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Apple and Eve

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***

 

“—the movie last night?”

“No way! Unlike you, I actually keep a good study schedule!”

“If you keep talking like that, you can’t meet a mate, you know…”

“I prefer to earn a lot of money before I meet my mate, okay!”

“So you have to study?”

“Right, I’m signed up for a cram school and you know how my mom gets…”

Chuuya laughs along with his teammates as they amble along the hallway, walking back from their usual spot in the cafeteria. They rarely return to their classrooms before the bell rings, but Tachihara-kun needs to drop by the staff room for something or the other, so off they go.

In any case, Kenji-kun tried miming the sound effects from the movie he was talking about, hands flying all over the place. The kid has a seriously animated retelling, so much so that Chuuya’s engrossed by it, to the point that he doesn’t notice that he’s about to bump to someone.

“Geh!” Even though he’s… vertically-challenged, Chuuya is still fairly well-built, so it’s not like he skidded backwards or anything, but the person he bumped to has seriously pointy elbows, for fuck’s sake. “Sorry, sorry.”

“Your insincere apology has been duly noted,” a cold tone accompanies the chilly words, freezing Chuuya on the spot. “Shouldn’t you know by now to not loiter unnecessarily in the school hallways? You’re an upperclassman, make sure to be a good role model.”

Chuuya glares at the Student Council Vice President – a man of many nicknames, really. Ice King, Tightass, Bandage Bastard. Chuuya bares his teeth. “Thank you for accepting my apology, Uzai-kun.”

Dazai Osamu – though honestly, Chuuya prefers to call him Uzai, given how annoying he is – smiles at him with the intent to kill. “If your brain is too small to remember my name properly, might I suggest going back to elementary school? Your height should make you feel welcome there, chibi.”

“I’m gonna fucking end you—”

“Umm, Chuuya-san,” Tachihara-kun speaks up, sounding sheepish and the slightest bit terrified. “We… can we go now? I still need to speak with Fukuzawa-sensei…”

“Run along, chibi, you know how pets tend to stick together~~~”

Chuuya bites his lip as he internally debates whether it’s worth it to punch Dazai right on his smugass face. He doesn’t want to give trouble to Ane-san, but good god, he fucking hates Dazai. He looks at Tachihara-kun’s expression – and decides that it’s definitely not cool to act like this in front of his kouhai.

“If you had a better personality then you’d have someone to stick with you too, you bastard.”

“Not interested,” Dazai says with a flourish, making shooing gestures at him.

Chuuya bites his lip again, hard enough that he can taste blood. One day, he promises himself. One day, he can punch Dazai. One day…


***

Friday evenings used to be Chuuya’s favorite time of the week, because it means that Ane-san gets home from her job early. Clinginess isn’t really a favorite trait of his, but he does enjoy pampering Ane-san, making sure that a hot bath and a warm dinner is ready for her by the time she arrives.

She runs a café catering to people who haven’t presented as either alphas or omegas yet, but would like to meet prospective matches. Her clientele is mostly composed of college students and young adults just joining the workforce, most of them busy with their own lives so they haven’t been able to meet others who could sway their bodies to develop one way or the other. Of course, for more than half of the population, their designations are pretty much set in stone, given their backgrounds and genetics, so it’s more akin to a waiting game, to see when they would meet a prospective mate that could trigger their designation to surface.

Chuuya himself, for example, come from a line of alphas, so there’s a very high chance that he’ll develop to an alpha, as soon as he meets a prospective mate. There’s always a chance for someone to stay as a beta, especially if he ends up thinking that he doesn’t want kids, but still. Chuuya’s not worried about it, unlike most of his classmates who prefer to think about such things instead of enjoying their youth.

No, Chuuya’s more worried about other things.

Recently, Friday evenings have become hell for Chuuya. Ane-san still goes home early, but instead of smiling at Chuuya and talking with him about their week, Ane-san brings with her two men that Chuuya could honestly live without.

Still, he isn’t a complete barbarian, so he still prepares dinner (this time, for four people) and he still greets them properly when they arrive.

“Thank you for having us, Chuuya-kun,” Mori-san returns a polite greeting just before Ane-san fusses around him to take his coat and scarf so she could hang them properly. “Your food smells delicious as always.”

“Ahahaha,” Chuuya tries for a weak laugh and shrugs at Ane-san when she cocks her head at him. He’s trying, okay. If there’s anyone in the world who deserves happiness, it’s definitely Ane-san, but, but—did she have to find it in Mori-san?! Like, he’s literally okay with anyone else!

“Should I check for poison on my food?”

Chuuya sighs and bites his lip again, to stop himself from flying off in rage. He counts mentally, one to ten and back. When he turns slightly so he can face Mori-san’s adopted son, his facial expression is more-or-less neutral. “I wouldn’t do that to my step-brother, you know!”

Ane-san and Mori-san shuffle by them, leaving the two of them facing off in the apartment’s genkan. Chuuya has this sudden urge to stomp at Dazai’s boots just sitting there.

Dazai’s smiling at him, humorless beyond measure. “Well, aren’t I lucky then?”


