The fight with Randou ended quickly. One second, the man was standing in front of them, his green eyes staring at Chuuya as if he was one of the seven wonders of the world. Then, suddenly, he was on the ground, his blood and life slowly leaving his body.
He didn’t look like a dying man. On the contrary, some kind of peace was now possessing him. His smile no longer carried the hint of cruelty it had earlier.
“ Whatever may live inside of you, you are already you. Is that not enough? All people, all creatures, live without knowing what they really are.”
His eyes were closing, Chuuya noticed. It was over.
However, a strange determination seemed to extend the man’s life and in a last breath, he whispered :
“I wish I had discovered what’s happened to this other kid.”
Chuuya’s blood froze.
Later, when he woke up at the infirmary, his left side painful, Dazai was here. He was drinking a cup of coffee while playing one of his stupid video games. Seeing his face immediately ignited Chuuya’s fury. He stood up with little to no care for his wound and winced when his body protested.
“So Chibi is finally awake? Took you long enough. You’re quite the useless dog, aren’t you? Sleeping all day long.”
“What the fuck are you doing here, you asshole?”
Dazai sighed but didn’t look away from his screen.
“Boss ordered me to stay with you since I’m the one who recruited you. Trust me, if I could be anywhere else, I would.”
It was hard to tell if he was lying or not. This made Chuuya want to punch him even more.
“You can go away, now.” He snarled.
“O? Is my dog giving me orders now?”
He didn’t want the other boy to remain around. Now that the problem with Sheep was finally solved, he couldn’t help but remember Randou’s words. This other kid...
He couldn’t be talking about anyone but someone involved with the Arahabaki. Another subject experiment? It would mean there was someone like him outside. Someone who had gone through the same torture…
He hadn’t been alone.
“Chibi should stop thinking, he’s obviously not made for this kind of things.” Dazai commented.
“Shut the fuck up and go away already, you-”
He was interrupted by a phone ringing.
Dazai rummaged through his pocket, took out his phone and picked up.
“Boss?... Yes, he’s awake… I’ll tell him.” He hung off and stared at Chuuya once again. “The boss wants you in his office.”
Chuuya exited the place and didn’t look back. He wouldn’t give Dazai more attention than necessary. Even if he couldn’t help but wish he could understand what went through his mind.
It was not worth the trouble.
He wasn’t worth the trouble.
“It’s ridiculous to see you believe what Randou-san said.” Dazai whispered before Chuuya closed the door.
He ended up destroying the doorknob.
The thing was, Chuuya knew he had never really been alone. It hadn’t been obvious at first, this buzzing in his head which never went away like a badly programmed radio.
Sometimes, pangs of emotions would startle him, emotions which didn’t belong to him : frustration, anger and once grief. He had never received any positive emotions so maybe this strange connection only worked with negative ones.
When he had been younger, he had been afraid they belonged to the Arahabaki. But a monster couldn’t feel so much pain, could it?
Some nights, he’d stay awake and think about where this despair came from and especially why . Why was this person suffering so much?
Once, he had talked to Shirase about it but the Sheep member had laughed and said he needed to rest. That it was just his imagination.
Maybe it was. Maybe the deity inside his head was slowly driving him mad.
For years, he had pushed this idea to the back of his conscience. He was the King of the Sheep. No matter how much he disliked this nickname it came with responsibilities he couldn’t run away from.
So, to hear there was another test experiment…
It had to be them. This mysterious presence which sometimes communicated with him.
No matter the time it would take, Chuuya would find them.
He had to make sure they were okay.
This goal of his would have been easier if his partner hadn’t been the perfect mix between Einstein and a tornado. Smart but created too much chaos and stress.
“Stop trying to jump from every bridge we cross, you suicidal moron !”
Dazai chuckled and focused once again on the river in front of them.
The moments when the other teenager revealed his quieter side were the most disturbing. In those moments, he looked like a blank canvas, something devoid of anything human.
“We have a mission to complete.”
“Chibi is too serious. You’ll grow grey hair by the time you’re twenty you know?” And here it was, the usual mask.
Understanding this man was like fighting the sea.
Months faded away and Dazai didn’t start making more sense. He’d invade Chuuya’s personal space, always loud and carefree. Sometimes cold and distant.
One day which had particularly marked him was Dazai’s birthday. For hours the now sixteen years old teen had complained about how Chuuya hadn’t offered him anything.
He could deal with being woken up at midnight by Dazai. He could deal with him pranking him. Could he deal with Dazai harassing him all day long? Absolutely not ! The bastard would have to calm the fuck down !
During the day, feelings of melancholia and despair had haunted him. The other test experiment had been feeling awful for hours now, he had no time to care about his partner. When Chuuya tried to send him what he hoped were comforting emotions only mirthless sneers responded to him.
His frustration knew no bound. Why couldn’t he be by their side?
“Silly Chibi, always dreamy. You’re going to hit a beanpole one day, you know?”
“Shut the fuck up. I am not as clumsy as you are.”
Dazai pouted but didn’t protest. Yesterday, he had stumbled upon nothing, managed to roll down the street and had ended his race next to a dog which had licked his face happily. His screams of outrage were Chuuya’s new ringtone.
“I miss the days you were always obeying me.” Dazai complained.
“Are all those suicide attempts getting to you? You’re being delusional. This never happened.”
He sent a new wave of worry to his… mindmate? (Sure why not) but only cold anger answered him. Poor copy of a conversation but he couldn’t hope for more.
“And you’re being a bad dog. Not even thinking about your master’s birthday.”
Pure unadulterated rage filled him, he rummaged through his pocket and threw his content to Dazai’s face. With a bright grin and without blinking, Dazai caught it.
It was a simple bolo tie. Chuuya had bought during an errand since he liked the colour. Dazai chuckled while he studied it.
“How ugly.” He commented. “Shouldn’t have expected more from someone with such awful tastes.”
Surely, Mori wouldn’t be angry if he broke his nose. It had to count as provocation, right?
“If you’re not happy you can just give it back.”
“And let you wear this? No thank you, I’ll bravely sacrifice myself in order to save the last glimpse of dignity you still have.”
As sole answer, he took his lighter and threw it right into Dazai’s face. His giggles didn’t stop for hours.
Only later would he notice how the cold had transformed into coolness.
He couldn’t breathe. All around him, water.
He was floating , the child understood. He didn’t know a lot. Only that at regular period of times, pain would be inflicted to him. His knowledge of the outside world was limited. Inexistent would have been more appropriate of a term.
He could remember some things but they were unclear, distant. It would have been easier if he didn’t feel so tired.
“Are you alive?” A soft voice whispered.
The child opened his eyes and behind the disgusting liquid found two other eyes. In this room full of blue light, they appeared as an anomaly. They were darker but also warmer.
“So you’re the one they’re all talking about. Can you hear me?”
With difficulties, the boy moved his head from top to bottom.
“That’s nice. They told me you were still asleep but it’s kinda ridiculous isn’t it? Or maybe not, I don’t know. Do you like sleeping so much?”
The two eyes were attached to a skinny body covered by a white overgrown shirt.
The child opened his mouth but no sound came out. The newcomer smiled, nothing big, just a fold of his lips and put his hand (just as small as the rest of his body, the child noticed) on the wall of glass. Every part of his body was showing his relief.
“Nice to meet you, Chuuya, I’m-”
Chuuya jumped out of the bed, a scream ready to escape his throat. For a moment, breathing was impossible.
What was this?
Had this -
A comforting hand landed on his shoulder.
“You’re at the infirmary, Chuuya-kun, do keep calm.”
Mori smiled and gave him a cup of tea. Camomile and honey. He wore a white coat which was surprising. Apart from when he went outside, he never showed off his former job.
“I’m glad to see you’re fine. You gave us quite the scare. Kouyou-kun will be happy to see you’re up.”
“What’s happened?” He croaked.
“You don’t remember? I should have known, you were in a critical state when you arrived.”
Fire and blood. His whole body being crushed under an unleashed power.
“It’s a good thing, Dazai-kun stopped you or else you would have died.” Mori continued.
“I lost the control of my ability.” He said.
Mori smiled but didn’t correct him.
“From here, it seems important to know what you intend to do with this new power.”
Back to business then.
“If you want me to use it, I will.”
“I’m offering you a choice, Chuuya-kun. You’re competent enough without using this Corruption.”
Corruption ? Was that the name they had given to it?
He looked down. Bandages were covering his hands. It reminded him of the mackerel.
“But it’d still help the Port Mafia if I agreed to use it.”
“I can’t contradict you on this.”
“Then, I’ll do it.”
Dazai often mocked his loyalty but it wasn’t a blind one. He knew what he was going into and accepted it.
“We’ll have to put into place accommodations so it doesn’t kill you.” Mori thought.
“Well, Dazai-kun is the only one who managed to stop you.”
So he didn’t have other choices but to rely on this jerk? Amazing. Not awful at all.
“It’s nice to see you and he are still getting along.”
“Where have you seen that?” Then when he realized who he was talking to : “I’m not sure that’s the way I’d describe our relationship, sir.”
Mori chuckled but didn’t add anything.
“May I ask you a question?” Chuuya said.
“Of course but don’t expect an answer. There are informations I can’t reveal to an under-executive after all.”
Chuuya nodded. “In those papers about the Arahabaki, was there anything about another subject?”
“You mean another child which would have been experimented upon?”
“Very few informations were found on the project you were part of. Most of them were destroyed by the explosion. As for the rest, it seems someone has erased them.”
But not those who concerned me? Why?
“Chuuya kun,” Mori interrupted him. “It’s enough for today. Rest.”
His eyes were closing before he even noticed it.
He hadn’t seen Dazai since this mission. No trace of bandages anywhere. It had been amazing, he had been able to rest as much as he wanted, no one had disturbed him.
Kouyou had come to see him, some of her girls too.
He had even been able to spend quite nice evenings with some of them. He had no reason to complain.
But, now that his bedrest time had come to an end, it was time to drag the mackerel back to work. No emotions had come to him since a long time but he’d worry about it later. No news meant good news, right?
He knocked. No one answered. First clue.
After almost ten minutes, he took out a pin from his pocket and picked the lock. Dazai lived in an old apartment complex in a shady district. No one would look for an executive here but it also meant the security was rudimentary.
As usual, the whole place seemed unoccupied. A desk and few books laid around but nothing else. The kitchen had the basic necessities but they were all empty. From what he had heard, one of their handyman - an Oda something - was the one who took care of feeding the idiot. Probably some stupid shoe licker who was trying to get a promotion.
“Where is he?” He groaned.
That’s when he heard the sound of water hitting the ground.
So he’s taking a shower?
A feeling of joy bloomed inside his head. It didn’t belong to him. His mindmate (that’s the expression he was going to use from now on) was probably having a nice day. Good for them.
He punched the door as hard as he could without destroying it.
“Oi, Fucktard, time to go to work so don’t take too long.”
In retrospective, Chuuya should have guessed what was going on. It wasn’t the first time Dazai had tried to kill himself. Maybe his constant jokes about it had made him forget the horrible truth.
When the silence kept growing, Chuuya finally decided he had enough and opened the door (Dazai would have to change the panel).
That’s the first thing Chuuya’s mind managed to think once he saw the mess which was Dazai’s bathroom. Blood was flooding the tiles like red rain as it fell spasmodically from Dazai’s wrists. Behind the blood, his skin had taken an almost unnatural pallor. In the air, he could smell iron and the cheap soap Dazai liked so much.
Chuuya cursed and quickly cut the stream. Considering the quantity of blood, he had lost at least one and a half litre. His hands came to press on the skin in order to stop it from worsening.
It startled Dazai who opened his eyes.
“What are you doing here?”
A part of him broke as he noticed how weak his voice was. Dazai was annoying and too smart for his own good and sometimes cruel. He didn’t do weak.
“Stay awake, I’m going to call Mori.”
“Don’t.” He whimpered.
“Are you an idiot? You need a doctor to take care of it.”
“Leave me alone.”
“I’ve never obeyed you before, why do you think it’s going to change?”
Dazai’s expression was devoid of any life. He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, his whole body unwinding as Chuuya carried him away.
“I hate you so much.”
Two days later, he found all his wine bottles filled with vinegar. Dazai started talking to him again, five days after. Mori had been furious. He didn’t show it, of course, but there was something in his eyes as he stitched Dazai’s wounds which disturbed Chuuya. He hadn’t used anaesthetics. Dazai hadn’t protested, just stared at his arms until he was done.
It was as if he was barely here.
“Is he going to be alright?” Chuuya had asked.
“He’ll be back on missions tomorrow.”
This wasn’t what he had asked but he didn’t dare say it.
“Dazai-kun is an extremely gifted individual. It doesn’t come without a price.”
It doesn’t make anything alright.
They never mentioned it again.
The sympathy he felt for Dazai didn’t last long. As usual, the teenager found a new way to destroy all positive feelings he had toward him.
Sometimes at night, when the mix of alcohol and tobacco blurred his mind, he’d think about how Dazai was nothing but a demon meant to corrupt his mind. How he manipulated him and filled his blood with poison.
At the end, maybe he would only find solace once he had snapped the bastard’s neck.
He’d probably like it, the sick weirdo.
Chuuya’s attention went back to the woman who sat on her knees in front of him. Blood covered half of her beautiful face and her hair was a mess. Black strands fell in every directions.
The most awful thing was how afraid she looked.
It wouldn’t have been as bad if she hadn’t been her subordinate. Emphasis on the had been.
Hanako Kaneda. A woman who had started working for the Port Mafia in order to pay her sister’s health bills. The said sister had died a month ago and with it Hanako’s loyalty to the organisation.
Selling informations to the government wasn’t something they could tolerate. As her direct superior, it was Chuuya’s responsibility to dispose of her.
Which would have been easier if they hadn’t been in a relationship for two months… Actually, maybe the term relationship wasn’t the most adapted. They slept together (really, really often) and had gone on one date but it didn’t go any further than that. They had some sort of kinship but didn’t let anything stronger than friendship invade their relationship.
No matter what he felt, he had to do this. Disloyalty had always been a trigger for him.
Without a word, he rose his gun and shot, careful to end her life as quickly as possible.
Behind him, someone snickered.
“What do you want, mackerel?”
“You’re such a softie, slug.” Dazai insulted him.
“Shut up. She was my friend.”
“Like those in Sheep?”
Without thinking, Chuuya rushed toward the boy and captured his neck between his fists.
“I said Shut the fuck up. ”
“Or what? You’ll kill me. You seem to have forgotten your place.”
His knuckles connected with Dazai’s cheek before he could react.
“We can’t all be emotionless monster like you.”
An empty chuckle escaped Dazai’s throat. It didn’t seem voluntary. However it would have been a mistake to think it wasn’t. This kind of naivety had long left Chuuya.
“At least, I’m not an idiot. You knew she was betraying you but you were too blinded by your pathetic romance to notice anything.”
Only a smirk answered him.
“Why the fuck didn’t you say anything?”
The same painful void was coming from the person he shared his mind with. He’d have to deal with it later.
Unadulterated hatred filled him as he understood what it meant.
“Please, tell me you didn’t do this on purpose.” He inhaled slowly, trying to control the power of the Arahabaki which was starting to boil inside of him.
“Do you really think I did ?”
