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Accomplice to Your Own Annihilation

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He wishes Izaya would show up already.

It’s been… some time since Masaomi called. Nine minutes according to his phone. It feels longer. He doesn’t know when Izaya will get here, or if he’s even on his way.

Masaomi supposes there is a very real chance Izaya won’t show up. It’s really pathetic, but he can’t help finding some comfort in thinking Izaya might abandon him. He ignored him once, he can do it again, and Masaomi’s mental health will be better off for it. Even if the rest of him might not be.

As it happens, however, Izaya answering his phone at all is indication enough that he has not and will not abandon him.

And he wishes Izaya’s help meant something other than his interest in him taking a turn for the morbid. And he wishes the way Izaya treated him—and is probably continuing to treat him—like a social experiment would bother him more than it does. He wishes that were enough to make associating with Izaya an unthinkable choice, no matter the circumstances and consequences.

Logically he knows that what Izaya did to him makes them beyond reconciliation, but how he sees Izaya hasn’t changed much. Except maybe his thoughts about him are a little more hostile than they ever used to be. Like really hostile to the point he sometimes thinks about how satisfying pushing Izaya down a flight of stairs would be.

Maybe it’s best not to recall those kinds of thoughts now.

And, anyway, Masaomi has always known what kind of person Izaya is. He really has no one to be angry at except himself for the way things have turned out. Including this.

Instead of feeling resentful about Izaya agreeing to help, he’s so overwhelmed with gratitude he thinks he could cry. Which is sort of sad since it’s Izaya, the literal worst person in the world. But not bothering with Masaomi now that he’s done with him would be so easy. Yet that’s not what he’s doing. Coming to his rescue when there’s nothing to gain is simply kindness. Empty kindness, but still.

If Izaya held even a tiny bit of compassion for him in a way that matters it would be nice. Like, if he were actually somewhat concerned about Masaomi’s wellbeing and felt a little empathy, and that’s why he’s decided to come. But that’s not the case.

Izaya’s just curious how severe the trouble he’s fallen into is that he’d risk depending on him to get out of it.

Calling him for the first time in months, crying, scared, Masaomi asked for help—begged for his help after all that he’d done. Almost as if it didn’t matter when it's more important than anything.

How could Izaya possibly decline? How could he possibly resist?

A world where Izaya leaves him to this does not exist.

Masaomi doesn’t know what Izaya will be expecting, but it isn’t likely to be this—a bloody Masaomi curled into the corner of the wall and a dumpster and a dead body.

—Correction: dying.

This is such a mess.

Masaomi doesn’t really know how things turned out this way. It just happened. But it is his fault.

He wraps his arms tighter around his legs and stares at the alley’s opening as if he can will Izaya’s presence. His shoulders hurt, his throat hurts inside and out, his head hurts and is pounding like his brain is pulsing against his skull. Blood stains his hands, jeans, and hoodie. He can feel it under his nails and congealing on his neck, can feel it crack as it dries on his skin.

The stench of blood is thick in the air around him. It makes the pounding in his head intensify, makes the tears in his eyes build up so much they spill. When he unthinkingly wipes at his face with his bloodied hand he cringes and turns away as if to hide from it.

He could be dead, he reminds himself. It could be him lying cold and bleeding out in some grey alley. If it weren’t this stranger, it would be him. For some reason the thought isn’t comforting, and he ends up trying to retreat farther into the corner when he’s already pushed as far in as he can be. Bricks press into him uncomfortably but he doesn’t move away.

All the shaking and all the nerves have exhausted him, but his adrenaline won’t let him calm down. His body is tense, like he may still have to flee from the body that hasn’t expired yet and can’t do him further harm. It feels more like one too hasty move will cause him to shatter.

There are quick, shallow breaths from the man who attacked him—likely tried to kill him whether it was his original intention or not. He is fighting to live, but his fate was sealed the moment Masaomi called Izaya instead of an ambulance.

He watches the man’s chest rise and fall with such deliberation he finds himself wondering how much pain the man’s in, if it rivals his own or exceeds it. Fury sparks in him and almost immediately fades, leaving him uncertain as to where it was directed.

