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This Will Begin in Honesty

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Chuuya is trying to slow his rapidly increasing heartbeat.

He can do this. He can do this. He will take his bouquet. He will give Ane-san one more reassuring smile since she is already tearing up and will be crying by the time he reaches the altar. He will see Dazai across the way. Their eyes will meet. They will walk towards each other. Chuuya will take his arm, and they will walk down between the rows of pews together. And then they will get married. Easy as pie.

The organ’s music only serves to make him more nervous.

“This is it.” Kouyou comes forward and fixes his hair and bow tie one last time even though he knows they are both already impeccable. “You ready?”

Chuuya takes a deep breath and clutches his flowers close to his chest. He nods and looks up into his big sister’s eyes. “Yes.”

“Then off you go.”

And off he goes.

He opens the doors to his waiting room and takes one last moment to calm himself. And then he turns on his foot to stand in the doorway mirroring the one Dazai will come out of, right at the end of the small walkway at the back of the church before they will walk together.

No one can see him at the moment, hidden just from view of everyone, and he can’t be more thankful when Chuuya doesn’t see his partner step out of his room at the same time he did.

Chuuya thought Dazai would come around the corner the second he did, mimic his exact timing just to show how well he knew the other. And he would shake his head, and they would walk towards each other before being hand in hand as they walked their way down the aisle in front of all of these people together.

That doesn’t happen.

And then, after several seconds of the music continuing on, it occurs to Chuuya that if Dazai didn’t show up exactly as he did, then he isn’t showing up at all. 

“That bastard!”

The infuriated shout turns all the heads in the building, and the audience watches as Chuuya stomps his way across the back of the church towards Dazai’s side of the building. Murmurs begin to surface, but the redhead doesn’t hear anything besides his heartbeat and the music they are supposed to be walking to already.

Once he reaches Dazai’s waiting room, he throws open the door, slamming it against the wall. He probably makes an indent with the doorknob, but he can’t think of anything else other than the fact that the room is empty and Dazai is nowhere to be seen.

“Chuuya-san? What are you doing here?”

Said person whirls around to see Atsushi hanging out around the doorway, not quite in the room. He advances on the poor boy swiftly, tossing his flowers to the side. “Where is he?”

Atsushi seems surprised by the question. “Dazai-san? I thought he was—”

“Well, he’s not here!” Chuuya nearly shrieks, causing the boy to lean back in discomfort. He really doesn’t mean to lash out (he is quite fond of him; anyone who deals with the Agency on a daily basis deserves his respect), but it’s also his wedding day, so he is automatically allowed to yell at anyone he wants.

“I—I’m sorry. I don’t know where he is. I left because—”

“You left him alone?” Chuuya gasps, pressing his hands to the sides of his head.

“W—Well, yes. He said he needed a minute, so I left him alone.”

The mafioso groans loudly and throws his head back before taking a deep breath and straightening. He turns away and takes a deep breath, closing and opening his eyes. Only to zero in on the matching bouquet of flowers resting by a door near the back of the room.

“He did not!” Chuuya screams, rushing towards the door and throwing it open. He squints at the appearance of the sun and brings up his hand to block it, so he can see.

He rotates on his heel, looking in every direction to see if he can catch a glimpse of white and brown. He doesn’t know how long ago it was when Dazai left. Even in just ten minutes, the man can be halfway across Yokohama. If he had left earlier, there’s no telling where he is now.

Chuuya growls and proceeds his search, dashing across the street.

Ten minutes later, he is no closer to having any clue as to where his fiancé is. He asks people passing by, he runs up and down streets, glances into taxis. But no one has seen anything of the brunette, and Chuuya is losing his patience, about to blow his top.

Exhausted and emotionally drained, the man plops down on a nearby bench and throws his face into his hands. He should have known Dazai would do something like this. Because he is nothing if not dramatic and a risk to Chuuya’s blood pressure and health.

Taking yet another deep breath, he raises his head and looks up at the church he is supposed to be getting married in. He has only traveled a few blocks in his search but returned to the sight, knowing he would have to with or without his partner. He traces the front and edges of the building with his eyes before focusing on something just to the left.

