Actions

Work Header

The price of living

Work Text:


Chuuya had always been somewhat of Dazai’s guardian angel, saving him from the death he so desired.

The problem was it always came at a price.

His sanity, his pride and his heart were valuable things to give up for someone who didn’t even want to be saved.

It started in the mafia, where Chuuya would constantly prevent Dazai’s ridiculous methods of suicide from succeeding. He somehow always managed to be just in time to cut a rope or break a piece of furniture.

It wasn’t as if Chuuya had asked for his ridiculously perfect timing. He didn’t enjoy saving Dazai, because doing so always came at a price. One too many times and the bastard would drag him along into his grave. One too many times and he wasn’t sure if he’d just given his heart away to someone who would break it without a second thought.

‘Chuuya.’

‘Hm.’

They were currently lying on the couch in their apartment, naked limbs entangled but neither of them really giving a damn. It happened sometimes. Chuuya’s temper and Dazai’s mental state caused something to spark between them that lead to…whatever this was. It wasn’t necessarily hate sex, but it wasn’t love either.

‘Would you be sad, if I died?’

‘What kind of question is that? A waste of bandages like you would do everyone a favour by disappearing from this world.’

Dazai smiled an empty smile, and Chuuya didn’t meet his eyes. He felt his heart clench in his chest, but the hateful words he spoke seemed safer than admitting his true feelings.

‘Good.’

Chuuya didn’t know that years later, he would regret ever making that statement.

 


 

Chuuya Nakahara hated Dazai Osamu from the depths of his tiny little heart. It was a well-known fact within both the Port Mafia and the Armed Detective Agency, so when after the Lovecraft mission a truce came into place, everyone kept their distance.

Everyone except Chuuya and Dazai themselves, of course.

The two were naturally drawn towards each other, which lead to explosive fights and (despite both of them denying it profusely) almost-kisses. They hadn’t laid a finger on each other though, not ever since Dazai had left the mafia. Chuuya didn’t want the other man’s hands on him in fear of waking up old emotions.

When he was forced to go to the Agency to discuss some important details about a mission, he had really hoped Dazai wouldn’t be there. In fact, the entire Detective Agency had hoped so in fear of property damage.

Dazai had a knack for always being exactly where he wasn’t wanted though.

When Chuuya arrived, the bastard was casually lounging on the Agency’s couch, being more obnoxious than ever.

‘Oh hi there, hat rack! I almost didn’t see you there~’ Dazai hummed. His smirk was more evil than that of the devil himself.

‘Shut up, I’m only here to deliver some papers.’ Chuuya sighed. He was getting tired already, and the fact all Agency members had retreated somewhere as if to seek shelter from what was undoubtedly going to happen, pissed him off.

‘Then how about a date if you don’t have anything better to do anyway~?’

Chuuya nearly choked at that suggestion. ‘A double suicide is not a date, waste of bandages.’

Dazai let out a laugh, but Chuuya could easily hear the hollowness that was always present there. ‘You’re not pretty enough for a double suicide, chibi.’

‘Then don’t suggest it!’

‘Ah! So Chuuya finally admits committing a double suicide counts as a date?’

Chuuya clenched his teeth. ‘Won’t you just fucking die already?’ he spat. Dazai smiled at him. ‘I’ve been asking myself the same question for years now.’

‘You’re the worst.’

‘You still love me anyway~’

Chuuya’s heart stopped. Dazai had crossed a line there. “Love” wasn’t an option for them, love was unspoken of, unmentioned between the two of them because it would only lead to complicated feelings; feelings they weren’t capable of.

‘No, I don’t.’ Chuuya whispered. Dazai blinked. ‘I was only-’

‘-joking?’ Chuuya finished Dazai’s sentence for him. ‘Yeah, I figured. You never took my feelings serious.’

‘Don’t tell me you’re actually in love with me, Chuuya.’ Dazai said, chuckling slightly as if it was nothing more than a funny joke, something so ridiculous that it couldn’t possibly be true.

‘I’m not.’ Chuuya stated. ‘Not anymore.’

Dazai’s eyes widened.

‘You-…’

‘Shut up.’

