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Touch Me (Once Again) - NOTE: INDEFINITE HIATUS!!

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White steam billowed up with every breath he took, as he hastily made his way through the nearly pitch black night, mud clinging to his shoes, the squelching sound of his fast-paced steps only covered by sporadic breezes of howling winds gushing through the narrow path-ways he had to navigate, the dim light of the currently crescent moon the only means to brighten his way, too far off the main streets with all their vendor shops and Inns had he been.

Most people had probably long laid to rest, only a a few faint lights here and there flickering through small windows, maybe belonging to some poor souls who couldn't yet lay to rest, maybe indulged in mindful studies or the longing of the night or maybe deep in conversation with a long lost friend, finally re-united - he wouldn't know.

Slightly squinting his right eye together, Dazai wiped away one of his dark brown locks clinging to his forehead, damp from the kind of annoying soft drizzle of early autumn rain, that would creep right through his clothes and flesh down to his very bone - a harbinger of the stormy season yet to come, occasionally thicker pearls of water dripping into his face and running down his cheeks and nose.

He silently cursed foolishly having opted for his light over-coat today, not having expected to receive the sudden call of one of his more troubled students, to come by for a late evening learning-lesson, and even less to receive an invitation to join the family for dinner afterwards. Of course, he had excused himself first, telling the loving mother that the area he had to pass through was the one his neighbor had warned him about to not set foot in - especially during such a late hour - and that he was better off to not dwell too long, considering this sort of weather and the season changing for the worse, but really, who was he to deny himself a free well prepared meal, especially after a hard day of work.

Accelerating the pace of his steps, Dazai wrung his arms tighter around his upper body, a futile attempt to shield himself from the freezing temperatures, his shivering only worsening when his soaked clothes pressed against his skin and he let out a small whine, reminding himself of the comfortable warmth of his house that was waiting for him, when a sudden sound behind him made him halt his steps.

He had vanished from Edo's treacherous environment for probably half a year now, had made sure to erase any trace he may had left behind and start over in a completely new life with his made-up identity of a teacher, but the fear, the heavy threat of being discovered by one of the many enemies he had left behind was his constant companion, never sleeping to remind him of the gruesome ways they would make him suffer through until granting the sweet release of death.

Holding his breath, he carefully scanned the area around him for any possible assault.
Nothing.

It had probably only been a stray cat or a rat rummaging through trash, nothing too uncommon and Dazai was just about to pick up his pace again, when a voice behind him cut through the silence.

„Oi… oi, you!"

Dazai stopped in his tracks again, mentally rolling his eyes.
Of course there had to be someone.

Donning his most charming smile, he slowly turned around to face the stranger, a grotesque shadow stumbling along the dimly lit path way towards him, one hand resting against the wall separating the houses, for stability, Dazai assumed, seeing how the other had trouble to merely keep himself upright and not topple over into the dirt, shaking limbs barely holding it's heavy weight.

Clearly, the man (he figured by the deep voice and broad shoulders) was not in full control of his senses anymore and the bottle in his free hand played traitor, telling tales about unabashed immersion into this sort of adult pleasure and - judging from the way he behaved himself now and knowing this kind of person all too well - now agitated from having been kicked out into the cold wet darkness of the night from whatever nearby Inn he had tried to stir up trouble.

Personally, Dazai did not feel any resentment towards drunks; he enjoyed savoring the dry yet rich flavours of sake on his tongue as well, especially as it proved to be an easy and very much entertaining way to help making his head feel lighter and, if only for a short amount of time, take away the dreading thoughts always luring in the deep of his conciousness, - wether by himself or together with his neighbour to celebrate the end of yet another week gone by, until deep into the night - but he disliked dealing with them, especially the kind that would use their lack of control as an excuse to bring harm to other people.

„How may I be of help, dear stranger?“, Dazai purred in an high-pitched almost sing sang kind of voice, trying to give pretense of being nothing more than another harmless resident of this city, in hopes to end their encounter with only an exchange of words.

He could see confusion welling up in the other's from alcohol clouded eyes, probably not having expected to receive such a calm and nonchalant response, the gears of his brain grinding relentlessly to string the words he had just said together to make sense, but gave up half-way through.

„Hah... What are you blabbering…“, the other's tongue slurred heavily under the weight of his drunken state of mind.

