.

'...1…'

Slowly, after another few, '0.5, 0.25, and 0.2's' you opened your eyes.

And, collectively, almost had to pick you slack jaw off of the ground.

'Wow...'

It took a while for your eyes to adjust from their cozy secluded darkness of closed lids to the immensely dim hue of the twilight sky, and boy, when they did you were very far from regretting it. The alley wasn't large and spacious, but of course, it wasn't that small either, so it took a while for your wandering eyes to find him. They scanned over an old trash-can lying idle accompanied by a lone cat with midnight fur, then to an old banana peel who had met its end, and then. Then they found him.

He was perched only a few meters away from you, and when you say a few you mean like, two, lying lazily against the wall opposite. The eyes that trained from your lonely banana pal on the floor first landed on a pair of shoes - work shoes - crossed in a formally relaxed manner accompanied in tan trousers, long lean legs to fit. You let your eyes travel up, passed the slim tan trousers, and onto the guy's chest. Clad in a murky waistcoat, pinstriped collar supporting a… wait. You narrowed your eyes as the object glinted in greeting… a Jem? Jewel? Where a tie should be. Everything about his posture was relaxed, hidden behind an ochre-colored trench coat that he had his two hands stuffed into.

'His attire is… particularly different to the last time I met him.'

Then, your eyes landed on his face.

'Double wow.'

A soft gaze was what startles you, kind yet guarded altogether on a face with skin as smooth as silk. He was staring at you with a mix of cold chocolate brown eyes, glinting with the contrasting sun, assessing you under a superior gaze that made you squiggle slightly beneath your fabric. His hair was kind of a similar color to his eyes, but brighter. Lighter, having undertones of the same chocolate and caramel fused into a delightful mixture of pleasantness. Brown, you liked the color, and by looking slightly into the sea of tendrils, you could feel yourself liking the color even more.

'Only because it was… a nice color. Nothing more.'

His blade like jaw moved slightly as if to open his mouth in speech. You found it in this time plane to, kind of, stare at his face. 'He had really gotten older than the last time you met him. He looks, more mature. And... more, put together I'd say..'

"(Y/n)..." You were brought back when you heard his voice construct your name. He pushed himself up off the wall with a sigh and took a slight step forward, into the light. "It's nice to finally meet you.."

"We've met before, though." You deadpanned, taking in the better view of his features.

"Not formally, however."

"Oh. Well. er…. Hi?"

His gaze was freaking intimidating, more so than the emerald-eyed detective guy only earlier today. The type of eyes that bordered seriousness, edging with sincerity and... Something else? You didn't have the liberty to Christian the emotion with a name at the moment. But, you did have the liberty to focus on what was the actual motive of this strange, strange situation and backed away with one footing.

"Okay... what? Why did you tell me to look at you?" Your hands were now raised as you took to the old habit of staring at the new found, was it, a bag? - on the ground.

"I wanted to have a look at your face." Was it just you, or, did he sound kind of hesitant in that sentence? Like, it wasn't what he really wanted to say? "And... from closer inspection." He took another step closer, making you retreat again. "It's a quite beautiful one, to say the least.."

Your neck burned in embarrassment, as you narrowed your eyes at the ground, probably trying to use the force to move the small rocks or something. 'Quite the damn flirt, isn't he?'

"Appreciated, I'm sure." You mumbled, the skin not wanting to calm the hell down on your neck anytime soon. "And, if that's all you wanted to see? My face? Then woohoo, you found it. And, for last time? When I helped you? Don't mention it. It was a mistake. A coincidence. Nothing special. Now, if you'll excuse me so I can hand myself in-"

"Wait. No, listen, I'm here for another reason." His chocolate brown eyes began hitching alight with a confusing fire, making you stare at him like a crazy person. "Let me help you."

'There it is again.'

'That blasted word!'

"And, how. Tell, me. How, in the world, are you going to help me. Magically, help me at all?" The venom in your voice was more than intended, but it wasn't like it was under your fault. The brunette's eyes glazed over with a cold storm, obviously, he was displeased.

He took another stride forward, while you retreated again. The storm of determination across his clouded eyes was something to send tingles up your spine, and his demeaning posture was a whole other.

"Believe me when I tell you." His voice was now low and demanding. Like, he was used to directing crowds. Or even, armies to say the least. "I can help you. I will help you, and get you to safety. You have my word, and believe me-" He was now, a lot closer than your liking. "My word is something I don't give away often. And it's definitely something I don't break."

You searched his face for something of falter. Something that was hiding a lie. You had definitely gotten good at that through the years, seeing through heavy facades, and knowing who not to trust. But, his expression was as blank as a white sheet of linen. As cold as a winter snowflake, and of course, as expressionless like a pastor on an early Sunday mass. He towered over you, not even coming near to matching your height and adding to his authoritative, powerful aura.

"Name."

"Excuse me?" His face faltered, a confused knot knitting his eyebrows together.

"Your name." You tried again, your tone meek yet cautious. "I never got it."

Brunette-Bandage-Boy stared at you with a bemused expression, tilting his head lazily to the side. "Nomo. Nomo Noki."

'Nomo Noki? What type of name is that?'

"Nomo Noki?" You raised an eyebrow. "Seriously, did your Mother hate you too?"

This caused the corners of his lips to tug upwards, probably making the whole of his pretty face light up more than you thought it could before he took a step back and inclined his head. "Partly true."

'What? His cryptic ways are giving me a serious brain ache.'

He lifted his head again, allowing the brown floppy hairs to lay across his head in an art-form, barely touching his eyes. The smile, however, had been reduced to a smirk. A dark, dangerous smirk.

"Dazai."

"What?"

"Dazai. My name, really this time. Dazai Osamu."

'Huh..'

"Dazai… Osamu…" You muttered the words in a similar way to the way he did before, to no-one in particular. "Strange… but in a good way.."

This only caused, Dazai's smile to widen further. Not dangerous or authoritative this time, but. Genuinely amused.

"Well… Mr. Osamu.." You straightened your posture again, trying to even come close to matching his height, but failing miserably. "Why are you so determined, to, help me?"

The smirk faltered on his face slightly, as a more serious looking expression took over the puppet strings on his face. You felt cold under his stern glare as if the whole temperature in the space seemed to drop majorly - and it wasn't because of the chills of the night.

He held you in a quiet gaze for a long time, before his long lashes fluttered down - down to a spot on the floor. Or, was he looking down at his body? In any way, wherever he was staring at, he looked awfully regretful. Almost, remorseful in a way.

"You saved my life…" It was quiet and soft. Like, the tones hid a silent thank you in the words, but they were masked to look as another. He lifted his gaze and bore into you with an utmost serenity that could make any president squirm. "And, from my upbringing just leaving a favor un-attended isn't really my style."

Cautiously, you raised your head "Sorry. Again, I'm not following.."

"So..." He stood up and was now making his way over to you swiftly. "Let me save yours."

 

 

(Edited)

Chapter Text

“So... the plan- ... is…. What...exactly?!”

You were struggling to keep up with Dazai’s freakishly long strides. And no, you meant that in every sense of the words. They weren’t just swift steps of some guy who’s above average height with long noodle-like legs, hell, he wasn’t even that tall either! But, it must be an attribute, because even if you broke into a little jog beside him, it was still a chore to match the man’s pacing.

“Don’t you worry that pretty little head of yours.” He waved a demeaning hand in the air above you. “Everything will work if you trust me.”

“Trust you?... Hah. How can I trust you if you won’t even tell me what you are about to do?!”

The sun had completely set now, shielding itself behind the houses and slowly being drowned out by the mundane darkness of the night sky. Your cheeks flushed with effort as you prodded along beside the horse-power strides of your supposed savior, brushing your ratty (h/c) hair from flopping over your face more than seven times a minute.

Dazai finally stopped when the end of the alleyway was near, looking left then right as if cautious to see if anyone was coming on either side. You finally caught up with him and doubled over to catch your previously gone breath.

“That’s where the trust part comes in, Miss (Y/n). If you just trust me, then everything will be okay.”

The cold air had dropped again in degrees, skating up every part of the skin under your clothes and making you break out into shivers. “What are you, psychic? How can you be sure that everything will be okay?”

“Because..” You had straightened up now, managing to take in a deep intake of the cold crisp air and let it fill your lungs. He turned to look at you, a set of serious dark eyes that seemed to glint underneath the moonlight to match. “I gave you my word, remember?”

Somehow that didn’t seem to make you feel in any-way better.

“Oh, woo-hoo. I feel so much better..”

Yokohama, being a city you thought was essentially busy judging from the streets a few hours ago, was relatively serene and quiet. Kind of like, a ghost town - or at least resembling one. The shop fronts were vacant and empty, the moonlight cascading down and bouncing off of the reflective glass in a weirdly beautiful yet lonely way. It came to your attention that also, there was no vehicles around. Or bikes for that matter. Just a few crickets sounding vaguely in the air, and a bucket load of weird obnoxious lights shining your way that suspiciously, kind of looked like headlights -

Wait…

“Well, it looks like you're going to rely on my promise sooner rather than later.” The brunette mumbled to himself, his whole stance sharpening as if getting ready for battle. Or in this case, you will come to realize what a dark dangerous battle it will be.

“Dazai… what’s going on..?” The bright lights seemed to be getting brighter and more revealing to the two of you by the minute. Blaring, bright lights blinding you as if trying to seek every single little secret in that dark soul of yours and reveal it to the world. In this case, the darkness and ghost town of Yokohama.

Dazai didn’t will himself to answer, moreover, the bandaged brunette shifted slightly, an expression shadowing his features with an emotion you couldn’t quite pinpoint. Again. ‘God, he was really good at the stone-faced serious look wasn’t he?’

Then, in probably a fraction of a heartbeat, was moving, from your peripheral vision and before you could even comprehend what was going on - both your hands were twisted and pinned down behind your back. ‘Excuse-!’

“Hey! What are you- Ow!” Dazai had taken his place behind you and had both you arms twisted together in a submissive fashion - and a damn hard grip he had too! You were back in the same position you both were in during the little run-in down the alley at dusk, your back pressed against his front. Only, this time, the pain meter was amplified.

“Ow! Ow! Ow! What do you think you’re doing!?” You shrieked but was silenced when the twinge of pain bolted up to your arm from further tightening. “O-ow!”

“Shh..” Dazai hushed sternly, before lowering his head down so that only you could hear his next few words. “I need you to play along, and keep quiet. Whatever I say, or do in the next few moments are completely an act, do you understand?”

Completely an act? “What do you mean? Who do you think I a -aaaaah!” He twisted your arms even further, good God! If he twists the damn bone even more he’ll be next to cracking the poor thing, and probably snapping the tendons in the process.

“I said, do you understand?”

“Argh - yes! I get it! Just - you’re gonna break my freakin’ arm!”

“Good..” The guy breathed as if talking to a child - the nerve. You were honestly expecting him to add a “Girl” at the end of that sentence with the tone he took, and such a phrase definitely did not sit with you well. But, it was the best choice you had. The guy might be strange and definitely ominously shady, but you had no other options here. Any chance of survival you had, or escape for that matter, was lying in this guy’s hands.

Reluctantly, you let him push you forward.

You didn’t get it, the so-called ‘Plan’ that was. Why the hands behind your back? Why the rough tugging as if he’s turning you in? Why the freaking painful ass grip he had you in? Or, the bigger question, and the one you definitely wanted to beat all your hormones and feminine instincts up for.

Why don’t I mind being pushed up against the guy like this!?’

You hated men, no. You loathed any person of the opposite sex, period. You weren’t some crazy feminist with the one and only goal in her life that was - castrate any guy with the male genitalia until there was none left - definitely not. Sure, female rights and all, you believed all of that with one hundred percent of you soul. But, well, let’s just say the men you ran into during the time you spent in the rundown dark spaced on the outskirts of town… weren’t, very memorable. Most men for you had only one of two things in there mind, either sex or if not that, then money.

And that’s the impression you were left with. Sure, it wasn’t fair if you blamed your hostile urges on the other guys of the world, you were sure there were some good ones out there. But, trust issues. That was your only attribute.

Men were vile. That was the end of it.

But…

Body what is wrong with you!? Him pulling you roughly against him like this good God, what is so pleasing about it!? You never seemed to like it when those other people used to pull you against them drunkenly between some dark dingy wall, get a hold of yourself!’

You shook your head as if in attempt to rid your whole body of the weird sparks currently zipping their way and rupturing your nervous system - must be the cold. And you didn’t want to elaborate on the thought further. 

Dazai trudged along with confident long strides, staying silent and cold the whole time. His whole aura had changed as if the soft witty exterior you came to greet in the alley had melted away and was morphed into a whole new look, whole new mask. The persona of a dark, authoritative figure. Someone who was ruthless, demanding, and above all, dangerous.

Jeez..’ The shivers only spread from the bottom of your spine as the lights seemed to be getting closer. ‘Who the hell is this guy?’

“Remember..” His sudden harsh whisper caught you off guard, the grip on your wrists softened slightly. “Be quiet, and play along.”

You still couldn’t figure out what the heck ‘play along’ meant, but hell if you were going to ask him. He’ll only shut you down with that ‘trust’ malarky again, and it was an argument you just couldn’t win, not with him in any way. You found your head meekly agreeing with a short nod.

“Who’s there?!” A sharp cry seemed to emulate from the blinding light, making you go rigid with sweat. ‘Here we go.’

“Dazai Osamu, agent and detective of the ADA!” Dazai boomed with a dark voice over you, your back not missing as his chest reverberated with the sound. “Tell me, is my co-worker with you?!”

Co-worker? ADA? Is this an act too?’

“ADA!?” The guy, yes the voice belonged to a man, no older than about forty probably, questioned again. “Do you have proo-”

“Idiot Bandage-Wasting suicidal freak!”

Woah. Woah. Woah, ‘Who the hell was that!?’. The voice was dangerously familiar, and boy oh boy was it angry. Livid even, and probably coming from an entity that was on fire with the homicidal intent to kill too! And Suicidal Bandage Wasting device? Christ that was mean, wait bandage? ‘Was he talking about Dazai?’

“Hold onto your ability to hear sunshine-” Dazai grumbled disdainfully in a low whisper, only clarifying that the entity that was literally the epitome of rage did indeed, refer to him, and more than likely wanted to kill him too. Well that, or.. He could just sound really angry all the time. You might have had trust issues but you were nowhere near judgemental. You didn’t have the damn right to be judgemental from all the shit you’ve put people through in your life.

Then, a figure stepped into view. You couldn’t make out who in-fact it was due to the light shadowing their figure from behind, but you could clarify that it was a man. And lean, and good God were they tall. Very freaking tall. The guy that was now our mystery opponent had his arm crossed in an annoyed fashion, while he tapped a foot impatiently on the ground with one of those long legs while shifting all of his weight on the other. Something glinted slightly, catching the light on his face, maybe they were glasses?

“Ah! Dearest Kunikida-kun! How are you?” Dazai tried again, in a more sugary voice. ‘Either his acting is really good… or he’s just as bipolar as I am…’

You didn’t know which option you liked best.

“Don’t you ‘How are you?’ me! Where the hell has your stupid ass been!?” The black shadow, now named ‘Kuni-kida?’ seemed to scold, or was it sass? Definitely a mix of the two together, and a damn amusing mix it was. ‘Are these two related or something? Lovers maybe?’

“I went to capture the ability user, like you said..” Your captor answered, in the silkiest tone he could muster, edging the pool of bordemn in it’s wake. “Hence, why I’m here.”

“W-wait-” Kunikida stammered slightly in shock. ‘He had the girl? What?’ He couldn’t see the stupid idiot from where he was standing, the Yokohama police’s headlights didn’t stretch far enough for the blonde agent to clarify. He had to be sure she was with him, and make sure the disgusting sad excuse of a woman was locked up for good.

“Step forward, I can’t see you all the way over there blockhead-!”

You felt Dazai shift behind you, as if urging you to walk forward. If the light wasn’t blinding enough, then by God it was horrible when the guy finally managed to make you advance with shaky stiff legs and a hammering heartbeat. A million thoughts were running through your head as your were dragged into the revealing limelight, and ones you really didn’t need plagiarizing your mind right now. Thoughts that were laced with anxiety and clouded your brain with doubt. ‘Shit. Shitshitshitshit, what if it’s a set up?’

You couldn’t help the question that was put on loop in your muddled mind as you felt the agent behind you, that was even if he was an agent in the first place tighten his whole posture. He wouldn’t, would he? Set up a poor lost girl like that?

Your brain decided to swap that innocent facade mark up of a word with more suitable adjectives, such as ‘killer’, ‘demon’, and the one your twisted soul seemed to like the most. ‘Castaway’.

Why would he set up a cold-blooded demonic killer, like you?’

Your heart began hammering even faster, like a humming bird flapping it’s wings as all the blood rushed right up to your head. Anxiety and mistrust was hitting you hard in the side, restricting your breathing as if crushing your rib-cage and your lungs all at the same time. ‘God, why does this always happen?’ Why do you always go along with stars in your eyes and hope blooming in your chest with the promise of some stranger with the whole “Nice” facade, and the prize of a normal life, only to always be betrayed. Shut down. Regretful and doubtful, a prisoner of your own thoughts and darkness! ‘Why!?’

Because no-one can help you, remember!? No-one! We settled on this years ago!’ Your subconscious seemed to be trying to knock some sense into your fogged up brain. ‘It’s the only way you can be safe!’

The doubtful dark war wagered on in your mind, while your limp rag-doll like body was dragged numbly along as if being used as a puppet. You weren’t in the moment, more like, you were disconnected from the moment entirely. It didn’t mean much to the agent however, he felt how limp you had gone in his hands, and how hard you were breathing. You were afraid, he knew as much, but for you to go completely dead-like all of a sudden and out of the moment, it was strange to the guy. Fitting for the situation and this whole charade he was putting on, sure. But just… unexpected.

She’s so light…’

Dazai pulled the malnourished and un-fighting girl into the lime-light, or in this case, a myriad of headlights making the agent shield his eyes. ‘Was it really necessary to bring the whole Yokohama police department with him too?’

As the brunette decided to finally step forward and show himself, Kunikida eyes finally went wide with shock. ‘He wasn’t lying..’ A woman, no older than (y/a), was lying limp and unmoving in his arms, her hands twisted behind her back. The girl’s (e/c) were glazed slightly, and narrowed as if she was in deep thought, like pondering really hard. She was alert and aware judging by the fact she was still walking in front of his co-worker, but with so much submission it was scary. It looked as if, she had finally given up, retracted any form of resilience and decided to just go along unmoving. The blonde trained his impressed gaze from the soon to be prisoner up to his colleague , who met his stare with an equally hard one. Unusually hard, and concentrated, ‘Maybe he was nervous?

Dazai and nervous didn’t seem to fit well, at least not in his mind however.

You idiot! He’s setting you up!’ You could feel the situation coming back to you now, images and vivid voices of the guy above you conversing with the shadow ahead. The eyes that were tuned out began sharpening with fear once again, an old habit. - ‘Whenever doubt nor anxiety seems to win your impossible spirit over, you slip into fear. Cold, black fear.’

‘But, he promised me….’

‘How many times have you heard that stupid word over and over again? Huh?!’

‘But he gave me… his word…’

Oh really?! Like his word is so stable for someone like you to balance on (y/n)..’

‘But….’ You found your footing again, the senses and system reboot reaching the ‘Complete’ while that same black fear started to envelope and suffocate the little shining hope that was clinging to your heart like it needed it to survive. You were being dragged forward again, closer to the cars, closer to those people, and you considered it. Let them take you in like you had always thought, but something was gnawing at your pride. Something that was hissing at you to ‘Fight Back!’, and that you had every right to do so. You had never thought about it like that, besides a castaway like you didn’t deserve to fight back.

Your karma was coming for you, and God, you knew it would a long time ago.

This is what you deserve. You were being dragged right to it! Of course you had to accept! It would be indecent not to, to all those people you sent to the afterlife against their will. You deserve it!

But still…’

You deserve it!

You began struggling against the guys hold, trying to wriggle your way out and listen to that voice inside you telling you to ‘Fight Back!’

‘I do deserve my karma, and I will get it one day..’ Your struggling became more imminent, as Dazai began tightening you against him in attempt to make you stop. Like hell he was! ‘But not like this! Being tricked by something I desperately want!’

That’s when, you really started to put up a fight.

Kunikida stared with a perplexed look at the scene currently taking place before him. The, just moments ago, girl who looked as if you could have thrown her in-front of a bus and she wouldn’t have the strength or will to give a damn, began to kick up. She struggled, shrieked, and kicked about as if her life depended on it, a fire of determination kindling in her (e/c) eyes. Dazai looked as if he was maintaining himself, but was struggling with her animalistic thrashing at the same time. ‘The bitch is strong too, isn’t she?’

“Bastard! Let me go!” You were fighting against Dazai’s strong grip so much that it was becoming hard to think. It was as if, in that moment, your whole logical side had been shut off and a new power in your body was surging it’s way through, switching your senses to autopilot. You kicked again, making Dazai wobble slightly behind you on the equilibrium. “Tricking me like that! You dirty fucker! Digging in to see the one thing I longed for only to completely lie to me! Let me go! Let me go!”

Kunikida was now in a mobile stance, bee-lining his way over to Dazai with a pair of S.W.A.T. members following closely at his tail. Dazai knew it would be tough to convince Kunikida to not arrest the girl just yet, and to bring her back to the ADA so he could give them a run down of the situation and hopefully get them on his side. He didn’t want to hurt her, at least not intentionally. The women had saved his life, that and plus he had given her is word. The ex-Mafia general never usually gave out his word often, but trust him on this, he would go to all lengths to fulfill it. Even if he had to fraternize with the Devil.

“Lock her up, and restrain her on both ends!” Kunikida began baring orders, making the frail women kick more. “Make sure she doesn’t-”

No!”

Kunikida was taken aback by the protest, from no-one but his co-worker currently looking as if he was having a wrestling match on the floor. “No? What the fuck do you mean?”

“I mean- nrg” The girl had kicked the agent in the shin, making her smile delightfully at the inflection. ‘Ha! Fuck you! You lying bastard! I should have let you die back then!’

“I mean, we need to bring her back-”

“Back where, you idiot?” Now, Kunikida was a lot of things, but everyone knew patience was definitely not one of them. He was an idealist after all, and if there was one thing that the guy hated with every fibre in his body, was when someone wasted his precious time. Especially if that someone was wrapped in bandages and worked in the same workplace as he did!

“The A-Agency.” ‘Christ this girl is strong’. Dazai made a mental note not to piss you off in future scenarios, God you may look frail but there was a little beast inside of you waiting to rip any rivals head off, and he couldn’t help but feel a small twinge of curiosity in you.

What?!” The blonde idealist snapped, some of his cool composure slipping and exploding like the ticking time-bomb he was. “Are you out of your Goddamn mind?! Let a women as dangerous as her back into the Office?! Near our colleagues? Near the President?! Have you finally gone insane?!”

The brunettes eyes darkened slightly, the serious expression washing over him like a tidal wave as he managed to get you in this weird position. Sure, it had stopped your animalistic trashing, your hands still pinned with one hand at the small of your back while his arm was clamped down around your frail neck, completely making you immobile. Where he learned such a dirty move? You didn’t know.

“President's Orders..” Dazai lied willingly to his colleague, keeping the ablaze girl under him down and not let her up for a round two of wrestling again. Kunikida paused in his little tantrum, the whole rant of how Dazai was an ‘Irrational Idiot who needs to be removed from the ADA’ dying in his throat.

“What did you just say?”

“I said, President's orders. He want this so called ‘Ability User’ to come back to us for a short time. Under our caution and supervision. He thinks we can help her.”

Kunikida went wide-eyed, staring at his colleague in utter disbelief. ‘The President.. My Teacher… orders that this woman. This ruthless killer come back to the Agency? That can’t be right….’ But, when he thought about the situation over and over again in his quick-witted brain, it came more and more clearer how likely such a situation could be. ‘She’s an ability user after all… and not tied to the Mafia… And that brat was in the same position as she was when we found him..’

‘Only that he didn’t fucking kill people!

“Kunikida..” Dazai pulled the blonde out of his raging thoughts, the drop in the honorific more than anything else. “I’m not lying to you, the President sees her as he saw Atsushi-kun when we took him in. Are you doubting the President's judgment?”

Dazai watched as his colleague screwed up his head in confusion, pushing the glinting pair of frames off his face and rubbing it with the other hand out of exasperation. Being torn with what he believes in and what he wants. He had got him.

“Grr.. Fine! Fine! You guys can disperse, this is Agency business now..”Kunikida rounded to the S.W.A.T. unit, who didn’t seem to want to budge. This only angered the blonde even more. “That’s an order!”

As quickly as it took you to blink in surprise at the whole ordeal, was the time the unit took to scurry away in fear of the wrath at the agents aura. He looked as if he would snap anyone’s neck willingly at the moment with how ablaze his steel eyes were.

You better not fucking regret this, shithead-” Kunikida mumbled with dripping hate. So much hate, for a certain suicidal maniac currently wrapped around you. “And you can take her back. I don’t want to be near her.”

And with that, the guy turned around on his heel and stalked away, each step as if a warning not to come near him unless you had a death wish.

“Don’t worry, Kunikida-kun!” The cheery tone was back in Dazai voice, making you squint in confusion. ‘Wait. What the hell just happened? Why aren’t the police carting me away yet and throwing me into a solitary confinement cell?’ “She’s in good hands!”

The agent only responded with his middle finger, flipping the brunette off.

Dazai chuckled above you, as you tried to decode the whole situation in your brain like a really, really difficult calculus question. “He’s just slightly mad, isn’t he? Don’t worry, he’ll come around. He always does.”

You mumbled slightly, trying to as the sole words of “What in the fuck is going on?” but was silenced by the soft fabric of a trench coat.

“Oh, pardon me..” The brunette apologized quickly, before removing you completely from his hold and standing up. The satisfied smirk never left his face once, as he began brushing the dirt off of his long legs. You however, couldn’t have been more lost.

The ground was cold, very cold in fact, but you couldn’t focus on the thought at the moment. Moreover, you just found yourself staring in the most confused way, kind of resembling a puppy, up at the guy in front of you. He showed no sign of danger, hostility, or authority anymore. He was back to the guy you met in the alley a few hours ago, and that whole point made the freaky ordeal even more confusing!’

“What. The….. Hell…..?” You mumbled, to no-one in particular. You were just, kind of absentmindedly saying your thoughts outloud. Because, if you didn’t, everything would probably get so worked and pent up that you would probably feel faint. “Just…. What? How? Why?”

Dazai fixed you with a small smile, and a slightly puzzled look, before reaching out a hand to you, that you stared at demeaningly. Like, it would jump out and bite you or something crazy bizarre like that. You dragged the gaze up to his face, then his dark chocolate eyes that seemed to catch the light like mirrors. “What just happened? Why wasn’t I thrown into the back of one of those vans just now?”

“Because, Miss (y/n), I told you I would help you, didn’t I?” He coaxed his bandaged-clad hand further, willing you to take it. You stared slightly for a moment, completely zoning out again. ‘That was all…. The truth?’

Cautiously, so very cautiously, you slipped your slim hand into his own. It was warm. Maybe from the bandages. But still, nonetheless, it was warm. Very warm.

“And I have to say…” The brunette smiled again, and you couldn’t pass up that fact that his teeth were the damndest whitest thing you have ever seen in you life. “Your acting back there was next to an art. You deserve an oscar.

The guy hoisted you up to your feet, and with knitted (h/c) eyebrows, you started right up to him. “Acting?”

“Yes, when you started kicking and screaming like a maniac. It was really fitting.”

You regarded him for a second, letting a gear in your brain click slightly in your brain. ‘Acting? He thought I was playing along?’

Dazai kept the weirdly sadistic smirk on his features, before he rounded the corner and began walking. You felt yourself following like a magnet…. strangely, the hope that was once faded away began blooming brighter in your heart, filling your brain with some form of meaning. Only that, this was different. All the false hope you had been hit with in the past, was nothing compared to this. This feeling was strange. New, and scary, but strange.

This was real. Real Hope. The first time in your life you felt such an emotion.

And it was entrancing.

You pondered somewhere along the way to tell Dazai that your so called ‘Acting’ was real, and you actually intended to rip his head off his shoulders to get away from him back there. You really did.

But then, you settled on staring at his shiny brown locks dance in the breeze, and twinkle with moonlight.

Hm...Better not.’

 

Chapter Text

The night was cold.

But then again..’ Dazai hummed absentmindedly in his thoughts, taking in the view of the vacant streets and twinkling jewel-like stars. ‘When could the darkness ever be a warm bright place?’

Why the agent was having such random profound thoughts right now… he couldn’t give you a reason. He was a random person, well. He preferred the term ‘unique’, because it was his unique way of thinking that got him out of a lot of life - or - death situations in his life, it was his unique way of thinking that conjured his idea to escape the clutches of the Mafia without a trace, and, of course. It will be down to his unique way of thinking to whether this girl will survive to see the next sunrise of tomorrow or not.

“How are you doing back there?”

A small grunt of frustration answered his inquiry, followed by the sound of a stray can scraping against the ground and a myriad of hushed curses. “God-Damnit- How. Does. It. Sound. Like. I’m. Doing?”

“You sound on edge sweetheart.” Dazai narrowed his dark calculating eyes down the next two streets, trying to decide which route will be the longest way back to the A.D.A so he can give his brain a little bit more time to think.

On edge?!” The woman behind him hissed, now sounding a little closer. “Of course I’m on edge! I’m following a complete random stranger to god knows where that I can’t even bring myself to trust. And not only that, but I just kicked a large glass bottle and can’t feel my foot! So yeah, besides all of that however, I’m just great.”

“Awh… (y/n), you still can’t trust me?”

“No. I’ve only met you..”

“Not necessarily… we’ve crossed paths before lovely-”

“Stop that.”

Dazai crossed his heavy eyebrows as he slowed his pace slightly. And, by the sound of the girl’s prodding feet behind him, she had unceremoniously fallen in step behind him. “Stop what, darlin-”

“No. That. Stop it. You’re sugar coated flirting is making me want to vomit.”

“Who said I was flirting with you? I don’t flirt with women I’ve only met..”

“But we’ve met befo- Wait. Hey! Don’t mess with me!”

Dazai chuckled at the girl’s aggravation, burying both hands deep into the pockets of his trench coat. “I’m not messing with you. Just stating facts.”

“Has anyone ever told you how annoyingly confusing you are?”

“Hmm.. quite a few actually. More than you would expect, as begrudging as I’d like to admit. Anyway, if you find me aggravatingly confusing, why are you still following me?”

A slow smile crept it’s way up on Dazai face as he heard the small voice huff silently behind him. It was too bad the woman didn’t trust him yet though, but it was inevitable really. ‘Back there, she really wasn’t putting on an act.’ Through all of the brunette’s time in the dark jobs he conducted in the Port Mafia era, and with all the people he had to crack under interrogation, he grew to detect when someone was lying, or not. When someone was nervous, or just downright afraid. And more importantly, he got to see through a handful of different facades and acts, which ones are real and which ones are not. And if his sharp instincts didn’t deceive him, back there when he had to struggle to keep the ratty women against him, was definitely not a facade.

She was generally fighting against me to break free..’

The thought had Dazai feeling uneasy. Of course, he didn’t expect this girl to be an easy case to crack - maybe for Ranpo, but he was no Ranpo. Besides, a girl who somehow saves his life in the warehouse with little to absolutely no intellect to who he was, or more importantly, how dangerous he could have been at the time. But she did, anyway. And now.. She was back, only now she was doing the exact opposite of saving lives.

An oddly intriguing girl she is.’

She wasn’t Dazai’s type, per say - not that it really mattered in this situation. Sure, she was pretty, but the agent thought every women had some beautiful aspect to her. All the women Dazai had run into in his past times had been soft and gentle, - where she was rough around the edges and definitely had some issues. The other women had been submissive and willing - where she had placed everything in her to put up a fight. Dazai had a particular interest in women with soft skin, and untouched bodies that he could mark himself - where her skin was scarred and calloused probably from the hard past she had to go through. But, she was interesting nonetheless, and spiked the agent's interest since that night. Not only because she had saved him.., and he was naturally indebted to her… but-

If she’s an ability user. Then… how, did she use an ability on me?’

‘Unless.. She didn’t use an ability and just helped me physically?’

The detective felt the tugging annoyance nagging at the back of his mind again, a feeling of not knowing. Being left stranded in the dark. Oh how he hated it. Unknowing and just closing something off like that.

‘But I remember dying…Feeling warm at at rest, leaving my pain filled body completely..'

Dazai stole a quick glance back at his saviour of sorts, that she met with an equally nervous yet fired up gaze in her (e/c) eyes. She closed her eyebrows down at him, a sense of mistrust still in the air between them. ‘Patience Dazai… I doubt she’ll reveal anything to you just yet. Wait until the time is right, earn her precious trust inch by inch until the moment arises.’

‘She might be useful to the A.D.A in the meantime, anyway.’

The brunette shot you a satisfied smirk from over his shoulder, before he whipped his head back around and began to pick up his pace with those freakishly long legs of his. You had a few things ready to curse him to in your brain, and a large portion of your body was telling you to turn around right now and resume the previous paused limbo you were living, forget any form of hope that this stupid bandaged stranger was giving you-

But you kept walking.

Don’t blame me if you get thrown into jail or killed just because this guy knows all the right words to say..’ Your subconscious huffed in an ‘I-Told-You-So’ tone, making you scowl at nothing but the back of Dazai’s head. You tried picking up the pace to fall in step beside him, but with bated breath and this cold night air - it was a task and a half to do.

You didn’t realise you were shaking under your rags before you felt something heavy and warm drop onto your shoulders.

Take every opportunity you see to make her trust you’

You stared at the fabric that had fallen onto your slim shoulders, the look and feel of the rough material making the sense of nostalgia jog your memory. When the gears started turning in your brain, you flitted a pair of cautious eyes up at Dazai, who had everything intact except for one item of clothing on his body - his signature coat - which was missing.

You tried to shrug off his trench coat from your shoulders - ‘Hell if he thinks I’ll be moved by such a stupid gesture. Rags are okay for me thank you very much!- before a soft grip rested on your upper arm, making you freeze.

“Keep it, you need it more than me.” Dazai hushed silently, as if he didn’t want any of the ghosts on the street to hear him.

“Gr.. No thank you! I’m perfectly warm, but it’s appreciated.” You struggled to defy him, more for the reason that you wanted to get out of this fabric before you longed for it even more. ‘God it’s so warm,’

“(Y/n), you're shivering. Take it.” His tone was edging towards one of annoyance.

It wasn’t a lie, and you hated the way you knew it. Your body was probably shaking so much like an unsteady coat rack that any stranger could see it from a mile away. “I already said. I’m fine.”

Dazai’s hand on your fore-arm tightened, while you narrowed your (e/c) eyes right up into his now darkening chocolate ones. Suddenly, a new form of shivers broke out all over your body, except this time, it wasn’t from anything like the cold air.

“I insist that you take it, (y/n). I don’t think I can convince anyone not to take that head off of your shoulders where we are about to enter if you're shaking so much that you look like you could explode like a ticking time bomb at any second. For the last time, take it.”

There it was, that dangerous authority taking over his persona and clouding his eyes with a storm of brown hues. Something told you to definitely not disobey him, his aura a dark pungent colour that surrounded you and shot nerves through your body in a warning sense. You took in his dark eyes that you got to see more than once on this hectic night, before slumping down in defeat dropping your shoulders in it’s wake. ‘He’s got a point..’

‘...Damn it!’

Dazai regarded you for a couple of moments, as if to see if you were going to kick up and start struggling again. But, when you pulled that fabric closer around your body and let out a sigh of submission, he mentally smiled in triumph before dropping the grip on your slim arm.

Build it up. Ever so slowly..’

“So, shall we get going?” The brunette smiled down at you, the light twinkling back and pooling into the dark canvass in his eyes. God, you found yourself dumbfounded at this guy - ‘It was like a magic trick’. How he can just switch personas so easily? Alter from dark and scary to cheerful and trustworthy, an attribute that you knew you were about to hate from the very beginning.

Stupidly confusing. He’s stupidly confusing and by the way the bastard has a spring in his step he damn well knows it!’

“Come on, (y/n). Or I’ll leave you behind!”

You wrapped the coat around you tighter before following your new found stranger into the dark abyss of the unknown, a new path branching itself out to you, a blank sheet ready to be spewed with vibrant colours on this new journey you were about to embark on. Only, you would come to realize this in the future, what a freakishly crazy ride it was about to be.

No thoughts of mistrust were clouding your mind right now, no doubtful feelings lingering in your chest or prodding black voices in your heart. You didn’t feel a lot of emotions at the time, but you did feel something, something that you hadn’t felt like in such a long time that you had forgot what such a thing even felt like.

Warm.

 


 

The two of you reached the building you had already visited once today in a matter of around fifteen minutes, or at least that’s what you could only guess. You hadn’t seen a watch in god knows how long, but from your guessing of the moon’s stationary stance, it hadn’t been anything over an hour.

It looked relatively the same, but now that it was dark outside, you expected there to be lights of life in each story of the red brick building. But, you didn't have any of those expectations met, as all of the windows showed nothing but darkness from within. Each room looked empty and barren, while the building stood proudly in the middle of the street with a slight lonely feel to it.

“Is there… no-one here?...” You half mumbled half inquired to yourself, but loud enough for Dazai to catch on. The same Dazai who was currently rooting around in his back pockets for an item you were ignorant to.

“Uh… not at the moment I’m sure..” The brunette switched his attention from his back trouser pockets to padding down his torso. ‘What is he looking for?’

“What are you looking for?” You voiced your thoughts aloud, tugging his jacket tighter around your shoulders to smother the shivers breaking out inside your system as another sweep of cold air rushed past. Dazai narrowed his eyes, muttering something like “I better not have dropped them” under his breath.

You felt contempt with him not answering, before you turned your gaze towards the shut doors in front of you and tried to solve the question yourself. ‘A pair of doors… that are currently shut at the moment. Maybe… he’s looking for….’

A small sense of eureka shot through you before you reached down into the heavier side of the trench coat and dug your hand into the pocket, latching onto the cold item in question. You pulled it out and held in front of the guy, who was now in the process of skimming his hands down his back… as if such a thing would be there.

“Here..” You dangled the glistening set of keys in front Dazai’s face, the sound of metal on metal snapping the brunette out of his desperate search and train his gaze up to where your hand had been. The set of keys that you had unintentionally slipped your touch over while you placed both hands into the deep pockets on the walk up here, and by the look of relief washing over Dazai’s, face, they were indeed the item he was desperately searching for.

“How did you know?” He smiled softly, taking the metal keys right from your grasp and flipping through them with downcast eyes.

You shrugged, shuffling closer to Dazai in attempt to get inside as quickly as possible. “Just a hunch.. I guess.”

Dazai smirked slightly as he plucked the right key from the ring and held it up. It glinted in the moonlight while he slotted it into the keyhole with a snugly fit, and turned it. A soft *click* filled the quiet space bubble around you, before a bandaged clad hand rested on the handle and opened the door with a slight push.

“Does everyone have key to this place..?”

Dazai pulled the long key out of it’s confinements in the lock and with returning the set to his back pocket, he turned to face you. “Nope. Only me, for after hours that is... “

“Why?” You looked demeaningly at his outstretched hand, gesturing you to step inside of the dark building. Reluctantly, you obliged.

“Because…” You squinted your gaze in the dark space, allowing your eyes to adjust to the new light setting. Your (e/c) eyes burned in protest, trying to make out all the odd shapes and blotches, putting names to whatever items they could be and being careful not to walk into one. “I’m special..”

Oh yeah….’ You felt around in the space, your hand skimming over to what seemed to feel like… a staircase. Or well, near enough to a staircase as you tried to form images of what you had seen in this same space previously that day. ‘Very freaking special…’

The room seemed to only get darker and darker, before the sound of a door closing resonated off of the walls and echoed around the room. You were shrouded in darkness once again, only this time, it was really… truly dark. You couldn’t see anything, your eyes weren’t at such an advanced level to see anything. ‘Shit shit shit-’ You were beginning to panic. No scratch that, you were freaking panicking.


Darkness shrouded you as you were thrown into the small space, nothing but dust and wooden walls all around you. You screamed, as high and as desperate as a young girl could, but it was like nothing could hear you. Everyone was deaf to your mute screams, as you pounded on the walls of the cupboard. You were lost. You were alone. You were scared-


“(Y/n). (Y/n). Hey, are you okay?” A voice lifted you from your dark daydream - literally, but you couldn’t see who it belonged to. The room was still a pitch abyss, but a hand firmly shaking your shoulder gave you some form of reassurance. ‘I’m not home. I’m not back there. I’m here, this isn't a cupboard. I’m okay. I’m. Okay…..’

“Uh.. y-yeah.. I’m fine…” You spoke sheepishly in a voice that suspiciously didn’t sound like yours. It was soft, and lost of any emotion but bordering on the level of exhaustion. Your body felt weak and desperately crying out for rest, yelling at you to close your eyes and sleep, but you ignored. Every since you almost fell asleep in this same office this-morning, you had only yearned to sleep. But you didn’t, or more specifically, you couldn’t bring your brain to shut down in such a situation like this. You brain was always on overdrive, clouded with anxiety and aiding your insomnia. ‘When was the last time I slept?’

“Are you sure?” Dazai voice was soft and gentle in the darkness, and you had to fight the urge to scowl at his unrequited kindness. ‘You can be suspicious later. Sleep right now sounds so much better.’ “Your breathing sounded very shaken up a few seconds ago..”

“No- er… really I’m fine, Do you think….” You stifled a yawn barely, causing Dazai to chuckle somewhere, his hand never leaving your shoulder once - and you didn’t think you wanted it to.

“...do you think… I could sleep somewhere? The floor…. The floor here is fine…”

“The floor?” Dazai inquired, sounding amused and astonished at the same time - and if you weren’t so dejected and tired at the moment a swift kick would be aiming were all men knows the sun definitely doesn't shine.

Too bad it’s too dark to even think straight. If that makes sense… er… never mind!’

Dazai's hand pushed your shoulders slightly, as if coaxing you to move in the space, and your body was more willing to. Your stubborn mind might have thought differently, but when you put a tired body and a raging mind together, you don’t get a great connection. Everything was delayed, like a satellite T.V not receiving signal, or whatever metaphor you wanted.

You were guided gently along, the cautious sparks working around you body again as you stepped into the foreign unknown. Who knows? You could walk only a few steps further and a light switches on, and you find yourself face to face with the police of Yokohama. Game over. This is all a ploy and you were about to be captured any minute no-

Your ankle hit something hard.

Steps, (y/n), steps. Lift your feet.” Dazai’s voice aided your pondering thoughts, making you begrudgingly take a step up. And another, and before you knew it, this repeated routine had taken you all the way up the staircase.

Your eyelids felt droopy, and if it wasn’t for Dazai’s hand supporting you from the back of your shoulder blade, you probably would have fell backwards and slept right here and now. But, thankfully, Dazai didn’t seem like he wanted to have an unconscious looking girl on the doorstep on the A.D.A’s office for Kunikida to scream at in the morning thinking that she’s dead. Even though the scene would be hilarious, he decided to opt against it.

The agent unlocked the familiar door to the office and pushed the girl inside, and by the feel of all her weight resting on his hand - she looked like she would knock out from exhaustion any second now. The whole familiar space was embedded in his mind from his four years of being here, so it was only expected that he knew exactly where and how everything was placed. He was told from multiple people that his memory was great, and his mind was even more astounding so it wasn’t surprising that the agent weaved his way through the space even without the sense of sight. Past the meeting room, past the conference area, the guest area, right to his designated destination -

Dr. Yosano Akiko. He already knew what the nameplate said, even before he threw the door aside and ushered the girl inside before she collapsed right on top of him.

“....Where?....” You mumbled, rubbing your eyes and fighting exhaustion with everything you had in you. Which… wasn’t really a lot right now.

Dazai’s hand left your shoulder for a brief moment, and that same panic began to rise up inside you again. But, that panic and need was quickly replaced with hissing and loathing when the dark space was lit up with a dim light source from the corner of the room. You dug two fists into your eyes, the burning in them completely evident.

“Ah- gr. Ng. Give me a heads up, would you?” You growled, stars exploding behind your shut eyelids. Dazai merely barked out a short laugh, from behind you.

“Ironic, Miss (y/n). For one, you were shaking so hard when the downstairs area became dark, and here you're telling me that you hate the light too?”

“Are you asking for a kick to the balls, bastard?”

“Not directly… no..”

This guy!’

You cursed him to hell and anywhere else unfortunate in this world for a few moments longer - just a few - before you lifted your hands away from your eyes and blinked a few times. You were still freaking exhausted as all hell, this day has been way longer than you’d like it to be, but the light had jolted you awake a little bit more, but not for long. You blinked, and blinked, and blinked some more before those weird bursts of light were gone from your vision and craned your neck up.

Where am I?’

The room you were in was clean and sterile, but cozy in a way. Like a doctor's office, but not as formal. There was a row of beds sitting stationary along the wall beside where Dazai was staring at you, arms folded. A table of oak make sat at the wall beside you in the small room, odds of pens and a little pot of plants resting atop along with a myriad of files. Curtains hid each bed from view, and you couldn’t help but wonder why there was no patients in them.

“Doctor's office..” Dazai spoke, making you gaze wearily at him. “Miss Yosano Akiko’s office, the doctor of the A.D.A. She has quite the ability…”

Ability?’

“Why would she need an office if….” Another yawn slipped out, and you didn’t even try stifle it. “... an office… for people if,.... She can just treat them..?”

Dazai frowned, a light of amusement lying deep behind his eyes. “Okay… I think I may need to get you asleep before you start asking other stupid questions. You’re hurting your reputation.”

“... Fuck you … I have no reputation…. To upkeep…”

“You do now~” The agent sang, having more fun with her disconnected state than he should have been. The weak girl wobbled slightly in front of him, before staggering forward and letting herself be caught in his grasp once more. The brunette felt himself sigh, wheeling her towards one of the empty beds and letting her climb up onto it - with some help of course.

“....You know the floor would have been fine…”

“Nobody uses these beds anyway.” Dazai assured, going over the conversations he was going to have to have with more than two agents about this in the morning. And the president. “I’m sure Yosano-san won’t mind..”

“You hold her…. In high regard….with the honorific…” You yawned, settling down on the soft surface and letting yourself close your eyes.

“She’s my co-worker. Of course I do.”

“...The floor… is comfy…”

“Go to sleep, (y/n).”

“...Why?”

“Because you're tired.”

“No…. “ You had lost control of your brain, everything switching to shutdown mode and immigrating to a much needed state of hibernation. “Why… are you … doin.. Doing this?”

Dazai stared down at your limp form for a while, before the erratic rise and fall of your chest became rhythmic, and your screwed up face relaxed and breathed low steady breaths. You looked peaceful, like all the worries had been lifted from your shoulders even only for a brief few hours.

“Goodnight, (y/n).”

 


 

Are you sure about this, Dazai?” Fukuzawa, president of the A.D.A, stared over his mug of green tea at his subordinate. “I’ve never doubted you once before, but this. This is unlike you.”

Dazai folded his arms defensively in front of him, pouting playfully. “What do you mean, unlike me? I’m only doing what I believe is beneficial for the A.D.A.”

Fukuzawa cocked his eyebrow, before sipping on his tea softly closing his eyes. “I mean, such a fast decision. You usually don’t act until you have some form of ground work first.”

“Ground work? I have more than enough to act, the girl’s an ability user, not tied to the Mafia, is not aware of what she’s doing, Her ability has potential if contained, what more do I need?”

“You usually come to me first, like you did with Atsushi. Before he even took the exam, I was informed who and what ability he was an had. But this girl, this is the first report I’ve been given and she’s already asleep in the Agency Building.”

Dazai flitted his gaze, down to the floor. Then, out the window to admire the now rising sun. “Are you scolding me, Sir?”

“Not scolding.” The president took another long gulp of his warm drink. ”Just curious to what pushed you to such a rash decision. Are you being threatened?”

“No..”

“Afraid?”

“No..”

“Running?”

“I can assure you, no.”

“Then… what? Do you have interest in the girl?”

Dazai turned his head back to his superior, a set of stone grey eyes of old age meeting his youthful yet wise ones. “Yes. Greatly so.”

“Dazai, if this is one of your suicide antics, I must politely-”

Dazai chuckled lowly, shaking his head in disregard. “No no, I’m not interested in her, as a woman. I’m interested in her ability.”

“Her ability? How so? What is it?”

Dazai took some time to think. “I don’t have a definite definition of what exactly her ability is. I know it can cause such mass destruction, but… it can save lives too..”

“How can you be sure?” The president looked with a puzzled yet timid gaze at the agent before him.

Again, Dazai didn’t reply right away. Moreover, he glanced out the window again, the sun slipping up more and casting a palette of pinks, orange and yellow all over the sky. “Because… she saved my life…”

Such a confession caught the president off guard slightly, but he was a man who could gain composer very quickly when he loses it. He watched as his subordinate of four years, a trusted member of his organization as he gazed fondly out the window.

“Where’s your jacket, Dazai?” He found himself asking.

“Huh? .. Oh..” Dazai looked down at his waistcoat and pinstriped shirt, suddenly relizing his lack of the clothing item, ‘Must of left it around her…’

“I left it with her… Why?”

“Just curious… no reason. Fine. If it’s what you believe is right, then I won’t stop you..”

“Thank you for your trust.” Dazai bowed deeply to his president, before something struck in his memory.

“Oh, uh Sir? One more thing.”

“What is it?”

“Kunikida is pretty… well, not on board with her at the moment, and I kind of told him that this was your idea, if you could comply with my act it would be appreciated.”

Fukuzawa smriked. “Sure, I’ll play along.”

Dazai bowed again, before making him way out of the room and opening the door.

“Oh, President Fukuzawa?” The brunette paused at the entrance.

“Yes?”

“Please remember, I would never do anything to harm or put the A.D.A in danger. Ever.”

The president regarded Dazai at the door for a long moment, the sheer sternness in his voice making him feel pleased with himself for taking in such a devoted young man into the Agency at the age of only nineteen,

“I know. You never have, and I believe you never will.”

With  that, Dazai smiled. But, it wasn’t his usual crooked quirky smile, or sly flirtatious smile, it was genuine. The smile not a lot of people get to see, as it let his facade fall slightly. Everyone had a facade, they’re aware of it or not, and Dazai was one that not a lot of people noticed it was that easily put on from how long he had to use it. But, it was time like this, that Fukuzawa got to see who his most trusted agent really was.

“My regards, Sir. Sorry for disturbing so early in the morning.”

Fukuzawa watched sipping his tea once again as Dazai exited his room. The green tea was warm, yet something scratched his throat making him cough slightly. The tea was still in the cup thankfully, but a small piece of whatever had choked the graying man lay idle in the middle.

“Huh…”The president smiled to himself, as he watched the object in the cup. “The tea leaf in standing upright…

 

Chapter Text

A field of green summer grass and colour-dotted flowers stretched as far as your light (e/c) could see, sweeping with the warm breeze. You loved the sun, and more importantly you loved the season of summer - when the sun was alive the most. ‘Mommy always said the sun is happy during the summer, because it got to see all of the people smiling so brightly underneath it’s warmth.’

You were playing with the grass underneath where you were sitting, not too far away from the village to make anyone worry, but just far enough for you to be alone. The green strands you were plucking and stacking into some form of make-shift castle glittered in the sunlight above, causing your soft face to stretch into a familiar smile and stretch your neck up.

You were always told not to look at the sun directly, scolded countless times by your older siblings and family that it will damage your eyes. But it was a force of habit - yeah it did blind you a little for a while, but nothing an eight year old child couldn’t handle. ‘The trick was-’ you used to always tell them, receiving an eyeroll as high as the sky every time. ‘- to blink every five seconds when you do.’

“Hello Mr. Sun.” You smiled up at the blazing ball of gas in the brilliant summer sky. “How are you today?”

Blink.

“That’s good. The clouds don’t seem to be bothering you anymore, blocking you-”

Blink.

“-out. That’s nice of them, isn’t it?”

Blink.

The sun responded by twinkling slightly, or maybe that was just your eyes begging you to look away or return to a dark space. But you couldn’t do that. You hated the dark, or more specifically - you were afraid of the dark. Because it was when the sun decided to go asleep for a little while, it was when Mommy placed you into bed for the night -

That’s when the mean voices started talking to you.

You tried to tell your Mother about these voices, you remembered. Explaining that they were mean to you and telling you that you were such a “scared little girl and knew nothing about what she could be”. Of course, your Mother was appalled and demanded to tell you what kids of the village were saying that to her youngest daughter so she could give them a piece of her mind with the wooden spoon. But you tried to explain it to her - that they weren’t any of the children in the village. That it wasn’t any of their faults - that these voices only seemed to speak to you in the dark, from inside your head.

You felt your face frown at what punishment you received from her after she heard such a thing. Your arm was still bruised from impact, her screams of “What will the villagers think of you if they heard such a thing? Nonsense! Don’t you dare speak of such nonsense ever again!” echoed around you.

“Mommy didn’t like it when I said that to her…” You mumbled up to the sunlight once again. “She said nobody wil-”

Blink.

“-think I’m normal if I say that. Nobody will be my -”

Blink.

“Friend if I say things like that. But you will, won’t you? You’ll-”

Blink.

“Still be here and be my friend. You will won’t you?”

Blink.

“Because without you… I’ll always be in the dark. If you go -”

Blink.

“I’ll always be left in the dark, because there will be no light-”

Blink.

“But you won’t do that. You’ll always be there, Mommy said so.”

The sky as well as the sun was becoming one big blurred mess before your eyes, which felt like they were currently on fire even with all your blinking. You felt yourself close them shut one last time before placing your head into your small palms and rubbing both eyes lightly. Stars exploded at the back of your eyelids, the image of the star of life practically engraved in your mind. But that’s what you wanted, you wanted to be able to picture the sun all the time, when you were sad - you just closed your eyes and wanted the sun to be there. When you were in the dark and wanted to make the voices stop - you wanted the sun to be there. You always wanted the sun to be there.

When you slowly opened your soft (e/c) eyes, the colour spectrum was messed up for a brief second - the grass was blue instead of a dusty green, the sky was the opposite and portrayed a weird dark shade of green. Not for long, as a few harsh blinks seemed to do the trick and make the objects swap places.

Your grass structure still stood proudly, as well as the soft breeze flitting around you. The only sound in the air was the odd villager you watched walk across the field, stopping to wave at you before they continued on. More than likely, they were going to the forest to hunt, and Mommy told you that the forest is a scary dark and dangerous place, and to never ever go there. You didn’t understand though, as you drifted your gaze after the hunter heading towards the forest staggeringly fast. The forest looked like such a bright place, birds decorating the large trees like ornaments, all the pretty looking flowers that you had to strain to see.

‘What was Mommy so afraid of?’

You looked back at the distant village, a blooming sense if young curiosity filling your small body up like cotton. The forest - what would you find? Flowers? Animals? Maybe you could make some new friends?

You could see your small house from here, and you briefly thought about what Mommy was doing right now.

‘She won’t mind if I go …. For a little while…. Will she?’

The grin never left your face when you decided to haul yourself up off the grass, dusting your light summer dress down like you saw your big sister do whenever she stood up. The man was still heading towards the gap in the trees, and you didn’t spare a second thought or worry before you felt your legs running after him - leaving the small pile of grass alone in the middle of a sea of green.

The sun’s heat was comforting on the back of your neck as you got closer and closer to the forest's entrance. But, the closer you seemed to get, the more evident it seemed that the man disappeared. You had fixated him with a stern concentrated gaze - as stern and as concentrated as a young girl could muster, and you could have sworn he didn’t go into the trees at all. He just, disappeared if it was possible. ‘Was this what Mommy was warning me about? That people disappear every time they go to the forest?’

“Ah- ha. Little Lady, what are ye doin’ so far from the village?”

The voice made your stomach drop, and by how near it sounded - you felt like welling up in tears of fear at how scared you were, the trees before you blurring. ‘Mommy was right. She was right! I should have just listened to her and never come here!’

Tears slipped down your face as you felt unbearably cold and frozen under the sundress you were wearing - the sun’s heat not sufficing as any form of comfort at all anymore. Blood went to your head and you thought you would collapse right there on the warm summer grass - when the voice spoke to you again.

“I’m not gonna ‘urt ye, lovely. I’m just a mere ‘unter that waved at ye not a while back there. Did ye forget?”

Your (e/c) eyes snapped wide, before the sun rays seemed to penetrate and warm you once again as all the nerves in your body relaxed. You turned around expecting to find the hunter staring back at you - but didn’t. Instead, a bright sky met your gaze as well as the now very distant image of the village. You looked back, and furrowed your brows when he wasn’t behind you either.

“Down ‘ere, Little Lady.”

You stared down at the grass, and then turned around once more, “Oh-”

The owner of the kind voice was lying splayed out on the grass - his chest falling erratically and his face screwed up in pain. He was a middle aged man, maybe in his late thirties with ash-brown hair and kind green eyes, yet he had to close them down again and groan very dangerously into the ground. You swept your confused gaze down his body, his back - and then to both his ankles.

‘That’s odd, one of his ankles are facing the wrong way.’

“Mister. Are you okay?” You asked with a young voice, bending down to get a closer look at the man in front of you.

“Ahh. Hah… Fine, Little Lady. Just had a little…. Ack…. little fall back there. Could ye - er.. Could ye do me a favour?”

“Sure. What do you need?” You didn’t know why, but your eyes were unusually locked onto the man’s ankle, a strange bubbling sensation twisting your stomach and making you feel like you wanted to vomit.

“Could ye….. Run back to the village down there and get me my son? I’m sure if ye ask yer mother she’ll…. Gr….. she’ll know who he is. Please Little Lady.”

The nagging knotting in your stomach wasn’t ceasing at all, or more so - it seemed to be getting increasingly stronger by the second. You felt woozy, like someone had stuck cotton right up into your brain and blocked out anyone from reaching your ears whatsoever. Your eyes burned onto his injured ankle, as you felt your whole body shift in a different direction.

“Let me see it..” You heard someone say, a voice sounding suspiciously like yours - but more distant.

“Little Lady - Agh! Please don’t touch-!”

Your hands hovered against your will over the man’s shattered ankle, screwing your eyes closed. What was happening? This wasn't you, you weren’t doing this. The familiar bubbling feeling was now sprouting into butterflies and banging against the walls of your small stomach - you heart hammered out of it's ribcage and seemed to overtake any other sound in the area around you - drowning them out like you were plunged underwater.

“Missy! Don’t- Agh! AGH!”

You clamped your hands down - harder than you wanted to onto the man’s ankle. What did you even want at the moment? You didn’t know. You didn’t remember how to think.

“Focus” - a voice seemed to tell you in your head.

“AGH! MISSY! IT HURTS PLEASE DON’T-”

“Focus. Focus. Focus.”

Warmth started to prickle you body - your heart hammered harder to a point where you couldn’t even hear it. Warmth, everywhere. Hot blazing fire seemed to ignite on the palm of your hands.

“Focus. Don’t let go. He’s ok.”

“MISS- ah… hahhh….”

The fire seemed to only get hotter as stars exploded like fireworks behind you eyes. The man’s struggle was getting less and less by the second, your heartbeat slowed down a fraction, the butterflies were dying out slowly in your stomach.

“Missy. Missy…. What….?”

The cotton seemed to remove itself from your system allowing you to think semi-straight. You could hear again, you could feel the hot tingling sensations lingering on your palm. Nerves began working again, your thoughts tried to arrange themselves.

You slowly opened your eyes a fraction, taking in the image of the man’s ankle under your palms. ‘It’s facing the right way now….’. What?

Slowly, you took your tingly hands off of the injury and turned the small palms over to inspect them. Nothing came to your fuzzy mind, only the sensation of pins and needles currently coursing its way through your body. Shakily, you looked over at the hunter.

He was propped up on his elbows and was staring at you, a mix of disbelief and maybe a small fraction of fear in his aged green eyes. He regard you in a shaky gaze for a few moments as if you would explode at any given second, before staring down at his ankle. You watched as he twitched it slightly, and then bent it once up and down. And then circled it, breathing heavily with the action.

“How…..” He tore a slow gaze back to you, who was equally as puzzled. “ How did ye….. Do that?”

You didn’t say anything, or in reality, your voicebox decided to forget how to work. So instead, you smiled slightly, even though you didn’t know what in the hell you just did or what had even happened. Did you fix it? Did you help him? You must have leaned on it somehow and fixed it….?

The man raised his eyebrows before testing his ankle out a few more times. “Ha.. ha yer amazing,... Little Missy, yer amazing! Ha…”

You couldn’t do anything but laugh slightly, the warmth of the sun never feeling warmer. The feeling of pride in your chest never feeling stronger as he wriggled the ankle a few more times.

“What do you mean I can’t go in there? Let me in before I fulfill your wish here and now and kill you!”

The harsh voice invaded your mind as the dreadful time of your life played on, enrolled the script and made you relive later on in that day. The scene feeling so real, so vivid like a stain to your mind that will never go away.

Images flashed before your eyes as your tried to yank yourself up out of the lucid dream. You shivered under the sundress now splattered in a crimson liquid as the wind howled around you. Animals lay dead at your bare feet, each lifeless and un-moving. The trees played no mercy and rustled violently in the wind. The hunter… oh God. The hunter…. You remember blanking out when he brought you in here to see some of the animals that you so desperately wanted to see…..

What…. what have you done?

“My my, Kunikida-kun. I’d actually think about taking you up on that offer if you were a beautiful woman.”

The lifeless man, the hunter...lay paralyzed next to - A deer and her fawn. Rabbits. Birds. Even the plants seemed to droop around your feet in a dead-like motion. Your hands shook with a weird sticky liquid you couldn’t recognize, staring up at you blurry and alien.

You called the man's name - he didn’t respond.

You tried to pet the deer again with your stained young palms - she didn’t move.

“I do need to get into my office Dazai. Please let me pass before I force myself in.”

The sun was gone. Everything was dark. Everything was cold. Lonely. Alone. Dark-

“Let us pass you suicidal waste of -!”

*Crash*

Your eyes snapped open.

Collectively, you heaved a deep painful, panic-ridden breath of air as if you were just resurfacing up from being deep under a body of water. Your strained eyes were blurred, while a horrific banging in each temple made you groan unceremoniously. It then came to your muddled mess of a brain that you really didn’t know where in the hell you where - ‘What…?’

You propped your weight up on a shaky elbow, squinting down at the soft surface you were currently having such a nightmare on. ‘A bed?’ - how long has it been since you had the privilege of sleeping on such space? ‘Let alone one that looked as comfortable as this.’ The white cotton sheets were crumpled from all your tossing and turning during the night, and a few damp splotches near from where your head was resting only clarified what a bad nightmare - or, well memory. But such a memory could be considered a nightmare - actually was. You seemed to narrow your blurring (e/c) eyes even further, as if it was going to aid any hope of re-jogging your memory.

It was only when you shifted to move into a sitting position that you recognized a, somehow familiar heavy piece of fabric laying across your lap. It was like every muscle in your body twitched in annoyance at how stupidly annoyingly aggravatingly familiar the tan trench coat came to be!

‘That-!

You didn’t actually have the time to be annoyed if we were on the subject here, annoyed that is - at the fact that bandaged wrapped bother was giving out uncanny deeds of kindness to you without expecting anything in return - ‘No man you came across ever does such a thing.’ - When a large commotion started to erupt outside. Kind of sounding like, a stampede of elephants, only that the stampede was a one man army and had more anger in him than any type of mammal on the planet ever combined.

“Ah - Kunikid- Ow!” You stared at the door as a familiar voice strangled in pain at a blow to the head - or that was what it sounded like.

“Shut up, you sad excuse of a detective. Why are you still standing there? Move out of the way!”

“I’m afraid… I can’t do that..”

You crossed your eyebrows, trying to ignore the bubbling pot of anxiety currently cooking itself away deep inside the pit of your stomach. ‘Is he trying to get in here?’

“Dazai-san? Kunikida-san? What’s going on?” A softer, more younger voice enquired over all the shouting.

“You shut up too, brat. I’m… ng… trying to get this bastard … to move. You’ve wasted a whole forty seconds of my time standing there all ready!”

“... gr…” The familiar voice seemed to sound pained again, as if in the middle of fighting against a force of some sorts, or trying to shake it off. “...I really… can’t let you….”

“And why not? What are you hiding in there? Wha-”

Then there was a pause. A long… dangerously pregnant pause.

“Yosano-san…” The fiery voice spoke in the iciest tone with so much contrast that it was honestly mind blowing. And bone-chillingly frightening at the same time. “Give me your keys. Now.”

“Kunikida.” The opposing guy spoke, an edginess to his tone mixed with a dark warning. “I know what you’ve just figured out, but I must reassure you that it’s what the Presiden-”

Keys. Yosano. Now.”

“Kunikid- ah-”

The voice was cut off by what you could only depict as a harsh shove to the side, and a lot of protesting form a myriad of other voices. Everything in you froze - your eyes went wide and fixated in fear as you watched the large shadow of a man move into view before the door, his shadow like a towering phantom looming before you. The door rattled with an attempt to unlock it, followed by a loud curse word afterwards when he found out his attempt was mission failure. The door rattled again, more forcefully this time. And then on the third time -

The oak door was thrown aside and you felt the same way for all you sense of logic that also decided to pack their bags and toss themselves out of your system. You had picked up the term ‘Freeze, Flight, Fight’ somewhere along your travels outside this city during the last four years or so, and never thought such an inane slogan would ever play itself into your life at all from how ever long you expected to live at the time. But, it was ironic really, how those exact ideals seemed to be playing on repeat in your muddled brain, making you choose between option One,Two or Three.

Your body seemed to like option One better at the moment.

You froze.

The blurred man who’s harsh yells that were also mute to your senses stormed over to you at an alarmingly fast pace, the blonde strands of his hair whipping in a neat ponytail behind him. You watched in a trance as his glasses glinted with anger, his whole lean built body gliding across the small space and slowly eating up the distance between you two.

The fabric you ever so hated a short while ago began to feel numb under your balled fist as you watched in astonishment, a starstruck gaze immersed with fear as the blonde guy - who you could have sworn you also recognized - opened up a small notepad in front of him and started scratching. The fire in his steely eyes only seemed to get brighter as the page he yanked from his book erupted and engulfed itself in bands of emerald green light, a statement he barked out that you didn’t quite get. Before you could even comprehend what had even taken place however, a taser gun had materialized out of nowhere in his palm, and it looked like he was about to bring it down to you and let you meet your end when-

You clamped your eyes shut, expecting the blow.

 


 

One second… Nothing happened. You didn’t feel any sort of pain, nor any electric jolts running through your blood.

Two seconds….

Three….

You decided that you actually weren't in fact dead when the tenth second passed, or even the possibility that your death sender was having trouble with his stun gun when you still felt the coat you were clutching to under your hands, still felt the heart in your body hammering away and still heard many, many voices in the room.

“No Longer Human!”

The moment you pried both eyes open was the time you took in the scene in front of you, - and a damn spell bounding scene it was. You stared up at the figure that had appeared in front of you, the back of a dark waistcoat and pinstriped shirt missing his trench coat blocking the rest of the room from view. Dazai had his head bowed - the floppy brown mess of hair falling unruly in every direction as he held the blonde's wrist up and away from inflicting any pain on you. The room was filled in blue bands of iridescent light as you watched the stun gun evaporate into nothing, trailing off like fireflies into the air above.

A million - no scratch that completely and throw it in the trash - a billion thoughts were clouding your mind, more so inquiries than anything else. But one statement seemed to take over and outshine them all - and one that made you want to clobber the idiot in front of you with every frail piece of strength you had.

He protected me. No, he practically saved me from a blow of that thing! A girl he practically just met… or will - that’s complicated, Anyway!’

‘Why? What is he trying to gain? Why? Why?!’

‘Stupidly confusing…. Stupidly! Aggravatingly! Confusing!’

The be-speckled blonde scowled darkly, while he yanked his wrist from the wrapped one of the man covering you, that you snapped back from thinking to see. You flitted careful eyes around the room which landed on a few other people staring down at you with unreadable expressions, but couldn’t stop to asses them as the two started fighting in front of you.

