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Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones ...

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“Ah, fuck.” Chuuya swears, peering down at his hat that was bloodied from the mission they had just wrapped up. Irritated, he paced, clutching his hat.

It honestly wasn’t that bad, Dazai thinks. But it vexed Chuuya which was a good enough reason for him to tease the hatrack. “Aw it truly is a blessed day, the hatrack is no longer a hatrack .” He skips around the room avoiding the bodies lying on the floor. Just barely dodging a sweeping kick from his right side.

“Shitty Dazai wanna try that again.”

“Shitty Chuuya, I’d rather not. You’d probably just miss again considering how short your legs are.” Dazai cackles and runs from the basement of the base they had stormed. He hears in the background, Chuuya grousing, ‘I’m still growing, damnit.”

It’s only a few hours later lying on Mori’s couch that he comes to the realization he spoke a new word today. Hmm, interesting. He tries to recall Mori swearing in front of him and realizes it has never occurred. Likely because Mori has some messed up conventions regarding purity and considering Dazai put a bullet in seven people today that’s hilarious. He turns to Elise, who’s sitting at the table drawing her crappy pictures. “Hey, hey Elise-chan. You wanna hear something cool.”

She looks up at him, eyes narrowed. “Hmmph, I’m ignoring you.”

“It’ll annoy Mori.”

She turns back to him, “I’m listening.” Hook, line, and sinker.

Mori was at a meeting that Dazai was not privy to. He sends out a spectre to watch for Mori, mostly because he’s bored. He spies on trainees who are frankly awful with a gun and finds Chuuya getting wasted with a glass of wine at a bar. About an hour later, Mori enters his office, looking in an oddly good mood, albeit a bit fatigued. They’ll have to change that.

Mori heads to his office chair which he still has work to do and is expecting a report from Dazai. Perfect. Dazai goes to walk over and accidentally trips on the coffee table. “Ah, shit.” Mori looks up genuinely surprised.

And right on cue, Elise throws a crayon at Mori’s head and yells, “Rintarou you said you’d take me to the fucking bakery today!” Mori chokes. It’s glorious.

It takes Mori at least a minute to recover from the words of the two. “Elise-chan, Dazai-kun where did you learn those words?”


“Yep, does it make you damn upset, Rintarou?”

Mori winces before reining in his expression and going straight into a groveling mode. Tch. “Elise, please don’t say words like that. Pretty, please. And you too, Dazai.”

“Why shouldn’t I?”

“Mori-sensei didn’t you tell me I’m supposed to use words?” Dazai smiled innocently. He remembers Mori wheedling him to talk when he was young and only a few months into his newfound existence when Mori had picked him up. It took him a year to start speaking and another to talk in full sentences. He remembers not feeling any way towards Elise, just the knowledge that she was another part of his reality. He remembers one day getting fed up with her yapping because it was too loud and decided to hit her, causing her to pop out of existence for a moment. That day, he thinks back on was the first day Mori looked at him and saw something. What, he wasn’t sure and didn’t want to know. Mori had smiled at him like a panther that had gotten its prey and said he thinks he can work with this. It had been the first independent action he had ever done and probably the last. Everything else he had ever done was because of Mori. The man who manipulated his strings and gave him just enough rope to choke on. Mori owned his mind and body. The only reason Mori had yet to take his soul was that he didn’t have one.

“Dazai-kun, Elise-chan please don’t use those bad words. I’m begging you.”

“Good, you should suffer,” Elise turned her nose up at him. “Hmmph.”

Dazai then drops in with a smile to rival Satan himself, “However, maybe something can persuade us to forget the words we’ve learned.”

With a minimal amount of cajoling, Mori agrees to practically buy out the bakery for Elise and get Dazai the newest GameBoy. Elise later that evening even gave him one of her strawberry cakes in thanks for concocting up this scheme. Not bad for a day's work.