How nice would it be to see his blood soil the ground? It probably wouldn’t look like ordinary blood. After everything, it had to be as dark as the night, Chuuya imagined, no matter how unrealistic it sounded.
“You’re always doing this. Each time I think I can trust you, you do this kind of shit again.”
This time, honest curiosity blossomed on Dazai’s face.
“You thought you could trust me? Why?”
“We’re supposed to be partners, asshole.”
“So you really are an idiot. That’s why this woman was able to manipulate you, you know this, right?”
“And people will keep doing it because you want to believe in them. You let your guards down in front of those people without thinking about what it might allow them to do.”
“You think I don’t know it?”
“That’s why I’m saying you’re too soft. You can’t be in the mafia and play the do-gooder with your subordinates. They’ll use it against you.”
“So, what do you want me to do? Be like you?”
“As if you could.”
It was the last drop of water to Chuuya’s inner sea of fury.
“If you don’t leave right now, I’ll kill you.”
“How awful.” Dazai snickered. “You’re not even competent at threatening someone.”
God, he needed something to drink.
Everything would have been easier if his feeling for Dazai weren’t constantly fluctuating. Most of the time, he hated him with a hatred which burnt as much as a volcano. But there were moments when the hatred turned into… not exactly friendship but a kind of…
Better not qualify it.
It had been a difficult mission. He couldn’t remember the last time he had slept longer than a few hours. As for the mackerel he had been engaged in a feud with Morpheus since the beginning of their job. He had outdone himself so the conflict could be solved as soon as possible.
That’s why as they were being driven to the headquarter both of them were fighting to stay awake. Dazai’s head kept dancing from one side to another. Exhaustion didn’t allow him to keep his usual masks of deception.
“I told you you should have slept.”
“I’m not equipped to hear dwarves.” Dazai answered. They had learnt long ago that they didn’t need to be totally lucid to bicker.
Chuuya huffed but otherwise didn’t react.
“Sleep, I’ll wake you up once we’ve arrived.”
Dazai was staring at him. In the dark his eye shone with a disturbing gleam.
“You know I’m not the kind of person to attack someone while they’re defenceless.”
I’m not like you, remained unsaid .
Dazai sighed and gave his attention to their chauffeur. The man hadn’t shown any sign of listening to them but what if…
A hand caught his head and brought it to Chuuya’s shoulder.
“I said sleep. ”
He could still perceive hundreds of ways this situation could go wrong, yet at this moment…
“You’ll be useless like this anyway.”
“Please,” Dazai scoffed. “Do you really think I’d have survived this long if tiredness was enough to defeat me?”
“I’m saying you should get all the rest you can, genius.”
“Chuuya is such a softie, protecting someone he hates.”
“Are you complaining, mackerel?”
“I’m really not,” Dazai whispered against his neck, lowly enough for him not to hear . “Doesn’t change the fact I hate this.”
Yet, his human condition finally caught up. He felt himself go boneless against Chuuya.
For once, the coldness in his body didn’t seem so bad.
At the same time, Chuuya was watching the demon prodigy who was currently drooling on his shirt.
Taking care of him would have been easier if he was always behaving this way.
A soft sneeze interrupted his thoughts.
If he ruins my clothes there’ll be hell to pay.
Everything was burning.
His body had become the fuel of an inferno. He could hear his bones break like kindling and his lungs fill with smoke.
No matter how hard he tried, his body no longer belonged to him. It burnt with an indescribable strength. Something he could barely represent to himself.
How had it happened? Minutes earlier he had been talking with ………. . They had been chatting about the outside world and how different the food was out there. The child had finally been allowed to get out of the water tank weeks ago. It was nice. Touching …….., instead of only looking at him. Their soft smiles were nicer when they weren’t behind a glass wall.
Then… He couldn’t exactly remember. A hand had tried to catch him and ………. , when he had seen the other’s panic, the boy had just…
Now as life was burning out of him, he could only hope ………. was alright.
Go away, you idiot.
Through the mist of pain, he saw them come nearer, their eye even bigger than usual because of fear.
I’m going to hurt you.
Under this apparence, no word of his could be understood, but they smiled all the same and pushed aside the long curls which covered his face as if they knew what he was saying.
“Chuuya is such a softie.” They laughed. “You don’t think I’m going to run away, do you?”
They came closer and closer. He could see their skin darken because of the fire his body emitted. It didn’t seem to disturb them.
Two frozen hands touched him and suddenly Arahabaki was no more. Dark skin lightened and what had once been a monster took back his original form.
Their smile widened.
“Well, hello there. Finally done being a firecracker?”
The boy groaned.
All his muscles were contracting, he could barely breathe.
“You’re going to be okay.” Were they trying to convince themselves? The boy - no, Chuuya - didn’t know. It sounded like it.
“I’m sorry for that.”
“You’ll have to make it up to me.” They ordered.
“I will, I will. No need to be a brat.”
They chuckled. It was a beautiful sound.
“You’re really pretty when you’re smiling.” Chuuya commented. His brain had suffered more than he thought from the transformation.
“Stop speaking nonsense and rest.” They whispered.
Chuuya had been sleeping in the airplane when he was awoken by a grief so powerful it shook his whole body. Bile invaded his throat as he did his best not to throw up and he felt shivers shake him to the core.
What’s going on?
No matter how many time he tried to send comforting emotions to them, only a growing pain answered him. His heart clenched in his chest and he did his best not to cry.
What the hell?
Usually, his mindmate’s emotions were muffled, as if they were trying to hide how they felt. Chuuya had never liked it. It was the only connection he had with them apart from the few memories which were slowly coming back to him. He would have wanted them to communicate more in order to make sure they were alright.
But beggars couldn’t be choosers, could they?
The grief didn’t subside. It kept increasing. For a few instants, Chuuya thought they might die before they could get over it.
What he wouldn’t give to be by their side, right now? They needed help. What could he do? Maybe he should-
His phone rang.
Before he knew it, Mori had ordered him to come back to Yokohama. He was brought to the boss’ office, Mori’s smile was unsettling to say the least.
“How are you, Chuuya-kun?”
“What’s wrong, boss?”
“It seems something quite unpleasant has happened.”
His mindmate’s anguish hadn’t fallen quiet. It had been two months.
Two months since his life had become nothing but a draining hell.
Two months since Da-, since the bastard had left.
Chuuya brought the cigarette to his lips and inhaled. No need to dwell on the past. He had to keep walking forward.
His job, his responsibilities, his friends and his subordinates. They all needed his unparalleled attention. A damn traitor didn’t deserve anything from him apart from a punch in the face and a knife between the ribs.
As usual, he made sure to send comfort to his precious person and went back to work.
Dazai was no longer part of his story…..
Until he was once again….
the damn cockroach.
As they kept talking, he could feel the entity haunting his body perk up with interest. He could feel Corruption awake under his skin, ready for him to use. He scoffed and ignored his ability.
But the god (or whatever it was) didn’t let him. It kept muttering and cursing as it stared at his former partner through Chuuya's eyes.
Whatever. He wasn’t responsible if this monster had finally lost it.
Minutes later, Chuuya now shared the anger of the Arahabaki. Fucking Dazai. Nothing had changed. He carried the same arrogance as before and still manipulated people like a maestro.
You didn’t teach an old dog new tricks after all.
Chuuya smirked as he imagined the mackerel’s outrage at being compared to such an “uncouth creature”.
Shit, I did miss this bastard.
No matter how much he detested him, it didn’t change the fact he had been the biggest constant in Chuuya’s life. Always here to annoy him and make him laugh.
(He had a file filled with all the embarrassing stuff Dazai had done through the years. One day, he’d find a way to use it)
However, he hated this side of him which took pleasure in manipulating others.
I really am an idiot. Caring about someone like that.
With a bit of luck maybe I won’t see him again.
Should he have stayed quiet ? Probably.
On the bright side, he still hadn’t crossed path with him. However, the bastard had invaded his house. His food had started to disappear just after the end of the fight with the Guild. It couldn’t be a coincidence.
That or he had to deal with a rats’ invasion. He didn’t know which one he prefered.
That’s why when Chuuya finally came back home to see someone rummaging his fridge, he reacted like an adult.
“Chibi, you’re home early ! You’re not skipping work, are you? That’s not very serious.” Dazai admonished.
A thousand ways to relax came to his mind. Each more effective than the other. At the end, his only conclusion was :
“I’m going to break your bones in alphabetical order.”
“Feisty.” Dazai chuckled.
He stared at him. Dazai did too. The moment of silence kept widening.
For once, the mackerel obeyed.
The other didn’t talk a lot, the boy quickly noticed. They had shown enthusiasm when they had first met but it had now receded. Right now, they were busy looking at the screen which surrounded the room.
The boy knocked on the wall of his tube.
“Is something wrong?” The other wondered.
As sole answer, he bowed his head on the side.
“You’re emitting curiosity, I can feel it. You want to know what I’m doing?”
“I’m trying to see if I can get you out of here. You don’t like it, do you?”
He didn’t. Floating around all day didn’t rank high on his list of pleasurable things. His former life almost seemed foreign after so much time but he could remember now.
Having regular contact with someone had helped him to recall the outside world. It was so much better than here.
“Maybe I shouldn’t, though.”
This time, the boy sent anger to the other.
“Don’t get angry, Chuuya.” The younger scolded. “You’re lucky they’re ignoring you. They don’t think you’ll wake up so they mostly leave you alone. But if it changes…”
They tugged at the bandages which surrounded his face.
“Whatever. It doesn’t matter. Let’s get you out of here.”
They rose on their tiptoes and started pushing some buttons.
“Here.” They walked to the right. They were so small, it was comic to see them try to reach the keyboard. “Now, I do this. And this.”
If they boy hadn’t been in possession of his ability, no doubt he wouldn’t have heard him.
A soft beep resounded in the room. The level of water decreased and soon his lungs got their function back. He screamed as water left his body.
Something grated next to him and small cold fingers touched his shoulder. His hands were still trapped and his back hurt.
“Wait a moment.”
Without the distortion of the water, the other’s voice sounded even sweeter. Soft and caring.
Habile fingers loosened up the devices which surrounded the boy’s arms. A fragile hand caught them.
His first human contact since he had been locked inside. Soft skin against one roughened up by the water. As fast as it had started the palm left him.
“Sorry, Chuuya.” The other sounded guilt-ridden.
was he were they apologizing?
“You got me out of there, thank you.” Was what he would have liked to say but at the end it sounded more like a “‘hank ‘ou.”
Far from being disturbed, the other’s face lightened up, hope bloomed on each centimeter of their face.
“You don’t mind?” They asked.
It took the boy a moment to understand. His throat still didn’t obey him so instead he decided to act. He grasped the other’s hand back in his.
At this moment, the other’s smile was absolutely breathtaking.
“What are you doing here?” Chuuya asked. No anger, just exhaustion.
Dazai didn’t stir, still asleep (or pretending to be) on the sofa. His brown hair formed a halo around his pale face. If Chuuya had been delusional he could have almost called him attractive.
“Wake up, shitface.”
“Let me sleep.” Dazai groaned.
“If you wanted to be left alone you should have gone back to your apartment.”
Why was Dazai even here?
In a few hours, one of the biggest conflict Yokohama had ever known would start. For the occasion, both the Agency and the Port Mafia had agreed to work together. The best strategists of the two organisations had spent hours talking about what they were going to do.
“I didn’t wanna.” He whined.
Such a brat…
“How did the planning go?” Chuuya asked. He walked toward the kitchen and took a wine bottle.
They wouldn’t have the opportunity to relax for a long time, he could at least pretend to be civil. Not that spending his hypothetical life’s last days with Dazai was nice but getting angry would only waste his energy.
“Not a lot to say. Ranpo-san is sure Dostoïevski will go after Atsushi-kun. Mori-san wanted to send him away but he’s too valuable as a fighter.”
“He’s the tiger-kid, isn’t he? You’re going to pair him with Akutagawa, right? From what the reports showed they work well together.”
“Chibi is so smart.” Dazai teased. “But yes that’s the plan. A new Double Black, that’s exactly what we need.”
He took Chuuya’s glass and sipped at it. His nose wrinkled in disgust. It made him look like an angry kitten. Chuuya snorted.
“Nasty.” He commented.
“If you’re going to complain you can just go the fuck away.”
Sorrow had come from his mindmate all day long. This, added to the tension caused by the situation didn’t improve Chuuya’s mood.
Dazai hesitated a few moments. Something he had never seen in the younger man.
“Are you happy?”
“Why do you care?”
“I’m just trying to feed the conversation.”
Dazai stood up and walked toward the windows which served more as a wall. From here, you could see all of Yokohama. The city never slept. All the stars you couldn’t see in the sky because of pollution had been artificially replaced by street lamps and cars.
“You’re being weird.”
“Weren’t you the one who said I’m always weird?”
“I mean more than usual. Is everything alright?”
He almost joined Dazai but before he could touch him, Dazai moved away.
“Would you look at the hour ! It’s quite late. I should go. Wouldn’t want to deprive Chibi from his beauty sleep. He really needs it with those clothes.”
“Mackerel, do you want to-”
“I need to go somewhere.”
“You didn’t even know what I was going to say.”
“You’re predictable, Mr.Softie.”
He got as far away as possible from Chuuya and almost ran to the door.
“Sorry, Chibi, I know you love being around me-”
“If you were mute maybe.”
“But duty is calling. I hope we won’t see each other too soon.”
“Finally something we can agree on.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to stay?” Something wrong was about to happen, he could tell.
“Good bye, Chuuya.”
“Chuuya, how is the outside world?”
The boy stared at his friend. Or maybe saviour. There was no other way to describe them.
Their curly chocolate hair reached the bottom of their back and long eyelashes gave him a cherubic appearances. Had it not been for the blood which covered their face and arms they could have been quite good-looking.
They still were. But more like how Kintsugi was. Broken but able to survive.
The people working at the laboratory hadn’t appreciated them freeing Chuuya and they had paid the price for it. No matter how much the boy asked, they refused to say what had been done to them.
“It’s nothing too awful.” They would always smile. An empty, fake smile.
“Why are you calling me Chuuya?”
“Well…” They hesitated. “They always call you Subject A5158. That’s not a very nice name, so I just thought it’d be nicer to give you a human name.”
“I’m not human.”
The scientists had explained this to him with vigor.
“You are. Don’t listen to what they say, they’re only trying to manipulate you.”
“I am a monster. That’s what they’re always repeating.”
“Trust me. I’m really familiar with monsters, you’re not one of them.”
The boy wanted to ask what they meant but the other continued talking. A tendril of shyness had invaded them. Usually, they were better at hiding it, the boy had noticed.
“Do you mind? I can call you something else if you want.”
“That’s okay. I like it.”
He could remember what his mother looked like but not how she used to call him. A foreign name was better than no name at all.
He nodded which earned him a new smile.
“So, what’s yours?”
“Your name, what is it?”
“I don’t have one. No one here gave me one.”
Now that they were talking about it, the adults always referred to them as “You”. They didn’t bother qualifying them further.
“Can’t you invent it?” The bo- Chuuya asked.
“I’d rather talk about the outside world.” The other said.
The other radiated discomfort. He could feel it through their bond. Maybe it was indeed better to change the subject.
“What do you want to know?”
“Anything is fine.”