“There’s something fucked up with you nowadays, you know that?” The guy who tried to stun you spat with hissing venom at Dazai in front of you.

Dazai kept his head down, but not bowing in submission. “You’re entitled to your own opinion, I’m sure…”

“My own opinion?” The guy stared directly back at you, making you downcast you eyes as if you had just been scolded. ‘That glare could make any man shiver…’ “It’s not opinion, it’s fact, and I think anyone in this room will agree with me.”

The room fell silent, like if you dropped a pin in the silence right now you would hear it without a doubt.

“Kunikida, calm down. I’m as wary of the girl as you are, but we can’t turn against each other in this situation,” A feminine voice cut through the room, stern and demanding. You tried to lift your gaze to it’s owner, but unfortunately Dazai’s back was shielding you from view.

“I was told this ability user was being brought back here, but I wasn’t under the impression that she was staying here.” The blonde was set alight again with rage in his eyes, frowning deeply. “I will not stand for a killer such as herself being in the same building as my teacher or co-workers.”

Your chest constricted.

“But it’s what you're solely beloved teacher wants - and you can even ask him when he gets back.” Dazai raised his head, and although you couldn’t see his expression, you could see his authoritative aura slipping out from around him. “Are you about to go against him, again?”

The tension in the room grew thicker, and although you didn’t know what was going on nor who this teacher guy was, you remember hearing Dazai use it to manipulate this guy more than once yesterday in a haze, so it must be someone dear to him. The guy removed his glasses from his face, and glared ahead at the brunette for a short moment - the tension only rising with a stare off so heated that it could turn solid ice to boiled water.

You actually felt like you could breathe again when the guy turned on his heel and stormed out of the room, making sure to slam the door behind him without a word.

You squeezed the fabric under you even more, dropping your eyebrows in hurt and frustration. ‘You’re the reason they’re fighting. You’re about to tear this Agency apart if you stay any longer. You’re not meant to receive any sort of help from anybody…. As you only bring misfortune like this…’

“Ah…. sorry about that (y/n), are you okay?” Dazai switched his personas like he usually did, turning around to face you, that was after a long deep sigh. His chocolate eyes were bright and kind as always, but shaded and manipulative from something else - you could tell. The brunette frowned when you didn't answer him, but instead broke his gaze and flitted your eyes around the room. Thankfully, there was only another two people here, thankfully, because you didn’t want to create any more tension on these peoples’ bonds than you already had.

A woman, a pretty god damn beautiful woman stood resting against the wall, her hands crossed tightly across her chest as she seemed to assess you under a scrutinizing gaze in her brilliant magenta eyes. Her pin straight hair that outed yours to hell and back lay in a short cut bob, bangs falling over her face neatly as a large, glittering gold butterfly hairpiece sat at the side. She narrowed her eyes over at you, but not in a threatening way - more of a trying-to-figure-you-out kind of gaze. Quickly, you raked your eyes down her attire - a crisp white blouse with a smart skirt and long lean legs hugged in dark tights.

Suddenly, you felt very uncomfortable in the rags you were currently in.

“Hi, Miss (Y/n). How are you feeling?” A younger and a lot softer voice called out to you from the other side of the bed, making you turn to beckon.

A younger boy stood smiling at you, with the oddest coloured irises you have ever seen - ‘hell they were purple and yellow, like a cat’. The boy's chopped rough silver hair looked soft and unruly, contrasting with his smart attire of slacks and an open-collar shirt. He waved a gloved hand - missing the fingers - showing you a kind smile.

“I’ve already given them a rundown on the situation, so there’s no need to be afraid.” You turned back to Dazai, perplexity written all over your face.

“And..’ You uttered the first speech you had all morning. “What…. Is my situation… exactly…?”

Dazai flashed you one of his sly smirks again - the ones you wanted to punch him in the face for when he did, his eyes twinkling with a weirdly dark mischief that had you sweat dropping. You weren’t sure you wanted to hear his next few words at all. No… you were almost positive.

“Because, Miss (y/n), you are the our newest trainee of the A.D.A - starting today” Dazai left the words hanging in the air, and you could have sworn your eyebrows shot up to the sky and beyond.

You definitely didn’t want to hear his next few words.

“Well… that is after your entrance exam, but for now until you get better, we will consider you a trainee of the organisation. After considerations about handing you over to the police force, the President thought you would have a better future here if you learned to control that ability of yours...”

Your eyebrows continued all the way to pace, while you jaw went slack.

Speechless.. You were speechless. So freaking speechless.

You whipped a wide gaze over to the woman with the butterfly in her beautiful hair, who responded to your silent inquiry by closing her eyes. The cat-like boy didn’t give you any form of answer either - only a little laugh partnered with rubbing the back of his neck.

You turned slowly back to Dazai, who was having way too much fun with watching your astonished face and unruly looking bed head - clutching his coat under you in a vice grip. The agent gave you another smile, raising his eyebrow in amusement.

“Welcome."

 

Chapter Text

You had dealt with bone-freezing, spellbounding and shock struck moments in your life - more than you’d like to admit. Through the very few years you had been wandering around by yourself, searching for any means of survival you had encountered life or death situations. Seen things, and more importantly - done things that you would never like to dig up and reveal to anyone. But during such times, shock only came to you laced and disguise with fear; only feeling the state of paralysis in situations your brain didn’t want to handle. Couldn’t process, and you body did the one thing in its emergency manual that it only knew of - it shut down.

A state of fear - induced shock will cause the body to freeze, your senses will dissipate and your breathing will halt altogether. This was the kind of shock you were only familiar with, the feeling being only reminded you of absolutely the worst scenes from your past.

But, what you were feeling right now, was something akin to shock - and a whole lot of it. But it wasn’t the familiar dark and cold feeling you knew, no. This feeling had you feeling lighter, not yourself, and quite frankly - lost for any sort of goddamn words of the dictionary.

You stared up, wide eyed at Dazai who was smiling as if he had just came down from a major sugar high and won the lottery in the same hour. This guy, who claims to be an agent of the A.D.A, wraps most of his limbs in a shield of bandages, almost - almost - by far the most strangely compelling person you have ever stumbled upon in your whole life. The boy who you saved four long years ago, and the one that has literally also saved you from a lifetime of tests and exposure to every lab and military base in the country. Someone who is reaching out for you to trust him with everything he has - or with everything he doesn’t.

And yet, after everything I’ve done, he’s…. He’s offering…?’

Your mouth gaped like a fish, words refusing to release themselves from the tip of your tongue. No, he couldn’t be. He can’t be doing what you think he’s doing. Is he crazy? Is he insane? Or.. wait.. Did you hear right?

You had to be sure.

“...Huh?” The noise wasn't much of a question of confirmation, but still - it was a start. Dazai‘s chocolate eyes opened with a puzzled expression, at your probably ungodly like state.

He cocked his head to the side .“Hm?. (y/n), are you feeling alright?”

“.... I’m sorry… What… what did you just say?” You formed the words with a form of uncertainness that had you sitting on the edge of the bed.

Dazai’s playful face only lightened at your crossed eyebrows. “Did you not hear correctly?”

The once flaring confusion and deep induced ray of hope kind of died out in your soul - the familiar subconscious almost mentally kicking you at such an inane thought. Come on, (y/n) seriously? Why the hell would he even ask such a stupid thing?

The sheet under you shuffled again as you moved to sit straighter, hell you might be in the worst clothes known to man - but atleast you could try look a little more professional. A dry kind of laugh slipped out against your will - sounding more like a disbelieving scoff as you shook your head. Disbelief in yourself for believing in such a way out. “God. For a second there - I actually thought I heard you say I was the newest member of the A.D.A. Ha…”

“But-”

“I mean! -” You cut him off, laughing lowly once again. “ -Me? A member of the most elite special force in Japan - no. In the world! A place for people who deal with the innocent all the time? Woah -”

“(Y/n) - you're mistaking “

“- Someone who can’t even control their ability, Christ is this an ability? More like a sick curse or unfunny joke played on me wherever I go. A member of this association? Good one, me. Attone for all the souls I’ve taken just by joining some glittery association and pretending that everything is ok?” You bowed your head slightly, a rueful grin stretching across your face. “Funny, right?”

The room fell quiet enclosed with the four of you in it, no one really decided to follow up on your outburst. But you couldn’t really blame them - the agents had dealt with some difficult cases before (in Dazai‘s opinion, Kunikida was probably the worst to settle some form of relationships due to his bad temper), yet this girl was going to be tough. All three members could already feel it - whatever she was doing was foreign to the investigators and Dazai couldn’t help but feel his smile fall slightly at the women's words.

Me? Someone who can’t even control their ability?”

“Attone for all the souls I’ve taken?”

‘A very self-depressed person, isn’t she?’

Dazai stole a glance at his current subordinate shuffling from foot to foot behind your downcast position. Awkward to say the least - anyone could see it in his wolfish eyes and wringing hands. But when the half tiger heard that women's blatant turn down at their offer - or the fact that she was so focused on believing she didn’t hear it, he couldn’t help but feel sort of - well, sorry for her. He knew the feeling, the horrible crushing guilt and self loathing she must be battling right now - her mind not allowing her to have any sort of peace with its thoughts. The tiger knew this well - because he deals with it all the time too.

Atsushi gave you a pitiful glance, his glittering eyes dulling slightly. ‘Poor girl. She must have went through something really tough…’

Gears began working in Dazai‘s brain - searching for the correct way to make such a dark thinking female - such a split personality agree with him. Manipulating people was something he perfected in his past days, he was glorified for it throughout the whole Mafia. He needed to choose carefully, weigh out the situation and come to the right conclusion with the right words to say. People, to him, were like china dolls or a fragile glass ornament - and manipulating such delicate things was not an easy task. One wrong thing - wrong word or move - could break them completely.

He had learned that the hard way.

“Yes, (y/n).” Dazais voice snapped you out of your state, making you stare up at him with unfeeling eyes. “You're right, that is a rather absurd thing to think..”

Atsushi crossed his eyebrows behind you, giving his executive a puzzled luck. Even Yosano decided to open her dazzling magenta eyes and stare quizzingly over at the agent.

You watched, kind of taken aback slightly as Dazai cocked his head to the side - an unsettling look in his dark eyes. “A girl, who has killed so many innocent people - “

Your stomach twitched.

“Taken them away from their family -“

Your heart ached.

“And completely stained her hands for the rest of her life.. Perhaps you’re correct. Actually -“ The agent clicked his fingers, training his gaze up to the ceiling and wearing the most monotone voice like a veil on each stabbing word. “You’re  one hundred percent correct. Quite frankly, I think the Agency would be a better place without such a bother on their shoulders…”

“Daza-“ Atsushi went to intervene, the behaviour of such a person he so greatly looked up to shocking him - but was silenced when Dazai shot him a warning look. A type of look that had the tiger sweat dropping. ‘What is he trying to do? Acting so cruel?’

Something inside you cracked, and shattered completely at the word in his sentence. Bother. You were a bother. You knew this yourself - and heck you had probably lost count at how many times the voice inside you reminded you of it. But to hear it from someone else - it kind of put everything out onto the table for you. A big kick in the gut by this thing called reality - and it couldn’t have hurt more if someone shot you with a bullet right there and then.

A bother. A nuisance. Yes… that’s exactly what I am. A bother to people… to myself… ‘

‘To the world..’

You didn’t have a lot of time to feel sorry for yourself at all however, as Dazai kept going with his merciless chant.

“But, you didn't hear me wrong.” The agent straightened up to his full height - while you, well.. what.

What?’

“Didn’t hear…” You mumbled, something not clicking in your fogged mess of a brain. “Didn’t… “

Hear him wrong? You didn’t…’Hear what wrong-‘

 


 

‘Oh.’

“Even if you are such a nuisance to deal with at the moment..” Dazai went on, choosing all the words carefully as if building a card castle. One wrong move could cause collapse to the whole structure. “We are the armed Detective agency, an elite force for specially gifted individuals that work in joined forces to protect this beloved city of ours. And when we see someone in need - that’s our job, to help them. When someone has lost their way and reaches for any form of aid, it’s this Agency’s job not to ignore their cries..” The brunette softened his gaze, making your body go warm. “I don’t see how the girl in front of me is any different to those people..”

A heavy silence clouded the room, as you found yourself stuck for any form of words or noises… or thinking process or the ability to breathe.

“Well.. I guess if you really don’t want our aid however..” Dazai kept going - now changing persona and using his light airy kind of tone. “Then we can't force you.”

What? No wai-‘ You went to protest, but was cut off.

“But I can tell you, their will be another organization that will seek you out and probably not deal you a nice future in return…”

No-‘

“Oh! And come to think of it…” Dazai tapped his bottom lip. “From the very short time we’ve known each other, and the information I’ve gathered from our previous encounters - I can’t say you're really that intellectually smart..”

Excuse-! Wait just a-!’ An offended look crossed your features, but Dazai payed no attention.

“I mean, a girl who willingly allowed herself to follow a strange guy in an alleyway… my my, (y/n), that was just downright naive.”

The familiar feeling of wanting to kick this guy in every place in hurts a man was beginning to burn in your gut again. The deep drowning feeling of darkness fading slightly and being swapped with another feeling. Annoyance.

‘You told me to-“

“And without intelligence.. you won’t really get about sort of income anywhere.” Dazai looked like he was enjoying himself, with his sly ghost of a smirk and dazzling eyes. “Come to think of it…without that then the only thing a women can rely on is her looks which, what I’ve calculated… aren’t really that great either..”

That was it. You were going to punch him - and by baby Jesus himself it took a lot to restrain yourself as the other ability users in the room would probably kill you cold in under a second if you lunged yourself at the man infront of you.

“And you have nowhere to sleep.. or eat…” God how long was he going to keep torturing you? “So if you really are not up to the job.. or I don’t even believe you could take on such a burden would be up to your ability. It’s ok if you don’t want to…”

Shut up. Shut up shutupshutup’

“I’m sure everyone will understand the famed ability user wasn’t up for the-“

Snap.

“Now. You. Wait. Just-“ You were combusting, and to be honest by the sudden, and frankly blatant volume of your voice you heard the kind tiger-agent-boy stumbled slightly behind you as you swung your now active legs over the edge of the bed. ‘Hell if you were going to let this idiot decide your future - and motives!’

Both of your legs landed on the cold floor. “You. Infuriating.”

A step forward. “Confusing.”

And another. “Irritating.”

Step. “Stupid.”

Step. Step. “Bandage-wrapped-parcel of aggravation!”

You kept with this formation with tight fists at your side - spurting out all the curse words under the Japanese sunlight while you advance until your were toe to toe with Dazai's tall figure. A few brief heartbeats passed - and a lot of “(y/n)! Please calm down!” from the tiger - before you lifted your gaze to meet his own, staring right down at you with the same amused glint as always - a raised eyebrow to match your last statement.

“Who are you-“ You prodded him in the chest with a slender finger. “To say what I am or am not capable of? Huh? I could be the best damn Agent this place has ever seen! You don’t think I can? Well, it might just be worth it to see the look on your face when I do!“

Your chest heaved with deep inhales, somehow that outburst had taken a lot of energy out of you while you commenced a stare - off with Dazai‘s dark brown eyes above you. How.. ‘How does he manage to get under my skin everywhere we meet?’ You didn’t know, and by all means you didn’t think it was anything for the guy to be proud of.

I was the smartest girl in the village school back home-!‘ You remembered the previous conversation in your head - or more importantly, all the insults that he slyly threw your way.

I can read and write - just fine!’

Than the other comment.. your blood boiled under the ratty clothes you had on as you stared up at him. God, this would be easier if he wasn’t next to attractive. ‘Do I really look that bad?’

Coming from a relatively good looking man..

Why do I care? Seriously, me. Why do I care? I don’t! Who needs looks in this stupid earth anyway! Fuck him!’

‘I have no self esteem to wound anyway anymore - jokes on him..’

Dazai’s eyes were bottomless, a cold dark brown that had you fidgeting slightly - and then going stoic with annoyance again when he smirked slightly down at you. Like he just accomplished something… like he was satisfied with something….

Oh, the agent was satisfied alright. More than satisfied with the outcome of the situation - and for probably a whole different reason than you were thinking. ‘Got her.’

“I look forward to having you in our service and as my new subordinate.”

You wavered slightly, his sentence causing your angered mind to cool and start analysing the situation carefully. The woman behind both of you was staring over with a kind of bored tint in her expression - while the tiger-boy-agent was nowhere in your peripheral vision. But another man was, and he was the one that was ticking your nerves off again at his retreated steps while he kept you in a stare - his hands clasped behind his back.

Wait a minute..

Subordinate..’

‘Subordinate…’

‘Subordinate!?’

“Hey- woah.. wait! I didn’t agree to be your subordinate!”

“Yes you did ~” Dazai sang as he found a lot of delight seeing your perplexed lost expression. He had chose his actions perfectly. Like always.. “All new agents here start off as my subordinate - like Atsushi-kun behind you did~!”

“Wh- No! I’m not serving you! I never agreed-!”

“I could be the best damn agent this place has ever seen!” Dazai mocked you in a high pitched voice - making the new meter in your body you now have named - Kick Dazai Meter - reaching dangerously high. “That’s what you said right? Don’t tell me you're backing out? The only way you’ll be an agent here is if I show you the ropes, and I really did want to see how the Greatest Agent this “Damn Place” has ever seen.. what a shame..”

“You.. you… you tricked me!”

Dazai places his clasped hands on the doorknob, his eyes portraying the perfect puppy dog look in the history of existence. “Whatever do you mean?”

God, he was right. He didn’t trick me -just made me comply. But.. no! That’s tricking me! I never... ‘

“You.” Your cheeks were flush and the meter in your body may break at any given minute. “You didn’t tell me.. that I’d be your subordinate!”

“Is it really necessary?”

“Ah- Well - yes! Very! Who would want to ever serve under you?”

“The greatest Agent this damn place has ever seen, apparently.. she’s not a nice lady, if you ever meet her..”

“I’m. Er- I - I hate you!”

You watched as Dazai smiled as if “I hate you” was mistaken as “I love you” or something. Well that, or he’s just a sadistic bastard. “Welcome to the Agency, (y/n).”

“Wait! No! I didn’t agree-“

A swift click of a lock made your protest die, and as if a weird hallucination or magic trick, the brown haired agent had thrown the door open and was gone in the time span it takes to breathe. Left nothing but a frazzled young girl - the newest addition to the Armed Detective Agency, in the company of two other - now her new co-workers. A girl who was on the verge of exploding and two agents who had to stop that from happening.

You couldn’t believe this - no. You couldn’t believe him. Your new superior that you had to now look up to. Look up! To him!? Ha!

With the way that man is, you were as good as dead in this job. Either by killing him and getting arrested - or throwing yourself out of a window and falling to your death. You couldn’t win.

“Is he always like.. that?” You left the question in the air to no-one in particular. Even if there was two others in the same space, you didn’t ask any of them directly. Once being that you were still to spellbound to turn your head any way. And two-

You really didn’t want an answer.

“You’ll get used to him.” The soft, kind voice answered from behind - that you beckoned to. The silver haired boy, now that you knew was Atsushi, gave you a meek smile. But it was the kind of smile that said “I’m sorry. Believe me, I have to put up with it too.”

“He’s a strange man, I’ll give you that.” The feminine voice also gave her input when you spun back around. Except hers wasn’t as near as sympathetic.. and lacked any sort of emotion really now that you focused on it. She was an authority here, and her aura told you so.

All you could really do now was, stare at the door. The door your new found superior just disappeared out of - accompanied by your future sanity. And hopes and dreams.

You’ll get used to him.”

Somehow.. you highly, highly doubted that.

 


 

Nakahara Chuuya hated a lot of things. People, cars, when pigeons decided to take a dump on his hat first thing in morning, Dazai Osamu. But he was one of the highest generals in the Port Mafia to this day, and what he hated the most was probably what ever other authority did in the organization.

The unknown.

People in the Mafia were an organized bunch - well, they nearly had to be. Running an illegal agency with so much power in secret, in a huge town such as Yokohama was no easy task - so organization was a key tactic to not falling into despair. Everything had to be monitored, everything had to be in place - and anyone would agree with him on that one.

You would think, that the head of such a dark group of ability users had to be the most strict, organized and highly disciplined man there could be - right?

Chuuya scowled venomously as the thought crossed his mind, staring down at the piece of card that he had received not only this-morning.

Definely… definitely not!’

 
Dear, Scowly Hat Man -

You are invited to a tea - party this
afternoon in the Boss’ chambers *-•

The party will start at 2 o’clock - please
don’t be late!

(Also, a contribute of a strawberry
shortcake is necessary for entry. If you
don’t come, you’ll die!)


Love from Elise and Mori

 
The piece of bright pink card covered in crayoned suns, flowers and, well that’s all the Mafia General could really make out with the girl's poor drawing skills. ‘Honeslty - Tea Party? Tea. Party? What does this idiot boss of mine make me out to be?! An idiot?!’

Chuuya was about - about to crumple the sad piece of card in his grip and throw it into the nearest bin on this relitevely quiet backstreet when something caught his eye. His hidden gloved hand flipped the hard card over to the back - and undoubtedly found the thing he should have read.


I would like to discuss your next mission.
It involves the A.D.A.
-M.

 

‘My next mission?’

But clearly, why can’t his boss just do what he usually did and call him about any enquiries? A bubbling kind of aggravation was settling inside the general as he felt his left eyebrow twitch - the card crumpling under his stressed grip.

What type of mockery is this?’

A tea party? Cake? Chuuya couldn’t wrap his head around the boss’ thoughts sometimes - or more importantly in this situation; how the boss even thought he, Chuuya Nakahara, would ever stoop so low and play into such childlike games. It was absurd! He was a Mafia general - and one of the most feared in the organisation. Him, out of all people, attend a bone-fide tea party?

“Heh.. yeah right.” Chuuya found himself saying to absolutely no one but himself, the once colourful invitation no doubt drawn and crafted by Elise now reduced to a crumpled mess in his palm. A wry smirk of amusement stretched across his face as he tossed the piece of paper over his shoulder into the faountain his back was resting on. “My boss or not, I won’t reduce myslef to such idiotic games. If the boss needs me, he knows where to find me.”

Satisfied with this thought, and himself - Chuuya decided that there was a lot more important duties for a general to attend to than standing around, never mind tea parties. So, he started his return back to the organization; his long legs moving with authority down the street.

If you don’t attend. You die!’

He halted.

And simultaneously, as if wiped clean - that sturdy thought and mindset was reduced and more than likely forgotten at his sudden memory. Chuuya’s aggravation was becoming more and more evident by each passing nano-second, knowing his temper which was practically non existent. The general waited for a moment, taking a few deep breaths in attempt to calm himself down.

If you don’t attend. You die!’

The little brat’s large blue eyes flashed across his closed ones - her blonde hair falling down and framing a face with a dangerous smile. A bloody fork sat in one hand as the dress that was worth more than probably the whole left wing of the building was stained with blood. A familiar blood. His blood.

There was a reason the girl sat at the right side of the boss. She was equally as ruthless.

Chuuya‘s eye twitched.

A contribution of a strawberry shortcake is also necessary.’

And as if had a mind of it's own - his left foot started a statico rhythm on the pavement underneath.

Three

His aggravation seemed to increase, his scowl darkening in the middle of the street.

Two….

His foot wasn’t finding any stress outlet on the pavement anymore.

One

He couldn’t hold it anymore - when he got angry, Chuuya got angry. Physically angry, and felt himself searching for something to give a right kick in the alley way or else the general felt like he was going to explode. Luckily for him however- there was a poor trashcan sitting close by.

The sound of metal hitting stone clashed trough the quiet morning air - followed by a very stressed cry, or groan. Whatever suited really - the sound wasn’t really distinctive at first hear.

With almost half of the frustration kicked out of his body, Nakahara Chuuya - one of the most feared generals of the Mafia to this date - set down at a bullet like speed through the street in search of the nearest bakey.

This job will be the death of me one day...’

’Literally’ 

 

Chapter Text

If anyone, God or just an average person passing you by on the street were to show you what your life would be like in the span of just twenty four hours yesterday afternoon, you would honestly have thrown your head back and laughed straight at them - thinking they were either joking with you or they were bat shit crazy.

Who would have guessed, that faith works in strange ways.

Floral Delight …..” You mumbled in confusion down at the bright pink containtor you were holding in your hand. “For dry and damaged hair..”

Current reality of the situation - you were standing in a small box like bathroom that was just cut off from the doctors office, just you yourself and this strange bottle you were trying to decrypt - and more importantly, trying to figure out how to use. After the whole ordeal this morning, and when Atsushi managed to calm you down and stop you from bursting through the door right after your bandaged headache of a new superior to do nothing more than magle his pretty face, both agents succeeded to usher you into this place. A stark white.. Er… was it a basin? Or a place to wash yourself in? You couldn’t tell…sat right across from you, as pointent and oddly foreign as it could be. But what you could make out was a mirror sitting on one of the tiled white walls - and a toilet of sorts right at your hip.

Huh..’ You twirled around the bright room, the bottle of whatever still in your hand. ‘I’ve never been in a city bathroom before..’

It was true, you were from the countryside to begin with - if you needed to use the bathroom, you would do it in a basin or the nearest bush if you were stuck in a tight spot. If you needed to wash yourself - you would take a trip to the nearest lake.

So your confusion was only evident when Yosano ordered you to take time to clean up in this strange place; while pushing a pile of clothes and these two matching bottles in your hand.

You tried again, staring down at the peachy-pink plastic in your grasp. And squinted as if it would help you understand what in the living hell you were meant to do with the thing. It was heavy, and had even more confusing words at the back that you didn’t even try to look at. For good measure - you pulled at the top with curious hands and almost jumped back when the plastic pulled away from itself almost with the loudest click that bounced around the bathroom in an echoing taunt.

A mortified feeling over took you, while you widened your gaze at the contraption. ‘Did I…. Did I just break it?’

That mortified feeling of dread that you had just broke one of the Agency’s items was quickly forgotten when you turned the whole bottle upside down - felt all the weight in it shift and collectively realized just what a big mistake you had made.

“Oh - oh god- ew!”

It was everywhere - cold glop hit your foot while a burst of flowery scents smacked you in the face and filled the bathroom - turning it into a rose garden. Oh - just what is this stuff?

“(Y/n)?” Yosano’s voice called from outside the shut door, while you quickly turned the pink container of horror right back upright - the thick stringy slime running down your hand and making you cringe. “Are you alright in there?”

“Uh..” You tried to wipe the pearly pink liquid off of your hand - and managed to slip over your foot in the most graceful way you could. Pain shot right up your tailbone when you landed straight on your behind while the heavy container came shortly after, being careful to bonk you on the head before it landed on the floor in front of you.

The door in front of you was pulled open, and a heavy look of confusion was what the doctor wore on her face when she took in your mess of a state sitting on her bathroom floor - a stream of pink shampoo running along the side of her head as the rest of the substance decorated the tiled floor.

“Fine?” You trembled with a nervous tone, the look of aggravation glinting in Yosano’s sharp eyes above you and you had to pray to whatever God there was that she didn’t assault you with those pointy looking shoes of hers for absolutely wrecking her room.

“What are you doing?” The agent asked speaking right down at you, before she bent over and picked up the bottle that you swore was now your worst enemy - with her gloved hand.

You averted your (e/c) gaze to the base of the toilet beside you, the heat o embarrasment quickly taking its place at the back of your neck and spreading right to the tips of your cheeks. God you must look like such a mess right now.

“You told me… to clean up. And I was just...er… trying to figure out how to use that thing when I broke it and it just kind of got everywhere and… uhm…”

You raised your head back up to her, reaching up to wipe some of the strongly-scented artificial crap right off of your eyebrow before it reached your eye. “...Sorry…”

Yosano couldn’t fathom you at the moment - shampoo. ‘She has never used shampoo before?”

“Have you never used shampoo before?” The doctor spoke her mental question aloud, brushing a dark violet strand of her own hair behind her left ear with the hand that wasn’t completely drenched in shampoo at the moment.

Sham-poo?’ What a strange sounding word to you, was that what that gloppy flowery stuff was called?

You shook your head. “Can’t say that I have… or heard of it..”

You watched as Yosano regarded you for a couple of seconds - like she was trying to figure something out or come to some form of conclusion in her mind, before she stretched one of her long legs and entered the bathroom with one fellow move. Her heel was careful not to land in the puddle of pink you had made on the floor - while she closed the door behind her.

“How do you wash your hair then?” She set the bottle down on the sink right under the mirror, before opening a cabinet beneath and started looking for something.

Wash my hair? Is that what that stuff is for?’ “Uhm.. I’d usually wash it in the river at home, using oil or rose water from the fields..” You answered her honestly, the thought of home making your heart constrict a little - but you had to push it away with everything you had in that will of yours. A small will it was - but just for the time being.

You’ve caused this woman enough problems right now..’

Country girl..’ Yosano clarified as the short tendrils fell in front of her face while she pushed all the miscellaneous stuff in the draw out of the way until she found what she was looking for. ‘That explains it.’

The sound of rooting filled the room, while you watched the woman in a daze as she seemed to be digging around in the box for something she needed. Her long eyelashes were downcast - adding to how pretty she was and inflating the envy in your body. ‘She really is so pretty..’

“Uhm.. Yosano?”

The agent dropped her eyebrows at the informality of the name, but brushed it off keeping in mind that you were only a rookie. She’ll make sure you remember to address her properly later.

“Hm?”

“Sorry…” Your voice was meek, as you watched her eyes widen in triumph - undoubtedly she had found what she was looking for.

The doctor straightened to her full impressive height - the thing she was searching for gripped in her hand while she kicked the draw shut with the back of her heel - before turning right around to you. “It can’t be helped. You’re from the country - it’s a mistake on my part for not asking you before-hand.”

Your mind was set at ease at her blatant acceptance of your apology for messing up her bathroom floor - but still. The guilty knot in your stomach still didn’t cease. “I’ll clean it up… “

“After, you will. I wasn’t going to clean up a mess I didn’t make myself in anyway.” The doctor sighed, stepping right over one of your outstretched legs and making her way over to the other side of the room with one stride - the same commanding tone in her soft voice. You watched as she took her seat atop of the closed toilet, and crossed your eyebrows when she beckoned you over.

You hesitated, not because of your uncertainty of the whole situation and what she was planning to do in such an enclosed space - but more so that you were glaring at the other foreign object in her hand. ‘Spikes. It's spikey!’

The agent picked up on your uncertainty - and collectively rolled her brilliant eyes at your heated gaze at the hair brush in her hand.

“Come here, I won’t hurt you. I’m just going to brush the knots out of that head of hair of yours.” You watched as she sighed again, beconing you over once more.

Reluctantly, you picked yourself up and crept over - rivaling the stealth of a cat, your caution meter kicking up in your senses again - but once more, you tried to push it away.

The agent turned you around once you finally managed to pull yourself over - after the time span of probably five minutes, and faced your back to her. Her eyes went wide - golf ball wide - at such a state you had let your hair get into, and from a woman that values the hygiene of her hair quite well, she could already sense just how much of a devastating nightmare yours was about to be.

Knots. There was knots everywhere, god was there even a straight strand of hair anywhere in this tangled bush? The doctor couldn’t tell - and for the first time in her life, Yosano fidgeted with the brush above your head - she didn’t know what to do.

“(Y/n)?”

“Yes?” You answered, confused as to why the woman hasn’t lay a hand on your scalp yet.

“When.. when was the last time you washed your hair?”

Your face fell, trying to trace back to the last time you had actually placed water that wasn’t rain on the nest of yours - or even rinsed your body for that matter. Oh God, now that you think about it….

“Uhm.. about… four months ago?”

The agent almost - almost - lost her balance on the ceramic seat she was currently on. ‘Four months? Four whole months?’ Yosano couldn’t help but feel slightly disgusted at the unhygienic thought - retracting her hands away from your head slightly - but then a new side of her subconscious came into play and reminded her just what type of situation this girl was in. A sick kind of sorrow took over her insides as she placed her hands right back where they were previously, adjusting her balance on the toilet. ‘She probably didn’t have anywhere to bathe - wherever she came from.’

“Uhm.. Miss Yosano?” You called back to her, when you sensed how uncomfortable the woman had got after your answer - while you tried to scoot away from her. “You don’t have to-”

“No. It’s fine, I’ve dealt with worse patients hygienically before - your case isn’t that different.” The doctor spoke with her usual curt tone, wracking her brains on what she was to do with such a head of tangled hair while the term ‘Miss’ - well. She didn’t know how well that sat with her.

Patient?’ You brooded slightly, shifting back to sit within her reach. ‘I’m not in anyway sick..’

Your hair is beautiful however, or - was. You were prize for it back in the village; all the young girl's used to ask you to touch the long strands - and they’d probably keep you for hours at a time trying to braid it right down to your hips. But now that it had been four years since then, and through the years that you had done the... acts with your body - and you had got the end strands dyed a bright red colour because - as you heard from some women in the company that the “Men liked that kind of style”, your hair was a mess. The red dye never came out and was reduced down to a horrific muddy kind of colour mixing with the (h/c) strands that you had never cut and reached down to your knees. Yes - your hair probably was a horrible disaster at the moment, and you wondered just what you were to do when Yosano finally got all the tangles and dirt out of it..

A light bulb shone over you head.

“Cut it.” Your words were cold and lacked any emotion, while the doctor paused before she went to attack your hair with the brush..

“What?”

“Cut it. All of it.” ‘It holds too many memories for me. The children at home. The men who used to buy me just for that colour at the end and my body. If I’m going to ever go ahead with staying here - I need to start new.’

Who knew such an act could be laced with such a metaphor - the very snip of a scissors like a final declaration that you didn’t want those memories to follow you anymore. Sure, it could never be enough to add up to everything that your past holds for you - but if you could start anywhere, it would be here. It was a start. A start to a new future - a start to a new you.

Yosano felt slightly uneasy at how cold you voice had gotten, as if a switch turned opposite in your body and shut down all your emotions to void. She could understand however - maybe through the fact you wanted to look different, feel different..

The doctor took one last look down at you, then to your stained skin - and oversized clothes.

Or maybe… she wants to change herself entirely..’

The agent could respect that however.. - it showed you were willing to fight, fight to become stronger. Fight to become the person that you wanted to be, that you had some form of fire burning inside that small body..

Still… Dazai’s words from before worried her slightly..

Yosano closed her eyes again - a habit that the doctor picked up when she was deep in thought, and gave herself a few moments to think. But when she did, and when she relived her and Dazai’s conversation right before Kunikida had barged his way into her office - did she come to a conclusion with a strangled sigh.

I leave her up to you… Dazai.’

“As you wish..” You heard her speak - kind of exasperatedly from over your shoulder, but before you could question why, a strong pull retched a painful cry from your mouth as a clump of your hair was yanked against your scalp.

Spikes! I knew I shouldn’t have trusted it!’

 


 

Ability User. Wait.. you mean THE ability user that Kunikida-san told us about yesterday?” Atsushi starred up, slack jawed and wide eyed at his superior in front of him. “She’s.. In there?”

The poor tiger had just gotten in to the Agency only under a minute ago - after practically running here due to one of Dazai’s “Please come to the Agency as fast as you can. We have an emergency.” - only to be pulled aside by the familiar bandaged hand and now here he was. Yosano-san was here too, and even she looked mildly surprised at the agent.

“Yes. I brought her here last night.” Dazai answered his current subordinate with mild interest, as if they were simply chatting about the weather or something as such. Atsushi knew Dazai for being the extremist or not - hell the guy was in love with suicide - but this?

“Is she dangerous? What is she doing in there?” Yosano asked directly to her co - worker, the thought of a murderer sitting tied up and probably gagged in her office not settling with her well. “Did you have to sedate her?”

“S- sedate?” Atsushi looked mortified. “Just how strong is she?”

Dazai regarded both agents carefully, again - having to choose the right words to say so Atsushi doesn’t start sweat dropping right on the spot or Yosano running into her ward ready to take care of the girl herself.

“She fell asleep, by herself.”

Atsushi dropped his screwed up face - but his confusion didn’t cease. “S-she. She fell asleep? Peacefully?”

“Yes. She didn’t need any sort of force nor did I have to sedate her.” He looked at Yosano.

“So, how dangerous is she?” The doctor decided to ask after a long line of pondering.

“Not quite at the moment. I don’t have enough information on her ability - but what I do have is that it does kill, but it heals also. Like a double-edged sword.”

“But she’s in the Agency..” Atsushi’s eyes sharpened at the thought of his new found home being ripped apart - the thought rushing past his mind in a strange nightmareish ghoul. “How do we know that she won’t snap at any minute?”

“We don’t.” Dazai answered curt and simple - the small growl under Atsushi’s breath while Yosano’s stance straightening not going unnoticed. “But-”

“But?” Yosano snapped, her anger getting the better of her. “Dazai the whole damn Agency is at stake and you’re going to throw it all away for one of your games again?”

“Yosano..” Dazai’s eyes grew dark, while he lifted one bandage-clad hand with absolutely nothing to show but skin and white. “You have me.”

“What?” Both agents seemed to question simultaneously.

“I’m an ability-nullifier.. If you have forgotten.” 

A sort of spark of recognition crossed both Yosano and Atsushi’s eyes - both very different things, before both of them recoiled back in ease. Dazai, too - was put at ease, the sudden leap of faith he just took paying off while his judgement being spot on. Little did they know - Dazai didn’t actually know if you would snap. He didn’t actually know if you were safe, and he was going against his word. From what the agent has gathered - he doubted his ability could actually stop you, even if he tried. You were beyond him, whatever ability you did have was something that rivaled his own, and in saying that. Yes. He was putting the Agency at risk - he was putting himself at risk.

But that was just the risk he had to take..

“So, what are we going to do?” Atsushi finally asked, cutting the tense silence between them like a hot knife. Both Yosano and Dazai looked over at him, while the tiger shifted nervously on both feet. “I mean… why did you bring her here?”

A silence enveloped all three of them, Dazai’s brain working while Yosano starred over at the very man - the same question lingering in her mind.

Dazai finally decided to speak - with an answer so cold and lifeless that had both agents settled with an uneasy feeling in both bodies.

“I brought her here because…” The agent’s eyes went as dark as black- the warm brown gone with the wind - his whole aura changing, and Atsushi couldn’t help but feel a strange cold fear sweeping over his body. A feeling, the boy has never felt before.

“An ability like hers… if controlled, could easily treathen to wipe out the entirety of the Port Mafia.” 


Atsushi stood, basking in the warm afternoon sun right outside the Agency, his tiger purring slightly at the heat while he admired the doves flapping their wings and soaring right across the sky. That feeling of uneasiness still hasn’t subsided in his stomach since this-morning, and since he had met you formally up in that doctor’s room - seen how absolutely defenceless you were - seen a bit of himself in you…

The young agent closed his eyes, his superior’s motives definitely not sitting correctly with him - or his other half.

Dazai-san…’

A car zipped past him; taking his choppy hairstyle with it in the after-breeze, his eyes only opening when the car was long in the distance.

What are you thinking?”

 


 

Steam enveloped the bathroom - condinsating the tiles and making the air heavy as you stepped out of the basin that Yosano called a ‘Shower’, and after many failed attempts to get the big metal head that projected hot pellets of water to work, you had managed to get rid of all the dirt and dried blood off of your body. You felt weird - but good. Clean, you felt warm and clean, very clean. You were careful not to slip on the horrible slimy ‘shampoo’ that was sill in a big gloppy pink mess on the floor, while you stepped out clutching a fluffy towel to your chest. Fascinated - you were fascinated with how things worked in the city - the shower being the first thing. You had probably looked like a mix of a confused puppy and a child on christmas when Yosano just clicked a button and the waterfall of pellets came to life.

I wonder what else is in the city?’

The mirror showed a blurry image of yourself - and only when you reached out to wipe the condensation away did you catch a glimpse of your body. Wait…. Woah.

‘Is that.. Me?’

You stared. And stared. And stared some more - the girl in the mirror looked like a complete stranger to you - and you had to help yourself not drop a jaw at the reflection. Your skin looked brighter, clearer, and more… alive? Your eyes were brighter, the colour seemed more distinct and lively in the mirror. And then your hair.

Yosano had done a good job with cutting it all away - that was after she absolutely assaulted your scalp with that evil doing brush of hers. But the once long strands were now hanging loosely right above your shoulders - but not resting on them. The hairstyle, you had never seen yourself with such short hair.

You reached up to touch it, the faint scent of artificial flowers very evident from the gloppy stuff that was used. You looked strange… you looked…

I look.. Like a regular person..’

A pile of clothes sat on the sink that caught your eye, and it came to your short attention span that you actually hadn’t had a chance to look at them.

“Huh…” You mumbled slightly, picking the first garment up and narrowing your eyes at it. “I wonder..”

-------

Twenty minutes passed, and before you knew it, you had finally completed the task on getting the clothes on. They were odd - the only clothes you knew were either a skimpy outfit you were made wear back then or, well… the rags you were wearing right before hand. But these..

You turned in the bathroom mirror, admiring the clothes that fit you strangely.. well. The Agency had given you a pair of grey suit pants that hung closely to your thighs but flared out slightly when they reached your ankles - a white dress shirt to match - and one that didn’t cut low around your chest this time around. Instead of a tie, a lacy black dress bow sat in its’ place. You spun again - and wobbled slightly in the ebony kitten heels that Yosano had given you - ‘these definitely needed getting used to.’

But all and all… you looked…. Good.

“(y/n)?”

Ugh.’

You scowled with the tone of voice, knowing just exactly who it belonged to. And it was that exact person who was about to be strangled with his own bandages in the next few seconds if he says anything remotely - remotely - annoying.

Then, you stopped to think about how likely that situation was.

Who were you kidding? He was a goner.

“What do you want?” You spat with venom, bobbing your head to the side and watching as the bob flipped with the action.

“Are you ready?” Dazai’s voice was muffled through the door, while you washed your hands with the running tap under you - still not used to everything that was going on but hey, at least you were trying to make the best of the situation.

“I am. Where’s Miss Yosano?”

“She had to leave.”

“She had to leave? Or you told her to leave so you could taunt me some more?”

“Hmm..” Dazai hummed, and you could feel the pressing urge to go do what Atsushi prevented you from doing this-morning. “A bit of both, actually..”

“Figures.” You wringed your hands on the water before checking yourself again in the mirror - the woman staring at you still so foreign.

“Are you ready? I need to introduce you to the rest of the members.”

“Hold on.” You ran a hand through your short hair once again - the softness to it was pleasant under your touch as it fell not completely straight - but wavy at the sides of your clean face. With a deep breath - for one, to calm yourself down at the anxiety of meeting the rest of the ADA ,and two - to resist the urge of punching your new superior - you opened the bathroom door in one motion and headed outside.

And what greeted you, was really testing those urges. Big time.

Dazai was staring at you, with an annoying smirk on his face and a stupid glint in his warm eyes - as he fixed you with a stare while you stepped out of the bathroom. A second passed, then a minute, and then a couple of minutes… both of you not saying anything to each other.

“What?” You finally got out, when you started becoming uncomfortable under his gaze.

“You look beautiful.”

A damn annoying heat spread under your clothes, that you hated with everything in you as you watched him. God , he wanted a reaction out of you. He wanted you to squirm with such words..

Ha! As if he would make me!’

“Shut up.” You spat, fighting the fidgety feeling that wanted to break all over your body.

“Owch… you’re a tough one…. (y/n)” Dazai chuckled, and with a wobbly stride - you made it over to him and brushed passed as if to make a statement. A statement that would look alot better if you walk better in these damn shoes!

“Are you having trouble walking, (y/n)?” You heard his voice behind you, and you scowled so bad that you were surprised it didn’t set permanently in your face.

“I said, shut up Dazai.”

“Ah ah ah, I’m your superior now,” Dazai had joined your side, and clicked his fingers as if scolding a baby. “You will address me with the honorific. Respect, (y/n).”

A sadistic kind of smirk spread across your pale face, while you looked right up at him. His tall figure anything but noticeable, and you both locked eyes. Brown on (e/c). Mysterious on fiery. Two different things clashing together yet fitting somewhat well.

“Oh of course, my apologies..” You played in a sugary-sweet voice, making the by in front of you cringe slightly. “Dazai.”

Dazai’s expression fell slightly, but regained just as quickly while he straightened up. “Hm, tough. I take that back.. You’re a hard one (y/n).”

“You say that like I’m some form of maths question or riddle.”

“Aren’t all people?” Dazai looked back to you. “Everyone is just like a puzzle, aren't they?”

Somehow… you didn’t like that statement that much.

“So then, what are you?” You found yourself asking.

A breaching silence was all that answered you, drawing you back to the door in front of you both. ‘Hm. Fine then.’

“Are you ready?” Dazai finally spoke, the question making the anxiety turn to butterflies in your stomach.

“No.”

“I like your honesty.”

“... Thanks?”

That was about where the conversation ended with you two. A conversation of superior and subordinate. And luckily, maybe a better relationship that would be.. In time?

You looked up at the guy beside you, and immediately - burned that thought in your brain and threw it in the trash. ‘Good one.’

You watched as Dazai reached a bandage clad hand out to the door handle - and sucked in one last deep breath. What will await you behind this door- was uncertain to you. What awaits you in the future - was also uncertain to you.

The noise of the door handle that turned under your superiors grip was the signal - the starting point - this race to your new future, and you couldn't help but feel all your emotions tangle slightly. A mix of uncertainty, dread, and excitement all blurring into a sickly mess in your stomach.

The door was pushed open, and you closed your eyes in attempt to calm down as Dazai stepped in front of you.

Time to find out…’

 

Chapter Text

The door ahead that you oh so poetically described as your gateway to the new future - a shining medallion in a pile of rusted coins. No, you didn’t expect a mind blowing experience, and what you would have settled for would have been nothing next to a bunch of people shooting you death glares as if to say “Watch out, Rookie. We have our eye on you.” Expected, to say the least.

But what you didn’t expect however, was that when the frame was opened; for you to be hit square in the face with so much smoke that almost had you tumbling back on your heels.

“W- *cough* w-what the *cough* f-fu?” The amount of heavy smoke hit right at the back of your throat while you and Dazai were shrouded. And by the sounds of things - looks weren’t really an option right now - your superior sounded equally as surprised as you were.

“D-Daza - *cough*” You tried, reaching out beside you and simultaneously being met with nothing but an empty cloud of smoke.

“(Y/N)?” He answered back, but not from the place he was situated before. No. Now his voice sounded somewhat distant - like he was speaking to you from across the room. “Are you okay?”

“*cough* - Oh! Dandy! *cough* This is just part of my regular *cough* m-morning routine!”

What the hell is going on?’ You switched to using your subconscious as a guide - not wanting to swallow any more of this horrible tasting vapour and reducing your lungs to ash. Your (e/c) were muted and burned with un-shed tears, while both senses of sight and smell were out of commission.

“We’re under attack.” Dazai’s muffled voice returned to your side, as you blinked rapidly in attempt to get rid of the tears. ‘Under attack?

You crossed your eyebrows deeply - pulling at the sleeve of your dress shirt and covering your mouth, using it as some form of gas mask against the smoke. “Attack? Attack from who?”

“I don’t know.. But judging from their tactics, more than likely dogs from the Port Mafia.”

“Port Mafia? A mafia!?” If you hadn’t already choked enough - those words seemed to be the sole thing to close your windpipe completely. “I’m not five minutes employed in this place and you’re telling me, your lethal enemy is a god damn Mafia?!”

“It’s not like we choose to have them as the enemy.” The agent found his way to your upper arm, and in doing so, you felt yourself being yanked against his side through a sheet of white. “It's inevitable.”

‘Who the hell are these people?’ The thought crossed your mind as pain shot up your upper arm under Dazai’s immense vice-grip. And another question that was swirling around your mind - clouding it worse than the room you were in; What did you just get yourself into?

“Stay close to me.” His voice reached out as both of you stumbled forward - drunk on smoke and woozy heads; into a mist of oblivion. “Be ready to defend yourself. If these dogs are who I think they are, they’ll use any opens to attack while hidden behind the smoke screen.”

Defend myself?’ “H-how? The only way I’ve ever defended myself was ru-!”

But your sentence was cut off short - when a large force pulled you into an abyss off white and toxic swirls. Gone was Dazai’s side and heavy grip on your upper arm - but it was replaced. Although, this mystery person wasn’t nearly as tall and judging by how roughly they had slammed you right into them - a choke hold stretching your neck to a painful position - they were one of the guys Dazai warned you about.

“Ngg! *cough* H-HEY!” You trashed, being careful not to slip over your damned to hell shoes and fight the guy off of your back. But when the captor tightened their hold on you and began dragging you back again - did you release a strangled cry to who ever could hear.

“(Y/N)?!” A voice called out to you, and suspiciously sounded like Atsushi’s.. But from close by. ‘Wait, he’s here too?’

“A-Atsushi?!” You called out to the white sheet, trying to follow his familiar soft voice as you still attempted urgently to free yourself before you actually passed out due to oxygen deprivation. “Y- Ack! You there?”

“Duck!”

“Wh - at?!”

DUCK!”

It wasn’t like you could do much in this situation - and more importantly in such a submissive position. But you heeded his orders regardless, and with as much force as your little body could muster, you bent your knees and brought yourself to the lowest position it would go. And as if God was hearing your prayers, and mercy was letting you live for just a couple more moments - the weight of the person behind you disappeared. Or.. more specifically - was probably thrown across the room.

“Hey, (Y/n), are you good? Can you stand?”

You straightened from the stance you were knocked down to, and simultaneously spun around creating a whirlpool of mist and air in it's wake. Two beautifully mixed orbs of ochre and violet seemed to create a light source in the white fog. A look of concern ghosted Atsushi’s young face as he came into view, raking you up and down with quick eyes as if to see if you’ve been harmed. “Are you ok? Are you sure?”

“Y-yes. Uhm..” You glanced back at the broken cloud that your capture had been hurled out of. “Is.. is he? What did you … do?”

Atsushi flitted his brilliant eyes towards your train of vision, and when he caught onto what you were asking him - the tiger smiled meekly. “Er.. I just moved him off of you with a bit of force… no biggy..”

A bit? No biggy?’ You turned right back to him, finding balance on the kitten heels and shaking your hair out of view. Jeez - ‘He may not look like much but boy the kid can fight.’

“Atsushi-kun!”

Both agent and rookie beckoned to the call - Dazai’s call - or it resembled more of a strangled cry for help. You watched wide-eyed as Atsushi's eyes sharpened in concentration; like a territorial cat or hostile fox, and within saying that - the cat gave you one last longing look before dashing off into the mist before you. The smoke cut and seemed to swallow his slim body - and you were back to square one. Alone again, voiced muffled and your stomach kicking up in vibrating butterflies as you spun around with blind vision and a racing set of pulses.

‘Fight? No. To hell with that! Toxic ability or not I probably have the strength of a stuffed animal by myself.’

The white whirlpool seemed to taunt your nerves even more - not knowing if your next opponent could be one or twenty. Not knowing if they were armed or not. And more importantly - not knowing if they have the blood lust to kill, or not.

‘Defend. Ok… Defend? No! Not an option either! Atsushi had to come save your ass before you collapsed right there in that Mafia crooks hands!’

Muffled growls of what sounded like a beast of some sorts, as well as many more efforts of fighting met your ears through shimmering fog while you spun around and around in what seemed like the exact same spot - your mind working like an overused power house - desperately searching for a solution. ‘Think! Think! Think!’

Your eyes shone in eureka.

You didn’t exactly know why, well - being powerless in a crucial situation doesn't leave you with a lot of options - but you took off. To where? You don’t know. But nonetheless - you bounded, coming to the conclusion that staying in the same spot running circles around yourself wasn’t the best thing to be doing at the moment. So you did what you did best.

You ran.

But it was different this time. What you knew best was running, that wasn’t anything to be argued with - ‘But all those times…’ You echoed in your mind, like some form of coaching chant as the mist danced around you. ‘I was running away…’ Some people may say your dumb in this situation - but if you were going to put this new and improved “You’ to any sort of good use; then by God were you going to run head first into danger. If that’s what it took.

Atsushi-kun! Behind you!”

“Agh - ack. Fu- “

“Dazai-san, two on your left.”

“Yosano-san! Take Ranpo-kun and get out of here!”

“Huh!? This great Ranpo is no damsel in distress! I refuse to-”

“Get down - Ranpo!”

“ - wo”

The mixture of strange voices spoke to you in rushing wisps of smoke as you tore ahead. The heels not aiding you and making your ankles burn but you continued on. Eating up the distance between your small form and .. whatever was in front of you. But it was a short time - that you came to realize the solid object - a wall - that materialized itself from the white void and met you with open arms. Square in the face.

Grr..” Your teeth grinded together as you cursed the wall in front of you to every level of hell there was. Bright pain bloomed in your right temple - ‘That’s going to leave a mark’ “Stupid magical walls - materializing right in front of me.”

Naomi!”

“Agh -!”

“Take you dirty hands off my - ng - sister!”

Your heartbeat quickened again, thoughts processing and more than ever; telling you to pick yourself up and get a move on with what you were doing. ‘Right.. Right - anything! Come on, think me, think!’

“We’re down a member - without Kunikida-san, their, gah- proving to be… a … bigger fight than they - should!”

“Atsushi-kun - where’s… (y/n)?”

“I’m here!” You roared over you shoulder, and then mentally wanted to kick yourself for sounding so dumb. ‘They can’t see you, idiot.’ A muffled sentence was what answered you as you were paying too much attention to fumbling with a shaky touch - trying to find something that could be of use. ‘Something… something…. Give me something!’

“AH-”

“Atsushi-kun? Atsushi-kun!?”

“Atsushi’s down!”

The kind young boy’s eyes flashed before your own and you felt your heart constrict just a little - your trembling hands still not finding any form of weapon on the wall. Or the ground around you. ‘Dammit!’

“Yosano-san! Where is she?”

“With Ranpo!”

“...Shit, Atsushi-kun’s injury is next to fatal.”

“Hang in there, Atsushi-kun!”

“Naomi look out!”

“Wha - Aggh~!”

The girl's shriek died out with a sharp, painful sound - your hands reached over to the nearest side of the wall. They passed over all sorts of bumps and lumps of the wallpaper and structure of the building - making you curse yourself at every one.

Then your hand gripped onto something unusual. ‘Huh?’

“Dazai! There’s four behind you!”

“Tanizaki! Take Atsushi-kun to the nearest room!”

“I - ng - can’t! Move!”

You gripped the large piece of wood - it seemed - under your palms as if your life rested on it, and squinted through a white barrier to see just what in the hell it was that you were touching. First, a dark ledge met you gaze - and then, miniature cars and a lot of little people… ‘Wait what the hell?’

‘Cars… people… is that smoke stuff fused with drugs too?’

“Dazai! Hang in there!”

‘Shit.. ok...wait..’

You brought yourself closer, coughing the majority of your lungs up and feeling slightly light-headed as you caught a better view. The smoke seemed lighter in that patch of space… more broken up and dispersed…

A gear clicked into place in your brain.

A window!’

“Ng… get off of me-! Naomi!”

You didn’t have to give it any confirmation in your brain - or pass it by your subconscious for approval. As fast as the speed of light, both hands curled under the underside of the glass and forced it up. Your vision was spotting black at the moment - but god did you keep going. Every vein in your pale wrists made themselves known and it wasn’t long - before the window gave way to your demands and slid open. A wash of cold air practically knocked the oxygen right back into you, while you stood back and watched - fascinated. Like a vortex or black hole - the widow sucked the white smoke right out of the building, your sense of sight and hearing coming back inch by inch however not returning fully.

The smoke?”

“It’s disappearing?”

“Dazai! LOOK OUT!”

With one last breath, one last thought of doubt you pivoted on your little black heel and searched the now morphing, spinning room. To your surprise however - there wasn’t a lot of bandits.. Or anyone who looked remotely Mafia-ish for that matter. No, but what you could make out was an unconscious looking Atsushi on the floor, a masked guy with a very dangerous looking crowbar fisted in one hand… and Dazai.

The agent - your new superior - was reduced right down to his tan-clad knees, completely powerless and willing. Your eyes widened at his state; a hand was covering his mouth while his whole body wracked with heaving and coughing, the agent's hair was tousled and a dirty looking mess on top of his head while both those set of hard, chocolate brown eyes - were screwed shut.

“Say your prayers…. Dazai Osamu.” The masked guy spoke down to him, in a chillingly familiar voice - but it wasn’t something you could quite place. Your heartbeat quickened, your senses heightened, and all your thoughts seemed to come alive as you watched - in slow motion and HD - as the captor raised the bar. Mirroring your blood pressure, and all of your thrumming senses; each getting higher and higher. Faster and faster.

What do I do?’

‘What can I do?’

‘I can’t fight. I can’t defend. God I can’t even save someone’s life -!’

Your breath hitched at that last statement, the agent in front of you being replaced with a dying young boy with a bullet wound in his chest. The now smoke-free office morphing into an old abandoned house in the middle of absolutely no where. The beautiful summers days switching to one of a dark stormy night. And it was just you and him again - alone. And at the same time, surrounded by something warm and meaningful.

But… I have….’

A loud clap of thunder shattered your flashback - while as if on its own, your body began moving. And moving fast.

“I can not believe -”

Faster and faster, you approached both bodies with your own, a permanent scowl etched into your features. “That I’m about to do this.”

The masked Mafia assassin didn’t give your voice a second glance, while he turned his torso slightly making sure to drive enough power into that metal wielded weapon of his. Dazai was still in a state on the floor - bending over even more as if to ease his horrific hacking and blurry detached mind. Your fast paced clacking bounced off each wall as the objects blurred, and your senses blurred - and just about everything was blurring. Senses...thoughts… logic… everything, like a mushy stupid mess.

And it was only when you threw yourself in front of your superior, that you realize just what a stupid, stupid mess it was.

 



“You… you want me to what?”

Chuuya adjusted his hat on his head - the right way this time - and gave his boss a peculiar look. Obviously, he didn’t hear that right. No.. he couldn’t of heard that right.

Mori, as they called him - one of the most feared ex-doctors throughout the entirety of his association; The Port Mafia - smiled sweetly at Chuuya over the tea-cup in his grasp. “I apologise, did I not explain clearly enough?”

Chuuya’s brilliant ocean eyes narrowed slightly as he watched in a daze, at Elise attacking the strawberry shortcake he payed a grand total of nearly half of his wallet for. “No… I just, didn’t hear you correctly.”

“My, Mr. Nakahara.. Your senses are usually like a sharpened scalpel almost twenty-four seven… but you don't seem yourself today. Tell me, what’s on your mind?”

It took everything in the Mafia executives body not to snap at his beloved boss and forever superior. Not in his dark chambers at least - shrouded in a red hue and only adding to the ambiance of deadly. ‘No thanks… I prefer life..’

“Nothing worth telling… sir. I apologise.” He was treading on thin strings and he knew it, but it was something he was used to. Threading on a life or dead tightrope when around the boss of a Mafia - and he just had to thank God that Elise liked the cake he had brought to her otherwise.. Well, lets just say the little girl wouldn’t have let that end well.

“Hmm.” Mori waved a gleaming butter knife in the air - using it instead of hand gestures, and Chuuya couldn't help but eye it with immense caution. “Very well… if you insist. But remember, you can talk to me about any of your problems, if you need me.”

Yeah.’ Chuuya inwardly scoffed as he watched Mori’s eyes gleam bright crimson and close with a perfect masked smile. ‘I’ll pass on that,’

“Anyway, your mission.” The feared boss placed the knife down on his desk and rested his chin on two interlocked gloved hands. “Do you understand what you need to do?”

“You want me…. To essentially… spy on this person?”

“Spy is such a strong word..” Mori chuckled to himself, while Elsie looked as though she was nearing the end of her dessert as the young girl shoveled the last spoon of cake into her mouth.

“I prefer… keeping under check.”

Keeping under-?’ Chuuya flitted a sharp look down to the file in his leather grip, then back up to Mori. “Why is this girl so important?”

“Well..” Mori hummed into the air, leaning back in that grand chair of his. “She has quite the ability, and from what I’ve gathered she’s managed to kill seventeen victims and she’s only been here a few days..”

Chuuya glanced back at the file again - and then to the identity photo attached. Sure, it wasn’t anything next to a mug shot, but you could see her face relatively well. A soft kind of gaze, and a lost look in the women's big doe-like eyes. ‘This girl… has killed seventeen people?’

“And you want me to keep an eye on her?”

“Precisely. A little birdy informed me that she’s currently under the A.D.A’s care..”

The executive felt something twinge in that well built body of his, something deep inside of his gut at the mention of the associations name. And more importantly - a begrudgingly familiar brunette rushing passed his mind.

His eyebrow twitched.

“May I ask you a question.. Sir?”

Mori opened his eyes down at his underling - a bright shade of blood meeting a cold hue of blue. “Sure.”

“What’s your reason. Behind this… assignment?”

Chuuya watched, that twinge of annoyance still not ceasing in the pit of his stomach as his boss curled his lips up into a twisted smile. “Can I not have some fun?”

A heavy silence fell inside the room. A dark, dangerous silence, partnered with the humming of a young girl as she sketched all the bright sketches she could under the sun.

“I understand.” Was all Chuuya felt inclined to say, the whole room feeling heavy and making it difficult to breath as he pivoted on his heel. Long legs ate up the distant to the doors - the file clutched tightly in one of his fists while that familiar feeling of needing to kick something began building up in his right leg.

“Chuuya.”

The executive froze in his spot - the door only millimetres away.

“Yes, sir?”

“She’s a threat to the Mafia as it stands in the Agency’s grip.” Chuuyas ears pricked up, listening to his boss like the good little Mafia dog he thought himself to be. “And because we don’t have enough evidence on her yet.. I need you to fill in the blanks. Please don’t fail… don’t fail me.”

Chuuya swallowed, something hard in his throat. “Yes sir.”

“You may leave.”

Such words - ever since he heard that his ex-partner was leaving the Mafia for good all those wholesome four years ago - had never felt like an angelic blessing to his ears. Like a light, the executive reached for the handle of those dreaded doors and stepped swiftly out of the office of the Port Mafia.

Finally. He could breathe.

Keep an eye on her… huh?’ His blue eyes gazed down at the file once again, studying the young female’s face and trying to memorise it in his head.

“(Y/N) (L/N)... just who are you?”

------

The slow motion reel didn’t seem to stop as you watched, frozen, at the crowbar commencing it's journey down and had only one destination - your head.

‘Oh crap..’

You sucked in one last precious breath of life - before snapping your eyes shut and waiting for the blow to happen.

…..

‘Hm?

The expected pain you were waiting for didn’t actually happen.. Which was odd. ‘Maybe they hit me so hard that I didn’t actually feel any pain?’

You narrowed your expression, or wait.. Hold on. You’re meant to be dead?

‘Ohh.. maybe this is the afterlife?’

The thought was definitely believable, maybe you literally just died. And now, was this what it felt like to die? You felt more or less, the same. All your limbs were still intact - from what you could sense. You could still hear.. All senses were all there. ‘What the hell?’

You would have actually been comfortable with the thought that you were dead - really. At least then you could be smitten with the fact that you put yourself to use before hand, and an endless nightmare of yours was finally over. But… your peace was interrupted by.. Clapping?

‘I don’t think, clapping exist in an underworld?’

“Well done, (y/n).”

You felt yourself growling at his voice before you even knew it. ‘And I don’t think he exists in the underworld either! At least.. Not in mine!’

It then occurred to you, that you had the ability to also open your eyes.

At first - your sight was blurry, very blurry. Bright lights met your soft (e/c) gaze and caused everything in that train of vision to merge. But, after you got used to it - and more importantly, started to feel that same nostalgic pain in your temple from the previous run in with the wall, you clarified that yes… you were still alive.

The images morphed back to original .. and you couldn’t help but be utterly and completely lost.

Atsushi, the one.. Oh I don’t know .. who was freaking unconscious not a minute ago was standing before you. Standing, was the first odd thing, but his eyes showed no sign of haziness or hurt - but were bright and alive, staring down at you while he clapped in sync. Yosano was also there, standing beside him and she too - didn’t looked fazed one bit. ‘What….’

Slowly, you turned your head towards the other side of the room - and your gaze widend a fraction when they landed on a familiar figure. The detective guy - the one who brought you in here in the first place was standing over at the furthest wall; his eyes closed while he threw a (e/c) marble in the air. The piece of glass caught the sun and glinted every time it passed the star - while you yourself shifted similar coloured orbs right back to the centre. Also, you couldn’t help but notice a tray of smoking incense sitting right by him - a fan right next to it.

“Well… she isn’t that intelligent to be throwing herself in front of an agent..” You heard the detective say from over the left of your body. “If this was an actual attack - she and Dazai would be dead.”

‘Actual.. attack?’

“True.. but she has got guts. That’s something to go off of.” Yosano offered some input - and by the looks of it, she expected you to understand what was going on.

“She’s similar to Atsushi-kun in a way.. Using herself to save another.” Dazai’s voice hit you like a rock from very close behind you. And by god - you didn’t want to turn around. You really didn’t want to turn around.

You did it anyway.

And if you weren’t confused enough… this. This was the icing on the cake.

Your supposed superior - the one that looked as if death was welcoming him with open arms a moment ago was sitting cross legged and gleeful as ever - staring right at you with lively brown eyes.

“Wh.. wha?” Was the only sound you managed to get out, while Dazai tilted his head, before clapping his hands together.

“You passed!”

“I… passed?”

“You can’t decide that, Dazai.” Yosano directed at Dazai, before sighing slightly in a tired kind of way. “That’s Presidents decision.”

You turned back around to the four in front of you - still crouched down stupidly in front of your superior. “I passed…? I passed what? Were you not just under attack?”

“Mmmpf” You watched starstruck and with a slight tingling nervousness as the guy - the one who was about to kiss your face with the end of a crowbar - struggle out of the black mask that was hiding his identity. His pale hands tugged the fabric over his face, and you watched with a narrowed kind of look as a pile of fiery ginger locks sprung free at the top of his head - and then the rest of his youthful face.

Hold on a minute..’ You studied him further, trying to fit the puzzle pieces together. ‘That’s..’

“Man, why do I always have to play the bad guy in these things?” The boy mumbled, shaking his head as if to rearranged the bouncy locks of hair. “I had to pretend to be a bombing physco in Atsushi’s… and now some Mafia dog in (Y/n)’s”

“Sorry, Tanizaki-kun..” Atsushi smiled over at the agent, rubbing the back of his neck. “You just make such a good villain.”

“Naomi thinks so too~!”

You watched, stuck and at a loss of what to say while a strange girl - long black hair and similar steel eyes, latched herself to the ginger haired agent with a lot more than just ‘friendliness’ in her motives. “Naomi thinks brother is the best villain there is~”

You cocked an eyebrow, as both of them began… er… wait ‘Brother...Siblings?’

“Try not to pay attention, that much..” You heard Dazai sigh behind you.

“What’s going on?” You asked the four in front of you, and not directly.. but , to Dazai too.

The two siblings stopped in their strangely creepy tanglement, Yosano gave you an unreadable gaze, and you wobbled slightly ad your superior shifted behind you to stand up.

“That, Miss (Y/N), was what we call your entrance exam.”

You blinked, screwing your face up at his answer while he stretched up to his full height. “Entrance Exam? What is this, school?”

“Not necessarily, no.” Dazai materialized in front of you, extending one of his bandaged hands out to you in effort to help you up. “With us, the Agency uses tactics that will test your loyalty, as well as your skill and ability to think.”

You glared at his hand - ready to ignore it and stand up by yourself ‘I can stand perfectly fine thank you very much.’, when pain shot right up your ankle - making you growl. God - you knew - you just knew you shouldn't have trusted these be damned shoes.

Begrudgingly, you slipped your hand in his.

“And, from my standards.. You just passed.”

Dazai.” Yosano began scolding. “You shouldn’t give her false information like that.”

“I know.” Dazai swiftly tugged you upwards and as if you weighed a few grams - you were on your feet in only a few seconds. “But seeming as though she decided to shield me in an so desperate attempt to save my life. I think that should be enough expression of loyalty to her superior.”

“Hmph” You smirked, yanking your hand out of his. “I just didn’t want you to die in such an embarrassing way.”

“Awh, is there meant to be a sediment behind that?”

