Dazai was possessive. It was a trait he had all his life. He was possessive of everything he saw as his; his men, his dogs, his mafia. It hadn’t gone away just because he had taken over at the boss. It just meant he had to keep it under wraps, least his enemies realize and use it against him. Then Atsushi came along.
Atsushi, the lonely orphan with serious self esteem issues, the one who risked his own life to save the life of another, the one who eyes sparkled like the sun through the tree’s leaves. Dazai was possessive, yes, but when it came to Atsushi, he was almost manic with it. Atsushi was perfect. The kind of person he had been looking for all his life, someone Dazai could and would have control over, even if it killed him.
Now if only Atsushi would stop running away.
“Escaped again?” Ranpo asked as he sat on the desk, kicking his feet.
A lollipop hung from his mouth, the same mouth that could and would order an execution, just for his own amusement. Yes, Ranpo was one twisted puppy, but Dazai was just happy he had gotten to the other man first.
“It’s Tuesday.” Dazai replied evenly as he walked past.
Atsushi always tried to escape on Tuesdays. No one knew why, but it was like clockwork. Maybe it was Atsushi rebelling on the day he had been taken from the streets and dragged into the mafia lifestyle. Maybe he did it because he knew Tuesdays were usually dull for Dazai and this gave him something to look forward to. Maybe it had something to do with the chazuke shop having a special deal on Tuesdays, but Dazai couldn’t confirm or deny any of those theories. Figuring it out would just take the fun out of the mystery.
“You should grab him before he gets hurt.” Yosano said sweetly from the corner.
“Calm yourself, Yosano. You know better than to touch him.” Dazai replied.
Yosano shrugged and turned back to the window. As Dazai left the room, Kunikida stepped in beside him and handed him a file.
“Oh, interesting escape route this time. He’s getting better.” Dazai commented.
“I really wish he would stop. He almost destroyed the ventilation system.” Kunikida said calmly.
Calm, cool, collected, Kunikida kept the mafia running better than anyone else could. He was officiant and careful, but his simple mask held a manic obsession. His ideals were as twisted as they came, but Dazai found him amusing and so he kept him around
“Just get it fixed and make sure next time he can’t just rip the vents out of the wall.” Dazai said handing the file back.
Kunikida bowed and disappeared around another corner. As Dazai came closer to the front hall, he smiled. Kenji was already standing there, his suit jacket open and his shirt unbuttoned like usual. Junchiro stood beside him, picking off a piece of lint from his suit pants.
“Shall we? We shouldn’t keep our little tiger waiting.” Dazai smiled.
Atsushi was panting heavily, the cuffs around his wrists, ankles and neck were heavy, but he was used to them. The heat from the sun shone down on him as he ran, but he had to go. He had to get away. He had to escape. Atsushi just barely dodged out of the way as a boulder landed where he had once been. The loud laughter made him shudder when he realized he couldn’t see anyone or where the boulder had come from.
He saw a flicker and darted out of the way, Junichiro’s knife sinking into the ground where he had just been standing. He took a step back and felt arms wrap about him, pinning his arms to his sides with monstrous strength. The game was over. He had lost again. He shivered and shook, eyes wet with tears.
“Please. Please just let me go.” Atsushi begged as he struggled.
“Atsushi-kun. Really.” Junchiro said with exasperation.
Light Snow was released and Dazai walked into the area. Atsushi struggled to get free, but Kenji had him and there was no escaping. Dazai cupped his face, tightening his grip when Atsushi tried to pull away.
“Enough of that now, Atsushi-kun. Time to come home. Playtime is over.” Dazai stated.
Atsushi struggled violently, but Dazai just pressed on the junction between neck and shoulder and he went limp. Kenji laughed and threw Atsushi over his shoulder like a bag of potatoes.
“This is fun.” he said delighted.
“For you.” Junichiro stated.
Dazai just rolled his eyes and started walking back.
“He failed again.” Kouyou said as she removed the biculars from her eyes.
“This is pointless.” Chuuya muttered from her side.
She let out a sigh and stood up. She saw Dazai turn slightly and look their way, his smirk was infuriating, but they couldn’t do anything about it. This was mafia territory; to step foot in there would surely set off a chain reaction that no one wanted.
“He just has to make it to the border, is that so hard?” Chuuya scowled.
“He’s tried over twenty times now, Chuuya. That counts for something.” Kouyou replied.