The man stopped in his tracks and Dazai felt hazy eyes wander up and down his own figure, trying to judge wether he was worth taking the effort to robb him blank or if it was better to leave him be. Alcohol truly was a fascinating substance, Dazai thought with delight, giving someone who could barely stand upright motionlessly without tumbling over the delusion that he could be a match for him and one of his eyebrows wandered up in amusement, yet he patiently waited for the other to continue.

It took a few heartbeats until the man finally seemed to have come to a conclusion.
Gritting his teeth together, he roughly dashed his free arm forward, the bottle in his hand pointing at him, it's last remains of content splashing onto his own sleeve and into the muddy ground.

„Oi, you look like you have money. Give me your goddamn money, all of it!"

The smile on Dazai's face grew, it's previous gentleness distorting into a grotesque grimace, barely a small glimpse into the ruthless darkness he held buried every day beneath his mask of carefree light-heartedness, his voice carrying an unmistakable warning in it.

„My dear Stranger, I think it would be of best, if we just go separate paths, seeing as you are drunk and no one should get hurt on this merry night."

He had assumed it would prove enough to ward the man off, but his calm nature and the fact that he would not budge and beg for his life, like his oh-so threatening stranger had expected of him, seemed to have quite the opposite effect, throwing the other into an even deeper rage.

„The hell are you blabbering about, why are you talking like this?!“

In his moment of short circuited anger, he wildly lunged his arms around, striking the bottle he had clutched so dearly in his hands against the wall next to him, it's bottom shattering loudly when it collided with the cold hard stone, tiny pieces of glass soaring through the air. "Let's see how good you are with your words once I cut your throat...", he barked at Dazai with a loud triumphal grin, holding the broken bottle over his head like a prized weapon, it's sharp edges reflecting dangerously in the pale light of the moon, ill-boding teeth eager to attack and sink themselves into Dazai's skin.

Dazai took a deep sigh, coming to acceptance with the fact that a fight had become inevitable now and his right hand sought for the sharp tool he always held hidden inside the sleeve of his overcoat, silently flicking the thin blade open, a deep shadow falling over his face, the glance in his eyes turning lifeless and dull.

„No one gets hurt, what a joke…“, the man snarled at him. With a quick dash he jumped forward, his face distorted into a wild grimace, swinging the bottle after him in a sweeping motion. "Prepare to wake up in the gutter, you snobby bastard…!"

For a man this drunk he had moved faster than anticipated, but still too slow to prove a possible threat to him and Dazai got ready to remorselessly slit his throat the second he would come into his range.

He would declare it to the police officers as need to safe himself, asking them to not make it public due to his profession. Young kids mustn't know about such ruthless deeds, he would proclaim, and hopefully all would be settled without making it's way into the daily press.

He tightened the grip around the tool in his fingers and drew one foot back, his muscles taut, waiting for the right moment to lash out, the neck of his attacker fixated through wide opened eyes, not a trace of compassion reflecting in them, only tinged in a deep dark emptiness that knew no value for mercy, intent on casting away a life which to him was nothing more than another nuisance, a fly to be swatted off and never be thought of again.

Only a blink of an eye and it would all be over, a veil of death gently wrapping around their bodies in bright red layers, heavy clouds rolling in front of the moon to take away sight from the cruel end of an existence probably forsaken since birth by any god that possibly were, when all of a sudden another voice cut through the scene, firm but audibly annoyed, and, to Dazai's surprise, somewhat familiar.

„I forbid of this action, stop this fight, immediately!"

Gracefully evading the swing of the bottle, Dazai made a quick step backwards, using the momentum to merge deeper into the shadows around them to conceal his presence, leaving his attacker behind in visible confusion where he had vanished to, but soon distracted by the newcomer behind him.

Dazai peaked a glance from his hidden spot, curiously observing how the man turned around, displeased about having been interrupted by whoever had stepped into the scene just now, relieved that the deed of having to take care of this troublesome fellow had been taken off of him, yet somehow an uneasiness started to creep up in his stomach, paired with a suspicion he did not yet wanted to accept as truth.

„You again… how dare you speaking to me like that?!", the man barked, anger and annoyance clearly resonating in his voice.

