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devil's cup

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If he were anyone else, Oda might be wary of the summons to the boss’s office, especially this late. To most, Dazai Osamu is an enigma of a man, as terrifying and mysterious as he is calculating, but Oda has seen him fast asleep and drooling a few too many times for that image to stick anymore. When he thinks of Dazai, he thinks not of the bloodshed associated with the Port Mafia boss, but of soft, hazy mornings spent nestled in Chuuya’s bed. He thinks of the gentle scratch of bandages against his skin, the scent of breakfast wafting in from the kitchen on the odd days they have time to indulge in taking their time before work. Pancakes are a favorite. Dazai likes his drowning in syrup, Chuuya prefers fresh berries and cream, and Oda is happy to accept whatever is most readily available. What he likes best, he thinks, is stealing sticky, saccharine kisses while they clean up, made all the sweeter by their faces when he catches them off guard.

So, predictably, he’s more eager than anything else when he receives word that Dazai wants to see him in his office, just as soon as he’s available.

He walks in to the sight of Chuuya sprawled across the couch in the corner with a blanket draped over him and Dazai at his desk, leaned back in his chair and spinning slowly. He goes around once, then twice before he notices Oda standing by the doorway, but as soon as he does, his face lights up. He springs to his feet, edging around the desk to greet him.

“Odasaku! I was almost afraid you didn’t get my text.”

“Sorry,” he hums, stepping in a little further now that Dazai knows he’s here. Sure, he already knows he’s always welcome, but he prefers not to intrude too much. “I had a couple things I had to finish up, Is Chuuya…?”

“Already drunk,” Dazai snorts. He wastes no time at all before pulling Oda down for a quick kiss, then turns on his heel and tugs him over towards the desk again. “I told him to slow down and wait for you, but you know what a lightweight he is. Poor little slug passed out in no time.”

There’s something soft and fond about Dazai’s voice as he speaks, and it leaves Oda’s heart fluttering in his chest. Even if it’s peppered with little taunts, it’s nice to hear him talk about Chuuya so affectionately. They’ve come a long way from the insults and arguments of days past. Their edges have softened, they no longer clash quite so harshly now. They’re getting along.

He likes seeing them get along. He’ll have to come up with a suitable way to show them just how much he enjoys it soon - but not tonight. Chuuya’s already down for the count, and it would be no fair to leave him out. For now he’ll just have to settle for drinks and cuddling on the couch.

“He’ll be alright?” Oda asks, following Dazai across the room. He glances back at him, briefly, before Dazai catches his attention with another flourish. There, on the desk, sit a couple glasses alongside a bottle of whiskey and another suspiciously full bottle of wine. Chuuya’s alcohol tolerance is infamously low, but Oda can’t recall ever seeing him pass out after a single glass of wine. “...You’re sure there’s nothing wrong?”

“He’s perfectly fine!” If Dazai falters, Oda certainly can’t tell. “He had a whole bottle before I broke out the good stuff.”

Oda frowns, tilting his head. “...The good stuff?”

“Petrus,” Dazai answers, grinning a little wider. “1989, to be exact. You should’ve seen the look on his face.”

Petrus. That sounded familiar, at least, if only because he’d heard Chuuya bring it up before. Oda wasn’t much of a wine person himself, but lately he’d been drinking more of it, trying to figure out how to detect the subtle nuances Chuuya went on and on about. From what he remembered, he’d spoken of Petrus in a near reverent tone - apparently it really was the good stuff.

He nods a little, picking up the bottle to look at it. Sure enough, it looks expensive. That seems about right, considering Chuuya - he’s a hedonist if Oda’s ever seen one. “He must’ve been thrilled.”

“He was,” Dazai sighs, casting a glance back towards the tuft of red hair peeking out from under the blanket. His smile softens to something a little sweeter just before he turns back around with a clap of his hands, plastering on his usual teasing grin. “So! You wanna try some?”

“I shouldn’t.” It’s tempting, of course, but he can’t bring himself to accept. “It’s Chuuya’s, isn’t it? He’s the wine connoisseur. I should leave it for him.”

Just then, Dazai slinks forward, swiping the bottle from his hand. “He won’t mind,” he purrs, and alright, yeah, it’s a little hard to say no when Oda can feel his lips ghosting across the side of his jaw, slow and sweet. Dazai is a master manipulator, and unfortunately knowing that doesn’t help him resist his charms whatsoever. “Promise. If he throws a fit, I’ll buy him a new bottle.”