“But he hasn’t made it even once. What good is he to us if he can’t escape them?” Chuuya demanded as they watched Atsushi be taken away.
He did feel some sympathy for the young man. He didn’t want to be a part of this lifestyle. He hadn’t joined the mafia of his own free will, but by force. Dazai, Chuuya knew better than anyone, could become obsessed with an idea so much that he laser focused on it. If the man wanted Atsushi, then there was a good chance he would never get free.
“Let’s go.” Chuuya said as he turned away.
Kouyou stood there a moment longer, watching as the group below disappeared and then she looked up. A small white bird flew above her head. Between one blink and the next, it was caught by a bigger bird and was gone.
Atsushi woke up in his bed and curled into himself. He shook with tremors, eyes squeezed shut.
“Why won’t you let me go?” Atsushi begged.
He could hear the other breathing, he knew Dazai was there. He was always there when Atsushi woke up. It’s like he knew (hidden cameras were a wonderful thing).
“Why do you insist on trying to leave me?” Dazai asked back.
Atsushi shivered and curled up tighter, hating the way Dazai’s voice made him feel. Was this Stockholm Syndrome? He had read about it once.
“Have I not given you everything you could ever ask for?” Dazai continued.
Atsushi thought about the beautiful library attached to his room, thought about the wonderful dinners and the soft bed he was allowed to curl into at night. For an orphan who had never had anything to his name, these had been wonderful...at first.
“You hurt me.” Atsushi muttered.
He thought at the cuffs on his wrists, his ankles, his neck. Dazai promised they would come off when Atsushi stopped trying to leave, but Atsushi wasn’t sure he could agree to that. He had told him that once and the look in Dazai’s eye had scared him to the core. Sure, Dazai hadn’t forced him into truly physical or sexual yet, but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t in the future.
“I hurt you because I care, Atsushi-kun. Do you realize how precious you are?” Dazai’s hand was in his hair and he flinched.
Those hands that were always so gentle could leave bruises like no other. Dazai always seemed to know exactly where to go to make it hurt. Atsushi let out a sob.
“Please, I just want to leave.” Atsushi begged.
Dazai’s hand pulled back and Atsushi curled up tighter. He knew what was going to happen. He felt the gun before he saw it, pressed against his forehead. Even when it was just them in the room, he always had it on him. Atsushi peeked out and their eyes locked.
“And I don’t want you to.” his voice was dead, like all the emotion had been sucked out of it.
Dazai had this dead eyed stare that could make your stomach drop. A look so empty and still that Atsushi was often reminded of the Headmaster of the orphanage when he saw it. Atsushi closed his eyes. If Dazai wanted to shoot him, then fine, he could go right the hell ahead, but Atsushi wasn’t going to watch as he did that. The gun was removed and Dazai’s hand returned to his hair.
It was quiet for the next few days. Atsushi refused to get out of bed, even to eat or shower, which meant Kenji was forced to carry him around and make him do these things. After all, Dazai refused to deal with someone who wouldn’t even shower. Yosano had mentioned that if he kept refusing food, his body could end up severely damaged. On the fifth day, Dazai stepped into the room and sat in his chair, watching as Atsushi lay there, unmoving.
“You can’t keep this up forever, Atsushi-kun. I have been extremely patient, but my patience wears thin.” Dazai said calmly.
Atsushi said nothing. Dazai hummed lightly and stood up, moving towards the window. Glancing outside, he spoke.
“I had Junichiro and Naomi go to visit your orphanage. It’s a cute little place. Quaint, if you will.” Dazai said simply.
He saw Atsushi move in the reflection of the glass. The stiffening of his muscles, the way his hands clenched, Dazai saw it all.
“The Headmaster, of course, refused to admit you even existed. Told them he had no idea who they were talking about when they asked about you.” Dazai continued.
“He also refused to admit he was abusing any of the children there, despite the clear bruises and cuts many of them had. Junichiro was quite upset about the whole thing.” Dazai stated.
“What...does that have to do with anything?” Atsushi finally asked.
Dazai turned to him before sitting by his side on the bed. Atsushi was staring at him through his hair, eyes dark. Dazai could practically see the tiger just underneath and felt a shiver of excitement.
“That man abused you. Hurt you. Used you. And he won’t even admit to your existence. He has gone unchecked for so long...why he thinks he’s god.” Dazai said sweetly.
Atsushi continued to stare.
“You suffered by his hand and I am willing to help you get him back for it.” Dazai stated.
“Get him back?” Atsushi muttered.
