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The blade trails over his stomach like a promise, the cruelly sharp edge opening him up with barely any pressure. Blood pools everywhere—in the curve of his hips, the hollow of his throat, the lines of his palm and all over the steel table beneath him. The knife never stops, following the edge of his ribs towards his side and fresh blood flows in its wake. The wounds aren't deep, but they're everywhere, and the pain accumulates by agonizing degrees as every desperate breath strains not only the sliced flesh but the cracked ribs and half-drowned lungs and bruises he's been left with.

The blade ghosts along his thigh, another taunt, and then the very tip presses in. Dazai freezes, but his torturer smiles and begins to drive the knife in slowly. He can feel it, feel his muscle part degree by agonizing degree as he thrashes his chains and screams. The man finishes pressing the slim blade into Dazai's thigh to the hilt and leaves it there, blood pouring from the wound. Dazai's leg shakes, jostling the knife, and he nearly bites through his own lip when the man flicks his finger against the hilt. The vibrations make his stomach twist with sudden nausea and he turns his head desperately to the side, swallowing.

"Even the boss of the Port Mafia is human after all," the man chuckles, stroking his fingers through the blood that's coating Dazai's skin before yanking the knife out. Dazai screams again, arching his back and tasting blood before he collapses. "You know this as well as I do, don't you, Boss-sama." The title is a mockery, and his torturer's dark eyes study him like he plans to peel Dazai apart. For all Dazai knows, that's next. "Enough time exposed to the right kind of pain and anyone will break. Nothing personal, of course, but as Miyamoto-san explained, we need your secrets." He smiles, and under different circumstances it would be a charming expression that Dazai might have been tempted to explore further.

"Ah—sir?" a subordinate asks, hovering in the entrance. Dazai strings his ragged thoughts together through sheer will, licking his dry lips and shuddering. He might spill a secret or two in exchange for a drop of water that doesn't come from an ice bath. His head pounds insistently, disrupting his concentration further. "I have the—" his eyes flicker to Dazai's trembling body on the table, "—thing you asked for."

"Thank you," the man says and takes the small plastic container. He pops off the lid and tilts it in Dazai's direction, and the scent of salt and citrus cuts through the filth.

Dazai flinches, chains rattling again, and his torturer smiles very differently this time, eager to eat Dazai alive. "No," Dazai rasps as his stomach threatens to rebel. "No, no, no." It's an entreaty, shameless and stripped of all artifice because Dazai's whole body is a mass of devastated flesh and he's going to be set ablaze without a single flame. "Please," he begs.

The man hums and steps close, tightening Dazai's chains so he no longer has even the illusion of movement, and Dazai's chest heaves with quick, sharp breaths. The anticipation is a torture all itself, and Dazai's fingers fist uselessly. "Ready?" he croons, lifting a handful of the mixture. "Where should I apply it first, do you think?"

Dazai loses all coherence as it's pressed into the stab wound in his thigh and shrieks, voice cracking as he sobs, muscles desperately flexing to try and get away from the overload of pain. Just as it drops to manageable levels, his torturer selects a new wound, over and over and over until Dazai's vision goes grey and he lies, bound and pathetic, and burns. He can't breathe, eyes dull as he stares at nothing.

The room shudders but Dazai remains limp, a marionette with its strings cut. The man scowls, muttering, "Earthquake?" as he paces to the door.


Dazai's torturer whips around as his would-be victim sits up, chains discarded. "No," he repeats in an even, steady tone. His eyes are flat, glimmering red in the dim light, and when he smiles, they both know who the real predator is. "That'll be Chuuya."

The whole building trembles again and the man makes a run for it. Dazai sinks back on the table, muscles exhausted by even that miniscule show of strength. He drifts, waiting to be rescued, the pain slowly growing more manageable.

"Oi," Chuuya says and Dazai stirs, blinking up at him. Chuuya's eyes are black with rage, but not at Dazai. Well, always at Dazai, but mostly at what's been done to him and the blood that's slowly dripping from the table to the floor. "You really went all-in, huh, Osamu?" His gloved fingers gently wipe away the blood and tears on Dazai's cheeks, brushing Dazai's lashes.

Dazai grins at him. "I was being tortured," he reminds Chuuya, voice a croak. "I had to sell it. And it really hurt!" He pouts, and Chuuya's fingers slide from his cheek to his pulse, like he can touch the rawness beneath and soothe that away too.