“Oh, I’m gonna kill you!” he yells, surging to his feet and heading to the silhouette on the top of the building just next to the church. It’s just like Dazai to lead him on a wild goose chase only to be a simple building away.

When he reaches the side of the brick, Chuuya launches himself in the air and activates his ability to run along the wall, reaching the top in a matter of seconds.

He is panting in fury and excursion as he approaches the other man.

“You have a lot of gall to do this to me today.”

Dazai doesn’t react to the spitting sentence, facing away from Chuuya so the other can’t see his face. A certain, unpleasant feeling grips Chuuya’s gut at the silence, and he mellows out his next sentence.

“What are you doing here, Dazai? We have a wedding to get to.”

Chuuya watches as the man takes a deep breath, taking his time responding. “So chibi still wants to marry me?”

That sentence doesn’t sit well in Chuuya’s chest, and he frowns. “What do you mean? Of course I do. Just because you decided to become a runaway groom doesn’t mean I’m just gonna back out. I meant what I said.”

Dazai doesn’t respond, and Chuuya is becoming increasingly worried. “Hey, Dazai, what’s wrong? Why are you acting like this?”

The man hums disinterestedly, still staring out on to the city. They’re not very far up—maybe three or four stories—but enough to provide a decent view. And enough to kill them if they were to step off the edge. Chuuya suddenly notices he’s quite close to the edge and steps forward, slowly, cautiously. The man does have quite a track record of jumping off of things.

“Dazai… are you okay?” Chuuya can’t help the concerning edge to his voice, and he doesn’t pay attention to it. They’re going to get married, right? They don’t need to hide that kind of silly stuff anymore, do they?

But Dazai doesn’t answer the question. “So after everything, you’re still going to marry me?”

“What do you mean ‘after everything’?” Chuuya makes another step forward and halves the distance between them. “What’s going on? Don’t tell me… Don’t tell me this whole thing is just you messing with me.”

It can’t be… right? He had gotten down on one knee, had a ring and everything. They had dated (at least, as much as the infamous Double Black could date). He’d been courted, swooned because there was nothing else Chuuya could do when Dazai decided to actually be romantic. After all that, after everything, after avoiding what they should have been from day one, after reaching this point in their relationship, Dazai couldn’t… he couldn’t have just made it all out to be some sort of sick joke.

“You’re not serious!” Chuuya rages, fists clenching. “You can’t be! Everyone is waiting for us! If we walked back and told everyone—”

But he doesn’t finish his sentence because then the bastard is laughing, and it’s a horrible, distracting sound that Chuuya wants to silence immediately. It’s loud and hallow and everything a laugh shouldn’t be. He suddenly feels sick.

“Oh, Chuuya is so stupid.”

His eyes narrows, but he doesn’t rise to the bait for once. He knows what Dazai is doing. Trying to make him angry and distract him from what he really wants to talk about. And it has worked on more than one occasion, but Chuuya won’t allow it today. He lets the insult roll off his back, knowing it’s only a mute point.

“Dazai… for once in your fucking life… be honest with me. Tell me what’s going on.”

Dazai isn’t laughing anymore. He isn’t speaking either. Hands embedded in his pockets, his body is perfectly still—an obelisk of controlled behavior. The only things moving are his clothes and his hair, and Chuuya desperately wants him to speak, so he can try to fix whatever dark thing is going on in his head.

“Dazai—”

“I don’t deserve you.”

The confession shocks Chuuya into silence. He had wanted Dazai to speak—and speak truthfully—but now that he has, he doesn’t know what to say in return. He doesn’t deserve him? What is that supposed to mean? His heartbeat stutters before picking up, and he doesn’t know how to stop it. He tries to speak then realizes his throat has run dry. He swallows. “What… What do you mean by that?”

“Exactly what I said.”