When slim legs step up beside where he’s hidden himself, it doesn’t occur to him that it’s Izaya until he’s already flinched. He lets out a loud, fearful gasp that he hastens to muffle before noticing it’s the only person he wants to see that has appeared. He’d smile, but the emotions Izaya provokes in him cancel each other out and leave him numb.

Izaya glances down at him and takes a step back. “There you are,” he says with a smile, like this isn’t so unusual a situation to find either of them in. And then he frowns, his gaze raking over Masaomi’s appearance slowly, noting the disheveled hair, the blood, the red-rimmed eyes and tear tracks. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” his voice cracks. “I’m okay,” he tries again but his voice sounds dried out and not right. He sighs.

Izaya stares at him like he’s determining Masaomi’s overall wellness from those few words coupled with his appearance.

Masaomi keeps eye contact but then starts to feel sick, like Izaya’s gaze is too intense and he is too small, too spent, and too desperate to deal with him head on. He leans against the dumpster, careful not to jostle his head or move his shoulders wrong in the process. The metal is cool in the night, relieving against his forehead, and he notices Izaya looks the same as ever before closing his eyes.

When he opens his eyes, Izaya’s hand is being offered to him and he feels absurdly, stupidly touched by it. He reaches for the hand automatically but stops almost as soon as he starts, grabbing at the brick wall behind him and pulling himself up instead.

Izaya looks more amused than offended by this, and Masaomi says, “I don’t want to get blood on you,” as if an excuse is something he needs.

“How considerate,” Izaya says blandly. Then he turns away to examine the body briefly. “So you want me to, what, make this go away?”

“Can you?” He tries and fails to keep the desperation from his voice. With the condition of his voice it sounds more desperate than it ever has.

“I can arrange for it easily enough. And because it’s you, the Masaomi I cherish, I will. This is going to be quite the debt.”

“I know.” His eyes flicker to the body, still alive, and he wants it to be over with already. “It was an accident,” he says, knowing immediately he’s made a mistake in voicing that.

Izaya looks over to him, his smirk obscured by his shoulder but still reaching his eyes. “An accident, huh?”

“Self-defense,” Masaomi amends. “I didn’t mean to.” He runs a hand through his hair and frowns at the tangles and glue of drying blood.

“I’m sure you didn’t. Do you have the weapon?”

Masaomi nods but doesn’t pull it out.

“Good. Do you plan to keep it?” When Masaomi doesn’t answer, he goes on to say, “Whether you do or not doesn’t matter.”

Masaomi still doesn’t say anything.

Izaya takes a step towards him and Masaomi takes a fumbling step away, having to extend an arm out to catch the wall so he doesn’t lose his balance. It’s too dark and the alley is too narrow and it feels like he’s balancing on a pillar. When he swallows it’s painful and he tightens his grip on the wall, nails pulling uncomfortably on the brick, threatening to crack and break.

“Stay away from me,” he says, his voice trembling like he’s trying to speak through sobs. He shakes his head and it hurts, so he does it again, roughly, as though it will help clear his head. “I mean—”

“Still sensitive? Well, that’s understandable.” Izaya smiles and lifts his hands. “Your head’s bleeding. Will you let me look?”

Izaya’s smile is as false as ever, but it’s reassuring in its own right. Returning to familiarity with Izaya is easier than it has any right to be. At least he isn’t stubbornly resisting his help after calling him out here. “Okay.”

Izaya’s hands sift gingerly through his hair, prodding at his scalp, searching. The night is mild but has a chill to it. He can feel Izaya’s warmth broaching his space. Izaya is standing so close. Masaomi has the thought, not the urge, to lean into him.

“You need stitches. Are you hurt anywhere else?”

“No. I mean—my back. Shoulders. He… I was shoved against the wall pretty hard. It hurt a lot, but I think I’m okay. Choked a bit,” he says as he brings a hand up to his throat. His voice still doesn’t sound right.

Izaya presses his shoulder blade and he hisses in pain before Izaya retracts his arm and doesn’t comment.

