Dazai had set out from his planet early that fateful morning, a quick trip to the Sun and he’d be back in time to have tea with his beloved Chibi. He was about halfway through the research phase for his book – A Thousand and One Ways to Have a Painless Death: Your Guide to Getting Home from a variety of Planets, Stars, Asteroids and Suns!
Over the years his species had developed a very peculiar ability, whatever planet they were on, if they had a painless death, they would instantly be reincarnated on their home planet. Special hospitals had been setup for travellers to ‘land’ in and be checked over before being sent on their way. This had made them quite hardy, which was why Dazai had been focusing on finding quick and easy deaths, his plan today was to time how quickly the flames on the Sun engulfed him. But he had forgotten about the International Space Station and the humans on board, and in his haste to avoid being seen by them, he had crash landed in a desert.
His ship was totalled, including the communication systems. His skin suit, which analysed the local environment and morphed into a suitable form was on the fritz, scales and neon skin shining through on his forearms, probably elsewhere to but he didn’t have a mirror handy. He searched his memory for hazards of Earth’s desert as a snake rattled up to him, his eyes light up, it was a very, very poisonous snake. He grabbed it, fangs sinking into his forearm in retaliation, he closed his eyes waiting for the sweet embrace of death.
Dazai opened his eyes, it was bright, warm, and he was covered in a grainy substance? His body actual felt better than before he had been bitten, all the aches of the crash gone. He groaned, of course, he had to pick the snake whose venom was a miracle drug on his planet. He stood up, maybe he’d find something to kill before he left this desert, heatstroke and dehydration wasn’t going to be a problem, he had travelled to warmer places.
Three hours and several different suicide attempts later (he had been convinced death by cactus was going to be a winner) he found himself at the edge of the desert. Looking at his reflection in small pond he saw an alien and human eye looking back at him, a bright gash on his cheek, and tiger stripes of alien skin peaking through on his neck. He riffled in his pockets – the suit’s features had kicked in enough whilst he was walking to provide him with clothes, he found the bandages he had started leaving in the suit after he damaged it on a planet his species wasn’t exactly welcome on, and started winding them around his arms.
Disguise complete, Dazai contemplated his next move. He had always been fascinated with Japan, the culture, the food, maybe he could get the new volume of that manga Chibi had been asking for. On other planets he had found that sharp bladed objects usually did the trick for a painless (ish) death, and death by samurai sword did sound fun….
Five months later and Dazai was pissed. His skin suit, which equated his age to that of his surroundings had had the audacity to put him in the body of a teenager, and not even an old looking teenager, so getting a hold of sharp objects and lethal substances had been…difficult. To top it off, Earth’s death options sucked, no matter what he did, how he did it, how frequently, he still kept on living.
Every other place he had been it had taken him 36 hours maximum to find a death method and return home. The atmosphere did not suit him either, the longer he was there, the more depressed he felt, nothing worked like it should, the Mafia was fun, but their methods were primitive to him. The mafia boss admired his detachment towards death though, it made him a good pawn. He missed his fiery Chibi, his body, his humour, just the companionship, they hadn’t been apart for this long in about 400 years. And Earth was supposed to have been their trip, he had been keeping it for one of his last research trips, planning out all the sites of historical interest to appease his little historian.
The only bright spot was the fact that he had landed on Earth during the time of Abilities, his nullification ability had surprisingly been welcomed. Everyone on his planet had this sort of ability, his was a rare form, as it nullified anything he touched, on aliens he could will it not to work, but he enjoyed winding people up too much not to do it often. Others involved the ability to nullify a bad mood (his Chibi had that version,) to nullify hunger without eating or to nullify a drought, each new generation brought new and varied versions.
He hadn’t expected his power to work on the humans, although he was pretty sure they weren’t 100% human, but meddling in the affairs of others planets was against his species moral code. The look on the face of Mori when he had made his little girl disappear would have been hilarious if Dazai wasn’t expecting to be stabbed with the man’s scalpel. With his ability out in the open Mori used him for more dangerous jobs, subduing crazed ability users.
Then he arrived, the fiery Chuuya who reminded him of his Chibi. The first time they met, he was convinced Chibi had found him, his skin suit having made a similar look when they had been playing one night. But he didn’t remember Dazai, and he didn’t feel like an alien, otherworldly, but not one of his.
He cried himself to sleep that night, it was the one-year anniversary of his crash. The feelings of loneliness were crushing him. Until then he hadn’t realised how much Chibi had been nullifying his bad moods, and there was nothing, no escape on this hellish planet.
The stupid Chibi lookalike joined the mafia group, and Dazai was forced to work with him, much to his dismay, they made an excellent team, working in sync almost as well as he and his Chibi did. Every time Chuuya made him smile, or laugh, or forget that he was stuck there, he spiralled further. The mafia opened up his access to the finest (and strongest) liqueur and drugs this world was able to produce. It helped him slip away from the darkness of his job, but not into the darkness of death. The only thing he was grateful for was that his skin suit was working enough to let him age, as if he was a real human.
The only human he could tolerate was Odasaku, he didn’t have to guard his tongue with him. He could talk about alien worlds and Odasaku would chuckle and put it down to him being strange. Odasaku reminded him about the good in the world, he had gone straight to the darkness, hoping it would get him back to his Chibi sooner. But what if it was all a waste?
Odasaku’s death hit him hard.
(Although a teensy bit of him was jealous he had died so easily, whilst it still alluded him)
He used the two years underground to re-evaluate his time on Earth, he was still obsessed with finding his painless death, but maybe he could do some good when he was there. He hadn’t wanted to get too close to a human, as when he succeeded in his death, he didn’t want someone to be looking for him. But as he wasn’t succeeding as the planet was evil he may as well make some friends….