It didn’t help him a lot. There were lots of things to talk about but it wouldn’t be useful to the other. Yesterday, he had drawn a dog but the other hadn’t recognized it at all.
He They had just asked Chuuya why he was drawing a monster.
He thought and thought and finally found what he wanted to talk about.
“Have you ever seen the sea?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Well, you see the water they give us to drink? It’s like that except there is a lot, lot more. Like a hundred time more.”
“I don’t think it’s possible to have so much water.” The other protested.
“It so is ! Lots of people need to drink so there has to be a lot of water !”
“It makes... sense. Go on.”
“And you see, this water tastes very weird. All salty. And inside there are animals like fishes.”
“They’re the sock-like animals which can swim, right?”
“Sock-like? Yes, that’s it. And they have shrimps and crabs !”
“What are crabs?”
“They’re like rocks with pincers. And they have tiny legs under them so they can move.” He explained as he moved his fingers to imitate one.
“Are you making fun of me?” His friend asked. “There is no way those things exist.”
“No, they’re very tender inside. My mom cooked some once. It was good. Also, you have to be careful ‘cause if you walk on them, they’ll pinch you just like this.”
And without further, he did exactly this with the younger one’s cheek. They were more bones than meat but it still made them shriek.
“My revenge will be terrible.” They promised.
“You’re too small to do anything.”
“One day I’ll be taller than you. You’ll see.”
“As if.” Chuuya laughed.
For the first time, the dark laboratory didn’t seem as terrible. He could see the other curling on himself, more relaxed than he had ever seen them. They were deep in thoughts, biting at their lips.
“What are you thinking about?”
“I’m trying to visualize a crab.”
“See how they look like.”
“One day, I’ll show you one. We just have to find one way to escape.”
“I tried. It never ends well.”
As he said this, he was holding tight to his bandages.
“I’ll make sure they don’t hurt you anymore. I promise I’ll protect you.”
“You won’t be able to hold it.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Promises don’t mean anything in this world. They’re as easy to break as matches.”
From their bond, he could only perceive melancholy and something akin to despair.
“I’ll prove you wrong. We’re going to get out of here and then I’ll have so much things to show you. But first, we need to do something extremely important.”
“What are you talking about?”
As disillusioned as he was, he still carried a childish curiosity. Thanks God this place hadn’t broken him entirely.
“I’m going to find you a name.”
Chuuya had never been a religious man. He knew Gods were real. In his condition it was hard not to. But he’d never be the kind to believe in Heaven and Hell.
The last days had proved him Hell was more than real. Although less metaphysical than he thought.
Red dust flew all around him and half of the buildings had been destroyed. Bodies laid around. Broken and unrecognizable. Not civilians. Small blessing. The government had put into place a whole evacuation plan in order to avoid the loss of innocent lives.
It didn’t appease the pain. Most of them had been his subordinates. Good people despite their line of work.
He scrubbed the caked blood which covered his arm. His clothes were in shambles. His hat had been lost in the confusion. A good thing his favorite one was still at his penthouse.
(If he died he didn’t want to be buried with a second class hat)
“Chuuya-san? Are you alright?”
Saotome, one of his subordinate, was staring at him with worry. A part of her hair had burnt which gave her an even crazier air than usual, Which considering the woman had once jumped from the third floor to see if she could survive meant something.
“Shit. It’s over, isn’t it?”
“The boss called us to tell all enemies had been dealt with.”
He sighed in relief.
“I’m going to buy you so many drinks.” He laughed.
“I look forward to it, sir, but you probably have more important matters to deal with.”
I have to call Ane-san, and make sure the brat is alright and also…
Dazai? Where was he?
He’s alive. This idiot is practically immortal.
Nevertheless, he took out his phone. The screen had known better days but it still worked. He quickly entered Dazai’s number (memorized for practical reasons).
“Answer, answer, answer.”
Dazai had been weird the evening before. It couldn’t not have a meaning.
“Come on, mackerel, for once do what I ask of you.”
It kept ringing and ringing. More and more like a bell of the Apocalypse as time went by.
Finally it clicked and someone answered.
“Mackerel, are you al-”
He stopped himself, no need to ask a question if you already knew the answer. Dazai had only used this voice when Chuuya had interrupted his suicide attempt for the first time.
“Where are you?” He growled.
“Is Chibi worried about me?” Dazai teased. He sounded weak.
“You’re not laying somewhere in the dirt, are you?”
“Would I die in such an undignified place?”
So he could still move a bit. It would have been reassuring if he hadn’t seen him walk like nothing had happened after being shot three times.
He mentally listed each place Dazai cared about. If he thought he was dying for good this time, he could only be at…
“I’ll be here in five minutes.”
“Don’t.” He coughed.
“You can no longer order me around.”
“Bad dog.” Dazai sneezed. It quickly turned into more coughing. The kind you had when your lungs wanted to rip apart your body.
Chuuya hanged up. Only to realize Saotome was still here.
“Going to save your boyfriend?”
Seriously, this woman had no survival instinct.
Not disturbed by his glares, she only smirked and gave him all the medical supplies she still had.
“Not very useful but it could help. You can still try to kiss it better if it doesn’t work.” The ondulation of her eyebrows explained very well what kind of “kiss” she was talking about.
“You remember I’m still your superior, right?”
“Wouldn’t dare to forget, sir.”
Her laughters followed him as he flew toward his destination.
Chuuya’s mind wasn’t the clearest at the moment. Only cold panic and something he wouldn’t have dared to call fear. Most of his subordinates were dead. That’s the first constructive thought his brain offered him.
I wasn’t able to protect them was the second.
He bit his lip in frustration. Thinking about it wouldn’t help, he needed to focus on the livings and make sure they remained it. Mourning would come later. He had all the wine to do it.
His mindmate was oddly silent. It was as if he wasn’t there.
At least, it means he wasn’t in Yokohama. You’d have to be to the mackerel’s level of fucked up not to feel anything.
Yokohama’s cemetery came into sight. The mafia had their own one so he didn’t often come here but he knew how significant it was to his former partner.
He hit the ground. Less graceful than usual but he didn’t give a shit about it right now.
Finding Oda’s grave wasn’t difficult. Not when there was someone bleeding all over it.
He had seen Dazai hurt during their three years old partnership but this…
He ran toward him.
Blood flooded from his side like water from a fire hydrant. It just didn’t want to stop. He checked it over to make sure no blade was embedded in it and instantly pushed on it.
Poor attempt. A colander would have worked just as well.
And, dear Lord, Chuuya had always thought Dazai was pale. His hygiene of life could rival with a baby’s. But right now? If not for the slow, raged movements of his chest he would have declared him dead.
Under his right eye, a small scar ran from his ears to his nose.
“Did you walk all over Yokohama just to come here?” Chuuya wondered aloud.
“I wanted to see him.” Dazai said. His whole body shivered as he spoke.
Shit, shit, shit. What am I supposed to do?
“You could have done that later.”
Behind the messy red of Dazai’s entrails he saw white.
Had he not been a member of the mafia for years, he would have probably thrown up.
“You’re not stupid, Chibi, don’t delude yourself.”
For a moment, Dazai’s apathy fueled his rage. Why was he bothering to do this for such an idiot? His own life had no signification for Dazai. It was like trying to fix an already broken vase.
So why was he bothering ?
Because it’s not meaningless to me.
He stared at his former partner. Seeing him so lifeless was disgusting. Dazai was supposed to be clever and annoyingly stupid. Not a rag doll.
“I’m going to keep you alive even if it’s the last thing I do, asshole.”
Corruption was pulsing inside of him. Ready to activate but not able to manifest which was good.
He still had time.
Chuuya took out his coat and tore it into shreds. He quickly ripped Dazai’s clothes and threw them away and started bandaging the wound.
A hiss of pain interrupted him.
“Well, too bad, you should have taken better care of yourself if you don’t like pain.”
“I was the only one who could stop the rat.” Dazai commented.
You were ready to die for it…
“You’re really sticking to this good guy’s act, aren’t you?”
“Fake it until you make it.” Dazai giggled.
As sole answer, he pressed harder on the wound.
“You’re an awful nurse, chibi.” He complained. His eyelashes were fluttering like butterfly wings. A butterfly which was about to fall.
“Stay awake.” He ordered.
“‘oo much effort.”
“Your coworkers from the agency should arrive soon. Don’t you dare close your eyes !”
“Goddammit, Dazai ! Dazai !”
Not you too…
He could feel For the tainted sorrow appear. Cracks opened the ground around them. No longer human had stopped working.
There were both lying on the ground. After few conflicts, the scientists had conceded that keeping them together was the best way for them not to cause ruckus.
The other had fallen asleep a few minutes ago, both of their sheet on them. They tended to get cold easily and Chuuya always burnt so hot it sometimes made him sick.
Without noticing, the other had glued himself to Chuuya, their legs winded together.
Chocolate hair had fallen on his face and the boy was doing his best not to sneeze as he was reading. His friend had quite a light sleep.
“Chuuya should be sleeping.” They commented. “Tomorrow’s tests are going to be awful.”
“I’m not tired.”
“Is your power keeping you awake?”
“Wait a moment.”
They fought to escape their cocoon of blankets. It lasted more than it should have. They were endearingly clumsy and had Chuuya not helped they would probably have kissed the floor.
A small hand then came and caught his wrist. Coldness, instantly, washed over him and he felt his muscles relax.
“Go to sleep, now.”
“I think I’ve finally found you a name.”
A cinnamon eye watched him with poorly conceded interest.
“What do you think of-”
Chuuya jolted awake. The tiger boy (what was his name? Nakajima, right ?) was watching him. He could remember asking him to wake him up if Dazai’s state changed but, it didn’t change the fact the kid had interrupted an important dream.
“Dazai-san’s surgery is over, they said he should make it.”
Chuuya sighed with relief, his whole body relaxing as he heard those words.
“His heart st- stopped beating tw-twice.” Atsushi stuttered. “Yosano-sensei doesn’t know which consequences it’ll have. We’ll have to wait for him to wake up.”
For the hundredth time, Chuuya wished he had been here to assist to it. Minutes after Yosano had joined them at the cemetery, Mori had called to give him orders. They needed to start rebuilding.
Logically speaking, it made sense. Yet, Chuuya couldn’t help but feel bitterness toward the man.
A coffee can was handed to him.
“You seemed to need it.”
“Just call me Atsushi, everyone does.” The boy said as he sat next to him.
Purple marks surrounded his eyes. From the report, he had been fighting one of the strongest member of The decay of angel (Tchekhov or something), it showed.
“You should rest, kid.”
“They’re still examining, Kyouka. I’m waiting for her.” He explained.
He had often heard Kouyou talk about him, a mix of exasperation and fondness in her voice, the kind of tone you had when you were holding back from liking someone.
“Thank you for taking care of her.”
Surprise appeared in his eyes.
“Most of the time, it’s the contrary.” He chuckled. “I wonder why she even takes the time to deal with me.”
“She’s stubborn when she likes someone.”
Atsushi nodded. “She’s a lot like you in this aspect, Nakahara-san.”
“Call me Chuuya.” He corrected him before focusing on the first part of his sentence. “What do you mean by this?”
“I’m sorry ! I didn’t want to assume but-” He hesitated. “Anyway, thank you for saving, Dazai-san. I know he won’t thank you but-”
He genuinely cares about him.
That wouldn’t have been as shocking had Chuuya seen it before. In the mafia, everyone looked at Dazai as if he was the ultimate evil. Someone who could and would destroy your life if you displeased him.
Never a human being and even less someone who needed to be protected.
Oda had been the first one and now this kid…
Shit, leaving the Port Mafia did him good.
“I promised myself I’d be the one to kill him. I’m not letting a trashy rat get what I’m owed.”
At this, a snort escaped the brat’s mouth. He quickly hid it but the result was still here. Red blossomed on his cheeks as he stood up.
“Thank you for letting me talk to you, Chuuya-san, I’m going to go look for Kyouka-chan.”
“Take care of yourself, kid.”
Atsushi hesitated a few instants.
“Just spit it out if you want something.”
“Would you mind telling me about how Dazai-san’s state evolves?
“What makes you think I’ll stay around?”
No physical indicators were needed to show how little the kid believed his words.
And Akutagawa says he is stupid…
“Just give me your number, brat.”
When the (terrifying, batshit crazy,...) doctor from the ADA finally allowed him to visit Dazai, two weeks had gone away. As usual, Yokohama had risen again. An everlasting colossus.
No signal from his mindmate had come for a long time. If he hadn’t been used to their lack of communication, he would have been worried. What if they had died?
The day before, he had felt exasperation bordering on downright fury. So, they were alright, and in good enough health to feel this strongly. Good.
He entered the room. Dazai was watching the window and didn’t even gaze in his direction.
“So you finally woke up, took you long enough.”
Dazai’s eyes were emptier than usual, a deed he didn’t think possible. His attention was then brought to the perfusion which connected him to a plastic bag.
“You’re drugged out of your mind, aren’t you?” He tried to hold back his mirth but come on ! This was Dazai ! The guy who was so proud of his intellect and didn’t hesitate to make fun of him. He sure as hell wasn’t going to pass on this opportunity.
“I am… not.” Dazai protested, or tried to at least. He was too busy staring at his fingers.
I shouldn’t film this. I really shouldn’t, Chuuya thought as he did exactly this.
“How are you feeling?” He asked.
“I think a squirrel is threatening me, Slug.”
This is joining my collection.
“Why are you thinking that?” He almost purred.
“It’s just there.” He pointed at the other side of the room which was absolutely devoid of any trace of life, Chuuya noticed.
Dazai shuffled under the cover but didn’t add anything.
Now, you needed to remember that Chuuya had dealt with Dazai’s bullshit for years. He understood with ease what he had just done.
“Did you distract me so you could take out your IV?”
“Would I do that?”
“Yes. Show me your arm.”
“No.” He refused like a petulant child.
“I’m not above wrestling with you to get what I want, mackerel.”
“I’m wounded you have to be nice with me !” Dazai whined as he fully hid his arm under the blanket.
“You tried to cut my hair when I broke four of my ribs.” He groaned as he caught Dazai’s shoulder.
“I was testing your peripheral awareness !” He complained as he struggled to escape Chuuya. Not very successfully but he was as high as a mountain right now and his legs didn’t obey him anymore.
So at least he had an excuse. Not that he could have won while sober but a man could dream.
A pained wail escaped him as Chuuya pressed on his side. His “aggressor” immediately stopped.
“So it is painful. That’s why they gave you painkillers.”
“Of course it is, you foolish dwarf ! One of my kidney was perforated. That doesn’t mean they had to drug me. Dying of an overdose isn’t on my to-do list !”
“Your what- was perforated?”
“Kidney? You know this organ which-”
“I know what it is ! How serious is your condition?”
“Why? Are you worried for little old me?”
Their altercation had taken his toll on Dazai. His eyes were trying to close but the man still stubbornly tried to remain in control.
Chuuya sighed once again.
“You’re the one who disturbed me.” He objected.
“You were being a pain in the ass.”
Dazai giggled. It was a strange sound. Unusual but not unpleasant.
Softly, Chuuya brought his hand to the other’s hair and pushed him as slowly as he could to make him lean down.
“You’re always doing this.” Dazai noted.