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Elise didn’t particularly like Dazai. He was annoying and made fun of her and liked violence way too much. She always felt like he was secretly laughing at her. Plus he liked to make her disappear which was very rude!

But sometimes he wasn’t the absolute worst. He listened to her ramblings about her drawings and would help her annoy Rintarou for fun. He would take her to buy sweets and wouldn’t ask for any or tell her to buy less. (Though she did always give him something. He wouldn’t eat unless it was directly gifted to him and he had the tendency to approach sweets or really any kind of food with a somewhat sweet naivety.)

When she had remarked to him about how she wanted some practical clothes to wear in the rain, the next day on her bed lay a box stained red with what was probably blood and inside lay a raincoat and rubber boots. Later that day he distracted Rintarou so she could go run around in the rain.

Dazai couldn’t and wouldn’t replace her and so she tolerated him. He was part of her family. Rintarou and her were fine before Dazai, they didn’t need anyone else; especially not that she-bitch Yosano; but Dazai fit. He fit in between where she and Rintarou were missing pieces. He was cruel and intelligent, but with an innocence that balanced him out. Rintarou had remarked to himself one summer’s evening that Dazai’s intelligence likely surpassed his own. She wasn’t surprised.

He seemed to always be watching, and was quite observant. At one point when the clinic was attacked by a gang with a grudge he was the one who found the leader and helped them hunt all the members down. He never flinched from violence or death and even led torture sessions; managing to make them entertaining for her.

In many ways, he fit and she could never see him belonging elsewhere. If they ventured out together, it was never her that drew people’s eyes, but the way Dazai moved through the world like he wasn’t really a part of it. She remembered teaching him how to smile and how to pout. In exchange he taught her how to cuss and pick locks.

He belonged so he would stay with them. Well until he didn’t.

Until Rintarou forgot that the humanlike mannerisms he instilled in the both of them also gave them -or at least Dazai- the ability to leave him. Sigh. Rintarou was such a big idiot. But he was confident that Dazai would come back home, so Elise would wait for their Dazai to return. She finished her drawing of the three of them holding hands and grinned. He’s ours afterall.

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Dazai was curled up on the couch looking over the plans Mori had laid out. Meanwhile, Mori puttered about the kitchen putting together hot chocolate. Apparently, it was hot chocolate weather and Dazai wasn’t in the mood for contesting the man’s whims.

The papers he was holding contained all the major powers and holdings of the Port Mafia. They weren’t great. Even now the old boss’s senility was beginning to run the group into the ground. He looked over to the coffee table at the large stacks of papers and the messy handwritten notes overlaying them. Mori was nothing if not meticulous despite the horror that was his handwriting.

“Dazai-kun, would you like marshmallows or whipped cream with your cocoa?”

Dazai had no preference, but Mori had been ‘encouraging’ him lately to appear more human and that meant not relying on Mori to make decisions for him. “Whipped cream.” He called back, voice hollow. Before adding with a whine, “Lots!.” He could tell that Mori was pleased at that and would let him be.

Dazai turned his attention back to the papers and let his thoughts be consumed by them. Not too long ago, Mori had confided in Dazai his mentor’s plans for Yokohama and Dazai had realized that Mori shockingly cared for something other than himself. Currently, though, the Tripartite Plan was in chaos with Fukuzawa’s betrayal leaving Mori standing on one foot. Fortunately, he had Dazai. Dazai ran through a few dozen potential ideas, discarding the ones too complicated or -god forbid- messy.

A few minutes later Mori handed him a mug of chocolate and sipped his own before sitting directly next to him, despite the fact that the couch could fit three people comfortably distanced. “Well, Dazai-kun what do you think?”

“It’s too violent. It will just cause the Port Mafia to self-destruct. You don’t need everything to survive, but this style of takeover leaves it in a precarious position. Without an immortal army there is no way to do this and keep the Port Mafia as a major player in Yokohama.”