The newcomer seemed cautious, yet made his way towards the two of them and Dazai's eyes flew wide open, his heart nearly missing a beat, when the feeling in his gut got confirmed, instantly recognizing the two pairs of slim legs and the small frame of a slender body, feet stepping light and self-assured, as flaming orange locks framing a beautiful young face revealed themselves in the light of the nearest lantern - the face he had missed so much for the past months, had yearned for to find again in this crowded city - and yet he couldn't feel as happy as he wished to be about the unexpected reunion, worry all his mind could yell at him.

The drunkard obviously felt enraged being told off by the younger man, his attention now fully focussed on him, Dazai's existence probably completely forgotten already, but Chuuya continued his way towards them, his posture softening when he spoke again in a more soothing tone.

„I will show leniency if you put down your weapon and bring you ho-", he started but upon merely hearing the first few words the drunkard harshly interrupted his well-meant speech.

„Who do you think you are, you dirty little rat?! Think you can speak to me like that, only because you wear an uniform now, hah?!" Spitting onto the ground he swung the shattered bottle violently around to let off steam.

Chuuya let out a deep sigh, a trace of sadness contouring his normally so head-strong features.

"I am not doing this to brag about my position, I am doing this for your own safety..."

The words seemed less those of a proud military servant than more of a child begging it's parent to come along with them and Dazai noticed a general submissiveness in the other's behavior, a reluctancy to use any real force with the stranger and the worry in his stomach grew, knowing that the other did not share the same sentiment, would just use any dirty method to beat Chuuya into a mess for having spoken up.

So occupied by each other, they seemed to have forgotten about him entirely, and Dazai was glad to be left in a position where he could observe the situation from a distance without making any unnecessary addition to the already messy scene and being granted with the ability to interfere at any given moment, should the situation only in the slightest fall into disfavour for his beloved little soldier.

"Tch, worry about your own ass after I finish beating it...!"
The drunk dashed forward again, swinging his bottle after Chuuya, apparently the only means he knew to use in a fight.

For a trained fighter like him, it was an easy task to evade an attack of this level, but to Dazai's discomfort Chuuya didn't use the wide open gap in defense to simply strike back and end the whole mess as quick as possible, instead only grabbed the man by his arm to pull him forward, having him stumble over his own feet and topple into the soaked ground and Dazai could not help but wonder where the hesitation stemmed from.

Chuuya's behavior was so different to when they had tried to catch the made-up intruder in his home, back then had shown a rather frightening side of his to be willing to make short process of anyone who dared to disturb peace of innocent people. Surely, with reflexes as fast as his, the risk of receiving a critical hit wasn't very likely, but how long would that last, the chances of losing concentration for even a split second a permanent risk and he knew the other man would not hesitate to use that exact instant to turn the pages around and beat Chuuya up until he would no longer be able to walk. (He absolutely would not let him have his way, going that far, but it baffled him, that his small soldier seemed to not care about this possibility at all.)

Clutching the metal weapon in his grip so tightly it painfully cut into his own skin, Dazai feverishly followed the fight, the hair on his neck raised from concentration and all his senses focussed on detecting even the smallest hint of discomfort for Chuuya, so much that he didn't notice that he himself had started to make a move out of his hideout, just a small step, but enough for Chuuya to notice him from the corner of his eyes.

Distracted from his fight, Chuuya's eyes widened in surprise, mouth flying open with a small gasp.

„Sense-?!"

A muffled strained sound drew from Chuuya's lips, when the bottle collided painfully against his shoulder-blade, his legs giving in from the moment of paralysing shock, frozen in fear staring at the fist flying towards his face.

„Chuuya-kun!"

Dazai's mind snapped blank and he grit his teeth together, all his fears of being discovered by anyone forgotten and irrelevant, his self reduced to nothing more than an ominous deadly shadow, bolting towards the two fighting people, the tool in his hand pointed towards the other like the fang of a ferocious snake, ready to rip open the throat of the man, who so boldly dared to pose a threat against his beloved soldier.

In what could have been nothing more than a split second, Dazai's murderous gaze met Chuuya's, and for a brief second he noticed something unknown lingering in them, something he could not yet define, but had no time thinking about it, when, all of a sudden, Chuuya got a hold of his body again and twirled around, throwing a well targeted punch against the drunkards jaw, the almost painful sound of cracking bones resonating through the air, the man's body flying backwards, collapsing unconsciously onto the ground, blood gushing out of his mouth and onto the wet mud-soaked path.