"Yes, but it was your idea. Did you at least get the information we need?" The words are abrupt but his hands are warm and gentle even through the leather. "The one in your thigh is going to scar. I'm the only one allowed to leave scars." He sounds furious, but that's always true too. "Do you want me to break everybody and then come back for you? Or carry you out first?" He casts a glance at Dazai's naked body and observes dryly, "Although that one might put us at considerable risk if you accidentally nullify me."

"I haven't accidentally nullified you in years!" Dazai objects and Chuuya sighs. "But no, leave me here. Keep one survivor, kill everyone else, and then take me home." Dazai's eyes are as black as Chuuya's, and Chuuya's lips part as everything in the room warps beneath For the Tainted Sorrow's touch.

Chuuya kisses him, filthy and furious, and Dazai's body aches in every conceivable way from the touch. "Yes, Boss," Chuuya breathes, and Dazai mindlessly follows the warmth between them, stealing another sharp kiss that slides down his throat like honeyed poison.

Chuuya pulls away, licking his lips clean of Dazai's blood, and goes to wreak ruination.


In the end, Mori really only teaches them one lesson that matters: Chuuya is the body, and Dazai the mind.

When the mind falters, the body screams; when the body fails, the mind suffers.

They survive together, one person in all the ways that matter, bound by Mori's sutures.


Dazai's wounds may be hidden beneath the clean suit, but Chuuya memorized the location of each and every one of them and still plans to pay them back tenfold. His fingers flex, wishing he'd had the time to make Dazai's torturer suffer, to open his guts and make him scream as Dazai had screamed. Never mind that it had been Dazai's choice to play at being kidnapped, that Chuuya had rescued Dazai exactly as planned—Chuuya wants to shatter him and watch him beg for forgiveness for touching Dazai.

Chuuya licks his lips, starved for proper revenge, but his bloody thoughts are interrupted when Dazai leans forward from his seat on the bed, trusting Chuuya to catch his weight. Dazai's mouth trails over Chuuya's jaw. For the Tainted Sorrow is stripped away and the familiar hole where it belongs opens in Chuuya's chest; only then does the room stop flexing in time with the movement of Chuuya's clenched fists. Dazai's fingers tangle with his, teeth making a brief appearance on Chuuya's throat.

"I don't wanna go, Chuuya," he whines. "Can't we just let Kouyou's people deal with it? I'm tired." The kiss that he presses to Chuuya's mouth makes a number of pretty promises that have everything to do with beds but nothing to do with sleeping. "I was tortured, you know. I shouldn't have to work."

"I know," Chuuya growls, biting Dazai's lower lip. It's not hard enough to break the skin, but Chuuya wants to put his mouth over every stitch and find the blood beneath. "We need to crush anyone who stands against us, though, Boss. That goes twice for traitors."

Dazai's mouth smiles, eyes empty, and Chuuya returns it. "You certainly crushed Miyamoto's people today," he purrs. "I only wish I could have seen more of it."

"Don't get injured next time then, Osamu." Chuuya means to tempt, to tease, but vicious rage bubbles beneath his words and turns it into a threat. Dazai's free hand yanks Chuuya's head back, twisting his grip in Chuuya's hair and exposing his throat, but Chuuya's already pressing their joined hands down against the stab wound in Dazai's thigh. Pain for pain, as it's always been.

They remain in that tableau for a pair of heartbeats before Dazai smiles and whispers, "Don't forget who owns you." It's a promise, as much as anything.

"Don't forget who owns you," Chuuya counters, and Dazai goes pliant against him, more of an agreement than mere words could ever offer. Chuuya's skin feels hot, and this time he's the one kissing Dazai, feasting on him since Chuuya can't be sated by revenge. Dazai arches against him, the hand in his hair used to keep their bodies close, guiding the kiss until it's more desperate, more eager, winding Chuuya tighter and tighter until Chuuya wants nothing more than to let the world burn while he makes Dazai scream.

Dazai always did hate being apart from Chuuya even more than Chuuya did. Or maybe it's the other way around.

It doesn't matter. It's still the truth.

A knock on the door shatters the intimacy and Dazai sighs in disappointment while Chuuya snaps, "What?" without looking away from Dazai, power held in abeyance as he waits for whoever interrupted them to speak. He still hasn't decided whether they should die or not and it will entirely depend on why they're here.