His soft blinks showed he hadn’t meant to say this. It was an unwanted consequence of the meds.
“Nothing. Don’t pay attention to it.”
“Alright but you’ll have to explain it to me later. I’m going to go ask your doctor if they can lower the strength of your painkillers.”
Dazai nodded. His eyelids flickered like a flame under a strong wind.
“Why are you still here?” He asked in a last moment of conscience.
“I don’t know. I really don’t but you should get used to it.”
“Mr.Softie.” Dazai laughed and then fell asleep.
“What were you doing with my patient, exactly?” Yosano asked for the second time.
Chuuya gulped. No one would think to apply him the title of coward, however, this woman exhibited the same aura of “don’t fuck with me” as Kouyou.
“He tried to take out his IV.”
She put her hand on her face and sighed. It was easy to understand she was used to this kind of behaviour from Dazai.
She took off Dazai’s blanket which earned him a whine which quickly subsided when she put it back on his legs.
“You’re such a brat.” She commented.
Gurgles escaped Dazai’s mouth but he quickly went back to sleep. Knocked off by the meds.
She lifted his top up and for the first time Chuuya saw what lied under the bandages.
It didn’t exactly correspond to what he expected. No, cross that, it didn’t correspond at all to what he expected.
Considering how his bandages would someone get bloody without any reason, he had always thought they were covering awful wounds. Instead, all he found were black marks.
Scars too but not as much as he had thought.
From where he stood he couldn’t discern which forms the tatoos took but he was sure of their nature.
He snorted. So that’s what he had been hiding. A little act of rebellion he was now ashamed of. All those mysteries for nothing.
“His stitches are intact. You’re lucky.”
“He’s the one who decided to act like a baby.” Then after a moment : “So there won’t be any problems?”
“He’ll need a bit of time to get all his legs’ strength back. A bit of bedrest for maybe two or three weeks and if he takes it easy for the next months he’ll be alright.”
O, Dazai is going to love this.
“You’ll need to immobilize him if you want him to obey.”
“I’m not into this kind of thing so I guess you’ll have to do it yourself.” She teased.
At this, the reality of the situation imposed itself to Chuuya. He was joking and bonding with members of the Agency. Moreover, they didn’t seem to mind it one bit. What the hell?
All the Port Mafia’s ability users had earned one month of rest. Mori had ordered them do their best to get back in top shape and to not come back to work until they were asked to.
Apart from Kouyou (who had to be their boss’ babysitter) all of them had obeyed. That’s why when the time came for Dazai to get out of the hospital, he was waiting for him at the exit.
Chuuya was still exhausted by what had happened but he could resist.
When the mackerel finally noticed him, he stared at him and invoked his usual bastard’s smile.
“Is sixteen-years-old you coming back from the dead?” He joked.
“Shut up unless you want to stay on this parking.”
He closed the distance between them, caught the wheelchair on which Dazai sat and led him to his car.
He should have expected some kind of remark. As tired as he was, he hadn’t bothered with his usual outfit. Just black pants, a wine coloured shirt, a leather vest and his hat.
Once they were inside, he turned on the radio and put the maximal volume. No way was he letting Dazai start talking.
“Why did you accept to host me if it bothers you?” Dazai asked above the song.
And of course, the son of a bitch was already ruining his plans.
“Masochism, I guess.”
“Should have known Chuuya would like this. I bet his little brain is full of this kind of dirty fantasy. Do you also love torturing your partners?”
“Well, the thought of you totally at my mercy, unable to do anything but to scream my name has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?”
If Chuuya had not been as focused on the road as he was, he would have seen Dazai shiver and dusty red appear on his cheekbones.
“Don’t take it badly but the mere thought of you naked makes me really sad.”
“Well, I’m not really excited by a bag of bones either so I guess we can agree on this matter.”
Poorly hidden smiles from both of them. Their relationship had been the subject of many debates and if at the beginning it had made Chuuya furious and Dazai… (who knows?), it had now become a running-gag between them.
The building where Chuuya lived came into sight. A dozen of minutes later and they were inside his penthouse.
“Do you want anything to eat?” Chuuya asked.
“ Crab. ” Was the immediate answer.
At this, Chuuya felt a memory tickle the back of his mind. He should have remembered something.
“Well, I don’t have it. So it’ll be a salad for you.”
“Healthy food? Disgusting.”
“How can you even be considered an adult?” Chuuya groaned.
“I managed to survive twenty-two years. I should at least be allowed to drink to compensate.”
“Well, you’ll have to cut out on this. Alcohol doesn’t go well with your meds.”
“That’s okay. I stopped taking them two days ago.”
Chuuya tried to feel surprised. He really did.
“Okay, listen. New rules : you take your meds, you do everything to get better and in exchange I’ll cook anything you want.”
“Bold of you to assume I need to bargain with you to get what I want.”
Inhale. Exhale. “ He’s only trying to anger you so you let him fend for himself and let him get back to his unhealthy life. You want to take care of him, don’t let him frustrate (enrage!!!) you.” Chuuya repeated to himself.
“Alright, alright. If Chibi wants to extend his mother- hen tendency to me, who am I to protest? After all, since he can no longer do it for his subordinates…”
The punch was gone before he could even realize it. Dazai stumbled away, a bright grin on his face.
Hurting Dazai would always be a hundred time easier than taking care of him. At this moment, he didn’t see the lost young man who only wanted to please his only real friend. Just an assailant ready to use Chuuya’s weaknesses against him.
Maybe he had been too tired to deal with him. Dazai had won.
“Shut the fuck up, you fucking freak. At least, I’m not some kind of disgustingly spoilt monster who don’t know anything about empathy. Not a bad thing Oda died before he could realize how disgusting and inhuman you are.”
And shit, it hurt even more to see Dazai’s expression turn from despair to blankness but it also felt so good. Tearing into him again and again until his disgusting blood soiled the floor.
“Is that why you hide those awful tattoos? Because you don’t want people from the agency to realize you’re as dark outside as inside?”
He could see the exact moment when something broke inside of Dazai. When the wall between sanity and madness was finally destroyed.
Chuuya wanted to apologize. He knew Dazai was only trying to use him in order to hurt himself. For whatever reason, hospitals always brought back the worst side of him.
Chuuya knew it. Dazai had sacrificed himself for this city. Only a person carrying at least an ounce of good in them could do that.
A dark chuckle opened Dazai’s mouth. Something guttural. Something which came from the deepest part of him. Chuuya had already heard it when one of his subordinate had lost his whole family to a rival gang.
The sound was shaking Dazai’s whole body. It shook and shook and for a moment Chuuya feared he might break under it.
“You don’t know.” He laughed. “You don’t know anything and yet - and yet you … Chuuya, Chuuya, Chuuya.”
He stood up from the wheelchair. His legs couldn’t support him. That much was obvious but Dazai didn’t fall. Instead, he caught his bandages and started unraveling them.
Once again, the black marks appeared in front of him.
“This,” He said.”Ruined my life. You call me inhuman? How hypocritical, you are ! It’s your damn fault but you don’t even remember that. Of course not ! Why should you bother? It’s not as if it mattered to you. It never did.” He screamed but it was more akin to a sob.
At this moment, cold burning hysteria was coming from his mindmate. He had never felt such powerful hatred from them. Worse, Chuuya realized it was all directed to him .
This was enough.
He finally understood.
“You’re them.” He whispered.
“A bit too late, don’t you think?”
Before he could move again, Dazai had left.
More than the tests, Chuuya realized it was actually the verbal abuse which hurt the other the most. The scientists didn’t try to hide their distaste of Osamu. From “freak” to abomination, they had put into place a fan of insults to call him.
They didn’t do this with him. They had quickly stopped calling him inhuman when they had seen he had mastered his ability. “Respect and fear what you might not control.” Osamu had explained. That’s something he would have expected someone older to say.
During one of today’s test, Osamu’s leg had been torn open. Blood didn’t want to stop leaving his body. The other could hide his pain well but it was obvious he could barely walk. Before he could run to support him, one of the older woman got tired of him and yanked him toward their room.
Chuuya tried to stop them but a gloved hand caught him.
“Don’t worry too much, Chuuya-kun. He’s not really human, you know? Just something we built so he could assist you.”
He thought about how Osamu often curled against him during the night. How he always complained about how cold he was. How he seemed fascinated by crabs and the sea but hated dogs and pain. How he always smiled after their tests so he wouldn’t worry Chuuya.
“You’re wrong.” He concluded.
“One day, you’ll understand.” The adult sighed.
No, I won’t because I’m not blind.
Once they were locked inside, Chuuya instantly ran toward his friend.
“Are you okay?”
“I’ve been through worse.” He said and curled on himself.
Chuuya joined him on the ground and massaged Dazai’s nape. He gained a soft pur for his trouble.
“I’m so sorry.”
“Why? It’s not your fault.” Osamu whispered.
“They said you were a tool for me to-”
“Don’t listen to them, moron.” (that’s another word the younger had learnt from his “caretakers”. Them not realizing how smart he was still baffled Chuuya)
He was already starting to gather blankets. A clear consequence of today’s events. They had also left him in a bathtub filled with cold water for hours. His screams still haunted his mind.
“Can I help?”
Osamu shook his head. Right now, covered and surrounded by white sheets, he looked like a very content duckling.
Why doesn’t he look hurt after today? He sneered.
“The past can’t be changed. I don’t want to let it put me down. That’s just how it is.”
“Stop reading my thoughts!”
“But you make it so easy, Chuuya.” He complained.
No longer human , the name of an ability given to underline how monstrous Osamu was…
They’ll never know.
In the back of his mind, he could feel the other’s distress start to increase. If his facade remained the same, his discomfort grew internally more and more obvious.
Chuuya’s arm circled his neck and brought him closer. Physical closeness always appeased the both of them. Just another consequence of the experimentations. He didn’t want to know how they had obtained this particular result.
It had to do with the marks on Osamu’s body, this much he knew.
“You’ll always be the most special person in the world for me.”
He didn’t need to look at him to understand Osamu was blushing. He kissed the crown of his head. It had always offered him comfort when his mother had done it to him.
“So please, never listen to them again.”
Sometimes, Chuuya wished he could go back to the time when he couldn’t remember the truth. Since Dazai had left, nightmares (memories) had shrunk their claws inside of his head. Sleep didn’t feel as restful as it had once been.
You knew it was awful when even Mori and Elise had started to worry. The boss had proposed him to take longer vacations and Kouyou had ordered it but… Work was a necessity right now.
A much needed distraction. At least with it, he could forget Dazai and... everything.
They had to talk, to have a proper conversation. There were things Chuuya needed an answer to : Why hadn’t he told him? How had they gotten separated? And more.
It would have been easy to get angry against Dazai about those questions but god he was so tired of being angry all the time. That’s what had brought him in this mess and he doubted it’d get him out.
Anyway, he had another problem. Dazai hadn’t answered to any of his calls and had avoided any tentatives of contact. If he wanted to get what he wanted, finding him was the first step.
Or maybe not, maybe he had to do something else first.
“Nakahara-kun.” Ango greeted.
“I need something, Prof Specs.”
“We had agreed to put an end to our collaboration.”
Chuuya snarled. “Don’t you even try. You still owe me big time for the whole Shibusawa bullshit and I’m calling in my favor.”
“What do you want?”
“I want all the datas you can give me about the experiment on the Arahabaki.”
At this, he saw the man stiffen. It was as brief as a shot but Chuuya hadn’t become an executive for his pretty face.
“The mafia has them all.”
“Well, that’s something I’ll have to check by myself then.” A red glow started to surround him.
Disbelief appeared on Ango’s face.
“You wouldn’t destroy the ceasefire with the government just for those informations.”
True, his organisation’s interests would always come first but he didn’t need to know that.
“I fought against the Port Mafia when I was fifteen so I could get them. Do you really want to try me?”
“You’re not as convincing as you may think but I can see your point.” He took out his glasses and inhaled deeply. “For obvious reasons, I can’t bring you what you want. The file B-243 65 had been closed after the explosion of the base. It is kept at the main office’s archives and since someone tried to destroy them all ten years ago, it is heavily guarded. I honestly can’t do anything for you.” He explained.
“That’s a shame.” Chuuya smirked.
“I agree with you. Now, if you allow it, I have to go back to my office. Someone still needs to take care of the mess you created.”
The look he earned as an answer would stay with him for years.
Getting what he wanted was fairly easy. Going inside and leaving before anyone could notice him were like a walk in the park with his ability. The most challenging moment had been to find the right files under all those layers of dust.
Now, as he sat on his sofa, the file in his hand, Chuuya felt some kind of apprehension. He remembered most of what had happened but having the tangible confirmation felt different.
He breathed deeply and started reading.
File : B-243 65
Closure Date : 20XX
Subject : B8515 & A5158
(this one had been added at a later date)
19 october 20XX :
After years we finally managed to isolate the Arahabaki. Nature of the entity is unknown. The special ability department agreed to finance us so we could try to study and control it.
27 october 20XX :
Titanium : failed
Steel : failed
Diamond : failed
Despite the short time we have spent on this, it is obvious the chances of controlling it are close to inexistant. No material seems to be able to sustain its powers.
[ pictures from the experiences : on it mainly broken and melted furnitures ]
Only the container built thanks to the bones of a deceded ability user worked. The duration of this is unknown.
5 november 20XX :
Dr XXXXXXX managed to isolate a part of the entity. Considering how it calmed down after the amputation, we share the idea that its main role was to serve an interrupter to the “God”’s power.
Security on the entity has been increased to prevent any further loss of control.
14 november 20XX :
Human experimentation has been approved.
20 november 20XX :
A potential carrier has been found. Negotiations will start tomorrow.
21 november 20XX :
Negotiations are a success. The contract has been signed. The woman only requested money.
Will have to be eliminated once it is over.
[ it was followed by the profile of the said woman ]
Chuuya stared at the picture a few minutes. She was a truly beautiful woman without a doubt, with her curly chocolate hair, her almost black eyes and her feline face.
So that’s Dazai’s mother…
Age : 22
Relatives : None
Friends : None
Comments : She seems to be a rather asocial woman. Doesn’t have any close relationship with anyone apart from her boss.
Job : Prostitute
Conclusion : Will be easy to dispose of her however an important medical exam will have to be done to ensure no illness will disturb our work.
Medical exam’s summary :
Marks of abuse have been found ⇒ will have to be treated
-bruises on the face/left arm/bottom of the back/ right leg
Blood type : AB
28 november 20XX :
In order to get the best candidate possible to receive the power to control the Arahabaki, we decided to produce a child. Through a total survey of both the pregnancy and childhood, we hope to obtain the best result.
29 november 20XX :
30 november 20XX :
1 december 20XX :
2 december 20XX :
3 december 20XX :
Pregnancy confirmed. Ms. Tsushima has been moved to a fully equipped room.
Chuuya gritted his teeth. The next pages explained in great detail the whole medical procedure accompanied with the injections administered to the woman.
3 january 20XX :
The embryo is healthy.
3 february 20XX :
No change in its health.
3 march 20XX :
No change in its health.
4 april 20XX :
Gender determined. It’s a boy.
Ms.Tsushima started reacting badly to the treatment. We can’t afford to decrease the dosage. Will have to get ready if things turn sour.