Without sparing the attacker a second glance, Chuuya hastily made his way to Dazai's side, a concerned look in his eyes, and yet a certain hesitation clearly written all over his face.

„Sensei, are you alright?" He did not wait for an answer, instead bowed down deeply in front of him, "I am so sorry you got assaulted by him!"

Dazai only shock his head, relieved but also admittedly baffled and maybe a tad embarrassed as well, clearly having underestimated the actual fighting strength Chuuya's and rushing to the scene like this.

„Don’t worry about me, I am just glad you are alright.", he answered, a soft smile around his lips.

The cute little flush, Chuuya always seemed to get when he felt embarrassed, returned onto his pretty face, eyes quickly averted nervously.

"Let’s bring him to the station, so he can sleep off his inebriety."

Dazai nodded in agreement, heaving up the heavy body and placing the arms of the man around Chuuya's shoulders for stabilization. Originally he had planned to help holding the legs from behind, but found himself a bit dumbfounded when he noticed the other had seemingly no trouble carrying the burden all by himself - once again an unspoken reminder to himself that he really needed to be careful not to get on the bad side of this young man, unless he was in masochistic cravings for some serious injuries, making him gulp down a little bit, yet couldn't shake off the feeling of excitement welling up in his stomach.

Playing with fire had fascinated him since he had been a young boy and upon deeper inspection Chuuya seemed to have the force of a gruesome tornado hidden within himself, buried beneath his own morals of right-doing and justice, a ferocity of unforgiving destruction if ever unleashed and he couldn't help but lick his lips, thinking of all the possible ways to bend this much power to his own will.

They had arrived by the nearby police station rather quickly, neither of them having spoken a single word during the walk. For some reason Chuuya seemed to be a little bit lost in his own thoughts and Dazai did not have the heart pull him yet away from them, instead used the time to be thankful for not having needed to dirty his hands today, especially in front of the other.

Entering the small office, Dazai stood back against the entrance door, observing Chuuya exchanging a few words with the stationary police officer, the two of them apparently already familiar with each other, the man quickly scribbling down a few notes regarding the attempted robbery that had taken place, before both made their way into the back, locking the still unconcious body in one of their small cells to sober up.

Dazai used the momentum to shuffle towards the report book, peeking a glance to see the entry of the drunkard, they had just delivered in here and his eyebrows turned up in surprise.

The name read Nakahara.

Chapter Text

Leaning his back against the wall, Dazai crossed his arms and quietly glanced over to Chuuya, the rhythmic pattering of rain pouring down onto the wooden rooftop of the police station accompanying the silence lingering between them.

After his small soldier and the police officer had made sure the drunk man had safely been secured in his cell, they had been given some time on their own to, in the concerned sergeant's words: "Calm down after the scary incident." - although Dazai had his assumptions these words were more directed towards Chuuya than himself.

Ever since, the young man had sat himself onto the single small bench close to the entrance area of the station, seemingly withdrawn from his surroundings and lost in his own trail of thoughts, his from the impact of the fight roughed up hands wrapped around a steaming hot cup of tea, generously provided to them to make up for the trouble they had gone through and to warm up their bodies properly before they had to head back out into the cold wet night.

Chewing impatiently down on the flesh of his own cheek, Dazai's eyes fixated the other's gloomy face, questions burning on the tip of his tongue, wishing to know what awful things had happened between Chuuya and his supposed father, that had turned their family relations into such an dire state and if there was anything he could do to help him in his unfortunate situation, wanted to return the cute little smile back onto his lover's face, and yet an ominously drumming pounded into the back of his mind, a poisonous worm, withering away all of his well meant concerns, poisoning them with a low-burning anger to simply grab Chuuya by his slim shoulders and commanding him to confess what god damned reasons there had been for him to disappear without so much as a single word of good-bye or an explanation as to why he had transferred to another district all of a sudden, especially after showing him signs of interest before.

Yes, normally it wasn't like him to pout like a little girl and demanding to know where his beloved had vanished to, but to his own displeasure, it kept nagging on him, louder and louder the more time ticked by without a single word of an apology spoken.