With Izaya’s presence the adrenaline that was sustaining him has waned. Every blink is an effort, each heavier than the last, like he might pass out while standing. He can feel the density of his bones like they might fall out of his skin, tear right through blood and muscle and veins and shatter on the ground.

“He isn’t dead,” he says rather senselessly. He looks to the man to confirm what he’s said. The breaths are shallower than before, barely there and easy to miss but present all the same.

There’s not a thing Izaya can do for him. Masaomi doesn’t think Izaya would do anything if he could, either. Not for someone he knows nothing about and can’t do anything for him. An unremarkable person whose name he doesn’t know.

Izaya’s hand pats his head softly as he passes him. “I have to make a few calls.”

Masaomi takes a few steps and kneels before the body, just out of the pool of blood’s reach. Pebbles poke into his knees and shins painfully. He wonders if there’s something he’s supposed to do, a reaction he supposed to have at something like this.

He watches. Waiting for the last breath he knew was coming the moment the man collapsed to the ground. It feels very important that he knows when it happens—the exact moment he becomes a murderer. This is his responsibility for taking a life that was not his to take, at the very least because it’s all he can offer.

And despite thinking this—knowing this—he ends up missing when life finally leaves the man. It’s the loosing of limbs that calls his attention. The way the man’s head lolls in his direction like it can’t be kept up any longer informs him it’s over. Eyes stare out at him with empty accusation.

The line has been officially crossed and he feels no different.

He stares for what feels like a long time, unblinking. Waiting for something like a gasp of air or exclamation of pain, like when he stabbed him the first time then again. Unconvinced that’s the end of it, because there is no accompanying emotion with the verification that he has taken someone’s life.

But that is the end. And he…

He wonders if he ought to apologize. But the man wouldn’t be dead if he hadn’t attacked Masaomi in the first place. And he wouldn’t have attacked Masaomi if Masaomi hadn’t been wandering around where a teenager has no place lurking once night sets in. It really is his own fault this happened.

“I’m…” He tries to find the will to finish the sentence but can’t.

“Masaomi,” Izaya calls his attention and gestures for him to stand. “I’m taking you to a doctor.”

Masaomi complies, his intentions forgotten in favor of worry over what Izaya’s said. “But…”

“A doctor, not a hospital. Although, we still have to make it there and you are covered in blood.” He steps over the body without a problem and leads them towards the entryway he came from. “You asked for my help, remember?” he says when Masaomi appears to be hesitating.

“Right. Thank you, Izaya.”

Izaya stops them when they’re some distance from the body. He reaches over to pull Masaomi’s hood down over his eyes. The white of the right side has been soaked through with blood that’s already drying to an ugly brown. Then Izaya drapes his coat over Masaomi’s shoulders. The leftover warmth of Izaya seeps through his clothes and to his skin.

Izaya zips the coat, not waiting for Masaomi to slip his arms through the sleeves. It is not the longest of his coats. On Masaomi it reaches a bit past the mid-thigh, leaving some bloodstains visible around his knees and below. And then Izaya pulls that hood over until it reaches Masaomi’s nose. When he releases it the brim obscures most of his sight that’s not the ground.

“That should do it,” Izaya says. “Can you walk?”

“Yeah. But I can’t see.”

“Not a problem.” Izaya proceeds to bring his hand to the small of Masaomi’s back. “Assuming you don’t mind my touching you.” His voice is flat but the mockery is still there.

Masaomi says nothing.

“Izaya, where are we going?” he asks after they’ve been walking for some time. He wouldn’t mind if they had to walk for another hour or two, but he does want this night to be over with already.

“To a friend of mine.”

“Thank you. For coming, I mean.” A pause, then, “I thought I was going to die.” His voice quiets with each word—by the end his words are barely spoken.

Izaya doesn’t say anything at first. “You don’t have to justify your actions to me.”

“I was scared,” he says, voice trembling. “Really, really scared.” Now that’s he’s admitted it, it feels like he can’t stop running the words through his head on an endless loop. As if he hadn’t realized until just then how terrified he actually was. He has no idea what he would have done if Izaya hadn’t shown up. Masaomi sniffs, resists the urge to wipe at his face with Izaya’s sleeve and resists the urge to grab on to Izaya. “I was so scared, Izaya.”