"Excuse me, Boss, Nakahara-sama, but Ozaki-sama sent me." The girl bows in the entrance to the otherwise empty medical facility as Chuuya turns towards her. "She says that everyone is assembled at your leisure. The man that you brought back from Miyamoto's complex is still being handled and when he breaks, she will inform you."

She stays in her respectful bow until Chuuya waves his hand, breath hissing out past gritted teeth. "We'll be there shortly. Tell her." The girl nods and straightens, eyes still downcast, and disappears down the corridor.

Chuuya steps back so he can compose himself, while Dazai remains seated on the bed, watching Chuuya avidly. Chuuya pulls on his gloves last; the last pair was ruined, along with his pants, when Chuuya rescued Dazai. He hopes he doesn't lose this pair anytime soon since they're thin enough that it almost feels like he's wearing nothing at all. Dazai, of course, somehow manages to make his slightly rumpled appearance look entirely deliberate. Chuuya is willing to claim some credit, of course, as the suit is his doing, but the grey so deep it's almost black looks even better on Dazai than Chuuya planned.

"Disgusting," he announces, straightening Dazai's collar, thumb brushing the bandages beneath. "I hate you, Mackerel. Let's go." He turns on his heel and heads for the door.

"Such kind words, my petit mafia!" Dazai praises. He catches up effortlessly, as though he's never suffered an injury in his life. Chuuya keeps his pace slow nevertheless so that they don't strain the stitches in Dazai's thigh or his cracked ribs more than necessary, nerves on edge as they head towards the elevators. It doesn't matter that this is the heart of Port Mafia territory. Whenever Dazai is injured, years of training and hard-earned instincts clamor for Chuuya to put himself between Dazai and the rest of the world. "Whatever would I do without you?"

"Die, probably," Chuuya mutters under his breath, but the words taste sour in his mouth. There is no Dazai without Chuuya any more than there's a Chuuya without Dazai and the truth of it makes Chuuya want to carve Dazai's chest open, to hold that bloody, beating heart in his fist and claim it.

"Only if it's in a double suicide with Chuuya!" Dazai lilts, smiling with a razorblade edge that is as likely to kill Chuuya as save him.

Chuuya snorts as they reach the bank of elevators, pressing the button as Dazai drapes himself across Chuuya's shoulders. Chuuya carries Dazai's weight easily; it feels more natural than when he's only carrying himself. "I'm still tired," Dazai mutters, lips brushing beneath Chuuya's ear and making him shiver. "After this..." His fingers slide meaningfully along Chuuya's hips as one of the elevators arrives.

"After this, you're sleeping," Chuuya says severely as Dazai whines again. He pulls Dazai into the elevator and presses the button for the penthouse as the doors slide close.

The second the doors shut they're all over each other, Chuuya's hands stroking over the line of Dazai's spine and Dazai's palm pressed over his heart as they kiss with teeth and tongues. It's the closest they'll get to privacy for a while yet and Chuuya's been called many things over the years but reasonable isn't usually one of them. He certainly doesn't feel reasonable as he swallows Dazai's breath, hand at his throat and Dazai slams him into the wall of the elevator, crowding out Chuuya's thoughts.

Neither of them entirely lose track of their surroundings, however, and as the elevator slows Dazai pulls away, cool fingers sliding down Chuuya's temple. Chuuya focuses on him, heart pounding.

All the life is gone from Dazai's expression, and without color in his cheeks he doesn't look like he's been trying to wreck Chuuya. He looks like he could slit Chuuya's throat and remain apathetic. He looks like he could pull off a coup without the slightest twinge of fear. He looks like he already has.

He turns his back on Chuuya, perfectly trusting, and Chuuya can't look away from the scars he knows are beneath Dazai's clothing—the scars that march down Dazai's spine, the ones that make Chuuya's fingers itch with possessiveness.

Dazai glances back over his shoulder, eyes black and huge and heat slides down Chuuya's spine. "Fucker," Chuuya mutters. Of course Dazai's doing it on purpose. He probably thinks he can tempt Chuuya into handling the meeting while Dazai daydreams about a double suicide if only he looks sufficiently enticing.

The worst part is that it's worked before.

Chuuya follows half a step behind Dazai, power curling protectively around them both without ever quite touching him. The guards straighten at their approach, bowing deeply and pushing open the doors to the conference room. Dazai strides through, eyes utterly flat. Rage surges beneath Chuuya's skin and he embraces it as his Ability seethes throughout the room. Everyone bows as they enter, even Kouyou, but it's a sight Chuuya's become accustomed to as the weapon of the Boss of the Port Mafia, although the energy is considerably more electric than usual.