Chuuya’s fists were clenched, and he could hardly contain his anger. ‘I really wish you would just fucking die so that I’ll finally be free from your stupid little games.’

Chuuya stormed out of the office before hearing Dazai’s reply.

 


 

Chuuya decided that instead of getting drunk off his ass that night, he needed to take a long walk through Yokohama. Maybe he'd even be able to pick up a guy or two.

Dazai had enough of a toxic effect on him as it was and (increased) alcohol abuse did not need to become yet another effect. 

It was peaceful, and the cool summer air made him think of why he loved this city so much. The beautiful view and the innocent people made him feel at home

Of course, if Yokohama was his home, there was always a certain individual who had to break-and-enter his way in. 

Dazai Osamu infiltrated Chuuya's mind, heart and...apparently also his supposed-to-be calm evening stroll.

Dazai Osamu was currently falling from a building.

Fuck.

Of course Dazai had chosen a building that would be in clear view during Chuuya's walk. It was just like him to do something to infuriate the redhead even more. If the bastard expected saving, he could kiss Chuuya's ass. He always managed to miraculously survive anyway. 

Except, Dazai was falling really fast now. And the ground was getting closer and closer and-

"I really wish you would just fucking die so that I’ll finally be free from your stupid little games."

-and Dazai was granting Chuuya's wish. A wish he hadn't actually meant

Chuuya Nakahara had never run that fast in his life. 

It all happened extremely fast, and he wasn't sure how the hell he managed it, but with his gravity manipulation Chuuya managed to reach Dazai in time.

He was hovering just above him now, fallingfalling and he could see the ground approaching. Chuuya grabbed Dazai by the collar of his shirt, shocking the bandaged man almost as much as he was shocking himself (because of fucking course he still wanted Dazai to die goddamnit, but not like this, not like this).

In the last second before his gravitation would get nullified by Dazai's godforsaken ability, he flipped them over. 

Chuuya felt an excruciating pain shooting through his back, a massive weight landing on top of him and then-

Nothing. 

Chuuya didn't hear any of Dazai's screams and assumed the wetness dripping onto his face was nothing but blood.

 


 

When Chuuya awoke, something felt off. He wasn't in his own bed, there was an annoying weight draping over him and his lower body felt...weird. 

'Ah, Nakahara-san, you're awake.' a woman's voice echoed. When she walked closer, he could see it was the Agency's own miracle doctor. 

'Why am I here?' Chuuya asked her, skipping formalities. The woman sighed and pointed to the weight Chuuya had previously felt on him. 'Your reason is right there.' 

Dazai was currently asleep with his head on Chuuya’s lap, while the rest of his lanky body was draped over a simple chair. 'Right. The bastard deemed it necessary to attempt suicide again.’ Chuuya hissed while kicking Dazai off of him.

Or well, he would have done so if his leg had moved at all.

‘What the fuck.’

Dazai stirred from his sleep anyway, eyes red as if he’d just cried. Chuuya told himself that was bullshit, because Dazai Osamu did not cry. When the Agency’s doctor gave him a pitying look, he realized something was seriously wrong.

‘Tell me what’s going on.’ Chuuya hissed. He tried to get up, but his body seemed to refuse for some reason. ‘Now.’

‘You broke your spine.’ the woman spoke. Chuuya nearly fainted right there, but she didn’t seem to be done with her story yet. Maybe there was hope. ‘I healed you with my ability, which should mean your body is as good as new again.’

Chuuya felt it coming from miles away. ‘But…?’

‘…But the injuries were such a shock for your body that you’re going to have to learn how to walk again. Physically, you’re fine. It’s just that the connection between your legs and your brain-’

‘-turned to fucking shit.’ Chuuya finished her sentence for her. He slumped back against his pillow. ‘Jesus Christ.’

‘I’m sorry.’

It wasn’t the doctor who had spoken the words. She had intended to, but another voice had been quicker to do so.

Dazai.

‘Sorry isn’t going to fix this mess.’ Chuuya hissed, signing to his legs. The redhead was shaking with anger, frustration and dread.

‘I know.’ Dazai whispered, not meeting the other’s gaze.

‘If you weren’t so fucking suicidal-…’ Chuuya started, but faltered mid-sentence. He felt so hopeless, even the desire to yell at Dazai wasn’t there. He wanted to scream his lungs out, but the words just wouldn’t come.