***


Chuuya excuses himself shortly after dinner, opting to get started on his homework instead of joining in on the living room couch where Ane-san and Mori-san are cuddled together. Chuuya’s happy for her, he really is, especially since she hasn’t been with anyone for so long, raising him all by herself. She deserves having someone to lean on, at last. At the very least. But.

But—

“Why even bother studying?”

But Mori-san’s adopted son is so fucking infuriating!

Chuuya whirls around from his seat, nearly knocking his chair sideways, and sure enough, there’s Dazai letting himself in, without the courtesy of knocking and depriving Chuuya the chance to shut the door on his stupid face.

“Is this being a good role model? Entering my bedroom without permission?”

“I don’t need permission for such a thing,” Dazai replies, shutting the door and locking it in one smooth motion. “Hmm, looks shabby.”

“Excuse me for having a shabby room!” Chuuya’s tone is rising in pitch, as it’s wont to do when he’s in particularly stressful situations. The fact that he’s locked inside his own room with an annoying bastard only makes it worse. “It’s not like I invited you here!”

“You squeal like some ojou-sama, are you sure you’re actually a guy?”

“Haaaaaaa?!” Chuuya’s been called cute and beautiful a number of times, even after he’s proved that he isn’t some weak, wimpy guy by being the ace of their school’s national-level soccer team. But there’s something infuriating about hearing it from Dazai. “You’re just asking for me to beat you up, aren’t you?!”

“Hmm, I’m not so sure I want to have a single-celled organism as my step-brother, I might catch your stupidity.”

“Stop calling me stupid every single time!”

“You’re ranked below the year’s average, idiot.”

“You don’t know that!”

Chuuya doesn’t even know his own ranking, but as long as he’s passing, it’s not like it matters?! There have been a number of offers for sports scholarships for him to take during university, after all! It’s not like he’s in grave danger or anything like that!

“Your GPA is 22.31 points below mine.” Dazai paces around his room, poking at his bookshelves overflowing with shounen manga volumes and other knickknacks. Since Chuuya’s room is quite small, the short tour is quickly over, which leads to Dazai sitting on the edge of his bed, bouncing on it a little. “Fittingly small for someone small like you, ne?”

“I really am going to kill you,” Chuuya promises as he crosses his arms over his chest, maintaining some sort of distance between them, even if that means he’s practically sitting on top of his desk. The sun has long set, the view outside of Chuuya’s window dark and foreboding.

“Oho, and how would you do that?”

“I’m gonna bash your head with a soccer ball.”

“You’re willing to sully your beloved soccer ball for my sake?” Dazai simpers, but his facial expression doesn’t change. It’s fucking creepy, how his voice is so terribly fake. “Aw, Chuu-nii, you shouldn’t have!”

“Don’t call me Chuu-nii, I’m not your brother!”

“Hm, but that guy is gonna propose to Ane-san on their date tomorrow?”

“URGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.”

“As much as I hate to agree with you… those are my thoughts exactly.”

Urgh I think I’m gonna puke.”

“Well as long as you do it far away from me, please feel free to do so~~~”

“You’re the worst.”

“I’m the cool, calm, collected Dazai-sama, don’t you know?”

“They’re all being fooled,” Chuuya spits out, annoyed that the rest of the school (and even Ane-san!) thinks that Dazai’s god’s gift to mankind or something. Sure, he has good grades, passable looks and deep pockets, but he’s a goddamn asshole!

“It’s not my fault that I’m such a catch~~~”

“I already pity your omega.” Chuuya can’t even imagine what kind of life it would be to get stuck with Dazai 24/7. The only silver lining in Ane-san’s upcoming engagement (and subsequent marriage) is that he’s going to college soon. And then he’s going to work after that. There isn’t going to be a lot of chances for him to be stuck with Dazai, even if Ane-san decides to move in with Mori-san. It’s annoying, but at least it’s not going to be forever. An omega, on the other hand… it’s for an entire lifetime. Chuuya shudders.

“Hmm, did you just imagine being my omega?”

“Hell no!”

“Ah, what a pity.”

“It’s called common sense! I’d rather cut off my own tongue and swallow it rather than be your omega!”

“Ah, fine.” Dazai shrugs and picks at the threads on Chuuya’s blanket. “Hey, sit beside me.”

“You shitty bastard, ordering me around…” But despite his words, Chuuya inches closer to Dazai, sitting down on his own bed. It’s because it’s his own bed, you see! He has the right to sit on it! “And then?”

Dazai folds his left leg so that his knee is touching Chuuya’s right thigh. For a split-second, Chuuya thinks that he really should request for a bigger bed. And that’s all he gets, because in a span of one heartbeat, Dazai’s tugging him forward so that he’s practically falling face-first to the other’s chest. And in a way, Chuuya almost wishes that that’s what happened.

Instead, Chuuya’s face meets something softer than expected.

“Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-YOU—!!!” Chuuya shrieks immediately, pulling back as though he’s been electrocuted, pawing and wiping at his lips frantically, as though he can erase the mark there. But the damage has been done. Split-second as it may be, Dazai has stolen his first kiss.

In response, Dazai grins at him, triumphant and unremorseful, an entirely new expression on his face. “I look forward to living with you, brother~~~♪”