That's not surprising, though. They are the Port Mafia—they can smell the blood in the water, and the blood of a traitor leaves them even hungrier.

Dazai sits at the head of the table and waves a hand for everyone to rise while Chuuya stands behind him, rummaging around his pocket for a cigarette. As he lights it, Dazai pushes the elegant crystal ashtray that's in every room in the Port Mafia headquarters towards Chuuya, who taps the end of his cigarette against it, free hand on Dazai's back. By now it's instinct to touch only Dazai's clothing, in case Chuuya has to work his Ability hard and fast and ruthless. Dazai, having no sense of self-preservation, naturally leans back against Chuuya's hand, shamelessly stealing the cigarette and inhaling deeply, but Chuuya just rolls his eyes. One of them has to be professional.

Given that it'll never be Dazai, Chuuya directs his attention fully to the room at large, stealing back his cigarette in the process. Only the figure in the center of the room hasn't stood. Cannot.
It's awfully hard to stand, after all, when bound and on one's knees.

Chuuya blows out a stream of smoke as Nakamura trembles. She knows what awaits her. Now that they've captured Miyamoto's mole it's going to end with three bullets and bleeding out—and everyone else in the room knows it too. For now, her arm's broken as well as the fingers of both hands and her head's bowed, one eye gone. There's blood soaking into the carpet from the deep cuts on her face around the socket and her breath is more a continuous sob. They'll have to get the carpet replaced before this room is usable again.

"Miyamoto was only too happy to gloat that you were his inside agent before his torturer started in on me," Dazai murmurs, above the sound of her tears. His voice is distant and empty. "A foolish decision, especially given how I well I would have treated you had you come to me with Miyamoto's offer. I much prefer double agents over brute force."

Chuuya doesn't respond, although he wants to. He's a great deal more elegant than brute force but he has time to remind Dazai of that later.

Dazai continues speaking, although Chuuya's sure he's aware of the tenor of Chuuya's thought's. "You'll die a traitor's death, of course, but I'm given to understand you're part of one of the Black Lizard's teams under Akutagawa-kun."

Chuuya smiles suddenly, showing all his teeth. "Boss," he murmurs. "Would you allow me to personally ensure that none of Nakamura's cohort were aware of her actions? Particularly not Kikuchi-chan?"

Nakamura goes white and begins struggling against her bonds, begging, "Emi didn't know anything, she didn't, leave her alone it was just me! It was all my fault! Don't hurt her! Don't hurt them!" She thrashes, overbalances, and falls over, screaming when she lands badly on her broken arm and sobbing again.

Over her noise, Dazai gazes up at Chuuya, still blank-eyed, as though listening to a request from a trusted subordinate instead of having been patiently waiting for Chuuya to play his part. "Perhaps. Betrayal is rather like a cancer, is it not? Better to dig up anything that even hints at a root, for the safety of the whole."

Chuuya inclines his head, hand over his heart. "Kikuchi-chan for sure then," he agrees in a bored voice. "Sakurai, Matsukawa, Arai, and Akizuki, too. It's for the best, really. Hamada, inform Akutagawa that he is to detain all members of the Black Lizard until further notice and ensure those five are brought to me." He casts a glance at Dazai. "Shall we punish Akutagawa too, for failing to notice this happening right under his nose?" He brings the cigarette to his lips and takes a deep drag.

"Of course," Dazai replies flatly. "If he can't be trusted to ensure all of his subordinates are behaving as members of the Port Mafia's Black Lizard ought, he shouldn't get to play with them. After all, he's still my protégé, I suppose. Such a disappointing one, though." He speaks the insult off-handedly, but no one, least of all Chuuya, fails to understand the punishment implicit in the words. "A rather disappointing matter all around in fact, don't you think, Chuuya?"

Chuuya exhales, smoke streaming from his lips. "Agreed."

"Let's end things, then," Dazai announces, standing. He steals Chuuya's cigarette and demands of the witnesses at large, "Gun."

Nakamura's still screaming, but no one comes to her aid. Dazai gestures for her to be lifted and her open mouth braced against the edge of the table as he's handed a gun. "Chuuya," he commands, and Chuuya's elbow lashes out, Nakamura's jaw shattered in a split second. Horrible moans continue to slide free of her throat and Dazai lifts the gun, firing three shots into the center of her chest. Nakamura gasps and jerks, blood spraying, and then falls to the ground limply. The movement of her chest slowly stills, then stops.

