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Izaya's job wasn't entirely ideal, and he was well aware of the fact before he decided he'd spend his days as an informant. He loved observing his humans, playing with them, trying to figure out what made them tick, and that included those whose intentions were far from benevolent.

Typically his clients were what one would call 'bad people', although he wasn't sure what that even meant, as most of the world seemed to be nothing but variations of 'bad people'.

However, there existed a special term for those that were too awful for such a tame descriptor. Even evil was a little too nice for them.

Izaya liked to refer to these lovely humans as 'scum'. Trash. Disgusting animals, barely worthy of acknowledgement, never mind his time. And in a city swarming with people living in too small apartments and working too long for too little, deprived of their baser desires, left wanting and needy, the amount of scum just kept rising, 'good people' becoming something that belonged in the country or in children's stories.

It didn't really bother him, although he had it easy. He had the money to distance himself from the waste of mankind, dipping his foot in when he was curious, walking away when he was bored.

Most people didn't have that. Then again, most people didn't have a lot of what he had, and that made a lot of people angry.

Sometimes it wasn't just his services that they wanted from him, either, and he found this out only when it came time for their meeting, generally in the place of his client's choosing, a street or five off of the main road.

Usually it was just a look, a covetous gaze aimed his way across a table decorated with expensive alcohol. They made sure he could feel it, made sure that as their eyes traveled over his face and down his body, he'd know every lecherous thought.

He ignored it, hiding his disgust behind a congenial smile. Because he was a professional, and as long as his client didn't cross any physical boundaries, then work could still be work.

But sometimes, like tonight, it was more than just a look. More than words. Sometimes a client would get bold, sliding his hand to grasp hungrily at Izaya's thigh, flashing a smile that was meant to be inviting.

He'd give them a warning, a chance to withdraw and continue as if the transgression had not been made. Rarely did they ever heed his advice, instead preferring to push the situation, indignant and enraged at having been rejected.

Getting away was never a problem. Thanks to his flick blade and the expertise he'd garnered in slipping out of challenging situations throughout the years, he always escaped with his dignity intact.

The worst was the aftertaste, the feeling he was left with as he walked alone the streets of Shinjuku, hood pulled up and hands pocketed.

He felt dirty. Violated, and not just because of how they tried to touch him.

It was their intentions, obvious in every glance and lustful smirk.

He hated those looks more than anything, because he could read every thought. Could tell that they wanted nothing more than to bend him over a table and take him, rough and dry, exerting their power and basking in their male dominance.

Those sorts of people didn't take rejection well. Weren't used to it. They just took what they wanted, felt like they deserved it.

Such humans stopped being interesting as soon as they revealed that their only motivation was greed and instant gratification. Even certain species of animals exhibited more respectable traits, and weren't nearly as vile. Neither did they dare to claim intelligence or gloat of their self-appointed superiority.

Before knowing such humans, Izaya had been so ignorant on what it really meant to hate.

The looks were one thing, the words he could brush off, but the intentions he couldn't escape. Nothing made him feel more disgusted than knowing that the depraved human sitting across from him wanted to touch him, and the worst part was that they were convinced he'd enjoy it.

They only reminded him of the rumors, the general assumption going around that he'd do anything for a client, as if his pride didn't exist and he was so desperate for money he'd have no issue getting on his knees for even the most contemptible of men.

It was because of those men that Izaya realized so many years ago that what he felt for Shizuo was as far from hate as hot was from cold.

The idiot stood so far outside the realm of mankind, Izaya used to loathe him for it. Now, he couldn't be more thankful.

He cursed beneath the cover of his hood as an icy raindrop plummeted from the midnight sky and onto his nose, pulling him from his thoughts and forcing him to watch the sidewalk as he moved through a crowd of people who seemed to look but not see.

Pausing when he reached a well-lit street, Izaya hailed down a taxi, slipping into the backseat and giving the driver his destination, not missing the way muddy brown eyes lingered on his face and continued to steal a peek the entire drive, leaving the raven-haired man's skin crawling beneath damp clothing.

By the time they pulled up to a familiar curb, a lone streetlight flickering gloomily in the slowly-falling rain, Izaya's bones felt stiff and sore, his muscles unable to relax until he'd left the taxi and begun to ascend the stairs to the second story of the apartment complex.

It was late, and the door was locked, but he gained entrance using a spare key.

The living room was dark when he stepped inside, the dim light shining through the blinds illuminating an immaculately clean living area and kitchen.

Peeling off his jacket, he left it to hang on the back of a kitchen chair before stepping into the even-darker bedroom and approaching the bed.

Other than the light fall of rain against the window, it was quiet, calm.