It’s painfully difficult to say no to Dazai when he gets like this, so Oda doesn’t even try to. He nods and tips his head back to give Dazai more room to work with, always a sucker for his kisses. His only real reason to deny the offer has been thoroughly refuted, and besides, he’s been trying to get more into wine lately so he can understand what Chuuya’s talking about when he gets a little overexcited about the latest addition to his collection. Dazai can tease him all he likes for it, but he likes having things in common with his boyfriends.

“What was that?” He can feel Dazai smirk against the side of his neck, nipping at a spot just below his ear that draws a sigh from between his lips. “I didn’t hear that, Odasaku,” he chimes, singsong, and presses another kiss to his pulse point.

“Alright.” Oda relents, pushing his fingers into Dazai’s hair. “Alright, alright, you got me. Will you pour me a glass?”

“It’d be my pleasure.” Finally, Dazai pulls back, stealing one more kiss before he goes. “I don’t drink much wine, but Chuuya said it was good. I bet you’ll like it.”

Oda watches as Dazai pours a generous amount of wine into the glass, then hands it off to him with a lopsided grin. “Thanks,” he hums, “I’m sure you’re right. He has good taste.”

A little snort escapes Dazai at that, and he rolls his eyes as he leans closer. “In wine, maybe. Don’t get me started on his clothes. So.” He pauses, gazing expectantly up at Oda. “Go on and drink, hm?”

Oda raises a brow. “You don’t want any?”

“I’ve already had a few drinks. I’m just trying to give you a chance to catch up first.”

Fair enough, he thinks, lifting the glass to his lips for a taste. It’s a little more bitter than he’d expected. Still good, but bitter. Or… Dry, maybe? That sounds like something Chuuya would say. Nonetheless, he takes another, longer sip, then sets the glass down for a moment.

“It’s good,” he says when Dazai keeps staring at him. “Thought it’d be sweeter, but it’s good.”

Dazai laughs, reaching to twine their fingers together. “That’s what Chuuya said.” And that fond look is back again, softening his features. Oda can’t help but think he looks so much younger like this, and for a moment, his heart aches for him. Mafia life is tough. Always has been. Little moments like this help, but it’s still hard. Dazai probably knows that better than anyone, especially now that he’s in charge.

He spends quite some time like that, holding Dazai’s hand as he sips at his wine, savoring it. By the time he drinks the last of it, Dazai has him perched up on his desk while he dots kisses across his collarbones.

The wine must have been stronger than he thought, because he can already feel a pleasant dizziness building in his head, and when he speaks, his voice slurs a little. “Someone’s affectionate tonight,” he hums. “What’s gotten into you?”

Dazai laughs. “Can you blame me? I have two gorgeous boyfriends. Don’t I get to appreciate them every once in awhile?”

Well, Oda can hardly argue with that, can he? He sets his glass aside with a smile, tugging Dazai forward until he can kiss him, properly, chasing away the lingering aftertaste of the wine. Sure, it was good, but he much prefers Dazai.

By the time they part, Oda feels warm all over. He takes a moment to just gaze back at Dazai, admiring the curve of his lips and the honey-brown of his eyes and the tuft of hair that falls just between them. He could stay here like this forever and wax poetic over how lucky he is to have him, but he could also go do that over on the couch with Dazai sitting on one side of him and Chuuya sprawled out on the other. It’d be much more comfortable than sitting on the desk, and he could admire them both simultaneously. It’s become a favorite pastime of his.

With that decided, he gets up to his feet, only to promptly stumble forward into Dazai’s chest. For a moment, he thinks he just stood up wrong, maybe slipped a little, but it happens again when he tries to right himself. The dizziness from earlier isn’t so pleasant anymore - the room spins, in fact, and he has to latch on to Dazai’s shoulder to even stand.

“...Oda?” He pipes up, blinking. “Hey, Odasaku, steady…”

“...I don’t feel right.” He only had one glass. He shouldn’t be stumbling like this. He shouldn’t feel so off kilter. “I think I might… Might need to go to the infirmary.”

Dazai bites his lip, edges closer. “Surely there’s no need for that. You’ll be alright, let’s just sit back down, okay?”

“Something’s… There’s something wrong.” Oda furrows his brows, swaying. “There’s something really wrong.” Before he knows it, he’s collapsing, succumbing to the sudden weakness that has overtaken him. He doesn’t know what exactly it is, but one glass of wine shouldn’t have been enough to do this to him. “Dazai,” he groans, “please. My head hurts, something is wrong.” Oda pauses, fumbling around for his pockets. “My phone, I’ll… We can call someone.”