Dazai tosses the gun back to its owner. "Leave the body in Miyamoto's house. The Port Mafia will kill him next."


Later Mori says, with fever bright eyes, "I made the logical choice. Every decision I have made has been rational and optimal."

As though it matters. The blood is still fresh on Dazai's hand—their hands.

Dazai never speaks but Chuuya launches himself forward anyways, Corruption burning in his lungs.


"Fuck me, Chuuya," Dazai demands the instant the apartment door is shut behind them.

"How about no, because you're a fucking mess who's been tortured and hasn't slept in like, two days?" Chuuya counters. He hangs up his jacket and hat in the time it takes Dazai to kick off his shoes and begin shedding every item of clothing he's got on between the entrance and their bedroom. "Also, fuck you, I can't believe that you got blood on that brand new suit!"

"Come punish me, then, Chuuya!" Dazai calls from across the apartment. "You always like punishing me!"

Chuuya rolls his eyes and carefully tucks away his shoes and gloves, running his fingers through his hair. "I like punishing you when I can actually hurt you without sending you back to the hospital!" he shouts back. "Not when I have to worry about tearing stitches, because I know you won't worry about that!" He sighs but leaves Dazai's clothing on the floor. It'll need to be burned, anyways, with Nakamura's blood all over it. Chuuya will simply have to get another suit.

He follows the trail of clothing until he finds Dazai in all his bandaged glory, stretched out on the bed. Dazai may have moved like Miyamoto's men hadn't touched him, but at least two pieces of gauze are stained a bright cherry red. His eyes gleam red as well, and it's like it's always been—Chuuya finds himself helplessly drawn forward, whispering, "Osamu."

"I missed you, Chuuya," Dazai breathes. "I was so scared without you there. Remind me what you feel like."

"You're so fucking full of shit," Chuuya mutters as he straddles Dazai, unwinding the bandages that aren't covering wounds and dropping them to the floor in long ribbons. "You've never been scared a fucking day in your life."

"That's true," Dazai hums, running his hands up along Chuuya's sides, fingers moving smoothly over the silk. "But only because you've always taken such good care of me! I'll just have to burn the world down if anyone ever gets their hands on you, just to make sure I won't ever be afraid without you."

That sounds undeniably true, and Chuuya kisses Dazai for it. He can't help it. Despite his injuries, Dazai arches and writhes against Chuuya, trying desperately to get more of his heat, his touch, his weight. "F-Fine," Chuuya rasps. "Fuck you, you bastard, fine."

"That's the spirit," Dazai answers cheerfully, and Chuuya presses his thumb against a bloody bandage and Dazai's breath is lost in a cross between a moan and a gasp. "Chuuya, Chuuya," he begs, shameless because he knows that Chuuya will give him everything he wants. It's not really begging if it's a victory, and Chuuya presses harder against the wound until Dazai flinches. Dazai glances up at him from beneath his lashes, breathing hard, and murmurs, "I need you to remind me what you feel like."

Dazai imbues the words with a dark possessiveness and Chuuya's eyes go black. He's been tempting Chuuya since their successful return for this moment: when Chuuya's hunger and desire outweigh his reason and he claims Dazai from the inside out.

"I hate you," Chuuya says, ripping off the bandage over the wound he'd re-opened. It's still leaking blood and he sucks it away, tongue digging in where knife parted flesh and Dazai throws his head back and cries out. "I wish I'd spent hours making sure that asshole regretted ever coming near you. I wish I'd crushed his body, one limb at a time, wish I'd pulled out his organs so we could watch crows feast on them." His mouth is vicious and Dazai's trembling under the force of it. "I wish I could find everyone he loved and leave a scar on their body for every one he left on you."

Chuuya's mouth visits every injury, gauze discarded in favor of pressing kisses to stitches, biting at bruises, and searching out every droplet of blood until his lips are scarlet and Dazai drags him close so they can kiss, desperate and enraged.

"Don't you dare fucking move," Chuuya snarls when he finally breaks the kiss. With Dazai on his back he can't kiss the scar he truly wants to but he doesn't dare risk allowing Dazai on his hands and knees, especially not with the stab wound in his thigh. He settles for a distant second, fingers sliding along Dazai's pulse over and over. "I'll do everything."

Dazai blinks up at him, asking, "Does that mean I'll get to fuck you?" with all the sweetness and innocence he's never had in his goddamn life.