2 may 20XX :
Ms.Tsushima can no longer walk. The treatment continues weakening her.
18 may 20XX :
We tried to change the treatment but nothing had the wanted effect. We’ll just have to keep going.
3 june 20XX :
Ms.Tsushima tried to kill herself today. Dr.///// is starting to get worried about the child.
Yesterday, he started talking about finding a vessel for the Arahabaki. We think it’d be better for the first child to be born without problem before.
He showed us a file about a woman whose ability allows her to store energy up. She just had a son. It might be interesting to see if the boy has developed the same power.
18 june 20XX :
The contractions started.
19 june 20XX :
The boy is born.
Hour of birth : 02H56MIN
Weight : 1.9 kg.
Height : 37 cm
His health is fragile. Dr. ///// doesn’t think he’ll survive long. He’ll have to be strongly monitored.
Comment : The mother didn’t make it.
Another picture followed this entry. On it, a baby could be seen. For a few instants, Chuuya tried to see resemblances with the man he knew.
20 june 20XX :
Still alive. The power to control the Arahabaki has injected into it.
21 june 20XX :
22 june 20XX :
It has appeared the boy’s behaviour is quite strange.
-He- It doesn’t sleep as much as one would expect a newborn to. It’s also quieter.
Psychological tests will have to be done at a later date.
After this, nothing of interests could be read. Dazai had had a few serious health related problems but nothing life-threatening.
It all started again when he reached the third year of his life. For a moment, he thought about stopping. It didn’t concern him and no doubt he’d pay the price later.
Yet, just like how Narcissus had been fascinated by his reflection, he couldn’t push away his eyes from the words.
19 june 20XX :
It has been brought to our attention that the child doesn’t seem to possess regular emotional responses. Its pain tolerance is also higher than the norm. It will prove useful for our next projects.
23 august 20XX :
Ritual marks will be put into place in two weeks. The connection to the Arahabaki will maybe put the child’s life in danger.
6 september 20XX :
The ritual has been a success. It seems the child is now aware of the Arahabaki’s psyche. The entity also reacts to the child’s presence. It has been decided it will be kept away from the room where we contain the “God”. Isolation is the best option.
[ The pictures represented the marks Chuuya had seen earlier on Dazai’s body. They had obviously been taken just after their ‘ritual’. The child’s skin was still red and puffy. From here, he could see what he had seen as random dark marks were actually words. He couldn’t read them due to the poor resolution of the pictures. ]
28 september 20XX :
We recently employed an ability user. He was to be charged of the security of our facility. When the subject came into contact with him, a consequence of our experiments came into view. It’s now able to cancel any ability. At least, that’s what we’ve deduced.
We’ll need to see how strong this ability is.
25 december 20XX :
The boy seems to have learnt how to read by itself. We’ll need to make it understand nosiness won’t be tolerated.
5 february 20XX :
The boy has found the way to pick locks. It’s now obvious its intellect is above average. Precautions will have to be taken.
It mustn’t forget its place.
1 april 20XX :
As we thought before, the son of the ability user mentioned in the entry from the 3 june 20XX is a suitable host for the Arahabaki.
A plan for recuperation will be put into place soon.
After this, a good portion of the file was missing.
Outside, night had started falling. Maybe it was time to stop. He felt out of breath and every part of his ability was screaming to be let loose. His control wouldn’t last much longer.
Chuuya rose and stretched. A bit of training would do wonder for him.
Each of Chuuya’s subordinates knew not to disturb him while he was resting if it wasn’t a matter of life or death. As an executive, he has next to no time to sleep which made all his days-off as precious as gold.
Unfortunately, the ADA didn’t know this.
He recognized the voice of the mantiger.
“What do you want, kid?”
“Sorry to disturb you, I know you must be busy but is Dazai-san with you? He was supposed to come back to work today but-”
Guilt settled in his guts. There was such worry in the boy’s tone which made him uncomfortable.
“He’s always late.”
“That’s what everyone told me but last time I called Dazai-san he seemed unwell and -and…” Atsushi stuttered.
“I’ll warn you if I find him, alright? If by tomorrow he still hasn’t contacted us we’ll go look for him. What do you think?”
For a moment, he wanted to ask how Dazai of all people had managed to gain the loyalty of such a kind person. It melted away as soon as it had risen.
Hatred for the mackerel didn’t come as easily as before.
“Thank you so much, Chuuya-san. I’ll call you later.”
“That works for me. Later, kid.”
The yawn he had been holding back broke out as Chuuya got out of bed. He had a fairly good idea of the place where Dazai was, however, it’ll wait until he knew all he needed to know.
Each page increased the quantity of bile which dirtied the inside of his throat. They went from depiction of abuse to vivid pictures of torture Chuuya wouldn’t have liked to go through even as an adult.
No wonder he became so messed up.
29 april 20XX :
We successfully injected the Arahabaki inside of the child. No sign of necrosis or wounds has been observed but he still hasn’t woken up.
To ensure the good preservation of the body, we locked him inside of a water tank. The needed vitamins are regularly given to him.
Subject B8515 has shown marks of agitation. We think he unconsciously felt what happened to the Arahabaki.
30 june 20XX :
Lacerations were found on subject B8515’s bodies. They don’t seem to come from tests. It seems regular checkups have become insuffisant to ensure the physical wellbeing of the subject.
Other means of surveillance will be put into place.
5 july 20XX :
New lacerations have appeared. One of the guard notified us they had been self-inflicted. Measures of immobilisation will be put into place.
8 july 20XX :
Subject B8515 stopped accepting foods. Forced feeding doesn’t work as the subject kept throwing up. If we do not react soon we’ll have to start all over again. The idea of induced coma has been brought up but it’ll prevent us from doing any of the necessary tests.
10 july 20XX :
Nothing worked. The doctor forced us to free the subject. Bandages have been put into its body to prevent him from increasing its wounds. We gave it books as a way to distract it. It seems successful for the moment despite the subject showing no reaction.
21 july 20XX :
Eye wounded during training. Unpossibility to save it.
24 september 20XX :
We found it wandering once again in the direction of the place containing subject A5158. Preventions will have to be taken.
18 october 20XX :
Mental state of the subject has improved. We ignore the reasons of this change.
23 december 20XX :
Today, subject B8515 has woken up subject A5158. The boy is healthy and retains some memories of his former life. We explained to him why he had to stay with us. The boy trusts us for the moment.
Preventive measures will have to be taken toward subject B8515 to avoid further disobedience.
7 february 20XX :
In consequence of the treatment, a form of dependence has appeared between the two children with also an ability to share their emotional situation.
We decided to separate them in order to test how strong this connection is.
18 february 20XX :
Conclusion : The bond is actually stronger on subject B8515’s side than on A5158’s.
The entries stopped here. Chuuya cursed in frustration.
Sure, those informations were useful but they neglected the reason they had gotten separated. After his loss of control, he had been found a few days after by the Sheeps. So it had happened during this short period of time.
“Do you know… her?”
“I have never seen him in my whole life.”
A wave of headache almost knocked him off, as if his brain had decided to turn into a piston. This pain wasn’t entirely his, this he could feel, but it didn’t make him feel better.
What had the mackerel done to end in this state? He sent a wave of irritation to him only to receive the emotional equivalent of ‘fuck off’.
Great, we can argue without talking now. Exactly what we needed.
He thought about the words his amnesia had given back to him. Their separation had to do with him joining the Sheeps. Not exactly a period of his life he wanted to remember…
He went to the kitchen to take a bottle of wine. Alcohol would do wonders. Dazai’s headache kept influencing his mood which wasn’t something he appreciated. Was the bastard even taking care of himself?
With a sigh, he opened the bottle and started pouring.
“You dirty brats ! I’ll show you what little mongrels like you deserve !”
The sound of glass shattering brought him back to reality. Nausea grasped him.
What even - ?
Grief pulled at his trachea as flashes of what had happened came back to him. They had been in an alley at night. Dazai had managed to bring them to the periphery of Yokohama which had been a real endeavour by itself. Dazai’s noodle arms were the only thing which hadn’t changed.
He had been absolutely broken. The Arahabaki had torn his body apart and he remembered Osa- Dazai had been worried to death. Not that he showed it. His brain had been fuzzy and he hadn’t been able to remember anything.
Then, a man had come and he had… decided to teach them a less. To put it bluntly. O- Dazai had tried to protect him ( the idiot ! He knows he’s useless in a fight! ) and proved that a glass bottle and someone’s head didn’t go well together.
There had been so much blood. Red, red, red, all over the ground. Dazai had collapsed like a broken doll and the drunkard had wanted to attack Chuuya.
As the memory played in front of him, he could perceive with perfect accuracy the smell of cheap whisky which had clouded the place. It had burnt thick on his tongues and then-
Chuuya took a few minutes to clear his head.
And then it had been over. A teenager had arrived, his white hair a beacon in the night and in his hand a gun he had used on the man. The asshole hadn’t stood a chance.
He had fallen like a fly hit by a swat.
“Are you alright?”
Chuuya hadn’t answered, still too out to connect the dots. The teen had helped him to stand up - it had been Shirase, Chuuya was sure of it - and then focused on Dazai.
“Do you know… her?”
“I have never seen him in my whole life.”
Because of their partnership, Chuuya had a whole list of place to check if he needed to find Dazai. From the cemetery to a cat cafe he really liked.
Yet, there was no trace of him. It only left one possibility.
The mackerel always liked to steal from him, why would it change now? The first of his safe house was empty but not the second one. “Someone” had thrown away his coat and stolen all the blankets in his closet.
Either a very weird thief had invaded his flat or he had a mackerel invasion.
He found Dazai asleep in his room, his hair littering his face like seaweed and reading glasses on his nose as he snored softly.
Cans of crabs and bottle of sake laid empty on the ground. Someone really knew how to follow a healthy diet.
“We need to talk.” He said, not stupid enough to believe Dazai hadn’t woken up.
“ ‘o away.” Dazai groaned.
“Don’t even try, I want answers.” He ordered as he moved above in order to prevent him from running away.
Seeing him groggy with sleep was beautiful. His eyelids kept fluttering lasciviously. The oversized t-shirt he wore revealed a thin shoulder as he stood up. It was utterly innocent but seductive nonetheless.
Before he could react, a hand slithered inside of his field of vision. It held something he couldn’t see because of the speed. Chuuya had no trouble stopping it.
“Did you really try to taze me, asshole?”
Breaking his wrist for this would have been easy. A bird’s bones would have been harder than his but he only put them above his head.
He wouldn’t let his anger destroy the fragile bond they still had.
“Sorry, slug, but if you want a hole to fuck you should find someone else, I’m really not in the mood.”
This dig would have been more successful was he not starting to feel panic in Dazai’s mind.
“Relax, I just wanted to… apologize about what I said. It was inappropriate.”
“Chibi, I think your hat is melting the small part of your brain which hadn’t rotten yet.” He mocked, his eyes widening in false innocence.
“Do shut up, idiot.” He flicked his nose which earned him a pout. “Now, would you mind coming into the living room?”
The wheels of his brain were turning at full speed, almost like a broken algorithm. At the end, Chuuya’s patience finally ran out. He passed his hands under Dazai’s armpits and knees and carried him where he wanted.
Dazai spluttered in indignation but this was nothing Chuuya wasn’t expecting. A kick almost reached his nose but it only led him to increasing his hold on the other. Dazai softened his arms, his eyes closed in resignation. So he had finally given up? Good.
He lowered him as slowly as he could on the couch and sat next to him.
“So… How do you want to start?”
“Chuuya is the one to initiate this whole conversation but doesn’t think about what he wants to say? Typical.”
Hatred came from each of Dazai’s thoughts. Not something Chuuya liked but he’d deal with it for the moment.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
Dazai scoffed. “Would it have changed anything if I had? Honestly Chibi, we were kids. What we went through during this period of our life no longer affects who we are.”
“Of course it does !” Chuuya screamed, then in a lower tone. “Of course it does.”
He remembered how Dazai sometimes called him nicknames he had used during their youth. The soft voice wasn’t there anymore but he could still discern the presence of his friend… Best friend… partner in suffering? Chuuya didn’t know.
“You’re only attaching yourself to me because it allows you to have a connection with your former life. Please do not use me for such a ridiculous purpose.” Dazai sneered.
At the same time, he was trying to conceal every feeling Chuuya might perceive.
If it hadn’t been here, he would have already lost control but an indication from his mind allowed him to stay calm.
He could feel it.
Behind a wall of apathy, he could feel Dazai’s fear and anger inflate like mushrooms after a tempest.
“Keep calm.” He whispered as his knuckles brushed his partner’s cheekbone.
“Pathetic. If that’s all it takes for you to care about someone I’m really worried about your ability to work for the Mafia.” Yet, he didn’t move away and leaned into it like a cat into sunlight.
“I’m not the one who can’t accept physical affection without thinking it might be a weakness.”
“Because it is. The closest someone is to you, the easiest it is for them to hurt you if they betray you.”
“God, you’re so messed up.”
“At least I’m not a stupid little hatrack. Your loyalty is going to get you killed and I’ll come at your funeral only to make fun of you.”
Chuuya wondered how things would have been different had they remained together. Would Dazai have been more open about his emotions? At least with him?
It hurt to contemplate this but you couldn’t take a train which had long left the station.
“I’m sorry I left.”
He got an almost bored look for his trouble.
“You do know we were children, right? I wasn’t expecting anything from you.”
“I promised you something I didn’t do. That’s a big deal.”
“Do you know how many people don’t hold their promises each day? Are you going to go against each person who does this?”
“I don’t care about them but I care about you and what I did to you.”
Dazai snorted. “Ridiculous.” But Chuuya could feel the brief, tentative hope which had hatched in his mind. A dark hand crutched it in an eyeblink.
“Now that you apologized, can you let me go? I have some stuff to do.”
“Tut, tut, not happening, idiot. Your fever is too high, you’re staying here.”
“I don’t need your help.” Dazai protested.
From what Chuuya understood from their bond, he felt uncomfortable with this new power dynamic. Most of Kouyou’s girls had had this problem before. Finding someone who honestly cared when you only expected pain was disorienting.
He had to trade with utmost precaution.
“I know you don’t but I still want to. It makes me feel better.”
“Chuuya is such a dog. Always caring about his master’s wellbeing.” He sneered.
“ Whatever makes you feel better. Now lay down, I’m going to make dinner.”
Dazai was oddly pliant as Chuuya lowered him on the sofa. Sleep wanted to claim him and he was trying to resist as much as possible. Chuuya caressed his hair which earned him a soft purr as his eyes closed in contentement.
There was still a flicker of uncertainty in Dazai’s mind but it was choked by how nice he felt.
This, he could get used to. Putting down each of Dazai’s walls and spoil him until he didn’t know where he stood.
“You’re safe, relax.” He whispered.
Cinnamon eyes jolted open as Dazai jerked away from him.
“Don’t touch me.”
Dazai rose from his position. His legs, too weak because of his fever and his too-recent wound, instantly gave up under him.
In his mind, Chuuya could now feel anger and distress.
“What’s wrong?” Then when he kept crawling away from him. “Talk to me.” He wanted to help him but physical contact seemed to be the last thing he needed.
No answer came, instead, Dazai smiled. A curve of the lips as empty as the one Corruption was so fond of.