“Yes, I will help you get your revenge. He will pay for his crimes, but only if you want that.” Dazai explained.
Atsushi looked away from him and he could see the desire for vengeance warring with his own gentle heart. Dazai started to pet his hair.
“I offered you everything I thought a homeless orphan could want. Food, clothes, a warm bed, but I realized that whileI was feeding your body, I wasn’t feeding your soul. I was giving you physical comforts, but nothing to sooth the pain of your soul.” Dazai explained.
Atsushi seemed uncertain still.
“It doesn’t make you a bad person, you know. Wanting to get back at those who wronged you. Think about it, Atsushi-kun. If it weren’t for the tiger, you would be dead. He would have killed you with his cruelty.” Dazai hummed lightly, as if thinking about something.
“You know, I wonder how many children died by his hands.” Dazai said lightly.
He felt the body next to him stiffen.
“I mean no one can prove it, but I wonder how many of them were adopted like he claimed... or just died. Killed at the hands of an uncaring headmaster. Buried in some shallow grave on the property, no one to mourn them.” Dazai continued on.
He had already had his people search the property of course. They found nothing of the sort, but that didn’t mean they weren’t there.
“And if you went to the police, what could they do? Your word against his and who do you think they would believe?” Dazai tapped his chin.
A low, dark growl made him glance over. He could see the stripes slowly appearing on his face and arms. His hair became wild and his eyes cold. Atsushi sat up and Dazai grinned.
“The Headmaster used his position to hurt children. Hurt you. He deserves what he gets.” Dazai said before booping Atsushi on the nose, cancelling his ability with a single touch.
When Atsushi looked at him again, it was with timid determination. Dazai was pleased.
“You can bring him here?” Atsushi asked.
Dazai cupped Atsushi cheek and pressed their foreheads together.
“Atsushi-kun, my little tiger, I can serve him up to you on a silver platter if that is what you want.” Dazai kept Atsushi’s attention on him and him alone, even as Kenji and Junichiro slipped into the room.
Atsushi grabbed his wrist and bit his lip, nervous.
“And if you do this? What will I…?” Atsushi asked.
Dazai ran his thumb over his lips.
“If I do this for you, you must swear to me that you will not attempt to escape again. The payment for your revenge is your life.” Dazai stated calmly.
As if it weren’t a big deal. As if Atsushi wasn’t signing his life over to the devil for one shot at his tormentor. Atsushi closed his eyes and breathed deeply. That man had destroyed him, destroyed any chance he had at being a normal person. He had shattered something inside Atsushi that he could never get back, his innocence. Could he really give the last of his humanity away to this man?
“And what will happen to me from there? Will I just some toy for you to use?” Atsushi asked.
He saw how Dazai talked about the others. Like they were just chess pieces in a game. He didn’t care about any of them as far as Atsushi could find.
“Is that what you think you are?” Dazai asked.
“It feels like it.” Atsushi replied.
“Would you believe me if I said you are more than that to me?” Dazai asked.
“I don’t know.” Atsushi whispered.
“Then think about it, but for now, this needs to stop. I will not have you skipping another meal or shower. If you try to, you will be punished. Do I make myself clear?” Dazai demanded.
Atsushi nodded and pulled back. Dazai glanced at Kenji, who brought over a change of clothes before directing Atsushi to the bathroom. Junichiro came closer and leaned in.
“You didn’t tell him we already brought the headmaster here?” Junichiro asked.
“For now, no. Maybe someday in the future I will. But for now, let him believe differently.” Dazai said as he heard the shower go on.
“Of course.” Junichiro said with a bow.
“Oh and Tanizaki-san.” Dazai called as he turned to leave.
Junichiro looked at him, puzzled. Dazai smiled a cold, empty smile.
“Make sure our guest is...comfortable.” Dazai said sweetly.
Junichiro just grinned and left.
Atsushi stared at himself in the mirror as Naomi brushed his hair. It had taken days of thought and consideration, but he had made his decision.
“Naomi-san, can you get Dazai-sama for me?” Atsushi asked.
She paused before smiling.
“Of course. I’ll be right back.” Naomi said before leaving.
Atsushi was left alone, staring at the mirror and wondering. The person staring back at him wore his face, but he looked healthy. His skin had a glow to it that it had never had before. His eyes looked brighter, his cheeks fuller, hell he just looked better overall and Atsushi wondered how this person could be him. His eyed the cuffs still on him, but they didn’t seem as heavy as before.