Dazai couldn't remember ever having wanted someone else this much in his life before and it drove him nearly crazy, knowing he had somehow fallen for the guy he had merely seen as his toy for one (or possibly few more) nights, only to be left yearning for more intimate touches and light-hearted laughter in his home, to fill it with a sort of color he had not even known existed until now.

What arrogance could his very own prey possess to dare running away from him, to leave him hanging, reducing him to the kind of man that would let his eyes roam restlessly through the streets whenever he took a walk out in hopes to find him again - but he couldn't possibly confront him openly about that, not without starting a fight between the two of them, he was sure of it.

No, if he effectively wanted to lure Chuuya back into his futon he'd rather use the weapon he prouded himself with most for having perfected throughout the years - his wits - to wrap him around his little finger and make him stay by his side, not giving him any chance to vanish ever again, and yet, to his own displeasure, he could not think of the perfect way to start a conversation, preferably light-hearted but also regarding the heavy feelings Chuuya must feel right now, his fingers restlessly playing with the fabric of his light overcoat, when, to his own surprise, it was the young soldier himself who finally raised his voice - shy and more of a faint mumble.

„I-it’s good to see you again, Sensei…“, Chuuya finally lifted his glance towards him, a smile curling around his lips so soft and loving, Dazai's heart started to skip in a to him thus far unknown rhythm, a hot burning fire flaring behind his cold cheeks and down into his loin, fortunately well hidden behind his usual mask of carelessness.

„I am very happy to see you as well, Chuuya-kun.“

It was strange, how Chuuya so easily unarmed him without even trying, with what little effort he gently unravelled the heavy knot around his pitch black heart, enlightening it with an elated flutter and for the first time, Dazai felt a sense of abashment towards his own feelings. Scratching the back of his head, he returned the smile, “Albeit I would have preferred for the circumstances to be a bit more different to these."

Chuuya gave a little nod in sympathy.

„That is true…“, he agreed, chuckling lightly, his eyes colored a sort of blue warmth, that held a wish to reach out for gentle touches reflected in them, yet reluctant to dare, afraid to eventually cut himself, when he found out his daydreams of true love were merely a farce of slow killing poison and Dazai wished to be his younger, more impulsive self again, when he was still able to follow his urges to simply reach out and grab the other, pulling him in for a passionate kiss, only caring about uniting themselves together without any dreading thoughts about social norms or the whispers of strangers behind their backs.

Leaning a bit closer in Chuuya's direction, Dazai half-lidded his eyes, a deep dark sea of sweet, yet even darker promises hidden beneath them, his voice an enticing murmur:

"You know, we can still...", when an agitated, pained groan drawing from the cell in the back of the police station cut him off, both all too familiar with who it belonged to. Chuuya sighed, as Dazai not pleased about the sudden interruption.

They exchanged a last glance, before getting up from their position, Chuuya putting the already cooled down cup of tea next to his side onto the bench, his lips barely noticeable turned into a frown, the sadness returning onto his fine cut features.

Dazai followed him curiously, careful to stay hidden in the background to simply observe the scene and possibly able to learn a bit more about the complicated family bonds his little soldier shared with the man, could only imagine what conflict of emotion the other must feel upon seeing his supposed to be parental figure in such a pitiful state, kneeling before him on cold grey floor in a prison cell, dirt-stained fingers fumbling along a painfully aching jaw, dried blood and mud trickling to the ground in dark brown flakes.

„You little rat, I'll pay you back for this one, as soon as I get out of here…"

Pressing his lips together so strongly his mouth formed merely a thin line, Chuuya took a moment to work the tension out of his throat, until he mustered the courage to speak up again:

„Just be glad you are in here and don't need to sleep outside in some sidewalk. At least it is warm and-"

„Who do you think you are, talking down to me like that, hah?!“, disregarding his own pain, the man jumped so unexpectedly towards the cell bars, Chuuya left out a surprised gasp, quickly taking half a step back.
"I hate you so much, pretending to be something better just because you have a fine job, but I tell you, you are nothing more than a dumb brat!! Just wait until I am out of here and I will show you your place, you good-for-nothing-", the rest of his slurs drowned under loud shattering noises of him repeatedly banging his fists against the cell bars, not able to control his bad temper in the slightest, his insults more and more distorting into grotesque growls mixing into the threating echoes of shaking steel, and Chuuya could only watch, paralyzed in shock about what was happening in front of him.