Shizuo slept soundly, strong arms tucked beneath a flat pillow, mouth hanging ajar, hair a tousled mess of bleached blond against an eased brow.

Izaya's eyes moved to the second pillow, there just in case he decided to stay. It was a more expensive brand, firmer and less straining on his neck; something the idiot bought without even being asked, a gesture of goodwill that only had the intention of his happiness in mind.

Unable to deprive himself a moment longer, he brushed delicate fingertips through soft gold, silken strands winding through his warming fingers, the sensation dancing up his arm and throughout his body, soothing his soreness and easing the ache.

He sighed, warring with himself to forgo the shower and just sidle up next to Shizuo fully clothed and soaked with rain, the longing swelling when drowsy caramel peeked up at him and a lazy grin curled in satisfied welcome.

A big, warm hand caught his, bringing it forward against that soft mouth, lips brushing a kiss on the inside of a pale wrist.

It took willpower he didn't quite have to pull away and enter the small bathroom, peeling off layers of drenched black clothing. Heavy. Cold.

The tiles beneath his feet were wet when he stepped into the shower. He hesitated before pulling the knob, hoping Shizuo had left some hot water. The initial spurt was freezing against his skin, and he flinched, until eventually it began to warm. Steam fogged up the glass, and Izaya turned his face into the hot spray, still desperately seeking warmth.

Lying in bed, groggy eyes watched the sliver of light beneath the bathroom door, knowing full well that tonight was one of those nights; that something probably happened, that some shithead had been too much of a shithead or the flea had witnessed something that was one step too far from okay even in his screwed-up world.

A cloud of steam announced Izaya's exit and Shizuo watched with half-awake eyes as the flea approached, ass-naked and drying his hair with a tattered face towel. Their eyes met, and anything he was about to say died in his throat, either because he was still too tired to speak or he felt there really was nothing to say. All that mattered was getting Izaya into bed and going back to sleep.

Shizuo held up the edge of the covers and without hesitation Izaya slid beneath them, ignoring the space next to the blond and sliding a leg over thinly clothed hips.

Warmth clung to him as still-damp skin seeped through his cotton t-shirt. Water dripped against the side of his neck, his cheek, Izaya's head tucked comfortably against his shoulder.

Fragile hands slid beneath his shirt, moonlight palms against sun-bronzed skin, meant to incite nothing but warm, comfortable affection.

Strong arms came to rest lazily against Izaya's back, Shizuo's fingers tracing careful patterns. Soothing, reverent. Fingers curled against his abdomen, the head tucked against him moving as the man in his arms pulled away.

Crimson eyes gazed down at him, clear and honest, before closing as Izaya leaned in to softly suckle Shizuo's bottom lip, tongue glistening wet, breath blowing hot. His mouth lingered on that lip, blunt teeth nibbling gently, tongue slick and teasing. Shizuo's eyes fluttered closed as Izaya deepened the kiss, tongue sweeping inside his mouth to press desperately against his. All too quickly the world was reduced to nothing more than the taste of cigarettes and mint.

"My toothbrush, my shower, my bed," Shizuo began quietly when Izaya pulled away. "Hell, why don't you just move in?"

"Only because it's convenient, ne?"

"Convenient as in almost every day."

"Almost, Shizu-chan."

"Yeah, not nearly enough."

Despite himself, Izaya's cheeks darkened. It was too late to hide seeing as Shizuo had already noticed, but that didn't keep the informant from returning his face to the toasty crook of Shizuo's neck. If he were his normal self right now, he'd lie and tell Shizuo that he should be ashamed of such open affection, but right now he just wanted to enjoy the feel of someone else caring, even if it was his annoyingly-simple Shizuo.

"Is Shizu-chan saying he wants to see me more often?" He asked teasingly, trying to regain control of himself while simultaneously swatting away the butterflies flittering about in his stomach.

Pulling Izaya closer, Shizuo pressed his face into raven hair that smelled of cheap drugstore shampoo. "You don't need to talk me in circles. If you wanna hear it, I'll say it. Stop making everything so damn complicated."

Surrendering, Izaya closed his eyes, sighing as Shizuo's mouth moved along his jaw, arms not loosening their hold on him for a moment. He gave a tiny nod of agreement, permission, eagerness, holding his breath so as not to miss a single word.

"I love you, alright? So yeah, I guess it does mean I want to see you more often." His mouth moved to skim a pale forehead, black hair tickling his nose. "How many times do you need me to say it?"

All Izaya could muster was a weak shrug, Shizuo's words and the gentle fingers drawing adoring patterns on his lower back making him feel a hundred-kinds of useless, but in the best way.