Chuuya throws his head back and laughs. "I suppose since you've had such a hard day I'll ride you." He stands, stripping away his clothes carelessly and yanking open the bedside drawer to pull out the lube as he straddles Dazai again.

He slicks his fingers and has two inside himself before Dazai's pupils go huge and hungry and he breathes, "I'm so lucky to have Chuuya! He makes the torture worth it!"

Baring his teeth, Chuuya adds a third finger. "So long as you don't get it in your head to deliberately get kidnapped and tortured for this. Otherwise you'll just come home to more of the same."

"I would never, my petit mafia," Dazai promises, which is a bald-faced lie.

"Fucking bastard," Chuuya snarls, and sinks down on Dazai's dick. "Don't fucking move. Don't touch me. If you do, I stop." It's been so long since Chuuya had Dazai inside him that Chuuya's already having difficulty thinking past the stretch and pressure and roughness. The only redemption on offer is Dazai's hazy-eyed look as his fingers tighten in the sheets and a hint of a flush spreading down his throat. It doesn't matter if Chuuya's not going to last long—neither is Dazai.

Chuuya's body hasn't forgotten this, though, the way riding Dazai makes his thighs burn and his dick leak every time Chuuya manages to ride Dazai just right, his cock sliding against Chuuya's prostate. Dazai can't catch his breath, hips mindlessly jerking up against Chuuya's ass despite the order to stay still. It's too much too fast and they've been awake for too long and their bodies ache and fuck if it isn't stupidly, horribly perfect. Chuuya doesn't know how he's supposed to ever forgive Dazai for staring up at him in dark-eyed wonder, the same way he had the first time Chuuya fucked him, like the pleasure was so wholly unexpected and overwhelming and addicting that Dazai would kill for it.

Well, to be fair—he had.

Dazai's wide-eyed and shuddering and so close, Chuuya just knows it, so he starts to jerk himself off only to have his hand replaced by Dazai's, thumb stroking below and up over the head of Chuuya's cock just right and Chuuya's falling apart but so is Dazai, free hand pressed firmly over Chuuya's heart and suddenly nothing matters so much as Chuuya desperately trying to wriggle a hand beneath Dazai's back as he gasps, fingers brushing scars and Chuuya comes.

The pleasure blots out everything else and Chuuya loses his rhythm. Dazai weakly thrusts his hips, and Chuuya moans, "Osamu, Osamu," mindlessly. Dazai's nails dig into Chuuya's chest like he can touch the beating heart behind it, palm pressed firmly to the mark directly above it, and he comes too, breathing Chuuya's name like a gift.

It's possession, obsession, need, and desire. The mind and body of Soukoku and no soul included; they gave theirs up to the Port Mafia years ago, willingly.

Just as they're willing in this: Chuuya's body eases, while Dazai's mind relaxes, tangled together and exchanging breath. Dazai's half on top of him so Chuuya can at long last stroke his fingers over the four kanji scarred down Dazai's spine—but that's alright, though, because Dazai's palm hasn't separated from Chuuya's chest and the three kanji in the blackest of inks.

"Sleep now," Chuuya mumbles. They'll need to clean up at some point, but they're warm and comfortable and safe and neither of them would trade this for the world.

"Sleep now," Dazai agrees around a yawn.

And so Port Mafia's Soukoku does.


"Do it," Dazai instructs. "I don't want to be owned by anyone but you." He's pale-faced and everything but the hand holding out the knife shakes. "Not ever again." He can still feel Mori's touch all over him. He doesn't care what this will cost him. He wants the scars.

"But if I carve my name," Chuuya begins, "Boss will—" He stops. He doesn't know what Boss will do, but he doesn't know if he wants to find out. Sometimes it already feels like they're living on borrowed time, like the next mission, or the next meal, or the next sliver of hope will be what kills them.

Dazai doesn't try to sway him, just keeps the knife extended.

They are the only safety they've ever known.

Chuuya takes it.

"I'll kill him," he promises abruptly. "And when I do, I'll prove I'm yours, too. Mark me, anywhere you want. Make me yours. You already own me." He presses his hand to his heart, like that will make the oath more real. Maybe it will. His eyes are blue and clear and Dazai meets them, dark and equally clear. If they're insane, they're insane together.

Better to die as one half of a whole than alone.

Chuuya smiles, and his grip on the blade is expert and calm. Dazai wonders if this is love. "Take your shirt off and kneel."