You went to open you mouth with a retort - one that probably wished death upon the bastard or something painful - but what cut off. Cut off by a strong, authoritative sort of voice.

Of course there is.”

Yours, along with the rest of the agent’s attention was drawn up to the voice - and a voice you didn’t recognise at all. You watched, now standing up as an elder guy entered the room, followed by two young girl's behind him. He wore an old-fashioned dusty green yukata, secured at the waist where a sword sheath sat snuggly. The strange man’s face was aged and definitely held a few battle scars collected from over the years - his silver hair tumbling down right before his shoulders. You noticed, actually, that when this enigma entered the room - each agent kind of, recoiled back in respect.

‘Who is this guy?’

“President.” Dazai greeted from beside you, nodding slightly at the man.

President?’ You shook your brain, that phrase sounding familiar. ‘Oh… that.. That President?!’

“(Y/N), I’ve heard alot about you.” The silver haired President apparently, bowed towards you in a polite fashion. And you for one, was kind of .. lost for what you had to do. ‘Do I bow back? Oh God, what do I do?’

You gave in, and bowed like a woodpecker down at the president - and instantly regretted doing it. Regretted doing it so bad.

Ow-”

“Uf-”

Pain shot through your body as you bumped heads with something - hard, and undeniably, could speak. Dazai stifled a laugh beside you when you straightened, and felt red blush bloom across all your body when you relised - ‘I just bonked heads with the President of the A.D.A.’

“Oh- I-I’m So. Sorry!” You stumbled across your words, as you watched the president rise slowly, gracefully - a hand covering the place you just assaulted with your hard head. “I-I Didn’t mean….”

Dazai sounded as if he couldn’t stifle the laughing anymore. ‘He won’t be able to laugh once I’m finished with him.”

“That’s.. Alright.” President assured, removing his hand and placing it to his side. “No need to worry,”

‘You idiot. Great first impression, me!’

President coughed slightly, before holding you in a strong gaze. “Anyway, I have been watching over your exam.. And have made a decision..”

A sort of tingle kind of crept up your spine - and you cursed it. ‘Am I.. wait... nervous?’

“I must say.. Your act of bravery is indeed something to admire”

“Oh..” The heat under your cheeks burned again. “Erm.. thanks..”

“And with the right training, you could become a very valuable member of the A.D,A.”

“Really..?”

The president ghosted you with a smile, both girl's behind him being twice as pretty as you could ever be, and you watched as the president turned slowly and began to make his swift exit without sparing a second glance.

“I leave her to you, Dazai.” Was the last thing the respected man said before disappearing from view followed by both the secretaries closely.

‘I leave her to you, Dazai.’ You tossed the statement in you mind, not knowing what exactly that meant. Of course, that could mean one of two things - one - “I leave her to you.” As in, I’ll leave her to you to kick her out.. Or..

“Did I just.. Pass?” You turned to your superior, who was smiling at you. A smile… that you didn’t like the look of. That you really didn’t like the look of.

“Ladies and Gentlemen.” Dazai dropped his voice - mirroring a presenter and pretending to hold a mic, and you swore you saw Yosano roll her eyes. “Please, let us welcome -” He extended an arm to you - all he was missing was a few stage lights and a spotlight on you. “The newest member of the Armed Detective Agency.... (Y/n) (L/n)!"

 

Chapter Text

“I…. I… I deeply apologise!”

Your eyes widened in a taken-aback fashion as Tanizaki bowed his head in front of you - millimeters from probably head butting the table. The table that both you, Atsushi, and the two siblings were currently seated at in this restaurant you didn’t even know existed in the A.D.A - let alone being there go-to place.

You narrowed your expression slightly. “Really, it’s fine Tanizaki. You were only doing your job.”

“But..” The fiery haired youth raised his bowed head a fraction, capturing you with a sorrowful brown gaze. “I still feel bad. I mean - I made you hurt your ankle.”

A sudden sense of realization kind of sprung to life inside your body as you flitted your gaze under the table. ‘Oh, so that’s why he keeps apologising.’..  A clarifying thought as the small ankle he was so worked up over was slowly changing to a shade of purple - you must of twisted it when you threw yourself in front of Dazai earlier.

Speaking of Dazai.

Your head wandered over to him - currently seated over at the bar in the most comfortable way. He almost looked immaculate - like a gentleman you’d walk up to in a bar after some coaxing from the group you were with. A soft brown hair cut catching the warm light, lean body and a cup lazily hanging in his hand to match. Yes… a true gentleman indeed.

Only this true gentleman was currently stroking one of the poor unsuspecting waitress’ hands!

“Your skin is as soft as a lotus flower in blooming.” He whispered in a sugary seductive tone. “ Like petals falling off the nearest cherry blossom tree and creating the most beautiful sight. Tell me, will you commit double suicide with me?”

“Double suicide?” You repeated in question, and also trying to hold back a dose of vomit. “The hell does that mean?”

Atsushi sighed from his seat beside you, a very deep, exasperated sigh. It was like, those type of sighs that insinuate he’s been dealing with something like a small child or soul-sucking problem for a long time now.

“That’s just Dazai-san.”

You turned to face the boy, flipping your haircut that you still weren’t in any way use to in it's follow. “ Just Dazai-san? So, your meaning to tell me.. That he goes up to every woman he can get his hands on and asks them to commit suicide with him?”

Atsushi gave you a crooked smile, and shrugged his slim shoulders in a dismissive way. “You’d be surprised.”

‘What the-?’

If eyebrows could be drawn so tightly in confusion that they almost joined, then yours was the first to as you found yourself gazing back down to the mug of green tea currently going cold in front of you. I mean, jeez - you couldn’t fathom it. And by it - you meant him. Walking up to some happy, young woman who was just out to buy some daily shopping; only to feel her hand being snatched up  by some random guy and being asked to commit suicide with him.

A small scoff escaped your mouth while you took another look over at your supposed superior - who was now in the midst of laughing with a slightly nervous edge to it while blurting a few sentences out at the woman. Something like.. “Ah ha! My darling such words are so hurtful to me! And “I always pay my tab! Such a sinful deed would be so foreign to someone like me!”

‘If he wasn’t a dreadfully confusing individual before, than this - this makes him a bone fide enigma..’

“But he’s always been that way.” Atsushi felt inclined to add, when he noticed you were staring over at him for a bit too long. “Wanting to die, I mean. That’s how I met him first anyway.”

A sudden scene popped into your head, and you had to clarify it before you starting any assumptions. “Wait, did he come up to you and start stroking you hand and feeding you sugar-coated sentences?”

You watched, as the weretiger’s pale skin began to heat slightly and dust his complexion with a light colour of rose - as his eyes went wide as dinner plates. “N-n-n-no! Ha, no not in that way. No! I mean. H-he and I met when he was trying to drown himself in the Yokohama River!”

The hinges in your jaw gave way, and for a moment, you were worried it would never go back. “He was trying to… to… drown himself?”

“Yes. Well… that was after I received a scolding for saving him that he invited me to eat-”

Hold on.” You cut the agent off with an outstretched hand, gaining the attention of the two siblings across from you that seemed to now be finished their… er… ‘Sibling Activities’. “You saved him from throwing his life away.. And he scolded you?!”

“Er… uhm…. Well in a way..”

“Man..” You breathed out the letters as if they were a dead weight in your chest, and leaned back with folded arms. “Does he really want to die? Or is he just mad?”

All three agents gave each other a brief, confused stare. They hadn’t really given it much thought before - yeah of course they could be worried and all, the man was trying to take his life in the end anyway, no matter which way you bent it. Plus the agency would suffer a major loss if Dazai were to somehow succeed one day, but this was the first time someone had asked so forwardly about the subject. And in saying that - there really wasn’t an answer that any of them who wasn’t actually Dazai could give her because.. Well - they didn’t know.

So, each felt inclined to settle on;

“He’s just Dazai-san.” Your stomach twitched in annoyance as all three of the agents gave you an answer in unison. An answer that you were definitely not happy with. But, however before you could press further, the squeak of a bar stool spinning around interrupted your voice and another lower call took over.

“What’s just me?” Dazai chimed with probably half the amount of sugar he had used on the woman behind - who, by the looks of it - he had failed to get her to agree with any sort of “Double Suicide” act any time soon. You opened one dazzling (e/c) eye and fixed the agent with a pointed look.

“We were just discussing how completely and utterly insane you are.”

Dazai gasped in mock hurt, pointing at his tilted head as innocent as a puppy doused in candy floss and sitting with a kitten. Only that, he was a grown man, probably slightly dangerous with bandages on every visible part of his body, and the only thing we have remotely close to a kitten in the room was Atsushi beside you.

Me? Insane? I have to say, Miss (y/n), you’ve hurt me so..”

Yes, you.” You spat sternly, closing that same eye you had fixed on him shut. “And I hope it hurt Dazai.”

“Tsk tsk, Miss (y/n), what did I tell you about addressing me properly?”

“Oh, my apologies, oh great superior. How does Aggravating Asshole sound to you?”

“Hmm..” You heard Dazai hum as if he was contemplating you for a moment through your shut lids of black. “I don’t know, with that raspy voice of yours.. Well I don’t suppose any type of name would sound right coming from you…”

You snapped both eyes open in a heart beat, both glittering orbs now shining with ablaze fire and implanting a common goal in both your mind and heart. One that involved pain.. And strangling a particular bandage clad neck very close by.

Say that again you-”

“Oh-kay!” Atsushi burst beside you, swallowing a hard forced gulp of green tea and trying to sit you back down to stop you from fulfilling Dazai's one wish - ‘ He seems to have to do that a lot lately.. And it's only been a day’. “How about we play a game?”

“A game?” You asked, your breathing ragged and bathed while Naomi gave an excited squeak, and latched onto Tanizaki again. “What game?”

“Oh, you mean the Rookie Game?” The elder sibling seemed to know what this game was about, hell you didn’t even know this Elite Company that fight off all evil doers in this town even had time for games.

Or suicide antics… or a strange pair of siblings… or giving me tutorials on how to wash my hair with that infernal soap..’

Now that you think of it… this Agency, isn’t what you expected it to be at all. If that was a good or bad thing, I’d leave that up to you.

The half tiger beast beamed in excitement, and mixed in with his expression was something akin to relief - undoubtedly the poor boy was happy he could at least steer your motives away from a homicide even if it was for a brief moment. The very last thing he needed was dealing with a dead body at the minute, and he was only employed a mere few weeks.

“Yeah, that’s the one.”

“Wait, what is the Rookie Game?” You questioned, not that you had heard of it before. ‘Maybe it's a game purposely made up for this place..?’

Well, if it's nothing like fake smoke screens, acting like they’re under attack with such precision that deserved an Oscar and having you risk your damn life for nothing - then you could go along with it.

“It's a game we play with all our new members.” Dazai hummed, smiling over in a playful way. “The Rookie tries to guess all of their superiors former jobs. It improves their detective skills as well as building better relationships with them.”

‘Guess their former occupation..’ You gave the game some thought as you trotted your gaze from the three agents sitting around you and briefly up to Dazai now swinging his legs across the back of the now backwards stool. The game seemed easy enough… from the first run down. How hard could it be?

“Hmm.. well..” You decided to start on the two way-to-close-for-comfort siblings seated on the opposite side of the table. “Tanizaki was… uh..”

‘He was definitely young.. Maybe the same age as Atsushi, was very soft spoken.. Kind… everything a guy who hasn’t experienced the outside world of work would be..”

“A college student?”

“Ah-! Close though. I was a high school student before the agency took me in.” The agent gave you a bashful smile, before tugging the shoulder of the shirt he had on more securely so that it wouldn’t keep falling down.

“What about me?” His twin chimed - or er, were they twins? You made a mental note to ask that later. Your (e/c) gaze assessed her slowly - as the uniform kind of gave your answer away.

“A student?”

Her pretty face beamed at you, as she hugged her brothers arm tighter. “Correct! How did you know?”

“Well.. er. The uniform kind of gave it away..”

Naomi’s muted gray eyes flitted down to the shirt she was wearing, accompanied by a uniform necktie and her neat pleated skirt. “Ah-ha~! You’re right! Well, I still do go to school during the day because brother still makes me..” Something sultry changed in the young woman’s face as she glanced up at her sibling under a long strip of eyelashes, and you swear you saw Tanizaki swallow nervously. “ Brother is so mean sometimes. Not letting me be beside him all the time..”

“N-n-naomi -” You blinked slightly as you watched his sisters slim hand trail down her brothers torso, nimble fingers began to rake up under the fabric of his white shirt and before you knew it, you were watching something unfold before you that… you really could have gone without seeing today.

“Don’t worry..” Atsushi whispered beside you, also looking at the siblings with an odd glance. “Just-”

“Try not to pay attention?” You finished his sentence, averting your eyes from the uncomfortable ordeal. “Yeah.. I know.”

The young boy gave you a meek look, before turning around to fully face you with a look of apprehension. A sharp pair of eyes glittered at you in a sort of intimidating way - but were dulled when you took in his soft face. “Now, how about me?”

You strained your neck and cocked your head. “Atsushi…. Atsushi… you were…”

‘His hair is messy and clearly chopped by someone unprofessional. A youthful face… a student again? No…’

“You had no profession..” You settled on the answer after a little more pondering and appearance-assessment. Surely, he couldn't have been a student - but what you did realize was the way he sat . An odd thought, true - but the boy sat as straight as a washboard, in an almost practiced, disciplined way. “Although you do have some form of schooling.. Just not from an actual school. Somewhere far more… harder on you..”

Atsushi’s mixed eyes flashed slightly with what you pinpointed as surprise, while a high whistle sounded from you.

“You’re good, Miss (y/n). You could give Ranpo-kun a run for his money in a battle of wits.” You beckoned to the voice, and when you caught Dazai smirking wickedly over at you - chin rested on the back of the stool - you raised an eyebrow. “I’m sure he’d be more than happy to.”

“I’ll keep it in mind.” You nodded, although you really were about to dispose of that idea the minute it was given to you. If your memory was semi-what good, Ranpo was the emerald eyed detective that brought you in without warning - meaning that he immediately knew it was you without even having to ask questions. That being said, someone you was as quick witted as that guy was definitely not someone you were about to sit down with and debate. Not in this lifetime anyway.

“What about Dazai-san?” Tanizaki, who looked as if both him and his sister had now calmed down and were sitting still, although still clinging to each other. “What do you think he was?”

“Hm.. let’s see..” You took in the appearance of your superior still sitting lazily in the chair and meeting your gaze head on. Well, you’ve taken a look at him before - many of times, if you were being honest with yourself. A whimsy looking brunette with a dark look contrasting with a bright chocolate in his eyes, bandages - for a reason you still have to find out, tall, commanding, yet bipolar as hell. Witty, from what you’ve collected over three days - annoying - and if you could write that in bold red and circle it, you would. A suicide freak.. A god damn mystery.

You must have looked like you were straining, or in pain - many job names flinging through your brain but none of them fitting his aura.. Or well him in general. ‘Lawyer? No… Government official?... No… College?... Don’t see it..’

It was no use. You had absolutely no idea.

A hand was felt on your right shoulder, and it didn’t take long to clarify that it was indeed Atsushi's when you found it was covered in black finger-less gloves.

“Don’t strain yourself too much.. Apparently Dazai-san’s former profession is one of the seven mysteries of the A.D.A.”

The brunette sighed - exaggeratedly of course, before crossing his arms in a defensive fashion. “It’s true.. And seeming as though no one has guessed it yet, well the prize has just ballooned.”

Both ears pricked. “ Prize?”

“It was something we started when even Ranpo-san couldn’t guess it either.” Tanizaki filled in the blanks, closing his eyes as if reminiscing something. “Atsushi spent a whole fifty minutes trying to guess when he joined. And… was pretty dejected when he didn’t get it…”

The tiger let out a disappointed whine behind you.

“Just.. out of curiosity..” You couldn’t help but feel your grin widening across you face, while those (e/c) orbs of yours glittered almost like a child in a sweet shop. “How much.. Is this so called award?”

Dazai clicked his tongue again, and said the next amount as if he just had that amount of money to give away. “1,000,000 yen

‘1,000,000!?’

“One… one… one m-mi-” Those same eyes widened to the size of golf balls, and then saucers - and better yet, even dinner plates - as you gawked slack jawed. Ha! You thought he was insane? You thought this guy was insane? ‘He IS freaking insane!’

That very amount of money seemed to surround you and hover over you like an exciting fog, and before you knew it - both legs had stretched right from under the table and you were in front of him. Both your petite palms gripped the bar stool - the pain of your ankle was begotten through your blank mind and deluded senses. You brought your face closer to his, a pile of short (h/c) hair billowing around your complexion and a stern stare accompanied with long eyelashes.

“So… you’re telling me.. That if I guess this job correctly, I-I get one million yen?”

Dazai regarded you for a long moment - but not long enough for you to realise just how close both of your faces had gotten. Some form of playful glint filled the darkness in his eyes, while his lips wore a crooked smile. “Are you second guessing the trust of a suicide proponent?”

Atsushi and the Tanizaki siblings just watched, as you were warped into a guessing game of the death - your voice throwing a myriad of jobs from the top of your head at the brunette - and having them dismissed equally as fast. The tiger couldn't help but sigh, knowing just how dejected you would feel afterwards, while both Tanizaki and his sister smiled nervously.

“Lawyer!”

“No!”

“Teacher!”

“Boo..”

“She’s… ha..” Naomi swore she saw a small burst of fire around you - as you even seemed to grip the bar stool a lot tighter. “Really determined.. Isn’t she?”

“Police Officer!”

“Negative!”

“Director!”

“Non non!”

“Scarily so..” Her brother agreed with her, a bead of sweat trailing down his own back as the agent was starstruck at how much concentration you fixed his co-worker with.

“I think that’s a good sign.. Maybe?” Atsushi turned to his friend, trying to shed some light on the tense situation suddenly folding in the small restaurant.

“Engineer!”

“Ha!”

“Doctor!”

“Ah!” Everyone in the small space suddenly froze as Dazai made a noise that didn’t sound like a negative - wait. Atsushi’s beautiful eyes shot open as far as they would go. ‘Did she get it?’

“Nope.” Dazai smiled, a dastardly wicked smile it was. The type of smile.. You came to realize, that made you want to slap him silly until both those brown eyes rolled back!

Atsushi sighed at his superior’s need to be such a delinquent, and cringed when a very audible growl escaped your mouth.

“I hope it is..” Tanizaki absentmindedly mumbled, while trying to wiggle out of Naomi’s grip.

“Hope what is?” His tiger buddy narrowed his eyes, still cautiously eyeing both you and his superior - making sure you didn’t kill him right there, or at least, didn’t handicap him for life by breaking both legs to a point of no repair.

“That it’s a good thing. That she’s a good thing. For the A.D.A that is… I like her…”

“Naomi likes her too~!”

“Hm.” Atsushi finished the last of his now cold tea - and couldn’t help but realize that you didn’t even touch yours at all. ‘Maybe she doesn’t like green tea?’

“You- You! Bastard!”

“I’m not sure ‘Bastard’ is a job out there.. Miss (y/n).”

With one last gulp, Atsushi leaned his head on one of his palms, and smiled gently over at you. “Me too.”

You sucked in a very deep, very slow breath - something that resembled one that was practiced during meditation - except that with this guy, you would probably need a lot more than meditating to get through just a simple conversation with him.

Dazai looked like he was thoroughly enjoying himself - propping one elbow on the bar behind him and staring at you with a funny look in his eyes. Like this was another exam - and you were the test subject.

“Have you given up on guessing, Miss (y/n)?”

“Sh- No! I’ll get this.” You screwed your face up in immense concentration - an aggravating feeling pulling at the insides of your stomach. Who were you trying to kid?- you were just basically throwing all the job names you could at him without even thinking about them in the first place! But.. well just how many jobs could you say before you ran out?

You flitted a heated (e/c) glance back up to him, and tried to think and evidently use your brain. ‘Okay, if I can’t get the direct profession name.. Then maybe I can work around it.’

You strained a little, reaching to the deepest part of your brain and sweeping away some definite forming cobwebs - using the problem solving part of your brain cells wasn’t necessarily your forte, but at least you were confident in your deduction. As rusty as it was..

A familiar scene flashed before your eyes for the second time in the same day.

A gunshot. A dying boy. A gun. Someone had shot at him.

Your hand reached up to tap you bottom lip in a pondering manner, and Dazai didn’t show any sign to rush you. ‘Someone shot him - for some reason… but whatever he was involved in… was undoubtedly dangerous..’

His attire.. Black and sleek - with a trench coat similar to his own now, but black. Everything about him seemed dark. Authoritative… and.. Toxic.

Your eyes began flitting from side to side as your thoughts became more rapid, like that brain of yours was speeding along by itself but you weren't able to voice it yet. But, it was one thing you did remember, one single puzzle piece that made all the mushed up thoughts straighten out and make sense - or so you hoped.

His muted brown eyes held something in them, as you felt the warm liquid still pumping freely out of the bullet wound and across each palm of your own. Something - an emotion he was trying to tell, right before his last judgement. Like he was asking you something, or holding a heavy feeling in the colour. Regret came to mind, and then plea… like he was begging you to forgive him - at least you could before he departed. They hazed, the regret and need in them slowly fading.. While the boy himself slowly faded.. And the scene collapsed.

Finally after some re-arranging, and formation of a coherent answer, did you look your superior back in the eye with a confident feel.

“Your former profession..” You began in a outspoken voice, as Dazai gave you his full attention, an undoubtedly you had caught the attention of the other agents too. “Was not something the normal person would do. It was… not necessarily normal . The job, in a way.. Was dark and toxic - and definitely dangerous. Really dangerous. It was something… you didn’t choose to walk into.. Er.. maybe you were taught from very young? And.. I’m sure.. This job was something that wasn’t at all merciful - and made you do things that will probably stick with you until your last dying moments.”

A very.. Very breaching silence fell in the shop. Not a breath was taken. Not an eyelash was batted.

Then something changed

You placed both hands back onto the bar stool for support, a wave of chills running right down each fraction of your spine when suddenly the air around you became hard to breath. And as tremendous as it was, you became frightfully worried that you had just royally pissed off the man in front of you.

‘What the.. hell?’

Dazai was still in the same position, leaning back on the bar with both elbows now resting to support his weight. But it was like the guy harboured magic powers - a power to make you feel like an ice statue of fear yet a melting puddle of heat under just one gaze. His eyes widened slightly, but not in surprise… no. It was like he was satisfied, or amused at you - a sly smirk ghosting his feathers and a raised eyebrow to match.

The whole cafe stopped slightly, when your superior shifted his weight off of his supporting elbows and moved to get up.. Or so you thought. But seeming as though this is Dazai Osamu - you were one to quickly learn that he always goes against expectations and stretches the capabilities of reality.

Still a frozen stick of ice, all you could do was watch, as the brunette locked you in place and made you sweat drop. Were you nervous? Scared? In trouble? All emotions of the category were blurred together as your superior brought his face closer to your own. Accelerating heartbeat - racing pulse - non existent breathing, all was happening at once as you noticed his whole complexion coming dangerously closer in a tantalizing fashion, lips parted as if he was about to speak when -

*RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING*

You were broken immediately from your trance and paralyses, as the reality of the situation kicked you heavily in the side. You were breathing heavy and didn’t even know it, while Dazai blinked before you and glanced over your shoulder.

“Oh, sorry..” You vaguely heard Tanizaki mumble, while you squinted down at the ground. ‘What the hell was that just now? Part of his ability?’

A small beep of acceptance brought you back more or less, while you caught your breath as if you just ran a seven mile marathon and went to the gym right after. Tanizaki’s voice rang through the air, while your superior reclined back slightly - thank god.

“Hello? Tanizaki speaking…. Oh.. ok.. Yes…. Yes…. We’ll be right there, yes. No thank you. Bye.”

“Have we got a job?” Dazai questioned, flitting his eyes down to you and then right back in a nanosecond.

“Yes.. the client’s at the agency right now apparently.” The older sibling confirmed, clicking the phone shut and shoving it back into his back pocket.

“Right.” You lifted your head and straightened as Dazai scooted himself out of the seat and began brushing the creases of his dress shirt out. The noises of both siblings and Atsushi also gathering together behind you met your ears. The brunette that you were now, becoming very aware of at the moment - due to whatever voodoo freeze ability thing he just did - swung his ocher coat over his shoulders and let it fall with a snug fit. Both sharp eyes met your wary ones, and he gave a soft smile. “Let's save the guessing game for later, shall we?”

Sounds of travelling footsteps along with a bustling set of agents - and one rookie - were seen slowly filing out of the small restaurant, not without adding each tea ordered to Dazai long list of tabs already collecting under the cash register beforehand, of course.

The sun was warm, and so was the breeze as it took a minute for your eyes to adjust to the bright rays of the sun as all five of you began making your way down the street. But, no matter how warm it could have been - you probably could have been in the Sahara Desert and it wouldn't have made a difference. But, you still couldn’t shake off the lingering shivers still zapping timidly through the bottom end of your torso, and a strange form of edginess burying itself deep in the onset of your mind.

‘I don't think…’ You hugged both arms across your chest tighter, trying to shake the feeling off completely. ‘That I ever want to play that game again..’

 

 

Chapter Text

The walk back to the Detective Agency wasn’t a long one, but it definitely wasn’t a brief one either. It took just enough time for Atsushi to brief you down on what type of “ Jobs” this so called Agency takes, and for those strange Dazai-Induced lingering chills to leave you body.

“Though I haven’t been on much missions yet..” You fell in step beside the young weretiger, while both the Tanizaki pair and your superior lead the way a few feet ahead. “I know the Agency do take on missions that are…well difficult for the government to deal with I guess.”

You didn’t really know why, but the thought of this place made up of - and you listed - a suicide maniac, a tiger, two crazed siblings, a doctor, a detective who seems very confident in his own skills - but can’t defend himself, and a particular be-speckled blonde who was out for your blood have the capability to take on jobs who were even harder for armed forces to handle, wasn’t mainly any way reassuring. You watched as Atsushi rubbed the back of his fair neck, like he somehow telepathically knew what you were thinking about - and you mustered up enough faith to smile.

‘Who am I to judge, anyway?’

“And what are these “ missions”, exactly?”

Atsushi looked a little stuck for an answer for a moment, his eyebrows drawing as if to contemplate hard. “Well.. er..”

“Very entertaining, actually.” You glanced up at a now, magically materialized Dazai walking perfectly comfortable beside the both of you with those long legs of his. Exactly how he managed to jump from entertaining the siblings a few metres ahead to your side without the slightest sound or sense - was beyond you. “Especially when my partner decides to come along… which..” His brown eyes cast to the bright sky for a moment, and then back to you with a wry grin. “ Is mostly all the time.”

One of your eyebrows shot up. “Entertaining? That’s the word you choose to describe missions that are probably life-threatening and deadly?”

Your superior in question folded both his hands behind his back and slowly shut two dark eyes. “Who said they were dangerous?”

“Well… I’d suppose that missions the freaking government can’t even handle would be even a bit dangerous, would they not?”

Dazai didn’t answer you straight away, or maybe he didn’t seem inclined to. You were his subordinate after all - as much as you loathed the thought with everything in that frail body of yours. Both hands moved to toy with the small button at the end of your light dress sleeve, your eyes downcast kind of awkwardly. ‘Subordinate.. Huh? I’ve never given it some thought since this morning…’

‘What would that mean? What does it mean to serve this idiot? Or… does it mean he’s only there as a teacher to me?’

The button your fingers fiddled with was glinting with bright sunlight rays - making it look like a beautiful glittering gem for only a split second, but just as quick it was returned to its usual dull metallic self whenever you moved it slightly. Metaphorical really, if you looked at it in a humanizing way - ‘No matter how much you try to embellish someone with fancy titles and a limelight that emphasizes them, with one move they’ll always return to their true, dark self.’

The thought was slightly intriguing as you began moving the button again in different ways - watching it alter from bright and dazzling to faint and dull.

A faint hum of apprehension tore you out of the small monologue you were currently having, but it wasn’t such a noise that made your stomach drop about seven inches and the cold metal between both index and thumb go white hot. No, but what did insinuate such state was the feeling of a particular bandage-clad hand resting atop your right shoulder, and a very close-in-range voice that had dropped slightly, as if intended for your ears and your ears only.

“Well.. according to you, my former profession made me deal with a lot more dangerous work than the jobs I deal with in this Agency. You could say.. I’m used to it by now.”

As quick as his dipped head and soft touch was gone, you dropped the sleeve you were playing with and gawked slightly - unsure of what in the hell that meant. But, before you could ask any further prying questions, of course, your brunette haired, trench coat wearing superior was already striding in front of you.

One of those slender arms stretched into the air as he left you, once again - stuck for any words of the English, Spanish, French - and any other of the 6069 languages in the world. For the second time today, now that you thought about it.

“I suggest you hurry, Miss (y/n). It’s rude to keep a client waiting for too long.”

‘It’s rude to keep a -?!’ Your whole freaking body was stuck, almost following the same faith as your voice box and soon to be brain. And.. with the way things are going with your new ‘Superior - Subordinate’ thing, that destined faith is not a long way away.

Then, as that destiny actually wasn’t happening right now, fortunately your brain actually had the willpower and capable brain cells to comprehend on what your beloved enigma of a superior had just said.

‘According to you… my..?’

“Wait..” Your voice box mumbled, but barely - as a sense of excited trills began riding in the form of zaps through your bloodstream. “Does that mean.. I got it right?!”

Dazai's fast pace slowed slightly, while that arm he had raised in the air had returned to one of the trench-coat pockets. “Hmm.. Let’s just say you’re the closest anyone has ever been since I joined the Agency.”

The legs that suddenly didn't feel like piles of your favourite flavour of jelly, undoubtedly from the adrenaline burst your body just gave you - began practically jogging forward at a swift pace. “Wait… can’t I at least get a half of the prize hold then?!”

“No can do, Miss (y/n). I believe my rules were you needed to guess my exact profession. Not what it’s all about!”

The suit pants your legs were currently prisoner to definitely labored your pace, and the dress shirt you were given - although fit your pretty well - wasn’t much of a help in the matter either. Dazai’s tall figure only seemed to pick up his pace while the brick red building of the A.D.A came more closer into view. And, ironically - so did everything else in your vision was also burning a slight tinge of red, and the Kicking Meter  that you christened not just this morning was defiantly straining from the “Max” point.

Ow- Damn heels - Hey! Get back here you scamming lean stick of bandages before I strangle you with my own ‘Pretty lotus blossom hands’ and send you to the afterword myself!”

-----

“You’ve mentioned that you had inquired an investigation that you would like us to carry out?”

Luckily, well for Dazai and definitely not your sanity by any means - did all five of you manage to get back to the Office on time for the client meeting, and begrudgingly without a fresh homicide on your hands.

You shifted on both feet - not out of nervousness or really anything of the sort, but just - you felt out of place in a way around all these agents at work. The small meeting area felt slightly nostalgic since yesterday when you came here and was seated in the exact position that Tanizaki was at the moment. The chairs were still the same, the small window to your right, the light purple screen currently shielding you all slightly and offering even the illusion of some privacy. You couldn’t help but wander a (e/c) gaze around the small space - everything was still the same, like nothing of the sorts of a mad woman being in here yesterday was ever known to foreign eyes.

‘But then again…’ You mentally had to draw yourself back to the situation, trying to look the least bit professional. Even if, you didn’t have the slightest notion on what was going on, nor were you even following. ‘It's only been one whole day.’

“.... but what manner of investigation..” Tanizaki went on from beside you, speaking directly to the woman, his whole posture relaxed but oddly professional at the same times. “ - Are we speaking about?”

You chose this break in speech to steal a small glance over at the client sitting opposite the five agents she was being interrogated by. It didn’t take you long to notice that she was indeed pretty - a pale blonde whose hair was cut pin straight and fell just above her shoulders. Her blood-crimson eyes almost made her look evil, but judging from her sophisticated suit attire and polite use of table manners and words so far, she didn’t seem like a bad person right off the bat.

‘Still…’ You began fiddling with your shirt button again. ‘Trust issues… she could be anyone..’

Soft calculating stare lingering for only a moment longer, you trained it back and gave your other supposed co-workers a brief glance. All the agents that had accompanied you to the small restaurant were still here - Tanizaki was sitting down and currently leading the whole conversation, his sister lingering and surprisingly not wrapped around him like a sticky piece of gum, behind. Atsushi too, was sitting beside him… also not looking that comfortable or composed with taking to the woman at all. And Dazai - wait.

‘Where is he-’

“Beautiful…”

‘Oh god’

It seemed the rest of the band of agents shared your thoughts, as you watched with a blank expression your superior, this man you were meant to look up to, if that’s how superiors work, get down on his goddamn knees in front of the blonde and take her hand up in two of his. The guys radiance even screamed glittery pink dust and seductive roses.

‘He can't be serious.’

“You’re a lady as ephemeral and elegant as a lotus blossom.” He practically sang in tunes of sweet, while you for one, was holding back a need to cringe so badly that your soul may even leave your body. “Would you be willing to accompany me in a double -”

“Basssstard!!!”

And it was painfully ironic, instead of someone else being cut off by his mysterious antics and crazy words - the particular bandaged, insane… suicidal agent of the A.D.A was shut down immediately before he could finish his weirdly romantic proposal. But not by the woman, no - but by a flash of a blonde ponytail, a glint of a pair of glasses and a very audible punch square in the face that sent him soaring.

‘What the?’

“Oh…” Atsushi mumbled, all of the agents looking perfectly composed and calm, like a man wasn’t just punched right in the face and practically thrown right across the room. “Kunikida-san is back..”

Your brain wracked slightly, a tall and demanding figure standing right before the client in the place Dazai was previously kneeling - blonde ponytail reaching almost to the small of his back, glasses, a black dress shirt shielded by both a tan brown waistcoat and lighter suit pants. A cold kind of dread was poured right on top of your head like a cold bucket of water.. And maybe a glacier with that. Dark hostile rage was practically surrounding the familiar face, while you felt your eyes widen in, what was probably described as fear.

His eyes seemed to be on fire, like melting the steel and dripping inside his pupils. The blinding green light - the taser gun - his intent to end your like right there.

“I will not stand for a killer such as herself being in the same building as my teacher and co-workers!”

 

Atsushi noticed your sudden discomfort, thanks to your hammering heartbeat meeting his razor-sharp sense of hearing. And, for you - you could barely make out his blurry face when he looked up at you - a message in his eyes as if to say “ Don’t worry - He won’t hurt you.”

But looking at the blonde right now - that statement was a mouthful and a half to believe.

“Ah…” Was the sole noise he made - the killer intent that seemed to fill the room driving you on edge as he began moving to a pretty… unconscious looking Dazai on the floor. “Apologies for the disturbance.”

Each head in the room simply watched as he strode over to the probably soon-to-be-dead superior, fisted some of his tan trench coat in his grasp and threw him into a closet looking room. And you swore, a knot of unease tangled your intestines into a perfect bow when the blonde agent shuffled to turn around - the most stoic calm mask over his face while his voice kept monotone. “Please disregard what just happened.”

In slow motion.. The door closed dreadfully shut.

“Regarding my request..” The woman sat back up after the click of a shut door knob, her eyes showing no sign of surprise and her composer not falling. A bead of sweat made its way down the back of your neck, and by the sound of a hard swallow - it seemed the rest of the Agency seemed to be sweat dropping themselves.

A loud clap was muffled through the oak door, and you winced slightly - imagining just how bad a slap of such magnified sound was about to hurt.

“There has been a band of unpleasant people outside my companies building…” The blonde went on - and all you four could do was sit and listen to her. Her and the loud shouts, slaps, and dreadful moans of pain also filling the air.

“...And by unpleasant, I mean they wear rags and speak in a harsh foreign tongue..”

Sounds like a group of bandits..” His voice shot through the air, and if your stomach didn’t need any more nausea to it - this was the topping on the cake. Tantalizingly slow, the four of you fought with stiff muscles to turn back to his dreadfully calm voice. The agent slipped his glasses to the top of his head, and kicked the door with your superior.. Who… has seen better days lying on the ground with practically stars dancing across his eyes.. Shut. “Or smugglers by chance, they’re very likely in a Port Town such as this.”

“Yes, that's what I suspected.” The client looked up at him and smiled slightly - not the singlest bit of fear in her blood-red eyes whatsoever.

“And, you want us to get information on them and hopefully catch them in the act?” The damn Grim Reaper came closer, folding his arms tightly across his chest. “Right?”

“Right..”

“Brat -” Atsushi visibly jumped at, presumably the address of his name, and glanced up at the relatively calm looking guy towering over him. You go.”

W-What?”

“Take Tanizaki and the rookie with you, it's the perfect mission for you three.” Hold on a minute - you gave him a peculiar look when he openly asked Atsushi to bring you along. ‘He legit just tried to take my head off via taser not five hours ago!’, but his face held no form of killer intent or wanting to remove all our limbs in a swift manner either. Yeah, he didn’t address you by your proper name, and the way he said ‘Rookie’ sounded slightly cold and a bit forced - but this was definitely surprising. ‘Maybe he got all his anger out by nearly killing Dazai earlier?’

“B-but. What if I can’t handle it?” The weretiger sounded anything but enthusiastic, and quite frankly - you couldn’t blame him. The thought of fighting off a crowd of bandits didn’t sound that appealing to you, either.

“You will, they’re bandits. Not technically intellectual nor that good with hand-on-hand combat.”

Atsushi chose not to retaliate, but nodded affirmatively - although a look of unease crossed his pretty eyes. The client nodded slightly in gratitude, her blonde sharply precise hair falling in front of her face and making that pristine authoritative look she so greatly wore slip just for a few moments.

“Well!” You barely had a chance to flinch, when the younger sibling of the Tanizaki pair reached right over the back of the chair and stuck herself securely around her very uncomfortable looking brother’s neck in the most unceremonious fashion. “Wherever Brother goes - Naomi will go too!”

“Well, then looks like the four of you shall go.” His cold, ruthless looking eyes flitted from each one of you individually - and you could have sworn it was your hazy imagination - but it seemed his gaze lingered on you for a couple of moments, a message he was trying to telepathically convey - but you were just immune to it.

His sharp jolt of his head to the right was something to cause all the muscles in your body to twitch, while a pile of nervousness began building in the deep onset of your stomach.

“Go, all of you. You’ll be leaving the Agency in exactly fifteen minutes and forty two seconds…and not a moment. Later.”

 


 

‘First mission. This is my first mission. My first mission… Don’t screw it up, me. Don’t screw up your first - ‘

“Hey… (Y/n)?”

Tanizaki’s voice jolted you out of your thoughts with a violent thug, accompanied by a loud obnoxious car horn whisking past along the small road beside. You stumbled slightly, and after inwardly cringing at yourself, the - Don’t screw this damn mission up - motive popping up again when you caught yourself, did you look up at the agent calling out to you.

“Hm?”

“Are you…,. “ Tanizaki’s light brown eyes widened slightly, a look of perplexity glittering in them. “.. okay?”

“Oh, me? Oh yeah! Pft, I’m fine. Actually, I’m more than fine! I’m just feeling down right amazing!”

The eldest Tanizaki sibling couldn’t help the feeling of unease twinging slightly inside him at your plastered on smile and more-than-convincing positive tone. You didn’t even look nervous - from what he could make out, no. The more fitting word that passed his mind and probably made a small pool of sweat trickle down his forehead was - you looked borderline insane.

Your face was beginning to ache with all the stretching you were pulling, and almost praised God when Tanizaki gave you a wary smile and turned away. All the muscles in you face released with relief, aided with a very deep intake of air. I mean, who were you even trying to kid? You weren’t nervous, and by god you weren’t even scared.

You were downright terrified.

You couldn’t decide if it was the thought of actually dying , or being responsible for the agents around you dying that scared you the most. You’ve never exactly experienced something like this before, human contact was only something new to you, and if it wasn’t for illicit desires or that one time in the warehouse four years back - then this was definitely a new field. And having people’s safety on your shoulders, even if it was fighting against bandits, didn’t leave the best feeling in your body.

The blonde client was leading the four of you to her supposed “Building” where the company she works in is based - and after winding down street after street and identical building after identical building - you were beginning to become wary of just where in the hell a big corporate company would situate such a headquarters.

‘I would have thought… that a company would base themselves in a town square. Or at least somewhere with a bit more people..’

A small mumble, or growl of confusion, made you turn your head towards the weretiger - currently squinting down at a small slip of paper in his hands, and had the darkest look you have even seen him wear in the two days you have known him.

“What’s wrong, Atsushi?” Your body shifted closer to get a look at what he was glowering at, while Atsushi’s gaze snapped up to yours - softening slightly. “Oh.. er… I’m just.. Worried about something.”

“About what? Well.. besides us having to fight off a group of bandits..”

One of his gloved hands tightened on the - what seemed to be a photograph of someone reflecting the sunlight in an almost taunting way. The small slip of paper shifted slightly again and you managed to get a good look at the person in the photo - a seemingly dark looking man that screamed all sorts of caution and danger. He harbored this long mundane black coat that didn’t even look as much like clothes as it did part of his body. You tilted your head at his strange looking haircut - also black tendrils chopped up but left two longer bits to frame his face, tipped in white. The man’s dark eyes also seemed to glower, but colder than Atsushi’s - and by a long shot.

“Who’s that?” You found your voice after a while, sparing Atsushi another glance while both Tanizaki siblings seemed to also take interest in what you two were talking about.

“Dazai-san said he’s a Mafia member.” The tiger went on, returning to glare at the foiled photo. “And he made it very clear to stay away from him.”

‘A Mafia member?!’ “Oh, oh no that’s just great! So he actually wasn’t bluffing when he said a Mafia was your goddamn mortal enemy.”

“I’ve only heard about them..” Atsushi went on. “But this is the first face I’ve seen from the organisation, and if Kunikida-san’s advice is anything I should take.. Then my ability is practically useless against him.”

“Oh..” Well that made you feel better. Not that you knew Atsushi that well, nor did you see his ability in action just yet - but if you were to take his word for it, then looks like your band now has two useless members on the team. You, being a lot more useless than Atsushi. “At least we have Tanizaki’s ability?”

Tanizaki before you swallowed nervously, while trying to unwrap himself from the knot he was in with his sibling. “Ah.. I wouldn’t count on me for fighting either. My ability isn’t really good for hand on hand combat..so I’m pretty useless too.. Ha ha.”

‘Oh. Great.’

“Naomi doesn’t think brother’s ability is useless.. In fact. Naomi believes brothers ability is amazing by itself~” And there it was, the drop of his sisters sugary seductive voice - and your sole red flag to ‘Look away now.’

“So what’s his name?” You tried to drown out the other.. Sounds in the background and focused on turning right around to your weretiger companion. He gave you this uneasy expression - like he was battling a small war in his mind - and you were too. Very different thoughts and experiences merging together slightly to produce one emotion in the outcome of it all. Fear.

“It’s Akutagawa.”

‘Aku...tagawa?’

You were about to cement the name into your head, and put him on the caution radar for people you were definitely not to run into during whatever Agency you just joined when the client stopped still in front of you. The Tanizaki pair stopped moving in their weird dance, while you and Atsushi mentally prepared yourselves for whatever battle was destined to come - in the dark secluded alleyway right in front of you.

The woman’s eyes glittered with something that only you caught - the red shimmering orbs which made you second guess yourself and whatever motives she had just for a second. And it wasn’t helping her move up on your “People to Trust” List, either.

“We’re here.”

 


 

“You can’t do a double suicide alone ~ You can’t do a- Oh.”

Dazai whined as he felt the headset being yanked up and off of his head - but it wasn’t that it was playing any music. His delighted partner stood over him, the earphones caught up in his grasp and looking at him with the worst scowl anyone could have possibly seen playing on his face.

But then again, Dazai has seen worse. Or.. more specifically - he has made him show him worse.

“Ah, my dearest Kunikida-kun. Why do you feel the need to disrupt my little happiness I have with my favourite song?”

“You disrupt my happiness by just breathing, idiot.” The blonde spat, although not as venomously as he did this-morning. No, but now he sounded slightly calmer and more level headed. Sure, Dazai wasn’t going to leave such a thing unanswered.

“And what has you in a good mood?” The agent smiled coyly up at his partner, shifting on the sofa in an attempt to sit up.

“Does me wanting to throw you out the buildings front window because you paperwork from last week still isn’t done your interpretation as one of my Good Moods?”

“No.. but.” Dazai was fully sitting up now - and trying to think of a way to get his headphones back before he missed anything worth hearing. “The fact you allowed yourself to be within two feet of (y/n) today as well as send her on a mission might.”

Kunikida scoffed slightly above him, forgetting that the headphones were ever in his hands in the first place. “Ah. The President might have had a word or two with me.”

Ooooh, did the diligent student get scolded by his beloved Master. Tell me, Kunikida-kun, how does it feel to be a failure?”

The sadistic side of Dazai was smiling broadly when he knew he was getting under Kunikida’s very thin skin as the blonde’s eyebrow twitched while his foot began tapping a static rhythm on the floor. No, the agent had nothing against his easily angered blonde-haired partner - nor did he hold any type of former grudge either.

He just, simply liked annoying him.

“I can assure you, the day I become a failure to my teacher is the day I leave the A.D.A, simply as that.”

“So how’d he do it?”

Kunikida narrowed his gaze at the agent, currently still smiling wickedly at him. “How’d he do what?”

“Convince you not to kill her. And.. not to kill me for bringing her here.”

Dazai watched as his partner sighed, obviously the President had agreed with him in getting Kunikida on board - but there was something else that he was made comply to and by any looks of it - it was definitely something that was really, really stretching his ideals.

Kunikida lowered the dark set of headphones from the air absentmindedly, while pushing his glasses up onto the top of his head. “He’s my teacher Dazai, he could tell me to jump off a cliff and I’d probably oblige.”

“Hmm..” Dazai wasn’t near satisfied with that answer - so he decided if he wanted to get his headphones back and see what his new subordinate has in store for her in the future - he was going to have to pay further. “So what’s bothering you so?”

Again, the blonde sighed deeply - pinching the bridge of his nose and lowering the headphones even further. “I’ve been promoted.”

Promoted?” Dazai feigned shock, eyeing the lowering headphones at the same time. He was interested though, in what Fukuzawa was thinking - hell the man was even more brilliant than him - but something told him that if he wasn’t going to get those headphones back, than someone could be in dangerous trouble. “Promoted as what?”

“I need to.. Train her.”

“In hand-to-hand combat, I presume..” Dazai finished for him, and quickly had visions of you being thrown around by the A.D.A’s best sparer they have. And all those images, didn’t look in any way promising. “I’ll make sure to give her my last regards.”

It then came to the agents attention that the headphones were now in his compatible reach.

“Well… he did tell me not to harm her in any way.. but I don’t know how long I’ll - “

“You can’t do a double suicide alone ~ Woah.”

“Wha - “ Kunikida glanced down at his now lighter hand - and realized the direct absence of a particular headphone pair. And also the very begrudging absence of his partners attention span that made his foot commence it's stattico rhythm on the floor beneath. Again.

“You can’t do a double suicide ~” Dazai went on, swinging his legs behind him while he lay sprawled stomach down on the sofa. The voices coming through the cushioned head set on his head only gave him the indication that you were almost at the area. But, it was only when he heard your voice through the woman's receiver deep in her pocket did he slowly open his eyes.

‘Good luck, (y/n).’

 

Chapter Text

After Higuchi - ‘Was that her name?’ - you didn’t have the most rational mindset at the minute to remember and quite frankly, by the sheer way this place both the client and her band of agents were making their way down was loosing light rapidly fast was setting your stomach on edge. But when you watched with perked ears as the blonde declared this place as the designated area her company is based - you couldn’t help but feel dangerously skeptical. High walls caged any trespasser in from the outside and overall cast this long, dead-end alleyway with a sense of caution.

You took this chance to peer up at the high buildings, your stomach twisting even more. ‘Why would a company want to set up in a place such as this?’

‘More importantly -’ Your exploring neck craned down, and gave the back of the short haired woman a near death-glare. ‘Why would bandits ever try to race into a dark alley without any means of escape?’

The rest of the agents seemed fine - nervous - but fine nonetheless, as they freely ventured before you in a swift pace, trying to keep up with the woman’s long strides. You willed your stiff muscles to move in a similar fashion - but it was strange really. They were tensing up on their own, like a automatic system that your brain triggered; along with a message of “Untrustworthy Person” flashing like neon headlights right before your (e/c) eyes.

As your strides became slow steps, then reduced down to an unwilling stroll - and finally a complete halt, did you allow your foggy thoughts to move once more.

‘It just doesn’t add up. The company being in a secluded area - which would never bring in any form of income if there’s no customers present. But why would a group of bandits - who’s motives is to steal try rob an un-prosperous company? Let alone in a place with little escape routes.’

You were so wrapped up in your thoughts, that you didn’t come to notice when Atsushi before you picked up on one missing body - and he too stopped. Shortly he was followed by both Tanizaki siblings and finally a very cool looking client - each spinning around to give you the most quizzical stare.

“(Y/n)?” You barely were able to process his soft voice, and the weretiger couldn’t help but be hit with a sense of undying dread when your perfectly still body didn’t even flinch in response when he called your name. “Are you alright? Are you feeling sick?”

Familiar events flashed out of your memory box that you liked to keep locked away at all times - but seems as though today and in this manner, the lock didn’t seem to be working. Images, scenarios, and even sounds painted a picture in your subconscious - scarily vivid and threatening to throw you into another panic attack but you fought against it. A small, maybe nine year old child was pictured in your memory, and by the looks of things - she wasn’t treated that well. A ratty oversized shawl clipped the ground as she raced through the small dingy streets - a loaf of bread in her hands. And, judging by the shrill cries and string of curses aimed at her from behind, she didn’t seem to have given any currency in exchange for such food.

‘It’s like a game of cat and mouse -’ You heard the little girl think, a thick bush of (e/c) hair reaching mid-back whipped behind her like serpents, biting and hissing at the wind as she began to bound with shoe - lacking feet even faster. Her stomach growled, her lungs burned, her feet were stinging with all kinds of cuts and bruises as the pavement abused them so, but it was as if nothing could stop her. Nothing could stop a young girl on the brink of starvation from taking the loaf of bread after countless unsuccessful attempts at asking for it nicely. Nothing could stop her from weaving through the unknown streets effortlessly as if she knew it so well. Nothing could stop this little girl from fighting, fighting to live another day.

Because what else could she do? A child with nothing left but the hope that one day she would be accepted into the world, in absence of a family, a home, a childhood could only do so much. And you remembered how willing you were, even if it was the most wrong thing in the world - you would do it. Not for you, not to show your family that you could be at peace - but some day, when you do manage to find everything that little girl lacked - you can smile down on her and give her something to hold onto.

A familiar call rattled the images from your brain, and a hazy reality filled vision was captured by colourful knowing eyes - but this time they swarmed with anxiety. You flitted back and forth from Atsushi to the client giving you a blank stare - and a bubbling sensation started easing its way into your veins.

“(Y/n)? Hey, are you ok?” His voice could may as well been chirped in cricket language backwards, and it still wouldn’t have made a difference. You were too busy locking eyes with a set of red orbs in front of you, the aura going dangerously cold around all four agents of the A.D.A.

“Hey.” You cocked your head in a - what probably was meant to be an intimidating manner, but her emotionless stare didn't waver a bit. You continued on anyway - the fire in your stomach only burning brighter as you kept your tone of voice powerful and outspoken yet low at the same time. “Who are you?”

“Who am I?” The woman repeated the question, a voice that was trained to show no emotion around people sounding mildly surprised at the sudden inquiry. “I’m a senior executive in the company I work for - Accounting Unit. And this place is my - “

“No no, you’re not answering my question.” Your small hand raised to cut her off, the warning neon headlights never faltering in your brain once. And if you knew yourself better than you think, that wasn’t the best sign in any case whatsoever. “I asked who are you. Not what are you.”

You watched with a deadly kind of stare - not really knowing what had taken over you at that given moment as the woman’s blood-ruby eyes seemed to glow. With caution? Warning? Danger? Hell if you knew. “My name is Higuchi Ichiyou. I’m an accountant at the office I work at.”

Tanizaki watched you with perplexed stars dancing right around him and his sister’s head, not knowing what the heck had gotten into you. The only thing the young agent could blame it on was the nerves, but when he watched as you closed your darkening eyes and shook with a spine-chilling laugh, did he rule such a thought out completely. Atsushi too - who was positioned a lot closer to you, was even more spellbound and above all - wary. ‘Is this her ability acting out?’

You small giggle of disbelief escaped just as fast as it came down on you, while the noise rebounded for a lingering moment off of the boxed in walls. You took a small step closer - head held high with both hands clasped behind you, before fixing the woman before with a dark set of calculating, (e/c) eyes. Eyes, that have seen a lot of things, a lot of things that could darken the brightest of souls in the best person’s body - and Atsushi would definitely be lying if he said a familiar set of chocolate orbs didn't speed across his memory.

“You see, Miss Higuchi..” Another step closer, your mind working faster than your mouth could keep up with. “You keep rattling on about this “Company” you so diligently work for, or so you say. But tell me - “ Each agent followed you as you gestured around to the dimly lit area you were in. “Does this look like a place a company would set up in? Surely, if it's an office company then they don't really need civilization - but would still need the use of telephone wires, company parking space, etc.. Which I’ve duly noted that there isn’t really any, from the outside nor a ten minute walk from this place…”

Higuchi’s eyes widened just a fraction - so little so that no other agent caught it but you. Someone who has to exhaust her guard so much at times that it's just become a skill of yours to see right through people. And more importantly, see right through lying people.

“But of course none of that matters right? Companies are not something I’m educated on.. Coming from the country and all..”  You took another step closer to the female, her slim body coming into view at an even closer range. “But what I can’t seem to let go is this Bandit thing. Bandits - a bloodthirsty, money hungry bunch. But they're also afraid, and mostly all the time.”

You were advancing forwards in such a demanding way, the little girl zipping through your mind and clinging as an undertone to each word you spoke.

“- Bandits have this fear of getting caught. Not, because of the fear of being thrown in jail or.. Getting yelled at. No, but a bandit will steal for a reason - the good ones mainly. Poor unfortunate souls who know, if they don’t make this job, if they don’t successfully take what they so desperately need, then calamity will strike. A man seeking money he’s been denied for his daughters medical bills will let her die if he’s caught, a man blackmailed into stealing will probably be tortured and so will his family - “ The little girl smiled in your brain, a tooth gap only adding to the little innocence she has left. “ A small child who gets caught stealing food will most likely starve to death. So, they will always have way more than three escape routes - but looking at this dead end tunnel, a very unlikely place where someone would base a bandit group, and from no looks of burglary or vandalism - well.. your story doesn’t sound that convincing to me.”

You were right in front of her now, all three agents frozen still behind you in utter disbelief as the darkness seemed to trap anyone in front of you in your eyes. You took in her appearance of white porcelain skin, contrasting with fine lines and ablaze brilliant eyes. You bent down slightly as if to taunt the woman in a way - dropping your voice an octave or so so she and only she was able to hear it.

“So tell me.. Who are you?”

Something cascaded down on all of you - something heavy, dangerous, and most of all.. Silent.

And that’s how the atmosphere stayed for a couple of seconds, just you and the questionable acquaintance locking eachother down in equally intimidating stares, yours having a calculating tint while her red pools never wavering and slightly morbid. Each semi-trained detective behind you - after the initial shock that was - began processing the points you just made. And as each, tense second second passed, did they realise just how much your outlook made sense.

Higuchi’s eyes softened slightly, but not in a warm way - while you watched as the woman stretched both arms over her head and behind, fiddling with her hair in some fashion. Instinctively, you brought yourself back - and switched your guard to the little defense you knew at such a strange action.

‘What is she doing?’

You watched as her golden locks twisted and turned, and if like a magic trick - her hair was tiddied into a quick updo in under three seconds flat, a few stray fly aways taking away from her professional demeanor only slightly and making the woman’s whole appearance now slightly rough and not totally perfect. And if that wasn’t the only shocking thing that made you falter slightly - then by God the next thing she did was so strange or someone you expected that you almost had to catch your breath.

Every agent in the vicinity present stared with even wider eyes as the suited female that only screamed respect reclined her head - and fully brought her form into a full bodied bow right in front of you. A deeply apologetic gesture - even where you came from - and you couldn’t help but knit your eyebrows slightly and begin doubting your judgement for once when all you could see was her blonde crown.

“Forgive me.” Her voice spoke directly to the ground, and you couldn’t help but waver. “If my information has mislead you to distrust me in any way. It was a mistake on my account, but what I have told you is true. Please take it from me, you’re the last hope my company has left before the bandits lead us to bankruptcy.”

You waited, until about six whole dreadful seconds passed of the most awkwardly uncomfortable situation you’ve ever been in, in your whole life. And you’ve been in a lot of situations during a short life you lived. But through it all, never, never have you ever had someone go as far as bowing to you. Showing you so much respect and seeing you fit to subjugate themselves to the likes of you.

‘Oh god… Did I just wrongly accuse this woman?’

All of the previous accusations you made came rushing back like a tidal wave, and it was as if you cringed to a point where you felt physical pain.

‘And so harshly too..?’

“Ah..” Your voice squeaked out a wobble, while you glanced back at your companions as if to scream at them “Help me.” telepathically. Not one of them seemed to hear it though, shamefully. But Tanizaki did give you a strange look.

You whipped back around, to the still submissive client. “Miss… No, please raise your head. It… It was my fault for… for wrongly coming at you so rudely. I-I believe you..”

The previous knot in your stomach that seemed permanent stubbornly didn’t allow you to think otherwise.

The glistening bun of golden hair was the one thing you could keep your eyes on, as the woman - regardless of your apology - didn’t move a muscle. Moreover, her whole smartly dressed body seemed to shift, but barely. And, it just came into account at how close both of you were standing - and taking that this woman was bowed, well you were surprised that she hasn’t butted heads with your stomach.

I thank you for your cooperation.”

The next action happened so blissfully fast that it wasn’t something that you could react to quickly enough - even if you wanted to. It was only when you had collapsed right onto your knees - practically all the air leaving your lungs accompanied by white splitting pain in a frighteningly precise place around the right rib did you somehow get a notion of what had happened. It was only when your body began convulsing spastically with heaving while stars littered your vision did you begin cursing yourself through a semi-detached subconscious. And, most importantly - it was only when you heard a faint shrill cry of your name did you come to realize that your damn judgment was right!

“(Y/N)!!”

It didn’t take the weretiger more than a nanosecond to realize that something was wrong, even before you had all stepped foot into this dead end alleyway. But his senses that he brushed off - blaming it on his stupid nerves kicking in on the first big mission - were only applied when you began bombarding the client with questions. But, everything was confirmed in his brain and tiger senses alike, everything you had said had made perfect sense - when the tiger watched not only moments prior with a sharp vision as the blonde didn’t resurface from her bow. No, but instead - and catching you completely of guard - did she surge forward and knock you right in the right rib with so much force and so much experience with the back of her elbow and arm combined that had his companion flying backwards. And now that’s where you lay - coughing up the majority of your air and looking completely dazed and lifeless at her feet.

It didn’t take anything else for the agents wolfish eyes to sharpen, a strong urge to wrap his hands around the woman’s throat practically feeding the adrenaline in his young body.

“I must apologise…”

Both Atsushi and Tanizaki exchanged a heated glance - while the elder dragged his sister behind him out of harm's way.

“But I indeed have led you into a trap..”

Your senses regained bit by bit as the pain dulled, while you cursed her voice in your brain from above you. ‘Bastard woman ..!’

A loud click of a flip phone resounded off the boxed in walls - clashing completely with your hacking and only adding to your undignified dread.

“I have them as planned..” Her harsh voice cut through all of your ears - and one word that followed was probably the one thing that had you unified with one fearful thought that you all were caught in the same useless position as each other. “Akutagawa-senpai.”

‘Akutagawa?!’

His cold hard look - dangerous hollow eyes, dark aura popped into your brain while all the stars were dissipating slightly. Atsushi physically felt himself sweat drop at the name - Kunikida’s hard advice banging in his mind and only making him more alert with fear it was deadly. Tanizaki on the other hand - was gripping his sisters wrist so tightly she was beginning to feel pain, while he was on the verge of being sick.

“That name…” The elder sibling began, a cold shiver rattling his spine.

“She’s with..” Atsushi continued, a shaky voice along with two stone-like ruby eyes anchoring him in place.

All of you concluded the one thing you were dreading. The very thing you didn’t want to deal with seeming your as useless as you were. And somehow - the thought of fighting a group of bandits seemed like a piece of cake right then and there!

“The Port Mafia!”

 


 

It was as if those very two words were like a warning signal. The alarm he was searching for in his little spying mission, surely the concern is always on his mind but it was as if his prediction had been spot on again. Because, when a familiar brunette who was more than enjoying the very entertaining conversation you were all having heard those two bedamned words slip each mouth present - and the sheer urgency those voices held - did it cause both relaxed coffee coloured eyes to snap open miles across the city.

 


 

Gunshots sounded. A loud, excruciating sound. Bangs of bullets hitting walls and directly missing a target as if to give a warning hit your ears - and laced all of your emotions with ones likely to the subject. Fear. Dread. Pain. And most of all - the feeling that you could do absolutely nothing.

A weak feeling was turning your legs to solid lead - a sense of paralysis if you will. But all you could do was stare in sheer and utter terror as Atsushi and both Tanizaki’s widened their cautious eyes as the woman pointed her guns at them directly. Cloudy depictions gave you a clue of what was happening, while blurs rushed passed your vision.

Another rounds of guns was fired, maybe even louder and harsher than the last. But, except this time - you watched as everything slowed down. A sense of deja-vu really - now that you thought about yesterday when you first met your superior - but that wasn’t what was relevant right now. But what was important, was that you could only take in with a frightful frozen (e/c) stare as the bullets slowed in their path. A path that you didn’t want to believe - a path that couldn’t make you feel more helpless. Metal glinted with hot temperatures as the bounded in a beeline towards no other than Tanizaki’s body.

‘No!’

“TANIZAKI LOOK OU-”

Instinctively at the sound of the tigers cry, did you glue both eyes shut.

Something inside you yearned for this to be a dream. Some dark nightmare, when you listened with a sick need to vomit as the sound of metal embedding itself deep into something soft and human-like rang out, and by every faith out there you didn’t want to open your eyes. One, two, three four five. Each metal casket a very seperate sound as they hit a different part each time. Then you pictured it - pictured him. Tanizaki, his youthful face draining to the colour of white with rolled back eyes. Red stains covering his torso, his life slipping by every so quickl-

“N-Nii-san?”

A shock wave coursed through you, while both eyes opened without even needing a thought. But, when you took in the very unexpected scene in front of you, and how your vomit was practically running up your throat at the moment did you wish you didn’t.

And you wished a whole lot.

“N-Naomi…?”

Her ebony hair billowed slightly, revealing the once white shirt covering her back that was now a totally different shade of the spectrum. Red stains only seemed to saturate around her bullet wounds that were scattered along her back, and pooled at her feet. Your jaw opened in horror, as you regained strength of some form while you realized just what the younger Tanizaki sibling had just done . Her arms outstretched, her body covering her brothers in an attempt to protect, her love for him blossoming in the air like a last dying wish -

‘She shielded him.. With her body..’

“A.. are…. You…..Oh...ka-” The girl's frail body gave way - as she buckled at the knees and fell right into her brothers arms. You could feel it. The familiar feeling of needing to help. You ability screaming and making your heartbeat race - practically begging for you to help. It was tugging, like a magnet - while your eyes didn’t seem to want to leave the bullet wound buried in her back.

‘Help her…’

“Naomi! N-Naomi!” Her sibling was blanking, and Atsushi was stoic still watching as she began to bleed out. “We.. we need to… Yosano-san! No.. no we need to bandage … the wounds.. Atsushi… do you have any… any ..”

‘Use it.. Use it use it use it..!’

‘No… No! Get out of my head!’

‘But you can save her..’

‘And also I could kill her - No!’

‘Yesss -’

‘NO! -’

The sound of someone reloading a gun made you want to warn them - really. But your senses where now heightened against your will, everything was just focused. Focused on her wound. A need to help. A need to heal.

‘But.. I could save..’

‘Wait.. No! What am I saying? You can’t control it! It's too risky!’

The weretiger glanced at you, seeking for some form of help or backup because hell if he knew what he was about to do. Blank. His mind was simply just.. Blank. Nothing was processing. Naomi was dying. You looked as if you were frozen stiff - an unreadable kind of glazed look in your muted (y/n) orbs, as you were rooted to the spot. Short freshly chopped tendrils decorated your face in the most unruly way, and Atsushi cursed himself when he realized you were probably frozen in fear at seeing the woman drenched in her blood. Tanizaki was rambling, and it didn’t come to mind that the Port Mafia member they were facing had cocked both guns back and had raised them towards the same direction.

“See it that you follow your saving Princess in the afterlife.”

Something in Tanizaki’s zoned out eyes morphed - sharpened and widened in an attempt to let you know that was the last thing to make something inside the agent snap.

“What did you say, Mafia Dog?!”

A dangerous rage filled tone took over the agents calm relaxed aura - like he switched persona’s in a split second as he straightened to his full height, a rag doll like Naomi hanging limply in his grasp and staining his pearly white shirt with his own related blood. Atsushi was further pushed to the edge of nervousness, tethering on the edge of oblivion. While you - well. Let's say your subconscious was being so overwhelmed with the pounding of a heartbeat, rapid blood flow and something taking you over that you weren’t even a part of this situation anymore. The back and forth war between ‘Help’ and ‘Don’t risk it.’ practically blocking anything else out.

If Tanizaki had fangs - he would bare them as bands of green light warped around the two and illuminated the whole dark space with a shade of lime and white. Higuchi narrowed her eyes - expecting whatever ability he was about to unleash and getting ready to fight it - but keeping in mind that it wasn’t something compatible for combat.

The bands spread out - and ran over each wall as well as skated the ground as far as she could see. But, surprisingly - nothing out of the ordinary had happened. The same agent was still standing there clutching to the woman she had shot at not moments ago, the other female agent still collapsed at her feet but eerily not moving nor making any reaction. The weretiger target was frozen behind - and a green snowflake was making its way down from the sky..

Wait.

The mafia subordinate glanced up, and her confusion was only heightened when one snowflake - then two - then a collection of them began falling from the sky. Not that it was the middle of July, but instead of being made of the white frost they usually are, they were.. Well. They were green.

Higuchi felt a scowl tighten on her face as she aimed her gun back at the un-moving sibling - her blood-red eyes dancing with suspicion. A firm grip cracked the revolver back, and in a split second  she had set another round of bullets ripping through the air. Each metal casket hitting her target head on - each one passing straight through.

“Wha-?”

Atsushi’s body was torn between collapsing with relief that Tanizaki didn’t get a round of bullets to his chest - and wanting to run to you and shake you out of whatever trance you were in. But he didn’t need to, as your blood slowed back to a normal sort of pace, your sight was gifted back to you while it was clear that the wounds your senses were so greatly focused on was now nowhere to be seen. But, you cracked your neck around aided with confusion, well.. What the hell is there to see?

Everything was basked in a shower of green - speckles of it falling from the sky like snowflakes, while each building wall was painted with inscriptions that looked next to computer coding. Atsushi looked equally as confused, while the Mafia Worker beside you spun around in caution.

‘Is this…’ A familiar face came to mind - who was missing from the scene. ‘Tanizaki’s ability?’

“My ability Light Snow..” The same voice that matched his description in your head called out to you - what seemed to be all around the space. Like he was speaking through a megaphone, and everywhere around you was a surround sound. “Allows me to transform any space into a screen of snow. Meaning that although you can hear me.. It’ll be a lot harder to see me.”

The woman made a scoffing sound from above you, another crack of a gun making you automatically lower your head. “I may not be able to see you, but I can definitely shoot you!”

An open fire echoed once again, her guns blindly shooting in a circle as you and Atsushi dived for cover. Bullets clanked off walls and shells fell to the ground, while you covered your ears at the range of the weapons being so close to you. They ringed indefinitely - deafening you for a brief moment. However, when the bullets finally did run out, and the loud bangs of gunshots ceased - did you open your eyes. But - when you watched as both guns clattered to the floor beside you did it cause you to look up and gawk. And oh boy - did you gawk indeed.