Of course, as it was Shizu-chan, the blond wouldn't be able to just lie there all night with his mouth shut. And although Izaya had anticipated the annoying questions, that didn't make them any less, well, annoying.

"You okay?"

Izaya, after one too many nights of this, knew exactly what Shizuo was asking. Not just are you okay, but more specifically did anyone touch or hurt you in a way that requires a foot up their ass and a one-way ticket to the moon?

"Don't worry, Shizu-chan, he just grabbed my thigh." Normally he'd lie, because being honest about such things often lead to disastrous results, usually involving broken furniture and death threats towards Izaya's transgressors. However, in this case, tomorrow morning it would be much too bothersome trying to explain away the bruises that would surely be there when they both woke.

As anticipated, the protozoan stiffened, heart jumpstarting against the sudden push of adrenaline. "Who?"

Lifting his head, Izaya met seething hazel. Sighing exasperatedly, he asked, "Does it matter? I won't be seeing him again."

"It matters," Shizuo argued, voice barely sustaining a level of quiet.

Black brows twitched in discomfort as the arms encircling his body tightened, crushing him. Settling his mouth against Shizuo's ear, Izaya breathed softly. "Calm down, you protozoan. I didn't come here for you to break my ribs, ne."

Instantly loosening his hold, Shizuo pressed his forehead to a bare shoulder. "Sorry, I just—hate it."

Izaya grinned contentedly against Shizuo's neck as the brute calmed enough to continue smoothing his hands comfortingly over milky flesh, palms pressing firmly over his ass, resting on his upper thigh, thumb kneading gentle circles.

"Why did you come here?" Shizuo eventually asked, brushing his mouth against Izaya's shoulder and inhaling gently.

"It was close by," the brunette lied, returning the gesture by nipping at a soft earlobe.

Turning his head completely, Shizuo searched Izaya's indolent ruby gaze. "That's it, flea?"

Izaya's smile curled into a teasing smirk, expression mischievous, defensive. He knew precisely what Shizuo wanted to hear. Unfortunately for him, those three words would never be easy, true or not. "What other reason would I have for seeing you?"

The thumb kneading pale flesh paused, the blond frowning as he did so amazingly well. "Dunno. Thought you liked me or something."

"Thinking has never been your strong point, Shizu-chan, but even you can't be that stupid." Their noses brushed, Izaya's mouth smoothing against Shizuo's lower lip, tongues stroking lazily, leaving them both grinning foolishly. "Maybe I came for something else, ne?"

A blond brow lifted. "Like what?"

Rolling his hips forward, Izaya bit into his lip as his half-hard cock slipped beneath Shizuo's t-shirt, his tip brushing and pressing against a warm, taut stomach. "Nn, I wonder…"

Hard flesh, hot and sticky dragged across his abdomen, and Shizuo grit his teeth against the immediate surge of his own arousal. "Damn it. Would it kill ya' to be a little—" He searched for the word before settling on the absolute worst of his choices, "Romantic?"

"Mmm," Izaya grinned against his neck, tongue slipping against bronze skin for a taste. "With you? Yes."

Shizuo released a frustrated huff, a sound that let Izaya know he was too tired for his shit. "Whatever. I don't care."

Nipping sharply at the skin beneath Shizuo's ear, Izaya replied playfully, "I would argue that you do."

"You'd fuckin' argue about anything. It gets you off, I swear."

"Hn, maybe." And Izaya wasn't in any sort of state to deny it as his cock began to tingle pleasantly, although that probably had more to do with the fact he was sprawled naked atop of Shizuo than anything else. The blond really was too attractive for his own good.

"Just…" Another frustrated huff, and Shizuo had his face turned away so Izaya couldn't read him. "Ah, forget it."



He knew it really wasn't fair to demand Shizuo to tell him what was wrong when he himself refused to talk, but Izaya really never cared too much for fairness. Pulling himself up enough to meet Shizuo's gaze, he insisted, all playfulness gone, "Tell me, ne."

Begrudgingly, honey eyes moved to his. "Just, be careful, alright? If something does happen."

It was official. Izaya was never going to be able to win against these damn butterflies. "I can take care of myself, Shizu-chan. No one touches me unless I want them to."

"I know." Pulling Izaya closer, Shizuo burrowed his face against the flea's neck. He always smelled so good, clean. "Hell, I'm surprised you let me."

That boneless sensation returned, and Izaya relaxed, allowing his eyes to drift close. "Don't be," he responded quietly, and demonstrating his infuriating knack for pretty much knowing exactly what Shizuo was going to say next, added, "And don't ask me why."

"Don't need to," Shizuo countered. "I think I can figure it out. You spend enough time with it in your mouth."