Again Izaya takes a moment before responding. “You’re safe now, Masaomi. And I’ll comfort you all you’d like later. Okay?” His hand pushes Masaomi’s back. He can barely feel it through the layers, but it’s a solid anchor.


While the streets are not bustling at this time of night they are still very much alive. People keep to themselves, but they still feel close and getting closer. Masaomi imagines they’re being watched and it makes him nervous. What if someone stops them? What if someone recognizes them?

He distracts himself by asking Izaya pointless questions. He asks simple questions about Izaya’s preferences of minor things, and then asks about the languages Izaya knows. They keep up an easy conversation that he’s grateful Izaya has indulged.

Eventually he asks, “Have you ever killed someone?”

“No,” Izaya answers easily. “Not in the way you mean, anyway.”

“Then you’ve caused someone’s death.” He’s about to go on, suggest Izaya has indirectly ended lives or told someone else to do it for him or talked someone into it, but then sense holds his tongue and he says nothing, lets silence speak for him.

“Probably,” Izaya says in return, blasé.

“I killed someone.” Masaomi lifts his arms like the dried blood on his hands will have soaked the dark sleeves of Izaya’s coat. “What do you think of that?”

“You don’t really want me to answer that, do you?”

“I do.”

“This hasn’t soured my view of you if that’s your concern. But let’s talk about this later, okay?”

“Of course it hasn’t. I’m not Heiwajima-san,” he mutters.

“Masaomi-kun, being hurt doesn’t give you leeway to press my buttons, I hope you know.”

“I know.”

Izaya sighs.

The apartment building they arrive at isn’t one Masaomi recognizes. He thinks he must have passed it a few times in the years he’s been living here, though. Maybe he just can’t place it in the dark. Because he does recognize some of the surrounding area and can tell he’s been through here more than a few times.

Izaya brings them inside and they take an elevator up. It seems like a kind of plain place, nice though. He supposes he’d been expecting the building to be comparable to Izaya’s simply because Izaya was willing to bring him here, but he’s not sure why he thought that.

As Izaya knocks on an apartment door Masaomi tucks his chin to his chest. Izaya’s hand left his back when they entered the building and he misses the warmth of it. Without it he thinks he might sway into a wall. And then he’d fall down because how is he even still standing on his own?

He hears the man who answers the door greet Izaya without honorifics—not sounding too happy to see him either—and Izaya responds in kind, calling him Shinra.

Izaya plucks back both of his hoods. “This is Kida Masaomi. And Masaomi-kun, this is Kishitani Shinra.” Now that there’s better light the blood on his face and gnarled in his hair can be seen clearly, stark on his dyed hair and drawn face. Izaya frowns in dissatisfaction. “Maybe we should get some of that blood off you first.”

Izaya’s friend—Shinra—has on a white lab coat and he doesn’t look particularly interested in Masaomi or the situation in general. He’s not fazed by Masaomi’s appearance, but he is frowning at him thoughtfully. Despite the time he seems wide-awake.

“Let’s get this over with,” Shinra says and walks into the apartment.

“Is your roommate back?”

“No. She’s still out, as you already know. It’s one thing to call me so late with a job, but it’s another with her, Izaya.”

“Um,” Masaomi breaks in uncertainly, “May I use your bathroom, Kishitani-sensei?”

Shinra blinks and looks at him in surprise, not quite like he forgot Masaomi was there but like he wasn’t expecting him to say anything.

“You can just call him Shinra.”

Shinra makes a rather annoyed face at Izaya but doesn’t say anything in response to that. He turns to Masaomi with something that’s almost a smile, a tad more welcoming than he came off at the door. “It’s right over there,” he says, indicating down a hall.

Before he takes more than a couple steps in that direction Izaya is tugging him back. He unzips his coat and folds it over his arm. Izaya smiles at him, and Masaomi averts his eyes as he hurries to the bathroom.

He looks worse than he imagined. There’s bruising already starting to form around his neck, slight but visible and red. If he looks long enough he can almost see exactly where the hands were wrapped around his neck.