“...Shit,” Dazai hisses, hooks an arm around him and hefts him back up to his feet. Oda thinks he feels a hand slip into his pocket - one way or another, he sees his phone fall to the ground, out of reach. “I didn’t - fuck, I thought you’d pass out.”

He frowns, grabbing onto Dazai to keep himself upright. “...What?” His head swims. The words leaving Dazai’s mouth aren’t making sense, just bouncing around uselessly in his head. It takes him several seconds to gather his wits about him before he can even process the implication that something about what’s happening right now must have been intentional. “Dazai, what are you…?”

Something snaps. “The wine,” he hisses, tightening his hold when Oda starts slipping again. “I poisoned it.”

No matter how hard he thinks about that, it doesn’t make any sense. Even so, he can feel dread pooling in the pit of his stomach, swirling around and around and around. He thinks he might be sick.

Something clicks, apparently, because he’s struck with overwhelming concern for the motionless lump on the couch. Oda hadn’t thought anything of it at the time, but… How long has Chuuya been lying there, perfectly still? Dazai said he’d had a whole bottle, plus a glass of the Petrus. How much of it was poisoned? “I-I…” He stutters, struggling to conjure complete thoughts, complete words. “Chuuya—”

“Chuuya didn’t even think about it. He didn’t suspect a thing.” Dazai chokes out a laugh, but it borders on unstable. “He trusts - he trusted me. He trusted me, and I betrayed him. Can you believe it?”

Oda slumps against him, struggling to keep upright, feet shuffling uselessly and catching on the rug any time he tries to regain his balance. Dazai is manic now, gripping him hard enough to bruise. He opens his mouth, tries to speak, but no sound comes out.

Dazai’s voice cracks as he starts to drag Oda towards the couch, where Chuuya is still sprawled, but the realization that he’s dying, if not already dead, puts everything in a whole new context. “I betrayed you too. I betrayed you, Odasaku, I’m sorry. You didn’t deserve this. Neither of you did.”

Why, then, why is Dazai doing all this, why has he poisoned them both if he thinks they don’t deserve it? He’s tempted to ask, but when he tries, all that comes out is a raspy, “D-Dazai…”

“I’m sorry.” And he smiles, weak and watery, guiding Oda to sit at the other end of the couch. Chuuya’s feet are in the way, and Oda watches trembling hands move them off to the side ever so gently. “It’s selfish, I know. I think this is the most self-absorbed thing I’ve done in my entire life.”

Now that he knows, Chuuya looks so fragile. Oda has seen him sprawled on this very couch dozens of times already, but now the bend of his limbs looks unnatural, and the cherry-red flush of his skin is cause for concern, rather than something to tease him about when he wakes up.

He won’t wake up, Oda realizes with a pang of sorrow, barely choking back tears. His hand edges clumsily closer, seeking out Chuuya’s, fumbling to reach far enough. Dazai must notice, because he steps around to the other side of the couch and kneels. He kneels, and he reaches for Chuuya’s cheeks, brushing back his hair until Oda can see his face at last. He looks… He looks like he does when he actually is passed out drunk, and that seems somehow worse than seeing him deathly pale and sickly.

“He’s still breathing,” Dazai speaks up, clutching Chuuya closer. Oda watches him maneuver him around until he’s sitting with Chuuya in his arms, gathered in his lap, and limp as a ragdoll. “He’s - Chuuya’s still with us. He’s with us, for now.” He swallows, hard, and then, “I - here, do you want…?”

Oda watches, helpless, as Dazai scoots them both closer until he can prop Chuuya in his lap instead, head leaned against his shoulder, and he isn’t sure whether it’s better or worse that he can no longer see his face while the life gradually fades from him. That’s all he can do, fucking watch, because Chuuya’s dying and he’s dying and Dazai, Dazai is responsible for this, but every word that leaves his mouth makes it seem like he regrets all this. Like he cares, even though he’s killing them.

Chuuya,” he sobs, chokes on it, curling his arms around him to the best of his ability. It’s a hard thing to do when his limbs don’t want to cooperate with him. Whatever Dazai gave him must have been strong, to affect him like this so quickly. Except, thinking about that just reminds him that this is a betrayal of the most extreme variety, and it sends a fresh wave of tears rolling down his face. “Chuuya,” he repeats, and then, “Dazai, why… Why - why would you…?” He can’t finish, can’t force his mouth into the right shapes to say why would you kill us? It’s not something he wants to think about either, but it’s kind of hard not to dwell on the darkness seeping around the edges of his vision when he knows his death is near. He doesn’t even need Flawless to tell him that - couldn’t, now, not with Dazai’s hand on his arm, and poison is too slow acting for him to catch before it’s too late anyway.

