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snow white days

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Atsushi saw Dazai walking toward them, after everything was settled and done. Shibusawa had been controlled at their end. Whatever was the problem at Dazai’s end seemed to have been settled as well. Dazai walked slowly but in his usual sauntering way. His familiar brown trenchcoat was a welcome sight after a difficult and long battle. The world was going to be fine.

“Good work,” he said quietly. “Both of you. All three of you.”

Akutagawa turned his back on him, but Atsushi smiled gratefully. So did Kyouka.

“What now?” Atsushi asked.

“Back…home,” Dazai said.

“The agency?”

He did not answer for a moment, as he kept his eyes on the ground, steadying himself. “Um…yeah. Yeah.”


They came running toward Ranpo and hugged him as they found him calmly munching, seated over one of the desks. The agency was in complete chaos, but Ranpo was very much alive and munching on his snacks, the world was going to be very okay.

Dazai generally glomped people, not hugged, but for some reason he stayed back as Atsushi and Kyouka chatted happily with Ranpo, telling him Tanizaki and Yosano and the boss were generally okay and heading back as well.

Atsushi remembered to look behind him. “Dazai-san? You okay?”

Dazai smiled weakly…and maybe Atsushi saw a pale smiling face, paler than usual. Dazai slowly settled onto the agency sofa. “You guys…are all fine. It’s…all I need.”

Something about it made Atsushi stare a bit longer at him. “Anything we can help you with?”

He shook his head. “Just very tired.”

Atsushi smiled at him. “Well, you can rest now, like all of us.”

“Yeah.” Dazai’s head rested on an arm of the sofa. “Yeah.”


After getting some sleep into themselves, came the cleaning.

The midday, of course, was filled with cleaning. The agency office had been ruined, desks overturned, papers and folders scattered on the floor, many things spilled everywhere.

Yosano was at the clinic area of the agency, her private domain. Tanizaki, Kenji, and Atsushi moved dislodged desks and boxes back to their proper places, as Kyouka and Naomi handled the sweeping. Ranpo, being Ranpo, helped by pointing which object was supposed to usually be. Kunikida was busy reporting developments to the director, as well as getting news from all over Yokohama.

Much of the office being settled into some sort of order, Kunikida called the break for the night. They can fix the rest the next day, when everyone had gotten more rest.

Atsushi therefore walked toward Dazai, still on the sofa, where someone had remembered to get a blanket over him, but generally everyone left him there to sleep.

He shook him gently at a shoulder. “Dazai-san? Let’s eat?”

But he got no response. From someone who always loved to eat, especially when free.


Still nothing.

Atsushi’s heart began to beat faster, as he shook Dazai harder. “Dazai-san?” Dazai wasn’t very hard to wake, on general principle. He had a cat’s senses. So this was worrisome. “Oi, Dazai-san!”


Ranpo raised his glasses onto his eyes, as he jumped off the desk. He moved faster than most of them were used to seeing from him, as he rushed toward where Atsushi was. He grabbed at Dazai’s wrist, at the other wrist, placed a hand over the chest. He pried at one eyelid, then quickly closed it again.

Ranpo locked his spectacled eyes, rather seriously, at him. “Atsushi-kun. Get Yosano-san. Now.”

Atsushi’s jaw dropped as he started running.

He stumbled on the stairs, several times, but eventually he managed to rush into their makeshift clinic, managed to stumble through what Ranpo said, what they saw. But he probably said the right things, because Yosano ran back with him.

They gathered around Yosano as she quickly knelt down, also placed hands on both wrists and at the neck, then placing a stethoscope in several places. She also opened an eyelid then closed it. “We all didn’t notice? How long has he been like this?”

“That’s partly my fault as everyone else’s. I didn’t think too far into it. Everyone’s tired, after all. But he’s been like that since they got here,” Ranpo said, “which is around 6am, when things kinda got back to normal.”

Atsushi would not deny that time Ranpo gave, because they found him at the agency when they arrived. “We…all just thought he was fine and normally asleep.”

Yosano turned to Ranpo. “No overdose?” he asked.

“None, you’re correct.”

“So…what is the matter?”

“I’m not sure yet,” she said. “But this isn’t self-inflicted. There may be poisoning, I’m not sure. That said, take him upstairs.”


On her orders, they took off the trenchcoat and shoes, and undid the vest and shirt.

Yosano grit her teeth as they found bandages soaked red at his left side. At least whatever wound was there was not actively bleeding. She sighed and scratched her head many, many times. “You and your many enemies, who know how and where to strike.”

“But…he was talking to us before he…lay down?” Atsushi said.

“He was probably running on empty, for a while now,” Yosano said, shaking her head. “Running on adrenaline or fumes, I dunno. Hard to tell what is ability and what is sheer grit with this irritating mess. I hate your ability right now, Osamu Dazai,” she muttered.

“I know what that means,” Kunikida said, “but what does that mean for HIM?”

“It means he’s been stabbed at the heart, maybe the lungs. I’ll check. It means that unlike everyone else in this room, I can’t be a trauma surgeon for this annoying irritation of a nullifier. We have to wait this out, as he heals himself. His heart has to heal itself while we wait. You’ve seen this before, haven’t you?”

“Not like this. How long?” he immediately asked.

“Hopefully just a few days,” she said, sighing deeply. “ARGH, I hate being intensivist,” she grumbled.

“And what does that mean?”

“I’ll need you guys to get me a few things from the hospital: fresh whole blood, dextrose, dextrose lines…maybe get me a nurse, because I hate these fine things, why do you think I love trauma?”

“Make a list, Yosano,” Kunikida said calmly. “Tanizaki, get ready to go shopping.”

“What about me?” Atsushi asked.

“Keep resting, God knows you need it,” Kunikida ordered. “We’ll see about tomorrow.”

Atsushi sighed, but knew he was correct.

Ranpo raised a hand. “You need a poison analysis?”

“Possibly,” Yosano said.

“Alright.” Ranpo tipped his cap and went downstairs.

Kunikida raised his own hand. “Just…will he be alright?”

Yosano sighed. “Very likely, but it’ll take a while.”

“So…” Tanizaki noted, “If he’s going to be a sleeping beauty for a bit, are we waiting for a prince?”

The others rolled their eyes.