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Sentou Race

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Shizuo had taken a liking to long showers after a hard day of work. He liked to think of it as a way to control his anger – symbolically washing his frustrations of the day away. Before, when he was taking quick showers in the morning, he usually ended up severely injuring around seven out of every ten indebted louts he had to dealt with. With the change in schedule, however, he was down to lashing out only at about five out of ten. Some even got away with sprains instead of broken bones. A marked improvement, really.

He entered the small, spare bathroom in his equally small, spare apartment and began to undress, neatly folding his shirt and bartender waistcoat as he took them off (he wouldn't want to get one of his undamaged suits wrinkled – not with someone who will not be named whittling down their number in their numerous scuffles). Afterward, Shizuo turned the water on in the shower and waited for it to warm up.

One minute passed. Shizuo checked the water. It was cold.

Another minute passed. Shizuo checked again. The water was still cold.

Another minute. Still cold.

Another minute. Still cold.

Another minute. Still cold.

Another minute. Still col-*WHAM!*

The water stopped, and would remain stopped for quite awhile. But hey, least it wasn't cold anymore.

Shizuo removed his fist from the shower's wall, bits of tile, grout, and sub-tile waterproofing coming along with it. A tiny stream of water from the pipes behind trickled from the concave wreck. After a moment, it dawned on Shizuo that he would now have to wait even longer for his much-desired shower.

Grumbling, he got himself dressed again. He left the bathroom to make some now much needed calls, but not before driving another fist into the mirror on his way out.

Some time later, Shizuo found himself at a public bathhouse.

Getting his shower repaired was actually easier than he had imagined it to be in that it didn't end with another cellphone embedded in the wall. Money wasn't too much of a problem with Kasuka's help (although he wouldn't be able to rest well until he found a way to pay him back properly for it), and the plumber Shizuo had called had the decency to not be an utterly obnoxious git. Still, it would take some time for everything to be fixed, so he would have to do without a shower for a few days. In the meantime, he needed an alternative; hence the bathhouse.

Done with changing and clad only with a towel, Shizuo scanned the bathing area. It was sparsely populated, to his relief. Less people was good. Less people equaled less people likely to annoy him equaled less chance of him causing a scene and massive amounts of property damage. After a brief stop at one of the washing stations, he stepped into one of the large bathtubs and tried to relax while ignoring the man across from him that resembled that louse Izaya.

…Hold on a second. That man didn't look like the louse. He was the louse. Goddammit!

"IZAYA!" the roar snapped the other man's eyes wide open. Izaya blinked, and then he transformed his face into a smirk.

"Oy, Shizu-chan. Fancy seeing you here," he said. Izaya may have had that smug-ass smile on his face, but Shizuo could smell the fear on him – hear it in his voice.

Shizuo didn't bother to justify his comment with words. He lunged at the other man. His fists, however, only met linoleum as Izaya dodged out of the way of the attack and out of the bath in a single, swift move. The water didn't seem to affect his agility – not like it did Shizuo's.

As Shizuo pulled himself out of the wet wreck of linoleum he had just created, Izaya simply stood a short distance away and sized up his opponent. "You know, I'm disappointed" he said, the mocking smirk still on his face. "I would've thought you'd make the carpet match the drapes."

Shizuo could only reply with a feral scream.

From a perspective of bystanders outside of the bathhouse, the scene could be described as such.

The first thing out of the bathhouse was a man. He was thin, of slightly-below-average height, and had black hair. Additionally, he was buck-ass naked. That was important. Immediately after exiting the bathhouse this man hoisted himself up nearby a marquee, pop vaulted up the side of the building it was attached to, and began running across the building's roof.

The second thing out of the bathhouse was a toilet, evidently ripped away from its plumbing and thrown at the man with great force. It missed it's mark barely, hitting the marquee just as the man leaped off of it.

The third thing out of the bathhouse was another man. This one was a tall, wiry man with blond hair that – as a brief glance downward would confirm – was most certainly not natural. He was also buck-ass naked, and he looked very, very angry at the first man. Seeing that his improvised weapon had not hit its target, this man followed the other man up to the roof. He did not use the same route as the other man, however. Instead, he gave himself a running start and simply jumped the twenty or so feet to the edge of the rooftop, reaching just high enough to grasp onto the edge. Pulling himself up, he continued after the other man.

When questioned by the police next morning, most witness claimed that they saw nothing. The truth wasn't worth the risk of getting arrested for hallucinogenic drug use, after all.

After about a kilometer, Shizuo managed to corner Izaya for a bit near a vending machine. Seeing no opening to escape through, Izaya brought out his flick knife and pressed it against Shizuo's stomach. Shizuo growled in response.

"That thing's never worked well on me before, louse. What makes you think...Hold on a second," the (probably very rusty) gears in Shizuo's head began to turn while he made a very astute observation. "Where the fuck were you keeping that blade Izaya?"

Izaya never answered the question. He was too busy exploiting the opening it gave him to get the hell out of there.

Celty was on her way home after delivering a parcel. She was expecting a quiet night at home, perhaps watching Y-Files with Shinra and then playing a video game.