Tanizaki had magically materialized out of green speckles behind the woman - and had both strong hands wrapped firmly in a vice grip around her slim neck. Rage was what fueled his adrenaline, and maybe even strength as he manged to lift the sputtering woman up a few centimeters off of the ground, showing no remorse nor any intention to hold back. The sheer look of hostility and homicidal intent made your blood run cold, while it looked as if the Mafia woman wouldn’t hold out any longer as the colour was slowly draining from her pale face as well as both hands trying to pry Tanizaki’s of before he crushed her windpipe.

Ng…. ah - ck.’

Her actions of struggle began growing fainter by the minute - but it wasn’t the only sound that clouded your mind. No - and it might have only been you, but you could have sworn you had just heard some faint coughing coming from behind the two.

Tanizaki’s hands tightened somehow even more than they were before hand - and the woman went stark white.

Your ears pricked slightly, now something causing the alert in your brain to ring obnoxiously as another bout of coughing erupted from the same space. And - judging by Atsushi's sudden slight reaction to the sound, and it being even clearer and closer in range, just clarified that it in fact wasn’t you that was hearing things.

But it wasn’t like someone jumped out and started shooting you both down dead, no. But it was the monstrous roar of probably a dark beast that made you pale, it was the way Tanizkai’s eyes widened in shock while the horrible wet sound of something piercing skin deeply that clarified that you definitely , weren't hearing things.

The elder Tanizaki was frozen for a moment, and you watched as he slowly detached himself from his body - the strong metallic scent of blood hitting you hard while his eyes glazed, and his whole body turned to putty - buckled - and seemingly dropped like jelly to the floor. The woman too, was released and landed on her knees before you - desperately taking large intakes of oxygen into her strangled lungs.

Both you and Atsushi took a second, listening tentatively as another round of coughing followed Tanizaki’s graceful downfall to the ground, now sitting in a puddle of blood. The familiar pull was starting to cloud your senses again, the rush of blood while the voice telling you to ‘Help help help..’ make its debut - but it wasn’t something that blocked you completely from the next sight. It wasn't enough to protect you from seeing the person who had single handedly probably killed one of the A.D.A members in cold blood. Your (e/c) shakily flitted upwards - following the sounds of the coughing and it was as if your whole face took on the persona of a ghost for a minute - while you caught a glimpse of the man in front of you.

The black body-like trench coat that already made your skin crawl and rise with gooseflesh - the seemingly pale and almost gray tint to his skin, rough ebony hair with just two tendrils that were tipped in white. And his fluid, calm way of walking, cold and ruthless as his aura felt. You could only gaze in fear alongside your weretiger partner as the man coughed one more time into his hand, before opening his eyes so slowly and in such a way that could probably make any president quiver. Those black orbs were bottomless. Emotionless. Empty . But if they did hold one emotion, and if you had to describe him in one word - even before you probably died at his hands - was danger.

All the saliva left your mouth, while the ground under you couldn’t have felt more colder.

‘Akutagawa.’

 

Chapter Text

Through a frozen state, you mistook it for a monster at first glance. This large, serpent like thunder bolt that seemed to roar with it's own intentions, casting a red kind of electric glow on everything it touched. But that was through your first blink. Through your second, third, and maybe even twentieth flutter of eyelashes - you came to realize that the frightfully rigid looking beast hovering in the air just where Tanizaki had fallen didn’t in fact, have a malicious mind of it's own. That it was being controlled by the man behind in ways you didn’t want to know about - and if that wasn’t enough, then by God you didn’t even want to begin to think about what it was capable of.

The red beast removed itself from Tanizaki’s body with a spine-chilling sound, the best synonyms to describe would be slick - it's not that you heard such a horrible sound of something removing itself harshly from someone's dying body that often - even if that thing is a fang like creature that was sending your nerves into a tailspin. His lifeless body fell right before you, shiny liquid identical to his sisters was spraying from the gaping gash - no. The gaping hole in his abdomen and creating a lake of red all around him. A rapidly detaching soul in his glazed eyes to match.

“Fear death..”

His voice was like an icle laced in venom with the motive to drive right into the main bed of nerves hiding somewhere in that body of yours. A focal point that set your body alight with blue fire - but in no way warm. Every part of you, head to toe, thingled with fear - as if that same sharp icle was slowly freezing your blood in your veins by the passing nanosecond. A mighty roar echoed in the small area while the red beast retreated back, like a good dog to his owners side. A cough followed.

Fear slaughter. Those who desire death, have an equal desire to die. Therefore..”

The cloaked man took a step forward - making sure to prominently step over Tanizaki’s lifeless body with an ebony boot, until he was positioned right beside Higuchi in an authoritative, demanding state. Higuchi how were, you noted, was currently still in a heap on the floor.

You froze when the man lifted his head, and fixed you with a cold glance. A type of glance that had Atsushi’s soft voice ringing in your brain like the most obnoxious bell you have ever heard ‘Dazai-san said he’s a mafia member. And to stay well away from him.’ The caution meter in your frail body was practically broken under the amount of stress it went through today. Not that you needed it however - as these might be your last dying moments. Actually, scratch that.

You might just have to start praying right here and now.

“It’s nice to meet you.” Ironically, he made the most friendly sentence in the world sound like a venom spitting threat as his bottomless eyes lingered on you for a second, before rolling over to Atsushi also crouched nearby. And, judging by how much he was shaking and the glistening sheen of sweat coating his pale complexion - he was equally as frightened as you. Maybe, even more so.

“I’m Akutagawa. One of the Port Mafia’s dogs -” He decided to go on after clarifying that none of us was going to dare speak a word - out of the four, two of you mainly had your voice boxes in tact for now - but it wasn't enough for them to work. The white dress shirt that peaked out from under his trench coat-of-the-dead billowed slightly as a gust of wind made its way into the alley, while he gestured down to Higuchi on the floor. “As is she.”

Another fit of coughing erupted gracefully from - Akutagawa’s - lungs, and even through your brain now resulting to self destruct mode, something in that haze told you that the habit wasn’t just from a common cold. However, that gut feeling was to be revisited on another day.. if you ever got to see one - as Higuchi had staggered to her feet at the notion of being mentioned, being as submissive and willing as she could. “Akutagawa-senpai! I can handle this myself! Please jus -”

*Slap*

The sheer echo of skin on skin combat made both you and the weretiger flinch backward, while the blonde collapsed to her knees - his pale hand lingering in the air. Wait, you wouldn't believe it. ‘He just slapped her?!’. And, by the way the woman was knocked backwards and resulted to being down on her knees again - it definitely wasn’t soft in any way, shape or form. Blood began rushing to her right cheek - making the skin change from porcelain cream to raw scarlet at the high impact.

“I believe my orders were to take the weretiger alive!” The icy tone he first wore on each word was heightened slightly, rage that heated the sentence - but only slightly. “And here you are, gunning everyone down! You useless  cur - Stand down.”

Her once hard crimson eyes now glittered with something akin to tears - making her eyes softer and more vulnerable altogether - but never once spilled over. A blond tendril fell in front of her face, like her body was listening to the whole ordeal and made a silent move to hide her new found shame. However, she did manage to wobble with a meek voice some form of coherent words, and you felt like congratulating her for a brief moment.

Then, you remembered that both Tanizaki and Naomi were also lying very near with holes in every part of their bodies - one of them being on the shoulders of the exact same woman.

A very brief moment it was.

“... I’m sorry.”

His sickly grey toned hand lingered for a few moments, but just enough time for your brain to click two puzzle pieces together. Two exact puzzle pieces form completely different boards - reciting the sentence he just spat at the blonde woman and making you give Atsushi a shaky glance.

‘ “I asked you to capture the weretiger alive!” ’

‘Weretiger? Weretiger… weretiger!’

All of your organs felt like cotton, heavy and filling at the same time - urging you to vomit while Atsushi’s mixed violet-golden eyes searched you for some form of stability. As if his assessing gaze was trying to reassure himself that you were okay. You, out of all people, he was worrying about you - when you were very far from the person in danger here.

His cold voice made the reminder that his life was on the line known, the words ‘Capture!’ and ‘Weretiger’ being just about enough to realize the urgency of the situation. He was in danger. Atsushi was in danger, undoubtedly this guy could rip any person in two in probably thirty seconds flat - so resisting didn’t seem like the smart option. Your (e/c) set of eyes began frantically scanning his confused, fearful face - looking for even the slightest hope for escaping in this situation.

‘Capture him? Why would they want to capture him? The Mafia… yes.. That’s who these two work for.. But. Why would a Mafia have anything out for Atsushi?’

Sounds of movement gave you the startling need to do something, something fast. But what could you do? What in the world could you - a powerless woman with no use of whatever ability graced upon her, no knowledge of this town and has never held a goddamn firearm in her life - do? Skills were definitely a lacking part in your system, you noted in this grave situation while your eyebrows knitted in heavy thought. ‘Think think think!’

What do you usually do when you’re in danger?

What did you always do when you were in danger?

What would anyone else do?

A thought in the form of taunting voices, sly smirks and heated brown eyes suddenly hit you like a meteor - and you fought everything in you to wiggle him out of your head. Your subconscious and logical side, however, won that shortly lived battle and gave you another question to fight with as Atsushi before you whipped back around.

What would he do in this situation?

The young half-tiger, half- human agent moved slightly in his bent position until you were covered slightly from view. Hell, if he was going to fight this battle - then it would be better if you at least came out alive if he didn’t, for everyone. Atsushi's bright eyes scanned the dark figure advancing at a moderate pace towards him - and firstly; counted his options just like Kunikida-san had thought him. Is the man a better fighter? - ‘Yes’ Is your likely chance for survival slim or high? - ‘Slim. Very.’ Does he have any weapons? - ‘A dangerous ability. For definite.’ And most importantly, the one thing his blonde co-worker had practically drilled into him with all of his pre-educational skills that he hones, and the one thing that made everything around him blur with nerves and a pounding heartbeat.

“Do you have someone to protect?”

The weretiger placed on gloved hand down on the damp ground before him, shivers breaking and thundering up his forearm, steadying himself in a stance that gave him some openings. ‘Yes.’

A small sound of relistation slipped the agents mouth, almost inaudible as Akutagawa’s words caught up to him.

“Catch the weretiger alive?” You heard Atsushi repeat the same sentence that was plagiarizing you for the last few moments. His voice was quiet yet determined - a hint of suspicion hiding somewhere in there too as it dawned on you that he was now blocking anything from your view, everything except the pale white of his shirt that swallowed everything in your vision field.

‘He’s.. protecting me?’

‘Why? He doesn’t know me a day and he’s freaking putting me first!?’

“What are you after?” The youthful muscles in his back vibrated when his voice spoke once more.

“My target has always been you and you alone, weretiger.”

Atsushi scowled as deeply as his face would allow - ‘What does that mean?! I’ve never seen this guy in my life!’

“- Your fellow agents..” His cold voice went on, and you couldn't help but allow all the fear to overtake you. He was in danger , this sweet young boy who showed you nothing but kindness was being targeted for no reason. And you couldn’t even be the one to protect him. “.. Just got caught in the cross-fire.”

Akutagawa rounded on him, a sort of finality in the action. Almost like he was declaring that he was finished with whatever poetic wax he was conducting and now ready to carry out his mission as swiftly and cleanly as possible. Dark steel eyes made a bead of sweat border on Atsushi’s collar, while the presence of another human behind him became so much more known by each passing second.

“This is your karma, weretiger..” He let him keep going, trying to meet his gaze head on. Which, he realised- wasn’t as easy at it sounds. But, as much as he wanted to let this Mafia dog spout his mouth - those last words were like a bullet, a sharp blade piercing him right in his heart. Both concerned eyes wavered, before flitting shakily down to both of the siblings bloodied bodies laying lifeless not far apart from each other.

“This is….” Your eyes went wide behind him at his sudden change in tone - now sounding lost and, vulnerable. Every word sounded unsure that slipped from his mouth, while even his shoulders began shaking slightly as his neck seemed to be searching for something in front that was currently foreign to you. “My fault…?”

“Yes..” Something about that answer sounded smug. Like the dark figure had accomplished with getting a point across, a triumph eureka like he just solved the theory of everything in under a night. You switched positions slightly - bending and hopping until you were now on both feet, crouching down behind him and steadying yourself on your fingertips. A pretty scowl knotted every inch of your face as the next sentence was uttered from the cold voice above.

“This is all your fault. You only bring ill to everyone around you weretiger - just by being alive .”

Familiar events started filling the weretigers senses - his pulse quickening to almost a silent pace while the voice that haunts his nightmares night in and night out made a lovely appearance in his brain. ‘There’s no where you belong! The world will be a better place without you! Go die in a ditch somewhere!’

‘A large stained glass window that shrouded the room with a single glow…’

Atsushi’s breathing was quickening, and everything in you began to focus away from Akutagawa and to the agent just beside you. Both slim shoulders were rattling with fear, his collar was drenched in sweat, and all in all he just seemed detached. Like something in the bastards sentence has just triggered him severely - and now he was spiralling down a dark, lonely place.

A dark lonely place you knew all too well.

“Atsushi?” It was barely a whisper, but you tried - even placing a hand on his shoulder blade to get him planted back on his feet.

‘An earth shattering slap. Pain. Crying. I was crying… yes.. I was crying.’

“Atsushi? Atsushi hey, can you hear me?”

‘“Stop crying! Only children who have parents are allowed to cry!” - But what did that mean? I didn’t understand at the time. I don’t understand now.”’

A thunderung roar echoed it's way through the alley as you began shaking the now mute Atsushi even more vigorously. “Atsushi. Hey!”

‘It's my fault. They’re dead… Because of me..? It's my fault. Mine.Mine. Mine Mine Mine -!”

“Rashamon!”

You barely had time to blink, breathe, or even utter a single word as the weirdly ominous statement was insinuated loud and clear in the same cold, demanding tone. The alley was doused in red - electrical sparks touching every part of your skin while something rushed before both of you in a blur - and something told you it definitely wasn’t intending to be friendly. Your hand that was shaking Atsushi awake balled deep into his shirt while you pressed your face out of view into his back, while a murderous aura bolted past both of you. Your skin burned, hair whipped while the momentum had dragged so much air with it That now.. you visibly began to shake.

It seemed as though the presence of something warm and shaking had pulled Atsushi out of the dark monologue he was having - clutching his back while he blinked. And blinked. And before he could even process what was happening - or why he had blanked out for a couple of seconds, the scent of burning creeped into his sensitive sense of smell.

You pulled away briefly from the darkness of Atsushi's back and collectively - a small part of you wished you didn't - at the sight that greeted you both on the ground beside. A hole? No, a crevice of glowing concrete had morphed out of thin air and had your face blanching. ‘His ability… Did his ability do that..?’

If his ability was able to do that, and the man was still standing.. Then. Well, you didn’t even want to know what he could do at his full potential.

“Sorry, (y/n)..” Atsushi's soft apologetic tone made you narrow your expression, while you gave the nape of his neck a peculiar look. “Are you ok?”

‘Am I ok?!”

“Atsushi -” Your whisper was harsh as you released his shirt completely and returned your hands to the cold concrete. “You should run. Run far - let me distract these two.”

“Run? Are you crazy? You’ll die!”

“It's better me than you . I mean, if I’m the damn reason you die.. Then. Well - I don’t need any other demons haunting me. Your death won’t be a nice additive to my little nights sleep.”

Atsushi felt himself frowning at your very harsh statement - on yourself, not him. “I’m not leaving you, (Y/n). It’s our job as A.D.A members to protect each other.”

You opened your mouth to protest, then closed it. Then opened it again - but no sound threatened to come out. It wouldn't have really mattered if it did or not - however. Why? Well, even if you had managed to get some form of words out of that stupid voice box in your throat, it would have been cut off rapidly. Cut off by a large whipping of the same beast - electric leather like tongue wedging itself right in between both you and Atsushi and forcefully tearing you away. Away not so softly - the electric arms of crimson had struck you with so much force that it had you practically soaring across the alley with no weight at all.

“(Y/N)!!”

Bright explosive pain shattered your vertebrates as it seemed you had been flung into the nearest wall - before you slid down in the most rag-doll like manner to the ground, you coughs more audible than any voice that tried to reach you. Your vision blurred slightly at an upside image, while a horrible thick, metallic-tasting liquid pooled into your mouth.

“My apologies.” Akutagawa’s face was now locked on you, his beast roaming around him like a protective barrier swamped in sharp bolts of ebony black and crimson red. “But I have specific orders not to lay a hand on you. It would be wise of you not to get involved - and allow me to stick to those orders.”

Whatever you could muster of a dark glower ghosted your pained face and emotionless eyes. You thought you heard Atsushi call out to you again - but your ears couldn’t take it in. It was like, you had been thrown into a deep pool of water, and every voice and sound was processed as a muffled gurgle or ringing myriad of sounds. Pain shot up your back in waves - paralysing you for a short minute.

‘Orders… orders not to lay a hand.. On me? By who?’

A loud groan was thorn from your throat as you tried to move - but every time you attempted it, every nerve in your body said no. Burned with pain and almost pleaded you to keep still.

‘Atsushi… Tanizai…. And… the younger girl.. Are they.. Going to die..?’

Blurry movements of black and white raced and zipped around your slowly fading vision, accompanied by shrill cries, roars and a garble of other sounds you didn’t want to hear. The ground became more and more doubled as your own pained breathing was way too loud in a pair of deafening ears. Everything was fading.. Becoming more peaceful… the urge to allow the overwhelming lull of sleep in wholeheartedly doubling and doubling in need when -

Something drew you back.

Glittering violet eyes. No… They’re also gold. Sharp and feline was what came to mind when you saw him standing awkwardly at the side of your bed. At that moment - you remember suspecting him. Who was he? An agent? An officer? The boy didn't say much through the introductions - the only thing you noticed about him is that he had this weird habit of pulling at his slack straps every once in a while.

Atsushi. You learned his name after a short while. Atsushi…. Meaning “Compassion”. His smiling face fogged your memory. His warm acceptance. Kindness… Innocence.

You screwed you face up in pain and forced yourself back up onto your elbows. Everything burned. Everything painted with alight fire. Still.. That didn’t stop the collection of other faces making a debut in your brain.

“I’m so sorry! I was so mean to you!”

He was the first to interview you. Treated you with calculating eyes that set you on edge at the time - and collectively was the sole thing that drove you out of the building in the first place. The eldest sibling, and from what you duelly noted, was a very loving brother - in many ways. He smiled at you warmly, was the first to issue an apology to you. A relaxed presence. A friendly aura.

You gasped as the splitting pain felt like you were being torn in two, but you pushed on. Now slowly lifting your torso off of the ground.

His sister - Naomi. You had only met the youngest Tanizaki sibling hours prior - and while her brother seemed airy and relaxed, she seemed bubbly and energetic. Definitely loves her brother, a lot. So much in fact that she was willing to trade her life for his in a quick heartbeat. Unwavering eyes. Beautiful smile. She was everything you could aspire to be.

Your feet wobbled unsteadily - but you had somehow staggered to your unwilling feet. Everything was hazy - emotions, thoughts, the high cries of both Atsushi and the opponent he was facing all going null when they entered you. You gritted your teeth and hissed as you began to drag yourself over. To where? You couldn't tell. But something, something magnetic was pulling you in that direction, and all you could do was rely on your senses - and pray they were about to be right.

‘What were you thinking - about to give up?’

‘About to throw it all away, again?’

‘About to abandon the very people that are trying to give you a second chance?’

‘You want to change, don’t you!?’

You felt your body collapse harshly to its knees beside a very unmoving, very rapidly dying Tanizaki laying face down on the floor. His wounds sparked off that horrifically nostalgic feeling deep in your gut, the same willing draw that your body and limbs had to the gaping, spilling wounds.

‘Then prove it!’

Blurred hands moved themselves towards the taunting hole, and stacked on top of it like you had always done. The same dreadful rising in your stomach commenced, turning most of your organs to mush and churning like a grain mill. You went dizzier than you already were, the same fire burning like mini matchsticks alighting all over your arms - especially centered at your palms. You went blank for a couple of seconds, everything focused onto one motive. Focused onto helping - healing.

‘Focus. Focus me, focus.’

The feeling came close to unbearable as you closed both (e/c) eyes shut and took in a few, shaky breaths. Blinding sapphire light erupted so brightly from where you were aiming that it was visible even behind your eyelids. You were heading to the edge - something that told you you didn’t want to tip over. Higher and higher, near and nearer - you were so very close to a cliff you didn't want to collapse over, a limit that was disconnecting you from your body when -

“(Y….. Y-Y/N)?”

You were brought back with a deep inhale of air, a tingling feeling lingering inside your palms and traveling slowly while dissipating through wherever you touched. The last of the jasmine speckles of light glittered and slowly faded while you blinked a few times - before looking down. Taniaki was lying, now face up and staring at you with the most peculiar expression Confused, astounded, and undoubtedly afraid emotions clouding him as his warm brown eyes seemed to search you for an answer. You gave him a meek kind of smile, flitting a gaze down to his abdomen to reveal only a ripped hold in his shirt - but no crimson liquid in sight.

(Y/N)... Wha-” He went to begin, probably to throw you into a pool of questions that awaited you - but you silenced him with a bout of week shushing and a small shake of your head.

“I’ll answer anything you want later..” Your voice was broken and harsh - but you urged him with a forced kind of grin. “But please.. Please help Atsushi. He’s..”

A low kind of growl made both you an Tanizaki silence abruptly and whip to the direction of the sound. Your (e/c) orbs widened to the size of dinner plates at the scene in front of you that you were unconsciously in the middle of not moments pipe - while Tanizaki muttered a string of curses under his breath.

‘What the… the hell?’

Atsushi.. Wait. Was that even Atsushi? If it was - then, it was definitely not the Atsushi you were battling beside earlier on as this… thing, was now perched on the nearest wall like a planted insect or skilled cat, glowing a dark shade of blue and black at the same time. Both of you gawked, or well - you did - as he seemed to anchor himself there and growl a very animalistic kind of sound - before being enveloped in band of blue light, like a cocoon or a shell of some sorts. The blue bands stayed put for a millisecond before they shifted and burst into a fit of evaporation - revealing…

‘A tiger…?’

A tiger, as white as the purest snow stood mewling and growling all kinds of threatening sounds through its fangs - while it seemed to be warped with a kind of blue aura. A mix of violet-golden eyes peered over at you, before turning right around towards his opponent and pouncing.

“Light Snow..” Tanizaki spat from behind, before activating the ability in a similar way. You gave him a look of confirmation - as if to see if he'll be ok lying here in the middle of a war zone completely guarded with nothing but an ability. His warm eyes gave you an answer, making you hesitantly nod once in finality and stagger to a standing position. Trashing, crashing, and yelps rang through the alley while you scanned the area looking for the younger sibling before it could be too late.

“Rashamon!”

“Akutagawa-senpai!”

“Stand down Higuchi!”

When her small lifeless body came into view, you were locked into place. But it wasn’t the usual feeling you were met with when someone in need is spotted within a five mile radius of you - no. This feeling was bad, really bad - and you knew it all way too well. The dizziness taking over you, losing sense of you body, vision spotting black. ‘No no no…’

‘Not here…’

More black splotches painted your vision and was trying to drag you into darkness. Darkness that you never resurfaced from without committing disgusting things that make you the broken person you were today. You were panicking and didn’t try to hide it. You were battling with yourself and for the first time in a while - trying to go against this feeling to shake it off completely, and didn't attempt to make it hidden. Your body was shaking like leaf in a hurricane your vision was darkening so much that you could only make out shapes. No. No. No. This can’t be happening. Not now…

‘Not when I could hurt so many people around me!”

Your blood was heavy in your ears as you glanced down at your hands though blackening vision. They were shaking, shaking so much to a point where you couldn't even say you were shivering .

‘Please God… No!’

“Ohkay! That’s enough!”

One of your last breaths caught as you wheeled around at his familiar voice. And funny enough - you weren't hearing things. He was actually here. Dazai was here..   You couldn't make out a lot, but a bright blinding ring of blue bands signalling an ability told you one thing - but it was when the huge blur of a tiger was reduced to a small figure that collapsed to the ground, and a huge thunderbolt of Akutagawa's ability had disappeared did you clarify only one man had the utilities to do so.

You were slipping away even greater so… and you didn’t think. You couldn’t think, but your brain panicked and did the first thing it thought of - it called out to him.

“D….D-Da..zai…”

The brunette had got here in time, luckily. He thanked his long legs and wicked sense of initiative for tracking the client that screamed all sense of suspicion to him. But when he rounded the corner and saw Atsushi-kun in full blown weretiger mode - even in the sunlight - he was downright astounded. But what he wasn’t so fond of was that no other than his ex-subordinate was fighting him.. And you were nowhere to be seen.

‘This should be interesting..’ He remembered thinking as he raced to get in between both new and old disciples - each having the intent to murder right there and then.

But what he didn’t expect however, was the frantic needy call of his name.. Or well, letters of his name. An unconscious Atsushi to his left and an astounded Akutagawa to his right - the detective spun right round.

The vision his dark eyes was captured in made him drop his eyebrows in a very, perplexed kind of way.

You were definitely before him - your attire from this-morning was near the exact same, but.. Well what had happened to you? He watched as well as the Mafia members as you tried to stutter a sentence out, brilliant (e/c) eyes glazing over and taking you out of body, while everything about your stance shook like you were in the Arctic with no clothes. Dazai couldn't fathom it, and tried to call out to you.

“(Y/n)... what are you doing?”

You twitched and stuttered even more violently than before, a look of horror taking over you and making Dazai notice the strange aura that was enveloping you in a suffocating, dark cloud.

‘Something’s worng.’

“H...h-h-elp…” He frowned at you, while it seems you were tripping over the edge of cracking. Tethering on a snapping piece of wool. “Ab-il-il-t,,,y”

You were floating again, not knowing if you were standing or sitting - if you were drowning or suffocating - if you were murdering or terrorizing. Your vision was now completely dipped in black ink, and you felt the feeling that you were so desperately trying to fight against win. You gave into the sense of darkness. The sense of peace. The sense of completely letting go.

The wool snapped.

‘Ability…’ That was the word he was looking for - if the sheer terror in your voice and desperation to warn him wasn’t something, then Dazai Osamu would be a failed detective he didn't piece together the puzzle at the way you were shaking. Warning bells flared and before anyone could know it, he was on you in a flash - a hand gripping your wrist and holding it up prominently for him to see. Your skin was ablaze - like touching fire or a hot branded piece of iron and almost had the brunette flinching. He waited. One second.. two .. three…

A test.

Your shaking was dulling, and even the small whimpers escaping your mouth had even dimmed. The detective scowled slightly, but only to himself - as his dark eyes stared at where he was gripping for the majority of another two seconds. Everything but nothing was taking place, no bands of light to notify him his ability had been triggered - nor did you show any evidence on a ghostly pale face and detached body. His eyebrows lowered once more.

‘My ability definitely doesn’t work.’

His bandage-clad hand dropped his grasp on your wrist - noting that your body stopped shaking altogether. You were still before him, (e/c) eyes rolled back almost freakishly into your skull a you gave him a blank expressionless stare - not even looking anyway like you. Dazai regarded you for a brief moment - the woman who had become an even bigger mystery to him - before raising a skilled hand and landing it directly at the middle base of your neck - a central nervous point that stunned your whole body for a minute.

And just like that, before you slipped into oblivion, before you lost yourself once more in the void - the wool was woven back together. Your senses coming back slowly - but not enough to realise that you were about to lapse unconscious. No - but it was just enough for your (e/c) eyes to glint with small life, capturing the images before you like a shutter lense. Brief and quick - just one frame that you could stare at for the rest of your time.

A blurry image of a man was the last thing you took in - brown hair, glinting eyes and a hard expression on his face. Bandages…

‘Dazai…’

Then everything went dark.

 


 

“Oh.” The detective had caught you just before you fell forwards - wrapping an arm across your chest and securing it around your neck. You were light - as light as you were the first time he had to hold you from collapsing.

“What was that just now?” Dazai glanced up at Tanizaki, clutching a very seriously injured Naomi in his arms - her whole small body littered in bullets. Her soaked clothes and motionless state made Dazai question just what in the hell went on down here. But more importantly - why?

“Nothing major - she was just about to have a panic attack I presume..” The detective said in an exasperated tone, although the lie was more than evident. But he was being cautious as he could with her - ‘If anybody found out that her ability is this unstable, then even the President might second guess her acceptance.’

Still though, the ghostly vision of you completely letting go and submitting to yourself was very, peculiar to Dazai. Something that he would have to look into in the future - if he was ever going to get both you and Atsushi-kun back to the A.D.A without collapsing himself .

“Hey… (Y/n).. come on~” His hand began tapping the side of your cheek, although you didn’t show any response or intent to wake up. Your simply exhausted face and steady breathing answered his whine - and he felt himself sigh. “I don’t want to have to carry two people back to the Agency all by myself..”

“You’re one of the detectives…” Higuchi narrowed her crimson eyes over at both an unconscious you and your trench-coat wearing mystery of a superior. “Why are you here?”

The brunette smirked slightly, before reaching out and digging inside his pocket to find the little device his headphones were always plugged into the whole time. It’s twin, however - was somewhere very close by.

“I’m always the type of person to wonder what a beautiful woman is up to..” His wandering fingers slid over the small box like speaker, and when he did - he lifted it up in act to show the whole world. “So I decided to listen in.”

Higuchi made a small noise of astoundment, before a slight recognition sparked in her ruby orbs at the sight of the little speaker in his hand. She’s seen one of them before - the Port Mafia uses them all the time. A micro parabolic mic, the blonde identified it quickly at first glance - and another thing came to mind - where is it's double?

Moments later - her wandering hands emerged from one of her pockets, holding the exact same identical box of mischief; that she crushed in her grip. “You bastard - you saw right through my plans even then?”

(Y/n)~” Your superior whined even more, completely ignoring Higuchi’s hostility and proceeded to start tapping your face even more. The more he tried - the more he realized you were definitely out cold for another few hours. “Come on..”

Higuchi reached for one of her revolvers once more - and aimed it right at the back of his brunette head of hair. “Do you think you’ll get away with this?”

“Don’t, Higuchi.”

The blonde lowered her weapon in a sense of shock - gawking at her superior who was.. laughing, as if this was the funniest situation in the world.

“But Akutagawa-senpai…”

The dark figure simply lowered his eyes, before glancing over at the familiar man. The man he looked up to - and still does, in some ways. Complicated ways that he didn’t want to think about at the moment. “We’ll retreat for now, Dazai-san. But keep in mind, that the weretiger will be the Port Mafia’s one day.”

Dazai's ears perked sightly at the name, his attention shifting from you to the agents other subordinate lying unconsciously not very far away. Tanizaki was close by - trying to wake the weretiger up while glancing at Naomi in his arms every half a second.

‘Atsushi-kun?’

“Why?”

Akutagawa felt a slight unease when Dazai turned to face him, the woman that Mori was so greatly interested in draped across one of his arms and preventing him to turn around fully. The Mafia dog had learned quite well on the art of masking emotions - but what he saw before him wasn’t Dazai Osamu from the A.D.A. No - what he saw was a dark authority who he deemed his superior not four years ago, and that very thought was making him doubt those skills of his greatly.

“That weretiger -“ He nodded over at Atsushi. “Has a bounty over his head from the black market. A total of seven billion yen to be exact.”

Dazai cocked his head slightly. “Now, that’s very generous isn’t it?”

“Don’t expect this to be the last you as of us.” The blonde cut in - a murderous look in her eyes. “We’re the Port Mafia. We have eyes everywhere in this town! And it won’t be long before the Armed Detective Agency is just a pile of ashes on the ground!”

“I already know all of that -“ Dazai grumbled, stretching his shoulders slightly in preparation to have to hall you back to the Agency himself.

“Yes, you know that best of all…” Higuchi glanced at her superior, while the statement made a slow smile ghost the aggravation on Dazai’s face while he tucked two hands under your limp body.

Being an ex-Port Mafia member.”

 


 

The plastic he was keeping himself occupied with was begging to annoy his mouth - before he spit it out with a scowl. From very high up, he was watching. He has seen the whole ordeal take place. Brilliant blue eyes scanned the situation, and made not of every single detail. How you walk. How you talk.

Your body language.

Your deductible skill.

Chuuya Nakahara folded his arms more definitely across his chest as he leaned back - the metal of the fire escape top whining in protest, and pondered.

‘You were definitely smart. Really smart. To catch Higuchi out with little to no warning flags must mean she’s been put through situations similar before.’

His mind went back to when you were struck for the first time - and had collapsed willingly to the ground spluttering for dear life .

‘Combat skills are.. practically non-existent. Some of the damn kids I’ve thought can fight twice - no. Three times better.’

‘And when she hid behind the tiger boy - definitely hasn’t fought anyone before.’

But then, a strange thought replayed itself back in a taunting slow motion - making his deep eyes go slightly wide.

That time - the time when the scorching jasmine light had practically blinded him - even from up here - had emulated from where you had dragged yourself over to. He could have clarified that ginger agent was as good as dead with those kind of injuries. ‘The guy had a fucking hole in his body!’ But whatever that was - whatever that did , the light disappeared and that same left for dead guy was up before the agent could think about at least six ways in which he hated Dazai Osamu.

Speaking of Dazai Osamu.

Chuuya felt his whole body convulse at the name - while he trained a watchful eye down again. You were still there, and so was he. The bastard had scooped you up into a kind of bridal-style hold, while the revived guy had slung the tiger right over his shoulder. Unconscious - right.

He had watched you move, staggering with pain - evidently. But you forced it nonetheless, after the guy had sprung to help his comrade, it seemed he was the only one that could see you. He watched as your body began to shake - how your eyes widened with fear - the dread taking over and leaving him with way more questions than he wanted about you.

‘It looked as if she had lost control.’

‘Control of what? That guy she just healed looks bright as rain and now she’s shaking so much that it looks as though she might implode?’

‘Ability… is that her ability?’

Then more demanding questions were flooding - making the Mafia Executive groan a boat load of curse words in frustration and tip his head back. ‘An ability that kills - but heals? Unless she just kills for fun? And that’s not part of her ability…?’

‘But then why did she look so scared?’

‘Why is Mori so interested in her?’

‘Why am I having so much fucking questions right now!?’

The word ability was swimming around in his thoughts - and he didn’t wish for anything more than to just be knocked unconscious right there and then, freed from all these stupid questions nagging at his stupid mind. I mean - he thought this job would be easy! He’s just spying on someone - for God's sake! This is more difficult than organizing a battalion against -

Wait.

The general straightened up tighter than a bulletin board as a theory suddenly dawned on him. Knocked unconscious.

Unconscious.

‘That freak knocked her unconscious - right from the neck. But why? If she has an ability then shouldn’t his touch be enough like he did with the weretiger?’

He did grab you - Chuuya had seen his bandages hand grab you right around the wrist. So he did touch you?

‘But then why…’

The perplexed general gave you one last stare - and to his very loathed ex-partner as you exited the alleyway shortly after his colleagues. If his ability didn’t work on you … then either the God’s have heard his damn prayers and Dazai Osamu has lost that annoying ass power of his - or.

Chuuya looked right back at the sky, a swirling mixture of setting tones. Pink, amber, and a beautifully glittering yellow that made the whole scenery around him glow.

‘That thing of hers. Whatever it is - isn’t an ability at all?’

 

 

Chapter Text

 

When you regained consciousness once again, the first thing you noticed was that you wished you didn’t. Wished a whole damn lot. Every part of your limp body was still aching with immense jolts of pain, creaks, and everything else in that marvelous category - while the area Higuchi had struck you at earlier that day also made itself known and forced a disgruntled growl from you when you made any attempt to move.

Something soft and cushion-like creaked under one heavy elbow of yours, making a inkling akin to initiative begin gearing in your head and sending alert signals to the ‘WAIT A MINUTE AM I KIDNAPPED?area of your brain.

Yes, you had one of those. Comes in handy sometimes too.

‘Where… what..?’

You felt yourself frown in confusion, trying to rearrange a thought that made.. Well. Relative sense. You noticed that you were lying down - on something proportionally soft, too, a heavy kind of fabric covering you form the waist down, judging by how hot that area was compared to the rest of your body. You tried to move again - in attempt to sit up on whatever you were laying on, but your body refused to listen.

“Argh.. “ Even your goddamn spine felt broken. And so did your legs, and - well just about everything in your body felt broken. Ngg..”

“Oh, so you’ve finally come around?”

You growled in annoyance, as the other voice calling to you - or so you thought - seemed dangerously familiar. The type of familiar that tugged at something inside you and told you that whoever it was, you didn’t like them. Or, if not that harsh, then you were not fond of him at least.. Whoever he was. But aided with a foggy brain and senses zoned onto every injured part of your body, it didn’t seem like your brain cells wanted to configure that mystery and discarded it somewhere. Both eyes tightened slightly, while you tried once more to pry them open.

‘Who knew opening my own set of eyes could be such a damn task!’

However, fortunately through a few aches, pains, and low broken curse words later - you somehow managed to finally break the seal and lift both (e/c) eyes into slits. The muscles in your face whined while you tried to move them, hell even trying to blink felt like a nightmare - screwing up tightly again before opening a little wider. Something blurry and definitely not depictable greeted your curios pain-filled gaze, while you snapped your eyes shut again. A few repeats of this process and just a few moments later - could you muster up enough strength to open your eyes fully.

Grey.

‘Grey?’

A simply bewildered feeling clouded inside you as your head tried to cock to the side. Which.. Turned out to look like more of a weird twitch than anything. ‘Grey…?’

Grey. Just grey was the only thing you could make out - and your vision had come back relatively okay  too. Nothing could be seen but the washed out colour of the spectrum. No furniture. No people. Not even the same voice that forced you to open your eyes in the first place made another appearance, and - for a brief moment , you began to wonder if that voice was indeed a figment of your dull imagination and this was some weird dream, or that you probably died out there when -

Something popped into view.

Something, that had a set of dark chocolate brown eyes, very similar coloured hair and a type of smile that could make anybody want to punch him!

“How are you feeling?” Your eyes widened when your brain caught up at who was leaning over you, and just as fast did your whole body shoot up with immense velocity that you almost forgot you were meant to be in serious pain. Bright jolts of fire erupted at the sudden movement - and you cursed yourself a brief moment for being so impendly dumb . But hey, at least now you were sitting upright.

“D.. Dazai? .. wha- where ?” Your tongue forced something out, and failed miserably in the process at the look your brunette haired intruder gave you, while your wide eyes whipped frantically around. Around and around a particular place that was completely foreign to you, adding to your puzzled state by a boat load.

‘An apartment?’ Was that where you were? Well, wherever you were currently lying was definitely a room, and from further inspection - it was pretty spacious if you had to ask for a second opinion. Each of the four walls were paneled in light oak stretching all the way to the ceiling - which you now deemed was the grey expanse that had you so lost just a moment ago. There was a small coffee table harboring two empty cups, positioned not far away from where you were situated, facing a large window that was decorated with stars and the inky darkness of a night sky. You flitted a intrigued stare over to the right wall - which you couldn’t even see because it was covered in the most gigantic shelves you have ever seen. Books practically overflowed the cabinet to the stress point - so much that some had even made their way to the ground.

‘Where exactly…?’

Your head twirled right back to where you were sitting on top of  - ‘ a sofa.. Of sorts’. - brown in probably fake leather that groaned every time you made an attempt to move. The whole room was dimly lit in a hue of amber glow, that even had you straining even more.

‘Am I…?’

“You know….” His teasing voice purred, dragging your attention towards it like a hyper-sensitive magnet. Your superiors warm eyes smiled at you, from where he was positioned. Right behind the head of the coach - trench coat and waistcoat discarded while both sleeves of his pin-striped shirt was rolled up slightly. Two arms lay lax draped across the leather board while his whole face held some form of sly glint about it, before he exaggerated a heavy sigh. “You really should think about losing some weight, Miss (Y/n). My poor frail body had to haul you all the way back here from the agency.”

“All the way - “ Your throat burned from severe lack-of-us, so you cleared it with a loud cough and tried to continue. “You brought me back to.. Where?”

Dazai let his head tilt slightly, giving you the most innocent expression an enigma of an A.D.A agent could give you. “Oh, this?” His hand gestured to the room you were so confused about. “This is my apartment.”

The word “ Apartment ” and “My” hit your eardrums, but must have got stuck somewhere on the path to your brainwaves because it didn’t exactly register, per say. It didn’t actually dawn on you right away that you were in the apartment of Dazai Osamu, who had carried you here from the agency between god knows how long you were out for. Who, did god knows what while you were unconscious. And, most of all - it definitely didn’t click that, from your perspective - you were both currently the only two people here.

Did you mention that if you dim it down, never mind the legistics - that you are a woman who is currently at a man's house ALONE with him in the dead of x’s knows time at night?

However when all of that did come crashing down on you - and a lot of other indecent thoughts that was making you want to report an offence - you counted your lucky stars that you hadn’t absolutely collapsed off of the sofa and right onto his floor there and then.

Dazai must have read your mind, that or everything you were thinking was very evident on your face - because he let out a short laugh before shooting you an amused look. “How are you doing?”

How am I-?!” You repeated his statement right back at him, hoping the words would somehow magically form into blades and maim his stupidly pretty face and next to shit eating grin. “How do you think I am? I black out, and then I wake up in a stranger's home practically  defenseless! Not only that, but I don’t even know how long I was out for - not even mentioning what you could have been doing to me while I was unconscious! I mean, I don’t even want to th-”

“Ah. Ah. Ah.” Your deemed superior cut you short, waving a hand in the air. “I can assure you I didn’t do anything. I have my respects for women, but I must admit.” The heat that was caused due to your little outburst giving your face a pink tinge was totally upgrade to a deep crimson at his next words, and the situation was definitely not helping.

“- That if I ever wanted to do something like that, I’d much prefer you to be awake and conscious. Just like you are now.”

You didn’t like how unreadable his expressions could go, making you stir in your seat as he stared at you impassively. You felt like beating yourself up when the skin around your cheeks began to boil - while his words became more clear and made something about your pulse quicken to a dim hum. ‘What is he implying? That is if he’s implying something? Good God what the hell does that -’

Your thoughts stopped in their swift whirlpool, when you noticed that Dazai wasn’t wearing his passive mask anymore. Moreover - he was now staring down at you with another be-damned amused twinkle in his dusty eyes, like you were a new shiny toy for him to be thoroughly entertained by. Each inch of your skin began prickling again - while it seemed like you had to fight with a twitching eyebrow against the angry part of you to jump him right there.

Perhaps the logical side of your brain took over, deeming that jumping at the moment would definitely not be a good idea - for your body. And maybe, your reputation at the Agency, too.

“Oh, my. Miss (y/n), did you think I was serious?” His high tone probably saved somewhere in that slender bandaged neck just for you and you alone hit you and made both eyes close. Your lungs proceeded to take a few very slow, very calming breaths. Still, your I’m-A-Ticking-Time-Bomb-One-More-GodDamn-Word-Out-Of-You-And-I’ll-Probably-Implode-Then-Explode demeanor wasn’t any warning for him to stop.

“- I really do apologize if you took that the wrong way.” Dazai wasn’t about to lie to himself, he having just a bit too much fun with this, and judging by the reaction he was getting out of you now - just made the whole situation even funnier. Especially because you couldn’t actually move that well either, which meant this was basically torture in its most entertaining form. I meant as such in a example kind of way. Did you think I was actually implying something?~”

Dazai’s voice lost it's playfulness and switched to a tone of curiosity when he noticed that you weren't in deep-meditation anymore. But, instead you were swiveling in the chair as much as your body would allow you too while padding down on the surface. His eyebrow raised when your hands reached under the blanket he had draped over you while you didn’t dare speak a word.

“Miss (Y/n)?”

“Hm?” Was the only curt reply he got.

“If you don’t mind me asking…” The brunette let some of his unruly hair fall before his eyes, before jolting his head slightly to push it to the side. “What are you doing?”

“I’m looking for your phone. I don’t have one of my own.”

The large device suddenly became heavy in Dazai’s back pocket from it's sudden announcement, and now, even for his wicked brain - the agent was beyond confused. ‘Perhaps she hit her head or something?’

“Why is that? Why are you looking for my phone?”

“Because.” You turned and gave him the most deadpanned look you could ever wear. “I’ve heard you can contact the police through one of them.”

“And you.. Want to contact the police because?”

“I would like to report harassment, and a bad case of it.”

“Ahhh~” Your blank stare watched as he slung an arm over his forehead dramatic-damsel-in-distress mode and threw his head back. “ Miss (Y/N), how could you accuse me of such things? I’m only human with fragile feelings~!”

“Sometimes I doubt even if you’re even human..” You hissed under your breath, not loud enough for the usual ears to hear.

That would be, if this person before you was in fact - normal.

“I am, last time I checked..” The brunette retorted, and in the most serious tone you could wear with answering such an inane question - like he was taking it dreadfully serious. And you actually thought you offended him for a brief second when his whole body did a sharp twirl and stalked towards the conjoining door that probably lead to another room - but disposed of the idea when he began to hum a cheerful little tune and disappeared behind the frame.

You waited a moment, probably thinking he would come back but after the stretch of thirty seconds or so - you began to flit a curious gaze around his room once more.

“Would you like some tea, Miss (Y/n)?”

His voice echoed around the corner followed by the sound of something metal and hollow falling. You winced at the ear-splitting sound a resumed your gazing with an impassive expression set deep into your face. “No thank you.”

Coffee?”

Your searching came across something you didn’t pick up on previously, sitting in a very dark corner of the room. Flowers. The most elegant, stark white flowers that were blooming almost beautifully in your line of sight - and you couldn't help but narrow your eyes. From the time you had spent with him and the impression he has left on you over the past two days, well you never expected Dazai Osamu to be a flower person. Your head tilted as you watched the pearly petals catch the moonlight, and only had to briefly wonder why they were in such a dark corner of the room.

No.”

You heard him hum faintly in from the other room, while you drew your legs further under the blanket draped around you - up to your chest.

“Kombucha?”

Your face contorted, slightly. “Kombu- what?”

“It’s a famous Russian tea that I so greatly obtained when I was fighting the war over there. Famed for its sour taste and fermented flavor, it’s really quite the beverage. Luckily.. I think I have some left.”

‘The war?’ As if your thoughts didn’t need any more pondering. Wait a minute - the last world war was under one hundred years ago. And, last time you checked, he was relatively young looking for a man and time travel hasn’t been invented yet - to your knowledge.

A pretty scowl etched into your features. “I’ll pass.”

A disapproved sound was the only thing that resonated from  the small space, as something along the lines of “I should serve you Kombucha one day -” followed. More clanking and walking about sounded, while you closed your eyes in attempt to try and drown them out.

Oh! I found something.” Your (e/c) opened, ready to give him a hefty kick in the face when you got better. Actually, thinking about it now - your sadistic side made a mental note of it so you could never forget.

“ - Would you like this thing I have called “ A free pass to punch your superior square in the face?” I’ve heard it’s good.”

“Oh, yes please.” Although hard with an aching voice box, your voice did croak out something that resembled sarcasm. “And with two spoonfuls of honey, too!”

“Oh - awh. What a shame. I’ve run out of those - what I found is just the box! Looks like Kombucha will have to do…”

Your lips stretched into a ghost of a smile - totally against your will - while your lungs heaved an amused scoff.

“Oh my, Miss (y/n) did I just manage to make you laugh?”

Your face dropped to your knees, suddenly as if your head felt heavy again while you tried to put on the best deadpanned voice you could muster. “You did not .”

The conversation grew dim after after that, the only thing filling the empty air was the rushing of running water from the other room and your raging thoughts. If now was a time - then you’d honestly wish that someone would knock you out once more and send you straight to sleep your body was protesting so bad . Your head felt heavy, your limbs felt like each inch of them was on fire, the whole room was spinning even through you burying your head in your knees. The blanket muffled a groan when a surge of pain began to spring at the nape of your neck, so much in fact that you didn’t even notice the other entity that had joined you in the room.

“I’d beg to differ. I’ve been told my ears are really good, too.” His voice made you lift a groggy gaze up to him - currently strolling leisurely in your direction with a small cup exploding with steam in one of his bandaged hands - and it only dawned on you then that those same bandages actually traveled up quite far. Your head inclined slightly, the thought lingering just briefly as our eyes trailed up his forearms - also enveloped in bandages.

‘I wonder… what’s he covering behind those bandages..?’

“I have a camera inside, if you would like to use it.” You snapped out of your gawking, only to be met with his dark raised eyebrow. You made sure to give him a sharp look - the type of look that would probably cut paper if you gave it a shot - while he placed the warm cup of steam in both your palms. Your eyes watered lightly when you looked directly into the warm liquid, and although you couldn’t tell what exactly it was, you took a wild guess anyway.

“I told you I didn’t want any tea…” You looked up, training your gaze around in search of a particular brown-haired man that had disappeared completely from view. But, it was only when the harsh sound of wood-scraping-against-floor cut through the air did he reappear right in front of you - a chair following. You watched as he spun the wooden frame away from you and proceeded to a swing a leg over the base - before plonking down. Sitting. In the wrong direction.

Dazai placed both his forearms on the head of the small chair, before tilting his head to rest on his cheek - a gaze locked on you. Your hands tightened around the warm porcelain sending tingles through your numb palms.

“Oh, that’s a remedy Yosano-san gave me to give you when you woke..” His brown eyes distracted you for a second, but only briefly. The steam swirling from the mysterious liquid that smelled strongly of herbs deemed to be a lot more interesting. “She said it would help your stomach and ease some pain before she checks over you tomorrow.”

Your (e/c) orbs were slightly glazed, the murky brown water depicting your muddled reflection under the dim light. His words swam in your subconscious, the inkling nagging that was telling you that you were dreadfully missing something important through all of this not ceasing as you stared right back at yourself. Something Life-Or-Death kind or important. The very thing that had led you to be knocked out unconscious in the first place..

You watched as your eyes narrowed in the reflected surface, the feeling only getting stronger by the second. ‘What am I missing here?’

Then, suddenly it was as if a tidal wave had come crashing through the window and hit you square in the gut with a sense of realization. The hot liquid sloshed about and damped every part of the blanket covering you as your whole body jerked forward - eyes wide. Scenes had come rushing back in a myriad of emotions from earlier that day, almost too quick for you to process but just enough to make you feel like the contents of your stomach - which consisted of half a glass of water - wanted to come rushing upwards.

‘Atsushi. Tanizaki. Naomi… All laying on the floor lifelessly.. Blood. So much blood. Screams. Cries. Akutagawa..’

You gasped as his large soul-sucking eyes popped into view - dark and consuming. So consuming in fact, that you couldn’t sense another body that had come closer in range with yours. Or better yet, even a foreign hand on your shoulder that was apparently trying to shake you free.

“(Y/n)..?”

‘Blood. Blood. Blood. Dying … are they dying? Why did I black out? Where.. Are they… now?’

‘Are they alive?’

You watched as the whole room came back into focus, while the senses in your shoulder began tingling to a certain degree of pain. You blinked a considerable amount of times first, before finally catching back on to where you were and spinning right around to face the man currently trying to ground you back down.

Dazai met your frightful eyes, and was taken aback slightly at how absolutely petrified you looked - but didn’t choose to react. He simply removed his hand from your shoulder, and met you with a slow impassive stare. Obviously, trying not to freak you out further - any praise of his voice or crack in his face could set you off again, and you being set off again was something the agent really didn’t want to deal with right now. Not when he wasn’t sure what in the hell you were, and if whatever happened to you in that alley beforehand wasn’t any warning to how far off the handle you could go, then he was a smart man to heed to it.

Your voice was cracked and wavering. “Where.. Are they? Dead? Are they d-dead?”

Dazai gave you a soft look, still refraining from making any sudden movements. “Who? Who are dead, (y/n)?”

‘PTSD? Ability? Mental instability?’ They were all rushing past the brunettes working brain as he stayed perfectly still. Defenseless, and still - but the agent would never admit it. Yes, he did clarify that ‘No Longer Human’ in fact didn’t work on you, but that was something the brunette would have to analyse later. But right now - in this moment - all that was on Dazai Osamu’s mind was the cautious thoughts of ‘Is this one of her episodes?’ and most importantly, ‘How will I go about this if it is?’

His dark eyes flitted down to where your hands were gripping the mug with white hot knuckles, shaking. “A-Atsushi.. And the siblings..” Your (e/c) eyes were staring right up at him, while your whole face practically looked drained from all it's blood that you could rival a ghost. Dazai regarded you briefly, before his shoulders that he didn’t realize were tensed dropped fully with a long sigh. Of relief? Most definitely.

The agent of the ADA and ex-port Mafia executive would never utter the truthful words out loud however. Not even if someone held a gun to his head.

“Yes, luckily I got them back to the Agency in time. They’ll pull through, don’t worry.”

His words were like a soft feathery creature that chased all of your dreadful emotions out of your body. You blinked once more as if to see if he was lying to you - you didn’t know exactly why he would lie about such a thing, but then again. You were a tough person to please. When no trace of treachery.. Or well anything for that matter showed up on his impassive face did you come to the conclusion that he was indeed not lying. A breath that you were oblivious you were even holding in the first place was released in a violent rush as you let your body lean back - eyes lidded in relief.

They’re not dead. They’re going to be ok..’

“But she is only one woman - and as brilliant as she is, she took the three of them in immediately and placed you under my care.” You opened one groggy eye fully  just to see him give you a silly kind of smile. A smile that, you would come to know, is covering up many lies in its wake.

However, now was not that time.

“Is that why I woke up here then? And why I still feel like absolute crap? Because I’m under your care?”

A mock wince made the brunettes face contort - before one of his heavily bandaged arms reached up and clutched his shirt. “ Ah~! (Y/n)! What have I said about my fragile feelings?”

“Would you like me to compliment you?” You cocked an eyebrow, while raising the hot cup to your lips and taking a deep gulp.

“Please - for my wounded manly pride.”

You felt yourself grimace as the foul liquid ran down your throat - tasting all kinds of nasty and leaving a foul sharp flavour in your mouth. “Your tea making skills are crappy too.”

Another dramatic wail filled the air, while you forced more of the horrible concoction from hell down into your aching body. And that's how the conversation between you two continued, for the majority of the rest of the hour - a sly remark there, a jab right back. One time, he had insulted your appearance again and you tried - tried - to throw the pillow at his stupid smug face that had made you snap, but of course the bastard was too nimble and you managed to knock over one of the empty coffee cups on the table. The loud crash was what made him stop - however when he managed to catch a glimpse of the shattered porcelain in the middle of his floor, did he give you a horrified look. The best horrified look Dazai Osamu could give you.

“(Y/n)... “ His voice was high with astonishment, a set of large brown orbs to match.

You had raised both arms in defense. “I’m sorry - but these are the consequences you must face when insulting a girl's appearance.” ‘That you’re not meant to care about.’ “Things get broken.”

“No no, you don’t understand..” You had watched as the brunette began pacing. “That was antique china. Dating all the way back to the Qing Dynasty, one of the most valuable cups in the world! Do you know.. Do you know what you just broke?”

You hated that you believed him. For even a split second.

Then, you actually listened to the logical side of your brain and decided to glance down at the oh so famed ‘Qing Dynasty’ teacup - whatever they looked like. ‘Wait a minute.’ You took in the view of very plain looking scrap shards of white - just white - on the floor scattered practically everywhere. Your eyebrows furrowed when the image of what you thought looked like a Chinese tea cup came to mind, ‘Elaborate and expensive looking right?’. But that.

You also hated the way it took you all but a whole minute to notice the label on the bottom of the cup - and deemed that labels weren’t in fact invented back in whatever Qing Dynasty he was battering on about. At least that was your guess, anyway.

Your pillow had hit him that time - square in the side too. Maybe that remedy was finally working after all.

Your knees hugged to your chest even tighter, the sitting room now vacant and quiet thanks to Dazai’s brief leave - Said he had to go get something in the next room. Your head, if not all, was still on fire and pounding with fog - but the rest of your body felt pleasantly numb, undoubtedly from the remedy. You noticed it was still dark outside even after the length of bickering between you and yours truly - judging by the inky sky and glittering stars still as high and vibrant as ever behind a thin sheet of glass. You began to sink into a stare - gazing out of the window and being swept up with aimless thoughts.

‘How did they get back..? Did reinforcements come to the scene and hall three bodies right back to the ADA?’

You scowled at nothing but the window when your memories wouldn’t disorientate at reach further. Truth be told - you couldn't remember a lot from before hand down that alleyway, the only select few being three dead looking bodies coated in blood and a set of lifeless eyes that seemed to bore right throw anyone. But beyond that - was hazy. That included how you seemed to spontaneously blackout - or how you even got out of that situation in the first place.

Your scowl deepened a bit, eyes narrowing at nothing but a set of twinkling balls of fire light years away from here.

Suddenly, those thoughts were very rudely interrupted when a heavy, soft item hit you in the back of the head.

“Bathroom is down the corridor if you need it.” Dazai’s voice made you turn around, a pretty glower heating your face as you let the pillow fall before you. The brunette a few feet away - leaning on the door frame with two arms crossed nodded lazily over to one of the closed doors that you didn’t bother to look at. Instead, you let your face switch to a mask of perplexity.

“What?”

You watched his brown eyes blink slowly, before repeating. “I said bathroom - down there. I’ll be sleeping in the conjoining room beside you if you need me. But, I will warn you - I’m not the nicest person I am now when someone wakes me.”

“You’re not a nice person in general..” You heard yourself retort - although an unnerving feeling of edginess started creeping up your spine - but what was even scarier - was that you couldn’t pinpoint why.

“Hmm.. I would come up with something witty but I have a mountain of paperwork that was due two weeks ago that might determine if Kunikida-kun will kill me or not tomorrow.” His shoulders  heaved a heavy sigh. “Make sure you get plenty of sleep. Remember - the only way we’ll be able to fix your appearance is plenty of -”

I get it.” You gritted, barely noticing that the brunette had removed his emerald jewel like.. er .. thingy.. And undone two buttons at the top of his shirt. Barely. “I’ll see that I have a great night's sleep, now that you won’t be here nagging me.”

“Nagging?” Dazai raised his eyebrow. “I was only teaching you how valuable a woman's beauty can be, (y/n). When all is gone in life - it's the least a woman can rely on.”

“I thought you believed all women were beautiful.”

“They are.. In different aspects than looks.”

You felt yourself twitch in annoyance. “The why do you car-!”

Anyway.” He silenced just as fast, giving you one of his sly smirks before nodding down the hallway. “Bathroom. Don’t pee to loud, I sleep lightly. Yosano-san will want to check over you tomorrow, so prepare yourself for that -.” ‘Prepare myself? What does that mean?’  “Oh! And please don’t kick over any more of my tea cups - I now only have two to my name.”

Your lips lifted, in the faintest way. “Well, maybe if you actually made effort to wash your items then I wouldn’t have knocked over idly sitting there on the table.”

Dazai merely hummed in amusement, closing his eyes once more. You briefly wondered if he was actually beyond exhausted - or he was merely faking it for some unknown reason. Again, you and trust issues - everything is a question to you.

“Have a nice sleep, (y/n).” Was the finality of the night, or so you concluded as he turned around on the balls of his feet. You were about to mutter something after him - the same pricking feeling seeping into your back not going away at all and making your meant to be numb stomach do a somersault. Still, however - you pushed it down.

“Thank you..” You replied meekly, instead. Both your eyelids drooped down in a long kind of blink. The kind of blink that you usually did when you asked your body to begin shutting down for the night - not that you were tired, and most definitely not because of what Dazai said about ‘ Beauty sleep’ , either. But you felt like you needed to sleep, as tomorrow would probably - no, definitely be as unpredictable as this.

You shuttered your eyes closed, the brief kind of blink you do when you will your body to shut down - and get itself ready for tomorrow. Your whole body still felt numb to all feeling, and although you were not inexplicably tired per say, something told you that you should really set your body on reset if you wanted to get to tomorrow. A day that was probably going to be full of hospital visits and a bucket load of apologies to a particular feline-like boy, and two siblings that always got way too close for comfort.

You almost missed it, but a small *click* resonated from far across the room - but not loud nor obnoxious enough for you to take notice. Instead - you prioritize the long lists of tasks you laid out for yourself for tomorrow in your brain, making a sort of checklist beside each one - only being content when a faint hum escaped you.

A hum that made you open your eyes - a hum that made your breath hitch, and a hum that made your stomach drop at what you were seeing before you. Or better yet - what you were not seeing before you.

‘Oh God.’

The checklist in your mentality dissipated, alarm bells telling you that you probably wouldn’t even get to the end of tonight and even begin to think about tomorrow at the obstacle that had just presented itself to you in its most suffocating and demanding form.

Fear overtook you - everything going rigid and still. You cursed yourself for pushing that feeling down before - while both eyes went way too wide at what was before you. Before you - being something you couldn't have expected. Something that you feared with every cell in your body, something that you haven't told anyone about in the time you have been walking this Earth alone.

You swallowed something hard in your neck - while sweat broke out everywhere on your shaking skin.

A once lit room. A room that was so visable before.

Was completely, truly. Shrouded in darkness.

Chapter Text

His back was to the door he had just shut - not intending to stop anyone from getting out, but not really having the idea of letting whoever he had just shut in out, either. Doing such would ruin the idea of his .. the brunette hadn’t really developed the name for it - ‘experiment’ sounded way to formal and harsh for his tastes. Well that and, it was way too thought out sounding for something he had just sparked an idea from when he walked out of the room.

Dazai Osamu turned one of his wrists around, inspecting nothing in particular as he strained to listen - talking to no one but his thoughts. ‘I’d prefer.. Examination.’

Truth be told, and if the young agent was being honest with himself - he was a very thorough person. Thorough, meaning that he calculated absolutely everything down to it's atom before making any form of move. Like a game of chess, or very complex board game - except the board game was called Life and the rules were infinite and bendable, while the players are every single one of us. To be thorough would mean listing every single possible outcome that could occur, in any situation, and deciding on the most fitting. However, as infinite as Life’s rules could be - and even regarding the fact at how good Dazai liked to think he was at the game, to list all possible outcomes required one key factor - information.

And, regarding you , that was something that he severely lacked. Greatly so.

Dazai’s ears strained slightly as he closed both calculating eyes - as if to zone everything out and concentrate on something he was trying to clarify. Something that had been on the brunette’s mind since yesterday.

Your breathing hitched softly, before more stilling silence followed. He noted it ruefully.

‘That night, when I brought her back to the Agency.. When we stepped into the ground floor..’

Dazai opened his eyes and focused them downcast - maybe out of sheer surprise as a myriad of shuffling and awkward yet frantic scrambles of the woman on the other side of the door sounded. The brunette listened attentively, the noises of his couch scraping along the ground, the coffee table being bumped against - the clatter of another cup toppling and crashing against the floor.

‘She froze rigid. Like a statue when I closed the door - as if she just saw a ghost..’

Your breathing was a lot more labored as many more frantic hisses and low curses filled the apartment - all but blocked by a single door.

‘There was clearly nothing to make her freeze as such, out of fear was what it looked like. There was no people with us at the time.. No gun held to her head… that much I clarified.. But then,’

His dusty brown eyes were glowing as his thoughts grew rapid yet he withheld a passive stance. More crashing and thumping along his sitting-room floor pounded against the oak frame - yet your breathing sounded clearer. Still very heavy, but a lot clearer to the agent. Louder. More close by - as if you were staggering your way to the door.

Dazai lingered for a bit longer - listening yet getting ready to exit swiftly before you found the door handle and decided to wrench his frame open, his back being your first and only view. No, all the man wanted was a clarification , not a torture method with his smiling face being the only thing he would want you to see at the end of it as he held the door closed - probably asking you to beg for him to open it knowing him and his sadistic side. However, fortunately for you the agent’s sadistic twin was lying dormant at such time and all he was searching for during this little charade was an answer.

And, according to the frightful sounds you were making behind the door and his puzzle pieces all finally fitting together - he had found it.

‘Perhaps she is…’

The back of his right foot raised - an attempt to take off in a brisk manner as you sounded dangerously more closer by the passing second.

The floorboards whined underneath him and from the other side, causing his brain to switch and alight all his cells to move - the warning sign he had been looking for. His steps were feathery light across the hall to his room as the sound of a rattling door knob followed him - but he was a lot quicker. The brunette had rounded the corner and entered the safety of his room before the average person could blink, or take in a single breath - while he noticed the obnoxious reverberation of wood being pulled harshly followed by very weighed inhales of air down the hall. Muffled, granted, but definitely evident. Fearful, and evident. Relieved, and evident.

His eyes closed again, while an amused sort of smile creept up and onto the agents face.

‘Afraid.. Of the dark.’

 


 

The minute your thoughts began to comprehend what was happening - or indeed where you were - your body was already moving. A wince was pulled from deep inside your body as it automatically sprung up and away from the sofa in a panicked blur, your heartbeat picking up at an alarming pace. Everything was hazing, even though you couldn’t see a thing - while it felt as if someone had kicked the oxygen right out of you and left you in a painfully dazed sort of state.

Your feet found balance on the floor, and it was if you were thrown into an abyss of oblivion. You couldn't see - couldn’t feel, as if the senses had been temporarily robbed from you and all you had left was the two feet being the only limbs that could feel something sturdy underneath them.

A sickening bile rose at the back of your tonsils - while you momentarily began to shake.

 

“Mom.. my!”

It wasn’t enough, the very look that the woman had given you was just about sufficient to clarify she wasn’t going to listen to you. Ever again. Tears began streaming down your youthful face as they left burning trails of saline everywhere they touched - while you hiccuped on every word you tried to choke out. The floorboards underneath of your adorned family home began to blur through watery eyes, while you felt your chest pang.

“I didn’t .. I didn't mean it-!”

Your mother scowled at you with a disgusted face - the type of face no mother should ever bestow upon a child of hers. The type of look was one that made you want to vomit up the contents of your little stomach, while the woman who gave you life muttered something low that you didn’t understand.

“You… no one shall know of this..”

“I w-w-won’t tell, Mommy! I w-won’t tell any-one!”

“That’s not enough! You wretched demon, do you know what you just did? Do understand what absolute disgrace you have brought upon this family!?”

Your little hands began to wring - while even more desperate sobs escaped your youthful mouth. “I - I’m sorry.. I w-was only… only trying to help h-him!”

The woman paused, a look of shock horror adorning her features as she covered one hand over her agape mouth. You simply couldn’t understand at the youthful age, you couldn’t understand anything at all. Why was Mommy so upset? Why was there tears streaming down her face? Why did that man have to stop moving when you woke up? Why did all the animals not want to play anymore and go to sleep? Why? Why? WHY?!

“Mommy… Mommy….!”

It was as if with every call you tried to insinuate - in a shrill cry of plea, the woman before you just shook her head with closed eyes and a soden face. As if, whatever you were calling her meant absolutely nothing, or that it was a word she so desperately didn’t want to hear spew from your mouth.

It would be a long time before you finally came to accept the truth of such term.

“You’re no daughter of mine.”

It was like a dagger at the time - no heart of eight years old should be able to break so easily - but it was as if yours really did. Like a piece of glass shattering in that tiny chest of yours and crumbling to a million minute shards. Your stomach jumped as the woman bounded for you - before taking your wrist in a horrifically painful grip.

“Mo-mmy!” You tried again - tears muddling everything in front of you as you felt like you were being dragged somewhere.

“You. Will. NOT. Call me that name anymore. You will NOT be able to go outside. You will not TALK to your sisters anymore! And you will NOT make a noise where you are going!”

“Mom -”

A sob choked the last part of the word as your little wrist erupted in pain at the force she was exerting. Your neck strained frantically, before it landed on both your elder sisters staring at you from the side of the door frame. Each stare was emotionless, disgusted, and simply blanked.

“Si-ster! P-please believe me!” When both twins gave you two pairs of unfeeling dazed eyes, did you shriek even louder - maybe in one last desperate attempt to reach them. Reach the two young girl's who you loved with all your shattered heart. The girls who taught you how to braid your long hair, who taught you about flowers, about love, about boy's.

You were abandoned.

“P-please!” Your mother pulled you harshly, making you wail. “I didn’t mean to do it!”

Unspeakable eyes. You were alone.

“I beg y-you sister!”

You were afraid.

The twins disappeared from view, as your fragile body was dragged around a corner and into the next room. You hiccuped, everything was too blurry. Too loud. Too real.