‘I fucking hate you.’ he whispered instead.

The brunet looked down, as if he actually felt guilty about this whole ordeal. ‘I’ll teach you to walk again.’

Chuuya clenched his teeth. ‘Oh really?’ he asked cynically. ‘Well woohoo, so glad you’re always there to help me, partner. Where would I be without you? Let me think…oh, I know! I’d be up and fucking walking, you goddamn piece of shit.’ Chuuya raged at him. Dazai winced at those words.

‘Nakahara-san, that’s enough.’ the doctor interrupted. Chuuya glared at her.

‘I’m not a kid.’

‘Then stop acting like one.’

Chuuya’s eyes widened. ‘He fucking paralyzed me! I have every right to be angry and-’

‘I didn’t ask you to save me.’ Dazai interrupted, finally looking at him. ‘You did that on your own accord.’

Chuuya wanted to protest, but Dazai continued. ‘After telling me to die, actually.’

It was unfair. Of course Dazai was right about those things, Chuuya had saved Dazai because he chose to do so, but that didn’t mean he’d wanted all of this along with it. 

‘Please just leave me the fuck alone.’ he brought out.

‘If that’s what you want.’

When Dazai and Yosano left the room, Chuuya was able to let out his emotions.

He’d never know the desperate and heart-breaking scream he let out was heard by Dazai.  

 


 

'Wrap your arms around my neck and-'

'I'm not touching you.'

'Chuuya, you'll never learn to walk again if you keep this up.' 

Dazai was currently attempting to help Chuuya, but the redhead kept refusing. 

'I can do it myself.'

'Says the person stuck in a wheelchair.'

'Says the person who got me stuck in the fucking wheelchair in the first place.'

'I already said I was sorry! That's more than I've ever done before!'

'You're still a fucking asshole.'

'I know. Now shut up and hold on to me, Chuuya's wheelchair is making it even more obvious how tiny he is~'

'Shut the fuck up.' Chuuya grumbled as he finally gave in and wrapped his arms around Dazai's neck. The brunet carefully held onto him and lifted him out of the wheelchair. 

Chuuya didn't like how close they were, didn't like how he could smell Dazai and feel his warmth as if they didn't hate each other's guts. The position they were in resembled that of an embrace, which was something Chuuya absolutely did not want to share with Dazai unless it was to suffocate him.

'I swear to GOD, if you drop me I'll fucking murder you.' 

Chuuya seemed to suddenly realize what he'd said and to whom. 'Fuck, shit fucking- I meant I'll make sure you won't die until you're at least eighty if you dare think about dropping me.' he brought out with a speed that'd make you wonder if perhaps his life depended on it. In fact, it probably did.

'Chuuya is so mean...' Dazai whined. 

‘Serves you right, bastard.’

Chuuya carefully tried to put weight on his legs instead of hanging from Dazai’s neck (damn the bastard for being so tall), but nearly sank through his knees right away. ‘Fucking shit.’ he cursed.

‘You’re too impatient, hat rack. You can’t expect your legs to carry your heavy weight immediately.' Dazai told him. Chuuya wondered if it would be worth losing his balance if he’d head-butt Dazai right now, but decided against it. ‘Don’t tell me what to do.’ he hissed instead while stubbornly trying to put weight on his legs again.

‘Try tiny steps without putting weight on your legs. Just hang on to me to even it out.’

‘Since when do you know anything about medical shit?’ Chuuya spat. ‘Yosano told me what to do with you.’ Dazai calmly replied. Chuuya’s eyes narrowed. ‘Why not just let her teach me?’ he asked. Dazai sighed. ‘Because this is my fault.’

Now of course Chuuya had to admit he didn't want to bother people with the sorry state he was in, even if they were from the Armed Detective Agency. The problem was that being this close to Dazai of all people affected him in all the ways he didn't want it to. Old memories would randomly slip into his head, buried (and unwanted) feelings would resurface and new ones would break his heart once again. 

Chuuya clenched his teeth. ‘You don’t care about any of that. Be it Corruption or anything else, you’d always just leave me to die. You wouldn’t feel even a shred of guilt if something happened to me because you decided to neglect me. Like you always do, might I add.’