The Armed Detective Agency wasn’t as bad as he thought it was going to be, it felt like a family. He was still prone to his bad moods, but not being surrounded by constant darkness helped, he got to have fun.
Nine years after he had crash landed on Earth, he started feeling strange, he didn’t know why and it wasn’t like he could ask Yosano to take a look at him. The hole left by his Chibi was growing larger each day. He refused to date anyone, taking on the persona of an outrageous flirt to throw his colleagues off. He kept feeling the urge to see that stupid Chibi lookalike, like he would have an answer as to why he was starting to feel so strange. But he couldn’t just waltz into the Mafia headquarters after leaving like the traitor he was. He sighed, he missed his easy life, researching, writing, travelling with his little Chibi, none of this backstabbing and hierarchy and enemies.
But luck was on his side, a bounty on the fluffy little Weretiger he had found and a Mafia intent on capturing him. He could see that stupid redhead and make it look like an accident. Although being chained to the wall in his favourite torture cell hadn’t quite been his intention.
“You!” The anger in Chuuya’s voice was too familiar to Dazai
“Chibi?” He sounded too hopeful and hated himself for it, he already knew that was not the answer.
“Chibi? What the hell have you been doing to me? For the last six months all I’ve dreamt of is your ugly face, crying and muttering that stupid name over and over again.” He punched the wall with the full force of his power, leaving a huge crater.
It reminded Dazai of the time Chibi had tried harnessing the bad moods he nullified as a weapon. After the first fine for making a crater in their garden, they had quickly abandoned that pastime.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” For once in his life, he actually meant it.
He pulled out a knife and slashed at Dazai, who having undone the chains brought his bandaged arm up to cover his face. The knife slid through bandages, his neon skin shone through.
Chuuya’s gloved hands touched the alien skin. A burst of lightening and he crumpled, unconscious on the floor.
Dazai stared in shock, that had never happened before.
Mission abandoned; he could find out why they wanted the Atsushi another day. Dazai took Chuuya back to his own apartment (it was safer than Dazai’s agency dorm), it was amazing how easily people turned a blind eye when you were with a known mafia executive. Dazai didn’t know what state Chuuya was going to be in when he woke, but familiar surroundings would help. He had placed Chuuya on his settee, tucking him in and waited.
“Dazai?” Chuuya’s voice was groggy, it had a strange but familiar tone to it, “You Jerk! You left me!”
“You’ve been gone for a whole year, no call, no note, nothing!”
Dazai’s voice was calm, “I left the mafia four years ago.”
“Mafia? No, you were going to the Sun, and I quote, it was only a quick little trip, you’d be back in time for tea. Ow my head hurts, why are my memories blurry?”
“I, I honestly don’t know. But it has been nine years seen I went on that stupid trip, and you’ve been here, like this for eight of them…” he trailed off.
Chuuya groaned, rubbing his temple, “Wait, it’s starting to get clearer, a year after you left, I was minding my own business, testing a new skin suit at home and this portal opened up, some asshole pulled my body through, using me as a vessel for some useless God, well he’s still in there but he knows who is in charge now. He overpowered my consciousness and that’s where my memories as Chibi stop, until now. I can remember my time as Chuuya though,” he laughed, “wow you hated me, didn’t you?”
“You reminded me too much of well, you. But I couldn’t sense the alien inside you. I’m glad we killed that asshole when we had the chance.” Dazai moved forward, capturing Chuuya’s lips, hands bringing him closer, tears falling,
“You’re real, you’re really here, I’ve missed you so much my Chibi. This planet sucks, do you know how hard it is to die here? My ship got totalled when I tried to avoid the International Space Station.”
“How many times did I tell you to fix the cloaking device?!”
“Shush” Dazai pouted.
Chibi pulled his arms around Dazai’s neck, tapping the sequence need to open the control panel of his skin suit, as Dazai did the same. They taped the button to undo the suits, revealing their true forms.
“My bedroom is this way,” Chibi grabbed one of Dazai’s arms.
They spent the night making up for the nine years they had spent apart, Dazai very grateful that Chibi’s apartment took up the entire top floor, they didn’t have to stifle the noises they made. They fell asleep in the early morning, they woke as the sun was setting, still cwtched in each other’s arms.
“So, what are we going to do Chibi? I’ve been very thorough, trying to die on this stupid planet is practically impossible.”
“Then why don’t we stay here?”
“Yeah, we always said we’d visit Earth one day, the Mafia pays extraordinarily well so we can afford to travel. Our skin suits are aging and humans live what? Eighty years? Maybe a hundred? We’ve already lived four hundred years, so why not spend a lifetime here? Growing old on a planet counts as a painless death, doesn’t it?”
“Yeah, unless you were nearing the end of your life anyway, but we’re young so we’ll reincarnate back on our planet. What about our friends and family?”
“I’ll be honest, they thought I would’ve gone after you sooner, and they know I hate goodbyes. They’ve probably just assumed we’re off exploring somewhere, it’s not like we haven’t done that before. Remember when we got married on that ice planet and spent a year planet hopping for our Honeymoon?”
Dazai laughed, “Oh they were sooo mad, although when we got stuck on those asteroids for a decade they didn’t panic as much.”
“So, are we going to stay, live a human lifetime together?”
“Yes, I can’t wait to explore this world with you by my side.” Dazai smiled, “I love you my beautiful Chibi,”
“I love you to,” Chibi kissed Dazai.