When he turns his head a bit to the left he can see the blood caked in his hair. An entire streak leads down from the wound on his head. It doesn’t hurt that much, he can’t even see it that well, but seeing all the blood unquestionably coming from the wound makes him dizzy. He inanely wonders if blood will stain his hair.

There’s more blood on him than he expected Most of the right side of his hoodie is brown with dry blood and the rest of it is speckled with the same brown. It’s rough and feels uncomfortable and dirty on his skin. Wondering how much of the blood is his probably isn’t a good idea.

He washes his hands, taking care to get under his nails and the crevices of his skin. He washes the blood from his face. When he looks back up, his face is so pale it looks sickish. He looks tired, like he hasn’t slept for days, although that is how he looked when he left his house in the morning, too.

Again Masaomi feels sick, and he leans over to rest his head on the sink’s edge. He takes one heavy breath, and then another, and then he can’t seem to stop. It’s too slow to be hyperventilating, but it still feels like panic and he doesn’t know what to do.

He slowly lowers himself to the floor and waits for the panic to subside. To say he doesn’t know how things turned out this way would be a lie, but the situation is still pretty surreal.

He’s with Izaya, at Izaya’s friend’s apartment, to get stitches in his head because he’s an idiot. When he thinks about it, construing his actions up until now as a means of seeing Izaya again is possible. That’s not accurate though. Reuniting with Izaya isn’t something he’s ever considered and it’s not something he looks upon with joy. But now that he’s thought it he can’t get rid of it.

He doesn’t know whether or not his knowing that’s not the case is of any use to him. Looking at the situation from afar is dangerous. That Masaomi did this intentionally—knowingly or not—is the sort of thing Izaya would try and convince him is the truth.

Back in the main room Izaya and Shinra are talking. Their voices are indistinct as he nears. By the time he’s close enough to make out what they say they’ve stopped talking. Shinra looks at him rather expectantly while Izaya looks away, disinterested.

Shinra stands up and walks over to a table. He pulls out a chair and gestures to it. “Alright, then. Masaomi-kun, sit right here, please.”

Shinra asks him a range of doctor questions. If he has any allergies, how old he is, if he has any other injuries besides the one on his head and the bruising on his neck. He asks a series of specific questions that ends with him declaring Masaomi definitely has a mild concussion.

He gives Masaomi some painkillers and an anesthetic and proceeds to stitch up his head. Mostly he feels his hair being tugged as Shinra’s hands move. Once he’s done with the stitching he looks at Masaomi’s back and examines his neck and asks again if he has wounds he’s neglected to mention.

Shinra doesn’t ask for any details about what happened, but then he is stitching Masaomi’s head up in his living room. It’s not exactly professional. He doesn’t make any small talk either. And as eager as he seems for them to leave, he doesn’t rush and makes a point of being thorough in his examination and questioning.

“Come back to get them taken out in about a week and a half, alright?”

“Come back…?” Masaomi trails off and his gaze moves to Izaya, who isn’t paying any attention to them.

Shinra gives him a look and follows his gaze before stepping to block his sight. “Yes. I wouldn’t recommend trying to take them out on your own.”

“Okay,” Masaomi says, realizing he may have to get them out on his own anyway.

“Avoid getting them wet for a couple days, and if you really feel compelled to wash your hair after that be careful about it.”

“Thank you, Shinra-san.”

Shinra narrows his eyes at him. He sighs. “In any case, make sure you get some rest. The bruising on your neck and back is pretty mild and your concussion could be gone by tomorrow. If it lasts a bit longer don’t be too concerned, but we’ll see when you come back. You should be fine. That’s about it.”


Masaomi takes a deep breath and Shinra goes over to the kitchen area. Izaya doesn’t get up or say anything, remaining on the sofa. Masaomi wonders if he heard.

Masaomi cautiously makes his way over, doing his best to make little noise, walking carefully, breathing slower than is necessary. Once he’s successfully approached Izaya he can’t make up his mind on whether he should sit or stand, but he doesn’t want to be looming over Izaya, and he also doesn’t want to be seated near him but it’s too late to move away.

