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Cheerful atmosphere filled the community room of their military base, with glasses filled with beer making their umpteenth rounds, clanking together accompanied by joyful wish-sayings on this late Friday night, as well as the loud drunken singing of his comrades, and Chuuya left out a hearty laugh when he saw one of his room-mates getting showered with cold alcohol after a particular bad impression of a popular Enka singer.

Politely declining the offer to chime in with the group of people he usually shared a dorm room with, he leaned himself back in his chair, one leg casually drawn up, so his knee could rest against the table plate, his half emptied glass of beer clutched between both of his hands. Still being new in the Military, he had held back with his drinking; especially since he knew how little he could handle (even if he would deny that fact in front of his very eager room-mates, as well as Dazai-Sensei, who may or may not had teached him a bad lesson already by teasing him into playing games with him involving bottles of sake, only to have him end up on both his knees in their futon for extended periods of time, but falling asleep in the middle of it like a dead fish and getting mocked endlessly the next morning.)

"Chuuya-kun, you have to drink!", one of his comrades flung an arm around his shoulders, his face already bright red and a grin stretching from one ear to another, "Otherwise you'll never become a man!"

"Drinking alone doesn't make you a man, dumb ass!", another one chimed in, his tongue already heavy from drunkenness and body dangerously swaying back and forth, yet still able to giggle happily. "It's when you get to play in the valley's and hills, you become one!"

The two of them broke out in rough laughter, slapping their thighs in congratulation towards the apparently super hilarious joke to which Chuuya could only raise an eyebrow in confusion.

"Valleys and hill- ?"

"He means a woman!", one cried out.

"A woman!!"

Two beer glasses crashed together, their contents soon flushed down thirsty throats and Chuuya rolled with his eyes, a wry grin forced onto his lips.

"Well, I hope you both can become men quickly then.", he answered, having a hard time hiding the fact that he had, first of all, no interest delving into these kinds of fields and was on another hand, already miles ahead of them, if he were to stretch these requirements a little bit towards his hidden affairs with the teacher he loved and shared a bed with.

"If all, Chuuya-kun will be the first to become a real man, I mean, look at his face."

As if to underline the statement, his comrade, who still clung a bit too close on him, let his hand fly up, squishing his cheeks together with it.

"Stop it, goddammit!!"

Chuuya finally broke away, but not without ramming his elbow sharply into the ribs of his friend in the move, enough to have the other cry out with pain, slumping together holding his sides. Looking down on him, he let out a dismissive snort, before they all burst into laughter again.

Their playful bickering was just about to continue, when a tall shadow made itself known behind them, having crept up silently and unbeknownst like a cat on hunt in the night, only a polite clearing of it's throat drawing attention to it.
The three boys looked up and froze immediately as soon as they realized just who stood in their midst.

"S-sir!"

Immediately, Chuuya changed his posture into sitting up straight, while the other two retreated a step behind, also taking up position (as well as their clouded state of mind let them).

The reason they held a banquet like this tonight was not only to celebrate the end of the week, but also to welcome a Military commander as a guest into their ranks - a foreign man, having travelled from far far West, a country said to always be frozen over and filled with snow high like mountains, paired with stories about people coming back from their graves after death to hunt for the living, and meeting those cold piercing eyes, that, although pretending to hold some sort of gentleness and care, gave out merely something to be called lifeless at best, Chuuya felt eager to believe those tales.

"I am sorry to disturb your little banter, but would you mind sparing me a second in my office, Nakahara-kun?"

Chuuya blinked for a moment, until the words finally reached his brain to make a connection and he jumped onto his feet (maybe a little bit too fast, seeing how his brain became empty and a tad too light for a second), accompanied by a quick bow.

"Of course!"

*****

Compared to the lively and cheerful atmosphere they had left behind, the silence lingering around them almost felt overwhelming, when Chuuya carefully stepped into the middle of the office room on their upper floor, uneasiness making it's way down his back, like a pair of icy hands caressing his spine and he had trouble keeping a straight face while positioning himself, his arms folded tightly behind his back, hands nervously grabbing his elbows, yet his chest stretched high in respect.

He could hear the door closing behind him, shutting out even the last remaining sounds resonating from their main floor downstairs, followed, strangely enough, by the sound of keys turning in the lock, but he didn't dare mentioning it, instead remained silent, awaiting what the foreign commander had to tell him, apparently urgent enough to disregard and withdraw him from the merry get-together of tonight.
Maybe it really had been better, that he had been reluctant to drink too much.