“Well, it seems I lost control of myself.” This time, his legs obeyed him as he rose. It was still unsteady but held stubbornly nonetheless. “Really, I hate being sick.”
Sweat and paleness were the only distinguishing traits on his face. How could he even pretend he was fine?
“I should go back to work. If I’m not here to help him relax, Kunikida-kun will probably burst a vessel.” He took back his coat and put away his glasses.
“Don’t call me this . You have no right to.”
And here it was.
The anguish he was trying to hide away without managing to. Not from Chuuya. Even without their link they had been partners for years. It meant something .
He had been the one to stop most of his suicide attempts. The one to clean his flat when Dazai didn’t have the strength to do anything but exist. Sure, they had never outright talked about it. But. It. Meant. Something .
“Please, allow me this. I want to make things right.”
“Why don’t you understand it is too late? You’re not that stupid, are you?”
“Because it doesn’t have to be !”
“We’re not children anymore, Chuuya.” His voice was blank. “Any misstep we’ll take will have repercussions. Do you really want to lose everything because of a former friendship?”
“Yes. Without a hesitation. I’m still furious you didn’t tell me anything, and the fact you manipulated me and how you dyed all my clothes green that one time, and… anyway, what I’m trying to say he’s : you’re the worst asshole I know, that much is obvious. But you’re also… fuck… you’re also one of the person I care the most about. Even before I remembered everything. I want you to stay by my side so please, talk to me.”
“Chuuya, you’ve read the files, haven’t you?” And of course Dazai knew. “You know they made it so we had to care about each other. We don’t have the choice.”
At the end, Chuuya supposed he should have guessed. Dazai liked to be in control of the situation. He was the puppeteer, the one to hold the threads, not anyone else.
The bond is actually stronger on subject B8515’s side than on A5158’s…
That explained why he had reacted so awfully to the idea of emotional closeness.
“No matter what happens, I won’t let it define me. This thing they did-”
“I don’t need you, I don’t need you to be close to me nor your ridiculous hat. Seriously, if you could just disappear, it’d really help me and…”
He was rambling, this Dazai had noticed but his mind wasn’t as clear as he would have wanted. Phantom sounds haunted his ears and his headache just didn’t want to disappear.
The point was : he didn’t want to let Chuuya in. It was a liability. Now that Dostoïevski was dead, he could afford to relax but it wouldn’t last long. One day, someone would come for the book and Dazai wouldn’t be able to think clearly if he had to worry about the slug.
You already do, a soft voice whispered, not unkind but still strict, a lot like Odasaku’s. You always worry too much.
Understanding emotions had always been a battle. He had been taught to live in the world of logic since his youth and hadn’t left it since then. Yet, he could say without any hesitation that his feelings for Chuuya were a tad too strong to be healthy.
When he was with him, the bond between them (it had to be the bond) always brought him warmth. A warmth which started in his belly and filled him until the void in him subsided. He craved it like an alcoholic did for whiskey or wine.
It clouded his judgement sometimes. Not often, of course. But enough for it to annoying.
More than anything, he feared the moment Chuuya would notice the power he had on him. It’d happen one day and then everything would be lost.
He’d use it against him or worse he’d get attached.
It made him want to run away and hide until all his emotions had drown.
Gloved hands caught his jaw.
How had he wanted to end his sentence again? Focus focus, focus.
“You’re an idiot, you know that? I care about you more than you can imagine. Whatever stupid scenario is going through your head won’t happen. I won’t let it.”
“Stop reading my emotions.”
“It’s not like I can make it stop !” He retorted.
“Goddamit, you’re such a stupid softie.” Dazai complained as his head dropped on Chuuya’s shoulder.
Selfishness had always been a part of him. Why stop now?
It won’t end well ! This voice sounded like Ango’s.
One of Chuuya’s arm came up and craddled his head.
“It’s going to be alright.”
“You’ll end up regretting it.”
For a moment, Chuuya wanted desperately to ask what had happened to make him feel this way but all questions vanished when Dazai continued.
“ Anything I would never want to lose will be lost . And even if it wasn’t, you’ll get tired of it eventually. And I-”
“Are you saying I’m dear to you?”
“That’s what you chose to focus on?” Exasperation could be read on each part of Dazai’s body language as if he was wondering why he had to deal with such an idiot.
“Well, you admitting something like that is kind of a fucking big deal.”
“Why do you even care?”
“I’ve already told you, that’s because I like you.”
There was no hesitation or ill-intent in those words. That, he certain sure of, the bond made sure of it. So, why? Why was Chuuya acting like this, why was he giving him the warmth he had needed for fifteen years?
Any remarks, Dazai could have done were erased before they could reach his mouth.
He wanted to believe him so much… but the perverse part of his mind didn’t want to let go of his doubts.
I want to stay in control of myself ! This voice didn’t remind of any of his friends’. It was weak, a bit desperate. Maybe the rawest part of his mind he had tried to dissimulate.
But, as Chuuya’s eyes kept scrutinizing him, two saphir orbs which promised nothing but love and gentleness, Dazai felt his determination shiver. It had been a while since someone had looked at him like that.
Fifteen years actually.
How ironic was it that the same person was once again by his side, doing exactly what had made Dazai
-love- appreciate them in the first place?
The shiver grew into an earthquake. He allowed his muscles to relax and as he fell down, Chuuya caught him without any hesitation.
“Sh, sh, it’s going to be alright.”
“ Please , don’t go.” There was a wetness coming from his eyes. He didn’t want to know what it was. “Don’t leave me again. I don’t know how- I don’t know how I’ll ” He stopped talking. No need to embarrass himself further. His conscience wasn’t so far gone.
“Not even a chance. They’ll have to kill me first.”
“You’re such a sappy softie.” He chuckled before sleep claimed him.
Chuuya smiled and kissed the limit between his lips and his cheek.
It was good to have him back.
After having put Dazai to sleep on the couch and brought blankets, Chuuya took a moment to observe his former partner. With his long eyelashes and his small, sleepy pout, the word “cute” kept flickering in his head.
He brushed a strand of his hair and went in the kitchen.
Like all his safehouse, this one was equipped with more than what was clinically necessary.
The main room only contained a bed and a bookshelf, not the gigantic mirror he had installed...
(Dazai had laughed for hours the first time he had seen it. “For such a small chibi, you’re so narcissistic !”)
… nor most of his weapons or pictures. Fortunately, the same couldn’t be said for the kitchen.
All types of kitchen utensils from knives, to spoons and saucepans could be found here. Chuuya always indulged in a bit of cooking when he had the time. Since a three weeks long mission would arrive soon, Mori had agreed to give him two days off.
It meant he had all the free time he could dream of to harvest his skills in the kitchen.
After a quick visit to the local market, he stood in front of the ingredients ready to work.
Dazai was still peacefully napping, his fever had decreased and soon he’d be back to his annoying usual self.
Chuuya started cooking.
He had been preparing the crab meat when a crashing sound had startled him. Instantly, Chuuya had caught the closest knife only to find himself face to face with Dazai.
It had been hours since he had fallen asleep. Of course he would be back to his normal self by now.
“What are you doing?” Not that he needed an answer. The eggs in his hands spoke for themselves.
“Helping you to cook, obviously.” Dazai smiled. God, he wanted to punch his stupidly pretty face. “Who knows what kind of stupid thing you could do without supervision.”
“You thought mixing chocolate and crabs was a good idea.” Chuuya protested, catching his wrists gently to prevent him from throwing the eggs.
“They’re good aliments when separated, why shouldn’t they be good together?” There was genuine curiosity in his eyes.
“God, you’re an idiot. That’s not how cooking works !” He put his hand on his temp to massage it and sighed.
When he opened his eyes once again, a sticky texture was soaking his whole face. Dazai was offering a smile which managed to be both innocent and mischievous.
Chuuya inhaled deeply. It was okay. He was used to supporting a top-quality brat. It didn’t matter.
“Run if you want to live.”
A hint of defiance and amusement ran through their bond.
“Bold of you to assume I want to live.”
This lasted until he realized dying by Chuuya’s hands would never be quick nor painless.
He dashed through the kitchen, a very offended mafioso on his tail. Even during his best days, Dazai wasn’t half as fast as Chuuya was. He didn’t stand a chance.
Strong arms caught his thin waist and tackled him. A yelp escaped his mouth as he fell on the ground and viscous hair tickled his nose.
“N- Not fair.” He laughed.
“You’re going to regret this.” Chuuya groaned.
“Do your worst, Chibi.”
They stared at each other. A scrutinizing gleam had appeared in Dazai’s eyes. He was testing him, Chuuya understood. He was waiting to see how he was going to react. In this position, it’d be easy for him to hurt, to make him painfully regret what he had done.
It had happened but things had changed and he had a better idea anyway.
Under Dazai’s protests, he removed the remaining egg from his hand.
“You’re going to have a taste of your own medecine.”
“As if you’d dare to-”
He sputtered in indignation as Chuuya held his promise and spread it on Dazai’s face and arms.
“How childish, Chuuya ! You’re wasting food.”
Which would have been a lot more convincing had his face not been yellow. He tried to take it away but it only stuck to his hand. Dazai watched with fascination as it glued itself to his fingers.
“How can something be so adhesive?” He complained. “My bandages are disgusting now, Chuuya !”
“If you act like a kid, you’ll be treated as such.”
“Does that mean you want to help me clean?” He teased.
“Well, if you insist.”
A ungraceful shriek resonated in the room as Chuuya carried him like a potato bag to the bathroom.
“Let go of me, you barbaric gorilla !”
“I’m only following your proposition. You like this, don’t you?”
Dazai spluttered and Chuuya used this opportunity to drop him in the bath. New cry of outrage.
“I don’t have any bandages to replace those.”
Blandness immediately smoothed Dazai’s face.
“Do you want me to go buy some?”
“How chivalrous of you.” Dazai snickered.
“I’m being serious.”
He started unwrapping his bandages, ignoring Chuuya’s displeasure. The dark marks became visible once again. Those were definitely words. Badly calligraphed ones but words nonetheless.
The silence stretched as he kept watching Dazai free his body from the yellowish gauze. Scars joined his vision. Most of the words were surrounded by them. As if someone had tried to remove them with a knife.
His stomach clenched.
“Why did you do that?”
“What do you think? I wanted them gone. They’re ugly.”
Chuuya bit his lower lip but didn’t add anything. Instead, he kneeled on the ground and helped him in his task. He didn’t ask if Dazai wanted him to leave. Their connection made it clear.
He couldn’t ease the pain of the past but he could be a pilar to help him support his present.
“Take off your clothes. I’m going clean your hair.”
“How lewd ~” The tone wasn’t as mocking as Dazai would have liked. This whole situation had exhausted him to the core. He didn’t know how to manage feelings right now.
He heard a sigh and right after, soft hands were on him, taking off his t-shirt and his pants.
“Tilt your head a little.”
Water fell into his face, hot enough not to disturb him.
“Good.” He answered as clever fingers started massaging his scalp.
“Is it a sex thing?” Dazai asked one day.
They had been spending time together for weeks now. Chuuya would leave on a mission and when he came back, an invader would be here, reading or napping in his bed.
They’d be together for a few hours, talking, reading or doing nothing at all sometimes. Sometimes, they’d go out together and go to the museum or to the library.
Spending time with Dazai was oddly enjoyable when the he was relaxed. He’d doze or ramble about whatever had caught his attention at the moment which was… cute?
Not a word he’d think to associate with the former demon prodigy.
Honestly, as far as he was concerned they were dating. Everything was here : they talked almost everyday be it to know about how the other was doing (Dazai always pretended he only cared because he liked his cooking) or for banal things like Dazai wanting to avoid his work. They had kissed a few times (Dazai had initiated those and Chuuya had kept doing it when he had realized how much the other liked it) and more often than not slept in the same bed (Dazai still had his habit of stealing all blankets).
Chuuya was sure Kouyou and Mori knew but none of them had said anything which was as close to a blessing as it was going to get.
Yet, until now, they had never tried to qualify it.
He lowered his gaze and watched Dazai.
“Do you want it to be?”
“I don’t like it but if you want to-”
“We’re not doing anything you’re not fully comfortable with.” Chuuya admonished immediately.
And here it was, the usual childish wonder which always showed itself when Chuuya insisted on respecting his boundaries, on treating him like a person. Rage boiled inside of him.
“Why were you asking this question?”
“When you were washing me… I felt desire coming from you so I thought that you might want-”
Sounds no longer reached him. Of course Dazai had felt it. Which reminded him of anything else.
“Wait, wait, wait - How many times have you felt I was having sex?”
Dazai’s eyebrow rose.
“Are you sure you’ve understood this whole connection principle?”
“It doesn’t make me happy either. I think you’re more active than a rabbi-”
“Shut the fuck up !” He screamed before something interrupted his anger. “But wait… It means you’ve never…”
As far as he could remember, never had he felt the usual pleasurable emotions associated with it from Dazai. Maybe, he just didn’t like it.
“Found any sexual intercourse satisfying? I told you those missions were always the worst.”
“Missions? What missions?”
A moment of silence.
“Please tell me your only experience with sex doesn’t come from missions from the Port Mafia.”
“Of course it does. Finding someone is far too much work.”
“That’s not sex !”
“What’s the difference? Sex is sex.”
“No, it’s not? Those were missions where you had to sleep with politicians you barely knew and didn’t feel comfortable with. Did they even bother with foreplay?”
God, he needs help.
“They used protections at least, right?”
“Why are you even so worried?”
“Just answer the damn question !”
“Of course they did. I don’t care about preparations but I still don’t want to catch something. Do you know how awful it would be to die because of an illness?”
Dazai shivered as Chuuya caressed his cheek.
“For someone who pretends they want to respect my boundaries, you’re awfully tactile.” He noticed.
“Do you want me to stop?”
“Of course not.” He chastised as he lowered his head to give him better access. Chuuya chuckled but continued his task.
“There is a lot of nice stuff you can do without having sex.”
“But you really like it. You were always happy when you were doing it.”
He needed to know how much Dazai had learnt from their connection as soon as possible. This whole situation was dangerous.
“I like pleasing my partner. Be it through sex or anything else, it doesn’t really matter.”
“And yet you still refused to be my dog.” Dazai pouted.
“That’s because you were a brat which needed a lesson.”
“Let’s just say I’m open to any eventuality.”
He could almost hear the gears in Dazai’s brain. No doubt he was already planning how to exploit what Chuuya had just said. Typical.
“If you want something you can just ask.”
“What if I don’t want things to change?”
“Then that’s fine, we’ll remain as such. We’ll just be together and I’d make you at least have a proper diet.”
“And if I want to make it physical?”
“Then,” His voice lowered as he brought Dazai’s face closer to his, so close in fact that it would have been easy to kiss him senseless in this position. “I’ll pay you dinner, make sure you have good time, that you don’t have to worry about anything and then…” He ran his thumb along Dazai’s lips.
So impatient, Chuuya laughed to himself.
“Then, Osamu, I would fuck you until you could do nothing but scream because of the pleasure I’m giving you, because you’d know I consider you as one of my most precious people in the world.”
“Chuuya is such a romantic.” Dazai snickered but his cheekbones had adopted the shade of rip cherries and through their bond he could feel a mix of arousal and embarrassment.
O, this is going to be so much fun.