Chuuya’s eyes widened when Dazai’s hold on him tightened. The taller man leaned down to be closer to his face and Chuuya felt the urge to turn his head away. Instead, he decided not to break eye contact with Dazai at all. He didn’t want to seem afraid or intimidated.

‘Who always nullifies Corruption for you? Who always used to patch up your wounds after a mission? Who was the only one willing to hold you at night when everyone else thought you were nothing but a wh-’

Dazai’s rant was interrupted by a sharp slap on the cheek from Chuuya, who was shaking with anger. ‘Put me down. I’ll learn to walk by myself if you’re just going to be an ass about it.’

Something in Dazai’s eyes darkened. ‘No.’ he murmured. ‘I won’t let go of you again.'

Somehow Chuuya felt as if Dazai meant more with that statement than just holding on right now. Perhaps he was just reading too much into it.

Chuuya tried hitting the man in an attempt to get him to let go, but Dazai just let it happen. In fact, he helped Chuuya abuse him by holding on tightly so the other wouldn’t fall. He seemed to accept all the hits and punches the redhead threw at him.

When it was finally over, Chuuya slumped back in Dazai’s arms exhaustedly.

‘Are you done?’ Dazai calmly asked him. Chuuya was breathing heavily now. ‘I guess.’

He'd needed that.

'Good.’ the brunet replied, putting Chuuya back in his wheelchair. ‘I assumed you wouldn’t want to be treated any differently than if you ‘d be able to walk. You never liked to be pitied.’

Chuuya smiled a bitter smile. ‘You’re right, I do hate that. There's one thing you seem to forget though.’

‘What’s that?’

‘You don’t know me anymore. You’re not the one to patch me up after missions now and I don’t need anyone to hold me at night anymore either. Whatever past version of me you think you’re dealing with; I’ve changed.’ 

'Chuuya, you’re forgetting something too.’ Dazai shot back.

Dazai was the one who'd left, he had no right to play nice now. He had no right to pretend he was always there for Chuuya when he hadn't been there for the past four fucking years. 

'What the hell might that be?’

Dazai leaned down, supporting himself on both sides of Chuuya's wheelchair. 'I've known you inside out ever since we were kids. You can't change enough for me not to know you anymore. Whatever you do, we're stuck together. We'll always be partners.'

Those cruel words sent shivers down Chuuya’s spine. It wasn’t fair how Dazai would always manage to make him play a game he didn’t even know the rules of.

‘I wish I hadn’t saved you at all.’

‘Me too.’

 


 

‘Get the fuck down here, you piece of shit.’ Chuuya grumbled.

The redhead had finally accepted his fate of being taught how to walk by Dazai.

Well actually the acceptance had come from Mori, but it seemed as if the mafia boss was just glad he didn’t have to waste people nor money to help Chuuya recover from the injury that rendered him useless.

By now, it had been two weeks since their training sessions had started. In between sessions, Chuuya had to train his muscles by himself to prevent his legs from turning even weaker.

‘You’re so impatient Chuuya~’ Dazai hummed as he leaned down. Chuuya wrapped his arms around the taller man’s neck as if it was nothing special, which was probably true by now. Chuuya should be startled by this fact, but somehow it didn’t bother him as much as it should have.

‘I want my legs to work as soon as possible so I can kick that smugness off your face.’ Chuuya shot back, but it didn’t sound all that intimidating. ‘Want me to drop you, chibi?’ Dazai teased back. Chuuya gave him a soft slap on the cheek, upon which Dazai released him for a split-second, threatening to let Chuuya fall. The redhead grasped onto Dazai tighter in return.

It was an almost playful routine they had fallen into, which was concerning.

Chuuya wasn’t sure he was ready to be that familiar with Dazai again.

‘Don’t drop me, idiot. You know I can’t use my ability when you’re touching me.’ he scoffed. Dazai chuckled. ‘Which is exactly why it’s a good thing I’m the one teaching you. There’s no cheating that way~’

‘Won’t your colleagues at the Agency miss you while you’re busy with me?’