Apparently, Dazai understands what he’s trying to ask. His fingers come up and brush along his cheekbone, then down until he’s cupping his jaw. “I told you, I’m being selfish. I didn’t want you two mourning me, y’know? Chuuya’s such an ugly crier. It’d surely make me throw up from beyond the grave.” It almost sounds like he’s joking - almost, but it falls flat with the reality of what’s happening setting in. “If I can’t bear to leave you behind, the next best option is to take you with me, right?” He swallows and looks back to where Oda is still holding Chuuya, fingers tangled in his hair, and bites his lip. “...Right, Odasaku?”

Oda chokes back another sob, blinking back tears. “Dazai…”

“Kind of a pain, huh?” He cuts him off with a laugh, flat and humorless, and curls closer. His head comes to rest on Oda’s shoulder, nestled in the crook of his neck. “Man, if I knew it’d hurt this much, I would have figured something else out. I always wanted a painless suicide.”

Oda can’t see Dazai’s face, but he imagines that if he could, he could see… Well, something. Not just the blank expression he plasters on day after day. He likes to think that he - that they, him and Chuuya both - meant enough to Dazai that he’d at least mourn them. It’s always been painfully difficult to read him, but he always thought Dazai loved them, wholly and genuinely.

...Did he, though? Oda hates to doubt him, but it’s a little harder to believe that Dazai is capable of love when there’s poison running through his veins.

It takes a while, but eventually Dazai sits up and shifts into view again. “At least I’ll actually get to die this time, huh?” It might seem like his usual banter, if it weren’t for the fact that Dazai’s voice comes out too brittle, and the blotchy red marks around his eyes are plenty proof of how he really feels. Oda wouldn’t call the feeling it gives him pleasant, not at all, but he can’t say it isn’t a relief to know he cares enough to cry for them. Dazai catches his attention again with a wistful little sigh and a hand tangled in his hair, stroking it back from his face. “...Even if the poison doesn’t get me, Kouyou will. She’ll slaughter me when she sees what I did to Chuuya. It’s foolproof.”

Even if he could get his brain and his mouth to cooperate with each other, Oda doesn’t think he’d know how to respond to that. All that comes out is a strangled whimper, then some kind of slurred mumble that even he can’t decipher. It sounds pathetic. As much as he wants to say something, wants to cry and scream and demand answers, he can’t. Even if he could, he wouldn’t have the faintest idea where to begin.

Besides, Dazai has a point. Ozaki Kouyou is a proud, possessive woman, a terrifying maelstrom that is not to be trifled with. Something like this… No, she wouldn’t even hesitate. Dazai would be dead before he could so much as open his mouth to try and justify his actions. Oda doesn’t know her all that well, but he knows enough. He knows that Chuuya practically grew up with her, knows that he is - was - dear to her.

Another sigh, and then, “...I’m gonna leave her in charge. I have everything arranged. It’s the least I can do after stealing her little brother away, don’t you think so?” The smile he shoots him is rueful, and it makes Oda want to hold him and soothe away his worries. It’s silly; even if he could muster up the will to reach out for him, nothing about this is even remotely alright. Chuuya’s probably dead in his arms already, Oda’s on his way out, and Dazai is sure to follow shortly after them. When did everything go this wrong?

Dazai’s lips press to his forehead, briefly, and he whispers, “I’m sorry. I didn’t want you to hurt. Chuuya… He passed out quick. It went easier.” He purses his lips. “Rest now. I’ll take care of you, okay? I’ll be right here the whole time.”

God, he wishes he could say something back. At this point, it’s all he can do to keep his eyes open, and he fears that even that won’t last long. His head lolls to the side as Dazai cradles him closer, stroking his hair, and his eyes begin to flutter shut. It isn’t until he’s on the verge of going under that he feels him pull away, more gingerly than he’s seen him do anything in his life. It takes some effort, but Oda manages to force his eyes open and watch Dazai stand, back turned to him.

Oda watches, in his last lingering moments of consciousness, as Dazai crosses the room. He watches him stagger towards his desk, watches him pick up the abandoned bottle of wine. Petrus, reads the label, Chuuya’s favorite. He wouldn’t have questioned it for even a second, especially not if he’d already been drunk.

He watches him hold the bottle for a moment, clutching it by the neck. There’s not much else he can do, not now. He watches, even as his vision goes blurry, even as the dizziness in his head reaches an unbearable level and leaves black spots dancing in his eyes. Still, he watches, though he isn’t sure whether it’s his imagination or not when Dazai looks back at them and trembles.

He watches him lift the bottle to his lips.

He watches him drink every last drop.