You were in despair.

The last thing that withheld that memory was when your wrist had shot with pain as another powerful tug had thrown you into oblivion. You remembered it being cold, empty and so morbidly small.

You were alone. You were confused. You were disgraced.

“Mommy!”

It was dark.


The memory collapsed like a shattered mirror cascading to the floor and reflecting your ghastly face as you lost balance - which you didn’t actually notice until your arm had reached out and slammed against a hard surface near you to catch the faltering equilibrium. Both eyes blinked you back into reality - while your blood was rushing and a coffee-cup clattering to the floor being the only sounds that seemed to ground you. The room was still a horrifically pitch black abyss, however the familiar feeling of a table underneath your sweltering palm did provide you with some form of comfort.

Your throat forced down something thick while you tried to steady your breathing. The table became more evident under your touch as you used it like some form of catalyst through a few reassuring thoughts.

‘No, I’m not there. I left that place years ago. I’m here - In the present. I can move . Talk. This isn’t…. A cupboard. This is…

Almost like an automatic doll who’s cork has been winded to full max - you took off blindly. Stumbling, sure. Bumping into about every small little object in your path and probably making a myriad of thunderous noises, positively. Regardless of any of those negative outlooks - your muscles still took you forward.

‘This is..’

Darkness, if such a thing could suffocate someone's lungs - you would indeed back the statement wholeheartedly. Harsh intakes of air in short bursts also thrummed in mute hums through your senses - while your whole body protested with movement. It was endless, like wandering through a never-ending realm of pain and anguish.

‘This is..’

A woman’ voice - very akin to your late Mother’s decided to creep it's way into your subconscious, while the screams of a frightened young child echoed like merciless waves into the base of your heart. Voices, too many voices - voices that you haven't heard in such a long stretch of time.

The young girl wailed even later out of sheer fear in your mind - while you used it as a driving force to surge on.

‘This… is..’

The thought of this room morphing into a black hole of impending doom was something becoming very truth like to you as you didn’t seem to be getting anywhere remotely goal like. Your muscles ached even more, and forced you into a slow trudge - undoubtedly exerting them would definitely not be an option at how much they screamed at you. You could feel the scowl of frustration adorning your face in the darkness, as if cursing your state in such a dire situation.

A harsh creak cut through your broken hearing, the vibration of the floorboard shooting up your right foot while the entirety of your body collided with something very solid in front of you. It rattled as if not part of the wall - while you hissed an intake of pained air an scanned a wandering hand down the wooden panel. The tips of your fingers skimmed across something cold and metallic like - while not even stopping to grant it a single thought - you grasped the door handle wholeheartedly and twisted it with as much rattling pain your throbbing bones would allow.

‘This is..!’

The soft *click* that could honestly have been mistaken as music from God’s goddamn trumpet to your ears was the signal that had you stumbling through the frame. A gust of air from the force was soft and mismatched the flow of air around you - albeit didn’t stop you from lifting your head and breathing deeply. You blinked with wide relieved eyes, the dark room behind you being heavy illuminated with the golden dim hues of light coming from the small hall. The blinding fear left your small body like a toxic cloud being expelled from a deity, while the voices subsided in that subconscious of yours. No little girl screamed, no mother who looked down on her with such disgust, no toxic sly hisses in the dim night.

All you felt was peace.

‘This is not … my old life..’

It took the entirety of a couple of seconds, but a couple of heartbeats skipped past until it dimmed to its regular pace again and countless reassurances of ‘You’re not at home. You’re in Dazai’s apartment, Yokohama… ‘, later, did you finally give your new surroundings a brief glance over. In doing so - your expression which was ghastly before had regained colour and knitted with confusion.

The hall was made up of three doors - or well, two doors. The other was hidden away down another conjoining corridor split off to the left of you - yet the remaining was straight ahead, each three being completely identical with dark oak finishes and simultaneously shut. The walls of a completely different type of wood contrasting wildly with the frames, while you felt your neck being attracted to the one of the left. A familiar voice bloomed loud and clear from earlier, as if talking to you in a subconscious kind of way.

‘“Bathroom is that way.” His brunette hair flopped while he jolted it down the hallway.”’

You tilted your head at the dark frame of wood - thought of pink glop and sham-poo associating with the word and making you shiver. You definitely, didn’t want to visit such a place again for as long as you could avoid it - and was more than happy to give the poor door a dirty scowl before turning back and looking straight ahead. Two remained.

A set of glowing, calculating eyes narrowed.

‘When he went to make me the remedy earlier on today - his body turned to the right when he left..’ The door on the right seemed to creak under your intensive testing. ‘Now I may not know much about city life.. But I doubt people of this area keep teapots and hot water in their personal bedrooms.. Even people such as him.’

‘So.. if he turned right.. Would it mean..’ Your eyes flitted rapidly between the two. ‘That it could be some sort of kitchen?’

Your mental question didn’t answer itself - and neither did the door for that matter. . Never mind how much you willed it to. You decided to be content for once in your life and ride on your wild guess, while making your way to the opposite door. Each bone creaked with dull yet sporadic jolts of heated pain, but you kept your pace as quiet as you could - not stopping until you were face with the oak frame itself.

Something made you hesitate in the glistening gold knob. Maybe it was the unknowing feeling of actually trusting yourself for once in your life, or -

‘What am I.. doing?’

The hand - which you were very unaware about how outstretched it was to the gleaming object - retracted slightly, the thought daunting down on you like a tidal wave. Wait a minute - you blinked as if trying to bring the reality of the situation back - what were you doing? You were about to open his door without even knocking, or giving it any form of second thought.. At the dead time of night too. Not that it was worth even mentioning, but even if you dimmed it down and focused on the bones of your situation - what would you even say to him once you entered his room? You tried a few reasonings in your mind, a frustrated kind of frown creasing the sides of your lips.

Each sounded equally as ridiculous as the other.

‘Hi, uhm. I know I only saw you like - ten minutes ago but I really can’t sleep. And.. for some reason I believe that sleeping with you will be any better but how about I give it a shot?’

‘Oh - sorry to barge in at whatever time it is but I .. I think I may have s-something to tell you..’ Oh god , your face practically convulsed in disgust at what followed you in that little monologue - all flushed cheeks and grovelling submission. You stuck your tongue out as if tasting something revolting, waving the thought away with a shaking head.

Something told you taking Route; Sleep With Me, or Route; Love Confession would have definitely been a failure if you were about to try them - that ‘if’ being inked red and circled about a thousand and one times. Because in order for such a scenario to take place - you had to actually enter his room, which was something you definitely didn’t want to do. No way in hell.

‘Or do you?’

A venomous hiss slipped its way through your teeth - while you made a mental note to kick whoever was in charge of programming your subconscious out with all their things packed by the morning. Albeit however, this was still the night-time - and you couldn’t help but dwell on the thought for a few moments while flitting a gaze from the door to the room you had desperately escaped from. A bubbling feeling of dread resided dimly in the bottom of your gut as you eyes the room with a torn (e/c) stare - the room still being a mundane hue of darkness and only allowing you to see a few inches past the doorway.

‘Do you want to go back in there?’

The response was automatic, and an obvious negative. No . No way in all of Earth would you pull yourself back into that void - hell, even just standing a few meters away was setting you on edge.

‘Then you have no other options..’ You found your eyes training back hurriedly to the handle - which was more taunting than anything you had ever come across in that moment. Even one of Dazai Osamu’s be-damned smirks that he liked to shoot your way - and between you and me - that’s something to top.

You felt like chiding the doorknob - regardless of the fact that it was an inanimate object.

‘I could always ask him… if he has a spare room?’

The hand that had been retracted and hung in mid air started making its way to the cold object - even without your body telling it to. The war your soon-to-be fired subconscious along with probably the stubborn side of you was wagering on in your mind - even though your hand kept moving until in clasped the cold object followed by a loud resounding rattle.

Shivers broke out from the tips of your fingers right down to your toes - while the same deeming subconscious gave you one last notice of hesitation. A low curse was masked under your breath mingled with the air around you - while you shut your eyes as if expecting the worse.

‘A spare bedroom.. Right… this is to ask for a spare bedroom..’

The door handle turned under your pained bones before you pushed it open, keeping both eyes screwed tight the whole time.

 


 

 

Dazai Osamu, prided agent of the Armed Detective Agency had a few attributes to his character. And no, before you ask, I wouldn’t be talking about his looks, or his physique - nothing remotely physical or anything of the category. It was more along the lines of - if you were to talk to anybody who knew the famed bandaged brunette, they would always tell you one thing about him atop of all others - He was always up to no good.

Whether it was for personal gain - or the odd time he would release some stress in the form of making Kunikida’s life a living nightmare, the reasoning could be endless. This situation, similarly mirroring all the rest, however - had no differences.

Although, there was one .

Dazai was sat perched on top if his single-bed, the sheets never made and the headboard never dusted, both long leg missing their shoes and crossed leisurely. His hair was a tousled mess of brown tendrils and stuck up slightly as if he had just ruffled it himself - that or he had been lying down. He regarded the woman that had just blindly stumbled her way into his room - literally - both eyes shut while her clothes from earlier where also a creased mess. The brunette raised his eyebrow, while he let his “Guide to Suicide” handbook fall loosely in his grasp.

The difference was it was someone like you this time.

You wouldn’t be able to see it then - damn your eyes were shut and made you look beyond stupid from where you were - but you would curse yourself in the future for missing the very surprised look adorning his features, not to mention that every part of it was real too. Dazai couldn’t help but let his passive mask slip briefly as you stormed through his door - he had expecting you to find the light switch and turn on the light. Or even, sleep outside in the hallway. But barging into his room, picking the right door on top of that. And barely even knowing anything about him?

His face gradually composed as a few seconds of awkward blank silence slipped past, while he gave you an impressed kind of look. ‘She’s a bold young lady, I’ll give her that.’

When your frozen body made no attempt to move from his doorway - he decided to give you some help, maybe by calling your name to see if you would respond. The option of this whole charade being a result from sleep-walking could still be there too.

“(Y/n)?”

The brightness of his room emulated behind your eyelids and gave you the clarification that he was awake - and you didn’t want to die as much as you did even when you had half the door open. ‘Just let the ground swallow me whole..’ - The thought from your ex-subconscious played on repeat the minute you let the handle go and stood frozen in the door frame like a deer caught in headlights - except you weren’t caught, more like you walked straight into the headlights and to your impending doom. Call yourself dramatic, sure - but when his confused voice called your name in question, you didn’t wish that the ground would swallow you whole.

You wished that you could just evaporate into thin air.

‘God what was I thinking?’

He called you again, and you felt everything but your eyelids freeze. A sharp inhale of air was taken when you went to straighten - and begrudgingly remembered that you were meant to be in pain. Your whole body buckled slightly but you somehow managed to keep it upright - however it must have looked otherwise as the sound of someone shuffling off of a bed met your senses and made something akin to panic rise inside you.

“N-no! I’m ok!”

Both hands became visible in a dim hue of a small room, while a familiar brunette with bandages travelling up both arms and half of his neck was only a meter away from your body - eyes curious yet unreadable at the same time. You were confused for a brief moment as to why you could picture the whole ordeal so vividly through shut eyelids - but the obvious answer came down on you faster than you could have preferred. You had opened your eyes.

You flitted a wary (e/c) gaze down to both your trembling outstretched hands, and back up to the man standing in front of you. Heat couldn’t have rushed faster to the base of your neck at the confused yet curious expression lacing his onset features. ‘....Goddammit..’

You would have paid God the rest of your life wages if it meant he could take the slowly increasing-in-awkwardness air away from in between you two. You could throw in your left leg if he wanted it, too.

Fortunately, apparently, Dazai Osamu could be the next best thing.

“(Y/n)..” His face slipped to the teasing eyes and sly smile you were known with, cocking to the side. “I hope you know how dangerous it is to walk into a man’s bedroom alone in the middle of the night.”

For once in your life - and once only - you couldn't have been happier with one of his jeers at such a perfect time. The heavy silence was dispelled swiftly between you two, allowing you to take some oxygen into your lungs that you were unaware you were depriving them of.

“Don’t flatter yourself.” You tried to bend your spine upright to the best of you ability - earning a disgruntled growl that nobody but you could hear - and decided to focus a keen stare around the place you had thrown yourself into.

Granted, it was a bedroom correctly from what you guessed - and by the looks of things, it belonged to yours truly. A seemingly average looking single-bed lay tucked in one of the corners of the spacious room - sheet splayed in every direction imaginable although clean - like they’re not used that much. You decided not to dwell on the thought at such a time and placed it into the mental checklist for ‘Later”, which was getting pretty full at the moment. A bedside cabinet equipped with a cheap-looking lamp sat beside the bed, the brightness of the bulb being dimmed heavily by the shade and overall making the light source in the room very dim. There was no windows present, however the oak walls were the same as the rest of the house, similar to the grey ceiling. You only took notice of a table littered with books of every category and pages which also painted the floor like leaves briefly - while you returned a wandering gaze right back to the owner.

“Nice… room?” Your thoughts escaped against your will and met the outside world - while you felt the urge to slap yourself twitch into the palm of your right hand.

Dazai straightened, folding both exposed bandaged arms across his chest. “Thank you.”

“Very..” Your mouth was moving, probably trying a failed attempt to fill the air with something. “Roomy..”

‘Stop talking me. Stop. Talking.’

‘Roomy?’ Hum.. I haven't heard that one before.. Tell me Miss (Y/n), did you come in here at the time of -” You watched with a heat pooling around your shoulders and pricking at your spine as the brunette glanced down at his watchless wrist. “Exactly two-thirty am just to give me a review of my bedroom?”

You opened your mouth to speak - but it was as if nothing would from it. That subconscious of yours known for its witty comebacks must have already packed his bags and left - so you just stood there, gaping like a fish.

“Hm?”

“Ah… uh…”

“Do you need something?” His tone wasn’t nasty, like you expected it to be of someone who was interrupted and two-whatever am in the morning by a girl who he knew about a day and a half. It was more so - well intrigued ..

“Uhm… uh..”

What are words? What is English? Your brain must have forgot - given up. Had a fire somewhere in there and just burned out everything completely.

The brunette gave you a questioning gaze in his dusty brown eyes. “Is something bothering you?”

Ah - “

“You made a different sound there - so there must be something bothering you. Is it the room? The heat? I must apologies about that actually - my heating got cut off just last by Miss Landlady because - “ The scenario the suicide maniac recalled after he tried to suffocate himself with carbon monoxide from the heating tank came back to mind, as well as his co-worker pulling him back to the Agency and thoroughly bringing him through Agency rules again. “.. I couldn’t pay my rent - but if you’re cold..”

“No. No - not cold..” You shook your head lightly, finally getting some words back. “No..”

“Hmm. Miss (e/c) then is it something else? Your lack-of-beauty again? Oh if you’re worried about the Qing Dynasty cup -”

You rapidly increasing look of agitation must have stopped him daringly in his tracks, before he let out a slow laugh full of dry amusement. His shoulder shook slightly as he turned around and began stalking back to his place where he was probably sitting previously. Such acts however, were unknown to your brain or memory box as you practically glued both eyes tight when wandering into the bedroom.

You watched as he sat back down on the bed, before grabbing the red-back book and sank into solace - reading whatever he was before you interrupted as if you weren’t even there.

“What are you doing?”

The brunette looked up - but only with his dark eyes. “I’m reading a very good book. Why?”

“No.. I mean. What… why are…” The feeling wouldn’t actually mingle with the words in your throat and stopped stubbornly as you deepened your expression. “Wha-“

‘Why are you just sitting there like I don’t even exist?’

“Well..” He flipped a page, the sound being a lot louder to you than intended. “You came into my room in a frenzy like you just seen the devil incarnate himself. Not only that, but you also sought this room out after whatever you saw which meant you had to give thought on where I was. Which means you were looking for me - for whatever reason you need me.” Another flip of a page - the sound of skimming paper filled the air while he trained his gaze down to the right of the book. “I have two in my head so far - either you don’t want to sleep in that room because of a personal reason.. maybe..”

Dazai glanced over at you - who had now began to figit on the spot to the best of your ability - gaze not meeting his at all.

He was perfectly right.

“.. or option two.” Your eyes snapped up when he raised to fingers in the air, now looking to the left side of his book. “You could have super scandalous super deep love feelings for me..”

The scoff you gave him was everything but sarcastic. “Very off. By the longest shot possible.”

“Hm.. So then tell me Miss (y/n), is my first option correct?”

The silence the agent received was all but enough of an answer.

“Very well.” His words uttered downcast towards the page and before you could even retaliate - his wandering hand had picked up the pillow he was using as a backrest and the whole room was smothered in a white cotton world for point seconds as it hit your face and collapsed into your hands. You have him a skeptical look.

“Sleep. You can sleep in here if you would like.”

The pillow in your arms felt new - the casing on it was crisp and a pale sky blue also looking as if it was barely slept on. You noticed the absence of a pillow for his head on the headboard, however before you could question what he was about to do for the night - Dazai Osamu beat you to it.

“It’s fine, I don’t sleep that often.” The mental checklist ticked one thing about him off as if an accomplished chore, while you gave the pillow a long silent look. “ - so using this room if the other isn’t comfortable will be ok.”

‘Trust me. With every step I’ll make you trust me.’

Your brain went to hesitate for the brevity of a second, the pillow shrinking as you held it close to your chest as if to make yourself look smaller. That same fight between Stubborn Side and Logical Side was increasing with velocity inside you, eyes downcast.

‘Good God..’ The Logical side of you spat towards the stubbornness you still held. ‘You don’t want to go back and sleep in his living room. Now he’s offering you another place to sleep - which is also heavily lit mind you. Just take it!’

You didn’t move.

“Close the door behind you.” His voice had some hints of boredom as he immersed himself further into the book. “It’ll be cold if you leave it open - especially at night.”

Your mind fogged slightly, before you felt the Logical side of you win and completely took over your actions. A hand reached out from behind you as you shut the door with a loud *click*, a begrudging feeling still residing in you.

‘It’s only for tonight.’

You would come to realize how inexplicably wrong that statement would come to be, somewhere in the future when you looked back on this. However, the parallels of time are as complex as the two sides of a double-sided mirror. Each action magically affecting another that you could make in minutes, hours, or years to come.

The room fell silent again.

“Uhm.. where… can I sleep?”

The brunette looked up from the submersion of words he was in, and the strange looking sparkle contrasting in his dark pools gave you the heads up that he was cooking up a concoction for mischief. And, by the way he reached out and tapped the spot beside him on the edge of his bed - you could only clarify so.

“Would you like to sleep next to me?”

“No.”

Dazai’s soft features took on a mock look of hurt. “Hmm. Many girls would jump at that offer to sleep next to me, well - from past experiences that is.” The images that had popped into your brain deserved to be burned and sold in ash-form to a Demon himself. “ - Come on ~ I won’t bite you.”

“Again, I’ll pass.”

Dazai hummed, as if in thought as he blinked your way. “Well, I don’t have an extra futon..”

Your eyes wandered around the room, until it fell on a particularly small space on the floor beside his bedside - not too big but just big enough to fit a body such as your own. The brunette followed your gaze as you nodded down to something beside his bed. “The floor there is fine.”

“The floor? Miss (y/n), I’m giving you the option of my bed for the night and you’d rather pick the ground? Do you really despise me that much?”

Your voice heaved a dry scoff - probably in amusement - as you threw the soft pillow down to the floorboards with a soft *thump*. A cloud of dust erupted at the impact, flowing and dancing beside the amber glow of light and only making you realize that not only was this man clinically insane , beyond a meter of annoying but he also doesn’t clean anything he owns.

Dazai watched you from not so far away as you sunk with a wince to your knees, the floorboards whining while you lay down on your side - facing away from the agent - in a perfectly still position. Your voice rang in his head until it was only a dim hum of faith nothingness - as well as the rest of the room. Probably the only sound accompanying both of you was the distant sounds of motors outside the walls, and a set of steady breathing.

Although, no matter how steady your breathing sounded, the illusion of sleep was only a veiling facade - as both your brilliant (e/c) eyes were wide open. And, presumably will be for the rest of the night.

The sound of a masculine sigh sounded form behind you, while shuffling and creaking of movement followed. Your eyes narrowed against the wall you were so vehemently giving the hardest stare down of you life - before a daunting thought crashed down on you.

Dazai.”

The harsh call of his voice made the detective stop in his movement to get up, which was originally to go see if he had anything to cover your shivering body. His dark eyebrow raised at the harshness your urgent vocal cords laced his name with, too.

“Yes?”

“Could you…” You searched for the right words to say without sounding like a total five year old, yet a hand balled into the fabric of the pillow similar to that of what a five year old would do whenever they would sense fear.”...not, turn off the light?”

The smirk was quick to find its way to Dazai’s face while the metal note of your fear was approved in that wickedly calculating brain of his. “Ok.”

A sense of relief washed you like a warm wave of the worlds finest sea - the fist now straining against the creased pillow with white knuckles had relaxed completely. The room kept it's dim light just like he had promised - while all of your nerves settled from hyper drive in your body. Albeit however - both eye still refused to close.

More shifting of fabric and weight filled your senses, before a sharp sound of something soaring through the air made you raise an eyebrow - regardless it wasn’t until you felt the entirety of your body being enveloped in the warmth of something heavy did your expression change completely. Your body creaked with pain as you went to crane your head down, only to be met with the sight of a long blanket covering you from head to toe.

“Thanks…” It was barely a mumble, but you new he had heard it - he had a great sense of hearing, remember? The long fabric was soft under your grasp as you pulled it up to cover your mouth. Both eyes still refused to close.

His movements ceased after that - the room falling into nothing but deafening silence for a stretch of time. Had it been a few minutes? Or had it been a multitude of hours? Honestly, it was unknown to you - however regarding the fact of  your poor sense of time - you had still not managed to get both eyes to close. Two shining orbs of (e/c) still declined to close in the dim space, even with trying to count a herd of sheep at this point. Your scowl was silent and shielded behind the soft blanket, and by the sounds of things - you couldn't actually tell if Dazai had fallen asleep behind you or not, either.

The thought was all but a brief wonder - answered by a voice triggered by it. It was insane, how he could do it - like he harboured some type of telekinesis power only intended for you and you only.

“Can you not sleep, (y/n)?”

The superior in question was lying back down on his own bed he had offered you - all but you couldn't see. His dark eyes were gazing at nothing in particular on the ceiling, while the large expanse of grey had him pondering in deep thought.

“No..” The female voice was small and although sounded tired - it harboured notes of frustration in it too. Dazai briefly shot your form a quick glance - small but covered in the duvet of his own bed, along with his pillow but missing the mattress. He found his eyes travelling up the back of your exposed neck, wispy (h/c) hairs that lay softly on the area you rested your head. His gaze lingered when a noticeable scar that ran from the base of your neck down caught the brunette’s attention - however was quickly averted when you pulled the cover more securely around yourself, hiding it from view.

His head turned back to the ceiling, before reaching up and resting it on the arms that lay crossed behind his neck. “How about we play a game?”

“A game?” The oak wall before you was what you seemed to question.

“To help you sleep, that is.” His voice was like a dim hum from behind you - not that annoying when it wasn’t harboring words that intended to make you want to punch him straight in the face. You say that because.. Well, it was the only thing you could focus on at the moment - as you counted all the indents and broken wood lines in the wall to help you sleep already. “It’s called twenty-one questions.”

“How does it work?”

The brunette made a noise of rationality, not taking his eyes off of the ceiling. “It’s actually quite simple really - The rules are I get to ask you a question, however you have to answer honestly. Then, you get to ask me a question - and I have to answer you honestly. It works like that back and forth until we reach twenty one each.”

His explanation went unanswered for a brief second, however not a long one. “How do you win?”

“Huh?”

“It’s a game, isn’t it?” Your eyes blinked, before something similar to a faint smile veiled your hidden mouth. “Doesn’t every game have a way to win? That’s what makes it a game, doesn’t it?”

You heard your superior grow silent for a few moments - before breaking out into laughter. No, it wasn’t the wry kind of chuckle you were used to hearing, or sly scoff of amusement. He was generally… laughing. Low form his stomach yet loud enough to fill the room with baritone tones - slightly taking you back for the brevity of some time. The noise entered your mind, and you would come to realize will never leave for as long as both of you shall live.

You felt yourself listening, until it died down to a few mere chuckles and amused intakes of air. “Well, I guess. Hah - I guess that you would win by knowing more about me, and me about you.”

Your smile never left your face - and you so begrudgingly wanted someone to slap it off of you. However, the least you could manage was a sarcastic answer. “Oh, woo-hoo. What a prize to be given. Truly, it’s an honor.”

“I’ll go first.” Dazai reached up to wipe a tear that was cascading down one of his chocolate-brown eyes. “Oh - before we begin, there is one rule I’d like to put into place. No questions about our pasts, I believe you would want to abide to it too. I won’t ask you anything about your previous life either.”

His rule sat well with you, in more ways than one. You felt yourself pulling the blanket up further - as if to make your thankful voice muffled. “Ok.”

“Hmm… I’ll start you off easy..” The brunette blinked as if thinking hard - although he didn't need to. There was a legitimate reason to why he was doing this. There was a legitimate reason to why he did everything in life. “What’s your favourite colour?”

‘My favourite colour?’ “Uhm.. I’ve never given it… thought… Uh..” Your thoughts wandered back to a lot of things you liked in life - which, now that you think about it, is very slim. A particularly bright star popped behind your eyes. “Yellow.. I guess?”

‘Like the sun.’

“Hmm.. interesting. The colour of freedom and justice..” The answer wasn't something the brunette felt worth documenting - but something told him to anyway. “Ok, now you ask me.”

You wracked your brain for something you were interested in to ask him - which was not a lot if you thought about it. Nothing, your brain was just as blank and expansive as the ceiling of his apartment. There was nothing you wanted to know about-

Wait.

Something made its debut into your head - it wasn't that you were interested in it however - but it was something to ask nonetheless.

“Do you like flowers?”

Dazai answered you with an amused sort of sound, before rolling his head over to you. “Why, would you like to buy me some?”

No. I just saw a pot of white flowers in your sitting room, and kind of… I don’t know. Thought you liked them.”

“Oh.. them.” The agent wasn't going to lie - he was surprised you had noticed the small pot in his sitting room, even with it was sitting in such a dark corner and barely noticeable to anyone that had been in here before. “They’re called moon flowers - and, if I’m being honest in answering your question - no. I don’t like flowers, at all really. But, it’s more of the attribute they hold.”

“And what’s that?”

“That’s two question, (y/n).”

Your little growl made him smirk, while he shot you the question that had been on his mind since he shut off the lights where you were meant to be sleeping. And - actually - why he decided to play this game with you in the first place.

“Are you afraid of the dark?”

The minute the dreadful question hit you - your lungs inhaled a sharp intake of air that almost could be described as painful . ‘Damn it, he’s good at catching on is’t he?’ Your eyes wavered in front of you - deciding that lying to him would just cause a lot more trouble for you in the future when you start to take a panic attack in another dark room or something.

Finally, for the first time until you lay down, you closed both eyes. Except - it wasn’t intended for slumber. “....Yes.”

“Why?”

“That’s two questions. And.. asking about my past.”

“Oh, apologies.” His voice was monotone, however a sense of achievement had bloomed inside him. Not that - you being afraid of the dark was anything he felt like mocking, for even him had things the man could be afraid of. But, well, let’s just say it gave the agent a form of security to know you had some kind of weaknesses he could use against you - whenever thing got out of hand.

“Do you like to read?” If it weren't for his rapid blinking out of multiple scenarios he was conjuring in his brain of exactly how he could use your fear against you exempting that his ability wouldn’t be enough - he would have missed your question. “Yes. Do you like to read?”

“I don’t know, I know how to read - but. I’ve never actually.. Read .. for leisure. What’s your favourite book?”

A Complete Guide to Suicide.” You grimaced at such a bold title, hell you didn’t even know if such a book existed. However - it did give you an idea for your next question.

“Do you know how to write?”

“Yes.. not well though.” You answered truthfully, and then let the question that had sprung into your mind loose. “Why do you do it?”

“Why do I do what, exactly Miss (y/n)?”

“Always.. Try to kill yourself. I’ve heard that you do it a lot from Atsushi. And… the others..”

A very heavy silence stretched after your question - so heavy in fact that you began to second guess if asking him such a question was a good thing or not. The duvet scrunched under your grasp as you felt the cold emulate from the base of your spine.

Thankfully, however - he answered. An answer that was no way happy or sad - just. Emotionless. “That would be asking about my past, Miss (y/n).”

“Oh, sorry.”

“Don’t be. What’s your favourite animal?”

Both your innocent back and forth questioning went on for the majority of the next thirty minutes or so - and so far you had learned that you deemed superior had a few interesting things about him. He didn’t like dogs for one, at all apparently. He in fact, didn’t have any sort of Kombucha in his house nor has he ever tried it. If he wasn’t involved with the government, he would have wanted to become a writer. He doesn’t know his parents - and simultaneously doesn’t like children either. Doesn’t like chocolate, nor does he like a lot of sweet things.  Definitely not an organised person either - and you clarified.

“How long have you been working for the Agency?”

Dazai, although he deemed that documenting anything non-important about you was a waste of time - had learned a few things about his subordinate too. You have only been to a city twice in your whole life - which two of them being Yokohama. Originally, you were form Shirakawago Village - a very remote area in Japan’s countryside, although he didn’t ask more. Your favourite animal was a bunny, because they were innocent and soft. You didn’t like birds, he didn’t ask the reason. You had wanted to read a lot more as a kid - but for an unidentified reason - you couldn't. Also, apparently you loved sugar, even though you haven't had anything remotely sweet in quite a while.

His chocolate eyes thought back, counting up the years to when he arrived to meet the President in search of a placement. “About, four years now?”

You hadn’t moved in all your attempts to answer and ask him questions - your voice had still been directed to the wall the whole time. ‘Four years ago? Huh… we had met about four years ago..’

“(Y/n)?”

“Hmm?” You hummed, although your thoughts were being brought back to elsewhere.

“We’re on twenty questions, which means we both have one more to ask.”

“Oh? Really?” You had lost count after about question five, if you were honest.

“Mhm. You should pick wisely, as it could be the last question you ever ask me.”

‘What does that mean?’ Your eyes lowered against the wall again, searching your brain for the correct question ask him. Thoughts of ‘Are you this annoying to everyone you meet?’ and ‘Do women love you as much as you let on?’ came to mind, and you debated asking them for a brief moment. However, all the questions were whimsically dispelled in a flash when the soul thing that had been bugging you for awhile now formed a inquiry in your mouth.

Apparently, however. Dazai’s mind had the same idea.

“Why?”

Both a male and female voice asked the same question at the exact same time, making both of you widen your eyes in surprise.

“Miss (y/n), I believe it was my turn.”

“No, you had asked me if I would rather die from jumping from a window or drowning with the love of my life - I believe it was my turn.”

“Ok ok.” Dazai smiled up at the ceiling - except it was scarcely forced. “Ask away.”

“Why… did you… help me?” The question was expected, and the agent went to open his mouth however it was as if his answer was pushed out and robbed right from him. “And before you answer - don't’ give me any of that “ It was because I needed to pay my debt back to you” crap. Why… why did you really… help me?”

You watched nothing in particular with an expecting gaze, while the whole room went silent.

“I told you..” Dazai’s voice rang out from behind you. “I helped you because you helped me, nothing less and nothing more.”

You didn’t know why, but it was as if someone had took your stomach in a hard grasp and.. Kind of - squeezed it a tad bit. Why you felt such a deep disappointment at his curt response - was beyond you. Did you want to kick the shit out of yourself for feeling such a way? Yes.

“Which brings me to my question.” Your ears pricked as his voice returned back to its usual soft self. “Why did you save me that night in the warehouse?”

Your thoughts slipped into deep pondering as you gazed disconnected into the distance, and suddenly it dawned on you that in the time you had spent with him - neither of you had discussed this matter at all in detail, let alone.. Ask questions about it. The face of his youth came back to you - confused and upside down right after you had made him wake again on that storm filled night. The question of.. Why you had saved him had never really came to you before - but now that you thought about it.

“You were.. Dying . Who wouldn’t help someone who was in your state if they came across it?”

The brunette hummed audibly, like he was half-content with what you had just given him. “Did you use your ability to do so?”

A slow smile graced your lips, before you closed your eye sand answered him in a sly tone. “That’s over your question limit, Dazai.”

He blinked at your answer, mouth half agape in surprise for the third time tonight, but shut it immediately, chuckling at the ceiling. “I suppose you're right, Miss (y/n).”

It was the last words uttered that night - the room falling into a dim yet comfortable silence while both people inhabiting it lost their words. Both of your eyes stayed closed after such - before you felt a familiar feeling of slumber clouding you and lulling you to a soft slumber. Dazai merely listen - the sounds of your now steady breathing aiding his thinking.

‘Goodnight, Miss (y/n).’

The sun outside began to rise, adorning the city of Yokohama with a veil of sparse clouds and palette of yellow and reds. The age of a new day being told - while a new page in the game called ‘Life’ took its toll on the people around it.

The game which only could know, that one of the two of you had broken the rules in your own on that same question-filled night.

 

Chapter Text

When you realized that morning had dawned on you, you had somehow forgotten how or exactly when you had fallen asleep. It was like - you were thrown into a state of deep sleepless-dreaming that had you questioning your state or surroundings for a single moment. However, when the familiar scent of wooden floors hit your senses, along with a weighing fabric that had your whole body enveloped in a comfy warmth came to mind - did the gears in your hazy sleep-induced mind start clicking.

“Hnnn..”

You felt your eyes begin to work behind both lids as the image of a grey ceiling came to view, while a grimace knotted an expression to your features when you tried to move. Granted, your body was still not willing to co-operate - creaking and burning within every joint. However it wasn’t nearly as bad as when you woke up ironically in the same place not twenty four hours ago.

‘What time…. Is it even?’

Somehow, during the night you had rolled right over from your side to now laying flat on your back - the sheet you remembered that Dazai had granted you lying wrapped around your torso and one leg. The other - was strewn to the side and giving you the most ridiculous yet oddly comfortable position that twisted your body almost awkwardly. You blinked the sleepy feeling from your eyes, and while disregarding the fact that you had probably been in this stupid-looking position in the middle of a stranger’s floor for the majority of the night - you really did want to spare yourself the embarrassment - did you force your body into an upright position. Painful, sure, however you bit through it as your plan or today surely didn’t involve laying on the floor like a vegetable for half the day.

The room - now that your body was sitting face up - was apparently vacant. Your eyes narrowed as his particularly annoying face accompanied with his particularly annoying hair colour paired with his even more particularly annoying voice jeering you with something was very absent from the heavily lit room - even when you did a full three-sixty with your neck. The only thing left of his name was a disheveled mattress covered in a similar sky blue sheet, and sitting atop was the shut red hard-cover of his adored ‘Complete Guide to Suicide.’

‘Huh..’ Your muted pair of awakening eyes scanned the rest of the room, and even without a window present, still did the golden rays of a high morning sun glisten against the wooden-finish of his apartment walls, and simultaneously gave the whole bedroom a fresh alive feeling of morning time. The signal of a new day starting - and ironically enough - your favourite part of the day. ‘He’s not here.’

The thought confused you for a moment, except you deemed that worrying about him and where he was, was a huge waste of your time. Well, not that you were worrying - more in the category of ‘ wondering’. No, because in order to worry about him, you needed to care enough about him - which you definitely did not. And, never will for as long as you work in the Armed Detective Agency. Not a chance in hell.

Regardless of the finality of your inner monologue - you found your glittering (e/c) orbs flitting down to the blanket now draped and pooling around your unhealthily-slim looking torso and long legs - which actually only dawned on you now that you were still wearing the same clothes as you did yesterday. The blanket was beautifully warm from your body heat throughout the night - and you knew without it you probably would have caught a pneumonia, even before you had even drifted off to sleep.

‘You should still thank him, though.’

Both of your eyebrows grew heavy, while you hissed at the subconscious currently battering on in your head in a low, gravelly growl. “Didn’t I say I’d kick you out in the morning?”

After having a small quarrel with your subconscious and giving the room another once-over, you had decided on the fact that even if the man you are most definitely not in the whole world looking for, was not hiding somewhere in the closet, or under the bed for that matter ready to pounce on you at any minute - you had decided to get up. Which, in all fairness, took you the span of a whole five minutes - and probably a bible after the beautiful myriad of curse words you shot up to heaven at every painful creak, burst and pang. However no matter how demanding a task it was for you to simply stand up - you had managed to stagger to your feet.

The sitting room, that you found yourself taking a wander into, was like a whole other room from the previous one last night that had resurfaced so many painful memories, and you couldn’t discard the fact that it was perpetually sardonic. The once black abyss of doom was now a spacious illuminated area - soft rays of morning sun cascaded in through the large window and had the whole room dancing with life. Your gaze shifted while your body seemed to float aimlessly around the small yet open space, landing on the glittering coach, busted cups that had littered the floor with shards of white porcelain, the out-of-place coffee table resulting undoubtedly from your thrashing around last night - and briefly on the pot of ‘moonflowers’ still, in a dark area of the place. You noticed the pale curtains had been drawn across the large frame displaying rounds of people and thriving city life - while the crisp sky dignified it was indeed, a beautiful day.

There was something, however that was missing. Or more specifically, someone.

His brunette head of hair and coy smirk was nowhere to be found in the small apartment - and you checked every room - even the bathroom. But it was as if he had just vanished, or more realistically, probably left early in order to get to work. The possibilities were absolutely endless with the man - you had come to realize, and maybe you deeming the most normal outcome of ‘He’s just gone to work.’ or even ‘He’s gone to buy groceries’, would be a very unwise thing to do. For all you know - he could be trying to drown himself in a nearby lake somewhere, or plotting the world's detonation with a super secret service in the middle of Nebraska.

That still doesn’t change the fact that he isn’t here, regardless.

‘And that also doesn’t change the fact..’ Your teeth ground together, while the very well known burst of anger he could only spur began to bubble inside you - the thought only crashing you with ungodly realisation there. ‘That I have absolutely no idea where I am!”

With such a begrudging thought in mind, let's just say that whatever actions had followed you were a lot more.. Forceful, to say the least. When you had went into the very much hated bathroom to wash your face, you turned the faucet on with a lot more vigor than needed, eyes narrowed and feverishly set alight with a wild fire. When you had went to comb your hair with a brush that the man had kept in one of the bathroom drawers - you had done it to a point where each tug strained your scalp. And let's not forget - when you had gazed out at the sky before trudging off to whatever designated destination - you made sure to set a curse on everything that is Dazai Osamu.

‘Somehow..’ Your steps were heavy and definitely driven by an unknown force inside your frail body. Maybe that kicking meter you had implanted had found a new means of taking it's anger out on things. The door that connected his apartment to the bustling outside world of Yokohama city was wrenched open forcefully under your grip - while a gust of wind rushed past your cheeks and swam in your (h/c) locks with warm licks of summer.

‘I have the strangest feeling he did this on purpose!’

 


 

 

Somewhere, in the dark chambers of a secluded underground quarantine area, there sat a youthful girl. Her frail body was perfectly still in a submissive position - barely moving an inch but seeming as though it was not because she was scared to do so. The child’s large doe eyes were like lifeless pools of ice - frozen over while staring right ahead at nothing but a wall, almost shining amidst the dimness of the cell that held her.

“Fear death..”

It was a cold demanding tone, slightly bordering the edge of emotionless. The young girl recognised the vocal strings of her own captures voice - and although something inside her small body twitched in surprise, it was never shown on her unmovable features.

“Fear slaughter. Those who desire death have an equal desire to die.”

Neither a hint nor look of fear adorned the prisoners passive porcelain mask - almost scarily representing a beautiful doll. The man coughed behind his soon-to-be subordinate, taking in her small body sitting politely on the cold ground of the Port Mafia’s dungeon.

“Worthless men.” The dark entity went on, both lifeless eyes that could rival one of a black holes bored straight through and seemed to lock the youth in place. However, the girl didn’t waver once. “ - have no right to draw breath.”

Once that last syllable rolled on his sharp tongue and bounced around the small place, a thunderous roar similar to one of a beast followed. The young female merely noticed as the wall she was so content in staring at was reflected with bolts of crimson and mundane colours of black, simulating that of electricity. A tingle threatened to creep up her spine as it was as if her own instincts seemed to feel that horribly dangerous presence come closer to her at an alarming pace.

Her body, however. Would never move.

Her captures’ eyes only widened in the slightest fashion - not something that anyone could notice, as his rashomon came as close as barely a millimetre from her nape, nevertheless the child didn’t show any intentions to waver. Not even once. The image of a horrifying looking tongue of red and black which seemed to only bring out the girls snowy skin, standardized kimono which dignified she wasn’t used to city life and tied from the back was something to take in. Her silky ebony locks were disheveled as the force of his ability knocked them forward - however the two white ribbons splitting it in two kept them in place.

When she showed no sign to resist, the Port Mafia Dog deemed he should give credit where credit was due. “You resolve is admirable. I will give you a reason to live”

Her milky blue eyes were stern and unfeeling like - and some could even call them somewhat mature in a way. Albeit if you took in the rest of her petite, underdeveloped body paired with the size of her limbs - she was still merely just a child.

A child who was about to be given a reason to live. Although maybe not in the way she could have thought of.

 


 

 

Curse him! Curse that absolutely infuriating man who I even thought, for a second could be a good guy! I hope he falls into a river and drowns somewhere!” Both your eyes shut with exasperation, teeth grinding while bubbling rage fueled you with the urge to kick something. Very forcefully, too. That’s not even an insult to that suicidal, bandage-wearing, beauty mocking, stupid smile looking piece of Agency trash in anyway!!”

So far into the beautiful morning you were having on this bright and happy day in Yokohama city, you have come to learn a few things. You now, had a fond hate for roads and everything car-like, vehicle like, or basically anything to do with crossing them. Believe me, you didn’t even comprehend just how God had somehow dawned a miracle on you back there and swerved that car so it wouldn’t have hit you. But it wasn’t your fault. ‘How was I meant to know those three big lights tell me when and when not to cross the road anyway?’

The next thing you learned about yourself was that you also hated corners. Every single god damn street looked practically the exact same ever since you had left Dazai’s apartment well over an hour ago - trees caged in by fences. High rise apartment blocks, some with stores and food areas at the bottom.

‘Home was never this confusing.”

The high sun was hot and demanded a lot of your energy out of you - and you had endured it through the many turns and circles you had made - but it was as if when you rounded yet another street turn that looked almost exactly as foreign and similar as the last one you had trudge down, it was as if all your energy left you in a very distressed, very urgent whine.

“God dammit!” You yelled up at the bright blue sky, a bead of sweat probably from all the effort you had exerted trailed down the nape of your neck while a few more curse words left you. A growl was erupted from deep within your feral side, earning a few disapproved looks form each passerby that had passed but overall - was answered with nothing but the sound of a distant cat meowing and the obnoxious frightful sound of a car horn trying to move you out of the way.

‘Fuck him for leaving me like this.’ You waved sheepishly at the very-outraged looking driver, before taking yourself to the edge of the pathway. Both hands let your head bury in them, while it could have looked as if you were a lonely weeping woman in the middle of a bustling street - no one would come to notice you were actually trying to curse a certain suicidal maniac to the seven depths of hell. ‘Fuck him. Fuck him. Fuck him!’

‘What did he expect me to do when I woke up? Clean his house or something?’

‘The guy knows I’m not from around here! I told him that last night! Did he just think I knew my way around this weird place with loud moving cars and bright lights that could dictate if one of them kill you? Or the street that look exactly the same? Or people who look at you like your a piece of gum on their shoe if you bump them?!’

Oh how you weren't done there, you had a lot more complaints about his brunette head of hair that you wanted to spill into the darkness of both palms, maybe aided with some form of growl with it too and a voodoo doll. However you wouldn’t be able to get that far - or know for that matter - as something very forceful an heavy knocked into your right shoulder and almost had you stumbling on the equilibrium. Something that had you immediately wrenching both hands back to your side like magnets and spinning around to see who it was that your body had just obstructed from their walking.

“Oh - I’m so sorry!” Your glittering orbs strained slightly in protest at the bright sun, regardless though, it didn’t take them long to adjust.

You blinked in surprise as the man who was behind you seemed to slow slightly in his strides, before completely halting them altogether - back facing you. A very long trench coat dyed in inky black reached almost to his ankles, and although you took in the fact his body was indeed, short, for the average man, you simply couldn't resist the intimidating aura that followed his body even a few metres away. You cocked a questioning eyebrow - at how he wore the long clothing item off his shoulders like a cape, but restrained from laughing out of sheer manners. The stranger had a mess of curly fiery-red hair, similar to Tanizkai’s but maybe a shade darker - that was kept tamed by a fedora of sorts.

‘An interesting… fashion sense..’

All in all - when your gaze finally snapped out of staring - did you find connection back to reality. A dark posterity was what was before you, and something inside told you that knocking into him like that was definitely a wrong move. A wrong move it was indeed.

“Watch where you're goin’.” His slightly deep voice spat in venom, cutting all those anxious thoughts like a knife and seemingly, filling you with not fear or the expected submission of sorrow - maybe you were expected to get down on your knees and beg - but annoyance. And a whole helping of it.

Excuse me?” You raised an eyebrow at his shoulders, voice strong and definitely hot with anger at the same time. “Watch where I’m going? Buddy there is no one on this street at the moment - yet you managed to bump into me even though you could have avoided it completely. How about you watch where you’re going.”

The hat wearing stranger jerked before you - supposedly he wasn’t expecting you to shoot him an answer at all. “Oi - watch your tone with me, princess . What type of woman stops in the middle of a street with her head buried in her hands anyway? What are you, five?”

“So you did see me standing there, yet bumped into me anyway?”

A strong grumble emulated from the voicebox of the slowly increasing-in-anger ticking time bomb that was that stranger in front of you. You, however - were oblivious to such things.

“Of course I did, right after you knocked into me. I got a pair of eyes, if you're not stupid enough to notice.”

“It doesn’t seem they’re functioning correctly, though. You might want to look into that.”

Another dangerous sound reached your ears - except this one sounded almost deeper than the last. Darker. More animalistic , if you wanted to go that far.

“Don’t get me mad, princess. I’m warnin’ you.”

“Well then don’t go randomly knocking people’s shoulders and being so rude to them even after they apologise to you! Man, what is it with you people?!” You couldn't hold it back anymore, as an exasperated release of all the rage you were feeling that morning left you in the form of both hands being shot up in the air and a deep wail of protest. “Why are you all so hostile? I mean, how was I meant know that ‘green’ here is a cryptic code for ‘The street is safe to cross.’? Why do people look at me as though I’m a piece of filth beside them when I accidentally bump into them? Why do those cars make a loud noise when you make a mistake?! Why does Hat wearing strangers threaten you when you knock them in the shoulder?”

Your hopeless noise of exhaustion dignified your little outburst was much needed and definitely pent up while you closed both dulled eyes. You focused on taking deep, much needed breaths back into your airway - focused so much in fact that you didn’t realize that the dark stranger was still in front of you when you opened them again.

A long period of silence stretched between you two. So much in fact that you were stuck for what to say after the first minute of so.

“You done?”

A sigh left your lips, covering your eyes with one palm in a stressed-out manner. “Yeah. Sorry about that.”

“Sorry ‘bout what? Bumping into me or throwin’ a tantrum like a little girl in the middle of a street?”

“Grr.. I should add ‘Why are short hat wearing men pure assholes?’ to that list, too.”

You briefly had the time to wonder why his response wasn’t instant, large eyes opening behind a shielding hand and narrowed - however it wasn’t enough time to act accordingly.

“Did you…” The drop in his octave sent a tingle through your spine - like you were a fearful little girl ready to be scolded by an adult. Yet he was seven times scarier than any adult you could encounter, while you didn't even know what you had did - or said - wrong. “Just… call me… short?”

Someone could count the seconds that had passed after his demanding question - although the designated countee would have only reached to about three before being rudely interrupted. No, not by something like a car making another very loud noise, neither an animal - or not even the end of the world descending upon both of you. It was none of those simple things - but something far more darker. Far more dangerous. And most importantly - far more worse than all of those things put together.

Air caught in your mouth - and before you could control it - you had uncontrollably, unintentionally, burst out laughing.

Chuuya Nakahara - the man who’s name you would come to know fondly - before you, felt the growing annoyance in him take shape and prevent the guy from drawing his gun and shooting you down there. Instead, the Mafia Executive spun around on his heel - trench coat flapping about behind him, and fixing you with an enraged face. “Hey! What are you -”

Then his red field vision focused on what he was scolding - the words dying on their way to the outside world.

A women - no smaller than him, was currently in front of him and doubled over in wrenching laughter. The sound was painfully loud and probably would hurt anyone’s ear if they came into close contact with the noise, but overall., you looked.. Happy. Both large (e/c) eyes were screwed shut and streaking with tears of amusement - while both slim arms clutched her stomach and shook in sync with her small shoulders. The executive had a weird feeling taking place inside him, more confused than all else. And if he wasn’t about to lie - wary - would be in there, too.

If any random passerby who would capture this scene aided with obliviousness would undoubtedly say that she looked like an average person. A normal young female who had just heard the funniest joke in the world. ‘Like a normal girl.’

‘Has this brat… really killed seventeen people?’

Chuuya’s icy blue eyes shone with thought - and just as fast his whole body was on guarded defence. ‘Either she’s really innocent or… really fuckin’ insane.’

Tears blinded you as your belly-hurting chest straining laughter died down to mere chuckles of air. Your hands untangle themselves and reached up to wipe the saline from pooling into your eyes for longer than they were - while the blurry image of your stranger came into view. However, it wasn’t the same shape as the last image your brain could remember him by. This one - even through water - was more rigid looking. Not as dark as the trench-coat expanse you had been talking to moments prior.

A harsh wipe of your sleeve later and some more blinking - your brain clarified that indeed it was far from a large trench coat expanse that met you head on.

The deemed stranger had turned right around to face you, revealing his identity that was still foreign to you. A striking set of blue eyes was the first thing you noticed above all else - icy yet demanding all in the same time. Soft unruly curls of ginger framed his pale complexion and fell unceremoniously before said eyes that locked you down in place. Briefly however - before you could be held in such a captive stare - did you have the time to give the man's physique a once-over. The colours he bore were all kept dark and authoritative, a light grey waistcoat hugged his slim torso while it hid a cream shirt underneath. The area where a tie would necessarily go was filled with something that looked like a black brace - criss crossed and wore around his neck like a stylish choker. The rest of the man's attire was clad in black - you noted before finally meeting his gaze head-on.

The task of suppressing your beautiful fits of laughter however, was indeed a difficult thing to do apparently.

“Oi, I asked you somethin’..” He had grit out, raising an eyebrow yet keeping his face nothing but intimidating. “What’s so funny?”

“N-no.. d-don’t get me wrong..” You had begun giggling again, and honestly - for you it was out of character. Still, something inside of you - regardless of how much you rehired subconscious was practically yelling - you just couldn’t seem to shake the amusement off. “It’s not… you… hah.. It’s j-just..” You broke off again, the same chuckles coming back up and morphing into louder forms of laughter. “For a g-guy… as intimidating as you… who w-would know you w-were so insecure about… about your size.”

Heat prickled at the back of Chuuya Nakahara’s neck, while the sheer voice of ‘Don’t kill her. Don’t kill her. This is a job. You can’t kill her. Don’t do it.’ setting a repeat cycle in his mind was the only thing saving your little life right now. You wouldn’t know it now, but you would come to notice that pissing off the man that went by the name Chuuya Nakahara, was something many people didn’t get out of to see the next day. You would also come to realise how god damn lucky you are.

The hat-bearing, royally pissed off Mafia member let you finish - tapping the ground in an almost fast humming pace - doing simply anything his tunneled mind could to stop the urge to end your life right then and there. However, the homicidal images of you lying dead on the pathway with a bullet hole aimed beautifully in between those big eyes of yours that was residing in his mind would have never reached you in any way. And even if it did - you doubted it would be enough to make you stop laughing.

You finally regained composer after - about thirty or so seconds - before you could actually form words right without looking like a choking frog or red-faced child. However when you finally did decide to begin talking again - you were first met with a very long-faced looking stranger across from you, an aggravated glint lighting is pale eyes with blue fire.

His eyebrow raised - as if to question ‘Are you finished?’ or something of the category.

“Yeah… sorry..” An amused expression graced your features while you thought back to what had made you laugh in the first place, but then tried to suppress it as you knew you'd fall apart all over again.

Apparently, you also learned that your suppression skills also sucked that day - too.

The noise of another fit of laughter met the executives sharp ears - and he was about to turn right around and stalk the other way - because if he stayed any longer you wouldn’t have enough air to take your next breath. The sound of his long coat flapping stole the humor from you like a magic trick - before a hint of panic rang right inside you while forcing you to reach out.

“Wait! Please - I need a bit of help.”

The stranger scoffed, and it was as if you were both in the same position as before. You, being the one to talk to a large canvas of black - while he didn’t turn to face you. “Why would I help you?”

‘I’m only meant to be keeping an eye on you.’

“Because… uh...  you’re a nice guy?”

“Oh princess.” The man turned slightly over his shoulder, before shooting you a cocky looking smile - his eyes shining the same way. “I’m everything but a nice guy.”

You were hit with muteness, while you watched the stranger take off down the road once again. His legs - excusing the fact of how short they were - carried him swiftly in the opposite direction with no hesitation at all.

“H- hey!” You yelled after him, the voice following in long echo’s. “I didn’t catch your name!”

Chuuya Nakahara quirked an eyebrow at you bold statement, however not turning around to meet your gaze once again. His gloved hand reached up into the air - and you watched it with so much confusion etched into your complexion while you froze stiff.

“I didn’t throw it.”

His last departing sentence resounded off of the walls of your mind like a taunting chant - laced with the same cocky tone you found he wore like a charm. His dark figure became smaller and smaller in the distance, before turning the corner you developed a hate to - and disappeared completely from view.

You were astounded at what just happened for a minute. Complexed - or starstruck would be the words for it as the spot rooted you in the middle of the street for the span of a few seconds. However - that span was that of a short one as the trace of inquiries vanished from your brain and brought you back to the present. The present that it took you a moment to realize - you were still in the same position you were in before hand!

“Man!” You growled, throwing your hands up in the air while turning around the street that looked the same as every other you had trudged down that morning. The dilemma you had forgotten about crashed down on you in a tsunami of dread and frustration - while you had absolutely no idea where you were or how to get to the Agency. Again. “What is up with you people, anyway!?”

The strangers eyes were calculating - while a smirk made its way to his mouth from the wall he had turned and was now leaning against, probably listening to your anguish. ‘Looks like, she’ll be a much more interestin’ person then I thought.’

His grin faltered however - when that joyful face of yours popped into his head and stubbornly decided to stay there - even when he threatened to punch it out if he had to. Both icy eyes closed in pondering, while he gathered his thoughts back with a soft sigh - shaking the image from his mind and focusing on his sole objective, and sole objective only.

‘Let’s get this over with..’

 

Chapter Text

Every step the man took - regardless of how soft they were - emitted harsh echo’s around the small room as if to taunt any nervous entity that was present. However, the owner of such steps would never be nervous, hell he didn’t even remember the last time he felt such a thing.

“Please take a seat, Mr.Osamu.”

The agent in question smiled gleefully at the address of his formal name, and when he glanced at the aging government official that he had to pull a few strings to see seated across from him - as if looking for any final obligations - he did as was asked. Both men of various different ages and backgrounds were now enclosed in a space of little artificial light, each caging wall of the boxed-in room was clad in black and undoubtedly soundproof - while the only pieces of furniture present were a sleek table of white along with two equally bland chairs that stood out in the centre of the space.

“I must say..” The younger of the two, kept the same smile up as if trying to regain politeness, while clasping both hands in front of him. “I thank you for taking time out of your schedule to see me, Assistant Chief of Police, Dairoku Fujikawa.”

The man seated across never let the coldness in his eyes rise - while he locked an intimidating gaze at the familiar face that beckoned him from office that day. “I should be saying the same to you, Ex-Port Mafia criminal and Appointed Agent of the A.D.A, Dazai Osamu.”

The Agent quirked a smile, before waving the air with nothing but a palm wrapped with bandages. “Now now, Fujikawa-san. I believe we’ve already cast off the information about my former profession even after all this time.”

“I would ask you not to address me so formally, Dazai.” The Chief’s tone was cold and distant, while the brunette sighed a sigh that was amplified by the empty room around them. “The select few of the Department have overlooked your previous occupation for the sake of this town, but that does not mean I have forgotten about it.” His wise, aged eyes shimmered with flicks of anger in the blue colour they held. “I simply like reminding myself that there is a criminal sitting across from me, nothing more.”

“I see you’re just as cold as ever.. “ The Agent folded both arms defiantly across his chest while leaning back in the seat, although never breaking their gaze once.

“What is the purpose you have asked me here?” The aging Chief shifted in his seat, while the temperature between both men only seemed to drop by the passing second.

“A negotiation.”

“Negotiation? On what topic?”

“Well..” The bandaged-brunette agent of the ADA began to tap his foot on the floor of the room, causing the soft sound to be amplified in a rhythmic tick. A tick that would interfere with anyone’s train of thought, and even cloud someone's judgement if they could be pushed that far. However, the agent knew he wasn’t dealing with someone who could be easily pushed over or swayed by reasoning, and he knew it more than well.

“It would be something I would like to discuss in privacy, if that’s not too much to ask..”

The Chief raised a perplexed graying brow. “We are in complete privacy. This room is probably the most secure place we have in this facility.”

“Is that so, Fujikawa-san.” The Chief watched as his client gestured behind one of his shoulders, at the large expanse of the wall behind them. “Then could you please tell these kind gentleman that it’s rude to listen in on other people’s conversations?”

The whole room went still - like a void in both time and space - as the air caught for a moment in the Chief’s lungs. Truth be told, when the man did catch the eye of the fugitive he had come across during his younger days of a rookie trainee - he couldn’t help but get the feeling that he was a completely altered man at first glance. For instance, he had grown about two inches from the last time they had stumbled upon each other - while the whole attire he used to harbored was now swapped for clothes of the more lighter tones. The Mafia Executives’ hair was longer and covered one of his bandaged eyes when the police squadron had him surrounded that night - however now they were both altered completely. Yes, he had to almost blink twice when he had come waltzing into the room moments prior, and was almost adamant on the fact that the young man could have changed.

‘It’s almost laughable..’ The Chief thought only to himself, while the images of a quaint young boy standing on his own in the middle of the vacant alleyway, rain plummeting down while an army of Mafia Assassins stood stoic behind them bloomed to mind.The whole squadron that had so carefully planned this stealth attack was now reduced down to their knees - while the rookie watched their plan unravel right at the seems. By no other than that same young boy.

“You haven't changed a bit, have you..?” He breathed out in a low amused chuckle, before raising his arm in the air and giving some form of signal towards the wall behind them both. As if on cue - the screen lit up to reveal that not only was the room they were in not private, but that it was even being monitored by a team of young officers inside a whole different conjoining area. The brunette merely turned at the sight of the whole back wall being a mirror-screen, and gave each officer a lopsided, boyish grin.

The three men behind the now translucent screen stiffened slightly, a glower slipping into each impassive face at how easily they were spotted - however complied to their Chiefs orders and began filing out of the room one by one.

“Now..” The Agent blinked, before turning back as the Chief let out a strained wisp of air. “The informant team have filed out, so tell me.” The aged man set his eyes down to the files sitting along the blank table in front of them both. “What is your business with the Yokohama Police Force, Dazai Osamu?”

 

A windmill turned above - as if with no beginning or not end. Had no destination nor any intention to do so. The wood passed over the high morning sun at every rotation it completed - giving the break a brief shadow that barely had time to cascade down before the panels kept moving again. His brown eyes fixated on the infinite dance of the turbine - something the agent did so often when he came here to think, before a bird had fluttered by and snapped him out of his staring altogether.

The high wall gave him a perfect view of the park that situated itself in the middle of Yokohama - aided with a fountain that glistened in the morning rays, while a few onlookers would sit and feed some of the birds that landed in the water at this hour of day. The lush green vegetation which was thriving at this time of year rustled in the summer breeze - leaves splaying about sparsely against the clear blue sky.

Dazai closed his eyes for a couple of seconds - as if to put all of his thoughts to rest and sit himself in the moment while the warm wisps of air rushed past his cheeks. However - it seemed as though the enclosed agreement in the form of paper that was also resting on the wall beside him under his bandaged palm simply wasn’t letting those thoughts dissipate. The file he had successfully managed to obtain made the brunette smile wryly in satisfaction - while a familiar face was brought to mind.

‘(Y/n)..’

The file he now held in two hands seemed heavy, while he chose to stare at it as his thoughts began to consume the sharp agent once again. Slow, calculated thoughts that made his brain race at unimaginable speeds. However - he wouldn’t be able to sink far enough before he was wrenched back into the here and now by a very obnoxious, rather loud squak right down on the ground beneath him.

Both dark brown eyes slipped down in curiosity, almost attracted by the rash ear-splitting sound, however they only narrowed in an even more sense of perplexity at the small bird that was staring right up at him with a set of beady eyes. It’s ebony feathers caught the light however didn’t reflect it well enough as it was engulfed in the dark colour. Dazai cocked his head in an amused way at the little raven that didn’t seem to want to budge - and only briefly had the time to wonder what in the world a seasonal bird typical to Autumn was doing in such a hot month here.

The bird squaked up at the agent once more, louder than the last time before it bent over and took off in a flutter of dark feathers and loud noises. The file still hung loosely in his grasp as the agent of the ADA watched the bird become smaller and smaller in the clear sky before it seemed to disappear completely into the distance, leaving nothing but a thought that slowly faded in his quick mind, before the brunette shifted his attention towards the spinning windmill once more.

‘I wonder…’ Your sleeping face came back to his mind when he had awoken after his brief two hour sleep only to stumble among the very, odd position you had deemed comfortable to sleep in. One leg had hooked itself around the duvet he had thrown down to you - while the rest of your body had arched in a random way that would hurt anybody’s spine - however despite the fact you looked completely at peace. The new rays of the sun, Dazai had noticed, were lighting your soft features in a semi-what vulnerable kind of way, both eyes fluttered shut in peaceful slumber.

The file was set aside on the wall once more, as the question popped into his mind and made him smirk up at the turning panels of wood ahead. ‘..If you found your way to the Agency, (y/n).’

 


 

“Uhm, excuse me? Could you -” The seventh person you had stopped that morning gave you a strange look - his youthful yet hard features evading you completely while he began walking briskly down the street. You watched as he slug the briefcase along - his whole posterior seeming very cold altogether and definitely not-friendly, while you couldn't help but pinch the bridge of your nose. ‘That’s the second person who has looked at me that way since I met that hat-wearing guy over an hour ago!’

So far, after that brief encounter you experienced - over an hour ago - you had taken it in yourself to try find the Agency if it was the very last thing you did. Or well, it was really the only thing you could do at the time as you really didn’t have a phone, nor did you know how to use one. That and, you lacked any form of navigation, or map, or basic knowledge of any city like this one whatsoever.

Long story short, you were inevitably hopeless from the start.

You took some time to take in a few long deep breaths, trying to sort out a coherent thought and put it into play somehow. Which, if you thought about it - you had done about eight or so times in the past five minutes and whenever you thought you had found a solution to your predicament - it was always shut down in some way. You firstly, after trying to search for the mysterious hat man and with the intent to beg him to help you - you tried looking for the most easiest way. Signs. ‘They must have signs or something to the Agency, right?’

Oh, how you were unfathomably wrong.

You didn’t understand it! Nowhere seemed to have any form of sign pointing to the Agency, anywhere! You remember passing huge ones that advertised pet-shops, shopping markets, beauty places, but nowhere that could be important to people like an Armed Detective Agency. You also tried to search for some large maps that you noticed yesterday when walking with the other three that they enclosed in large boxes, presumably for tourists and people such as you who didn’t know their way around the city. However, you couldn't find any of them besides the one yesterday - and you helpfully couldn't remember how to get to that one, either.

So you decided to go for option two - ask someone.

The most answers you got out of the people who didn’t ignore you was either “ I’ve never heard of such a place, darling..’ or ‘Could you speak up a little? I can’t seem to hear you.’ The rest of the people either shook their head or tried to invite you into their restaurant they owned, which was a struggle and a half to get out of, mind you.

You released the bridge of your nose, while you blinked rapidly in pondering at the pavement below. ‘I thought these people were like, really big hot-shots in this city.. So why, does nobody seem to know who they are?!’

‘Maybe because you have been asking only old people and mainly children, perhaps?’

You scowled at your kitten heels that clacked against the pavement below with a heated gaze, while a myriad of other options flew past in a whirlwind through your thoughts. Each thought registering for a split second, each though blowing into a mist of nothing. You let out a whine, the summer heat making you all but more cranky as you deemed that it was hopeless after all.

“Are you alright there, dearie?”

It took a while, but when it finally clicked that the sweet voice was indeed, talking to you - did you snap up way to fast and began glancing around at the notion that someone could be of help of you in this dire situation. However, your gaze was met with a very frail, very old looking lady who was probably shorter than you - clad in a bright pink apron, her white thinning hair twisted up into a bun while she wore a kind smile. Your eyes flitted back to the small tea-shop she was sweeping the front of - and you honestly felt like sloping back down in despair as the hope left you all at once.

“Listen, lady.” You drawled in an exhausted voice, pointing at the vacant shop behind her. “I’m sorry, but I really don’t have the time to stop by at your shop. Believe me, I’ve already turned down one of you today, and I don’t intend to -”

You were cut short when the old women fixed you with a confused sparkle in her pale green eyes. A look of confusion which, you mistook for a look of plea.

A sense of guilt filled you right up from the core, while you retracted your hand back. “Uhm.. or I can stop by later? Sorry.. I’ve just..” Your lungs let out a sigh, before you closed your eyes and said in a softer tone. “I’ve not had the best morning.. Okay?”

The little woman didn’t say a lot to you right away, but more so set her broom aside and began padding down at the vibrant piece of fabric strapped around her waist. “And what is causing such a young girl to have a bad morning? It’s such a lovely morning after all, isn’t it?”

You blinked slowly in surprise that she actually, wasn’t one of those horribly annoying restaurant vultures that single-handedly tried to pull you into their weird looking place minutes prior. You raised an eyebrow in suspicion - however when you saw her soft kind of smile and warm-cuddly aura, did you force yourself to stand upright and smile back. “I .. uh.. Suppose so..”

The woman looked over at you again - and before you know it - she had stormed right out of her little terrace faster than any small old lady should be able to go. You barely had any time to feel confused, as a hard spank of someone’s hand reverberated on your back - emitting a squeak of confusion while you shot up bulletin-board straight.

“What’s a young thing like you doing slouched over?” Her tone sounded like a scolding Mother, however in no way scary. She sounded a lot more caring than what you were used to, albeit that definitely didn’t stop your eyebrows from drawing and your glower spreading down your features as you spun around to face her.

Ow! - What was that for?"

Her hands were on her small hips as she gave you a disapproved sort of stare. “A small little thing such as yourself - “ You felt like saying ‘Look who’s talking’ but hesitated. For many reasons - the sheer look in her eyes being one of them. “ - being hunched over and saddened looking on this beautiful day? You’ll be the reason I get no customers, I’ll tell you such a thing!”

You grabbed the side of your arm, a set of youthful eyes of (e/c) meeting glazed and disapproving green ones.

“I don’t know!” You sheepishly let out. ‘ For a small old lady, she sure was intimidating.’ “I just.. Nothing has been going.. Right and.. I’m at a loss at the moment ok?!”

The lady shook her head, that warm aura still enveloping you two but still - such a thing would never match the look she was giving you at the moment. Like an elderly Mother scorning her child for reaching into the cookie jar and getting caught. “I swear.. The things young people worry about these days..”

You were about to retaliate - however you were stopped dead short when all you took in was the strange lady spinning right around and stalking off towards the front of the dainty little shop she must have owned. You noticed however - that such a shop harbored nothing but barren tables and chairs, despite the large ‘Open’ sign that hung aloft the door.

The broom she had set down was picked up again, and you watched as her frail body had raised it and began pointing straight down the long street littered with trees and a few sparse people. “Armed Detective Agency is down straight, first building on the left corner.”