And oh Dazai’s voice is completely emotionless, and Chuuya is so confused he can’t make out a single sentence. “What… But… I…”

Dazai sighs, sounding annoyed and tired and everything he shouldn’t be on his wedding day. “I thought if I made you hate me, I wouldn’t have to deal with you loving me.” He turns around to finally face his fiancé, and Chuuya’s eyes widen as he sees tears streaming down his face. His eyes look dull and lightless except for the reflection provided from the tears. His face is blank, and Chuuya can’t quite process the picture he’s being provided. Dazai is crying, and he’s doing it completely wrong.

But Dazai stills continues to speak, despite the things pilling upon Chuuya’s shock that prevents him from unfreezing himself.

“I thought if I made you hate me, I thought I wouldn’t have to deal with this. I thought if I teased you enough, you wouldn’t want to be around me. I thought if I let Corruption go on longer than necessary, you wouldn’t trust me anymore. I thought if I left you behind, you wouldn’t want to talk to me anymore. I thought that if I blew up your car, hurt you, betrayed you, I wouldn’t have to deal with you loving me.”

And they keep staring at each other, and Dazai’s tears keep coming, but he makes no move to prevent or stop them. So they keep dripping down his face and pooling on his clothes, and Chuuya wants to cry too, but instead, he just shakes his head.

“Why…?” he whispers, and it sounds like he’s begging. “Why won’t you let me love you? Why is that so fucking impossible for you?”

“I don’t deserve you,” he repeats. “I’ve… never deserved you.”

“So fucking what?” And now Chuuya is mad and pissed, and he struts forward to take Dazai’s shirt in his fist and yank him forward. “Why do you get to make that decision for me? Why can’t you let me make my own decisions instead of manipulating and forcing me into things? I’m still choosing you after all the bullshit, aren’t I? Why does any of that stuff matter?”

Dazai pauses, and tears are still falling, but he’s still doing it wrong—only blinking them away with no hint of sorrow on his face or in his voice. “I’m scared, Chuuya. I’m… so scared.”

“Of fucking what? Why the fuck should you be scared?” Chuuya’s hands trembles, one still gripping Dazai’s dress shirt the other at his side.

“I’m afraid you will leave me once you realize how horrible I am.” The words are dry and almost make Dazai sick, being so honest. So he rips his voice and face from emotion, the only way he can get them out. After everything, the least thing Chuuya deserves is the truth.

“Abandonment? That’s what you’re worried about? That’s your issue? God, you’re thick. That’s why you can’t trust me?”

Dazai’s eyebrows furrow as if that question is the only thing worth his reaction. “I do trust you. More than anyone.”

Chuuya’s chest swells with a sudden burst of betrayal and hurt. “Then why can’t you trust me to always be by your side?” he shrieks, and it’s loud, louder than he intended, but there’s no taking it back now. “I… I already know how horrible you are… were… I know you better than anyone. So just… marry me and trust me on this.”

And Dazai’s eyes widen, and he blinks another several times. Then his expression softens, and he smiles quietly, beautifully, and the next stream of tears seem different somehow. “So… my hat rat still wants to marry me?”

Chuuya glances down and away, gaze running away from Dazai’s eyes because they seem suddenly infinitely heavier, and he doesn’t have the strength to look at his honest and earnest expression. He bites his lip and lets his grip relax, hand falling to his side. “Yes… so just… let’s forget this. Everyone’s waiting for us anyway.”

“Ah,” Dazai sighs and takes his handkerchief to wipe at his face until there’s no more evidence of his tears on his face, “then I suppose we shouldn’t delay any longer.”

And then his hand stretches forward, and Chuuya watches the movement and doesn’t do anything as Dazai takes his hand. And to his surprise, he’s starting to kneel and gets down on one knee. He gasps as Dazai takes his hand and presses the top of his hand to his forehead, and out of everything that Dazai said and did, this is what brings Chuuya to tears.

After a moment, after squeezing his hand a little tighter, after pressing them a little closer together, Dazai loosens his grip and raises his head and his gaze. Chuuya straightens and stiffens at the overly adoring look, and maybe he should rethink this because he needs to prepare himself for such a thing. Dazai being honest for once might be more than he can handle.

“Then… Nakahara Chuuya… I’ll do the best I can to love you as you deserve.”