"P-please... be quiet...", he raised both his hands in the air, in hopes to sooth the anger of his father, nervously throwing a short glance towards the entrance area to see if the stationary police man was still within earshot. "You know, you shouldn't say such things. If they will hear this, they will keep you in here for even longer."

If the situation had not been as grim as it was, Dazai would have touched his temples with one hand, barely able to hold back the groan lingering on the tip of his tongue.

Without any doubt, he loved how good-natured and well-meaning his little soldier was at heart, but to still defend this man and worry for his ability to freely roam around the city, although he had just received a violent threat towards himself - he wasn't entirely sure if he should still admire his strong believes in righteousness or pity his naive stupidity.

Either way, after all he had heard so far, he was determined, that even if this drunkard was ever able to set foot outside this prison, he would make sure he would never be able to get close to Chuuya again, whatever means he would need to take for this matter.

"Hah?", the man raised one of his eyebrows, his hands so tightly wrapped around the heavy prison bars his knuckles turned white, probably imagining them to be his son's slender neck, "Whose fault is it anyway, that I am locked in here?! Don't pretend to be all goody-goody with me now, when you just get your kicks out of playing military!" He spat on the ground, making clear just how little he thought of his Chuuya's precious title.

Shaking his head in resignation, Chuuya took a few more steps back, no longer willing to put up with the hurtful Charade.
"It never makes any sense to talk to you anyway. Excuse me, I will take my leave. Even if you don't believe me, I truly wish for you to be able to return home tomorrow morning. Good night." He bowed quickly, sheer out of respect, then turned around to make his way back to the foyer, determined to spend the rest of the night with more pleasant things than his troublesome father.

„It’s all your fault anyway!", the man's voice hissed after him, "You did nothing but burden me, you useless little rat! You think, you have it bad?! You look down on me?! Try having to raise scum like you all by yourself! Your shitty whore of a mother did well, ditching me like that, she probably got tired of you as well!"

Wham.
As if the previous quarrel hadn't been straining enough already, Dazai could practically see Chuuya's soul falter in front of his eyes, his frail inner world crumbling apart, lips shivering in an attempt to hold back any whimpering sound that might've escaped his throat otherwise, but the young man only closed his eyes and took a deep breath, trying his best to bury the pain away deep in his chest, before he turned around, his tone full of bitterness and pain.

"Don't you dare to speak about mother like that...", the words were not more than a low murmur, no trace of the previous fright left within them, and Dazai got the impression, this time they were meant less as a plea than more of a warning. Maybe it truly was only Chuuya's well-natured heart, that kept him from lashing out, from long ago ending the life of this man in front of them, repaying every ounce of grief and misery he had received throughout the years, until but a blotch of muddled red would leave a trace of his dreaded existence, a stain of ink on the paper's which wrote down life.

His father only scoffed at him.
"I can talk about this damned whore however I want, and I can talk to you however I want, you're mine after all.", he said, but Chuuya didn't back off this time.

"I may be your son, but I don't belong to you anymore..."

"Just because you hide your ass in the military now, doesn't mean you aren't my property anymore. Not as long as my blood runs through your veins-"

"Chuuya-kun."

This fight wouldn't lead anywhere, Dazai had realized while having observed the situation quietly from the back up until now, with Chuuya desperately trying to stand up to his own rights on living life the way he wanted and gaining the respect for it he deserved, the shackles of his father still chaining him down, wrapping around his mind like unforgiving iron claws, in hopes to pull him deeper into the distress of always being tied to this man, who was so much less than what he claimed to be his own creation and Dazai couldn't hold back anymore, needed to break him free and take him into a better world.

It had only been his name, but it proofed enough to pull Chuuya's thoughts back into reality, back onto Dazai and away from this spiteful figure in front of them, his eyes almost instantly clearing up again when their gaze met and for an instant Dazai wanted to thank his father, for perfectly playing into his own hands, making him the shining raft in a blackened sea, lovingly extending a hand to guide Chuuya into the safety of his own arms, the only thing he could hold onto right now.

"It's okay. Let's return home."

Chuuya nodded and obediently trotted to his side, ready to leave the place with him for good, but he would be a fool to believe the man would give up that easily, would let them go just like that, instead knitted his eyebrows together in fury; disgust and disbelief mixing onto his obscured expression.