So occupied by his thoughts he hadn't noticed himself drifting into, a sudden breath of air against his neck made his heart miss a beat in surprise, as well as raising up the little hairs of his sensitive skin and he would have lashed out with a heavy blow behind, would it not have been for his last remaining senses not clouded by alcohol. Instead he dug his fingers more firmly into his arms, taking a deep breath to calm his racing heart beat, his lips pressed together tightly - half from embarrassment and half to give the impression of a somewhat neutral expression on his face.

Dammit, he hadn't heard the other walking up to him at all and silently cursed himself for having gotten distracted in front of a higher rank.

"I have heard from you from your... Ex-Commander.", the lips were still close and although not directly touching his skin, he could feel them moving, tickling him uncomfortably where he felt most sensitive. "He had praised you a lot for your dedication and good work."

Pride rose up inside of Chuuya's chest, but he held his earnest mimic.

"Thank you very much, Sir."

He assumed the words were meant to be as praise, and yet he increasingly became more uncomfortable having the taller man linger behind him, not being able to predict his movements and a mouth so boldly invading his personal space - dangerously, as if sharp white teeth were pointed directly onto him, ready to dig themselves into his flesh and taking a bite, ripping his soul straight from his body along with it.

(Never again would he listen to the horror stories of his friend, the voice of reason inside his head scolded him.)

"You know, I have a feeling in my gut, that you could make it very far inside the ranks, if you would strive for it...", the soft voice drew him away again from his scary thoughts.

Chuuya was just about to comment, when he felt a hand creeping up from behind, resting itself on top of his stomach, fingers caressing the fabric of his coat as if to grasp what lied hidden beneath it, then trailing up towards his chest, coming to rest right where his heart heavily drummed against his ribcage.

Confusion welled up more and more inside of him and Chuuya held his breath for a moment, also in an attempt to calm himself down, not too eager to falter in front of the other like a shy little girl, especially after receiving praise for being a good soldier.

"Th-thank you again, Sir."

The hand didn't vanish, kept lying on top of him like a new attachment to his body, motionlessly, again reminding him of a corpse having come back to life.

"The only question is... are you really willing to pull through and fight for the right thing...or do you allow yourself to get held back? Possibly by... being deceived by something dark and unjust?"

Chuuya blinked.
"W-what do you mean, Sir?"

A short chuckle left the other's throat.

"Nothing. I am only making sure, you are not hiding anything, like playing into the hands of a traitor or... having an affair with another man..."

Chuuya's eyes widened in shock, his whole body tensing up and he knew he had given himself away, the long pale fingers of the other tightening their grip onto his chest, easily feeling how his heart beat heavily against it, how he shivered underneath them and his muscles worked hard to not blatantly jump away to hide himself away from the situation.

The pressure felt too much in this very moment and Chuuya couldn't help giving in, his shoulders drawn up stiffly, while his head sunk down, cheeks hot from embarrassment.

"I- i am...", he tried, but never found the words to continue.

A few moments went by, when all of a sudden a light hearted chuckle rung into his ear.

"Oh, I am only teasing you. Although you should make sure to hide your little marks a bit better, even if you think they have healed."

"Oh, I am only teasing you. Although you should make sure to hide your little marks a bit better, even if you think they have healed."

A cold finger pressed against the spot on his neck Chuuya knew all too well what he was referring to, before the other man withdrew away from him. Taking at least two steps back, Chuuya's hand flew up to cover the mark, that he was sure had healed no less than two days ago, his cheeks and nose colored a rosy shade of red, not daring to look the other into his eyes.

"That's all, you are dismissed for now."

*****

Chuuya sighed heavily, while throwing his head back into his neck, grimacing pained towards the ceiling, when he ended his story, slumping behind on his arms, away from their dinner table, another whiny sound escaping his throat.

"He was a bit creepy, but I guess in the end he only wanted to give me good advice. It's sooo embarrassing though..."

Letting out another mewl he glanced back towards Dazai, but flinched together seeing the other's pale face, eyes tinged fully black and torn wide open with an undefinable expression, one hand clenched tightly around his bowl of rice, the other still holding onto the two chopsticks, now snapped in half.

"E-eh?! Sensei?!"