“Now, come on, you’re going to help me prepare diner.”
“That’s not fair, Chuuya !”
He chuckled and brought Dazai close to kiss him. A soft, chaste contact of their lips which still felt perfect despite the mackerel being as responsive as his namesake.
When Chuuya moved away, he realized the red had spread to the rest of his face.
“Well, you better get used to it because nothing I’m going to do you is going to be fair, darling.” Chuuya purred with a wicked smile.
Kunikida considered himself as a mature man. A man full of ideals. A man with patience.
A man who was going to murder cold-bloodedly his partner.
“Would you please finally start working?”
“But, Kunikida-kun, I find myself in quite the difficult situation, I can’t possibly focus.”
Next to him, Atsushi sighed and went outside of the office, too used to this scene and its usual outcome.
“What in your personal life could be more important than our job?”
“Well, getting laid, obviously.”
Colours drained from Kunikida’s face and for a few seconds Dazai regretted not having anything to photograph it. Then, anger succeeded to shock and Dazai found himself thrown on the ground. He groaned in pain and when he opened his eyes again, a beautifully angry face stood in front of him.
Well, here went Kunikida’s blood pressure.
“I don’t want to know what you’re going to do to some poor girl you managed to seduce with your ugly face !”
“Well, if we want to do semantics, I’m the one to which something is going to happen.”
Wow, Kunikida-kun sure does look like a crayfish, right now.
At his desk, Ranpo snorted and stuck a candy in his mouth.
“I’m trying to eat, I don’t want to hear what is going to happen to your a-”
“Ranpo-san, I’m begging you, do not finish this sentence.”
For a moment, Dazai and the detective observed each other. Would they start their favorite game of teasing Kunikida until he was a blushing mess?
The return of Atsushi prevented them from finding their answer. In his hands : two things. He gave the first one to Ranpo which instantly lost all interest for the conversation as he saw the new bag of candies.
Kunikida offered him a look which didn’t leave any doubt that he considered Atsushi as a deity in his poor, corrupted world.
To Dazai, he offered a can of cold soda.
“For your bruises.” He explained.
“Atsushi-kun, you are the best person I have ever met.” Dazai cheered.
“Yes,yes, you’re welcome. No need to try to sweet-talk me.
“Sweet-talking you? Of course, I need to do it. How else will I show my eternal love for you?”
Atsushi laughed, good-humouredly.
“I’m sure I’m not the one you want to show that to.”
A dilemma between being proud his subordinate felt comfortable enough with him to tease him and being the victim of his jokes appeared.
This kid, really…
The truth was he didn’t know how to qualify their relationship. Dazai felt no shame in admitting he didn’t know anything about love. It hadn’t been expected of him, thus, he had never bothered with it. Of course, it didn’t mean he couldn’t feel it.
Odasaku and Atsushi were the living proof of it. But he was fundamentally inadequate at recognizing it. His relationship with Chuuya was as strong as with the two of them but…
His hesitation didn’t escape those in the room.
“Everything is alright though, right?” He worried.
“Of course it is, Atsushi-kun.”
“I know you don’t need it but you know you can count on me, Dazai-san?”
“Well, isn’t my subordinate cheeky?”
“You’re worrying too much, moron ! It’s disturbing me !” Ranpo complained.
“Sorry, Ranpo-san ~”
There was a thing Dazai had understood after a few accidents.
(It didn’t matter if Kunikida didn’t agree with him on the “few” parts.)
His curiosity had more chance to kill him than any of his suicide attempts. Be it to test something which was supposed to kill him (he knew this barrel technic wouldn’t work ! He knew it) or to speak with megalomaniac sociopath.
There were just moments when his brain whispered to him.
Wouldn’t it be funny if you just….
And if it managed to make his existence a bit more bearable well it was a nice bonus.
Still, as he stood in front of Chuuya, he couldn’t help but think - behind his mask of perfect calmness - that it wasn’t the optimal course of action.
Their relationship had been improving nicely. Chuuya was calmer when in his presence, not relaxed but going there.
Would the validation of a romantic dimension change anything?
You’re already dating ! Ango’s voice whispered in his head.
It sounded troublesome even if it was Chuuya. However, Dazai wanted to know. Wanted to stretch their relationship to see what would happen. A bit like a cat who pulled on a praying mantis’ legs to have fun.
What a bummer ! Even with someone he cared about he couldn’t get rid of the lingering cruelty which still dirtied his blood.
“Is everything alright?” Chuuya wondered.
“It never bodes anything good.”
Dazai didn’t answer and instead took a mouthful of the crab the waiter had brought and held back a moan. Strangely enough, it did taste better than his crabbed can. All this fancy decoration (why did they always feel the need to put chandeliers?) wasn’t just smoke and mirrors.
“I’m not thinking about drenching your clothes with itching powder if it makes you feel better.”
Chuuya groaned. “I had forgotten you had done that.”
“You had to stay still for a two-hours long meeting.” Dazai laughed.
“And I put dog pictures all over your flat.”
“This was needlessly cruel.” He whined.
“You know what is cruel? Having to explain to Ane-san why I almost poured the water fountain all over my head.”
Dazai snickered which earned him a kick in the leg.
“But seriously, are you sure about tonight? We don’t have to-”
“Are you kidding? I’ve been hearing rumors about you being good at sex during three years, I need to see it for myself ! Chibi, being good at something which doesn’t involve breaking bones? That seems a bit far-fetched to me.”
If Chuuya actually noticed his nervosity, he didn’t say anything. Instead, he drank his wine, deep in thought. Which was disappointing. Why did he decide right now to control his anger issues?
For the first time in years, he allowed the connection between them to roam freely. To not be limited by Dazai’s almost obsessional need to have his own thoughts hidden.
A river escaping a bottle was the only way to describe how satisfying it felt. His partner always felt too much, a conundrum of emotions and sensations. A riddle for someone like Dazai who only wanted to escape a haunting void.
There was resolve and anticipation. This, he could tell with absolute certitude. But, those two were distilled in something stronger which was as intoxicating as the strongest liquor.
Something he couldn’t analyze.
Not positive nor negative. But so directed toward his person he couldn’t help but be shaken by it.
It ignited a fire which went from his head to his stomach and despite himself he felt the beginning of a blush colour his whole face.
It didn’t take long for Chuuya to catch up and smirk.
“You were peeking.” He smiled, clearly amused by how flustered Dazai looked.
“It’s not always easy to control.”
It had been a game between them before when they were still testing how strong their bond was. They would both try to spy on the other’s mind and see if he noticed the other was doing it on purpose. Dazai had always won.
Chuuya probably didn’t remember this.
“Of course, it’s not.”
And as if it wasn’t enough, a flash of fondness suddenly sparked in Chuuya’s already comforting emotions.
Dazai swallowed a whine. He wanted to catch those emotions and hold them. Hold them until they made the coldness melt away.
“Do you want to go home ?” Chuuya asked.
“ Please .”
Chuuya’s lips burnt against his. Not something physically possible, it was just a mere contact after all but that’s how it felt at the moment.
His past targets (the best appellation he could give them) had had little to no interest for the higher parts of his body. Too busy searching for their own pleasure without a doubt.
They were at Chuuya’s door, making out like horny teenagers. There was no other way to describe it. Chuuya had been trying to open it until Dazai’s pretty blush had distracted him from his goal.
He tore himself away from those tempting lips, earning an aborted moan of complaint. Had they been inside of his room, Chuuya would have fucked him to give him a real reason to moan.
After a fight with his lock, he finally managed to open his door and pressed Dazai inside. His back instantly landed against the other side of the entrance, Chuuya’s hands taking back possession of the sea of chocolate locks. He yanked his head down.
A new contact of their lips. He sucked softly and bit on Dazai’s, smiling when they became as red as blood.
Chuuya had been too overzealous in their precedent kiss. This time, he remained in control, paying close attention to Dazai’s reaction as he bit and licked his lips, a predator entirely focused on his prey.
The man was oddly pliant in his arms as he removed his coat and started unbuttoning his jacket and then shirt.
“You’re wearing far too much clothes.” He purred as bandages came into view. “May I take them off?”
Dazai shuddered, unsure on how to react. Connection his neurons together was getting harder and harder.
A hand landed on his hip, caressing the soft spot of exposed skin. As tempting as Dazai looked right now his glossy eyes and his disheveled hair, he couldn’t help but want more. He tugged at the offending fabric and asked once again :
“May I take them off?”
“Not a good idea.”
He didn’t know if Dazai was talking about the tattoos or the scars, maybe a bit both. For someone so shameless, his physical deformities (Dazai’s words, not his) were an endless source of self-consciousness.
He sucked on a spot behind Dazai’s ears which he knew was sensitive. There was a scar at this place, a scar you couldn’t find under the bird’s nest he called his hair if you didn’t know where to look.
A silent pride filled him as he tortured the wound until Dazai could no longer stand. His hands had decided to circle his waist in order to press the other man against his chest.
If it hadn't been there, Dazai would have kept trying to grind against Chuuya.
“Why are you in such a hurry ? We have time.”
“You’re too slow, slug.”
With this, Dazai’s fingers came nearer to the front of his pants, precise and seductive, the kind of attitude the mafia had taught him. He instantly caught them, bringing them to his mouth to kiss them.
This earned him a pout as Dazai tried to free his hands.
“Tsk, tsk, not happening. Let me take care of you, dear. You’ll feel good I promise.”
For a moment, brown eyes widened in confusion.
For such a smart person, it always pained Chuuya to see how little he believed in pleasure and joy. Not that he himself was quite familiar with them - he was still working for the Mafia after all - but he, at least, knew how to accept good things.
It didn’t matter right now. They had times and he was determined to teach him everything he lacked.
And if he ended up enjoying it a lot (because how could he not?), who could blame him? He had always thought the only way for him to deal with Dazai would be to punch him until he died a gruesome and painful death.
This was so much more rewarding.
“Chuuya is thinking too much.” Dazai chided.
“Feeling a bit neglected, dear?” He smiled.
The blush came back, stronger than ever. Seeing Dazai so weak for genuine affection always brought up fondness inside of him.
“May I take them off?” He repeated, kissing his cheek again.
This time, consent came. Chuuya put his arms under his knees and carried him to his room. He sat Dazai down on his bed and started unwrapping him, conscientious to let his skin tickle the newly exposed flesh.
A map full of dark words and sun-like scars came into view. The absence of contact with the sunlight had discoloured it, making it take a creamy-white shade. Cuts also marred it, far too visible over the paleness.
One in particular followed his collarbone, too old to be from his time at the Port Mafia but too new to be from their time at the facility.
A small fragment of his life while we were separated. I wonder how he got it…
Above his head, he could perceive Dazai’s stare on him, watching his reactions to his body.
“You can’t complain.” He whispered. “You’re the one who insisted to see them.”
He brought his lips to Dazai’s right hip, kissing the scar which circled it. Just over it the sentence Reflecting the sky had been marked.
“I wasn’t going to say anything.” He said as his nails reproduced the pattern by instinct.
Arahabaki’s presence had disappeared from his mind. Instead, all he could hear was a pleasant hum.
He opened Dazai’s fly and brought down his pants. A hand suddenly tracing the outlines of his cock startled Dazai. The sensation of the fabric on his erection both pleased and unnerved him.
“Take it off.” Dazai hissed.
“Wait a moment.”
He moved away and quickly took away his clothes. First, his choker, then his gloves, socks, tie, jacket… During the whole process, two - now - black eyes, kept watching him.
Following the movement of his fingers and the form of his body, stopping themselves on the revealed muscles.
Once he no longer wore anything, he grasped two pillows and put them on the ground in front of the mirror.
“What are you doing?” He asked, an adorable pout on his lips.
Despite his casual expression, he could feel his brain spiraling inside his head.
He would have to work to change this.
“You’re the genius, figure it out.” Chuuya smiled as he brought Dazai close to his chest.
“I know I often call you a dog but it doesn’t mean you should sleep on the ground. I can share the bed.”
“Brat.” Chuuya snorted.
He transported him to the place he had prepared and put on him the pillows.
“You like jostling me around.” Dazai observed.
“Do I ?” He grinned as he made sure his partner was comfortable, pinching one of his asscheek before.
Time to get started.
He kneeled behind him and pressed Dazai’s back against his torso. Dazai tried to watch Chuuya but soft hands made him look in front of him, right into his reflection.
“Look at how pretty you are, right now. I could observe you for hours and not get bored.”
Thanks to the mirror, Dazai could see the other’s hands move. One landed on his waist while the other fondled his collarbone ( Today too snow falls on it ).
“I don’t want to stop until you can’t move.”
A flicker of discomfort emerged. Chuuya tried to send what he hoped was a comforting emotion.
He bit his neck and explored the body offered to him, memorizing where each scars and tattoos stood.
As he continued sucking and marking the skin in front of him, one of his hand came to pinch a nipple. Dazai’s expression didn’t change but for an instant, a flicker of pleasure came to his attention.
“Did you like this?” He purred, a wicked grin starting to appear on his face.
“You’re being delusional, Chibi.”
He caressed them until he felt them harden against his fingers. In spite of the amazing control he had over his body, Dazai was starting to squirm against him.
“You’re so sensitive here. I wonder how long it would take for you to just beg me to fuck you.”
As Dazai opened his mouth to protest (as if a good fuck was going to make him do such a thing !), Chuuya twisted his nipples and pulled on them. He closed his mouth and did his best not to make a sound.
“That’s what I thought.” His nose tickled Dazai’s ear. “Don’t worry, beautiful, you will get what you want.”
From there on, with the precision of a surgeon, Chuuya started toying with his chest, abusing it until a wet spot formed on his boxer. Dazai gasped in his arms, arching and offering it to him.
“I could play with those little things for hours.”
They had become hot and puffy. Chuuya pinched them and this time, a full formed moan made itself heard.
“You’re being so good for me.”
Dazai pressed his thighs together, trying to get some friction on his neglected member. A foot stopped him in his action and made him open his legs. His feet were laying against the mirror in this position.
He groaned in annoyance. He didn’t need to see his torturer to know he was smirking.
This was too much.
Both the praise and the stimulation were too much, Dazai’s mind was drifting apart.
Chuuya’s foot was playing with his underwear’s elastic, shamelessly stimulating his erection without offering him the wanted liberation. Judging by his expression, he was having far too much fun.
Dazai realized too late he had made a mistake. By focusing on Chuuya, his own face and body had come to his attention.
He stifled a moan.
Calling him a wreck would have an euphemism. His hair stuck in all directions as if a tornado had gone through them and his blush had invaded his torso and ears.
He closed his eyes. It didn’t improve his situation. Without his sight, everything became more acute. How Chuuya’s nails continued tormenting his nipples. How he could smell Chuuya’s odour : a perfect mix of sweat, wine and the cologne the mafioso was so fond of.
“Raise your hips a little, I’m going to take off your boxers.”
If he hadn’t been himself, Dazai would have weeped in relief.
Even if he couldn’t prove it, Dazai was certain Chuuya was being so slow on purpose. Probably, another way to torture him… Wait, was this whole thing a way for him to get revenge on everything he had done to him? A disguised punishment?
Chuuya perceived the exact moment when anticipation turned into panic. Each part of Dazai was screaming for him to run.
“Dazai, do you want me to stop?”