In the end he crouches, and that seems like a worse option than sitting beside him. He pictures Izaya pushing him over.

“Izaya,” he says, barely a whisper. “Can I stay with you for a few days?”

Izaya acts like that’s something he has to consider. “Of course you may, Masaomi.” He puts his coat back around Masaomi’s shoulders. “Should we go?”

They don’t say goodbye to Shinra when they leave.

Masaomi hasn’t been in Izaya’s apartment for months and nothing about it has changed. He doesn’t know why he had the thought that it might have. He’s changed though, so he supposes that accounts for the shift he feels. Somehow everything in Izaya’s apartment seems more like an imitation than before.

He takes a shower, taking care to not get the stitches wet but still trying to get rid of the blood still knotting his hair. He washes the grime and blood from the rest of his body and feels like he can’t get all of it. When he’s done he puts on some of Izaya’s clothes and his coat from earlier. He pulls up the hood lets the sleeves dangle past his fingers.

In the main room Izaya is on the sofa with a laptop on a small table in front of him. The TV is off and the light is dim. Masaomi falls onto the couch, on his knees beside Izaya, and he kneels over so his forehead can rest on Izaya’s thigh.

Izaya’s hand starts rubbing aimless circles on his back and Masaomi hugs his arms around his middle while he waits for his body to relax.

“What happens now?”

“Nothing,” Izaya says. “Everything goes on like normal. Like it never happened. You can wake up tomorrow and let this be a nightmare you forget.”

Masaomi doesn’t know what that’s supposed to mean. That’s not how things work. His hands are shaking and something inside him has been dislodged. How can he possibly go on like nothing happened?

“Is that okay?” he asks.

“Of course. We’re the only ones who will ever know. Don’t worry, I couldn’t use this against you if I wanted to.”

“I wasn’t worried about that.”

“You will be. My saying that now won’t be enough to pacify your concerns before they’ve risen, though.”

“Shut up.” Masaomi sits up. Izaya’s hand remains at his back and he finally looks away from his laptop to give Masaomi his attention. “You don’t care that I killed someone, do you.”

“No. I don’t.”

“I guess that’s not really surprising.” Masaomi leans over, putting his hands between Izaya’s thighs and bringing his face close. “But I killed someone.” He tries to say it like a simple statement of fact but his voice falters. “I killed someone, Izaya.”

“What do you want?” Izaya nearly snaps and Masaomi flinches before he can stop himself.


“Are you expecting me to lecture you? Do you want me to tell you all about how you murdered someone with surprising ease and that, while you’re shaken and scared now, the next time will be easier? It will be easier. But then, you know you won’t find yourself in that kind of situation again unless you choose it. Do you plan to embrace what you’ve done since you can’t take it back? Because, really, when you think about it, the act of killing wasn’t all that hard.

“Or do you want me to detail all the ways in which this has damaged you? Maybe even damaged you worse than what happened to Saki-chan, because instead of something happening to someone you care about, you’re the perpetrator of the terrible act. How ‘killer’ is now something that describes you. And maybe it should if your instinct is to call me to discard the body rather than turn yourself in. After all, you are a child and it was self-defense, how much trouble do you really think you would have gotten in? Even if you were holding a knife and stabbed him more than was necessary, it’s not difficult to justify. But maybe that man didn’t have to die at all. That was a choice you made.

“Is any of this what you want me to say to you?”

Masaomi slowly wraps his arms around Izaya’s neck, almost expecting rejection, for Izaya to push him off and to the floor. But Izaya’s arms secure around his waist firmly like he doesn’t want Masaomi to so much as sway. He settles his head on Izaya’s shoulder, facing him, although the hood hides his face from Izaya and Izaya’s face from him. He nods.

This is really pathetic.

But there is comfort in this. Because he did do something horrible and now Izaya is the only one beside himself who can tell him so. These sorts of words mean so much more when coming from someone else. Somehow it’s cathartic to be told he’s a terrible person.

“Yes,” Masaomi says while shifting to sit in Izaya’s lap. “You can keep going if you want. I know there’s more.”