What she was not expecting was to catch a very naked Shizuo chasing a just as naked Izaya down the streets of Ikebukuro. Celty had neither blood nor a face, but if she did she was certain that the former would be rushing to the latter. For whatever bizarre reason, Erika's words about her thoughts on those two came to mind

"Shizu-chan must like Iza-Iza a lot, doesn't he? Kind of like Boys Love between two guys?"

And along with those words arose...thoughts that Celty was certain she managed to stifle long ago. They were only enhanced by the realization that, yes, Shizuo actually did look as good naked in real life as he did in her head.

Long legs straddled Izaya's waist as Shizuo traced his shoulder-blades with his fingertips. A trail of sensation, almost like a tickle, followed the route he drew. Unsatisfied, Izaya grabbed the other man's forearm and directed his touch to his lower back and whispered into his ear. "I know you're stronger than that, Shizu-chan. Harder," he said before burying his face into Shizuo's shoulder – a string of kisses trailing up his neck, to his face, to his...

A near-collision and a blaring car horn brought Celty back to her senses, but she knew that that wouldn't be the last she saw of those fantasies. Oh no. If this was anything like that time after Saika, these thoughts would be invading her mind for weeks.

She had no idea whether to laugh, cry, or find a secluded place for some alone time.

It was after another few kilometers of running that Shizuo managed to pin down Izaya again, this time in a fenced-off alley. This time, there really was no escape for the louse. The walls were too steep and smooth to climb. The fence was topped with barbed-wire and too tall for Izaya to climb before Shizuo could reach him. The only exit was the way they came in, which Shizuo made damned certain to adequately block. The bastard was truly trapped this time.

"All this running has cooled me down a little," Shizuo said, still obviously fuming, "so I'll let you have some last words before I rip out your spine."

"Why thank you, Shizu-chan. I suppose they're not exactly final words, but I would like to make it known that I refuse to be murdered by a man with no pants on." Izaya smiled cheerfully before reaching for the barbed-wire fence. Idiot. He still sought to escape Didn't he know that Shizuo could easily rip him off of the links? Was he too stupid to realize he had little choice but to face death. Izaya's obvious cowardice set Shizuo off again, forcing him into a savage lunge at the other man.

Izaya launched himself off of the fence a split-second before Shizuo smashed against it himself. The fence buckled under the force...No, it didn't just buckle. The thing was ripped out of the walls and carried along with Shizuo's charge. It folded under the pressure of the blow, enveloping his body while the jagged edges and barbs dug into his skin. The tangle of limbs and wire traveled about two meters before hitting the ground. Hitting the ground caused the fence to bend more and the barbs to press in deeper, trapping him further. After rolling another meter, the mess came to a halt.

Izaya casually waked up the the entrapped Shizuo and poked him with his foot. "...You know, I actually wasn't expecting that to happen, to be honest," he said.

"Shut the fuck up, Izaya!" Shizuo struggled to break free, but it was no use. The wires were too tangled, his body was too exhausted, and his limbs were too locked up to move. He would need another person at the very least to help pry him out of this.

"Aw, but kicking you while you're down is so much fun! Besides, you need someone to get you out of this, right?"

Shizuo snarled at the offer. "I'd rather die than accept help from you, bastard!"

Izaya made a fake pout. "You don't mean that, Shizu-chan," he said. Then he paused. "...On second thought, you probably do mean it. But that's what's going to make this so much fun!" He nudged Shizuo's tiny prison, testing it's mass. he was clearly enjoying this too damn much.

"Don't you fucking touch me!"

"Oh, come on. It's not like you can do anything other than bleed on me right now. Besides, one day we'll look back on this and laugh. Well, I will. Now you wait here while I get some clothes on. I'll be back before you know it!" With those words, Izaya turned around and skipped off.

Shizuo let out one more scream of rage before he let exhaustion take him.

Celty was acting pretty oddly tonight, Shinra thought. Adorably odd, in a way, but still odd.

She had come home in a flustered state, repeatedly insisting (in misspelled texts) that nothing unusual had happened during her delivery even though Shinra hadn't even asked. She seemed to shudder at his touch. Not out of fear or anxiety, but of something else. Shinra wasn't sure.

She didn't even finish watching Y-Files that night. At the first commercial break she rushed into the bathroom and just...stayed there. Shinra tried to check on her once or twice, but she had done something to the lock. She was in there for about an hour before she came out and went straight to sleep. The smell of an aerosol disinfectant lingered.

He shrugged and decided to let it go for now. Shinra was sure Celty would be comfortable explaining it tomorrow. Besides, it was late he was tired.

Just as Shinra was about to go to bed, his cellphone went off. It was Izaya. He groaned before answering.

"What do you want, Orihara-kun. It's late and I'm tired. I don't want to talk"

"Oh don't worry, Shinra, I'm not here to talk. I've just brought over something that you should probably take a look at immediately. I left it next to you're girlfriend's bike. Trust me when I say that you can't miss it. See ya!" Izaya hung up before Shinra could get another word in.

Shinra sighed and shuffled to the garage where Celty kept her motorcycle. Grumbling, he opened the door. When he saw the large, tangled ball of fencing that trapped Shizuo inside, his eyes widened with shock.

This was going to be a long night.