‘Ah! They’re actually quite happy with my absence; they’ve never finished this many cases before! Usually I distract them from unimportant things like work.’ Dazai replied with a chuckle. Chuuya rolled his eyes at the ridiculous reply.

‘So you haven’t changed at all when it comes to work…’ he muttered.

Dazai merely grinned at him, and instead of continuing with their bickering, Chuuya tried to stand on his feet. He’d found some balance again, but it still pained him to stand for too long. The worst was when he tried to walk. His knees and ankles would constantly wobble, causing him to get frustrated with every single step. He either had to hold on to something that resembled the kind of rollator old people used, or hold on to Dazai.

He felt ridiculous either way, but at least the latter would catch him if he fell. Or so he hoped.

‘You’re not making much progress yet, but it’s progress, so that’s good.’ Dazai stated.

Chuuya clenched his teeth and took a step forward, frustration showing on his face. ‘That’s not enough. I need to walk soon again, I need to go on missions and enjoy life and-’

Chuuya sank through his knees when he moved too quickly, losing his balance with a painful shock through his legs.  

Dazai’s arms were quick to  break his fall, wrapping around him in a way that almost felt as if they belonged there.

‘Easy there, Chuuya.’ the brunet whispered. Chuuya held on to Dazai tightly, his body shaking with anger and dread. ‘Why can’t I even do something as simple as walking?’ he breathed out helplessly. ‘I can manipulate fucking gravity, this should be a piece of cake.’

Dazai moved to say something, but Chuuya quickly put a hand over his mouth. ‘Don’t. Just…don’t say anything, you’ll make fun of me or say something cruel.’

Dazai slumped back and carefully pulled Chuuya’s hand from his mouth.

‘Chuuya…’

‘What.’

‘This misery of yours is my fault. Of all the things I’d choose to make fun of, it wouldn’t be that.’ he admitted. Chuuya looked up at those words.

‘Now your height on the other hand…’

Chuuya punched Dazai in the face, seeing how they were on the ground anyway and he didn’t have to worry about falling.

‘That’s mean!’ Dazai whined, holding his cheek as if the other had actually punched hard. He hadn’t, but the brunet always liked to overreact.

‘You deserved it.’ Chuuya scoffed. In his opinion he did, anyway.

This whole situation didn’t make any sense. Dazai was still an asshole, but he was…kinder, livelier. Those were words Chuuya would have never associated with Dazai back in their days at the Port Mafia. If this was what being at the Armed Detective Agency had done to him, perhaps he should start hating them less. Chuuya’s hatred was completely justified by the way, it had nothing to do with them taking Dazai away from him. Nothing at all.

Dazai grinned. ‘Let’s try again, hm?’

Chuuya didn’t want to acknowledge the fact maybe he could come to appreciate this version of Dazai somehow.

 


 

'I know you can do it, Chuuya.’

They were simple words, but meant the world to Chuuya. The phrase was a memento of the day they became Soukoku and some sort of proof that perhaps Dazai hadn’t been entirely emotionless after all. To hear them being spoken again was like a punch to the gut and a kiss at the same time.

Chuuya was currently standing on his own feet without any assistance. He didn’t dare walk or move, but after those long weeks, he had managed to accomplish something without needing Dazai to help him.

‘I know I can.’ Chuuya scoffed, but knew at the same time it was just his pride speaking. In reality he wasn’t all that sure he could do it.

With his teeth pressed tightly together and his hands clenched into fists, he put one foot forward. His body was shaking and Chuuya could feel his knees threatening to give in, but he stubbornly continued.

‘Good…’ Dazai mumbled, observing Chuuya and remaining close to catch him if necessary. ‘Just a little further.’

Chuuya honestly tried his best. He used all the strength he had in his body to keep standing, but it wasn’t enough. With a yelp and a thud, he fell. The impact with the floor he’d expected never came though. Instead, what he fell on was soft and warm.

‘You shouldn’t use your body as a pillow, idiot…’ Chuuya murmured. Dazai merely chuckled and ran a hand through Chuuya’s hair. The redhead didn’t know why the small gesture felt so comforting.

‘This feels familiar, doesn’t it?’ Dazai asked. Chuuya looked up, blue eyes meeting amber ones. Chuuya’s body was draped over Dazai’s and their faces were too close for comfort. ‘It does.’ he whispered.