If Izaya had his flick blade, Shizuo would bet that right now it'd be at his throat. Sometimes he just didn't know when to quit, but sometimes he felt Izaya needed a dose of his own medicine. Shizuo could be all sorts of unromantic, too.

"You really want me to kill you."

"Or maybe I'm talking you in circles cause there's something I want to hear."

Izaya knew exactly what that meant, and it'd be a sin-free day in Tokyo before he gave into Shizuo that easily. Raising the pitch of his voice in mock imitation of a doting lover, Izaya cooed, "I love you, Shizuo Heiwajima-kun. You're so nice and handsome. My soul mate! Please don't ever, ever leave me or I'll surely die! I'd marry you tomorrow, all you have to do is ask. Please, oh please, take me now with your big, thick, c—"

The breath left him as he was thrown off to the other side of the bed, the cold side of the bed, and he glared daggers as Shizuo rolled over.

"I'm going back to sleep, so just shut the fuck up."

Izaya's smile dissipated. You're no fun, Shizuo.

He watched the broad expanse of the blond's back, watched those strong shoulders rise and fall. White moonlight peeked through tufts of messy blond hair and illuminated smooth skin. His fingers ached to reach forward and grab hold of any part of the man before him, to press himself into that heat, that incomparable comfort, despite knowing he'd likely get an elbow to the face for it.

Shizuo really did behave like a child sometimes, something Izaya would begrudge him for if he weren't the exact same way. Particularly when it came to instances where he wasn't getting what he wanted. Like now.

Hooking a finger and pulling lightly on the hem of Shizuo's white shirt, Izaya issued a serious, "Shizuo."

The sigh released was probably either frustrated or relieved, Izaya couldn't tell and really didn't care, as Shizuo turned over and pulled him against his chest, back into that all-encompassing warmth.

"Asshole," Shizuo breathed against his scalp. "Annoying-as-fuck flea."

Izaya's smile was hidden against a strong chest, and he closed his eyes, gently inhaling the scent of cigarettes that he'd bet he would be able to smell lingering on that bronzed skin for the rest of forever. Which, really, was perfectly okay.

"If all you want is a damn bed warmer, go fuckin' buy one," Shizuo eventually growled.

If Izaya was right, and he usually was, he'd say Shizuo's feelings were hurt. For a stupid brute, he could sometimes be horrendously endearing.

"Don't think I haven't thought about it," Izaya divulged freely, curving his back to press his bare stomach against the wandering palm beneath the sheets. Shizuo had a tendency of touching him as if he were petting a cat. Not that Izaya was complaining; he could very well purr in appreciation for some heavy petting. "But why pay for one when I can use you for free?"

And although he wouldn't say it aloud, a bed warmer could never make him feel like this, warming him from the inside out.

His eyes closed tiredly, exhaustion finally kicking in, so much comfort and body heat a formidable foe against his consciousness, the sound of heavily pouring rain pattering against the window only worsening his odds in his battle to stay awake.

But he didn't want to sleep just yet, his body still responding to gently caressing fingertips and breath that blew softly against his forehead, invitingly familiar and safe.

"You asleep, flea?"

The question was whispered tenderly against his ear, a roving palm smoothing over his hip, fingertips imprinting themselves into his skin.

Izaya's forehead brushed against Shizuo's mouth as he gently shook his head, the most he could manage now that his body could rest, now that he was precisely where he wanted to be ever since he'd left this very same bed earlier that morning.

A knuckle dragged alongside his abdomen, just close enough to make the space between his thighs shiver. "Thought you came here for somethin'?"

It was only a tease, nothing more, Shizuo's hand simply moving away as his arm pressed against Izaya's back, pulling him closer.

A tiny smile played along the informant's lips. "I did, ne."

"Did you get it?"


"Guess I'm good for somethin' then, huh?"

Except the idiot had it wrong, because he was good for a lot more than just this, not that he'd ever accept it. Because unlike most humans, Shizuo constantly undervalued his importance, asked for nothing and gave everything. And it was for all those reasons he was everything a normal human wasn't.

A pale hand slipped languidly beneath white cotton, a slender fingertip tracing along a curved spine. Up, down, left, up, every tiny movement a letter, a word, sentiments Izaya would never be comfortable enough to voice, but were everything Shizuo deserved to hear.

The puff of relief blown against the brunette's forehead was annoyingly conspicuous, and as punishment, Izaya leaned in to clamp sharply on Shizuo's collarbone.

"Oi," Shizuo admonished, but forgot all other protests when the sting was immediately soothed with the press of a tender kiss.

"Protozoan idiot."

Izaya was just barely conscious enough to catch the monster's smile.