"Wait a goddamn second, who is this?!", he pointed at Dazai, as if only now he had even noticed his presence, yet soon after seemed to remember, "You are that rich ass from before! What is the deal with this, why is this posh twat here?!“

Dazai felt the small body Chuuya's stiffen in his embrace, fingers nervously fidgeting and fumbling on the seams of his blue military jacket and he bit down on his lips, when a pair of eyes helplessly begged for him to explain the situation, too scared to do so himself, in fear to say the wrong thing at the wrong time.

He loved how gullible and naive his little soldier was, it would prove a lot of fun for playing games with him, but at the same time these were moments where he just wanted to give him a little whack against the forehead. Had he not given any reaction, had he simply followed along, Dazai could have played the role of an authority figure, simply taking care of a young man and escorting him back to his Military dorms, but after this rather elaborate reaction, even this drunkard idiot could easily put one and one together, figuring out there was more behind it than just a nice gesture and that he certainly not intended to lead him anywhere else than his own bedroom.

"It's nothing, father.", Chuuya nervously stammered when no one spoke up, head bowed down too low and his shoulders too stiff to actually mean his words, "I... it- it is just a teacher I came to know during my patrols, nothing more."

Debating within himself wether it could make the situation any worse than it already was, Dazai imagined himself to simply put one hand across Chuuya's mouth, commanding him to just stop talking, but decided against it, merely stood by more or less helplessly, while his little soldier buried himself deeper and deeper into his own net of weak lies. (His acting skills ranked perhaps the worst he had ever seen and some night, he swore to himself, they had to sit down for a lecture how to improve on that.)

Throwing glances back and forth between them, Chuuya's father narrowed his eyes, a certain suspicion growing in his glance.

"Yeah? Don’t mess with me, I am not stupid! Why do you ...Wait...! Don’t tell me you are getting fucked by this guy?!“, the dots finally seemed to connect and his eyes widened upon the realisation.

All hopes for a last chance to deny the statement were ultimately lost, when Dazai felt Chuuya flinching together in his arms, an almost natural reaction to the embarrassment and shame he had gotten engrained into himself since birth, and the mouth of the man fell wide open, needing a moment to process just what he had discovered, before soon enough rage and repulsion took over again.

„What the hell, that is disgusting, you are such a disgusting little brat. I didn't know I raised a fucking little girl instead of a boy! I can't believe it - I knew you are nothing but a failure, but that really takes the cake. Does he pay you well for sucking his dick?! Is that how you get all your nice clothes nowadays?! Don't you ever dare to come home anymore, you disgusting little slut, or I will beat you up until you stop embarrassing me- "

Dazai did not need any ulterior motives to squeeze Chuuya's hand in his, when he saw the tears welling up in his hollow eyes, hurt and anguish too overwhelming to stay within his body anymore, first drops of woeful misery falling down heated cheeks, trickling along a trembling jaw, shoulders vibrating, when his kind heart, entirely too-good for this world, finally broke and in a moment of compassion and quick thoughts, Dazai merely turned around and pulled the forlorn figure with him, away from the wall of spiteful words echoing behind them.

Stopping in a quiet corner away from possible eavesdroppers, he gave the other a moment to gather himself again, watched the slim chest fall up and down with heavy breaths, every cell of the young man working hard to hold back from simply breaking down with loud cries. Surely, it would not have been the first time for Chuuya to receive this sort of abuse, but Dazai mused that it would hurt nonetheless, especially someone as emotional as him - and maybe right now even a little bit more, since the feelings they held for each other were honest; growing the urge within himself to immediately head back towards the cell and end the life of this miserable creature, the only thing holding him back the knowledge of Chuuya needing him here and now.

"I am… sorry you had to go through this just now."

The young man shook his head, sunken in shame, still fighting down the emotions wanting to break out of him, and Dazai wished to pull him into his arms, to tell him it was okay to cry sometimes and hold onto another person for comfort, that he was safe with him and that he could rely on him for protection, but he couldn't, not when they were more or less in public, knowing Chuuya would rather die inside than showing his weakness that openly, as well as having to explain why he was held by another man that intimately.