Chuuya didn’t like how close they were, didn’t like the sense of déjà vu he got from the whole scene. Back in their days as Soukoku, back in their days of being close, something like this happening would insinuate a kiss, and a kiss would insinuate…

‘What are you thinking about, Chuuya?’ Dazai’s voice came and snapped the redhead out of his thoughts. He felt a bandaged hand on his cheek; a hand he didn’t want to stay there but also didn’t want to leave.

‘Nothing.’ Chuuya breathed out. His heart was aching with the memories and feelings he had so desperately tried to bury away all those years ago.

‘Are you sure?’

‘I’m sure.’ Chuuya replied, but it sounded more as if he was trying to convince himself rather than Dazai. 

Chuuya couldn’t tell why he felt so disappointed when Dazai helped him up without another word about what had just happened.

 


 

‘What will you do when I can walk again?’ Chuuya asked Dazai one day during a particularly rough training session. He was currently leaning on two bars; one on each of his sides. He was supposed to attempt walking while supporting most of his weight on the bars.

‘I’ll just go back to the Agency, obviously. Were you hoping I’d join the mafia with you?’ Dazai snorted. Chuuya rolled his eyes in response. ‘No, you moron. I just meant…’

Chuuya wanted to ask the question, but the words just wouldn’t leave his mouth. He was afraid of the answer he’d get. If his sacrifice had been for nothing he would likely break.

‘You’re wondering if I’ll attempt suicide again.’ Dazai murmured. Chuuya’s grip on the bars tightened. ‘Yeah.’

Dazai seemed to think for a moment before locking eyes with Chuuya. The redhead nearly lost his balance when he felt those piercing amber eyes on him. ‘Well, I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t at least try.’ the brunet told him. Chuuya looked away, but felt a hand on his chin, causing him to be pulled back and forced to look at Dazai.

‘But perhaps if you give me a reason, my attempts won’t be as severe.’

Chuuya clenched his teeth. ‘That’s not good enough. I didn’t throw away all those months of my life only to have you die the moment I can walk again.’

‘So Chuuya admits he’d miss me if I died?’

Chuuya wanted to tell the man to go to hell. He wanted to yell at him and tell him another lie to prevent his heart from breaking. The last time he’d done that however, Dazai had attempted suicide and he’d lost the ability to walk.

‘I’m saying you should stick around a little longer.’

The brunet smiled at him, but it was a mix between fake and honest. ‘I’ll stay until you can walk properly again, hat rack. After that, we’ll see.’

‘I’ll give you a reason to stay this time.’ Chuuya whispered, not knowing where the honesty had come from. He quickly averted his gaze before doing something he was going to regret.

He didn’t miss Dazai’s eyes widening and then twinkling with interest.

‘Surprise me, Chuuya.’

 


 

‘Chuuya…’

‘Hm?’

‘I want you…’

Chuuya’s eyes shot open at the sudden confession. ‘…to be able to walk again.’ Dazai finished his sentence.

Chuuya clenched his teeth and glared at the taller man, who was playing with his heart as if he’d been doing so all this time. The four years of absence seemed to be fading into the background now that Chuuya’s emotions were resurfacing.

Several months had passed, and Chuuya didn’t really need his wheelchair anymore. Instead, he managed to walk with the help of crutches. He still felt fucking disabled, but at least he had some more control over where he wanted to go and what he did.

Dazai was currently standing on the other side of the room, grinning at the redhead as if daring to do something about his behaviour. ‘Chuuya~ You look so tiny from over here!’ he teased, making Chuuya groan in frustration.

‘Just wait until I reach you and kick your sorry ass!’ he growled while starting to walk forward. Dazai clicked with his tongue. ‘Without crutches, Chuuya! Otherwise it’s cheating~’

Chuuya hesitated for a second before dropping the crutches to the ground. Dazai chuckled. ‘Everything Chuuya does is always in such a violent manner~’

‘That’s not true.’ Chuuya shot back as he managed to take a step. ‘Oh? Give me one example of something you don’t do violently.’

‘I don’t kiss with violence and aggression.’ Chuuya scoffed, realizing too late that perhaps Dazai was not the right person to say that to.