You were mute for a few seconds, before your jaw literally could have hit the ground. “Wha- uh.. Huh?”

‘How.. did she…?’

“Words spread quick in this town.” She glanced back at you, a wry smile ghosting her face as you caught something glinting in her wise old eyes. “Go, quickly. And never feel hopeless like that again, as long as there is a sun over your head and air in your lungs - you’ll always have a way out.”

You were flabbergasted to much to a point that you froze for the fraction of a second right on the spot - the summer breeze flying past both you and this mysterious savior of yours that honestly looked like an angel dressed in pink with a broomstick instead of a bow and arrow standing before you. However, you were snapped out of the shock-induced trance when the woman gave you another ‘Don’t-test-me’ gaze, while wiggling her broomstick slightly.

Your eyes went wide, as you hastily bowed in gratitude at the lady before taking off down the road, shouting back over your shoulder. “I’ll be sure to buy some of your tea, Miss, as a thank you!”

The elderly woman dropped her broom with a sigh, watching as your retreating back along with swaying short-cut hair flopped away in the breeze. When you became too small for her eyesight to see, did she place the broom back and enter her small shop once more.

“I swear..” The small enticing sound of a bell sent a merry sound throughout the tidy little place, while she turned to the customer that had been sitting in the corner of the shop and watched over the whole ordeal with his hard steel eyes. A sword say beside his relaxed position clad in a signature olive-green yukata, while a mop of graying aged hair billowed down his shoulders. “I don’t know what you see in her, Fukuzawa.”

The President of the Armed Detective Agency looked over at the woman with a peculiar yet amused gaze, over the cup he was currently taking a large gulp from.

“I mean, she doesn’t seem that brilliant in my eyes, nor at all smart. And so hopeless for a lady of her status and youth.” The lady shook her head in disapproval, before proceeding to pick one of the rags up and wipe down the counter of the few tables which filled the tea shop.

“Well, you’ve always been stubborn Akira.”

Akira gave him a stingy glance from where she was scrubbing, even though there was no dirt nor dust there whatsoever. “And I can see you’re just as dumb as you’ve always been, too.”

The two stared at each other for a short while, before the President let out a breathy laugh of amusement - setting the small teacup down on the table with a loud clink . The lady shook her head once more, before straightening up and gazing out the window. “You and that ridiculous Agency of Specially Gifted malarky of yours. Honestly, I had never heard something so dumb in my life.”

The President didn’t feel like answering right away, but simply proceeded to gaze out of the two small windows in a similar fashion.

“But look where that idea got you.. Who knew?” Akira scoffed dryly, however not as harshly as the elderly shop-owner usually would retaliate to anything. “Your dumbass idea actually worked, and now you’re at the top of one of the most elite forces in Yokohama.”

Both old friends grew silent for a few moments, nothing but the distant sounds of summer birds and chattering people clicking against the thin panes of glass. The inside however, was a comfortable sound of two people enjoying each one’s company.

The elderly lady placed the rag she was using down, closing her eyes in an act of tranquility.

“Time sure flies, huh?”

 


 

Your ankles were absolutely on fire at the exertion you were putting them though - while the sound of your heels clacking against the street caused each passerby you sped past in a mess of short breaths and “So sorry!” whenever you bumped unceremoniously into someone, stare at you.

‘Dammit..’ You had craned a neck around and around the street you were still blindly running down - not catching a glimpse of anything redbrick that looked remotely like the Agency at all. ‘Did I turn down one of the wrong corner’s?’

Apparently, you would come to learn that your attention was way too focused on the strange looking buildings around you - because before you knew it - you were hit with a string of unfortunate events as the heel of one of your shoes got caught deep into a crack in the pavement that had you lurching forward. But not straight onto the street in front of you, no. I said ‘string’ of unfortunate of events as you seemed to go toppling into something a lot softer and warmer than a pavement. Something that could also make sound, too.

It then came to you that you had just ran straight into - and knocked over - a human being.

“Agh-!”

“Oof-!”

The minute you had hit the deck with the stranger underneath you - was the minute you had shot right back up and gazed down with frantic eyes at the person under you as you had to brace yourself on top for balance. A sense of recognition shot through you, as the person underneath was definitely a boy. A young boy who had a very familiar choppy-cut head of gray hair, one side a lot lengthier than the other. Your eyes only widened further as the puzzle fitted together in your brain - at the sight of his pale skin, attire of slacks and gloves missing the fingertips. However, you only clarified as the sense dawned on you when the familiar boy had opened both confused eyes mixed with golden-violet pools - and stared right up at you.

“Oh - A-atsushi! I’m so sorry!” You clambered up off the weretiger co-worker of yours, a heat of embarrassment spreading across the back of your neck. “I didn’t see… where I was going..”

You watched as the agent slowly picked himself up off the ground wordlessly - which had originally worried you - although when he was at his full height, did he give you a small smile. “It’s ok, (Y/n). Are you ok?”

You cocked your head at the way his smile didn’t sit right with you. It wasn’t that it looked angry, or even hurt for that manner. But he looked more so - sad.

“I’m fine.. Really it was my fault.” You decided to laugh it off, however the thought you wanted to spill that was bugging you since you had woken up yesterday, prioritized itself first. “Are you ok?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah I’m fine. You’re not that heavy - “ The tiger laughed slightly with you, before rubbing the back of his neck in an awkward way.

“No.. I mean, are you okay? You know.. Your injuries from yesterday.”

You watched as Atsushi trained his beautifully irregular eyes downcast, the whole expression he wore being one of sorrow and guilt. However, you couldn't pinpoint why.

“Yeah.. I’m good..”

It also only dawned on you that he had a satchel of some sort slung around his right shoulder.

“Well.. I’ll get going then..” You stood there and watched while the agent offered you a kind smile that was but a mask for so many other feelings, as he brushed past you slowly and began to walk the other way. The thought only hit you in a wave of panic there as you blurted out the last of your conversation - or so you thought.

“Atsushi?” You watched as his shoulders stiffened, however he didn’t stop completely. “I’m actually a bit lost myself. If it’s not.. Too much.. Could you lead me back to the Agency?”

This time round, the young weretiger halted altogether, his whole posture hunched over.

“I’m sorry.. (y/n)..” His tone was apologetic, yet much more distressed and smaller than you’ve ever heard him speak before. “I can’t.. Lead you back to the Agency.”

The panic coursed through you and dictated the next few moves your body made, while you began to worry for the most of a few different reasons.

“Well.. then can I stick with you until you go back? It’s just.. I’ve been running around all morning trying to find directions because that idiot of a superior wasn’t there when I woke up and I’m just really confused and…” You searched for the right words to say. “I’m just a bit desperate, if you want to put it that way.”

Atsushi was quiet for a few minutes - and probably the longest damn minutes of your whole life - before he turned around to face you with a depressive mask adorning his kind features.

“I don’t think I can.. Go back to the Agency anymore.. (y/n). I’m sorry.”

You stood stoic before him, the words being robbed right form your mouth. “What.. do you mean?”

“I mean… it would be a lot better… if I wasn't in the Agency. For your safety.. And everyone else's too.”

Your whole expression drew together in a mix of aggravation and confusion dancing across your whole face. ‘What has gotten into him?’

“Atsushi what are you talking about?” Your voice was rising at the sight of the hopeless-looking agent that had been nothing but friendly to you from the very first day you had been here. “What do you mean you can’t go back?”

I mean.” His voice was rising too - while both his fists began shaking at his sides. “That I shouldn't go back. The Port Mafia is after me, not you guys. And you saw what happened to Naomi-san and Tanizaki-san when I was involved. (Y/n), they could have been killed, because of me!” The weretiger was now staring at you head-on, those eyes of his glittering slightly with un-shed tears. “That’s why… that’s why… I’ve decided to leave.. The ADA.”

“Atsushi why-” You went to intervene, however it didn't seem like he was finished just yet.

“I’ve already called the Port Mafia..” His voice began shaking uncontrollably, while bile began rising in your throat at the danger he had just put himself in calling the Mafia like that -like he was hand nailing a target right to his back! “So… they can leave the Agency alone...and come for me. This is my burden.. I don’t want anyone else getting hurt because of me!”

He went silent after that - the last syllables of his sentence rang out in your ears, and simultaneously made the fire inside of you burn intensely.

“How do you think I feel?”

“Eh?” The tiger gazed at you with a frustrated yet concerned look at the sound of your low voice.

“I said..” You gazed down at the ground, refusing to meet his eyes or you thought you might explode. “ How do you think I feel? Me, someone who can’t even control her ability, Atsushi? How do you think I feel when I see you guys everyday, when there’s something inside me that keeps reminding me that I could kill you all and not know I’m doing it?” The weretiger took a wary step back while you took one forward, your head now raised and fixing him with a hot gaze.

“How do you think I feel, when I was crouched behind you in a desperate attempt to shield myself, Atsushi? How did you think I felt when I almost blacked out in that alleyway, Atsushi? How did you think I felt, when I almost killed you all there blindly if it wasn’t for Dazai that came and stopped me from doing it? Atsushi, how do you think I feel?”

Atsushi opened his mouth, then closed it. And opened it once more representing a fish of sorts.

“Yes, Atsushi, I get it. You feel hopeless. You feel like shit, I understand.” You softened your expression slightly, before stepping forward once more. This time, the weretiger didn’t step back. “You feel like there’s no way out, right? Like if you just removed yourself from the world, it would be a better place, right?”

The tiger’s eyes glittered once more, however he didn’t show any sign of remorse nor despair. He was more - surprised than anything. Maybe even utterly astounded, if you will.

“But I was told something today..” The image of a small lady with a scary look and a broomstick came to mind. “That as long as the sun is in the sky, and there is air in your lungs, then there will always be a way out.”

Both of you stared at each other for a few moments, the look of sadness melting off of the kind boy's face and being replaced with the same softness you were known with.

“How about it? You gave him a smile, more silly than anything - while you went to turn sound  back down the route you just took. “We could each struggle for that same way out, despite how fucked up our conditions are?”

The tiger had made a move to follow you - much to your relief - however the triumph was shortly lived in a small burst of nothing as the very next action - or deafening sound - made both of you snap up in alert. Atsushi trained his wide skillful eyes around the area, even the sky before he made a noise of caution at the direction both of you gazed at.

Smoke clouded the air not far away, followed by a large noise of commotion close by.

Something clicked in both of your brains, thankfully that lady’s voice and directions gave you the intel to know just how dreadful the situation was. You and Atsushi turned to each other - both sets of eyes glimmering with anxiety.

“The Agency!”

 

Chapter Text

Glass cracked and shattered in splints from above - causing the windows of the ADA to be reduced to nothing but wooden frames against the red brick building. The shards caught the sunlight for a moment before they toppled towards the ground below - closely followed by the shells of bullets that made a more audible sound when hitting the pavement and bounced in every direction.

Citizens that were around the building at the time had looks of fright and disbelief in their eyes - while the noise of gun rounds was becoming more and more increased the closer you and Atsushi got to the building. Each person you passed gave you a weird look - maybe they were confused to why you two were blindly running towards a building that was under attack - but each of those stares were ignorant. Ignorant to the fact that you two were indeed agents of the Armed Detective Agency, and if the situation was turned of it's head, simply not running blindly towards the Agency building when it was under attack would probably be classified as the crazier thing to do.

‘But would I…. Consider myself an Agent of the ADA?’

The thought was something you made your mind focus on - for the sole aspect of keeping yourself calm in this dreadful situation as Atsushi tugged on your wrist more forcefully in an attempt to make himself pick up the pace. You had never actually considered it, now that it was on your mind and all the voices, noises, and images around you merged into a state of nothing as you stared blankly ahead. ‘I haven't done anything for this Agency yet, even though they have done a hell of a lot for me. And I couldn’t even protect someone when they were in need, nor do I even have any attachment to the people here yet, either.’

Another loud crash of bullets on glass made you snap back up to the walls of the building, now with even more rigid cracks in the unmorphed windows as the people below seemed to scatter in a myriad of panicked shuffling and fearful shouts. You narrowed your eyes, letting the dark question come to you just this once - a question that was shadowed by a human's’ basic instinct to fend for themselves in time of need.

‘So why… am I…. putting my life on the line for people I barely know?’

“Around here, (Y/n). Hurry!”

‘Ah.’

His voice was the answer, while he stood there at the glass paneled doors and looking at you with a frenzied spark in his feral eyes. And it was if, suddenly, you were transported back to that alleyway where you were clutching onto dear life in, while his small frail body had made a desperate attempt to protect you even if it meant throwing away the life of his own. You remembered how scared you were, how lost you had been and if it weren’t for that very boy’s reassurance, then hell maybe you wouldn’t even be standing here and breathing in the same air as the rest of the people do on this Earth.

Then, it was as if someone dropped a pebble into a lake of still water - and the whole memory was rippled until you were back in the Agency on your first day there - feeling Yosano’s long yet nimble fingers rake through your hair and every now and then, you would feel a small tug on one of the tendrils as it fell to the floor. You remembered the siblings who had given you the warmest welcome when you had joined them for tea that afternoon, smiling and inviting as they could be holding onto one another. And then… a stone was launched into the pool of water, making every single memory you were reliving completely disappear in droplets and sloshes - until your mind was filled with on man and one man only.

Sitting not far away from you on the bed of his own, smiling coyly yet understanding, before inviting you in to sleep in his room when you had the slightest speculation that he definitely wouldn’t.

Standing in front of your bed, until the only view you could see was his waistcoat expanse of a back - one arm wrapped with bandages while clutching onto his co-workers’ fervently. You remembered his brown hair, his immobile yet protective stance, the way the taser had completely vanished into a blinding light of green.

Standing behind you, arm twisted harshly in place against the small of your back while facing a squad of police men head on - all but only to spare you a chance to be free.

His dark eyes that glinted in the dim space, a boyish kind of smile, a soft yet determined tone in his voice.

“You saved my life.”

Something was laced deeply behind those words, like an uncanny emotion. An aspect you couldn’t exactly pinpoint then nor can you now for that matter. But you remembered how serious his face looked, remembered how much he had changed from the time you stumbled upon a young boy on the verge of death in a warehouse during a fated storm-filled night.

You remembered them all, each member of the Armed Detective Agency smiling at you fondly as they gathered around the main office table you noticed the usually do. Yes, you remembered it all. You remembered them, but mostly - begrudgingly or not - you remembered him .

“So let me save yours.”

“Who am I kidding?” A bemused smirk lifted the side of your lips as the water went still, while the memories had pushed you to a conclusion your body was searching for. Supposedly, such a solution had caused your muscles to carry you forward - following Atsushi in a blind sprint through the glass doors and stumbling head first into impending danger.

‘Because they’ve been protecting me all this time already.’

You watched as Atsushi before you yanked the satchel over his head and threw it violently down to the side - not even giving you a second glance over his shoulder as the weretiger surged forward. Your heels caused an even more rhythmic echo that danced around the walls - and ironically - something that was chillingly similar to the deafening cracks that could revile thunder resounding from above you, even muffled by the walls and ceiling alike. As if, for each loud clap your acrylic heels resonated - it was followed by an even more ferocious, body-chilling, blood curdling echo that drove you and Atsushi to pick up the speed.

‘Shit… shitshitshitshit.’ You tore up the stairs, your mind sweeping you away in a dreadful typhoon. ‘Who’s up there? How many are dead? Who the hell would shoot up an Agency in broad daylight?’

‘Damn.’

Another step was left behind you, while the door of the office came into your line of vision.

‘Damn.’

And another.

‘Damn!’

The last wooden step whined under your weight - before you pushed off of it with all your strength inside each fibre of your body, and before you knew it - you had come hurtling through the empty door frame and into a space of blood, danger, and gunfire.


 

….

Or that, was what you initially thought.

The light settled once you had come to a screeching halt through the door frame - while Atsushi’s shrill cry of “Stop!” hit you in the right ear and any other normal day would have probably made you wince, it didn’t even make you budge from your stone-stance with wide eyes. Wide (e/c) eyes that had the liberty of perceiving the scene in front of you - the words ‘ unexpected’ being very far off from the feeling your body was experiencing right now.

‘What….’

A blonde ponytail glinted in the warm rays that were now very prominent due to the empty window-frames, while the familiar cold face and impassive eyes looked as though they were glazed and downcast, falling to the ground. Or, however - that was what you thought to yourself firstly, before you allowed your stiff gaze to follow up where the blonde was focusing his hands and and suddenly came to the realization that maybe the blonde actually, wasn’t falling to his utmost demise.

‘The…’

Your eyes shifted, only to both the agent’s hands wrapped around another person’s - who you have never seen before’s - arm, the aged man being flipped not so ceremoniously into the air. You only had a split second to take in the man’s features, and maybe even lesser time when he was launched into the air. A definite man - maybe in his fifties, was now suspended completely - his body wrapped in a white shirt along with a dark trench coat catching the wind and was sent billowing in all directions. His face that was plastered with graying facial hair wore a look of utter disbelief while his monocle shone with the same kind of feeling. You blinked, maybe with the same sheer disbelief in your eyes as the man was flipped upside down and sent to the ground with a loud *thump*. And maybe - judging from the sound - a few broken bones too.

‘Hell?’

The walls of the room were definitely ruined beyond any form of cheap repair - bullet holes scattered all around the pale yellow paint while glass littered the floor. Both you and your weretiger companion stood there with equally feelings of perplexity - eyeing each pretty unharmed agent of the ADA as they completely gained the upper hand in the situation, regardless of the obvious number disadvantage. A boy - who looked pretty young and someone you hadn’t actually spotted yet - completely kicked one of the opponents out of the way cleanly and caught the firearm with a large smile on his young face - falling back on someone who was unconscious underneath. Yosano too, kicked another with a powerful force in her slender leg, while even Ranpo was sitting on the table and looking quite bored with whatever was going on.

“Oh, so you’re finally back, brat?”

The first agent you had seen within walking in - Kunikida - fixed Atsushi with a displeased look, twisting his victims arm and earning a pain filled howl.

“Uhh…” Atsushi made a noise that was neither a question nor an answer, and honestly - judging by the whole scenario - you couldn't blame him.

“Ah, you’re here too.” He had turned to you too - his expression slightly colder but otherwise, displeased with what he was seeing either way. “Honestly, where did you two go at such a time?”

“Uhm.. ah… well…” Atsushi tried to mumble something out, however it was as if someone invisible had grabbed his tongue and tied it, deprived him from doing so.

You were just about to go save him from his soon to be death judging from past experiences with this guy - maybe to pit the blame on yourself for making him late - when something had made you stop. Something, being to do with the man on the ground under you three.

A glint - like light somehow catching against an object pulled your gaze from the angry looking co-worker who was scolding the frazzled weretiger above him down to the man currently lying on his back. A morbidly desperate look etched his graying features - while a purely evil glint shone for anybody to see in his eyes as he reached into his coat with a free white-gloved arm. A feeling kicked inside you when you say the metal glint as he tried to pull it out from his position - something that jerked your instincts to take over and before you knew it - you had opened your mouth.

“Kunikida watch behind you!”

The agent gave you the brevity of a short glance - before he snapped back to whoever was laying beneath him and twisted his arm even more, inevitably causing him to wail with protest and lose his grip on whatever he was trying to reveal. Metal clattered against the cool wood of the floor - before a shiny looking handgun slid from his white glove along the shiny floor and only came to a halt when it had collided with the nearest table. Regardless of such, Kunikida didn’t take it as any indication to stop bending the man’s arm in a painful direction - albeit the fact that he was now unarmed. Not before his victims eyes dulled slightly - before he gave into the demand of unconsciousness and lay limp o the floor before him.

You felt Atsushi’s large eyes on you from your left, however - made no attempt to meet them. You were way too caught up in your own thoughts even to do such a thing, watching as the agent before you stretched to his full height and began dusting his legs off lightly like he had just finished cleaning something like a  cabinet or such. And - now that you gave it some attention - the entirety of the rest of the Agency members also looked as if they were the most relaxed group of people in the world - excusing the fact that there were several unconscious bodies scattered everywhere!

‘Just who.. Are these people?’

“This is why I hate raids..” Kunikida spat out in a distasteful growl, fixing the signature glasses on his face while he whipped out a small looking notepad that was, ideally familiar to you to put it lightly. The very bundle of pages bringing you back to yesterday when he had made a freaking taser materialize from one of it’s evil-doing pages and collectively tried to end your life. His pen made contact with the paper and began scribbling harshly - while you tried to ignore the kaleidoscope of butterflies erupting inside you at the sight.

Fortunately however, it looked as if the hot-headed blonde didn't have any insight to kill you right there as he continued to sketch into the pad with a shut mouth. Not yet , anyway.

“They’re really throwing off our budget projections. How much do you think repairing the office and the inventory will cost?!”

A blank look settled on the onset of both you and the weretigers features - and honestly you wouldn’t have been surprised if a few birds began to fly around your two heads too.

... and using machine guns for a raid is a bit dramatic too, even for the worst case scenario to happen!”

Again, you and Atsushi forgot what any word of the English Dictionary was, meant, nor did you seem to recall how to actually form them. Those imaginary birds did seem to chirp though, even through the blank expanse that was both of your minds.

“Well..” A feminine voice cut in, sounding more on the teasing side of the spectrum. Yosano tossed a stray strand of violet hair over one shoulder - before leaning back on one of the Agency desks absolutely abolished with bullet holes and scratches everywhere. “It’s your turn to go around the neighborhood with apology gifts this time, Kunikida.”

The blonde in question clicked his tongue, writing slightly more forcefully in his ideal book as if he really, really, really didn’t like what his pen was creating on the page in the form of black ink. “So this is the worst case scenario!”

‘The worst case scenario?’’ Judging from the absolutely mangled office that looks as if a pipe bomb had set off inside, paired with a magnitude of dead-looking but really knocked out bodies, and to top it all off - the very composed looking agents that were meant to be your trusted co-workers and protectors of the Armed Detective Agency, you really didn’t want to think what these people classified as their worst case scenarios.

“Atsushi?” You whispered from the side of your mouth, meanwhile Kunikida was still battering on with a slowly rising temper.

“Uh .. huh?” His voice was barely in the present. More so, it sounded as if he was in a completely different mindset altogether. Different dimension, if you wanted to go that far.

“Has your co-workers always been this crazy?”

“Uh.. huh?”

‘Somehow, he doesn’t sound all that certain..’

Kunikida-san~. What should we do with them?”

The owner of the slightly immature voice was the same kid you had seen earlier, however you were oblivious to who exactly he was . With an aura that screamed all kinds of sunshine and happiness - even with the AK-47 in his grip - he really did just look like a smiling innocent youth, maybe originally from a farm if you took in his slightly tanned face littered with a few pale freckles. He bounced leisurely up and down on the balls of his feet, both eyes glittering just like the buckles of his dungarees that just emphasized his young age. And that wasn’t regarding the large straw hat secured around his slim neck and rivalling the color of his flaxen head of hair.

“Throw them out the window.”

‘The window?!’

“Roger!”

The small boy smiled gleefully, before fisting the collar of three of the suited men that looked mostly the same in his right hand - while doing the same in his let for the exception that one of them was slightly slimmer in build - clad in black attire and wore their long raven hair in an updo for the excuse of one tendril hanging just about as lifelessly as their head. You watched awestruck, and maybe even a tad bit disturbed at how monstrously strong the boy was as he picked up each guy that weighed maybe three times his weight - and just as easily tossed them out the window.

No literally. This kid, tossed these bodies out the window, and not to mention still wearing the same smile of utter joy as he was doing so.

You blinked rapidly a few times - as if it would make you see the situation in any better light - before turning your head to face Atsushi with a kind of “Who the hell are your co-workers?” look adorning your face. However, by the expression he mimicked right back at you, his eyes glittering and lost in thought - he just about had absolutely no idea of what to make of the situation as you did.

‘Oh. Great.’

One, two, three, the blonde boy quickly made the body-count in the Agency plummet until there was absolutely no trace of the raiders left in the building. Each one flying for a brief moment through the air as if they held no gravity at all, each also receiving a departing gift of “Bye!” from the same small farm boy. But hey, at least he was polite to them.

“Is he an agent here?” You found your thoughts taking speech, while the youth brushed both hands together when finished.

“He is..” Atsushi answered, sounding more in the moment and not as out of it as he did before hand, fortunately. “His name is Kenji Miyazawa, the youngest in the Agency too at fourteenth. He’s also from the country.”

Your eyebrows raised just about in an amused yet astounded kind of way. ‘So that’s a suicidal maniac, an angry-all-the-time idealist, a boy who is also a tiger, a crazy Doctor, a sibling who you question his boundaries with his other sibling, a detective who is way too sharp to be counted normal, a freakishly strong teenager and me. A girl who is useless by herself in a city and could kill anyone at anytime but can also heal people for a reason she is still lost about.

Who knew the Armed Detective Agency is basically a make up of freakishly abnormal people? You sure didn’t, and yet, you couldn't find it in yourself to complain about it either.

“Hey, you two.”

Both you and the weretiger who looked as if you were both contemplating what the meaning of life is or something by the way the two of you had your eyes trained into space and face practically void of any emotion but disbelief - snapped up to meet the demanding tone. Kunikida was staring at you both with a begotten feeling of disapproval shrouding his aura, while he snapped his ideal book shut with one hand. “Hurry up and help with the clean up, will you?!”

Both of you didn’t move at all. Not that you didn’t want to help - well, you didn’t, looking at how much of a mess the Office had been reduced to - but it wasn’t anything of the nature that caused you and the weretiger to stay put. Maybe it was still that residing shock that was taking its sweet time to leave your bodies, and judging with how much the blonde’s agitation was rising, you were about to quickly learn just what a mistake you and Atsushi were actually making.

“What are you standing there for? Especially you, brat.” Atsushi gulp something down that was even audible from where you were standing. “Honestly, I can’t believe you wandered off in the middle of it all! And you.” The be-speckled man rounded on you, and you weren’t about to lie here, now that you were pinned under those glowering steel orbs, it was even your turn to swallow the lump that had formed in your throat. “Where have you been all morning?! You’re about two hours behind the start time - and regardless of what that idiot that insisted he took you home last night told you or not - it’s eight thirty that we start, got it? And not a second later!”

Something about his tone told you not to utter any words - however you stiffly nodded in response, nailing the start time in your thoughts like it was the very thing that could save your life someday. However, it wasn’t the only thing that jumped out at you from the blonde’s continuous rant.

‘... and regardless of what that idiot that insisted he took you home last night said…’

Your whole expression drew in confusion, while you trained your gaze down to the floor as his smiling face came into view from the night before. ‘Didn’t he say that Miss Yosano told him to take me home because she had too many people to treat?’

‘Then what is he..’

“ - but you are both members of the Agency now! You should both be thinking about what you yourself can do. Like helping clean up for example, that's something you can do.”

Atsushi widened his eyes for a reason you didn’t know about, and didn’t really want to pry into either. You were too busy trying to make a particular man’s face with piercing brown eyes and a hand that handed you a cup from last night wrapped up so you couldn’t see what was hidden underneath disappear from your mind. However, it was as if your brain had other ideas and made his face stubbornly stick just where it was, along with the thought of him insisting on bringing you with him, regardless of what he had originally told you.

“But she is only one woman - and as brilliant as she is, she took the three of them in immediately and placed you under my care.” You had opened one groggy eye fully just to see him give you a silly kind of smile. A smile that looked so warm at the time.’

‘ “- that idiot insisted ..”’

‘This is hardly the time to be thinking about him!” You berated your own mind, pushing all those questions and underlying suspicions to the very back of your brain and saving them for when you actually see the guy again. Moreover, you decided to focus on the here and now, and more importantly, the conversation that was taking place between the three of you.

“I see..” Atsushi mumbled out softly beside you, making you to flit up a dazed gaze up to his mismatched eyes. However, you didn't expect the violet-golden pools to be shimmering a lot more than they usually did. And by God if that wasn’t already enough, then you really were beyond surprised to see slow trickles of glittering liquid run down the boy's soft face, his eyes open and trained forward.

‘Wait a minute..’

Your eyes widened in a similar fashion, however not as much as his as a very uncomfortable feeling began to settle in the deep onset of your gut. An uncomfortable feeling that only seemed to double when his mouth stretched into a soft smile - before a fit of laughter slipped in a low tone from them and collectively made the blonde twitch before him.

‘Is he?’

“What, are you crying?”

Atsushi seemed to snap out of his trance at the sound of Kunikida’s slightly confused voice, before releasing that there was hot bodily liquid running down his face. A mortified expression made his face go blank - before he turned around in the most obvious fashion.

“I’m...I’m not crying!”

You cocked your head to the side to get a better view of his face, which now harbored a red kind of tint to it.

“You are.” Kunikida pushed in a very unimpressed tone - making the weretiger reach up to wipe any evidence of tears on his face with the back of his sleeve. You, for one, had no other option but to stand there and watch him with a slight fidget to your feet - not being sure how to handle such a situation nor exactly how to act in one either.

“I’m not!”

“Just look at you. You’re so typical for your generation!” The blonde didn’t stop, the displeased tone in his voice even reaching you it was that evident. “When you get given a job, you go around slacking off and playing games, and then you start crying when you get given out to!”

“That’s not it! That’s not what this is about!”

“But.. you’re crying.”

“I am… But that's not what it’s about!”

Sweet heavenly Gods you were at a loss here. A complete loss. Your hand practically twitched at your side, hell even your limbs were freaking confused about what to do. His back was hunched slightly beside you - both eyes being shut in sheer embarrassment you presumed as he refused to turn around and face his co-workers. ‘Do I pat him on the back? Do I console him? Oh shut up me you didn't even know how to console him never mind how to go about it!’

Luckily, Kunikida could be the savior of the situation, ironically enough.

“Both of you, help clean now. I won’t ask again.”

Was it the ‘I won’t ask you again.’ words of his sentence that made Atsushi straighten and spin around on the spot like a soldier fit for action? Or was it something about the boldness in his tone? You probably would never know, in the days to come that is. However will you need to thank him for saving you from such an awkward situation? More than likely, although that was for future you to worry about.

People and agents that both worked for the ADA were already busying themselves with work from picking up rubble to filing pages that needed to be re-organized before you two, and you were just about to head to join them out of the fear that Kunikida could unleash something upon you that you really didn’t want to find out if you didn't, before you were stopped. Luckily not by said wrath by the way - more so by a grip on your sleeve behind you.

“(Y/n).”

You glanced back, Atsushi holding you lightly in place while he offered you a soft smile.

“Yes?”

“Thank you.”

You frowned. “What for?”

“For earlier.. for .. not giving up and making me come back here. Just, thank you for doing that.”

The look on his face - the look of immense gratitude - made you want to smile widely in response. However, you have seen yourself smile like that once or twice in your life, and if you knew a thing or two about yourself - it was that that, was definitely not a pretty sight. So instead, you responded with a type of lopsided grin.

“No problem. Well.. er.. It was more of I scolded you and half used you to vent in my place but somehow it must of worked. Somehow. I’m glad it did, however.”

Atsushi went to open his mouth, then closed it automatically as if he was about to let something he shouldn't let out slip before he could catch himself. However, he opened the same mouth again with the intention to speak when -

“What did I say to you two?!”

The damn Grim Reaper himself stopped him from doing so.

“Sorry!” The weretiger said instead, quickly picking himself up and heading over to the angry blonde in a mad dash before he could be faced with death. Clarifying that such would actually be a good idea in this situation - you decided to do the same.


 

The small dainty tea shop not so hidden from the public completely, but just secluded enough that only a select few knew where it was held the same comfortable emptiness as it did hours before. The sound of a porcelain cup being set down every so often flitted its way through the calm air, while a signature scrapping of a straw broom against wooden floorboards only added to the fact that the President of the ADA’s old time friend still had the same conspicuous cleaning habit as she always harbored since back then.

Yes, it was obvious that the tea shop didn’t expect many customers as the Yokohama mornings slipped to afternoons, and maybe even less as the sky bled with colors of twilight and evening time settled along the Japanese town. But it wasn’t because her service was bad, nothing of the sort. In fact any customers who do find themselves stumbling randomly into the strange place say that it was probably the best tea they have ever had in their lives.

So maybe it was due to the area her adored tea shops was placed in. Or perhaps, maybe not a lot of people liked tea.

Regardless of the fact however she did have some regulars that made appearances every once in a while. And by some, she meant two who she has gotten to know over the last few years, the exception of one of them, being already present.

And the other..

* Ding Ding*

The signature merry sound of the welcome bell - regardless of how much it has aged - still paid no mind in signalling that there was a new person currently standing at her door. Fukuzawa glanced up from the corner he was seated in, while the owner of her little tea shop Akira narrowed her eyes at the familiar stranger who came waltzing into her place too.

The other was now also present.

“What do you want, brat?” The aging lady set down her broom to the side - before folding both arms definitely across her chest. “I almost never see you around here anymore.”

“I called him here, Akira.” The President corrected his friend from across the room, before shifting his eyes from the glowering woman over to the agent who had just shifted his way through the door - an amused grin plastered across his face when he caught the eye of the old woman he has known for quite a while standing across from him. “We have business to discuss.”

Akira closed her muted emerald eyes, turning to the side with an audible hum of aggravation. “Sure sure. You men and your “Business to discuss” crap. Looks like you need some sort of an excuse to come see me after all, both of you.”

The customers dark eyes flickered slightly at the woman he had grown fond of over the last several years he had been in this end of Yokohama, before offering her a soft smile that he knew she could see - regardless of if she was pretending to be displeased with him or not.

“I’m sorry, Akira.” His head inclined slightly, that equally dark in color hair of his shifting with the motion until it fell in front of his face. “I haven't had time to come visit you with my work being so busy. I’ll make sure to come see you more often, even if I have business to attain to.”

The woman opened her eyes into slits, assessing the boy who has grown a lot taller from the last time she has seen him standing at the front of her tea shop door, and duel fully noting that he also sounded a slight bit maturer from when she had glanced at him almost a long five years prior - even his attire has done a complete one eighty.

Akira felt herself sigh in exasperation, flopping both arms to her side. “Well, at least you remembered I don’t like to be addressed with an honorific.”

The brunette didn’t let his smile falter from where he was bowed - a smile that didn’t feel that forced on his face like it usually did.

“And don’t say that. “I’ll make time to come visit you.” You make me sound like an old woman withering away in some home that no one cares about. And I’m not old.”

“You’re not?” Her customer straightened up, raising an eyebrow. “Wait, didn’t you just have your fiftieth birthday last week?”

Akira softened her gaze at the boy she still saw as a teenager across from her. “And you also remembered my birthday, too.”

“I may have noted it. I do have a magnificent memory however, maybe you could blame it on that..”

The woman sent the brunette a scowl, waving a broom testily in his direction. “You’re walking on thin ice here, brat. Don’t make me beat some manners into you because I will.”

“Don’t test her, Dazai.” Fukuzawa let out an amused laugh as he watched the two interact, finishing the end of his green tea that had passed the temperature of cold long ago. “She hasn’t been having the best morning so far.”

“I haven't been having the best morning because you two are here. I changed my mind, don’t come visit me any time soon. I forgot just how much of a headache you two can be.”

The tea shop was filled with two sets of different kind of laughter, each one being widely different from the other yet the both did hold one thing in common. No, it wasn’t because the sound was being emitted from both species of the male gender, but was more so the fact that they sounded real. Authentic. A type of sound that not a lot of people had the privilege to hear - from nor Dazai Osamu nor Fukuzawa Yukichi alike.

And stubbornly, after a short while, those two sounds were quickly morphed into three.


 

‘After that idiot insisted he took you with him..’

The thought, no matter how much you wanted to abolish it, still decided it might have been a better idea to stay and torment the ever living hell out of you as you helped the rest of the agents with the clean up. Which, surprisingly, wasn’t as hard as you though it may have been - that was coming from you who had a child who can lift a building in weight with no effort on your side - but regardless of such, you all had the Office looking somewhat better after an hour or two. Something that you were probably meant to feel relieved about, but strangely, you didn’t. You felt the exact opposite actually.

‘Now that I have nothing to do.’ You finish up by placing a bundle of files that had been strewn across the floor back in alphabetical order on the desk, dusting both hands together. ‘Means that my brain has more time to think!’

And thinking, was definitely not something you wanted on your agenda at the given moment, for quite of few reasons. A bandaged brunette with a coy grin being the top one.

However, you know what they say. Tell your brain not to think of something and it will do the exact opposite of what you wanted. Not because all of us are painfully ironic, or God just wanted to play a prank on every one of us and set our brain to function that way. No, but maybe our brains just wanted to be complete assholes to us. Or, at least yours had the motive to be.

‘Maybe he just wanted to see me when I woke up?’

Your whole face screwed up at the thought, silently berating yourself for also thinking so. ‘Why in the living hell would he want to see me when I wake up? That’s not a pretty sight, if I noted from many experiences.’

Then you began questioning why you were conscious about looking pretty when you woke up, especially since he was in the question, and even that led to even more thoughts that were doing more bad than good to you. Exerting pain in your head was a major factor.

“(Y/n).”

Apparently, that same pain was attracting attention around you,

A respected agent was the owner of the voice - and you honestly willed your body to get swallowed by the floorboards underneath for the second time that week at the sight of a very tall, very intimidating woman standing before you with her arms crossed - a curious yet predator-like glint shining in her magenta eyes.

You coughed nervously, placing both hands on the table behind you. “Yes?”

Yosano looked you up and down in a slow, calculating fashion that had you fidgeting slightly in your place. Some alien like voice inside you however, told you to definitely not move. That was, if you wanted to live.

“How are you feeling?” She said in a smooth voice, finally meeting your gaze again.

“Uh.. I’m feeling pretty good actually.” The change in her eye shade made you correct that statement, albeit again you couldn't actually pinpoint the reason why. Leave it to instincts, dare you say. “ Great. I'm feeling great! Look -” You waved both arms up in the air, while also bouncing up on the balls of your feet as if to really show her that you were doing okay. “See? I think that medicine you gave me last night really did something.”

The doctor before you looked slightly dissatisfied with your answer, but made no notion to act out on you in any way. She blinked with long eyelashes downcast, before dropping both hands and looked as if - she was reaching for you?

You froze instantly, not really knowing what to expect exactly. The distance between you two being nothing but helpful either in the situation.

“Come here.” Yosano ordered after a few tense seconds, her arms sitting expectedly in the air to do something you were blissfully unaware to. When you made no attempt to move, the doctor scowled lightly however nothing about it looked hostile, in an ironic kind of way. “I’m not going to hurt you. I just need to check if your organs are functional and there's no internal bleeding.”

You wide (e/c) eyes blinked rapidly, her words suddenly reaching you and making your shoulders relax slightly as if all the tension left you with her motive. ‘Oh..’

“Ah.. oh. Uhm.. sure.” ‘My god what type of sentence was that?’

You had never been to a doctor. Ever in your life actually, but you did know about them. These medical practitioners who could actually save lives with the knowledge and skill they learned, and honestly, that was someone you could look up to. A person who dedicated their entire lives to saving people, putting people before them in situations too. It was mind blowing for your brain to think about - and when you felt both this current doctors hands rest on the small of your back and stomach - you were just about to learn how mind blowing these people could be.

“Breathe in.”

You obliged, the whole situation deeming very awkward as she placed pressure on your torso and in turn, made it actually difficult to breathe.

“Again.”

Another intake of air was wheezed through your airway, as she moved her hand to now under your rib cage and overall - you actually noticed how soft she was with touching you. ‘Was this how all doctors handle patients?’

“Again.”

A few more repeats of this process was done before the doctor stepped away from you completely, giving you a premeditated once-over one more time with sparkling eyes as if trying to come to a conclusion with a hum in the back of her throat.  “Your breathing seems stable, and so does most of your internal organs except for the tissue around your stomach and spine. I’d advise you not to do anything to over exert yourself or your muscles. They’ll heal in the most of two weeks at best, if you keep taking that remedy I gave Dazai for you yesterday.”

His name came up again, making the box of inquires you had managed to lock away spill all over the place and cloud your mind with questions to begin firing at her. However, you let manners win that battle and pushed them aside for the time being. “Oh uh.. Thank you. You could tell all that from just testing my breathing?”

Yosano before you didn’t move any muscle on her face, except let her eyes shut in a calm yet beautiful way. “Of course I can. I’m a doctor - getting into the logistics of things would just confuse you and waste my time.”

“Woah…” You let your face wear a look of shock and adoration mixed into one strange emotion as you glanced at the space between reality and semi-consciousness. “Doctors are really something..”

Yosano felt a sort of warm pride fill her as she kept her eyes closed, not really wanting to show it to anyone but herself. People never usually complimented her on her use of medical knowledge that she worked hard to obtain even before she understood about her ability - mainly people only focused on such as that. The way Doctor Yosano Akiko could “Cheat” her way through the Medical Industry all because of this strange quirk she harbored and that made her physically impossible to beat, no matter how hard you could try. She was fake. A fraud. A doctor who didn’t deserve to be classified as a doctor.

However none of it was accurate, really. Yes, it was true she could use “Thou Shalt not Die” to her utmost advantage most of the time on the field and patients, but that didn't mean she could be just as good without it. The young woman had wanted to become a doctor the hard way just as much as the next aspiring rookie, and that was something she also prided herself in too.

But to hear it, was… nice. Even if it was from someone who didn’t know her that well.

“Well, if that’s all.” You heard Yosano’s voice cut through the air and collectively - you also felt those same questions from before bang you in the head as if trying to say “Hey! You forgot to ask about us!” but only in a morbidly ambiguous kind of way.

“Oh! Uhm, Miss Yosano?” You stopped the doctor from turning, while she glanced back at you with those same brilliantly intelligent eyes of hers.

“What is it?”

“Er..” ‘Do you know if that idiot that goes by the name of Dazai Osamu is hiding anything from me?’ ‘Can you tell me why I woke up in his apartment and not here?’ ‘Why couldn’t you treat me? Is what he says true?’ Can I trust him?’

“- Can.. you tell me… why Dazai wanted to take me home instead of leaving me under your care?” A spark of recognition set the doctors magenta eyes alight as you stared up at her with a curious stare - yet it wasn’t something you were quick enough to catch. No matter how in fact, quick Yosano clarified you were as you asked such a question. “Did he give you any sort of reason?”

Your face was alight with life - and it seemed form what the doctor of the ADA could see - you had made a good enough recovery from the last time she had saw you last night when you had come in to the Agency at late times of the night. She remembered, your face being limp and lifeless - while trail of dry cracked blood painted the side of your chin where it looked as if came from the contents within. You were being held bridal style from no other than Dazai Osamu himself, while Naomi was the one who looked as if she needed some urgent care with her clothes being completely littered with holes and stained red, hanging in her brother arms.

 

“Give her to me.” Yosano ordered, while her brother obliged hesitantly and gingerly set the teenage girl unto the doctor's arms. Yosano felt her stomach drop at the sight of the youngest Tanizaki sibling, however she let her Doctor’s Brain work faster than her common sense while setting her down on an operating table - rushing to take out a magnitude of utensils and medicines from her cabinets around the room.

Dazai simply stood at the door and watched her work with utmost concentration, while Tanizaki Junichirou beside him couldn’t help but keep his eyes glued warily on the girl that lay limp in his hands.

A thought occurred to the brunette after a few moments of silence.

“She healed you, didn’t she?”

Tanizaki was surprised at the calmness in his superiors voice, as he flitted a wide stare up to his impassive face - and then down to you once again in his arms. “Uh… I don’t know… I can’t… explain it.” Dazai looked over at the fiery-haired agent currently running his hand through his locks fervently as if to relieve stress or anxiousness residing inside him, Yosano busying herself with his sister in the background.

“It was like.. One minute I had something stab me in the back…. And then….the next…” Once more, his shaking hazel eyes cascaded down your face, as if remembering the scene all over again. “She… was over me.. And I felt fine. She told me… I was fine…”

The rip in his shirt completely tainted in crimson stains that would have been only caused from a severe fatality gave Dazai the idea that he was indeed injured, and pretty badly too. The pale skin of his stomach showed no sign or trace on anything remotely close to a wound whatsoever - not even a scratch nor scar was present.

‘Similar to how it looked.. When I woke up… those year ago.”

“Is that…. that … her ability?” Tanizaki asked absentmindedly, his sister hanging on with her life on a thin fibre of yarn. Dazai sensed the unease in his co-workers voice while it trembled with anxiety as he watched his sister under the procedure Yosano was exerting. His own dark eyes found your face for the first time that night since he had scooped you up and walked back here as fast as he could in case you woke up again. Although, judging by your peaceful expression and soft look across your features - it didn't look as though you were waking up anytime soon.

“It’s part of it.” The brunette answered the hanging question, his eyes still fixed curiously on your sleeping face.

“So… is it like… Yosano-san’s?”

Dazai blinked as he looked up from your body and beside him to the agent once again. Undoubtedly - the ginger was already on edge with watching his sister in plain sight as she had bullets extracted out of her and emptied into a kidney dish before Yosano could use her ability to close the holes all together and stop the bleeding. Telling him what the brunette thought; Dazai concluded; would not be the best thing at this here and now.

“Yes. It’s similar.”

“...Ah.”

“Thou Shalt not Die.” Yosano finally uttered the words of her ability as the last bullet was dropped into the dish and set to the side. Blinding bands of blue filled the small operating room and collectively had both Dazai and Tanizaki turning away for a split second to save their eyesight.

“There. She’ll be ok.” The light slowly dissipated into a dim nothingness, the doctor only fixing Naomi with a patient robe when Tanizaki and Dazai looked back.

“How do you know? Are you sure? Really sure?”

Yosano looked up from what she was doing, fixing Tanizaki with a stern stare. “Her injuries were fatal when you brought her here. My ability definitely worked Tanizaki, don’t worry.”

A sigh of relief left the eldest Tanizaki sibling as he closed both eyes - before racing over when Yosano beckoned him to and lifted his sister with utmost care in his touch. Dazai could only watch as he disappeared behind a curtain to lay his sister down on one of the hospital beds, and undoubtedly, wouldn’t be coming out until she opened her eyes.

“Alright. Dazai.” Yosano brushed her hands down on her knees, catching the attention of the silent brunette with her next patient in his hands. “Set her down over here.”

When Dazai actually made no attempt to move, did Yosano narrow her expression. “What are you waiting for?”

“Actually..” Dazai adjusted his arms around the woman of similar age in his hands, meeting the doctors eyes with his varying darker coffee coloured ones. “I’d advise you not to treat (Y/n) at the moment.”

“And why not?” Yosano placed the spatula splattered in Naomi’s blood into the dish beside her - where a myriad of identical bullet shells of equal color also sat on the bench. One of her fine eyebrows raised at the man standing a few feet away with a girl laying limp in his arms - an offended look criss crossing her features in a scowl. “Do you doubt my skills, Dazai?”

“Not of such no. I would never doubt how well you can treat people Yosano-san. You’ve saved many lives before and are a blessing to have in this agency.”

A scoff echoed it's way through the doctors practice, while the owner leaned her arms on the bench in the middle of the place. “Flattery never got anyone anywhere, especially with me.”

Dazai closed his eyes in an amused gesture, a sly smirk decorating the detectives already pretty face. “I didn’t think it would.”

“So why? Why won’t you let me treat her?”

“Because…” Dazai opened his eyes to stare down at the girl in his arms once more - and actually it came to his attention that he forgot just how light you felt. A small frail body with a completely rested face that only hours before - could have caused mass destruction and a major dent in the Armed Detective Agency. That was, if he didn’t place the receiver in that Mafia informats blazer the minute he had set his eyes on her. “She had an episode before I brought her here.”

“An episode?” Well, this sure was new information to the doctors ears. “What do you mean? Like an anxiety attack?”

“No. More so a “She Was About To Begin A Killing Spree” attack, if I wasn’t there to stop her - well. That may have just been the case for everyone involved.”

An involuntary shiver shot down Yosano’s spine, however her composer remained it's same cold, business like self. Instead, the doctor let out a strangled sigh as she straightened up from her position and began walking over to her co-worker - heels creating a resounding sound around the ADA.

“Were you able to stop her?”

Dazai blinked slowly as Yosano came closer to him - maybe to make their speech quieter for the two Tanizaki siblings also in the same room but just encased behind a curtain. “Yes. My ability was able to stop her just before she got out of control.”

It was a lie that Yosano wasn’t quick enough to grasp.

Instead, she let out another long drawl of air and closed her eyes. “She’s a dangerous person if she doesn’t get that ability under control, Dazai.”

The man she was questioning didn’t feel inclined to answer his co-working agent straight away, but more so stared right down at the woman both him and Yosano were talking about in a pondering kind of way. A long enough time stretched by before the doctors curt voice rang through his ear once again, both magenta eyes wearing a fixed sense of intensity.

“Is that why you won’t let me operate on her? Because you’re afraid she’ll freak out again when she wakes up and you won’t be here to stop it?”

Dazai let himself smile softly at the woman. “That’s exactly why I won’t let you operate on her.”

Yosano’s doctor instinct screamed at her to not leave a patient in need unattended - however when Dazai persuasive words tossed around in her mind and she gave you a spared glance, did she release her arms to her hips. Her sharp chin tilted to give the brunette a warning look. “I can’t tell if you’re doing this for me, or you just want to be there beside her when she wakes up to play those weird mind games you like to play on people when you want them to do something.”

“A bit of both.. Actually. Yosano-san, you know me quite well.”

“Yeah. Yeah.” Her gloved hand reached into the air and waved him off before stalking over to one of her cabinets and collectively rooting around in one drawers for something she needed. Or ,more specifically - something you would need. “Just don’t come to me when you blow up the Agency because of a wagering war against the Mafia with her. Because…” Her hand revealed a small brown paper bag with the inscription of “Ginger, Mint, Turmeric Extract” beautifully etched in the front label. “If you do..” Her heels clacked as she stalked back over to him - placing the small parcel into one of his bandaged hands yet never wavering her stare or posture, once. “I will personally seek you out and cause you as much pain as humanly possible.”

The room fell quiet. Deafeningly quiet. The only sounds aiding the agents stare off would be your calm intakes of air that dignified you were fast asleep - and a few crickets that were known to summer outside that thrummed in dim hums.

Dazai was the first to break their intense looks by stuffing the parcel into one of his coat pockets and offering the woman a reassuring smile. “I can assure you I won’t bring any harm to the Armed Detective Agency, Yosano-san. I can offer you my word on that one, too.”

Her eyes searched his face for any hint of lie, any trace of mistrust - which is very hard when you try to read someone like Dazai Osamu. He was good at hiding anything he feels or thinks - however something about his promise made Yosano feel a little more at ease, even if she was a woman who people thought was hard to please.

“Hm.” Her voice was dim, exhausted even, as she stepped back from the brunette and made her way back over to clean the mess on her counter that had been made. “Even for you, she’s going to be a hard woman to try convince from what I’ve learned. A bit dumb, yes..” The memory of you sitting on the doctors bathroom floor suddenly came to mind, the lost look longing in both eyes. “But something tells me she’s a quick girl. Well.. she’s your problem anyway.”

“Ah.. I think it will be fun.” By the man’s amused tone from over her shoulder, she was beginning to actually want to offer you her sympathy laying in his arms. Yes, she has worked alongside Dazai Osamu for the majority of a few years now and while the man is astoundingly brilliant to the Agency and can probably par with Ranpo sometimes, but by God she would be a liar if she admitted he couldn’t be infuriatingly annoying sometimes.

And by sometimes, she meant, about every time he came to work every single day.

“Are you going to walk home with a woman in your hands? People may get the wrong idea.”

“She is light enough to take home with me, and oh.” The detective let out a noise of surprise. “I actually.. Never thought of that. I’m sure I’ll come up with something if somebody asks.”

“Make sure you give her that remedy too.”

“Got it. I wish you a good night, Yosano-san.”

“Don’t get arrested, idiot.”

“Sure. Sure.”

“Oh, Dazai?”

The man stopped in his attempt to turn around and head out the door, sparing the doctor a glance over his left shoulder. She stood there, arms folded across her chest while staring at him definitely. However, there was a slightly hindered intention within the next few words that slipped from her mouth, a sincere truthness that had her whole cold exterior slip for only a few moments.

“Hm?”

“Be careful with her.”

The brunette didn’t know what the doctor had exactly meant from those few innocent words that night, nor did he in the moment at the time. Maybe he just thought that Yosano was being cautious for the Agency, maybe even it was just a short warning that actually had no meaning behind it.

The detective was wrong.

“Don’t worry.” Dazai lips tugged upwards again, his voice only a soft octave. “I will.”

He would come to learn that in a very short time.

And collectively, would also come to terms on just what a big, big mistake he was about to make.

 

“He’s your superior, (Y/n).” The present came back in a rushing wind of colors and voices, while the young girl who showed no sign of response nor protest last night looked up with shining (e/c) eyes at the doctor, a pleading kind of glint holding the pools together. “I’d say he would have wanted to check if you were okay when you woke up.”

You hummed in perplexity at the distant look in her face - but decided to gloss over it. What you were very adamant on thinking about was why in the world did your stomach sank just there at her answer to all your suspicions.

‘You got your answer!’ Your subconscious scolded you to high heaven and back, as loud and livid as your inner voice could go. ‘Be happy!’

“Huh..” You mumbled, averting your eyes and finding great interest in the pile of rubble sitting in one of the trash cans in all it's dull, rocky glory. “

“You don’t sound that pleased..” Yosano gave you a strange look, a type of look that hinted at every wrong thing under the sun and even made heat sprawl all over your neck.

“Oh! No! No no..” Both hands flew in front of you and began shaking in a impassively dismissive manner. “I was juts.. Er… expecting something a lot worse from him. That’s all.”

That actually earned something akin to a laugh slip from the intimidating doctor before you - a type of sound that sounded both deadly yet beautiful at the exact same time.

“I wouldn’t blame you, even if I would have the same suspicions if I woke up in a complete strangers house in the middle of the night.” Her mouth upturned, lighting her face up like the sun catching a fair skinned goddess. “But he’s not a bad guy, (Y/n). Annoying, yes, but bad? I wouldn’t think so.”

Your eyebrow shot up at that, in a very, very questioning way before you were about to retaliate right away - maybe trying to curse the deemed superior to any place bad in the world when your name was called from over the room. Kunikida stood beside the famed Ranpo that you would be lying if you said he didn’t still make you nervous, beside him while both eyed you expectedly. Well one of them did.

“Oh, coming!”

Yosano watched you scoot off towards the two men, hair swinging behind you at the haircut she had given you yesterday. Her gut knotted in a foreign way, a myriad of different emotions blending into one and definitely not balancing in her correctly.

‘Dazai.’

A bright smile ghosted your face as you helped Atsushi pick up something he had clumsily dropped onto the floor, the Japanese sunlight alighting you with an aura that anyone would be invited into. A look that would convince anyone that no matter what you had been through, what hardships you were hiding inside your body, that you were still the best person you could ever try to be.

The doctors stomach tugged once more.

‘Don’t hurt her.’

 

Chapter Text

“Oh- sorry!”

‘Heavy. Heavy Heavy Heavy!’

“Excuse me!”

The door frame that you were rude enough to bump into caused all the contents of the box to rattle in a delightful load of clinking glass and bulky files - collectively reaping a low curse word from your mouth as the thing seemed to double in weight. Honestly, you couldn’t believe the man who went by the name Kunikida Doppo just plonked this monstrous box in your small arms and ordered you to take it all the way downstairs to the main office. First off, you were a woman - not something against feminist or anything - but you’ll be damned if you said this box wasn’t heavy, and you were definitely not the strongest woman on the block either. And another thing -

He didn’t possibly believe you would miss that satisfied smirk he ghosted when you struggled to even hold it upright in a standing position?

“Damn blonde..” Your distasteful murmur echoed in time with your steps as the Agency door shut behind you, each voice drowning out until it was barely audible obstructed by muffling walls. “God, what does he have against me?”

Then, of course, the sole reason police all around Yokohama were looking for you flooded to mind in the form of immobile bodies and lifeless eyes - something that you really didn’t want to revisit at the time being in case you had a near breakdown or something. Regardless, however, that still didn’t pay mind to stop your insides lurching in a painful way, nor did it stop bile collecting at the back of your throat and making you physically feel ill, either.

Okay, so maybe the man did, in fact, have a reason to put all of his soul-crushing hate against you - but you weren’t going to blame him.

How could you?

‘No…’ Your long lashes fluttered with damp tears as you tried to make the hot water go back into your eyes if at all possible - a shake of the head seeming to do the trick. ‘Not here. We’re not doing this here. You have enough time to wallow in self-hatred in the dark times of night when you don’t have to bother someone. But not here.’

That’s right. You were now an Agent, or so you liked to think you were, and in doing so that meant you had responsibilities. One of them is to not bother any personnel at work with your problems or put them in danger at all - and that was something you really wanted to live by at the moment. Even if it's the least you can do.

“Oh - hup.” The box of bricks - or so it felt - had begun slipping from your grasp as you let that brain of yours absentmindedly wander, and to your dismay, it hadn't actually gotten any lighter since the short span of a few moments had passed by. Each muscle in your arms and back felt like they were passed their stretching point and on the verge of snapping. You tried to use your left knee to kick the box upwards in order to get a better grip on the bottom.

Thankfully, it worked. However only for the time being.

Now onto your next obstacle.

The flight of stairs looked like Satan’s Super Fun Walkway to His Humble Abode before you - seemingly endless despite its small figure of about ten steps and definitely not inviting in any way, shape or form. Perhaps it was due to the gargantuan box of papers and glass in your shaking arms that threw you off of the whole idea - or maybe it was the fact that you, still, were not used to these shoes at all and the whole situation of walking down stairs in them with your arms being out of action and with a heap load of items in your hands really didn’t sound fun to you.

At all.

“Well.” A particularly livid man with glistening blonde hair whipped into a neat ponytail, smiling coyly with a glittering pair of glasses was exaggerated in the subconscious of your mind, simply adding fuel to the fire in your exceptionally pissed-off body and overall - probably not even helping your situation at all. Actually, come to think of it, it but only made your grip on the box slacken slightly as your hands wished to hit something else, however you were oblivious to the fact at the time.

One foot clad in a mini stiletto heel felt around for the first step underneath - stepping down on the whining wood when it did so. “Time to show you that I can actually do something, oh pride and prejudice Kunikida Doppo.”

The blood in your fingers couldn’t be accepted as blood at the moment - maybe something like a gazillion little pins running through your fingertips seemed more accurate. It was at the point you couldn't actually tell if they were just numb, or if they perhaps had fallen off. Pages ruffled as you wobbled on the equilibrium - glass clanked and slid around only adding to the reason you looked like a baby giraffe who was learning to stand on the first step of ten. Weight distribution altered in the small cardboard box of doom - while you took the second step down.

‘Phew.’ A bead of sweat lined the fine hairs of the nape of your neck. ‘Just eight more to go.’

Clink clink clink. The box exerted more pain as you successfully made it down another three more steps, the end goal bein near as the bottom of the flight seemed a manageable distance away.

Your mouth split into a satisfied smile, while a sense of doubtful pride tickled the floor of your stomach at the blonde glasses-bearing agent appearing in your mind once again. ‘Ha!’

‘Would you look at me now huh?’ Your right foot blindly stepped down once more, barely placing any pressure on the wood underneath. However perhaps it was the fact you were so enwrapped in thoughts of self-conceit that dictated the next move - well it could be that or the bands of faith just really, really didn’t favor you altogether.

‘“Are you sure you’re okay there?” Honestly!’ Your whole body weight shifted down on the wooden surface, so much in fact that you didn’t notice right away your footing was completely off altogether.

‘I’m even trying to be nice to him! I even smiled when he said such a thing - regardless of how much pain I was in!’

The oak creaked.

‘Well look at me now! Carrying a box without a bother in the world!’

Your balance completely turned on its head.

‘I bet the look on his face will be priceless once I come back upstairs smiling like nothing even-’

And just like that, right on cue, some noticeable entity fueled by every single person who had a vendetta against you pulled the rug of equilibrium from under you as your brain switched to alert at what was going on. Pain split into your ankle as it twisted oddly - your whole body feeling light and completely hilter kilter as the weight pulled you along with it.

“Agh!”

Clumsily. Stupidly, and definitely unceremoniously  - you fell forward.


 

The president of the Armed Detective Agency, Fukuzawa scanned skeptical eyes over the sheets Dazai had placed in front of him - and empty brown envelope sitting idly beside him. However by the look of sheer uncertainty etched into his aging expression, supposedly the man didn’t like what he was reading.

“I’m not sure about this, Dazai. You’ve never happened to go to such extreme measures to keep a girl wanted by Police forces in the Agency before.”

“I have my reasons.” The brunette youth smiled softly at his boss from across the tea-shop table. “A personal vendetta against the Port Mafia being a high contributor. But... I do value the safety of the ADA too, greatly. That’s mainly why I went through with this.”

Fukuzawa slid his gray eyes from the government document up to the man sitting across from him. His face was different again - not too overly happy like it usually is but it didn’t actually show any sign of mistrust nor deceit on it either. Dazai Osamu’s complexion simply looked, concentrated, and maybe even needy. A calm exterior hiding a battle of dark emotions within.

The president found himself chuckling at the thought.

“What’s so amusing?”

“Nothing particular. It’s just. Well...you’ve actually become a much bigger enigma even to me than when I first met you here four years ago.”

Dazai crossed his legs under the table in a defiant kind of way, while picking up the hot porcelain cup that sent warm tingles through his inexplicably cold palms - regardless of how much of them he covered. “Is that so?”

“Greatly.” Something on the enclosed agreement sprang out and caught the watchful eye of the president. Something that made him immediately shoot his subordinate a very cautious, scolding look.

Dazai returned the look with a head lob to the side, crossing his eyebrows in a look of puzzlement. “Is there something wrong?”

“Here.” The page was trusted out to him, a blank myriad of letters and black print along with the cursive font of his signature at the bottom. “Article number 11.2. What is the meaning of this agreement?”

The detective had already known what the president was flaring about, however, he diligently took the pile of pages from his grip and pretended to inspect it closely. The small paragraph was sitting smack in the middle of the page inked in bold print, while one sentence and one alone looked peculiarly more demanding than the rest.

“Yes. I was the one who proposed it.”

“Read it out loud to me.” A cold glint was clouding Fukuzawa’s stormy eyes, a permanent line bending his lips into definite silence.

“The subject in question, (Y/n) (L/n);” Dazai’s low yet confident voice spoke the passage for the shop customers to hear. Which, fortunately, was just the two of them at the given moment. “Has been classified and noticed as a public threat and could place more of the public in danger for future references if she is not handled correctly. Due to the evidence presented to the Japanese Court of Law, and under Article 248 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, subject (Y/n) (L/n) should be sentenced to Death due to many crimes of Manslaughter.”

A cloudy silence settled between the two Agents of the ADA, Dazai stopping only briefly as if to let the last sentence dawn on his superior, his dark eyes gifting him a glance over the paper. When all he had received was a very stern gaze back, did he continue reading.

“However due to new evidence that has been presented to the high Yokohama Police force, paired with negotiations on the sentence, the Office of Public Order and Internal Security of Japan have discussed a compromise with the high courts. (Y/n) (L/n)’s sentence has seen to be reduced to probation warrant, as her crime of Manslaughter is apparent and substantially out of her control. A decision has been reached that (Y/n) (L/n) will be entrusted with restrictions to Yokohama’s Armed Detective Agency.”

Dazai speech died out right about there as he placed the contract down on the polished dainty table. Two cold steely eyes met his own when he finally lifted his head, a look that didn’t look anywhere near the word “Pleased” veiling President Fukuzawa’s face.

“Why’d you stop?”

“Because that was the end of Article 11.2. It tells us that Miss (Y/n)’s case has been lifted, and she’s entrusted to us.” The brunette agent lifted one of his hands and let it lay lax in the air - as if he was trying to demonstrate just how well the situation had turned in their favor. “What seems to be the matter with that?”

“The matter, Dazai.” The president's voice was as sharp as his samurai blade sitting encased at his waist and just about as hard as a solid piece of granite. “Is the “Restrictions” we need to meet in order to fulfill the contract. Read underneath the Article.”

Dazai stared at his superior as he took a long gulp of tea from the small porcelain cup - setting it down slow and quiet. A few blinks followed while the two’s eye contact never broke. Not once.

“While subject (Y/n) (L/n) is under Agency Restriction.” Dazai’s mouth moved with perfect speech, his head lifted high and not sparing the contract on the table below him a glance. It was near as if, he had the whole passage memorized down to an art form. “She will be granted access to work as an Armed Detective Agent, as she is especially gifted with supernatural abilities. As an agent, the Agency will agree to train her specifically and manage her ability to a point where she doesn’t fall under a public threat warning. However, if these particular requirements are failed to be met... Such as if the convicted commits any more felonies of Manslaughter -”

A pause cut the agent’s words before he drew a long breath of exasperation - the very next sentence stamped in government ink causing the Head of the ADA’s eyes to grow stormy once again.

“If Miss (Y/n) essentially kills anyone else..” Dazai went on, not daring to avert his eyes from the aged man sitting opposite. “Then her sentence will be returned, and the Armed Detective Agency will be under serious punishment.”

“So you mean to tell me -” Fukuzawa reached up to rub his face in a very stressed out manner - both eyes squinted shut in exasperated pondering. “That you managed to sway the Police to hand (Y/n) over to us. However, she has a relatively… dangerous ability. That she can’t control. Yet you signed a contract saying that when she eventually does kill again - which could be soon - she will be sentenced to death while the Agency suffers  too?”

“.. Partially correct. However, I am an ability nullifier. I won’t let the Agency receive a bad name on my part, Director.”

‘There it is again.’ Fukuzawa absentmindedly let his thoughts run, taking in the soft concentrated look that was Dazai Osamu at that point. His eyes were still a cold calculating mix of browns and auburns, albeit it was something about the agent’s determination to risk everything about himself to essentially save a woman he barely knows that just didn’t didn’t make sense to him -

Wait.

A gear clicked along with a resurfacing memory in the aging man’s quick mind, a particular talk he had with the very same guy not a few days ago in his office.

“Dazai.”

“Hm?” The brunette was sipping at the hot tea swirling with billowing steam around his face.

“Why are you doing this?”

“I already mentioned. I want to prote-”

“No.” The president cut him off dual fully, everything making a lot more sense in his mind now that the puzzle pieces had fit together. “I don’t doubt your loyalty to the Agency, Dazai. I wouldn’t have taken you on if I didn’t deem you trustworthy enough in the first place. However… that isn't the reason you’re so enthusiastic to save this girl, is it?”

Dazai decided to stay silent.

“- Could it perhaps be... Because you essentially owe this lady your life?”

Again, Dazai still beckoned to silence in front of him.

“And you are trying to do this just so you can pay her back?”

Fukuzawa watched as Dazai’s dusty brown eyes flitted - alight with very thought out pondering - as if he thought the next few words he would utter to the President could dictate whether or not you would be able to stay with them or not. However, it was like the light in his youthful eyes died out and dulled altogether slightly, the young man’s whole aura muffled and cloudy.

“Would you like me to be truthful to you?”

“It is an Agency regulation to be truthful to me. So yes.”

“When I bumped into... Miss (Y/n).” Dazai had dropped his voice, yet regardless of such it still held some lining of coldness to his words. “It was as if I was given a slap in the face… a wake up call perhaps from this muffled dream I’ve been having. And it was as if… I was unexplainably curious about this woman. As if I have seen her before when she essentially. Saved my life.”

Fukuzawa noticed the man was flexing his hand underneath the table while he drew both his eyes to it - perhaps to avoid looking at his Director yet still trying to look as composed as he could. Two empty cups, along with a heavy atmosphere resided between the agents as he went on.

“But when I was running to find her, everything started making relative sense. Her ability, paired with the many killing reports flooding into the office. I knew it was her who has committed it - but when I caught a glimpse of how unexplainably… fearful she had looked, I knew it wasn’t her intention. That’s when I understood this was an ability doing this. A fragile thing such as herself with an immensely powerful ability...I believed would be a beautiful asset to the Agency if we could tame it. That is.”

“So you viewed the girl as an “Asset”, at the time?”

“Yes. More or less. But I decided we absolutely needed her to join because I knew the Mafia would definitely seek her out if she was just let run loose. And a woman like her in the Mafia’s grip could be a disastrous thing for us if they exploited her.”