A sigh drew from Chuuya's lips, so heavy it seemed to pull all the burdens lingering within him into this world, scattering them into the air around them, before he quickly wiped across his eyes with the back of his hand, clearing them from their sadness.

„I… no, Sensei… I am used to it already.", he countered weakly, a broken smile curling around the corners of his lips.

It was unusual for him, to feel bad for another human being.
Normally their tragic life left Dazai's heart untouched, knowing that overall, their mere existence meant nothing more than a continuous suffering, pickled with lies of fleeting joy to keep up their hopes to strive further, to create daydreams that there might be a golden shining end to this dirt-rotten path, when in reality they all should hurry up to seek death, finally freeing their souls to lay them to rest (whatever that meant), and yet here stood this boy, those fate had decided to batter him with nothing but cruelty, still holding his head up strong and his heart open to complete strangers around him, a gentle smile on his lips and good deeds in his hands. Was is respect he should feel - or astonishment, Dazai wouldn't know.

Whatever it was, his beating heart very much pushed him to take a step towards the other, to reach out and put his hand against the small of Chuuya's back in gentle comfort, caressing it softly, loneliness tracing along his fingertips.

"Do you... want to speak about it, Chuuya-kun?"

A moment of silence lingered between them, the young soldier nervously gnawing on his tender lips, visibly debating wether or not to share such sensitive information with a guy he barely even knew - in fact only had spend a night with once - when all of a sudden a pair of big eyes flew up to him, worn out and slightly reddened on their edges, the same help-searching glance flickering in them Dazai had seen when he had nudged the other into sleeping with him months ago, and he gave him the same reassuring smile he had back then, accompanied by a nod, promising whatever Chuuya had to say, he would not judge the other.

Taking a deep breath Chuuya let himself fall back against the wall, facing off into a far away distance, only visible in his head, his voice low and hesitant:

„Father... He was one of the first few foreigners coming to this country, many years ago. Apparently he met my mother here and they fell in love with each other. Her family never approved of it, but she still decided to marry him...", he recalled, melancholic, "But it's not like Yokohama was as open-minded towards foreigners as they are now, my father never managed to get work, so my family had to survive on my mother's low income alone. We never had much... and when they had me, I became another burden... Mother could barely take care of me and her work at the same time, so eventually she lost her job. During that time, I think, father kept disappearing every night and soon also during the day, until we found out that he went drinking all the time, having unpaid tabs in Inn's all around Yokohama. When she realized, how much shame she had brought to her family's name, mother... she... she just hanged herself... I can still see... No, I mean I have barely memories of her...", he hastily added, quickly advancing the topic. "Since then it had only been us. Obviously father had no intention to take care of me... I am glad, I was able to join the Military, at least now I barely have to see him anymore. Well, except for moments like these."

Dazai stood silent, lost in thoughts. It suddenly made sense, remembering Chuuya's harsh reaction when he had asked about his origins and why he was so keen to work hard. In no way, he must wish to ever return back to his life of poverty.

With a half-lidded, dismissive glance he looked towards the cell where they had left the man. Would it have been better after all, had Chuuya not crossed his path this night, knowing he surely would have rid him of this troublesome person, maybe even freed him from the shackles of his past and allowing him to forget about everything, to truly walk along his own path?

„It is a shame, people like these bring a bad name to the foreigners entering our country."

„You weren’t exactly nice to me either, Sensei.“
The accusation cut him deeper than Dazai had expected and shame rose up in his chest, knowing the other was right, that his bad side had gotten the better of him.

Running his hand through his damp locks, Dazai averted his eyes, a little pout on his face, desperately trying to find the right words to wiggle himself out of the statement, but thankfully Chuuya took the burden off of him.

„I-i don’t mean it. I really… enjoyed being with Sensei that night…"

His eyes flew back again onto his small soldier, watched a soft shade of red creeping up delicate cheeks and he couldn’t help the lewd grin growing onto his lips.

„Hearing that makes me glad, I had thought you fled the scene because my… skills to pleasure you had disappointed you greatly."

It was impossible to not tease the other, enjoyed watching him turn even redder, head quickly turning left and right to see if anyone had heard that statement.

„I-it…it wasn’t because of that, I just-…“, Chuuya rather unsuccessfully tried to defend himself, and Dazai chuckled softly.

„What do you think about continuing to warm up at my house instead?"