The brunet started laughing. ‘Then what about all those times you nearly bit my tongue off? Or that one time when you were so into it that you-’

‘Shut up!’ Chuuya growled, cheeks red with embarrassment. ‘I kiss perfectly fine.’

‘Prove it.’

Chuuya’s eyes widened. To joke about it was one thing, but this had been a clear invitation. It was subtle enough to still be shrugged off as a joke, but if he really wanted to…

‘Come over here then.’ he said, almost inaudible. Dazai’s eyes twinkled. ‘Nah, you come over here.’

Chuuya clenched his teeth and managed to take a few steps towards Dazai without falling. He took one step, then another and another. It took a lot of effort, but he was doing a lot better than before.

It almost seemed too good to be true.

When Chuuya was almost there, his legs gave in. His muscles could no longer support the weight of his body and he fell to the ground mere inches before reaching Dazai.

Somehow, this seemed like a cruel metaphor for their relationship. Chuuya always fell, always got knocked over by something he had no control over moments before reaching Dazai. He was never able to touch Dazai’s heart long enough to make him want to stay.

‘It’s not fair.’ Chuuya breathed out. His body was shaking with rage and there were tears rolling down his cheeks. When had he become this emotional?

‘You could have also just told me if you wanted that kiss so badly, Chuuya.’ came Dazai’s teasing voice. Chuuya looked up at him with a glare, but it didn’t look very convincing with the tears staining his face.

‘Don’t cry…’ Dazai whispered before kneeling down and pressing his lips against Chuuya’s. It felt bittersweet to him, but the fact Dazai had made the last step this time, had reached out for Chuuya too, made him feel wanted, rather than just a convenience.

Perhaps Chuuya would be able to open up his heart this time without having to pay a price he couldn’t afford.

 


 

‘I’ll reward you if you manage to walk to me without any help~’ Dazai hummed a few days later. Chuuya wasn’t sure whether being bribed with kisses was something he should feel ashamed or happy about.

‘You’re a fucking idiot.’ the redhead said while taking a few steps. Their first kiss in years had been mere days ago, and Chuuya already felt the change slipping into their current relationship. It was more relaxed, and Chuuya had to admit he enjoyed having Dazai back in his life (and in his heart, though he doubted the bastard had ever even left there).

‘You still love me anyway~’ Dazai mused. Chuuya’s eyes widened at the familiar statement. It was as if the past and present were blurring together, begging Chuuya to fix his mistakes.

Instead of answering right away, the redhead strode towards Dazai, legs stiff but strong. He didn’t fall, didn’t hesitate. ‘You’re a suicidal bastard.’ Chuuya spat as he pulled Dazai down by his collar. The brunet’s eyes were open wide. ‘…but yeah, I do love you.’

Chuuya would have paid to see the look of shock that appeared on Dazai’s face more often.

‘Oh?’ the brunet brought out weakly. Chuuya grinned and smashed their lips together in a passionate kiss. He quite enjoyed being the one in control this time, enjoyed being able to reach Dazai not only because the other let him, but because he was capable of it.

‘Well it’s a good thing I love you too then.’

 


 

The first time Chuuya managed to walk to the Armed Detective Agency by himself happened to be the day he was going to move into a shared apartment with Dazai.

It would be like old times, except with the new twist Dazai actually seemed to care. Chuuya was still scared about how long it would take for him to stop doing so, but if he had to believe the people at the Agency, Dazai had seemed happier and more alive than ever before.

If Chuuya could keep giving Dazai reasons to stay alive, perhaps they’d find their happiness.

If Dazai kept supporting Chuuya even after he could walk again, perhaps Chuuya would come to trust the brunet again.

If both men allowed their hearts to open up, perhaps they’d become Soukoku once more.

 


 

Chuuya had always been somewhat of Dazai’s guardian angel, saving him from the death he so desired.

The problem was it always came at a price.

His sanity, his pride and his heart were valuable things to give up for someone who didn’t even want to be saved.

The day they moved in together, Dazai finally started paying Chuuya back.

His sanity, his pride and his heart were valuable things to give up for someone who didn’t trust him anymore.

If it meant neither of them would leave the other, perhaps it would be worth sharing that debt.