Mori hummed, he looked tired, not having the energy to summon Elise. Ever since he had gotten back a few weeks ago his appearance had only worsened. The retrieval of his first protege had failed and led to a complete severance of a complicated friendship. Losing his major piece had thrown Mori out of it and that was not even considering his personal ties to the girl.

Even Dazai could tell that Mori was entranced with Yosano, much to Elise’s chagrin. Mori had been excited to introduce Dazai to her as he believed they would get along rather well.

Elise had been mildly cheerier since the fight though. He wondered how much of her was tied to Mori and was influenced by this girl. In turn, he mused if he shared similarities to Yosano who was likely influenced by Elise and Mori.

But now, Yosano was out of Mori’s grasp leaving him in the company of two dolls. Yet in many ways this had only caused Mori to push harder to make Dazai human. Mori hadn’t let Dazai out of his sight in weeks, perhaps worried the same man who had stolen his darling Yosano would come back for him. He couldn’t see why though. He wasn’t human so there was no reason to hold compassion for him. Even Elise was apparently not a good enough bodyguard which -given Dazai’s ability- was fair, but still. He had been planning on sneaking into Chinatown, but currently any attempt to leave Mori’s side would likely result in him being chained to the man.

Which wasn’t really ideal.

Having to reintegrate their plans, it would require them to use a lot more subtlety and finesse. Taking a lick of the whipped cream he commented, “Mori-san, who is currently the Port Mafia boss’s personal doctor?


Dazai deadpanned, “It’s a shame he’s in debt with the triads.”

Mori smiled, “Indeed. And as a humble doctor it’s only my responsibility to take care of our boss.”

“ Mori-san, as a member of the boss’s inner circle bringing attention to his doctor’s conflicting interests can only benefit us. With no other doctors he can trust it would be only logical to appoint you as his personal physician. Within two to three years time we should be able to muster enough support so when the boss passes away tragically from illness, it would only make sense he left you in charge.”

Dazai then stood, placing his mug down, and grabbed papers with all of the members of the organization. Bounding over to Mori he put his legs on his lap and pointed at names of people who would support his ascension and the boss’s death. He then picked out a few more that wouldn’t care about the change of leadership. Lastly, he grabbed the ones dangerous to them they would need to get rid of prior or directly following the boss’s death.

“Is this alright Mori-san?”

“Yes, this should do rather well.” It would involve some work and be much more complicated than Mori’s original plan, but it would also be much less violent.

Pleased, Mori smiled at him, “Is there anything you want me to get you, Dazai-kun? I will likely be going out tomorrow.”

“Well I’ve always wanted to try fugu as a last meal.”

“Aw, but I don't want my cute Dazai-kun to leave me.” Mori then glomped him till Dazai elbowed him in the stomach wiggling away.

“Then a new book would be nice.”

“Alright, Elise-chan can stay here and keep you company.”

Dazai rolled his eyes, well aware the only reason Mori was having Elise stay with him was to make sure he didn’t kill himself or try to leave. It wasn’t like she could stop him, but Mori would know if Dazai nullified Elise, unfortunately. Elise always wanted to watch the most annoying shows too.

“I’ll buy some new clothes too as a reward. I saw the cutest matching outfits you and Elise could wear!”

“Ew, I don’t want to match with her.” Dazai attempted to scrunch his face though he had a feeling it was failing. Stupid facial paralysis.

Mori patted his head condescendingly then stated with steely eyes, “Oh and Dazai-kun should you try to sneak out tomorrow, I will have to take you to the clinic.”

“Understood, Mori-san.” Dazai nodded well-aware of the scalpels and other instruments Mori used in his treatments.

Mori then grabbed his chin with a harsh hand and lifted his head up, “You really are precious to me Dazai-kun, don’t forget.” Mori then dropped his hand and turned away to summon Elise who immediately began whining over being gone for over a day.

Aware of the hidden meaning of Mori’s words, Dazai returned his attention back to his hot cocoa. It had gone cold.