Just because he remembers doesn’t mean it erases everything I’ve done. Why would he act nice now?
A common history doesn’t change the fact I’ve played with him countless times. Maybe I should let him do everything he wants? How many times do I have to submit to him so we can go past this?
Five times ? Ten ? Maybe a hundred ? How many?
“ Chuuya…” He heard himself whimper.
“I’ve got you. I’ve got you. Did I do something you didn’t like? Do you want me to stop? Stupid question, of course you-.”
Dazai shook his head.
“No way. I’m not doing anything if you’re not absolutely consentant.”
“But I am !”
“Then, what’s happened? I need you to talk to me, dear.” He kissed his cheek and massaged his neck.
This kindness has to hide something.
His fear (because that’s what it was, wasn’t it?) had calmed down the fire inside of him. He could focus once again. He spied on each of Chuuya’s emotions with the suspicion of a threatened animal.
Chuuya observed him. He wanted to say something, to act. Stillness didn’t suit but he knew Dazai needed this.
They were still in contact. Dazai had turned to face him.
Minutes went away and finally he said.
“What is in there for you?”
During their teenage years, they hadn’t been close but he had no trouble to understand what he meant.
“I like being with you.”
“No, you don’t.”
“Yes, I do.”
He stared at him, looking for any trace of a lie.
Why isn’t there any? Why isn’t there ANY ?
“I don’t understand you.” He finally admitted.
He earned a kiss for this, slow and deep which left him shivering against Chuuya.
They both knew the hidden depth of this simple sentence.
“If it makes you feel better I don’t totally understand either. I just know that this, whatever this is, I want it.”
“You really do like sex.”
“This plays a part in this, yes, but not only. I’d like it too if we didn’t sleep together. What I like is how you trust me, how you let me see those hidden aspects of yourself. I want to keep them to myself, make sure you don’t hesitate to show me more.” He whispered.
“Because I’m starting to fall in love with the true you.”
Dazai found himself unable to breath.
Of course, this was the perfect moment for this kind of conversation : naked and on the verge of a panic attack. Of course.
“You’re an idiot, Mister Softie.” He managed to say. “I might be playing with you, only showing you what you want so I can get what I want. Have you thought about it?”
“I have. It bothered me a while.”
He brought Dazai’s hands to his mouth and kissed each of his knuckles one by one. Then his palm and the back of his hand. He went up, kissing each patch of skin on his way, each scar and mark ( bleached by the rain ) until he reached his mouth.
“W- what changed?”
“I realized than I didn’t care. I want to stay around long enough to find out. You’re worth the risk.”
“I’m going to drive you crazy.” Dazai stuttered.
“And I’ll try to punch you without really meaning it when you do something stupid.”
“So nothing really changes?” Dazai laughed against his lips.
“Nothing really changes.” He agreed.
Dazai laughed. More a sign of nervousness than of real joy.
It had been a while since someone had testified this kind of trust of him. He wanted to drink it from Chuuya’s lips, to drink it until all his doubts were drowned, to drink it until he could give him the same kind of trust.
It would take time but maybe one day…
“Do you want to stop?” Chuuya repeated.
“But Chuuya ! How will I find out if the rumors were true if we stop? Moreover, you’re hard.” Dazai said as he grinded against Chuuya’s cock which earned him a stiffled moan and a murmured "You little minx." but Chuuya quickly got his control back.
“Then, maybe we should-”
“Chuu-ya, stop-wo-rry-ing ! I’m smart enough to tell you when to stop.”
“No, you’re really not, brat. Turn around and put your feet on the mirror.”
“So bossy ~”
He did as he was instructed to do. In the back of his mind, he could feel Chuuya relax, happy that he was back to normal.
“Put them a little higher. Perfect. Move them apart a bit now.”
This new position left him exposed. Completely exposed.
His head laid on Chuuya’s torso, his back between his legs and from here, on the mirror, he could feel see with great precision his lower parts.
A pur of pleasure came from Chuuya.
“You’re absolutely breathtaking like that, I love it.”
He caught Dazai’s cock and started moving up and down. From here, Dazai could see it redden and fill itself with blood, inflating between Chuuya's fingers.
In other circumstances, he would have been mortified of being so exposed but after their conversation… Well, maybe he could at least offer to trust him with his body. It would be a nice start.
The shame was still here but it only added to the pleasure he was feeling.
“I bet you have no idea of how amazing you look. A shame really but I’ll be happy to repeat it until you remember.”
He released Dazai’s member - smiling when he saw how he kept thrusting his hips - and took the lube next to them. He opened it and coated his fingers.
His fingers went down his torso, squeezing a nipple on his way. Dazai jumped against Chuuya. In this position, he could feel Chuuya’s cock harden against his spine.
His fingers teased his bellybutton, penetrating it in a way which didn’t leave any place to the imagination about what he was about to do.
Why is he so slow?
Plans to manipulate him into being faster crossed his mind but he forced himself to calm down. He could let Chuuya have this.
His asscheeks were separated and revealed his rim.
“Look, you’re already twitching. How excited are you exactly?” He traced the edge with his nails and rubbed the sensitive flesh.
“Not a lot. At this rhythm, I’ll be asleep before you can fuck me.” He said in a tone he hoped neutral.
It would have worked had his cheeks not been as red as Chuuya’s hair.
He hummed happily as his fingers kept working.
“Maybe I should make you wear a vibrator and use it on you until you’re crying. It’d wake you up for sure.”
Dazai shivered. Chuuya’s voice was like syrup at the moment, full of promises.
“Maybe another time.” Chuuya promised.
“Are you all talk, Chi- ah !”
All the words Dazai could have said dissolved as soon as a knuckle - finally ! - entered him.
“God, you’re so tight.”
“May- maybe you should do something about it then.” Dazai smiled.
“Patience.” Chuuya shushed.
He kept entering and exiting him, mapping each part of his inside. From time to time, he’d stop to put more lube on his fingers and then get back inside him.
If he hadn’t put so much care and if he hadn’t been able to see everything, Dazai would have dared to call it boring just to annoy Chuuya. Right now, he really wasn't in the position to summon any teasing comments.
A second finger entered and Chuuya started scissoring him, opening him up so he could have a clear view of his insides. Dazai bit his lip to prevent himself from moaning. His toes curled from the pleasure.
“Look at yourself.” Chuuya whispered, his voice firm as Dazai saw his fingers working inside of him. “So tight and warm around me. Absolutely perfect. I can’t wait to take you.“
“Chuuya…” He whined.
He didn’t answer and instead curled his fingers in a way which made his back arch and his eyes see stars.
“Have I found something?” He teased.
“Chuuya, please, more ! ”
“If you’re asking so nicely.”
He added a third finger and observed Dazai fall apart. His pupils were dilated and had devoured his iris. If he didn’t do anything, Dazai would end up coming soon.
This was not how he wanted it to go.
“Time to relocate.” He declared.
Dazai blinked a few times, trying to force his brain to come back down.
“I’m not fucking you for the first time on the ground, asshole !”
Faithful to himself, Dazai replicated :
“The first time? My, my, someone sure is greedy ~”
“O, you have no idea.”
He carried him to the bed, his fingers still buried inside of Dazai. Not the safest position but it had at least the advantage of letting him keep stimulating Dazai.
Chuuya lowered him on the bed and moved above him.
He couldn’t wait. Couldn’t wait to ravage him until his brain gave out. Couldn’t wait to see him submit to the pleasure only Chuuya could give him. Couldn’t wait to open him up with his tongue so slowly he wouldn’t be able to do anything but beg and cry.
All those possibilities he could try...
Dazai looked like the kind of person which could wear desperation like a perfectly tailored suit.
“Chuuya’s thoughts are so lewd.” Dazai snickered.
Needless to say, a hit right into his prostate quickly silenced him. Dazai’s back bowed into a perfect arc as a moan shook him to the core, exposing perfectly his chest. His ribs drew trenches under his blushing skin and just over it, his tortured nipples had darkened. Bloody red, just like his mouth.
What a beautiful invitation it was…
Chuuya slowly lowered his head and bit on one of them. With how oversensitive they were, air left Dazai’s lungs which caused him to mewl in desperation. He rolled it with his tongue and nibbled it.
Under him, Dazai was wriggling, trying to get more. Their erections rubbed together for a moment until Chuuya moved away.
The loss of contact was frustrating but it was worth it only for how Dazai reacted. How his eyes followed him, hunger written all over his face, as if he was ready to fight Chuuya in order to get pleasure.
He kept fingering him and caressing his perineum, watching with fascination how the other moved to fuck himself on his fingers, his eyes glassy as his hands gripped the blanket. His hips were still following the same desperate rhythm, rolling and rolling as he chased an orgasm which refused to come.
This could make such a beautiful painting.
Through their connection, he could feel how close to his limit he was getting. Dazai almost sobbed when his fingers brushed his prostate again, massaging it slowly.
That’s not enough…
“Something wrong, dear?”
The cold had disappeared. Right now, all he could feel was the fire in his stomach which was going to going to consume him if Chuuya didn’t do something.
Emotions came from the other, satisfaction and so much… love? He couldn’t really identify it in those circumstances. All he could tell was that it made him feel warmer than he had ever experienced.
“Chuuya…” He moaned.
“What do you want?” He smiled while fondling his insides, his other hand close to Dazai’s cock but not enough to give him what he wanted. “I’ll do it if you ask.”
He was fidgeting under him, blood on in his lips because of how hard he had bitten them.
“What’s wrong? You like when I do what you want, don’t you?” He teased but brushed his his mouth against his jaw, encouraging him to release his abused lips.
“S-sto-...” A groan interrupted his words as Chuuya suddenly pushed on his prostate. Stronger than before. “ Please , don’t stop.”
“Well, if you’re asking so nicely I guess I should do it.” He grinned.
Without letting him get prepared, he put his head down and took his erection in his mouth.
“Oh God.” Dazai moaned as his head fell back against the bed, unable to breath and even less to form a coherent sentence.
He was hard against his tongue, the salty taste of precome was slowly but surely invading his mouth. Chuuya started working on it, running his tongue against the vein while still opening him up with his fingers.
Dazai’s respiration was coming out more as moans than anything else. His eyes rolled inside his head with each movement Chuuya imposed on his member.
It twitched once, twice. Small moans still escaped from his mouth.
Chuuya combined his fingers together and violently slapped Dazai’s inside while tightening his mouth’s hold on his cock.
High-pitched cries filled the room as he came.
Chuuya continued moving his fingers, riding Dazai’s orgasm until the younger man was sobbing. He swallowed the thick liquid and rose to watch his expression.
Dazai’s eyes were closed as if in prayer - not because of sleepiness, this, Chuuya could tell - but because his brain was trying to proceed the orgasm it had been subjected to.
His chest rose and fell. He looked beautifully pent-up with his hair sticking to his face and all those bite marks colouring his neck. Marking him as his.
Trustfully, if he hadn’t been so painfully hard from this view and the pretty sound he had ripped from Dazai, he would have been happy enough to call it a day. To lay next to him and memorize how he looked when totally messed up by Chuuya himself.
He took out his fingers from Dazai’s hole. He whined at the feeling of emptiness.
“ Chuuya… ”
“You already want to go on another round? Well, isn’t someone horny?”
Dazai tried to raise one of his eyebrow and mentally sighed when his body didn’t answer. He moaned.
( You aren’t well placed to criticize me and if you hadn’t made me feel very good I would be making fun of you at this moment, Chuuya translated)
He caught the abandoned lube and poured it on his own member. When he deemed it slick enough, he moved it down Dazai’s perineum and finally pressed it against his rim.
Not strongly enough to penetrate him but enough to make his intent clear.
A content smile appeared on Dazai’s face and he opened his legs wider to accommodate him.
They looked at each other.
Chuuya wondered if Dazai could feel their bond solidify and the breaches inside it mend. If it disturbed him. The possessive part of him didn’t care about his opinion, wanted to keep him close until they could no longer be torn apart.
That’s only a part of their manipulations, he had explained.
Chuuya found he didn’t care. Sure, there was still a lingering hatred inside of him but it was starting to be swallowed by other emotions.
Because this right now - no matter how you wanted to call it - felt better than anything else.
Without warning, he slammed into Dazai, trusting all the way into him until his groin hit the skin of his ass. A scream of both overstimulation and pleasure erupted from Dazai's mouth.
Despite all the preparation, Dazai’s insides were still tight around him, scratching his cock as Chuuya fucked him hard and merciless. The sound of their skin clapping together filled the room.
With each of his trust, his torso arched and two abused buds came into Chuuya’s sight. Even the smallest movement had to stimulate them in the most pleasurable way, Chuuya thought.
This, added to the stimulation of his prostate, had to be driving Dazai mad.
Judging from how their connection was singing with pleasure, he wasn’t far from the truth.
Dazai tried to sneak a hand to touch his cock, but Chuuya gripped it and brought it over his head.
“I want you to come like this, darling. Don't move.”
When Dazai’s walls once again narrowed against him as his second orgasm hit him, Chuuya let go of his arm and rose his leg and put it on his shoulder.
Was he going to slow down even if Dazai looked ready to combust under him?
Not a chance in the world.
With a totally new angle, each of his strike reached their goal.
Dazai’s arms caught his neck as overstimulation made a few tears fall down his cheek.
He wouldn’t be able to stand this for much longer. Of that, he was certain.
His third orgasm cut across him, eliciting new mewls of despair. Chuuya bit his shoulder and penetrated him to the hilt. Only then did a warm feeling in his belly indicate him Chuuya had come.
A lazy kiss landed on his lips. He moved his head (the only part of his body he was in control of right now) just enough for it to deepen.
“You can’t even imagine how pretty you look right now.” He whispered as he exited Dazai's body which earned him a whine of displeasure.
He stood up and went inside his bathroom. He caught the closest towel and joined Dazai.
“Spread your legs a little.” He ordered.
“Don’t wanna !”
He ignored Dazai’s Dazainess and forced him to do so.
Come was dripping from his entrance, almost white against the red Dazai's rim. He cleaned it slowly, kissing Dazai's thigh all along before washing his and Dazai’s stomach.
“I should change the sheets.” He commented tiredly.
“I’m not moving.” Dazai answered on the same tone.
He made him roll to the border of the bed. Dazai was entirely boneless under him, mere seconds away from falling asleep.
He whined when Chuuya took away his only source of heat and instantly curled against him when he came back and laid down, putting an unsoiled blanket over them.
“Satisfied ?” He snickered as a yawn escaped Dazai.
“It was acceptable.”
“You screaming like a bitch in heat seemed to indicate something else.”
“Chuuya is already horizontally challenged, it’d be cruel of me to destroy more of his self-esteem.”
Yet, all his mind could emit was warmth and contentment. The usual grim and cynical undertone of his mind had subsided for the moment.
He pinched Dazai’s cheek and kissed his forehead, bringing his head over his torso.
Not everything had been solved, of that Chuuya was certain. There would still be days where he’d ask himself if it was really worth it, days where Dazai’s worries would come back and make him try to break what stood between them.
Right now, however, as Dazai drooled and snored softly against his torso (which really shouldn’t have been as endearing as it was) - knocked out by their activities - and so docile in his arms, Chuuya found he didn’t really care.
Bad days, good days, they would survive.