Dazai took time to breathe after his long statement, slowly closing the hand he was expecting and glancing back slowly at President Fukuzawa. “That’s why I’m going to such extreme means to keep her in the ADA. In the end, I’m just trying to protect the Agency, when it comes down to it. I always am.”

Fukuzawa raised an eyebrow. “You’re trying to protect the Agency and this girl. However, the thought of having something the Port Mafia desperately wants appeals to you too, doesn’t it?”

Dazai shot the president a lopsided grin, his eyes twinkling mischievously in delight. “Well, it’s not a bad perk if you think about it.”

The tense aura evaporated between them as they both shared two trusted smiles. High Yokohama sun seeped in through the clear windows and alighted the small tea-shop with a comfortable feeling. Akira’s faint sweeping being heard in the distance as she listened in on everything her two customers were saying.

The woman shook her head, absolutely no dust nor speck or.. Anything really evident on her floorboards despite her vigorous cleaning. ‘He hasn’t changed, has he? Up to no good again.’

“I presume you told the others differently?” Fukuzawa retaliated after some time, catching Dazai attention from shuffling back into his long coat.

“Well..” His eyes wandered to the window. “I told them I was using her to try and kill the whole Mafia, which you and I both know wouldn’t do. If I told them  I was deciding to compromise with the government and put the Agency’s name at risk, they might have uproared.”

“Atsushi doesn’t sound like someone who would test you, Dazai.”

“Hmm.. well Atsushi-kun does have a tiger alter-ego.” A smile stretched Dazai’s face in the soft summer rays. “Who knows what he could do? Yosano however, might have chopped off all of my limbs.”

Fukuzawa made an amused sound as Dazai stood up from the seat, digging both hands into his deep pockets. “Besides.. It might as well suit everyone better if they don’t trust me than her. If she was mistreated when she first came in, then she may be unstable and that would make it even harder to control her ability.”

Fukuzawa stared up at his superior, something mirroring a kind of impressed pride swirling in his eyes at the last few words uttered. Akira was smiling softly behind one of the counters - busying herself cleaning - while Dazai stretched backward with both arms over his head.

“Well.” His bandaged hand grabbed the folder before he forgot it. “I’ll be heading back to the Agency for a few moments. I’m trying to avoid Kunikida-kun before he murders me about late paperwork again - but I believe he was busy with a raid today so it looks as if I can return for a couple of moments.”

“Dazai.”

The agent in question stopped before he could even turn around - the sincere tone of his Directors' voice being more ear-catching than anything else. “Hm?”

“You’re not as bad as everyone thinks.”

Dazai blinked slowly at the unexpected words spilling from someone he holds in very high regard - a weird sense tugging at the inside of the brunette's stomach that he wasn't familiar with. Perhaps it was something akin to pride, however, Dazai Osamu wasn't someone adamant with focusing on the whole topic of feelings - so he pushed it down.

Instead, he just let the sides of his lips turn upwards.

“Thank you.”

“Oh, and Dazai?”

The brunette stopped yet again at the door of the tea shop - his hand barely hovering over the brass polished handle. “Yes?”

Fukuzawa’s eyes glazed with a sternness again, adopting the whole exterior of a demanding teacher as he folded both arms across his chest. “Be very careful with her. Don’t do anything to “display” her ability to the Port Mafia. I mean this.”

This time, Dazai’s smile looked slightly forced on his face - something Fukuzawa and only him could catch.

“I won’t. You have my word.”

And Dazai Osamu never broke his word. Right?


 

… Until something caught you.

Your eyes were screwed shut tightly as if the blow of a few steps and a fall to your utmost demise was expectant and you were just about as unprepared as anyone would be falling down a flight of stairs in heels. However, very fortunately for you and your face, by all means, did you not go toppling into death, moreover you felt yourself being supported by something warm.. and solid. The box weight was non-existent in your lax arms as they lay at your side, while two hands came up and were resting on your shoulders.

‘Huh…’

“Miss (Y/n), you sure are clumsy aren’t you?”

‘That voice.’

You slid two hands up to steady yourself against the… thing... that you quickly determined as a person as it vibrated with each word. Your head craned up with wide (e/c) eyes shimmered with perplexity - as a familiar gaze painted with dark auburn tones met your sense of sight.

The hair. The voice. The way his face was always screwed up in an amused manner. Yes - you were almost shocked to a point of stand-still when you clarified who the savior was through thick eyelashes, and hell you were about to actually thank him for such a thing.

Wait.

That was before you started to notice how close both of your bodies were, basically, no space being given at your own slim build collapsed against a more leaner, harder version that extended a lot higher. That being said, such things were evident before you also - noticed that both of you, in fact, were not making any attempt to actually move, and paired with your heartbeat quickening, temperature rising and also let’s not forget what your hands were busy doing, well that just might have been a slight contributor to you dictated next move.

A move that had you pushing yourself away forcefully to put as much distance between each of you as possible - until you landed straight in a sitting position of the step higher while a hand clad in white rested on the railing a few steps down.

“...What.. what was,” ‘Why am I out of breath?’ “...That?”

The mystery man - who you have probably guessed to be no other than Dazai Osamu himself - let his face show you a playful sign of confusion, humming as he turned around to gaze at something behind. “Well… I do believe I was saving you from a painful encounter with the stairs.”

“Yeah… but…” ‘He isn’t wrong.’ The heat seemed to rise in your body and collectively made your skin inexplicably uncomfortable under the captive fabric of your dress shirt. Still, however, you managed to keep up the glare veiling a dark aura on your face as the brunette continued to smile at you - also paying absolutely no mind to the battering inside your chest that was coming from a particular caged respiratory organ. And not one bit. “..Huh.”

“Is there something wrong?”

“...Thanks. I guess.” It was barely a mumble, and even with your eyes averted to the side towards a large expanse of a wall, something tugged in your brain and told you the man was sporting a delighted smirk on his face.

Bastard.

“Oh?” The tone only freaking clarified it. “Is that Miss (Y/n) actually thanking me for once?”

A beautifully crude symphony of curses was swirling on your tongue and just begged to come out and damn the man in front of you for being so impendingly nonchalant whereas you felt as if someone had made you run the entirety of Japan and back - a heart that was asking too much of your lungs while a fog of incoherency clouded your mind. That was right before something came back to memory, a weight that should have been in your hands practically dissipated as you couldn’t spot it anywhere. Not in your hands nor in Dazai’s either.

Dazai raised an eyebrow at the sight of you stretching up fully and - bemusedly enough your face had crestfallen when you looked over the brunette’s head, a groan reaped from your voice box.

“Goddammit.” Papers littered every corner of the Agency floor - files, sheets, documents, everything in the category was strewn about displaying a sea of white and words. Another loud distressed sound filled the air as you prodded down the stairs - without falling this time - towards the catastrophic mess you had made. The culprit being the large box you hated so much not seconds before - laying idly in one corner and empty as it could be.

“That’s quite the mess you made, Miss (Y/n).” Dazai’s voice purred from behind as you bent down and began gathering the hundreds of loose pages before anyone else could see.

“Shut up.”

You could have sworn the man mumbled the words “Stingy” from somewhere behind you in a distant tone - while the pile of fliers along with a myriad of other different documents began collecting in the form of a hefty heap nestling in one arm. The taunting voice that lit all of your nerves alight whenever you happened to stumble across it practically disappeared from existence after a few moments - a soft sigh releasing from your mouth as you proceeded to pick up files upon files more.

Then a bandaged hand crossed over the sea of white, taking a bundle of files along with your surprised stare upwards into the air.

“What are you doing?” Your eyes narrowed in suspicion at Dazai before you - bent on the ground and collecting the bundle of files that you had clumsily let ruin the floor of the Armed Detective Agency. The brunette raised his head at the address, one hand pausing at it went to grip a folder not close by.

“I’m helping you.”

“Why?”

His hand clasped around the bulky file, hauling it into his opposite arm and allowing his face to sport a lopsided type of smile. “Miss (Y/n), why do you always have to question whenever I want to help you? I could just be a very nice person.”

“Yeah right.” You scoffed dryly, grasping another handful of loose pages and dropping them back into the empty box at your side. “Says the man who practically let me fend for myself this morning. Do you know how long it took me to get to this Agency? Two. Two hours!”

The box rattled as Dazai plonked a large bundle of sheets into the same container similarly. “ Oh? I must give you some credit. My bets were you would take three.”

“So you did do it on purpose?!” The next batch of files was placed inside a lot more… forcefully that time around as you whipped around to give him a venomous glare.

“But how could I wake you? I must admit your sleeping face was quite funny when I woke up, so I decided to allow you to sleep. I was only thinking about your well being, Miss (Y/n)”

Another large load of paper flitted into the densely filled box and now come to think of it - jeez this job was deeming easier than you thought it would be. Well, I guess with a Dazai Osamu testing your temper to a breaking point and magnetizing all your attention on him, then perhaps anything could become an easy job.

“And I suppose you “Thinking of my well being” also includes me getting to the Agency late, being involved in a raid that literally I heard from miles away - and to top that all off, Kunikida hates me now, because if that was your intention.” Your words were laced with notes of sarcasm, mirroring your expression as the density of files in between both of you became less and less. “Then thank you.”

“Well, I kind of expected Kunikida-kun would make you do something worse than give you a box to carry down the stairs..” Dazai hummed in a disappointed sound, picking up and dropping off more pages to their designated storage, leaving only four left and a file scattered on the floor. Your blood boiled when he exaggerated a sigh, eyeing you mischievously. “I guess he was feeling nicer today.”

“You’re a sadist, you know that?” Two pages almost crushed under your grip - until you reminded yourself that they were probably important and placed them carefully into the box. Two more remained.

“I take that as a compliment, Miss (Y/n).” His hand got to them first. Now only the file lay idle at equal distance from both of you.

“What kind of messed up person takes being called a sadist, as a compliment?”

“The very handsome man sitting across from you that makes your heart race, apparently.”

“Ha. What makes you think you, of all people, can make my heart race?” You raised an eyebrow, the file being forgotten for a slim fraction of the moment as both of your stared at each other. (E/c) cold colors of annoyance meeting warm and teasing brown ones.

“The rapid beating in your chest when it was pressed against my own tells me otherwise.”

‘He noticed that?’ “It’s called heart palpitations, Dazai. Look it up.”

“Or you could just be falling for me.” His eyebrow shot up, a bemused smirk lifting the side of his mouth upwards. “Literally speaking. Lots of women do, don’t worry.”

“I would never fall for you.”

Dazai made a disapproved noise. “Really? Miss (Y/n), you’d never fall for someone like me? I must say.” The brunette cupped his face as if to show off every pretty asset he had. Not that you thought he was pretty - no . No, definitely not. It was a figurative speech - nothing more than that. “You have really bad tastes if this doesn’t appeal to you.”

“I see you think very highly of yourself.”

“Or maybe you’re just scared to fall in love.”

The damn four letter word made you cringe. “What makes you think that?”

Dazai showed you a white smile. “I’m very good at observing things.”

“You’ve known me for about the majority of three days. What in the world have I shown you to assume such a thing?”

“As I said. I’m very good at observing things. For example.” The agent pointed a finger in the air - a sense of eureka sparkling in his dark eyes. “The way you pushed me away on the stairs moments ago when your heart began racing at how close we were.” Your stomach grew wings and soared somewhere, anywhere that wasn't your gut - an involuntary heat of embarrassment rolling in waves across every inch of your skin.

“Heart palpitations.” You deadpanned as best you could.

Falling in love.”

“I think I would rather stab my eyes out with a blunt fork than ever even consider falling in love with the likes of you.”

Dazai wailed playfully - adopting the whole persona of a damsel in distress crouched in the middle of the Armed Detective Agency’s ground floor. “ Ah! My feelings! Miss (Y/n)! What have I told you!?”

All the brunette received was a dark scowl his way - eyes like daggers perhaps they were maybe trying to bore holes in his head at that given moment. Your hands twitched on your lap as they searched for something to fiddle with - a quick thought dawning on you then that the file missing from the large box is still, in fact, sitting between you two.

You went to reach for it.

Dazai seemed to have the exact same idea.

“Oh. Hey.” A slim feminine hand gripped on end of the bulky thing, while a more masculine one covered halfway in a set of white bandages held tightly onto the other. Both of your eyes locked. “ Let go.”

“I had it first, Miss (Y/n).”

You began pulling the piece of the brown card towards you with utmost caution not to rip it. However, Dazai didn’t seem to protest and yank it back in his direction like a usual game of tug-o-war would go. More so, he just sat there and let you fruitlessly attempt to pry it from his iron grip.

“No, you didn’t.” Your voice was raising, not being aware that despite the fact you were moving in a backward motion with all your tugging, that the box full to the brim was still in a very close range. “Dazai give me the file.”

“What if I do?”

“What if you do what?”

Dazai’s warm eyes darkened in a shivering way. “What if I make you fall in love with me?”

Huh?” Your voice was swapped out for one of a high teenage girl's - a hot blush dusting the hollow of your cheeks slightly. “What on earth are you talking about!?”

Dazai didn’t allow the file to come out of his grip. Actually - you had the slightest inclination that his hand had tightened around the blasted thing. You watched with a shock-riddled face as his head tilted - brown locks cascading in a curtain across his head. “Think of it as a bet.”

Your jaw was unhinged and basically agape to a point where it could have been touching the floor. “Ok, forget being messed up. You’re border lining insane.”

“Ironically enough.” The file was straining under both you and his momentum. “I’ve been told that in the past, too. A lot.”

You pulled even harder. “Well, whoever told you that was right.”

“So how about it?” His smile split his face into a perfect proportion, making your mind tick the box twice fold that this man was definitely lacking something all other humans did - or he was actually a psychopath.

And by the way your expectant ‘Just kidding!’ didn't slip from his smiling mouth only made option two a very big clarifier to you, in many ways.

“What? Wh- No. No!” Your voice rose dangerously in exasperation, maybe even spluttering too. Dazai pouted playfully at the major turndown - and honestly you though the fact that the man was taking this wager deadly serious disturbed you a lot more than the wager itself.

“Why not?”

“B-because.” You're tongue-tied, the stress building on the file as both of your faces somehow now became inches apart. “Love can’t just be forced on someone. It won't work! You can’t make me fall for you, you idiot!”

The file tugged a bit more, however for the first time not from your side. The brunette with the dark glint in his eye had suddenly yanked the piece of card suddenly that now that inches distance had now been reduced to mere millimeters. You could see every fine line, ever quaint imperfection on his pale skin. His eyes were dark and dangerous, captivating you as your mouth parted with a swollen tongue. The brunette dropped his voice low.

“I think I can. Something tells me it won’t be that challenging of a task, either.”

Your heart rate beat static.

“- The way your heart suddenly picked up its pace again being one of them.”

The organ practically stopped at those words, and you desperately wanted to curse it for trying to escape its’ cage so badly - the blood rushing to your head and rendering your breathing still.

Dazai pulled you closer - softly, menacingly, his eyes darkening in a lustful way. “The way your breathing just stopped being another. The way the hairs are standing on your neck being number three.”

A heavy moment blanked out any thoughts from your brain as you were locked down in that god-awful gaze once again. The gaze you remember that had you paralyzed in the restaurant yesterday spilling into your memory - his dark authoritative aura. Dangerous expression. Warning hues of brown. Shivers broke at the small of your back as the file was forgotten in your hands, an earth-shattering silence that sounded so deafening stretching between you too.

“Ha.” You breathed, finally finding your voice. The brunette’s face veiled confusion at your sarcastic, unimpressed tone. “Heart Palpitations mainly come with irregular breathing patterns and change of temperature, Dazai. Maybe you’re thinking too highly of yourself.”

The agent's grip slackened underneath you - something that you only noticed. “Oh? So this bet might be easy for you if I don't seem to affect you at all, right?”

“A bet comes with a wager for each.” Your fingers closed around the file softly - trying not to let the brunette notice in any way. “What do I get if I win?”

Dazai’s eyes shone through dark colors of brown - maybe something akin to surprise - before he chuckled in amusement. “I propose, that if I successfully make you fall for me in the next few months, you will have to do something for me.”

“That sounds awfully sinister.” You cut him off. “What are you going to make me do, kill someone?”

Dazai quietened for a second, his mouth opened as if he was about to spill words not meant for your hearing before he could stop himself. However instead - after a split second - he smiled morbidly. “I thought you said you weren't going to lose?”

“I’m not. Curiosity is the word.”

“And if you win.” Your ears pricked, the file now steadily in your hand. “I’ll do anything you want.”

“Anything?”

“The options are yours.” Dazai’s tone was everything about the word serious, a tugging sense of adrenaline pulling you from the inside. ‘It’s a win-win situation. I’m definitely not going to lose at such a ludicrous bet. And the thought of this idiot doing whatever I want.”

Your eyes shone with anticipation. You were insured. It was a bet you absolutely couldn't lose.

Your voice dropped as you lowered your eyelids seductively - eyelashes fluttering at the man in a feminine way.

“You’re on.”

And with that - you picked up every strength known to your muscles and yanked the file from his hands - successfully raising it in the air with a bright smile. However - it only dawned on you that you gravely misjudged how much of a fight the agent would put up as all that built up force was what pushed you back on the equilibrium until you completely went flailing back on your heels with a shock-riddled expression. Dazai smirked sadistically as he held two hands in the air, watching as you went flat on your back and -

*Crash* .

You blinked, something hitting your back before you went toppling onto the floor. Both eyes blinked up at the ceiling on the ADA, the file still clutched in your hands as you hope to whatever God existed that what you thought had just happened, didn't happen.

You craned your neck back, eyes closed shut as the nightmare had come to a near reality.

Well, luck was never really on good terms with you in any way.

The box somehow had managed to shift behind you during you and Dazai’s encounter - and when the man had released you and the file in grip, you had knocked the thing over and now were back to square one. Files flitted everywhere and creating a white mass skating across the floor. An empty box laying at the back of your head on its side - while you bit back a very loud, distressed, ‘Someone-Kill-Me-Now’, scream.

“I take that back.” Dazai raised an amused eyebrow. Not that you saw - but you could tell. “You’re very clumsy, Miss (Y/n).”

“I will strangle you.” It was growled through gritted teeth, a migraine forming on the sides of each temple.

“I wouldn't protest.”

(Y/n)!”

The voice was foreign, stern, and above all was it was angry. Dazai flitted his eyes up to the sound coming from above the stairs, while you pushed yourself up onto your elbows.

“Ah. It's Kunikida-kun.”

Your stomach dropped, a feeling of impending dread sweeping your senses. “I’m dead.”

Dazai jumped to his feet in a quick manner, while footsteps began pounding down the winding steps and before you knew it, or could even protest for that manner - your hand was gripped up in another full of bandages. Something that hauled you to your feet and began dragging you in the direction of the door.

“Hey!” You whispered harshly as Dazai began running slightly towards the exit, dragging you behind. “ The mess! What about the mess!?”

The Agent glanced over his shoulder, smiling gleefully as his partner began bombarding his way down the stairs. “I think it would be more fun to see Kunikida-kun’s reaction, don’t you?”

Even if you wanted to object, you didn’t exactly have much of a choice really - because before any thoughts were made coherent, the glass doors were pushed open and you were pulled unceremoniously out of them before the Grim Reaper bearing glasses and a scary ideal book could kill you. The sun glittered in early afternoon rays, while Dazai’s hand gripped yours tightly as you both sprinted down the street littered with a few people.

His hair bounced about as his long legs were the powerhouse that let you and him escape - and before you could question where exactly this suicidal maniac was taking you, you couldn't help but let your lips upturn into a challenging smile.

‘Let the game begin.’

 

Chapter Text

Fifteen or so minutes had flown by before you started to feel some form of protest in your leg muscles and respiratory system. A collective signal that was pleading you to stop exerting your body and let it rest even for a brief second, and honestly - you were more than willing to comply.

Only that you couldn’t.

For the exemption that a suicidal maniac that you liked to think of as your superior was still dragging you at an immense speed behind him - with no inclination of stopping from your tired observation. Birds were flying in blurred colors of white in contrast with the deep blue sky ahead, while you couldn't help the thought as it slipped into your brain at the sight of the man ahead. ‘Is he a robot?’

If not that, then he had to have something like mechanical lungs, or years and years of experiencing running because jeez, the Agent wasn't even breaking a sweat .

You on the other hand.

“Dazai!” Your eyes widened in panic as you both ran a red light - an ear-pitching octave to match. Cars screeched and honked with angry drivers while a collective array of explicit curse words were tossed behind you two, as you each successfully managed to make it onto the other side of the road without death following behind. You opened your mouth in protest again. “Are you trying to get me killed?!”

“What would make you think such a thing?” Your kidnapper shot over his shoulder, as a few more obstacles came into view ahead. One of them being another road, a long bridge that you remembered from the first day you had arrived in the city and a long body of water renowned as the Yokohama River. You gave his hand a hard squeeze - not any way in the reassuring category - no. More as if you wanted this man to feel an exquisite amount of pain , if at all possible with your weak strength and exhausted muscles. You did hope your nails had done the trick, however.

“You just dragged me… across a road!”

“Are roads not meant to be crossed?”

“A road... With moving cars!”

Dazai slumped his shoulders defeatedly in front of you - while the next line of the metal-moving vehicles of doom came dangerously close. “I was hoping one of them would hit me. What a shame.”

‘This guy!’ “With me in tow behind you!?”

If Dazai actually did have an answer - or legitimate explanation in that sense - for the question, he wouldn’t have got it out in time. Two of your (e/c) eyes grew large with fright as this guy began his treck right across another one of the roads backed up with glinting colors of red, silver, and black. There probably were a lot more cars of plenty more colors on the rainbow ahead - however by the time you were dragged into the danger zone you had clamped both eyes shut and had no intention of letting them open. When they did - it would either be on the other side of the road where you would be guaranteed safety, or you would never get to open them again.

‘I swear if this idiot gets me killed I’ll personally come back to haunt him and make the rest of his life a living hell!’

Albeit by all the noise of rubber halting abruptly against the pavement, along with boisterous sounds of angry citizens and harsh ear-splitting beeps of that god awful horn that drivers seemed to have in the city, you were still alive. Only for the time being.

Stars began erupting behind both eyelids at how tightly you had them closed, something you actually didn't notice right away as thoughts swirled in your panic-filled brain. Thoughts - mostly ones about all the best times you had experienced in your life as you might actually, literally, be dead at any given second. And only a slim fraction - t he slimmest there could be - was solely focused entirely on the large hand gripping your own. Not that you had a reason for exactly why your mind was so attracted to the limb of your superior - maybe it was because the touch was the only thing that reminded you that you weren’t dead yet. Yes. Yes, that was it.

“(Y/n)?”

Apparently, those thoughts had distracted you from a lot of other things too. The fact your feet had stopped moving being one of them.

His voice had made you slowly lift your eyes open - being greeted with, fortunately not death, but maybe it was something far worse. An entity equal to death himself, wearing a morbidly pleased smirk on his face that could belong to an angel - his eyes being closed in serenity. You immediately switched your look of confusion to a look of sheer vexation.

“Are you insane?!” The brunette didn’t stop smiling, even with the high volume of your voice that screamed everything about the word angry. Also, you couldn't help but sense that you have fruitlessly asked this question to the bandage wearing maniac way too many times to be counted relatively normal, ironically. “No. I shouldn't even be asking that. From what you just did, I have everything to clarify that you are.”

Dazai opened his eyes, a twinkling star of amusement dancing across them. “That’s hardly kind, Miss (Y/n). From someone who really cares about your safety, I take high offense to such accusations.”

His words made your face morph into a look of exasperation. Or was it blatant shock? You honestly couldn't tell with this man anymore, the emotions he manages to pull from you also not having any sort of distinct name on them either. “Did you just say you care for my safety?”

“Truly, yes.”

“Then why did you fling me in front of a bunch of those moving... Metal boxes that make a loud noise then? I could have died!”

Dazai let his smile drop. “But you didn’t.”

Another emotion that felt like shock with an equal amount of rage washed over you, your voice hitting levels that you didn't even know you had in you. “But you couldn’t judge that. What if one of those things sped out of control and knocked us both over? We’d be dead!”

“I wouldn’t have minded, in fact,” Dazai made a hum of agreement, his mouth lifting again into a smile that honestly made your spine tingle sometimes. This time was definitely one of them. “I’ve always wanted to die alongside a beautiful woman, in the quickest and most painless way I can. My goal would have been achieved.”

You arched an eyebrow. “Was that your way of unintentionally calling me beautiful?”

“Maybe.”

“I hate you.”

“Then why are you still holding my hand, Miss (Y/n)?”

Both surprised eyes blinked at the words as you began to quickly realize the distinct difference in temperature in one of your palms. You flitted that same glance down to where you two were still conjoined in intertwining fingers - a slim feminine palm caged by one clad in white fabric and smooth skin. The realization dawned on you that you had been staring at it for longer than was deemed acceptable - and with a small growl of frustration did you quickly break both of your joined palms with as much force as possible. A tingling feeling fluttered along your skin as it was exposed to the air again, the same air that was filled with a boyish chuckle from only one man and one man only.

“Is something funny?” You regarded him with an icy glare, heat clawing at the inside of your cheeks.

“Oh.. no.” The brunette threw his head back to push some unruly tendrils out his eyes before he returned a look that screamed all kinds of trouble. “I’ve just realized that this might be a lot easier than I initially expected.”

You mustered the best dead-panned expression you could - crossing both arms across your chest that was still busy trying to catch it's’ air back. “Careful, Dazai. Your ego is showing.”

“Not an ego, it’s just the truth.” He countered, digging two hands deep into his trench coat pockets. The sun was high in the afternoon hours of the day, casting a bright ray of warmth across each of your faces, while it glittered against the water of the river underneath the bridge you were on. The road that you had made it across without losing your life was still alive with the noise of traffic and congestion - a noise that you definitely knew would make you nervous from now on judging by the encounter you had just had. You arms pressed deeper against your ribcage.

“What gave you that idea?” You hissed.

“You’re blushing again.”

“It’s very cold out.”

“...(Y/n)?” You averted your gaze stubbornly - as you accentuated the fact that you were meant to be “ cold ” by rubbing both forearms and shaking slightly.

“Yes?”

Dazai’s tone was bemused as all hell. “It’s the middle of summer.”

“And you’re about to be in the middle of that river .” You nodded behind him at the large expanse of water that was underneath the bridge you two were on - causing the brunette to follow your gaze and glance in the same direction. “If you don’t shut up.”

A few seconds past. Then a minute, and then a few minutes actually as Dazai didn't turn back around to face you. You cocked an eyebrow in perplexity at his stance - his face looking as if it was trained on the river for a reason you were still very foreign to. You were about to question what in God’s name was the idiot looking at - when your open mouth was cut short by his small sound of blatant eureka that only had you sinking deeper into a pit confusion.

A pit of confusion that he graciously dug a lot deeper when he began stalking the other way - not turning to see you follow once.

“Hey!” You found yourself walking after him, his pace quickening towards the large railing that overlooked the water. “What are you doing?”

Dazai didn’t give you any form of answer, nor did he make any response to your call at all. What the brunette did do - was grip the railing when he reached it and proceeded to.. Wait .

‘Is he doing...what I think he’s doing?’

You blinked in disbelief as your muscles froze stiff to a point of stand-still. A scene was portrayed in loud noises of cars behind you and a man whose silhouette was now blocking out the sun from view in your face. His outline was rimmed with bright rays as the wind kicked up. Warm, summer wind that sent his hair flying in all directions along with his stupidly long coat. Fabric flapping hit your disbelieving sense of sound, a figure of a particular brunette-bandaged superior that was in love with the thought of suicide stretching his arms out as if he was flying when -

The reality hit you.

“Dazai wait-!”

It happened in under probably a fraction of a second - hell maybe even a nanosecond if you wanted to be accurate. One moment you felt yourself racing over as fast as your legs could probably carry you towards the railing in heels that only gave you so much speed, and then the next you were at the steel poles that overlooked the city with no one but you and the sound of a monstrous splash to keep you company. Water erupted from where his body had hit the water square on - the waves rippling and disorientated as the broke with sunlight.

You stood there. Utterly disbelieved. Utterly shocked. Utterly just, at a loss.

The water beneath glittered tauntingly as you watched with a blank face for any notice of his head of hair resurfacing out of the water. I mean hell, maybe this was just a joke? You did know the Agent was in love with suicide and ran around practically every second day searching for any rambunctious ways to end his life - or so you heard, but you have never actually seen it happen. The water didn’t break with any notion of life underneath. Not a bubble came into view, nor did a dark head of unruly brunette hair.

Your knuckles gripped the metal rail to a point of white. ‘What do I do?’

No people were around to see what happened - you had whipped your head around to clarify , nor was any cars going slow enough to see what had just happened. Your thoughts raced with uncertainty, face screwed up in frustration at the man. Or maybe yourself. You couldn't tell, however, it was leaning more towards yourself as every second ticked by. ‘ Every second that he could be drowning!’

The water began to settle.

‘What do I do?!’

The sleek sheen of sunlight grew even on the riverfront.

‘Let him die!?’

No signs of life were present. He didn't come up from the water and overall had you gripping the rail even more.

‘I can't let him die! I may not favor him greatly but..’ His face, as it turned blank when you had asked him exactly why he does these things in an attempt to kill himself from last night, came back to your mind - the water settled almost completely.

You bit back the scream of exasperation before you reached down to pull off both god-awful shoes and toss them to the side. A sense of undying dread of the worst situation came to mind and made you want to vomit - even if you were now showing complete concern for Dazai Osamu here - as you began climbing up over the railing. The water underneath you was horrifically daunting, even though you knew how to swim from all those years ago as a child as hair whipped around your face. You closed your eyes tightly as the last thought of doubtfulness left your mind, and was replaced with one that was deeply influenced by motives you lived by and motives alone. Not that you cared for the man that was probably drowning the longer you took enough to risk your own life - but your ideal not to let anybody die in front of you ever again.

“I’m not letting you die you suicidal bastard!”

Both hands released the cold railing, and before time could even be noticed - did you go plunging into the water below.

 


 

Atsushi rose as he picked up the last book that had fallen from the bookshelf that was now littered with bullet holes everywhere. With a sigh, did he place it on the correct shelf alongside its peers as neatly as he could with a broken shelf. The weretiger was still a bit shaken at how strong the Armed Detective Agency could actually be - he had never even seen them in action for the excuse of Dazai who had nullified his tiger weeks back. And by God, he couldn't even begin to fathom how you were even feeling, either.

Speaking of you.

Atsushi let his eyes wander around the rest of the detectives - looking for a particular head of short (h/c) hair paired with eyes of (e/c). But when there was absolutely no one that matched the criteria - did he let his face droop in worry.

‘Kunikida-san shouldn’t have let her carry such a heavy box.’ The weretiger frowned at the thought of you trying to get down the stairs with such a thing. ‘What if something happened to her?’

Or even worse. ‘What if Kunikida-san is currently yelling at her downstairs?’

The sound of a door slamming open unceremoniously and definitely fueled by some next level hatred put a straight end to Atsushi’s anxiety-filled thoughts, and collectively pulled his sharp eyes to the blonde that had come bounding into the room. The word ‘livid’ didn’t even come close to the look in his steely eyes, while the ponytail whipped like a snake as he began walking over to the bookshelf Atsushi was just at.

“A-ah. Kunikida-san.” Atsushi greeted in a shaky voice, wanting to keep his life for a little bit more if he could. Kunikida shot his an icy, ‘ Don’t-test-me-right-now’ glare.

“What?”

“Have you seen (y/n)?” The weretiger visibly cringed as the blonde agent stiffened at your name - knowing he had asked the wrong question. And by the shift in the man’s aura altogether was enough to clarify that it was probably the very worst thing he could have asked out of all the possibilities.

No .” Kunikida spit out, presumably fixing the shattered glass of the bookshelf with a molten glare. “She’s not here.”

“Not here?” Atsushi widened his multi-colored eyes. “What do you mean?”

“I mean.” The weretiger recoiled slightly at the tone, Kunikida sliding his fiery eyes from the cabinet who definitely didn't deserve such a glance over to his co-worker. “She’s not here. She ran off with Dazai.”

The thought puzzled Atsushi slightly - his face contorting to give Kunikida a puzzled stare. “She ran off, with Dazai-san?”

“Yes. Left the whole of downstairs in a mess, too.”

Atsushi lingered with his quizzical expression before he turned back and pretended to be rearranging the shelf before him. “.. I see.”

‘That doesn’t sound like her.’

“Hey. Hey, Harunocchi!”

The voice distracted Atsushi from his thoughts, making him turn around to see just who it belonged to. The famed Detective and most respected agent of the Armed Detective Agency - Ranpo Edogawa - sat perched swinging his legs on one of the ruined tables, a marble in a bottle game sitting in his hands. The glass tinked against the glass as it was shaken about, catching the sunlight as it did so. The secretary who was passing by glanced at the agent with a smile at her address, long brown hair swaying with her hips.

“Yes, Ranpo-san?”

“Could you get this marble out from this bottle for me?” The detective held the emerald glass out to the woman, who smiled and took it without hesitance.

“Of course.” Her voice was soft, as she began to stalk off towards the back room. Atsushi raised a skeptical brow at the whole ordeal.

“Kunikida-san?”

“What is it brat?”

“Uh, why isn’t Ranpo-san helping?”

“Kunikida-san.”

Atsushi and his weretiger double almost jumped out of his skin at the sound of Ranpo’s voice, the books almost coming back down from the rickety shelf as he steadied himself. Kunikida turned to the call, his face losing all sense of anger or frustration previously. “Yes?”

“I have a job to go to soon.” The short-built man jumped from the table, his cape flailing.

“Oh, to assist with a murder case?” Atsushi shot the side of Kunikida’s face a perplexed as all hell look at how passive the agent's voice had become when previously it sounded as if his motives to kill could be communicated right through his octaves.

“Indeed, the police in this city can’t capture even a single criminal without my help. Still..” The detective turned around - a smirk stretching his lips up while he tipped the top of his hat. “My “Ultra Deduction” ability is the best ability in the agency... Or the Nation.”

“Yes, we are all indebted to you Ranpo-san.” Kunikida kept his formal tone, inclining his head the detective's way.

“Good. As long as you are aware.”

Atsushi followed the man as he continued to slate practically every single one of the Armed Detective agents’ ability to deduct, everyone silently nodding their head in agreement. Exactly why they were so adamant about agreeing with the man - was beyond Atsushi.

“- Ah, but there is that new girl.” Ranpo shot one finger in the air. “What’s her name?”

“(Y/n)?” Atsushi finished for him, making the detective turn right around on his spot and point directly at him.

“Ah, yes! (Y/n), I’ve heard she’s exceptionally better at figuring things out than the lot of you. Although she could never be as good as me, I would like to dual her in a battle of wits one day.”

A few voices followed afterward. A lot of them being along the lines of “I’m sure you’ll definitely win, Ranpo-san.” and “Your ability is beyond anyone to beat!”.

“Brat.”

Atsushi jumped again. Something he’s been doing a lot more than he cared to admit today, too. “Y-yes?”

Kunikida looked down at the silver-haired boy - a good bit shorter than him in height. “Forget the clean-up here. Go with Ranpo-san. The place should be close enough by train.”

The weretigers face adopted one of astonishment. “M-me as a detective’s assistant? That’s..” He recoiled back. “A great responsibility.”

“Of course not!” Ranpo suddenly let out, causing each eye to find him once again. “I’m not some two-bit detective. I don’t need an assistant.”

The way the man made the word “Assistant” sound like the worst thing on earth honestly baffled the weretiger agent beyond belief. “Then, why am I going with you?”

The question made Ranpo smile stupidly at him, raven hair falling from his hat and over one of his eyes. The smartest man in the whole Armed Detective Agency, uttered the next words as if every single prodigy could have the same problem as him. “Well, see, I don’t know how to take the train.”

 


 

For the brevity of a few seconds, you felt as if you were flying. Soaring - as free as a bird with not a feeling nor care in the world but the warm summer breeze as it ripped through your billowing locks of (h/c) and rushed past your face. However, the feeling of ultimate euphoria was very short lived because before you knew it - pain hit the bottom of your feet as it slapped against the water, and shortly after did you rip a hole in the river until you were completely immersed in nothing but a suffocating body of liquid.

The water was cold.

Ice cold. The damn river was in fact so cold that you had to hold back the gasp that rose in your throat when your nerves began igniting everywhere in your body. You opened your eyes, blinking hard through the foggy liquid now messed up with bubbles and large pockets of air from where you had just landed. The sun above shone down and cast a rippling light source that only allowed you to see so far down, the rest of the deep river being nothing but an unknown abyss. Your limbs felt heavy as you applied the little knowledge you knew about swimming into action - kicking, splashing, whatever kept you upright.

Your lungs were burning slightly at the lack of oxygen as you began to spin around in the same spot. Strands of hair billowed and spun in slow motion with you, as you searched desperately for a man of high build and a set of dark eyes that only screamed mischief whenever you saw them. The air was forcing its way from your mouth, creating bubbles that obstructed your view altogether, before all the air left your body and forced you back up to the surface.

The water rippled in all directions as you resurfaced, lungs drinking in the air before you held it again and dived back underneath the cloudy river. Both (e/c) eyes blinked through the murky mess, the water settling around you as your ears began popping with pressure when -

You saw him.

He was definitely still alive, well . That or he had already drowned and now was just looking at you in a really disturbing kind of way. However, you could clarify he was still, in fact, living, when he kicked his legs behind him and closed the distance between you two. Brunette hair floated as if with zero gravity, both dark eyes dangerous like always yet unreadable at the same time as your bodies came closer in the water. He smiled. Smiled.

You tried to knot your face as best you could while being submerged in water. Lungs screamed for oxygen again, but you forced it down for a few more seconds as this suicidal maniac, crazed, alluded, and definitely not someone could be understood easily reached out with both his hands. Initially, you believed he was going to grab you and bring you up to the surface so you could promptly beat his ass up for making you jump into a river, but he didn’t.

Instead, his hands came close to your face, before resting on each one of your puffed out cheeks with a ginger touch. You allowed your eyes to go wide.

‘What is he doing?’

He definitely looked different underwater than over water. His facial features were a lot softer than they could usually look, his hair stuck up and looked like a dark cloud of cotton atop of his head. Like a merman with sparkling eyes and long eyelashes, cupping your face it what should be a loving manner that you should be absolutely fawning over. You probably would, in all reality if your lungs weren't on the verge of bursting and eyes on the road to popping right out. Albeit, you felt your face smiling right back at him, softly and as loving as you could muster while you brought a hand up to rest on his left. The brunette before you let his eyes show a blatant shine of surprise when you began bringing your face closer to his, maybe expecting something like a kiss when -

You blew all the air from your mouth in the form of bubbles right into his face. Dazai flinched right away as you raced for the surface, afraid your vision would spot black at any minute.

Water sloshed about as your torso was met with the cool breeze of summer - lungs torturing you with a bountiful of heaving and coughing for holding your breath too long. Regardless of such - that didn't stop you from noticing as the water made heavy noise only a few meters away, your superior finally resurfacing from the depths of the river. You managed to give him the most deadly look you have ever given anybody in your life - and that was not an exaggeration.

“What.. *cough.  The hell, *cough, is wrong with you?”

Dazai shook the water from his soaked hair - similar to a dog or animal - before running his hand through the sodden locks and pushing them up off of his head. His face was sheen with water, droplets dropping off of every crevice as he cocked his head your way. “You never cease to astound me, Miss (Y/n).”

“ASTOUND-” You were cut off with more coughing - may be a sign of your lungs telling you they were not ready to begin shouting just yet, no matter how much you wanted to. Instead, you went for a more quiet approach - a hiss of pure venom. “What the heck does that mean?”

Dazai was leisurely swaying his arms around him to keep his body upright. “You jumped in after me.”

Your breathing was reduced back to normal after a few moments - however, water still stung in the back of your nose and your ears were still somewhat blocked. You repeated a similar action of shaking your wringing hair - slapping yourself in the face more times than you wanted. “Yes, because you were about to die.”

“That was my intention.”

“How could I just let you die like that in front of me!?” You shot at him with exasperation lacing the words deeply. Dazai gave you an amused smirk.

“Why couldn’t you? I thought you hated me.”

“Yeah.. but.. Well…” You flung one hand in the air - keeping the other in the water to steady yourself. Droplets glistened from your arm in the sun as your shirt was cemented to your skin. “That doesn’t mean… you can just commit suicide in front of me! I didn’t save you once for you to die again!”

Dazai fell silent, the noise of moving currents aiding both of you as the same water lapped up against your neck. A few tense moments stretched between both you now very wet agents in the middle of a river in Yokohama - before Dazai’s face split into a wry grin. “My my, Miss (y/n). Do you really care about my life that much?”

You brought that same outstretched hand down as hard as you could into the river - making sure to send a hell of a lot of water his way. The brunette coughed up the liquid as he fell back into the river - creating a large splash in his wake.

“God, how can you still be so infuriatingly annoying even after you could have just died!?”

“Because..” The agent resurfaced, shaking his head once more. “I like to be as positive as I can at every situation in life.”

You splashed him again. A lot harder than the last.

“But I must say,” Dazai exclaimed after a short while, the routine of him ticking you off followed by you sending a wave of water beginning to really hurt the underside of your arm after some time. “That was very rude of your earlier, Miss (Y/n). And here I thought you were a beautiful siren about to give me the kiss of life and restore me to the bank.” His voice was exaggeratingly dreamy - eyes distant as he fell back into the water. “What another shame.”

When you copped on to what he was referring to - the time you had blown a myriad of bubbles his way while he grasped your face - did you scoff dryly. “Flattery won't get you anywhere. Also, stop touching me. It’s weird.”

Dazai raised his head from the water. “It’s ‘ weird’ Miss (Y/n), or you just don't like the strange feeling you get when I do?”

Heat splayed at the back of your neck through the icy water - however, you never let it be known. “No. It’s weird. And definitely creepy. Don’t do it.”

Dazai let out a dramatic wail from his place, splashing his head back into the water and allowing himself to just stay afloat on top of the river. With a scowl, you made your way over to him - definitely to punch him square in the face - when you stopped barely inches away from his face. Water lapped around you two as the sight was definitely something to take in. He had closed his eyes in a peaceful manner - while you cocked your head at it, like it was the single most strangest thing you have seen in your life. At peace, he looked so damn peaceful when he closed his eyes - you've actually never seen him sleep before -  you vaguely noted. Blinking out of that thought process - you let you gaze travel south. His clothes were just about as wet as well… anyone’s would be if they jumped into a body of water - clinging to his body in the most flattering way they could.

‘His shirt is thin..’ Your gaze lingered on the expanse of his collar - emerald jewel shining as his bandages were even soaked around his neck and began to fall loose. ‘...Very thin..’

“Miss (Y/n).”

His voice was so explicitly close to your ear that it had you jumping slightly in the water. His large brown eyes were staring right up at you, shadowed from the sun by your head.

“What.”

There was something about his facial expression that had your stomach tugging in the weirdest way - his eyes sliding from your face down your neck and finally landing on your chest. And as if, he harbored some form of telekinesis power of his own - did he rob the thoughts right from your head. “Your shirt is very thin.”

Your eyes grew wide in embarrassment as you glanced down at your own chest. Indeed, the stupid fabric was white and basically displayed every inch of your skin on show for the world to see. But that wasn’t the worst part.

The worst part was that the pale bra Yosano had given you at the start of your days here warped with lace designs was also - very - visible to any onlooker within a five-mile radius too!

Heat boiled under your cheeks as you reached and practically crushed one arm against the fabric to shield it from view - while the other, well. The other you used to push your now perverted bandage-wearing, suicidal superior under the water with everything you had in you.

And this time, you had the intent to kill him. Really kill him.

 


 

The water splashed about with the two in it as a smoke cloud was blown into the air. The innocent onlookers’ icy-blue eyes had scanned everything, and hell if the freak was even surprised that you had jumped into the river to save him, then Nakahara Chuuya was practically astounded at such an act.

‘So she’s caring too, huh.’ The cigarette lay idle in his left hand, while he leaned against the railing of the bridge with a raised eyebrow. ‘But now she’s trying to drown him.’

The back pocket of his jacket began vibrating while he was taking a lot of sadistic amusement at the sight of you pushing his arch-nemesis under the water repeatedly. Chuuya took another drag from the cigarette before he reached into his pocket and retrieved the handset before he missed whoever was calling him. The screen was alight with obnoxious flashing - the words “Boss” portrayed in dark letters across the front. The Mafia General sighed heavily, sparing the two of you another look before dropping the alight cigarette off of the bridge and into the water. It glowed as it fell through the air - soaring and bright as it could be. But once it hit the surface of the water - it suffocated, the darkness enveloping as its light burned out. The fire reduced to nothing but ashes as it sank to the bottom.

Because light can never exist - it was a code drilled into every Mafia Members head from the day they joined the organisation. Something that they based every action they carried out as an employee on, and maybe even the rest of their lives too - when there is darkness.

Chapter Text

You know, you had quite a lot of ways in which you liked to spend your days. That was to say, that you actually liked to do things with yourself when you were in solitude. Sure, the list was a small one with only a minute number of contents - but you were still just human. You did like to do things, like walk, maybe hum to yourself once in awhile, even ogling at birds as they fluttered across the sky became a hobby of yours time and time again.

Now, to counter such a list - you would have to have an opposite. Things you liked to do - opposed to things you most definitely well and truly didn’t like to do, in any way shape or form. A separate list that, now the issue has been set in light, was supposedly bigger than the other - for a number of reasons.

Well, that or - maybe you were just a miserable person.

The thought only briefly plagiarized you as water dripped from your sodden clothes that stuck to every inch of your body, the winds of the chilly evening air sweeping across and making the water seem colder and clothes wetter than they really were. You scowled darkly, droplets falling down and marking the pavement underneath with dark splotches, eyeing another man who was equally as wet but no where near as pissed off only a few metres away with an icy glare.

‘And I’m pretty sure on that list, that being caught in a rapid, almost drowning twice, getting my leg knotted in some type of police net and being hauled up out of the water alongside yours truly while single handedly being humiliated in front of the entire Yokohama Police Force is very far up on it, too!’

And no, before you ask, that wasn’t a hypothetical situation to express your hate for being caught in a river trying to save a man from drowning himself, nor was it exaggerated in any shape or form.

In fact, the situation went a bit like this;

 

“There’s something caught in the net!”

Atsushi’s eyes went wide with fright at the sudden call of one of the officers, as the crane squeaked with effort and the cogs began moving. The entirety of the bank was upturned into utter chaos as each person present raced for the riverside - cops and agents alike. The net resurfaced out of the water - rippling the liquid to reveal a shoe before anything else.

‘Is it another victim?’ Atsushi sharpened his feline eyes in immense concentration as two long legs came into view. Ranpo too, was watching with caution yet wore his impassive mask quite well at the ordeal.

“Wait, one?” An officer clarified, sounding a lot more like a question than anything else. “No there’s two!”

‘Two victims?’ Atsushi’s stomach did a bout of somersaults to a point where the thought of a total three victims made the weretiger physically want to get sick.

A torso - a male for sure - was resurfaced from the net, wrapped in a waistcoat of brown, tan trousers and a peculiar emerald jewel glistening with moisture that only a peculiar man would wear …

Wait.

Atsushi felt his whole expression narrow, the net now fully out of the water and hanging idly in the air from the surface. A man, for definite, the only man that Atsushi Nakajima knew of that wore bandages like they were in fashion, has a sloppy mess of brunette hair that was soaked completely and plastered itself against his head that wore a demented smile. The weretiger blinked, then completely raised his eyebrows in disbelief.

‘And there’s also only one man…’ The so called ‘victim’ waved enthusiastically at his subordinate, even from an upside down position. ‘That would be crazy enough to throw himself in a river like that!’

Atsushi felt himself frown in perplexity after dismissing his crazy superior with a side glance - (Maybe one that said “I beg of you. Please don’t make it known that you’re a part of the ADA. Kunikida-san will kill us all if you ruin our reputation”), before the Officer’s words rang like a distant memory.

‘He said there was two victims…’ He looked around, the grass nor settled water showing any sign of another body present. ‘Then… what was he-?’

“Dazai Osamu!”

It was a scream. Your scream to be a lot more precise - and oh boy was it nothing about the word “friendly”, and by a long shot. The adjectives “Hostile”, “Angry”, and “I’m about to kill a particular superior who wears bandages with my bare hands!” seemed a lot more convenient. Each pair of eyes were on the net as it jiggled, juttered, and shook about. Dazai’s upside down eyes looked back and almost held a hint of blatant amusement despite the homicidal intent present - before a head popped into view from the other side.

A head that had short, freshly cut (h/c) hair that was stuck all around her neck, large (e/c) eyes that almost looked as on fire as the setting sun in the sky and a sadistic smile on her face that only looked as crazy as her aura felt. Atsushi widened his eyes - only in a inkling suspicion - before he watched the girl untangle herself from the continents of the net and all straight to the ground.

Now it was time to let his jaw hit the same ground. Or well, something not far off from it.

“(Y/n)?!”

You coughed up any excess water - the mud of the bank being mighty uncomfortable under clothes that did not one thing in shielding your skin from strange eyes. A familiar hand touched your shoulder, full of concern and soft kindness - but you really couldn’t show any thankfulness at that time. Not that you didn’t appreciate Atsushi or his deep concern in any way, that was definitely not the case. Moreover all you thoughts, senses, and ablaze eyes were focused on one man and one man only.

I think you can take a wild guess at who it might be.

“Ooh~” Dazai smiled upside down, flailing his arms about as they hung languidly before the ground. “That look sure is scary, Miss (Y/n).”

“Atsushi…” You whispered, a cold and daring tone. The weretiger gripped your shoulder more firmly - maybe caused by how low your voice had dropped in fear that you had hyperthermia or something crazy bizarre like that. But if only the boy knew that your were actually plotting hundreds of torturous ways to murder a person and picking them out one by one. “I’m going...to...kill him.”

“What was that, (Y/n)?” The tiger had whispered, gazing at you with utmost sincerity. “I didn’t quite hear you.”

“I said I’m… I’m going…” And with that, the brunette smiled at you once again. Except, this time the smile didn’t have any underlying tones of amusement - you could tell even from the guy’s upside-down stance. No, this stupid smile was sadistically challenging - as if it said “Come on, Miss (Y/n)! What are you going to do? Amuse me!” In that horrifically exaggerated voice he liked to use.

Maybe that was what made you snap.

“ - to kill him!”

You had wriggled out from under Atsushi’s grip, taking advantage of how kind the boy was and completely lunged at the net in order to wrap both hands around the neck of a particular upside down bandaged superior. You were going to make it too, really - if it wasn’t for two slim arms wrapping around your middle and forcefully had to hold you back.

“(Y/n)! Please calm down!”

“Atsushi let… let me go!”

“What’s going on here?” It was probably one of the officers that asked, rushing over and sounding quite alarmed through ragged breathing. A few more officers came to join after that, until the whole entirety of the Yokohama Police Force was watching your failed, feeble attempt at committing a murder towards someone.

Actually, come to think of it, maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing that the Police didn’t in fact see that happen.

 

You wrapped your arms tight around your torso as another gust of evening air picked up, shivers breaking out under the wet fabric as the last few scattered pieces of the event came back. You had actually got to see Ranpo’s ability in action - that was after Atsushi successfully managed to calm you down and you all had to go back to the investigation on hand. Apparently a woman’s body was found floating along in the same river you and Dazai had just clawed your way out of was the key part of such a crime scene.

The thought made you grimace - ‘The fact I was just in the same water as a dead woman doesn’t sound that great. At all.’

However, from what you picked up - you weren’t really listening for the whole drawl the scary looking chief officer had given - but from the majority, she had three bullets to the chest. Not one, nor did whatever vindictively sick sociopath think that two was enough to end the girl's life - but three. He also mentioned something about the body being in good condition, so the crime must have happened this morning.

This made sense to you - your love for solving problems began to override your killing intent for a certain someone for only a brief while and decided to focus on the case at hand. The woman's’ lifeless face did indeed knot your stomach in a queasy way when you forced yourself to look at it, but from what you allowed yourself to find out was that she was pretty young. Maybe not your age young - but only the slightest bit older. The large holes staining her immobile chest were a standout for any innocent bystander - but other than that, nothing really gave you any indication of who killed her, nor where, nor for what reason.

That’s where Ranpo came in.

You had never really talked much to Ranpo - excusing the brief encounter where he called you annoying and threw you into the workplace of the ADA a few days ago. But, other than that - the man could be dignified as much of a mystery as anyone else you were not familiar with in the Armed Detective Agency. However from his very obnoxious personality and the “I’m so much better than you!” aura he seemed to give out, you didn't even think you really wanted to get to know him that well, either.

An opinion that you solidified before you had seen the green-eyed agent’s ability in action.

It was spellbinding. Mind boggling. Just utterly insane at how the detective used the most minimalistic information and solved the whole case like it was as easy as one, two, three. And honestly, it was even as tad bit scary at just how natural it came to the man, even if it was an ability.

‘Maybe he does have a reason to brag all the time.’

Someone had mentioned it could have been a Mafia murder, but was shot down directly by Dazai immediately. Apparently, when the Mafia killed people -  it was true that the shot three rounds of bullets in the chest of the victim, but they also made them bite the side of a curb while they kicked their head and shattered their jaw. The young police officer had stumbled at the sound of it, but kept his composer as much as he could.

That’s when Ranpo deducted the entire case and came to a conclusion at who the murderer could be.

 

“Right! I’ve got it!” The detective shouted in victory - fixing the glasses that apparently triggered his ability on the bridge of his nose and wearing the most pleased smirk he could on his face. You raised an eyebrow in disbelief, while the middle-aged Chief scoffed with folded arms.

“Ha. I don’t believe you.”

“No?” Ranpo had turned to the man. “Are you saying you don’t believe me?”

“You don’t even have any evidence to go off of!” The chief raised his voice, losing his cool and composed posture. “How can you deduct something in a few seconds that elite detectives couldn’t even put a finger on?”

“Because I’m the world’s best detective!” Ranpo had exclaimed while shooting his hand in the air.

You couldn't help but let your disbelieved face adopt a very unimpressed look. “I’m not sure I believe this guy…” It was a thought you hadn’t meant to blurt out - however when you did with a tone of utter sarcasm, did it attract the attention of the two agents standing beside you.

“I don’t think I do… either.” Atsushi had agreed with you lowly, also being someone who hasn’t seen Ranpo’s ability in action, either.

“You would be wrong there, Miss (Y/n). Atsushi-kun.” Both of you had looked up at the brunette who had magically materialized by your side when moments ago - he had been nowhere to be seen. Atsushi gave him a confused gaze, while your (e/c) eyes where just stone cold.

“Why is that, Dazai-san?”

“Because…” Dazai had shifted his dark eyes over to the detective currently engaging in a mini war of wits with the Chief only a few meters away. “Ranpo-san isn’t the pride of the Armed Detective Agency for no reason.”

‘That sounds awfully ominous.’ You gave him a strange look that he didn’t glance around to see, before returning to the scene before all three of you.  

By the way Ranpo was laughing wholeheartedly with one hand looking as if it was ready to point at someone, you concluded it was actually time to understand who it was that murdered the young woman after all. The brown haired officer shifted awkwardly. Something that, only you caught onto and made your attention snap over to what he was doing.

The young man looked just as normal as any other police officer could, for the exception that he was shaking slightly in an out of viewpoint. “Someone probably staged it.” Dazai’s voice popped back into your memory, his face unreadable as he spoke. “Made it look like the Mafia had done it by shooting three rounds of bullets in her chest.”

You narrowed your eyes as your thoughts raced. The officer had dropped his face at the sound of it, shutting his eyes tight as if the news was such a crushing weight to him. “Shooting two more rounds in her chest.” You remembered him saying. “How horrible.”

‘Two more rounds…’ The officer had a hand hovering absentmindedly over the gun on his side, while Ranpo was still jeering the Chief Officer on. ‘But Dazai said three. So, if he either didn’t hear him right… then he could only know that two more rounds were shot at her if he knew that she was shot once before…’

‘So… does that mean?’ The boy’s hand shook over the gun even more, your pondering whirled and concluded to one answer that set your eureka alight.

“Hey.”

Ranpo stopped his jesting, turning around to stare at you with a surprised gaze in his glittering green eyes. Every set of eyes had turned to your voice, including ones of mismatched tones and especially ones of dark mysteries beside you. The young officer snapped his face to yours - while you crossed your arms.

“Yes?” The boy had stammered, almost falling over as he turned to face you.

“Let me see your gun.”

“H-huh?”

Your narrowed your expression, nodding down to where the guy’s shaking hand was resting. “Your gun there. Show us the revolver.”

“What? Why would you want to see my gun for, Miss?”

“Who are you to talk to my subordinate like that?” The Chief Officer had snapped at you in a distasteful tone, waltzing over with a very unimpressed look adorning his features. “Who are you in anyway?”

“Nobody important…” You waved him off, before pointing at the boy whose face had turned ghastly pale and drained of all blood. “But what I do want to know is if three bullets are missing from this guy’s revolver in his gun.”

The Chief made a disbelieved noise of offence. “What are you implying? Are you saying that someone from my unit could commit such a crime without me knowing? Do you know who you are talking to?”

“I never said he committed anything as of now.” You shifted a gaze over to the officer - while Dazai stepped up beside you and placed both hands into his drenched pockets. “I’m asking him to show me his gun.”

“I. I don’t think I can show arms to a citizen Miss.” The boy mumbled with a wobbly voice.

“There’s nowhere in the law that says you can’t show a civilian a firearm.” Dazai reasoned, the Officer paling even further. “However the law states that you can’t draw arms at an innocent citizen, but nothing says you can’t show them with benign intent.”

You looked up at your superior through the corner of your eye, the back down at the boy. The Officer made another sound of protest.

“Alright.” He crossed his arms, a scary look grazing his aged face. “Show them your gun.”

“W-what?” The young officer stammered in exclaim - turning to his superior with a look of sheer urgency.

“I’ve had enough of these stupid Agents, thinking they’re higher than the Police force.” The Officer gave you a pointed look. “Show her. I want to see the look on her face when she realizes she’s wrong.”

The young boy didn’t move.

“What are you doing?” The smug tone of the Officer was reduced to octaves of perplexity and impatience. “Show them the gun already!”

He didn’t even move a muscle.

“It’s because there’s three bullets missing that you can’t explain, isn’t there?” Ranpo had strolled over, crossing his arms and taking place near the three of you. “My colleague must have caught on before I could say anything.”

‘Caught on?’ Was he talking about you? ‘Ranpo actually deems me one of his colleagues?’

Now that was something you could have never expected.

“Fine. I’ll show you…” The boy talked down to the ground with a low tone, reaching a shaky hand into his belt and undoing the pocket. You had blinked and could have missed the whole thing completely - but luckily had the liberty of catching the next few seconds in a picture perfect image. The boy - after he had reached into his pocket - did he draw the gun with a desperate glint in his large eyes and pointed directly at no other than Ranpo Edogawa.

However he wouldn’t have had any chance to shoot as Atsushi had immediately ran at him with immense speed and pinned him face first on the bank - the gun falling from his grasp and landing somewhere close by.

“I think that’s enough evidence to conclude.” Ranpo turned to the star-struck Officer with an amused expression. “Isn’t it?”

The Officer of the case sighed dejectedly after sparing his rookie a very long gaze - maybe out of disappointment and sheer utter disbelief. The boy under Atsushi didn’t bring himself to look up from where he was, and accepted defeat without anymore struggle.

The Officer dropped his arms to his side - before signalling two more guards over with a flick of a wrist. “Arrest him!”

 

You watched as two guards lifted the boy to his feet - carrying him over to one of the Police cars and getting ready to cart him off to the station for further questioning. Not that he would need any, after Ranpo had successfully guessed where, when, how and why he had killed her with so much accuracy it was spellbinding. The woman too - had been covered in a white tarp and was taken away in a separate ambulance for a biopsy. The evening air was getting colder by the minute as you waited for the rest of the Agents to finish with wrapping things up with the Chief Officer. Well, you were waiting for Atsushi and Ranpo to finish up with the Chief Officer. Dazai was still trying to pay his respects to the dead woman being carted off on the stretcher - to a point where it actually started to look as if he was beginning to annoy the paramedics by the expressions on their faces.

So this is what the Agency is like.... Huh,’ You watched as the setting sun casted brilliant glows across the grass of the bank. ‘Definitely not what I was expecting.’

The word ‘expect’ was something that you quickly learned not to use in terms of the Armed Detective Agency, and by a long shot. From what you had just seen - even today - was blatant proof that this workplace could manage to turn every single situation on it’s head and still deem it to be the most normal thing in the word.

The thought made you laugh a little, but only to yourself.

Hey! Miss!”

You turned to the sudden loud call - seeming that you were only the woman on the sight that was breathing - only to catch a glimpse of someone running towards you. Someone you… didn’t actually recognize.

 


 

 

“Yes?” Chuuya had answered the call of his Boss while walking down the street. The second call he had to make today - the first one being on the bridge earlier when the boss of the Mafia called him simply to utter the words “Call me in one hour.”, and hung up without another sound.

It was actually something the man did a lot more times than Chuuya liked to admit.

“How has your day been, Chuuya?” Mori spoke directly from the handset against the general’s ear as he weaved down the street swiftly.

“Well. I’ve been watching the target all day if that’s what you want a report on.”

“Ah, you read my mind. How did you know?”

“Lucky guess, I’d say.”

“Actually, your guess is only partially correct if I want to be picky. While I do want to talk to you about (Y/n) (L/n), there’s some news I would like to inform you on.”

“News?” Chuuya raised an eyebrow. “About what?”

“Regarding the mission with (Y/n) (L/n), I’ve made some advancements.”

“Would you mind telling me, what these advancements are, Boss?”

“Ah, can a boss not call his favourite subordinate to see how he’s doing?”

“I’m sure that’s not why you’re calling, Boss.”

“Hmm. Sharp as always. Sharp as always.”

“So, regarding (Y/n) (L/n)?”

“I’ve made changes to the strategy. I’ve appointed another general to the mission with you.”

Chuuya stopped dead in his pacing - his eyes widened in surprise and darkened with disapproved sapphire tones. “Excuse me Boss, but do you not deem me capable enough to handle this mission on my own accord?”

Mori laughed on the other line. “I knew you would think such a thing, but I don’t doubt your skill at all. From what I have gathered however from your constant reports - I believed that this mission will not be guaranteed success with just one person focused on it.”

“And what purpose…” Chuuya tried to keep his tone formal and respected. “Does this second general prove?”

He’s actually quite skilled.” Mori hummed in approval. “His name is Hirai Yatero, from Unit Seven. Have you heard of him before?”

The name had struck a chord with Chuuya as he stopped frozen in place - the phone hanging limply in his grasp. ‘Yatero. He picked that crazy fucker for such a mission?’

“Chuuya? Your quietness makes me think you have a problem with me picking Yatero-kun for this mission~.”

Chuuya swallowed something that had risen in his throat. “I would never have a problem with anything you go by, Boss.”

“Hmm…”

“If you don’t mind me asking, what will Yatero be doing in this mission? Is it something I should be aware of?”

The line went quiet for a while, the street dispersing of people in the late evening as Chuuya let his strides slow into a stroll. Mori chuckled airly on the other line, his tone being off and making the general on the other line have a dark and unsettled feeling loom over him.

“It’s a surprise.”

 


 

 

You raised a confused eyebrow as a strange young officer made his way over to you, running at top speed while waving a stupid hand in the air. He reached you finally and doubled over to catch his breath - his back moving in effort as you stared bewilderedly at him.

“Yes?”

The mystery guy caught his air for a few more stretched seconds - before raising to his full height and smiling down at you due to his surprisingly tall posture. With pale brown eyes that could be mistook for grey and slightly tanned skin - he really would be easy on the eyes to any girl waltzing past. You, however, were definitely not one of those people.

“Hi!” He said with a very enthusiastic voice - teeth on show as he shot you a friendly smile.

“Hi?”

“Oh, I’m sorry what am I thinking?” The man laughed awkwardly as he ran a hand through his jet black hair that stuck out in every direction imaginable. “I’m an appointed officer on this case - here.” He shot his hand out, that you looked at as if he was trusting a strange animal at you. “Sato Yoshitora. First Class.”

After staring at the man’s hand for about ten seconds, you took it hesitantly. “(Y/n) (L/n). Armed Detective Agent.”

“Oh, hah. (Y/n) (L/n), the newest member of the Armed Agency.” The man shook your hand longer than he needed to, before his eyes widened and blush crept it’s way to his cheeks. “I-I mean. I didn’t research you beforehand before I saw you here. Well I mean I did, but that’s just part of my job but I really didn’t think you would be here because I’m not like a stalker but it was just a coincidence and -” The officer stopped again, smiling meekly. “I’m rambling, aren’t I?”

“Just a little.” You smiled up at him, his whole awkward aura deeming very amusing altogether.

“Ah… this is embarrassing.”

“So you’ve done some research on me?” Your voice caught his attention as you looked at Atsushi and Ranpo make their way over to Dazai in order to let the paramedics get the body into the back of the ambulance. “I’m probably on every record you people have at the moment. You must think I’m a monster, learning about the things I’ve done.”

Silence filled the air between the two of you.

“No. Actually, I think you’re amazing.”

Your (e/c) eyes couldn't have gone wider as they glanced over at Yoshitora with disbelief etched all over your face. When the man realized what in the world he just said - his blush deepened to a dark crimson on his face and neck. “Ah - I-I didn’t mean it in that way, but I uh, No!” When he caught your confused expression, he stopped himself before he could start rambling again and say the wrong thing. “No! I do think you’re amazing! But, I do because of how strong you are! You… after everything you’ve been accused of, you still… go on fighting everyday. And the way you pointed out the killer today was so amazing too! And I just...I uh…”

Your facial expression was stretching every border of the word “shocked”, probably that was what shut the poor guy up in the first place. His mouth clamped closed as he averted an embarrassed gaze to the ground - mumbling the next few words in the lowest voice he could.

“I really… admire you (Y/n).”

Your jaw unhinged and lay agape as you were stuck for something to say, but were so at a loss that not even sound came out from your voice box. Nobody. Nobody has ever uttered the words “I admire you” to you, nor a compliment even close to it by any degree. You just stood there in front of the Officer, mouth moving but no words being coherent enough to come out, your brain fogged with disbelief so much that you didn’t actually notice when he began to recoil back in embarrassment.

“... I’ve made it weird, huh?” You blinked back into reality as Yoshitora began to step back from you - rubbing the back of his neck. “I’ll...I’ll go now.”

“Oh, no!” You stopped him, his soft eyes widened as you did. “No, no you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just, I’ve never had anyone tell me that before.”

Yoshitora shifted in place, but smiled kindly as he spoke. “I’m glad I was the first one to say it first, then!”

A cold wind picked up once again as the evening hours bled even later - making you wrap your hands tighter around your torso and shake with shivers. The Officer before you noticed as his black hair was messed up by the wind, and proceeded to begin shrugging off his uniform coat down his shoulders.

“Here.” He held it out to you, being left with nothing but a crisp white shirt underneath that he would be undoubtedly cold in once he parts with it.

“Ah, n-no I’m ok.” You tried to reassure, but your teeth decided to betray you and chatter like crazy as the damp clothes clung to you. Yohitora gave you a lopsided grin, before walking behind and dropping the fabric on your shoulders.

“Take it. Believe me I’ll be fine.”

“But.” ‘Good God it’s so warm. And dry.’ “You’ll be cold.”

“I’ll be fine!” He re-appeared to his position in front of you, standing with crossed arms and a kind face. “I’ve been put through rigorous training in first Class, (Y/n)! A bit of cold won’t defeat Sato Yoshitora!”

You laughed as your hands pulled the heavy fabric tighter around your body. “Thank you.”

“Miss (Y/n)!”

Your face darkened at the call, while you glanced over at the voice that belonged to a man that was responsible for how wet your body was in the first place. Dazai was standing only a few meters away and waved his arm over his head. Yoshitora must have noticed how annoyed your eyes had become, otherwise he wouldn’t have said anything next.

“You don’t look that fond of him, (Y/n).”

“I’m not.”

“He seems very fond of you.” Something about the way his voice lost it’s brightness with that sentence made you glance back at him.