“You call for me?” Dazai asked as he walked into the room, Naomi behind him.
Atsushi looked at him in the mirror and spoke.
“I want him brought here. I want the Headmaster to pay for his crimes.” Atsushi said, his voice strong.
“It shall be arranged, but first…” Dazai walked behind him and placed his head on Atsushi’s shoulder, arms around his waist.
Atsushi placed his hands on top of Dazai’s and closed his eyes.
“I promise...I swear never to try and escape from you again. I am...your’s, Dazai-sama.” Atsushi said, his face hot.
Dazai just smiled.
Atsushi watched as the Headmaster was brought in. Kenji had him by the arm and even though he was taller than Kenji, the Headmaster didn’t stand a chance. His usually white clothes were dirty and he could even see a hole in the pants. Atsushi resisted the urge to cower under his glare, those dark eyes had always made him tremble.
There was a hand on his back and Dazai stood next to him. Warm and solid, Dazai seemed to fend off the nightmares that attempted to overthrow Atsushi’s mind and he sighed. It was now or never. He looked around and saw the mafia watching him. Why Dazai insisted on the others being here, he didn’t know. Then again, the Headmaster had often brought other staff to watch as he was beaten. Atsushi clenched his fists as he stepped forward, Kenji forced the Headmaster to his knees and stood behind him.
“Headmaster.” Atsushi said as he stepped before the man.
Even on his knees, he still stared at Atsushi with disdain and disgust, as if he were better.
“Beast.” Headmaster replied.
The rage came so swift that Atsushi didn’t think twice. He struck the man in the face and watched him hit the ground. The rage roared for blood and Atsushi let it sweep him up. He punched and he kicked and he scratched until he felt raw. The man lay on the floor, shaking and bloodied. Atsushi truly looked wild with his fangs bared, his clawed hands and feet and wild eyes.
“I always knew… you were a monster.” the man muttered as he stared at Atsushi with cold eyes.
Atsushi heard those words and growled.
“I’m a monster? I’m a monster?! As if you have any right to talk! How many young girls and boys have you molested? How many children have you destroyed? How many have you killed! If I am a monster, than you are Satan himself!” Atsushi hissed.
He circled the man, one way and then the other. Eyes searching for any sign of weakness. Every once in a while, he would kick the man or hit the man before pulling back. A small pool of dark liquid stained the concrete under him and Atsushi sneered. It wasn’t blood, that was for sure.
“How many times?” Atsushi demanded.
“How many times did I beg you to leave me alone? Let me go? I was a child. I was just a child.” Atsushi whispered.
His rage was fading, his power was too and before long, he was normal again. Atsushi took a step back, staring at the man covered in dirt and blood before turning away. Dazai stood behind him and Atsushi stared at him with empty eyes. Dazai held out his arms and Atsushi pressed against him, head tucked in his shoulder, arms wrapped tightly around his waist.
“Kenji, take the dear Headmaster back to his room.” Dazai demanded.
Kenji nodded and threw the man over his shoulder before walking away. Just before the Headmaster disappeared from view, the man spoke.
“You will never be human! You can pretend all you want, but all you are is a beast!” he roared.
Atsushi stiffened in Dazai’s arms and Dazai’s eyes narrowed.
“He will pay for his crimes, that I promised you. Kenji, drop him.” Dazai commanded.
Atsushi looked up, confused as Dazai pulled out his gun. Kenji dropped him without care, not bothering to do anymore as he lay crumpled on the floor. Atsushi saw the gun and grabbed his wrist.
“Wait! Wait...I…” Atsushi’s voice dropped off and Dazai looked at him.
“He is your’s to do with as you please, but this is my promise to you. Anyone who dares raise a hand to you will feel my wrath.” Dazai said before shooting him in the leg.
As the Headmaster screamed his pain, Atsushi looked down and closed his eyes.
“He’s dead.” Yosano said some days later.
She seemed bored with the whole thing, but Dazai knew she was just itching to get her hands on the corpse. He chuckled as he stroked a hand through Atsushi’s hair. He was sleeping peacefully for the first time in a few days and Dazai would be damned if he left anyone wake the boy up.
“Just take the corpse and go. Atsushi-kun certainly does not want it.” Dazai said waving her off.
She grinned with delight, her eyes taking on a delighted look. She dragged the body from the room and Dazai smiled. As his fingers curled in Atsushi’s hair, he eyed the calendar. What a wonderful Tuesday afternoon.