“Your desire for retribution is almost disturbing, Masaomi. But I suppose by your moral standards you do deserve it. Would you like me to punish you?”

“You don’t have the right to punish anyone.”

Izaya laughs. “What’s that matter? If you were to ask me and I denied, that would be cruel. I don’t intend to kick you when you’re down. You haven’t said no.”

The painkillers have worn off by now, or they just about have. His head throbs where the stitches are and he’s sore all over. He feels like he’s been pummeled, and he sort of has been. Moving the wrong way is painful and as exhausted as he is it just makes it worse. But he likes sitting on Izaya and he likes how their arms are wrapped around each other like it’s ordinary.

“If you punish me, I get to punish you,” he says numbly, almost automatic. He isn’t quite sure what possessed him to say something so immeasurably stupid, but he doesn’t have the energy to get worked up about it. He even feels a little satisfied. Like he’s made a point, or said something clever, when really all he’s done is accuse Izaya of wrongs they both know he’s committed.

“That sounds fair.” Izaya’s agreeability is worse than any insult or evasive response he could have given.

“What a risky thing to say, considering all you’ve done to me.”

“You say that like I’ve done nothing but wrong you the entire time we’ve known each other.”

Masaomi has a passing urge to argue. Claim that when Izaya was being nice to him it was a thin layer of kindness over bottomless malice. But Masaomi has long since lost the ability to determine the levels of honesty and deceit in actions with any accuracy. Whatever the case, even when Izaya’s kindness is coupled with a stab in the back it’s still intended and true.

Masaomi would like to think that counts for something. Mostly he thinks it makes Izaya a worse person than he already is.

Masaomi lifts his head, feeling like it’s half-filled with water. The hood of Izaya’s coat is lopsided, its fur at the edge of his vision on one side. He thinks he’d like it if Izaya were wearing one of his coats too.

Before Izaya can blink at him Masaomi has already decided he’s going to kiss him. It’s not a wholly rational decision, and the fuzzier parts of his mind disagree with the choice.

“Izaya,” he says as decisively as he can and then doesn’t follow it up with anything, giving what he’s said and going to say a false sense of gravity.

“Yes?” Izaya says with equal importance.

“Why did you come? Why did you even answer the phone?”

“Because it was you, of course.”

“That’s it?”

“That’s it.”

“Because you don’t have any use for me.”

“I can find a use for you if you want one.”

Masaomi sighs. “Shut up, Izaya.” He decides he’ll take that as romantic instead of exploitative. “You’re the worst person I’ve ever known.” He smiles a little shakily. “I’ve killed someone, and you’re still a worse person than I am. Isn’t that…really funny?”

He doesn’t bother with giving Izaya time to respond, placing his lips on Izaya’s once he’s done talking. They are soft, warm, unresisting, because Izaya is the type to let things unfold however they may regardless of his opinion. What Masaomi is doing is harmless—Masaomi as he is now is harmless, so why not see what happens.

It’s the sort of thing Masaomi could say he pities, but he’s the one taking action in spite of it.

He tugs at Izaya’s lip and adjusts his arms around Izaya’s neck, ignoring the sting of pain as he moves. Izaya’s tongue flicks against his mouth, inviting him, and Masaomi eagerly accepts, slipping his tongue into Izaya’s mouth and leaning against him. He breathes in and out the familiarity of Izaya and it calms him. The way Izaya moves against him and with him is soothing.

A hand finds it way under his borrowed clothes to gently swipe up his side and Masaomi shivers at the touch. Izaya should not be allowed to touch him with care.

They kiss slowly as though to make it last, and Masaomi is too warm inside and out. The lightheadedness that begins to overcome him isn’t from kissing to the point of breathlessness alone.

Masaomi pulls away, leaving his eyes on Izaya’s mouth like he’s reconsidering. But then his head falls back on Izaya’s shoulder without his permission and it rolls to the crook of his neck.

“Today is the worst day ever.”

“Then it’s a good thing the day’s over. Tomorrow you can forget all about it.”

Masaomi doesn’t think that’s true at all. “You can punish me, and I get to punish you.”