“Believe me, he isn’t. Or, well at least not fond enough to be close to me.” The words made Yoshitora’s face light up - for a reason that your couldn't pinpoint - however you decided to part with him with a wave and a genuine smile. He returned it wholeheartedly, maybe even twice fold.

“You know, if you were really that interested in him we could have just left Miss (Y/n). Although it would probably break his heart to know you have deep feelings for someone else.” Dazai joined your side as you both walked back to the other two. You made a noise of hostility in the back of your neck.

“I wasn’t interested in him. He just wanted to talk to me, that was all.”

“Hmm.” Dazai looked back at him, his eyes unreadable. “He seems pretty interested in you however, Miss (Y/n).”

“And what makes you think that?”

“Well… he gave you his coat.”

“You gave me your coat when we met each other first.” You glanced up at the brunette - who returned a stare that was so impassive it could be considered a skill.

“Who says I’m not interested in you, Miss (Y/n)?”

You were lost for what to say for a split second, before the bet he proposed this morning hit you like a steam truck and overall had you deadpanning an expression.

“Well, I’m not interested in you, for the record.”

“Agh! You cruel temptress! How could you break my heart like that!?”

“Guys, hurry up! Ranpo-san is getting impatient!” Atsushi hollered at the two of you, the detective in question tapping his foot static against the pavement.

“Hold on!” You turned around, glad to see that the person you were looking for was still on the bank and was actually - still looking at you. You waved a hand in the air to get his attention. “I’ll get this coat back to you tomorrow, Yoshitora-kun!”

The officer sent you a thumbs up signal in the air, before you turned around and began walking towards Atsushi with Dazai at your side.

“Right through the heart, Miss (Y/n).” Dazai put on a mock whine, crossing his arms behind his head and closing both eyes. “You address a man you just met with the honorific and you won’t use it with me.”

“That’s because that man, back there earned my respect, where as you demand it. There’s a difference.”

“Hmm.” Dazai answered with a pondering noise. “I’m about to earn a lot more than respect from you in the next month, Miss (Y/n).”

Involuntary heat itched the back of your neck in a frenzy, while you pulled Yoshitora’s coat more securely around your body. Not that it helped all that much, but at least it hid your face from the man that way smiling coyly beside you. “You’re a cocky son of a-”

“Guys!” Atsushi called again, louder and more urgent this time.

Coming, we’re coming!”

Chapter Text

"Okay, I don't like you and you don't like me..."

Your arch nemesis stared at you - cool and unmoving as if they gained all composer, even from under your intimidating gaze. You pulled the large towel around your bare torso tighter as an act of defense - and glared.

"We've had a lot of mishaps because of each other in the past, and I think you can agree."

The enemy before you didn't move in response.

"But, I propose that we set all of our difficulties aside for now and try to reach our common goal." You goaded with a pleading voice - yet didn't lose the tone of sincerity. "What do you say?"

The bathroom light flickered from lack of electricity - while you squared off in silence with someone who was on your danger radar from the first time you encountered them. With an all black Bakelite finish and a fading label that conveyed the words "Shampoo" in the most generic writing, you had to hand it to them - the guy was intimidating. So intimidating in fact, that you took a deep breath of anxiousness before you grabbed the nearly empty bottle with a determined grasp. You weren't about to be defeated by an inanimate object.

"Besides..." You found yourself muttering in disdain, letting the towel drop to your ankles and stepped into the small conjoined bath-shower facility. The ground felt strangely smooth and damp from previous use. "If I want to live a normal city life, then I better get used to it."

You blinked at the controls of the shower - a completely foreign mechanism to you altogether. Knobs, what looked like faucets and the same shower head that spat jets of water with a lustrous metal hose that connected the two, you felt yourself frowning deeply.

Something tells you that might be a harder task than you initially expected. 

This was probably the second time you were in the bathroom of Dazai Osamu this week - the first one is when you had to find your way to the ADA in your lonesome - but it was no secret that it was small and rather... Old. A posterity of tiles that lost their shine from long ago and a toilet roll holder that was actually hanging off of the wall, you had only raised an eyebrow at the mess when you had waltzed in here the minute you and Dazai got in the door. You really didn't need hyperthermia on your plate at the moment, but at least the bandaged idiot was nice enough to show you the controls beforehand.

"Make sure you turn on the knob with the blue ring on it." He had said as a towel was trusted to you from across the room. "The hot water should come out almost immediately."

"The blue ring...blue ring..." Your (e/c) eyes flitted from each of the dull metal knobs, one harboring a crimson coating - and the other;

"Ah - this one!"

You grasped the knob with the blue ring rimming the outside with a content smile on your face and turned it clockwise a few times. The box connecting the shower head jittered with a strange starting noise, making you narrow a curiously perplexed gaze at the mechanism. It gurgled with liquid, and you only had a brief moment to question just what in the hell it was doing before -

"Agghh!"

Your shriek of terror was muffled behind the bathroom door as the brunette chuckled to himself against the wall, followed by a myriad of colorful curse words at him and the shower itself.

"Are you okay in there Miss (Y/n)?" His amused voice rang against the sound of ice cold water jets that were assaulting your skin. You yelped once more as you tried to turn it off at the knob - but somehow increased the pressure and overall had you pressing your now even more cold body against the sleek tiles. You glared at the running water like it was a monster - before drawing the shower curtain and poking a livid expression from behind.

"What the hell!"

"You sound distressed in there." Dazai purred, turning towards the door and knocking softly on the wood. The lock was definitely broken - due to one of his suicide attempts where he tried to hang himself from the shower pole, but knocked into the door and caused considerably enough damage when the pole collapsed. "Would you like me to come in?"

"Do that and I'll give you a brain hernia with this shower head!"

Dazai raised an eyebrow. "Are you saying that while shying away from it altogether?"

An expression of shock adorned your soft features as you glanced at the door to make sure he really didn't come in after all. However, when you discovered the aging oak frame was still shut and the bathroom as barren as it was the first time you walked in - you let out a quick exhale of relief.

"How did you know that?"

"By the sound of the water hitting the floor evenly."

You couldn't help but be mildly impressed with how sharp he was. Mildly. The water indeed made a soft shuttering sound on the plastic of the bath, but you only noticed now that you were focusing on it. For your idiot superior to have the sound on his mind even before you let out a cry of terror - was definitely something otherworldly.

'That doesn't change the fact that he just pelted me with ice water when my body has already been subjected to it once today already!'

"You're freakily perceptive, you know that?"

"Is that a good thing or bad?" You disappeared behind the curtain - forgetting to pull it across - and tried to reach for the other knob that must have been the correct one. 'It's red, dammit!' - Your subconscious mentally chided you for being so dumb and actually believing that a 'Blue' colored tap could ever mean it runs warm water when indeed the color blue was of cold hues on the color wheel. Perhaps it was the sheer uncertainty of city life that made you actually believe the man, or maybe the cold was finally getting to your head.

"Good for you, maybe bad on my part." You grumbled loud enough for him to hear - finally getting your hand on the red colored knob and turned it clockwise in a desperately harsh manner. The temperature of the water began slowly rising as the machine stuttered again until you were enveloped in a steady stream of hot liquid.

"That's an interesting answer." You sighed under the water, your body finally getting some heat embedded in it after the long day. Water began dropping in large disorientated bodies as it hit your own - causing much louder sounds against the bath. "Why would you say so?"

"Do you have anything better to do than listen to a girl shower?" You snapped, the door in full view due to the un-pulled curtain. Something that you wouldn't have actually thought was a big deal at the time. 

"Not necessarily." He made an exaggerated whine on the other side. Or was it a sigh? "I'm all alone in this large house, with no friends nor love of my life to keep me company ~!"

"Jeez." You wet your hair in a similar way Yosano did when she cleaned you up, the hot water proving to be delightful against your aching scalp. "Invest in a puzzle or something."

Dazai made an unsatisfied noise. "I'm low on funds at the moment, as heart-breaking as it is. Besides, I seem to find puzzles a bit useless."

"Useless?"  Now that was a word you've never heard when it came to describing something like puzzles. You blinked the water out of your eyes, your hair now totally wrung wet and ready for the most dreaded part. Shampoo. "Why would you say such a thing?"

"Because..." Dazai let his head rest against the wall, looking up at the ceiling with a set of unfeeling eyes. "What happens when you've completed the puzzle?"

The gloppy liquid was cold and smelled way too artificial against your hand. You grimaced as some fell to the floor in a large heavy plop. "Well... I guess you've achieved something at the end, haven't you?"

"But then the puzzle loses all value, right? What attracted your attention initially was the anticipation of solving the puzzle in the first place, and maybe you even had fun during the process of solving the puzzle, running into obstacles and difficulty along the way. But when the puzzle is finally solved, the enticement you felt before vanishes. Sure, you could jumble it up and begin again, but you'll always get the same outcome that can't change."

His strange evaluation sounded awfully morbid to your ears as you stood there with a slowly deforming puddle of shampoo in your hands. "Are you creating a metaphor for something?" 

Dazai smiled dryly. "What do you think?"

"I think you're being dumb."

Now that was surely surprising. "How so?"

"You say that you can't change the outcome of a puzzle no matter how many times you solve it. Sure, I can agree with that, but that doesn't mean you can't go different ways of solving such a thing. Some people may go about solving it by starting in the middle, some might take the longer route and begin on the outsides. Some may lose their way through half of it - but come back in the end. Some routes might be easier, some routes might prove more difficult, some may even leave the puzzle uncompleted and feel guilty about it in the end, but that's not the point. The point isn't to do with if you can change the outcome of the puzzle itself, it's what route you take in doing the puzzle and how satisfied you are by the end of it."

Dazai stilled outside, a foreign feeling tugging at his insides as a minute form of shock enveloped him whole. He scoffed in a disbelieved manner - the water began becoming dysmorphic once again as the woman stepped back into the shower.

"So, in another light. " You placed the gloppy shampoo onto the crown of your head - shivering at its coldness yet working it steadily into a foam. You glanced over at the door as he continued. "What matters is how someone goes about living, opposed to what the outcome of their life is, and how satisfied they are at the end of it."

He paused a pregnant pause that had you feeling strangely uneasy.

"Because the puzzle represents life... The way you go about completing it is how you live... However, the end is something you can't change. You can't undo the puzzle once it's created, nor can you go another way of creating it. Because if Life is the puzzle, and the act of Living is how you complete it - then everyone's outcome to their personal puzzle is the exact same."

"Death."

You both whispered at the same time - regardless of if he heard you but you well and truly heard him. Or more importantly - how strange his voice had turned as he whispered the word - like he was so familiar with it yet feared it at the same time. Your hands paused at your head covered in white foam as you stared at the door.

 

"Man..." You breathed in exasperation, staring at the idiot that was meant to be your superior as he continued to stroke a woman's palm. Atsushi and the Tanizaki siblings were sitting across from you - yet didn't look unfazed at the man's actions at all. "Does he really want to die or is he just mad?"

The three gave each other confused looks, as if they've never been asked why their co-worker was suicidal before. Surely, you were expecting them to say something like "He's not doing well" or "He's been having a hard time" but, the next answer seemingly annoyed you for a reason you really didn't know nor liked to think about. Maybe it was the uncertainty of it all that ticked you off the most.

"That's just Dazai-san."

 

Between that and him throwing himself off of a bridge today, you couldn't help but feel some form of sympathy towards the man. But the fact that he does it in such a happy flamboyant way - like there's nothing wrong whatsoever. 

'This man...' The silent voice that spoke to you in volumes was uncomfortable. 'Isn't okay.'

"Dazai-" Your voice started loud but died right out as you didn't really know how to finish such a sentence. 'It's ok to talk about it? Even though I've told you I hate you more times than I can count. You're not alone? Even though we barely know each other and you get on every nerve of mine. I've been in that place before? Is it even my place to intrude on a man's life that I barely know?'

'Why do I even care so much?' 

The thought was ominous and hung in your subconscious for your thoughts to intrude. However, whether it was fortunate or not, you didn't get past the usual 'What am I thinking?!'  brevities before you could think too deeply as pain sprung to action in your right eye. A nagging sting first - you realized as some of the shampoo began irritating the iris as it slipped from your head. However the stinging was only the start of it - because before you could comprehend it the damn world went dark in one eye as the stinging became more magnified, and by God did a shriek come from your throat when you began to rub it.

'Big mistake! Big mistake big mistake big -'

Dazai had pulled himself from the usual monologue that sets in place whenever someone likes to discuss death by the high, distressed sound. It wasn’t one of shock - no, it sounded more like she was in pain more than anything else. 

“(Y/n)?” It was concerned, but left unanswered as he turned around to the door. 

Any other day, the brunette wouldn’t have dared to the next few steps without a woman’s permission. But, this was you he was dealing with, a woman with an ability which is uncontrollable and no basic no-how of city life whatsoever.

The ex-port Mafia Member deemed that asking you if you were okay wasn’t the safest way to go. So, he did the only other thing he could think of;

He grabbed the handle.

Maybe it was the stupidly high octaves of your startled cry that dictated the next scenario that took place, or the fact your mind was focusing on this damned shampoo in your eye that didn't let you realize quickly enough that it happened. However, when you blinked the working eye to use did you look up towards the door.

And did you lock a gaze with two wide brown eyes not far away.

 


 

Chuuya hated meeting people in person. 

It wasn't because he was afraid, per say with the whole idea of meeting people face to face - he could just punch them in the face when they began annoying him - but it was more so that the General found that meeting, arranging, and talking with people rather than through a phone was just a large bother that he didn't need.

Especially when the people ended up wasting his time. 

However - Chuuya had the strangest inkling that the person he was meeting late tonight was definitely someone that wouldn’t waste his time. And by a long shot. 

"Gin." So the General took precautions.

"Yes, sir?" The slim female answered almost immediately from high up on the building - hidden by the dark shadows of night.

"You know your orders, right?"

"Yes, sir."

"Go over 'em again for me." Chuuya's senses were on high alert - picking up movements that emerged from the darkness of the alley and sounds that presented themselves in all directions.

"Stay hidden and unknown." The Black Lizard accomplice recited with a smooth, focused voice. "If the target makes any sign to attack, or motives to run away, strike without hesitation.”

Chuuya let his cold eyes wander up to where she was perched - knowing by her quiet breathing and shifting to get a better vantage point. "Can I trust you to follow these orders, Gin?"

"Yes, sir. I will protect you with my life, sir."

"Good." Chuuya returned to his perch against the cold wall of the stone building - eyes focused immensely as they stared forward.

"Sir?"

"What."

"Why did you choose me for this mission instead of the other members of the Black Lizard?"

Chuuya continued to stare forward - detecting some movement from the end in the alleyway. "Because your skill is more trustworthy than the rest of 'em. Nothin' more." 

A silence was followed by the young woman as Chuuya geared himself for battle as indeed, a person walked languidly towards them. Long, confident strides that the General knew the guy all too well for.

"Thank you, sir."

"Don't be thankin' me now." Chuuya hissed lowly, pushing himself from the wall. "He's here."

 


 

The door was hanging loosely open and in the grip of no other than Dazai Osamu as he stood in the doorway, eyes alight with slight caution as he looked at your face full of shampoo and one working eye. You were stock still in a frozen state as the agent's eyes blinked once, and then traveled down. Down a torso that wasn't shielded by a drawn shower curtain - that you cursed yourself for forgetting to do - but only an arm that you had instinctively resting across your bare chest, while the rest of your body was facing to the side. Both his light brown eyes darkened significantly.

You stared.

He stared.

And stared, and stared, and stare -

Then your brain caught up.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU - " The bottle of shampoo in your hand was flung right at him, luckily bonking him square in the head. "PERVERT!!"

Dazai merely flinched as the plastic came in contact with his head. However, it did do the trick with getting him to close his eyes. 

He didn’t make any attempt to move, regardless.

You found an empty bottle of the very same brand - from a considerable time ago - and threw it at him in a similar fashion. "GET!"

He ducked just in time - sensing the bottle before anything else.

"THE HELL -"  You found a bar of what looked like some sort of soap - and lobbed it at him with everything in you, even with a handicapped eye. It hit him square in the face with what looked like brute force - somehow pushing him to stumble back out the door with eyes still shut. "OUT!"

The door shut with a loud clatter.

Both your (e/c) stared forward - rendering your body stock still. A second passed of complete and utter disbelief, then two - then a whole minute.

'That did not just happen...' Your brain chanted vigorously. 'That did not. Just. Happen.'

Your chest rose and fell with deep breaths - while your heart rate was beating at an electric pace in your ribcage. You felt unbearably hot - even under the shower of water - to a point where your skin clawed at you with a tingling feeling. A feeling of unending embarrassment. 

'Oh, my God...'

You let your head fall into your hands as you backed up behind the shower curtain - as if he was still standing there staring at your very unclothed body covered in water with a strange gaze. His face came back to mind as you let the darkness of your palms feed your embarrassment - his complexion surprised at the outcome and definitely unexpecting. But when his eyes darkened as they traveled down.

'That did just happen...!'

You groaned it mortification, shaking your head in a desperate attempt to forget the situation altogether.

'Bathtub...' You pleaded, as if God was about to give you any help now. 

'Please swallow me now.'

 


 

Safe to say, you didn't come out of the bathroom for the next hour or so.

However, when you did - due to the fact your stomach was yelling at you that you needed to eat something before you passed out - you had successfully managed to get all of the shampoo treacherously out of your short (h/c) locks that now hung loosely above both shoulders. You were wearing the dress shirt that you hand washed in the sink of the bathroom - to stall time and for something to do - with Yoshitora's large coat that reached mid-thigh wrapped around your body.

'I'm sure he won't mind...' His smiling face came to mind as you opened the bathroom door as quietly as you could - testing the floorboards with your big toe before you stepped down on them. Dazai was... Surprisingly, nowhere to be seen.

'Huh.'

The hall was a long walk if you were trying to be as silent as humanly possible, taking you about five minutes to reach the supposed living room door if you remembered correctly - only a few feet away. You tugged the large jacket tightly around your body as you reached it, glaring at the doorknob with uncertainty knotting your stomach wildly.

'What if he's in there?'

His dark eyes bloomed in your memory, making a heat burn your face bright pink.

'What the hell is wrong with you?'  Your hand paused at the door handle, blinking at the sternness of your subconscious' voice. 'Dozen's of men have seen you naked before, completely naked. What's the difference here? He didn't even see anything!'

You stared at the oak - that brief cloud of embarrassment rising as a scoff rose in your throat at how utterly ridiculous you were being. 'Right. He didn't even see anything. And even if he did, why do I care?' 

Right. That was it. You didn't.

Brushing some wet hair behind your ear and putting on the bravest face you could - pushing down the feeling of unruly warmth still alighting your face - you reached for the knob and successfully let the door open with soundless volumes. He was in the room, you knew without even having to check, and you knew he knew you were now in the room. However, none of you spoke a word to each other as you soldiered into the vicinity.

'Huh...'  You were just about to reach the kitchen successfully - a certain smirk on your face. 'This is easier than I -'

"I didn't see anything, Miss (Y/n). If that’s why you’re being so inexplicably quiet.”

And just like that, your whole strong, independent posture crumbled in an instant.

You turned around to the voice - as composed and cool as it always seems to be in these dubious situations - finally catching a glimpse of what he was doing. Indeed the brunette was sitting on the couch in a relaxed fashion. His feet were crossed on the coffee table where that broken cup was still sitting beside in shards of porcelain - the long coat was forgotten while his sleeves were once again pushed up. You craned your head at the book in his hand, but was too far away to read what the title said.

Your face tingled begrudgingly against your will. “Even if you did, I don't care."

"Ho?" His hum was surprised, paired with the sound of a book shutting. "Then in that case," He turned his head to meet your gaze - eyes dark but not as dark as they appeared before you over an hour ago. He gave you a boyish smile. "I did see everything. Your body is quite beautiful, Miss (Y/n)."

You tugged at the jacket more forcefully, seemingly trying to send all of the heat to your eyes and project it in the form of a molten glare. "Shut up."

"Ah. What is the matter with you not taking compliments well?" Dazai sighed, turning back to his book and sinking into comfort.

"Because you don't mean them."

"You don't know that."

"Where’s your food?"

The change in subject made Dazai glance back at you again. "Food?"

"I haven't eaten all day." As if on cue - your stomach made a sort of strangled whale noise. Dazai raised an amused eyebrow.

"Check the kitchen, I'm sure there's something in there that you could eat."

"Do you not eat?"

"Not at the moment, no."

"What? Why?"

"Well..." Dazai plopped his head on the back of the couch, patting his slim stomach under the open waistcoat. "I've heard there's a way to commit clean suicide by not eating for exactly five weeks, so I decided to give it a go."

You blinked out of your shock, the strangely excited glint in his eyes making you painfully uneasy. 'How can someone look that excited about dying?' "And... How long have you gone, exactly?"

"About;" Dazai raised both eyes up in pondering. "A week and a half."

'A week and a half? And he can still walk?!'

"But I don't think it'll work..." The brunette pouted. Pouted, as if he just had some big present taken away from him.

"Why?"

"I'm beginning to feel very uncomfortable, and in pain, which means this won't be a perfect suicide." His eye looked back to the book as he straightened. "It's a shame, really."

'Oh yeah... I’m sure it’s a real shame.' You narrowed your expression - turning to the kitchen with motives driven by your near starvation. Usually, you could go days without eating, be it by choice or not. But maybe it was all the literal life or death scenarios you've been put through this week that demanded more food energy than ever - because by God you were hungry. 

The kitchen of his apartment was as furnished and clean as the rest of the place was - a wooden shutter shielding the moonlight from entering, however, failing as it was slightly crooked and allowing crisp rays of white to illuminate the place. You looked up - seeing that the wire which holds a lightbulb had been snapped off and devoid of any light. You blinked at the shortage - really not wanting to know how it came to be so broken in the first place.

"Where do I look?!" You called over your shoulder, the small space magnifying your low voice.

"There should be a fridge in there somewhere. A big white box."

"Big white box..." Your eyes scanned the counters littered with empty bottles of bourbon and whiskey - catching the moonlight and glinting tauntingly at you. A kettle - of sorts - missing the cord was cuddled in the corner and collecting dust indefinitely - but other than that, you really didn't know how someone could healthily sustain themselves in such a barren place.

'Then again. I don't think the word "Healthy" fits with Dazai Osamu that well at all.'

Large (e/c) eyes found the thing he was looking for - did he say fridge? -  a large white cube sitting under one of the cabinets with a handle attached to the side. You leaned down and yanked the box open, startled that it lit up with artificial light as the door opened fully.

Although your look of pure amazement was switched very swiftly for a look of disgust at what you found.

"Dazai?"

"Yes?" The brunette had an idea of what you were inquiring about but decided to let you ask anyway.

"Are you an alcoholic?"

Dazai's lips tugged at the sides as he tossed his heavy hair out of his view - he still hasn't gotten the shampoo you threw at him out of it, either. "Why would you accuse me of such a thing?"

"Because!" You widened your eyes at the contents of the fridge. Bottles upon bottles of alcohol were what littered the few shelves, some half empty some completely unopened. 'Low on funds my ass!' "You have like, ten bottles of bourbon in here!"

"Ahh... They were all gifts from the Agency."

Your face turned immensely skeptical. "I find that very hard to believe."

"How come? Miss (Y/n), do you not think I have any friends at the Agency?"

You shut the fridge with a small sound of suction, before spotting an apple sitting on the table close by. You grabbed it rather hungrily, coming to the conclusion that it would be enough to fill you for the night and stalked back into the living room. "Well... Something tells me that Kunikida isn't someone who would give you a present, with all due respect."

"Ah!" Dazai shut his book once more - except this time in an excited eureka as if he was remembering something. "Speaking of Kunikida, you're starting something exciting tomorrow."

"Exciting? What is it?" You sank your teeth into the apple, enjoying how the fresh juices poured into your mouth.

"Training."

"Training?"

"With Kunikida."

You almost choked on the piece you just swallowed.

"What?"

"I think you'll have a great time." The brunette smiled a smile that was very far from reassuring. In fact, it looked somewhat daring. Mocking even, making you narrow your eyes. You didn't have the strength to glare as the thought of you meeting your utter demise by the hands of an angry blonde with glinting glasses shrouded your mind.

"A great time?'  You hissed, swallowing harshly as Dazai placed his book down on the table. "Dazai, he'll kill me. He has the perfect chance to do it and it's now!"

"Hmm. I don't think Kunikida-kun is that harsh."

"I left the downstairs in tatters today."

Dazai went silent, the events flashing by in the form of a bemused sparkle in his eyes. "... Okay, maybe he might go a bit tough -"

"Dazai!"

"Look look," Dazai waved his half bandaged hands before him, closing both eyes. "I didn't advise this at all - the President did. And I'm sure, he had some kind of talk with Kunikida-kun warning him not to harm you."

You took another shaky bite of the apple, this time around it felt a bit hard to swallow. "Are you sure?"

He smiled stupidly. "Positive."

You looked away, fixing a gaze over to the coffee table. 'Training with Kunikida... Huh? I wonder how that will go.'

Probably terribly.

You began running the different scenarios of how tomorrow will go in your head - trying to diminish which one could be the worst and which could be the best case scenario. When practically all of them turned out with you gaining either a broken leg or arm - did you sigh defectively. 'Most definitely terrible.'

"Oh, and another thing. Ranpo-san has taken up your case."

You whirled back to the brunette with raised eyebrows. "My case? I have a case?"

"I mean, he has taken up the duty of investigating your ability."

'My ability?' "Wait, he can do that?"

Dazai cocked his head to the side. "Well, I wouldn't put it past him. He's probably the best detective in Japan."

You took another bite of the apple - now bitten right down to the core and definitely filling you up for the rest of the night. 'He's going to investigate my ability? Like, he's going to try to figure out how I can manage this stupid thing?'

Can he really do that?

Is he capable of doing such a thing?

The thought made something akin to hope bubble in your gut at the anticipation of having a normal life in arms reach - not blacking out spastically and waking up to realize you've killed dozens of people, not having to curse yourself and ask why you were alive every single day, sleeping without nightmares haunting you all the time - living just like...a normal girl.

Did you deserve that?

"Miss (Y/n)?"

You were grounded back into reality at the call, the scene of Dazai sitting before you with a curious expression. "What?"

"You've been smiling for the last thirty seconds."

"... Shut up."

"Ah, it's getting late." You followed his eyes as he glanced at an imaginary clock on his wrist. "You should head to bed if you're starting training tomorrow. I don't think Kunikida-kun will appreciate it if you're tired on the first day."

"Hm." You placed the apple core on the coffee table - seeming as though the man doesn't own as little as a damn trash can. "I guess you're right."

'It might be the last sleep I get.'

"You know..." The brunette purred suggestively, gazing up at you in the oddest way. "The offer for you to sleep in my bed still stands."

"No thanks."

"Awh... Are you sure?"

You began walking in the other direction - the thought of sleep calling you in high octaves from his room. Images of you sleeping in the same bed as the man behind you flashed in your groggy mind - causing you to groan unceremoniously. Then you began to remember earlier -

"Definitely!"

 

Chapter Text

After having another brief monologue with yourself that night while staring at the ceiling about how inexplicitly bad tomorrow could go - you had come to the conclusion that you were about to die. 

Brutally. Swiftly. Agonisingly - In the hands of the angriest blonde you have ever met in your entire life. 

But after sitting there and reliving every single situation that could go down - and hearing countless reassurances from Dazai who was gathering way too much amusement from your unending doom - you came to the realization that maybe this couldn't be so bad.

Right?

You groaned with screwed eyes as you landed flat on your back - pain erupting up your spine in electric currents as the floorboards whined underneath you. For the umpteenth time this morning.

'Wrong! So very wrong!'

"Get up!"

His loud voice was more intimidating than his demeanor and definitely sounded like something you wouldn't mind hearing in a Police Squadron - or may be used to command huge crowds in the army. However, when it was being directed at a frail female whose head was now spinning due to shock and maybe a slight bit of exhaustion, it really wasn't considered music to the ears.

You reached up to rub the back of your sore skull as you opened both eyes. His figure was lean and shrouded in a halo of morning sun that shadowed his face completely - and you couldn't help but scoff at the irony of it. 'A halo around Kunikida Doppo.' Now that was something you couldn't document every day. Especially, when he had just flipped you right to the ground in the harshest way he could.

"Didn't you hear me?" You winced at his tone. "I said get up."

The dojo was quiet and shut off from the rest of the Armed Detective Agency, with screen doors that did little to shut out any sound but a hell of a lot when keeping light out. It was a small room, to say the least, the floorboards polished and felt smooth under bare feet, the bonsai tree that was sitting quietly in the corner and trimmed to utmost perfection, the pile of wooden swords to practice was laying right next to one of the open windows. The only open window - could you add - that was allowing any air into the space and was being blocked by no other than your new instructor himself.

Or as you liked to refer to him as your worst nightmare.

You bit back a retort, mainly because you didn't want to get your ass more whipped than you already were, and staggered to your feet. Sharp pain that traveled up your side introduced yet another lovely bruise for you to examine when you took your shirt off next, along with many others that were now only slow aches around your body. You lost count of how many you had acquired - and it had only been twenty minutes.

The blonde didn't move to attack you, however, he did place both hands behind his back and stood bulletin straight. "Again."

"What do you...mean, again?" You tried in the harshest tone you could with bathed breathing. Kunikida didn't move at the remark, but simply glared at you with disapproving eyes.

"Attack me again."

"I don't know how!" The built-up frustration you were beginning to feel spilled over from your body and became evident on your face. A scowl was what met his icy eyes. "I've never attacked someone in my life!"

"Oh. You haven't?" By the way he stated it - it sounded as if he really didn't believe you. You narrowed blurring (e/c) eyes at him.

"No. I haven't."

"What about all the people you brutally killed? Are you saying you never attacked them?"

The words were bare to the bone and cut right through you - to a point where it actually felt as if you would vomit. Images of lifeless eyes glazed and unmoving stared at you through a detached reality of memories, along with many other bodies that piled up wherever you went. Blood stained hands that could never be washed tightened to fists at your side, while a new form of rage took over you.

"I never attacked them." 'It wasn't me.'

Kunikida stiffened, maybe he was trying to keep as passive as he could at the blatant denial.

"How could you say something like that?" He hissed, eyes forming slits of grey steel.

"Because..." You were shaking now - his cruelness towards you since day one becoming very clear to you at the moment. "It wasn't me. It's not like I have a choice -"

"Then why come here!" He took one step out of his ice shell - moving so as the sunlight that was once a halo shifted and illuminated part of his golden hair. Instinct fully, you took one back. "Why are you here!?"

'Because I want to change.' "Because I thought you people could help me."

Kunikida threw a hand out in exasperation. "Help you? Help you? By putting every single agent in the Agency in danger for one person?! At what cost will it mean!?"

You went to open your mouth in defense, although letters wouldn't form the words that suited. A crushing feeling grabbed your heart and squeezed, his sheer distaste for the words feeling like a dagger that stabbed right through your gut, aiding the reality that dawned on you in the worst possible way.

"I still can't believe that the Director gave you a pass either!"

A tiger with glittering eyes lay before you - still and unmoving in a pool of his own crimson blood. You stood there with him at your feet - shaking hands looking up at you coated in dark blood that wasn't your own.

'You're wrong...'

" - Putting all of us in danger just for one woman!"

Two siblings with similar attributes harboring heads of ginger and ebony hair were still only a few meters away. One sitting slumped against the table of the Armed Detective Agency with a light shirt stained with red splotches - the other laying in his lap and equally as still, her face adorning an expression of shock as it rendered itself unmovable.

'You're wrong...'

" - And having the Yokohama Police Force eyeing us every time we go on missions because they know we have you under our watch!"

You blinked once, hearing the blood pump in your ears and breathing that shifted to a ragged panic. Darkness enveloped the scene for a nanosecond before you opened both eyes and subjected them to a whole new view. A view of every agent that belonged to the Armed Detective Agency was at your feet - unmoving, lifeless, covered in a red bodily fluid that was their own. A set of glasses were cracked and lay beside its blonde owner, a straw hat covered a bubbly ashen-haired agent's face as it wouldn't smile again, a detective's brilliant eyes were shut and covered by black bangs, a director who would never wield his samurai sword ever again.

'You're wrong. You're wrong!'

"Why would we do that? Why would that idiot, ever bring you here in the first place?! And here I am thinking he was the only person the Director could actually trust!"

The whole scene was gut-wrenching - like if some innocent bystander happened to see it, they would immediately faint or shut their eyes in a desperate attempt to unsee such a thing. But not you. You couldn't unsee the inevitable when it presented itself to you. Something that even though you tried to ignore it so much - you knew was going to happen. You would end up hurting them.

You would end up hurting all of them.

'...You're...You're.'

You would end up hurting all of them.

'...You're...'

'I would end up hurting, them all -'

Two fists that were tightened at your sides lost all strength and opened flat - to a point where they hung limp. The sun moved higher in the sky and cast a traveling shadow on the polished floor. Both eyes that only harbored colors of darkened (e/c) followed it, waiting for it to reach you and throw you into a dark pool of despair.

'You're...' Their bodies became more sickening by the moment. 'Righ-'

But then, a familiar feeling of warmth made you widen two frozen eyes more than they already were. Your breathing was shallow and loud as a hand came from behind your shaking figure - covered in a strange fashion of white bandages - and rested on both eyes to shield the scene from view. A darkness was what you allowed yourself to be subdued to - but this wasn't the darkness you were ever used to. 

This darkness was warm.

You blinked your way out of the daydream, eyes alighting with life again as the same anger that dissipated moments ago was filled right back up in that little body of yours. What exactly caused this new shift of adrenaline inside you, was begotten to your senses.

All that you really were focused on at the moment was the blonde man that had caused you such agitation standing with arms folded in front of you.

"You're wrong..." It was a mumble at first - a mumble that your instructor actually didn't hear.

"What?" Kunikida spat, the sun now alighting the upper half of his stoic face as it raised.

You ground your teeth at the back while your voice was becoming unsteady - trying to contain the anger by clenching both fists once more. "I said... You're wrong."

Kunikida began tapping an agitated finger against his forearm. "What do you mean I'm-"

"I'm a danger." You cut right across him. "I know it. I've known it since the very first time I hurt someone when I was eight years old. I've known it ever since I've been locked away my whole life because of what I am. I've known it since I hurt so many people I've tried to help. I've known it when I woke up to realize the countless bodies I've taken life away from the first time I came to this town. I was born a hazard. A danger. A monster."

You took a breath, as short as it was. The room fell silent as the blonde instructor was quietened right down at your outburst, however, you were very far from being done with it.

"I would have been better dead, I've been told it so many times." You went on, voice getting higher. "And I started to believe it, you know? When you're killing people against your will and having to live with it, reality really becomes a big pain in the ass to keep going with. But I did. Hoping, god did I hope it would get better. For years. But it never did - it never did get better. I was stuck in this endless loop of despair that I couldn't get out of - "

You came up for oxygen before the words robbed you of any more. "But then - I found somewhere. An office full of stupid people that do honest to god stupid things to protect the city of Yokohama, that took me in without any kind of obstruction. They didn't want anything to gain, nor did they want to use me for anything. And neither did he."

Brown eyes. 

Brunette hair.

A soft smile.

"That stupid superior of mine - " Tears were burning at the back of your eyes, but you were about to be damned if you were about to let them fall. "He chased me down in some dark alleyway, and no matter how much I begged him to turn me in... He didn't." 

Gentle words.

Quirky comments.

Annoyingly awful requests.

"And up until now... He's done a lot for me that I would rather die than tell to his face -" You felt like cursing yourself as a blob of water dropped right to the floor. "And for that person... For the agency... For myself."

Kunikida swallowed down something hard as the woman lifted her head - all anger filled eyes of (e/c) that were overflowing with stray tears and a strong aura that had him awfully confused with himself.

"- I want to change myself. I want to try change myself. And if that's selfish of me, or inconsiderate - or whatever it could be - then I'll be damned to hell if it is." 

The small space both of you shared went deadly quiet. Nothing but the sounds of your breathing and a stray bird outside kept you somewhat company.

The blonde was having a hard time with himself as you stared at him with determined eyes - the last time he saw that was when Atsushi was with him in his first training session - but that wasn't nearly as fiery as how you were looking at him. His ideal says he should hate you, judging by page twenty-three he should actually seek your life,  but he was stopped. So, he was adamant about hating you.

'I want to change myself!'

So just why -

'I want to try change myself!'

Kunikida's left eyebrow began to twitch. 'Why does something in me tell me not to?!'

"Hate me if you want to." Her words were somewhat surprising as she wiped the few tears off of her face. "But, I'm sticking with what I said. I'll put up with your stupidly harsh training sessions, but I'm not leaving."

The sunlight finally rose in the early hours of the morning - and now was illuminating both of you together in a golden sheen. Two fiery eyes of (e/c) matched with cold steely ones, and the whole moment was seized when he shut them in deep pondering.

"Your stance is off."

You adopted a look of perplexity. "What?"

"Your stance," He opened his eyes wide and concentrated, placing both arms behind his back and standing point straight again. "When coming at me, you drive forward with your weaker leg and push with the stronger."

You must have looked like the stupidest fish in the world - your jaw not wanting to lift itself off the ground. 'So... He isn't about to kill me?'

"Hate takes too much of my time, and energy which I duel fully calculate every day to perfection." His voice was cold and royally pissed off no matter how much he tried to mask it for authority. "But I don't think I can ever accept you as one of my co-workers."

You went to speak - more than likely to say "Thank you", as homicide was now off of his list -  before he silenced you down with more words of surprise.

"... But my teacher told me to give you one chance."  He looked awfully torn on his stoic face, like he really didn't agree with the terms whatsoever, but was forcing himself to. "And I intend to obey my Director with everything in me..."

You raised an inquisitive eyebrow - genuinely confused at the whole dilemma.

"Prove it to me."

"Prove... What?"

"Prove to me that you want to change. Train as hard as you possibly can. Help the Agency as much as your sanity will allow it to. And no matter what happens, always put the ADA before yourself, that's what it means to become a true Agent of the Armed Detective Agency. But if you hurt any of my co-workers," His whole persona changed to one of a dangerously hostile animal. "You'll answer to me."

A small smile of gratitude split your face into a grin - right after you got done hanging that warning for you to remember every single day in your brain. "Don't worry, I intend to be the best agent I can."

"Good." Kunikida shifted stances - now holding one open hand out in front of him and bending forward. "Now, come at me."

You placed your stronger leg behind while placing the weaker one in front like he instructed you to, trying to figure out the best place to run for and not get thrown to the ground once again. And more importantly - with everything you had in you this time around too.

'Huh...'

"Yes, sir!"

You pushed off your front leg, now making a mad dash for the frozen giant standing in front.

'Maybe he isn't so bad after all.'

 


 

 

During the entirety of the training session, it was safe to say you didn't touch Kunikida's body once, nor did you come close to it at all.

A low groan slipped from your mouth as you rubbed the small of your back that got repeatedly pummelled as it landed in the same position on the ground every single moment he flipped you. Every time you went for him - it happened so fast your mind wouldn't be able to prepare for it quick enough; Your forearm was twisted no matter how much you tried to avoid it, and you were on the floor face-up once again before you could count to two.

'Man...' The pain got worse with every step - these stupid heels not being helpful at all - as you made your way from the dojo to the main office of the Agency. 'It must be magic or something.'

Well that or, he was as terrifying at beating people up as everyone makes him out to be.

His warning made sure to make a statement in your brain - causing an involuntary shiver to capture you as you imagined what his full strength could be. Or even worse, what he gets like when he's mad.

The hall was quiet and dimly lit, only filled with one door on the right that looked like a sort of closet and the main dark oak one at the end that led you into the main office. You only briefly let the thought of "Why the hell is there a closet in such a narrow hallway?" plagiarize you before you lost all interest in it altogether. What you really were interested in was a voice that sounded like Ranpo's singing a song about Dango and how it was the best thing in the world, muffled by the door. Why you were interested in the detective's voice in the first place, was because you were scheduled to meet with him right after training.

'I wonder what questions he'll ask...' A nervous knot made your stomach heavy as the thought of him prying into your personal life became a fear in your anxious mind. It was highly likely - he was a detective wasn't he?

You began picking up the pace down the hall, realizing you were about to be late for the meeting. You weren't sure how Ranpo Edogawa was with people being late - but you were always a careful person in any way.

'Two minutes...' You passed the oak door. 'I'm sure I have two minutes before I need to meet-'

But that 'two' was very quickly about to be stretched considerably to an infinite amount as the closet door opened behind you - something that you didn't initially recognize - until you were grabbed right around the wrist and pulled straight into the dark abyss of unknown, the door shutting behind you.

 


 

 

A pale hand clutched the file that was handed to him last night by his fiery-haired accomplice - while he traced a slender finger across the picture of the woman he was meant to target. Lovingly, the man let his face turn into a twisted smile at her soft features. Fragile. Untouched. Simply beautiful.

"(Y/n) (L/n)..." The room was dark as he called the name from the file in a breathy voice - even though he couldn't see it. He had memorized it completely.

"I can't wait to break you."

 


 

 

"Mmpf - Help-!" You struggled against the captor in the darkroom, your aching bones and muscles really not aiding you in the task whatsoever. The hanging light was sent flying from side to side as one of your flailing arms hit it - casting a dancing glow of foggy yellow that spread across the boxed in walls. "I'm being attac-"

"Shh! Miss (Y/n)! You'll get us caught!"

You stopped frozen altogether as his close-in-range voice rang in your subconscious. One eyebrow raised in exasperation as you struggled from under him - even though his slim body seems to have more strength than you hold him accountable for - until you broke free. Or he let you go. You liked to think you broke free from him to save your ego the blow of how weak you really were.

You spun around with wide eyes, only to be met with ones of dark brown that looked way too excited to be in a damp closet. The dust stuck to your lungs as you coughed - making yelling at the man out of the question if you wanted to save your lungs the straining.

"What are you doing?" So, you opted for a venomous hiss that made him smile even wider. A smile that, only held mischievous intentions behind it.

"I have a question to ask you."

"And you couldn't have just met me in the office to do so?" You were hinting at the closet he just abducted you to, which was something that really shouldn't have two human bodies inside it judging by how you hit his knee with your thigh every time you went to move.

"No, this question is a bit more... Personal to me."

You looked at him with a perplexed stare that he probably couldn't see due to the dim lighting. But what you could see, was his face that was shadowed in dusty hues of yellow and eyes that were bright with elation. You swallowed at how sincere he looked - trying to push yourself more forcefully against the wall. But as you accounted for earlier, this closet really shouldn't have two people fitted into it.

"And... Uh... Ok... What is it?" 'Well, that was a coherent sentence!'

Dazai flitted his eyes up to the ceiling and back - shifting so as you two now had literally no personal space to your name. Your head was foggy because the distance between you two - simply because you haven't been close to a man in years - but the next action was what made you hold your breath. He had reached up with that long hand that only showed a slim fraction of skin and rested it on your right cheek. Your eyes went the size of saucers as he smiled softly.

"(Y/n)..." That was the first time he addressed you so comfortably before. Your mouth opened soundlessly as his face split into the most sincere smile you have ever seen.

'What... Is going on?'

"Will you do the honor..." He skimmed his thumb across your cheekbone, that was now on fire for the reason that this closet is way too warm for two people to be in.

"Of committing double suicide with me?"

You allowed your brain to freeze for one second - rendering the situation in a logical point of view before what the bastard was saying hit you across the head. Well in hindsight, it didn't hit you across the head, but more hit him across the head when you picked up a stray bottle of floor cleaner and threw it at him.

"What is wrong with you!?" Your face felt tingly - from the dust that was in this small space - as he recoiled back as much as the closet would allow him. Your breathing was labored for some reason - the oxygen in this place is really dropping - while you felt your respiratory organ work in your ears.

'I could be allergic to dust -' You tried to back up against the wall as much as you could, watching as he whined in pain with the hand that was just on your face now sitting on his head. 'If I get a heart attack because of you, you'll get more than a floor cleaner to the head you suicidal piece of trash!'

But, can heart attacks be caused by allergies?

...

You decided to push that thought away for now.

"Miss (Y/n)~" Dazai whined, looking up at you through his heavy hair. "Why do you always feel the need to through empty bottles at me?"

The scene from yesterday came back to mind - something that you buried in your memory to never be found again - and somehow, the temperature of the closet rose in significant figures.

"Why did you ask me to commit suicide with you, in a damp closet!?" You snarled at him, face still burning while you came to the conclusion that you need to get out of here before you probably collapsed. From oxygen deprivation, of course.

"Because you're a beautiful woman." He straightened, the light in his eyes fading to the normal color of dusty brown that you were familiar with. "And I've now made it my goal to end my life in the company of a beautiful woman."

"Okay, one." You raised a finger, also trying to keep the small distance between you two existing. "Stop calling me that. It's weird. And two - "  You raised another. "I'm not about to commit freaking suicide with you!"

"Awh...What a shame." He looked crestfallen - he actually looked disappointed - folding both arms across his chest and staring at you defiantly. The light portrayed many dust particles that were dancing between you two. "It would have been perfect if I could find rest with you."

"Why do you say that?" It was a question you spat in general confusion, or maybe you were disturbed. Or maybe, it was a mix of both.

Dazai shrugged. "I feel like I could find peace with the woman who granted me life."

You stood still, the sentence catching you well off guard but you didn't retaliate further. You didn't really want to get into the logistics of your ability in a very hot and very dusty closet with a man who asked you to commit suicide with him. But that being said, you didn't want to tell him he was right, either.

So, you decided to settle on; "That's some pretty dumb reasoning."

"Not in my eyes it isn't." His tone switched stern - however it didn't sound hostile at all.

The closet went quiet. The type of quiet that made someone want to escape the situation but something inside you told you to stay.

"Oh!" He snapped out of whatever serious monologue he was having with himself. "How was training with Kunikida-kun?"

As if on cue to his question, the same nagging pain began biting your spine from where you fell. You winced slightly as you moved. "It could have gone worse..."

'If you hurt any of my co-workers..' His cold face came back to your mind, impassive yet warning at the same time. 'You'll have to answer to me.'

"... A lot worse, actually." Now that you thought about it.

"Hmm..." Dazai hummed in thought, tapping his bottom lip - something you figured he does a lot when thinking. "He must have gone easier than I thought he would."

You scowled at him in the dim light. "You sadistic bastard. What outcome were you expecting him to get out of me?"

"Well, I was expecting him to make you cry..."

The thought of tears falling out of your eyes due to how grateful you were to the Armed Detective Agency and more specifically - this man standing before you in close range graced your memories begrudgingly. Will you ever admit that he managed to move emotions in you?

No.

Even if someone held a gun to the back of your head?

Never.

"Well, he seemed to have a change of heart." You said with a matter-of-fact tone like you were proud that Kunikida Doppo didn't actually take your life during the hour-long training session you had with it. He had come close a few times, but still, at least you still had your arms and legs.

"I wish he would treat me that well," Dazai whined again, closing both eyes. "He gave me a broken wrist once."

"Maybe if you stopped asking people to go kill themselves with you, then he'll be nicer to you."

"I only ask women who I feel I could fall in love with to commit suicide with me."

"Or, women who you feel you can manipulate into loving you to win a stupid bet." You raised an eyebrow at him, checking an imaginary watch on your wrist that you also noticed he seemed to like to do a lot in the same fashion. "Looks like you have twenty-nine days left, Mr. Osamu."

The brunette let out an airy laugh. "Are you keeping count?"

"But of course." You smiled wryly at him. "I can't wait to make you do something for me no matter what it is."

"And I - " He took a step closer, closing distance you liked to maintain between you two to a null. "Don't like to lose, and I don't intend to make this an exception."

You both stared at each other, in the most competitive way stares could go. He was considerably taller than you - maybe by like two inches or so - but it was only noticeable to you now that you had to strain your neck up to see him eye to eye. Both of you were not backing down by the looks of things - but the thought of how much of an extent this man would go to make you fall for him, made something very foreign to you tug at your insides and made a feeling of uneasiness settle on you completely.

'To what extent...' His eyes looked bottomless under the dim light. 'Will you go, Dazai Osamu?'

'To what extent...' The brunette was having a similar thought of his own, the small female with a rising chest that was almost touching his own stared up at him. 'Will you go to resist me, (Y/n) (L/n)?'

You would have stared at each other a lot longer than you did, if it wasn't for the interruption that had both of you tearing your head to the door. The light illuminated the entire space as the closet was opened by a small individual that you had to squint to see, initially. However when your eyes did adjust, did they take in the appearance of a man with two closed emerald eyes that seemed to see regardless, detectives get up of a small hat that hid a head of raven hair and cape, a box of Dango sweets sitting closed in his grip. 

You both froze - you being a statue, Dazai being mildly amused but stiff from surprise - as the detective raised an eyebrow.

"What are you two doing in here?" He sounded beyond unimpressed.

Heat clawed at your skin as you noticed just how inexplicitly bad this must have looked. "Uhm... Ah.... Ah..."

"Ranpo-san." Dazai flew to the rescue, or so you thought. "You should knock first when a man and a woman are enjoying each other's company."

Ranpo's frown deepened at the thought - before he trusted the box of half-eaten Dango at him. "I don't know what you two were doing in here, nor do I want to know, but put this on the back shelf." Dazai took the heavy box into his grasp. "But you."

You blinked as he stared disapprovingly at you. Or, so you thought. "You were meant to meet me eleven minutes ago."

"Uhm... I'm sorry... I was stopped by - "

"No, no, no." He waved his hand in the air to stop you. "I don't want to know what you were up to."

"But we weren't-" You went to save yourself, but by the way he shook his hand, you decided to stop digging a bigger hole for yourself than you already were.

"See me in the meeting room in ten minutes," He turned on his heel, making sure to give you a strange expression before he did. "You're lucky I'm the best detective in Japan, or I wouldn't be able to solve your case in under five minutes before I have to leave!"

Your mortified expression turned back to Dazai, who looked like he just witnessed the funniest scene he could have and judging by his eyes - it had just made his morning.

"Do you enjoy ruining my life?" You deadpanned at him, his smile only deepening at your distaste.

"It's quite amusing."

"You want to know what else is amusing?" You said cynically, grabbing another bottle that felt considerably heavier from the back shelf.

The brunette cocked his head. "What?"

And with that, you forcefully, swiftly - and with as much strength as you could - you bonked him over the head for the second time in that same morning.

 

Chapter Text

 

 

You didn't really like being interrogated. 

On a very personal level that was. You didn't particularly favour revealing a lot about yourself to people you had only just met - or had spoken two or more words to since you met them - but you decided to push all of that out the hypothetical window for now as this meeting room didn't actually have one of those, only adding to the ambiance that you were a caged animal being assessed by two bored-looking emerald eyes straight ahead. 

Or, well that's how you essentially felt.

The bearer of the same sparkling eyes that were still indeed, closed, propped his lean legs up on the table and leaned back in the chair. You watched with an anxious gaze as the lollipop stick lobbed around in his mouth and, if you didn't know any better, you could have really thought he was sound asleep if you were from a naïve point of view.

But that was something you were definitely not - naïve.

You eyed the detective skeptically for a few lingering moments before your gaze absentmindedly slipped to the clipboard sitting on the table separating you two. The paperwork held in place by the metallic clamp was untouched for the most part - regardless of the date in the top-right corner and your full printed name smack in the center of the title in bold print. Your eyebrows deepened as you tried to read the smaller text printed underneath - but was stopped from doing so as the clipboard was snatched right from under your curious eyes.

"Oi! That's classified information!" Ranpo had the thin stock-wood in his left hand, popping the red lollipop from his mouth and making sure to waggle it at you. "I was told not to allow you to read it!"

Your face looked unimpressed. "But there's nothing on it."

Ranpo's face turned sour, snapping two eyes - or... err, closed eyes - to the pad before he dropped it with a sigh onto the table. "Kunikida told me I had a case the President wanted me to take up, but he never told me that paperwork was involved."

"But... You're a detective..." You vaguely recalled seeing Atsushi stumbling with a large quantity of similar looking sheets this morning. "Don't you need to fill in paperwork?"

"No!" It was defiant, and honestly, you thought that you hurt his feelings when he shoved the sweet back into his mouth with a loud huff. The man crossed his arms tightly, something that you would see mimicked in a six-year-old child. Hell, even Dazai wasn't that childish. "I'm the best detective in Japan, I don't need to study paperwork."

A distasteful thought clouded your mind for a small minute as you stared at him - but was quickly abandoned when the case from yesterday came back to mind, exaggerating that such a narcissistic statement from the man might actually be true.

"So... Then why are you so upset?"

"Because! If the President assigned this case to me, then I have to do the paperwork because he probably needs to put in on file for the Police and it's just so annoying!"

You blinked in blatant shock as the famed detective, who you learned was actually twenty-six years old, finished his small tantrum about finishing a file of paperwork. Your hands went under both thighs as you shifted awkwardly in the hard seat, the sound of his foot tapping on the ground being the only thing aiding your mind with thinking.

"So, erm... What is the paperwork about, essentially?"

Ranpo's dark eyebrows knitted. "Something to do with your information that I have to ask you about. Not that I need to in order to solve this case."

You chewed on your bottom lip, glancing down at the page with pondering eyes of (e/c). 'My information, huh?'

"Would you perhaps," You glanced back up at the raven-haired detective. "Like me to fill it out for you?"

"Can't-do!" He shot you back a disapproved scowl. "I told you, it's classified information."

"But, you're only filling out my information. Would it not make more sense if I filled it out for you rather than you asking and writing?"

Ranpo went still for a moment, maybe in deep thinking. Or, perhaps, he might have actually fallen asleep this time by how his head was tilted back and both eyes were shut indefinitely. However, the possibility was quickly disbanded after a few seconds as he heaved another sigh - pulling the lollipop out of his mouth and pointing it at you again.

"You are not to tell President this." You watched as he wagged it threateningly - as threatening as a lollipop could be.

You smiled softly, crossing the area where your heart is usually located. "I won't. Cross my heart and hope to die."

The detective held the lollipop in the air as he searched you for any more means of mistrust. However, he must have found none - or he just got bored - before he shoved the red ball of sugar back into his mouth and leaned back into the chair again, actually looking like he would fall asleep this time. You reached for the clipboard before you.

'Man...' Your eyes quickly scanned the formal page tinted in blue. There were a handful of generic questions about births, occupations, crime, suspects that littered down the page - each one with a small answer box underneath. 'For someone who's amazing at his job, he really is lazy.'

The title was what hit you first, in the most frightful few letters it could.

 

Yokohama Police Force

Investigation Report


'Investigation... Report?'

"Uhm, Ranpo?"

"Hm?" He sounded half awake.

"Are you the only detective, investigating my case?"

Ranpo continued to enjoy the confection in his mouth, placing both arms behind his head and exhaling deeply. "That's classified information!"

Your eyes flitted warily down to the form in hand and right back up to the detective sitting across. "I don't see why it has to be so classified when I'm the one you're investigating on."

Ranpo made a whine that filled the air. "Are you going to do that paperwork or not?” 

"But-"

"Aap!” 

"If-"

"No!" 

You bit your tongue before you could let a frustrated yell at him - for the sole reason that he was the detective leading this case - and hell if you were going to rupture that for a short temper. Instead, you cursed him silently in your subconscious for you only to hear, glancing back down at the form resting on the dark wood.

The pen felt heavy as you were aware of it in your grasp, while you read the first box.

Suspect Name;

'Okay, easy enough...' You scratched your full name in choppy letters, the feel of writing being foreign to you as you hadn't done it in such a long time. The letters came out sloppy and looked like a young child had written it, but hey - at least it was readable.

Age;

Sex;

Date of Birth;

Hometown;

You answered the next four silently with the same handwriting, the sound of Ranpo now humming a strange tune accompanying you. It actually sounded like the song he was singing this morning about the Dango sweets he so greatly loved, but now the lyrics were crafted to center around the lollipop in his mouth. And surprisingly, the lyrics fit really well.

You felt your face frown slightly - 'Was there anything this man couldn't do?'

Then the double-printed page came to limelight now being ruefully assaulted with your choppy handwriting, earning itself an amused sound that never interrupted the green-eyed detectives singing. 'Paperwork, apparently.'

The next few questions were quite generic, nothing too personal, simple straightforward enquires about basic identification that you expected a police station to need to keep track of that you scratched answers down with immense concentration. Not that you really needed to be so concentrated, but maybe it was the thought of you know being open to the Police of this town had you on edge - well that or Ranpo's obnoxious singing was putting you off.

The next question made you hesitate. 

Likes;

'Likes...?'

What was such a personal question doing in a government printed form? You sure didn't think it to be protocol - even if city life was something you were still gradually getting to know - but, judging by the questions previously that sounded as if a robot had just printed them out and handed them to yours truly, then this was a big standout from what you had grown accustomed to jotting vague answers to moments prior. And speaking about vague -

You let two confused (e/c) eyes scan the remaining five questions that decorated the page until the end - these ones now harboring even bigger boxes underneath for you to answer with larger sentences. 

Dislikes; 

Fondest Achievement;

A goal for the near future; 

Closest Person(s);

Biggest Fear; 

The pen hovered idily over the first box - your brain drawing a major blank at the strange enquires and honestly - you did a quick once over to the very top of the sheet to determine that indeed it belonged to the police department and the Agency wasn't screwing you over. An onset of tingling guilt immediately pounded you for thinking so when the far right corner displayed a crest in sharp crimson ink that read Yokohama Police Force Stamp of Approval, meaning that the page was indeed legitimate and the Armed Detective Agency was still trying to do the best the could for you in their power.

'Honestly, me...' Kunikida's sharp steel eyes came back to mind. 'If you want to prove yourself to anyone at all, you have to stop suspecting people!' 

Right. Good point, and something you desperately needed to work on in the near future - but now, now was the time for concentrating. You shook your shoulders back as if to try to rid yourself fo the lingering thoughts due to a bad habit and began to focus on the first question. Really focus. Eyes straining, brain racking, pen tightening kind of focus that blocked out any sound that tried to distract you.

It worked, for a considerable amount of time.

'Things that I like...?' You began scribbling down the sun, clear skies, the color brown which just happened recently. Not for any particular reason, you just happened to begin to grow fond of the color brown over the last few years, nor did you really want to inspect the meaning behind such a thing whatsoever. Birds... 

Then your brain decided to allow Ranpo's voice to shatter that concentration for a few seconds of borrowed time. Or perhaps, throw it off altogether. 

"So what's the deal with you and Dazai?" 

Your pen slipped out of sheer surprise - making the 's' at the end of birds look like a deformed 'd'.

"What do you mean?" You blinked slowly, trying to regain your shattered sense of concentration and make that 'd' look the way it was supposed to otherwise the Police would have you down for not being able to spell either. And with a whole case file with fourteen suspects under your name, you needed all the best impressions you could get.

"You and Dazai." The detective sounded teasing as his speech was muffled by the lollipop. You scratched the page more forcefully in an attempt to rid the swirling dark eyes that popped into your head whenever his name beckons itself to your mind, making that 'd' look... Nothing like a letter of the English alphabet whatsoever anymore.

Great.

"I don't know what you're talking about..." His face was now smiling stupidly in your mind as you tried to answer the next question with as much fever as your 30% active brain would allow. The other 70% was immensely concentrated on fighting down the heat clawing at your back to a point where it made you shift in the seat.

'Think the fondest achievement...' You tapped the pen on the clipboard, however even if you had any 'achievements'  per say to think about, the brunette that was standing way too close for comfort in some dark closet somewhere was not really letting you as the image became clearer in your head. Ranpo's amused humming was also definitely not helping either. At all. 

"You know - I've been told you're really good at solving puzzles." At the sound of your investigator's voice - did you finally will yourself to look up at him through a set of long eyelashes. (E/c) met closed shades of green as the sweet lay lazily in his right hand again - as if he uses it to make a statement.

"You have?" Your words were slightly sheepish. You weren't that good at solving anything, moreover you simply just liked the idea of making situations easier by choosing the best and more appropriate solution than going around the long way - and that was pretty much it. But on the scale of solving things like crime, the guy sitting across from you was on a whole different level. 

"Mhm. I even got to see it yesterday when you stole my spotlight in front of many Police Officers when I was the one called to the mission..." 

You opened your mouth to speak - maybe to say a small 'sorry' - but was cut off when he popped the sweet back and went on with muffled words.

"But I will admit you're good. Not as good as me, but still, you're probably as good at solving problems as I was when I was ten years old - no." He squinted his face up in thought. "When I was nine years old. You have a long way to go before you want to catch up to be as good as me."

An incoherent voice tipped your tongue for his blatant big-headedness, but you forced it down once again with the reminder of yes, this guy has a reason to gloat.

So instead, you skipped over the question of "Achievements" and skimmed right to the next one. A goal for the near future.

Well, at least that was considerably easy. You only had one goal for the future, and even if it was a bit far fetched to someone who didn't really know you or your resolves that well - then so be it. Regardless of such, you were allowed to dream, weren't you?

"So!" You finished writing the last letter of the answer with a small smile - being careful not to scratch the pen up in surprise like the last time - and beckoned to his call again. He was smiling now - pointing a finished lollipop stick at you in a eureka sense of victory. "I wouldn't like to think that you don't understand what I'm saying."

It took a second, however, all it did take for your memory to jog was an entity clouded in something like bandages and a dark aura that likes to think he can control everything to his will entering your mind again, and dammit you cursed yourself for it. You had finally gotten him out of your head only a second ago and now here you were, back at square one! 

"Well," You tried the sweetest smile your face would allow. "I guess the ten-year-old you wasn't as great at solving puzzles as you thought."

Ranpo raised an eyebrow. "I cracked thirteen closed cases in the time span of under a month by the time I turned nine, and by ten - I was a direct consultant for the Police Force where I lived."

"Maybe if I wasn't locked up my whole life," Dammit. You were giving away un-necessary information to people that didn't need it. Quick- think. Think! " - Then I may have caught up with you and understood what you were implying. But, sadly I was not and now, do not, so forgive me."

"It's not that hard though," Ranpo opened two palms in the air - and you only had a quick second to thank whatever God there was that he didn't pick up on your previous sentence. Or maybe he did, and was deciding not to say so - but still, the latter made you feel a lot better to believe in above all else. "When you see two people practically on top of each other in a closet with the door closed, then you would automatically assume-"

"Nothing. It was nothing." With each rising question, your patience was slipping further and further to a point of ruefully snapping. Honestly, you wanted to berate yourself for letting the thought of him and you being a unit get under your skin so bad - but, it was. For whatever unfathomable reason your brain couldn't logically conjure up - you were growing more agitated by the man who sported all brown eyes and white bandages that was now cemented in your head by the passing sentence. And not in the I want to throw him out of a window agitated way. It was a lot more along the lines of tingly, warm, stomach-twisting agitation that had you shifting in the seat and losing your focus more times than you were willing to count. Exactly why you were feeling such inane symptoms was something you couldn't really understand.

That being said, you weren't really sure you wanted to understand, either.

 

"Will you do the honor of committing double suicide with me?"

His body was close - close enough for you to feel the heat that came off of it and definitely close enough for you to forget how to breathe altogether. It was the closet, it had to be. The oxygen was being used up by two functioning bodies and was making you lose track of your breathing. Yes - that would explain the light-headedness and rapid pulsing in your ears. 

But, why did it feel like something else entirely?

 

Ranpo's laugh was distant and fogged as your eyes glazed and you lost all realization of what was going on around you. It was just you and your thoughts, as rapid as they were. Everything else just merged into the background and became non-existent. 

His unwavering determination... 

"(Y/n)." 

His soft-spoken words. 

"...(Y/n)?" 

His lopsided grin that you knew was hiding something deep and dangerous behind it.

"(Y/n)!" 

'... And his stupid idea that he could have any type of hold on me whatsoever!' 

"(Y/n)!"

You blinked up from the page, only to be greeted with a very displeased looking Ranpo Edogawa that was pointing his empty lollipop stick at you, eyebrows drawn. "I do not like to repeat myself!"

"Ah... Sorry." You silently thanked your inner goddess for saving you from your hormonal down swirl and bringing you back to the here and now. However, she was not quite good at dispelling the knot in your stomach that had settled there and had no means of going away - nor did she do a good job of ridding your mind of a dark set of brown eyes either.

So, you did the next best thing you thought yourself to be good at. Ignoring it.

"You know, for someone whose case I'm taking up out of the goodness of my heart, you don't seem all that excited to be here." Ranpo's tone was skeptical. "The things I do for you young people. The Agency should be blessed to have someone like me employed!"

'I'm sure the president put you up to this.' You raised an eyebrow but didn't let the thought be heard. You instead focused on the second last question on the page that was already half answered from before. You finished it swiftly.

"But don't worry." You got done signing the last letter of the page when the detective went to speak again. You watched as he leaned over the table and opened one intelligent emerald eyes. "I won't tell anyone about your secret relationship."

The knot in your stomach twisted harder as your own eyes went wider than they already were. "I can assure you we're not-"

"Anyway!" Ranpo's voice outshined yours - and you couldn't neglect the idea that he did it on purpose - however, regardless of your suspicion, the detective slid the clipboard over to him and ran a gaze down the page. You waited, hands clutching the underside of the chair and a mind alight with anticipation as he lingered for a moment longer. The room was subdued to a deafening silence -  a silence that felt heavy on your shoulders yet made your head light and dizzy at the same time.

"Your ability..." 

'This is it...' You clutched the seat harder.

"Is..." 

'After all these years...'

"...Going to have to wait until I come back from my mission!"

Your mouth opened in spellbinding shock, the former anticipation crumbling from your shoulders altogether in one soul-crushing go as the detective stood abruptly from the chair. He swung the cape across his left shoulder and began fixing the cap with his right hand, not sparing you one glance as he was doing so.

"...Seriously?" You deadpanned, giving him the firmest look you could when your hope had been squeezed right out of you. Ranpo gave you a delighted grin. 

"It's a busy business, being the best detective in the world." Now that surely was ambitious. The detective padded his pockets as if checking to see if he had everything - but instead pulled out another lollipop from his cape and undid the foiled wrapper. The lemon-colored ball revealed itself in all it's sugary glory before it was shoved into his mouth for the last time you were about to see it. " - But I will take a better look when I come back. You are permitted to leave now, and don't be late for the next meeting!"

You didn't move for a short minute. But, when the green-eyed agent with a lollipop stick protruding from his mouth didn't take his shut eyes off of you - did you stand up and offer him a sheepish bow. "Thank you for doing this."

"For me? It's not even a challenge!" Oh, you forgot this guy was overly confident. A small smile of gratitude was what you graced him with before heading to the door before you got yelled at again. Not that you even thought he meant to yell, but more so the man had a really loud voice to begin with.

"Ah, (Y/n)?"

You paused at the door to glance around. "Yes?" 

"Say Hi to Dazai for me."

That god-damned tingling exploded back on your face. And, everywhere else on your body for that instance. "I told you were not even in a relationship!" 

"Is that so?" Ranpo pulled the clipboard to him. "Then why is Dazai Osamu first listed under your answer for "Closest Person(s)?" 

You froze in blatant disbelief for the minority of ten seconds, trying to revisit the memory of when in the hell your wrote the man's name down in such a fashion. But that was the strangest thing - you couldn't even freaking remember! 

"I-I'm sure it's just because he's my superior. I kind of have to put him down." You tried to sound as cool and composed as you could, but dammit you stammered. And Ranpo had caught that you stammered - only spreading the "Ha, I've got you now!" smile on his face, however, he didn't elaborate further on the matter.

"Well, I'll see you at the next meeting." You managed to get out, the room becoming too uncomfortable to stand in and the thoughts that you really needed to suppress in your mind banging on your skull to a point where you actually felt dizzy. Maybe some fresh air might do you some good. 

Ranpo watched with the sickly sweet sugar stuck to his palette as the woman - newest member of the ADA - slid out of the meeting room and shut the door softly behind her. Honestly, you weren't like the person he pictured in his head when the President told him he had a 'dangerous case' to deal with. Your soft features and submissive posture told him wildly different things - none of them being quite near the word 'dangerous' at all. Yes, you did have an acid tongue when pushed to a point of anger, but other than that, you looked like you couldn't hurt a fly.

'Fourteen casualties, huh?' Ranpo tossed the lollipop around as he gazed down at the clipboard you had messily answered for him. The three questions at the end where wha